Another Reason for the Electric Car Push?

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Whenever the government is rabidly enthusiastic about something you can be reasonably sure you shouldn’t be.

Electric cars are being pushed for all kinds of reasons, none of them beneficial to us. If that weren’t the case, then it wouldn’t be necessary to push (mandate, subsidize) electric cars. They would be embraced as naturally – as freely – as a better smartphone or more-delicious (and cheaper) hamburger.

Of course, it is necessary to push them. The why gets interesting.

One of the reasons for the electric car push has to do with their very high cost. Which – if electric cars are to become mass-market cars – necessarily entails more and higher debt for the average person.

Government – and the crony capitalist “businesses” which use government to enrich themselves at our expense – love debt. And not merely because it is profitable to keep people perpetually paying – although that by itself is a tremendous motivating (and corrupting) force.

More profoundly than mere greed, debt keeps people under control. Keeps them cowed, submissive. Unlikely to rock the boat, either at work or otherwise. The man who knows the mortgage has got to be paid next month else his family may soon not have a roof over their heads is much more apt to do as he is told.

For the next 30 years, ideally. The heavier the debt load, the better . . . from a certain point-of-view.

And just like home loan debt, car debt hanging over the debtor’s head restricts and constrains. It keeps  the debtor insecure.    

There is real freedom in not having debt. Economic freedom is freedom. The person in debt is in a very real way a slave – even if his chains are financial rather than made of iron. He is compelled to work  . . . in order to pay.

He has masters whom he fears and so obeys.

If you own your home or your car – ideally both – you have far more liberty, are much less constrained. If your employer imposes a vile new policy (pee in this cup, under supervision, to prove to us that you are not a druggie) or the job is merely disagreeable, you are at liberty to quit and find a new job in a way that a debt slave never can be.

Without monthly payments, it is possible to live comfortably on not very much. This is anathema, of course, to the debt-mongers inside and outside of government.

Back to electric cars.

They are very expensive. The least pricey ones like the Nissan Leaf sticker around $30,000 to start. The majority are closer to $40,000 – including the new “affordable” Tesla. And that’s with all the subsidies; take them away and the true cost – the actual cost  – of electric cars is much, much higher.

It’s Free! For now…

This includes the currently hidden-from-the-people cost of the electricity which electric cars feed on. Note that most if not all public chargers are – for the moment – “free.” That is, subsidized by the taxpaying public. If and when electric cars ever do become mass market cars, the cost to feed them will no longer be “free.”

But for now let’s consider the cost of the electric car itself.

Because the least expensive of them have sticker prices in the same territory as non-electric entry-luxury cars from Lexus, BMW, Mercedes (and so on) most people who “buy” them have no choice but to finance them. That is, to sign up for an extended period of debt servitude – usually at least six years as this is the only way to make the monthly debt service bearable.

And even then, it’s not.

A six-year loan (72 months) on a principle of $30,000 works out – assuming zero interest – to a bit more than $400 per month. Not counting insurance and property taxes.

That represents quite a bite out of the average person’s take-home pay (what’s left after Uncle takes a chunk of said pay). A $400-per-month car payment plus another $100 or so for insurance and maybe another $100 or so for taxes is more than many people spend on food for their families every month – or not far from it.

People who are smart with their money avoid spending it unnecessarily – and a $400-per-month car payment (plus the cost to insure and the cost of taxes) is the very definition of unnecessary.

Which of course is why electric cars are non-starters except as subsidized low-production toys for the affluent.

There are numerous brand-new IC-engined cars available right now for around $15,000 or less. Half the cost of the least expensive new electric car. So, half the payment. A less onerous debt (and insurance and tax) burden.

More freedom.

One is less worried about making waves at work – or finding new work – if one is not feeling heavy pressure to make ends meet every month and just barely doing it.

Affordable IC cars allow that.

They are much less expensive to buy and so, to own. They last longer, at lower cost (no worries about having to spend thousands to replace a battery pack). A car that’s paid off after six years can reasonably be driven regularly for another 10-plus, easily.

Hence, the problem. For the money mongers and controllers.

Electric cars are, therefore, the solution. They will render the paid-off/no-debt/you-own-it/affordable car another thing about the past those of us who can remember it will mourn – like being able to board a commercial flight without having a creepy government worker run his hands up and down our legs.  

If we let them get away with it.  

The push could be stopped – if we pushed back.

Electric cars, per se, are not the problem. It is electric cars being pushed on us that is the problem. Let them compete – and succeed – on their merits. Or fail on the lack thereof.

Let people who want them buy them. Full price, no subsidies.

But leave those of us who don’t want them – or the debt that comes along for the abbreviated ride – out of it.

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  1. In your argument you neglect to consider that too many Americans (mostly Clovers) do not buy inexpensive cars. They prefer semi-luxury cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs which typically sell somewhere north of $40K. Somehow many people have justified their monthly payments for these vehicles. They don’t seem to mind being debt slaves. While I appreciate your bias against electric cars, a little balance would make your opinion more valuable. Don’t get your panties in a tangle over this. If the electric car era comes, it’ll be more like the computer and stupid phone (r)evolutions. Technology changes rapidly and the “use by” dates mandated by governments are far enough in the future that they’re basically meaningless. I’m more concerned about what this country is becoming: a fascist police state that has no qualms about reducing the population into a cowed herd of sheeple. Keeping them in debt is, as you stated, an act of slavery. Mendacity is promoted by the government and industry (and the internet). It’s become part of the national DNA. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes a perceived truth.

    • Hi John,

      It’s certainly true that many people buy $40k cars. The difference, though, is that the cost of IC cars is real while the cost of EV cars is massively under-reported due to the subsidies. A $40k truck actually costs about that much to build an sell at a profit to the manufacturer. The $40k EV, on the other hand, is “sold” at a loss. If it needed to earn a profit, its MSRP would likely be $60K or even higher.

      Not counting the cost of infrastructure.

  2. Interesting thing about electric cars:
    Did anyone see the news about people trying to evacuate Florida is their electric cars.
    Most didn’t get very far.
    There was a story about Tesla owners getting a “boost” so they could use more of the available power in the batteries. By internet connection, no less.
    Gee! I really want someone having instant contact with my car 24/7.

