What They Never Mention

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A piece popped up on the newsfeed quoting the uber hacks at Edmunds.com regarding the escalating price of new cars. Not one word in the piece about the cost of government mandates  – hence my use of the term uber hack to describe those who produced it.

Noting that the average car loan is now 69.3 months, or six years – which is the longest average for car loans in the history of the car business – and noting further that a large and growing number of people who are hag-ridden by this endless debt never actually pay off the loan but rather fold it into their next loan – the column’s chirpy birdie author explains that it is all due to .  .  .

“Consumer confidence in the economy and their belief they will be able to pay up.” Thus warbles Edmunds’ “analyst” Jessica Caldwell.

This after having noted in her own column that people – “consumers,” to use her ugsome term – aren’t paying up. Instead, the remaining balance on the first six-year loan is tacked on to the principle of the next six-year loan. Thus:

“You hear stories about someone driving a $40,000 Camry,” explains Caldwell. “That’s where that comes from.”

But where it really comes from is the cost of every new car being – wait for it! – expensive. And why are new cars expensive?

This column has explained why on numerous occasions. Yes, part of it has to do with the gadgets most new cars either come standard with or offer. But the majority of these are not particularly expensive because they are generally just electronic baubles such as LCD touchscreen displays and good stereos – the price of which has gone down over the past 20 years. An iPad – basically the same thing as a car’s LCD touchscreen – is about $400. It is not a big deal, money-wise.

Neither are things like air conditioning and power windows, both of which have been around for decades and the parts involved are now much cheaper to manufacture than was the case when they first appeared as high-end luxury car features many decades ago.

But getting a car’s body to meet the latest bevy of roof crush/side-impact/pedestrian impact standards entails major R&D work, which is not cheap. It also entails lots of structure – also not cheap.

Neither are the bare-minimum six air bags every new car comes with. And it is not merely the bags themselves. It is that these bags must be embedded into the car’s structure, designed-in. The entire cabin has to be built around the bags – down to the last dashboard trim bit. Which entails more R&D.

Price a modern car’s airbag-equipped steering wheel/column and then check out what it cost to replace (if you ever needed to, which was usually never) the steering wheel/column of a pre-airbag car.

Yes, air bags “save lives.” Well, sometimes.

But the savings don’t come cheap.

Nor the investment in technology needed to reduce a new car engine’s exhaust emissions by another quarter of a percent (this is not an exaggeration) before the government will grant the company that makes it permission to sell it. Most new cars with four cylinder engines have at least two catalytic converters (along with two oxygen sensors) and while cheaper generic aftermarket replacements are available, the ones that come with the car from the factory are not cheap. They add much more to the cost of the car at point-of-sale than an LCD touchscreen.

How much does it cost to add direct injection to an engine? It is probably at least $1,000 more than a throttle body (TBI) injection system. But the TBI system was merely 97.5 percent “clean” and that is not quite “clean” enough.

No matter how much it costs us.

To squeeze an extra 2-3 MPG out of a car – demanded by the Feds’ fatwas – takes a $5,000 ten-speed transmission. Auto-stop/start systems that cut the engine off when the car isn’t moving – then automatically re-start it when it is time to move – require high-torque starters and in some cases a primary and a secondary battery to keep things auto-stop-starting. How about “active” grilles that open and close – to say fractional amounts of fuel? Aluminum bodies…?

Etc.

None of which the hacky “analyst” at Edmunds mentions. Instead, she blames the greedy “consumer” for biting off more than he can chew.

Why not mention, instead, what is being forced down his gullet?

There is almost perpetual derision of “conspiracy theories” by mainstream hacks. But the conspiracy isn’t a theory. And it is being perpetrated by them. The hack automotive press has apparently agreed in secret conclave to never publicly discuss the real reason why it has become routine to spread a car loan out over six years. Nor give the true reasons for the sudden stampede (with them cracking the whip) toward “transportation as a service” and “mobility” replacing driving.

As to why?

The hack press are basically courtiers. They go to the same parties as the fatwa-spewers, often live in the same neighborhoods in the Inner Party areas of Washington, DC and New York.

They are of the same mindset.

It is an irony of our time that the car press, generally, neither understands cars nor likes them very much. You can’t expect such “analysts” to be of much use, then, in telling you the straight dope about cars.

Much less why the business has gone toilet-licking batshit crazy.

