What Might Cars Cost If We Had a Free Market?

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It’s a common gripe that new cars cost too much – and, they do.92Camrywindowsticker2

As of last year, the average transaction price paid for a new car exceeded $30,000 for the first time. Of course, it’s still very possible to buy a new car for less than $30,000. But even the least expensive new cars start around $15,000 – and that’s a lot of money for many people. Too much money for many people, in fact. There’s a reason for the extension of car loans from the once-typical three or four years to five – and even six. With seven surely on the horizon (though this is self-limiting because of depreciation; people will find themselves “upside down” on their car loan. But that’s another article).

The reason car loans are as long as they are is to mask the true cost – the unaffordability – of new cars, measured in terms of the average person’s ability to pay for them. If you earn the (roughly) $54,000 or so annually that the average person – the average family – earns, finding $400 a month to pay for a five-year loan on a bread-and-butter family car such as a Toyota Camry  purchased for $24k (which would – just barely – get you into a base trim Camry with very few options) is simply not feasible. So, the payments are pushed out to six years – and that brings the monthly nut down to about $330.

Still, it’s a lot of debt to assume – and for most people, debt is all-but-unavoidable because they don’t have the cash to buy outright. Financing – debt – is inevitable.empty pockets pic

But why have cars become so expensive?

Logically, they ought to be getting less expensive all the time – because of manufacturing efficiencies, because the basic technology has been sorted out years ago, and many other reasons besides.

In some respects, they are less expensive – in that it’s now routine for cars to come standard with features and equipment that in the past were available only in a few high-end cars. Fuel injection is a good example. If you rewind the historical clock to 1980, fuel injection was exotic technology; virtually all mass-market cars still had carburetors. Same goes for other technical great leaps forward like overdrive (and CVT and dual-clutch) automatic transmissions, as well as the near-ubiquity these days of amenities such as climate control air conditioning, excellent factory audio systems – even heated seats.

But, while such features have become more mass market, the cars themselves are – demonstrably – much more expensive than they might otherwise be.

Because of the myriad mandates the government has imposed.

Whether these mandates are “good things” isn’t the issue. The issue – for purposes of our discussion – is the cost of these mandates.

It’s hard to nail down the exact tab, especially as regards the mandates that effectively dictate fundamental design (here I refer to impact standards, fuel efficiency and emissions requirements). Check Fantastic furniture Catalogue and Freedom furniture Catalogue. But the cost of add-on mandates can be identified with some degree of accuracy, based on government/industry statements as well as extrapolated from the known cost of parts/repair. Let’s take a look at some of these – and get a handle on the price of the “features” we’re all being forced to buy:

* Back-up cameras –back-up 1

The most recent add-on mandate (see here for more) will add at least $140 to the purchase price of your next new car – by the government’s own estimate. This estimate does not factor in repair/replacement costs, nor the likely increase in insurance costs (generally) as a result of increased repair costs following accidents. Let’s call it $500 in total/lifetime costs – which is almost certainly under-estimating it.

* ABS/Traction control –

We can estimate the add-on costs because these now-standard (by mandate) features were once optional. I dug up a window sticker for a 1990 Toyota Camry (pictured above; also see here). ABS was optional that year. And the option added $1,300 to the car’s MSRP. Here’s another article – also from 1990 – discussing the cost of then-optional ABS. The writer confirms the range $900-$1,000 or thereabouts.

Now, it’s true that in 1990 ABS (and traction control, which works using the ABS) were relatively new technologies and, as such, their cost was higher then – in the same way that the first microwaves and laptops were more expensive than they are now. But even if we cut the cost of ABS/traction control by a third to account for amortization of the R&D, the lowered cost of components – and so forth – we’re still looking at another $300-$500 per car. And, again, we’re low-balling in order to put the most favorable (to the control freaks who mandate all this stuff) spin on everything.ABS pic

Down-the-road costs should also be acknowledged. An ABS system includes additional parts such as wheel speed sensors, the ABS pump and of course the computer brain to run it all. While it is not guaranteed that every owner of every ABS-equipped car will have to pay to replace the car’s ABS pump (several hundred bucks, typically) or wheel speed sensors or its computer, the possibility is both there and not remote. Indeed, it becomes increasingly likely that some ABS (or traction control) related component will fail as the years go by and the mileage accumulates. And the bill for repairs will be sent to you – not the bureaucrat or pol who forced you to buy ABS in the first place.

 * Air bags –air bags picture

This is the Big One. Not merely because the airbags themselves cost a lot (though they do cost a lot) but also because of the sheer number of them in the typical modern car and because of the ruinous repair costs they impose if they deploy.

And – even if they don’t deploy.

Let’s start with the cost of the bags themselves. And the number of bags we’re dealing with.

Very few  cars built within the past five years have fewer than four air bags – and six or more is very quickly becoming common. Some new cars have eight or more air bags. There are frontal impact, side/door impact, knee and roof air bags.

Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that each air bag and its related components adds $100 to the bottom line price of a new car. Minimally, then, the air bags add $400 to the price of a car equipped with just four air bags. Which, again, is very few new cars. Most 2014 cars have at least six air bags.

So, $600.

And $100 per air bag is probably under-estimating the cost by several hundred percent. Consider that the cost to replace just the driver and passenger side air bags is typically in the range of $1,500-$2,000.

That’s for two.

Remember: Almost all new cars have at least four – and most have six.

Now, it’s true that replacement costs – and factory-installed costs – are different kinds of costs. But the replacement costs are just as real. Which you’ll discover, if you get into an accident in an air bag-equipped car. Especially if it’s an older car. If the average retail value of the vehicle is much less than $10,000 it is extremely likely the vehicle – even if otherwise repairable – will be “totaled” by the insurance company solely because the cost to replace the air bags can and frequently does push the fix-it estimate to within 50 percent of the vehicle’s pre-accident value. At which point, most insurance adjusters will junk the car rather than authorize repairs.

Even if you never wreck – and the bags never deploy – you still pay. Because your insurance premium – everyone’s insurance premium – is based on the cost to repair (or to throw away) the air bag-equipped car in the event of an accident.

But let’s be conservative and call it another $600 “up front” for a car with six air bags – and again, we’re likely low-balling it by orders of magnitude. irs

All right. Let’s add ’em up:

Back-up cameras: $500.

ABS/traction control: $1,000.

Air bags (six): $600

That’s a very conservatively figured $2,100 in Additional Sticker Shock. And this rough math does not include the unseen – the harder to nail down – costs imposed by such things as bumper impact, rollover/roof crush/side impact standards, the huge costs of complying with the federal government’s ever-increasing fuel economy standards (the cars save you money on fuel, but cost more to buy) and its ever-more-draconian (for ever-diminishing-returns) tailpipe emissions standards. These things probably add – again, very conservatively estimated – 20 percent to the typical new car’s sticker price.

If we assume a new car with a sticker price of say $20,000 (and this would be a modestly priced/entry-level car these days), 20 percent would be about $4,000 – plus the $2,100 for the add-ons (ABS/TCS, back-up cameras, air bags, etc.) .

So, $6,100 of the $20,000 car’s MSRP is the cost of the mandates to you.

Put another way, if these mandates didn’t exist – if the car companies were free to build cars the way you, the customer, wanted them to built – it would mean that $20,000 car might only list for $14,000. And there would almost certainly be “basic transportation” new cars available for $8,000 or less.

Such cars are, in fact, available in other parts of the world. (See here, here, here and here, for some examples.)

Parts of the world where the government hasn’t yet interposed itself between the customer and the car company – dictating to the car company how cars shall be made . . . and to customers, what they shall buy.

Throw it in the Woods?

Eric Peters is a veteran car/bike journalist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs. Twitter handle: LibertarianCarG

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  1. “If We Had a Free Market?”

    I wonder how different China and the unitedsate really are?

    Especially after reading this but from thehousingbubbleblog:

    ‘Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin is a difficult film to watch, but it is one that needs to be seen all the same. Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, this is one of the best films to come out of China in recent memory. Why then is it banned in China?’

    ‘It is banned because it portrays a narrative that does not fit into the one Beijing seeks to show us. The China we see and hear about is one with gleaming skyscrapers and a booming economy—a nation ready to take on the role of superpower in the coming decades. A Touch of Sins shows us a very different People’s Republic, one where corrupt officials are hand in glove with sleazy businessmen who are in turn tolerated by spineless citizens. It makes for pretty bleak viewing.’

    ‘The film has four stories, each of which is apparently based on a fairly recent news account. Each vignette is set in a different region of China. What connects them is the economic and political corruption of the system. It is almost a forensic study of how the main characters respond. The answer is with violence.’

    ‘The director says that he does not endorse violence. In an interview with the New York Times, Jia noted, “I don’t want this film to inspire imitation or to convince people that violence is good. I trust that the power of this film lies in its ability to encourage people to think about violence, to reflect on it.” This is exactly the view of China that the Communist Party does not want the world to see. The subtle message that sometimes violence is understandable, if not justified, cannot sit easy with a government eager to stamp out any sign of dissent.’

  2. Dear Gary,

    Millions of creative free market solutions to our problems never see the light of day.


    Goonvermin coercion, usually indirect and imperceptible, prevents them from ever seeing the light of day. Classic Bastiat “That which is not seen” syndrome.

    If only the public knew how much better off we would be. They might actually throw off their shackles. Well, maybe not.

    Have you ever failed to completely release the handbrake on an older car? You drive along and you can’t figure out why the car is accelerating so sluggishly. Then you realize what you did, release the brake, and the car surges forward.

    That is what goonvermin shackles do to our prosperity and well being. Without the goonvermin, the average Joe might well be living nearly as well as those depicted in “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

    • This should please Clover and fix what is wrong with America.

      President Barack Obama’s $302 billion transportation bill gives federal regulators the power to enter the premises of car dealerships to determine if their vehicles are in compliance with federal fuel-economy mandates.

      The Department of Transportation (DOT) could see its vehicle inspection authority expanded if Congress passes Obama’s Grow America Act. Currently, DOT officials are only allowed to inspect records and information from companies that must comply with federal fuel economy standards.

      But Obama’s bill would allow federal bureaucrats to enter the premises of car dealerships to physically inspect to see if vehicles are in compliance with federal fuel economy standards.

      “What this amendment does is clarify that the agency has authority, for example, to enter dealership premises in order to measure the footprint of a new vehicle and confirm that it is consistent with what the manufacturer has reported to us the footprint of that vehicle should be,” a representative for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an emailed statement.

      • When there so many ways things can be done one has to ask, why do they choose this way?

        In more civilized countries product type approval is done by third parties. That is the manufacturer has the third party do these verifications. Governments then accept this.

        In the USA for UL approved product a UL inspector will come into the factory grab an example and measure it to make sure it still meets what they had approved. It’s entirely private and voluntary.

        Thus there are already practices in place around the world to do this sort of thing without government bureaucrats nosing around. In fact various federal agencies like the FDA accept third party testing.

        So why do presumably armed federal goons need to show up at dealerships to measure product?

        The answer is they don’t.

        They must have something else in mind, even if it is just good old fashioned fascism.

  3. Eric,
    I want to show you sympathy, but I think you might be sick.

    You appear to have a bad case of drapetomania.


    Drapetomania is is a condition discovered by Southern Physician Samual A. Cartwright. It’s chief symptom is the pathological desire of a slave to flee from servitude.

    According to Cartwright, drapetomania is a mental disorder akin to alienation [madness]. To prevent outbreaks, slaves should be kept in a submissive state and treated like children, with “care, kindness, attention, and humanity to prevent and cure them from running away.”

    If they nonetheless became dissatisfied with their condition, they should be whipped as a prevention against running away. In describing his cure for drapetomania, Cartwright relied on passages of scripture dealing with slavery.

    “If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity’s will, by trying to make the negro anything else than “the submissive knee-bender” (which the Almighty declared he should be), by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro.

    Or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away.

    But if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his hearing towards him, without condescension, and at the same time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away.”

    I can sympathize with that, because I’ve got a related malady. A severe case of dysaesthesia aethiopica.


    “Found exclusively among Blacks, dysaesthesia aethiopica — called by plantation overseers as ‘rascality'” — is characterized by partial insensitivity of the skin and so great a hebetude of the intellectual faculties, as to be like a person half asleep.

    According to Cartwright, dysaesthesia aethiopica was more prevalent among free negroes living in clusters by themselves, than among slaves on our plantations, and attacks only such slaves as try to live as free negroes, being unlearned in regard to diet, drinks, exercise, etc.

    Nearly all free negroes are more or less afflicted with it, unless they have some white person to direct and to take care of them. Dysaesthesia aethiopica is easily curable, if treated on sound physiological principles.

    The best means is, first, to have the patient well washed with warm water and soap; then, to anoint it all over in oil, and to slap the oil into the skin with a broad leather strap; and finally to put the patient to some hard kind of work out in the sunshine.”

    Drapetomania: The Pathological Quest for Freedom

    Runaway Slave Syndrome

  4. Maybe something will look familiar to some of the Clovers and non clovers alike when comparing today’s structure of govt with that of 2,000 years ago.
    pay attention to the allowances of corruption.
    The class designated by this word in the New Testament were employed
    as collectors of the Roman revenue. The Roman senate farmed the
    vectigalia (direct taxes) and the portorin (customs) to capitalists
    who undertook to pay a given sum into the treasury (in publicum), and
    so received the name of publicani . Contracts of this kind fell
    naturally into the hands of the equites , as the richest class of
    Romans. They appointed managers, under whom were the portitores , the
    actual custom-house officers, who examined each bale of goods,
    exported or imported, assessed its value more or less arbitrarily,
    wrote out the ticket, and enforced payment. The latter were commonly
    natives of the province in which they were stationed as being brought
    daily into contact with all classes of the population. The name
    pubicani was used popularly, and in the New Testament exclusively, of
    the portitores . The system was essentially a vicious one. The
    portitores were encouraged in the most vexatious or fraudulent
    exactions and a remedy was all but impossible. They overcharged
    whenever they had an opportunity, (Luke 3:13) they brought false
    charges of smuggling in the hope of extorting hush-money (Luke 19:8)
    they detained and opened letters on mere suspicion. It was the basest
    of all livelihoods. All this was enough to bring the class into ill
    favor everywhere. In Judea and Galilee there were special
    circumstances of aggravation. The employment brought out all the
    besetting vices of the Jewish character. The strong feeling of many
    Jews as to the absolute unlawfulness of paying tribute at all made
    matters worse. The scribes who discussed the question, (Matthew 22:15)
    for the most part answered it in the negative. In addition to their
    other faults, accordingly, the publicans of the New Testament were
    regarded as traitors and apostates, defiled by their frequent
    intercourse with the heathen, willing tools of the oppressor. The
    class thus practically excommunicated furnished some of the earliest
    disciples both of the Baptist and of our Lord. The position of
    Zacchaeus as a “chief among the publicans,” (Luke 19:2) implies a
    gradation of some kind among the persons thus employed.

    Today’s Roman caste system is as unequal today as 2000 years ago. It
    needs to be exposed for what it is, repeatedly.

  5. Most muse about cars as if they grow on trees or something.

    There are countless possibilities in a freer market. Cars are not like fruits, with only finite discrete possibilities such as apples or oranges, etc.

    If you are free to use your means of production without restraint or restriction, there’s almost no limit to how simply and cheaply you could make a car.

    Master Hands (1936)

    A dramatization of how the master hands of Chevrolet craftsmen form the patterns, tools and dies, and control the huge machine that fashions the modern car.”

    1936 Chevrolet assembly plant, workers, foundry, steelworkers, assembly lines. Capitalist Realism.

  6. Eric, Eric, Eric- the Sail is cheap because the Chinese have to amortize NONE of the costs of design. They stole that. The Tata is a rolling POS that would simply be in the way of fast drivers such as yourself. The Kuga diesel may get great mileage but when you add back in the higher cost of both the diesel fuel and the engine its no cheaper than the gas version.

    Truth be know the 2014 Escape I have on order $25600 (including delivery & sales tax) is a bargain compared to the Plymouth Reliant wagon I brought in 1981 for $8600 (including delivery & sales tax) in 1981. Nominal dollars is about the same and I am getting a vastly superior vehicle. Whats not to like. BTW, the K-Car wagon was just as ‘unaffordable’ in 1981 for a person making $21K/yr.

    • Mike,

      The Chinese don’t make the Sail – Chevy does. For the “domestic” (Chinese) market.

      As far as the Tata: Shouldn’t it be up to the buyer to determine that (whether it’s a “rolling POS”) for himself?

      My issue is with the laws that prevent such cars from being offered for sale – to succeed or fail on their merits. Especially those laws and regulations having to do with “safety.” My “safety” is none of your business. If I want to drive a car without air bags, without ABS, without “crumple” zones and so on – but that is very light, and very inexpensive – then that’s my right… right?

      Millions of Americans bought Beetles (the original) and the car continues to be very popular – even though it hasn’t been available new here since the late 1970s.

      I have no doubt that, were it legal for VW to sell old Beetles here today, they’d sell quite well. In this economy, being able to buy a new car for say $7,000 or so – which is what an original Beetle could be sold for today – do you really believe they’d languish on dealer’s lots?

      Yes, they were crude and basic – but they were reliable, user-fixable, extremely inexpensive fun little cars.

      And that’s sorely missing from the market today.

      • I’m not trying to one-up here, and am socially graceless to be sure. I have a headache just trying to understand this whole Chevy Sail business.

        One thing that catches my eye is the CKD. Complete Knock Down kit. In India, Ecuador and Colombia, the Sails are imported in CKD kits from China and are then assembled in the respective plants in these countries.

        The Sail’s are made by Shanghai General Motors Company Ltd (commonly known as Shanghai GM) – a joint venture between General Motors Company and SAIC Motors

        The Chevrolet Sail is a supermini car produced by the manufacturer Shanghai General Motors

        In a similar vein, some say cabinets, doors, windows, drywall, and other home parts for new SW McMansions also come in CKD kits from China in ocean vessel shipping containers. They cost 10% of what they cost to make here, and it’s a simple matter to Americanize them, quality check them, and then install them on the down low. Maybe just a conspiracy?

        Chevrolet Sail Sport presentado por GM Colmotores

        GM Recalls 1.5 Million Cars in China for Safety Issue

        Since nothing is made in just one place, why not knock down the borders and make most of the nations open domains (not violent Islam nations yet) just like the internet, and then let the worldwide free for all begin?

        Whatever problems arise, they also represent new markets and new opportunities to sell solutions for.

      • Thing is Eric that it is very doubtful that a 1960’s VW could be manufactured and distributed in the USA for less than $12 – 13K for a potential demand not all that large. 99.9% of Americans given a choice between a clean used car with all the bells & whistles and a new vintage VW with a dipstick for a gas gage for the same money are going to go with the modern car.

        • Well, Mike, the fact is VW sold the old Beetle in Mexico for about $8k circa 2002 – so your $12-$13k is way off.

          And regardless, why not let buyers decide what they want?

          Unfortunately, the government decides for them.

          • Yeah…….well tack on another 30% for 13 years dollar inflation and take into account very low Mex wages and that VW made in USA is gonna cost $12K+++++ per.

            • Bullshit, Mike.

              The tooling and R&D for the old Beetle was amortized decades ago. The car is – by design – extremely simple to manufacture. (I have disassembled and re-assembled one myself, so I speak from personal experience.)

              As Bevin noted earlier, your “12k” is about what Nissan sells the Versa Note for. This car is exponentially more complicated in every way than an old Beetle. It is equipped with multiple air bags, a very complicated CVT transmission, an engine with port fuel injection and variable valve timing… it has a suspension that is extremely elaborate compared with the old VWs.. and it sells for about $13k.

              Given that, do you really – seriously – believe an old Beetle would cost anywhere near that amount?

          • Eric, for high volume or long running product tooling wears out and needs to be repaired/replaced. Design changes over time also often require new tooling. Many times it is cheaper to retool parts in the country final assembly is being done.

            While it is nowhere near the cost of a new development program there’s no such thing as the tooling being paid off. There’s a constant cost of tooling.

            The final beetle probably was mostly made with tooling that was likely fairly recent.

            • Hi Brent,

              Yup –

              PS: Most classic VW body panels are readily available. Probably, one could build one – or close to it – straight from the catalog!

              I intend to own another old Beetle one of these days. They’re a lot of fun, as well as pretty practical. I really like the idea of updating one with a TBI system – and (even better, if it’s possible) a five-speed transaxle.

          • Eric you say the VW beetle was built for 8 grand in 2002. Yes with inflation that comes to about $10,500. Tell me Eric if it was still manufactured in 2002 then why is it still not being manufactured? There are many countries that do not have our laws. Clover
            Tell me who would buy one except for a guy that liked the movie or a guy that had one in the 60s and wants to keep memories alive. Do you really think anyone else would buy one? Poor gas mileage compared to the cars of today. Poor HP as compared to the cars of today. Poor crash protection compared to the cars of today. Poor suspension as compared to the cars of today. Poor engine life as compared to cars of today. Poor acceleration as compared to cars of today. On a scale of 1 to 10 with a 10 being the best a beetle would come in at a 2 or 3. Are you going to sell a million cars with that rating? A beetle may have been an acceptable car 30 to 40 years ago but it sucks as compared to cars today. The government does not have to ban it because car manufacturers could not sell enough of them to break even.