    • Ha! Yeah…the software-controlled internet car…… I guess when the majority don’t give enough of a dman about their privacy and autonomy that they’d use censored spyware like Facebook to communicate…..I guess they just don’t care.

      I wonder how much lifespan will be shortened on those batteries which were allowed to deplete more fully via remote control?

  3. Simply spot fuckn on Eric! It is all social engineering and social engineering is the bane of humanity. A usury based economy is nothing less than slavery masked by “The Law!”.

    • Hear hear skunk, you summed it up succinctly in a single sentence. But I’d add, it is a bit more than that. It’s more of what the black guy in Platoon said to the hero “It’s rich people fucking poor people. It’s always been that way and it always will be”. But now the rich rule on a global basis and people in this country don’t even hear themselves bleating as they pay for the latest folly.

  4. Wondering aloud: Electric cars enjoy subsidies, some seen and some not seen, by the taxpayer.

    First, there’s a subsidy in the form of a tax break on the purchase price. I’m all for tax breaks for anyone, but in reality this isn’t actually a tax break. It’s simply transferring wealth from taxpayer to the car company. Imagine, for example, a $1 million dollar electric car with a subsidy, by way of tax break, of $999,999,999. The manufacturer gets paid $1 mil up front at time of purchase. The buyer has to front the $1 mil, but he quickly gets it back and effectively only pays $1.00 total for the car. One must then ask where the remaining $999,999,999 came from.

    Second, there’s the aforementioned “free” electricity. This one is dying out slowly. In many communities, it’s becoming too expensive for the local governments to subsidize fully the cost of electricity to recharge the cars while the owner is shopping at Whole Foods, etc. More and more they are being asked to pay a nominal fee to offset the cost. Now bear in mind that the costs include not only the electricity, but the cost of the land being used for these charge stations, the cost of maintaining and repairing the stations, the cost of installation of the stations in the first place, etc.

    Third, there’s the low interest loans provided to manufacturers to develop the cars in the first place. Since these are not market-based loan originations, any difference between what interest is actually charged vs. what would be charged in a free market is simply a subsidy by the taxpayer. In fact, since the loans are backed by the government(s), the loaning institutions are able to artificially lower the rates even more b/c if the company goes out of business, they still get paid in full by the government. They couldn’t care less about the success of the company. They have no skin in the game.

    Fourth, there’s the grants to the companies for “green” technologies (electric cars are anything but green, with their highly toxic batteries, expensive and environmentally raping building materials, polluting electrical generation sources, etc.). This is bold-faced theft from the taxpayer.

    Fifth, there are all the other tax incentives, low-cost land and zoning deregulations, etc. offered by local, state, and federal sources to attract the building of this or that part of the manufacturing process in this city or that.

    In short, electric car manufacturers are the kings of crony capitalism right now. It’s like some sort of sick joke. It would be very difficult, however, to total up these costs that are unseen or difficult to uncover and calculate, on a per-car basis, so it’s hard to say just how much more expensive an electric car would be on a per-car basis if they had to compete on equal footing in a free market. What’s worse, where most internal combustion powered cars have to face high hurdles to manufacture in the form of regulations that drive up costs, government at all levels is actively lowering regulations and barriers for electric car manufacturing. You’d also have to factor in the excess costs applied to non-hybrid IC powered cars and add that to the electric car cost.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the real cost per unit of an electric car is 3x the MSRP when compared to a comparable IC powered car (e.g., a Chevy Bolt vs. a Chevy Cruze).

  5. They can get their electric cars charged for free??? There was some government deal a while back where they offered people this deal where the government would pay the first $5k, and a bunch of people went out and bought golf carts. There’s a bunch of people around here that drive them. Can people hook up their golf carts to these free electrical charge stations?

  6. We are closing in on a decade of financial repression of savers. It is clear that debt is desired. Hand to mouth. A return to the human mean of serfdom. Everything ultimately goes to that end best I can tell.

    They want it to be a choice between debt serfdom, being tied to the system in other ways, and outright poverty living on lower wacker drive.

    • Agreed.
      Saving is never wrong. In fact it is the ideal policy for any rational person. The only issue is what is being saved. Only a fool “saves” the value of what he/she has earned in “money”. Food, water, guns and ammo are the basis of survival in a world designed for hellbent destruction.

  7. You got it, Eric! Being debt-free is a major part of being FREE!

    Glad I figured that out when I was just a kid (Thanks to a mother who grew up during the Great Depression!)- I’ve lived my entire life without debt, and have thus known a greater amount of freedom than anyone I know. -Including never being shackled to a 9-5 job.

    Re: Chargers being free for now: Yep. In Europe, you put your credit card in the slot to charge. Won’t be long before it’s that way here. (And well it should be, as nothing is “free”- other people are just made to pay for it)

    Re: Detestlas [Teslas]: I just learned that Tesla doesn’t want you renuilding their totaled vehicles. They actually deactiviate the car’s ability to super-charge [fast charge] once it is totaled, so if someone rebuilds it, even if they can make it operational, it’ll essentially be useless/only for local use/worth squat, as it will only slow-charge. Pretty scary that they can remotely communicate with the cars…..

    Once again, we are seeing a reality which makes Orwell’s 1984 look mild by comparison.

    • Nunzio, “…I’ve lived my entire life without debt…”

      Salute to you sir! Nothing but respect on this alone. May I ask though, were you ever married?

      • AHahahahaha!!! You’re a wise man, Skunky! Nope…never married! And ain’t that the truth? What do people go into debt for? A fancy house, and new cars; jewelry; furniture; and keeping-up-with-the-Jones’s upgrades to the windows/kitchen/bathroom.

        Where’s the value in that relationship? That nasty old cooter (and the big mouth and ever-expanding body that comes with it) certainly ain’t worth being a slave for, for the best years of your life. And as for companionship, ya get better from dogs.

  8. Once saw a Nissan Leaf at a dealership on the east side of the Metro Kansas City Area. After a quick calculation I realised that, given the range of this machine, and the time to recharge, it would take me two days to drive home to the west side of Metro KC. The politicians pushing electric cars have no idea how real people use cars in the real world.