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64 COMMENTS

  1. It would be a whole lot easier to make sense of the comments if the oldest ones were at the top.
    Or you could do like Discus and give us the option each time we click on an article.
    This is most annoying when there are 20-30+ comments.

    • Hi Not-so-free,

      I know – but I’m stuck with this platform until I can afford something better – and someone to deal with all the computer scheisse!

      • Looks like I started something. I wasn’t actually suggesting discus, just the fact that they give you the option of how to display comments.
        I really ran the comments off topic. Sorry about that.
        .
        I have had a few problems with them striking my comments (or the host blog, I don’t know which.)

        • After a bit of animosity between myself and a blog owner I could never seem to jump through enough hoops to get a comment posted. It’s called stealth banning and as far as I know, WP doesn’t use it although I suppose the owner could block your comment.

          While I gave up replying to the original “clover” on this site I thought it’s comments should all go up since they lend credence to intelligent people of opposing views.

          • Morning, Eight!

            It takes a lot to get banned here.

            The big one is serial repetition of the same Cloverific talking points while refusing to directly answer specific questions. When a person does that, I warn them – I ask them to answer the questions, etc. If they persist and just continue regurgitating their talking points, I prune them.

              • Hi Nunzio,

                I didn’t ban her (she’s a friend, actually). But I did find her style of non-response annoying. Like most Clovers, she would not concede her authoritarian collectivism much less what it implies and makes inevitable. Arguing with her was as pointless as trying to tech my rooster German…

              • Hey Amico Mio,

                When I go down the rabbit hole of truth, I don’t limit it to any mainstream notions of argument.

                Today’s advertiser content rules are likely to be tomorrow’s user content rules. Aren’t the users on a free site its product? There is no such thing as a free lunch after all.

                Besides, I found it interesting. Just be glad I didn’t bring up this newspeak notion of spam. Isn’t encouraging overbroad overzealous spam hate a way of making internet users anti-free market?

                Maybe my arguments suck. At least the advice is offered at no cost to you.

                Who is eligible for WordPress WordAds?
                https://wordads.co/2012/09/06/wordads-is-for-family-safe-sites/

                Google Adsense, which is the world’s largest online advertising network and one of WordAds partners, has published their definition of family friendly:
                https://adsense.googleblog.com/2011/08/policy-tips-keeping-network-family-safe.html

                Pages with Google ads may not include or link to:

                Pornography, adult or mature content
                Content that harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals
                Content that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization
                Excessive profanity
                Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia content
                Content that promotes, sells, or advertises products obtained from endangered or threatened species.
                Sales of beer or hard alcohol
                Sales of tobacco or tobacco-related products
                Sales of prescription drugs
                Sales of weapons or ammunition (e.g., firearms, firearm components, fighting knives, stun guns)
                Sales or distribution of coursework or student essays

                • Yeah, what might be coming in the future….wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they required everyone to have a license to use the interwebz (“For our own safety…of course”) or some other scheme wherein we must always be personally identifiable (Which is likely what Facebook is setting up all the peons for)…who knows? But all ‘m saying is that for the time being, is Disqus is still one of the freer comment thingies.

                  Clearly though, the noose is tightening, and down the road? Heck, very few places remain even now on the web where one can speak freely- and it’s not just Jewtube and Goo-ghoul and the other Nazi corps, but it seems every 15 year-old who has a forum is hungry with power and feels the need to censor what people say; how they interact; and what they should read.

                  Ultimately, this is why there exists such a lack of freedom in our world, because most people have lost all respect for the basic tenets of what define freedom. They claim to advocate it and “fight for it”, but in reality, they can’t uphold the most basic tenets of it in their own dealings, even when to do so is of no cost to them.

                  Say that you’re gonna censor and moderate a forum, and instead of most people bolting, all they do is ask if they can join in the abridgement of other’s most basic freedoms.

                  Thank goodness for Eric’s site here!

        • Hi NSF,

          No worries!

          I’d like to make a number of changes to the site, including something that would allow more freeform comments by people. But that will have to wait until I can afford a hand-built site and a person to run the thing!

      • Disqus is probably the best web comment engine at present functionality wise, IMO. It is the one that comes closest to a decent usenet newsreader. If they add some features it can get there.

        Disqus itself does not censor the comments. That’s done on the site level. I’ve never been censored by disqus but have been banished by site owners.

      • Rich, Disqus doesn’t censor- they leave it up to the owners of the sites on which it is used- They can censor, not censor, and/or use whatever standards they want.

