Why Not?

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In this economy, can anyone seriously doubt that there is a market for simple, reliable – and inexpensive – transportation?Tata pic

In any case, why not let the market operate? Why not allow (god, how I hate that term) Tata or Cherry (or whomever) to offer their basic, low-cost cars for sale here – and see whether people are interested?

You and I know why this will not be allowed, of course. Precisely because people would buy such cars – and that would impose pressure on the industry at large to simplify their offerings, too – and reduce the cost.

Can’t have that.

It is critical to keep people perpetually in debt. Why allow them to buy a new $6,000 car outright – or pay it off in two or three years (as was common once – and within living memory of any person older than 40) when you can effectively force them to buy a $30,000 car (the average price paid for a new vehicle as of last year) and sign them up for 5 or 6 years of payments? And force them to spend $1,000 annually to insure it, too?

That’s the truth of the thing.

It’s not about “safety” – or any other such altruistic palaver.broke picture

It is about power – control.

And, of course, money.

I’ve written about air bags before. Classic example, so worth repeating. They were first put on the market – in the early-mid 1970s by both GM and Chrysler – as optional equipment that people could buy. Or not.

Most people chose not to buy.

Not because they were cavalier risk junkies – as people such as myself are often characterized by the Air Bag Nazis. But simply because the cost of the air bags was prohibitive. They added as much to the bottom line price of a car (this is back in the ’70s) as air conditioning did – and AC was just about the most expensive option you could buy in those days.

So, they failed in the marketplace. Which is why the car companies worked with the government to see them made mandatory. Now you cannot say no to air bags. And to many other “features” you may not want in a car. These features are not  necessarily bad. The question is – or ought to be: Can you afford them? Many people cannot. Hence the now-common six-year payment plan. Soon – count on it – to be expanded to seven years.

Then eight.  cartel capitalism

Government – the people who run it – have this blind spot about economics. Because for them, economic laws don’t apply. Cost-benefit considerations that normal people must entertain are, at most, abstractions for those who wield political power. That is, people who wield organized violence.

Thus, Obama (or whomever; the particular personage of the Dear Leader at any given moment is incidental)  can simply decree that – for example – all new cars will be able to withstand a rear-impact by a car traveling 40 MPH or be able to barrel roll a dozen times and not have the roof crush, or average 35.5 MPG. Let the engineers figure it out.

And let you and me pay for it.

The giant cartels that produce cars are just as bad. They want money as much as the government wants power. Which is why they now anticipate the next new government mandate – or even trot out “new ideas” (examples include Volvo and its hood air bags – ostensibly to “keep pedestrians safe” – and the current trend, cars that stop themselves automatically) and practically beg the government to make them mandatory. shitty

This serves two purposes. It makes them money – and it makes it more and more expensive and thus harder and harder for anyone else to break into the car business. This curtails competition – and encourages consolidation, which leads to even greater degrees of cartelization. This trend – the disappearance of smaller brands or their absorption by the handful  of big Kahunas. . . the ever-greater degree of homogeneity . .  is obvious to even casual observers. Cost goes up – and choice (real choice, as in something actually different in a meaningful, functional way) diminishes.

But, by what right do they burden us with these costs – or limit our choices? Why should allegedly “free” people not be free both to choose whatever type of car meets their needs – and budget?

It is an outrage that we’re not “allowed” to choose. That we do not have the option to buy a $3,000 Tata that might be just the ticket for in-city A to B driving. Or a Mahindra compact diesel truck. Or a Land Rover Defender 4×4 without air bags, or much in the way of power anything. defender pic

The problem is most people are not outraged about this. They don’t seem to mind being told what they’ll buy – nor how much they’ll pay for it. They’d probably be annoyed if their next door neighbor marched over one day and told them they had to drive this type of car – and weren’t going to be allowed to drive that type of car. Their first reaction would be open-mouthed bewilderment. Their second reaction would be: Who the hell do you think you are? And then: Get the hell off my property – and mind your own business. 


And yet, most people will accept the same damn thing when it’s done at once or twice remove, by “regulation” and in a city, far, far away.

It’s bizarre, when you think about. angry pic

An example of cognitive dissonance – and what we Libertarians call (among ourselves) the myth of authority. It is the idea that it’s ok for some people (or some groups of people) to dictate to other people (and groups of people) what they can and cannot do.

Now, to be clear, we’re not saying people ought to be able to do anything they want to. The line in the sand is “so long as you don’t cause harm.” Otherwise, yes, each of us has an absolute right to do exactly as we please – without someone else telling us (and threatening us) that we cannot do it.

That includes buying whatever car we’d like to buy – equipped as we’d like it to be equipped. The idea that some other person – whether individually or claiming to represent the Great Collective – has the right to interpose, to dictate to us what we’ll buy and how much we’ll pay is something earlier generations would never have taken lying down.

I see no reason why we ought to take it, either.

Throw it in the Woods?

PS:This site is almost entirely reader supported now. No Google. (They blacklisted us – so we dumped them. See here for the full story about that.)

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Eric Peters
721 Hummingbird Lane, SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079


  1. Eric,

    I’m late to the party on this one, but yeah, I remember when car loans didn’t last that long. IIRC, my late mother got a 1974-5 Dodge Dart. I want to say that the loan on it was for 18 months; I think that’s what my late mother said. Of course, that was 45+ years ago when she got that car. Getting a loan for even 3 or 4 years is almost unheard of now.

    I remember when air bags were optional. Most people, of course, chose A/C; that was luxury in those days! So were power windows, power door locks, etc. Now, all that stuff is standard. Only my last two cars have come with power windows and door locks. I have had cars with A/C for a long time, though until my last two cars, they had roll-up windows. But yeah, for me, if I had to choose between air bags and A/C, it’s a no-brainer!

    It’s a no-brainer because I wear glasses; for me, buying air bags is a safety issue. I don’t like being FORCED to have airbags, either. Not only do I like being forced to spend money on something I don’t want; I’m concerned about what’ll happen if the bags go off, especially the wheel air bag. I don’t want to buy something that can hurt me! Unfortunately, ever since the early 1990s, air bags have been mandatory.

    When I used to go to Peru and spend time there, I’d see many unique cars that we’ll never see here. Chevy Sails are everywhere; they’re a popular car in Peru. You’d pay about $12K-$14K for one. You also see Chinese marques such as Chery, Geely, Great Wall, BYD, and Lifan down there. Most of the smaller Chinese cars (i.e. the economy cars) were knockoffs or clones of older Hondas and Toyotas. They seemed to be decent cars. Since gas is like $6/gal and the people are poorer down there, the biggest car one typically sees is the Toyota Yaris. The Toyota Yaris and Chevy Sail are popular with the taxistas down there. Unfortunately, we’ll NEVER see any of those cars here. That’s a pity, because I think that they’d sell well here. Ah, but thanks to Uncle…

    • Hi Mark,

      Yup. And: Are bags were forced – via mandates – precisely because most people weren’t willing to freely part with the several hundred bucks additional they added to the car’s price. Yet their preferences were irrelevant. So much for “freedom,” eh? You aren’t even allowed to buy – or not buy – the equipment you prefer in your own damned car.

  2. David, quite often govt. is religion or uses religion. I give you the Bible beaters in Bushco for an example but basically any US regime wraps itself in the flag and holds the Bible in it’s hands as it slaughters. I can remember when Muslims were not the evil ones but we’ve have a few decades for the Christians in govt. to demonize them. Going against the herd will always have you running into horns unless you have a polled herd which is unnatural in it’s own state. And it applies to where you may be too. i can give you an example.:

    One day, a very gentle Texas lady was driving across a high bridge in Austin. As she neared the top of the bridge, she noticed a young man fixin to (“fixin” in Texas means: “has the means or abilities to take action”) jump….

    She stopped her car, rolled down the window, and said, “Please don’t jump! Think of your dear mother and father.”
    He replied, “My mom and dad are both dead; I’m going to jump.”
    She said, “Well, think of your sweet wife and precious children.”
    He replied, “I’m not married, and I don’t have any kids.”
    She said, “Well, then you just remember the Alamo.”
    He replied, ”What’s the Alamo?”

    She replied, ”Well bless your heart …just go ahead and jump, you little
    Yankee Bastard!”

    Well, gotta go, fixin to feed the hogs.

    • @Daid- What did I mean.

      I ment that anytime someone steps out and disagrees with the heard dogma they will get roasted by the heard. Whatever that heard group is.

      • I think you meant “herd” as in collection of animals rather than “heard” as in a sound of sufficient volume. But yes a very apt metaphor.

  3. Eric, I agree with most of what you say there. A couple times my dad (Who is also my pastor) has mentioned abortion, homosexuality, or euthanasia as a sign of how our society has “Gone backwards” or things like that. I’ve pointed out to him, yeah, that’s true, but basically every evangelical pastor will say those things. What if you condemned the wickedness of “collateral damage” in the military? Or arresting people for victimless crimes? So yeah, I agree with the problem as you see it. In the Bible, Jesus himself never actually mentions homosexuality. Paul does, and I do consider him authroitative, but he only mentions it in a couple verses. So while Christians do consider it a sin, its not supposed to be the only thing we focus on. And I find it frustrating anytime anyone focuses on it too much at the expense of other moral issues.

    And yeah, theft, murder, etc. are all immoral and Republicans give government a pass when it comes to those things. One would wonder why they wouldn’t similarly make an excuse for two politicians having gay sex with each other.

    That said, I honestly don’t think most people truly care about being good. They might think they do, but ultimately, I don’t believe they really do. For exactly the same reasons government still exists.

    • @David – Isn’t the Bible and the Koran ultimately a book of laws and prescribed punishments? Written under what authority and applicable to whom? Can you prove it?

      You end up in the same moral dilemma as “abortion” and the term “rights”, gay or otherwise. That is why the basic philosophy of the NAP, and defined penalties for various violations of it, makes more sense in a world full of human interactions. Beyond that you are free to think, believe and act as you like.

      • I can’t remember for sure where I mentioned the Bible here (its likely that I did, but I can’t remember). I actually believe the NAP as the basis for a legal system comes from the Bible. On the other hand, with no such absolute authority, are you really right and is the majority really wrong? Why?

        As for my proof, there is evidence, namely, how much of Biblical history has been proven true, and the fact that Old Testament Prophecies predicted things long before they happened. Below I link one example:


        • @David – I am not trying to question anyone’s belief system. But I do look at the number of inquisitions, wars and dead over the years in the name of “religions” and their associated leaders that advise their people on how to act, and can’t just say it was a mystical unseen Satan that did it.

          • You’re taking your eye off the ball, which is exactly what the State wants. GOVERNMENT killed most of those people. Not religion.

            An atheist answers your question:


            Specifically the paragraph quoted below:

            Yes, yes, religion has done great harm in the past, and even in the present. There were the Crusades, and the Inquisition. Nowadays, people are murdering each other quite enthusiastically over religious belief. Horrid. But, compared to that great evil, the state, the number of deaths from this quarter is relatively small. Did you know that the best estimate for the number of innocents killed during the Inquisition was only something like 3,000 — 10,000? In very sharp contrast, the number of people killed by the government (mainly atheist communists) is estimated at some 173 million, in the 20th century alone. And this is just the number of its own citizens murdered by statist leaders. It ignores all the wars promulgated by government. It also fails to take into account the number of people killed due to socialized medicine, and on our government roads. See here on the latter.

          • @David – Far be it from me to condone government actions. They are also made up of people with an agenda/ belief system. Maybe I took my eye off the ball, I thought the discussion was ” I actually believe the NAP as the basis for a legal system comes from the Bible”. The Bible is a collection of writings, some added some deleted over time, that cannot be accurately interpreted by simply reading it. There are too many conflicts contained between its covers.

          • @David – I will confess that I am f’ing with you on purpose. Throwing down the The Book, government or race card is like playing poker with a 3 of hearts. You are a good guy, just be sure to shore up your beliefs with facts, not supposition and diversion. When you go against the heard sooner or later you will get the horns.

  4. Regarding the Ron is an anarchist thing, he said about six months ago that he isn’t. Its possible I suppose that he could be lying, but most likely I think he’s telling the truth. His character has never been to tell lies, so I fail to see why he would here either. That said, I’m not even “20-something” yet, and Ron Paul started my political transformation. I consider myself an anarcho-capitalist now.

    Regarding Rand, I don’t think Rand “Sold out” his dad. I understand he’s not a pure libertarian. I plan to vote for him if he gets the GOP nomination, but I’m not absolutely thrilled with him either. I do think, however, that government is getting bigger to the point where its getting TERRIFYING and I believe that Rand would slow it down if not roll it back some. So while I can’t defend him in any kind of an absolute sense (And he sometimes makes me cringe, don’t misunderstand) I think he’s nonetheless willing to at least move in our direction. I wouldn’t fault anyone here who can’t bring themselves to vote for him, frankly, there are more Red-State Republicans than there are of us, and Rand is the one who made the choice to jettison his father’s more hardline supporters for them. That’s his fault, not yours. If Rand moves past a certain point, my own position on him will change. But right now I view Rand as still being SIGNIFICANTLY better than any other Republican with a chance, or any Democrat.