    Last fall I saw a Gem mini-pickup on the campus of a medium size university in Topeka. In such a setting such a vehicle might make sense. If it never leaves the campus or only goes for an occasional jaunt to the nearby downtown, it can be garaged every night and recharged by morning. But I would not want to try to reach the next campus in Lawrence, even if the Gem could reach turnpike speeds.

    • Hi Patrick,

      I think they do know… and that’s the scary thing. Just as they knew that air bags were (are) dangerous. We must lose this idea that thy – the bureaucrats, pols and technocrats – mean well. They do not. They are breaking-eggs-to-make-omelettes people. They believe they are our lords and masters, know best – and it’s our role to submit and obey.


        Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:

        First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

        Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

        The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

        “…in many cases the least competent, least smart people are promoted, simply because they’re the ones you don’t want doing actual work. You want them ordering the doughnuts and yelling at people for not doing their assignments—you know, the easy work. Your heart surgeons and your computer programmers—your smart people—aren’t in management. That principle was literally happening everywhere.”

        The stated goal of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is to “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes.” The best way to do that is to teach people how to drive, that is to make sure they have a real understanding of physics, lots of practice and hands on experience in controlled situations and simulations for the inevitable weather and other hazardous events. One of the primary reasons we have seen real reductions in airline crashes is thanks to the full immersion simulator that airlines require their pilots to visit annually. If the NHTSA were really interested in reducing the number of accidents on the highways they’d take the millions of dollars of funding they receive for airbag studies and other non-safety functions and put them to development of vehicle simulators that can be scaled and adapted for the millions of automobile drivers. Instead we get airbags and giant a-pillars, no back windows (and backup cameras), and automation. None of these changes have done much to improve safety or make a real reduction in number of highway deaths per mile driven, but there you go. If they actually made a difference then maybe we wouldn’t need them.

        • Ready, that seems to be a trait of human behavior. It applies to organized religion, as well. You see the EXACT same scenarios play out in churches. A church can completely change it’s doctrines, so that it’s stances on many issues are the diametric opposite of what they were yesterday….and yet a large percentage of the congregants will go right along with it- believing the diametric opposite coming out the doors, of what they believed an hour earlier going in, because they are devoted to the cause and or the organization.

          Some will be disturbed and be reluctant to change, but will do so anyway, because their belief in “the church” is like their belief in government; they believe they have an obligation to serve the institution above all else, even if it means transgressing their own conscience or the Word of God.

          Then you have the rare few who will get up and walk out. They are the true believers, who will not worry about their position in the eyes of other men who have proven themselves illegitimate, and who will even endure negative consequences.

          Only in the “church” of state, since the state has a monopoly, there is nowhere for the principled to go- they are just forced out, and that is the end. So you have the very worst at the top….and the very worst at all others levels, down to the janitor.

          • The state’s goal is to replace religion.

            Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people – Karl Marx

            In the Marxist view religion is a salve for the worker’s soul, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that never ends. No wonder that the progressive state was all too happy to replace it with welfare and demigod politicians. The old 1984 cliche is that it wasn’t enough for Wilson to accept Big Brother, he had to love him as he would God.

            But religion only threatens us with the unknown in the afterlife. The state can threaten us with tangible harm.

              • Morning, Skunk!

                Brent made the excellent observation/quip that the problem with a collective is someone has to run it. The problem with Marxism – the subtle lie at the heart of it – is the idea that (somehow) there will be no conflict over material things because everyone will share and share alike. It is a crashing imbecility, but people fall for it – and other people exploit that.

                • And the idjits don’t seem to wonder what happens after the wealth of the rich is looted and squandered (Wealth which never could have been created under Marxism). Then what, since no such wealth can be created under Marxism? Then it becomes, as Winston Churchill said “The equal sharing of misery”.

                  It’s funny- but any time you get people advocating the robbery of others via a coercive system- whether it be “democracy” or Marxism, or whatever- these people who are not constrained by morality, never seem to realize that legalizing the robbery of those whom they want to despoil, ultimately is also legalizing the robbery of themselves and their children- whether it be the taking of anything they might manage to acquire, or merely the preventing of them from ever acquiring any wealth because of the oppressive system which they have advocated and enabled.

                • Never trust a man (or system) that promises to give you something he himself does not have.

                  The problem with robbing Peter to pay Paul is that eventually everyone becomes Peter while only a select few becomes Paul.

                  • THAT, my friend, is authoritarian-collectivism in a nutshell: People delegating rights which they themselves do not even possess, because robbery can not be a right.

                    Basically, every form of government is predicated upon robbery. The only difference between them, is the degree of robbery, and whether they openly advocate it, or try and couch it in euphemisms.

                    If people advocate and enable a system based upon robbery, they are defacto thieves.

                    And so in a “democracy”, if government is the “will of the people”, it’s only natural that all politicians and institutions will practice robbery.

  9. There’s opportunity to hoist them on their own petard. Here’s how:

    The subsidized, overpriced Nissan Leaf is dirt-cheap used. It does not hold that value at all. $30K new? Try $4K used. Okay, there’s danger of paying thousands for a battery pack. But it might have higher capacity, so the car could be improved. And today’s CVTs and 18-speed automatics are not rebuildable, so if one goes on you at 100K miles, it’s either ditch the car, which is otherwise good, or pay $7K for a new tranny. Same level of risk, I figure. By not having debt right now, it’s easy to buy a sub-$5K car without a loan.

    Would I drive a used Nissan Leaf as my only car? No way. But I’m going to need a 3rd car for the family in the coming year or two. All of a sudden, it has potential. And I figure California will probably start subsidizing electricity for those who drive electric. How else are they going to meet their electric targets? Then, the advantages will be impossible to ignore.

  10. The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is just why these things are so expensive. An electric car basically has one moving part, the motor shaft. Yes, there’s a reduction gearbox, but it is much simpler than the 8- 9- and even 10-speed transmissions in an ICE. Take away the electronic doodads in the dashboard (which are basically just $100 Android tablets) and you’ve got a pretty simple machine. Even the electronics controlling the drivetrain aren’t especially expensive or difficult to mass produce.