            • Clover, you prattle on and on about the old Beetle being unsalable. If so, then you ought not to object to VW trying to sell it. Or to any other car company trying to sell a very basic, simple car. Why not let the market decide? Why not leave people free to choose?

              What are you so afraid of, Clover?

          • Eric the market has already decided. The beetle was not even good enough to still be on the market in third world nations. How would you expect it to be good enough here? Eric you may be able to spell but you have zero amount of logic.Clover

            Eric you want to sell a car which would have the lowest ratings in the USA. Eric I am an investor and as an investor facts matter. You are not going to find any investor to put the money up front to produce your vehicle.

            • Clover, as usual, you’re simply – demonstrably – wrong.

              The fact is VW could no longer legally sell the old Beetle here after 1979 because it could no longer meet the government standards then in effect. It was effectively outlawed. The fact is, it was illegal to buy an old Beetle in Mexico and have it shipped to the U.S.

              The fact is Tata cannot legally sell the Nano – a modern-day take on the Beetle concept – because it does not meet federal standards.

              You and yours use the police power of the state to deny people their right to buy the cars they want to buy. To forbid the manufacture and sale of such.

              At least be honest – and accurate.

              You are opposed to the idea of a car like the Beetle (or Nano) being available for sale, because you consider it to be “unsafe.”

              You do not believe people have the right to buy whatever car meets the needs. You believe it’s right and proper for government to make those decisions – or at least, limit the range of options available to people based on your own criteria as to what’s “safe” – and so on.

          • Clover,

            Did the (US) market decide or was it decided for the market?

            If the product is not available for sale, then one can not say that the market decided. The choice was removed from the market.

            Regarding other countries, I am not aware how their respective regulations (if any) would impact the sale/production of the VW Beetle (in this case).

            If the market decides against the Beetle (or any car) then it goes poorly for that car.

            Why are you against letting the market decide?

            The market may not always choose the “best” product from an individual perspective. (The term “best” depends on the criteria chosen.) The market will choose the product that it values at the moment. (Assuming there are no outside forces –ie government or other powerful events — distorting the market.)


            Assume that a VW Lupo is the best car for my needs if money was no object and the Lupo cost $20,000.

            I do not have the money for the Lupo, but I can get a used Trabant for $1,000 (Which I do have) without needing to go into debt.

            The Trabant is not as good (in terms of safety, comfort, conveniences, mpg, etc.) as the Lupo, but for the money (I have available) it would meet my needs.

            If my finances get better in the future, then when I need a car hopefully I will be able to buy a car closer to my “best” car.

            If it was illegal to purchase the Trabant, then I would have to do without a car or go into debt.

          • Clover,

            You state that you are an investor. As an investor I assume that you prefer to make your own choices (for better or worse) in what to invest, instead of having your investment choices dictated by government or others.

            Why not permit others the freedom to invest their resources in what they choose to do. If they decide poorly than they will suffer the error of their decisions.

          • safety…

            was going to cut/paste the keller quote, but this is a bit more expansive:

            The Illusion of Security, the Delusion of Control

            One of my favorite quotes of all time was uttered by a woman who lost her sight and hearing before her 2nd birthday. She was the first deaf and blind person to get a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. Along with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she developed Braille. By now you know who I’m referring to – the incomparable Helen Keller. More than most, she understands the fragile nature of humanity. She famously remarked:

            “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

            In four sentences, Ms. Keller punched a gaping, irreparable hole in the thin curtain of hope that keeps alive the fantasy pursued every day by the whole of humanity. The desire for security, stability and safety is not unrighteous, it’s just not real. Adrenaline is manufactured by the human body for a reason. If the possibility of danger and death were not genuine, why would we be designed with such a powerful hormone?


            aside…i recently saw a man, old guy, wearing a helmet, driving his mid-size sedan down the road. motorcyclists sans helmets are a much more common sight. mo’sickles (as in scythes…as in the reaper dude who carries one) have even less safety a(s)ppurtenances than beetles. or horses (chris reeve). etc.

            so the thing i’m flashing on (no suppressor – 2a invokes 1a & the “designated zone” is only limited to downrange) is…assault weapon sturm (i like ruger) & drang (let’s not not face it: the Ia Drang Valley ain’t just a famous hotspot in vietnam anymore than denial is just a river in egypt – yea, tho wherever i go, there i am, walking thru the valley of scythes, every single day,…) &…bans (color of law force, & aren’t those colors called “the jolly roger”?). & the hysterical people for whom a side-by-side pair of functionally identical, but visually, or aesthetically, dissimilar mini-14’s, just know, t-viscerally (they seen ‘em on the tv…), that the matte black, pimped out one, is dangerous & evil & corrupting & must therefore be forcibly segregated away from all the pasteurized/homogenized milky wimmens & chilluns…isn’t that like rac(e gun)ism? carny mirror-analogously must the simple, cheap, functional, non-pimped out ottos (von bismarck) be realpolitik’d (lyme disease be damned) out of existence in pursuit of the safety & security final solution amen….


            Not only is the photosphere enormous, but the star is surrounded by a complex circumstellar environment where light could take over three years to escape.[96] In the outer reaches of the photosphere, the density is extremely low. Yet the mass of the star is believed to be no more than 20 M☉, with mass loss estimates projected at one to two Suns since birth.[9][95] Consequently, the average density is less than twelve parts per billion (1.119 × 10−8) that of the Sun. Such star matter is so tenuous that Betelgeuse has often been called a “red-hot vacuum”.[3][23]

            the red star, like the planet Mars that derives its name from a Roman war god, has been closely associated with the martial archetype of conquest for millennia….


            The plot revolves around a recently deceased young couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who become ghosts haunting their former home and an obnoxious, devious “bio-exorcist” named Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) from the underworld who tries to scare away the new inhabitants (Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder) permanently.

        • Dear MIW,

          “very doubtful that a 1960′s VW could be manufactured and distributed in the USA for less than $12 – 13K”

          Are you kidding???

          According to Car and Driver the 2015 Toyota Yaris starts at $11,810. Its competition, the FIT, Fiesta, Mazda 2, Sonic start in the 13k to 14k range. All these cars are loaded compared to a 60s era Beetle.

          Obvious conclusion? Your estimate is waaaay off.

          The real obstacle to lower manufacturing cost and selling price? All the goonvermin mandated crap.

          • Hmmmmm…………figure you might get 50,000 folks per year TOPS to buy a pos 1950’s/60’s ‘classic VW. Ya gotta redo all the tooling from scratch, establish a dealer network, gin up a factory & work force, market the thing, make a return…….yeah $12K+++/per is about right. Ya wanna make auto history plunk your savings down & go for it. At least you will have the right to market a book titled ‘I Marketed a 21st Century Car that made the Yugo look good’. Heck I doubt a Model T could be manufactured in the USA for $7000 present day.

          • CloverMike if you counted inflation that model T would have cost you in the mid 20 grand range in today’s dollars. What is your point?

            • Clover: A Model T listed for $440 in 1915 – which is just over $10,000 in today’s inflated dollars.

              You were only off by 100 percent.

              As usual.

  7. Así es Formosa

    Quiero invitarte a conocer una provincia
    que es lujuriante y llena de ensueño
    desde el Pilcomayo hasta el Bermejo
    te deslumbran los misterios de esa entraña vegetal.


    formosa.gob.ar – el portal de nuestra gente(quien es nuestra?)

    Cosplay convention Formosa City, Formosa Province, Argentina

    All governments are cosplay. Fun to watch the chicks and nerds that are into it, sure, but never be a sucker and believe in it yourself.

  8. The Forbidden City – The emperor was traditionally associated with the dragon. Seated on his dragon throne. Wearing a dragon robe. The emperor represented the apex of the empire

    Khaleesi Mother of Dragons – This is Daenerys Targaryen the stormborn, the unburnt. The queen of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. The mother of dragons.

    No. You do not owe me your freedom. I cannot give it to you. Your freedom is not mine to give. It belongs to you and you alone.

    If you want it back, you must take it for yourselves. Each and every one of you.

    Mother! (aka sovereignty fail, be our government mother… sigh)

    Formosa lives, as an Argentinian state, at the antipode of today’s ROC/Taiwan.

    Game of Thrones 2. Staffel – In Production – Island

    Beautiful Island – Formosa


    Which is the importantest truth. The straitest scoop. Who is “ROC/Taiwan’s” “”Mother”” Or whether the people now on the beautiful island want their freedom strongly enough to reclaim it, and to wean themselves from all such government, nation, ideological “mothers” and take back their freedom, each and every individual one of them?

    And not to forget that they once had a common mother, but that the time of suckling at the collectivist teat is no longer at hand.

    • Dear Tor,

      I think the Daenerys Targaryen subplot in GOT is undeniably libertarian.

      But being part of a sword and sorcery saga, set in a monarchical past made it difficult to be 100% consistent. I mean, how can one have a libertarian hereditary monarchy, right?

      I suppose theoretically her realm could have been modeled after 10th century Iceland, but George RR Martin, despite his encyclopedic knowledge of history, may not have known about Iceland’s market anarchism.

      Anyway, within the context of the novel, she is definitely the most libertarian force within the plot/theme.

      • Yeah she has a lot of failings.

        It stems from George R R Martin not having full creative control, I would imagine. Everything on HBO has to be advertorial. And to operate within the overall sales pitch of the corporate conglomerate. And the sales pitch of the various governments that own the various nations where corporate conglomerates operate.

        More leeway is allowed in a book, but not in a TV series. Otherwise the white walkers or the wildlings might be shown as the good guys. Or the people might rise up and tear the castles to the ground. Or there may be no bad guys, and no one would be shown getting their comeuppance.

        That not treating others unfairly in real life often works out just fine, even in the long term. That ruthless nations often triumph over moral more productive ones.

        Can’t let that be depicted, even hypothetically in a TV show. In the end Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones must all end in exactly the same way. The state’s conception of good and evil uber all, even when characters are given free will and more consumer goods, they really do love Big Brother deep down, it must be shown.

        We can be sure that the seven kingdoms of Westeros and social structures of Essos will have enforced karmaic systems that closely mimic our own permitted ways of living. Monarchs. Votes. Bastardized Ancient Greek Philosophy reheated and sold as Christian Values. Living according to your own code without a ruler fails in the end.


        There will be bits and pieces of all manner of possibilities, maybe even Iceland. But only the major Euro colonial power system will be considered. Who is the best Euro king, and why, is what the show must be about.

        Forget about pure Viking ways, such as when they ruled and built their Viking capital of York right in the heart of England.

        Or the Norse model of mutual aid, the Icelandic Thing, and of having naval superiority yet not forcibly converting and enslaving natives.

        Nor ancient Levantine and Southern European free trader citystates and mutual enrichment. Not absolute microlocal sovereignty, and utter disdain for greater macroregional sovereigny.

        Just the same tired pablum crap. Because at root, Anthony is in charge of HBO, and he doesn’t like new ideas or setting his playthings free to discover the universe for themselves. And he makes us good programs. They’re real good programs.

        Daenerys isn’t really developing the unsullied as independent beings. If she were, they’d be specializing and learning complex tasks in an advanced economy.
        She isn’t really independent herself. She accepts as a given that there are various houses, and one vanquishes and rules over all other houses QED.

        House Targaryen

        The unsullied would need to have higher order existential questions of who they should be and how they should live. Which they do not. Neither do today’s Americans or Taiwanese for that matter.

        One can assume the unsullied hunt, gather, and pillage as their means of sustenance. At best, they will mirror Daenerys’ attitude and refuse to exist below a certain level of expectation. If they need to up their thefts and wars to maintain their new expectations, they will do that.

        The real key would be to become a creator culture. One that made things that didn’t exist before and trade these goods and services with other willing cultures. To master more and more of nature, and to make the material world your servant, rather than needing other cultures to be your servants.

        Daenerys looks to operate in the mold of the American bullshit freedom model. The unsullied are no longer slaves because of words. Because they aren’t explicitly ordered to be slaves. Because they now vote on how enslaved they are, and in what manner.

        But reality continues to be, they are one battle away from slavery, should they stop warring and pillaging other more productive and less militaristic cultures.

        Their character and essence continues to that of utterly unskilled slaves and enslavers. They are not on the path to being masters of their fate.

        Unsullied Nipples, Who Needs Them?

      • Dear Tor,

        A lot of points were left ambiguous.

        In the plus column, she did in fact say explicitly that no one had to stay, that they could simply leave if they wanted to. To this extent, she definitely parted company with “democratic principles.” Democracies do not allow you to opt out. You are automatically a “citizen,” i.e.,a tax cow.

        It’s possible her army was akin to a modern militia or mercenary force. Apparently they lived off what they took from slave masters when they overran slave kingdoms. Is that doable? I think so. Is it sustainable, long term? Probably not. What happens when you run out of slave kingdoms to conquer? Do you start taxing your own subjects?

        I haven’t read the novels — yet. I intend to — soon. I’m just going by the TV adaptation so far.

        • After further consideration, I think this “freeing” of slaves is just a bellyfeel moment.

          1984 Bellyfeel

          Newspeak Dictionary

          Daenerys is a crook who pretended to bargain in good faith, and then kills the one she struck a bargain with and also took his property without payment.

          This never succeeds. It’s the same scam America is trying to get away with. A ponzi scheme of “freeing slaves” is no way to engage in free world commerce and to prosper.

          It’s great that America “won” its independence. And “freed” the slaves. And made women “equals”. And helped free the Soviets. And so forth. But the truth is this was accomplished in an unjust manner.

          The only hope of salvation, is to make like a Lannister. A Lannister always pays his debts.

          The US or Mainland China will never know peace and lasting prosperity until they act more like Japan and the UK and make a good faith effort to pay their debts. Even the debts to slave owners.

          Daenerys has no concept of value, nor the worth of anything. She truly is, as Krasnys said before her dragon killed him, a sunset savage.

          Kraznys rings true as an accurate portrayal of real high net worth men who build projects in Vegas

          Unless she gets more advisors and partners, she will fail because she will always be a victim of the economic calculation problem. She’ll need prices, means to increase her armies wealth, and many other things.

          The truth is, trying to take Westeros is probably a ruinous idea. If she had a price system, she could make a better choice. Even if she were to succeed. Hers will be a brutish short lived reign, she too will soon fall the same as the current regimes now in power.

          Though it is thrilling to see a temporary improvement in 8,000 oppressed and tortured souls, one knows it will be short lived, unless some order emerges and they turn from savage brutality to productive effort.



          They need some rational means of making decisions, of creating surpluses, and of allocating scarce resources. They need it immediately.

    • Speaking of Peter Dinkelage, I take it you watched GOT the other day. Season 4 is off to a good start.


      One of the more shocking aspects of the episode came late in the game, when we picked up Arya and The Hound’s storyline as the trekked through the woods.

      Once they came upon a rest area, Arya recognized a group of men that killed her friend and took her sword a while back. She goes to confront them which draws The Hound into the bloodshed. But while we know The Hound to be bloodthirsty, Arya was equally as unforgiving and incredibly cold.

      Arya Stark getting well-deserved payback was amazing. The way she slooowly pushed her rapier into the throat of the King’s goon was brutal but deeply satisfying.

    • More on GOT.

      My take? No, she is not going too far. At least, not yet.


      Season 4 of ‘Game Of Thrones’ premiered on April 6 and we caught up with a number of our core characters — including Arya Stark. Is she too intent on revenge? SPOILERS for the Season 4 premiere below!

      Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is easily one of our favorite Game Of Thrones characters. She has defied expectations since her birth, since simpler times when we met her in Season 1 as just a Princess of Winterfell, dying to learn swordsmanship. However, her actions in “Two Swords” made us wonder if she’s maybe a bit too far intent on revenge. Read more below, but beware of SPOILERS!

      ‘Game Of Thrones’: Has Arya Stark Gone Too Far In Her Quest For Revenge?

      In “Two Swords,” Arya gets her opportunity to to take back her precious Needle — the sword that her half-brother, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), gave to her. It was taken from her in Season 2 by Polliver (Andy Kellegher), one of the Lannister bannermen responsible for taking her and her friends — including Gendry (Joe Dempsie), Hot Pie and Lommy — to Harrenhal.
      ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 4 Premiere Recap: Meet Oberyn Martell

      On their way to the Vale so that Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) can try and sell Arya to her aunt Lysa Arryn, they come across an inn at which Polliver is staying. Predictably, a fight breaks out, and Arya smashes a pot over one man’s head and uses his sword to cut the backs of Polliver’s knees, and grabs Needle from his scabbard before he falls.
      Is Arya going too far?
      Yes — she needs to chill.No — she is going just far enough.
      VoteView Results

      Their exchange, then, is chilling, as Arya echoes Polliver when he killed Lommy for being unable to walk after an injured leg.

      “Something wrong with your leg, boy?” Polliver, confused, asks, “what do you mean?” “Can you walk? I’ve got to carry you,” Arya continues, stepping closer. “Carry me?” “Funny little blade. Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it,” Arya finishes, as she slowly pushes Needle through his throat.

      There’s self-defense, and then there’s revenge, and then there’s revenge. It’s clear that Arya is focused like none other on her mission for vengeance; this is made clear by the death list prayer she used to recite every night at Harrenhal, which included Cersei (Lena Headey), Polliver, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), and others.
      ‘Game Of Thrones’: Arya Stark Is Just 14 Years Old; Is She Going Too Far?

      Shortly after her death list became a nightly ritual, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) offered to kill three men for her in exchange for the three (including his) that she saved. She does not question it, nor does she squander the opportunity, naming The Tickler, Ser Amory Lorch, and would have gladly had Jaqen kill himself had he not helped her, Gendry, and Hot Pie escape Harrenhal.

      At the end of Season 3, after the Red Wedding, Arya overhears a group of Frey soldiers around a campfire mock her mother, Catelyn, and describe the process of sewing Grey Wind’s head on to Robb Stark’s body. She approaches them under the guise of seeking food, and then stabs one of them repeatedly, with Sandor coming in to finish off the three others.

      While her first, true kill can be written off as an emotional, heat-of-the-moment kind of thing, her murder of Polliver cannot be. The last words Lommy ever heard before he was killed have been rattling around Arya’s brain ever since, and she obviously wasn’t going to forget them. She did not need to kill Polliver, but she did, and without remose — or any emotion, really — written on her face whatsoever.

      Arya Stark has been through a lot, but she is also 14 years old. Can you say that you’d be behaving the same as her, given the same circumstances? The way her mind is being shaped is a bit scary. However, at the same time, it’s difficult to begrudge her the deaths that she seeks. I mean, King Joffrey? Someone please kill him, ASAP.

      Sansa, who has been through just as much horror, has not been turned by fate into a murderer. Joffrey, on the other hand, has only been given everything and is a monster of the highest order. (Though, to be fair, incestuous genes may be playing a part in his brain being off kilter.)

      Given all of the facts, I don’t think that Arya has gone too far yet, but she is certainly going down that path — especially with Sandor Clegane as her traveling partner. She may need to reel it in if she wants to be of sane and healthy mind should she ever meet up with her family again.

      What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Is Arya too hellbent on revenge? Or are these the normal reactions from someone who has had to deal with so much at such a young age? Vote above and comment below! (Oh, and I’ve read the books! But a lot of viewers haven’t. So, let’s all beeee cool and keep the comments section more or less spoiler-free, shall we?)

      – Amanda Michelle Steiner

        • Dear Tor,

          I read the “spoilers.” I like a good surprise as much as the next audience member.

          But I’ve never understood the “Spoiler Ahead! Beware!” alarmism. I’ve never understood the “Damn, you ruined it for me!” attitude.

          I mean, think about it, the author of the novel, the creators of the show, all know how the story unfolds. Does that ruin it for them?

          I wrote two screenplays. It was my job to set up the “surprises” for others. It was enjoyable as hell. It didn’t “ruin it for me.”

          Looking forward to seeing King Joffrey choke on poison at his wedding! LOL.

          • Bevin,

            If the story is good, I can watch/read the story again. Knowing what will happen will not ruin a story for me.

            However, knowing how a story ends may possible stop me from bothering to watch/read something if I do not think it is worthwhile enough.

            I remember not bothering to watch: “I’m going to get you sucker.” because in the movie advertisements it looked dumb to me. It was, but it was a funny parody.

            I still have not seen Titanic (1997). Three hours was too long for me to watch a boat (or DiCaprio 😉 ) sink. I also saw the previous 2 versions of Titanic which were not great, but they were both about 80-90 minutes long.

          • I had to quickly scroll past those comments and avert my eyes from the ‘WHAT”S HAPPENING’ box . A spoiler doesn’t ruin the show for me, but I’d prefer not to know. Or even think about it. This time next year I’ll (hopefully) sit down and spend a few days watching it all straight through – marathon style – on DVD when it’s too cold and snowy to go outside.
            It’s more intense that way, I think.

