What it Costs Us

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What just happened (Friday) tells us much about what Trump must do on Monday.

Thirty thousand people just lost their jobs – as opposed to the not one person actually harmed by VW’s “cheating” on the government’s emissions tests.

The jobs go away because VW’s profits have.

In order to pay the government (and shyster lawyers) the company can’t afford to pay wages to those 30,000 people.

So, they’ve been pink slipped. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

This is just one – very real – measure of the human costs of an out-of-control regulatory apparat that imposes these costs on the basis of speculative or hysterically over-exaggerated risks.

Like the tiresome cry of “racism!” to shut up legitimate hand-raising about certain increasingly indefensible policies based on an era that’s now at least 50 years in the rearview, this “cheating” business falls apart when examined at all closely.

Which is precisely why (like “racism”) it isn’t examined closely.

Disliking Obama (and Obama’s unctuous yes-we-can socialism) doesn’t mean one dislikes blacks. Or that failing to vote for his anointed replacement as GenSec is clear evidence of vagina phobia. But it must be presented in these terms, because the thing itself – socialism, honestly presented – cannot be defended.tests

Just like the EPA’s emissions tests.

It is no longer about “clean air” – the mantra that, like “racism,” is beginning to lose its power.

Or, will – as people begin to realize the extent of the con.

And of the damage.

What VW did was encode some software that resulted – under some driving conditions – in a fractional increase in the emissions of something called oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a genuinely harmful compound… in large quantities.

And therein lies the rub.

The quantities at issue are very, very tiny. Almost unmeasurable. Literally. As in fractions of a percent. On the order of .03 vs. .02 (and that only under certain conditions, such as wide open throttle operation). This is the difference between “clean” – as defined by the EPA Ayatollahs – and “dirty.”

And – unlike the EPA’ s hysterical pronouncements and the media’s parroting of same – that isn’t an exaggeration.

vw-crucification

Here’s another way to get a handle on things:

The cars that VW is being crucified over – which has resulted in 30,000 people losing their livelihoods –  would have qualified as “clean” under the EPA Ayatollahs’ prior and recent standards. The ones in effect circa model year 2000.

Were model year 2000 cars planet-fouling filth-spewers?

Find one. Stand behind it with the engine running. See for yourself.

Notice that EPA has not produced anyone actually harmed by VW’s “cheating.”  None such exist. We are talking about a confected crisis, a manufactured problem.

The air is clean. Because cars are and have been for decades. The “clean air” problem stopped being one circa the late 1980s. By the mid-1990s, all new cars came from the factory with fuel-injected, computer-controlled engines and “three way” catalytic converter exhaust scrubbers. The stuff that was coming out of the tailpipe circa 1970 – which was a clean air problem – had by the mid-1990s become a no-longer-problem.inspector-javert

More than 95 percent of the Bad Stuff had by then been purged or contained or rendered harmless. Since then, EPA has been pursuing (Inspector Javert-like) the fractional remainder, at ever-increasing cost.

But here’s the rub: Combustion will necessarily produce some emissions no matter what technology is applied. The question – both economic and practical – is, simply, at what point do we declare victory and go home?

If it is a zero emissions car, this will never happen unless we go over to electric cars exclusively – and even these still produce emissions, just indirectly.

But shouldn’t a nearly zero-emissions car be enough? 97.2 percent “clean”… vs. 97.5 percent “clean”?

That is what it’s come down to. It is angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin time.  That is the calculus of the EPA’s Ayatollahs. It is a religious calculus.vw-scandal

One with very real consequences.

30,000 people have just lost their jobs. No small thing, especially to those who’ve just been unemployed.

And that is only one measure of the human cost – the real cost – of this debacle. Not yet tabulated is the cost of the jobs that won’t be created as VW loses market share, as people shy away from buying VWs (diesel-powered or not) because of the radioactive fallout of the scandal.

This whole year, VW was verboten from selling any diesel-powered cars. Each one a lost sale; a non-commission for a salesman, a net loss for the dealership. Each new car sent back to Germany – or crushed – a write-off. Hundreds of thousands of cars. In addition to the half-million cars VW was forced to buy back and then crush.

Billions in fines yet to pay. Which is money VW won’t have for research and development, to build new cars, which will never be sold because they’ll never be designed. More jobs lost or never created, more useful things that will never see the light of day.

It’s sickening, gratuitous waste.

All for what, exactly?

To mollify religious zealots who seem to view cars as fundamentally evil things that must be dealt with as “heretics” were in Salem 300 years ago. If they weren’t zealots, they’d step back from causing so much real harm to actual people for the sake of what amounts to the automotive equivalent of outrage over someone doing chores on the Sabbath.

Enough, already.

Trump’s got an opportunity to do some real good, by routing these Ayatollahs from their perches and insisting on regulatory sanity henceforth.

No doubt the Ayatollahs are worried.

Here’s to hoping their fears are well-founded.