    OK so it’s the battery pack. But lithium batteries are produced by the billions already, and more factories are coming online all the time. Creating a battery pack isn’t all that difficult, we’ve been doing it in various ways for over 2 centuries (the Volt is so named because Alessandro Volta put a ganged battery together in 1799), maybe not for high speed locomotion, but just about every battery above 1.5 Volts is actually several cells ganged together.

    Maybe Wall Street wants a big margin on sales? Perhaps, because they see that the adoption rate is going to be low for decades or more despite the real advantages of using an electric as a city or second car (or primary daily driver for commuting to work if your commute is under 50 miles or so). Or maybe it’s just a pure distortion of the market by Uncle in order to get people to produce the things. Again, I think there is a use case for them, just not at the ridiculous prices we see today.

    Or maybe, just maybe, they actually should be much more expensive than the “equivalent” ICE vehicle. When the PC was introduced to the world one of the complaints was that the “machine cycle” cost was 10X more than the same processing power on a mainframe. Of course they missed the point of having a computer on your desk vs having a terminal connected to a mainframe, namely that you could load whatever software you wanted on the thing and not have to live with the applications provided by the mainframe priests. It wasn’t fast, but it was yours.

    To me the appeal of an electric vehicle is that you can charge it from your home and that you have a very large battery you’re carrying with you all the time that can be used for operating other electric powered devices. This is something that never comes up in the marketing, which is all focused on overcoming objections about distance traveled per charge and quick charging and worries about being stranded. In my mind until these companies quit focusing on the objections and the dubious benefit of saving the world they’ll never be successful.

    Imagine being at a job site with no power but you have an electric vehicle. Instead of having to have a separate generator you can tap your electric vehicle’s battery pack and run small electric hand tools or an air compressor. The (comparatively) small load of a handsaw wouldn’t reduce your travel distance much if at all, and besides if you’re less than 50 miles or so from home you’ll probably have enough juice to get back to the garage anyway. Or if you’re worried about losing charge, bring along solar panels and trickle charge the battery pack while working. Maybe it still won’t be a viable solution for those of us out in the woods, but there are still millions of people who could benefit from something like that.

    And what about a modular hybrid concept? Pure electric for around town, but a generator on a small trailer when you want increased distance. A flat 4 or even something interesting like a turbine would be small enough to keep the size and weight down and be able to provide a large amount of power to keep a vehicle moving. Yes there will be some hazards for stupid people who don’t learn how to connect power cables and umbilicals but if that’s all that is holding back the idea we’re all screwed anyway.

  11. The other reason why “they” want everyone in debt is that our money today is based on debt. The more people borrow, the more dollars are created by the banks’ fractional reserve money machine. The same happens in reverse. If people start paying off their debts, then the money supply shrinks.

    In today’s economy People in Debt = Gold.

    • Hi David,

      Yes, exactly!

      A person who lives reasonably and works full-time from his early 20s onward should be able to “retire” – no longer have to work – by his early 50s. And, thereby, have decades of enjoyable life left to pursue the things that are of interest to him.

      But because at least a third to half of his income is stolen in direct taxation, he is forced to work well beyond 50, usually not retiring before he is at least in his middle 60s and (for today’s crowd) probably not until at least age 70.

      So, Uncle steals more than money.

      He steals our time…

      • If you’re lucky enough to work for Uncle you can still enjoy retirement at 50. And while you work you don’t need to do much either.

        Another luxury of days gone by is the concept of working for a few years and then taking time off for other activity, call it a sabbatical if you like. Many people put themselves though college by working in factories for a few years, then paying tuition for a few years, then going back, etc. Or work for 5 years or so, then live off the savings, work a side hustle, or some other task like spending 6 months in another country.

        Today we call this the “gig economy” but it is a shell of the former. Back in the day you might get a lot of experience doing varied tasks. One year might be spent at a factory, another in sales or working in a machine shop. Still later after getting a degree doing mental work. This mixing of experience meant employers got very good workers who have good problem solving skills because of the variety. Today problem solving is a skill that is largely gone, so work has to be dumbed down to the extreme. The big thinkers call this specialization and imply that work has become so difficult that people cannot possibly conceive of the whole, unless you’re one of the elites (again with specialized training in high-dollar universities).

        While I’ll agree that without a disciplined mind or natural curiosity being able to see across tasks to know the whole is difficult, it’s not impossible for one of average intelligence if he understands the simple parts that make up the complex systems. But the assembly line “anyone with a pulse” standardization of human resources these days is going to be the end of us.

      • Financial repression of savers has made earning one’s way to safe retirement practically impossible. It’s play the market and eventually end up the greater fool and start over or never make it.

        The only way out is to time the crashes and get out at the right times.

        • Hi Brent,

          Another option is to downscale. At some point, I will probably sell my place and use the proceeds to buy a smaller place outright and use the leftover to live on. Not a van down the river, but a cabin in the woods, that sort of thing. It’s doable for someone like me – single guy, no kids. But even so, it represents a diminution of condition…

          • Having some space of our own/distance from any neighbors is another thing that goes a long way to keep us free. I’m a minimalist in many ways….but give me acreage! (a singlewide on it to live in is just fine); and gimme a 8000 lb. vehicle to drive! I’ll economize everywhere else- nothing else makes that big a difference in lifestyle….but like Bing Crosby sang….”Gimme land, lots’a land, under starry skies…”


        • The FED is hanging us on a cross of GDP growth:

          Nothing new for anyone paying attention of course. Once again the white shoe boys have convinced Washington that they are the economy and the rest of us don’t matter. The FED dare not increase interest rates to something closer to the market rate for debt, because it will kill the over-bought and over-leveraged stock market.

          Ignoring the morality of putting taxpayers and property owners up as collateral, 5-7% interest on guaranteed bonds is a pretty reasonable assumption in a free market. But when the FED keeps playing their foolish games all that goes out the window. And we all take it in the shorts. What the hell is wrong with these idiots? Do they not bother to read their own reports? Do they not see that everyone around them has grey hair? Or that 10,000 people A DAY are turning 65, and will be for the next 15 years or so? If those people aging out have a 401(k) they should be safely in bonds and CDs by now, earning a nice return on safe investments, but instead they have to stay in high risk mutual funds with “rock star” mangers throwing the (loaded) dice on growth companies. And of course they’re still working, not just because they “haven’t saved enough” or because they “feel fulfilled by their work,” but because they can’t get a good ROI or feel safe that it will be there when the fed f***s up the system again.