    Eric, regarding your comments about politics, I partially agree with you but not completely. I think there’s some room for both. I view education as significantly more important than politics, but if a libertarian is running for office and can perhaps help roll things back… why not?

    Also, you say “Once you take the red pill, you start to lose friends.” I presume this has happened to you. Why exactly did that happen? Did they refuse to associate with you, or did you get sick of associating with them? I haven’t really had this happen yet, so what would you expect in that regard?

    • Hi David,

      I agree with your evaluation in re both Ron and Rand Paul. I try not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good – although I trust Ron more than Rand. I’ve never met or talked with either, but I do know Lew Rockwell and he speaks highly of Ron – and that carries some clout.

      On friends:

      I was once a conservative Republican – before I thought things through. When I began to criticize Republicans as fiercely (or even more so) as I did the Democrats, it annoyed my “good Republican” friends. Republicans – like Democrats – can be very clannish. Any deviation from the orthodoxies is not received with equanimity. But when I began to chew away at fundamentals – asserting the NAP and self ownership (especially with regard to the insane and evil “war” on some “drugs and then – heaven forbid – refusing to join in the gay bashing/fambly values shtick beloved by many Republicans even more than fuuhhhhhhhtttttttball and the flag) well, it was clear we were on opposite teams.

      • I agree that I trust Ron more than Rand. Of course, Ron himself seems to trust Rand, but then, I know his bias. In Rand’s case, I’m not certain that he’d move in our direction as President, but I actually think its plausible that he will. With most Republicans, I can’t even conceive of a scenario in which they would. I think its pretty obvious to anyone who pays attention that any candidate like Romney, Christie, Rubio, etc. will definitely expand the govt. if they get in. However, even with someone like Ted Cruz, I think its clear that the Zionist streak outweighs the liberty streak, so I absolutely cannot support him. Rand certainly is “At peace” with Zionists, but I don’t believe he actually is one himself, and while he does appease them to some extent, he falls short of flat out taking their positions in general. The neocons were absolutely TICKED when Rand refused to state that the terrorists attacked us for our freedoms. I can’t imagine any other Republican Senator refusing to say that, and that to me is a good sign.

        I think that its interesting that, homosexuality aside, libertarianism is much more “pro-family” than conservatism. For instance, libertarianism doesn’t advocate splitting up families by having a father (or a mother in some instances) go off to another country and get killed in some stupid war like both the conservative and liberal positions allow for. Libertarianism would allow for adoption agencies to be run by free markets, which would ultimately lead to more orphans finding parents, since the market does everything better than the government. Libertarianism would abolish public schools which teach statism, and many would likely be replaced by religious schools that teach family values. Or the war on drugs which makes drugs more expensive which leads to some parents neglecting their children to get these much more expensive drugs which likely wouldn’t happen otherwise. Now, personally, I don’t support state-sanctioned “gay marriage”, and I fail to see how endorsing it is going to get us any closer to our ultimate goal of getting the government out of marriage. But I think conservatives are so focused on that little speck that they miss the logs in their own eyes, how their wars and their drug warrioring destroys families. So much for the “Party of family values.”

        As for “gay bashing” I don’t know exactly what you mean by that. This could mean anything from saying homosexual sex is immoral all the way to the Westboro Baptist Church. Personally, I believe homosexuality is sinful, but as it is not an NAP violation it should not be criminal.

        The conservative flag-worshipping nonsense really ticks me off though . There was a story recently about a 4th grade Jehovah’s Witness’ student who refused to pledge, saying he “doesn’t worship objects”. The teacher tried to physically force him to pledge. I wonder how many “conservatives” who claim to be supportive of religious liberty would have supported this! Now, I don’t support the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses at all, but the kid was dead right on this one. I’m ashamed to admit I still pledged the flag during high school even though by my senior year I knew in my heart it was a joke. I had no support at home at the time (I have since gotten my mom to accept my position on this, and my dad to at least respect it) which made it harder, but that’s still no excuse. I should have done what was right regardless. Frankly, I have more “guts” now than I did back then in a number of areas. I was also a minarchist at the time, whereas I am now an ancap.

        Is there anything inherently unlibertarian about football? Or does it just so happen that most football lovers are statist shills? I like football but other than the Super Bowl I haven’t watched it in a long time, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at there.

        I was once having a conversation with my father and my friend’s father, and the subject of police came up. When I said something about not respecting them, I got an emotionally laden rant about drunk drivers and how one of his friends who died a few years ago was a cop (Of course, I was talking about speeding laws, I wasn’t even addressing DWI, and I in no way suggested that I was not sorry for his friend, but it didn’t matter). That said, while he was ticked off, he was “Over it” in a few minutes. I’ve decided a couple of things after that point. I’m not going to engage this particular person directly on liberty issues (Its just not worth it, he’s too stubborn and I don’t want to ruin my relationship with them) and I’m not going to engage a stubborn adult on politics while my parents are around.

        At this point I’d generally rather refer someone to my blog than engage them directly (With the exception of annonymous conversations online, or with people who seem willing to have an honest dialogue) because in person, it usually just winds up getting stupid people ticked off because their sacred cows were attacked. And while I’d love to get to a point where I could flat out call these people stupid, I really can’t do it right now.

        Just as an aside anecdote of the WORST of my family when it comes to this, my grandmother absolutely adores Bush and believes Obama is basically the Antichrist (Not saying that’s untrue, but I think that of most politicians, she’s a typical neocon shill;)) I read her the indefinite detention provision in NDAA 2012, but deliberately did not tell her the year or the President who signed it (Since, knowing her, she would defend anything Bush did to the death.) Believing it was Bush, my grandmother defended the law because “It could potentially save millions of lives.” I did try briefly engaging her insanity, but just out of curiosity, have you ever encountered someone in your family who was that much of a sheep? How did you deal with them?

        • @David – You don’t directly.

          Socratic method – A teaching technique in which a teacher does not give information directly but instead asks a series of questions, with the result that the student comes either to the desired knowledge by answering the questions or to a deeper awareness of the limits of their knowledge

        • Morning, David!

          Per Wilfred Brimley: We do the best we can with what we’ve got.

          Just as it’s not realistic to say, I am going to lose 20 pounds! – and then be angry and give up the next day because it’s taking too long – so also we’re in for the long haul as far as political/social/economic change. Small steps lead, in time, to big things. I find that if you can adroitly plant even a single Libertarian seed in a person’s mind, it tends to sprout and grow into an NAP bush surprisingly quickly. The logic is pretty inexorable, after all.

          So, I’ll cautiously support Rand if he runs.

          Agreed on Libertarianism and “family” issues. Among other things, if the average couple didn’t have to send the equivalent of one full income to the state, that couple could live – and raise a family – on one income. If the family is more financially secure, the children are more secure. Instead of being forced to pay for things like Tesla subsidies, the family’s income could go toward educating their kids – and so on.

          On the gay thing: Conservative Republicans have this weird obsession with it – probably due to the fact that since they’ve abandoned substantive ethics (like the injunction not to steal or do violence to other people) they have a need for some ersatz substitute. Babbling about “the gay agenda” serves this purpose. No sane person – let Libertarian person – ought to regard what other consenting adults do in their private lives, with their own bodies, as anyone’s business except those involved. End of discussion.

          On Fuuuuhhhhhhtttttball: It’s note the game, per se. It’s the ludicrous obsession with it – the deification of the players. The nihilism of grown men – not the players – agonizing over the fortunes of “their” team. The way it distracts people from substantive thought and discussion about, you know, things that matter. The outcome of a game does not matter except perhaps to those involved. In brief, I despise the bovine (and usually, beer bellied) mindlessness of it. What’s the difference between a Jerry Springer audience and an NFL game? Hell, I don’t know!

          On family: I deal with that, too. Most people, I think, are as you describe. Wedded to their preconceptions. Get their backs up when presented with views that “do not compute” – to their computers. This goes for liberals and conservatives. They’re really the same people at bottom. It’s as though we (Libertarians) are almost a separate species. Bonobos among chimps, if you like.

          • More or less agree with what you say here.

            Regarding the “gay agenda”, I have seen certain elements of the homosexual movement becoming increasingly fascistic against Christians and other people of faith. Remember the case where a Christian baker didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding? Or when a photographer didn’t want to photograph a gay wedding? Of course, the gay “couple” sued. Now I get that they aren’t all like this. There are homosexuals who are libertarians (Justin Raimondo immediately comes to mind). But far too many of them seem to want their agenda imposed just as much as the most hardened theonomic reconstructionist does, if not even more so.

            As far as I see it, too many people on BOTH sides of that culture war have both wanted government on their side, and focused way too much on that issue as compared to not stealing, killing etc., exactly as you mention.

            Sometimes I feel like I’m a different species, so I completely agree with you there. Sometimes it gets frustrating. Even before I started getting educated by the internet I had a slight libertarian spark, so I was never quite as bad as my grandmother is now, but I used to be a lot like them.

            • Hi Dave,

              The gays who sued the baker are schmucks who do not comprehend the NAP. No one has any right to force someone else to do business with them, or to associate with them. All such transactions ought to be on the basis of mutual agreement, voluntarily agreed to.

              The thing I object to in re conservatives and their anti-gay hobby horse is not that they don’t approve of homosexuals – that’s entirely their right. But they lose me when their conception of right (and wrong) is limited to what you stick your dick into.

              Homosexuality – as such – is no threat to anyone, as far as I can see, in the sense of the NAP. Maybe it’s a vice, like eating too much or being shallow and vain. But does it harm anyone not a willing party to the transaction – assuming the participants are adults and willing? Not that I can see. There are lots of things I personally don’t like and would not do myself and wouldn’t be particularly thrilled about if someone I cared about did. But it’s not my place to intercede (beyond perhaps offering an opinion, if sought) and certainly not a justification for legalized reprisals.

              What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that conservative Republicans have nothing else to talk about. At some level, they know they’ve embraced the same thug ethics as their putative opposition – that is, they do not object to collectivism, wealth transfer, prior restraint (and so on) provided it is done for reasons they approve of.

              But, people naturally seek to be good – to follow an ethical code of some kind. Ranting about the evils of being gay – and the goodness of “the family” – provides them with an ersatz ethical code, one that lets them avoid talking about real ethical issues like not taking stuff that doesn’t belong to you and leaving other people alone provided they leave you alone.

          • Yet another example of collectivism bringing out the basest viciousness in people.

            By making individual choices everyone’s business, the State interjects itself–both starting, then refereeing, the fight…a fight that never should have been.

            What business is it of the State, marriage?

            But they’ve started the fight now; and carefully groomed both sides with as much vitriol as possible.

    • Hi Brian,

      This is pretty cool!

      I wonder whether with a little tweaking (or gearing) they could be made highway viable?

      My guess is yes.

    • Yeah, I know what to do to the “official” libertarian party…ask them why they’re such a bunch of losers. And when I get some convoluted answer I throw a hissy fit and regret ever associating myself with them. The answer will not be found by politely begging the current corrupt government to change their ways, as is the “official” libertarian party’s strategy (AKA how they sucker people like me into donating them money so they can line their pockets while accomplishing jack shit).


      • Jacob, the Libertarian party was never a try at pure anarchy. You haven’t been taken and neither have I. I can recall the results of one federal race that got 7% in the last election, up from .7% ten years ago. Project ten years ahead at that same rate of growth. Barry Goldwater echoed my sentiments fairly closely when he was asked about the eastern seaboard and he replied “I’d like to cut the eastern seaboard off and send it out to sea” or something close to that. I’m disgusted with the whole system and vacillate between simply not voting and voting for something that doesn’t pretend it doesn’t have it’s own amount of evil. I know, I know….but merely returning to what we had 100 years ago would be the freshest breath of air any of us have ever had. No, it’s not perfect, but it beats hell out of what we have. Yes, I sound like a politician but there are times we have to come back to the reality of the entire thing. Tell me a smile wouldn’t cross your face to return to the federal govt. of 1900. It ain’t perfect but I’d take what I could get…..and that’s fairly much the human condition.

        • Ron Paul was my last hope from the system. I am purposely not reproducing because this world is a crap hole that no new people should be subject to until “we” change it. I’d love to see the Libertarian party succeed but the system is rigged. No way in hell will “they” ever allow anyone of any significance to come into power. “We” lose and the free way of life will never see the light of day for a long time… unless the system collapses and righteous, moral people seize the opportunity to rebuild it. But, of course, the Libertarian party isn’t talking about that. Just about begging for money and useless votes.

          I was taken by the libertarian party, and even Ron Paul, who got sold out by his own son and to this day has given no explanation for why he allowed Rand to endorse Romney. Oh, but Ron Paul has some bullcrap website now that “we” are supposed to pay 10 bucks a month to? Nope, no thank you.

          I thank both the Libertarian party and Ron Paul for their attempts, but it is futile. Live as self sufficiently as possible and don’t endorse violence, that’s about all that’s left for “freedom” in this country.

          All that said, I will continue to try to wake people up but despite a lot of people waking up, the number is far too insignificant to make any change happen the “official” way. Live on farms and preach resistance, now that’s freedom. No voting or political endorsements required.

          • Jacob, you said “I am purposely not reproducing because this world is a crap hole that no new people should be subject to until “we” change it.”