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85 COMMENTS

  1. Bob,

    Different people value auto safety differently. The video merely shows that one car is better at protecting the occupant than the other car. It does not show that the imposition of US safety standards in Mexico would result in a net increase in “safety”. Nor does it show that “safe” cars are the result of those standards. As has been stated, car “safety” had been increasing prior to the mandates. One company, Volvo, built its’ brand on “safety”, and many people responded by buying the cars. If people value “safety”, the market will respond by producing “safe” cars. For those who value simplicity, fuel economy, price, etc… more than they value safety, the market will also respond. You seem to believe that your values should take precedence over the values of others.

    If US standards were imposed in Mexico, it is possible that net “safety” would be reduced. Such new cars would likely be out of reach for many people, which would keep older, less “safe”, cars on the road for a longer period.

    You want to know what is in your food and believe that food safety regulations ensure this. That belief is false (i’ve never seen e-coli, salmonella or fecal matter listed as an ingredient). If you are concerned about food safety, you would be far better served by investigating the reputations of specific producers and vendors than relying on the dubious competence of regulators to create “best practices” and assess food safety.

    Finally, the primary purpose and effect of regulation is to serve the interests of the most powerful players in a given industry. These players routinely lobby for seemingly onerous regulations because they know that it will put smaller players at a competitive disadvantage and create barriers to entry that are hard to overcome. This has the effect of stifling innovation and protecting the established interests. In economics, the phenomenon is called regulatory capture.

    For example, Mattel lobbied for regulations that would be economically crippling to smaller players and one-off artisans; and then lobbied for, and received, an exemption to those same regulations.

    This type of transparently corrupt deal is not an aberration, it is the norm.

    Jeremy

  2. OK,

    That went through, I’ll try again.

    Bob,

    Different people value auto safety differently. The video merely shows that one car is better at protecting the occupant than the other car. It does not show that the imposition of US safety standards in Mexico would result in a net increase in “safety”. Nor does it show that “safe” cars are the result of those standards. As has been stated, car “safety” had been increasing prior to the mandates. One company, Volvo, built its’ brand on “safety”, and many people responded by buying the cars. If people value “safety”, the market will respond by producing “safe” cars. For those who value simplicity, fuel economy, price, etc… more than they value safety, the market will also respond. You seem to believe that your values should take precedence over the values of others.

    If US standards were imposed in Mexico, it is possible that net “safety” would be reduced. Such new cars would likely be out of reach for many people, which would keep older, less “safe”, cars on the road for a longer period.

    You want to know what is in your food and believe that food safety regulations ensure this. That belief is false (i’ve never seen e-coli, salmonella or fecal matter listed as an ingredient). If you are concerned about food safety, you would be far better served by investigating the reputations of specific producers and vendors than relying on the dubious competence of regulators to create “best practices” and assess food safety.

    Finally, the primary purpose and effect of regulation is to serve the interests of the most powerful players in a given industry. These players routinely lobby for seemingly onerous regulations because they know that it will put smaller players at a competitive disadvantage and create barriers to entry that are hard to overcome. This has the effect of stifling innovation and protecting the established interests. In economics, the phenomenon is called regulatory capture.

    For example, Mattel lobbied for regulations that would be economically crippling to smaller players and one-off artisans; and then lobbied for, and received, an exemption to those same regulations.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/timothy-p.-carney-mattel-exempted-from-toy-safety-law-it-helped-write/article/36618#!

    This type of transparently corrupt deal is not an aberration, it is the norm.

    Jeremy

    • The government runs a con game. Automotive safety standards were increasing long before the government stepped in and took monopoly. But they lie to people and take credit. Government standards either adopt what is already being done anyway or cause distortions. That’s all it does.

      • yep it would appear that the government would like you to have fewer injuries and perhaps breath yet another day, unless you bought a Mexican car. OOOps!
        Clover
        Got news for you.. those standards wouldn’t exist without your friendly government as you can clearly see from the test video.. Mexico doesn’t require any of that stupid crumple zone crap, cabin reinforcement and those dumb air bags. So which car do you want to be in when the doo doo hits the fan? I’ll go with the merican version..

        Perhaps you like the survival of the fittest version, whereby your rugged individualist can test the abilities of Darwinism to cull the herd..

        • Bob,

          The issue is whether you or any other person has the right to tell me or any other person how “safe” my car must be.

          How about you drive the car that meets your needs and wants – that you feel “safe” in – and leave me free to make the decision according to my needs and wants?

          Why is it that some people feel entitled to use force to dictate things to other adults that are – properly speaking – none of their business?

          What, pray, is wrong with the model (as it existed, not so long ago) of being able to choose either a car like a VW Beetle…. or a Mercedes S?

          Why must everyone be forced to choose what some people think everyone ought to have?

          I’ve said and written this to exhaustion: I am not opposed to “safe” cars… or air bags or any such thing. I am opposed to forcing people to buy such things.

          My “safety” is no one’s business but my own.

          Unless you are going to claim an ownership stake in my hide; that you are either my parent or my owner.

          • Because your right to screw yourself up infringes on my right to not pay for your stupidity.. If you screw yourself up I get to pay for it with my insurance. The less damage to you the better off we all are, even though you don’t care.Clover

            • Bob,

              The problem is more coercive collectivism – so you advocate yet more of the same!