          And since they’re still working, that means their kids and grandkids aren’t moving up the ladder. You guys might think that’s a good thing considering the attitudes of the millennials, but then again the boomers figured out capitalism pretty quickly when they got a taste of it.

  12. I have a 10 year old VW and a 20 year old Tahoe. There’s a part of me that would really like to upgrade my old Tahoe to a newer model (and one that doesn’t leak oil), but I’ve gotten used to not having car payments and I’ve done the math…it’s far cheaper to fix the old beaters than to replace them. The only thing that may finally make me upgrade is rust. Both my cars were bought when I lived down south, but now up here in the north country the cars are starting to show signs of corrosion.

    I hate debt. I’m still paying for my past mistakes, and I’ll likely be paying for another 10 years. If all goes well, I’ll hit retirement without debt…but not much else. With the cost of property taxes, I’ll probably have to sell the house. Or keep working well into my twilight years. I’m pissed that, even though I’ve avoided contact with all government programs since I left college in my sophomore year, I’ll most likely have to sign up for old age welfare because the government has destroyed the private market for health care. After a lifetime of proudly supporting myself, and paying about 3/4 of a million dollars in taxes, I’ll be on the dole. Thanks, gov, for all your help.

    • Hi Ron,

      Your story is my story…

      I have a 2002 Nissan pickup that I plan to drive for at least the next 10-15 years and – assuming rust doesn’t eat it alive – I will rebuild the drivetrain as necessary rather than “invest” in $30,000-plus of debt for a new truck.

      Like you, I’ve avoided all of Uncle’s “help” so far – but Uncle has shorn me of so much of my money that I will likely have to work until I croak in order to keep a roof over my head and kibble in the cupboard.

      If I had all the money Uncle has stolen from me for just Socialist Insecurity I could retire, today – and live on the principal/investment income.

      If Uncle would simply stop stealing from me from this day forward – and in return, I would gladly forfeit any claim to “benefits” – I could live easily on not much. Instead of working like a Filipino whore, I could write at my leisure and would have time for other things…

      • At some point they will be using violence to make us work. Why? Because not only is there a huge tax liability looming they want to add things like Bernie Sanders’ health care plan. The tax rates will become so progressively steep that making more than about 50K/yr will be taxed to the point it isn’t worth the time to work. People will quit working so much in mass. That’s when the force will come out to make us work full time.

        • Hey BrentP, I was thinking the same thing years ago when Bill Clinton started talking about “workfare”, i.e. working, or doing something for that check they were all getting every month. The next thing I noticed were these Presidential scribblings where they proclaim that even if there’s no catastrophic attack, or environmental disaster, etc., the government has the power to force anyone in “transportation, agriculture, etc. etc.” to work for basically nothing if necessary. This is why I’m really beginning to see that leaving the Plantation is preferable to fixing the Plantation. Even so, there were some pretty nice plantations down in the south for quite a while until they were destroyed by uncle Sam.

      • A guy I am aware of via a Maverick/Comet group just posted he purchased 18 Mavericks and comets and thirty something pintos and bobcats out of some southern junkyard. Sounds like about half will be parted and the other half will be returned to the road.

        • Morning, Brent –

          That is happy news!

          About 10 years ago, I could have bought a nice (and original V8) Maverick for about $2,500…. idiot that I am, I didn’t jump on it.

          • Pintos; Mustang II’s {LOL]….with all the GOOD old cars out there, I don’t understand why people are choosing the bottom-of-the-barrel turds. What’s next? Pacers, Le Cars and Fiats?

            Sometimes waxing nostalgic has the effect of acting as turd polish 🙂 but if ya actually had to drive some of these bottom-of-the-barrel jalopies, ya’d quickly remember just how bad they were. Too many good old cars out there to waste time and money on the turds.

            I think it’s just that the turds are the only things left that haven’t been exploited- i.e. that ya can still get cheap- so the people who still have ’em are making a last-ditch effort to cash in on the classics craze- but that won’t last long with those cars- once a few people start driving ’em, and remember what crap they were.

            In case you guys need a refresher: [Warning! May induce vomiting]

              • Trouble is, in many cases, the bodies were far worse than the mechanicals…..

                Most of the mechanicals weren’t too bad, once ya stripped off all the emissions BS and such.

                Most of the full-size cars from that era weren’t bad- it’s just the hastily-downsized abortions that were made to compete with the Japs and deal with the “oil crisis” were just hastily cobbled together.

                Ironically, I rather like the old Dusters, with the Slant-6’s…..I used to even own one- I’d crank the oldies… I’d crank the oldies in it- I was the teenage predecessor of Al Bundy I tells ya!

                • The body rust is primarily due to the coatings of the era and poor seam sealing. When you take the car down to bare metal you can solve that problem.

                  Price point did a lot of nasty things to those domestic RWD subcompacts. But none of that is a problem in restoration or restomod for these cars. Nobody cares if it is factory perfect.

                  The cars suffered from poor materials and poor build quality primarily along with the emissions systems of the era. Some design issues here and there. All of it fixable today.

                  • True, Brent- but I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind putting the time and money into doing a real resto on those things…. It’d be like someone restoring a Dodge Neon or an ’86 Escort- what’s the point?

                    • Morning, Nunzio!

                      The difference is the Neon and Escort are FWD and have computers – the old Pintos Chevettes, etc. were RWD and didn’t. They are vastly simpler to repair and maintain – including a complete rebuild of the drivetrain, which can be done for literally a few hundred bucks assuming a good core and a competent home mechanic.

                    • Technically true, Eric (I HATE front-wheel drive!)- but those cars were essentially just the RWD predecessors of Escorts and Neons… They weren’t made to last; you wouldn’t want them to last, because they were (like the Escorts, et al) just transportation appliances- You drove ’em, and when they needed a major repair, you junked ’em…just like a Neon, because you were happy to get rid of ’em, and get something else.