        I was banned on MentalFloss’s Disqus comments for saying “nigger” or faggot” or something….but I can say the same things with impunity on Disqus comments on other sites.

        Disqus is nice. There’s a reply button on each comment; and all of the replies to a particular comment stay in-line under that comment. And you can edit your comments, etc.

        • Disqus does censor. I have had it happen. I wasn’t the only one on that site too. It was not the people running the site, they were just as annoyed about it as we were. They ended up dumping it after getting nowhere with Disqus.

          Maybe Disqus management itself doesn’t have an “official” policy and isn’t doing it officially, but they have employees doing it and they are looking the other way when they do it.

          Disqus also doesn’t work very well on Mac’s, Linux or mobile devices. It’s slow, memory hungry, crashes a-lot and generally sucks. And that is on top of the we don’t censor but we do anyway. It’s the adobe flash of the commenting world. I wouldn’t recommend it to Eric at all.

          Yes, wordpress sucks too. But all of them suck in some way. It’s an unfortunate problem with most computer software, they have functionality, usability, security and other problems that the industry doesn’t do anything about. The computer geeks running it all, don’t see them as problems and downplay all the concerns of users.

          • That just hasn’t been my experience, Rich. Maybe the owners of the site you mentioned didn’t have their settings configured right or something.

            And I use Linux exclusively, and Disqus works fine for me….

            Funny, how we both can have such opposite experiences.

            Try it though- go to Listverse and post something that would get you censored/banned anywhere else…

          • I’ve used it on many sites and my comments aren’t any more mainstream than they are here. If disqus itself censored I would have run into by now. Disqus is used on some sites the SJW crowd would like to see shut down.

            • Eric would save a lot of money if he implemented Disqus.

              But this following kind of comment would get him in trouble with the platform, possibly including having all his comments on the platform permanently deleted.

              No more Wop or Pollack hate speech allowed, this wouldn’t directly effect Eric’s blog, but it would be a step further down the road to totalitarian thought control, we know they’re bringing about, piece by piece.

              Innocent beef stew post that has a “hate speech” comment on it.
              https://imgoat.com/uploads/4173cb38f0/29477.jpg

              If this was on Eric’s site. Whether as a comment or a picture. Any random person on the internet could fill out a complaint form.

              Disqus Terms of Service Violation Submission Form
              https://about.disqus.com/tos-violation-submission

              Eric would have a set amount of time to delete it. And then the usual escalation process we all know on the road and everywhere else IRL and on the majority of the net.

              Could have already happened with Googuhl. Any random user can complain about any “offensive” comment they want to Googuhl adsense.

              Disqus – Our Commitment to Fighting Hate Speech
              https://blog.disqus.com/our-commitment-to-fighting-hate-speech

              This is what our review process looks like:

              Site is submitted to Disqus
              Reports are reviewed in aggregate
              Extreme violations that require action, based on Disqus’ discretion, will be escalated periodically
              Hate speech and unlawful activities take priority over other violations
              Resulting actions may include warnings, direct communication with owner of website to implement moderation improvements, temporary bans from our service, or permanent Disqus removal.

              • Tor, it’s totally up to the owner of the particular site on which Disqus is being used, as to whether or not it’s censored, or what the parameters are.

                I’ve been banned without warning from the Disqus on MentalFloss; on other sites, the comments are not posted immediately, but must be moderated first; and others, there is no censorship or banning.

                Although Mental Floss banned me, I can still post with the same ID on every other Disqus comment section. It has nothing to do with Disqus itself- it’s just what the site owner chooses to do with it.

                I’ve used every politically-incorrect word/phrase in the book on various sites Disqus comment sections, without a problem.

                It’s like when i used to have a website- I had a “Chatbox”. I simply chose to turn off moderation…and VOILA….you could say anything you wanted- the platform provider isn’t even involved.

                • Nunzio, you’re talking about Moderation done through the Site Owner’s dashboard. Probably, Disqus sites are more likely to censor, because Disqus makes it easier to do so. But I don’t think there’s a problem in that case.

                  This is a new policy for Disqus. Also for YouTube, FaceBook, and all the large social media sites responding to the EU’s new rules and up to 50 million euro fine per instance of hate speech.

                  Disqus has pledged to review comments on sites independently of the site owner if you complain directly to them.

                  I don’t think libertarians support this kind of intellectual property rights negation..

                    • Glad to see Disqus still has content that violates their TOS.

                      Isn’t it much like finding drivers on the road who speed and ignore red lights though.