              I want nothing from you other than for you to respect my right to be left alone.

              If I hurt myself, that is my problem. Not yours.

              Do you not see the consequences of what you advocate?

              If you have the right to force me to buy a “safe” car because I might hurt myself and use the government to force you to “help” me… then I, in my turn, can use the government to force you to:

              Maintain an ideal BMI
              Carry Gun insurance
              Eat Your Veggies
              Practice only “safe” hobbies… .

              Do you see?

              • Your childish clover thingy makes you happy but it is childish none the less and is pretty close to what politicians do.. shut down conversation. Clover

                No, I don’t see because the government cannot force me to do any of those and never will but it can force manufacturers to make a safer product to SELL to me. Notice the transaction, that is where the government comes in.
                They will never regulate what you propose in your hair on fire gun totin world.

                • Bob,

                  A Clover is someone who believes they have the right to order others around, to impose their views on other people. That appears to be what you are.

                  I’ve addressed every argument you’ve presented with reasoned, logical rebuttals.

                  You, on the other hand, call me “childish” and write that my “hair is on fire” and my world is “gun ‘toin’ ”

                  It speaks for itself.

                  Read about yourself here: https://ericpetersautos.com/2016/06/24/whats-a-clover/

                  • Yea Eric.. you are the owner here allowing you to censor me as you have done in the past when you can’t win a logical argument. I’d be surprised if this gets posted…Clover

                    And the clover thing is childish regardless of what you think. It’s mean to shame somebody for having a differing opinion from your all mighty opinion. We have been here before.

                    • Clover,

                      I’ve dissected every single Cloverific “argument” you’ve presented.

                      Your premise is simply that your feelings about what might happen … and your wants… entitle you (and those like you) to interfere in other people’s lives; entitle you to punish them pre-emptively, to force them to give you money and to do as you think they ought to.

                      America was – once – a free country.

                      Where people were free to pursue happiness as they defined it, individually. Free from coercion. To buy the things they felt worth their money; not the things others insisted they buy.

            • And: If I cause no damage?

              What then, Bob?

              Meanwhile…

              You’ve damaged me. By forcing me to pay for things I neither want nor need, on the basis that “something” might happen… even though it hasn’t actually.

              Do you see?

              You might have a heart attack because you eat too much red meat and are overweight… this (according to your collectivist logic) means I am entitled to force you to lose weight and exercise; to be more “healthy”… at your expense in money and liberty.

              Do you see?

                • Bob,

                  Note your choice of words… what you want. Fine. But what if others want something else? What gives you the moral right to forcibly impose what you want on them?

                    • Clover,

                      But if I don’t “screw myself over”? What then? Do I get a refund?

                      And, again: As a free man – ostensibly – I have every right to risk screwing myself over. And if I do screw myself over, those costs are mine to bear. Not an excuse to impose your control freak regimen on others.

                      It is only because of Clovers like you that my problems become other people’s burdens.

                      The solution is to end Cloverism.

                      The alternative is to accept a busybody nanny state – in which everything you do, every decision you make, is other people’s business. Which appears to be exactly what you desire.

                      What is wrong with you?

                      Is it a sickness in the head? Or just the result of your government education?

            • How about this: You insure you and I insure me (if I wish to).

              Your premiums are based on your claims/risk profile and mine on my risk profile/claims.

              Seems reasonable… seems right?

              Why on earth should what I do in any way impose an enforceable burden on you?

              And, vice versa?

              • No because the minute you are laying in a pool of blood somebody else has to deal with your lack of standards. You will have infringed on my right to not be burdened with the outcome of your poor judgment.Clover

                • Bob,

                  More what if? – and “might” – to justify your coercion and control.

                  You believe in pre-emptive punishment… and group guilt.

                  I’ve been driving for decades and not incurred a cent in damage or scintilla of harm to any other person.

                  Yet you – people like you – harm me every single day by taking away my liberty (and money)… because you worry “something” might happen.

                  • Something happens a lot and just because it has yet to happen to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. You’ll cry like a baby if you don’t get your car all fixed up by the insurance company while bitching that you were forced to pay for insurance.. That is how it always happens..
                    It’s a burden till you want the fruits.. Me Me Me and Mine mine mine.. F you I got mine!Clover

                    • The fact, Clover, is it has not happened to me. Not even a little bit.

                      You, however, want to punish me for things that haven’t happened – and which probably never well. (I’ve been driving a long got-damned time.)

                      How about you mind your business – and stay out of mine?

                      I will gladly extend you the same courtesy.

                      But you’re not willing to do that, are you?

                      The fact that I have caused no harm cuts no ice. You worry I might.

                      Well, I worry you might be doing various not-healthy things and these could impose costs on “society.”

                      I think you should be forced to buy life insurance.

                      Do you own a gun? If you do, I think you should be forced to buy insurance to cover what might happen…

                      Where does it end, Clover?

                      How would you draw the line?

                      Based on what?

                      Your feelings?

