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Guest Post: The Demise Of The Car

Tyler Durden's picture


From PeakProsperity contributor author Gregor Macdonald

The Demise of the Car

India’s recent series of power blackouts, in which 600 million people lost electricity for several days, reminds us of the torrid pace at which populations in the developing world have moved onto the powergrid. Unfortunately, this great transition has been so rapid that infrastructure has mostly been unable to meet demand. India itself has failed to meets its own power capacity addition targets every year since 1951. This has left roughly one quarter of the country’s population without any (legal) access to electricity. That’s 300 million people out of a population of 1.2 billion. Indeed, it is the daily attempt of the underserved to access power that may have led to India’s recent grid crash.

But the story of India’s inadequate infrastructure is only one part of the difficult, global transition away from liquid fossil fuels. Over the past decade, the majority of new energy demand has been met not through global oil, but through growth in electrical power.

Frankly, this should be no surprise. After all, global production of oil started to flatten more than seven years ago, in 2005. And the developing world, which garners headlines for its increased demand for oil, is running mainly on coal-fired electrical power. There is no question that the non-OECD countries are leading the way as liquid-based transport – automobiles and airlines – have entered longterm decline.

Why, therefore, do policy makers in both the developing and developed world continue to invest in automobile infrastructure?

Interestingly, instead of investing in the powergrid, India embarked earlier last decade on a massive highway project, known as the Great Quadrilateral. This created a kind of grand, national circular whose “four and six-lane, 3,625 miles run through 13 states and India's four largest cities: New Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai (formerly Madras), and Mumbai (formerly Bombay),” according to a 2005 New York Times article. The piece continues, describing the ongoing, 15-year effort (to be completed this year) as “the most ambitious infrastructure project since independence in 1947 and the British building of the subcontinent's railway network the century before.”

Alas, the irony is rich. India conceived of this highway project as oil prices hit deep lows at the end of the past millennium. Now that the highway network is constructed and oil prices have more than quadrupled, it is massive investment in the powergrid that hundreds of millions of Indians so desperately need instead—not road building.

Sunk-Cost Decision Making and the Overfocus on Autos

But it’s not just India that has incorrectly invested in automobile transport. The other giant of Asia, China, has also placed large resources into auto-highway infrastructure.

It appears that at least a decade ago, the developing world made the same assumption about future oil prices as was made in Western countries. The now infamous 1999 Economist cover, Drowning in Oil, reflected the pervasive, status-quo view that the global adoption of the car could continue indefinitely. A decade later, however, we find that after oil’s extraordinary price revolution, the global automobile industry is now starved for growth.

In the same way that Western economies have shed enormous tranches of oil demand so that emerging markets could increase their oil consumption, automobile transport is now either stagnating or in outright decline outside of China. You cannot have a growing automobile industry in the United States when American oil demand is down over 12% since 2005. And you cannot have a growing auto industry in Europe when EU oil demand has shed over a million and half barrels a day – another 10% decline.

Europe’s declining oil demand is particularly significant, given that coming into the last decade, the EU was already a highly efficient user of oil. To have taken off even more demand in the past 5 years shows just how tough high oil prices have become in Europe. The result is nothing less than a devastation of Europe’s auto industry, which has already lost 800,000 jobs and looks ready to lose another 500,000 more according to recent forecasts, as reported by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, here is Time Magazine’s big thematic piece from just last month:

Europe’s Debt Crisis Seems Bad? Look at Its Car Industry

Just how bad are things in motoring Europe? On Wednesday Peugeot reported it lost over $993 million in the first half of 2012 alone. The same day, American maker Ford announced second quarter net income of just over $1 billion world-wide — but a $404 million loss in Europe, where the company now expects total losses to exceed $1 billion by year’s end. Meanwhile, General Motors Europe affiliate Opel-Vauxhall has lost a whopping $14 billion since the start of the century, and is almost certainly facing the same sort of layoffs and plant closures Peugeot has announced.....What’s more, the sector is almost certain to see more bad news on the revenue front. According to the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (EAMA), new car registration declined by nearly 7% in the first half of the year. All told, projected total sales of 12.4 million cars in 2012 would represent a nearly 20% slide in volume over 2007, when the current string of annual shrinkage began. Forecasts that once saw activity improving by 2013 now push returning health in the sector beyond the recessionary horizon now stretching far off into the European distance....That dismal outlook on the demand side is compounded by concerns over excess supply. Industry analysts say auto manufacturers in Europe maintain around 30% more production capacity than the market will bear.

Captured Governments

Like other dying industries of the past century, the global auto industry has entered decline after having fully embedded itself in the political complex. Regardless of political leaning, federal governments from Europe, to Japan, to the United States have and will continue to do everything possible to save the industry.

US automakers received their first bailout in late 2008 from the Bush Administration. The bailouts continued in the Obama Administration. (Both presidencies that could hardly be more dissimilar, but were united in their assumption of an enduring future for cars). For Republicans -- a party that claims to adhere to free-market principles -- releasing a first payment of over $13 billion to the industry was a classic foxhole-conversion in the midst of the financial crisis. For Democrats -- a party that claims to be concerned with climate change, the environment, and public transport -- the enormous financial support to the industry was only one part of the current administration’s continued embrace of the auto-highway complex.