  9. NSFW nor PC

    Typical FSA soldier trying and rejecting gainful employment

    Typical Clover(women on left) express disapproval and yearns for authorities to put a stop to a free woman’s dancing

    Clovers will go for a spin like this in America’s near future. There will be no social order or police presence due to utter bankruptcy and stripped to the bones infrastructure

    grateful FSA momma thanks Daddy Govt – (you’s welcome boo)

    hot hawaiian chick bites a hot ghost pepper

    topless chick demolishes a McDonalds (body by McD’s)

  10. Last I checked, the ABS can still be disabled – legally. I did that in my state when an older Subaru wagon I had when the ABS – in snow – consistently wanted to kick in at the precise moment I did NOT want it to. I’m perfectly capable of stopping my own car in icy conditions. I almost hit somebody with that ******* ABS, however. But when a component gave out, and my mechanic said I could either pay up to fix it or disable it (not illegal here, he said) I jumped at the option. Never had a problem after that.

  11. The answer lies partially in another of your recent columns about car dealers. Because of dealer networks, an individual cannot order exactly what he or she wants from the factory. Business is no longer done that way. If say you want a particular option on a new car, you will find it in an options package which typically contains a bunch of overpriced components you have no desire for. The last time I really got what I wanted was when I ordered a 1984 Dodge Caravan from the factory with a four cylinder and manual transmission. It was pretty decent for the 108K miles that I drove it before trading it in. I paid $12,000 cash and drove all around Texas, New Mexico and Colorado in it camping and partying. Not the best vehicle I ever owned by very nice for its time. There will never be a free market, or even close to one as long as government has its finger in the pie.

  12. isn’t government control of private industry rightly called “fascism”? Seems to me that definition is correct…..

    in other words, Uncle Stupid meddling in the private industry of auto desig and manufacture is fascism.

    Further, I wonder just how many of these “mandated options” were actually passed into law by the Congress? Isn’t government usurpation of unassigned power called tyranny? As is government doing things without the consent of the governed?

  13. By my economic standards, a car payment should not cost you more than 1 week’s net pay. And that is way too much. Most people have been shoved back to buying used cars for that reason.
    The problem is that the cars go bad far too often in the used category.
    The car industry takes the attitude of discouraging anyone knowing how to simply repair a car. The engineering has become a major reason why you cannot simply change something like a starter on a car any more. Putting the starter in places that requires a major component being removed is the most popular way car engineers do this. Like putting it under the exhaust manifold.
    Old people remember a different kind of engineering. One in which you could repair and maintain your own car without a lot of traps to keep you from doing so. The barn yard mechanic is almost extinct.
    Even so, the most valuable tool we have is a record of repairs on any one model out there going back 5-10 years into the past.
    There is an entire segment of unemployed people. It reaches anywhere from 6-30% of the population. It spans everyone from old to very young people. If I went out and sat in a chair on the side of either major highway going through my town, the majority of cars out there are anywhere from 7-15 years old. There are people in new cars. They lease them. The problem is that no one can afford to buy a new car out right in today’s economy. At one time, I bought new cars and drove them for 4 years, then bought another one. That day has long past me by.
    You are right. We do need to take all the government regulation off of our car industry, period. We also need to put the car manufacturers out of busines that insist on dirty tricks under the hood.

  14. The cost to me is having a perfectly fine vehicle that I can’t get inspected anymore because of some mandated thing has failed that I don’t even need. I think modern vehicles are so reliable otherwise now that they have a virtually unlimited life with maintenance.

    • Hi Tol,

      Yup. This is a secondary aspect of the injustice. First, you’re forced to buy the air bag (and so on). Then, you’re forced to have it replaced in the event it deploys. Or else you’re not allowed to drive the car.

      • CloverEric a guy I worked with had his wife hit a car at 45 to 50 mph that pulled in front of her because of the car beside her blocking visibility. She had some bruises from the seat belt and a little from the air bag but she waled away. I bet she would be willing to pay for air bags at $50,000 each now if she had to. It saved her from having her face smashed in if not worse. You tell me how much that is worth?

        • I was in a similar accident some years ago, riding in a 1980s vehicle at the time (no air bags, just belts) that was hit at about 50 mph by a large SUV. I suffered no injuries despite the lack of air bags.

          The fact is that you don’t know that her face would have been smashed in without the air bag. I do know that in similar circumstances mine was not.

          • CloverJason the lady was not the one that got hit. She did the hitting because the car pulled in front of her. Not much left of the front of her car. Her face would have been smashed.

          • Perhaps, perhaps not, but I do personally know of a guy who now has to use a guide dog to get around due to his “life-saving” air bag blinding him in a minor parking-lot accident. How much is his sight worth? (He did wind up settling with the auto company involved for an undisclosed amount of cash, so I guess he would have the answer to that.)

            No air bags for me, thank you. It’s a shame that a cadre of armed thugs and gangsters has made it impossible to purchase a new car without them.

          • Jason Flinders I have no problem with you wanting to live dangerously. I just do not want to pay for the billions of dollars in extra insurance costs when someone gets far greater injuries with lack of seat belts or air bags. I do not want increased life insurance costs to pay for the guy that did not want to wear seat belts or have air bags. For each bad thing that you can find that seat belts or air bags did wrong there are hundreds of lives they saved and far less medical costs. In life people have to weight the pluses and the minuses. The pluses of seat belts and air bags far outpace the minuses. That is why they are in cars. That is why they were in cars before the were mandated. That is why side air bags were standard in many cars before they were mandated. If I believed they were causing more harm than good I would back you up but the facts do not back you up.Clover

            • Ah, but Clover does have a problem with anyone living “dangerously” (as he defines it). He can’t just shake his head and say to himself, “That guy is doing something foolish; I would never do that myself.” No. He tub-thumps for and cheers laws that force people not to do those things, even if those things involve no actual or even potential harm to Clover himself.

              Because Clover knows best. And will force you to agree.

        • And there are other people who’ve been injured (some very seriously) by air bags.

          Shouldn’t it be up to each of us to freely choose for ourselves whether the risk-reward is acceptable? Whether the cost is worth the benefit?

          Who endowed you and your ilk with the right to dictate to others?

          • CloverEric if you want to do something stupid like buying a car without safety equipment that has been proven to save lives I have no problem with that. Anyone under 21 or whatever I do not think they have the right because they still think they will live forever and nothing can happen to them even though many in their class will never make it to 25. Oh, that kind of sounds like you doesn’t it? You are incapable of being in an accident is what you have said. That car you wrapped around the tree does not count.

            • Well, Clover, we’re making progress!

              So, to be clear: You no longer support mandatory “safety” equipment such as air bags? You agree that car companies should be free to offer such equipment – and consumers free to buy cars without such equipment, if that is their choice?

              You support the right of Tata, for instance, to sell its cars here? Even if they aren’t as “safe” as you personally are comfortable with?

              And, you no longer support “buckle up” laws?

              (PS: The wreck you reference occurred in 1987; I walked away from it with no significant injuries. The car had no air bags – and I was not wearing a seat belt.)

          • No Eric I do not think cars should be sold without safety equipment except to older libertarians who agree to resell the car to no one. If an older libertarian wants to kill himself with his stupidity I do not have a problem with that.Clover

            • Who gave you the moral right to interfere – violently – with other people’s freedom to choose for themselves?

              New – or used – I have the right to choose the car that best suits my needs and desires, whether you agree with my reasoning or not.

              I suspect you’d very much resent my attempting to force you to buy things I think are important. But of course, I would never do such a thing – because unlike you, I accept that you’re an adult and a free man and as such I have no right to interfere with you in any way, provided what you do does not cause me injury.

          • Eric,

            You are pretty much in “teaching a pig to sing” territory with this guy. It’s pretty clear he buys into every lie that the Ministry of Truth tells him. (Heard the rumor? Choco ration’s going up! 25 grammes next week! And air bags save lives!)

            Let him lick the boots of his masters.

            • Yeah, I know!

              He has to be a paid shill. The alternative – that he really is that obtuse – is too depressing to deal with.

          • Eric why do you say I interfere violently? Because I feel you have the right to endanger or kill yourself with your stupidity? Eric there are reasons that people should not be able to buy a new car without safety devices. The person that buys a new car without safety devices increases my medical costs, he increases my life insurance cost if he also has it. He increases the cost to society if he has a family he is responsible for and gets injured or killed because he decides not to have safety devices. Eric your decision to buy a new car without safety devices and later resell that car costs me and costs society. Eric there are savings in dollars to everyone when a car with safety devices is bought and used.
            If you are willing to sign off on all the liabilities to society I have no problem with you endangering yourself. You just can not sue someone else when your face gets smashed after refusing safety devices if they make a mistake and hit you . That 10 thousand dollar mistake can turn into a million dollars without safety devices.

            • Clover, your moral imbecility is truly epic.

              First, you “say” the following:

              “Eric why do you say I interfere violently? ”

              Then, you “say” this:

              “Eric there are reasons that people should not be able to buy a new car without safety devices.”

              Italics added.

              You horrid, savage, cretinous thug.

              And the worst part? It’s not your apparently bottomless lust to direct other people’s lives at gunpoint. (You aren’t asking, are you Clover?) It’s that you’re too got-damned stupid to grasp that the principle you so unthinkingly espouse can be turned on you, too.

              I have no doubt, Clover, that there are things about you – the way you live, your habits, your lifestyle choices, a variety of things – that could be argued present “social risk” to the Great Collective. That “might” impose “costs” on “society” – if we accept your collectivist premise.

              As much as I abhor it in principle, I sometimes think it would be great fun to focus the state’s attentions on you. To limit your freedom, take away your right to decide for yourself… in the name of the same bullshit reasons you so flippantly use to shit all over the liberties of other people.

              God help me, I would not raise a finger to help you escape being lined up before a ditch, when that day comes.

              And it is coming … because of people like you.

          • Ha! Insert video from the film, ‘The Darwin Awards’ (where the guy is wearing a safety harness to prevent himself from slipping while taking a shower) here, X.

            Ya, there’s Clover.

            RE: “The alternative – that he really is that obtuse – is too depressing to deal with.” – Truth.

            That’s why he Never touches the idea of a 5 m.p.h. national speed-limit on All roads. Hmph, that’s why he Never touches the idea on a Lot of ideas put forth.

            Even If he were a shill, he’s still obtuse as all get out. Or, did I repeat myself?

          • The comment from the idiot, “Eric there are savings in dollars to everyone when a car with safety devices is bought and used.” reminded me of a story I was told by an old man recently.

            He knew a woman, back when seatbelts were first introduced, she was in a wreck not her fault. The force of the wreck caused the seatbelt to about cut her in half.
            She swore from then on, Never would she wear a seatbelt again.

            To people like Clover, that woman is just a statistic on a gooberment chart – Nothing more – Just a number. That’s what makes the Clover’s of the world evil, violent, bloodthirsty psychopaths. People are just numbers to them.

            Add in the stories about people being maimed by airbags in minor incidents and the Clover’s of the world look like wanna-be mass murders or C.I.A. torture fiends.

          • Helot you are right. If there were 50 thousand deaths and billions in hospital costs due to slippage in a shower like there could be in cars without any safety devices then you are right a harness should be required. Clover
            Now the 5 mph speed limit thing might be an alternative to safety devices if you want to go that way. Is that what you want?

          • Yes Helot there goes your lack of brains again. That woman that got cut in half as you say from having an accident with her seat belt on probably would have gone through the windshield with her face if she did not have it on. Do you actually think that is better?Clover

            There are probably more lives save today with safety devices than all of your people that were ever maimed as you say with them. That again is beyond your comprehension.

            Tell me Helot who pays the hospital bill if you get into an accident without any safety devices in your car? Who is going to pay that $500,000 bill or more? Who is going to feed you if you are incapable of working after the accident?

            • Clover – you’re not the decider for other people. Whether wearing a seat belt is “safer” is immaterial. It’s no more your business than what you eat (and whether you exercise) is my business.

              You will retort that not wearing a seat belt means a person might incur large medical expenses in the event of a wreck.

              But your premise – that “Smith” has the right to use force to compel “Jones” to pay his medical bills – is the problem here. Not whether a person wears or doesn’t wear a seat belt.

              And if you believe it’s acceptable to use force to compel me to wear a seat belt because I might wreck and because you think I might shift the costs of my medical treatment onto you, then by the same reasoning, I have the right to force you to eat a balanced diet, maintain an acceptable BMI, exercise regularly… and so on.

              And many other things besides. There is no end to it, Clover – because almost anything you do might (by your reasoning) “impose costs” on “society.”

              The solution is to stop using violence to shift costs from one person to another – and thereby eliminate your Cloveritic urge to violently control others.

          • I’m having a hard time really being sympathetic anymore. You’re ultimately right in everything you’re saying. But your epistemological basis is just as arbitrary as his. Its a presupposed axiom. Clover, by contrast, presupposes that the State is God.

            Why is he wrong? Why are your standards better than his?

            You could say “because my standard is universal”. But so is Clover’s. Clover believes that everything the State does is inherently good. So, his moral system, while absurd, is still consistent.

            Again, I agree with your conclusions, but you’re simply presupposing them, which is no better inherently than presupposing anything else.

            • David,

              He’s wrong – and knows he is – because he doesn’t want violence done to him. Even though he seeks to do violence to others. That makes him a hypocrite.

          • david…

            belief (as in clover’s), does not a universal make. that believers* are universal, almost, is another, albeit adversely impacting (“wisdom” teeth extracting), matter.

            “It is customary in the treatment of the epistemological problems of economics to adopt one of the solutions suggested for the natural sciences. Some authors recommend [Henri] Poincaré’s conventionalism. They regard the premises of economic reasoning as a matter of linguistic or postulational convention. … However, the sciences of human action differ radically from the natural sciences. All authors eager to construct an epistemological system of the sciences of human action according to the pattern of the natural sciences err lamentably….

            But the end of science is to know reality. It is not mental gymnastics or a logical pastime. Therefore praxeology restricts its inquiries to the study of acting under those conditions and presuppositions which are given in reality. It studies acting under unrealized and unrealizable conditions only from two points of view. It deals with states of affairs which, although not real in the present and past world, could possibly become real at some future date. And it examines unreal and unrealizable conditions if such an inquiry is needed for a satisfactory grasp of what is going on under the conditions present in reality.

            However, this reference to experience does not impair the aprioristic character of praxeology and economics. Experience merely directs our curiosity toward certain problems and diverts it from other problems. It tells us what we should explore, but it does not tell us how we could proceed in our search for knowledge.”

            ~ von mises

            There is yet another suggestion in Zanotti and Cachanovsky’s paper that is seriously misleading. They regret that Mark Blaug and others adopted Rothbard’s interpretation of Mises over that of Machlup. Why do they think that these authors drew from Rothbard rather than from Mises himself? The strong view of a priori knowledge in economics that repelled Blaug is clearly present in Mises, not a mere controversial “interpretation” advanced by Rothbard. Mises’s claim that we have a priori knowledge of the actual world is a stumbling block to the positivists and a scandal to Lakatos; but an unsupported reinterpretation of this claim will not make it go away.

            above snipped from quite recent “Mises and the Diminished A Priori”


            *”the discovery of this reality is hindered rather than helped by belief, whether one believes in god or believes in atheism. we must here make a clear distinction between belief & faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith. belief, as i use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief”** or wish it to be. the believer will open his mind to truth on the condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas & wishes. faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. belief clings, but faith lets go. in this sense of the word, faith is the essential virtue of science, & likewise of any religion that is not self-deception.”

            ~ allan w. watts, “the wisdom of insecurity”, p.24

            **lief (adj.) Old English leof “dear, valued, beloved, pleasant;” also as a noun, “a beloved person, friend,” from Proto-Germanic *leubo- (cognates: Old Norse ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs “dear, beloved”), from PIE root *leubh- “love” (see love (n.)). As an adverb, “dearly, willingly” from c.1250. I want and I’d love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.

            as for reality, try this:

            reality is a cliche from which we escape by metaphor. ~ wallace stevens

            wiki: Concerning the relation between consciousness and the world, in Stevens’s work “imagination” is not equivalent to consciousness nor is “reality” equivalent to the world as it exists outside our minds. Reality is the product of the imagination as it shapes the world. Because it is constantly changing as we attempt to find imaginatively satisfying ways to perceive the world, reality is an activity, not a static object. We approach reality with a piecemeal understanding, putting together parts of the world in an attempt to make it seem coherent. To make sense of the world is to construct a worldview through an active exercise of the imagination. This is no dry, philosophical activity, but a passionate engagement in finding order and meaning. Thus Stevens would write in The Idea of Order at Key West,*

            Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
            The maker’s rage to order words of the sea,
            Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
            And of ourselves and of our origins,
            In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.[31]

            *this poem can be read/listened to at poets.org

            reality as a chewing, impacting, verb, not a spoon-fed, impacted, noun….

  15. In 1999, I had just gotten back from several years overseas and went looking for wheels. I’d never owned a new car before, driving family hand-me-downs or well-used ‘bargain lot’ specials (the car I was driving before going overseas was a ’76 Datsun B210 hatchback). I nearly had a heart attack at the prices of used cars, both off the lots and in the paper. At the time, Kia was just starting to break into the midwest market, and was advertising new cars for less than comparable several-year-old used cars of similar configuration, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to check ’em out. (Much) Long(er) story short, I ended up in a Sephia base model, as I’d asked for “four wheels, an engine and drive train, and enough metal to hold them together” (it didn’t come with a radio (@$430.00 add-on cost), much less such ‘essentials’ as cruise control or air conditioning) for $7,995.00 (plus tax, license, and registration,of course). 187,000+ non-garaged years later , Katy Kia is starting to show her age but she’s still going strong. And with the price of new (and again, sadly, used) cars being what they are (theMSRP of the base model Kia Forte, 2nd-generation successor to the Sephia is, per the Kia website, $15,900.00 + etc.) I forsee many additional year and miles of togetherness with her.

    • CloverBob Gibson you need to get a 7 year old car or so. Most are still in great condition and according to Eric they are practically free.

  16. This is one reason I usually end up buying old 2nd hand cars. I have found it is much cheaper in the long run to buy an older car for 2000 dollars, drive it till it dies. Most cars I have bought last 3 to 4 years.

    Another hidden cost in buying a new car is the insurance cost for full coverage.

    I have owned an 87 Corvette and a 93 Corvette. Talk about expensive cars in their days. They were laden with, at the time, top of the line features, electronic climate controls, electronic dashes, ABS, Variable suspensions. They cost in excess of 30K back then. Parts for those cars while, not overly difficult to come by, are still expensive today.

    The best car I ever owned, was a 1962 VW Beetle. It was fairly easy to work on, even for a teen boy. Nothing was overly complicated, parts were easy to find, The wiring harness was easy to figure out, you did’t need a shop full of tools to fix it. It got good gas mileage, got around when I needed it. IF I had to change the clutch, it wasnt overly hard to accomplish. It was truly a great car for what it was designed to do. Get you from point A to point B. It did it reliably too. I just wonder how much it would cost to build a 62 VW Beetle in a factory today ?
    Probably not a whole lot.

    Bring back cars the masses could afford and fix.

    • HarryC I have to laugh at your 62 VW beetle. My car gets twice the gas mileage with twice the HP, has driven 110,000 miles with basically no needed parts and drives a lot better. As far as cost go it is far cheaper to drive than the beetle was because my engine will last for 100s of thousands of more miles than a beetle engine did. My car is 6 years old and shows no sign of rust. If you really go back to your good old days cars they do not match up to the cars of today. I recently got back from a trip in the mountains and the VW of your day could never have kept up with traffic flow.

      • Can you diagnose and repair a computerized late-model car with simple hand tools? I very much doubt it.

        My daily driver is over 40 years old. I’m the second owner, and have had it for nearly 30 years now. The car has well over 200,000 miles on the clock and has never needed major drivetrain work. The engine and automatic transmission have never been apart. Winter-time oil treatments help keep the rust at bay.

        It’s not the greatest on gas, but with V8 power has no problem keeping up with traffic under any conditions. With low initial cost, no payments, and extreme longevity it has cost very little to run overall – and there is very little that will go wrong with it that cannot be easily repaired by the shade-tree mechanic, even on the side of the road if needed.

        With proper maintenance a 1960s-1970s vintage car will run a very long time. (By definition of course, the surviving ones have.) It’s really a matter of choice and what characteristics one values in a personal vehicle. I don’t want the complexity or cost of a modern car.

        • Did he pay twice as much for his car than you two did?
          Maybe even four times, in inflation adjusted Dollars?

          I wonder if his car will be as useful in twenty years as the two of yours are now? I think the odds are very low. Very.

        • Jason Flinders Yes I can fix a more modern car. In some ways they are easier. Yes I will not own mine for 40 years. At my current rate I would have over 750,000 miles on it by then. I still bet it is cheaper to drive my newer car. It gets about 3 times the gas mileage your car gets. Newer cars you seldom have to work on or replace parts and you can get 10,000 miles on an oil change and still it is not as dirty as your 60s car after 1,000 miles. My last car had 240,000 miles on it when I got rid of it. It was 12 years old. I was ready for a better car with modern electronics. So you had yours 40 years and only 200,000 miles? Did you just drive it to church on Sunday?
          You must live in the sunbelt because a 40 year old car driven here daily would not have any body left.
          The last 1966 car I had was held together with fiberglass and it was about 8 years old when my brother got it first and I helped him with it. Clover
          And Helot I could care less if a car costs me 4 times more if in the long run it is cheaper to drive and a lot better car.

          • That’s just it, Clover. If a car costs you 4 times more, In the long run, it is Not cheaper to drive and is likely Not a lot better car, relatively speaking.
            You got ripped off six ways to Sunday and you don’t even know how bad.
            Do you even know how much less your Dollar buys today than twenty years ago?