                      What you want?

              • CloverApparently your as well informed about insurance as you are in so many subjects. Insurance is a capitalistic front end with a socialist rear end. You can’t afford to self insure, just like you can’t afford to get medical treatment without insurance. It’s extremely expensive to use. Just like you laying in a pool of blood, someone has to deal with your decisions and it’s not you because you can’t when you need medical attention. Notice the dummy is dead in the Mexican car or is going to require a shed load of medical treatment.. Who pays if you won’t?

                • Clover,

                  Again: Why won’t you deal with the objection I’ve now made several times? Your premise is coercive collectivism. “Joe” must be forced to buy insurance (or buy a “safe” car, as defined by “Ed”) because the system enables “Joe” to shift the costs for his actions (if they incur harm) onto “Ed.” Thus “Ed” feels he has the right to impose pre-emptive costs on “Joe” – which “Ed” must bear even if he does not impose any costs on “Ed.”

                  My argument is that “Joe” has no right to impose any costs on “Ed” – and vice versa – unless the one has done harm to the other.

                  Each is entirely responsible for the consequences of their own decisions and actions. And in a free society, neither would have any way to force the costs of any of their actions or decisions onto anyone else.

                  I know you won’t directly respond to this – because you can’t. Not without conceding that you’re (not “your”) an authoritarian collectivist – and not only that, an arbitrary one.

                  The things you feel are worth government intervention are justified.

                  But others things are “extreme” and will “never happen.”

                  Until some other Clover feels they should.

                  • well.. when we devolve to spelling, the spelling critic has usually lost the argument.. Clover

                    You are forced to buy because if you don’t you infringe on my right not to deal with your dead and or dying body and the smashed up car and or other property you chose to not insure thereby forcing me to deal with you problem.

                    SEE?

                    I’m sure that you don’t because there isn’t anything in there just for you and you alone..

                    • Clover,

                      Again: First, you use a hypothetical to justify an actual. “Someone” (not specific) might get hurt – and therefore everyone must be hurt (by having their free choice actually taken away, by being forced to pay for harms they have not caused).

                      This upends the most basic moral idea of a free society – that a person has the right to be let alone unless what’s he’s done or is doing is causing harm to some other person. Not because you feel he is “taking risks” or don’t like it or would prefer he not do that or do some other thing.

                      And – again – you studiously ignore the fundamental issue here: The collectivist notion that it’s legitimate to transfer costs from “Joe” to “Ed.”

                      That is what this is all about, ultimately.

                      You believe other people’s problems, other people’s actions, entitle them to forcibly extract resources from people who had nothing to do with it. So, “Joe” wrecks – and because he chose not to buy insurance, your system lets him extract “free” care… that is, impose costs on others. So you get your panties in a bunch and demand he – and everyone else – buy insurance.

                      Why not leave it to “Joe” to bear the consequences of his actions? And leave everyone else out of it? I am sorry for “Joe” if he hurts himself, but his hurt doesn’t impose an obligation on me that’s enforceable at gunpoint.

                      You will accuse me of being “selfish.” Perhaps. But I am at least not an advocate of violent, coercive solutions as you are.

                      The solution isn’t forcing everyone to buy insurance – or “safe” (as you define it) cars. It is to leave people free to choose – and be solely responsible for their decisions.

                      If I damage your property or hurt you somehow, then you have the right to seek to hold me accountable.

                      But you have no right to control my life or take money out of my wallet because you feel I might damage your property or hurt you somehow.

                      Your position is authoritarian collectivism.

                      Why not at least be honest about it?

                    • Eric wasn’t criticizing your spelling; he was criticizing your diction. You don’t understand the concept that “you’re” is a contraction of “you are”. “Your” is a possessive pronoun. By calling out your ignorance, Eric has not lost the argument.

              • Well well I see we shut down the conversation on our last post, just like you always do. I see you left out the reply button. I would sy that you are the authoritarian, from the way that you write and block others.. I just want you to take care of your problems and not burden me with them when you inevitably screw up..Clover

                But that’s too much to ask, apparently…

                • Clover,

                  Your posts have gone into the moderation queue because you will not address the points raised.

                  You write: ” I just want you to take care of your problems and not burden me with them when you inevitably screw up.”

                  Let’s deconstruct this.

                  First, you want much more than for me to “take care of (my) problems.” I’ve agreed do exactly that. To be held accountable for any problems (harms) caused by me. What you want is to force me to pay for “problems” that haven’t happened – and very possibly never will. Because you feel they might.

                  Do you grok the distinction?

                  Or is that too precise a distinction to ask you to make?

                  And – again! – you are silent on the issue now raised repeatedly by me: This business of the forced “socialization” of costs – which then becomes the basis for justifying presumptive punishment and control of everyone, including those who’ve imposed no costs themselves. Your position is that because “someone” might cause harm,”society” will have to pick up the tab… and so “society” (Clovers such as yourself) have the right to impose costs and restrictions on everyone … so as to limit those generalized or merely asserted “harms” you endlessly sweat.

