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2007 Highlander Hybrid, 2007 Camry Hybrid, 2007 Prius  (Source: Toyota)

The Tundra's sales are rising which could affect Toyota's fuel economy average  (Source: Toyota)

2008 Toyota Land Cruiser  (Source: Toyota)

2008 Lexus LX 570  (Source: Toyota)
Toyota's free ride on the Green Train may be over

Toyota has been riding high on a green cloud of eco-friendliness with the American public since 2000. It was that year that Toyota introduced the first generation Prius. The tiny Echo-based compact sedan brought gasoline-electric hybrids to the mainstream.

Over the past few years, Toyota has expanded its hybrid portfolio and has seen its "green" image explode. Following the release of the first generation Prius, Toyota introduced a larger, mid-sized Prius hatchback in late 2003. Later, Toyota released a Highlander Hybrid SUV and a Camry Hybrid.

While the Toyota brand has focused on using hybrids to improve fuel economy, the Japanese auto giant's Lexus luxury division has been using the Hybrid Synergy Drive to boost performance. Increased fuel economy is still a benefit of Lexus hybrids, but the RX 400h, GS 450h and LS 600h L market the performance aspects of the additional electric motors.

Now, however, it appears that Toyota's honeymoon with environmentalists may be coming to an end. In a move that has angered the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Toyota decided to side with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in opposing a proposed Senate bill that would require a corporate average of 35 MPG by 2020.

"Why is Toyota, a company that can make a car that gets 55 miles per gallon today, fighting a 35 mpg standard? If Toyota's "Moving Forward" motto is more than just empty words, the company must support a sensible increase in fuel economy to 35 mpg by 2020," said the NRDC in a statement on its website.

Instead, Toyota is putting its support behind a bill proposed by the House that would mandate targets of 32 MPG to 35 MPG by the year 2022.

“They have a green halo, justifiably, and yet unbeknownst to their customers they’ve joined forces with the Detroit Three to argue against greener standards,” said NRDC vehicles campaign director Deron Lovaas.

Toyota contends that the Senate bill is too harsh on auto manufacturers and will be tough to implement. “For the first time, the industry has actually come together for a fuel economy increase, and everyone is pulling together in the same direction,” said Toyota spokeswoman Martha Voss. “Toyota is working very hard behind the scenes to achieve the best standards possible, not only for the whole industry, but to meet the energy and environmental goals that we all share.”

Considering that Toyota's lineup of cars already average more than 32 MPG by federal regulations, many may wonder why Toyota would be opposed to a measly 3 MPG increase by 2020. Toyota's concern comes from the fact that the Senate bill would require a 35 MPG average from Toyota's entire vehicle lineup -- that includes gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs.

Toyota's apprehension becomes even clearer when the new Tundra full-size pickup truck comes into the picture. Toyota's Tundra has always played second fiddle to the biggest and baddest from Detroit, but Toyota's third attempt at the full-size market is starting to gain some traction.

The new Tundra packs a 381 HP V8 engine on its options sheet and records fuel economy numbers of 14 MPG/18 MPG city/highway in 4x4 guise. The problem is compounded by the fact that the previous generation moved a meager 124,508 units – Toyota is on track to break the 200,000 units sold mark for 2007 with the redesigned Tundra.

Toyota also announced cheaper trim levels for the 2008 Tundra which will further drive sales and lower the company’s fuel economy average. In addition, Toyota is looking to drive its truck sales even further with a redesigned Land Cruiser, Lexus LX 570 and Sequoia – all of which use the potent  5.7 liter V8 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

“They market every night the Prius and the Toyota Camry — we’re the green car, huh,” remarked Representative Edward Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) who also happens to own a Camry Hybrid.  “Then watch the football games, and they’re marketing the Toyota Tundra — like the biggest vehicle ever made.”

“We’re actually going to name the vehicle the Tundra, after the thing that’s being destroyed in Alaska. How ironic,” Markey continued.

There is still room for improvement on Toyota’s end, however. The company is hard at work on a diesel engine for the supersized Tundra and the company plans to implement hybrid technology into all of its vehicles by 2020.



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I would love a 35MPG truck
By rdeegvainl on 10/5/2007 2:11:03 AM , Rating: 3
I think the main reason would be that then the Toyota wouldn't have as large of an advantage if everyone was required to have 35 average. Sure they SHOULD be able to keep ahead, but if it's not required, they don't have to put down the money.




RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Gul Westfale on 10/5/2007 2:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
wouldn't it be better to charge a fuel surtax to the consumer? the higher the consumptoin, the higher the extra tax.

this would lead to consumers buying more efficient vehicles, and would force manufacturers to compete with one another for the efficiency crown (and thus higher sales).

if the government simply mandates that manufacturers have to get a 35mpg average, then manufacturers will find ways to cheat and manipulate the EPA results. they will do simply what is "enough", but they won't actually get off their asses and make real improvements.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 5:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
Nice to read that there *are* people that care about efficiency.

Well, how about you increase the taxes on fuel until it reaches the price level we have in Europe? I guarantee you, you will feel different if you've just poured 150-200$ worth into the fuel tank of your car. That is helping a lot with thinking about fuel efficient cars, believe me. I don't like it really, but I have to admit it is the right thing.

Bad thing is, there is a moronic "subculture" evolving that takes pride in driving cars that are guzzling as much fuel as possible. That way they can show off how wealthy they are. They've "made it to the top". Nice.

I know a reason why in the US taxes on fuel are rather low in comparison to many other countries: fuel consumption of the US vehicles is by far the highest worldwide. In total there are more than 230 million vehicles on US roads. Fuel consumption reaches a staggering 2.000.000.000.000 (2 trillion?) liters per year. That is around half of the world's consumption. Fuel tax is less than 20 cents per liter (compared to Europe where it's above 1 dollar per liter) What I want to say is, if you raised the price of fuel to that level, it simply would not work and destroy the economy (which only works that way because of the comparatively cheap fuel) Funny thing is, economies in Europe work, too. Even with higher fuel prices. And people are forced to have a look at their energy consumption that way. This goes for electricity, gas for cooking, heating and water as well. It's simply the best reason to get people's attention...and the only thing that really works.

interesting statistical data about worldwide fuel prices and consumption:

www.international-fuel-prices.com

I still don't get it anyway: in the US there are over 90 million commercial diesel vehicles. AFAIK you have special regulations that exempt light trucks from the passenger car (safety, emission and other) requirements. Is there a real reason why diesel engines are not in wide use?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/5/2007 7:13:07 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The automakers are developing cars that get better gas mileage every year.


Auto industry

1987: 22.0 MPG
2007: 20.2 MPG


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/5/2007 7:27:42 AM , Rating: 5
For every Prius and Civic Hybrid you point out, there is another Expedition XL, Hummer H2, Ram 1500, Jeep Commander and Ford F-250 there to drag the numbers down.

It's easy to pick out a few select cars to say that the fuel economy has improved, but WHAT DOES IT MATTER if improvements aren't made across the entire industry?

That's why the fuel economy numbers have stagnated. We traded sedans, wagons and minivans for pickups, SUVs and crossovers which get worse fuel economy.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 9:52:21 AM , Rating: 1
> "For every Prius and Civic Hybrid you point out, there is another Expedition XL, Hummer H2, Ram 1500, Jeep Commander and Ford F-250 there to drag the numbers down"

So why blame the automakers? Sounds like solid proof the issue is with the consumers, who refuse to buy those tiny cars, even when they're made available.

What you're seeing in fleet averages is just the reflection of a simple principle. Most people spend their entire income. If you make a more efficient auto, they'll used the money saved to:

a) buy a larger vehicle
b) drive further, burning more gas
c) buy some other goods or services, which themselves consume energy in their manufacture.

Or some combination of all three. Its extremely difficult to reduce a person's overall energy consumption without reducing their income.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 10:20:47 AM , Rating: 3
No you can make gas more expensive genius.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Spuke on 10/5/2007 11:37:07 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
No you can make gas more expensive genius.
Nope genius. Gas has been getting more expensive every year and it does NOT deter us from buying less fuel efficient cars. I know for sure that, even though my wife and I complain about gas prices, we could still afford gas at our present consumption rate even at $6 a gallon and more (gas is already $3 for regular and I pay $3.27 for high octane - sports car). And there are tons more people that could afford gas at virtually any price.

The poor and the lower middle class would hurt the most as raising gas prices affects other industries as well (anything that ships by truck like food, furniture, contact lens, etc.). And those industries WILL (they're doing it now) pass the "savings" onto the customer meaning YOU and I will pay more for goods and services.

If it gets even too high for us, we'll just park my wife's truck and get her a more fuel efficient car to commute with. Currently, gas is not nearly expensive enough to justify buying a third vehicle, new or used. BTW, we have horses and the truck is used for towing and other house projects. Otherwise, she would have a car.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By ZmaxDP on 10/5/2007 3:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well, who needs a third car? You can ride your horse to work!
(Just having a little fun...)


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By dever on 10/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 2:40:48 PM , Rating: 1
Very well stated. Reading some of these comments here makes me wonder: exactly what are they teaching in our schools these days? It sure isn't the same civics I learned in high school.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 10:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
True in principle, but according to your statement the richest countries would be the biggest energy consumers. That is generally true, but the USA stick out. While being on a similar GDP level with Switzerland for example, the average US uses roughly twice as much energy (that includes electricity and fuel). Statistically the number of cars and household appliances are similar, as is the average mileage per car.

Possible explanation attempts: Cheap energy and fuel prizes?
Insufficient awareness and willingness to save energy?
Inefficient use of energy(cars, computers, A/C, heating)?

While I don't want anybody switch off all devices and stay at home in the dark, there are many ways to use energy more efficient, especially when there are the financial resources to spend on expensive but energy-saving things. People could afford a more expensive car that gets 70 MPG. They just don't want to. Instead many go for a more powerful and bigger and awe-inspiring car. It's all a matter of priorities, responsibility and foresight.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By euclidean on 10/5/2007 11:31:35 AM , Rating: 2
The other issue that none of you people have really shown anyone here is that all these statistics are for the USA...the whole thing. What's interesting is that a lot of our states here are as large or bigger than most all of the countries in Europe...

Just wanted to point that out to everyone comparing us here in the USA to all these other countries.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 12:38:57 PM , Rating: 1
Per capita use is higher in Canada than the US but if you remove heating and AC costs (to control for climate) than US is higher than most industrialized countries. Much of this is attributable to relatively new and low density living communities that require long commutes and larger houses. It seems that increased efficiency in the US (in glass, engine efficiency) is generally being offset by increased use (large windows, larger displacement engines).

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:54:00 PM , Rating: 1
> "Per capita use is higher in Canada than the US but if you remove heating and AC costs (to control for climate) ..."

I'm betting your average resident of Tampa has a higher A/C bill than someone in Toronto.

The heating bills are likely considerably lower..but "adjusting for climate" is not nearly as simple as you make it out.

Canada's carbon emissions are also increasing much faster than the US, despite its decision to sign Kyoto, as is true for several other nations which chose to sign. Those who wish to label the US the "Great Satan" here should consider that.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 1:05:02 PM , Rating: 4
I never said it was easy to adjust for climate and I stated up front that air conditioning costs are often included in these corrections. If you'd like to get in a discussion about energy usage modeling, that's fine. I was trying to stay within the scope of the discussion.

Greenhouse emissions in Canada are indeed increasing dramatically. Almost all of this increase is the result of development related to the oil sands in Alberta.

I know I certainly do not think of the US as the Great Satan. These issues are very complicated and I learn a great deal from the discussions here.

I wish, however, there was a little more communication on this forum rather than the political polarization that seems to happen. I'm sure you feel the same way. I have a lot to learn from those who disagree with me but it would be easier to listen if people didn't repeatedly evoke universal principles and common sense as if anyone who disagrees must be foolish.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 1:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Good explanation.

On the other hand it does not negate the fact that Americans and Canadians have the highest per capita use, and that the western world lifestyle in general means increasing energy use. There is no industrialized country that decreased its energy consumption, or is there? I only know that Germany hasn't, and during the last 10 years we were further away from fulfilling Kyoto protocol than ever. Even with thousands of windmills popping up all over the place. Bummer.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 1:29:46 PM , Rating: 4
According to the PEMBINA Institute and WWF, Ontario (if you don't know, a province in Canada) has reduced per capita energy use over the last few years, albeit minimally.

I think these gains are the result of more stringent efficiency requirements in building codes and industrial use.

An architect who spoke at a recent energy conference I attended said something kinda disappointing. He said that the cost to build a new home meeting a very high standard of conservation (R2000) would cost no more than $8000 over a regular house and recoup this cost in energy savings over 8-10 years. He said that very few people chose this option because people are only concerned with purchase price, not longterm costs. He also added that the average structure is in use for 100-years, pointed to vast swaths of poor efficiency homes built before we knew any better, and wondered how long the homes we're building now will be around.

Sigh. I certainly don't think that government should legislate all aspects of our lives but as life is often too busy and complicated to make rational good decisions. I don't forfeit that to government to do for me but I wonder if there are ways to be thoughtful, get a consensus, and apply rules so that it's easier for people to better good choices. I wonder if someday we'll agree that reducing pollution is as reasonable an aim as having a police force or public libraries.

Mike

Just to head off any debate - I don't think government should legislate our lives but if we as citizens agree that it's important to do so


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Oregonian2 on 10/8/2007 2:26:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An architect who spoke at a recent energy conference I attended said something kinda disappointing. He said that the cost to build a new home meeting a very high standard of conservation (R2000) would cost no more than $8000 over a regular house and recoup this cost in energy savings over 8-10 years.


But note that the vast majority of houses are not brand new and that even if 100% of new houses were R2000 that it would take a good bit of time until it would make significant difference in national stats.

Not saying it's not a good thing, just that it's not like we've a cure and just not using it just because it costs money (bigger problem is that the payback break-even period is probably longer than the average amount of time the new owner would stay in the house).


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 1:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
According to the PEMBINA Institute and WWF, Ontario (if you don't know, a province in Canada) has reduced per capita energy use over the last few years, albeit minimally.

I think these gains are the result of more stringent efficiency requirements in building codes and industrial use.

An architect who spoke at a recent energy conference I attended said something kinda disappointing. He said that the cost to build a new home meeting a very high standard of conservation (R2000) would cost no more than $8000 over a regular house and recoup this cost in energy savings over 8-10 years. He said that very few people chose this option because people are only concerned with purchase price, not longterm costs. He also added that the average structure is in use for 100-years, pointed to vast swaths of poor efficiency homes built before we knew any better, and wondered how long the homes we're building now will be around.

Sigh. I certainly don't think that government should legislate all aspects of our lives but as life is often too busy and complicated to make rational good decisions. I don't forfeit that to government to do for me but I wonder if there are ways to be thoughtful, get a consensus, and apply rules so that it's easier for people to better good choices. I wonder if someday we'll agree that reducing pollution is as reasonable an aim as having a police force or public libraries.