                      If there was a road system fewer red lights and no speed limits, wouldn’t we all be using those?

                      WordPress is that system.

                      TOS for WordPress prohibit: Spam, adult content not marked as such, abuse content, content promoting self-harm or suicide, and copyright infringing content.

                      Now lets look at Disqus Advertising Content Guidelines: Disqus requires a broad sensibility of acceptance. Specific guidance: Content intended to provoke negativity, sensationalize or instigate will not be accepted. Explicitly negative headlines directed to a single individual or organization will not be accepted. Content that uses crass or sexually explicit language will not be accepted.

                      Content that fits any of the following criteria will not be accepted:

                      Attempts to capitalize on global, national or local crisis such as natural disasters, political unrest or social issues in poor taste

                      Defames or provokes groups or individuals on the basis of sex, race, religion, social beliefs or national origin

                      Leverages celebrity rumor or scandal in an egregious manner

                      Makes a pejorative claim about a company competitor or individual

                      Uses sexually explicit language

                      Refers to sexualized body parts or sexual or bathroom activities

                      Contains profanity or crude or off-putting slang

                      Companies and organizations operating in fields of frequent controversy may not be accepted including firearms, political advocacy, government, defense contracting, energy, tobacco and finance.

                      Disqus has a bunch of faggot cunts running things, if you ask me.

                    • Tor, my friend,

                      Why are you quoting Disqus’s “ADVERTISING CONTENT” guidelines?

                      We’re not talking about advertising content- we’re talking about user content on independent sites.

                      Admittedly, I don’t know what their TOS (if any) are for that, but I do know that since protocol varies wildly from one site to another, and that the individual sites do their own moderating if any, that Disqus doesn’t likely doesn’t monitor, much less interfere- but now that we’re discussing this,I’m going to have to look into it, just so as not to remain ignorant.

                      [And don’t say “I think it’s too late for you!” 😉 )

                    • Just like Joutube; Goo-ghoul, etc. I think the terms you’re refering to only apply if you’re monetizing the service.

  2. i apologize to you, Eric and all your readers, but each time i see something like this i laugh and think of you. seems as i approach clever hood, i jus cain’t leave ’em alone. http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-06-broccoli-sprouts-found-to-have-significant-impact-in-the-treatment-of-type-2-diabetes.html

    is this Ms. Caldwell?

    there’s a twenty snail mailing its way to you via a friend visiting us uv a.

    pancho

    p.s. fer yer info, i’ve rebuilt, from the rims up, a vw karmen ghia, rebuilt a v8 plymouth engine, lying 20 minutes at a time in january snow in missouri (took me 6 days, what with trips inside to thaw myself next to the wood stove), built myself 2 solar houses, and other unnecessary illogical things. i’ll be 65 next march, but don’t feel a day over 63. fuck it, rock on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcPq9O96qpE

    where is mr tinselly form louisiana these days?

  3. “It is an irony of our time that the car press, generally, neither understands cars nor likes them very much”…….. WELL SAID Eric…. so glad someone else noticed as well….. the whole Clarkson top gear debacle we had here in the UK was a result of this…. and his replacements on the show made it painfully unbearable to watch…… Most of the car press I hardly can find anything like the car and driver I used to read as a kid in the 80s and 90s….. which got you excited about cars and made you aspire to get one… you even learned about the technical workings of a car from them….. its just become completely utilitarian now talking about emissions, fuel efficiency, green ness, and in the end you have leasing options and tax implications of the car……..

    • Hi Nasir,

      Yup. Me too.

      I never met Brock Yates but read him with eagerness as a kid; his writing – and attitude – inspired me to get into car journalism. But by the time I began to write about cars – in the ’90s – the whole scene was changing. Guys like Yates (and Pat Bedard and now, me) are like Borat in a thong at the Vatican. When I attend media events now, I feel exactly like that. The other guys – and I use the term loosely – are for the most part urban metrosexual types whose gods are saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety and the other things you mention. They don’t wrench – and few of them have any clue how to drive – much less like to.

      Then there are the women.

      Now, I like women. But these women (per Borat) not so much. They are either stretch-pants-wearing harridans or vacuous bimbos who know nothing about cars but are insufferably arrogant. Even the good looking ones I wouldn’t fuck for this reason.

      I am a Mohican. There are not many of us left.

      • Eric, no need to exaggerate. There must be hundreds of us left who enjoyed the real car guys.

