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The Chevrolet Cruze Eco will use a 1.4L Ecotec turbocharged four-cylinder engine to achieve 40 mpg on the highway.
The Obama administration touts new fuel economy standards

The federal government is pushing hard for manufacturers to clean up their act when it comes to emissions and fuel economy. Over the past few decades, we've seen power output for mainstream vehicles increase rapidly while appreciable gains in fuel economy haven't come nearly as fast.

That is about to change thanks to new regulations touted by the Obama administration. In typical Washington fashion, the new CAFE standard of 34.1 mpg set by the NHTSA and the EPA is buried within a 1,469-page document. The fleet-wide 34.1 mpg figure must be met by auto manufacturers by 2016.

“These historic new standards set ambitious, but achievable, fuel economy requirements for the automotive industry that will also encourage new and emerging technologies,” said NHTSA Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will be helping American motorists save money at the pump, while putting less pollution in the air.” 

Automakers will gradually increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles -- passenger cars will required to meet an average of 33.3 mpg in 2012 and 37.8 mpg by 2016. Trucks, on the other hand, will be required to achieve an average of 25.4 mpg in 2012 and by 2016, the requirement will be 28.8 mpg. Overall CAFE (cars and trucks combined) must meet or exceed 29.7 mpg in 2012 and rise from there until 34.1 mpg is reached in 2016.

Automakers are expected to take a hit to their wallets of $51.5 billion over a five year span -- auto buyers can expect to pay nearly $1,000 extra for a new car that meets these new regulations. The government counters, however, that the the average driver will save roughly $3,000 in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle and the "benefit to society" thanks to reduced emissions and fuel consumption will ring in at $240 billion.

The EPA will also provide incentives to automakers that produce plug-in hybrid vehicles (the incentives will be available for the first 200,000 units produced per automaker).

“This is a significant step towards cleaner air and energy efficiency, and an important example of how our economic and environmental priorities go hand-in-hand,” added EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “By working together with industry and capitalizing on our capacity for innovation, we’ve developed a clean cars program that is a win for automakers and drivers, a win for innovators and entrepreneurs, and a win for our planet.” 

Automakers are already stepping up their efforts to increase fuel efficiency (even without the use of hybrid powertrains) as witnessed by manufacturers like General Motors, Ford, and Hyundai. Chevrolet's upcoming compact Cruze Eco will be available in a variant that will achieve 40 mpg. Ford is touting its upcoming subcompact Fiesta as achieving 40 mpg on the highway. Hyundai, on the other hand, is proud of its new midsize Sonata which achieves 35 mpg on the highway.



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Mutally Exclusive
By bhieb on 4/1/2010 4:40:46 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
we've seen power output for mainstream vehicles increase rapidly while appreciable gains in fuel economy haven't come nearly as fast.

This paragraph is at odds with itself. I'm not saying there is no room for improvements, but usually these 2 qualities of a vehicle are at opposing positions. Thus complaining about MPG while praising power gains makes very little sense.

The part that advances is dicatated by the customer. The market wants more power (and cares very little about MPG), so power is advanced. The fact that MPG has been flat or even went up IS an advancement in fuel economy. Todays engines have more power but at the same time are using the same amount of fuel. This is a big advancement.

Lets say you have a 100hp engine that gets 30MPG, now you make that 200hp and it still gets 30MPG. You have increased it's efficiency. That is the fallacy in this paragraph. There have been GREAT strides in MPG, they are just hidden by the advances in HP.




RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2010 5:33:37 PM , Rating: 1
But it's possible to raise HP and effciency. Just look at the new 3.7 liter V6 in the new Mustang which adds 100 hp while increasing fuel effciency. Same goes for the 5.0 liter V8 in the Mustang which is replacing the 4.6. Or how about the new turbo four in the Sonata which not only gets better horsepower and torque than competing V6s, but also better fuel economy.

It can be done, automakers just had no incentive to do it before. And I wasn't really trying to drive the point about praising high HP -- just pointing out that recently automakers have chosen more HP over increased fuel economy.

As you said, they've been going for more HP + parity with mpg. That will now switch to more HP + more mpg through the use of turbocharging and/or direct injection.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By bhieb on 4/1/2010 6:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
just pointing out that recently automakers have chosen more HP over increased fuel economy.

No the market has chosen HP not the OEM, recent engines that you've point out are just further evidence that this is not needed. People have voiced a desire for power and MPG, and lo and behold, OEM's have responded.

But I do agree there is room for improvement. I just don't think this type of regulation is how you get it done.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 6:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
"It can be done, automakers just had no incentive to do it before."

Come now, this is way out of line. Automakers had plenty of incentive to do it -- the buying public. There are, though, some improvements that are marginal enough that most people don't want to pay the extra cost for them, though (direct injection, anyone?)

CAFE standards aren't going to magically generate efficiency improvements. They're going to just change the composition of fleet sales, by forcing automakers to make large cars less attractive, and small cares more so.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2010 7:00:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Come now, this is way out of line. Automakers had plenty of incentive to do it -- the buying public.


And automakers didn't because the buying public didn't seem to care about fuel efficiency as long as they got their got their 280 hp crossovers and 400 hp pickups.

I think there are multiple issues going on here, and we're dancing around them all. Here's how I see it:

1) Americans have generally not given a crap about fuel economy because of relatively low fuel prices
2) Americans have been enamored by horsepower wars (in certain vehicle classes)
3) Automakers haven't really had a need to increase fuel economy dramatically because people haven't really been complaining too much

However, now you have the government asking for higher fuel economy standards (automakers have known about this mpg increase for a few years now) and what do we see:

1) We start seeing more small cars aiming at 40 mpg
2) We see an increased use of turbocharged engines
3) We see an increased use of four cylinder engines
4) All automakers are moving towards six-speed auto and manual transmissions and/or dual clutch units
5) You see mid-sized sedans (the bread and butter of the car market) like the Buick Regal and the Hyundai Sonata ditching V6 engines altogether in favor of four cylinder engines.
6) Even Mercedes is hopping on the bandwagon by ditching their big block 6.3-liter V8 and replacing it with a 5.5-liter bi-turbo that not only increases power and torque, but also increases fuel economy by roughly 25% (compared to the S63).

And let's look at a base Sonata. It's priced just like standard four-banger Camrys and Accords, but it uses direct injection, has more horsepower, and gets better fuel economy. I don't see a price premium there.

You can't tell me that all of that is because of the "buying public" and their all of a sudden desire to have fuel efficient vehicles. No, the government said "jump" and automakers said "how high?"

However, I don't think that many people will complain when then get increased fuel economy in addition to their increased power -- I mean, who would? Just ask everyone that bought a 2010 Mustang V6 or Mustang GT :-)


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Pneumothorax on 4/2/2010 10:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
What the fed's aren't calculating in their $2000 savings is the inevitable higher repair costs for Forced Inductino motors vs. their previous NA engines.
The problem I see with these Direct Injection, Turbo, Supercharged car trends is going to be the drop in reliability. For your American Family who likes to drive their cars into the ground, the ground is going to come sooner for these cars. My family has driven 5 Toyota/Hondas to well over 200K miles without any engine/tranny replacements. I highly doubt these turbos/direct injectors/high pressure fuel pumps will last that long with our dirty sulfur/ethanol ridden gasoline. BTW, the reason why Euro's don't seem to have problems with direct injectors/HPFP's is their cleaner gasolone. I for one don't care as I just bought a car with the above-mentioned technologies, but for the middle class family >$1000 repairs (I've yet to see turbo/direct injector replacement for less than $1000) are a big hit.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By bhieb on 4/2/2010 10:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Come now, this is way out of line. Automakers had plenty of incentive to do it -- the buying public.
quote:
And automakers didn't because the buying public didn't seem to care about fuel efficiency as long as they got their got their 280 hp crossovers and 400 hp pickups.

Thanks for proving his point with your response. Automakers didn't because...the public did not want it (aka did not value fuel efficiency). The market has spoken, end of story.