Mike

Just to head off any debate - I don't think government should legislate our lives but if we as citizens agree that it's important to do so


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 1:52:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
He said that the cost to build a new home meeting a very high standard of conservation (R2000) would cost no more than $8000 over a regular house and recoup this cost in energy savings over 8-10 years. He said that very few people chose this option because people are only concerned with purchase price, not longterm costs.


Perhaps new home construction in new developments in Canada isn't quite as... fascist in nature as it is here, but in many new cookie-cutter communities in America the developer gives you a list of available lots and a very strict, short list of options of what to build on it. Everything is pre-designed and the last time my parents at least had a home made they had to fight to even get the light switches moved. Completely revised designs in the interest of energy efficiency would almost certainly be out of the question.

Of course a whole different situation if you're building on a lot you own with no deed restrictions or the like, but that's not often in the cards for the upper-middle class most likely to shell out $8k for efficiency in a long term investment.

I for one plan to remodel a current second home in Indiana when I move there full time next year to the high standards you cite, it's a great investment since the home needs it anyway. Maybe I'm actually in the minority in being willing to add 3% to the cost of a home for a lifetime of efficiency gains, but I wish the system would open up a bit.

Perhaps faced with devastation this year they'll reform themselves as the rigidity towards the buyer shelling out hundreds of thousands seemed like hubris to me.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 2:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it was just the one builder that tried to do something different but by and large our cookie cutter developments seem the same as yours. The housing boom is still going on here so they don't have much incentive to be responsive to their non-wealthy customers.

Best of luck on your planned home renovations! I hope Indiana offers rebates for your investment.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 2:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The housing boom is still going on here


May it continue, then. Some things boggle my mind. When it was so cheap to get in a mortgage that most land lords I know were finding it almost impossible to keep tenets years ago it was clear as day that it was building a bubble. Yet we drove on despite knowing it; now nobody is really surprised. We reap what we sow, I suppose. My understanding is that Canada managed to avoid the sub-prime frenzy so perhaps ya'll are on safer ground.

quote:
Best of luck on your planned home renovations! I hope Indiana offers rebates for your investment.


I wish they did! :P

It's a good investment either way, especially if one buys in to the theory of a long period of rising energy costs in the future. Oil will get back to $35 a barrel ultimately, but I'll have lost the rest of my hair by then probably.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 3:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I don't think we had the same real estate frenzy here but our economy is so tied to yours that it's hard to imagine how the downturn that's happening in the US won't hit Canada. We've already lost a lot of jobs in auto manufacturing and there's a lot of fear that the hemorrhaging hasn't stopped.

I'm afraid things will get worse. Many large US companies promised pension and healthcare benefits but haven't adequately saved for them and lots of the boomers will be retiring soon. It seems the companies had unrealistic expectations re how well their shares would do. Now it's a tight downward spiral with labour problems hurting share prices and poorer performing share prices hurting the companies ability to fulfill its promises to labour. I believe the short UAW/GM strike was over this issue - the union decided it'd rather take a smaller amount of money now and handle its own health costs. I really hope things work out for everyone. I'd hate to depend on a pension or health benefits that didn't materialize.

If you pass on your house to your kids, I'm sure they'll appreciate the investment you make in it. I'm not sure oil will ever be that cheap again but perhaps there will be adequate substitutes. It seems like a close race between disaster and innovation!

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 1:36:53 PM , Rating: 1
Excellent point. And America gets bashed for not signing on to that anti-capitalist, economy-destroying bugaboo known as Kyoto. Make China and India sign first - they are decades behind the West in environmental engineering of all factions.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 1:57:10 PM , Rating: 1
> "it does not negate the fact that Americans and Canadians have the highest per capita use"

Untrue. Check the list posted elsewhere in this thread.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 2:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "it does not negate the fact that Americans and Canadians have the highest per capita use"

Untrue. Check the list posted elsewhere in this thread.


I am not yielding. Canada and the USA have the highest per capita energy use. I absolutely do not know what you are referring to.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 3:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
Masher2 put the list in a response to another post, far far down now.

Logically though, the countries with the highest energy costs/usage per capita are going to be small industriallized nations.

US/Canadians probably DO use a significantly greater amount of energy if we draw a box around a specific person and see what that specific person uses directly. However, there are singificant energy costs that are not purchased directly such as energy cost to deliver goods to stores, national defense energy costs, costs to fly around politicians, costs reprint manuals in several languages, costs to maintain airports, ports, etc. As a nation, the sheer size of the US and Canada allow them to use less energy as a nation/population that say... Luxemberg.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 3
> "according to your statement the richest countries would be the biggest energy consumers. That is generally true"

You're right. That makes it a good general principle.

> " While being on a similar GDP level with Switzerland for example, the average US uses roughly twice as much energ"

The US per capita GDP is $41K (2004 data), whereas Switzerland's is $32K -- roughly 25% lower.

Also, when you scale the *costs* of energy in each nation (Swiss prices per kgoe are roughly 40% higher), you see that, per capita, your average Swiss spends about the same percentage of total income on energy as does your average US citizen.

Q.E.D.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 1:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
Nice retort, masher. I am not proficient enough to attack it in a scientific manner....yet.

So for now let's take it as given fact that Europeans and Americans spend the same percentage of their income on energy. (Which is, by the way, somewhat different to what you said in your first comment. So what you QED'ed was something new. I was not writing about the cost but the total amount of energy in comparison between 2 roughly comparable countries.)
If so, then all you have to do is raise the price for energy to a level similar to Europe. Or even higher? If your theory is valid, usage should immediately go down significantly and the ratio would be equivalent to that of other states in the world.

Which is exactly what I am suggesting. The only thing to make people be more aware of their energy usage is to increase the cost. Only what is expensive has value, and only then will there be a motivation to change something.
Since nobody likes sitting in the dark or staying at home, (and according to your theory they would not want to spend more money on energy) the only other alternative would be the mass production of more efficient devices and cars. This way nobody would have to miss out on something except giant cars and inefficient household appliances, central heatings or A/Cs. Nice. Mission accomplished.

I'd like to add that this ratio between income and the money spent on energy/fuel is not a constant. I am sure there are variations among "rich" countries, and even more so between rich and poor countries. In third world countries people spend a huge part of their income on energy, just to cook meal. For us, it is a convenience article that is not highly regarded or precious in any way. That has to change, because we industrialized countries use almost all the energy and create the lion's share of pollution.

BTW, do you think your theory holds tight for the past as well? That would really be an interesting thing to compare.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 1:14:30 PM , Rating: 1
I'll let masher respond to the questions you raise specifically, if he desires to, but I'll respond with an observation and a question.

Increasing energy costs arbitrarily will probably squeeze demand.. or more accurately, lower the quantity supplied. However, it wouln't be a linear relationship, and for any decrease of any significance to the environmentalist crowd would require substantial increases in costs due to the inelastic nature of energy demand. Therefore, consumption would continue just as it has with doubling and tripling of gasoline prices. The rest of the economy would absorb almost the entire brunt of the damage and while people of all socioeconomic backgrounds could find themselves on shaky employment grounds I'll point out that the job loss burden will fall disproprtionately on the least productive -- the poor.

And hence my question. Are environmentalists really so arrogant or concerned about their own agendas that they're willing to play economic Russian Roulette with the global macroeconomy, something they really don't even understand (how many went to business school?), even if it means human suffering?

Typically economists consider it immoral to even consider random economic experiments just for the bloody hell of running them and limit themselves to studying the impact of similar policies implemented on their own accord around the world. For example, we don't have to or want to implement a flat tax or FairTax in America just for experimental purposes; we can see in places like Estonia that it works. Likewise, we know energy costs rising will crimp the economy. Hence the other part of the moral qualm; experimenting on the basis of a vague environmental agenda with policies known to hurt the economy.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 4:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well I am neither an environmentalist nor an economist, so I find it hard to decode your question. I am not a native speaker, and it's late (local time 11PM)

In fact, I cannot answer your question.

All I know is that I surely can write my opinion here as well as other people. I am aware that I will not change anything. I felt I had to try nonetheless...

My propositions are not too different from what you already have in the USA and what many other countries have. A fuel tax. My idea is that if the fuel price goes up that might (finally) raise awareness and some thoughts about energy consumption. I think this is one of the most urgent tasks humanity has to tackle and to solve. It is killing me that there are so many people out there that plainly deny the need to even waste a thought about that.

What else is irking me is the mix up of arguments and personal preferences. My favorite example: fuel efficiency. It is measured in MPG. If it is higher, the car is more fuel efficient. And that was that. All those factors like HP or weight, or towing capability, top speed, looks, convenience, safety, cleanliness, maintenance etc. do not belong here.

quote from wikipedia:

"In the context of transportation, "fuel efficiency" more commonly refers to the energy efficiency of a particular vehicle model, where its total output (range, or "mileage" [U.S.]) is given as a ratio of range units per a unit amount of input fuel (gasoline, diesel, etc.). This ratio is given in common measures such as "litres per 100 kilometre" (L/100 km) or "miles per gallon" (mpg)."

As for meddling with the economy...I think there are so many factors involved, and many of them are not beneficial for the normal customer. Economy is about making money, creating and fulfilling a demand with as high a profit as possible. It's not about people. Governmental intervention is happening all the time whether we notice it or not. Companies and banks flex their muscles constantly to effect everything that is going on, so nothing I am suggesting here is out of the ordinary or a threat to freedom, democracy or various ways of life. I think our lives are controlled by so many different forces, it can only be a good thing if we take control over the circumstances and say load and clear what we want and what not. There. Not an answer to your question, but maybe I could help you interpret my postings.
Cheers.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 5:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What else is irking me is the mix up of arguments and personal preferences. My favorite example: fuel efficiency. It is measured in MPG. If it is higher, the car is more fuel efficient. And that was that. All those factors like HP or weight, or towing capability, top speed, looks, convenience, safety, cleanliness, maintenance etc. do not belong here.


Great.

Efficieny does not take place in a vacuum. Efficieny is related to the car as a whole. Cars have been steady required to be safer, less-polluting, larger, and more capable by government standards and consumer demands. You want pure efficieny, lets talk Engine Efficieny is terms of Work Out/Energy In. All this nonsense about miles driven has no place in an efficieny discussion.

quote:
Economy is about making money, creating and fulfilling a demand with as high a profit as possible. It's not about people. Governmental intervention is happening all the time whether we notice it or not.


The economy is all about people. Its about people being as happy as possible with the least amount of work. Governmental intervention does happen all the time. Successful governmental intervention (defined as allowing more people to be happier with less work than before the intervention) not so much so.

quote:
It is killing me that there are so many people out there that plainly deny the need to even waste a thought about that.


I think you will find there are a significant number of people who think about it, everyone. Every single person would like to spend less and get the same. However, not so many are willing to make significant cuts into thier happiness for a few dollars (going from 20 MPG to 30 MPG entails a savings offer a saving in one year of 170 gallons*Price of Gasoline) or spend significantly more (using flex-car programs/mass transit/second cars) to save relatively little energy (again only around 170 gallons a year). I know I chose a car with lower MPG (28 as opposed to 32) because the 4 times (1 time to help a stranded friend) I needed to drive through a snow storm last year were worth 135 dollars to me (would have been worth significantly more).


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 8:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's not about people.


Ah, but it is. Economic agents are people, people drive the economy and people feel the effects of all taxes, whether levied on the firm or on the individual directly. That's essentially what economics exists to serve; it could be described as the study of applying scarce resources efficiently in the service of maximizing the utility of society and serving societies agreed upon goals.

Therefore I just raised the moral question of it is morally justified to pressure the economy, whose ill effects will disproportionately fall upon the poor and middle class, just in service of conserving fuel? Is fuel conservation worth the cost to people?

It wasn't part of the discussion, but it becomes a much more massive issue when carbon taxes get involved; such a thing is a sure-fire way to slow the global economy, and that means keeping the billion or so severely impoverished people in the world in their present state by delaying the developed worlds firms ability to expand production there.

While I support energy independence as a general goal for nationalist reasons, and therefore have a certain sympathy for such efforts, I just hope people are fully aware that raising taxes on a component of the economy that underpins virtually all economic activity will certainly have a societal cost. It's impossible to unravel the world of finance from the world where we live.

If I knew you weren't a native speaker I wouldn't have beat around the bush so much, my apologies on that.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 1:17:48 PM , Rating: 1
> "So for now let's take it as given fact that Europeans and Americans spend the same percentage of their income on energy."

Very roughly, but yes.

> "Which is, by the way, somewhat different to what you said in your first comment"

My end point is the same, however. If you make more efficient cars, you don't cut energy usage. You simple give people more money to spend in driving further, driving larger vehicles, or in using energy in some other manner.

> "then all you have to do is raise the price for energy...If your theory is valid, usage should immediately go down significantly ..."

Not immediately; there's a certain degree of latency. But yes, energy usage would go down significantly.

But you have to consider the flip side of that coin. The cost of energy is the single most important factor towards determining economic growth and standard of living. Lack of access to cheap energy is why Africans are dying in droves.

Our goal should be to lower the cost of energy, not raise it. Change the energy mix all you want if you want to reduce fossil fuel usage...but reducing overall energy usage is a very, very poor goal.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By weskurtz0081 on 10/5/2007 1:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
Why are we comparing energy usage in Switzerland to the US. The population is no where near that of the US.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By ZmaxDP on 10/5/2007 3:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
Per Capita man, Per Capita! (per person)


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By weskurtz0081 on 10/5/2007 5:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
I know what per capita means, I just missed it up there. I was skimming through the posts because their are so many.

At any rate, these are two different countries. We have a TON of large trucks (18 wheelers), construction, the country is much more spread out. We should be expected to have a higher per capita energy usage.

What do you think yes or no?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By euclidean on 10/5/2007 1:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
I wish they'd just create/implement cold fusion already....who cares if a handful of bazillionaires loose their job....that's less than .0001% of of our population right? eh.

Of course i'm joking, but seriously. We have the technology, we have the brain power, and we have the resources. But it seems that all the things that would help us the most are either patented and thrown in a lock box or owned by our Gov'ts military and not released to the public. The only reason we are being held back from "Cleaner" energy or more efficient devices is Greed. It is the number 1 cause for the raise in energy costs.

My opinion is this, until we get our younger generations in to positions of power, and the older more conservative(sp? I suck at spelling :\)(and religious extremists) powers are gone, we won't see much change except for higher prices.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 3:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only reason we are being held back from "Cleaner" energy or more efficient devices is Greed. It is the number 1 cause for the raise in energy costs.


Ummm... a factor, but not the only reason.

Cars exist on the US market that are stylish, safe, fuel-efficient, spacious, and cheap. People don't buy them enough... is that because of greed? Does the greed of the CEO make someone buy a 25,000 dollar SUV to do 5% more than a 15,000 dollar sedan?