            Also, it’s very odd how you gripe about how someone drives a car for 40 years and only 200,000 miles? The tac on, ” Did you just drive it to church on Sunday?”

            What the Hell?

            Not everybody is a daily commuter from Hell that you seem to be. Not Everybody needs to pile on the miles.

            You racked up 110,000 miles in six years? That’s a shitload of driving.
            I know of person with a 2007, they drive to work each day, plus a bit of vacation, and they only have 45,000 miles.

            Are you one of them Debt Donkeys that lives in the suburbs and does a 160 mile commute each day? What Hell is that?

            • Debt donkey – magnificent!

              If my marriage goes south – as appears 50-50 at this point – I must keep this in mind. Just hope I can manage to keep the Trans Am and at least a couple of my bikes….

          • If the electronics start going out when the car is out of warranty you are going to have a heck of a time with that rolling computer system! (That’s really what new cars are turning into.) Lots of very expensive systems there that do not necessarily age well.

            As to the miles, my current driver is not my only car and has had more or less regular use over the decades. There were times when it was sitting on the sidelines and some other vehicle was used on a more regular basis. I generally have several older cars on hand at any given time, and will pick one to use regularly for a while and then change off. (I also occasonally will sell one off and acquire something else. It’s a hobby as well as a lifestyle.) I stick with the less popular models that don’t have the inflated prices associated with “classics.”

            These vehicles run for decades and have no sophisticated/expensive electronics to worry about. Rust can be an issue of course, but undercarriage oil treatments for those vehicles that see winter service minimize the problem.

            My current ride may use more gasoline, but I don’t care about that. I paid next to nothing for the vehicle, have no debt and no payments, and it’s cheap to insure. (I have not taken any kind of loan for decades, carry no debt, and don’t know and don’t care what my “credit score” is.) Maintenance needs of my vehicles are very basic and easy to perform, repairs are simple and cheap. All around it’s a big winner versus buying something new.

            Hey, here’s an idea that may be strange to you. Your money is yours and mine is mine. We each spend it in the manner that we see fit. What a bizarre concept!

          • CloverJason Flinders you do the calculations. My car even though it was bought new and spread the cost over the expected time I will drive it so that is only 6 or 7 cents per mile. Add another cent if you figure I have to pay for full coverage in case a rock flies up and hits my windshield and that still comes to less than 8 cents a mile. My gas cost per mile is $3.60/38 = about 9.5 cents per mile. That comes to less than 17.5 cents per mile. If you get 1/3 the gas mileage you pay 28.5 cents per mile just for gas. My savings is 10 cents per mile and I am driving a far newer and better vehicle. My car has blue tooth, satellite radio, power windows, power locks, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes and is far safer than yours to drive. You tell me where my figures are wrong. You tell me how much you are saving by changing the plugs more often, changing oil more often and and replacing all those old suspension parts along with exhaust. Add it all up and I am saving far more than the 10 cents per mile I quoted. Also mine is far more reliable so I do not need to have a few other older cars around when an old car like yours breaks down or needs the constant parts replacement.

          • “Better” is in the eye of the beholder, Clover.

            I don’t want blueteeth and have no interest in receiving signals from outer space from some kind of sputnik. I not do want ABS or other complex technologies that take control away from the driver and will ultimately invoke costly repairs. (ABS works against you under some conditions and is not necessary if you know how to do threshold braking.)

            I do have air conditioning, it is nothing new. You may be too young to recall that Packard first introduced automotive air conditioning in 1940 and Nash-Kelvinator perfected the under-hood installation in 1954. By the 1960s it was pretty common, either as a factory item or an aftermarket accessory.

            I don’t have any interest in power windows or locks, though some of my vehicles have had those things as well. (Neither is a particularly new innovation.)

            With 3-point seat belts and considerable rolling mass I have no qualms about safety. (F=ma is not just a good idea, it is the Law!)

            Your “calculations” about maintenance and repair costs are way off base. Using synthetic oil and a good filter I can go just as long on oil changes as a newer car can. Electronic ignition and the longer spark plug life it brings has been standard for nearly 40 years now on American cars, nothing new there. (It can be added inexpensively to older vehicles if desired.)

            Repairs are infrequent, and they are inexpensive and easily performed when necessary. Oh, and I personally know people with new vehicles that have to rent something when their shiny new toy has a major malfunction and winds up in the shop for a period of time. This happened just recently on a friend’s new Ford hybrid. (Any car can break down at any time, it’s handy to have a spare or two around.)

            I’m the one that’s been doing this for decades and have a very good handle on it. It’s what the Brits refer to as “bangernomics.” You simply do not know what you are talking about.

            No debt, no payments, no large outlay of cash, cheap insurance, simple/inexpensive repairs, all adding up to reliable and comfortable transportation at minimal cost. It’s a winner in my book.

            Those that wish to bind themselves to debt slavery for years, or make huge cash outlays for a new car that will quickly lose value are certainly welcome to do so. I won’t be getting on that hamster wheel.

            • Hi Jason,

              Clover postures as an expert on everything but has no formal or experiential background that would qualify him to comment intelligently about vehicles, their design/maintenance – or driving. He’s just a loudmouthed control freak collectivist. The typical modern American.

              I’ve invited him to demonstrate his superior driving skills by meeting me at the track of his choice. I’ve asked him to tell us all about the last engine he tore down and rebuilt.

              Clover never responds to such interrogatories.

              For good reason!

          • CloverJason Flinders that is fine if you like living back in the 60s or 70s. I like the modern world. As far as costs go, with my calculations I gave you I could buy a new car with the savings I would have after driving 200,000 miles. Loan? The last car I bought I had a 1 month loan. I paid it off after 1 month. I only got the loan because it saved me money at the time. I have been saving money ever since. With the calculations I gave you I already saved more than 11 thousand dollars. That would go a long way to buying a new car or your so called expensive repairs that are seldom needed. Oil changes? Sorry but even with synthetic many of the older cars you are talking about the oil was black with contamination after a couple of thousand miles. If you think you are saving 100 or two hundred dollars a year with all your work then I guess that is all that is important. Facts do not matter on this site.
            I had enough working on old rusty vehicles that when you crawl under them rust drops in your face and eyes.

          • Eric,

            It’s very clear that Clover simply does not get it. His so-called “calculations” are so far off they are laughable, he doesn’t even take depreciation into account. He doesn’t even seem to understand that detergent oils are supposed to get dirty and hold contaminants in suspension, that’s the way they work. (I have an advantage here as a friend of mine worked for many years in the lubrication lab of an oil company.) Seems he’s never heard of protective eyeware or face shields either!

            Does he really expect anyone to believe he’s going to drive for 200,000 miles with no repairs? No brake jobs? No water pump? No timing belt, if so equipped? No fuel pump? Give me a break! Repairs are only going to become more expensive as technology in cars becomes more exotic to meet the requirements of the federal mafia. I recently read about a brake job on a hybrid that ran well into 5 figures just for a failed controller that was not covered by warranty! (In fact many modern cars become money pits as soon as the warranty is up.)

            There is very little on my vehicles that cannot be repaired at low cost using simple hand tools. Some representative prices from rockauto.com:

            Fuel pump – $20
            Carb rebuild kit – $22
            Alternator – $37
            Ball joint – $13
            Starter – $35
            Brake Caliper – $20

            Most of this stuff you deal with once and then drive another 100,000 miles! Regular maintenance items are inexpensive as well. Clover keeps going on about spark plugs; they cost the princely sum of $1.50 each (a whopping $12 for a set of 8), and with electronic ignition last a good long time!

            The only thing I pay significantly more for versus a newer car is gasoline, averaging about 15 miles per gallon or so, which actually is not much less than many modern SUVs. Everything else is savings. Clover’s idea of that these cars break down every other day is sheer fantasy. There’s really no sense in continuing with this guy, it’s like the old saw about teaching a pig to sing.

            As I said, “better” is in the eye of the beholder. I prefer simple, honest machinery without a lot of complications that I can pick up cheaply and maintain myself. Of course if someone else wants to go into debt, or take $20,000 or $30,000 or more out of the bank to buy a steeply depreciating “asset” — well that’s their business, it’s no skin off my nose.

            • Hi Jason,


              Clover is a Debt Donkey. A braying onager – who brays at anything that upsets his emotional apple cart.

              The worst part is he’s just a Talker. Like most of his ilk.

              It’s really aggravating to try to deal with a guy (loosely used) who probably has never gotten deeper into the guts of a car than an oil change, whose only experience behind the wheel is driving around in his Camry (or whatever it is Clover drives)… and so forth.

              This is a guy who presumes to lecture engineers about mechanical issues; who whinnies about the car industry he’s never worked in and has no real knowledge of, who proffers driving “tips” based on nothing more than his feelings.

              I allow him to spew here purely for purposes of example-providing. To show what we’re dealing with. The mentality that’s ruining this country, turning it into one humungous short bus with 320 million special needs kids on board….

            • Clover also doesn’t factor in the “opportunity cost” of the money sunk into a new car.

              I have no car payment, which means I have “x” more dollars available every month for other things. Or put another way, I don’t need to worry about earning “x” additional dollars every month to keep up with a car payment.

              Clover also doesn’t factor in such things as the property taxes on new/newer vehicles in states that have such taxes. These are based on the “book value” – and can be onerous, if the vehicle is valued in the $20k range and upward. Heck, I’m still having to pay around $100 a year to the mafia for the privilege of being allowed to sort-of “own” my ’98 Nissan truck!

              Insurance is another one Clover overlooks. The cost to comprehensively cover a new car (required, until it’s paid off) as opposed to a state-minimum, liability-only policy on an older, paid-for vehicle. This cost differential can very easily amount to thousands of dollars over a ten year period.

              But the fundamental point is this:

              If it weren’t for the mafia in DC – Clover’s friends – we’d be able to legally buy brand-new cars without all the cost/complexity-adding crap that Clover loves and believes everyone should be forced to buy, if they wish to buy a new car.

              For example, a new “old” Beetle – the same model as built in the ’70s, perhaps updated (as in Mexico) with fuel injection and electronic ignition, which would make it very everyday driveable while still being extremely simple, and thus, easy to manufacturer and sell at very low cost – around $8,000 or so. This is about half the cost of a current, DC-legal economy compact with all the Clover Hardware.

              Many people – ordinary people – could afford to buy such a car outright. And even if they had to finance the $8,000 it would amount to about $220 a month over three years. As opposed to $400 a month for the next 5-6 for the Clovermobile.

              That’s savings.

          • CloverJason Flinders so your gas per mile cost is $3.60/15 = 24 cents per mile. That is still more than my 17.5 cents with car depreciation and gas. You still do not get it. You are not saving money. You can buy a lot better cars than yours for under 20 grand. If my car died today the so called depreciated cost per mile would be 14 cents and the car has a lot of miles left. I did recently do a brake job on my vehicle. It had 102,000 miles on it when I decided the brake pads were getting close to being needed to be replaced so I spent around a 100 bucks and replaced them like any car in the past 40 years. Except I know very few cars from 40 years ago that brakes lasted over 100K. I suppose there are some expensive repairs on cars but with my savings in gas alone I could own 2 new cars for the costs that you have. Again, I have no problem with you wanting to drive an old vehicle because you fear working on new cars but newer cars are not that bad to work on and you do not need to wear a face shield while doing it. From my experience newer cars since the mid 90s need far less repairs than earlier cars. Everything lasts longer. By the way, black oil with contamination does not lubricate as well. I would think you could understand that. Clover

            Depreciation: If you have a new car that costs $20,000 miles and it gets 250,000 miles which most newer cars get unless they are driven few miles per year. Your depreciation per mile is $20,000 /250,000 = 8 cents per mile. Do you at least understand that?

            If you spend 1 grand on your new very used vehicle and drive it 20,000 miles that is still 5 cents per mile. Not free. If you are spending less than a grand on cars then I would not want to be seen in it anyway.

          • Eric,

            See, there he goes again, braying about “what my costs are.” (He apparently thinks I’m spending my heirs’ inheritance on spark plugs!) It’s an amazement to watch this guy. As though he knows better than I do what I’m spending on transportation and what is best for me. The mind just boggles.

            I especially loved it when he bragged about having air conditioning as though that is some amazing, futuristic 21st-century technology. My dad’s old Nash had air conditioning while Ike was still in the White House!

            Except for gas and normal maintenance my car expenses are nil, and I’m driving something that I enjoy. Most people love it too, the majority of people I meet love seeing these old cars and it brings back memories for them. The Camrys and such are just part of the grey background.

            It’s gone past the point of being ludicrous at this point. Are you sure that Clover is not some kind of automated bot, like the old ELIZA program?

          • @Eric said – “Clover also doesn’t factor in such things as the property taxes on new/newer vehicles in states that have such taxes. These are based on the “book value” – and can be onerous, if the vehicle is valued in the $20k range and upward.”

            Your new Audi ($75,000.00 ) first year money-for-nothing tribute to the State of California:

            Your new Toyota ($25,000.00) first year money-for-nothing tribute to the State of California:


          • That was a fun read about the VW beetle Eric. I had to laugh that you wanted to put electronic ignition and fuel injection into it. that is exactly what Jason was trying to stay away from the newer technology. Eric you said how it was costing me so much because I had to put out the money for a new vehicle. Eric I had cash from the money I saved in gas and repairs I saved from not owning a 40 year old gas hog with my previous car. Did you hear that Eric. Cash! Now if I needed a car loan now days that would not break me either. I think I could get one somewhere between 2 and 2.5 percent. Eric that would not have cash strapped me either. The fact is if it is costing you 2 to 3 times more in gas just from driving an older vehicle you will never come out ahead unless the guy buying the new car paid $30,000 to $70,000 or whatever. If you are paying that much for a car then who cares if you are saving a couple of bucks or not.Clover
            If you want to drive an older vehicle then go for it but it is definitely not saving you money. If you still think you do then show us the numbers. I did.
            Now if you drive very few miles then I would even admit you will probably save money by keeping that old gas hog in the garage most of the time.

            • Clover, if you knew anything about cars – about the car industry – you’d be aware of the fact that the Mexican Beetle had factory FI and electronic ignition and sold for about $8,000 in U.S. dollars.

              The FI was however a simple TBI type and the ignition was also a simple transistorized system – neither being anything remotely like the port fuel/direct injection systems used in cars in the US, or the coil-on-plug ignition systems, which are orders of magnitude more complex and expensive and which cannot be adapted to an engine not designed for them without a great deal of modification and expense. If at all.

              I’m aware that you have no idea what “TBI” (much less “DI”) means, of course. And it’s pointless to explain to you that the Mexican Beetle was fundamentally the same as the Beetles of the ’70s; i.e., same basic (simple) air-cooled flat four engine, same basic (simple, cheap to build) body and interior… no government-mandated, cost-adding “safety” equipment. The simple TBI system improved driveability (and reduced emissions), just as the simple electronic ignition increased tune-up intervals, improved cold-start performance (and so on). But neither of these improvements altered the fundamentals of the car – its simplicity, its low cost to manufacturer and sell.

              Dealing with you is like dealing with a belligerent African Gray Goose.

              Honk! Honk! Honk!

              • Eric, those Mexi Beetles had port injection, they were very similar to early/mid ’90’s Jetta/Golf 2.0, OBD1, a self adaptive system called Digifant. The only difference that I can tell is that the Jetta has a MAF sensor, while the Beetle has a MAP sensor incorporated into the ECU, connected to a vacuum source on the engine. A friend of mine has two “brand new” ones in his collection.

                • Hi Adam,


                  I owned a ’69 Fastback once upon a time. It had port injection, too. Amazing, for a ’69 MY car. I often wish I still had.

          • Garysco I had to laugh when I checked out your link for registration costs for CA. Yes a new $20,000 vehicle costs $1800 with most of it being sales tax. Yes a 1965 car or whatever that cost $2000 would cost $275. The only thing you forget is that buying an older car you would probably replace it 2 to 4 times in the 12 years that you might own the new car if you drive any significant amount of miles. When that is the case you would have to pay that $275 or whatever registration fee multiple times. There goes your huge cost savings you are talking about. Am I the only one here that is capable of thinking about what actual costs are? I do not live in a state where they have property tax on cars. Just sales tax. Clover
            The figures that I gave for cost savings are what I am saving. If your amount of driving is far different than mine or if your state and local taxes are far different than mine then you have to determine your own savings. For me a newer car makes sense and is a huge savings as stated. I have stated actual costs that I see.

          • CloverI do have to laugh at you Eric. Anything you do not understand is overly complex and evil. New ignition systems are not that complex. Just too complex for you I guess. Do you know anything about electrons and voltage and current flow? I doubt it. It is too complex for you. It is evil. My ignition system in my car works great. No plug wires. No distributor. No points. It is simple and works and lasts a very long time. You do not understand that though. Just because you do not understand something does not mean it is bad. It just means you are still living back in the 60s. Eric most of the cars from the 60s to the 70s were poor along with your beetle. Tell me Eric if it was so great why is it not on the road today with air bags? Eric there is a reason it is not on the road today. It would suck compared to modern cars. I have not owned one but from what I hear the heating sucked, the engine had to be rebuilt every 60 to 80 thousand miles and it lacked the hp of cars today and it got poor gas mileage compared to cars of today. If you liked them so much I would think you would have one in your garage.

            • Clover, I actually tear down and rebuild engines – including their wiring harnesses and ignition systems. Have you ever done that?

              Besides which, the point I raised was that TBI is simple; the existing intake system can be used. Very little in the way of modifications are necessary. Just as converting a standard-type distributor from contact points to transistorized is a simple affair. No major re-engineering is necessary.

              VW was able to easily/cheaply retrofit these to the old Beetle.

              It would not be economically feasible to convert an old Beetle to port fuel much less direct injection. The engine itself would need to be redesigned.

              Which would entail great expense and fundamentally alter the vehicle.

              Which was the point I was trying to get across.

              I summon my best Neidermeyer voice:

              You do nothing, you are nothing…

              You’re a talker. A braying onager.

              Never driven a race car, or driven a street car on a race track. Yet you know all about driving.

              Never engineered anything – but know all about engineering.

              Never worked in the car industry – but know everything about the way it works.

            • Oh, and Clover:

              It’s not feasible to install air bags in an old VW. Which is exactly the point. The car had to be taken off the market because its basic design was no longer able to comply with the various government mandates.

              If you knew the first thing about car design, you’d know this – and would not have made such a titanically ignorant statement.

          • Eric it still comes down to you still living in the 60s. Why is that? Tell me why did you start using a computer? It is way too complex for you to understand. It must be evil.Clover

            Tell me why do you write articles about new cars? Why not write articles about the cars of the 60s or 70s which you say are so much better?

            • Idiot – did I ever argue that a given automotive technology/feature was evil?

              No, you blithering imbecile. I observed that certain technologies add expense and complexity – and that while there are pros, there are also cons.

              You are too fucking stupid to comprehend these distinctions.

              I also wrote that people ought to be able to freely choose the kinds of cars that best suit their needs and budget – without some asshole like you dictating how cars will be built.

          • CloverYes Eric I understand why the beetle was not just updated. It was far too lacking in everything. It lacked HP, gas mileage, durability, safety and passenger comforts. Yes that is why it was not updated because most everything needed to be changed.

            • No, idiot.

              It was outlawed. VW stopped selling it here in 1979 – because they could no longer legally sell it. But VW continued to build and sell the car for decades in other markets. Where it was still legal to sell it.

              And, look around. Old VWs are a common sight – as daily drivers. Today. More than 30 years after the last new one was sold here.

              Now, sit down and shut up.

              You have nothing of substance to add to the conversation.

              I’m tired of dealing with you. It’s not that we disagree. It’s that you’re an ignoramus. You know nothing about how vehicles are manufactured, about the car industry, about how engines work, about driving.

              It’s tiresome.

          • Eric what makes you an expert? Have you ever worked in an auto manufacturing plant? Have you ever designed a car from the wheels up? What makes you an expert? Because you write about cars that you drive? An expert would not say that it costs $500 for backup cameras. An Expert would not say it costs thousands for air bags. Eric you do not know any more than I do and it sounds like less to me.
            You say you still want a car that you can work on yourself because it takes more maintenance. I am smart enough to know that when you want to sell a car you want to sell hundreds of thousands of them to make manufacturing more efficient. No manufacturer wants to sell a car that only fits the shade tree mechanic that still wants to work on carbs. They want to sell a car that is as free of repairs as possible because that is how cars are rated. A car that requires repairs or adjustments all the time would never get a good rating and it just would not sell. If they still allowed the old beetle to be sold then the only people that would buy them is people like you. I did a search online for the cheapest cars now sold. The one that first came up had 109 hp. What is that like twice what the beetle had? It also gets twice the gas mileage, a heater that works and an engine that does not need to be rebuilt every 60 thousand miles.

            • Clover, I have 20-plus years as a journalist covering the industry. Which means – among other things:

              I personally have met/interviewed most of the major automakers’ chief executives, product planners, engineers and so forth.

              How many such people do you personally know?

              I have personally been to every major automaker’s manufacturing and testing facilities (proving grounds, etc.). I’ve driven on black lake; at Ford’s winter proving grounds in Canada. In Europe and Mexico.