More broadly, however, global governments are captured by sunk-cost decision making as the past 60-70 years of highway infrastructure investment is now a legacy just too painful to leave behind. Interestingly, whether citizens and governments want to face this reality or not, features of the oil economy are already going away as infrastructure is increasingly stranded. Moreover, there are cultural shifts now coming into play as young people are no longer buying cars – in the first instance because they can’t afford them, and in the second instance because it’s increasingly no longer necessary to own a car to be part of one’s group. See this piece from Atlantic Cities:

Young People Aren't Buying Cars Because They're Buying Smart Phones Instead

Youth culture was once car culture. Teens cruised their Thunderbirds to the local drive-in, Springsteen fantasized about racing down Thunder Road, and Ferris Bueller staged a jailbreak from the 'burbs in a red Ferrari. Cars were Friday night. Cars were Hollywood. Yet these days, they can't even compete with an iPhone - or so car makers, and the people who analyze them for a living, seem to fear. As Bloomberg reported this morning, many in the auto industry "are concerned that financially pressed young people who connect online instead of in person could hold down peak demand by 2 million units each year." In other words, Generation Y may be happy to give up their wheels as long as they have the web. And in the long term, that could mean Americans will buy just 15 million cars and trucks each year, instead of around 17 million.

If future car sales in the US will be limited by the loss of 2 million purchases just from young people alone, then the US can hardly expect to return to even 15 million car and truck sales per year. US sales have only recovered to 14 million. (And that looks very much like the peak for the reflationary 2009-2012 period) 

Indeed, the migration from suburbs back to the cities, the resurrection of rail, and the fact that oil will never be cheap again puts economies – and culture – on a newly defined path to other forms of transport and other ways of working.

Cars and the Environment

Recently, the main focus of the global climate change and environment communities has centered on coal-fired power generation. But it's the transport sector that is ripe for changing, given that declining gasoline consumption is already trending favorably in the same direction.

Recent data from EIA Washington shows, unsurprisingly, that US emissions from all energy consumption has fallen back to levels seen twenty years ago.

As CO2 emissions from total US energy demand fell back to levels in the early 1990s, US oil demand has also fallen to levels last seen in that same time period. And thus the official Washington posture towards US oil consumption remains quite conflicted. Washington wants less dependency on foreign oil, lower CO2 emissions, and cheaper gasoline. On the other hand, Washington refuses to meaningfully shift its Transport budget from highways to public transportation.

Ultimately, global governments will be left standing in the way of a process that’s now gaining momentum and is unlikely to be reversed.

Obsolete Infrastructure

For half a century, the auto-highway complex has been a conduit for political power, and myriad players have self-interested reasons to maintain the system. However, the contraction of motorized transport in the West – a natural outcome of high oil prices and debt saturation – will gain further strength as various states (or countries) simply run out of money to build new roads.

As discussed in California: Bellwether for the Rest of America, the highway-rich landscape of the Golden State (for example) sucks up 90% of its transport budget. But California roads are now among the worst in the nation, costing drivers some of the highest on-road expenses merely as a result of poor surface conditions.

To the extent that states can no longer maintain roads to an adequate standard, infrastructure will become stranded.

We see the same related effects in US airport infrastructure as many regional airports have either seen a huge reduction in traffic or have shut down completely. (The US Postal Service and its current financial difficulties also reflect the emerging trend, as the USPS is obligated to deliver mail to remote locations even as postal revenues drop on the higher cost of – you guessed it – energy and gasoline.)

Eventually, drivers will be asked to pay higher tolls and other fees to maintain roads, as public funds, in a time of flat economic growth, are diverted to other services. This will then compound the transition as the costs of maintaining and running a car go even higher. Every car driver is now subsidized. As the subsidy goes away, more drivers will be forced off the road.

Yes, it is painful for both politicians and the public to acknowledge that much of our infrastructure is no longer needed and cannot be redeployed. The public is only now becoming aware that the energy costs of road-building and road-maintenance have gone through the same price revolution as the price of oil. Governments at all levels find that simply keeping the existing roads operable – and not even in particularly good repair – requires enormous annul sums of capital. And, the per-mile construction cost of new roads is prohibitive.

When the national highway system was originally constructed, of course, oil prices were at an inflation-adjusted level of around $12-$14 per barrel. That oil prices now trade at 8 times those levels has completely changed the economic return on road building. Unsurprisingly, the demand for asphalt has crashed back to levels last seen in the early 1980s. 

US Product Supplied of Asphalt and Road Oil

End of the Grand Public Subsidy of Roads

The United States has only just begun a long reduction of public spending on roads and highways.

The current administration has shifted only a few percentage points of the transport budget from the auto-highway sector to public transport -- but that shift will grow larger as the years progress.

And while it took many decades for such a shift to develop in the US, the same process will be more rapid in the developing world. In other words, the advance, peak, and decline of motorized transport in China and India will be much more rapid as these nations and their giant populations arrive more quickly to the limits of oil based transport. Indeed, there is already evidence in the data that oil adoption rates have slowed considerably as the majority of new energy demand comes online to the powergrid.

In Part II: Rise of the Global Powergrid, we further examine the poor investment prospects of roadbuilding as economies enter the next leg of energy transition. Interestingly, one of the implications of this shift is that oil will be set free to advance to much higher price levels. A paradigmatic shift in global energy usage is underway that has finally become more well-defined, and more visible.

Oil is no longer the new great game; grid power, with its inherent flexibility, is now emerging.

Click here to access Part II of this report (free executive summary; paid enrollment required for full access).


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Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:34 | 2721208 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Public transport, bitchez

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:53 | 2721260 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

It's a simple matter of solving the efficiency question.

Small matter. Obvious solution... we do not have to do away with cars, high-performance or other-wise.


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:56 | 2721280 Matt
Matt's picture

Just make a car that is 101% efficient, and you're set!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:58 | 2721281 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Coal fired Volts bitchez!... (the 'hybrid' model with wood gasification technology)...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:18 | 2721347 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

It’s amusing that libertarians on the one hand complain about the failure of our economy to meet our energy demads, but on the other hand oppose the government investing in smart green technologies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and other unsustainable inefficient "market-driven" energy sources. If the market refuses to solve this problem, then it’s up to the government to fix it. Simply as that. Purist libertarians and ignorant rednecks need to understand this. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:23 | 2721359 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

I guess that means since YOU aren't coming up with "smart green technologies" that make energy/$ sense, then pointing a magical gun at someone will get it invented?  That's not really amusing at all, on second thought.  Maybe if we just got rid of all the idiots who propose force as a solution to energy problems (caused by force, naturally), our energy problems would be solved.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:27 | 2721372's picture

And we'll have fun, fun, fun now that Daddy took the T-bird away.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:46 | 2721440 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

I'll put this one in your top-ten, MDB.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:43 | 2721604 Fizzywig
Fizzywig's picture

Can we get a 'top 10' of MDB's greatest hits?