Point me to a "cleaner" energy choice that has costs below 10 cents a Kilowatt hour that is not current expanding as much as possible. Point me to a supply of gasoline that sits on the market unused or US refineries that don't completely sell thier product.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 2:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well, since the overwhelming majority of energy is created by burning fossil fuel now and probably for the next decades as well, and we don't have alternatives ready to step in, I'd say there is a good point in saving energy. And since cheap energy leads to more use, this can't be the way to go until we have other clean and pollution-free methods of generating infinite amounts of energy. Even if the most advanced countries have such an energy source some day, it is doubtful that poor countries can afford or maintain it by then. In the end, they might have to pay the price for our ignorance, because they are still depending on fossil fuel.

So now we're back at the start: why invest in better cars if they are not the clean solution but only a step into the right direction? Even if we had it ready to go, nobody would even want it, because it's probably cheesy looking, or it does not have a V8, or no exhaust sound or towing capabilities.

If you think like that, nothing will change. No clean car, no clean energy. There has to be a public demand AND a powerful law to get that. People need to realize something has to change, that's were it all starts.

What good is a flourishing economy and high living standard if it is maintained at all costs no matter what, even if the world goes to hell in the meantime? Do you really think constant growth will go on eternally? How will that be in 100 years? 60 ft long cars, weighing 30k lbs, 3000 HP? Houses that are 4 times as big as they are now? Everybody having a 100 ft yacht? Oh, and not only in the rich countries but worldwide? I don't think so.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 2:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. As I stated earlier, they hide their true intentions under the guise of doing "good for the whole" knowing full well what they want to accomplish. That dude didn't rant for an entire paragraph over yachts and homes and horsepower for nothing.

I know the type well: sink people's boats to the same water level where others are floating in their dingies. That way, everyone will be eye to eye "equal," nobody will be offended, nobody's feelings will get hurt, and most importantly, nobody's self esteem will be harmed. Bah. Sorry, not on my nautical watch, jack!


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 2:56:31 PM , Rating: 3
Oh yeah, speaking of large homes, someone needs to ask John Edwards to lead the left by example and live a modest lifestyle like the "working class" he pretends to care about. Oh yeah, like that will happen. Nothing like Learjet libs telling everyone else how they should live. It's almost comical. Almost.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 3:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
The left week political group is a prime example of "do as i say, not as i do"


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By ZmaxDP on 10/5/2007 3:32:10 PM , Rating: 2
Just to play the Devil's advocate, the right wing politicians aren't any different, nor are the centrists, nor are the independents. There are very very few "average joes" in political circles. Point being, if you want to be taken seriously and not as some biased hack, pass the blame around evenly, not just one one side's plate...


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 1
As far as im concerned, i'm a centered moderate - everyone else is crazy.

haha - as least we can joke around.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 4:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just to play the Devil's advocate, the right wing politicians aren't any different, nor are the centrists, nor are the independents.


Well, if you are talking about all the hysteria over the fallacy of man-made global warming and that we need to all ditch our SUVs and recreational vehicles to save the planet, it's not the right wing, centrists, or independents that are driving around in SUV caravans, flying around the globe in private jets burning Jet-A, and living in 10,000sf mansions telling the rest of us to stick a windmill in our back yard, live in a 900sf show box, and drive a Prius.

No, but seriously, for the most part this has been a good thread where most everyone could debate one another without resorting to childish name calling! Except the redneck commenter of course. Oh well, there's always a party pooper at every party.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 6:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
well, "they" just told me I should tell you that "they" are tired of your comments. "They" also told me I need to switch off my computer now and go to bed.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 4:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you think like that, nothing will change. No clean car, no clean energy. There has to be a public demand AND a powerful law to get that.


Thats where I think most people here in the United States (which is where the Law of the article is being debated) would disagree. If the public truely demanded higher effiency cars, they would be produced and supplied. No law would be needed.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 6:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you really think constant growth will go on eternally?


Actually, unless in a huge shocker Mathlus ends up correct, there's no reason except for war and self-imposed limitations that the expansion of man-kind and prosperity shouldn't run on for all of eternity.

The ultimate end-game, of course, is some funky world where everything is done for us, life is sustained indefinitely and reality becomes blurred -- or perhaps, if such wild technology is rejected on moral grounds (a self limitation), then perhaps a steady accumulation of wealth at a lifestyle similar to that seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where peoples every need and most every want is fulfilled through automatic means and nobody seems to work out of need but only out of want.

Many respected economists have growth forecasts showing global GDP at fantastic numbers clear out to 2200. Sorry if I trust the whole weight of economic theory over the doomsday BS of environmentalist propaganda.

Of course, if you want to try to use economic arguments for a reason why technological and economic advances must stop (keeping in mind the rapidly decreasing cost of space travel), instead of left-wing generalizations about scarcity of resources, Marxist ideas or how the world will implode if penguins go extinct, then you're welcome to try..

Last minute addendum: I do suppose that when dark energy causes even atoms and quarks to fly apart, economic prosperity may enter a slight depression...


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Lord 666 on 10/6/2007 7:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
The worst thing for the US economy would be for consumers to rapidly increase their saving's accounts.

That being said, if the automobile manufacturers release vehicles that consume less fuel (but at the same MSRP as now), there would be more spendable income to strengthen the economy on other goods and services... regardless of fuel prices.

Fuel efficient cars do not have to be tiny; the MB E320 Bluetec is far from small. Even the Jetta TDI or Prius are not small cars. When the Accord diesel comes out, it will average around 52mpg and be far from small.

My personal definition of "small car" is a Chevy Aveo.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 9:15:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
1987: 22.0 MPG, 2007: 20.2


Are you factoring in the fact that in 2006 over half of all vehicles sold in the US were trucks and SUVs compared to only about 30% in 1987?

Instead of raw averages, which, as everyone knows, can be manipulated into anything without factoring in variables, let's look at just three comparable car mpg ratings from 1987 to 2007 (city, hwy) with Chevrolet as an example:

1987 Corvette: 15, 23 (auto)
2007 Corvette: 18, 28 (manual)

1987 Chevrolet Impala: 17, 23 (6 cyl)
2007 Chevrolet Impala: 21, 31 (6 cyl)

1987 Chevrolet Suburban: 11, 16 (5.7 liter)
2007 Chevrolet Suburban: 15, 21 (5.3 liter)

And no, these are not the new "adjusted" EPA numbers for 2007. IMO that's a load of crap, factoring in things like using the a/c, traffic, and temperature variations, as if those problems were non-existent 20 years ago. My dad still gets 28 mpg on the highway on road trips in his 2006 Corvette, and my sister still gets 21mpg on the highway in her 2005 Tahoe (both were downgraded to 24 mpg, and 17 mpg respectively with the new 2007 EPA calculation).

Let's also not forget that 20 years later, the engines are more powerful per cubic inch, produce fewer emissions, last longer, and have lower maintenance requirements.

But back to the topic. Not everyone wants to drive a sardine can. Some people have large families that just all won't fit into a cute little Prius. Other people rely on trucks and SUVs for the very food on their table and roof over their head: plumbers, electricians, and other general contractors.

I applaud Toyota, America's #1 selling car now, BTW, for making strides in the green, but I also applaud them for not caving in to the enviro-nazis who are hell bent determined to leave Americans, the single nation with the most road miles in the world, with no choice but to make a cross country road trip in a shoe box.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 9:44:01 AM , Rating: 3
While your facts may be correct, all that matters is that the average car in the US is consuming more fuel than it did 20 years ago. Mainly because 50% are trucks/SUVs. That's what I am complaining about. And even if you take the latter out of the equation, the improvement in fuel efficiency is meagre, isn't it? Again, it doesn't matter that a car is stronger, heavier, faster, more comfortable etc etc than 20 years ago. It still does not consume significantly less and often more than before.

To make things worse, people drive more miles in their cars (I think) than 20 years ago. And there are much more cars on the road now. So all you really need to look at is the total fuel consumption now and 20 years ago. The results are devastating.

(sorry, I am too impatient to look for that link with the graph...)

In short, it's pointless to have a few really efficient cars on the market if the majority is driving inefficient cars.

Still, I applaud every car that is more efficient than it's predecessor. I would be stunned if it were lighter, less powerful and even more efficient.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 10:04:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And even if you take the latter out of the equation, the improvement in fuel efficiency is meagre, isn't it?


Looking at the Impala, for example, I don't think a 34% increase in fuel economy over 20 years is hardly something to sneeze at.

quote:
To make things worse, people drive more miles in their cars (I think) than 20 years ago.


Oh absolutely. That's why America has suburbs. You also have to figure that Americans own more cars per household today than they did 20 years ago.

quote:
In short, it's pointless to have a few really efficient cars on the market if the majority is driving inefficient cars.


Again, and I understand where you are coming from, Americans love their SUVs and trucks. Further, as I stated, a lot of those pickups you see on the roads are work-related vehicles, not recreational boat towers or soccer mom grocery getters. Finally, as I stated, not all families in America can load up in a four door sedan that seats five and expect to take a trip to Disney World with luggage for a week.

Yes, there are more vehicles on the road than 20 years ago, and yes, there is a net increase in fuel usage, but that fuel burning is cleaner than 20 years ago thanks to fuel additive technologies and engine technologies. However, considering the amount of growth this nation has seen over the past 20 years, the net effect is not as damning as you would lead us all to believe.



RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:02:28 PM , Rating: 3
> "Again, it doesn't matter that a car is stronger, heavier, faster, more comfortable etc etc than 20 years ago"

Only if you're totally divorced from reality. People *like cars that are stronger (i.e. safer), more confortable, and faster.

In fact, a lot of the extra weight on vehicles comes from government mandated safety and emissions reduction requirements. The car of today is not only much safer than one from 1970, but it also emits about 1/1000 the toxic pollutants it once did.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
To help you out

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSFAN...

Deaths and Injuries per population, miles traveled and even absolutely are all falling.

The area of biggest improvement is ordinary passenger cars. In fact, according to the study there is almost no safety difference between driving in a passenger car and driving in a "light truck" on American Highways which is a remarkable acchievement given the physics involved. Of course "Large truck" are significantly safer.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "Deaths and Injuries per population, miles traveled and even absolutely are all falling."

Right. And the price of those fewer deaths is extra vehicle weight for safety equipment, which translates into a little less MPG. I call that a pretty good tradeoff.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 12:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
In accidents specifically involving small cars and SUVs, however, the number of serious head injury cases is increasing. Who should pay the cost of implementing new safety features on passenger cars (pillar support, side curtain airbags)? The purchaser of the passenger car? How is it fair to economically punish someone for another's actions? Should we all drive around in increasingly large tanks?

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 1:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
While this is troubling, Side Curtain Airbags and Pillar Support would help in numerous condition.

For Passenger Cars only,
18.5% of fatalities collusions (with cars) are on the Side, and 20.4% of injury collusions (with cars). Overall, about 30% of fatalities and injuries are caused by Side Impacts with other cars.

In contrast, a large number of fatalities occur with collusions with fixed objects, non-collusions and collusions with non-fixed objects. My favorite part of side-curtain airbags... if you side into a telephone pole, you don't bash your brains out. Increased pillar support helps in roll-over crashes.

Oh, since your Canadian, the number of fatalities and crashes in Canada is almost identical to the US per miles traveled (US is 1.45 per 100 Million Miles and Canada is roughly 1.5)


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 1:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
> "Who should pay the cost of implementing new safety features on passenger cars (pillar support, side curtain airbags)? "

The purchaser of the vehicle obviously, for safety features The person who causes the accident, for those related to injuries.

A person who buys an SUV specifically to "feel safe" typically has small children. Given the majority of accidents are caused by younger drivers in small coupes, I really don't have a problem with them also suffering the majority of the serious injuries. In fact, to me it sounds like...karma.

You're trying to make it sound like large SUVs are making the roads unsafe. In truth, commercial trucks both outnumber and vastly outweight SUVs. Do you suggest we ban those as well?

The real source of the problem is bad drivers. And by and large, those drivers tend to choose small coupes.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 2:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
It is a fact that driving an SUV is safer for the occupant but more harmful for the other driver in an accident or pedestrians. It is a fact that SUVs get in a larger number of serious accidents controlling for driver experience due to reduced ability to engage in avoidance maneuvers. I suppose if someone can't pay for a safer sedan they should just accept that the roads have gotten more dangerous because of the increasing mass of other vehicles. Your assertion that most people who buy SUVs have small children does not change the fact that they purchase that safety at the expense of others.

Your comparison with commercial trucks is a specious one because any critique of behaviour involves choice and clearly there are no viable alternative to commercial truck traffic whereas there are safe alternatives to SUVs.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 4:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
> "It is a fact that SUVs get in a larger number of serious accidents controlling for driver experience due to reduced ability to engage in avoidance maneuvers."

This is along the lines of "wishful thinking", not fact.

> "they should just accept that the roads have gotten more dangerous... "

But the roads *haven't* gotten more dangerous. They've gotten much safer. As another poster pointed out, total fatalities, accidents/mile driven, etc...all have declined considerably.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 4:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the roads *haven't* gotten more dangerous. They've gotten much safer. As another poster pointed out, total fatalities, accidents/mile driven, etc...all have declined considerably.


Links (since this is getting to be a huge page)

United States
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSFAN...

Canada (remember Canada has more people, cars, and miles driven every year as well)
http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp/tp3322/2005/page...


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 2:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
It is a fact that driving an SUV is safer for the occupant but more harmful for the other driver in an accident or pedestrians. It is a fact that SUVs get in a larger number of serious accidents controlling for driver experience due to reduced ability to engage in avoidance maneuvers. I suppose if someone can't pay for a safer sedan they should just accept that the roads have gotten more dangerous because of the increasing mass of other vehicles. Your assertion that most people who buy SUVs have small children does not change the fact that they purchase that safety at the expense of others.

Your comparison with commercial trucks is a specious one because any critique of behaviour involves choice and clearly there are no viable alternative to commercial truck traffic whereas there are safe alternatives to SUVs.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 2:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is a fact that driving an SUV is safer for the occupant but more harmful for the other driver in an accident or pedestrians.


Mike, #1, all the double posting... painful

Safety and engery efficieny suffer from similar problems. We could all be more safe and use alot less energy if paid attention, drove when appropriate, lived closer to work/planned trips better, drove the speed limit, used cruise control, drove in a relaxed manner, took proper care of cars, invested in better road systems (for less congenstion), created more parking spaces...

These problems add up and are many times as unwarranted as use of SUVs etc. At least sometimes the SUV/Large Auto IS needed (rather than not maintaining your car or racing to a stop sign/red light) than many other factors which are currently a larger influence on safey and energy usage than automobile choice.

quote:
I suppose if someone can't pay for a safer sedan they should just accept that the roads have gotten more dangerous because of the increasing mass of other vehicles.