        They could bring you along on any fantasy. I recall how everyone gushed how “affordable ” the new Porsche 911 was. I had my dad read the article so excited was I. Hell, it was the perfect school car. To his credit he didn’t laugh or smirk. No doubt he and his buddies laughed their butts off in his telling about it. Thank god for guys like him. I didn’t even speak of such in front of my mother.

      • hahah – being in the field you must feel it more than I do as a reader…..!! Wrench…. i couldn’t imagine most of them popping the hood without watching a youtube video on how…. and wouldn’t dare venture to do so without filing out a health and safety checklist and getting safety googles first…….

        • Nasir, now now now we can’t hit the outhouse before getting that oh so important paperwork done And signed in all the appropriate places.

          Don’t know how many times I’ve had a safety occifer come running out, papers in hand and getting me to stop so I could read(sic)and sign those lists I neglected first thing of the day.

          Don’t know how many times I took the long way around a site just to see him get a little exercise.

          You forgot he’d begin. Naw I was here and gone before everyone else showed up. Trucker has to get everything right on the rig,then tear off to get a load before y’all show up. See all that material piled up that wasn’t there when you knocked off yesterday? Trucker fairy didn’t come in the night but old “didn’t sign the safety list “me was working while everybody else was snoozing. They expect me to be loaded ASAP, dark be damned.

      • Eric; Nasir, et al,

        What we are seeing in “journalism” (and pretty much every other field) is the result of the changing of the guard, from the writers of old- who were usually actually practitioners and or experts first and foremost about the subjects on which they wrote; and writes secondarily.

        Today, you just go and get brainwashed at the liberal college, and then show up with your “degree”, and that’s it. I’m sure they’d hire someone who doesn’t even drive to write about cars today, because all that matters anymore, is that they push the correct agenda, and use the right buzzwords….and most of all that they DON’T ever ask the real questions, or point-out the contradictions and absurdities of “the right agenda”.

        Conform to the liberal agenda; parrot the government; please the manufacturers/advertisers, and normalize the absurdities- like 6 year car loans. That’s what an automotive writer’s job is about today- and they wouldn’t hire the bestest old-school car guy (much less a Libertarian!) if they offered to work for free. It’s all about the agenda. And so with pretty much every field of endeavor these days. This is what those papers from schools are all about- they’re now nothing more than certificates saying that the bearer has been indoctrinated, and will be a good obedient slave; and is probably too dumb to ask the inconvenient questions- much less possesses the backbone to do so even if he ever does see through the BS.

  4. And? So? It’s harder to own a house than it was a few generations ago. Most homes in those days were wooden shacks that couldn’t hold up to harsh weather. Libertarians should know there’s no right to a car or a house or a nice standard of living rather you’re free to try to afford them.Clover

    • You miss the point, which is that ownership is harder in large part due to gunvermin requirements distorting the marketplace.

      • Ah……Gil, what a dolt.

        Yes, my dad’s new house built in 1960 was mausoleum quiet when 100+mph winds blew and didn’t even have roof damage.

        And 40 year older houses I’ve worked on had wood so hard a new box nail couldn’t be driven into the floor joists….just ramshackle junk…..still stilt and ingredients housing people who can no longer buy wood that good.

        The house my wife grew up in was made of old growth redwood thats almost unsawable.

        Gil must have grown up in one of those Georgia shacks they show with no roof from the 45mph wind storm…..a good day to fish or golf in west Tx.

    • Wooden shacks? Really? Maybe in the third world. Maybe on skid row. But not in most of the United States. In the 1930s the propaganda wagon got into full-on socialist dystopia in an attempt to make everyone think that the “other guy” was living in squalor because of evil capitalism, but the reality is that most of the people were able to live pretty well after the industrial revolution got going. And we still are today, although the distribution spread isn’t what it used to be thanks to the established industry maintaining the status quo through insane levels of regulatory red tape.

    • Funny, Gil- but most of the really nice homes; and a good number of buildings and structures in every major city, are well over 100 years old- and have withstood the elements just fine (e.g. Brooklyn Bridge- over 100 years old and never designed for heavy vehicular traffic- still doing just fine; Empire State Building- c. 85 years old. Much housing stock, from beautiful Victorian homes, to the majority of “taxpayers” in every city, built before 1900- and still doing just fine- at least where the niggers haven’t burnt them down.)

