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Study by state board says that full cost of vehicle might need to be subsidized

A staff report for the State of California's Air Resources Board (ARB), as noted by Reason.com, suggests that it may necessary to pay the "full cost" of a mild hybrid or electric vehicle for people living at poverty level.  The report comes as California contemplates the best way to promote electric vehicles as a key "green" initiative of the state.
 
I. EV Vouchers?  Calif. Board Raises the Idea
 
The state currently charges an extra registration fee of $1 USD per vehicle, which generates a pool of roughly $30M USD.  The state then uses this pool to gives subsidies to residents that purchase electric vehicles.  The program operates somewhat like the Obama administration's "cash for clunkers" offer.  Customers who trade in an old, polluting vehicle (regardless of the condition) receive $1,000 to $1,500 USD in credits for their hybrid or EV of choice.
 
The 2009 federal cash for clunkers program was no stranger to controversy.  Critics of the federal cash for clunkers program suggested it cost U.S. vehicle buyers $24,000 USD, on average.  And while 690,000 vouchers were handed out, critics say it only offered a small incremental sales bump at the cost of $3B USD.  Critics also complain that the program created uncertain for owners of "clunkers" who missed the trade-in deadline when cash for the program ran out a second time.

EV subsidies
[Image Source: American.com]

While not everyone is happy with California's state-level initiative, the biggest controversy has come from a smaller pilot program that offers up to $4,000 USD in asisistance for certain lucky EV buyers.  Some have complained that the program is difficult to apply for and has primarily benefited wealthy individuals who could have bought the vehicles themselves without the extra help.

In its report, the State Board acknowledges the pilot program's application process was "overly complicated" and the award process was "highly bureaucratic".  However, it argues that the program could become an asset if it is tweaked to be more clear and fair.  It suggests one way to solve the problem would be to scale credits based on income; those with lower incomes would get more cash to trade in their clunker for a shiny new EV.

The report comments, "Older vehicles tend to be registered in lower-income areas."

EV vouchers

In a March speech following his request for a $2B USD federal grant for "green" EV research, President Barack Obama (D) said that making EVs available to average Americans was a top priority to the federal government.  


President Obama's "test drive" of a Chevrolet Volt back in 2010. [Image Source: AP]

He commented, "This idea…is not just about saving money. It’s also about saving the environment… but also about national security. This is not a Democratic idea or a Republican idea, it’s just a smart idea."
 
The POTUS has proposed expanding current EV tax credits from $7,500 USD to $10,000 USD.
 
II. New Bill, Pending Measure Offer More EV Credits for Low Income Buyers
 
But California isn't content to wait around for federal action.
 
The board report suggests setting up direct application and credit processes at dealerships, to reduce complexity for buyers, particularly those at a low-income level that might not even consider an EV.  The board explains, "[S]taff is evaluating a structural change where the outreach and function of the program is moved to an arena where people are already motivated to make a change: the vehicle dealership."
 
The board is backing AB 8, a pending resolution that would extend the registration surcharge until 2024, keeping the program funded.    In September a second resolution -- SB 454 -- was passed.  This new measure bumps the credits to "no less than $2,500".  That bill would incorporate elements of the board's income-based proposals, as well.
 
Cash for Clunkers
The federal cash for clunkers program won both praise and criticism. [Image Source: The Truth About Cars]

The new law, which was sponsored by State Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Calabassas, Calif.), asserts:

[This bill authorizes] an increase in the compensation for low-income vehicle owners as necessary to balance maximizing air quality benefits while ensuring participation.

The bill's proponents say giving those who make less more credits is "transportation justice".  They argue that the poor often drive the most polluting vehicles in a currently necessary effort to save money.  According to the board's findings, the pilot program may need to offer full vouchers to get families of two with an annual household income of $34,000 USD into EVs or even mild hybrids.  The next step in the potential EV voucher process will be the vote on the two upcoming bills and a series of public hearings with regards as to how to adjust the current initiative.
 
The federal government offers a $7,500 USD tax credit towards an EV purchase; however, this might not benefit low-income folks who don't pay much in taxes already.  Still some Californian counties/municipalities offer additional, more direct discounts.  For example San Joaquin Valley offers $3,000 USD to EV buyers.  Sony Pictures, a subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), also offers its Californian employees a $5,000 USD credit to buy an EV.

Smart ForTwo
Californians could already get the Smart ForTwo EV for about the price of a used car, in some areas.
[Image Source: Cars.com]

The cheapest EV currently on sale in the U.S. is the 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric, which retails for $25,750 USD before federal tax credits and has a city range of 76 miles on a full charge. (Smart is a brand of German automaker Daimler AG (ETR:DAI)).  With recent $2,000 dealer cash initiatives, combined with employer, city, county, state, and federal grants/rebates, the EV could be purchased (theoretically) for as little as $5,750 USD.

Sources: State of California Air Resources Board (ARB), Reason



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Lonyo on 12/9/2013 12:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Surely there should be other priorities regarding people on the poverty line?




RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 12:57:27 PM , Rating: 5
How about a good public transportation system. A car is a huge expense, if you are on food stamps maybe you should be taking the bus.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By ClownPuncher on 12/9/2013 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, especially when most companies will subsidize 50% of public transportation costs to the employee and there is usually a voucher system in place.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 2:47:33 PM , Rating: 4
$1500-$2500 isn't enough to make the poor buy a new car of any sort. The poor were taken out of the new car market 10 years ago. Unless the state is willing to pay more than half of the cost of these cars, it won't do a thing to put more of them into one. No one will use this program. This is just another money grabbing scheme by the state to extort money from its residents.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Mint on 12/9/2013 3:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Oddly enough, I mostly agree with this.

It really makes no difference who buys new cars, as long as they don't make decisions which cost society down the road. Cars last 15 years, and I bet EVs will hit the 20 year mark (with either reduced range or full range after a mid-life battery refurbishment).

As a student, I bought a six year old BMW for 1/5th the MSRP. Even a Model S will make a fine low-fuel-cost, low maintenance car in 2020 for a family with slightly below average income.

Once the market confirms real-world EV reliability and maintenance, I think somebody may rent out even 3 year old EVs for prices that would make you think twice about fueling a 10 year old car, provided you can accommodate the range.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By 91TTZ on 12/9/2013 4:37:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Cars last 15 years, and I bet EVs will hit the 20 year mark (with either reduced range or full range after a mid-life battery refurbishment).


Why do you believe that EVs will last longer than gasoline vehicles?

Most cars are still running when they go to the junkyard. It's usually not the engine that goes out in them. The most common reasons are just normal wear and tear of the car, such as body panels getting dented/rusty, CV joints failing, headlight plastic becoming opaque, shock absorbers failing, seats/upholstry fading and getting ripped, etc.

All these things can be fixed but it costs money. So there comes a point where people would rather just junk the car than maintain it. But don't fool yourself into thinking that the engine is what caused them to get rid of it. The engine and transmission are probably the longest lasting parts of the car.


By tanjali on 12/9/2013 5:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well, also you should compare price of 300k mileage used car with 100k car the same age.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 5:32:11 PM , Rating: 1
It has to do with the value of the car vs the amount of money to repair. If you have a 15 year old car and the transmission needs a rebuild for most cars its off to the junk yard.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 6:38:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It has to do with the value of the car vs the amount of money to repair. If you have a 15 year old car and the transmission needs a rebuild for most cars its off to the junk yard.
X2 BTW, my old 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R that I purchased new is still on the road. I owned it for 12 years then sold it to a relative who kept it for 3 more years then sold it to a friend that still drives it. The car was in excellent shape when I sold it. And, no, I was not anal in its car. That car was DRIVEN hard. It is MORE than possible to have a car last more than 15 years. Look at all the classics that are still around after 30 plus years (quite a few are ALL original too).


By Spuke on 12/9/2013 6:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And, no, I was not anal in its car.
CARE damn it!!

EDIT BUTTON PLEASE!!


By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 6:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing wrong with that, drive it until something expensive fails.


By JediJeb on 12/10/2013 5:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
I am still driving my 96 F150 I bought new and it has 245K miles on it and I just bought an 85 Jeep Cherokee that just needed a good tuneup with 145K miles on it that I am driving to work now. Being able to do most of my own repair work will mean that these will still be cost effective for a long time to come. I can't beat the insurance and taxes either, at $300 per six months to insure both and about $75 annually in taxes that goes a long ways versus trying to buy something new.


By Mint on 12/10/2013 8:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
No, I don't think you're right. Engines do get problems, whether it's pumps or hoses or sensors or leaks or exhaust or excessive gas consumption or failing emissions tests or something else. Transmissions go bad as well.

EVs have a much simpler drivetrain and more importantly simpler cooling (a 100hp EV probably dissipates no more than 30 hp of heat, while a 100hp auto will need to dissipate up to 300 hp of heat), which helps everything last longer. They'll never fail emissions tests. Even brakes last longer.

The other thing is that EVs are so much cheaper to run that people will hang onto them longer. A 20-year-old LEAF will be a godsend to a family that can't afford gas, even if range is only 50 miles. A $500 re-upholstering or suspension job is worth it for a car that doesn't need $1000+/yr for gas.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By senecarr on 12/9/2013 4:11:25 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, quite a few business are prejudice against public transport. I've known a few people who replied bus route when asked by employers about reliable transportation for work, and the employer verbally told or otherwise indicated this wasn't what they considered reliable transportation. This is doubly true for many manual labor jobs with low pay that have off hours, such as night janitors and bakery workers - public transit doesn't run at those time.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 5:16:43 PM , Rating: 1
I certainly wouldn't hire someone without a personal vehicle. Right off the bat it tells me they aren't responsible individuals. They must have made some pretty f'ed up choices to get to that point in the first place. And I don't think that's the kind of person who needs to represent my business.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By tanjali on 12/9/2013 5:23:28 PM , Rating: 3
Yes indeed, like loosing house and job because of stock market crashes or some strange economic bubbles flying around or god forbid nasty divorce he chose wrong market to live in.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 5:28:55 PM , Rating: 1
For every genuine sob story there are 1,000 people who just made careless decisions.

Unfortunate fact of life.

The crash was caused by people who pretended they could afford $200k houses, no money down, on a $30k salary. Remember?