This is unfortunely a fallacy. The average car has at once become cheaper in relation to income AND safer even with increased mass cars on the road. The entire roads system has become dramatically safer. I suppose maybe you would feel better than if a crazy driver rams you from the side you barely die (when they are using a fast car) as opposed to really die (when they are using a SUV).


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By RedAlice on 10/5/2007 4:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Should we all drive around in increasingly large tanks?

Bumper Cars. That's the solution!


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 2:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
Since we are talking about fuel efficiency (that's what my comment was about, and that before, it simply comes down to this equation: MPG. The rest may be nice, cool and even necessary features of a car, but it does have nothing to do with fuel efficiency.

If somebody is talking about cars getting more fuel efficient, that can only mean one thing: that they need less gas. Or translated in MPG: how many Miles Per Gallon you get out of your car.

I did not say a word here about how attractive a car is, and why. And in this context I did not refer to exhaust gases either. Please don't quote me out of context.

quote:

"People *like cars that are stronger (i.e. safer), more confortable, and faster."

There it is again. Does that mean stronger==safer? Untrue.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 7:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
> "If somebody is talking about cars getting more fuel efficient, that can only mean one thing: that they need less gas"

Less gas per unit weight moved per unit distance is a more appropriate measure. At the very least, it should be per passenger per unit distance. Otherwise comparing a 6-passenger auto to a two-seater gives one a very misleading conclusion.

> "There it is again. Does that mean stronger==safer? Untrue"

In general-- it *is* true. If a vehicle's passenger cage loses structural integrity during a crash, the passenger is going to wind up dead or seriously injured. A stronger car equates to a safer car, by and large.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 7:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
As far as my research on the net goes, I found several sources that state heavy cars are not necessarily stronger. It's about the quality of engineering, not about sheer material thickness. It seems that especially pickup trucks are rather weak in that department.

Your eloquent definition of "fuel efficiency"is saying nothing. We are not talking about the number of passengers here. Nobody did. And nobody is comparing cars with trains or planes or bicycle riders. It is private passenger car vs. another private passenger car. Please stop hairsplitting.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By PCGeek123 on 10/5/2007 9:50:18 AM , Rating: 3
I have a wife and two kids. One is 16 and one is 13 months. I own a Civic Si and a GTI. Both are hatchbacks. Both are safe and comfortable for a family of four. Both are fast and efficient.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 9:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Both are safe and comfortable for a family of four.


That is your opinion. Not all families believe that putting a 13 month old in a small car is considered safe. Im not saying you are wrong for your opinion, but I sure as hell wouldn't put my child in that small of a car.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 10:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
Amen.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 10:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
Hardly a redneck, i live downtown Columbus Ohio. And i dont drive a monstrosity - have an audi and bmw that both get around 27mpg avg. But nice try.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 10:36:44 AM , Rating: 1
Well there they go again with the redneck epithets and typical childish down ratings by the liberal children here. Oh well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. They start losing arguments, or you fail to agree with their views, and the name calling starts. So typical of the left.



RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 10:40:28 AM , Rating: 1
Well, when you consider that he can't understand the basic concept of economic incentive, you have to wonder if he has a basic education in the first place. Together with fighting for gas-guzzling pickups, and living in Columbus, OH he pretty much has to be a redneck. There's really nothing wrong with that though. Someone has to grow corn.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 10:49:30 AM , Rating: 1
Seeing as how i just moved to columbus 5 months ago from downtown Chicago, your judgemental liberal mind bears no truths.

Im not a farmer, but we do need them. If you forget, argriculture is a large part of this country - and yes, even more important than your save the trees speech.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 10:42:36 AM , Rating: 1
You are so right.

"If you can somehow force a liberal into a point-counterpoint argument, his retorts will bear no relation to what you said..."


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 10:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
I used to live in Columbus, OH. I'm so glad I got out of there and moved to New York. It was filled with rednecks, even downtown. There was no culture or anything worth a damn over there. If you claim to have an Audi, then why fight for Pickup trucks? Also, just because we only get the larger BMWs and Audis in this country doesn't mean that those companies don't make smaller, more fuel efficient cars. They just don't bring them here to "bigger is better" America because they won't sell here. If we had the slightest sense of conservation, then it would one day become feasible to see nice compact cars in this country even from BMW, MB and Audi.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 10:45:34 AM , Rating: 2
The point is that not everyone wants to drive a compact car. Why is that so hard to understand? Some people dont feel safe in them.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 11:03:00 AM , Rating: 1
So they can pay for the ability to drive a large one. But pay more in line with what it really costs.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 1:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, that's not cool.

We seem to have similar viewpoints about social responsibility and corporate influence but I am surprised at how dismissing, cynical, and judgmental you are towards others.

You seem really pissed off. I don't blame you given the state of the world and my feelings sometimes that not enough people care. But for your sake, I'd suggest taking a deep breath, finding productive ways to live your life consistent with your beliefs, and offering to share your knowledge whenever you can.

You are obviously very intelligent but the way you talk is just giving people more and more reason to ignore you and minimize your arguments and for you to in turn to see the world as very hostile place. Before you can teach / help / talk to someone, you have to extend them some respect.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 11:04:12 AM , Rating: 2
And I suppose that once you do have kids that you will promptly upgrade to a 6k LBS monstosity because it will be safer than you Audi or BMW which are BTW only slightly more safe than a Civic.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 11:12:15 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, I will upgrade to an SUV will I have a kid(s). Whether anyone likes it or not, i could care less.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 11:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
...yeah, right.

That is what I am talking about. Sigh.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 11:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
The bottom line here is who are you, or anyone else, to mandate what someone else needs to own? That is nothing short of fascism, pure and simple. Karl Marx would be proud.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rdeegvainl on 10/5/2007 10:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
NO YOU!!!
Don't go attacking and stereotyping someone because they drive a larger vehicle, especially assuming how they drive it, that just makes you the arrogant prick.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 10:45:27 AM , Rating: 1
Ask anyone why they choose a larger vehicle even when they know they are going to drive it alone. Many cite safety, which is valid in today's reality. But most will talk about being "higher up" and being "above" everyone else and though they won't easily admit it, they love being in a position to push others around on the road. Go to Columbus, OH and you will see constantly some idiot in a big pickup truck going 50 in a two-lane 60 MPH highway on the left lane. They just regulate the traffic by hogging the left lane. Stay the f'k out of the left lane if you are not passing.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rdeegvainl on 10/5/2007 11:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
So what right do you have to attack and stereotype someone based on what they drive. also i will not accept your "people want to be higher up" reasoning to condemn the larger vehicles. I have driven through Columbus many times myself. I really don't care about people driving within the legal limits, especially when they then get the best gas mileage at those speeds. I don't care if your inconvenienced, they are actually driving safely.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 11:16:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So what right do you have to attack and stereotype someone based on what they drive


Reminds me of that South Park episode where everyone got into the Prius buying frenzy and started smelling their own farts. Hehe.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 11:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
Amen...


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"You know why it isn't safe?

Because of rednecks like yourself who have to take out a 6000lb monstrosity just to go to the mall. They drive like they own the road and act like they are invincible"
Statistically, by far the largest source of road accidents are small two-door "sporty" coupes. Not SUVs or pickup trucks.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By maven81 on 10/5/2007 12:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
I think you totally missed his point. Even if SUVs get into fewer accidents, the number of reckless SUV drivers on the roads forces other people to buy SUVs just to feel safe. Had there been fewer SUVs on the road, fewer people would feel a need to get one. Cause and effect.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
I dispute the cause. First of all, "feeling safe" is a minor factor in most people's purchase of an SUV. More important are looks, luxury, status, interior room, and most importantly, the "U" in SUV (utility), which allows one vehicle to fill many roles as needed.

Even on the issue of safety, its not driven primarily by other SUVs. People want safety from all other vehicles, which includes the teenage boys driving their civics 100mph on small two-lane roads, as well as the 20,000 - 80,000 lb commercial trucks barreling down the highway.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 2:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
Show your evidence that safety is a minor consideration. You keep asking people to produce evidence and yet you make many claims without evidence. Here's my evidence that safety is a prominent factor in buyer's decisions: I quote Takuo Fukuichi, designer of SUVs for Toyota. I'm sure he has access to a lot more marketing information than either of us. He states, "Most SUV customers drive in the city and want some kind of secure feeling." I know people who work in the trades but drive their kids around on the weekend. BUT many other people do buy it because of perceived safety, especially women. They're not wrong, drivers of SUVs do tend to fair better in accidents compared with drivers of smaller cars BUT SUV drivers are more likely to get in an accident matched across driver demographics because of much less maneuverability and greatly increased stopping distances. And, in those accidents, the other driver or occupant or pedestrian tends to fair much worse than if they were in a collision with a smaller car.

Your simplistic and unfounded assertions aside, it probably doesn't make sense to talk about SUV drivers as if they are a homogenous group, particlarly if we compare urban and rural areas and occupations.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 8:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
> "Your simplistic and unfounded assertions aside..."

This coming from the same person who recently posted he wished there was more "communication rather than polarization" on this thread, and that you wished people didn't portray those who disagreed with them as if they must be foolish? Talk about hypocrisy!

As to the proof for my allegations, GM top engineer Fred J.Schaafsma says SUV owners buy for the image, not safety...they're concerned primarily with how other people see them. David Bostwick, director of Chrysler's marketing research agrees-- "if you have a sport utility, you can have the smoked windows, put the kids in the back, and pretend you're still single".

According to NYT Times reporter Keith Bradsher, who surveyed all major automakers and dozens of market research firms, Americans are attracted to SUVs for their perceived agressiveness, not any safety factor.

This matches what anyone with common sense already knows. A minivan is about as massive as an SUV and, due to the unibody construction and lower center of mass -- safer. So people obviously aren't buying SUVs for safety. They're buying them for other reasons.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By shabby on 10/5/2007 10:19:31 AM , Rating: 2
Im sure if the hp ratings were kept the same in the 2007 models the mpg would go even higher.
That 87 vette had a mere 240hp, almost laughable in a sports car these days. Consumers are wanting more and more hp yet still expect better fuel economy.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 10:52:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you factoring in the fact that in 2006 over half of all vehicles sold in the US were trucks and SUVs compared to only about 30% in 1987?


I think you just proved his point. So what if a most cars get 23-35 MPG Highway. Since the mid 90's the trend has been moving away from fuel efficient cars and toward gas guzzling trucks and SUV's. And let's not forget, most people don't drive at highway speeds all the time. Most people drive in stop and go traffic mostly all day, especially to and from work.

quote:
And no, these are not the new "adjusted" EPA numbers for 2007. IMO that's a load of crap, factoring in things like using the a/c, traffic, and temperature variations, as if those problems were non-existent 20 years ago. My dad still gets 28 mpg on the highway on road trips in his 2006 Corvette, and my sister still gets 21mpg on the highway in her 2005 Tahoe (both were downgraded to 24 mpg, and 17 mpg respectively with the new 2007 EPA calculation).


Uh huh, and what's their weekly fuel consumption because I'm sure they don't drive on the highway everywhere they go. And if they do, they are the exception and not the norm.

quote:
But back to the topic. Not everyone wants to drive a sardine can. Some people have large families that just all won't fit into a cute little Prius. Other people rely on trucks and SUVs for the very food on their table and roof over their head: plumbers, electricians, and other general contractors.


I'm having a little trouble with this statement as well. Not everyone who purchases truck or SUV "NEED" it to move their family or do their job. I would say that most "families" that purchase these vehicles would almost never NEED to use them for their intended purpose. Let's face it, most Americans buy large cars, trucks and SUV's because they want to and not because they need to.

Q:Why have automakers so readily embraced Crossover vehicles? A:Because they know that Americans want large trucks and SUV's but will never take them off road. Therefore, they can build a less capable, more refined vehicle with slightly better fuel economy and sell it to the parent who still doesn't need it but wouldn't be caught dead in a mini or wagon, to look good while they move their 2.5 children, commute to work, or just run errands.

Now I'm not saying that everyone needs to drive small cars or minivans or station wagons or whatever else they don't like. I'm just saying that while fuel economy has gotten better in some segments but, more Americans are not driving those vehicles. It doesn't matter if a car gets 100MPG if no one drives it.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 1:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Again, I do not disagree with your statement or the original comment here. The point is, those efficient cars are out there, and they are far better than those of 20 years ago. Those SUVs and trucks are out there too, and they are more efficient (albeit not by shattering amounts) than their counterparts of 20 years ago as I stated with the '87 vs. '07 Suburban comparo earlier.

The point being here is that people want what they want. I chose to want two vehicles after owning a Durango SUV gas hog for four years. I traded that in on an Infinity G35 sedan and purchased a Nissan Frontier pickup truck to do the hauling of what the Durango used to do, and not by that much more efficiency I might add (16 mpg towing vs. 13 mpg towing a boat). That was my choice.

My sister on the other hand chose to own one large SUV and instead of a minivan for the weekdays and a full sized truck for towing and weekend outings both of which were owned at the same time.

I guess where I am going with all of this is who are you, or anyone else for that matter, to tell others, nudge others, or judge others into what they choose to want or need?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By bldckstark on 10/5/2007 1:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
HAS ANYONE ON THIS SITE EVER LOOKED UP THE FUEL ECONOMY OF A MINIVAN? For god's sake people, they get just as bad fuel mileage. Also you cannot get three kid seats in one vehicle back seat in a safe manner. That means you must buy an SUV or minivan if you live in one of the states that requires all kids in a carseat until say 8 years old (INDIANA). So if you raise the price of gas, you punish the very people you are trying to "save", by lowering the quality of life of the children whose parents must pay for that gas.

Increasing the price of gas will cause almost immediate inflation and economic downturn. Tourism will fall even lower than current trends are showing. Fuel surcharges will be tacked onto almost all services.

Better question - Why do we use gasoline? We pay for the oil, they use the money to buy guns, then they kill you or your neighbor. Great deal on that, huh?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 2:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also you cannot get three kid seats in one vehicle back seat in a safe manner. That means you must buy an SUV or minivan if you live in one of the states that requires all kids in a carseat until say 8 years old (INDIANA). So if you raise the price of gas, you punish the very people you are trying to "save", by lowering the quality of life of the children whose parents must pay for that gas.


Well the well-intentioned among us here don't really look beyond their nose and think about things like that. They just think rich people own SUVs and dammit, they need to be punished by taxing the hell out of them!

Four of my closest friends have three or more kids. Three own large V-8 3-row SUVs, and one owns a V-6 Toyota Sienna minivan, loaded out. The minivan gets about a whopping 2 more mpg on average than those SUVs.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Gibby82 on 10/5/2007 4:26:38 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone seems to think Japanese produced cars are "too small". What a load of crap. The Prius isn't a small car. And the reality of it all is Americans need to improve their diets and lose some weight so they don't "need" and SUV or large truck. There's also the retarded American mentality of "bigger is better". It's our old and illogical thinking that needs to change.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By clovell on 10/5/2007 10:23:54 AM , Rating: 1
Are those averages or medians?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 10:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
Those are sticker EPA ratings, and with my Dad's '06 Vette and sister's '05 Tahoe (no, she's no redneck LOL) real world highway mpg experience.