The only argument you can make is whether you think regulation is needed to dissuade what type of vehicle we drive. That is all this is. One persons' perception that wasting fuel is bad, and the only way to stop it is to artificially manipulate the market.
quote:
You can't tell me that all of that is because of the "buying public" and their all of a sudden desire to have fuel efficient vehicles. No, the government said "jump" and automakers said "how high?"
Certainly not all of it was just the market, but it was not ONLY the CAFE issue either. It is very lean times in the auto market, and anything that you can do to draw customers in is a good thing. Bear in mind it takes years to engineer/validate and setup production for these things. So I'd wager most of these advancements were first placed on the whiteboard when gas prices shot up, and everyone was preaching $5/gallon fuel. Ford never thought the F150 would drop from #1 but it did. They sensed the market changing, and started work on these changes then, as a result of the market not so much CAFE.

Certainly it is not black and white, and I'm sure both played a role. But even if they changed only because of CAFE, is it still a good thing to manipulate the market based on personal opinion of what the people should drive? You've listed several positive advancement, but can you see no negative ones?

If not for CAFE maybe your list would look more like this.

1) We see an increased use of turbocharged engines - on V6's pushing their power up to 400HP.
2) We see an increased use of 8 cylinder engines
3) All automakers are moving towards six-speed auto and manual transmissions and/or dual clutch units, and marketed for their performance characteristics.
4) You see mid-sized sedans (the bread and butter of the car market) like the Buick Regal and the Hyundai Sonata ditching V6 engines altogether in favor of turbo V6's and V8 pushing 500hp.

Your list is only a list of "good" things if you value MPG, if not those research dollars could have been spent providing the first 1000HP 2011 Mustang GT.

It is all a matter of perspective. There are 2-sides of of the MPG/HP coin, and if you value MPG then CAFE is good is not then it is clearly bad.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Lazarus Dark on 4/2/2010 11:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
true, I didn't value fuel economy... when I first started driving in 98/99 and I could fill my tank for 10 bucks for a brief period. I got spoiled as when I started driving I could find gas for 1$ or less a gallon.

Fast forward a couple years and it costs twice that to fill the tank. Now I'm starting to see the value. Fast forward a little more and it takes 25-30 bucks to fill the tank (35-40 for that one summer a couple years ago.) I think anyone can now see the value at those gas prices.

That said... I bought a V8 Challenger knowing full well I'd be hating it if gas got to 5$. But I want my v8. I would have jumped at the chance to get a plug-in hybrid v8 though. I want power AND mpg. I want it all, and I believe they can do it if they try... and maybe they are starting to now.

Maybe the public demand for fuel economy wasn't there before, but I believe it certainly is now. But we Americans want the power too.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Kurz on 4/5/2010 2:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
Wow a hybrid plug in V8 sorry there isn't enough space in the car to do that. You'll going to have to add 500 pounds perhaps even more.

Btw all that power doesnt get you anywhere faster.
Unless you are actively racing that car.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By JediJeb on 4/5/2010 11:59:59 AM , Rating: 2
I spend $80 now to fill my tank (36 gallon) but then I only have to do it once every three weeks as long as I am only driving to work. If this truck ever dies, which I think will be a long long time from now, I will factor MPG into the decision on what to purchase next. Seeing as I usually buy used, that will mean there will have to be a nice efficient vehicle that is on the used market at a good price.

For me to afford to buy something to replace what I have now, I would need to find a vehicle that is very very cheap. I get 18MPG, so if I find something getting 36MPG then I will be saving $50 per month on fuel. I doubt I can find another vehicle that gets 36MPG and will have a $50/month payment, and not raise my insurance from the current $250/6months I have now. Buying more fuel efficient vehicles for the sole purpose of increasing fuel economy doesn't always make financial sense.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By DigitalFreak on 4/2/2010 8:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
Except the new Mustang engines don't come out until the 2011 model year.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Targon on 4/1/2010 6:37:04 PM , Rating: 4
You must have missed that Ford was releasing these new technologies BEFORE the government started forcing stricter fuel efficiency standards down our throats.

Now, people who don't pay attention to what goes on behind the scenes don't understand just how careful car companies need to be when it comes to releasing a new technology. As a result, it may take only two years to develop a new technology, and then it takes another five years to make sure it won't explode or cause some sort of health hazard to drivers or other people. As a result, Ford must have been working on EcoBoost and that new dual-clutch automatic they are adding to new cars at LEAST 7-9 years ago. That was before gas prices spiked over $4/gallon, so that clearly wasn't the reason the project was started in the first place.

A big problem in the auto industry that has pushed for large vehicles has been pensions and very very high wages paid to union employees. You could get a union job at the age of 18, work 30 years, then retire and get a pension that you get paid for another 40 years. How can any company afford to give someone retirement pay for longer than that person even worked for the company? So, the auto industry really needed to maximize profits, and that means selling things that have a higher profit margin.

I bet the government isn't looking to fix THAT problem, but they want to FORCE better fuel efficiency that won't really help air quality here in the USA by all that much. I would much rather see them focus on those big trucks that belch that nasty black smoke all over the place.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2010 7:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You must have missed that Ford was releasing these new technologies BEFORE the government started forcing stricter fuel efficiency standards down our throats.


Automakers have known about these upcoming CAFE standards for years. This is Bush-era stuff.

http://www.dailytech.com/House+Passes+35+MPG+CAFE+...


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 7:28:02 PM , Rating: 3
You're sidestepping the issue. All else being equal, does a car with higher MPG sell better than one without? Of course. These days, auto reviews (ones not about Porsches and Ferraris, at least) focus on mileage as one of a vehicle's strongest selling points. Mileage sells.

Your average vehicle of today weighs twice as much as one from 1970 (due partially to higher safety standards, the rest due to buying habits). It also generates less than 1% of the pollution, thanks to emission control equipment that drastically reduces efficiency. Yet despite that, vehicle mileage is actually better than it was in 1970.

Automakers are improving vehicles on their own. CAFE isn't going to help that. It's just going to create a set of artificial rules, which are going to be gamed to make large vehicles less attractive to buyers, and smaller ones more so.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2010 7:40:55 PM , Rating: 1
You say that manufacturers are improving CAFE on their own, but the average mpg for all passenger cars has risen just 5 mpg in 25 years (1985: 27.6 mpg, 2009: 32.6 mpg).

I don't know about you, but that's pretty pathetic.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 8:11:11 PM , Rating: 3
"I don't know about you, but that's pretty pathetic."

Whoa, whoa. In those 25 years, they've also cut emissions by a factor of 100, (down to less than 1% of original amounts) and met over 2,500 new safety requirements, the majority of which add weight to the vehicle.

Despite that, and despite the fact consumers today prefer larger, roomier, more powerful cars than they did 25 years ago, they've STILL managed to improve MPG by nearly 20%.

I call that fantastic progress. If we did nothing but roll back the emission and safety standards, automakers could nearly double mileage overnight. Do you really want that?


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2010 8:32:48 PM , Rating: 1
But you have to realize that it took 25 years to get a 5 mpg increase. However, the government is now asking for a 5 mpg increase in just under 6 years.

That's what makes the 25 year period seem so lackluster.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 9:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
You're still not getting it. That 25 year span resulted in nearly a 50% increase in actual engine efficiency. Most of those gains were simply erased by government mandates for greater safety and lower emissions...both of which reduce mileage.

Further, this magic "5 mpg increase in 6 years" is NOT going to be met by making better cars. It's going to be met by automakers selling a higher percentage of the high-MPG cars they already make.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Nfarce on 4/1/2010 9:46:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But you have to realize that it took 25 years to get a 5 mpg increase.


And in that 25 years, a typical V6 engine went from 125hp to 250hp. A typical 4-banger went from 90hp to 175hp (both non-turbo, mind you).

So BH, how can you say with a straight face that doubling horsepower in 25 years with more efficiency (as porkpie has mentioned several times here now), less emissions, and lower maintenance requirements (something nobody has brought up) is "pathetic" ???

Finally, we'll see how the next 25 years pans out on engine technology. Can it be done? Sure. It's progress. Do you honestly think we had the technology in 1985 to have today's engines? If you really believe that, then what the hell do you think was holding back race car technology from NASCAR to F1 in the 1979s engine tech vs. that of today?