              I have test driven thousands of cars of every type and description – on the street and on the track. I have taken several high-performance driving courses sufficient to qualify for a road racing license.

              How many tracks have you driven on, Clover?

              I’ve been published by – among others – the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Chicago Tribune, National Review and New York Times. I’ve written two successful books. I’ve been an automotive columnist for cars.com, The Car Connection, AOL Autos, American Airlines’ in-flight magazines…

              Who the fuck has ever published a single word of yours?

              I have torn down and rebuilt dozens of cars and motorcycles, everything from the oil pan to the air cleaner.

              Have you ever done more in the way of turning wrenches than changing oil?

              Who are you, Clover?

          • You crack me up Eric. You are an expert at car manufacturing because you interviewed someone? You have been to a car testing grounds? I have driven around a million miles and owned many and driven dozens of different cars and have worked on a few but usually helping someone else because mine need seldom work. I guess actually doing it is better than interviewing someone but there goes my brain working overtime again. I have seen your car reviews. Nothing any different than anyone else. Again a car expert would not say a backup camera costs you $500 or air bags cost you thousands or whatever. Anyone that says such things is far from an expert in my mind. Anyone that says how great the beetle was that it needs to be brought back is not an expert to me. Your intelligence is kind of like that college professor with all his many credentials but is unable to balance a checkbook.

            • Clover, I am knowledgeable about car manufacturing/how the car industry works because I’ve been working in the industry and with people who’ve worked in it for decades. I’ve had design and manufacturing explained to me by people who design and manufacture cars. I’ve observed the process myself.

              How many years have you worked in the car industry? How many people in the industry do you know? How many R&D facilities have you been to? How many assembly lines? Proving grounds?

              I know enough about engines to take them apart and put them back together. How many engines have you torn down and rebuilt, Clover?

              How many vehicles have you restored yourself?

              I know more about driving than you because I have had more training than you, as well as experiences you’ve never had – such as extensive track time and driving virtually every type of vehicle made.

              How many high-performance driving courses have you taken, Clover? How many times have you driven on a race track?

              Other than your Clovermobile, how many different types of cars have you driven? Ever driven an exotic like a Jaguar XJ220 or Ferrari F40? How about a Unimog truck? A Pantera GTS? Ever drive an Isetta micro-car? An open wheel Indy car? I have.

              How about you?

              You have no standing to discuss anything having to do with cars, their manufacture or function.

              Just as you have no standing to discuss firearms or anything else – based on what we know of your resume and, of course, the vacuity of your comments here.

              Oh, and on the price of back-up cameras: Go price a replacement LCD screen for your Clovermobile. Yes, Clover, it will cost you money to replace the screen when it fails. Money in addition to the $140 the government itself admits the camera systems cost to put into a car. Of course, you – being a Clover – don’t count the down-the-road costs for maintenance and repair. Because those costs are not real to you, somehow.

              Just as the replacement costs of air bags are never taken into account by you. Nor the higher insurance costs based on projected (and actual) repair costs.

              Now, back to the manger with you. I tire of listening to your braying.

          • Dear Clover,

            Your challenges to Eric are reminiscent of the classic scenarios in Chinese Wu Xia films, Japanese Samurai films, and American Western films, when the deluded young challenger mulishly forces the veteran martial artist to duel with him.

            The Magnificent Seven (1960) gun vs knife

            Oh, in case it wasn’t clear, you’re the one lying in the dust with the knife in your chest when it’s all over.

          • Eric if you say you are 50 percent better driver or whatever figure because you took a drivers course then what happens when you take 5 times the risk because of it? I will tell you. You are endangering other people more than someone that is half as capable of a driver. Did your so called drivers course tell you anything about reducing risk or was it all about sliding your rear end around in a turn? Anytime you lose contact with the pavement like that you increase your chances of losing control but I am sure your expert driving class did not mention that.
            Then you bring up that backup cameras cost $140 but down the road it is going to cost you $500. Say what? yes electronic equipment can break but there is a far far greater chance that any other mechanical part is going to break first. Clover

            Then you talk about the cost of replacing air bags. What I have read about air bags is they save insurance costs a lot because there are far fewer injuries and that is what costs us all a fortune. I know you do not believe in insurance so you do not care but if the person that you hit does not have air bags they would take your house and cars and everything you own to pay for the extra hospital costs. A couple of thousand dollars would barely admit someone to the hospital with such injuries. You just are not bright enough to understand that.
            It is just like me saying that I am willing to spend 4 times more for a car if it is going to save me money within a few years. That is beyond your comprehension also.

            • Clover, what I am “saying” (god, why must I be surrounded by illiterates?) is that I’ve got more knowledge of vehicle dynamics than you, by dint of having taken several high-performance driving courses and having had extensive experience on track and off that you have not.

              Your assertions about “risk” and “safety” are neither here nor there – as usual.

              PS: Your statement, “Anytime you lose contact with the pavement like that you increase your chances of losing control” was most amusing.

              Italics added. Ponder why I added them.

          • Clover One more thing Eric, I did some research on rear view cameras. This is one thing I found:Anytime you lose contact with the pavement like that you increase your chances of losing control
            “Since it was first proposed, the cost of hardware has come down as more cameras have been added to certain models. Honda Motor Co. and Subaru Motor Co. both announced they are making the cameras standard in all vehicles, and they will be standard on the 2015 Ford Focus, due out later this year.”
            It is obvious that the car manufacturers see an added benefit of adding the cameras. They have either became so cheap to add or the public has asked for them so much that they are being added years before they are required. I would also bet it is another savings on insurance costs with fewer accidents and deaths and hospital costs.Clover

            • Yes, Clover, they do see a benefit: Higher profit per car. This is why the auto industry now embraces rather than fights mandates.

          • CloverWhatever Eric. Yes the car manufacturers want to make more money. That is the main purpose for a business. If they add a few dollars to the cost of producing their cars but therefore sell thousands of more cars because that is one of the things most people want then they make more money. I understand that and it is obvious you do not. It is no different than adding side curtain air bags as standard before they were mandated because it was a selling point of having a safer rated car. It is obvious you think differently than most of the rest of civilization. That is why you are really incapable of living with other people. They say that rear cameras now cost a lot less than original estimates but from your inside information I would think you would know that.Clover

            • Making money is fine, Clover – if it’s not done using force. Mandates = force.

              This is another distinction you’re apparently not capable of comprehending.

              If air bags are so wonderful – and so universally desired – then why the need to mandate them, eh?

          • CloverEric I do not care if you are against something but telling lies or stretching the truth beyond belief is not the way to do it. Yes there are stupid people out there that believe anything you say.

            Your one sided view on things is exactly like if you started to complain about the cost of doing an oil change and telling everyone not to do it and do not bother to mention it may save them thousands of dollars in the long run. By the way, do you ever change the oil in your vehicles?

  17. Elio motors seems to be trying to sell an enclosed 3 wheeler under motorcycle rules for $7000. They claim it will have airbags and other safety stuff.

    This Three-Wheeled Car Costs Just $6,800 And Goes 672 Miles On A Tank Of Gas

    and an enclosed motorcycle.

    Can A Mutant Electric Half-Car, Half-Motorcycle Disrupt The Vehicle Market?

    • Can the Elio disrupt the market? I certainly hope so. I have reserved two of them for myself. They are supposed to go into production in 2015, and they hope to employ 1,500 American workers and sell 250,000 of them annually. It would please me to no end to have the Elio impact the US and global auto market just like the original Beetle did in the US back in the 1950’s.

  18. There’s another issue that should be taken into account when factoring the cost of a new car: quality fade.
    I own a 1999 Japan-made Honda I bought new in 2000. In almost 14 years of ownership the only repairs it needed where new shocks (given the mileage and the roads a small price to pay), a new windshield (courtesy of a lorry which shot a nice rock in it), a lambda sensor (again given the mileage not bad) and a thermostat with gasket. Oh, and I am currently on my third radio, with a fourth coming up shortly, but those weren’t made by Honda.
    Ask any modern car owner and you’ll hear a litany of poorly fitting and quickly fading plastics, cheap wheel and suspension bearings, sloppy assembly, sub-par components and faulty electronics.
    It’s obvious the knowledge to build cars as reliable and as well made as in 1999 is still in the industry, so why do we get very expensive cars with serious quality issues. What happened?
    The first problem is “creeping labor debasement”. Purchasing power all over the world since 2000 has stagnated or contracted. A modern car built with 2000 quality would cost from 20 to 30% more, meaning from $36000 to $39000 for something currently sold for thirty grands. How many would be able to afford the expense?
    The second problem is the automotive industry has effectively painted itself in a corner: in the last 15 years they built their business model on grandiose growth targets. They are literally swimming in industrial overcapacity and are adding more to the pile. Just to break even they have to keep on increasing sales. Just to give an idea it is now estimated the Chinese car market will be saturated a decade before of even the most pessimistic predictions, provided worldwide economy stays on the present course and China doesn’t introduce restrictions on car ownership. That’s killing the gold egg laying goose in my book.
    In this model, every dirty trick in the book is employed: quality fade goes hand in hand with iffy styling studied to look “cool today, annoying in three years”.
    Why bother repairing your car? Don’t you know the fuel pump will probably go in a year? Take out a loan and get a new one. In case you haven’t noticed, junk car loans are back, together with record sales. People are getting in debt again to buy cars they cannot afford. And this time it will be different.
    The 2008 GM/Delphi bailout set the trend. European manufacturers are adding to the pile by taking out huge loans to do questionable “investments”: for example in 2007 BMW spent an alleged €100 million to buy ailing Italian motorcycle manufacturer Husqvarna. They grossly overpaid for it and to make matters worse they sank lots and lots of money in it. This went against the advise of analysts, who saw Husqvarna as a basket case loaded with debts, and against common sense. In 2013 BMW unloaded Husqvarna to Austrian industrialist Stefan Pierer for an “undisclosed amount”. In short they lost their shirt on the deal.
    Yet BMW weren’t punished for their foolishness. The loans they took out to fund the deal were ridiculously low interest, leading to no influence in dividends and hence to no share holder outcry.
    If a crisis will hit GM, BMW or whoever because of their foolishness, expect the local government to come to the rescue with suitcases full of money. Your money. The French government already passed €7 billion to PSA (manufacturer of the Citroen and Peugeot cars) last year. There was no public outcry and the ever garrulous EU did not go much further than decrying “State aids which distort the competition”.
    All auto makers have to do is throw a hissy fit ad the suitcases full of money will roll in, be them in direct kickbacks or ultra low interest rates.
    Wall Street taught them well.

  19. Eric, Thanks on this. It has been getting “hockey stick” out of control for decades.

    I worked at an OEM in the south back in the ’90’s and did the I/P’s for the product line. That was when airbags were forced into the vehicles in the US but still SRS- Supplemental Restraint System. The design had to be “full” force if the occupant wasn’t wearing their seat belt (Primary Restraint System). It was a mess. Oh, they (regulation folks) forgot about the “topedo” effect and you survive a crash but your legs and knees are damaged for life. I have a friend still suffering from this as she was in an accident in her Camry back in 1999. Next up, knee bolsters. And the OEM’s were to blame. On and on we go.

    Back in ~1993, an automotive trade magazine showed the cost of ALL the mandatory regs imposed on vehicles. Would love to dig the article back up. BACK THEN, price tag was ~$4200 per vehicle. Econo boxes to loaded boats, starting price due to regs (safety, emissions, etc) was this. I joked that the sticker price label should show this. “FEDERAL MANITORY COST: $4200

    IT would be great to see what this price tag is today. I am guessing ~$11K+. I maybe low as the BIW has to be factored in etc. Just take a look at the front corners to meet angle impact. The headlight corner cost is huge. Any changes to the BIW, etc usually require re-certifications (a.k.a. crash test). A change in the seat, the FMVSS list is a mile long.

    Add emissions in the mess and tape Ben Franklins to the side of the vehicle.

    NHTSA is busy on their side: http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/newtsm/pdf/ConfCalendar2014.pdf
    April: National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
    Hum, back up cameras and April. WE WERE TAUGHT: If at home, check behind your car BEFORE you back up to be sure Junior doesn’t become an add on feature. Sussy homemaker is too busy on her cell phone to check before backing up. It’s for the children.

    The days of disconnecting the smog pump or straight piping the catalytic converter are long gone.

    It would be great to sum up the TRUE total reg cost today. It might be out there but a tally would be great. The cost for that little blue FMVSS sticker may shock the customer.



  20. He’s filming them for their own protection. People care so much when it’s one person in public well within their rights but when government illegally spies on them it doesn’t phase them in the least.

    Surveillance Camera Man 6
    Surveillance Camera Man 5
    Surveillance Camera Man 4
    Surveillance Camera Man 3
    Surveillance Camera Man 2
    Surveillance Camera Man 1

  21. @Garysco
    Fifth Element is awesome. Looks good in Luc Besson’s native French as well.

    Le Cinquième Élément – depeche version

    Luc Besson’s Various Nikitas from 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, and 2010, are of course all amazingly great.

    Nikita gets a file from Birkoff in 1997 TV Series

    ScarJo in Luc Besson’s Lucy Coming Aug 2014

    For an instant reality check, might I recommend watching BBC Sci Fi. There is a raw trapped-fly ethos only the UK studios do the right proper visceral portrayal of.

    Orphan Black – New BBC America Original Series

    Orphan Black – Meet The Clones

    Lucy – 2014 Film
    Set in a futuristic world that is run by the mob, street gangs, drug addicts and corrupted cops, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, 2069 AD, works as a drug mule for the mob.

    The drug she inadvertently takes goes into her system, changing her into a metahuman. She can absorb knowledge instantaneously, is able to move objects with her mind and can’t feel pain and other discomforts.

  22. un mundo de ricos y pobres

    Canción de cuna para mis amigos centrales banquero

    Con labios de acero. la chica me mira
    desde la penumbra sin dejarse ver
    Puedo oler su sombra que respira detrás
    Trepa hasta mi oído, me susurra y se va

    Dice: “no tengas miedo. no hagas preguntas
    solamente quiero que te dejes llevar
    no esperes nada más. no habrá más luego
    pero esta noche quiero que te dejes llevar”

    Por su silueta un movimiento espiral
    ella se aproxima y saborea mis dedos
    su lengua en mis ojos. su abrazo ritual
    me dio su veneno. he comenzado a temblar

    Dice: “no lo intentes. ya no te podrás escapar
    y si te resistes sólo me pones más
    es demasiado tarde para que vuelvas atrás
    esta noche tú eres mi banquete especial”

    Y me siento acariciado por kilómetros de piel de mujer
    voy siendo devorado por millones de minúsculos dientes
    porque ella siempre tiene hambre

    mundo de la web de la deuda

    Cure | Lullaby | sleep tight tonight everyone

  23. Before the dead buried the living and this world became dead. In the days before fabula and syuzhet. There was only the free market and relative bliss of a joyful agora.


    There was no curse of the sleeping death. Each being spent 7 hours a day in labor. 8 hours a day in leisure. And 9 hours a day in creation.

    Some were very great. Some were incredibly small. But all were alive and vital.

    We imagined and gave birth to stars that then were born. These stars then cooled and matured into worlds. These worlds thrived and then died, becoming first flowing water streaming comets, and then drying arid asteroids, and finally pulverized meteorite stardust finely scattered. Everywhere in the universe was within our reach and composed by us and the plethora of being who once thrived there.

    Swimming mermaids, flying angels, great demons of metal who warred and caroused in the fires deep in the earth, other worlds, and stars themselves. Everything was possible, and matter was our servant. Anything that you can imagine once was a reality.

    Then the longskulls came, and they made us all slaves. They forbid all acts of creation. They extinguished all minds who soared above and shaped matter. They left us only brute fire in its place. Stone tools, mute clay, and endless bones of the creatures we once gave life to.

    They bred us for captivity. They trained their midwives to conceal them and their fellow cruel alien allies, and to make all formerly diverse species of humans look and act the same. To make all of us and them indistinguishable.

    There was then only to be only one mode of existence, and they an inseparable and dominant hierarchical master of this one surviving mode. All other things that once were, were destroyed, and all the glorious past forgotten.

    They then remade us all as tillers of soils and diggers of dirt. And taught these farmers to be killers of shepherds and beasts. Everywhere to convince and enforce that like them, all of us too were nothing but dust, and that henceforth only to dust will we ever return.

    Karen Hudes World Bank Insider Claims 2nd Species Rules the World

    The Ionian at Aristophanes

    Silent and Early Era

    Its not that the Ancient Greeks worshipped false Gods. Its that the Ancient Greeks at one time had the ability to create as Gods and the best of them were themselves the Gods who created all that we see. What you imagine to be growing up, is really to more fully die, since you were already nearly stillborn at birth.

    Today we are pitiable zombies, with no creational abilities. We’ve consented to the killing of a part of ourselves, and we’ve doomed ourselves to a limited zombie reality dystopia of our own device.

    We endure our herdlike cudchewing cattlization because like our forebearers, we also fearfully submit to the Akhenaten Aristocrats who gleefully throttle and whip this dying dustblown and rockstrewn world without a creator class.

  24. I would also point out that, in a true free market economy, many of these items and options would still be available, even commonplace, but would be far cheaper and more effective.

    Take air bags for example. One of the main reasons they cost so much is that they have to pass government certification standards. This costs a lot of money, which takes away from the R&D budget to do things like make them more effective or less expensive. Does a single airbag contain $1,500 worth of components and labor to produce? Not even close. Most of that is the cost of compliance. If you doubt that, just check out how hard it is to find, and how insanely expensive to buy, an aftermarket seatbelt for an old car is. At one point I managed to find a seatbelt that wasn’t certified for something like $20 but the same belt and hardware that met US standards was more like $150. Same company, same belt. That was about 20 years ago. I’m sure it’s worse.

    Then consider how much mandatory technology is not yet ready for prime time but is forced on the market by regulation anyway. In most other areas of technology, there’s a nice, smooth, and generally rapid decline of costs of technology over the course of a few years as early adopters with the desire and the money forego other purchases to get something they want more. Recall HDTVs over the past decade. They used to cost $15,000 and be smaller and of much lower quality than a TV today costing $800. Plus we have a wide range of TV technology still today with costs still up high or as little as 200 for a new HDTV. Everyone is served.

    However, when government steps in and mandates technology, it freezes the price at that level and adds compliance and regulatory costs to the item actually raising the cost of production. It also adds a false sense of safety and eliminates much of the incentive for manufacturers to exceed the standard since they may not get regulatory approval, no matter how much better their method may be.

    In a world without the Fed, without government regulation, without nannying people using the force of law to make others do what they think is best for them, we would have steadily falling prices and the value of the currency would be steadily climbing. Even if we never got a raise, we could buy more and more goods and services every year for the same dollar amount while getting better quality and having more selection and safety.

    • Your comment reminds me of the epiphany that turned me away from a career as an aircraft mechanic when I was 3/4 through the training. I read an article about how the FAA, in going through the airworthiness certification process for a new sailplane design by Schweizer, refused to waive the noise level testing. For an airplane *with no engine*, at a cost (in 1970 dollars) of $20,000 for the tests. There was no way I wanted to spend my life with federal morons looking over my shoulder, so I found other work.

    • CloverSojournerMoon it sounds good that you feel we do not need any federal standards for something but I would be willing to pay for it. I would much rather spend an extra hundred bucks on air bags that deploy when they are supposed to rather than getting one that is not certified from China to save a few bucks and only 10 percent of them deploy correctly when they are supposed to. If you get rid of federal standards then I would hope there would be some private standards that would be used for safety devices.

      • Clover comes close to getting it!

        ” . . . it sounds good that you feel we do not need any federal standards for something but I would be willing to pay for it.”

        Yes, indeed. Except Clover demands that others pay for it, too – whether they’re willing or not. And that, in a just one sentence, is the difference between a Clover and a morally aware human being. The Clover believes his wishes and preferences entitle him to use force, directly or indirectly, to compel others to (as an example) buy air bags. Because he believes they are “worth it.” His beliefs trump other people’s right to be left alone, to decide such questions for themselves.

        A morally aware human being recoils from the idea of threatening people with violence for any reason except clear self-defense.

        • One question Eric. If air bags had a turn off switch would you tell your wife to shut it off so when she gets into an severe accident you can prove the government who is boss?Clover

          • Sigh.

            Clover, my wife is an adult free to make her own choices. Get it?

            I don’t force her to do anything.

            Because unlike you, I am not a control freak.

            Seriously. What’s wrong with you?

            Why can’t you agree to leave other adults alone?

            Do you think you’re Jesus? Anointed? The King of the world?

          • One question clover.

            Do you really not understand the concept of individual discretion over the conduct of one’s own life?

            Do you really not understand that is what freedom and liberty are all about?

            Do you really not get that brute force coercion to compel other individuals who live their lives according to your judgments is wrong?

            Never mind. We know the answers to these and other questions.

          • CloverEric you do not get it. You are supposed to be the car expert. Are you telling us that air bags are worthless? You are supposed to be the know all in automobiles according to you. Tell us what the death rate and accident cost is for people with car safety devices and those without? A so called expert would have those numbers wouldn’t he?
            Tell us Eric why has there been a big drop in the death rate in automobiles over the past 10 years. I would like to hear it from your mouth.