      Meanwhile, many buildings and structures built in the last 40 years are flimsy and falling apart. Where they used to build with brick and cast-iron and oak and real plaster…they not build with glued-together sawdust sheets; flimsy warped soft pine; sheetrock and vinyl….

      Who ever even heard of mold until just recently?

      • Most new homes are designed to have things replaced on a regular basis. Take HVAC equipment for example.

        The government wants the most “energy” efficient equipment installed everywhere, even replacing equipment that has plenty of life left on them. Back in the day (before the mid 1980’s), homebuilders would install equipment in a house, and forty years later, its still hard at work.

        My neighbor has her central a/c unit that was installed in 1970, somehow it never leaks the hard to replace coolant. It blows really cold air too. I had to replace my 1993 central a/c last year because it was shot already, and the feds had banned the coolant for it even, making it expensive to recharge ($300 a crack!). Now I have finicky crap I will be lucky to get 15 years out of. The electronics on it just don’t work right.

        My brother built his house in 2004. He is on his second set of HVAC equipment, has replaced 4 windows and needs to replace 4 more. The vinyl siding is crumbing already, so that is a huge bill coming up too. For a house not even twenty years old!

        Same thing with major appliances too. You used to buy a set once (or maybe twice)in your lifetime. Now its a once a decade thing.

        • That is so true, Rich!

          Now if you get 10 years out of something, you’re lucky- and it will almost definitely need repairs during it’s short lifespan.

          My former neighbors had a chest freezer from 1968 that was still going strong.

          Even in the 70’s when I was a kid, they had a tube-tester for customer (self-service) use in hardware stores. If you had a problem with your TV, you could pull out suspected bad tubes and take ’em down to the hardware store and test ’em, and buy replacements of the ones.

          Today, your tV breaks? Toss it out and buy a new one. I can’t quite figure out how this is “saving the earth”….

          On any given day, you can find a few hundred radios from the ’30’s and 40’s for sale on Ebay….still working.

          • Practically nobody wants to pay for the long lasting stuff. Anyone who puts a last forever product on the market will go out of business today because people will buy the other guy’s that lasts long enough.

            With today’s materials things could be built to last forever and even the good old days stuff required people to take care of it. Another thing they don’t want to do today.

            People took care of that old stuff because it was expensive. Today it’s buy and destroy it. Consume it.

            I could go on and on… but what the market wants the market gets.

            • I should condition that as selling into the consumer marketplace. Sell into a commercial marketplace it is different.

            • I don’t know about that, Brent. That’s what “they” tell us people want; and what they likely believe that people want- and to a certain extent, that may be true today, because the younger crowd doesn’t know any better- never having been exposed to the good old stuff- but I do hear a lot of people seeking durable products, and just not finding them.

              For proof, just look at the prices of old washing machines, or many other items from the built-good fix-it-easily-and-cheaply days.

              I was thinking of buying a new chainsaw. Looking around, I see the big box store ones….or for 2-3 times the price, the professional quality ones. Even if ya want to spring for the pro ones…what do ya get? They’re built slightly heavier; have a few more features and maybe a bigger engine…but other than that, they’re all the same. In fact, the expensive ones often have more crap on them to go wrong; and are more expensive to fix/buy parts for, and still have the electronics and the plastic….. Someone could easily make a rugged, easily-fixible one for less than the price of one of the pro models (Long as they don’t make it in ‘Merica)…

              LSS: I just ended up sprucing-up my old $149 Craftsman- Gave it a good cleaning; put on a new chain; gave it a tune-up; put new fuel lines, and have the kit sitting right here to rebuild the carb. Why buy a new one, and get essentially the exact same thing as what I already have? (I can’t complain. For a cheap-O saw, I’ve had this thing for 14 years and never did a thing to it, till now!)

              My sister bought a brand new washing machine a while back- Whirlpool. It was nothing but trouble- they’d never completely fix it. She ended up selling it for only $200 when it was just a year old, and went and bought a Speed Queen…no more problems.

              • There’s a world of difference between the craftsman and other china made stuff for cheap and Echo, Stihl, etc. Just look at the EPA ratings. For the later it’s 300hr for the former it can be as low as 50hr.

                Gas powered saws do not have electronics outside of the ignition module and they all have one. That’s it.

                I’ve been doing product development for a long time. Some products people will pay for and they can be made better while other products they won’t.

                The traditional retailer, distributor mark ups still apply so for every dollar more inflation makes something on the shelf at least two dollars has to be taken out to maintain shelf price.