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 5:30:57 PM , Rating: 1
Edit: $300k


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By tanjali on 12/9/2013 5:37:36 PM , Rating: 3
Well if we follow the money in that case banks win and government and poor bastard lose.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 6:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well if we follow the money in that case banks win and government and poor bastard lose.
Banks lost too. No money in bad loans.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By tanjali on 12/9/2013 7:12:36 PM , Rating: 3
Bank got money with interest from loan repayments and repossessed assets and place it on the market again. Question is which money did bank operate with, giving the loan in the first place? Is that faith money or Fed's printouts? They are covered either way.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 10:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Bank got money with interest from loan repayments and repossessed assets and place it on the market again.
And still didn't make anywhere near their money back and most claimed big losses, some went out of business or got bought up by another bank that wasn't as bad off (and those banks were still in a bad place). There were two groups to blame here for the financial meltdown:

1. Us.
2. The Wall Street financial companies that played hot potato with these bad loans.

If you get past the political-social BS rhetoric to the REAL facts of what happened you'll see how some of these Wall Street companies (not all..some got f$%ked hard) even f^&ked over their top wealthy clients. Had them investing in these bad loans too and didn't tell them they were bad. The White House wants you to believe ALL the rich people (not including themselves, of course) had it in for us when the truth is the Wall Street financial companies were f&*king EVERYONE. Some of those people should've been put in jail, period. But our benevolent government has investments there too and they would be making themselves broke in the process. Can't have that.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By FITCamaro on 12/10/2013 7:30:59 AM , Rating: 3
Aren't you forgetting the government which encouraged and forced banks to give bad loans to people in order to meet quotas for getting minorities in homes? When you're told "Give these loans or we'll pull your FDIC insurance" as Janet Reno did to banks, you're not left with many options as people won't bank somewhere that's not insured.

Not to mention Fannie and Freddie who ultimately were the ones giving the loans since the banks just made the loans, collected interest off them for a year or so, and then sold them to Fannie and Freddie. For the banks it was largely free money.

And yes members of Congress can essentially insider trade through legislation. Buy or sell investments knowing what legislation they're pushing that will either help or hurt companies.


By Spuke on 12/10/2013 12:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Aren't you forgetting the government which encouraged and forced banks to give bad loans to people in order to meet quotas for getting minorities in homes?
I forgot all about that FIT. Thanks for the reminder. Add the government as number 1.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 6:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
Number one cause of bankruptcy is gigantic medical bills. That mean the poorest "decision" most people have made is needing a hospital.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By tanjali on 12/9/2013 7:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
If anywhere, capitalism fail is in medical field. They are overcharging for minor useless services. Only bright side of medical field is emergency services they offer, all others are crooks.
Here is some snake oil for your cancer and you may survive, maybe! Long live fine print! No wonder pharmaceutical companies have tallest buildings after banksters.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 8:11:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Here is some snake oil for your cancer and you may survive, maybe!


Uhhh our "broken" system has the highest Cancer survival rates in the world! And NOBODY spends more on cancer and medical research in general than the United States.

Snake oil? That's just goddamned insulting to everyone in our health-care industry.


By Spuke on 12/9/2013 10:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Snake oil? That's just goddamned insulting to everyone in our health-care industry.
These people seem to only have insults and poor one's at that.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 9:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
Who said anything about bankruptcy? Do you HAVE to go bankrupt to not own a vehicle or something?


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By MrBlastman on 12/10/2013 10:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
If I hadn't had medical insurance when I had my open heart surgery, the bill would have cost me 150k out of pocket. I requested an itemized copy for the hell of it. Since I had insurance, it only cost me 2k out of pocket.

Thank me for your increased rates. :) I thank you for paying into the system.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By rountad on 12/10/2013 11:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
I like reading your posts and am glad you are still with us.


By Spuke on 12/10/2013 12:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I like reading your posts and am glad you are still with us.
X2


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By FITCamaro on 12/10/2013 3:14:03 PM , Rating: 1
Many by people who are too ignorant to realize that they can't force you into bankruptcy for medical bills.


By Just Tom on 12/10/2013 4:56:55 PM , Rating: 3
That is wonderful news, except you are wrong. There is no medical exemptions in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy laws. Here is the specific legislation : http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/11/3/I/303


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By ClownPuncher on 12/10/2013 12:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
What? It takes more effort to get to work every day by riding the bus than it does by car. Plus, you can't legally discriminate against someone who doesn't have a car. The bus is a fine method of transportation.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 12:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Plus, you can't legally discriminate against someone who doesn't have a car.
Actually, yes you can. Discrimination laws don't cover your transportation.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By ClownPuncher on 12/10/2013 1:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the state, I guess. Public transportation is considered reliable transportation where I live. Now, if your job requires travelling... that's obviously different.

The point is that riding a bus says absolutely nothing about your life choices. The majority of people that ride the bus in my area can easily afford cars, and usually already own one. Saving money by riding the bus is SMART.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 3:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The point is that riding a bus says absolutely nothing about your life choices.
I agree but that doesn't make it discrimination (in a legal sense) if a potential employer doesn't see it that way.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By ClownPuncher on 12/10/2013 4:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
I've never actually run across this, as an employer or an employee.


By Spuke on 12/10/2013 6:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Me either.


By Just Tom on 12/10/2013 5:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
Probably so, but you'd have to be careful about disparate impact. I have no specific data but I am betting more minorities ride the bus and a blanket policy of not hiring people who do not own vehicles would impact minorities in a disparate fashion. While the law is silly it does recognize disparate impact as illegal. And it would be difficult to justify owning a car as a bona fide occupational qualification in most cases.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Samus on 12/9/2013 1:22:32 PM , Rating: 4
A common problem in America is gentrification that pushes lower income people to the suburbs our outlying areas where there is no public transit, requiring them to have a reliable car simply to get their kids to school and parents to work.