As for myself, I own an '05 Infinity G35 that gets 28 on the highway and '02 Nissan Frontier pickup that gets 19 city, 24 highway, and about 16mpg while towing. The truck is used mostly just to tow my ski boat to the lake and pick up something for the house at Home Depot or Lowes on occasion. <-- Guess that makes me a redneck LOL.

Never own a truck BTW, as it will be borrowed by friends constantly. =)


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 12:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
Wealth envy, that's a good one. Sorry, but I disagree. For me what it comes down to is, "just because I can do something, does that mean that I should do it?"

It's too many people with the "I can do whatever I want" mentality, without thinking about the long term consequences that has this great country in the crap that it is in right now.

And no I am not a Communist, Socialist, or Marxist that believes that the government should tell us what to do, but we should take these issues to ourselves and decide. Government does have a role, but not in our personal lives, especially when it comes down to purchasing decisions. We should all take a little more personal accountability/responsibility in these matters.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Spuke on 10/5/2007 2:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We should all take a little more personal accountability/responsibility in these matters.
I don't think anyone here disagrees. I sure don't. Do you believe in the right to choose? What if someone chooses to disagree or not take part in this energy savings consensus? Will those people be punished for non-compliance? If they do, what does that do our right to choose and our individual pursuit of happiness?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Gibby82 on 10/5/2007 4:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
So you believe our country is all about being wasteful to the point of driving ourselves into an energy crisis?

It's times like this I wish Evolution would get it's ass in gear.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 11:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
No one cares if you have an SUV or truck to pull things on occasion or to take trips on occasion, that's not the point. The point is, don't try to make arguement "I bought it to haul stuff" when the truth is, it's your daily driver.

Now, from Nfarce's comments, I assume his Nissan is not his daily vehicle. But he will be the exception and not the norm.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Andrwken on 10/5/2007 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now, from Nfarce's comments, I assume his Nissan is not his daily vehicle. But he will be the exception and not the norm.

That's just not true. Most of the people I know do in fact have a high mileage car to go with a larger truck or suv. As a matter of fact, I have 2 sisters and a brother. They all have an suv for their kids and for utility purposes, and also have a car that get close to 30 mpg. I happen to have one of these monstrous suv's (2001 yukon 20mpg when nice to it) but i also have a 2003 saab 9-3 that gets 30-35. Now, does my wife use the truck to go to work, yes. But she lives in the town she works (5 minute commute to the hospital), it snows here (Wisconsin) and we have 3 kids that are all under 9 which makes the 3rd row ideal. I can assure you that the yukon has seen less than 5000 miles a year (so rest easy) and the saab about 10000 (can you guess which one used more fuel).

I find it rather amusing that in a state where we have snow and much outdoor activity to use suv's and trucks. I don't ever see a massive amount of these vehicles on the freeways. Milwaukee has a lot more cars on the road than suv's.

The point of this all is that I believe that gasoline at $3 a gallon has indeed made for change in a lot of people's habits. I do not know many people who have not adjusted their spending and driving habits due to the higher gas prices (i bought the saab when gas hit 3bux a gallon). I think the natural raise in gas prices has made this happen moreso than any other avenue and will continue to do so until electric or hydrogen becomes economically feasible. The fact that some of you people come in here calling everyone out who doesn't do things the way you do to be economical is just laughable. I guarantee that we could grab anyone of the people in here complaining about someone else using to much fuel wastefully and find plenty of things they do that is in fact a detriment to the environment and society. So lets all just practice a little self actualization and not get too hasty in generalising what people do and how wasteful they are because they have a bigger vehicle than you do.

Final note:

"Some" of you liberals in here crack me up with how intense and pissy you get in these car conversations. Does the road rage hang with you that long after the commute?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By ZmaxDP on 10/5/2007 5:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
My truck is my daily to and from work "driver." I have a nice 30 mile commute to work each day. Unlike Nfarce, I don't have the money to purchase two cars. One for "daily driving" and one for the home improvement stuff I do on the weekends. What do I do? Home improvement. I've saved myself a ton of money in the last year and a half hauling my own supplies instead of having them delivered. You try remodeling a 1950's home on a shoe-string budget from a Honda civic. My truck is also 7 years old (almost 8 now) and I bought it when I used to use it every day for my work. So it isn't like I bought it just for fun. What else do I do? I volunteer my truck and time to Habitat for Humanity, and other home building charities. My truck has logged a good 15 thousand miles doing charity hauling for one cause or another. I'm such an ass aren't I?

Reading through these posts I've been called: "Redneck" "Arrogant Prick" "Jerk" "Yuppie" "Rich" and quite a few more names that I don't care to read through again just to add to the list. To each and every one of you who posted some idiotic generalization about another human being just because they happen to own a "Gas Guzzling SUV or Truck" you need to just take a breather and think a bit before you baselessly start calling people names.

You're no better than anyone else in this world who looks at a group of people and makes such broad characterizations based on one single commonality. You want examples of where this kind of irrational hatred can lead if it goes unchecked? "slavery" "Holocaust" "Rwanda" "Bosnia/Serbia" "Terrorism" "The Inquisition" "The Crusades" Do those mean anything to you? Because they were caused by the same thing...

Fortunately no one has called for "Death to the SUV drivers!" millions of people have suffered and died for sillier things than energy conservation.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By clovell on 10/5/2007 1:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Someone care to address my question or are we arbitrarily rating people down today after they ask for specifics?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Hare on 10/5/2007 7:18:39 AM , Rating: 4
I don't think the original poster asked for additional taxes. The government could change where the tax dollars/euros come from. Let's say you put a bit more tax on fuel and remove it from somewhere else (don't know if you guys have a general car tax etc). This way the taxes you pay are based on car usage and would thus promote cars that have better fuel economy.

What I'm trying to say is that fuel tax doesn't have to punish drivers if the same tax sum is removed from somewhere else.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Hare on 10/5/2007 8:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a paradox (or even hilarious). Align the taxes so that they promote "greener" cars. As I said. I don't know the details of your (US) fuel etc taxes but many European countries are currently investigating means to change taxation to be based more on fuel consumption and pollution. The goal is to promote more efficient, environmentally friendly and newer cars.

This wasn't even my idea. I was simply commenting on the original posters message.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rdeegvainl on 10/5/2007 8:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
if you raise taxes on gas and lower them somewhere else, and are expecting to lower gas use by this, then the government loses out on money, that's why that wouldn't happen.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By ZmaxDP on 10/5/2007 6:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
Hare, while I don't find the concept at all ridiculous (juggling of tax sources is a common practice used by our government and others for hundreds of years), the problem is the other consequences. Property values in the US near cities is directly correlated to how close to the city center that property is. There is of course variation for slums, high-crime areas, etc... But, if you look at a slum 10 miles from the city and one 2 miles from the city, the one 2 miles away is more expensive to live in because of property costs, a lack of large retail chains with cheaper prices, and fewer lost cost alternative services.

So, not surprisingly, wealthier people tend to live closer to their work (because they can afford to) and poorer people tend to live farther away. So, what you've just proposed is in fact a highly regressive tax. You'll actually be taxing Joe Schmoe much more than Edward Wilcox the Third. (Yes, I'm generalizing by implying that wealthy people have ridiculous and pompous names and that poor people have generic names, so shoot me!) Joe will drive 45 miles a day because he can afford a house for his family that far away from the city. His 1995 Civic only gets 23 miles to the gallon now a days in the best scenario, so he'll be running up a good 100 dollar a week gas bill between work and "play." Meanwhile Eddie is driving only three miles into town to his office in his brand spanking new Dodge Crew Cab with a Hemi at 12 miles to the gallon. He won't have to tow his boat because he lives on the lake, so he doesn't drive that beast much outside of work and to the grocery store, so he's only racking up 30 dollars of gas a week. So, why not add a fuel surcharge? It won't affect Eddie at all - he can afford the increase no problemo. Poor Joe though is going to have to sell his house and move into some cheap apartment in the city. His kids are going to have to say goodbye to their dog because the apartment probably won't accept pets. Tough. That's the price the rich should have to pay for conservation...I mean, the poor. The poor should have to pay...

It would be much more "effective" to add a tax like the luxury tax on cars. If it is over X amount of money, you must have more than you know what to do with and so we'll take a little extra out of your pocket for the Government. Now, we could say if the mileage is less than X/X you must have too much money to spend on Gas, so we'll take some for the Government.

Still, you'll be taxing people who shouldn't be taxed. (future small business owners who aren't tax savy and trying to start up a yard service business and such. But then again, since everyone on this forum is so fond of generalizations and stereotypes today, those people must be Mexicans and therefore illegal immigrants and so we shouldn't worry about taxing them because no Mexicans pay taxes right?)

What we've got here is a case where the Market needs to manage itself, not the Government. If we really want to make a positive difference, how about a new bill to approve funding for research efforts into making more efficient vehicles? Hmm, that might be a good idea... Quick, let's all squash it because we don't want the other side to take credit for it!


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 8:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I didn't exactly ask for higher taxes. Nobody likes taxes. On the other hand, I am confident that higher costs for maintaining a gas guzzler would make at least some people start thinking about alternatives. So yes, I was talking about higher taxes overall.

As an example: The same is already done with cigarettes. The governments worldwide are increasing taxes on tobacco to force people to reduce or better stop smoking. Since I am smoking myself, I am feeling the pain, but I am still stupid enough to continue. I hope this will change in the future. Pressure in form of increasing cost and prohibitive laws are one factor. The other, even more important factor comes from insight (gathering of information from media, government, science, school, doctors etc. Processing and evaluating them, making an informed choice) In my case, stop smoking. Without insight and reflection nobody will force me to do something. But the pressure will at least make me start thinking. Human nature, I suppose.

Higher costs of energy (fuel, heating, electricity) will change people's perception better than anything else in the world. The surplus could be spent in advanced energy management, more efficient power plants, and last but not least in funding or rewarding research for the automobile of the future. How about that?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 9:09:47 AM , Rating: 1
Although I do agree with you - because I am a smoker as well...sucks doesnt it?. But at the same time, I do not necessarily agree with keeping increasing taxes on cigarettes either. We all know they are bad, but punishing someone for doing something Legal is no better. If they are going to force you to stop, then make cigarettes illegal, not punish you for buying something that they determine is legal. Why wont they do this? Because of the money the government gets from not only cigarettes themselves, but the tax money from tobacco companies, and not to mention the number of jobs that would be lost by eliminating them.

As far as the gas tax, i am still in major disagreement. Lowering someones standard of living and take home pay to make them think about what kind of car they drive is nonsense. People have a hard enough time budgeting the money they have to take care of their families. The argument that people make saying "well they shouldnt be buying those cars then" is a moot point. Those people also do not have the right to tell other people how to manage their finances. A good argument was made the other day regarding increasing taxes to help lower income people get health insurance. But alot of those people CHOOSE not to buy health insurance, but walk down the street talking on their cell phone. Point is, we cannot have a big brother managing our finances and telling us what they can and cannot have when all these things are made readily available and legal.

Now, if they want to place standards for incoming cars in the future to meet a certain efficiency standard, then im all for it. That way, automakers will keep increasing efficiency on the types of cars what we like to drive - trucks, suvs, etc - as opposed to certain people that want to make others drive a small car just because they say so.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 10:04:26 AM , Rating: 3
It's not about legality. Many things in the world are legal but still have important adverse effects that are currently paid by others. For cigarettes, they are usually increased health care costs for the individual and his or her family and lost productivity associated with reduced health. For SUVs or other gas guzzlers, they're higher emissions, increased risk of injury to other drivers (requiring new side impact standards for all cars), increased wear and tear on the roads.

Of course there are legitimate reasons why people buy these trucks. As you state, lots of people work in the trades or have very large families.

One way of looking at it is simply to ask people to pay their fair share of whatever they're doing. NOT taxing people who engage in behaviour that costs everyone is simply externalizing the costs. Someone who drives an H1 just for the hell of it isn't just paying higher fuel costs. They're also putting more smog in the air, increasing our dependency on foreign oil, contributing to greenhouse gases, tearing up the roads, and raising the chances of serious injury if he gets in an accident with someone else. Why should you pay for that?

Another way of looking at it is to realize that most people don't make rational choices much of the time. That's not an insult, we're all really busy and there's a lot of information to sort through. Much of the time, we rely on simplified heuristics or the most easily available information, whether it's accurate or not. Much of that time, that information is provided to us by advertisers who don't really publisize the peripheral costs of using their products. Why has tobacco consumption plummeted in several countries? Because of government restrictions on advertising, mandatory warnings, and public education campaigns. Smoking isn't illegal, it's very heavily regulated because of its enormous societal costs. Most folks would say that's reasonable.

To me, it makes lots of sense to create financial incentives to encourage behaviours that are beneficial to society and disincentives for behaviours that are harmful to society. It is very important, however, not to punish people who we as a society see as having legitimate reasons for use.

Why not tax gas guzzlers? It's not a difficult thing to rebate the equivalent amount for people who own their own trade business or who have a large number of dependents.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 10:31:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
One way of looking at it is simply to ask people to pay their fair share of whatever they're doing. NOT taxing people who engage in behaviour that costs everyone is simply externalizing the costs.


Well, since I don't have any kids (yet), why should I have to pay taxes to support schools and bus transportation in my district via property taxes? How about my retired grandfather who doesn't even own a car any more? Why should he still pay taxes for roads he no longer drives on?

quote:
Why not tax gas guzzlers?


There is and has been a said tax for nearly 20 years. It's called the "gas guzzler tax" and is paid up front on the sale of the vehicle.

http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/guzzler/index.htm

Another thing that people seem to keep forgetting is that gas taxes are paid at the pump, averaging $.30-$.50 per gallon sold around the nation. So, the more gas you use, the more tax you pay.

http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/statistics/gas_t...

It all sounds pretty fair to me.



RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 3
Very fair questions.

Regarding things like education or healthcare, I think the issue is a little more complicated than "do I directly use the service?". Some regard it as a moral or ethical imperative to reduce suffering and create equal opportunities for all citizens. After all, children don't really have a say as to the family they are born into so why should they be saddled by substandard education? The other reply is purely a utility issue. Are the costs to everyone higher if these services aren't readily available? Are the long term healthcare costs, emergency care costs, costs associated with reduced productivity, incarceration, whatever higher than the cost of the service.