                • Brent, those standards are for how long the thing can go before it [might] start putting out .00123% more “pollution”. Not how long they will last. (Well, for the new ones, that probably is about how long they will last…)

                  Yeah, the ignition module… when they go, might as well throw the thing away, ’cause they’re usually pretty expensive, if even still available.

                  I have been pretty lucky with relatively modern cheap stuff though. Chainsaw is 14 years old….not a ton of hours on it, but ya’d think just the age would kill ’em (as it does for many people, if they can’t/don’t know about replacing the fuel lines, and other simple things that go bad- Heck, guy where I bought new fuel lines said “That’s the problem with 90% of the equipment we get in for repairs”.)

                  My riding mower (another cheap Crapsman) I bought in ’06. I abuse the hell out of it….and use it for stuff it was never designed for (I have 28 acres, and use it to get the spots where I can’t with the tractor)…and just now the tranny is starting to get a little slow (Hydro). I made sure to get one with an engine that has pressurized lubrication, ’cause i use the mower to go across some steep slopes where i wouldn’t go with the tractor [can use my body weight/position to keep the mower from tipping] never had to fix a thing on this mower, and it’s got close to 1000 hours on it, and except for the tranny, it’s still going strong. I may just get a used tranny for it…till I can find me a used commercial-grade zero turn.

                  But I doubt any cheap mower chainsaw or mower I could buy now, would compare.

                  • Good thing about the generic Crapsman/Poulan/lower-end Husq/etc stuff is: You can get cheap generic parts ofr ’em online!

                  • So basically you’re proving my point. The mass market wants crap. They don’t want to pay for good stuff.

                    BTW The EPA compliance life is closely related to the design life of the unit. That’s the point of it. 50 hour rating means it will likely be broken and emitting zero soon there after.

                    • Oh, absolutely- the market on the whole does want crap and/or doesn’t know the difference between crap and durable built-to-last products- and it’s getting worse thanks to the mentality created by electronics/high-tech stuff that is obsolete in a year or two- so no sense making it to last, as fools will throw it away even if it’s still perfectly good, just to have the newer one; and because of the fact that most consumer purchases these days are made on impulse and funded by debt.

                      But there is a good segment of the market that wants durability…but it’s often just not to be found.

                      Over the last few years, I’ve seen several neighbors buy Stihl chainsaws…and every one of ’em is complaining.

                      The absurdly high prices of old vehicles, equipment, appliances, etc. show that there is indeed a demand for quality and durability which is not being fulfilled by current manufacturers.

                      A friend/client of mine who does business with a company which runs a large fleet of 1-ton trucks, said how they now run gas trucks, because the modern diesels have become so unreliable and so expensive to maintain and repair, while also losing a good deal of their efficiency, that they’d rather suffer higher fuel costs, ’cause it’s cheaper than messing with the modern diesels. THERE is a demand…but the market will not/can not [Uncle] satify it.

                      The EPA thing though? That may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve always used stuff way longer (Seems like they just get broken-in around the time EPA says they become “non-compliant”) but I wouldn’t doubt it a bit if the manufacturers start making them so that they do suffer major failure right around the time that they become “non-compliant”.

                      Ironically, it’s getting to the point where if you’re careful, you can actually get better stuff, with older, more durable technology by buying Chinese.

  5. The media has never been about seeking the truth; it’s all about mind control. They’re bought and paid for by the technocratic elite. What’s brilliant about this “innovative” self-driving technology and ridesharing is that the brainwashed masses will never see it as tyranny. The masses are programmed to blindly embrace anything the media considers a technological advancement. You have to admit this strategy is absolutely brilliant for creating a neo-feudalist world.

  6. The same people then sit around and wonder why people are now making crappy videos of trump kicking a CNN logo.

    Clueless morons.

  7. You are half right, Eric. The government fatwas certainly increase the price of the car over what it would have been without them. However, Edmunds is also right in that car “buyers” are demanding more and more features in the cars as well. This, sadly, is the invisible hand of the market reacting to misguided monetary policy. The government and Fed have convinced themselves, and the population, that living off debt is viable long term. Keep buying what you want today, and you’ll pay it off tomorrow. The government heavily deficit spends, and so do people, without thinking about the debt coming due.

    The government can print its way out of its own debt, you can’t. What you see is your purchasing power dropping over time due to inflation eating up your savings so that the government debt doesn’t have to be paid back. When your money loses value over time, it makes financial sense to spend it now, and pay it back later, particularly if interest rates are sub-inflation, you win!