                      Now, a transportation appliance from the 60’s, like a Falcon or (69’a)Comet or Fairylane or Nova or Rambler….they were worth fixing; they would still be better after 20 years than a Pinto would be after 20 MONTHs.

                      Believe me Eric…if yopu had been around when Pintos and Shove-ettes were common, you wouldn’t look so favorably upon them. (Although even the Chevette can’t be classed with the Pinto. The Shove-ette may’ve been slow and boring…but it was a solid car, and would run reliably and economically for many years)

              • I think any of us who are old enough to have been around when those turds were current, remembers how bad they were. There was literally nothing good about them. They were fugly; they rusted like a ’75 Chevy truck; they weren’t particularly comfortable or attractive; they got crappy mileage, considering their small size; they tended to blow up when hit in the rear; they never ran good, from the day they were new…

                I was too young to drive back then, but I remember adults around me who bought them new- and they HATED them in short order. The Pinto seemd like an old bomb when it was a few months old.

                The Vega seems to get more negative press (My Uncle bought one of those, new…didn’t have it long) but the Pinto was every bit as bad- maybe worse- at least the Vegas ran good for 30 or 40K miles. My best friends parents had a Pinto…I NEVER remember that thing running right from day one. It NEVER seemed like a new car…it sputtered and spit and backfired, and looked like it was 15 years old before it was a year old.

                Truly one of the worst cars ever made. I can’t think of anything good to say about it.

                • I knew a lot of people with Vega’s and drove nearly all of them. Nothing to brag about but those that had the oil and filter changed…..every year or so seemed to last well to about 100K miles. Then the transmissions(manual) would have shifter problems. One thing that kills cars like that is no maintenance. Doesn’t make a difference what make it is, lack of maintenance will do in any car. I knew people with 50,000 miles on their car that had never changed the oil. For god’s sake, gimme a break. Pinto, Vega, Cadillac, makes no difference what the badge is, doing nothing but driving them won’t serve you well. I recently saw a tear down on a Cummins ISC in a big rig. It had almost 956,000 miles on it and showed no wear on pistons, rings, main bearings and cylinder walls. Camshafts measured out at new spec. The only problem was a coolant leak on a injector cup. It would have gone much further just by adding water and probably gone on a great deal further with same Bar’s leak in it. It was an owner operator and he knew coolant didn’t just disappear. A new head and he was back in bidness again. I’ve driven ISC Cummins engine with that kind of mileage that never used a drop of oil and pulled like crazy. And well kept engines of all sorts will last a long time. Years ago eric and I had an argument about Amsoil. I was a died in the wool Amsoil devotee and he gave me shit to make a case for Amsoil. All I needed to do was send him to their page of tests of every oil on the market. They couldn’t by law, and wouldn’t because they didn’t want to get sued by other oil supplieirs for making false claims. About a decade ago I was watching a NASCAR race and a Mobil 1 ad came on. Mobil 1, it said, the best engine oil you can buy. I was sorta stunned since it hadn’t been long since I had looked at the latest results of their oil testing and Mobil 1 was still way down the list from Amsoil. In fact, Mobil took Amsoil to court to prevent them from publishing their 4 ball bearing test on Mobil, a test Amsoil blew away all the competition. It was, in fact, the test Mobil had a problem with and we’ll never know what it showed but it couldn’t have been good or they would never have taken Amsoil to court. In a way, it was a big win for Amsoil in that stating they couldn’t publish the 4 ball bearing tests for Mobil but they were happy to do so for Amsoil. Of course you have to be somebody like me who lives and dies in their business from these tests. The big deal is to never let the public know about any of this stuff. Just this year Amsoil tested an oil(dammit, I forgot the brand, some new stuff)that bested slightly Amsoil’s figures in their entire tests. That’s another reason I’ll continue to use Amsoil. Some day, I might switch to that other brand(damn, wish I could remember the name)after it out performs Amsoil for a few years. I’m not saying it can’t be done. Can it be done and have enough advantage to warrant switching? I don’t know but I’ll try to run down thoes specs in testing and keep and eye out for it all. Let me get back to the Cummins engine though. The owner said he’d always substituted a gallon of GL4 or GL5 lubricant(80=90W gear oil)for a gallon of Rotella T. His main bearing measured the same as new ones. There was virtually no wear on the pistons skirts. The cams had no wear a caliper would show. I’m watching this closely. If a gallon of GL 4 switched for a gallon of Rotella T will show and engine with virtually no wear on nearly a million milles I’m damned sure going to be watching it. I had one thought through all of this……what if he’d been using Amsoil synthetic 15-40W all the engine’s life? Don’t get bogged down in knocking engines and such when you have no idea how they’ve been treated. I’d bet not 1 out of a 1000 owners of Pinto’s and Vega’s service their cars as they should have and used a premium lubricant. I won’t try to address pieces and parts falling off them since that is almost a sure sign of owner abuse. But logs of engine oil changes and filters means more than anything. Ask yourself, Do people who buy Pinto’s and Vega’s service their vehicles like people who buy more expensive vehicles do? I’ve seen old Mustangs with 50,000 miles on them and never an oil change. Want to bet what their problem will be down the long road? I’ve seen 10 year old cars that have never been serviced, cars that only had oil added when the oil light came on. I had a guy call me and say his oil light on his used Suburban came on and he was scared to drive it on to my house. I knew he was only a few miles away from a town with lots of parts stores and told him to let it cool and ease it into that town. A couple hours later he said he made it into that town and had the oil and filter changed and the light went off and it ran fine. I asked him how long it had been since it was serviced. He said he had never serviced it and had no idea of what the previous owner had done. I can tell you right now that the amount of miles on that road hog told me the previous owner had changed the oil now and again and probably regularly. It was only a dumbass who’d drive one as if it didn’t need maintenance that caused the problem. Now I’m considering using some synthetic GL 5 in with my Amsoil for an engine oil. But the fact is, the Z 71 I have had that valve train noise when I bought it and had recently been changed. I immediately changed both oil and filter for Amsoil and that clickety upper end sound the variable valve timing GM engines develop has almost gone completely away. What does it tell you about Amsoil? My wife’s 3.1 Cutlass developed an upper clicking somewhere N of 100K. I changed it to Amsoil synthetic 0W-30 premium oil and it runs and sounds fine now with over 280,000 miles. So you think there’s little difference in oil? You think there’s no advantage to synthetic? Go ahead, don’t use it, keep the price down for me. Make my day. I always urged my friend to buy Ford pickups. Some would scratch their heads and say they had never seen me drive a Ford pickup. Exactly, the more pickups Ford sells, the less my GM’s will cost. I don’t want to argue about that. Think what you will. Buy a Ford…..please.