Cars, especially newer reliable ones are a huge blow to families with minimum wage income. That's why they want to subsidize it, and no place better than California. With the exception of san Diego and san Francisco/Oakland, commuting in Cali is near impossible.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Samus on 12/9/2013 1:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
*commuting without a car in most of California is nearly impossible.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Flunk on 12/9/2013 1:58:17 PM , Rating: 5
Because no one is funding public transit. Public transit is a long-term, sustainable solution. Buying the working poor cars is a short-term solution.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Nutzo on 12/9/2013 2:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the cost to build and run some of the light rail systems in LA, it would have been cheaper to buy every rider a cheap car, pay for thier gas, and even thier insurance.

So no, heavily subsidized public transit is not the solution either.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 2:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know if you've spent much time in LA but commuting by car doesn't work well anymore, the freeways turn into parking lots during the commute hours.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 2:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
There was a bike trail next to the freeway where I lived in Orange County. Whenever I went on my afternoon bike ride I would be blowing past all the cars on the freeway. :)


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 2:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you don't live in CA either because the rail system that IS available doesn't make enough money to pay for itself. Why is that? Because they keep expecting X amount of people to use it and the real numbers fall WAY short of their expectations. It could be fixed but good luck with trying to make the fixes cost effective since every little cockroach is a protected species. You people create your own hell in that state.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Mint on 12/9/2013 3:41:13 PM , Rating: 3
Public transportation almost never pays for itself using simplistic fare revenues.

The cost of not having public transportation is enormous. You create a barrier for people to get where their labor is most efficiently used, you push people into cars that clog up the roads and waste everyone's time, etc.

But in 10-20 years, I will agree with you. That's because automated driving will be able to pack people together in convoys that are just as road efficient as quarter-filled trains/buses stopping every minute.


By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 4:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
Its possible that computer controlled cars and traffic have the potential to fix big city traffic woes. An automated highway system with super efficient cars/pods might just end up being the best solution, its hard to predict the future.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By 91TTZ on 12/9/2013 4:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The cost of not having public transportation is enormous. You create a barrier for people to get where their labor is most efficiently used, you push people into cars that clog up the roads and waste everyone's time, etc.


I strongly disagree with this. I grew up in a pretty nice suburb that was relatively free of crime. The mall was a nice place to hang out as a teenager, and lots of people let their kids hang out there.

Then they started bus service from Camden and Philly. Oh my god what a bad decision. Suddenly you began seeing people that you never saw there, inner-city thugs that would start fights with the suburban kids. Cars started getting stolen, shoplifting became an issue. People stopped going to the mall because of the "new" crowd, and started driving to a nicer mall further away.

Last time I was there the place was a ghost town, a shadow of its former self.

The sad fact is that many suburbanites live there because they do not like the city, the city culture, or the city people.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 4:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then they started bus service from Camden and Philly. Oh my god what a bad decision. Suddenly you began seeing people that you never saw there, inner-city thugs that would start fights with the suburban kids. Cars started getting stolen, shoplifting became an issue. People stopped going to the mall because of the "new" crowd, and started driving to a nicer mall further away.


Good old White Flight, yup.

I've seen it here myself. A very nice area that used to be "the place" to go transformed into a depressing ghetto full of boarded up big box stores and restaurants. All because of the cities push to get buses and light rail going everywhere for "urban" people who didn't drive cars.

Only Collectivists and Liberals like Mint extoll the virtues of public transportation. At best it's a necessary evil in places like New York.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By 91TTZ on 12/9/2013 5:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
Once I got a steady job I moved completely out of the area. I left New Jersey and moved to Pennsylvania. Now they get all my tax revenue.

I really think that bad policies have a compounding effect. They don't just affect an area once and then go away- they compound like a snowball rolling down hill. If measures aren't taken to mitigate the problem (and you instead have collectivists trying to appease the problem), then you're hit with a one-two punch: middle-class people that subsidize your programs move out, and low-class people that utilize your programs move in. While these collectivists may have taken this tax revenue for granted and figured that you have no recourse since they're calling the shots, citizens do have the ability to leave the area for good.

Eventually you get Detroit.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 5:13:18 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly. As a great lady once said; "The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Once the people bearing the brunt of all this come to their senses and say they've had enough and leave, the money leaves with them.

That's why central planners hate "urban sprawl" and do everything they can to dissuade people from moving to the suburbs.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By tanjali on 12/9/2013 6:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you are mistaking socialism with corruption and unorganized, incompetent government which is inclined to be lobbied by capitalist interest and greed for more and requests for bailouts. Socialism has other perks that are similarly incompetent but capitalism is not divine system either. Shareholders can disrupt and destroy creativity of companies in yearning for profit. Remember Apple and Steve Jobs and other companies. Getting monopolized by buying competition and blinded with profit they get arrogant, stop innovating, listening for consumer requests and slowly fading away.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 8:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
capitalism is not divine system either. Shareholders can disrupt and destroy creativity of companies in yearning for profit.


That's fine. Capitalism can handle that. In fact it's even healthy, as another company will rise to fill the void of others who fall or lag behind.