                  Again: I ask for nothing more than to be let alone, to only be held responsible for harms I cause (not those caused by others). And that no one be able to use the power of the state to force others to pick up the tab for the harms they cause or the injuries they incur.

                  That, Clover, is liberty – another concept you do not grok!

        • bye bye asshole.. It’s obvious who won because you shut down the ability to post. Can’t take the truth, stop em from posting. Authoritarianism IS your game. It Eric’s world no room for discussion and certainly no room for using a person’s name, just clover if you don’t like that you are wrong and eric will shut you down!Clover

          • Bye, bye Clover!

            And: It’s not authoritarianism to route your posts to the Moderation queue. Do you know why, Clover? It’s because authoritarianism is force. I’ve applied none to you. You are free to come and go as you like. I have not imposed any harm on you, nor threatened to. I’ve merely handled your posts as I see fit, on my site.

            Your understanding of authoritarianism is as poor as your understanding of capitalism.

      • Go to Europe, ya know, leave that 30 mile radius that you have lived your entire life within.. They have diesels that are not only clean but act just like gas cars in terms of acceleration. They use mostly diesel there, the pumps are reverse of what we have. They have a gas pump and a lot of diesel pumps, whereas we have a diesel pump maybe, and a lot of gas pumps.. Also their diesel uses direct inject, something that we have just started doing.. They are way ahead of us in diesel technology..

  3. I would much prefer bunches of bureaucratic rule-making apparatchiks be kicked out of their so-called jobs than the engineers and factory workers for Volkswagen.

    The problem I witness is that we have become obsessed with complying with rules dreamed up by busybodies that are not supported by reality, let alone science-fiction (or what some people call, climate change). Rules need to be based upon science, not goody feelings of environmental ayatollahs.

    • It really says something when America blasts a GERMAN company for “not following rules”! Hitler and Stalin would be green with envy of the tyranny we now have here in USA. Freaking SS officers would probably seem compassionate compared to our cops today…..

      • Hi Nunzio,

        Yup.

        It’s no coincidence we have a (literally) Heimatsicherheitsdeinst.

        Homeland Security.

        One of the foulest entities upchucked by the Third Reich was the SD (led by a guy named Reinhard Heydrich).

        Guess what “SD” stands for?

        Guess who else prattled on about the “homeland”?

  4. The South is burning again ,this time its not a Yankee General doing it.I hope these past couple of decades are just anomalies,I kid you not we used to have 4 seasons here in the Alleghanies ,now I am having a hard time telling when the seasons change.(blame it on the third world ?)

  5. .03 vs. .02 !! My god man! Don’t you realize that .03 is 50% greater than .02! And that .02 is only 2/3 of what .03 is? I mean, with numbers like that, no wonder the automobile industry is tanking! With DOUBLE exclamation points!! ‼️ ‼️

    • Rust you know that is the same math they use for flu shots. 200 people, 100 get the shot. No shot group 2!! Get the flu. Shot group 1 gets it. So that means it cuts the number in half.

      • Hi Todd,

        I think an easy way to cut through all this – to make it comprehensible to an average person – is to simply demand that EPA produce tangible evidence of harm caused. It fascinates me that no one asks this question. VW “cheated” on emissions tests. Ok, fine. But was this the equivalent of making a perfectly safe but illegal U turn? Who has been harmed?

        If it’s not possible to make that case, then the “law” is preposterous – and punishing anyone for “violating” it obscene.

        • Eric the problem is we shouldn’t wait until people are getting sick before there is a control in place. If a nuclear power plant is releasing radiation we don’t want to wait until everyone dies of cancer to do something about it.

          The question then becomes do they have proof that these are harmful to people. Maybe these compounds are the reason people are so sick in their 50-60’s?

          This is one of the unfortunate things about our system. They don’t need to convince people, they just pass an edict. If all of it was voluntarily funded then they would have to sell it to the people to get funding, if we believed it they wouldn’t have to force it.

          • Hi Todd,

            Yes, but there is a difference between a demonstrable risk (e.g, radiation over a certain threshold proved to have health consequences) and a .02 percent increase in NOx emissions.

            With regard to vehicle emissions, the low hanging fruit got picked decades ago and we’ve long since been at the point of very diminishing returns. But this has not been explained to people. They hear, “president proposes a plan to cut vehicle emissions by 50 percent” and they think it’s a huge decrease on the order of what it was when catalytic converters came online 40 years ago. Because back then, the starting point was 90-100 percent “dirty” (uncontrolled) and a 50 percent reduction of that was huge.

            But today, “50 percent” is half a percent. Or less.

            It’s negligible.

            The choice before us now is: Do cars with IC engines get banned or become exorbitantly expensive in order to get at that remaining 2-3 percent of the exhaust stream that’s “dirty”?

            Or do we accept that a zero emissions standard (or close to that) is both economically unreasonable and unjustifiable in terms of the negligible, if any, tangible difference in air quality obtained thereby?