                  • 8, All the maintenance in the world wouldn’t keep the heads on a Vega from leaking and warping (Not to mention all the oil leaks the cars were prone to). Many a Vega head blew at 30-40K miles. Not to mention thatc the freaking cars would rust before they’d even leave the dealerships.

                    They were pretty nice to ride in though- felt modern and comfortable- especially compared to the Pinto. The Pintos felt REALLY cheap and were uncomfortable- even for a skinny 12 year-old.

            • Pacers had their good points. They were comfortable, roomy for their size, and since they used a standard AMC drivetrain (mostly 6 cylinder, some V8s) they were reliable. Of course they were gas hungry and very slow with the emission-choked engines of the era. Biggest problem was the long inline six being shoehorned under the short hood that was intended for a Wankel rotary engine. This made it a royal PITA to work under the hood.

              BTW, I drive the sedan version of the “vomit inducing” refresher that you linked to. It will definitely, positively never win any beauty constests. But it has provided over 40 years of reliable transportation, is comfortable and easy to maintain, and over the decades has required little in the way of repairs beyond normal maintenance. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


              • True, anout those Matadors, Jason. They were indeed simple and bulletproof. Kinda makes up for the looks. Yours is actually not bad looking- it’s just those guppy-faced ones like I posted that were really hideous.

                AMC had some good stuff before they went out of business- The Concord and Eagle pretty darn good- Ironically, they finally get it right…then they go out of business!

                Love or hate the Pacer….it was a Rolls Royce compared to the Pinto!

          • I went through the posts best I can gather:
            14 Falcons.
            18 Mavericks and Comets.
            36 Pintos and Bobcats.
            1 Galaxie for himself.
            Added to his current inventory of 54 Maverick and Comets.

            The pintos & bobcats aren’t my style but the rest are my kind of crazy.

            Some will be parted, some restored and sold, some used to reverse engineer to make new panels.

            • Morning, Brent!

              When (if) I get a little breathing room, money-wise, I intend to buy a ’70s-era RWD car for all the reasons we discuss here. For regular use – not like my garage queen TA. I am leaning toward a sedan as these cost less and are more practical but would be very pleased with a mid-sized coupe, such as a Delta 88/Caprice or similar.

              I agree with you that the price of these is going to uptick soon as more and more people start reverting to them – not as collectibles but as affordable transportation.

              • Eric, I like the Caddys from that era, too. The last of the good old Caddys. Might wanna hem in mind if ya like ’em at all, as they can still be had cheap. Late 70’s De Villes were tits, and very practical- could even get decent MPGs.

                • Nunzio, I had a 77 coupe, and a 71 Calais, but I don’t remember either one of them getting decent MPG. The Calais had a 472 cu. in. motor.

                  • Depends on the year and the motor, Teo. 71′ and 72’s were the WORST!

                    My sister’s friend had a 78 Coupe’D, and I had an ’81, and they both got high teens, mixed city/highway. (Mine I had picked up for junk, for $75- only had it a few months and the cam went bad- HT4100, so I junked it. A few years earlier, I coulda bought my sister’s friend’s 78 for around a grand….I regret not doing that- it was an awesome car! Didn’t have much wear, as my sister’s friend was a Rea Perlman look-a-like, in both size and looks….so it was like the car had no payload!)

              • Probably discussed this before but if I were to go carb era GM full size for daily transportation I would go with an early 80s Olds delta 88 or 98 with the 307 V8. Yes, computer controlled Q Jet. I may alone but having torn into one it simplifies the Q Jet. Mixture control is done by the computer with solenoid and O2 sensor. Like everything else about the 307 and transmission that gets knocked by people it’s because it doesn’t lend itself to modification. It’s fine for what it was built to do.

                Fuel economy should be ‘decent’ somewhere in the mid-high teens all around.

                • I guess iffin ya take the time and trouble to figure out the Q-jets, to where you become proficient with them, like you and Eric, they could be pretty sweet. They’re just a nightmare to the uninitiated, like myself. I never took the time to learn about them, since they were obsolete by the time I was getting into cars, and thus didn’t seem to justify the trouble, unless ya owned a vehicle that had one.

                  A lot of carb shops back then couldn’t even do a decent rebuild or tuning of a Q-jet.

                  Today, I wouldn’t let ’em scare me. If I had to, I’d just take the plunge and get competent with ’em….it’d kinda be worth it just for the bragging rights….

                    • …..and I’d imagine, considering the vintage, it must be analog- so I’ll bet ya could troubleshoot anything electrical on it with a mere multimeter!

                      Like, just the right mix of electro-mechanical to work well, and yet be easy to diagnose and repair.

                      That’s legitimate technology: To simplify and make efficient. Too much of the crapola today does just the opposite.

  13. Eric, before medicare, I paid that $375 per year to opt out of Obommercare and the wife still does. Now I pay 8 times that for Medicare and only have half of it. I’m semi healthy if you don’t count MRSA and lupus. The best thing I can do is work hard. It keeps me fairly healthy but the wife’s insurance. ,if I could afford it not working, would be somewhere around $8k which would get her just about the same amount in deductible. She needs double hip surgery among other things.

    If I were the Donald now would be the time to (well past), to “trade up “, a good deal for me, not so much for her. Then again, call me old fashioned, back when we got married (and even SHE wonders why now) we weren’t of the crowd to change out spouses when one got a bit under the weather or just lost that youthful glow.

    There’s a huge segment of society that’s being left out of health care since it became mandatory…..and even before. Here in the sticks where income has been very low compared to the left and right coasts, people still did fairly well since construction costs of homes and food were fairly cheap.