Destructive capitalism is an important mechanism of the capitalist system. It ensures competition and the proper allocation of resources.

quote:
Remember Apple and Steve Jobs and other companies.


Remember what? That they created wealth, employed millions of people, and everything that goes with that. Yeah, how terrible!!

And that's coming from me, a self-confessed Apple hater. But come on, let's be serious. I can't believe you would list a giant tech company as a BAD example of capitalism. I would contrast them with an example of a Socialist countries tech giants but ummm..looks like there are none! Coincidence?


By Spuke on 12/9/2013 7:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Once the people bearing the brunt of all this come to their senses and say they've had enough and leave, the money leaves with them.
BAM!! This is what the morons here in the US STILL haven't learned (even with the obvious examples in Europe right now).


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By rsmech on 12/9/2013 8:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's why central planners hate "urban sprawl" and do everything they can to dissuade people from moving to the suburbs.


Agree. I don't know how it is in other areas but where I live to build a new home in the suburbs the impact fees before even breaking ground 8 years ago were about $8,000, now they are about $30,000. Not including your lot price or construction cost.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 8:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
So much for the American Dream eh? Sigh...

Whoever came up with that needs to be shot. $30k "impact" fee!?


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 10:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
Impact fee? What the hell is that?


By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 1:06:32 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you know? When the build a house you errrm, impact stuff. So you have to pay a fee...


By JediJeb on 12/10/2013 6:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Impact fee? What the hell is that?


I am thinking the same thing.

Just another reason I prefer the rural life to living in a large city or suburban area.

I like my little house on 3 acres I bought for $42K, and only have a 15 mile drive to work.


By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 5:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
you could have a point


By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 4:58:00 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, there was a lot of anger and resentment between suburban teens and urban teens where I grew up to.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 3:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the cost to build and run some of the light rail systems in LA, it would have been cheaper to buy every rider a cheap car, pay for thier gas, and even thier insurance.

Really? light rail lasts a very long time. How long has London's subway system been running? Big up front cost but its a very long term investment. I don't think anyone in London would be saying that money spent so long ago was all just pissed away.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Keeir on 12/9/2013 10:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
So, lets look at the New York City Metro System.

New York City is clearly is at a point where it must have a working public transit system. Having been to New York, it appears to me that usage of the system is essentially at the highest percentage one could reasonably expect. Considering that the alternatives are not great (and expensive) one might also assume that New York Metro is charging a very high percentage of what could theoricatlly be charged.

The New York City Metro has only acchieved a 50-60% fare funding on a yearly basis. Historically the ratio is even less at under 40%. Now, given the situation there, it is "acceptable" since the majority of tax dollars that make up the difference are garnished from New York City residents, who in large part benefit from the system. However, it is not encouraging to see that even a large well used entrenched system can not pay for even the daily wages based on fare alone.

I am a hard working individual where public transportation is not provided to either my place of work, social events, or nearby services. Yet every year I contribute ~100 dollars to the local Public Transport Agency. I repeat, I do not use public transportation (not available within a 1/2 mile walking distance), nor does it affect in any meaningful way my daily business. To expand public transportation in my area, I will need to double/tripler/quadruple my contributations, which I will not see any benefit for years (at best) any expansion in my area. However, without increasing significantly the money taken from me, there is no way to expand public transportation in my area. The few times I have used public transportation, its because I've had time to burn. The only run that makes any sense is to drive to a "free" unsecured parking location and take transit to the airport. A system that adds more than 1 hour to a 40 minute trip (ie 40 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes). Now my labor is expensive, but I'd be willing to pay 30-60 dollars a hour for time not spent in public transportation looking after a suitcase, so I only use it when I will be gone more than 1 week and my return/departure is not time critical.

As soon as the above problem can be worked out, there will be an explosion of mass transit in the United States. But as long as expansion and operation relies on large contributions by non-users, then there will be significant resistance, regardless of long term usability.


By Spuke on 12/9/2013 11:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The New York City Metro has only acchieved a 50-60% fare funding on a yearly basis.
Wow, I figured they were making money there. That's depressing.


By Nutzo on 12/10/2013 12:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
New York is a very different case from LA.

LA is much more spead out with people traveling in different direction. There is no way you could ever move a large number of commuters to mass transit in LA.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 2:26:26 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, and building low income housing along transit lines makes it time efficient too.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Spuke on 12/9/2013 2:57:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yup, and building low income housing along transit lines makes it time efficient too.
Good God you're stupid! Poor people in CA don't want to live near a damn train station just like middle class and wealthy people don't want to. And as soon as you start promoting that the poor should relocate to these places, JJ and the Reverend will be bitching about black people being sent to the equivalent of a concentration camp.


By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 4:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not true, LA's poor people are not represented by JJ and the Reverend. You haven't spent much time in poor neighborhoods in LA.


By tanjali on 12/9/2013 5:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not founding public transit is saving money to car manufacturers and car dialer lobbyists, all in one cost.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 9:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Public transit is a long-term, sustainable solution.


When in the hell has public transportation EVER been sustainable?

There isn't a public transportation system on the planet that could survive without Government bailouts and yearly operating cost deficits.

That by it's very definition is unsustainable.

quote:
Because no one is funding public transit


And you know why this is? Because the people who actually depend on public transportation, don't feel they should have to pay for using it.

