Lenin, the mass-murdering father of modern practical authoritarian collectivism, wrote about what it is to be done? I have a better idea. How about what we each can do – on our own?
It’s more individual – less collective.
Here’s what I do, which may inspire you:
I’ve taken advantage of the Antique Vehicle exemption from perpetual registration fees for several of my eligible vehicles. This saves me about $50 every year, per vehicle – which adds up over the years – and it also saves me from having to waste my time in line at a government approved saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety inspection station, as well as another fee for yet another government-mandated (and ugly) sticker.
It also enables me to legally avoid submitting my vehicles to the tender mercies of an indifferent stranger with an air gun.
No cross-threaded lug nuts; no grease stains left on my seats.
These saaaaaaaaaaaaafety checks are annoying on several levels, especially for people who don’t need them. Which is any person who keeps up with vehicle maintenance. I certainly don’t need the government to check my tires or brakes – because I check them. And I check them because I have a personal interest in brakes that work properly and tires that have tread.
Your mileage may vary.
The only catch is that you’re not supposed to drive an Antique tagged vehicle “regularly” – this being defined by each state in its own way and usually by a certain number of miles per year and so on. But it’s one of those rules that’s easily bent – in my state, at least. Also, of course, this dodge only works if you have a car that is at least 21 and usually at least 25 years old.
Which brings me to . . . the Virtue of Driving Old.
There are several very sound reasons for having an older car as your regular car. Above everything, it makes it feasible to avoid buying a new car – and so avoid the insufferable array of invidious busybody gadgets and peremptory, driver-usurping (and pestering) saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety systems you probably don’t want and certainly would rather not have to pay for.
The roster includes things I’ve been ranting about in my columns – such as ASS, or Automated Start/Stop, which almost every new car now “features.” And lawyered-up touchscreens that demand you “look for safety” (where is he?) every time you back the car up, insolently turns off the radio when you put the car in Reverse and makes you tap “ok” every time you start the car up . . . before the tech allows you to do something as used-to-be-simple as turn the radio on.
Or brakes that brake for you; and steering that fights you. Lane Beep Assist. Lots of beeps.
Creepy in-car data recorders (and transmitters). Drive-by-wire that disconnects you from physical control over things like whether the engine can be turned off or on but makes it feasible for someone else to turn the engine off or on . . . remotely.
Accelerator pedal not connected to anything except electronics – which can override you.
Go back to about the 2000 model year and most non-luxury vehicles won’t have such things; a few years older and none will. But the car will have all the things which make it “modern” in the sense desirable. It will be fuel-injected and so start immediately and never stall out. It will have overdrive gearing in the transmission, so be relaxed to drive on the highway and get good gas mileage. It won’t need much in the way of frequent tweaking or adjustment, as really old cars – those built before the early 1980s – did.
It will be simpler, though, in terms of its major systems – and so more durable and almost always cost less to repair and be easier to repair than anything new. Plus, you should be able to afford repairs, when they become necessary – because you aren’t (hopefully) making payments.
Older are usually either paid-for cars or you pay less to buy one. Many you can buy for cash – and not much.
And you will definitely be making lower payments . . . to the insurance mafia and (if you have to deal with this) the personal property tax on your vehicle, which is based on its retail or market value.
Finally, by eschewing the new, you are Going Galt (withholding your sanction by withholding your money) with respect to the new car “market” – which is increasingly defined by the fact that it isn’t one.
The government is force-feeding car design via regulations and mandates which are contrary to market signals – one obvious example being the general market preference for larger/more capable and inherently safer vehicles, even if they use “too much” gas, in the eyes of the government.
Same goes for the pushy pushing of electric cars, which few seem to want because mostly it’s only the very affluent who can afford them.
It’s not unlike Gate Rape – or Submission Training – by the TSA. If enough people had Gone Galt and elected not to fly as a means of registering their disgust, we would probably not have Gate Rape and Submission Training today.
If enough people simply stopped buying “government motors” vehicles – not just GM vehicles, but all vehicles built to government specifications rather than market demands – we’d once again have a market for cars – and it would be less expensive to buy new cars and probably enjoyable again, too.
. . .
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