            Why do you want to be me in 1968? I’ve been tilting at those windmills since 1965 and only in the last few years actually found some people AGAIN who had my back. I don’t need to go on the NSA or FBI website and file a FOI request for what they have on me, it ain’t no secret. One of my best friends right now I met in 1975. His mother was big in AT&T and he told me there was a number I could call and it would indicate if my phone was tapped. Yep, it was. Later in the 80’s I worked with a company that worked closely with Nortel installing fiber optic cable across the country. There was a number I could call to affirm tapped or no, yep, still was. In 1988 a friend called and said “throw away your phone”. She worked in the main AT&T office in Austin, had my phone records the FBI and DEA both were keeping. I quit using my phone to call friends, completely, totally, just made innocuous business calls on it. How did that work out for me? Not too good after Bushco started their “reign of terror” on dissidents. Please remember this when you’re posting, “the better part of valor is discretion”.

            • Morning, Eight!

              We also elected to not have kids. The main reason being that having kids enmeshes you in this system to an extent we find intolerable. I watch parents going through the ordeal of strapping their kids into “safety” seats… going anywhere is now a major hassle and time-waster. And if you fail to comply, you give the state’s goons pretext for Tazing/caging. Then there is the whole gantlet of fraus one must deal with when one has children: “health care” fraus, the “child welfare” fraus, the fraus associated with “schooling.”

              The state now has new pretext for invading your privacy, including your home. Your liberty – whatever little remains – is diminished even more.

              I have not even broached the topics Jacob mentioned – the above stuff was enough to dissuade us.

          • I was taken by the libertarian party, and even Ron Paul, who got sold out by his own son and to this day has given no explanation for why he allowed Rand to endorse Romney.

            If Ron Paul walks his talk, he doesn’t allow or disallow his grown son from doing anything.

          • “Ron Paul was my last hope from the system.”

            Good. It doesn’t pay to have hope for ‘working within the system’. Ron Paul is a loyal republican first. That’s probably why he didn’t even comment on Randall’s endorsement of Romney.

            Ron’s whole shtick was working ‘within the system’, and one positive thing he did was to show how totally futile that is. I think that his major downfall was his loyalty to the GOP. He doesn’t have any influence on my thinking and I pay him no attention anymore.

            • An interesting thing: Once you begin to accept Libertarian premises, you inevitably end up realizing that looking to politicians for salvation is as purposeless as trying to start a car without gas in the tank. Change occurs within each individual, when that individual comes to realize it’s wrong to interact with others on any basis except voluntary free exchange; when he recoils from any use of force against any peaceful person for any reason.

              At that point, he has awakened. Politics becomes irrelevant.

              When enough people have awakened, government becomes irrelevant.

              In an odd way, it is the realization of Marx’s withering away of the state. Except each individual is a sovereign, rather than an intellectual abstraction (“the people”).

          • Dear Jacob, et al,

            Some anacaps have been speculating that Ron Paul is actually a ringer, in the good sense, one who is on our side.

            They suspect he is actually a long time convert to market anarchism, but is maintaining his cover as a GOP champion of limited government in order to fulfill an “underground railroad” role, converting minarchists to anarchism from within the GOP.

            If you look at how chummy he is with hardcore anacap Lew Rockwell and company, this “conspiracy theory” is not that far fetched.

            If you look at how many Millennial anacaps cite Ron Paul as their “gateway drug” to market anarchism, that merely reinforces the suspicion.

            As always, the first question to ask is “Qui bono?” Market anarchism has been doing amazingly well under Ron Paul’s influence. Is that really only an accident? Or was it the goal of some libertarian conspiracy all along?

            Food for thought.

          • @Bevin said “Some anacaps have been speculating that Ron Paul is actually a ringer, in the good sense, one who is on our side. ”

            His long voting record stands as much a testimony to him as his words. He lasted a long time inside the belly of the beast because he knew how far to push. Plenty of firebrands came and went unnoticed and today unknown during his time there. I give the man a lot of credit for playing chess well.

            He is now concentrating on educating the young outside the system. No better use of an adults time and efforts IMHO.

          • Dear Gary,

            Glad you agree!

            I would like to think that this speculation is more than just wishful thinking.

            Even someone as hardcore as Larken Rose has wondered out loud whether Ron Paul isn’t an “anarchist wolf in minarchist sheep’s clothing.”

            But even if he isn’t, and Ron Paul actually is a bona fide minarchist, the fact remains he has brought many 20 somethings along into the individualist anarchist movement, intentionally or otherwise.

            Therefore in terms of actual results, he has still done a lot of good.

          • @Bevin – Yes. To those who make light of him I ask for the name of their alternate politician in a position to vote and make his/her voice heard to the masses as a movement, not just bitch out loud. (We have Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Michael Savage and such for that mental masturbation). So far to takers.

          • Garysco, The only hope I have is bitching to my representatives. I would hope young people will embrace some other party such as the Libertarian Party en masse. Politicians do have to listen to their constituents to some degree although I think this century has been a wake up call for those with no “political power”,i.e., not enough money to buy influence. Ron Paul has done more for anarchism and plain freedom than anyone in the LP and he did it as a wolf in sheep’s clothing so to speak. He would have never lasted had he tried it in any other party so in that, he’s done some real good, even if that good is nothing more than waking up what I hope is a decisive segment of the society. I was moving right before the ’08 election so I strapped my Ron Paul sign to the headache rack hoping at least one person might take notice and do some checking. I was pleasantly surprised to find several young people honking and waving with big smiles on their faces. In 2000 I could never have guessed how badly our freedom would be eroded by Bush. The cooler heads I sought didn’t exist or were silenced. “You’re either with us or against us”. That offended me at first but I later wholeheartedly endorsed it. In fact, I couldn’t have stated it better myself. I felt like the only person in Tx. who didn’t want to give him a reach around but I didn’t rely on the MSM(thanks Justin Raimondo). The last 5 years though have been an unmitigated nightmare. If masses of voters don’t embrace another party we will all certainly be another number in the NSA, DIA, FBI, etc. etc. database who’ll “think” they know where we are all the time. I spoke with my wife yesterday and we decided to give up our cellphones from a major carrier and get new numbers generated by random from trac phones via cash. If Chuckie S’s dreams come true and trac phones can only be bought with ID, we’ll go back to old school as we lived the first 50 years of our lives without a cellphone. Plenty times I have driven several hundred miles just to speak face to face with someone. I can do that again.

            • It is, Gary… life’s never the same again. You will almost certainly lose friends; family may become more distant, relations strained.

              In a very real way, you feel like the refugees in “Walking Dead,” or Rowdy Roddy’s character in “The Live.”

              But, I’d never plug back into the Matrix or eat the blue pill, if it were offered.

          • “To those who make light of him I ask for the name of their alternate politician in a position to vote and make his/her voice heard to the masses as a movement,”

            You never asked me. Maybe you didn’t want to hear it spoken plainly.

            Why is it necessary to have an alternate politician who can be named? All politicians suck. Paul abandoned a career as an obstetrician in favor of a 25 year “teaching moment”. Laudable to you, maybe. To me, it’s fucking ridiculous.

            In a position to vote? You mean to be the sole ‘no’ vote on who knows how many bills? And this would be interesting because………?

            I guess by “to takers” you meant “no takers”. Do you count people who answer your “challenge” by pointing out that no politician is needed?

            Politicians are duplicitous assholes by definition. Career politicians who stay in office for decades are assholes whether or not their duplicity is obvious. Your hero claimed he would liimit himself to 3 terms, until it came time to do so. He also took millions of dollars from ordinary people, for campaigns that he obviously intended NOT to win.

            No politician worship for me, thanks. You worship as you please while I do the same.

          • @garysco:

            Why is it that people on our side are so quick to throw Alex Jones under the bus?

            If anyone’s a crypto-an-cap, it’s Jones. He too plays careful chess; he consistently deflects probing by an-caps on his show and defaults to “I just want liberty; I’m a Constitutionalist”.

            Which, by the way, is my opening line to sleepers and the newly-awakened.

            You don’t jerk the hook out of the fish’s mouth; you just set the hook.

            I suspect many people who are willing to throw Alex Jones under the bus do it for one of two reasons:
            1) they haven’t listened to him for any length of time and integrated his position
            2) they think they’re garnering street cred by denigrating him to the masses–who think he’s nuts–and thereby increasing their own credibility.

            I started listening to Jones a couple of years ago, long after I’d done my own research on the “Elite” agendas:
            1) eugenics/transhumanism/abortion
            2) mass sterilization, dumbing-down via poisons in the food, water, and drugs
            3) the banking oligarchy and in particular the roughly twelve family banking dynasties that own the world

            I was blown away that he’d done the same research in great depth. The craziest things he says, if you do the digging yourself, turn out to be true.

            No. Alex Jones has been an incredibly effective wake-up call to millions of people–in a way that appeals to a totally different crowd than Ron Paul, the most effective educator to libertarian ways.

            It takes all kinds.

            What I would like to see is one of the major speakers of our cause move beyond “here’s what’s wrong, here’s what They are doing…” to “Here’s how to counteract them, here’s our strategy”

            But that’s weak. Why should they bear that burden–why don’t WE get off our collective asses and DO things?

            And we do; look at spontaneous movements like Overpasses.org, or the open-carry rally in San Antonio, or any number of other small grass-roots movements. Hell, the entire Tea Party…which despite their flaws has the RINOs and Dummycraps absolutely shitting their pants.

            Guys don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good–concentrate on what we ALL want, freedom and liberty, and save the fine parsing of minarchist vs. an-cap vs. an-syndicalist vs. etc. for later when the dust settles.

            If we play our cards right–you’ll have dozens of states to choose from that practice whatever degree of whatever libertarian flavor you like.

          • eric, Good morning? Next day? I’m just now finding this post, yahooooo. It was an element of ‘higher education’ that formed our need to not procreate with the not so accurate views of Paul Ehrlich(of which he has disavowed much of what he said back then….never trust anybody over 30). We could have had grown children before car seats were a gleam in the federal eye but there was very much a concern of my showing up whenever fate deemed, seeing a child I vaguely knew and seeing them see me and not be sure who it was. Dogs always know, cats too eventually, but kids, not so much. One thing I DIDN’T realize was I might not be around that much but I’d damned sure be there for my family. I won’t try to tell anyone I chose the best profession but it was in me and it had to come out. There ain’t no do-overs. I can look back and lament but to what end? It is what it is.

      • The LP abandoned the few “libertarian” principles it ever had decades ago. Really, the TEA Party was stillborn. Anybody who seeks political solutions to any problems, ultimately abandons “libertarian” principles, by definition.

        • It’s the great conundrum: how do you present a political party as being “different”, within the current systems framework, and not become the very thing you’re claiming you wish to change. I see no reason for entrenched forces to ever give in willingly to anything.

          • It’s no conundrum at all. The present system cannot be reformed because it was fundamentally flawed from the very beginning. Of course entrenched forces will give nothing up…the very use of the word forces indicates an approach that stands in polar opposition to individual liberty.

    • Dear Brent,

      A concrete example of the “infantilization” of “advanced democracies.”

      Similar BS is going on here on Taiwan too.

      All “advanced democracies” appear to be describing the same path, i.e., circling the drain.

    • BrentP, I drove all over the country when I was 12. My best friend and I would take one of the ranch pickups and go to the nearest big town and race our model cars. But we normally drove all over mainly one side of the county working, feeding the pigs cows and horses, doing whatever we were supposed to do. By the time we got our licenses at 14 we could powerslide with the best of them. People would give us bricks of .22 ammo and we’d spend the night spotlighting rabbits or sneaking in to forbidden tanks and bass fishing. In the late 20’s my dad helped a local general merchandise store owner drive loads of groceries from north of Sweetwater to Odessa. Tx when it was nothing but a dirty boom town. Nobody looked twice at 12 year old’s driving and fairly much still don’t. Hell, at 12 we went out and hauled hay or whatever needed to be done and knew it better be done….correctly, no sloppy stacking. We weren’t the exception either. Most of the boys my class in school had the same type chores and work to do. Had friends who got up at 4:30 every day and milked the cow, came back in the house after feeding her and ate breakfast and then back out for other chores. Nobody had to rock us to sleep at night. I get mad seeing a lot of the kids that age now. They’re getting royally screwed. Work ain’t always all work and we always had our guns and fishing rods with us. Change irrigation pipe and then fish on the river. IN fact, there’s hay to be hauled right now if I could do it.

      • Dear 8sm,

        Now that was freedom.

        When I think about the perversion of the meaning of the term “freedom,” what the Welfare Warfare Statists have reduced it to today, it just makes me angry.

    • Morning, Brent!

      I am not the least bit surprised. Not even a little. I knew it was coming, in fact. Why not? It is entirely logical – from the point of view of the dominant “safety” worldview.

      I assure all of you that unless current trends are arrested in their tracks, the time will come when every adult will be required by law to wear a device that enables authorities to monitor our movements as well as administer some sort of non-lethal (perhaps even lethal) “punishment” when we act in a non-approved way.

    • PS: I was not far from six feet tall when I was 12. I wonder how I would have looked in a booster seat….

      NO doubt, this sort of thing is going to result in more violent adolescent freak outs. Can you imagine being forced to sit in a child seat at 12? Why not make ’em wear a diaper, too?