Imo, I think he should be allowed to post on ZH in the vein of WilliamBonzai7.  His satire is right up there with WB7.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:26 | 2721554 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

What's amusing is that you cannot see the connection between the failure of our economy to meet our energy demands(yet we have no shortages-so you must have meant energy at the price you desire) and the government's constant meddling in the energy sector.





Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:32 | 2721945 Seer
Seer's picture

The "meddling" is worst in the form of wars abroad.  In the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter, as it all nets out: US govt actually delivers us cheap oil/gas (see recent ZH article talking about pain at the pump), but it does so at the cost of huge taxes to support the military.

There is NO failure to meet demands.  People are massively in debt and they don't have the $$s to continue to GROW oil consumption: as sales decline margins will get hammered, and then the impact of economies of scale in reverse will kick in with a vengeance.  And given that The System ONLY works on growth I'd have to point out that the issue is NOT necessarily grounded in govt ineptitude.  Sadly, I'm afraid, people will dig up dead horses to whip until the bitter end (when there is NO denying that we cannot grow).

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2721296 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Google Pogue Carb. for a start. Then check out Stanley Meyer. But the answer is even simpler than that. ori

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:24 | 2721365 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Build one and show it off or shut the hell up.

Cripes, that gets tiring.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:07 | 2721504 nufio
nufio's picture

stanley mayer.. wtf!!! 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:19 | 2721529 snakeboat
snakeboat's picture

Google 'bike'.  Most.  Efficient. Machine. Evar.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:49 | 2721840 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Google "blackbird super cruiser" and you land here:

That was the 2012 MakersFaire. We rocked their world.

Now in the September 2012 (current) issue of Popular Science. Two pages of the same. Yeah read that again -- two pages in PopSci.

It's the future. It's right now. The times they have already changed.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 15:21 | 2728412 Matt
Matt's picture

seems a bit heavy, especially without the ability to carry much cargo.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:26 | 2721339 RestoreOurFuture
RestoreOurFuture's picture



Perhaps I'm a bit paranoid, but this entire article seems to be a giant stab at Paul Ryan and his family's construction business.  It's no secret that Ryan Incorporated Central (his family business created in 1884) was a big recepient of government contracts to build such landmarks as O'Hare Airport, and various interstate highways and railroads in the midwest - Ryan Incorporated Central is a HUGE business, which serves as bait for the libtards to demonize. The Rachel Maddow Show recently made a bogus claim that Ryan Construction Central had received over 50 defense construction contracts, and then questioned Paul Ryan's integrity, saying that his entire motivation to join Congress was to make the necessary friends to ensure those contracts kept flowing to his family's business. And then there was some garbage about hypocrisy and "living off the government umbilical cord".  Bullshit!  These are typical liberal attacks against private business and capitalists.  

First of all, the number of defense contracts was only 22, and Paul Ryan has stated numerous times that he went to Washington because of his love of country and his penchant for solving tough economic problems! The libtards just can't seem to believe that perhaps some people feel patriotic to their country, and want to serve.  Besides, it's not uncommon once you already have financial security to go to Washington and try to help others realize the American dream. 

I don't really feel like I'm revealing anything new, as all of this information has been hotly debated these last two weeks in the media, but when I read an article about "captured governments" and infrasture projects, I can't help but feel like it's a subtle, underhanded stab at Paul Ryan.  Are we expected to drive on dirt?  If anyone actually understood that building these infrastructure projects cost huge amounts of money and any profit takes decades to realize, they'd understand that government funded contracts are the ONLY way to go.  The private market simply won't attempt it because it takes too long to get a nice return.

Sorry for the little rant.

Romney/Ryan 2012

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:28 | 2721378 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

No, it's not really paranoia to recognize that every time an 'outsider conservative' is presented as the new radical alternative to wholesale socialism, it turns out to be a fascist who got a bunch of money on government contracts, and who happens to agree with the socialists on everything that really matters, like the destruction of the Bill Of Rights and absolute silence on the destruction of the currency and the contingency plans for WHEN it collapses.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:17 | 2721743 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

funny and sad - all at the same time

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:16 | 2722309 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Nice work TaxSlave, but you forgot this one - and who happens to agree with the socialists on everything that really matters, like ... WAR!!

We can choose the Nobel Peace Prize War Candidate or the Whacky UnderPants War Candidate.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:29 | 2721383's picture

Like we need more of this crap.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:49 | 2721461 malikai
malikai's picture

Troll: Confirmed.

+1 This is some good shit.

MDB, pay attention.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:08 | 2721508 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Sorry? Pathetic comes to mind - the whole lot of you.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:19 | 2721532 TIMBEEER
TIMBEEER's picture

Romney/Ryan 2012?

Is that something like Herman van Rumpoy (aka "Gollum") and Manuel "Mao" Barroso in the European Union? We don't get to vote them either.

I'm in!

Gollum / Mao 2012!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 23:50 | 2722706 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture


Nah .. Romney - Ryan is more like Reinhard Heydrich and Rudolf Hoess. 