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By Targon on 4/1/2010 9:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
There are two things going on, and that is what you are missing. If you look ONLY at the AVERAGE MPG change, then yes, that doesn't look very good, but that is like comparing the power draw of computers today compared to 1982 without looking at the performance change.

So, first off, horsepower of engines. The average HAS gone up by quite a bit as far as how much power the average car engine puts out. So, if the amount of horsepower goes up without reducing fuel efficiency, that isn't a horrible thing. Normally, more horsepower would mean a LESS efficient engine, so you have to take that into account.

Now, you also need to look at the weight of these vehicles. If you do a strict vehicle class comparison in terms of type to power to fuel efficiency, things look quite a bit better than the "averages". Basically, if you cut out the SUV market from the averages, and you also cut out the trucks, and sports cars, you get the "normal car" segment, going from the powerful luxury cars to the lower end lower horsepower. If you look ONLY at these, the actual MPG improvement along with horsepower improvement actually will look pretty good.

Since this is DT, you don't look at a video card ONLY for the power draw, but more as a combination of performance vs. power draw. You SHOULD be treating the auto industry with at LEAST that much analysis.

So, expecting the auto industry to adhere to these new CAFE standards would be like saying that video cards need to average 35 watts of power draw or the GPU manufacturers will be forced to pay a penalty. You would basically say that NVIDIA and AMD/ATI can't sell anything except the very lowest end cards, even though there isn't much of a market for those cards compared to the integrated video on the motherboard.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By ElFenix on 4/5/2010 12:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
and before the CAFE standard was raised it was called twin force, not ecoboost.


RE: Mutally Exclusive
By kingmotley on 4/1/2010 6:35:14 PM , Rating: 3
I think you sadly mistaken. My last car got ~14-15 MPG (highway) and it had 190hp. My new care gets 23-24 MPG (highway) and has 340hp. The newest corvette get 27-29 MPG (highway) and has 400hp.

Yes, horsepower has gone up, but MPG has gone up significantly across all makes and models of cars. Trading HP for MPG isn't a straight trade. Sure, you can increase MPG by like 5-10% by decreasing your HP by 70-80%, but no one wants to make that type of trade. Example:
The all new 2011 corvette with 80hp and 31 MPG on the highway, lol. Somehow I don't think that would sell very well, but that's just a hunch.


Cleaner air? How?
By corduroygt on 4/1/2010 4:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that reducing our oil usage through efficiency is a good thing since it helps reduce our trade deficit and we'd have financed less terrorism, clean air is pure BS, since cars produce mostly produce water vapor and CO2, neither of which are pollutants. In fact many cars exhausts air are cleaner than their intake air.

The only way you can argue that more gasoline efficiency has a cleaner air "benefit to society" is if you classify CO2 as a pollutant, in which case you should increase your "benefit to society" by stopping breathing, immediately.




RE: Cleaner air? How?
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 4:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
The point rarely mentioned here is that these MPG requirements are fleet standards, not rules for individual vehicles. These standards in general won't be met by improving vehicle efficiency, but rather simply by changing the composition of cars that are sold (using pricing to make larger vehicles less desirable, and smaller ones more).

Automakers already sell many models with mileage above these new requirements-- but people generally don't want to buy them.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By bhieb on 4/1/2010 4:47:01 PM , Rating: 3
Conversely one could probably increase the MPG greatly by removing the emissions equipment that tends to restrict the air flow. Straight/No exhaust pipes for example probably get better MPG than the added weight & restrictions that are currently required.

MPG <> cleaner air. Not by itself that is. I had and old honda CRX that easily pushed 40 MPG, but I you could tell by the fumes smell that it was far more pollutant that, say , a new truck.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By vapore0n on 4/1/2010 5:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
Cars still need to meet strict emissions testing and safety standards. They cant just start removing cats at will, or remove air bags to save weight.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By bhieb on 4/1/2010 5:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
Never said they could, rather that MPG is not the only driving factor here. Per my post above there are 3 angles at play here.

Public safety: If air quality is your complaint, then increase emmissions standards as a CAFE standard does not automatically mean cleaner air.

Saves Money: People can save their own there are already good options, do not stress the economy for political goals. People will buy what they want, if what they want is lower gas bills they will buy a car that fits that. This argument has NO weight at all. If Toyota could sell 1000% more Priuses tomorrow they sure as hell would, the demand is not there.

Reduce Oil Dependancy: If you think regulation is needed to meet this goal then. Tax fuel more. Gives us income we need, and drives up the cost. At some point demand will drop. Econ 101.

That clearly is one positions method of changing the habits of another. The reasons above are all how they excuse it. But ultimately the group in charge realizes that we don't value these reasons enough to make the decision on our own, so they make it for us. Next time you vote remember that.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By JediJeb on 4/2/2010 11:00:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Reduce Oil Dependancy: If you think regulation is needed to meet this goal then. Tax fuel more. Gives us income we need, and drives up the cost. At some point demand will drop. Econ 101.


Problem with this is, if you tax fuel to force people to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles, then as the demand drops, oil companies will reduce their supply by pumping less and raising the price to maintain their current cash flows, which will raise the price further on all oil based products like plastics and medicines. In one fell swoop you have caused severe inflation and wrecked the economy of the world by simply imposing a tax to alter what vehicles people drive. Good intentions, bad results.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By Alleric on 4/1/2010 5:46:18 PM , Rating: 4
Finally a post so insanely incorrect that I had to create an account... after so many years visiting this site.

C02... otherwise known as carbon dioxide, is a bi-product of animal metabolism of oxygen. Otherwise known as respiration.

What comes out of the exhaust pipe of an internal combustion engine is carbon MONOXIDE, which is completely toxic.

I've no clue where you get your information from, but seriously... exhaust fumes from an internal combustion engine being cleaner than the intake air? That's on very specific, very modern engines from very specific manufacturers and in many cases it is not a measure of how clean the exhaust fumes are... but how dirty the source air is and how good the filtration systems and catalytic converter systems are in the vehicle.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 6:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
"What comes out of the exhaust pipe of an internal combustion engine is carbon MONOXIDE, which is completely toxic."

Um, the average CO output at the tailpipe is about 20 parts per million. The OP was correct, the vast majority of emissions volume is carbon dioxide.

Did you miss the entire global warming debate, and how cars are theoretically contributing to it?

"Finally a post so insanely incorrect that I had to create an account..."

Oh, what irony...


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By menace on 4/1/2010 6:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Carbon dioxide is toxic in proportions of 7% or higher. This would occur if oxidation is on the level of 66% or more. Between CO2 levels and O2 depletion I imagine you would not survive long breathing even the cleanest tailpipe emissions.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 6:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
"Carbon dioxide is toxic in proportions of 7% or higher."

And the air that comes out of your mouth is 4-5% carbon dioxide. The fumes from your can of soda can come close to 100% carbon dioxide. What exactly is your point?


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By JonnyDough on 4/5/2010 4:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
The coal burning powerplants that we use to power our homes with create far more pollutants, both CO2 and otherwise than any modern automobile on the road. Lubricant and petrol leakage from cars is far more detrimental to the environment than the exhaust is. If we're going to make new standards for the environment we need to crack down on coal and how much energy our homes use.

Besides, a new monorail system in place of the highway transportation system would benefit both the economy and the environment far more than any changes to the system currently in use.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By porkpie on 4/5/2010 12:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
"a new monorail system in place of the highway transportation system would benefit both the economy and the environment"

Spending trillions (which is what such a system would cost) would not benefit the economy, not when the money to pay for it would come from taxpayers, who therefore have that much less to spend on other projects and purchases.

Further, how many people would actually use such a system? Most people who drive rather than fly do so because the trip is comparatively short AND they want their car available when they arrive. A monorail has all the hassles of flying -- parking, ticketing, having to rent a vehicle, etc.