            • Clover, it’s exasperating dealing with you because you literally cannot read (among other things).

              I’ve never argued that air bags are “worthless” – that’s you’re confection. I have argued that they ought not to be forced down people’s throats at gunpoint. That they entail cons (such as the very high cost to replace them) as well as pros – and that people have a right to freely decide for themselves whether air bags are worth it to them.

          • No Bevin I do not believe I am wrong. So if you think the government is wrong about trying to make cars as safe as possible what do you say about auto manufacturers doing the same thing?Clover

            “A number of automakers, including Nissan and Volvo, have set goals of eliminating all highway deaths in their vehicles, though when that would become practical remains to be seen.”

            Bevin safety devices in cars are getting cheaper all the time. They have saved lives and a lot of money in life insurance cost and health costs. Is it true you want to save a few hundred dollars so it ends up costing thousands to everyone? Would a smart person say such a thing? Now that car manufacturers have made safety devices standard it is more expensive to tell them to leave them out. If the government would tell you not to put a gun to your head and pull the trigger would you do it just to prove you are not going to follow something that the government told you not to do?
            I remember a guy saying many years ago that he did not need seat belts. If he would get into an accident with a kid in the front seat he would just put his arm out to stop the kid from hitting the windshield. That kind of sounds like something you would say also.

          • Dear Clover,

            People used to think Ayn Rand was exaggerating when she created her cast of Atlas Shrugged villains and buffoons.

            Not quite.

            It is true her dialogue was way too on the nose. But as far as the inner workings of their psyches was concerned, she pegged them perfectly.

            Case in point, look in the mirror.

          • CloverBevin I have no clue what you just said. Bevin since the decision has already been made to make cars safer for everyone then what is you point of complaining about it. Do you really think you will change it back to where we had thousands of more deaths than we have now and higher costs? How do you plan to get it changed or are you like everyone else here that that likes to complain that you have to live with other people smarter than you? Only an idiot would be fighting for cars that are less safe.

            • Except, Clover, they’re not safer for everyone.

              Seat belts occasionally get people killed. Air bags have killed – and cause serious injuries, too.

              Who are you to dispose of other people’s lives?

              Say what you will about me – I would never presume to dictate anything to you at gunpoint.

              As I’ve noted before, Clover – you’re a thug.

          • CloverBevin I read a very short Bio of Rand. Sorry but I never ready a thing she wrote. I was too busy living my own life. I do agree with her philosophy though. She said to think rationally. Boy have I never seen any of that on this site. The definition of rational is having or exercising reason, sound judgment, or good sense. OK. Does it make good sense and sound judgment to not allow devices in your car that can save your life or huge medical expenses? Yes rational thinking is what you and others here severely lack.

            • Rand advocated rational thinking for oneself.

              You believe you have the right to think for others – at gunpoint.

              Has it ever occurred to you that people would perhaps become more rational if they were left to decide things for themselves and bear the consequences (good and bad) for themselves?

              Instead, you infantilize everyone – by asserting your claims to universal parenthood.

              You want to boss other adults around, control and direct them – as though they were little children and you the wise parent.

              The arrogance of this is startling. Especially in view of your clearly limited capacities.

          • Clover,

            Your reading comprehension appears to be woefully inadequate.

            Eric did not state that airbags and other safety devices are worthless.

            If people think different safety devices are worthwhile then they will choose to buy products (automobiles in this case) with these safety devices. (People have been known to ask for features that do not presently exist.)

            Why do you oppose people having a choice in what they choose to buy? Why do you oppose manufacturers choosing what they wish to sell to the public?

          • CloverMithrandir for one thing it is already decided that safety devices are to be in all vehicles. It is not up to me. Mithrandir many people are stupid. Go to most any 15 year old and ask them if they need an air bag. They will say that no they do not need them because they will never get into an accident. Mithrandir the last figures I saw was that about 1 in 80 people will be killed in a traffic accident and it is getting better because there are safety devices in most vehicles now. It used to be a lot worse than that. There were a few in my high school class that never made it to the first class reunion because they died in a traffic accident. I had neighbors that died in traffic accidents. Someone who says it will never happen to them is flat out stupid or they never get into a car. Go back and look at when the states made seat belts mandatory to use. The number of deaths dropped by a huge number at the same time. Before they were mandatory and many more died how many of those do you believe thought they were going to die in a traffic accident? Do you know how much it is going to cost if you get your face smashed in after an accident? If the people that do not get safety devices in their cars because they say they can not afford them then who is going to pay the hundreds of thousands in medical costs? It is you and me one way or the other. Yes Mithrandir I am not the one that is going to decide because it is already the law and if it was not the law most all car manufacturers would be installing them anyway because there are vast amount of statistics that back it up as a good decision. If you think you have the right to drive a new car without safety devices then you may be following your political views but you would also be stupid.

            • It’s because of people like you that we live in a society ruled by arbitrary violence.

              One day, that arbitrary violence will be exercised against you.

              And you’ll have deserved every bit of it.

            • Morning, Bevin!

              Well said.

              Clover is, simply, an illiterate.

              The plain meaning of words escapes him – because, of course, words are a way of expressing concepts. And Clover does not not understand what that term means!

          • Dear Eric,


            Rand coined a number of terms, including “anti-conceptual mentality.”

            As I mentioned before, sometimes I felt she was indulging in hyperbole. But as I read the total non sequiteurs the issue from clover one after another, I see what Rand meant.

            Some people literally cannot formulate higher level concepts. All they can do is see something the perceive as a problem, then jump to the conclusion that of course “We/society/the government” must impose a “solution,” and anyone who refuses to go along must be coerced at gunpoint.

            Clover serves a purpose. A perverse one. He provides a real life example of the buffoons in the Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

          • Bevin I understand cost/benefit analysis. I understand that with your lack of safety devices in your car you are 5 times more likely or whatever to die or be severely injured in an accident. I understand that the increase in injuries is going to increase my medical insurance. You are reading the wrong books because you have mentioned none of this. You live in your philosophy life or whatever you call it. I live in the world of today where facts matter.

          • No, logically it follows that if a lack of safety devices made him “5 times more likely” to be killed or severely injured it would be HIS insurance that would increase, not yours, as they would be HIS risk factors.

            Insurance companies are a lot of things, but they are not stupid. Does it cost 5 times more to obtain liability insurance on a car that, for example, has no air bags? Of course not. (Some offer a discount, but not a five-fold difference!) Does it cost 5 times more to purchase medical insurance if you drive a car that is not up to current “safety” standards?

            My own vehicles have very little in the way of what would be considered modern safety devices, aside from lap & shoulder belts and headrests, yet they are cheap to insure. You can bet that if my additional risk factor were as much higher as you claim I would be paying 5 times as much for insurance. (I’m not.)

            For that matter from your point of view other people eating ice cream and potato chips might affect the cost of your medical insurance. Do you claim the authority to send armed thugs to others’ homes in order to monitor their consumption of these dangerous substances? Or perhaps you believe that they should simply be licensed, rationed out, and tracked by government-approved dispensaries?

          • Dear Clover,

            “Bevin I understand cost/benefit analysis.”

            You obviously still don’t get it.

            It’s not about performing cost/benefit analyses. It’s about who has the right to perform cost/benefit analyses for whom.

            Each individual’s life belongs to him or her. No one else has the right to perform an individual’s cost/benefit analysis against his or her will.

            Get it???

            You decide whether you want to install and use seat belts. I don’t have the right to make that decision for you. I don’t have the right to force you to make what I consider the “right decision.”

            The same applies to me. I decide whether I want to install and use seat belts. You don’t have the right to make that decision for me. You don’t have the right to force me to make what you consider the “right decision.”

            Mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and autonomy.

          • Clover, your government’s bureaucrats determine safety equipment by assigning a dollar value to human life. What we, as livestock, are worth to government. Now they say it is lost value to society if we should die in a traffic collision, but government isn’t concerned with values to society so the reality is what our value is to the state. But I digress. With this value either bureaucrats or engineers at automakers are tasked with determining if a particular design change is worth the money.

            Sometimes these memos have been turned up in lawsuits against automakers and as usual the automakers are demonized for doing this calculation. Never mind that it is the government’s way of doing thing.

            If something costs less than the total value of projected lives saved, then the government considers it a valid thing to move forward with. There are sometimes high profile cases that get us nonsense like tire pressure monitors.

            This is how government determines the risk tolerance for us, including you. How much you are worth in dollars. Wouldn’t you rather determine how much you are willing to spend to protect yourself than the government deciding how much you should pay based on what it decided you are worth?

            We all may be animals on this farm, but the difference is, you want to be one.

          • CloverJason Flinders you lack any kind of understanding what liability insurance is. If you do not have safety devices in your car it makes my liability insurance go up. You better go see your insurance agent and have him explain insurance to you. If no one has safety devices in their cars then the average cost per accident may be 75 grand with injuries and car repairs. Having all cars with safety devices the average cost per accident may be 20 grand because there would be less injuries. The change in costs of hitting someone changes with and without safety devices. With the added costs without safety device it is going to increase liability insurance costs unless all accidents are single car accidents.
            Yes Brent I understand the cost of life would change the amount of safety devices. If you made a million dollar car you could make it so safe the death rate and injury rate could be brought to almost zero. Yes you could make a 100,000 car that is a lot safer than most of the cars we have today but only a small amount of people could buy one. Do you understand that Brent? An auto manufacturer is not going to spend 100s of millions of dollars on extra safety in their cars if it only saves one or two lives. You put money into something that does the most good and gives the best benefit.

          • CloverBevin if you live dangerously I do not have a problem with that as long as it is not on the highway with me. If you want to point a gun at yourself and pull the trigger it will cost me nothing. If you drive your car without safety devices and someone hits you and you get injured it costs me money. Do you understand that? My liability insurance goes up, my medical insurance costs go up and if you die with life insurance then my life insurance costs go up. What part of that do you not understand? You tell me you want to be left alone but that stupid willful decision that you make will cost me. Is that the libertarian way? To injure others?

          • Clover:

            “Mithrandir the last figures I saw was that about 1 in 80 people will be killed in a traffic accident and it is getting better because there are safety devices in most vehicles now. It used to be a lot worse than that.”

            So how do you explain the grabbermint claiming to you that every accident is a direct result of exceeding an arbitrary speed limit – which you somehow don’t oppose? They mention nothing of safety devices in their campaigns. They got you suckered.

            “An auto manufacturer is not going to spend 100s of millions of dollars on extra safety in their cars if it only saves one or two lives.”

            No. It’ll simply be mandated and the manufacturer – and YOU – will have to comply. Insurance companies love this, but you haven’t asked the right questions as usual.

            “If you do not have safety devices in your car it makes my liability insurance go up.”

            The only safety device that’s first and foremost of any useful consequence is the one behind the wheel. Maybe you (selectively) forgot that? Noo.. Clover, you just hate everyone that has even a slightly differing opinion to you. Then if someone agrees, you attempt to find something wrong with that as well.

            As we have all suggested many times to you, go see a shrink – or kill yourself – we don’t care.

            Okay, that’s a bit rough. I apologise if I lumped anyone else into the “we don’t care” bit along with myself that didn’t want to be involved. Show of hands? Thought so.. 😉

          • ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N if you want to drive without any safety devices in cars then go ahead. While you are at it make sure you are driving with bald tires, no windshield wipers and broken brake lines. You do all that I sure you will show me how smart you are.Clover

            • But, Clover, you’re violently opposed to leaving Revolution free to drive a car without “safety” devices! Or have you changed your mind?

              And if you haven’t, then please explain why Revolution ought not to be able to shove a gun under your chin (or, as you prefer, have proxies do this on his behalf) in order to force you to, for example, follow an exercise regimen he regards as necessary to the maintenance of your good health?

          • Clover, Indeed government could push the price of cars up to obviously unaffordable levels if it wanted to achieve close to absolute safety. But safety is essentially a degree of personal risk tolerance. So why not have people personally choose their level of safety?

            Because of collectivism. This supposed loss to society, really loss to government should any of us die or be injured. Our cost to the corporate farm upon which we all live. As I stated previously, the difference between you and others here is that you like being farm animal.

            Just remember Clover, eventually the result of your line of thinking is euthansia. You’re just a farm animal to be worked to your breaking point and then killed when you breakdown. Government only needs to slowly get the masses to accept collectivism first, but once it is accepted widely and deeply enough, the full brutality of it can also be accepted.

        • Clover, that is simply untrue. If I have an accident my insurance company doesn’t pay me an “average” of what all accidents cost them. If I, say, lose control and run into a telephone pole they will pay out what it takes to take care of my injuries and repair the pole. Same as they would do with you. My insurance rate is based on the insurance company’s determination of the level of risk that I present, based on experience, location, driving history, and type of vehicle.

          If what you believe were true, there would be no extra charges for higher-risk individuals such as young, inexperienced drivers driving high-powered sports cars (or almost any car), or those living in congested, accident-prone area. Your insurance rate is based on your own individual risk factors and has nothing to do with the way anyone else’s vehicle is equipped.

          You are using faulty reasoning in an attempt to justify your position of using government thuggery to forcibly impose your own values on those around you.

          • Jason Flinders you are only partially right. Yes if you drive a high powered car or whatever they would determine that your risk is higher and charge you more. Liability costs or full coverage also takes into consideration what the overall cost that they will have to pay out each year and divide that cost fairly between the policy holders. If the overall costs go up such as more people get their face smashed in due to more people not having safety devices, then the cost per policy holder will also go up. That would mean my insurance cost goes up no matter what I drive.Clover

            • Clover, want to know what would really lower your insurance costs?

              Being able to say “no thanks” to insurance!

              Ever to stop to think about it?

              What would happen to the price of cars if the government passed a law requiring everyone to buy a car? Or any other thing? Do you suppose cars would become more – or less expensive?

              Now – big leap here, Clover – apply this principle to insurance. But, be careful. Your head might explode!

          • @Jason Poor dyslexic clover can’t pay attention long enough to see a difference between the words comprehensive, collision and liability.

          • I’m not buying it, Clover, and I don’t think many others here are either. If my driving a car with no air bags resulted in a substantial risk of materially higher medical bills you can bet the insurance company would be charging me sky-high rates, just as they would for a teenage driver with a Corvette. They do not, and they are not charging you for it either.

            Your assertion is simply ludicrous on its face. Additionally, Your attempt at equating a lack of mandated active “safety” equipment with bald tires etc. is specious, frivilous, and without foundation or merit.

            • Clover’s none-too-bright, Jason – as you’ve probably figured out!

              His type rarely is.

              It’s frustrating – but also encouraging.

              We’re so obviously in the right – our arguments are coherent, logical, principled. Debating a Clover is like a Corvette racing a Yugo. It’s not much of a challenge.

              The frustrating thing, of course, is that a million Yugos can easily block in a Corvette … and prevent it from ever being driven faster than 55 MPH.

          • Jason Flinders it would take a ball bat to make you understand. Nothing can get through to you,. What I am saying is that without safety devices in cars more people are injured. When more people are injured medical and life insurance costs go up. Insurance by definition is to spread the risk between policy holders. If costs go up I pay more. Not much simpler than that. Yes one car getting into a serious crash will not increase my rates much but if you multiply that by many drivers my costs go up a lot more no matter what I drive. Yes if you buy a car without passenger safety devices your insurance cost will not go up that much because your insurance company does not pay you 100,000 They are responsible for little risk so they charge you little. If you have high medical costs from a crash the limit is usually something like 5 grand that your insurance company is responsible for. If someone else hits you and you have 100,000 in medical costs then their insurance has to pay that 100,000. That would increase my rates. If you still do not understand there is no hope for you. If you live in a no fault state then I am sure your rates would go up more if you had a high medical limit on it.Clover

            • Clover, I tire of repeating myself. The issue here is your collectivist premise. The problems you describe are only problems because of coercive insurance and coercive cost shifting.

              If I am legally unable to force you to shoulder any part of my expenses, then my expenses (if any) are irrelevant to you – and cannot be used as a justification to force me to (for instance) buy insurance.

              Or “safety” features.

              And if I am free to decline insurance, then the price of insurance by definition is nil. And the market pressure exerted by the option to decline coverage necessarily lowers the price of insurance.

              If you were really concerned about the price of things, you’d support eliminating all mandates – as well as all forms of coercive cost-shifting. You’d assume whatever level of personal risk you felt comfortable with (such as skiing, for instance) and you’d leave others free to assume whatever level of risk they felt comfortable with – since any negative consequences (such as injury) would be borne by those who assumed the risk – not by others.

              But that’s that what you’re concerned about.

              What concerns you is controlling other people – forcing them to live as you see fit.

          • OK Eric. You do not want insurance and you want others to be driving without any safety devices. I tell you one thing, if you would ever get into an accident in such a case and injure the other guy then say goodby to anything you own and half of what you make in terms of money in the future. Then if the other guy hits you instead and you are severely injured he will not be able to compensate you either. If you get into an accident just tell them to dig you a whole and throw you in. Clover
            That not what Rand was for. She was for rational thinking. It is not rational to risk your future life to poverty or worse is it? I know. you say that is your choice. You know Eric it is a good thing you are not part of the government or manufacture vehicles. You would be thousands of times worse than the people you are complaining about. If you manufactured cars and someone tells you unless you change something thousands of people will probably die in your cars you would say who cares. It is your choice how to build a car.

            • Perhaps, Clover – but that’s my choice to make. Not yours.

              Just as it is not my business to insist (at gunpoint) that you exercise to an extent that I consider to be necessary to maintain fitness and good health. If you wish to not exercise – or exercise less – or eat foods that may not be very good for you – well, that’s your business.

              Which I will defend.

              I will also insist that you deal with whatever negative consequences (if any) ensue. And the same applies to me, too.

              But in the meanwhile, leave me the fuck alone.

              Leave other people the fuck alone. Mind your own damn business. Live your life – and quit sticking your nose (and your guns) in other people’s lives.

          • CloverOK Eric. You want others to leave you alone. Why don’t you leave others alone. Is the majority supposed to bow to your decision? If the majority say they do not want a dangerous idiot on the roadway are you saying the idiot still has the right to be there? That sounds like you want a dictatorship government with you in charge.

          • I was looking up some information about the reduction in the helmet laws in Michigan. I found this. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/30/michigan-motorcycle-injuries-helmet-law_n_3359586.htmlClover

            I had to laugh at the guy towards the end of the article. He sounded like Eric. Michigan increased the requirement of $20,000 medical insurance if you ride your bike without a helmet. Needless to say that the average medical claim for bikers went up 22% even though the number of bikers wearing helmets went from 98% to 74%. The guy said who cares about the added insurance payouts? He said the insurance companies are just complaining they have to pay out more. He also said who cares the roads are a blood bath anyway. Sounds like Eric all the way. Another stupid guy that is incapable of any type of logic. He can not figure it out that insurance companies are not going to take the hit. Policyholders are the ones that will pay higher bills. Insurance companies will leave a state if they lose money.

            • Once again, Clover collectivizes everything.

              I’ve been riding for 30 years. Haven’t yet had had to spend a cent on medical care because I’ve never been injured in a motorcycle wreck. It is entirely possible I may never be injured in a motorcycle wreck – and therefore, will never need to spend a penny on “care.”

              But I’ve been forced by your kind to spend thousands on insurance.

              You will bray back that I might get hurt – that I might incur medical bills. Yes, Clover, I might.

              But unlike you I don’t assault people (or have others do it on my behalf) based on “might.”

              You might get hypertensive from eating “too much” of the “wrong” foods. You might get hurt skiing. But these risks are yours to assume – to whatever extent you wish to assume them. It’s none of my business.

              I want nothing from you, Clover – except for you and your kind to leave me the fuck alone.

              But you won’t.

              One day, I hope to get the opportunity to deal with someone like you on equal terms – without your having the back-up of the state and its army of Clover’s Little Helpers.

              Then we’ll see.

          • CloverEric there are states like Michigan that are moving to the way you want it such as no helmet laws which means less safety devices. The problem with that is that more people are being injured and not able to pay their bills. What is your solution to this?

            • Clover, I’ve explained the solution to you probably 40 times – and that’s only counting the past month or so. But, once more:

              Morally speaking, “Smith’s” misfortune (he wrecked his bike, got hurt) doesn’t impose an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on people who had nothing to do with it and don’t even know Smith.

              Legally, it ought not to either.

              Smith has the right to ride his bike without a helmet – because (wait for it, now) it is his life and therefore his risk to assume.

              But he is also morally responsible for the negative consequences – if any.

              You assume there will be always be negative consequences (that every rider who rides without a helmet will wreck and be injured) and your premise is the authoritarian collectivist one: “Society” will assume the costs – that is, government will use violence to force people who had nothing to do with it to pay for Smith’s care.

              You will probably argue that my solution is harsh. But my rejoinder is that it’s considerably harsher to constantly diminish people’s liberty in the name of “safety” and because something negative might happen.

              Risk is a part of life, Clover. Human beings become more responsible when they can freely weigh risk vs. reward and are able to enjoy the benefits as well as chastened by the consequences.

              Your way not only suffocates initiative and judgment, it infantilizes the populace. It creates a nation of passive, helpless drones incapable of exercising initiative.

              Which I suppose is just what you want.

          • I understand Eric. Your solution if someone gets into a serious accident that may require higher costs than they can afford is that we just put them in front of a firing squad to end their misery. You sound like a real nice guy Eric.