I expect R & R to have similar futures as Heydrich's and Hoess' pasts.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:15 | 2721734 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture




Thanks for the explanation but I believe this is all about a controlled totalitarian society

Green Solution: Total Control in Planned-Opolis

How Obama Is Robbing The Suburbs To Pay For The Cities

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2721270 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

Nonsense - I'm expecting great advances momentarily in flubber - that should rejuvenate the private passenger automobile industry

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:57 | 2721282 Matt
Matt's picture

Has anyone recently taken a look at the patent to determine current feasibility? The problem with Flubber was that it cost something like $10,000 per ounce back in the 1960s to make. I mean the real stuff, not the Walt Disney version.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:06 | 2721307 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


I guess Flubber wasn't made from weed, good mexican was $20 for a five fingered oz way back then.


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:39 | 2722500 ClassicalLib17
ClassicalLib17's picture

I grossed 650. a month back in those days.  Man, those were some big bags.  It all boiled down to priorities versus...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:54 | 2721273 0z
0z's picture

No. Private Transport.

Slavery is already bad, but public slavery is a million fold worse.

Nothing is public: I am the sole owner of my body.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:19 | 2721746 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

...not if the patent corps continue their trend.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:37 | 2721416 Overfed
Overfed's picture

With TSA cavity searches for all!!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2721512 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Buns up!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:46 | 2721616 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

I'll believe in public transport once it has proven to be a profitable model ie: not sustained by government because they're eyeball in debt.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:40 | 2721956 Seer
Seer's picture

Well, if you peer behind any non-govt business you'll see that it, in some way, garners subsidies.  NOTHING is sustainable except natural systems (human systems are, in case you haven't heard, burning through the most energy dense energy reserves on the planet- everything that touches upon this IS thus unsustainable).

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:39 | 2721954 UnpatrioticHoarder
UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

Apple is making public transport cool and cannibalising the car industry's market. Love it.

Then do the kiddies get to spend the left over cash or do their employers claw it back with wage deflation.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:25 | 2722066 11b40
11b40's picture

Friday nights aren't what they used to be for teenage boys.  Why bother with lining up a date, shelling out a bunch of cash, and hoping you can "hook up"?  Just whip out the iGadget and surf internet porn.  Viola!  Instant satisfaction.  Just type in your pleasure....redheads, cougars, groups, gays, tranny, whatever.  Was it Brave New World or 1984 that had the "Feelies" instead of the movies?  It won't be long before that technology is here.  Hook yourself up (or maybe even wireless) and turn on the TV to have virtual sex while simply watching the screen.  Who needs a car?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:05 | 2722400 Diamond_Dave
Diamond_Dave's picture

Thinking the Defense Dept. is using a lot of the abiotic oil right now. That is a pitiful waste to me, at least talking economics. Is not 80% of biomass below earth's surafces (i.e., in the earth not water or air)? Another goofy guest post asking for moola -- LMAO.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:37 | 2721214 Bankers R Wankers
Bankers R Wankers's picture

Could I get a few clicks from the Zero Hedge Community? I believe all you will agree with what I am requesting



Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:45 | 2721244 Timmay
Timmay's picture

If it was for term limits for all members of Congress I would.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:02 | 2721292 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Last time I clicked someones link it was some 'amateur hour' Elliott Wave hacks personal site... I haven't fully recovered yet...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:29 | 2721564 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Even better, if you eliminate seniority in Congress most of our issues would disappear.  Having one representative 10 times more powerful than mine merely because they have been there forever is not equal representation.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2721265 CommunityStandard
CommunityStandard's picture

You do realize that balancing the budget is a mathematic impossibility at this point... at least within the current system.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:56 | 2721279 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

suer they can....havent you seen the acts where a guy balances a bunch of spinning plates on a stick?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:12 | 2721324 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Not once you realize that all all debt is digital debt.

NWO could switch to digital currency and wipe out all debt.

People forget that the plan is to lower the standard of living in the US while raising it in the rest of the world. We have seen that happen.

When the table of nations stands damn near level phase two kicks in. Digital currency. They can base it on lifetime Carbon credits. Lot's of people would like to see the Carbon footprint based currency.

Right now China and Russia stand in the way of a western dominated NWO.

Why do you think we need a ring of bases around them?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:55 | 2721997 Seer
Seer's picture

"NWO could switch to digital currency and wipe out all debt."

But the can NOT switch to digital PHYSICAL REALITY.  Wipe out "debt" and then there's still the issue of things becoming less affordable because of the decline in physical resources and increases in population sizes.

"People forget that the plan is to lower the standard of living in the US while raising it in the rest of the world. We have seen that happen."

What "plan?"  At what point would you concede that the standard of living for most of the West is WAY beyond sustainable and that Mother Nature would smack it all down?

I've been to the Philippines and can tell you that the standard of living there HASN'T been raised to any significant levels (yeah, there are small pockets, but on the whole it's pretty much as it was [and if you were to look at the slums around Metro Manilla you'd see that it's actually become WORSE]).  Sorry, but you're paining with too broad of a brush for it to be painting an accurate, detailed picture.

An NWO isn't going to happen.  Govts are losing control each passing day.  Not going to get a "foreign" govt to step in and take over (not enough military force- US can't even control Afghanistan and people believe that it could control the world?).  I appreciate those who are anti-NWO and I believe that this collective energy would exist in one way or another such that an NWO couldn't happen.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:21 | 2721758 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

shhhhhhh - they might get restless. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:29 | 2721381 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Nice idea, but they get so much money under the table it won't work.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:11 | 2721517 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

You might as well ask them to sign on with their facehole account...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:42 | 2721217 billsykes
billsykes's picture

I only drive 4000 miles yr with my car, I leave it at home because I am close to DT and can walk, ride or take a bus (10mins).

If I am going out of town, I can rent anything I want, a classic car or just a new charger or whatever.




Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:55 | 2721222 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

A $9 an hour retail clerk/temp cannot afford a car. Even if you gave him/her the car, they still wouldn't be able to afford the cost of insurance, repairs and gas.