I'm sure a dozen people will chime and claiming they'd use a monorail. I might use it occasionally also. But the idea it could replace the highway system is childishly naive.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By JonnyDough on 4/5/2010 1:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
For an engineer you don't really think on a very grand scale, do you? Give it a little more thought, maybe you'll get there.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By porkpie on 4/5/2010 4:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but personal insults don't build your argument. Monorails may sound cool to kids, but they're an extension of 19th century thinking. Autonomous self-transport is the future, not herding people into collective rail cars...no matter how sleek and shiny they appear.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By JonnyDough on 4/5/2010 10:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, because you're closer to 19th century thinking due to age and lack of creative thinking. Pods can be programmable to take you anywhere you want, as long as there is a rail there. No different than cars requiring a road, except the road is much smoother, faster, and safer with a rail.

The road can take you to the top of your house. Think "balcony that takes you places".

The railroad is what made travel possible in the U.S. The automobile came about when there was still a ton of open land. The early adopters had to deal with all sorts of potholes and so on.

You want to talk about money, imagine if you stacked cars up in a line - how much wind resistance there would be. Little. Most of the energy used by cars on the highway is simply air displacement. With pods and an automated system this would be eliminated. The advantages to this idea are countless, and would save money over the long term by several hundred fold.

Why is it that most futuristic portrayals of 21st century living include monorails everywhere? Hmm? Why is it that there are tons of foriegn countries putting in new railroads that travel hundreds of miles an hour and use advanced technologies like magnetic levitation? You're a moron. That is an insult.

For you to sit here and even debate it is just silly. You're obviously not a very good engineer, or you don't read the news or think beyond your own little reality. It has nothing to do with insults, it has to do with your cocky attitude and you being wrong. For an engineer you don't seem to understand taking an old idea and innovating on it until it becomes new. Flying by airplane? It's been done. Why should we even bother believing we can use the same concept and fly to space?


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By MadMan007 on 4/1/2010 6:35:01 PM , Rating: 3
You need to look up the basics of the carbon compound combustion-in-oxygen equation. It *always* yields CO2.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By Kurz on 4/2/2010 2:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
well incomplete reactions do end up producing CO


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By JediJeb on 4/2/2010 11:05:47 AM , Rating: 2
Carbon Monoxide results from an incomplete burn of fuel, not a normal burn of fuel. If you run an engine too rich, then you will get carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide. As engines have progressed to fuel injection and computer controlled ignition the levels of carbon monoxide have fallen greatly. Catalytic converters have been used to convert the last traces of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide by essentially completing the combustion process in the exhaust pipe.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By WW102 on 4/5/2010 3:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
I am guessing you won't post again, or you will just create a new account huh?


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By Targon on 4/1/2010 10:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
The only way to eliminate the whole 'foreign oil' argument is to get away from treating oil like a commodity and let each supplier set the price. Do you HONESTLY think that gas prices here in the USA would go down if more oil drilling were allowed here in the USA? No, because the government lets whoever does the drilling take the oil for themselves, and it goes out at the same price as foreign oil.

In theory, more oil on the market SHOULD mean prices go down, but we could have 100 percent domestic oil use, and a war in the middle east would STILL drive oil prices through the roof because of how the supply goes from drilling to refineries and then to the gas stations. The only way more oil drilling here would help would be if the government claimed the oil taken from government land the way pretty much all other countries do, and then give some money/proceeds to whoever is doing the drilling.


RE: Cleaner air? How?
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 12:31:56 AM , Rating: 2
"Do you HONESTLY think that gas prices here in the USA would go down if more oil drilling were allowed here in the USA? No."

If you paid any money for that online economics class you took, I think you have serious grounds for a lawsuit.


What would happen...
By jaybuffet on 4/1/2010 4:53:30 PM , Rating: 3
if they removed these requirements? Would automakers make 8mpg cars again and would people buy them? Theoretically, if people really cared about the environment, wouldn't that drive mpg values up via competition. People are driven by trends, not environmental concerns. Look at the SUV trend. There have always been cars which got better MPG's, but they never look as good as other cars.




RE: What would happen...
By Lerianis on 4/1/2010 10:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they would make 8mpg cars again and people WOULD be stupid enough to buy them, because in the REAL WORLD, people cannot build their own car!
Now, if people COULD build their own car, THEN regulation wouldn't be necessary.

Idiot People automatically assume that by getting rid of regulation, we would suddenly have businesses 'spending more money in America', keeping jobs in America, etc.

It's BULLCRAP! They are interested in one thing: DOLLARS! And that doesn't do well with not poisoning Americans by dumping toxic chemicals in our water, by not omitting catalytic converters on cars and trucks, etc. etc. etc.

To be blunt.... business will lie, cheat, steal and KNOWINGLY KILL if they are not HARSHLY regulated, because not everyone in this world thinks that it is wrong to kill or poison other people, regardless that everyone SHOULD think that is wrong if they are SANE!


RE: What would happen...
By Kurz on 4/2/2010 11:57:14 AM , Rating: 2
You see only evil in companies.
Look if a business were to be found to kill or poison people they would lose business and face. Example Foxcon Many other corporations are having doubts with their business practices. And probably will lose income in their future dealings.

Businesses that are found to do something like that, WILL be sued for as much as they can. At the same time this will tarnish their image and prevent them from making as much money as they wanted. Its a short term gain with a long term lose.

Regulation is basically the speed limit anyway.
Who follows the speed limit?


More of the same...
By kjboughton on 4/1/2010 5:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Unelected government bureaucrats think that simply mandating new performance requirements is all it takes to make the change. What a bunch of dolts. I would be willing to bet that few, if any, have ANY experience in engineering of ANY kind. However, what they are experienced in is writing specifications and demanding that other do the heavy lifting in making it a reality.




RE: More of the same...
By Lerianis on 4/1/2010 10:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
How else would you get the car companies to make new cars that get better gas mileage, especially since a lot of car companies also own oil companies and have NO impetus to make more fuel efficient cars absent regulations?

Did you ever think of that, impeded?

I swear, some people think that businesses will act for the public good..... no, they won't, you have to force them and drag them, kicking and screaming, before they will make a necessary change.

And higher gas mileage IS SIMPLY NECESSARY since there is no alternative to gasoline in reality yet.


RE: More of the same...
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
"...especially since a lot of car companies also own oil companies"

The tinfoil hats are out in force today, I see.

Tell me Sparky...what carmaker owns an oil company?


New standards
By masamasa on 4/1/2010 5:23:11 PM , Rating: 1
Forget cars. All citizens must now ride bikes. Cost to the economy;

- 100 billion in lost revenue as automotive industry sinks
- 50 billion in revenue in producing bikes (unless outsourced to China)
- 250 billion in healthcare savings as all overweight people get thin and healthy
- average healthcare premiums drop by 400%, more savings to consumers
- no more fuel needed, another 240 billion in savings
- add'l food costs for energy to push those pedals, 67 billion

Any takers?




RE: New standards
By Kurz on 4/2/2010 10:33:18 AM , Rating: 2
Phrase "Loss of opportunity costs", since more time and energy is focused on propelling yourself and the time to get to designations is much greater. Unless you tear up the entire USA and make it bike friendly.

In the end it'll cost more to do that.


RE: New standards
By JediJeb on 4/2/2010 10:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
Would make for some short work days for those that commute 100 miles to work.


This won't help
By Danger D on 4/1/2010 5:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
Mileage went from 13 mpg in 1976 to 20 in 1990. Over that same time, fuel consumption in the U.S. increased by 16 percent.

This will do nothing more than slow the increase in consumption. We can't keep up with growth.

If your goal is to lower oil consumption, the only solution is to find a substitute, or, more likely, a whole bunch of things working together.




RE: This won't help
By Lerianis on 4/1/2010 10:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
How can we 'slow the increase in consumption'? Only by killing 90% of Americans, to be blunt, which is not acceptable in the slightest.


By rika13 on 4/1/2010 7:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
1. The Constitution explicitly protected international slave trade until 1808 under Art. 1, Sec. 9, but did specify that it can be taxed at $10/head.

2. Government is famous for it's waste, corruption, and inefficiency, because waste, corruption, and inefficiency are with TAXPAYER money. In other words, they don't care because it's not THEIR money. A company must push for efficiency because it is their money.