  5. You know that newer cars have black boxes, GPS locators, steer-by-wire, throttle-by-wire, automated parking, ABS/stability/traction control and the latest have super-computer level processors and self-driving vehicles are in the pipeline. All these things equal having Big Brother on board, even if they do have some benefits.

    AutoWeek ran an article last month about the ability of hackers (including those working for .gov) to access systems in cars from ’98 onward in varying degrees to either take control of a vehicle or induce safety critical malfunctions. The older cars still require hands-on to program, but those coming out now have Wi-Fi access and potentially bridgeable links from something like bluetooth in the radio/nav unit and the ECU of the vehicle that could be breached by a virus (think stuxnet) and steering, brakes and throttle can all be over-ridden, either to make your elimination appear an accident (think Michael Hastings and his brand new M-B, coincidentally a marque at the leading edge of these technologies, speeding out of control), or drive you straight to the re-education camp/gulag.

    Older vehicles may be the only way to keep Big Brother out of the passenger seat (or driver’s). However, future Cash-for-clunkers and the potential for mandatory GPS locators to implement tax-by-mile road taxes, may doom many of these, intentionally.

  6. There is one libertarian “fly in the ointment”.

    If roads were privately owned, they would be private property, subject to the profit-making whims of the road-owner.

    I can see several legitimate free-market reasons why road-owners would require driver’s licenses and liability insurance. Road-owners, I’m sure, would strictly forbid impaired driving. Additionally, I would expect a road-owner would mandate that all cars be minimally road-worthy. The punishment for any of these infractions would be banishment, and charges of trespassing if the banned driver tried to access the road again. The profit-motive would be to reduce carnage, congestion, liability, etc. In short, you can’t have people taking the train (or another road) because they are too afraid to take their lives into their hands by getting on a highway.

    I bring this up because, even as a libertarian, I give the government a short leash to manage the road-ways as any private owner would. However, I see no reason why a private road-owner would require air bags or any other nonsense.

    • TheGeneral said “If roads were privately owned, they would be private property, subject to the profit-making whims of the road-owner.”

      While true, the owner would be foolish to price himself out of the market or not maintain his road due to competition. Today the government takes registration, fuel tax, tolls etc. , but spends the majority of the collected funds on unwanted mass transit or other budget items unrelated to the roads I want to drive on. Imagine if gasoline and diesel were 40 -50% less expensive, and several bureaucracies gone.

      • Ah yes, roads. My favorite argument for “why we MUST be ruled by a government”…. I’m quoting an unknown sarcastic source here, “Roads are a technological marvel so complex, that only a government possesses the tools to create and maintain them.”

        • Jacob, that’s rich. I built my driveway that’s 3/8 mile long. I had really sophisticated equipment though, a tractor and dirt mover, a big pickup and a hydraulic dump trailer and most important, a SHOVEL. No, most important was money and then a strong back. Technological wonder though was a piece of RR rail with hooks on either end I hooked to a chain on the back of the pickup and slid the chain so one end was forward and fine tuned it.

          • And what if you didn’t have those tools? You would be at the whims of some greedy “private contractor” whose price you would be FORCED to pay or get no road!…. that is until his competitor offers you a more reasonable price… or you buy the tools yourself and hire people to do the work for you. Very complicated…

            • Out here in the sticks, most folks have dirt/gravel driveways. Gravel is nice on several levels, including that it’s pretty cheap and also that you can hear people coming before they get close to your place.

              I have a rake attachment for the tractor that does a good job of prepping the path. Assuming no stumps and pretty level, of course. Then have a dump truck come out with a few tons of “crusher run” – and you’re in business!

          • And yes, without government roads would have tolls. But I’ll bet all the money I paid in Federal taxes for this year (2013) that toll roads, without government oversight, would be far cheaper than what I and other people working honest (taxed out the ass) livings pay for these “technological marvels”. Not to mention, I remember being under the age of 16 (the legal age I could start working here in Arizona), and still getting to enjoy the benefit of roads before I was officially “paying taxes” (and I say “officially” because even as a child I was forced to pay things like sales tax on the soda and candy I was buying at the store, to fund the roads and, of course, the “freedom” the government allowed me.) and again, I’d be willing to bet money that without the threat of government, these toll roads would still allow children to walk/ride their bicycles on the sides of them. Or…maybe these children/people could walk, ride their bicycles, or drive (no age limitations without government…) on something different…like the beaten path, for free?

            “But what about the sociopaths?!” …here’s a thought…imagine a world where sociopaths would fear death from the free people because there was no government to protect them? An armed society is a polite society, no government necessary.

          • jacob, I didn’t have those tools back them with the exception of one pickup and the shovel. I bartered(think huge amounts of beer every week plus working my butt off for friends)with friends to use that equipment. The state can’t barter by it’s very definition. I traded labor also and technical expertise in a couple of areas. It’s the way things are done here since we’re all in this together. It’s still that way for the most part. Say, I need this. Ok, I know a guy who has one. I’ll see if I can borrow it. Ok, I’ll do this for you in exchange. I suppose there’s not many places left like this. I put in much more labor to build it than what the driveway itself required. I always had at least a couple jobs. Hell, a great many “public” projects have been totally done by individuals getting together and pitching in whatever it needed. That’s what I grew up seeing, the reason I know it doesn’t take govt. to get big jobs done(not my driveway, that’s little stuff).

          • Dear Gary,

            “But what about the sociopaths?!” …here’s a thought…imagine a world where sociopaths would fear death from the free people because there was no government to protect them? An armed society is a polite society, no government necessary.

            Definitely true!

            But actually we can up the ante on that one.

            With government, the sociopath problem is worse! The sociopaths all enter the government and become the government!

            Eliminate government, eliminate the shortest path by which sociopaths seize power and abuse non-sociopaths.

            Government is never “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

            Government is always “government of the sociopaths, by the sociopaths, and for the sociopaths.”

          • EightSouthMan, this is exactly what most people don’t understand. Nobody is stuck in their home because they don’t have a driveway. Additionally, nobody will build a home in the middle of nowhere without a method of getting there.

            You look at a big city, and you can’t imagine how the funds would be collected to pay for all the roads connecting homes and businesses without a government. Put another way, you can’t figure out how a private owner could monetize it.

            You look at new developments, however, and it’s obvious how the roads get there: the developer put’s them there. Sometimes the municipality chips in, sometimes not. Many of these new developments involve associations, which can be a massive pain in the ass, but if they had to, they could easily include road maintenance in the assessment.

        • Dear Jacob,

          I recently stumbled across a parody on government roads that used a classic scene from the movie “Office Space.”

          You know the guy who said he was a “People Person?”

          Now I can’t find it.

          Anyway, I’ll keep looking.

          • I’ve seen the video you’re referring to (I just did a quick youtube search and can’t find it either).

            Citizen: “You physically take the money from the citizens… and give it to the contractors to build the roads?”

            Government: “Well, not exactly. Other people take the money from the citizens, I just make sure it goes to the contractors”

            Citizen: “Well I have to ask, why can’t the citizens just give the money straight to the contractors themselves?”

            Government: “Well…uh…the citizens don’t have people skills! I have people skills!”

            I skipped over a few quotes but that is the basic gist of it. Good stuff.

            Things like that are the only reason I miss being on Facebook… being associated with a bunch of anti-government pages (most notably “Fuck the government” and “Statism is slavery”…they constantly shared things like that).

          • Dear mith,

            That Kokesh video on the Portland residents who took the initiative to repair their own roads is a gem.

            The gubmint’s response?

            Pure Kafka. Sheer insanity. Anyone who still believes that gubmint actually solves our problems needs to watch this.

  7. I’ve always owned and enjoyed basic, low cost, no frills cars. My current car is a base model Toyota Yaris hatchback that I bought 6-1/2 years ago. And it’s OK. But before that for 10 years I owned a base Metro 3-cylinder 1 liter manual transmission that I flat out loved. So I’ve been eyeing the new Mitsubishi Mirage, but the Mitsu dealers in my area think they’re a gold mine and are asking $15K for them. If I ever get one I’d rather wait and buy a used one for a lot less. So thru all this I’ve been watching Elio Motors and their new Elio [ http://www.ElioMotors.com ]. I really hope that it comes to market next year as they plan, and that it is wildly successful. I do have a deposit on one as we speak.

      • You’re welcome Robert. The ELIO could possibly be the next VW Beetle. I for one certainly hope that they are wildly successful. They already have received deposits for almost 5,000 of them, and those are scheduled to be manufactured and delivered during the 3rd quarter of 2014. It is nearly impossible for any car start-up company to succeed, but the ELIO gets around a lot of the gov’t imposed mandates by being only a three wheeler. As I said I have a deposit on one (and I have no vested or financial interest in Elio Motors at all).

          • I’ll encourage and endorse that idea. Would love to see your article.
            That thing looks hella fun. Just not the car I would take to a Drive-In theater, if I could find one.

            Related side rant here, on “safety” regs and equipment.
            I remember 60’s car commercials – “…with a Steel I Beam in the door panels!”
            All of the accidents I’ve witnessed were due to driver inattention, not unsafe cars. Last one I saw was on a county road just north of a HWY 5 interchange. I was on a feeder road that came to a T with a stoplight – actually a 4 way, because the other side of the T was the entrance to a Target warehouse. A big rig with a long trailer was opposite me, coming out of the parking lot, I was waiting to make a left. A minivan coming up the highway from the freeway hit the trailer in the middle, full speed, no brakes, no skidmarks, just ..wham.
            Minivan hit the trailer at about the bottom of the windshield, which was suddenly in the second row of seats. Airbags, ABS, Bumper regs… none of that seemed to help. At all.
            I’ve long been a fan of light, agile designs that let an alert driver avoid accidents, rather than a “tank” that some salesman tells me will survive anything. I blame this on my time on a Honda 450cc in high school.

          • Those door beams in the old cars really work. I know this first hand. Those big steel channel stampings hold well. The days of over engineering because they didn’t quite know how to optimize. Of course there is probably some weakness that didn’t quite get covered back then too, but it didn’t show itself IME.

            I want to have faith in today’s lighter weight optimized side impact bars but I fear they are relying more on the side airbags than structure. I know some very hard steels are being used too. I just fear with CAFE the structure was cut down with the airbag to take up the slack.

            • I know it, also!

              The doors in a car like my mid-70s Pontiac each weigh at least 100 pounds. No exaggeration. There is a lot of heavy steel between you and whatever hits you.

              And, one of the very real negatives of modern design is that in minor impacts, you often receive major damage to the car.

              Hit something at say 20 MPH or so – a speed unlikely to result in serious physical injuries to the occupants – and you can expect to be replacing the entire front clip, hood and supporting structures underneath.

              Modern car front fascias are typically just thin plastic covers, easily ripped/torn and ruined beyond fixing. Hoods are made of almost tissue-thin metal that a reasonably strong man could probably bend in half by hand.

              I’d rather have a car that can take a minor hit without major damage – even if it is “safer” in a high-speed accident.

              Because which is more likely to happen?

              Fender bender type wrecks – or a major catastrophic wreck?

              Most people will never have to deal with the latter. But almost everyone will, at some point, bump into another car or slide off the road (at relatively low speed) during a snowstorm, or strike a deer – and so on.

              When this sort of minor impact happened while driving a typical American car of the ’60s or ’70s, the damage was often superficial and easily fixed. Sometimes – if the car had big heavy bumpers – all you had to do was pull the bumper back into place, which could be done with a chain or some heavy rope and a large tree.

              Today, you’re often looking at a couple thousand dollars in cosmetic damage.

          • eric, never been a fan of small cars, Japanese cars till the last few years. They were very thin and flimsy. Some say they were light so you could avoid a collision. They were light and thin to save weight, ergo to save fuel. I was on state hiway 46 in Tx. a few years back and came on a wreck. Emergency people were there and had been a while. I have never seen so much blood running down the pavement, must have been near 100 feet of it in a wide trail. You couldn’t tell what the vehicle had been except some fairly new tinmobile, no doubt replete with airbags. My passenger and I both were stunned by the carnage. It’s a two lane road with many turn offs with hills and curves and mostly a 60mph zone since you’re in the middle of nowhwere, between Boerne and Blanco. You couldn’t tell what had happened but odds are someone was turning and someone else ran over them or a head on. I had some friends once in a bad head-on, both cars, a big Olds Vista Cruiser and a ’76 El Camino and nobody walked away. Actually, several of the people could still ambulate but not very well. There were no fatalities though, just broken bones and deep muscle bruising, both vehicles. Substitute any compact or even larger new car for either one of those these days and it would take all night with the jaws of life to extract the occupants of the new car.

        • @Kitty: It is nearly impossible for any car start-up company to succeed …

          Quite true. Unless you’re Elon Musk and have ready access to the U.S. Treasury.

          Of course, Tesla will eventually fail. But Musk will still walk away with millions of taxpayer $ in his pocket. So for him, it will be a success.

          With a name that sounds like a drugstore cologne for men, Musk must have gotten teased a hell of a lot as a kid. So he’s getting even by first getting filthy rich and then forcing the average taxpayer to fund his pie-in-the-sky schemes. To me, he’s Dr. Evil without the kitty.