The good news is that within the next 2-5 years, traffic jams will be a thing of the past.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:14 | 2721334 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

I know people on min wage who have cars. They usually "know someone" willing to work on it for parts and beer.

I'm not sure they even drive less than before.

It isn't like they were taking month long vacations to begin with.

Usually to work, get groceries, bar on the weekend.

Gas, grass or ass no one rides free.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:02 | 2722014 natty light
natty light's picture

A friend of mine got a '99 Mazda Protege with a mechanical problem for $500. He put on a new timing belt and tuned it andeverything else has been great for 40k miles. He is selling it and getting a newer used car.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:14 | 2721335 malek
malek's picture

Give him/her a 10+ year old Corolla (available with salvage title but less than 80,000 miles for ~$4000).
It gets 35 mpg on highway.

Costs about $800 insurance per year, lets say $500 repair and maintenance, and about $1300 fuel (driving 10,000 mls/year mostly highway).
That's $2600 a year, tough but doable if you're full time employed at $9 an hour.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:46 | 2721607 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Good luck expecting to spend only $500/year for repairs on a 10+ year old car - even if it is a Toyota. When the transmission goes - yes, even on a Corolla they don't last forever - you are looking at $2000+ for that alone.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:55 | 2722136 Seer
Seer's picture

I don't "expect," I "get!".

I've got a 1990 Toyota Corolla with 172k on it and I spend well under $500/year on repairs: just replaced one of the drive shafts (myself), for a total cost of maybe $100 (including replacement oil).

I know someone who has one of the sport models from the same era and she's got 260k+ on it and it's still doing fine.

These care are widely used down in Manila, and for a reason- they're VERY cheap to operate and maintain.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:04 | 2722279 malek
malek's picture

I'd say $500 is high, assuming you go to a good independent tiny garage.

Why should a transmission break, on a car with less than 100,000 mls? Age alone plays no role, as long as it hasn't been used too little.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 04:22 | 2722352 drysafe
drysafe's picture

10,000 mls/year is about 27.5 miles per day. I've read somewhere that the average worker bee in America drives about 43 miles per day - almost 60% more. Also, perversely, those with the lowest salaries often can't afford living near their work, so they live further and drive more than the average.

At 15,700 miles per year and 35mpg and $4/gallon gas, we're looking at $1,800 just for gas (i.e. $150/mo). Add up to $150/mo for insurance, parking and repair and it can easily exceed $300/mo. And that still excludes the cost of the car itself - if you're paying it off, it's more than that. But at $9/hour, even $300/mo hurts.




Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:26 | 2721369 linrom
linrom's picture

The bad news is that there is going to a TOLL on each road and in each jurisdiction.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 20:19 | 2722193 Seer
Seer's picture

WTF are people thinking, that this is/should be all FREE?  Yes, EXPECT tolls to pop up: that's how private industry does it (refer to areas that have privatized roads).

I once had a neighbor who would complain about property taxes at the same time he was leaving his un-metered water running down his driveway and down the street.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:40 | 2721228 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

I guess we are all supposed to go on foot now, or snuggle up to stinky vermin-ridden city dwellers on grimy public transportation.  The article appears to have been written by a wanna-be central planner who didn't make the grade.


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:43 | 2721237 billsykes
billsykes's picture

HE HE. Can you tell who lives in the burbs or country with zero contact with major society and rolls in a SUV?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2721387 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

I live a few miles north of enemy territory (Detroit).  I DARE you to go in there on a bus.


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:44 | 2721432 billsykes
billsykes's picture

Ok Ok, I get where you are coming from.


fuck I was thinking NYC or HK or any normal city- not a shit hole like Detroit.

The only way I would feel safe there would be with catching a ride with the expendables, a blackwater crew or on a helicopter. 


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:06 | 2721498 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Thanks for the reply.  Not having the mobility afforded by my own vehicle would be devastating.  If I lost the use of it, I WOULD walk out, far away. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:33 | 2721782 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Hey neighbor


I take M53 south to 14 mile everyday - quite the freak show (brothers waiting for the bus). I wouldn't get on one even North of Detroit

Me = 48042


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:49 | 2721839 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Probably shouldn’t have put my zip code out there… aaah should be ok, what could possibly happe ………………

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:25 | 2722321 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Bob is that you? ;)

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:45 | 2721404's picture


HE HE. Can you tell who lives in the burbs or country with zero contact with major society and rolls in a SUV?


The quality of people who try to pass themselves of as members of some sort of elite is shockingly low these days.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2721253 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

A lot of the central planning mindset starts in grade school, where children are given assignments to plan out their own utopian cities, et cetera. What an awful waste of time.


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:00 | 2721266 centerline
centerline's picture

My son does this in video games.  Then proceeds to nuke the city.  Your post has me  connecting dots that I really don't want to connect.  Stop it. (lol)

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:37 | 2721415's picture

We used to build plastic models and blow them up with firecrackers. Kids today have no real world experience.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:46 | 2721439 billsykes
billsykes's picture

legos and mighty mights.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:24 | 2721550 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

The real fun was putting Estes solid fuel model rocket engines into model cars and launching them up the sliding board at the playground.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:43 | 2721234 Timmay
Timmay's picture

Got to be a correlation to (lower) birth rates in developed countries and the demand for cars.....

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 03:22 | 2722948 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

'Americans' are used to changing cars many times in their life.

Five years turn over...

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 04:14 | 2722963 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Chinese citizenism citizens are used to changing their soiled pantaloons many times in their life.

Five years turn over...after which the encrusted garments stand proudly on their own along the roadsides.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:47 | 2721235 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



There has never been a better time
to buy or lease a new
2013 GM Yukon 4WD SLT


15 Cty / 21 Hwy

Under the hood, Yukon offers a 5.3L V8 engine with 320 hp, that means the 2013 Yukon SUV has the power and towing capacity to let you go wherever the fuck you want and trailer whatever the fuck you want. Power is just the beginning of the story for this SUV. Yukon gives you control over other smaller vehicles that dare to come near you. With features like StabilTrak, you can use that power to take on whatever the elements and road conditions throw at you.



Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:51 | 2721263 css1971
css1971's picture

It looks too low to go off road.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2721295 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Halftime in the USA... 2nd half involves horses...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:28 | 2721373 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Going "off road" for the Yukon and Escalade crowd is the WalMart parking lot.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 04:19 | 2722965 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Going "off road" for the Yukon and Escalade crowd is the WalMart parking lot.

...also known as the rent free mobile home and trailer park.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:54 | 2721530 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Too much plastic to run over zombies.

Any V8 4WD/Pickup/SUV should do , but in order to have solid front bars or bumpers it should be no younger then ten years...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:54 | 2721665 css1971
css1971's picture

Nah. This is what the world's armies, rebels and guerilla fighers use:

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:40 | 2721810 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Wanna see why?

Amazing what a Toyota 4x4 can withstand...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 20:56 | 2722266 Seer
Seer's picture

I've got a great zombie machine: old (new to me) Ford IDI diesel (pre-powerstroke, no electronic stuff- I can work on it!) 4x4, 5sp manual.  It has a monster rear bumper (aftermarket, past life it was used to haul travel trailers around). Recently had this truck out hauling wood rounds from out on the property, squeezing through brush and traversing huge ruts (from skidders).  Chug, chug...  Oh yeah, cost me $2,500.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:57 | 2721277 centerline
centerline's picture

What amazes me is the price tag on cars today relative to the cost of housing.  Pretty soon it will be cheaper to put a roof over your head than 4 wheels on the ground.

Does that Yukon come with a hot plate and a shower?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2721299 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Try looking at new trucks. At least with cars you can go low end for 20k.



Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:15 | 2721337 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

No, but it just might fit in the McDonald's Drive-thru lane.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:00 | 2721287 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

It looks like one of those vehicles that prefers to drive on it's roof.  Like and Explorer.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:34 | 2721575 papaya
papaya's picture

You mean the nefarious "Exploder"?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:25 | 2721765 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

nothing says america (and its humility and planning) like that ad

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:56 | 2721864 Kalevi
Kalevi's picture

You need the Denali, 320 HP on 2,5 tons, it's not moving fast anywhere.

But it's still going to be ugly as hell!


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:45 | 2721242 adr
adr's picture

The first world goes third world and the emerging economies can no longer grow without the frst world to sell to.

The goal has always been to turn 99.9% of the world into Somalia and let the .1% live like kings in the Dubai desert oasis.

Once the rest of the population dies off, the chosen people will rebuild the world in thier image.

The problem with young people and cars, is that beyond turning the key, they don't know how anything in a car works. Changing a headlight bulb is like asking them to perform brain surgery.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:11 | 2722297 Seer
Seer's picture

"The first world goes third world and the emerging economies can no longer grow without the frst world to sell to."

Not too many people get this point.  This is why the mantra of "growth, growth, growth" never lets down: w/o growth it all stops and reverts (lose economies of scale).

"The goal has always been to turn 99.9% of the world into Somalia and let the .1% live like kings in the Dubai desert oasis."

I don't know whether it's so much a [desired] "goal" in as much as it's becoming more of a retreat: face it, most folks here don't want to hang out in big cities.  "Gated communities."  Problem is is that the required infrastructure is VERY sensitive (entropy is a bitch).

"Once the rest of the population dies off, the chosen people will rebuild the world in thier image."

Perhaps that's what they'd like to believe, but I have my doubts about whether they could even wipe their asses w/o help...

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 03:17 | 2722947 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The first world goes third world and the emerging economies can no longer grow without the frst world to sell to.
Not really.
'American' nations want to remain the place where the consumption is done.

Emerging economies could build their growth on their domestic consumption but doing so comes at the expense of 'American' countries'consumption.

While 'American' nations will have harsher times controlling emerging economies, as good extorters of the weak, they prefer to control emerging economies'access to raw material/basic resources coming from third world countries or other weak countries.

While 'American' nations have saturated the world, meaning they hit resources limitations, there is plenty of room for emerging economies to grow. As long as they kick 'American' nations out of the consumption tray...

And that is what 'American' nations want to avoid, a big decoupling.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 04:25 | 2722964 akak
akak's picture

Aside from your bigoted and childishly simplistic sophistry, there is only ONE 'American nation', idiot, so you only display your ignorance AND collectivistic hatred for all Americans by stating that there is (and condemning) more than one such nation.  Unless, of course, you are using the word 'American' in its more catholic and proper meaning, namely, referring to all the nations of the Americas, i.e. the Western Hemisphere.

In either case, your babbling nonsense is without logic or rationality, merely the ravings of a grossly prejudiced fool who cannot refrain from venting his loathing for the entire population of a particular nation (the USA), whether the individuals of that nation are guilty or innocent of the supposed innumerable crimes for which you speciously indict them all in your vile blanket condemnations.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 04:36 | 2722971 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

akak said:

Unless, of course, you are using the word 'American' in its more catholic and proper meaning, namely, referring to all the nations of the Americas, i.e. the Western Hemisphere.

AnAnonymous using words with their proper meaning occurs as frequently as the green spaces win in roulette. The rest of the time he simply redefines words on the fly in order to suit his needs of the moment.

When chastised on this, he resorts to his usual tricks of denial and strawmen, then craps his pants and runs away, as seen here:

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:45 | 2721245 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

and we lack the organizational, cultural, and logistical means to break out of the paradigm


hmm, seems we have that problem in many areas as a species

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:46 | 2721248 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

a symbol of freedom no longer "economically viable" add it to the list

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:49 | 2721258 css1971
css1971's picture

One of the few public transit solutions which could be operated privately and profitably without massive subsidy.