3. Patents, enough said.

4. Companies that do deplorable acts (child labor, dumping, etc.) tend to be in poorer markets (Foxconn using child labor, beating reporters, and possibly murdering a employee for losing an iPhone and Blodia's repressive discipline of it's mostly female [who says girls don't like computers] workforce in China, Coca-Cola selling waste as fertilizer in India) or markets with such high regulatory or wage requirements, that it is profitable to move operations to other markets (manufacturing in China and Mexico, support in India, shipping of waste to China for dumping, etc.)




Maybe car manufactures
By Etern205 on 4/3/2010 1:03:02 AM , Rating: 2
should add dimple holes to their car like a golf ball?

http://geometroforum.com/topic/2481401/1/




more hidden tax inc
By AssBall on 4/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: more hidden tax inc
By spread on 4/1/2010 4:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
In a free market, where companies are free to do whatever they want unchecked, they usually cause disasters. They do whatever is easiest/most efficient to make a profit.

Buy each other out, destroy or buy out competitors, do things that are detrimental to the environment in the name of the almighty dollar, like dumping toxic waste instead of taking the proper (yet) more expensive methods of disposal. Meanwhile, lying their asses off to everyone about how responsible they are through various ad campaigns, PR stunts... etc.

This is the kind of behavior that you are defending. I believe there is a completely free, unregulated market in Somalia if you wanna check it out. It would be to your liking.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By MadMan007 on 4/1/2010 4:17:59 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I think he was just objecting to his perception that it's silly to calculate 'benefit to society' as a specific dollar amount, and said that people basically don't care which is kind of sad really but not unsurprising given that selfishness seems to be glorified these days.

It's hard to say from the post whether he's an anarcho-capitalist too.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 4:26:19 PM , Rating: 1
"In a free market, where companies are free to do whatever they want unchecked, they usually cause disasters. "

Nothing could be further from the truth. All the great economic disasters -- The Great Depression to name just one -- are caused by government interference in the marketplace.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Smartless on 4/1/2010 4:58:29 PM , Rating: 1
True but if we want to get down to brass tacks... That's idea between checks and balances. The car companies abused their workers hence creating unions. Unions get too strong and we get cars like the Chevy Aveo (no real relation, I just hate that car). Right now we need to find our happy median in everything.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 7:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
How were automakers "abusing" their workers exactly? Whips and chains on the assembly line?


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Smartless on 4/1/2010 8:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
With spies, private police forces, and child labor. I know everyone here inherently thinks unions are bad (hell even I think they did more than there share of damage) but look at the countries where we export our industry to. Want to work in their sweatshops?


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 9:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
"With spies, private police forces, and child labor"

GM was using spies and child labor? You have your history mixed up there, Sparky.

I'm not sure how having private security "exploits" a worker. If you want to go back long before the days of GM to, say, the Homestead Strike, I think you'll find it was one of the most serious abuses in the nation's history...but by workers, not against them.

"Want to work in their sweatshops?"

I'd far rather work in a Chinese "sweatshop" for 10 hours a day, than I would to spend 15 hours a day in the hot sun in a Chinese rice paddy -- which is the other alternative these workers face.

You think "unions" created better conditions? Economic prosperity is what did that. A union in China that demanded US wages and benefits would simply put all those people back in the paddies...absolutely the worst thing for them.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Smartless on 4/1/2010 9:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
You have a point with the Homestead Strike. Ford used its spies and private force to keep unions from forming. Aside from that my only point was to play devil's advocate and state that unions were created to fill a need. Are you confident that if a company is successful they will always pay their workers? In this day and age, yes.

So if economic properity creates better conditions than wouldn't China be the best place to live since the entire world owes them money? Call it naive but you seem to know what you're talking about.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Targon on 4/1/2010 10:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
That is one of the problems with a government that controls EVERYTHING(or tries to). The government may have a lot of money, but that does not mean the people actually see any benefit.

One thing that has happened over the years in western countries is that work standards have been put in place to protect employees from abusive employers. This is WHY people find it so hard to understand how child labor and 15 hour work days can be tolerated by the people in other countries. Our standard of living, and the protections in place to prevent abuses means that we find it alien that poor work conditions can exist ANYWHERE.

It only takes three generations or so before people start to forget the abuses of the past and can move forward. For many, those days of long hours in a factory as the standard way to earn a living really are a footnote in history, though they are not completely gone(food industry still can have poor work conditions). African Americans are still not to that third generation after segregation was eliminated, so that is why "race" is still an issue for many.

So, how things were back in the days of the 1930s...those days are long gone, and the NEED for unions is also almost gone. Trying to bring back ghosts to back up governmental abuses today just makes no sense. Bits and pieces of different government types can be useful, but the problems come from people who want a "pure democracy", socialism, communism, etc...

The "anti-corporate" nonsense that has been posted assumes that there are no protections in place for workers, but there are also the "anti-government" people who are just as foolish in thinking that government should stay out and that there should be NO government regulations. We need SOME government oversight for things like fair wages and employee treatment, but we don't need the government to micromanage things either.

So China....the government is abusive, and the general populace live in conditions not much better than a third world country. Due to the government also controlling communications, the people are also conditioned to accept it, and those who fight back are often killed, so it is almost a selective breeding program to make the population in China weak-willed and less inclined to think for themselves. This is not complete(meaning that people in China are NOT weak-willed), but the government in China CLEARLY is trying to make it that way.



RE: more hidden tax inc
By Nfarce on 4/1/2010 11:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well said. Do you also find it ironic that China is gaining wealth and power internationally after turning partially towards free market capitalism whereas America seems to be headed the other way?


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Laereom on 4/2/2010 8:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah...it's really quite incredible.

China begins to embrace free market capitalism. China's economy explodes.

U.S. accelerates government interference with economy. Economy stagnates, then implodes. Then stagnates. Woo!


RE: more hidden tax inc
By knutjb on 4/3/2010 3:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
For those who don't remember the Jimmy Carter period and love what Obama is doing. Watch as our economy stagnates like France has for the last decade and inflation, along with interest rates, skyrocket.

Go read what politicians did during from 1912 to WWII with spending and taxes. You'll then wonder why we are repeating mistakes we've already made and refuse to do what has already been proven to work.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By NA1NSXR on 4/4/2010 2:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
Its not ironic nor unnoticed at all. A lot of people like me and my peers, young asian americans are proactively anticipating the crossover point where China will overtake the US. I have lived and worked in China. It sucks. However, the biggest difference is that things are improving, and the outlook of a brighter tomorrow does wonders for motivation. In the US, things are falling apart and the liberals in this country are silencing educated (or at the very least intellectually honest) people with common sense. Things are going downhill and the country is in a crisis of identity above all else. It is embracing the ideas that the country spend most of the 20th century fighting successfully - the ideas of the losers, and forgetting the root causes of American prosperity. I should also mention that in China this global shift is very much in the public awareness whereas people in the US, on the whole, are mostly oblivious.

Even people who do not have the flexibility of moving overseas, the smart ones anyway, are protecting themselves with gold and other commodities, as well as foreign investments. The elections later this year will play a huge role in whether America stops or accelerates its decline. I think the general public is coming to its senses though.

I've blogged about the same general idea of China and the US heading in opposite directions, and really, its quite amazing how every time China dabbles in a tiny bit of free market capitalism, it unleashes a huge wave of prosperity. Unfortunately, they cannot yet enjoy the fruits of their labor as they lend massive amounts of money to the US. We on the whole are enjoying the fruits of their labor, but this won't last forever (or even very long according to some economists).

I get pretty lazy actually conversing with liberals about this, because the results of the events happening around us today will be very evident in a decade or two and speak loudly for themselves. I hope the US as a whole will do some soul searching and find its identity before any of this truly comes to pass.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/4/2010 2:36:42 AM , Rating: 2
"me and my peers, young asian americans are proactively anticipating the crossover point where China will overtake the US."

I'm an old white american rather than a young asian american, but even I can see the writing on the wall. I'm also well-versed in history, and one thing I've learned is that ideas matter. The US -- like the Roman Empire before it -- grew to greatness not because of chance or some genetic quirk of its inhabitants, but rather because of the ideas they chose to embrace. And like that earlier Empire, the USA has chosen to spurn those ideas and ideals, and instead, as you say, "embtrace the ideas of the losers".