Public transportation is for poor free-loading smelly losers who don't own a vehicle. Unless we're talking places like NY where it's necessary.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By ritualm on 12/10/2013 11:29:58 AM , Rating: 3
Once again, Reclaimer77 is talking trash.
quote:
Public transportation is for poor free-loading smelly losers who don't own a vehicle. Unless we're talking places like NY where it's necessary.

You have a hard on against every [progressive] socialist thinking, and keep saying how capitalism solves these problems without any help whatsoever.

Public transportation by itself doesn't make enough money to pay its operating costs. The businesses who derive most of their profits from it do. Unfortunately, people like you are offended at public entities - let alone private - running more than just a transportation network.

Mass transit in North America is RARELY "on time" (and "on time" usually implies several minutes behind schedule, consistently), so the alternative is better? Not even close. That involves road rage, gridlock, and a stupid population. Kindly tell me what other solution is there for the working poor? Having them own cars and getting rid of public transit only makes roads more clogged than they already are.

Also, it isn't just the cost of a car that matters, the insurance also matters. Without car insurance, you are liable for tens (if not hundreds) of thousands in damages from a single car accident, even for a guy who wrongfully claims "he can prevent accidents". It is more imperative considering Americans and their tendency to sue over minor disagreements. Who's gonna pay for all that? The working poor can't afford it, either.

Wonder what is really unsustainable? Suburban living. Americans need lots of personal space for everything. It's a load of bullcrap because we really don't need huge 3000+ sq-ft homes and lumbering SUVs. Cars are required for every activity, why? Because things are so spread out. American broadband sucks so much because of all this need for lots of personal space. You say that 1000 sq-ft is too small to live in, I'd be lucky to get half that outside of suburbia.

You can't run a major city without public transit. It just doesn't work. Every square mile of the city can be paved and you still have to deal with gridlock all the time. Your argument essentially amounts to "get rid of it, even for NYC" because bridging the Great Canyon between the rich and the poor is so anathema to you.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 12:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wonder what is really unsustainable? Suburban living. Americans need lots of personal space for everything. It's a load of bullcrap because we really don't need huge 3000+ sq-ft homes and lumbering SUVs.


Thank you for illustrating my point. So in order to help the "working poor", I need to accept a lower standard of living?

quote:
You say that 1000 sq-ft is too small to live in, I'd be lucky to get half that outside of suburbia.


Maybe that's why so many people live in the suburbs? We don't WANT your cramped smelly cities, your tiny apartments, and your thugs and crime.

You have all the symptoms of a classic collectivist idiot. Grow up!


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By ritualm on 12/10/2013 12:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So in order to help the "working poor", I need to accept a lower standard of living?

The amazing thing is you're going to accept it, whether you like it or not.
quote:
We don't WANT your cramped smelly cities, your tiny apartments, and your thugs and crime.

The root causes of crime go far beyond Section 8 and inner cities. It's more complicated than the fable you seem to believe in. Not surprisingly, you're like testerguy for every other topic.
quote:
You have all the symptoms of a classic collectivist idiot.

You have all the symptoms of a blithering capitalist pig.

Whine harder.


By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 12:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The amazing thing is you're going to accept it, whether you like it or not.


Well if that kind of attitude doesn't bring people to your side, nothing will!

/s

How exactly am I going to "accept" it, by the way? You think some radical change to the suburban paradigm is going to happen in my short lifetime that will force me back into the city? Ha!


By Spuke on 12/10/2013 12:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The amazing thing is you're going to accept it, whether you like it or not.
LOL! How is this going to be accomplished exactly?

quote:
The root causes of crime go far beyond Section 8 and inner cities. It's more complicated than the fable you seem to believe in. Not surprisingly, you're like testerguy for every other topic.
The root causes of crime? Try poverty combined with no or little education. Where do you find this? In the cities. The farther you go away from cities, the lower the crime rate. The exceptions are those places where crime is rooted out with an iron fist (cause those places aren't diluted with left wing idealism).

quote:
You have all the symptoms of a blithering capitalist pig.
And you're a moron.


By Nutzo on 12/10/2013 12:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you like living in a tiny apartment in a crowed urban area, just so you can walk to you expensive trendy nightclub, than that is your choice.

I'd rather have a little bit of land, so the kids have a yard to play in, and so I can have a garden.

And yes, I used to own an SUV. Needed it to haul stuff while I was remodeling the house. Now the wife has a Mini-van. More practical for hauling people, yet still good for hauling stuff for the house.

If you don't like SUV's then don't buy one.

If you don't like gridlock, then find a job closer to home, or move closer to work. Your car will last alot longer, and you'll spend alot less on gas and insurance.



By dgingerich on 12/9/2013 3:10:10 PM , Rating: 4
I commuted for over a year in a fifteen year old car that would stall a third of the time I'd make a left turn. (Three mechanics couldn't figure out what was causing it, and I couldn't afford to take it to more of them. It cost me less for the two "driving a defective vehicle" tickets I got than it would have to even have one take a look at fixing it.) I never got any subsidies to get a reliable car, and I never got welfare or food stamps. Why should they be taking money out of my pocket to pay some slouch on welfare and food stamps for them to have a new car?


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By 91TTZ on 12/9/2013 4:08:40 PM , Rating: 4
Both my girlfriend and I work full time jobs and own a house. With bills the way they are it's hard to justify buying myself a new car.