Sorry I didn't know you had a gas guzzler's tax as well (I live in Canada). Perhaps then it is simply an issue of adjusting this tax to achieve what society as a whole believes is in its best interests. One issue with the gas tax that some raise is that it isn't progressive and as I mentioned most people may not consider the issue at purchase due to the availability heuristic (people tend to consider only the 3-4 most salient factors during purchase and gas may not make it there). It taxes everyone the same whereas taxing certain vehicles (e.g., luxury SUVs versus utility pick ups) discourages the purchase in the first place. I don't have strong issues either way about it.

As long as we agree that our actions do have effects on others and that actions that have negative consequences for others can be discouraged through taxation, we are in substantial agreement.

Out of curiosity, however, what do you think about the issue of larger vehicles increasing the risk of harm to others in an accident? Of course people should be free as much as possible but it seems that we live in an increasingly connected society where one's actions have direct consequences on others. The issue of markedly increased serious head injuries in collisions with SUVs is one that is coming up more often among clinicians in neurology and neuropsychology. Who should pay the cost of side curtain airbags and increased healthcare costs? I certainly don't have an answer but would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 12:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
Very fair questions.

Regarding things like education or healthcare, I think the issue is a little more complicated than "do I directly use the service?". Some regard it as a moral or ethical imperative to reduce suffering and create equal opportunities for all citizens. After all, children don't really have a say as to the family they are born into so why should they be saddled by substandard education? The other reply is purely a utility issue. Are the costs to everyone higher if these services aren't readily available? Are the long term healthcare costs, emergency care costs, costs associated with reduced productivity, incarceration, whatever higher than the cost of the service.

Sorry I didn't know you had a gas guzzler's tax as well (I live in Canada). Perhaps then it is simply an issue of adjusting this tax to achieve what society as a whole believes is in its best interests. One issue with the gas tax that some raise is that it isn't progressive and as I mentioned most people may not consider the issue at purchase due to the availability heuristic (people tend to consider only the 3-4 most salient factors during purchase and gas may not make it there). It taxes everyone the same whereas taxing certain vehicles (e.g., luxury SUVs versus utility pick ups) discourages the purchase in the first place. I don't have strong issues either way about it.

As long as we agree that our actions do have effects on others and that actions that have negative consequences for others can be discouraged through taxation, we are in substantial agreement.

Out of curiosity, however, what do you think about the issue of larger vehicles increasing the risk of harm to others in an accident? Of course people should be free as much as possible but it seems that we live in an increasingly connected society where one's actions have direct consequences on others. The issue of markedly increased serious head injuries in collisions with SUVs is one that is coming up more often among clinicians in neurology and neuropsychology. Who should pay the cost of side curtain airbags and increased healthcare costs? I certainly don't have an answer but would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 12:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Out of curiosity, however, what do you think about the issue of larger vehicles increasing the risk of harm to others in an accident?


Good Question. At the time when US rates of SUV/Minivan/Large Truck usage increased, deaths and injuries in passenger cars actually decreased significantly.

The largest contributor to crashes, road fatalities, and severeity of said craches are still human factors such as speeding, distraction, and imparement (drinking, age, etc). Fix these issues (cars that won't start if your impared, more driving safety courses, etc) and then lets worry about the size of autos.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By RedAlice on 10/5/2007 4:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Good Question. At the time when US rates of SUV/Minivan/Large Truck usage increased, deaths and injuries in passenger cars actually decreased significantly.

You seem to be crediting the fact that more people are driving SUV/Minivans/Large Trucks with the decrease of injuries in passenger cars?? That is highly unfair. What about safety features which have been becomingly more standard?
The human mind tends to look at what it wants to see, which is why a lot of statistics are SKEWED. Take a psychology class. One would have to look at all factors, maybe there were stricter law enforcement cracking down on DUI's and speeding those years, maybe there were more cars on the roads with airbags, abs. You can't just look at one thing and credit it with the effect on another.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 6:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You seem to be crediting the fact that more people are driving SUV/Minivans/Large Trucks with the decrease of injuries in passenger cars?? That is highly unfair. What about safety features which have been becomingly more standard?


SIGH

Please use some readily availible statistics?

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSFAN...

Your contention, Light Trucks (SUVs, Pick-up, etc) kill and injure people in passenger cars more

Diverse statistics found in the above link

#1. Light Trucks and Passenger Cars get into accidents at near the Same rate (~3,000 per 100,000 registered)
#2. There exists on the Road around 33% more passenger cars than light trucks (~4 million to ~3million)

Last year, there were 2,240 fatalities in passenger to passenger and 1,628 Light truck to Light truck. Essentially the same. Now, there was 4,592 fatal accidents to the passenger car and light truck collusion. Thats roughly 2,500 more people killed. True, this is a problem.

However, lets examine Injury statistics, 380,000 people were injured last year in passenger to passenger car accidents. 446,000 were injured in light truck to passenger. Thats about 110,000 more than needed. However, Light Truck to Light Truck there were only 146,000, which is a savings of over 130,000 injured.

In summery, US use of light trucks increased overall traffic fatalities by 2,500 (out of 37,500) and reduced injuries by 20,000 (out of 2,570,000). From these numbers, we can devise that the vechile size played a role in the death of approximately 6.6% more people if everyone drove cars. Chance of injury fell by .8% due to SUV usage.

Tough call, but I would say these SUVs and Light Trucks are not making the road significantly unsafer. Especially compared to number of people who died because of they chose not to wear seat belts (estimated at 5,000+) or drove under the influence (estimated as a significant factor in 14,000+ traffic deaths last year). More pedestrians and

Now for review, your absolutely right, your twice as likely to die in a car if you get hit/run into light truck. Eliminating light trucks however, would make only a small improvement to the nations over traffic safety. People would be up in arms if we took away Motorcycles, but that would create more safety than replacing all "light trucks" used inappropriately with passenger cars.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 1:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Perhaps then it is simply an issue of adjusting this tax to achieve what society as a whole believes is in its best interests.


I recall (just happened to remember who you were) that you have a PhD, though I forget what field. Assuming it's something more politically apt then economics, I'd like to turn that statement around on you.

While being politically a little different in that I don't often think the government should decide what's best for us and what's not (I'm not very much of a Keynes fan), I agree that some things like smoking and fuel taxes can be tweaked to promote socially beneficial outcomes, or Pareto improvements. Even in such a situation I still tend to reject the idea for one, I feel, very solid reason. Governments have imperfect information and even if they did their ability to choose proper levels of taxation is rather questionable given that, here at least, within 24 months they'll be back up for election (in the House). This manifests itself quite openly in Europe with politicians saying freely that they know what they must do (weaken the socialist state and liberalize, in the classic sense, labor markets) but they don't know how to get re-elected after having done so.

To get right to it, I don't disagree with you on end goals I'd like to know if you know or can imagine a way to get there in a way that isn't so corrupted by the political process that it does more harm than it does good -- just as our current tax code in America does. I have no idea myself, which is essentially why I don't trust the gov't with any such decisions, but I stayed away from political science courses and anything like them so would like to know your view on keeping the government on the straight and narrow.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 1:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
We'll just have to agree to disagree on the social cause/effect/support issues, so I'll just drop it.

quote:
One issue with the gas tax that some raise is that it isn't progressive


As a former SUV owner (Dodge Durango), you can tax and tax and tax, but if people want one, they will own one. I simply dumped my single SUV as it was 4 years old and felt it was time for a nice sport/lux sedan and small pickup truck for utility.

quote:
Out of curiosity, however, what do you think about the issue of larger vehicles increasing the risk of harm to others in an accident?


Statistically, SUVs (and their alleged incompetent drivers) causing more harm in an accident fall way down on the charts when compared to crash factors of regular car owners. That point has been addressed several times here already.

The bottom line here is that I have already owned an SUV and if I start a family, would almost without a doubt trade the Nissan Frontier in on another SUV of some sort, but wouldn't rule out getting a hybrid of some sort, like what GM offers in their Tahoe and Suburban. Going on a weekend lake getaway with a family of four in a little Nissan Frontier pickup pulling a boat just won't cut it.

If you feel guilty about owning an SUV, then don't buy one. Freedom of choice, and freedom to choose. That's the ticket this nation (America) has always been about and hopefully always will be. That is, unless Hillary gets elected. =:-o


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 11:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you. I couldn't have said it any better. You put it across in a more cogent and nicer way than I could have. It's just basic economics at the end of the day.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 11:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
I am not thinking of a SUV or gas guzzler penalty tax. (They should be treated as passenger cars and not as trucks, though)

Why not make fuel more expensive by adding more tax? We all have to get used to that anyway.
That is simple and has many advantages (well, apart from being more expensive...)

The more you drive the more you pay. So a monster truck sitting in your uh...hangar most of the time doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. If you decide to use it every day, though...

The bigger the distances you have to cover the cleverer it will become to use a fuel efficient car. If you can go by bicycle or on foot, that's even cheaper :-)

If you still want a gas guzzler, all right then. At least you pay for the pleasure. Thank you. Your hard earned money could be spent by the government on a million wonderful things like education, research, hurricane victims, environmental damage compensation, unemployment agencies, social benefits...public health insurance.... Oh boy, this will be a -1 rating, I fear ;-)


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 11:28:25 AM , Rating: 1
The more you drive, the more you pay already.

In case you havent noticed, fuel efficiency is not the only thing people look at when they buy cars. Safety is one thing - and is in the eye of the person who buys the car. It is not up to you to tell someone else how safe they should feel in a car. It is not up to you to tell someone how big of a family they should have. And it is not up to you to tell them how far away from work they should live.

this is nothing more than a neo-marxist method of getting people to do what you want them to do.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By IGoodwin on 10/5/2007 12:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
No, it isn't up to any one person to point out what is right, or wrong, for anothr person; however, for every decision there is a consequence.

If you have finite money, x number of children, and live n miles from work, you make the choice on how that balances out. if it doesn't balance, then there are consequences. Gas prices are volatile, when they are higher people have to adjust somehow to make things balance.

This is not a debate on fredom of choice, but on consequences and accepting the decisions you make. Therefore, altering the price of gas will have an effect, it is more a question your choice of how to act and if you wish to blame someone else.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By psychmike on 10/5/2007 12:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
No, it certainly isn't, but that's where I don't see your argument as being internally consistent.

Of course it is your right to buy whatever car you want, but are you alone paying for the road that you drive on? What if the huge truck that you choose to drive markedly increases wear and tear? What if the car you drive gives my child asthma? I'm all for freedom of action but when this action involves consumption, the costs of those actions are usually externalized to the rest of society. If you choose to live in the suburbs, my tax dollars go towards development of the required infrastructure, including water mains.

What about smoking? Of course you have a right to do what you want to your body and I would be the last to argue otherwise. Would you then agree that a smoker should bear every dime of related healthcare costs? Even that's hard to parse out. What if the smoker also worked in coal mine and lived in a high pollution area?

I don't know the answer either but one that stops at maximizing individual choice for me simply does not acknowledge the complexity of the situation.

One thing that has struck me recently is that as a generalization I (and many Canadians) seem more weary of corporations' influences (e.g., car manufacturers) where many Americans seem weary of government influence. Fair enough. Perhaps we can agree however that both have their own interests and that a skeptical and informed attitude towards our civic responsibilities and freedoms is best.

Mike


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 1:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One thing that has struck me recently is that as a generalization I (and many Canadians) seem more weary of corporations' influences (e.g., car manufacturers) where many Americans seem weary of government influence. Fair enough.


This weariness is likely caused by the relative fragmation of the US market for all types of goods when compared with the government. (IE, the US historically has a relatively low level of localized or nationalized monopolistic companies when compared to other industrialized nations such as Britian, France, etc. This is changing with globalization but the idea has inertia.) In this sense, US people typically see the government as more powerful/meddling influence in life. Other countries (especially those with heavy government influence in companies) may see companies as being more meddling and interfering in personal choice.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 12:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry to disagree with you but giving the government is no solution to any problem. Period.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 12:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
Previous post whould have read:

I'm sorry to disagree with you but giving the government MORE MONEY is no solution to any problem. Period.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "For SUVs or other gas guzzlers, they're higher emissions, increased risk of injury to other drivers ...increased wear and tear on the roads."

Wrong on all counts. 95% of road wear comes from two factors-- tractor-trailers and weather (water and ice, primarily). The difference in road wear between a 3000lb and a 6000lb vehicle is negiglible, especially on a road that semis hauling 80,000 lbs travel regularly upon.

The largest source of automobile accidents isn't SUVs, its small two-door "sporty" coupes. By a rather large margin, in fact.

As for total emissions, that is driven more by how many miles one drives, rather than the choice of vehicle. A couple driven 150 miles/day is going to emit much more than an SUV drive 50 miles/day. Taxing the SUV in this case rather than the true culprit seems counterproductive, wouldn't you agree?

> "To me, it makes lots of sense to create financial incentives to encourage behavior"

If you believe in large, paternalistic governments and have no real sense of the value of freedom -- then yes, it makes perfect sense.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 1:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The largest source of automobile accidents isn't SUVs, its small two-door "sporty" coupes. By a rather large margin, in fact.


Although I can't seem to find my link, the basic order in terms of (Percentage in crashes)/(percentage of miles traveled)

#1. "Sports" Bikes
#2. "Sports" Coupes
#3. Normal Motorcycles
#4. Pick-up trucks
#5. SUVs
#6. Large Trucks
#7. Large Passenger Cars
#9. Mini-Vans
#10. Small Passenger Cars

This seems to indicate to me, that the attitude of the driver has more to do with crashes (and damage to others) than the particular car being driven.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 1:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
> "This seems to indicate to me, that the attitude of the driver has more to do with crashes (and damage to others) than the particular car being driven"

Very true. And that attitude affects not only safety, but the actual mileage the vehicle receives. Despite the large difference in EPA MPG, my SUV and my small, 300-hp two-seater ragtop get almost identical mileage. The reason is the vast difference in my driving style when in each one.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/07, Rating: -1
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 10:52:16 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to drive big cars and trucks. Just that it should be more expensive. I don't see why that is so hard to get. If you think I am a liberal you are wrong. I'm an economist first and I think that the cost to do something should more accurately reflect it's cost to society. There is no reason why we should use TWICE the energy per capita as other industrialized nations. It comes back to bite you in the ass when you have to send your children to war to secure that oil. That is a cost that isn't being fully reflected in the price you see at the pump; among many others.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rdeegvainl on 10/5/2007 11:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
The larger vehicles already cost more, and insurance on them also, and those that use more gas spend more on gas, and associated tax.
Ford Focus starting MSRP 13,715
Ford F-150 starting MSRP 17,345
that is the ford.com website

I see no problem using more energy per capita when we still pay for it.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By StillPimpin on 10/5/2007 11:36:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no reason why we should use TWICE the energy per capita as other industrialized nations. It comes back to bite you in the ass when you have to send your children to war to secure that oil.


HEY! WE DID NOT GO TO WAR IN IRAQ FOR THE OIL! Didn't you hear your president and congres say that?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "There is no reason why we should use TWICE the energy per capita as other industrialized nations."