The end result is, historically, quite obvious. But then learning from history is something few people are able to do.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Smartless on 4/1/2010 11:56:49 PM , Rating: 5
Thank you. I was trying to get at this balance. And I agree, the need for unions have come and gone.

However I have to comment about China trying to create weak-willed people. In some ways, I think the United States and many modern countries are heading that well albeit unintentionally. Nowadays, we are lacking in accountability for the individual. If I'm backtracking about what I posted earlier, sorry but I don't like polarizing a topic without seeing it from many views.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By oab on 4/1/2010 5:01:50 PM , Rating: 5
Because the government interferes in the marketplace you get:
- Building safety requirements (amongst other consumer protection laws)
- Prescription medication safety requirements (Thalidomide was approved without testing and lead to hundreds of birth defects)
- Environmental protection laws (an arsenic plant can't just dump raw arsenic into the river which you draw your drinking water from)
- Anti-slavery laws
- Food safety standards (rat meat in the hamburger is not okay [ie: Chicago meat packing plant scandals])
- Child-labour laws
etc.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By bhieb on 4/1/2010 5:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
For got 1
- A $12 trillion dollar debt

Yes some regulations are good, but don't be naive enough to think all are.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By bhieb on 4/1/2010 5:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
To expand on that, as I posted below. The efficencis of todays engines are better than ever. It is just that any MPG gains have been hidden by HP gains. You cannot have both. I have no doubt that using todays tech we can have a 100hp production engine, it will just have far less power than any consumer wants.

All the things you listed are good regulations to have. The threat to the public was obvious. This is not the case here.

Air quality does not automatically go up with MPG so a public safety issue this is not.

It may save you money at the pump, but last I checked Exxon and folks didn't have too many bad quarters. If US consumptions drops, you can bet magically the price will rise to meet those financial analysts projections.

This is market manipulation to try and change what the public drives, pure and simple. The debate becomes wether or not you believe there is a reason to do so.

For me. The financial benefit should be thrown out the window. If people wanted better MPG they can get it. This is not 1968 there are plenty of good MPG cars.

I for one would like us to use less oil, but I don't think this is how you get it done. If you want dissuade high oil use, then levy a higher oil tax. This accomplishes the same goal, but does not put us further in debt to do so. The OEM's will respond by giving the public what they want, and if they don't want to drive 8mpg trucks when fuel is $10/gallon, they will buy more efficient ones.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By tastyratz on 4/2/2010 9:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
easier said than done, but oil costs drive so much more than basic consumer transportation in today's society that an outrageous oil tax would raise the cost of living to EVERYONE. You don't fix gas mileage and oil consumption with a higher tax - because corporation still have to deliver large loads of goods. Drive a prius all you want but when your paying $18 for a jar of peanut butter and $7 for a gallon of milk you will re-think the novelty.

More taxes wont reduce government debt because historically we prove we will just find a way to expand and spend it instead of lowering our debt.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By JediJeb on 4/2/2010 10:05:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It may save you money at the pump, but last I checked Exxon and folks didn't have too many bad quarters. If US consumptions drops, you can bet magically the price will rise to meet those financial analysts projections.


This is why the normal rule of supply and demand does not work so well for gasoline. If consumers buy less, instead of price falling because of oversupply, they just refine less and charge more to keep the cash flow steady. OPEC will cut production and raise prices also to keep their cash flow up as less gasoline is refined so that makes other products that depend on oil more expensive.

If the amount of gasoline used drop too quickly then these changes will also happen quickly and the economy will not have time to correct itself. If overnight the nation changed to all electric cars, the price for anything plastic (which is in most everything now) would skyrocket, as would the price of medicine, food, and many other items. I am all for transitioning from gasoline to another fuel source for automobiles, but it can't be done overnight without severe problems occurring.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 10:23:30 AM , Rating: 3
Why, oh why can't people learn basic economics? Oil is no different than any other commodity with an extremely inelastic price curve. Small variations in supply or demand invariably translate into large variations in price.

If demand drops sharply, yes OPEC will try to buoy prices by cutting supply. It doesn't work. Or more accurately, they can slow how fast the price will fall, but they cannot prevent it. Large production cuts mean much lower revenues for their member states, and thats invariably unpopular. Furrther, it allows non-OPEC states to pump full out, and benefit from OPECs moves, ultimately hurting OPECs market share.

Nor does OPEC want to prevent lower prices entirely, since it boosts demand, and that ultimately will mean higher prices.

This isn't rocket science. Follow any OPEC meeting, and you'll see the same situations being discussed...and ultimately, their frustration when demand swings outside their control.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By namechamps on 4/2/2010 2:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
They why has oil ever gone done?

Sure OPEC can attempt to slow the decline or prevent the severity but reducing supply but they can't completely eliminate the decline.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By knutjb on 4/3/2010 3:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
No but they manage to recoup the losses on low prices when economies recover they keep production just below demand and push prices up. Because they are a cartel the can control enough output to impact price most of the time.

If we drilled and used our own oil for a long enough period it would greatly reduce OPECs control. And yes we have a lot more oil than the greenies want you to think we do. We could then return a massive outflow of cash to our economy.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 5:30:37 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, thalidomide passed all government requirements for testing when it was released. You couldn't have picked a worse example. Furthermore, its making a comeback in many areas, as it still has therapeutic value in many cases -- just don't take it while you're pregnant.

Your other examples are similarly flawed. Does a government-mandated building code really protect you? As anyone whose ever built a home knows, county building inspectors rarely, if ever, check anything. If you want a decent structure built, you hire a reputable firm, hire your own independent inspector to check their work -- and sue the pants off them if they don't do it right. In other words, exactly the way we did it before government building codes (and the way we'd do it again if we didn't have them today).

As for basic human rights violations like slavery, that is no way, shape, or form part of the argument. The primary role of government is to protect freedom.... not to RESTRICT freedom by telling people what sort of contracts they can or cannot freely make with others.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By JonnyDough on 4/5/2010 4:48:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your other examples are similarly flawed. Does a government-mandated building code really protect you? As anyone whose ever built a home knows, county building inspectors rarely, if ever, check anything. If you want a decent structure built, you hire a reputable firm, hire your own independent inspector to check their work -- and sue the pants off them if they don't do it right. In other words, exactly the way we did it before government building codes (and the way we'd do it again if we didn't have them today).


How can you sue unless there's a law? That doesn't even make sense. Sue them for what? Without the law they'd say it's "good enough" and there wouldn't be a darn thing you could do about it. There's a lack of logic in your argument.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/5/2010 12:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
"How can you sue unless there's a law? That doesn't even make sense. Sue them for what? "

Are you seriously this ignorant about the legal system? Tort actions don't require the violation of a law as their basis.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By JonnyDough on 4/5/2010 1:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you should return to college and take a business law class. You seem to fail to understand how the legal system works. Tort law is still law...and just because its law based on set precendent doesn't mean it isn't law. You're a troll. Why don't you delete your account already? You're wrong half the time and you don't ever post links to anything. You just rattle off at the mouth with false superiority. You left a rude post below for someone else too that was just uncalled for. Seriously, I don't think anyone really appreciates your lack of tact and poor candor. Maybe you should learn some people skills, and learn how not to be a pretentious prick. You don't know everything, and when you get on here and act like you do you start looking like you really don't know much at all.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/5/2010 4:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
" You seem to fail to understand how the legal system works."

Oh what delicious irony.

You're wrong on this point -- dead wrong, and a few minutes research should convince even you of that. The basis of a tort action is not a broken law, but rather injurious action (or more precisely: delict)..whether or not that action is legal.

As a business owner, I personally have been the plaintiff or defendant in over a dozen civil suits. In no case was the legality of the underlying act ever the issue.

"Maybe you should learn some people skills"

Given the rise I got out of you, I think I've quite adequately demonstrated skill at influencing people as I choose.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By JonnyDough on 4/5/2010 10:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
You like to argue semantics. Whether or not something is legal is up to a judge and society. We both get that tort law is written as its ruled upon. Great.