      • Todd, that means if you don’t get the shot you’re twice as likely to get the flu. I couldn’t sleep at night considering the implications so I went to Wally and Walgren’s and the clinic so I have NO chance of getting the flu. Gee, i don’t feel so good. I feel just like I have felt when I had the flu…..but that couldn’t be possible……

        • No, no, no….. It is like the frog jumping half the distance to the end of the log each time. You still have 1 chance in 8. Better get a couple more.

          • yeah, don’t know what I was thinking. I have a doc app. next week so I can get one in his office and another leaving through the pharmacy. Thanks, I been worried…….sick…

  6. Eric,

    “insisting on regulatory sanity henceforth”

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

    And why are you so enamored with VW? A corporation is set up to fuck people. Even a corporation that makes things you like. Still a government created fiction set up for one and only purpose, the fucking of the individual.

    James Robert Liang is wondering why the corporate shield didn’t shield him. But Liang is a real individual, not a government fiction.

    “30,000 people have just lost their jobs.”

    So? Besides the fact that is less than 10% of the workforce, those 30,000 made a choice to work for a government created fiction. If they fail to realize the risks, fuck em.

    Let them make up some other bullshit and pass a law. (That has worked so well in the past.) CEPA, the Corporate Employee Protection Agency might be a good place to start.

    Fahrvergnügen.

    Enjoy the ride motherfuckers, enjoy the ride. On the bus to the welfare office.

    “Libertarians support free markets. We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of entities based on voluntary association.” – http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Libertarian_Party_Corporations.htm

    Good to know individuals have the right to make up shit to fuck other individuals. Maybe Peter Schwartz was right.

    • Hi T,

      I know… I know… 🙂

      Just hoping to get a bone thrown. I try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      Of course, I’d like to throw it all in the woods. The entire politburo and apparat. But, I’d roll around on the floor like a happy Labrador if things could be dialed back to even circa 1985 levels of reasonableness.

      Imagine (just a few) no random “safety” checkpoints; no mandatory “buckle up” laws. Being able to ride your motorcycle with – or without – a helmet, as you prefer. New cars without air bags, data recorders.

      And – most of all – no “hero” armed government workers.

      • Eric,

        “circa 1985”

        Funny you would pick that date.

        Warren Anderson was out on $2,100 bail for the thousands of deaths in Bhopal, but Rick Sitz was wasn’t worried about DUI checkpoints or primary enforcement of seat belt laws in Michigan.

        But in 1986, Mr. Sitz was fighting DUI checkpoints. In 1987, Mr. Anderson invoked the corporate shield and claimed India had no jurisdiction.

        At least today people in New Hampshire can ride without a seat belt.

        • If large companies would push back on seat belt laws they’d go away. I got a seat belt ticket in a truck and the boss said he wished I’d just kept quiet and life went on without a hassle. Other people who work for those “other” companies get fired for a seat belt ticket in a truck.

          I recently spoke with a prospective employer and mentioned seat belts. The guy I spoke with said “We don’t care how many seat belt tickets you’ve had”. If more companies said this we might at least get away with it in private vehicles. Of course the feds trump everything else in commercial vehicles so…….

    • There’s a big difference between a corporation, which is a business which people can choose whether to patronize or not, which gets to special protection against the serfs from the king- as opposed to the king himself (the state) who forcibly takes our money (we can’t choose not to participate) and uses it for illicit things, like giving corps protection from liability, or putting them out of business even if we the people have no problem with them, and choose to willingly patronize them, just because they insulted the king. (The corp pays more in taxes to the king for that liability protection, than any actual liability would have cost them!)

      I’ll take the corporation over the king any day, ’cause I can choose not to do business with the corp; not to work for them, etc. (Spent my whole life avoiding working for them!).

      I do get the point though- corporations are inherently un-libertarian. Libertarianism in any way shape or form, demands unlimited liability- and any scheme which seeks to shield men from their liabilities is unjust- let us just not forget that when it comes to corps, that scheme comes directly from government.

      • Nunzio,

        “I do get the point though- corporations are inherently un-libertarian.”

        No, you don’t get the point.

        We [Libertarians] defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of entities based on voluntary association.” – http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Libertarian_Party_Corporations.htm

        Source: 2014 Libertarian Party Platform , Nov 1, 2014

        Nobody has a right to pull something out of their ass and claim they are immune from liability.

        VW (and the people collecting a check from VW) are simply playing the role of Faust.

        “Faust” and the adjective “Faustian” imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term – wiki

        Fuck corporations. Fuck Hitler’s stepchild – VW. And fuck all the people who deal with VW.

        Fahrvergnügen. Sieg heil!

        • As I see it, govt. and it’s minions have no more right to tell anyone what they can make than corporations(the bureaucrats and politician created) have rights to be protected from liability of any sort. Fish heads to em all.

        • Tuanorea, I don’t think you “get it”.

          A corporation is a creation of government- a legally created “person” which exists apart from it’s owners, and whose main legal purpose is to shield it’s owners/stockholders from liabilities. That is contrary to Libertarianism/NAP (Despite what the “Libertarian Party might say- what do they know? They ran idiot authoritarian-Republican Gary Johnson in the presidential election….).