    • Dear Kitty,

      Elio is definitely on the right track!

      Maybe a year ago I myself suggested that something akin to the Morgan Three Wheeler could be built super cheap.

      Now, lo and behold, it has happened.

      The Elio also resembles Bucky Fuller’s “Dymaxion Car.” Not overall dimensions of course. But in the reverse tricycle configuration.

      • Morning, Bevin!

        I am digging into the Elio… so far, it seems encouraging.


        I like the balance of performance and efficiency. And also that it’s not just a one-seater.

        I’m disappointed a little, however, that they emphasize “safety” – that is, electronic gadgetry – as much as Toyota or GM. I personally do not want ABS or traction control. And neither of these items is legally mandatory (at the moment). Why include them – and their complexity/expense – in a car intended to be a “back to basics” car?

        I have my doubts this car will achieve the stated goal of being available for retail sale at the touted $6k, too.

        • Dear Eric,

          Your skepticism may be justified.

          Nevertheless, the very appearance of this vehicle and its sales pitch confirms what many of us have been saying all along, that a really cheap vehicle is wanted.

  8. If government mandates and restrictions on the auto industry were removed, the auto industry would be perpetually profitable, buying a car would involve less consumer debt, and the auto industry wouldn’t be begging the US taxpayers to bail it out the way a kid begs his parents for an increase in his allowance. Bottom line: what would be good for GM (and other automakers) would be good for the country (not to mention the US taxpayer, workers, consumers, etc.)

  9. What could be included in this article is the stupidity of mandatory bicycle helmets, booster seats for children in cars, etc. In Canada, children up to 70 lbs MUST have a booster seat. Why 70 lbs? Why not 90? Because if it was 90 lbs, some adults (petite women) would have to have a booster seat and it would be obvious to all that “booster seats” are just a money grab! Whether booster seats really help children is far from proven. Teenagers who are self-conscious (as most shy teenagers are) will simply not ride bicycles, limiting their physical activity, get fat and become diabetic. Yet, those risks are not considered. The risk of having a car accident when your child is constantly crying because they must sit on a “booster seat” that is made of hard plastic with a foam cushion that is only half an inch thick is never considered.

    The Nazis in the Nuremberg trial were told they were just following orders. That was deemed unacceptable and they were hung anyway. It’s time for people to start considering anyone who “earns” a living by working for the government and imposes draconian and petty regulations on the populace as pure filth. Just my opinion.

  10. Thanks for publishing (what should be) obvious truth.
    However, while many knock at the door of the origin of the setup and its purposes, none dare speak it:the divide and conquer strategy of the New Deal. Those lemmings believing that they are the natural co-evolutionary partners in the world order, while being in reality, the teir 2 destructees after the dessimation of the middle class, to remove all impediments of competition. The “coat-tails” of the arrangement being the guards to the gates with the promise of participation via excessive money printing, promise of continual employment (or preferential, with endlessly renewed unemployment benefits backed by the gov’t), and a chance to participate via a virtual money scheme backed by market manipulation. Opensecrets.com shows who is at the table….

  11. You have it almost right. Yes, it’s about protectionism. Yes, the government passed the laws. Then you give us this:

    “Government – the people who run it – have this blind spot about economics. ”

    Wrong! Government and the people who run it understand economics 100%. They understand that GM and Ford and Chrysler and the insurance industry and the bankers give them billions of dollars to get elected. Government understands that in exchange for these billions of dollars they must give something back AND THEY DO. What is so hard to understand about this? Government is doing what it is paid to do, which is to protect corporate interests.

    What government doesn’t understand is morality, and that is mostly because corporations redefined the rules on morality. It started long ago and has continued unabated. Stores used to be closed on Sunday. Families used to stay together. Women raised children. Families needed one car. There’s no profit in that. Now everybody over the age of 16 has to have a car. I’m surprised that they haven’t figured out that if they lower the driving age to 13, they can sell millions more. That will come next. Just watch.

    • Dear Roger,

      “Wrong! Government and the people who run it understand economics 100%. ”

      My take on that is that those at the top of the various hierarchies do indeed understand it the way you laid it out.

      The rank and file don’t necessarily see the Big Picture though. They are indeed part of the problem. That is undeniable. But they aren’t necessarily sharp enough to connect all the dots.

      Just my two cents.

    • Hm, the corporatists versus the safety Nazis. One side would (in your scenario) lower the driving age to sell more cars. The other side wants to raise it (really) in the name of safety.

      • Ayn, something I’ve noticed in my life. DL’s were got by everyone at 14 in Tx. in the day. The bad drivers of the bunch were mainly the ones who hadn’t grown up driving a tractor and then pickups when working. You didn’t want to screw up a work vehicle or anything else. Tongue lashings weren’t uncommon if you ran over something and it cost to fix it. I noticed the same thing when the age was raise to 16, not an increase of skills, maybe not even as good skills since they’d had to ride two more years with what might have been bad drivers. Sometimes people who know they suck as drivers and try to compensate continue to suck. I’m not sure what the disconnect is there, just not understanding physics I suppose and what seems the inability to concentrate on the task at hand. While i drove like a fiend when I was young, I never had a wreck and would constantly be alerting my friends to big booboos they were about to cause. Look out, watch the road. Did you see that girl? Yeah, I did but I’m not driving and still didn’t turn my head to watch her disappear behind us. We’ll see her again and if we don’t you should have taken a picture. I’ve seen plenty 10 year olds that could drive just fine. I think the safety Nazi’s miss the whole lesson because they are/were bad drivers and think everyone is. No doubt the corporatists would sell a car to anyone who could buy one. I’m not sure that isn’t as it should be.

    • I get tired of hearing how government acts so “stupidly” when in fact they’re smarter than a hen house fox. It’s the citizenry that continually put these crafty bastards into positions that give them control over our lives that are the true idiots. Think about it…. these guys are smart because their schemes and scams have worked for generations. Why reinvent the wheel?

      • This is why we did NOT have universal franchise.
        Flawed as the CONstitution is, it was still better than what we have degraded it to now…
        You don’t get to do whatever you want.
        And you don’t get to vote unless you have skin in the game.

        And WTF is it with allowing illegal immigrants to VOTE in OUR elections?

  12. I must take issue with one item. The automakers did not work with the government on the airbag mandate. IMO it was the last real, honest, big fight they put up against the government. Why? They had the engineering data that showed how dangerous airbags were to many people. The unbelted male standard is one of the reasons they pulled airbags off the market best I can tell.

    In the fight, back in the 1980s the automakers were called all sorts of nasty names by the Claybrookians and Naderites. The airbag mandate forces eventually got their way when it became airbags or automatic seat belts for 1990(?). A few years later the automatic seatbelt option vanished. With airbags becoming common people started getting killed by them. It was a giant ‘I told you so’ for the automakers but the government wouldn’t back down. They were right, so we got switches and now the seat sensors and other BS to patch over the fact that the standard for airbags is just plain wrong.

    • Dear Brent,

      “The automakers did not work with the government on the airbag mandate. IMO it was the last real, honest, big fight they put up against the government.”

      It was some time ago, but I seem to recall the same thing.

      Thanks for the reminder!

      • Bevin, I think it was the early 80’s when GM chose Cadillac to offer something like $2500 of airbags for $100 or maybe twice that since they felt those owners would most likely afford them. Nobody wanted them at any price and that was that as far as GM was concerned. So when airbags were mandated then they worked hand in glove with the people who would design cars from then on, the NHTSA and other nanny groups. No use fighting, try to steer them in the direction you think your company can go without too much trouble. Seems like one of the CEO’s said something very similar. I can see that. We”ve all had to deal with people who could break our backs, who had no knowledge of what they were doing but power aplenty so we did what all these types want, cater to what they say they want and make them think they thought of things first. I’ve avoided lots of hassles doing this very thing with that personality person. Feed them the information and then act like it was they who thought of it and be enthusiastic. Hell, they’ll fall all over themselves to take credit for it…..it just makes their friggin day.

  13. Yeah–you’d think.

    But of course they don’t think. To them, Hitler was a fascist–but they’re “liberal”. Stalin and Mao were bad communists…if they even know who they are, and it’s a good bet they don’t. Ask them.

    I’m coming to a new realization about that crowd from working with one at the company I’m consulting for right now. Very nice guy; the very picture of the bumbling absent-minded professor. To him, the idea is the victory; you just think and it happens. No testing, so verification against empirical conditions; just “I thought” and that’s reality. And as he thinks, so he diverges further from reality.

    Because he never proves his thought against reality to adjust his mental model.

    The way he writes code infuriates the entire team, because he’ll check in wholesale changes that screw everyone the next day–nothing works, mysterious failures–and when we track it to his checkin it’s “Well I thought that would work…”

    But his political beliefs are exactly the same way; a bunch of nice thoughts never reality-checked.

    • @meth – Ayn Rand wrote some books that describe your co-worker. They are the ones that wonder what went wrong after it was too late.

  14. Eric, one of your best articles. Absolutely to the point, and I think the best one you’ve written for people not Already In Our Club.

    Can you push WND or Infowars to carry this? I’ve noticed especially on Infowars that although his readers understand government’s evil, most of them don’t have a coherent understanding of liberty…of what real freedom IS, just that we’ve lost it–whatever it is.

    I have to keep remembering these tricks when I’m arguing for freedom.

    Keep It Concrete!
    Keep It Simple!
    Remember the Gun in the Room!

    And borrowing a page from Saul Alinsky–
    Point out the hypocrisy of the opponent’s actions…in the case of “liberals” and “progressives”, by constantly reminding them that THEY are the violent ones, THEY are the aggressors, THEY are actually using–by proxy–the guns. THEY are the intolerant ones. THEY are the racists–because I’m not the one constantly harping on skin color. THEY hate the poor–because everything they’ve done has hurt the poor.

    And so on.

    The Gun In the Room argument works wonders on libs/progs with a conscience. “But Bob, surely you support my right to choose? And if I choose not to pay for the government school my kids don’t use, how is it right to rob me at gunpoint?”

    The kicker is to put THEM in the place of the cop–“Bob, would YOU hold the gun to my head?” Although–I had one failure with that trick. He evaded with some Social Contract hand-waving and nasty sneering. For that and other reasons, he’s not a friend any more. Sometimes it’s just not worth trying to bring along a totally dysfunctional person.

    • @ meth – “Point out the hypocrisy of the opponent’s actions…in the case of “liberals” and “progressives”, by constantly reminding them that THEY are the violent ones, THEY are the aggressors, THEY are actually using–by proxy–the guns. THEY are the intolerant ones. THEY are the racists–because I’m not the one constantly harping on skin color. THEY hate the poor–because everything they’ve done has hurt the poor.”

      You would think their 20th century failures with Stalin,Hitler and Mao would bring them to reality. But sadly no, they simply double down and want it world wide.

      • Dear Gary,

        You are right.

        The capacity for intellectual evasion among modern intellechwals is truly stupifying.

        But that said, the morality based approach meth touched upon is still the most potent weapon in the libertarian arsenal.

        I remember watching one Zombie Apocalypse movie with a happy ending. The last remnants of humanity engineer an Anti-Zombie Virus to undo the effects of the Zombie Virus.

        Instead of having to tediously shoot millions of zombies in the head one after the other, the Anti-Zombie Virus spread the same way the Zombie Virus spread in the first place. Before you knew it, harmony was restored.

        To me, that’s the master strategy by which libertarians will prevail against creeping collectivism.

        Refute the Myth of Authority. Keep it simple. Convert a critical mass of mankind. Begin with oneself.

    • Thanks, Meth – and, I will!

      Just got back from a visit to the mother-in-law in Raleigh. For you race fans out there, that trip (from Floyd County, Va. to downtown Raleigh) can be made in 2:43 and some change… I have it on good authority.

      • eric, way to go. My parents house was 345 miles from their house in Ruidoso, NM. I proved you could make the trip in 4:05 driving time. The Elco speedo is 100mph, similar to the Can Am’s, same seats, dash, etc. It stayed in the R to between P and 0 range the whole trip…..cookin across the desert, 27 G gas tank, those were the days.

        • My college room mate–now my brother in law–heard some girls were renting a condo in South Padre Island over a three-day weekend.
          We’d just finished a round of tests the day before.

          Seemed like a great idea…at 2AM when we thought of it.

          Hopped in my Mitsubishi Eclipse–remember the first ones, the tweaked-out little two-liter turbo screamers that made 200 HP? Felt like a lot more; those things were on fire quick.

          We brought vital sustenance with us–a twelve pack of that disgusting stuff Miller Genuine Draft.

          Got to the girls’ condo at 5:45AM with three beers left to share with them.

          I don’t remember if we had to fill up…seems like we would, it’s about 360 miles and turbo’s are thirsty at those speeds.