Trying to upset people is not a skill, but rather a lack of one. Besides, in person I'd not only squash you (because lets face it, military superiority is still the natural law) but for you to think I can't tolerate your stupidity is just ludicrious. The world is full of morons. I'm perfectly fine. :) At your age you still haven't learned the importance of kindness. You must have a very sad and lonely life. Former business owner? No doubt you buy your wife and friends. Here's a hint: They aren't really your friends because nobody respects a prick.

You're not open to other people's way of thinking. You really do believe you know everything and I'd rather have a moron who doesn't know anything and can barely comprehend because he is teachable, rather than someone who believes they know all there is to know and turns a blind eye to the opinions of others.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By oab on 4/11/2010 9:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
Thalidomide was approved for use in Canada based upon the manufacturers claims of safety and made available without a prescription.

The FDA had not approved it because the FDA had those new-fangled testing procedures to determine drug safety.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By FITCamaro on 4/1/2010 8:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
Government interference in the market also created:

1) Housing bubble
2) Mandated monopolies for ISPs and cable operators (resulting in high prices and slow adoption of new technologies)
3) Companies fleeing overseas

Obviously saying its illegal to dump toxic chemicals into drinking water is needed. Telling a car company they can't build a large SUV some people need because it doesn't meet their idea of an acceptable vehicle is not. And thats exactly what these insanely high standards do. Or at least it makes them much more expensive.

Laws, regulations, and mandates passed to prevent people from being killed or hurt is one thing. Laws, regulations, and mandates to control people's behavior is another.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Lerianis on 4/1/2010 10:34:49 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but I have to disagree with you saying that government interference caused the housing bubble. The fact is that LACK of regulation caused the housing bubble, that and banks wanting to show that regulations from Congress were bad, so they ON PURPOSE gave out money to people that they knew were bad bets for that amount of money to 'make a point'.

Second, the mandated monopolies for ISP's and cable operators are bad.... but most of those monopolies are given at the STATE level, not the federal level, and usually are put into place by bribed officials (yes, giving 'gifts' to elected officials if you are getting something for it is a bribe, if you are a business or private citizen).

Third, we are NOT telling businesses that they cannot make large SUV's. We are telling them that they are going to have to meet some fuel mileage standards.
Get the RIGHT TERMINOLOGY before you start bashing, it would help your credibility a little.

As to government interference 'making companies flee overseas'.... sometimes, government HAS to interfere. As far as I have seen, government has more a history of NOT intervening when they SHOULD intervene.... with one good example, up until recently, being health insurance in this country.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Nfarce on 4/1/2010 11:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As to government interference 'making companies flee overseas'.... sometimes, government HAS to interfere. As far as I have seen, government has more a history of NOT intervening when they SHOULD intervene.... with one good example, up until recently, being health insurance in this country.


Uh huh. And when said government forces private health insurers out of business (the ultimate goal) and we are all forced into "buying" a government owned plan, is that really better? Will it really be better when said government takes over our retirement pension funds and 401Ks and life insurance policies?

Do you honestly believe that the intervention in private industry that we are witnessing lately has any intention of stopping itself from expansion? Do you believe that AT&T having to write off $1B in the first quarter for the "intervention" in private health care insurance is a good thing for job growth under the guise of "the good of the whole?"

Even better, Henry Waxman (D) decided to haul in AT&T and chastise them for publicly announcing their write off, as if it's a bash against the current government decision. The ironic thing is that it's an SEC law to publicly announce a write-off. And Waxman and others didn't like companies like AT&T and Caterpillar making those announcements!

Exactly when is enough enough in government tentacle growth and private/corporate freedom rights stripping?


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Nfarce on 4/2/2010 12:00:36 AM , Rating: 3
Oops - forgot to comment on this:

quote:
The fact is that LACK of regulation caused the housing bubble, that and banks wanting to show that regulations from Congress were bad, so they ON PURPOSE gave out money to people that they knew were bad bets for that amount of money to 'make a point'.


Actually it was politicians like Barney Frank that twisted the arms of banks in the early-mid '00s to be a part of "fair housing" legislation and give loans to those who otherwise should not have been given one that helped cause that bubble to pop. The root cause of it all lays way back in the late 1970s for that pipe dream however.

Here is Rep. Barney Frank on June 27, 2005 on the House Floor:

"Those who argue that housing prices are now at a point of a bubble seem to me to be missing a very important point. Unlike previous examples we have had when substantial excessive inflation of prices later caused problems we are talking here about an entity, home ownership, homes where there is not the degree of leverage where we have seen elsewhere. This is not the dot-com situation. We had problems with people having invested in business plans of which there was no reality; people building fiber optic cables for which there was no need. Homes that are occupied may see an ebb and flow in the price at a certain percentage level. But you're not going to see the collapse that you see when people talk about a bubble and so those of us on our committee in particular will continue to push for home ownership."

More:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/barney...

And that's just one example of our politicians and "intervention" there for you.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By MadMan007 on 4/2/2010 1:11:44 AM , Rating: 2
You need to read up on what those writeoffs were for...it is due to the closing of a tax loophole whereby companies were able to deduct partial government subsidies of their private retiree benefit plans.

If you want to rant about it, rant about the fact that there are government subsidies going to them in the first place, not that a tax loophole which allowed deductions of untaxed subsidies is closed.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Nfarce on 4/2/2010 9:02:22 AM , Rating: 2
I have read about it. Under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug program, companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees have been able to receive subsidies covering 28% of eligible costs; but they could deduct 100% at tax time they spent on these benefits. Now it will be 72%. Considering how much these companies shell out for retirement and pensions, I never had a problem with that "loop hole." What remains to be seen is how this will affect employment - and more to the point - future benefits for retirees.

There are a lot of things companies can get deductions for that they spend on. Did you also know that corporations are allowed to deduct expenses for helping their employees with higher education? Or deductions for being involved with philanthropy? And regarding subsidies, I'd rather "rant" about issues like corn farmers getting subsidies for that bio-fuel nonsense.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By MadMan007 on 4/2/2010 3:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well I guess you've just made up your mind to hate healthcare reform and eat the spinfood. It's quite rediculous to allow deductions for something a company doesn't actually spend, if you can't understand that simple logic there's not much to say.

Here's the thing though - since the subsidy came about in 2003 the retiree benefits were (mostly) set up prior to that. So the companies had already designed their plans and had them in place without the subsidies in mind. If the plans were too expensive that's a separate issue for which the companies need to take some blame, spinning it as 'healthcare reform is costing us this money' is b.s.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Kurz on 4/4/2010 9:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
It will cost more money since it will lead to inefficiencies. Government itself does not produce anything of their own. Their income comes from the tax payer and borrowing against the future to do their

Though if Medicare and Medicaid are already bankrupt how does moving more people onto these inefficient systems solve anything? It just costs you me and the rest of America more money. Its been awhile since we trusted the people to regulate the market by themselves.

NOTHING from the government is free.
There is a cost to it, be it societal, monetary inflation, freedom.

How does making everyone pay for a service if they don't want or need it? That again leads to inefficient use of the money, resources (<- Includes time here). I really think you should understand what it means to economize scarce resources, and how this current mindset in policy making actually hurts the ability to economize and make things cheaper and more efficient.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/4/2010 11:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
Something I'm surprised few people understand is this. What happens when you add 50 million people to the healthcare system that has the same number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals?

A simple problem in economics. Huge increase in demand, no increase in supply. Prices are going to rise, and wait times are going to get longer.

The situation is made even worse by the number of doctors who are now considering early retirement due to the health care changes. My own GP, for example, says he's done the end of this year. He had planned to work another 4-5 years, but Obamacare was more than he could stomach.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 11:50:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The fact is that LACK of regulation caused the housing bubble, that and banks wanting to show that regulations from Congress were bad, so they ON PURPOSE gave out money to people that they knew were bad bets for that amount of money to 'make a point'.
I got a nice chuckle out of this...then I grew frightened, when I realized you might actually be old enough to vote.