    There was never a reason for anyone to go hungry since farms used to be smaller so there were more farmers who raised huge gardens, as 5 to 20 acres they’d let anybody harvest but that all changed with chemical farming and now farm gardens are gone. How do you raise a garden when the entire frickin country is drowned in Roundup?

    The banking industry has taken over everything. World wide, the only way people are going to survive is to finally revolt and throw off the shackles of banking.

    At least back hundreds to thousands of years ago the Jew money changers had affordable rates and readily did bidness with the smallest to the largest.

    As fast as government has been abusing its subjects in just the last 15 years or even less, I see it rapidly culminating in a bloody world war, not quite the “golden years” we’d envisioned. We’ve been reduced to Step and Fetch for the moneyed class of which there are fewer and the pore class of which our nation and the other nations are rapidly becoming.

    No matter where you fall in there the wealthy are fewer all the time although they are wealthier than before and the poor are getting poorer and rapidly gaining in numbers.

    I read a column saying that we’re as well off today as in the early 70s citing things like cellphones for godsakes. Things have changed where cell phones are required for many jobs and unlike at one time, you’re expected to have one for your job.

    Not long ago trucking companies paid for the phone you had to have. Now when employers advertise for workers, employee phones arepart of your requirement as is good transportation. They don’t mean dumb, cheap phones but specific smart phones capable of GPS and the ability to work with dispatch and digital log books.

    Every thing you need just to be employed now comes back to some large corporation getting a chunk of your paycheck.

    I see the Red Raider motto in a different light now from a school motto of the past……GUNS UP!!!

    • Hey 8south, Re: “the Jew money changers had affordable rates and readily did bidness with the smallest to the largest. ”

      The original Jewish idea of charging interest was for the sole intention of destroying one’s enemies. This is what the God of the Old Testament instituted it for originally. It was an instrument of war used to destroy the inhabitants of the Promised Land regardless of their level of economic wealth. It is still just as effective as ever.

      The thing about having all these technological devices before one can even entertain the idea of working for someone is really where US slavery has excelled. In the good ol’ days prior to abolition, a slave’s home, clothes, food, career training, health care, etc. were all provided by the Plantation owner. Afterward, the slaves now must provide all of these essentials ourselves prior to being lucky enough to find work on a good Plantation.

  14. Say that there is a big protest against government intervening and starting wars against sovereign countries (that have lots of oil in the ground). With an electric car the government can switch them all off so no one can attend the protest. Or switch the cars off at a certain time of the day or night to immobilise you.
    Our Australian governments would love that power! I can just see Malcontent Turncoat and the 3 levels of Australian governments drooling all over their clothes, slobbering over their legislative pals, and having spontaneous orgasms about the control they would have over us.

  15. Eric wrote:

    “If you own your home or your car – ideally both – you have far more liberty, are much less constrained.”

    Oh, if only that were true.

    In many places around the country, property tax payments equal or exceed monthly mortgage payments, making you nothing more than a squatter on the King’s land, paying his sharecropper fees.

    Factor in $1000 a month (or more) government mandated “health” insurance payments, and the picture becomes even more grim:

    “You will NEVER escape the plantation, knave, so move the fuck along and shut your mouth” – Officer Friendly.

    • Hi AF,

      It depends where you live, of course.

      Out here in the Woods, my annual tributum to the county is about $1,500; so my “rent” is about $130/month. I don’t pay for water (well) and minimal electric and no got-damned home or health insurance.

        • Simple. Just don’t buy it.

          Its a rotten deal anyway. I’ve paid out of pocket for ALL my healthcare for several decades now. What they want for the annual penalty for OhBummerTax is about four times what I’ve actuallly PAID for all my car per decade… ten years. And THEN there is the deductable, several years’ worth as I’ve paid for ALL of it myself, and IF I go over the deductible floor and start having to pay out of pocket, the copays will likely exceed my annual everage costs over the past forty or more years.
          Why feed the beast? What can they do anyway> Coe and take the money I don’t have? Worst case is they’ll put me in the hoosegow, in which case THEY will have to pay my housing, food, AND medical.

        • RE: Penalty for not purchasing medical insurance:

          ‘‘(2) SPECIAL RULES.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law—
          ‘‘(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES.—In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.
          ‘‘(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES.—The Secretary shall not—
          ‘‘(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or
          ‘‘(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.’’

          Most people seem to be unaware that the law is toothless.

          • Thanks, Worker…

            And even if were not, they can come get me. I am at the point of not caring; or caring too much. Either way, I will not budge on this one. Will not buy their got-damned “coverage.”

            If they won’t leave me be even in my own house, on my own land then the time has come to take a stand.

            • eric, it’s one thing to feel the way you do….hell, I feel that way too. Living alone is an advantage since you don’t have a significant other to make that choice. Those great big troop helicopters hovering right over your house with their FLIR and all sorts of shit hanging from the “wings” separates the men from the boys or to be exact, the committed to the want to shag assers. BTDT. I have no problem with those wanting to flee. It’s mother nature kicking in. Nobody is wanting to go head to head with big fire power. It’s the reason i demanded the wife make a decision. I don’t care what her decision is. If she wants to lie down and take whatever they have for her(and here is the kicker, they don’t really want shit from her, just me)then that’s her decision. She’s free to do whatever she wants but she needs to make that decision ahead of time.. But know this, they haven’t come to lose the fight. Apache helicopters loaded with missiles are something you can’t outshoot, no matter what your desire might be. You can go down fighting. Just make sure it’s only YOU going down. I figured it from all sides and angles. All I can do is take as many of them out as I can before the inevitable happens. I can flee into the pasture and have a small chance but what about those left behind? Virginia is nearly a mirror image of Texas. Who’s going to jack with them when you’re gone?

            • I wonder if it still reads that way. In Tx. and every other state I’d bet, you can’t get a commercial license without a SS card unless they have created a special haven for green carders which wouldn’t surprise me either. And you won’t get a job in trucking without one. Back before there was the hard push for assimilation, before the Borg gained control, you were advised to not carry your SS card but now you’ll find you need it when you least expect. Of course when the coptards check your license they can get your SS#.


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