          • meth, I knew a guy with one with 300hp, some hyped up thing. It was a blur. I know they didn’t last that long but what a thrill while it lasted. I often thought of buying one and even the wife thought they were neat although I think she might have had second thoughts about me driving her around in one. I’ve scared her sick too many times in other vehicles. We made the run of 345 miles form north of Ruidoso to my parents home in tx. in 4:05 in the El Camino and I stopped in Plains, tx. and let her puke. People couldn’t believe how fast I could drive but I did nothing else while doing it, never let a second go by I wasn’t on top of it. I had a friend from grade school, my best friend to this day who trusted me implicitly, maybe the only person who could stand to ride with me on a rush trip. I’d buy the highest speed rated tire made, have them all shaved to be round and run them nearly bare and go for it again. I missed my calling, should have just gone from high school to the east coast, got a job washing tools and let fate do the rest. I liked ME but hated school and realized I wouldn’t achieve what I wanted to do going that way. Oh well, I could still make the fastest trip to ‘Cuna.

      • eric, listening to Mexican Blackbird…..Aw, let’s drive that old Chrysler to Mexico boys, I say Keep your hands on the wheel there, oh it sure is fine ain’t it. Hey guys, hand me another one of those brews back here…….ZZ was the first hard core libertarians in my view. They’d show up with so many speakers and amps you could feel your breath. They threw all the rules out and did their thing.

        • Ah, NOW we’re talking! ZZ Top are Houstonians. Rumor has it, the guy who custom-built their tube amplifiers rated them in horsepower.

          I like the rumor so much I’m not even Googling it to verify.

          Some myths you don’t want to fact-check. They add richness to life that some hard facts just don’t.

          • Dear meth,

            Amen to that.

            Remember the classic John Ford Western, “The Man who shot Liberty Valance?”

            The newspaper man, understanding now the truth about the killing of Valance, burns his notes stating: “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.

          • meth, just believe. Half truths are benign for things like that. I simply love remembering it all. And we did drive to Mexico in whatever we had. I want a do over ha ha. Damn, I was so fired up in those days lol.

    • Dear meth,

      I second that wholeheartedly.

      I have long believed that morality, in the long term, is the trump card. Whoever holds the moral high ground, will eventually see his ideas prevail.

      The false morality of altruism is how most societies have been shamed, through unearned guilt, into grudging acceptance of forced redistribution.

      If We the Sheeple foolishly accept the notion that collectivism/altruism morally justifies forced redistribution, socialism will eventually prevail.

      If, on the other hand, We the People realize that egoism/individualism morally justifies rejection of forced redistribution, freedom will be able to hold its ground.

      Also, exposing hypocrisy is essentially the same as exposing logical defects. It is the moral side of the moral/practical coin.

      As Rand so astutely noted, there can be no divergence between the moral and the practical, exposing hypocrisy simultaneously exposes logical fallacies.

      • Thanks Bevin.
        Now that said–I definitely think there’s a strong place for private charity. Totally voluntary, private, as near to one-on-one as you can get. Is it altruistic? I’ve read many of the deeper arguments on whether there’s ever such a thing as true altruism. But without it, society’s much more likely to go collective.

        On the subject of hypocrisy:
        I don’t know if I’ve shared this story but here goes.
        A college friend is the son of a very wealthy entertainment lawyer–Madonna was one of his clients. One night we were going out clubbing and we’d been talking; he derided my dad’s purchase of an NSX…exact words were “That’s seventy-five thousand that could have fed three hungry families for a year!”

        We pull up to the club and there’s a hobo waving cars into spots at an abandoned parking lot. Clearly not hired by the club; but he was giving some order to the place. So when I parked I slipped the guy a five.

        Dan–the wealthy friend–sidled up to me and said not so sotto voce “What’re you doing man? Don’t give him money…he’s a bum!

        And THAT, my friends, is the collectivist’s hypocrisy!

        • Dear meth,

          So typical of collectivist/altruists!

          I too believe in charity – voluntary charity. I have given a lot of money, relative to my modest income, to charities over the years.

          Was it “altruistic?”

          Here prior agreement on nomenclature is necessary. Otherwise people wind up talking past each other.

          But it’s worth noting that any proper definition of altruism ought to include intent. Shouldn’t an “altruistic” deed be one that was intended as an altruistic deed?

          Here the collectivist/altruists trip themselves up, both logically and morally. Their “altruism” is coerced, with taxes collected at gunpoint.

          Their motivation was to posture as do-gooders with OPM. The hapless taxpayer’s motivation was to avoid prison for non-payment of taxes.

          Some “altruism” that is!

          No. Genuine altruism is voluntary charity. It can never be anything else.

          • “Real” charities is a hot topic for me right now. The more I think about the collapse of society and discuss it with others, the more the question gets brought up about what will be done with all the masses of welfare recipients. Gunning them all down is just a reactionary fantasy. In my opinion, they (the welfare recipients) are either going to have to work for a damned living, or, if they truly are too mentally ill to know how to work for themselves (like I believe is the case with most of them) there will absolutely need to be honest charities to at least attempt to educate the masses on how to live like a “normal” human being and not depend on others (government) to provide for them. That said, once I move to the country side and have less than half the bills I currently have, I plan on donating at least some of my time to these honest, “real”, charities. (I put “real” charities in quotes because I know full well most charities claim to be “non profit” but have dipshit owners who line their pockets with the tax write offs and donation money while making the volunteers do all the real work).

      • “exposing hypocrisy simultaneously exposes logical fallacies.”

        There’s a difference? Here I was thinking that hypocrisy IS logical fallacy.

        • Dear Ed,

          Absolutely! You are right, of course!

          That’s why Ayn Rand correctly referred to the “moral practical dichotomy” as a fallacy.

          They are, as you rightly said, the same thing.

          It was merely that modern collectivist intellechewals created artificial distinctions that libertarians had to refute for the sake of clarity.

      • Morality is a Duty imposed upon a person by the community/culture. It is the cultual glue of the Police State. It is not compatible with freedom. Stop being moral; be free and do what is right instead.

        • Bobbye, morality is what the state calls it’s own more’s. Community more’s are those things that often conflict with the state sponsored morality. Statists wouldn’t be such if they had any morals.

          • Dear 8sm,


            The rule of law is the rule of those who make the laws.

            I once held the rule of law to be sacrosanct. No more.

            I’m referring to statutory law of course. A voluntaryist society would have rules, but they would be closer to common law, not statutory law rules.

            They would be reasonable because if they weren’t the market process would gradually filter them out.

        • Dear Bobbye,

          We agree on what counts.

          But… you wrote,
          “Stop being moral; be free and do what is right instead.”

          When most people “do what is right” they are “being moral.”

          Now of course you are free to use these terms however you wish, but doing so will go against conventional usage and lead to major confusion.

      • Dear MOT,

        Right. That’s why I’m a firm believer in making use of all sorts of media to get the message out.

        The rigorous, scholarly work that academics like Hans Hoppe is of course important.

        But folksy, cracker barrel means of persuasion, e.g., Molyneux and Rose, probably reach a wider audience and make more converts.

  15. While reading this article and the comments, I kept thinking ‘The thing’ the market wants is a cheap assed, basic, half-way quality truck, more-so than a car.

    I’m just basing that on all the responses I get towards my 90’s single cab 4cyl 4×4.
    So many people tell me they like it, and they want one, or they don’t understand why ‘they’ don’t build and sell those anymore.
    I’m simply astounded by how often I get comments along those lines.
    Those types of trucks get scooped up in minutes when they go For Sale online, while the full sized Chevy extended cab, or V-8 F-150’s, with the For Sale sign attached to it, have become ‘the new’ lawn ornament (right next to ‘House For Sale’ signs) when it seems like only yesterday everybody just Had to have one,… of both.

    In many instances, imho, a truck is just a wheel barrow, so there’s no need for gadgets, gizmos, and uber-safety devices.

    A brand new cheap assed truck would sell like hot cakes – or pizza – to a hungry crowd with pockets full of money and bellies full of beer.

    I bet that a cheap assed, basic, half-way quality car would do quite well, too.
    It’s like what this guy was telling me on my lunch break about how in the 1950’s they sold Coke-a-Cola fountain drinks in the pharmacies. A person could tell the man running the machine just how much cocaine to add to the Coke-a-Cola to get just the right kick and boost for the moment.

    I responded by saying, “We are getting soo Ripped Off’ed today.”

    • @Roth – Damn, the soda fountain. I do miss those. Especially the ones in the drug stores. Real hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas, root beer floats and ice cream sundae’s with real stuff in them. Not to mention a lot of great conversations at the counters. The girls considered them safe zones too. 🙂

    • Excellent points, Roth.

      But your coworker sounds like the coworkers I had at a previous job. I’d get them all amped up to talk about the way things used to be in this country, and because they didn’t want to come off as uninformed would try telling me a story that they were pulling straight out of their asses. I’m pretty sure the last time Coca-cola contained cocaine was way before the 1950’s… but maybe I’m the uninformed one when it comes to that.

      Here’s an example of an ex-coworker pulling shit out of his ass: Dude would tell me about how much he hates cops and bragged he had friends in the “Bandidos” biker gang… needless to say, he was just some fatass middle aged man with bullshit stories. How can I say that without knowing every little fact about his personal life? People who actually roll around with biker gangs don’t run their fucking mouths any chance they get about it… and if they do, you can know for a fact that they were maybe at some corporate faggot party where someone had a support sticker on their bike, so all the yuppy faggots went to work the next day and found people they thought were gullible enough to believe their hyped up, bullshit stories. (people like me. I’ve found that being young attracts a ton of bullshit from older dipshits who think because I’m young I will believe anything they say). Idiots. But hey, maybe your coworkers aren’t like the douchebags I’ve run into, I suppose I just wanted to get that all off my chest lol. ….I fucking hate liars.

      • Oh, maybe, Jacob. Or maybe not? The guy was a Coke-a-Cola collector.
        You know how those collector types are always in the facts of the item?

        Garysco seems to know first hand.
        I’d like to hear more, especially about those safe zones. Ha. So funny, the ‘safe zones’, they live on in my house, even today.


        …The good part is coming up, where he blows up the parliament building top. “Sometimes good comes from violence.”

        Que, Jean.

        … I’m powering down.

        • @Roth – Old dinosaurs like me and 8 grew up in American Graffiti. Not a perfect time, but more realistic and whole lot more freedom then now. Notice the likes of John Wayne movies are no longer allowed on broadcast TV? They think you and the Zena warrior princesses they are telling you to be might get some bad ideas.

      • @Jacob – There are always a lot of toadies wanting to hang around with the 1%’ers. Unless he was the one with the patch and rockers he was a wannabe toadie at best, or more than likely a pain in the ass who was told to F off.

    • “It’s like what this guy was telling me on my lunch break about how in the 1950′s they sold Coke-a-Cola fountain drinks in the pharmacies. A person could tell the man running the machine just how much cocaine to add to the Coke-a-Cola to get just the right kick and boost for the moment.”

      Not so, Roth. Cocaine was removed from Coca Cola in 1914. I know that the ’50s seem like ancient history to younger folks, but it ain’t really that ancient. 😉

      • Ed, maybe the 50s really are ancient, and so are we. lol

        You’re right about Coke from those days, but I do remember taking OTC cough medicine with codeine. It was even advertised on the boob tube. Going back several generations, you could order laudanum (tincture of opium) from the Sears catalog in 1897. You could also buy a 7 shot .22 revolver for 68 cents. A .32 would cost you all of 85 cents. No registration, no background check, no nothing. Send in less than a dollar and you have a gun. Yep, this country once knew liberty.

        • Mike, sometimes I feel ancient. The ’50s were my childhood years (I’m a ’52 model) and the soda fountains were still in both drugstores on Main st of my home town until about ’67. Mom bought paregoric, which was a camphorated form of laudanum, over the counter for our stomachaches.

          I bought a Fox model B 16 ga. double for myself from Western Auto for $85 when I was 15. Mickey Epps, the clerk, knew me and my dad and knew dad had given me permission to buy it because I told him so. i walked out of the store with it, and carried it up the street taking it to work with me, and nobody batted an eye.

          Yeah, we used to be kind of free back then.

          • 1951 model here, so I have one more year of ancientness. We did have a tremendous amount of freedom compared to nowadays. What very few perceived at the time was that the national security state was already in place and was slowly spreading its tentacles. By the end of the 1930s, the machinery of government was firmly fascist. Within another decade, the CIA and the military-industrial complex were firmly entrenched in the law. The stage was set for the propaganda machine to convince the sheep that we were eternally threatened by powerful foreign forces and government provided the only refuge. Since then, the state has incrementally destroyed the people’s character and ability to think, bringing us to today’s sorry condition.

            Note to self: pick up lots of wine on the way home from lunch today.

          • Ed, Mike, it’s hard for me to believe what we’ve come to. Now a secret law being passed……again. How people can believe they’re the constituency of Congress members is beyond me. Mike, pick me a bottle up too please. Due to “another” stupid law I can only buy beer today. I’ll be waiting when they open the door. It’s past time to start home brewing and drop the gluten. I ordered a Herter’s quick draw setup when I was 14. Very excited when the mail came with my package. I’m glad it no longer works properly since the BATFE has it.

          • I hear you, Eight. Alcohol laws are almost as absurd as the drug laws. I can get wine any time in Virginia. One of the last decent things about this state.