          Sure, in a true Libertarian world, people would be free to start whatever businesses/organizations they wanted to, and sell shares (stock) or franchises, etc. BUT we couldn’t have the kind of corporations that we are familiar with, because a)Schemes to shield people from liability are contrary to the free market and libertarianism, and b)There would be no government control of the free market and such things; no regulation; so in essence, no cabal of higher-ups who would take protection money (taxes) in exchange for the giving of special rights (protection from liability), and the creation of artificial “people”- which is what a corp os. i.e. you have to have a government (and a big far-reaching one at that) to give license to create artificial entities and to convey upon them special rights. That is exactly what we, as Libertarians, are supposed to be fighting against.

  7. All other things being equal, increased CO2 causes the climate to warm. Absorption spectra of gases are well known and CO2 is a potent absorber of IR radiation. You may say that it absorbs incoming in equal measure to outgoing, but that isn’t so. Incoming solar radiation is shorter wavelength energy which is converted to long wavelength IR when the ground is heated.
    But, we (that is to say, all of humanity) are never going to do anything about it because our ever expanding population would experience mass poverty and mass death if fossil fuel usage were curtailed in significant detail.
    “We” aren’t going to do that. We will reduce fossil fuel usage only when we’ve used them all up!
    So all the talk about taking action to “combat global warning” is really just talk, “sound and fury signifying nothing”, but all the mostly symbolic gestures some people desire to make have the potential to do huge economic damage and cause very real hardship to very real people right here and right now.
    Of course there are people who think it would be grand to unleash the four horsemen on the world and think that the reduction in population would be a positive thing, but these pricks never think they might be among the “reduced”. maybe like Eric’s “Clovers” they have the view like Lenin that “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”.

    • What CO2 can block is already well into the area of diminishing returns. That is pretty much everything it can block from going back out into space is already blocked and has been for some time. It’s another asymptote.

    • It is strange :

      first of all (VW case ) it was not about CO2, it was about NO( oxide nitrogen), nitrogen which it is harmless and it is in proportion of 78,1% of our atmosphere.
      CO2 it is not more than 0.03% of all atmospheric gases.
      Accordingly your scientific dogmatic mantra and cognitive deficit/dissonance , based on the same assumptions, the life on Earth was not possible. The contrary it is the evidence . You are one of them but unfortunately not the best .The life started and evolution it self ( without the approval of such organization of today) when CO2 was in tremendously huge quantities compared with actual concentration and accordingly with that huge CO2 concentration on Earth was living 100000 more species than today !
      The best lie it is the half truth.( the IR absorption spectrum of CO2, btw). Just for fun: the same incriminated characteristic of CO2, will eliminate the IR in proportion of 90% coming from sun). And so are the “fairy-tales” of the so called warming up theories about the CO2 . Science accordingly with Harry Potter )
      Before you write again about the CO2 try to eliminate your illiteracy and mechanical repetitive doctoral ignorance and please read “Let’s Celebrate the CO2”. Would and could you !?
      I am sure you are able to improve your self and try to use your own brain and never that of the State priests of the new bureaucratic religions popping up as the mushrooms after the rain !
      Please stop to spread this malign Bizantinism Orthodoxy fixed dogma’s from the State and stop quote Obama !

    • Erik,

      Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that your assertions are true.

      Who in the world has the right to tell anybody else what to do about it? Never mind that all of the “remedies” offered are just exercises in more people control, and will make people worse off than they are now.

      The more fundamental question is, who has the right to tell the rest of us what to do about it? You don’t. The government doesn’t. The U.N. doesn’t. My neighbor doesn’t.

      My advice to you is start worrying about things that actually matter. Start worrying about things that you don’t know, that can be used by a politician or bureaucrat to deceive and enslave the rest of us. Start worrying about the ever-tightening noose around all of our necks, brought to you by the same people you want to “solve” the AGW problem.

      Good luck!

      • Well-said, Antonio!

        Under the current authoritarian model, government can force/mandate virtually ANYTHING, just by getting their scientists to say that “it might be a preoblem at some time”. Government controls science and education, and the majority of funding for those endeavors comes from the gov’t (from us!), they can pretty much use science and academia (or rather propagandemia) to make a case for anything they want to do.

        (Que the president saying: “We must all work together to combat this problem, and ensure a better world for our children…” [picture idiots cheering and waving flags])

  8. It’s not looking good as far as Trump doing anything about the out-of-control tyranny….. He just met with Mittens Romney- they say he might be considering that douche for secretary of state……

    As usual, I think we’ve been hoodwinked yet again, and nothing will change (Not for the better, anyway).

    The US should just break up. What do we need the Feds for, anyway? It would be one less layer of government, and at least what would be left would be more local, and more easily controlled (Maybe even entirely dispatched, if enough people started getting wise/fed-up).

    At this point, hasn’t everyone (even non-Libertarians) had enough of groups of people from other parts of the country determining who the king is and decreeing what they do? The stupid-ass liberals are now feeling it. Maybe if Trump fails to uphold his promises, enough of his supporters will also see it- unlike many I’m seeing right now, who are just so glad that “their guy” won, and who are more into personalities than politics, that they just go along with whatever their guy does, like he can do no wrong.

