Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Karen writes: You seem to be opposed to ride-sharing, which surprises me given your advocacy of living within your means. Not everyone needs a car – or wants a car payment. I’m 23 – and not exactly rolling in dough!
Curious to know your thoughts on all this.
My reply: I’m not opposed to ride-sharing as such anymore than I’m opposed to electric cars or even communism (so long as the communists leave me out of it). The beef I’ve got is with the diseases of which these things are merely the symptoms.
I get that cars have become unaffordable; but the problem there isn’t the cars. It’s the unaffordable part. I doubt many of the people who like the idea of ride-sharing would like it if they could afford their own car instead. Even in the best-case scenario, ride-sharing means perpetual payments; you never own your transportation. It only seems “cheaper” relative to the high cost of cars today.
I’m twice your age. When I was 23, I bought a ’74 Beetle for $700 – cash money. I drove that car for years; it cost me next to nothing to own it. Far less than it would have cost me to sign up for ride-sharing a dozen or more times each week.
There is also the cost in time. You will wait for your ride. Unless they invent Star Trek-style teleportation tech. How much is you irreplaceable time worth?
If you have a car, you can just get in – and go.
In sum: I see ride-sharing in the same light as I do automated cars. Both represent a waning of mobility – sold as a waxing thereof.
It’s analogous to the con that government-corporate enforced medical treatment will cost less than each of us paying our own way.
If you buy that, I have a bridge for sale….
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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