    The problem with all this is that, over time, an increasing amount of income goes to servicing debt, eventually you can’t borrow more, and have to live within your decreasing means. That is where the bubble pops. The current bubble popping may be the biggest yet, and I’m not sure if the dollar will survive this.

    I honestly can’t believe why people accept such thieving policy from their government. The US is as bad as the Soviets were, except the US is less honest about what they’re doing. As for me, I’ve got a crap-ton of debt in my house, it was the only way to get one, meanwhile, I’m putting money away, partially into metals, for the inevitable time when hard currency will be worth a lot of fiat currency, and I will clear my fixed-rate debt easily. In the Weimar republic, farmers could pay off generations of debt by selling a single chicken when the bubble popped.

    Expensive cars are just one symptom of a much larger economic problem.

    • I want fewer features in a car. Guess that’s why I’m not “a [new]car buyer”, so I don’t count in their tallies of what people want- but if they made the kind of vehicle I’d want, I might be a “car-buyer”.

      I want large sturdy mechanically-simple vehicles; no computers; no leather seats; no air-bags; no touch-screens; no heated seats; no heated mirrors; no wi-fi; no GPS…

      Luxury to me is power windows and locks, and A/C- and those are the only luxuries I want. Vinyl floor covering. And plain old acrylic-enamel paint…none of this fancy see-your-face-in-it-better-than-in-a-mirror delicate base coat/clear coat garbage paint which peels and fades in 5 or 6 years, but is great for the impulse shopper because it looks so expensive and petty on the stealership’s lot. (Paint is becoming so expensive, it’s getting to the point where just needing paint can total-out a vehicle)

      Basically, make cars like they made ’em in the 60’s, and I’ll be a customer!

  8. I’m on vacation back in the old hometown. Yesterday I had lunch with an old friend I hadn’t seen in decades who’s selling high end cars. He said he won’t even bring up purchasing a car to his customer, only leases. There’s a pretty good enticement for leasing in that there’s really not much downside if you’re in the northeast since the mileage isn’t going to be much of a factor.

    But something else he mentioned was that he took a tour of the final assembly factory and the tour guide kept mentioning how the materials and processes are all about responsible disposal of the vehicle at the end of life. Seemed to him that keeping a vehicle drivable for a long time is no longer the priority. We’ve now gone from the disposable cars of the 1970s (with a few bulletproof exceptions) that were cheap and simple, to the “unbreakable” cars of the 1980s that run forever but more complicated to fix, now back to disposable but now complicated too. This time the planned obsolescence is marketed as a feature not a liability.

    • In europe there is a push to make manufacturers take stuff back at end of life and recycle it. That’s likely the cause behind it.

  9. One change that would make a huge difference. Anything that’s been approved for sale remains approved.

    If you want to mass produce and sell 1970 Chevelles. Go right ahead.

    Imagine all the great stuff you could still buy new.

    • It’s a great idea – which is why it’ll never be allowed.

      Hell, it’s illegal to sell (new) a car like a circa late 1990s Geo Storm. Which got better mileage than any new non-hybrid car and was cheap and fully “modern” in all the meaningful ways.

      But it emits fractionally higher exhaust emissions and it’s not “safe” as far as government crash tests and so forth.

      • I’m sure you’re right.

        It just illustrates how North Korean our situation really is. Dear Leaders run Western Economies. Not CEOs.

        Companies have no property rights in their products. Only revokable permissions.

        Nearly everybody would approve if this change were adopted. The purchasing power of money would double overnight.

        As Mark B. puts it: “The voters would demand it!”

        It hurts one’s teeth too much to laugh about it.

        • “Our Dear Leaders” running the Western Economies just had a meeting, the “G-20”. I made a joke to a co-worker (a talk show host) about the Putin/Trump meeting that they weren’t going to have their entire “posse” there. He didn’t get that to many “G” is just short for “Gangsta”…and a more accurate description of what took place in Hamburg.

  10. “Anal-ists” and butt-lickers, let’s just call them what they are. Self-serving minions of the talentless …oh that’s funny, “talentless” is not a word recognizes by the internet speak-and-spell, apparently. I’ve noticed that “couplers” is not recently , as well. Are these twats screwing with our shit (which does seem to be ok for Mr. Spell Checker)? I am really hating this electronic, moronic, culture right now. Oh, look, I have to eat my breakfast. Why can’t Big B. do that for me, too?

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