Government interference brought about the housing bubble, period. First, Congress allowed the quasi-government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (groups that lend OUR tax dollars out, rather than their own money) into the risky subprime market. Second, Congress passed legislation requiring private banks to make a greater share of their loans in low-income areas and families. Third, the Federal Reserve artificially kept interest rates low, even though years earlier everyone in the industry knew the real estate market was dangerously overheated.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2010 10:33:52 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah its quite frightening that some people can vote when they so blatantly ignore all the governments interference in the market. But that's what the Democrats and liberal media tells them so they buy it hook, line, and sinker.

When a company is forced to give loans to people who can't afford them under the threat of their FDIC membership (or whatever its called) being taken away, of course they're going to give out said loans. A lack of regulation or tons of regulation does nothing to change that.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Spuke on 4/2/2010 1:53:18 PM , Rating: 2
The gov "forces" these companies to make these allowances but when everything takes a sh!t because of it, the gov has the audacity to demonize these organizations that did what they wanted! WTF? If you're going to lose anyways, lose on your own terms.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By DanD85 on 4/2/2010 12:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
I believe too much of anything is never a good thing. Talk about freedom, do you like to live like a caveman with total freedom or you prefer living like a civilized human-being (with arguably much less freedom)? And your free-market theory is not the be-all-end-all theory. I recommend you put sometimes in Keynes.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 12:29:47 AM , Rating: 1
" do you like to live like a caveman with total freedom or you prefer living like a civilized human-being (with arguably much less freedom)?"

Thank you for a textbook illustration of the fallacy known as "False Dilemma".


RE: more hidden tax inc
By DanD85 on 4/2/2010 9:15:36 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for pointing that out. Although you do nothing to protect your free-market theory. I wish to be enlightened more - if you can.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Spuke on 4/2/2010 1:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although you do nothing to protect your free-market theory.
When have we ever had a free market in the US? Cite some examples of this. Thanks.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By DanD85 on 4/3/2010 12:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
You are kidding me right? So, I'm curious to hear you tell me what definition of the "standard oil" period is. Free-market without regulations will lead to monopoly. And monopoly is a bad thing, it's just common sense.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/3/2010 1:39:26 AM , Rating: 2
"Free-market without regulations will lead to monopoly"

The government breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly resulted in sharply higher prices for oil for the consumer. When adjusted for inflation, oil prices rose after the breakup, and remained higher for a period of nearly 20 years -- until advances in technology compensated for the inefficiencies created from breaking up

Standard Oil was what is known as a 'natural monopoly'. They gained their monopoly status by offering consumers a lower price than anyone else could. While competitors complained about Standard's negotiation of exclusive volume-discount rates with shippers for transporting their oil, those "unfair tactics" ultimately helped the consumer. And when Standard was no more, those competitors didn't lower their prices-- they raised them.

The only truly unhealthy monopolies are created and enforced by the government. Cable companies, power and other utility providers, the US Postal Service -- all monopolies created by law, with competition legally forbidden.

"it's just common sense."

As evidenced by your post, common sense isn't very common unfortunately.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 4/2/2010 7:30:50 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, you must watch Faux News if you really believe that.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Kurz on 4/2/2010 9:50:02 AM , Rating: 1
How is watching other news stations any indication of better journalism? You live in a hole.

You have no education in Economics, Governmental influence, the purpose of government, our consitution, FIAT money, I could go on.

If you cant see whats happening in your country I suggest you don't vote.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By thurston on 4/5/2010 9:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
I would call this a disaster, http://www.wvdhhr.org/fish/current.asp . Not an economic disaster (even though the Dept of Natural Resources is the only state agency in WV not funded by tax dollars, it is funded from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses which is a very good deal considering all the things the DNR provides), but it is a disaster nonetheless caused by chemical and coal companies that have not been forced to follow environmental regulations. I am from WV and I have never supported ending coal mining because it would be an economic disaster, but the industries here do need environmental regulation so the situation does not continue to get worse. As far as labor and unions are concerned you can't really think that the UMWA was not necessary in the coal industry. If you don't think they were necessary then you should learn a little more about how labor was treated before the UMWA. (btw I am not a coal miner or union member, but I do appreciate their contributions to society that have made my life better)


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Targon on 4/1/2010 6:24:54 PM , Rating: 1
This is the sort of stupidity that causes more problems than it helps(and still never solves). Most people agree that there should be SOME standards, but pushing companies that have been close to going bankrupt in the past few years to spend that much money that quickly for improvements will do NOTHING.

Higher gas prices in the past few years have already made people more inclined to buy cars with a better fuel economy as well. This is why you see more smaller cars on the roads these days than we saw three years ago. As a result, there IS a trend that encourages better fuel economy. The problem people have is government mandates without providing any sort of positive incentives.

There are different ways to approach "behavior modification". One is a straight system of punishment for not following the rules, and that almost never results in a positive reaction. You have other methods, such as providing tax breaks and other rewards for "good behavior", or removing negatives as a reward for good behavior. The government obviously doesn't have a single person who has a background in psychology, or the politicians would have a better grasp of different ways to approach a problem.

Now, back to the topic at hand...

These laws ONLY apply here in the USA, so it doesn't help the global pollution levels all that much. So, in a country where cars really don't pollute all that much compared to in other countries, why push this hard? Why put the financial burden on car manufacturers when they are just now starting to recover from a bad financial situation?


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Lerianis on 4/1/2010 10:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
AH, but you forget that when WE make tougher standards, a lot of other countries follow suit, and..... we are BEHIND the curve on emissions control compared to the rest of the world, excepting China!


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Kurz on 4/2/2010 1:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
What do you want?

Higher Gas Mileage?
Lower Gas Mileage?
Smaller powered engines?
Higher powered engines?
Lower Emission Controls?
Higher Emission controls?
Lower Safety?
Higher Safety?

The reason why I am asking is because at least in the short term many of these decision will affect the other.
They all play with each other.

If you want the highest Mileage possible you need to lower
Horsepower, Emissions, safety to get the highest mileage possible. Standards means nothing if no one will buy it.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Hiawa23 on 4/2/2010 12:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
In a free market, where companies are free to do whatever they want unchecked, they usually cause disasters. They do whatever is easiest/most efficient to make a profit.

Buy each other out, destroy or buy out competitors, do things that are detrimental to the environment in the name of the almighty dollar, like dumping toxic waste instead of taking the proper (yet) more expensive methods of disposal. Meanwhile, lying their asses off to everyone about how responsible they are through various ad campaigns, PR stunts... etc.

This is the kind of behavior that you are defending. I believe there is a completely free, unregulated market in Somalia if you wanna check it out. It would be to your liking.


Amen, you just summed up partially what brought our & the world's economy crashing down. Great points!!!

These companies should strive to improve fuel efficiencies. We see what happens when they do what they want to do...


RE: more hidden tax inc
By Spuke on 4/2/2010 3:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We see what happens when they do what they want to do...
Do you guys get ALL of your info from the TV? It's common knowledge that the gov forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and I think a few other banks) to get more low income people to buy homes. What do you do in oder to get that done? You LOWER the standards for qualifying for those loans? So you have a bunch of people buying homes they really can't afford. If these people couldn't afford homes before, how can they magically afford them now?

Look I'm not a registered Repub or Dem. As I believe both parties are out of touch with your average American. I'm part of that crowd. I see both sides and even things that neither side are interested in.

Truth is truth and that's all I'm interested in. F$%k taking sides!!


RE: more hidden tax inc
By NA1NSXR on 4/4/2010 2:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
Get an education please.


RE: more hidden tax inc
By spread on 4/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: more hidden tax inc
By Looey on 4/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: more hidden tax inc
By Jellodyne on 4/1/2010 5:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right, there has been a huge rollback in freedom and human rights in the last 10 years. You're just wrong about who did it.

Hint: "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." - James Madison


RE: more hidden tax inc
By porkpie on 4/1/2010 6:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
RE: more hidden tax inc
By spread on 4/1/10, Rating: 0
The scum leading the dumb
By Beenthere on 4/1/10, Rating: -1
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki














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