Just went live in Heathrow. Ironically it's an American concept, (and the most advanced system is American) but never got off the ground there.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:16 | 2722307 Seer
Seer's picture

One has to first question the premise, the premise being that people HAVE to do all that moving about.

I chided some locals for promoting commuter train service, stating that it would be better to take the money and kick it back to local businesses to increase hiring, that this way people wouldn't have to commute [farther] to work.  In essence the train service was subsidizing businesses in the nearby large city.

If there are no jobs at the end of the line then how could the transit "solution" continue to operate profitably?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:51 | 2721264 kito
kito's picture

but im waiting for my garbage fueled, time traveling delorean!!!!!............................this cant be happening!!!!........

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:52 | 2721470 malikai
malikai's picture

Roads? Where we're going we won't need roads.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:42 | 2721809 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Hover cars powered by electricity from wind, solar, and unicorn urine?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2722038 malikai
malikai's picture

Quote from the movie. :)

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:18 | 2722312 Seer
Seer's picture

I shudder to think of current auto drivers navigating the three dimensions.  A good night's sleep just wouldn't be the same...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:52 | 2721267 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

iphones replace cars?

didnt know they had a 'magic carpet ride' app...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:56 | 2721480 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

Probably not, but the Internet has stuff on it.

Rule 34 of the Internet:

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:53 | 2721271 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

I'm calling Bullshit. Make that Agenda21 Bullshit.


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:00 | 2721286 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Maybe superhighways and trucking as we know it but that is still a huge maybe. You'll still need roads from rail to end users.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:54 | 2721274 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

in Belgium we have 3 nuclear powerplant which supply 80% of all the power. 2 of them will soon be closed because of severe cracks in their reactors which will cause blackouts in the winter. we now know this will be a fact.
waiting for the cold fusion reactor to take over from france has turned out to be a dud.
our solar panels? none of the panels work on a closed loop system as that is forbidden by law.
when the grid goes down, I'm glad I have a generator and a fireplace to keep us warm and enough fuel for a year but I don't know anybody who is prepared for this yet.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:55 | 2721278 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Fucken foot printers!


I like to act all high and mighty because I haven't driven in years and that it was mostly a personal decision................but the truth is............I can't afford a car, insurance, or gas.


Luckily I live in the city where just about everything is within walking distance.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2721386 Sudden Debt
Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:25 | 2721920 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Forgive me, but it seems a lot of those who warn against depending on a car in the future, are the same who live in large urban cities and seem to think that is a secure plan.

If cars become more expensive in the suburbs, you can bet at the same time, getting food transported to grocery stores is also more expensive, and that will hit city dwellers hard.  in addition, cities will be cutting back on services such as public transportation, garbage pickup, and you will be faced with brownouts/blackouts of electricity as well.  But don't worry, you won't need a car!

City dwellers are going to have much bigger problems than their commute, IMO.  And as things go downhill, crime in cities increases as well, with the subway and bustops being some of the best places to get mugged.  New Yorkers who were in NYC during past economic tough times will tell you about the muggings.

Granted being someplace walkable is a good idea for the future.  But I'm not sure major cities are the best bet.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:03 | 2722395 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, people just don't think things through very well...

What good is a short commute if you have no [city] job?

I'd worry about water...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:03 | 2721284 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

every car that lower wage young people could afford was scrapped during cash for clunkers. either the parents give them a car or they go without. i don't know how many beaters i bought that ran great but there is no such thing these days as people drive them until they die.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:05 | 2721303 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Not all of them. Only ones owned by stupid people.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:07 | 2721312 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

correct, not all, but a considerable number of running autos were destroyed.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:04 | 2721301 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

wait wait no,, i got it guys i got this one. ELECTRIC CARS ARE THE SOLUTION TO ALL THE WORLD PROBLEMS.


mr. green global warming anything progressive smell my own farts liberal.

p.s. they Really should just call them coal cars, because if they start getting popular, electricity demand forcing up natrual gas prices will force through the consumption of coal back toward pre-fracking day levels. , oh wait, but what about solar panels! boohoo. that said---is first solar (fslr) attractive at these prices? or still heading towards bankruptcy?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:05 | 2721304 malek
malek's picture

Congrats, that article makes it into the runners-up of most stupid post of the year.

It is so full of crap I lack the time to write a full refusal, so just a few points:
- Even if the demise of the car happens, does that mean we need no more roads? How will people and goods be transported instead, exclusively by rail?
- The nice thing of cars is they still continue to work when the grid goes down, at least until you need to refuel
- You cannot have a growing automobile industry in the United States when American oil demand is down over 12% since 2005. Ever heard of new technologies allowing for much smaller fuel consumption?
- Smart phones instead of cars, as in no car at all? Because we all telecommute, or walk to work, or use the everywhere available fantastic public transport?? Dreaming is not making it so.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:44 | 2721821 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Runner up? Yeah; yours won.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:10 | 2721320 DaveA
DaveA's picture

Socialists never tire of predicting that we'll all have to give up our cars, abandon the suburbs, move into urban high-rises served by buses and light rail, and pay high taxes for public schools that we wouldn't dare send our own kids to. It's not going to happen. To quote P. J. O'Rourke:

"But cars didn't shape our existence; cars let us escape with our lives. We're way the heck out here in Valley Bottom Heights and Trout Antler Estates because we were at war with the cities. We fought rotten public schools, idiot municipal bureaucracies, corrupt political machines, rampant criminality and the pointy-headed busybodies. Cars gave us our dragoons and hussars, lent us speed and mobility, let us scout the terrain and probe the enemy's lines. And thanks to our cars, when we lost the cities we weren't forced to surrender, we were able to retreat."