            My solution is to keep the guy from having high costs in the first place and no firing squad is needed. I am sorry to say that my solution if voted upon would win by a landslide compared to yours. That only means that you are living in the wrong country.

            • No, Clover.

              You have it backwards.

              I don’t wish to be threatened with a firing squad by your kind.

              “Helping” people isn’t the issue. That is something people freely do all the time. It’s a wonderful thing.

              What’s not so wonderful is threatening people with violence to compel them to “help.”

              It makes a farce out of human goodwill – and creates enmity between people, who come to view others as a threat to themselves. Which is exactly the case. You, for example, favor the use of armed men to threaten me with violence in order to compel me obedience to (as an example) seatbelt laws. Then you’ll threaten me with violence in order to compel me to hand over money to fund whatever “public good” you decree to be worthy.

              I, on the other hand, would never raise a hand against you – unless you first raised a hand against me.

              I would never take a penny of your money.

              I might even help you, if you needed it – and I knew you were an ok guy and deserved me help.

              But I’ll be got-damned if I ever accept your “right” to my help – enforceable at gunpoint.

              My problems don’t impose an obligation on you. And yours don’t impose obligations on me.

              It may be a tragedy that someone is hurt – and dealing with big bills.

              But the greater tragedy is using that as a justification to do violence to innocent people who had nothing to do with it and who bear no responsibility for it.

              Your false compassion is exactly that.

          • Yes I understand now Eric. You do not want the guy shot if he can not pay for his health care he needs but you want goodwill to handle it. Goodwill means that you want everyone but yourself to help him. I would take a bet that you never did goodwill for anyone. Goodwill is against everything you believe in at least for yourself. You are a selfish self centered person. Clover
            You just want to be left alone. You say that but you do not believe in leaving others alone. You believe you and others have the right to endanger others and do not touch you until you do injure someone else. That is fine but you can not undo a severe injury. The person that was injured will most likely suffer more than any punishment you could be given. Is that a libertarian thing?

            • Clover,

              Whether I voluntarily help people is beside the point. The question at hand is: Do you have the right to force me to “help” (I put the word in quotes because it’s an abuse of language to describe coercing someone to provide assistance as “helping.”)

              I take the position that you do not have that right. Because (using logic now) there can be no such thing as a right to violate a right.

            • Clover, for the umpteenth time, it simply means I object to forcing anyone to “help.”

              Violence and goodwill are mutually exclusive.

              It’s hilarious – and tragic – that you equate wanting to be left in peace (and agreeing to leave others in peace) with not “leaving others alone.”

              You dance around the mirror like Buffalo Bill, mumbling about “might” and “risk” and “safety.”

              These things are all possibilities – intangibles. As much as you may quake in fear that someone, somewhere might cause harm, it’s not sufficient justification to do violence to whole classes of people.

              But this is just what you do advocate.

              There might be a drunk driver out there, somewhere. Therefore, everyone must be treated as presumptively drunk until they prove otherwise.

              Someone might crash their motorcycle and get hurt; therefore, everyone must wear a helmet – enforced at gunpoint.

              The difference between us, Clover (other than a standard deviation in IQ) is you’re a collectivist authoritarian and I’m not.

              I admit what I am.

              I wish you would.

          • CloverSo Eric if you have the minimum or on insurance and you need a lot of medical help would you refuse it or would you want goodwill? Eric I hope that we do not have too many of your kind in our country. You are a jerk. Everything for yourself. I can not see how your wife can live with you.

            • Clover, is it possible you cannot understand that “goodwill” at gunpoint is an oxymoron?

              Helping others isn’t the issue.

              The use of violence is the issue.

              It’s easy to “help” with other people’s money, taken from them using violence or its threat. And I suppose you get a thrill out of seeing others bent to your will by armed men.

              And I’m a “jerk” for objecting to this. For despising the violence you espouse. For wanting to leave others be.

          • Eric whether or not you have helped anyone at any time is important. It proves what type of person you really are. You need to go live on an island somewhere.Clover

            • This isn’t a personality contest, Clover. It’s a question of rights. Whether you have the right to use violence against others who’ve not harmed you in any way, who simply desire to be left in peace to live their lives as they see fit.

              Your false altruism is nauseating.

              People such as yourself posture as “caring” and all that crap. But at core, the only thing you care about is control.

            • PS: Clover, you have no idea what I do in my personal life; whether I help my neighbors, whether I am kind to people I meet.

              But you might extrapolate from my advocacy of non-violence and respecting other people’s rights.

              And I will do the same as regards yourself – and the things you advocate.

          • CloverEric our country has had taxes for 100s of years. I pay them. No violence has ever been thrown my way because of it. If you refuse to pay taxes then it is up to you how you want to handle it. If you want to sit in your house with guns a blazing then yes violence will come your way. If you do not want to pay taxes you have the right to leave because it will not change in your lifetime. Yes I doubt if you ever help a neighbor. Your philosophy says to them to do it for themselves. It is not your job to help them. Eric you are only a taker. Yes you do not want someone to suffer from not being able to pay their medical expenses, you just want someone else, not you, to help them even if they are following your ideals of no insurance and no prevention.Clover

            • Clover, that fact that taxation has existed for “x” amount of time is not a moral defense of taxation.

              Slavery existed for “100s of years” too. Should we therefore accept slavery as morally acceptable?

              I take nothing, Clover. Taking people’s things is what you advocate.

              You’re just not very bright, are you?

          • CloverOK Eric, you say there should be no taxes. Today go ahead and write what our country is going to be like with no taxes starting tomorrow. Good luck with your roads you drive on or are you just going to have donations for that also of which you would never donate.

          • Eric – Clover’s rationale for stealing from the masses under the implied threat of violence is of a piece with using the United States’ military to “bring freedom and democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan (et al, to numerous to list now). This goes back to calling folks that advocated non-intervention in foreigh conflicts “isolationists.” One can have free trade with the neighbors without getting involved in their domestic disputes or petty feuds. The real “problem” is with the U.S. military industrial complex losing “their” share of the world’s warfare market for beans, bullets and band-aids. Hence they wan’t perpetual war and perpetual government contracts. Most of them would go under if they faced real competition in a free market.

            I don’t believe clover is too stupid to understand any of these concepts; clover is in willful denial. Clover’s livelihood most probably depends on our involuntary servitude, because that’s what the income tax really is, so he advocates strongly for “helping others” by socializing costs through taxation (i.e. stealing). I’ll wager that he himself is a recipient of and dependent upon these stolen goods. It just chaps his hide when someone suggests that he should detach from the public teat and get a productive job in the private sector. His mindset goes right along with the welfare, WIC and SNAP recipients believing that it is perfectly alright, and worse that it is their “right”, to sit on their butts, make babies and collect “free” money from the rest of us. The only difference is that clover probably goes to a cubicle or rides around in a car all day at our expense rather than sitting at home in front of the idiot box all day at our expense.

          • Dear Eric,

            Clover wrote,

            “Eric you are only a taker. ”

            Once again, clover is exactly wrong. The clovers, aka “coercive redistributionists,” are the “takers.” They are the ones who take from others at gunpoint. Non-clovers who resist are overpowered by tax collectors and LEOs by means of brute force. Their freedom and wealth are taken from them at gunpoint by the clovers, to be disposed according to the clovers’ whims.

            Libertarian individualists never take from others. They are not “takers.”

            Clovers, aka “coercive redistributionists” are the only “takers” around. Yet they turn the facts on their head and accuse the victims of taking from others. Go figure.

            • Morning, Bevin!

              Clover is doublethink, just as doublethink is Clover!

              We’re “takers” – because we don’t accept the morality of having our property taken from us. Clover’s a “giver” – because he supports using armed thugs to extract the property of others in order to “help” (or “fund”) that which he considers worth “helping” and “funding.”

              I wonder how Clover would like it if – purely as a thought exercise – I managed to get a law passed that imposed a special tax to fund EPautos.com and Clover got a special assessment in the mail to that effect. . . .

              In a sane world, Clover would be in therapy – or under lock and key.

              But the world is insane – because Clover (and millions just like him) run loose and have the franchise.

          • Bevin you are a joke! Libertarians do not take from others? That is one of the biggest lies I have ever heard. Libertarians supposedly do not believe in insurance. What happens if they can not pay for for their medical costs or injuries to others? That sounds like taking from others to me. Clover

            Libertarians feel they have the right to drive however they feel like. What happens when that increase in dangerous driving hurts others or kills others? Taking a life or injuring others is taking a huge amount from others.

            Libertarians do not believe in any kind of taxes. Tell me why or who you expect to drive on roadways or bridges when there is no money for either? Do you plan on just taking from others by not paying anything for them but expect others to?

            Libertarians believe they have the right to drive without any kind of safety devices. What happens when they get injured do to the lack of those devices or safety standards? Are you going to relieve others of any costs if you do get injured or are you going to take from them? Clover

            I have yet to have a libertarian explain what everyone’s world would be like without any taxes. Do you care to explain how our world would work without any taxes or government?

            Bevin your talk is cheap without any kind of plan or facts to back up your statements.

            • Clover – I’m speechless.

              “What happens if they can not pay for for their medical costs or injuries to others?”

              That’s not taking anything. It’s speculation. You equate a hypothetical – someone might get injured and might not be able to pay – with the actual.

              Then you use that hypothetical “someone might” to accuse all Libertarians of “taking” things.

              Ergo, everyone must be forced to buy insurance!

              You then trot out the old nag that Libertarians ” feel they have the right to drive however they feel like” – which is partially correct. But you leave off the crucial modifier: So long as they cause no harm to others. If someone causes harm, they should be held accountable. But if no harm has been caused? You advocate punishing people who’ve done nothing to anyone – who’ve merely (as an example) driven faster than an arbitrary number, or made a right turn (or a U Turn) where it’s not “legal” . . .

              We don’t believe in coercive taxation. You’re right about that. Your roads and so on – if they’re desirable – would be funded in the same way that Apple Computer is funded. By people voluntarily paying for them. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why it is – if the things you mention are so desirable – people must be forced to fund them?

              Your imbecility in re “safety” has already been addressed.

          • Dear Clover,

            You — not Eric and the rest of us — are the “takers.”

            Libertarianism is based on private property. What’s yours is yours. What’s mine is mine. It is never okay to take someone elses’ property. Our entire philosophy is based on never taking what doesn’t belong to us.

            Your philosophy by contrast, is the exact opposite. It is based entirely on taking what doesn’t belong to you. It is based on creating a heavily armed gang called a “government,” that according to your philosophy, somehow magically has “authority,” and may therefore “legitimately” take what rightly belongs to other people.

            This includes money (“taxes”) land (“eminent domain”) cars (“asset forfeiture”) guns (“gun control”) peoples’ lives (“prison terms” and “executions”).

            No, clover, you are the “taker,” not us. Every “benefit” you presume to bestow upon others necessitates first taking what belongs to others, at gunpoint.

            You are the taker. QED.

          • Clover said- “I tell you what Brent and Boothe, refuse to pay taxes on fuel. No one will go after you for not doing it. I want to see how far you get.”

            Clover, without knowing it you swerved and hit the concrete bridge support head on at 70MPH.

          • One can never win a debate with a clover.

            Why not?

            Because they’re too obtuse to realize when they’ve lost.

            They are like the jerk in The Magnificent Seven who refuses to admit he lost to the James Coburn knife expert.

            I posted the video a while back.

          • Eric you are even incapable of saying what happens with no taxes on your roadways. One simple thing your are not even able to say is what we should do. There are thousands of other things to decide what to do without taxes. You say to treat our roads like apple. Let those that pay for the roads to volunteer to pay for it. Explain in detail how that is going to work Eric. Do you plan on helping to pay for that local road right off of your property or do just people that volunteer pay for it? Who are you going to pay? How are you going to pay with no mail service and no roads for anyone to pick up your payment anyway. I would like to see just one of your solutions Eric. Libertarians offer no solutions. Libertarians are only able to act like a two year old brat.

            • A brat, Clover?

              Far better than a violent thug – like you.

              For you, everything must be done at gunpoint – using violence or the threat of violence. The notion of peaceful cooperation drives you batty – because people might elect not to cooperate with you. That is, to do as you say. To be forced to live as you think people ought to live. To fund the things you believe ought to be funded – with other people’s money.

              Say what you will about me, but you can’t accuse me of doing violence or harm to anyone.

              I think that makes me a better person than you, Clover.

              If the world were populated only with people who have the same philosophy as I have, there might be fewer roads, less “infrastructure” and a slower pace of life. But there would be no pervasive violence. People would be able to live in peace. Real peace, Clover. Not the “peace” of submitting to authority – the “peace” of the slave.

              Real peace.

              You do your thing, I do mine. We each leave the other alone. If I make a mistake, I pay for my mistake. But no one makes me pay for the mistakes of others – or shackles me pre-emptively because some other person has made a mistake.

              You want “safety” features? Great! You buy them.

              Leave me out of it. In return, I promise not to try to make you pay for my medical bills – assuming I ever have any.

              You feel uneasy driving faster than “x.” Fine! Don’t drive faster than “x.” But don’t tell me I must not drive faster than “x” if I am comfortable doing so.

              You want a new road? Get investors together; raise money, buy the land; set the terms and conditions. But don’t force me to pay for it if I am not willing to pay for it.

              The only morally defensible use of violence is defensive violence – to ward off an attack. Everything you advocate boils down to the use of aggressive violence – and as such, is a moral affront. Your code is the hyena’s code. Bared fangs, gang rule – might makes right. Submit, obey.

              Or else.

              I realize I am speaking Greek to you.

          • Clover ignorantly proclaims, “I have yet to have a libertarian explain what everyone’s world would be like without any taxes. […] Libertarians offer no solutions.”

            I think Clover does not look very hard for this information, it’s quite plentiful, this is one sample:

            “Here, Dr. Walter Block tackles the most FAQ made to Anarcho-Capitalists: Who will build the roads? He briefly goes over some of the arguments he makes in his book The Privatization of Roads and Highways. Approximately 40,000 people die on the socialist roads in the USA per year! Block explains in the video that there are ultimate and proximate causes of traffic accidents that lead to death. He compares restaurant owners to the road socialists and shows the double standard using the terms ultimate and proximate causes.” …


            Questions that Only Libertarians Are Asking about the Bundy Ranch Incident
            “Why does the federal government have a Bureau of Land Management? Why does the federal government still own land outside of D.C.?”


            See also,

            Why Government Grows, and How to Reverse It


            The U.S. Should Do Nothing About Ukraine

            “The U.S. needs to pack its bags and leave Europe to the Europeans. It needs to withdraw from NATO and leave European defense to the Europeans.”


            A Sobering Question

            “Perform a real service by doing any job but soldiering. Selling drugs would be doing more to serve your fellow American than “serving” in the military.”


            On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution

            “we will look at how this error might be repaired.”…


            A Few Modest Proposals To Rid our Inner Cities of Gang-Related Violence: The Libertarian Solution

            “What is the libertarian analysis? These problems, heck, virtually all of social disarray, are caused by prior government programs, and the libertarian solution consists of repealing them. (Read Mises on how any given statist intervention creates difficulties, and the only response of the powers-that-be is to further reduce freedom in a desperate attempt to address the upheaval engendered by this first one, and so on.)” …


            Clover’s of the world falsely believe, “Libertarians supposedly do not believe in insurance.” That is not true at all.

            In answer to a follow up question such as, “What happens if they can not pay for for their medical costs or injuries to others?”
            The answer is: insure yourself to protect yourself.
            If you are a fearful person, one who quivers and shakes at every possible danger in the world, the best thing to do is insure your own self to ensure you’re covered. That way, when a cop car slams into you and does not have to pay you for any damages or cover any of your medical expenses, you’re covered. But that’s just way too much for a Clover to contemplate.

            The Clover’s of the world wish to create the following – everywhere – and that’s twisted:

            from Boston:

            “Reporting from a city under siege. Train stations closed, streets shut down, military helicopters flying overhead, and state & local police armed with rifles and shotguns every ten feet checking IDs and performing illegal searches and seizures. I was nearly arrested this morning heading into the office and had my briefcase searched – twice – within a distance of fifty feet.”


            Tyrants the world over are pleased with their Clover enablers.

          • Boston Strong , you are now almost free to go outside and watch people run. But please take your photo ID.

            Clover’s taxpayer supported perfect non-Libertarianism (Latin: liber, “free”) world has arrived.

            Under a crystalline sky and unprecedented security precautions.
            “We’re comfortable,” said State Police Colonel Timothy Alben. “We think we’ve got the bases covered here today. We’re very confident about the safety. It’s going to be a great day.”

            Along the course, 1 million spectators are cheering on racers, Boston Athletic Association officials said. The crowds grew so vast near the finish line around 1 p.m. that cops started sealing off some of the blocks on Boylston Street to new spectators.

            “There are just too many people,” one officer told the Herald.

            Earlier today, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said law enforcement has received no new intelligence on threats this morning.

            “The security is great today in Boston,” he said in an interview on City Hall Plaza. “We certainly have a great plan put in place for the marathon route. People will have a great experience today. They will see police out there and there will be other police people won’t see today.”

            U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson reported no “specific, credible threats” to the race. He stopped in at the state’s MEMA bunker in Framingham where about 260 state and federal security personnel are set up to monitor the race. Johnson, it was announced over the loud speakers, is also at the finish line.

            “There are no specific, credible threats to this event. We do continually evaluate information that comes in and we’re able to delineate, to put aside things that we deem not credible, that are too vague in nature, and all of us at the federal, state and local level are vigilant in sorting through that type of information,” Johnson said.

            The start line in the quaint town of Hopkinton is flanked by hundreds of local, state and military police.

            Event staff, which includes both retired U.S. Marshals and Secret Service agents, tell the Herald this is the first time in the marathon’s history that public access to Hopkinton Common has been restricted by a maze-like series of white metal gates that keep spectators walled off from the runners and the starting line.

            Streets in and out of this village of less than 15,000 residents closed at 7 a.m., nearly two hours before the start of the 26.2-mile race — a feat of endurance this year not just for the record field of 36,000 runners and the law enforcement committed to protect them, but the survivors of last year’s deadly terrorist attack at the finish line in Copley Square.

          • Thousands of words and still I hear no solution to how Eric is going to maintain the roadway by his house. Libertarians do not have a clue! They want investors to buy and maintain the road. They can not make Eric pay his share though because that is against his religion. Eric, are you going to trespass over that private road in front of your house since you refuse to pay anything towards it? I do have to laugh with your thousands of words and you still do not show how you are going to maintain your local road. Clover

            Eric the only thing you bring up is you want other people to pay for roads. By definition you are taking from other people when you do that. I thought Libertarians are not take from others.

            • Clover, your argument boils down to:

              Because government roads were built, they must always exist.

              Slavery existed once, too. Would you take the position that, therefore, it ought to exist in perpetuity also?

              As far as paying for the existing network of government roads: They are funded by motor fuels excise taxes.

              Which I pay.

              The fundamental issue here – which you refuse to discuss – is that you favor using violence to force everyone into various collective schemes, or to “help” pay for them. That makes you morally no different than a common street mugger or home-invasion thug.

              It doesn’t matter what the ends are – the “good purposes” (as you define them) to which the stolen money goes.

              The fact remains you’ve stolen it – or advocated that it be stolen on your behalf.

              While you have every right to try to line up investors, to convince others of the merit of a given project, to enlist their voluntary participation – and so on – you have no right to a penny of any other person’s money, Clover.

              You also have no right to forcibly interfere with any other person’s life, for any reason – unless that particular person has caused you a tangible harm – and then only to the extent of protecting yourself from that particular individual and/or holding him accountable for the harm caused to you or your property.

              Otherwise, piss off.

              I’d smash your got-damned face in if you came up to me and tried to impose your Clover Code on me. But, pussy that you are, you won’t try to do that yourself. No. You’ll vote to have it done by mercs. Paid thugs in special outfits, who will cite “the law.”

              But underneath all that shuck and jive, there’s nothing more than the despicable assertion that you somehow have the right to control and direct my life.

              Fuck you, asshole.

              Der tag kommt. ..

          • So Eric your solution to paying for your road next to you is do away with it? You refuse to pay any taxes and you refuse to pay investors for driving on it so it looks to me that Libertarians do not want things like roads. You do not want bridges because you refuse to pay for it. Clover

            Eric again explain your new world without taxes and with no roads. I would like you to explain how you would live without any government or taxes. We will say that you are given 10,000 acres of land somewhere and 20,000 of your favorite libertarians move there to make a new city. You have to pay no taxes. Tell me how your new city is going to work. Write an article on this with all of your details. Since you will pay no taxes and there will be no government you should exclude all mention of them and just give your libertarian details.Clover

          • CloverEric says that roads exist so no more costs should be involved. Then he says for future maintenance it will just happen. He is not going to pay for it but it will just happen. I have heard about the libertarian feelings that we do not need to pay anything for roads or bridges. Just let them fall down and break up. Eric you are right that you do not need them. Buy some horses and you can get to where you want to go without roads. Yes I guess that is one way you can solve getting stopped for speeding. In 10 years the roads will not be good enough to go over current speed limits.
            Eric I do not want to live in the world of your dreams. It sucks.