Why should the poor get subsidized cars while I cannot?

This trend of ever-expanding welfare and subsidizing people at other people's expense needs to stop. It's not like you're just taxing billionaires who have money to spare, you're squeezing middle-class people who can't afford it.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Nutzo on 12/9/2013 4:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's the dirty little secret about taxes. There are never enough "rich" to pay all the taxes the left needs, even if you taxed the rich at 99%.

These people who vote to "tax the rich" are often shocked when they realize that the government considers them rich.


By dgingerich on 12/9/2013 6:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Look back at history. In the 1950s they did tax the rich at 91%, yet got no higher percentage of the GDP for tax revenues.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-indivi...

JFK actually reduced the taxes on the rich down to 70% and got even better revenues and GDP growth, but not that big of an improvement in the percentage of tax revenues from GDP. In the 80s, Reagan managed to get that reduced even further, and yet tax revenues went up, not down, while the economy grew fabulously. Clinton got so much credit for the results from Reagan's economic policies, Bush the second got the receiving end of Clinton's economic policies, including hte mortgage problems of 2008 (entirely Clinton's fault for pushing that the poor should have houses, houses they couldn't afford. Heck, I'm way above the poverty line, probably twice the income of many who had houses in the late 90s and early 2000s, but I know I couldn't afford a house.) And Obama is receiving grace on the economy because of Bush the second's economic policies. If Bush hadn't have been President from 2000 to 2008, we'd be in a whole lot more hurt.

Now, we'll see Obama's tax and spend policies result in economic disaster in 2015 and beyond. It's going to hurt us hard. I wouldn't doubt this country will fall apart before 2020. The only thing that might prevent that is the current Republican majority in the House keeping Obama and Reid under control. That's a big, big if.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 5:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
Rich people make most of their money from the stock market, that means they pay 15% tax. This is one of the reasons they pay CEO's in stock option rather than straight pay. So you can bet you probably pay a higher tax rate than your average rich dude, after all who do you think writes the tax code.


By Dorkyman on 12/9/2013 5:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but then where did they get the money to put into the stock market in the first place? At some point, from working at a job, where they were taxed just like everyone else.

Don't forget it was society as a whole that decided to tax long-term capital gains at a lower rate. They did so on purpose in order to attract more money for investment in businesses. Don't like it? Take it up with them.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Nutzo on 12/10/2013 12:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Except that is really double taxation.

The companies pay taxes on thier profits, and when they distribute the profits that are left as dividends, the investor ends up paying an addition 15%.


By ritualm on 12/10/2013 12:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's not exactly double taxation, because the companies pay as little taxes on their profits as legally required (so the actual rate is lower than that), while investors end up paying that 15% because they can't use the same tax-dodging loopholes Corporate America uses daily.


By JediJeb on 12/10/2013 6:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Rich people make most of their money from the stock market, that means they pay 15% tax. This is one of the reasons they pay CEO's in stock option rather than straight pay. So you can bet you probably pay a higher tax rate than your average rich dude, after all who do you think writes the tax code.


I remember everyone bashing Romney because he only paid 15% in taxes while they cried "he paid less than me". But how many of those people paid the nearly $3million in taxes he paid? Maybe it was a lower percentage, but it was a much higher amount for one year than most of those people who complained will pay in taxes their whole life.

To me the only really fair tax would be to require the same percentage of everyone from the top 1% down to the bottom 1%. Everyone pays, even those getting 100% of their income from government subsidies. Only when every single person feels the burden of taxes will we look at how taxation and spending effect everyone's lives across the board.


By sorry dog on 12/9/2013 6:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly!!

Just like when gov't paid to bail out certain homeowners with loan modifications. Why should they get free gov't money when I chose to keep renting because I thought houses were overpriced....


By FITCamaro on 12/10/2013 3:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure where you're referring to but every big city I've been in, the lowest income people live in the middle of the city.


By Flunk on 12/9/2013 1:55:59 PM , Rating: 1
How about the homeless problem? If you're going to address social issues start at the bottom, not near the bottom.

The public transit point is a good one too, more money for public transit will go a lot further, there is a economy of scale there.


RE: Poverty, but at least I got a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2013 2:09:54 PM , Rating: 5
This is about buying votes. Using tax dollars as philanthropic endeavors for political gain is sadly nothing new in California.

It doesn't help anyone or make sense, but then again, it wasnt intended to.


By Spuke on 12/9/2013 2:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It doesn't help anyone or make sense, but then again, it wasnt intended to.
This.


This is why I cant vote Democrat anymore
By stm1185 on 12/9/2013 1:15:24 PM , Rating: 5
They want me to pay taxes to fund buying people electric cars... even though I am already paying taxes to fund buses, light rail, public outreach... as if living out here is not expensive enough.

I'd swear if the rich progressives in charge of CA had their way there would be no more middle class. Just rich snobs with their Teslas and Mansions, and everyone else cramped into micro apartments and smart cars they can either barely afford or get a subsidy on.




By Spuke on 12/9/2013 3:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd swear if the rich progressives in charge of CA had their way there would be no more middle class. Just rich snobs with their Teslas and Mansions, and everyone else cramped into micro apartments and smart cars they can either barely afford or get a subsidy on.
It seems like it but they know it would eliminate their entire tax base if there was no middle class. What they REALLY want is for us to volunteer to give most our money away (not all because they want us to keep buying sh!t so they can tax us on that too). These people don't care about the poor, they just want more power over ALL of us.