If you're concerned about energy use for its carbon emissions, the US doesn't even make the top 10 list for per-capita emissions. The top of the list is: (2003 data):

1 VIRGIN ISLANDS 33.87
2 QATAR 20.33
3 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 11.81
4 KUWAIT 8.81
5 BAHRAIN 8.67
6 GUAM 6.83
7 NETHERLAND ANTILLES 6.18
8 ARUBA 6.12
9 LUXEMBOURG 6.05
10 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 5.98


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 8:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
After reading some of your comments in this forum, I realize you are truly incorrigible and you don't have anything worthwhile to contribute to this discussion (other than being amusingly ignorant). Have a nice ride into oblivion in your whatever-it-is-you-drive.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 8:41:10 AM , Rating: 1
Actually my car gets pretty good gas mileage. I get about 27MPG avg between city & highway driving.

If you actually read the posts, you would see that I am for more fuel efficiency. I am not for raising taxes and increases fuel prices to punish our consumers into buying a more fuel efficient car.

Consumers have every right to buy what is on the market. If you want to take up an argument, take it up with the automakers who create these cars and sell them in our country. Do not take it out on the consumers who have every right to pick and choose between the cars being offered to them.

Just because you want a small car, that gets 50MPG doesnt make it right that someone else does not want that. I dont think anyone in the US would argue that they want the car they have to get better gas mileage. Why? Because most consider gas prices too high as they are - have just about tripled in the past 10 yrs. But why is it so outrageous for someone to want an SUV that gets 40 or 50MPG gallon? Because you cannot afford the SUV or because you want them to drive what you want them to drive?

And if you want to talk about being amusingly ignorant, making personal attacks show you are no better. You could have at least expresses your opinion, in this amusingly ignorant way, to what my opinions are.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 8:59:40 AM , Rating: 2
You were the one that made references about idiots and Hitler while commenting on what I wrote first, so don't tell me that wasn't personal.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By sxr7171 on 10/5/2007 10:19:19 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, but where else in the world can you see everyone from a supermarket clerk to a CEO driving a massive SUV truck ALONE to work every day? We are an extremely wasteful people here in the US and you cannot deny it. It is absolutely disgusting. Instead of begging and pleading with automakers to make more fuel efficient cars a nice tax increase on fuel will create the best form of incentive - an economic incentive - to get people to buy more fuel efficient cars and subsequently get automakers to produce more fuel efficient cars.

It is not a punishment and you shouldn't look at it that way. It is economic incentive applied here as it is done in other areas albeit more subtly.


By NegativeEntropy on 10/5/2007 7:27:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I still don't get it anyway: in the US there are over 90 million commercial diesel vehicles. AFAIK you have special regulations that exempt light trucks from the passenger car (safety, emission and other) requirements. Is there a real reason why diesel engines are not in wide use?


Until recently the US has not had ultra low sulfur diesel. In addition, the air pollution requirements for diesel vehicles are, I believe, more stringent than for gassers. These 2 things kept the market very small (basically only a lower powered VW TDI was the only option in a passenger car that was not a Mercedes).

Culturally diesels have a bad rap in the US as dirty, stinky engines. This reputation was deserved 20 or 30 years ago, not so much today. People are slow to drop their negative views about things.

Now however we have ULSD, diesel with sulfur levels similar to Europe. In the next 1-3 years there will be many more options for passenger car diesels which I am very much looking forward to (my 2 cars have 150 and 160k miles on them, though I hope to see 250k out of each). If it were not for their overall lower reliability, I'd be all over an existing VW TDI; I'm looking forward to Honda and Toyoda's potential offerings in particular.

Now, on the gas tax, I agree. If I were dictator you'd see an incremental increase in the gas tax of, say, $0.15 cents per year increase for 5 years. This would drive the economy to actually increase fuel economy and incentivise research and development of alternatives.

In reality I'd like to know the actual cost of the CO2 emitted and factor that in via a tax which was re-routed to remove the CO2 (and other pollutants) from the air -- that would be the right thing to do; incorporate the actual cost instead of passing it on to future people. Phase this in over 10 years and the economy and people would have time to react.

People should check out the free book Winning the oil endgame published by the Rocky Mountain Institute (google it). It shows what's possible with today's technology, should we only choose to move toward higher fuel economy.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By djc208 on 10/5/2007 7:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with comparing what Europe does with the US (besides the culture being different) is that the geography is so different too. Europe has a much denser population and a much better mass transit system. The US has much more sprawl with some of our states being larger than whole European countries. Combine that with a lack of decent mass transit in a lot of places and there's no good alternative to driving your own car.

The other problem is that despite the fairly high costs and profit margins those gas guzzling trucks and SUVs aren't that much more expensive (on intital purchase) than many cars, and even though 95% of the time most people don't need the room and cargo capacity of their pickup or SUV those other 5% make up for it. I keep an old pickup around just becaues when you need a truck nothing else will do, I don't want to have to drive it every day but if I only had the money for one vehicle I'd lean toward the pickup over a similarly priced car because I have the extra flexibility when I need it.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 9:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I think. While I would welcome all people all over the world thinking about alternatives for cars (bicycles? :-)), right now I would be chipper if people would stay away from cars that are 95% too big and 95% too powerful. Do humans really need 5ooo lbs of steel, glass and plastic to be riding in? Do we really have to accelerate racing-style? Does the average car really needs to grow in size every year? I think not.
People buy what they like (what others like, too) and what is good value in their opinion. Car manufacturers try to make a profit by selling more cars with a higher profit. Easy as that. Both are influencing each other, and both are influenced by external factors like taxes, fuel prize, road conditions, parking space, air pollution and public opinion. The important thing is, this system can be changed and guided from either side. If customers are willing to pay a reasonable premium for a more efficient car, the manufacturer will soon have that product on sale. If they don't care, nothing changes.
Or the other way round: manufacturers found a loophole that allowed them to produce cars that fall under the category "truck" which ultimately lead to small trucks and SUVs that don't have to fulfill the same regulations than smaller cars. In addition to that, a bigger more powerful car costs more and the profit is higher. Marketing did the rest, voila!
Everybody is driving a truck or a truck-like car now (almost 50% of the US cars! And an increasing percentage in Europe, where, as you rightfully said, there is even less need and room for such vehicles)

Your solution is actually quite good. Use a small car for commuting, and for the heavy stuff you either have a second "backup pickup" :-) or you borrow one, rent one....
This is by far more intelligent than driving a pickup all the time. Great.

One more word about Europe. Europe might seem totally crowded and urban, but there are many lonesome rural places even in Germany, and we are one of the densest populated countries in Europe. On the other hand, I would think that most US Americans don't cross state borders on a daily basis and only a few commute more than 100 miles 2 way. Therefore the bigger country does not necessarily make a difference.
(The average miles per year per car are roughly the same between the USA and Germany)

Oh, and the culture...that is really an important point. Whatever the differences are, in the end everybody is using valuable resources that are not lasting forever. Everybody is polluting the air and whatever else happens in the environment. All those effects are worldwide eventually. So it should not be about culture or way of life, it should be about reason and taking the future seriously. And I'm sorry, if somebody or some countries (including mine!) are f***ing this planet up faster and more thoroughly and using so much more energy/resources than other persons/countries do, yes, that bothers me. Ignorance is a luxury nobody can afford. We all need to wake up and start thinking new thoughts.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rdeegvainl on 10/5/2007 10:33:07 AM , Rating: 2
The more spread out areas do make a huge difference, it makes having a public transportation system very difficult, and crossing state borders does not matter if you can drive hundreds of miles INSTATE.
Germany size about 357,021 km sq (137,847 mi sq)
with estimated of about 82,476,000
Montana's size 380,849 sq km (147,046 mi sq)
Montana's estimated population 1,006,000
I think you seriously underestimate the density of many places in the US.
In this case Germany about 80 times more dense.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 11:41:17 AM , Rating: 2
I dont, I've been to Canada and the US. I know that you have to cover vast distances to cross the country. The question is, do you do that every day? I guess the majority of drivers just go shopping, fetch their kids, go to work. All that is probably within a 30 miles radius for most people. Is that right? As I said before, the average annual miles driven per car is roughly the same in Germany and in the USA (according to statistics I've read) Therefore the difference between driving here or there cannot be too big, can it? In Germany we have many commuters traveling 100miles a day. And we have millions that use their car to go shopping to the next mall, 2 miles away. Kids from school to sports, driving for fun, visiting friends and relatives somewhere else, all the same. Truck drivers cover the same distances every day, it doesn't matter whether it's a highway, motorway, autostrada or the "Autobahn".


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By masher2 (blog) on 10/5/2007 12:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "In Germany we have many commuters traveling 100miles a day"

Don't you realize how incredibly wasteful that is? Does anyone "need" to live so far from where they work? The choice to live so far from your workplace is far more environmentally damaging than your choice of vehicle.

Sounds like some of your countrymen need a stern talking to. Perhaps you should do that first, then get back to chastising the US, eh?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 5:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
I am not chastising the US, I am trying to show that neither my country nor I are angels. If you think that is funny, well, so be it. Nonetheless, I think it is important to be aware of what's going on in the world. Your quite sophisticated comments and the proof you offer are never quite answering to my comments. When I am writing about energy usage, it is silly to answer by presenting a chart with emissions or the costs for energy as a percentage of average income. Do I need to explain that these are different things?

Yes, people in Germany need a "stern talking to" as well. I do often enough, when I have to decide whether I use the car to get some bread or go by bicycle. It's only half a mile... Probably many people in many western and advanced countries do. Why should people in the States be the one and only exception?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 6:37:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yes, people in Germany need a "stern talking to" as well. I do often enough, when I have to decide whether I use the car to get some bread or go by bicycle. It's only half a mile... Probably many people in many western and advanced countries do. Why should people in the States be the one and only exception?


The united states should absolutely be an exception - not just to europe, but to everywhere. Our country was founded because we were sick of the fascism in europe. We were sick of being told what we can do, what we cant do. This country was founded on the basis of freedom - personal freedoms. We are not germany or france or sweden or whatever other country you want to bring up. How ignorant are you to think that we founded this country over 200 years ago and you still think you have the right to control what we do. I believe you are from germany, as i thought i read in an earlier post, and you above all people should know the history of fascism and dictatorship against people. I am not accusing you of being that way personally, but the history of germany is not smiled upon and neither is fascism. And dont think i am trying to single you out, because i am not.

In my opinion, anyone in the US who believes we need to discard the morals and beliefs of our founding fathers, needs to take a step back and think long & hard about what our "declaration of independance" really stands for.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 6:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In my opinion, anyone in the US who believes we need to discard the morals and beliefs of our founding fathers, needs to take a step back and think long & hard about what our "declaration of independance" really stands for.


Just as importantly, why they established the system the way they did. There's a reason liberties and whatnot are viciously protected; they understood the ultimate consequence of not doing so. The Economist recently suggested that perhaps upholding civil liberties in the US would be worth the price if it meant recurrent 9-11 level events; almost hard pressed to disagree, in one sense.

There have been two justified excursions from the constitution. The Civil War and WW2. In every other non-existential situation, we should endeavor to keep to the spirit of the constitution and Federalist Papers as close as possible IMHO.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 7:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
Did anybody here ask you to forget about your forefathers? This is not a fight, this is just a discussion about fuel efficient cars and preserving energy (at least that was my intention, I really don't know what you think) Geez!


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 7:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, I certainly know a lot more about fascism than you ever will. Several members of my family died in that war and during the Nazi regime, including my grandparents. It is part of the history of my country. We can never forget that, that is our responsibility.
If you really think I want to control you or the whole USA by writing postings at DailyTech, you must be....different. If you think this is a fascist attack, well let me tell you: fascist attacks were usually a little bit different. . You still don't get a single word I'm saying, and I am angry at myself that I wasted my time answering your comments, knowing it was futile all along.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Nfarce on 10/5/2007 7:33:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong, friend. Nobody is attacking you . They are attacking your viewpoints. The very idea that you take any opposing point of view as an attack on you and an attempt to freaking control the entire US speaks volumes. Perhaps "fascism" is a harsh word, but anyone that supports an idea of the government mandating what manufacturers produce for the consumers, vs. what consumers want the manufacturers to produce (that would be proven in sales, of which point has been proven here countless times today), is surely not for freedom of choice.

Don't take things so personal and get so upset at those that don't share your opinion, dude. You'll live longer.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/6/2007 5:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
@NFarce
My last comment was addressed at mdogs444 only in response of his attack before. So read before you answer.
It is you that seems to feel attacked by different viewpoints.

If somebody (mdogs444 and you) calls me a fascist, a Neo-marxist, an idiot and is comparing me to Hitler, I do feel attacked personally, and rightfully so. Think about that in the future before you call everybody with a different standpoint a fascist, a Nazi, Hitler or Neo-Marxist.

After you have educated yourself about the meaning of those concepts, you will see that it is impossible to be both, a fascist and a Neo-Marxist.

@mdogs444:
FYI: when the USA were founded, fascism and the ideology behind it was not even conceived. That would take another 140 years. Ooops. So you Americans founded America to escape from fascism in Europe? Yeah. Right. I suggest you educate yourself about your own history.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 8:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
fascist attacks were usually a little bit different. .


Yeah, we've officially gone off-topic. :P

quote:
I am angry at myself that I wasted my time answering your comments, knowing it was futile all along.


As long as it's not been a long day and I haven't had a whiskey to cap the night off, I at least always find discussions enlightening in one way or another.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By blaster5k on 10/5/2007 10:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
More people commute over 100 miles a day in America than you'd think. Many of the jobs are in urban areas where there isn't affordable housing nearby. Quite a few people do cross state borders on a daily basis.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12438812/site/newsweek...

We have a tough time because our population is more distributed and it's difficult to cover everyone's route with public transit as a result, making us very dependent on cars. That's just the way the infrastructure has been built here over the years and it's not easy to change.

Still, I'm not a fan of the big car mentality here. It's rarely as necessary as people think it is. I personally have never had a problem crowding into compacts even for long trips. It's not THAT big of an inconvenience.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By SiliconAddict on 10/5/2007 10:47:59 AM , Rating: 1
The difference between Europe and the US, at least one of them, is public transit. Admittedly some places in the US are pretty good, but others. Minnesota as an example, suck my right ass cheek. There are places you simply can't get to on a weekend or after 10PM. Shit take a friend of mine who lives about 20 miles away. I can get there. After transferring 3 buses and walking half a mile. That isn't too bad. What is bad is if I want to get home after 11. Forget it.
So before we start screaming for better fuel economy what say we also have a mandate to get the pubic transit system nation wide up to speed.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 12:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Even if we agree that in the USA you have to drive further on average than in Europe, that does not change the fact that the more miles you drive the more important it is to have an efficient car, right? Even with your comparatively low gas prices, it should be noticeable at the end of the month. And I am happy that several millions of US Americans and Canadians got themselves a smaller car with high MPG. I am worrying about the several millions who still don't see the point in saving fuel and energy at all. As long as a car is a status symbol and you are being laughed at when you have a smaller and slower one, things will get worse. Ignorance of others can be a strong obstacle for the smarter ones to decide for themselves.