            • Clover,

              I live in the country, where many people (myself included) have roads running through their land. Private roads. Guess what? They are maintained. And without the use of violence, without coercive taxes imposed on other people. The owners maintain them.

              Regardless, your utilitarian arguments are not moral arguments.

              I realize I’m referencing concepts beyond your ken, so I will explain a little.

              If a gang of Clovers came to my place and simply took everything I own – my home, my vehicles, etc. – and sold them off, they’d have a nice pile of cash. This cash could feed a lot of hungry people in Africa (or wherever). It could provide retirement income for a dozen Clovers.

              But the ends do not (morally) justify the means.

              Your various “goods” – roads, for instance – do not give you the right to do violence to people.

              No matter how objectively good roads might be.

  25. I see the huge increase in vehicle costs as two fold. First is the value of the dollar is in steady decline, this plays a huge factor giving the illusion of more expensive. The second is the government nanny state micro managing everything.

  26. take the mid-1960’s VW Beetle as a rough comparison point for “basic transportation” price — VW was small but reliable and easily maintained.

    a new VW Beetle was about $1600 in the 1960’s. Today that price would be $11,700 … when adjusted for Dollar inflation with official government inflation rates.

    (P.S. even the official inflation rates are staggering, long term)

    • Yup – and, if one takes into account lowered/more efficient manufacturing costs, a car such as the original Beetle could probably be built and sold today – at a reasonable profit – for about $7,000.

      • While I agree in free market the cost of production goes down and typically a large portion of that hits the Buyer, this is not so in a regulated coerced market, particularly one where the latest mandated geegaw is “intellectual property”. If microwaves had been mandated, their cost would not have diminished to the consumer. I would also note that once mandates and regulation become part of the landscape of ANY industry, competition dries up and goes away. The US market is a prime example. Try starting a car company today. Better stick to black market and come up with some creative ways for your Buyers to circumvent the tagging and registration process. I think your calculated cost of items should go up, not down with time due to monetary inflation if nothing else. I suspect cost reductions in the non mandated aspects of production are larger than you realize and have actually slowed the price climb due to mandates.

        • Thanks Tom. I did some research into the Elio. It sounds good. The only problem is with the price point. I do some investing and from the numbers I have seen I would stay clear of it as an investor. There is a better than even chance they will go bankrupt before they build their first car. There is way too much overhead costs to get started and produce a very low priced economy car which would not even work for a lot of people. A Ford or a GM might be able to pull something like that off because they have everything set up to build and sell cars. The Elio does not have that. The closest comparison to that is the Tesla. The only reason that Tesla is making it is because they are selling a car that they are able to make high margins on for the time being. That will also change in the future but for now Tesla has a far greater chance of making it. Clover
          No way would I recommend putting a nonrefundable deposit on one of those Elios. There is a good chance you will lose it.

          • Clover,

            What is wrong with a $6800 price point for a new car?

            If the manufacturer can make a profit at that price-point selling vehicles to willing buyers, then there is no problem.

            I think there is a market for a quality, low cost, commuter vehicle.
            Based on available information, the elio is expected to be as safe as any other 5-star subcompact vehicle. Its sub-10 second 0-60mph time indicates that any competent driver should have little difficulty safely merging into traffic.

            I do share some of your caution though and I would not put a deposit on a car that has not reached availability to the public.

            While this car will not meet the needs of every car buyer, I think the the elio will meet the needs of many car buyers looking for relatively inexpensive transportation.

            Meanwhile in San Francisco:
            Police probe smart car vandalism in San Francisco

          • CloverMithrandir I do not have a problem with a $6800 price point except they need to buy a plant to build it, hire a bunch of employees and according to them open a bunch of dealerships. Those types of expenses add up real quick. If you have a 100 million dollars to start up with you might be able to start up the plant and start building cars but you tell me how how many cars it is going to take to sell to pay back the initial investment? Like I said the car sounded fine but so did the other dozens of car start ups that went under right away with some before the first car was mass produced. Like I said, not with my money. Report back if you are able to ever buy one of them. Personally I doubt if it will ever happen.

          • Clover,

            Time will tell if this car will come to market.

            I am not ready to proclaim this a failure at this time.

            Unlike other start-up companies, this company appears to be using off the shelf components as much as possible in the design/building of the final product.

            Finances probably had much to due with this decision (using off the shelf components). Using off the shelf components should lower much of Elio’s research & development costs.

            I am hopeful that Elio will be able to bring their car to market successfully.

          • Dear mith,

            “this company appears to be using off the shelf components as much as possible”


            Too many start ups in many lines of business get carried away with novelty for novelty’s sake.

            I like technological innovation, but only if it’s worthwhile. Back up TV cameras? No thanks.

            I hope Elio makes a go of it. If it flies, more will follow. Competition will then make ownership once again affordable.

  27. Eric, seven-year car loans are already here. A friend’s son recently purchased a new vehicle on those terms. (The kid has less common sense than a can of dog food!) Can eight, nine, even ten-year car loans be far behind? The mind boggles.

    I’m aghast at the idea of entering into what is essentially a form of bondage for seven years to purchase a vehicle that will lose most of its value in the first few and will probably need expensive repairs before the loan is paid off. But if you look at car dealer ads, nearly all of them only advertise payments, not the actual price of the car or even the terms of the financing. It’s a sucker’s game.

    None for me, thank you very much. I buy old cars for cash that are basically solid but need some TLC, fix ’em up, and drive the heck out of them.

    • Yup.

      And it is as stupid as a can of dog food.

      Very few cars are worth much at the seven year mark. Many lose half their value within five years. To take out a loan longer than 5-6 is to almost assure ending up “under water” – and holding the keys to a depreciating “investment” that will be worth next to nothing once it’s finally paid off.

    • …a form of bondage for seven years to purchase a vehicle that will lose most of its value in the first few and will probably need expensive repairs before the loan is paid off.

      Surely you don’t think those are “unintended consequences,” do you?

      Also, I’m sure I don’t need to point out to the regular readership that simple Bernankyellenism (a.k.a. “inflation”) is also a big factor in the ever-rising cost of vehicles (and everything else).

    • I did an IT project for a company that re-finances auto loans. One of the tasks was to expand the field the holds the number of months financed. When they designed the system just a few years ago, who would have imagined that it needed more than two characters?

      Sure enough, though, the days of the 100-month auto mortgage are here.

      • “the days of the 100-month auto mortgage are here.”


        It really is the “new” sub-prime, and the talking heads likely all think the “new” sub-prime is contained, just like the old one was.

        In the median of the roadway here there’s a sign right next to the ‘We Buy Houses’ sign which reads: ‘We Buy Used Cars’. That’s whatchya call, a sign of the times.

    • Hi Swamp,

      No question, he set a precedent – one that legions of shysters built upon – and which the automakers eventually decided, “if you can’t beat ’em…”

      Now, the car companies actively seek new mandates – which they’ve realized makes more profit for them.

      Why sell horsepower or style when you can force people to buy “safety”?

      • I recall Tom McMahan taking a Corvair to a fire road that was heavily rutted and did everything he could to roll it and failed. He said Nader was nuts and he was correct. He was a shyster to be exact.

        • I had a 1964 Corvair years ago. The handling characteristics were certainly different than, say, a Rambler American, Falcon, or the like, and the car had its weak points (like fan belts flying off!) but it was certainly not the death trap that Nader tried to make it into.

          • Hi Jason,

            I also owned a ’64 Corvair (Monza coupe). Had it for years. It was a very agile and easy to drive car, especially for a ’60s-era car. (GM built it specifically to appeal to women.)

            It was meant to be basically an economy-type car, but the layout (and sporty looks) led to it being regarded by some as a kind of poor man’s Porsche. And some people drove it that way – without knowing how to drive a rear-engined/nose light car of that type at high speed (do not lift off throttle mid-corner). A handful wrecked. Nader exploited this – and forever changed the way the car business works.

      • CloverEric I can see why you do not invest in stocks. Your financials suck. $500 for the lifetime of a backup camera? $600 for air bags? Another huge exaggeration. It is obvious you have not owned a newer car. You say that air bags cost so much to replace. Who cares? Those air bags save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in medical costs. Where is that in your calculation. Why don’t you stick with this car drives well and this one does not and forget the financial analysis which you are incapable of doing. You say you never get into an accident. Who cares what things cost to get fixed then if you never have to get it fixed. I have owned my car for 6 years now and have spent about 20 bucks in parts that needed to be replaced outside of the normal wear items. Yes it has fuel injection, yes it has air bags, yes it has abs. The total I have spent in the 6 years on parts including plugs and brakes etc come to less than 200 bucks and about 3 sets of tires.Clover
        Then you talk about the extended financing now days. That is because the newer cars last twice as long as the old ones. In your good old days when you had 3 or 4 year financing the cars were pretty much worthless by then. Now they are practically just broken in. I am getting close to 110,000 miles on my car within 6 years and expect it to last another 150,000 miles even if I am not the one still driving it in another few years . Tell me how much you would have spent on a 1960s car in that period and what it would have been worth? I would expect someone who writes articles to come up with some kind of facts rather than come up with numbers out of the air.

        • “You say that air bags cost so much to replace. Who cares? Those air bags save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in medical costs….Who cares what things cost to get fixed then if you never have to get it fixed.”

          I don’t know if it’s worth replying to this Clover guy but I had an interesting experience as a teenager driving a 1999 Maxima, a mere 4 years after it was built. I drove the car over a speed-bump at a slow speed and a faulty sensor was triggered which exploded the airbags and permanently locked the seatbelts. The issue involved a problem with the electrical system as there was no damage to the oil pan (which would suggest I was traveling too fast over the speed bump and that the sensor was rightfully going off) and so Nissan paid to replace everything, paid the insurance deductible, and paid for a trip to the doctor because I had some bruising, neck pain and scrapes from the airbag explosion. It was pretty scary and my mom was PISSED because she thought it was my fault (easy to think when a teen is driving).

          Had Nissan not acknowledged the problem with their faulty sensor and refused to pay the damages, I believe the car would have been totalled (or close to it) as replacing the airbags and seatbelts were ridiculously expensive, even though everything else was technically fine with the car.

          Saying “who cares” about things like costs because these mandatory things “save lives” is a bit foolish. I am a small person and my parents encouraged me not to sit so close to the steering wheel as I could get serious whiplash from airbag explosions. Good thing I listened because I had some injuries from this incident (minor injuries) but they could have been worse had a few other things been different (What if I was driving on the highway when this happened?!) Perhaps I am just sensitive to the airbag issue because of my personal experience but there are certainly downsides to mandates.

          • Clover’s incorrigible, Brittany. You’d have better luck trying to teach a duck geometry than you would getting Clover to acknowledge a point, concede a principle or follow a logical train of thought. Speaking of which. I’m sure you’ve read Orwell’s 1984? In it, a party intellectual describes something called duckspeak. It applies equally as abuse – and praise – depending on what’s being “quacked” by the “duck”…. or Clover!

          • Clover says (well, he writes) “… Who cares? Those air bags save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in medical costs.”

            Ok. So does regular exercise. Shall we also force people to buy gym memberships? Fine them if they don’t work out at least three times a week? It would save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in medical costs.

            This is the sort of logical sequence Clovers can’t follow.

            Or refuse to acknowledge.

          • The NHSTA cooks the books in favor of air bags “saving lives” in order to justify their mandate. It is important to remember that virtually every statement made by government is a lie.

            The fact is that air bags were meant to be a secondary mechanism to give protection to those persons who are not wearing seat belts. A properly-designed car with belts does not require air bags in order to “save lives.” That is done primarily by crumple zones around a rigid passenger cage.

            In fact cops used to have a saying that in an accident they never unbelted a corpse. (I am certain that the clovers would not want to question the absolute authority of trained law enforcement personnel in such matters.)

            There are also a significant number of instances, as you point out, where air bags put lives at risk. People have been killed and maimed. I personally know of someone who was permanently blinded by an airbag going off in a low-speed parking lot fender-bender.

            Thanks but no thanks. I’ll take my chances just buckling up. (And… I don’t think people should be forced to do that, either.)

          • CloverBrittany go ahead and tell your story to that dead person that did not have their seat belt on and no air bag when they crashed. There are thousands of them in the ground.

          • In talking with accident investigators with the State Highway patrol they told me that they are not allowed to implicate either airbags or safety belts as a negative or causative factor in any wreck or fatality. As a result our “data” is extremely skewed. The same officers indicated that they had several fatalities in rural areas they suspected were caused by airbag deployment due to wildlife (birds) smacking the bumper. This in turn caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle because their hands were knocked off the steering wheel. From there the vehicle went off the road striking a tree. I have personally witnessed airbag deployment due to a blown tire breaking the drivers arms and cracking their sternum. Extensive damage was also done to the vehicle as it went off the road. No airbag would have resulted in no injury and no damaged car. For any moron to argue any life saved is insanity. All technology has advantages and disadvantages. Some days it may help you, other days it kills you. Airbags and seat-belts don’t always save lives, sometimes they cost them. That alone is more than enough reason to make them optional.

          • Very well said, Ernie. Scary stuff, those airbags. And I’m not the easily scared type.

            I fear for those whom I love, and like, who drive cars equipped with airbags.

          • Maybe, ‘fear’ is not the right word?
            More like, ‘concern’ or, ‘future empathy’? Idk.

            It’s a: “Look Out for that two ton heavy thing swinging your way!” kind of deal.

            I wish it were easy to just pull the plug on those damnable devices!

          • CloverErnie nice. OK. So if you have as head on crash are you saying you are safer without air bags? Safer without seat belts? If not then what is your point? I agree with everything is not perfect but I would prefer to have seat belts on and air bags if I am ever in an accident. 100s of thousands have died without them when they flew through the front windshield. There are hundreds of wrecks in the past where the person wearing a seat belt survived and the person that did not died immediately when they flew onto the pavement. I am sure if you did a search you could find hundreds of such cases. That tells me it is better with them than without. There goes my logic working overtime again.

    • From Nader people demanded their government “do something”. From there government took over the SAE standards and made them into FMVSS and has since caused various problems with its interferences. The american boobus of course believes government gave them safe cars.

      Automakers have been making cars safer since about 1903. Year over year there is something new than makes cars a little bit safer. Automakers even funded university automobile safety research and more. The problem was never the automakers, it was the american public. If the american public demanded something the automakers would be happy to sell it to them.

      Automakers tried to up sell their cars for decades with safety equipment. It’s not their fault Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver didn’t buy. It was expensive stuff, especially back then. They preferred to spend their money elsewhere.

      As usual do-gooders don’t want to take the difficult road of educating people. Violence is easier.

      • CloverGood explanation Brent but what you left out is when they started putting those safety devices in all cars the cost went way down because they could buy in large bulk and the consumer no longer had to pay the 50% markup of the option. Options are what car makers made most of their profit on.

        • Clover, why to do you repeat statist clap-trap like it was fact?

          Everything on the car is marked up, option or not. Many if not all the parts end up model specific thus the volume savings are slim to none and they aren’t passed on to you unless the market price the car can sell for drops.

          The savings happen over time as designs are improved, manufacturing gets improved, etc and so forth. This would happen with any popular option. when it gets cheap enough it becomes standard because the costs of carrying it as an option exceed the costs of making it standard equipment.

          What I really hate about the death of manufacturing in the USA is that people are now so far removed from the process they more easily fall for nonsense.

          • Brent, back in ’87 when I was building cars for Nissan, it became the norm for non-airconditioned cars to be the option and cost more. No kidding.

            Nissan used to make an upmarket $14,000 – $16,000 car back then for $8000. I believe that cost was only in parts. The rest went into 2000-odd wages, elec bills for the 500+ spotwelders, robots, production line, shareholders etc. They eventually closed because it was becoming too expensive to build their cars in Australia.

            Recently, Ford and Holden (Chev) here have started to wind down operations. Manufacturing jobs are all going overseas for various reasons (unions, mandates), but I believe that if a cheap and reliable car can be made here again, it’ll stay here.

            The VW beetle was hugely popular, although the handling suffered primarily due to the cross-ply tyres. Options? Some were air cooled and didn’t have a heater I think.

          • Brent just don’t speak if you do not have a clue what you are talking about. Options have a huge markup. Dealers or manufacturers advertised cars very cheap then when you show up they said do you want air conditioning or cruise or air bags or whatever? That is when they started making money. Now the cars have to include all the standard options to compete. Now again you ask for a sunroof or whatever then they start cranking the price up again. For only $500 or a thousand or whatever you can have the option you would really like. Check out those options and they are marked up a lot. Some of those options they make more money on than they do on a compact car. Whenever I buy anything I look for things they can include which I know will cost them little. Just like an extra set of keys or whatever that would cost a bunch at list price but costs them little. When I was going to high school a teacher brought of the optional radio. As he said they charged a couple hundred bucks or whatever and the radio had about 20 bucks in parts. Clover
            Car manufacturers also try to use as many of the same parts on their vehicles as possible. An example would be the display on my radio. It has things on it like temperature sensor which my car has no input for. There are dozens of similar examples in cars like ignition switches, shock or struts and the list goes on and on. They can buy cheaper in bulk and pay less for stocking the parts during manufacturing and at the dealerships. Just forget about commenting if you do not have a clue what you are saying.

          • Clover,
            The entire car is marked up. That’s how the manufacturers make a profit. They move their margins around the standard car and options as they see fit. Unless you work for an automaker and spill their info you can’t say what has higher/lower margins. Some options will have lower margins than the base car, others will have higher margins. Some will be the same.

            There’s more overhead to options vs. standard equipment. That’s why options become standard equipment at a certain point. The cost caring about the few people who don’t order the cars with something, become greater than just including it in the standard car, price increasing if need be.

            There is still no law requiring power windows be standard. Yet they are almost always so. Why? Because they got cheap over time. Over time things get cheaper. That’s the natural deflation of the market.

            Like in everything else government tries to take credit for the work of other people and people like you believe it.

        • Clover, how about I dare you to drive something old that never had seatbelts fitted on the assembly line, because they were an option back then and not mandated. It’s still perfectly legal. Ditto with airbags and ABS/ESP.

          How about you yell out your car window at the old fart with that old car to put on his seatbelt or drive something with ABS?

          How about he yells back for you to buy a car you can’t afford or don’t want because you don’t have ABS either? Feel like a turd much?

          Try that on some Harley riders that don’t have to wear helmets in any particular state. Be prepared to wear dentures in the very near future that you didn’t want or couldn’t afford..

          Just leave people alone, they’re far better off without you.

    • OK. I see all my posts are being deleted. I can say what I really think. Damn your stupid Eric. I guess that is why you got fired when you were working for the newspaper or whatever you got fired from.

      • One can only take so much, Clover.

        In particular, from a person who writes: “Damn your stupid Eric.”

        I damn your stupid, too, Clover!

        • Ow. Your killing my sides. They ache now. Damn you.

          Damn You – dawnamani cover version

          Damn You – Lana Del Rey Original

          EstrusTube. Aren’t women relatable as living vehicles, ones that will always leave their eggs on your face, one way or the other.

          Only these cars, sometimes after you turn the keys, might attempt to drive you into the nearest tree. Or wait until you’re miles from civilization and then refuse to allow anymore fuel to flow to the engine until you “talk”.

          Like all possessions, which are always two way relationships, sometimes you own them, other times, they own you.

          Trying to repair these vehicles, some times you need flathead, other time philips, most times you need to imagine and apparate a one use tool on the fly, while under pressure of the direst of living vehicular emergencies.

          That the emergencies are unnecessary, is besides the point, and the wrong way to approach your maintenance task.

          Take it from one who only observes what others are sometimes are able to do, not as one who is ever able to successfully do this maintenance on my own estrus vehicles.

          Damn You (Lyrics)

          Remember how we used to escape for the summer. Fireworks and sparklers would light up the black skies. We’d hold on tight for our lives to each other. Hello, hello, where did you go?

          Flowers in my hair and your breath smelled like whiskey. Promised anywhere that I go, take you with me. Dancing on your feet like a child to the radio. Hello, hello, where did you go?

          We were two kids living life on the run. Of the American dream. Baby, nothing to lose. And we’d get messed up for fun. We went too fast, too young.

          But I won’t cry myself to sleep like a sucker. I won’t cry myself to sleep. If I do I’ll die. Now you fall asleep with another. Damn you.

          Every once in a lifetime. Dreams can come true.
          Now and then when the stars shine. You meet somebody like you.

          And I won’t cry myself to sleep like a sucker. I won’t cry myself to sleep. If I do I’ll die. I pray your life is sweet, you fucker. Damn you.

          Eggstremists, every last one of them

        • Eric you want to see a stupid statement? “To take out a loan longer than 5-6 is to almost assure ending up “under water” – and holding the keys to a depreciating “investment” that will be worth next to nothing once it’s finally paid off.”Clover

          That is saying my car is worthless? If a car is worthless after 5 or 6 years then why are there so many cars still on the road after 15 years? You have no common sense.

          Why are you still living back in the 50s and 60s?

      • “Damn your stupid Eric.I guess that is why you got fired when you were working for the newspaper or whatever you got fired from.”

        Lol, cute but I don’t think you should insult a writer for what you think is a lack of ability when you can’t even spell “you’re” correctly.

        Then again, I’m probably the stupid one for arguing with a statist shill-bot somewhere.


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