          • Mike, it sounds worse than it is legally. I could buy wine today if the beer store had any but they don’t even keep my brand of beer there. I think they have Busch products, Miller Lite, Coors Coors light, maybe some second beers from those companies and then the usual suspects of Seagram’s cooler type things. I thought 30 years ago we might have somebody locally with good wine and there was some decent wine available for decades although they never had what I liked and were too expensive but since Bushco, everyrthing’s gone to hell here. There was some Sam Adams Cherry Wheat but I don’t do wheat beer I would have bought some Shiner black draft if they’d had any. Things have really gone downhill since the turn of the century. 140 miles away in Lubbock there’s really great wine made there. We used to make wine runs up there and buy a pickup load. Partly it’s my fault since I never built a good place for wine. I kept saying I’d build a cellar but it never happened. Anyway, the liquor laws are really stupid but we finally got out from under the blue laws. SIASD(stupid is as stupid does) Sophistication has come and gone here mainly thanks to what Bushco did and now BO. I recently considered what I made in 1974 and realized we topped out then on wages and it’s been a constant fall. Compensate for inflation and we’d be making $70/hr compared to wages back then. but the economy tanked decades ago.

    • Oh, and yes, Ender. That gagged me.

      … Could you imagine being 11 or 12 years old and being told to sit in one of those?

      Talk about infantilism of the population/culture?

      • Ok, I have to go now, my wife put the film, ‘V- For Vendetta’ in the DVD player.
        I know,… how lucky is that?

        It required a lot of effort on my part,… I’ll say that.

        TMI, I know. But what the hell. … Maybe give someone struggling with their better half some encouragement? STick to it.

        And then there’s this:

        Armed Family Frees Abducted Woman from Violent Kidnapper

        “We didn’t wait, we got up this morning and we did what we had to do. We did not wait for the authorities, we did it our own selves,”


        • Dear RAH,

          Armed Family Frees Abducted Woman from Violent Kidnapper

          “We didn’t wait, we got up this morning and we did what we had to do. We did not wait for the authorities, we did it our own selves… ”

          Or as the Charles Bronson character said in the crime thriller “10 to Midnight,”

          “Forget what’s legal. Do what’s right!”

          • Funny how that attitude – still key in the 80s, still tied to our founding culture – has gone the way of the dodo.
            You wonder why I figure there’s no reason to preserve the sheep? They are as perennial as the grass….

      • People wonder why there are mass school shootings….. when kids get pushed and pushed and bullied by their peers, ignored by their teachers, then are told by their clover ass parents that they have to be treated like babies by sitting in a booster seat until they have a full set of pubic hair… it’s no wonder why kids “snap”. What just kills me is the sheeple public then go along with “zero tolerance” policies that only make things worse…. God dammit “we” are so screwed in this country…

        • Reminds me of something my grandpa once told me… “If you think weird people are weird when they’re young, just wait until they get old”.

          • Dammit, I meant to make that reply to my post to Roth underneath these posts I’m currently replying to. This is exactly why we need more people on the forums here, so it’s easier to respond to each post. 🙁

        • Understatement of the year, Jacob.


          We MUST be beholden to our masters, enslaved in mind, body, and spirit…

          Perhaps we should discuss something a little different? I found this in my Feedly this morning…

          Talking about what happens when we (well, my type, really) give up all our underpinnings, and “fight fair” with someone who intends to use low blows, brass knuckles, baseball bats, and everything else they can get their hands on – but make us give up the first punch, and fight with our arms tied behind our backs.
          Key point:

          Everybody on the left is BFF with everybody else on the left. Democrats like Fidel Castro. Al Sharpton likes Hillary. Jimmy Carter likes Michael Moore. Obama likes Rahm. And it’s all reciprocated. Over here on the right, though, we fight like maniacs over trivialities. And one of the biggest fights on the right is over whether to fight or not. Ever since Goldwater was prevailed upon to denounce the John Birch Society, conservatives have been told that they have to separate themselves from whoever the elite consider “extremists,” or they’ll get nowhere. They do, and they still get nowhere. And this self-destructive behavior reaches its peak, I think, in the trope devised by the egregious Jonah Goldberg that the fascists are/were leftists. Utter nonsense. The fascists — from the Iron Guard to Hitler to Mussolini to Franco and many, many more — were not leftists, but rightists who saw, correctly, that the left had to be fought with its own weapons if it was to be defeated. The other rightists have been taught to fight only with words, while the left is perfectly willing, nay, eager to raise hell in the streets while the right stays inside and blogs to each other.

      • Roth, 11 or 12 my ass. They’d have had a hard time to keep me from staying at home when I was 7 if that were the case. My daddy let me drive at that age though I had to sit in his lap to do it. I was such a gearhead my aunt let me drive an 18 wheeler when I was ten, bunch of throw pillows at the edge of the seat and I stood to clutch it but hey, I was driving. I could go around the block, on public streets meeting people with my aunt sitting there laughing. Now that was fun…..and my parents could never figure me wanting to be a trucker. I used to take a friends little girl with me when not working and let her drive. She drove from about 5 on and when she was 7 I turned on to a dirt road off another one day and punched the pickup in the middle of the curve to see what she’d do. She let it drift out and then steered into the skid and gradually backed the wheel around as it gained traction and straightened. I never had to touch the wheel. That old Q-jet was howling and we were both grinning. The only thing that ever gave her any problem was adapting to not being in the center like on the tractor where everybody in this country learned to drive.
        Laws had a tough time with that and generally turned a blind eye. A friend kid who was 8 and been driving a while was driving the pickup behind his dad and the state trooper stopped them and gave him hell so he put the kid in a 30,000 lb tractor and told him to go bother someone who wasn’t trying to work.

    • Dear Ender,

      A predictable consequence of the insane “logic” of the Nanny State.

      Your kids do not belong to you. They belong to the state.

    • Ender, some ese` parents make their kids ride in strollers until they’re simply too big to fit. Still, that’s a voluntary thing with those families, unlike the government mandated booster seats mentioned in the article.

  16. a co worker is ready to buy a new vehicle because their 96 Pathfinder with 140K on the clock, that they bought new needs a O2 sensor and a charcoal vapor recovery canister. mechanic wants $875 to repair.

    I gave em a spare 02 sensor I had, loaned em my sensor wrench, showed em how to replace the charcoal canister for a few bucks.

    • Society certainly needs more people like you.

      It is not by accident that “we” don’t have more options (more freedom) to buy what we might want, like a super cheap, simple car. “They” are doing this to enslave us into buying over priced, shit vehicles, that “they” know full well will break down at some point, what with all their electronic doo dads and other unnecessary components.

      I, or anyone else, would be very successful if I designed a car that was built with simplicity in mind, and would allow anyone with basic tools to do all the maintenance on it… but thanks to the government making it a complete pain in the ass to so much as start a business, let alone start manufacturing and then selling a product, people like me just get to bitch about the freedom “we” don’t have on the internet. 🙁

      49 million welfare recipients… “we” certainly have the government “we” deserve. Except even as I say that it’s not really the fault of anyone but the bankers that purposely stole this country from “us”, just like “they” have with almost every other country on the planet. Where’s that quote from back in 2001 when some general spoke about the countries (I believe there were 7 at the time) that he knew would be invaded because they didn’t have central banks?


          • It’s been going on for some time.
            When I was studying engineering, they talked about “Overengineering.” There’s no reason to make the OBJECT last longer than the first thing that will fail.

            I always felt that was bullshit.
            You make the weak link BETTER – not the rest worst.

        • dom, I have a ’68 John Deere 4020 with all original parts, been used and abused but just keeps on ticking. Don’t think JD has made one that overbuilt since although some 4330’s and 4440’s have unbelievable hours on them. You won’t see many of them since they all get taken to Mexico and places south.

      • I used to own a car that was easy to fix. My 62 VW Bug. All you needed was a good set of metric wrenches and sockets and you could do most anything. Nothing was really hard to get to. The entire wiring harness was probably about 30 feet long, tops and easy to figure out.

        I could easily do a tune up at home, change the engine, do most anything.

      • Yep.

        another co worker took his Tundra to the dealer when the check engine light came on,

        stealership wanted $700 to replace 02 sensor.

        I told him if he bought the sensor ($50) and bought me dinner at my favorite steakhouse Id swap it.

        After I got thru eating a $37 T-bone, his truck was cooled off enough for me to slide under it and swap sensors.

        I recently replaced the alternator on the wifes diesel beetle,
        $150 , but took 7 hours. (FWDs suck)
        just for kicks I called the stealership, they get $1650 for it !

        • Incredible.

          Meanwhile, I can still order a street-strip built TH400 from JEGs for about the same ($700) as those shysters wanted to stick your friend for over that $50 02 sensor… they have no shame.

          And $1,650 to replace an alternator?

          No wonder I miss the cars of the ’60s and ’70s.

          I can literally pull/re-install the alternator in my ’76 TA in 10 minutes – if I take my time. One 9/16 bolt at the bottom, one 1/2 bolt up top. Loosen both, slip the belt off. Disconnect the electrical plug. Remove the bolts, remove the alternator.

          Had a ’73 Beetle. Generator. Needed to shim the pulley every now and then – and replace the brushes. Once in awhile a new belt.

          I paid about half what the stealership quoted you to change the alternator… for the whole damn car!

          • eric, I’m not defending the process but I’ve seen a few people get into the car business and lose their butts. A good location, translation, a huge amount of money for bureaucratic bullshit in some city. And then the factory requires more and more specific things that have to be built, ways it must be done, etc. And when it gets down to it, they don’t pay people any more than they have to because operating costs are so high. You know there’s lots of wasted money just in keeping personnel alone and it’s because of govt. Just to have a washbay is a ridiculous entity all in itself. EPA has their hand in everything those people do. No telling what a big corporation could sell a vehicle for and make money if left alone. You know yourself the money wasted as a businessman on things that have nothing to do with getting the job done. I’ve had to have two insurance policies that were identical for different brands I sold and technicians had to have that same insurance and a great deal of MY insurance was for the technicians I hired. Get that monster out of the picture and prices drop quickly.

          • Yep, call a VW stealer and get an estimate for alternator replacement on a tdi beetle.

            took 40 minutes to swap the alternator in my 04 Expedition.
            I was on the road, hundreds of miles away from home.
            did it in the parking lot of the auto parts store

            My next “new ” vehicle is going to be a 88 K-5 Blazer.
            easy to work on, no plastic, no useless frufru gadgets.
            although I will admit the heated and cooled seats in the
            Expedition are habit nice,

            I already informed the missus, that her next new car was gonna be a 68 Mustang or something thats easy to work on and doesnt depreciate. although we get almost all of our cars at an auction, so they are cheap enough that depreciation is not a concern.

            last one was a 8 yr old vehicle in excellent condition that cost $46K new.
            we bid $6,000 and got it.
            some sucker lost a bundle in deprecation…

          • justin, you da man. I recall back in the 80’s GM and Ford used to sell Caddy’s and Lincoln’s to the big rental fleets for nearly nothing. Our credit union would eventually end up getting those cars and while they were a good deal, they’d go used and sometimes worn out for more than the rental places gave for them new. Back before Northstar and modular engines. Caddy’s and Lincoln’s with bad engines, crush ’em.

        • Amen to that. My brother-in-law and I used to make some beer money off our college friends; stuff like replacing alternators.

          Many of our customers were busy mechanical engineering students. I always got a kick out of that; what the fuck kind of engineer can’t swap his own alternator?

          I hear you on the FWD cars. Everything’s hard. Forget a timing belt job on a FWD, it’s a nightmare…at least the Honda Accord I did it on once.

          A couple years ago I put a lift in my garage. Thing paid for itself with a 100,000 mile job on my car–brakes, fluids, suspension lube, and a 60,000 job on my wife’s car. Labor cost saved? A little over $2 grand!

          Now it’s just gravy. If you guys haven’t thought about it, DO IT. The car lift will change your life. You can get very good ones used for very reasonable prices. If you buy ‘Murrikan-made expect to pay about $3 grand but you get the quality you pay for. I didn’t want to risk standing around under Chinese steel. Not that they can’t do it right; just that I’ve heard all sorts of shenanigans on their quality control.

          • meth, I was known as the SBC guy, did head jobs and everybody had me adjust their valves(lots of solid lifter cams then and even setting one for hydraulic cams can be a boon if you know what you want to do with the engine). My freshman year I had to go back and use some Pine Sol a second time right before inspection to get my deposit back since I had a nice little transmission repair going there(manuals, rock crushers for the most part). We were crazy as hell, had one friend I was doing a head job on his Chevy wipe out on his bike into his car while I was working on it. We laughed like hell and kept on going. I liked setting up Duntov solid lifter cams, 375 HP rating but that was bs, more like 425. I was the go to guy on Holley carbs too. I could still rebuild one and they’re complex, esp the ones with GM parts numbers. Of course the GM Holley carbs were superior to the plain Holley. I have threatened to put in a lift(at least $3500 for the size I need)for 25 years but I’ll need to break out the concrete and pour some really deep piers for it, not a consideration too much on a car. A big problem for me is my air jacks won’t fit under cars these days. I can use them on pickups but I’m SOL on cars unless I want to jack it up with a hydraulic floor jack till I can get jackstands under it and then use the air jack. Hell, I can be really squeezed up and finish the job before I can get all that done. I detest working on FWD but I do and I’m damned glad they’re GM too. I have worked on a friends Honda and that was a damned nightmare, even used lots of wide wood on the floor to jack it up and still bent some of the metal a bit. I don’t know how those cars are supposed to be jacked up with a hydraulic jack. Yes I do, they aren’t supposed to be jacked up with a hydraulic jack, just a 4 point lift. I understand why you purchased a lift. You make a good point about ME majors. In my day there were two schools, the guys who liked to watch tapes spin and use a keypunch and the ones who were getting their hands dirty working on things. I’ll take the ones who got some real life experience thanks…..and my dad wanted me to be a computer guy. It was maddening back then. Oh, I wouldn’t have minded being the guy who fixed all that mechanical stuff tied into ancient electrics(I hesitate to use the word Electronics when it’s a hodge podge of resistors, transistors and vacuum tubes hooked to mechanical linkages).