RE: This is why I cant vote Democrat anymore
By Mint on 12/9/2013 3:54:13 PM , Rating: 1
LOL at the cognitive dissonance from you conservatives.

Which is it? CA taxes the rich to death? Or CA makes itself a rich man's paradise?


RE: This is why I cant vote Democrat anymore
By stm1185 on 12/9/2013 4:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's truly the second. Go walk around San Francisco, a truly progressive Democrat ruled city.

Try and find the middle class living there. Find someone who makes a decent wage able to actually afford a house and car.

The policies put in place have reduced the standard of living for the middle class and driven them out of the city.

Which leads you to walk around and either be in a rich gentrified residential/commercial area or a poor area.

Though in both watch out for the aggressive homeless used to rich liberal's handing then $5-$20 bills for being there.

These policies lead to a destruction of the middle class, they elevate those on the bottom by pushing down the middle, while those at the top get more breathing room.


By Nutzo on 12/10/2013 12:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
This is what is currently happening at a national level, and is going to be the real Obama legacy.


RE: This is why I cant vote Democrat anymore
By 91TTZ on 12/9/2013 4:27:51 PM , Rating: 2

There is a massive divide between people who call themselves "conservative" and people who call themselves "liberal". And yet the wealthiest liberals behave exactly like the wealthiest conservatives. Both are greedy, have a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude, push tax burdens on the middle class, and live in an isolated world far removed from the people they represent.


By Spuke on 12/10/2013 1:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
How many times can I say "this" today?


By FITCamaro on 12/10/2013 3:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
Both. The uber rich don't care about the taxes.


By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 7:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd swear if the rich progressives in charge of CA had their way there would be no more middle class. Just rich snobs with their Teslas and Mansions, and everyone else cramped into micro apartments and smart cars they can either barely afford or get a subsidy on.


I thought this was already the case in CA, or at least LA county. The middle class has already fled for other states.


RE: This is why I cant vote Democrat anymore
By roykahn on 12/10/2013 3:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
there would be no more middle class

Sure. And when reports are released about the widening wealth inequality in America, most people won't care because they'll just try to work harder to make it into the top 1%. That's the American Dream, isn't it? Keep dreaming and enjoy your false hope.


By Spuke on 12/10/2013 1:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
The American Dream isn't about being in the 1%, it's about being successful because of hard work and perseverance. No one here is that deluded.


Or they could wait
By Akrovah on 12/9/2013 12:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Or, you know, low income families could wait until the tech matures enough for them to become price competitive.

I'd imagine most low income households don't even buy new cars anyway.




RE: Or they could wait
By Jeffk464 on 12/9/2013 12:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
From what I see they buy 10 year old 4cyl accords and camrys.


RE: Or they could wait
By Flunk on 12/9/2013 1:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Those cars are actually quite good on gas consumption vs other cars the same age.


RE: Or they could wait
By Mint on 12/9/2013 3:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
Accords and Camry's don't even make up 10% of the used car market, let alone most of the market.

Low income families buy cars that the rest of society bought and handed off to them. That includes plenty of SUVs, Camaros, etc.

Until a car is such a clunker/guzzler that its value is zero, somebody will be driving it.


These policies hold down the middle class
By 91TTZ on 12/9/2013 5:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at these various proposals, you'll see that subsidies seem to go away once a person's salary is in the $40k range.

Also, keep in mind that this proposal is just for a car- there are many other proposals that subsidize the poor.

But the problem is that your actual take-home income at $50k isn't all that much more than it was at $30k. After you take into account that you lose access to all sorts of proposed subsidies it becomes apparent that your quality of life making $50k isn't much better than it was when you were making $30k.

These additional taxes are really felt by lower middle class people. And yet the very wealthy still are able to effectively avoid paying taxes on their wealth. These policies that are supposed to help lower-class people just seem to end up hurting the middle class.

The only reason that I can think of is that this is a grab for votes. With an increasing number of poor people in an area, and their increasing participation in elections, this is an easy way to buy their vote. You want to buy the votes of the lower class, but you don't want to piss off the upper class that funds your campaigns and has political leverage.




By BifurcatedBoat on 12/12/2013 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
There was some guy who predicted that was the way democracy would end. I forget his name. Lots of people thought he was wrong at the time.


Just think about the fraud.
By Nutzo on 12/9/2013 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 3
I can see it already, poor people buying these cars and then reselling them for a nice profit.

I predict more people dying of drug overdoses while celibrating with thier extra cash.




Irony?
By TeXWiller on 12/9/2013 2:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
California has had some problems with the electricity production in recent years, as reported elsewhere. The state decides to support EVs for the areas most likely to suffer from low performance infrastructure. Without wider considerations, community development and regulation fires and panic results, I say, fires and panic.




Absolutely Frightening
By bitmover461 on 12/9/2013 4:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
It is absolutely frightening, the degree to which liberals will go to buy votes. A car? Seriously? Next thing you know they'll be handing out free cell phones in order to monitor communications. Oh ... they already do that.




By BifurcatedBoat on 12/12/2013 2:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
and offer him a couple hundred bucks to buy a car for you.




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