    Sadly, this seems to be the M.O. of American politics, time and again- and why democracies do not work.

  9. Cutting 30,000 jobs saves VW almost three billion dollars per year. That’s the preferred method to fund the court ordered penalties. Otherwise, the consumer ponies up the penalty payments via price inflation or product shrinkage and VW can not afford to do either right now. I’m sure that many slackers can be found in a corporation with twice as many employees as GM.

  10. Hopefully, somewhere…perhaps in a bar enjoying beers…are two engineers smiling.

    They’re smiling because they have just fooled Uncle’s enforcers in Volkswagen-like style by some clever tweaks of their own. Tweaks we shall never learn of, but if we ever did, we’d thank them.

  11. The thing is it way more then 30,000 lost jobs. The 30,000 is VW corporate alone. I imagine there have been thousands of layoffs at VW dealerships and part suppliers worldwide already and more to come. My local VW dealership is likely in big trouble, as he spent about $10 million on building a new building just before this all happened. He was going to hire more people and even filed plans to build an Audi store next door. So there are people who won’t hired by the dealer now, and the Audi store is dead so that will cost people construction jobs too.

    • The closest VW dealer to me spent a lot of money to build a parking garage to hold cars, as they were out of room on their lot. (not sure if it’ll be for employee cars, used cars, or “back-lot” storage.)

      It’s sat half-completed since the crisis began, about a year ago.

  12. Are those people losing their jobs next week? I read that it was going to be done over the next 8 years or so via attrition. Still stinks, but German labor law is pretty tough on layoffs.

    I’m curious what engine they’re going to put in their new Atlas 3-row SUV. Something that big & heavy would be an ideal fit for a turbodiesel…

    Chip H.

  13. I just faxed off the offer letter. Not too comfortable going through with it, but then again, Ron Paul did take pork barrel money for his district.

  14. I have to share this comment to my suggesting taxes are theft and should end. Note he has no problem paying taxes to fund these things. In that case why not donate the money needed?

    “You won’t make an income without a government, the constitution and other laws,… We wouldn’t have a government without taxes to pay for it.

    I have no problem paying taxes as long as it’s fair – everyone pays their fair share, some people don’t corrupt the government into not paying

    And as long as the taxes are effective. For example, I like paying taxes if it’s used to subsidize someone else’s education, and as a result they make more income so they pay more taxes which after a few years equals the amount of the subsidization. And from there the economy is better because the person makes more income and that person’s life is better.

    If there’s no enforcement, then non payers will get to leech off society. Get the benefits of my taxes without having to pay themselves.”

        • To them, yes, that’s exactly right. Private schools are “too expensive” for you to attend. Religious schools are just madrasas that train terrorists. Home schooling doesn’t teach “social skills.” The list of negatives goes on and on. Only the benevolent government schools can provide a wishy-washy education that will make you into an unhappy, semi-productive drone that will be highly desirable in the workforce.

    • I agree with Eric. Same pre-programmed response. It’s what they were told as children, it’s what people have been told in slightly different forms for thousands and thousands of years. They repeat it like it’s their own idea and we never heard it before.

      They fear their neighbors so much it is no wonder they project paranoia and fear on libertarians.

  15. These guys love to cite things like chaos theory and the butterfly effect to justify their activity. This was a common theme in mass media in the 1990s. Remember Jeff Goldblum’s stereotypical nerd character in Jurassic Park? Or Kay’s quote in Men in Black: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” It’s been the reason for most of the government’s domestic agenda for the last 20 years. Very small amounts of individual consumption lever up to massive amounts of waste. They never seem to notice the gigantic resource misallocation and waste by individuals in power (see just about any governmental boondoggle). Likewise, very small incremental savings (such as LED light bulbs) somehow manage to save billions of KWh of electricity, even though we all know that normally efficiency increases are almost always offset by increases in consumption.

  16. What we are looking at for VW is table 2 here: https://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/ld_t2.php

    The more I look into this, the more minor it becomes. Last time I thought we were talking about a move from bin 10 to bin 8 at worst. But now I notice the fleet average requirement of bin 5. That’s probably where they cheated. To achieve the fleet average of 0.05g/mi NOx.

    They were likely moving cars from bin 8 to bin 5 by cheating at worst. That’s 0.14 to 0.05. Or 0.09 g/mi. More likely something even smaller.

  17. All so true.
    Might Trump issue an executive order scotching this Jihad?
    He probably could do so, but it’s not likely.
    Sadly enough an issue like this would probably seem too trivial and peripheral to even come to his attention, but we could hope.

    • Hi Erik,

      I think he might… I am cautiously optimistic.

      He has questioned the whole “climate change” shibboleth and groks that our industry (and jobs) have been horribly gimped by over-the-top regulations that can’t be justified on any reasonable basis.

  18. My friend,

    Consider removing the “You Might Also Like” ads. They are cheesy and makes your site look less than professional.

    Rick

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