  17. There are still lots of older cars available
    and it doesnt have to be low mileage,

    in 86 my brother bought a 75 Celica with 125K on it, for $1200

    swapped in a $500 junkyard engine at 275K and again at 380K

    it got wrecked at 498K still had the origional trans
    only thing changed was brakes & clutch & engine.
    still ran good, just drove sideways cause it was bent like a banana.

    you can still find late 70s cars for sale

    mileage is not the issue, a rebuilt engine, new wheel bearings and suspension bushings will fix that, rust is the killer.

    the reason you dont see people driving them much is because in the last 20-30 years, most americans have become so dumbed down that they cant even change a light bulb, much less change a wheel bearing or radiator.

    otherwise at some point it could look like Cuba where everyone keeps repairing their current vehicles.

    and some people already do, my sister in law drives 1993-98 2 door full size Blazers/Yukon
    first one , a 94, croaked after 6 years at 305K, she bought another one, drove it 5 years, it got wrecked, she spent a couple weeks locating another one,
    all three have been the same color, and they keep the last one as a parts car, saves alot of money when you need a window motor, radiator or some other part.

    we have a 00 Beetle and a 04 Expedition, and Ive already decided that our next new car will be a 88 K-5 Blazer

    takes 9 hours to replace the alternator on the Beetle,
    took 23 minutes to replace the alternator on the Expy,
    but good grief, anything made after the late 80s or early 90s is needlessly complex,
    designed so, just for the sake of being complex.

    the heater control knob is NOT connected to the heater fan, it merely tells the computer that you would like a faster fan speed,

    same with the power window switches. ugh!

    since about 1995 there have been no new improvements added to cars to make them handle better or more efficient to amount to anything, just more complex.

    • @Justin – I think our corporate betters have figured out our used car game. I just replaced 2 wheel bearings with Timkin rollers, only to find out they are so-so metal quality made in Indonesia. I am finding it harder and harder to get replacement parts from old trusted brands that are not quick to fail Chinese junk, maybe it will fit and work, maybe it won’t.

    • Much of the country’s population lives in the rust states.
      I haven’t seen a ’75 Celica on the road here since about 1985 and they were rare then. At that point they were cars on verge of collapse from rust. Sold for less than a $100.

        • They also made the Celica All-Trac with all-wheel drive and a turbo. I tried to test-drive one one time, and the salesperson led me all over the lot asking me what color I like best, before admitting they didn’t have one.

          • chiph, car dealers are flaky ain’t they? In ’79 I made good money and wanted a 40th anniversary ‘Vette. Went to the dealer to order one, asked if they needed a down, no, it’s good. I go back when the new ones are arriving to get my car. The guy acts like he’s never seen me and they don’t have one. Ok, that screws me good because everybody else naturally has sold out all they’ll get long before they arrive. Turns out the dealer wasn’t able to sell ‘Vette’s since you had to be a dealer that sold so many cars and had the required machines to work on them which they met neither criteria. I’m sorry, we can’t get that car and I would have been somewhere else. A friend bought one slightly used. I was sorta glad I hadn’t got one.

            • Good (bad) story, Eight!

              I like the ’79 Corvette – especially the ones with the optional L-82 350 (220 hp that year, if memory serves) and the four speed manual.

              The L-82, for those who don’t know, was more or less a detuned LT-1. The engine that replaced the 302 Z28 engine in 1970 and became the Corvette’s top small block that year, too. Same heads and good block, but a mild hydraulic cam instead of the bumpy solid lifter stick the LT-1 had. Cast iron intake and Q-Jet instead of aluminum high rise and Holley 4BBL… nothing a weekend and some hands tools and a couple hundred bucks couldn’t fix!

              Hell, no need to go that far, even.

              Just cutting off the hugely restrictive factory exhaust (which in those days flowed through a single “pellet” cat) and replacing it with a good set of headers and true dual exhaust, re-jetting the Q-Jet and other fine-tuning would bump the output of an otherwise stock late’70s L-82 enough to get the car running low mid-low 13s.

              And with a better cam….

          • eric, early into ’77 all the news ones were sold and I didn’t want one of the small soon to be arriving ’78 model El Camino. I found a slightly used(a change in liquor laws forced the guy to sell it, long story)’77 model, a special order SS with trailer towing package, fairly rare. It already had headers and glasspacks I changed for 2 1/2″ turbos(the original big ones)and full 2 1/2 ” exhaust and that picked that engine up even more. Had the same model Silverado like that too. There was a big difference between ’77 and ’78 350’s, enough people cussed their ’78’s. Oh yeah, flipped the air cleaner lid upside down, voila, engine felt like it had twice the power.

          • eric, a side note. The SS El Camino had the same interior as the SS Monte Carlo, totally different from all other El Camino’s.

  18. A new car to drive around town.

    $7,900.00 Tata Vista LX 4 door, or
    $16,900.00 Ford Focus SE or
    $28,800.00 Nissan Leaf.

    Not including sales tax, dealer prep, destination charges, secretary’s computer time fee, car wash boy fee, and the sales managers lunch fee.

  19. The Yugo which is head and shoulders above the Tata POS was a market failure years back. Were there money to be made selling Tatas in NYC someone would be doing it. Its the Market not the State which makes Tata unwelcome in the USA.

    • How do you know, they aren’t selling in the states right now and it is a different era than it was back then. The market hasn’t decided yet because they AREN’T selling here.

    • The Yugo sold fairly well until (1) word of its crappiness and unreliability got out and (2) the Balkan conflict began after the collapse of Communism, essentially ending production. The Zastava plant was later bombed during a NATO strike. Even after new Yugos became unavailable circa 1992, dealers still managed to sell what they had in stock somehow.

      There was and still is a market for basic, no-frills transport.

      A couple of years ago I sent Tata an e-mail (no response) suggesting that if the Nano comes to the US, it could be sold under the name Crosley. It is just the kind of vehicle Powel Crosley would have come up with today.

    • @Mike — The Nissan Leaf was built with you in mind. As was the always altruistic “cars for clunkers” tax payer program of instawelding good used cars engines while saddling the poor with years of new debt and higher taxes.
      Your boys and girls in Washington are batting 1000 Mike.

    • a) Yugo superior to Tata? Highly debatable; scratch that, no, laughable
      b) Try selling the Tata. Find out which shuts you down first–the State or the Market.

      I tried to believe you weren’t stupid, just obstinate. But failing on point (b) might put you in the former category.

    • Mike,

      The simple, not-debatable fact is Tata cannot legally sell its cars in this country. Therefore, no one knows whether they’d sell – or not.

      The whole point of my article – which you missed, apparently – is that the market is not allowed to determine the outcome.

      Because government – that is, the handful of people who’ve arrogated to themselves the authority to dictate to other people what they may and may not purchase – has barred entry to any manufacturer that does not build its cars to government’s standards – as opposed to the freely expressed wishes of would-be customers.

    • When the Yugo was available the competition was much more simple and affordable Corolla and Civics. It was hard sell against what were clearly better economy cars in the 1980s that were not quite as large of steps up in price. A Tata now would probably compete well against a Corolla that is as big and expensive as a Camry or Accord back then. The upscale-ifcation of the base models accelerated in the 1990s and 2000s and the likes of Hyundai and KIA successfully jumped in to fill a market void then, so the market constantly changes.

  20. Eric, the longer I read your articles, the more convinced I am that, going forward, I will just have to search for older, low mileage vehicles in order to drive what I want. I worked at a gas station in the early 1970s, and have always loved the cars and trucks that we serviced. Those cars were cheap, easy to fix, fun to drive, and would run forever, if they didn’t rust out from the New England weather.
    Living in NC now, I see many vehicles from that era still on the road, with many guys using their old pickup trucks for daily driving. I think that when I find one, I’ll buy it and garage it, then look for the next one.

    • Andy,
      It seems to me that the things that new cars do indeed do better than any previous generation of cars—comfort and reliability are the two main things, I think—have no government mandates to explain the improvements over time. In other words, there is no regulation that proclaims that cars must be more comfortable or that they must last for 200K miles. It just goes to show what can happen when the state stays out of the way, even if it’s just bits and pieces of the larger whole.

      And I agree with your ideas about the ideal car today. Find something about 10 years old and with low miles. That’s probably the sweet spot in the market, all things considered.

  21. I never understood how I bought a scooter….can ride without a helmet…..but am MANDATED to wear a seatbelt while driving? I wanted to purchase a cheap ATV to travel locally to work but was told there was no way to register it for public roads BUT was told that the $30,000 Spyder 3 wheel bike was allowed. I believe its just human stupidity with a sprinkle of corruption that fuels this ideology.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    • The laws changed in Virginia in July. Now all mopeds, scooters, etc., must carry license plates, and the driver must have a full-frontal helmet with protection for the face.

      There was a bit of blather about how the tag requirement was to enable tracing stolen mopeds, but I suspect the real reason was that many scooter owners passed off their machines as mopeds to escape licensing and insurance requirements. If the machine didn’t have pedals or could go more than 30 mph or had an engine displacement above 50 cc, legally it was a motorcycle, not a moped, and motorcycle registration and insurance laws applied. But many scooter owners out my way simply ignored the law, trusting that most people wouldn’t notice the difference. This new law ensnares them—in theory.

  22. Good article, and you nailed it – most if not all of the “safety” regulations on manufacturers in the last 40 years are just about prohibiting competition for the Big 3, like the standard bumper height law that pushed Citroen out of the market & wrecked MG when they tried to comply & started turning out parody cars for the US. Citroen also got hit for non-automatic turn signal de-activation.(!)

      • In the 80’s you’d see advertisements for kit cars, the ones that you’d get all the parts in a box and have to assemble it yourself. I suppose these are no longer offered on the market? If so I’d imagine its the same laws.

        Also I’m wondering if the government allows any kinds of “experimental” autos on the road and if so, whether there is a large fee-tax for that sort of thing. I know FAA allows “expermental planes” to skirt some of the burdensome laws.

        Even so that would only address the people who are determined not to be told what to do at any cost or any inconvenience. Most people don’t have all day and nite to think how to circumvent one disastrous law, especially when economy of scale dictates the economy of one of a kind would never be feasible.


        • I remember kit cars – I thought the Sterling (VW Beetle based) was cool for about 5 min… I was just getting over my thing for disappearing headlights. And the retro ‘vette conversion. Most kit cars were conversion kits, like dune buggies.

          There was a company in L.A. that imported the 2CV as a kit car in the 80’s, and for a additional charge they’d assemble it for you, deliver a running vehicle. This as a workaround for the restrictive regulations, but the demand wasn’t there, not without qualified mechanics & parts support.
          I rather doubt the laws are the same now for kit cars.

          • When did you last hear of a law going away?
            You can name a few because they’re big news – the exception that proves the rule, if you will.

            Basically, laws stay on the books, period.
            Examples include bestiality and sodomy, which frequently are laws on the books dating back to the 1700s and even early 1800s. Same with witchcraft, BTW – and eavesdropping laws are often updated versions of the same logic, a person listening in to a conversation they aren’t part of.
            Funny how when the NSA does it, it’s legal – if WE do it, even when we follow the law, we can go to prison – recording official activities in public, IE, filming police…

          • Dear Jean,

            “Funny how when the NSA does it, it’s legal – if WE do it, even when we follow the law, we can go to prison – recording official activities in public, IE, filming police… ”

            … a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal… of the people, by the people, for the people…

            Well, that didn’t quite work out, did it?

            Minarchism: Great Start, Horrible Finish, by Larken Rose

            This is for all those who complain about how I constantly bash minarchism, the Constitution, and other “limited government” myths. Don’t worry; I’m almost nice this time.

        • Dear HR,

          If it were not for the reams of federal, state, and local laws pertaining to automobile designs, the price of a Mitsubishi Mirage could probably be halved, from 12K to 6K, msrp.

          Others, more performance minded, could probably purchase and assemble a Lotus 7 kit car for under 10k.

          If only…

        • I have a kit car, of sorts. A ’94 Jeep Cherokee. I’ve swapped out the gas engine for a Cummins diesel, added a 60 gallon grease tank and some other less-than-government-approved add ons. I get mid 30s on waste veggie oil, superior towing capability, good power, offroad, and the “what-the-hell-is-that-thing” factor when I pull into a parking lot.

          And, it’s paid for.

      • Hey Eric, it’s called disguised protectionism. In the case of upstart competitors, domestic protectionism. In the case of Citroen, international.


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