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:37 | 2721412 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

+1 Best comment.  Socialists hate cars because they afford us the freedom of mobility (to escape their clutches and control schemes) and most of all, privacy.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:48 | 2721625 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

This article doesn't even follow a logical basis.  "Grass is green, therefore pigs should fly.."

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:16 | 2722445 Seer
Seer's picture

"cars let us escape with our lives"

Yeah, and so do drugs... Funny, most of the "illegal" drugs kill fewer people than cars, go figure...

Folks moved to suburbia because they wanted land and because they were too wussy to actually farm.

If you ain't in the country on a farm then you're nowhere near sustainable.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 14:03 | 2724568 DaveA
DaveA's picture

In the old days, socialists promised prosperity for the working man. Now they promise "sustainability", which is another word for poverty. If you can't deliver the goods, deliver something bad and call it a good.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:11 | 2721321 pauldia
pauldia's picture


Romney supports audit of the Federal Reserve
Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:25 | 2721364 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Stay on topic fuck face.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:12 | 2721328 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

The "Flintstone Mobile" may be an idea whose time has come (again).


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:37 | 2721584 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

All the 'dum-dums' will be able to drive them...



Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:14 | 2721332 The_Euro_Sucks
The_Euro_Sucks's picture

With the USA's huge supply of nat gas I still amazed that ''refined'' natural gas (LPG we call it here no idea how u call it in the USA and lazy) isnt used for cars. In my country we have LPG cars certainly since the 1980 years. Government influenced by oil lobby punished it by heavy tax even though we are a huge natural gas producing country. Same problem in the USA now it seems....  Energy for cars is only oil. Ofcourse gas will eventually will dry up as well. A while longer to work on and adjust to ''living within our energy needs''. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:39 | 2721420 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

LPG and CNG are available to whoever wants them in the U.S.  You can convert your car, if you want the hassle and expense.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:25 | 2721553 TIMBEEER
TIMBEEER's picture

Once the fleet is converted to natgas, the surplus is gone .. and the prices are up. I've seen many calculations, and they all say it's not sustainable - you "have" natgas worth 100 years with todays consumption.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:22 | 2722458 Seer
Seer's picture

I've got a vehicle that COULD run on WVO, yet I have no real desire (just hedging).  And I recall many folks claiming that WVO was great, until, that is, establishments started locking it up and then reselling it.  Yeah, eventually that thing called GROWTH (demand growth) is going to put a strain on "free" and/or "abundant."

BTW - NO growth is sustainable in a finite environment.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:14 | 2721333 The_Euro_Sucks
The_Euro_Sucks's picture

With the USA's huge supply of nat gas I still amazed that ''refined'' natural gas (LPG we call it here no idea how u call it in the USA and lazy) isnt used for cars. In my country we have LPG cars certainly since the 1980 years. Government influenced by oil lobby punished it by heavy tax even though we are a huge natural gas producing country. Same problem in the USA now it seems....  Energy for cars is only oil. Ofcourse gas will eventually will dry up as well. A while longer to work on and adjust to ''living within our energy needs''. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:17 | 2721344 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Writer has an agenda.

#21 ,I think.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:20 | 2721353 sangell
sangell's picture

I am not going to travel in a bus with the underclass. No matter what it takes I will keep my dignity, my comfort and my automobile.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:23 | 2722461 Seer
Seer's picture

I am not going to travel in a bus with the underclass. No matter what it takes I will keep my dignity, my comfort and my private jet.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:24 | 2721360 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The increasing complexity of the modern auto makes it a more disposable item.

Talk of increased life with sealed bearings and improved lubrication are offset by computer modules and spaghetti hoses that an owner can't fix and that cost a fortune to have repaired.

When you are broke you hang on to what you have, or buy something used if you can't fix the old one.

Where is the Volkswagen Beetle of the 21st century, you know, the one that is simple enough for most backyard mechanics to work on and that gets good mileage and is dependable?

We've "technolog'ied" ourselves out of affordable transportation and I'm sorry, but the Chevy Volt and other electrics are not going to do it and the electricity grids wouldn't survive them en mass.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:41 | 2721424 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

You CAN fix modern cars.  If you learn how.  Your corner garage mechanic did!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:51 | 2721468 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

My corner garage mechanic can't afford the new $80,000 diagnostic machine required by the State. He's not connected you know...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2721510 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Sorry, I only use Prole mechanics if I can't or won't do the job myself.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:51 | 2721643 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

You just explained why I stick with cars from the 90's. I can still repair those without much problems. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:32 | 2721375 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

When you think about all the taxes and gov't fees that a car generates:

  1. Income tax on the factory worker
  2. Corporate tax on the factory
  3. Sales tax on the sale
  4. Income tax on the salesman
  5. Corporate tax on the Dealer
  6. Corporate tax on the Finance Company
  7. Insurance fees, income tax, etc to Insurance agency
  8. Title and license plate fees
  9. Yearly Registration fees
  10. Gasoline tax ( 70 cents a gallon)
  11. Tolls on highways and bridges
  12. Parking Fees (Municipal, events)
  13. Tickets & Citations (parking, speeding, accidents)
  14. Sales tax again when 2nd owner buys used car
  15. Sales tax again when 3rd owner buys used car.....



Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:36 | 2721403 Overfed
Overfed's picture

The gov. doesn't need those revenues anymore, they can just print what they need.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:22 | 2722052 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Yes true, alot of that money flows to the Finance & Insurance industries as well, and might require less printing. INSURANCE is the ghost in the shadows here, Banksterz were front & center but Pru, Hartford, Warren were all going down w/ banks (way back when?). Think what feeds GEICO.

PS. The "G" in GEICO is like the "F" in Federal Reserve...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:59 | 2722144 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

Tickets & Citations (parking, speeding, accidents)      ...............minimum for me is 700 to 1000 per year.   jst got a photo radar ticket for 144 clams

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