Without public transport the situation in Europe would be worse, but please, don't believe that we don't use our cars whenever we can...city or village, open country, it doesn't matter. Over here there are many areas where you basically need a car to get somewhere as well. And we are not a single bit better than Americans or Canadians, or..., and Germans love their cars more than their family (almost), the main difference is that (only because of the fuel price!) we have started thinking about efficient cars a few years earlier.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Keeir on 10/5/2007 3:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Without public transport the situation in Europe would be worse, but please, don't believe that we don't use our cars whenever we can...city or village, open country, it doesn't matter. Over here there are many areas where you basically need a car to get somewhere as well. And we are not a single bit better than Americans or Canadians, or..., and Germans love their cars more than their family (almost), the main difference is that (only because of the fuel price!) we have started thinking about efficient cars a few years earlier.


Its interesting that you are attacking the US choice of lifestyle. Sure, more fuel-efficient cars are great, but if Germans use thier cars as much, use public transportation more, use trains more, use airplanes more... doesn't seem like Germans are making good energy choices either in the face of higher gas prices, just different choices.

If the average German lives closer to attractions/takes public transit more often, it would appear the average German also drives around for no purpose more often...

If Americans would be smarter about how and where they drive, they could reduce thier total energy footprint to the same or smaller size than a German citizen AND drive a huge honking SUV. Raising fuel prices would not be the way to acchieve this though (as evidenced by Germany).


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 6:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? I guess you got me wrong here.

For the xth time: I am not attacking American Lifestyle, I just think that thinking about how each of us uses energy is important. That's it. I tell you that we Germans are not better or wiser than anybody else, and you turn that against me and say, Americans are cleverer. Your arguments are not, by the way. And your conclusion...well...Annoying.

But the most important thing, you said it yourself:
"Sure, more fuel-efficient cars are great"

But...?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 6:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But...?


But we as consumers have a choice on what we WANT to buy/drive. There are many fuel efficient cars on the market, people just dont want them. I dont see why you think you have the right to tell them that what they should and should not want.

Its fine to say, "you know, fuel efficent cars might save you some money" and leave it at that. If people are concerned with fuel efficiency because of their income level and what they can afford when it comes to gasoline, then they will buy a fuel efficient car. The people who buy SUV's that dont get the gas mileage that you deem good enough, probably are not worried about the price of gas right now.

I know your intentions are good, and im sure youre a smart person who is living on a certain budget. But open your eyes and realize that we all do not live on that budget, and some people have different things in an automobile that they think is more important than just fuel efficiency.

Just dont go pushing your Marxist opinions down their throat, acting like all the environmental propaganda is 100% true and proven, and saying that our cars are killers - all just because either you dont want one or cannot afford one.

its really that simple.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By rogard on 10/5/2007 7:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
.....


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Triring on 10/6/2007 7:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
One of the reason why the US Gov is not able to place a high sur-charge on gas is because of the high dependency on cars for transportation with limited alternative options.
If they had a more efficient mass transportation system implemented within the major cities, people will not be as threatened and will be more willing to give up cars for daily commute. That is one of the reason why there are so many mass transit project popping out in big cities like LA, SF, Seattle and so on.
Look at Japan, Tokyo prefecture's ownership of cars for private usage are one for every two households this is because the land price is too high for parking space and 60% of the price of gas is tax but nobody will complain with the extensive mass transit system readily available for all.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 6:59:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
wouldn't it be better to charge a fuel surtax to the consumer? the higher the consumptoin, the higher the extra tax.


Yeah that would be a perfect idea, NOT. Everytime the democratic party wants to threaten people to take on their beliefs, its always "lets raise taxes, that'll make em see".

Im all for more fuel efficent vehicles to help the average person's pocketbook, but forcing "the people" to pay more money and drive smaller cars is not the answer. The very people who support the left wing party will be the ones who get hurt by this. How about the people who already do not have two nickles to rub together that have to drive a 1980 Oldsmobile that they bought for $100 that gets crap gas mileage? Yeah, they dont have more than $100 to spend on a car, but lets charge them huge surtaxes to cover the cost of their fuel. Hmm, I wonder who is going to pay for that? Probably the people who are already paying high taxes supporting those people. What else, should we raise taxes on the middle class, and try to pass a bill that anyone who is under the poverty level gets a brand new, gas friend vehicle, courtesy of the tax paying public?

quote:
if the government simply mandates that manufacturers have to get a 35mpg average, then manufacturers will find ways to cheat and manipulate the EPA results. they will do simply what is "enough", but they won't actually get off their asses and make real improvements.


I dont see why you would expect the government to get "off their asses to make real improvements". Why not make mandates on the private jets that they fly? Al Gore has one of the least fuel effecient private jets on the market and uses more electricity in a month than the average person uses in a year, yet preaches to be an environmentalist and tells everyone they should walk to work. I hope you dont expect politicians - who all have hidden agendas, both left and right wing - to "practice what they preach".

While were at it, we may as well get rid of any form of autoracing (drag racing, nascar, F1, rally, etc), prevent people from having cars if they live in a metropolitan area because they already have access to taxis, put a mandate on farmers tractors that they have to meet a certain "efficiency", make it illegal for people to own "classic american muscle cars", etc.

All I'm saying is that I would like to see more efficiency as well, but surcharge taxes on fuel and government mandates are not the way to achieve this without putting even more strain on the middle class.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By AlexWade on 10/5/2007 9:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
I don't care if gas cost $100 a gallon, Americans won't give up their SUV's and trucks. In America, bigger is better.

The real way to alleviate gas and oil problems is carpooling and mass transit. But that won't work for Americans either. America is a car culture.

So, our car culture combine with bigger is better idea gives us SUV's (or oversized station wagons). And even if gas was $100 a gallon, Americans would find the money.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By drebo on 10/5/2007 10:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The real way to alleviate gas and oil problems


Oh? What's that?

I wasn't aware that we were having gas and oil problems. Care to elaborate?

If you're talking about supply at the pump (which is what's driving costs up), the fix for that is build more refineries. If you're talking about crude oil supply from nature, you're dreaming--we've got plenty.

People in America drive the cars they can afford and cars that they like the style of. I drive a Chevy Malibu because I like the way it handles, I like how it looks, and it's a nice mid-sized sedan that'll be great when I decide to start a family. If I wanted to drive a tiny Honda deathtrap, I'd have bought a tiny Honda deathtrap. If I wanted to drive an ass-ugly Prius, I'd have bought an ass-ugly Prius.

The government cannot mandate demand anymore than it can legislate morality. People in America like these kinds of cars. It's that simple. Punishing automakers is not the answer.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 1:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And even if gas was $100 a gallon, Americans would find the money.


Yep. They would.

The consumer has choices. Make it to work, make it to the markets to buy the goods we consume, or not to do any of it. Given the less dense nature of the population previously noted (we never got on to the soviet-style apartment block fad), that could take a large amount of time at fair expense anyway to do via mass transit.

So we'll drive. Drive a little slower, perhaps, but drive. Where will the money come from for these higher taxes? Less consumer goods.

Less consumer goods, businesses make less money and produce less to avoid excess supply. Lower production, less employees. More unemployed leads to less consumption -- feeding the cycle.

All the more dangerous at a critical point in the business cycle which we currently happen to be at this year and probably next year.

Of course, these tax hikes on fuel could be offset by tax reductions elsewhere such that incentives simply shift away from fuel and towards all other purchases, but I can honestly say I've never heard a liberal propose compensating tax cuts -- always additional taxes for additional federal revenue, economy be damned.


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By SoCalBoomer on 10/5/2007 4:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
Good thing you're conservative and don't care about the poor and lower-middle class who have to buy used cars which are not in the best of shape and get crappy mileage. . . oh wait. . .

Good thing you've already graduated from college and have forgotten the heap you had to drive because it's all you could afford - no matter the crappy mileage.

Think 85 Grand Am which gets ~20mpg at 100K miles. Just go through a lower class neighborhood or the parking lot at a community college and see who your fuel surtax will be hurting - or were you only going to tax the rich with this consumption tax?


RE: I would love a 35MPG truck
By msheredy on 10/8/2007 11:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh there already is one you f-ing idoit. It's called the gas guzzlers tax. If you want to tax more you had better watch your back. Damn libs


Anyone here for free markets?
By tjr508 on 10/5/2007 9:32:59 AM , Rating: 2
I guess gone are the days when market forces decide what our cars are like. Has everyone here been led to believe that government can do a better job deciding the future of automobiles than the consumers and the industry?




RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By Moishe on 10/5/2007 11:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
here here!
nanny state... ohh yeah.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 11:20:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. So many want to start calling Hillary by her real name, "MOM".


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By Moishe on 10/5/2007 2:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
like... "Hey, Mom, I need to be able to transport my new 4th child... and to do that I'll need to upgrade from my civic to a minivan"
"What? you had four kids? Off to the population police with my sir!... oh and no you don't "Need" a minivan, you just need two civics. (and don't whine about the cost!)"

-then she gets into her jet and flys to Costa Rica.

What is a little suffering when you're "saving" the environment! Freedom is outdated and only the religious nuts and loons believe in it. How quaint!


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 2:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why the left doesn't believe in god.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By mdogs444 on 10/5/2007 2:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why the left doesn't believe in god.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By maven81 on 10/5/2007 11:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
a good government can. Or are you going to tell me that most consumers are intelligent, selfless people?
Unlike what some right wingers here believe, there are some things that only a government can do.
For instance, I was visiting a friend in Holland 5 years ago. (I'm from the US). I was surprised to find that the section of highway passing through town had sheets of soundproof material lining it's sides. It also had trenches dug below the road so that small animals could get to the other side without becoming roadkill. This won't be adopted on any scale here, and you know why? Because there's no profit in it. And there would be at least one person that would complain that their car should make as much noise as they want it to (because people are just that selfish and stupid). But god forbid we try do something like this, because OMG it's socialism, it's big government, run for the hills!

I'll give you another example... here in New York smoking is now forbidden in quite a lot of places. This is one of the things that forced my wife (who was a smoker) to finally quit. How dare government tell people not to do something "legal" huh? How dare they punish consumers. Well they did, and it made life for the rest of us much more pleasant.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By tjr508 on 10/5/2007 11:57:11 AM , Rating: 2
Well you just struck down two of Thomas Jefferson's big 3 being liberty and property. Soon enough you people will find a way to regulate life as well.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By maven81 on 10/5/2007 12:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
You know full well that freedom has limits, like yelling fire in a crowded theater.
Or as someone else has put it "you have a right to be stupid. Don't abuse the priviledge".


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By tjr508 on 10/5/2007 12:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
I believe that if whiny people in NYC start deciding what midwest farmers need to drive around in, then our government is much too powerful.

No need to worry about taking care of all the big three either. If either Bush or Clinton get their way, then Uncle Sam will have control of our healthcare (and thus life). The only difference that I can see is one wants to do it a little faster than the other.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By maven81 on 10/5/2007 1:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone here is telling farmers they can't drive trucks or SUVs. Personally I'm more concerned about the city dwellers that feel like they need one. I'm just amazed at the sheer quantity of them in the city. And they do this knowing that parking will be much harder to get unless you have a garage, navigating through city traffic will be tougher, and the utility aspect is totally wasted since you're not going to haul massive cargo, or drive off road in the city. (as is the sport aspect for that matter since you won't be able to drive really fast). It seems like utter stupidity. For this city at least, yes I feel like they are a nuisance.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By clovell on 10/5/2007 1:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This won't be adopted on any scale here, and you know why?
Yes, I do. Because our transportion infrastructure is enormously larger than Holland's and the costs would be prohibitive.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By Ringold on 10/5/2007 2:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
a good government can.


Trust me; no, they can not.

If you don't care to trust me, and I don't blame as you as that'd probably not a good idea, then check the history of central planning. It's not great.

Soviet Union? Enough said there.

France? Might have a knee-jerk reaction that I'm just whining about frogs, but no, drill down in to their economic stats and the country's essentially a failure. Sarkozy was elected with a solid mandate to try to demolish that strong government influence in the economy which we are trying to erect here.

Also take a gander at India. They did a lot of work apparently with input-output economic analysis and between the central planning and license Rajj they enjoyed the "Hindu rate of growth" until -- guess what -- they realized they had to return to neo-classical economic theory. In short, low taxes, minimal regulation, and free trade. Now the Hindu rate of growth is associated with raising millions to the middle class, not stagnation.

It's simply impossible for a federal government to do all these things efficiently that we'd like it to.

As far as your trip to Holland, forgive me if I say that's a bunch of crap. Florida has those in places all over the state. You are right though; trying to go for that on a federal level would be "big government" socialism, contrary to the founding fathers. Know why? Because that's what states are for. Who's your state representative? Do you even know? In communities that want the sound-proofing barriers in Florida, it's there, paid for by local tax payers. In different areas there are also those underground passage things, though mostly in southern Florida for turtles I think. Communities on the local level know much better what they want than does a federal planning committee at the imperial headquarters a thousands miles away. Those sort of things can be done on a local level, often successfully, despite their being "no profit". You're right, if you look at it like an accountant, but economics uses measures beyond that; sound proofing increases the utility for the people living along busy roads and therefore they are willing to pay for it. Not destroying local turtle populations is also a slight desire for Floridians; hence, paying for passage things. Public goods need not translate to dollars. People also in the long run tend to locate in local communities willing to spend the same amount of taxes for such local projects as they are; voting with their feet, so to speak, increasing utils for all.

In short, the system we have works fine. We don't need to turn to socialism and strong central government in spite of what global economic history shows us (that it's a failure); we just need to use the mechanisms already in place.


RE: Anyone here for free markets?
By maven81 on 10/5/2007 3:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
First off you'll notice that I specifically said "good". I even bolded it for emphasis. None of the governments you used as an example are what I would describe as good. (in a strange coincidence I've also been to all 3 countries).
Sure the soviet system was a complete failure, but then they never had anyone's best interest in mind considering they weren't really elected (even in the 80s the elections were a joke). The Indian government seemed to get some inspiration from the soviet way of doing things, so no surprise there. However not everything has to be so extreme.
Recall that once upon a time in this very country the stock market crashed and the government stepped in in a big way. It took a very active role in the economy, and started a lot of state run projects. They instituted policies you may even describe as socialist. And guess what... The country didn't fail.

As for your second point, guess what, not all governments are federal governments, a state is a local government! So if anything in your example Florida's local government is showing that it can run things efficiantly and do things people have asked for. It means that theoretically a federal government could do the same things. (fixing the roads and bridges would be a good start).