A Millennial Moment

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There is something worse than a generation gap. There is a worldview gap.

My generation – Generation X – was the last pre-computer generation and the last generation to reach adulthood before the Safety Cult had metastasized into a mainstream religion. When we were teenagers, we were expected to learn how to drive – because the cars wouldn’t do it for us.

We rose to the challenge.

Most of us learning to drive in cars with manual transmissions because back in the ’80s when we were teenagers, most of the cars within a teenager’s budget had manuals.

It was sink or swim.

Or suffer the humiliation of riding the bus with the 14 and 15-year-olds. Oh, yes. In that better, vanished time a kid was able to drive himself to school the day he turned 16 – which meant driving to school for the last two years of high school, so that by the time one graduated one had been driving for several years and was ready to deal with the adult world of driving.

The Millennials who are now rising – and “feel the Bern,” many of them – grew up strapped in, learned to be fearful and passive. They are not allowed to drive to school until they are practically out of school. They have been taught to regard cars as dangerous and despoiling things.

I met one such Millennial the other day at the coffee shop where I usually go to write these rants. It is my caffeinated version of Orwell’s (or rather Winston Smith’s)  Chestnut But Tree Cafe. The waiters know me and keep my cup full without my even having to ask.

Anyhow, I’m friendly with another guy there, who is friends with this young Millennial. She proudly told me all about her new car – about how saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe it is. Not how it drove or looked. The first thing she waxed rhapsodic about was Lane Keep Assist.

Many new cars have this, apparently because many people have difficulty keeping their car in its travel lane and require “assistance” – in the form of electric motors attached to the steering gear – that nudge the car left or right, accordingly, when the driver isn’t.

Probably because she’s texting.

We Gen X’s may have been slackers but we didn’t have cell phones. We made maybe one or two calls a day, never from a car. Only Knight Rider had a phone in his car.  And – wow – we should have seen it coming – Knight Rider’s car also drove itself.

But KITT drove better than Knight Rider. The Millennials, generally, do not.

One of the great fallacies of automated driving/saaaaaaaaaaaafety tech is that it drives like KITT. Snappy, well-executed maneuvers. Instead, jerky and slow ones. Lane Keep Assist feels like there’s a Down Syndrome kid pulling on the wheel – in the direction you don’t want to go.

This assumes you’re not a Down Syndromian driver, of course. Many Millennials are – having never learned how, on purpose. When they entered their teenage years, the Safety Cult was the established state (and cultural) religion. They always buckled-up for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety, never rode a bicycle without a helmet.

Probably, most of them never drove a car by themselves until they were almost not-teenagers – because the Safety Cult restricts their driving privileges until they are almost adults, all-the-while hectoring them with injunctions about . . .  saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

No wonder they’re obsessed with it.

From birth through early adulthood it’s almost their amniotic fluid. We Gen Xers didn’t buckle-up and grew up jumping into and out of cars, which made cars exciting and driving them something we lusted to do. We were not afraid of cars and the last thing on our teenaged minds was saaaaaaaaaafety. That being the concern of old maids and twits.

At least, in that better vanished time.

In today’s time, youth in what should be the flower of their exuberance are cowed, fretful and grateful for anything which promises to  . . . keep them safe. I made a pointless effort to gently explain to this Millennial girl that it might be safer to learn to control the car than to rely on technology which may control the car in ways that aren’t very saaaaaaaaaafe.

Lane Keep Assist pulls the car toward the undesired direction sometimes – when the camera doesn’t see the painted lines clearly or when the lines weren’t painted accurately.  Does this kid have any idea how to handle a wheel dropping off the edge of the pavement?

Probably not.

Isn’t there an “assist” for that?

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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119 COMMENTS

    • Our world has become so gripless…we can’t be hard on anybody. Accountability for actions, or better yet inaction. I have watched our nation turn into a pathetic lap dog over night. Since the proliferation of computers and smart phones we have ‘lost our way’.

  1. “Better, vanished time”; is that a RUSH reference (RED BARCHETTA)? Regardless, BIG BROTHER is out to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids! (Mind you, Eric, I greatly enjoy your columns, but the “Down’s Syndrome” reference was very rude, to put it mildly.)

    • Well, Down’s syndrome wasn’t always a thing. It has been forced on the human race via corporations that poison us. Down’s syndrome was fairly much and unknown thing when I was young. It’s a tragedy for sure, just like the other diseases caused by poisonous food, drink, air, etc. We now see it commonly. And though it’s not anything the person with it did to be that way, it’s something that happens. To denigrate anyone who mentions it as one who is responsible or uncaring is more ignorance we see more and more.

    • Hi Alex,

      This business of having to tread on eggshells because no one can take a joke anymore is insufferable – and also feigned – and I won’t play along. It is time to throw rocks in the gears of the grievance machine.

      • Amen, brother. I LOL’ed at the image, would be a shame to exclude it, even if someone with Down’s Syndrome in their life gets butt-hurt.

      • We live in an era where friendly greetings are considered an insult! Some of these dildos are so sensitive, that they threaten to summon an AGW for having the nerve to say hello to them.

        Remember, the feminists always said “We Can Do It!”, and by golly, they’ve done it! They’ve turned damn near everyone into fragile, easily melt(down)able snowflakes!

        • Hi Blue,

          It’s true! And continues to baffle this Gen X’er, who grew up before America was taken over by (in the South Park meaning of the term) fags. Hair-trigger sensitives who are perpetually sourpussed, obsessed with their grievances and entitlements (as they regard them).

          There was a character in Cannonball Run who archetyped what was – at the time – a creature held in general ridicule but hich has become the normal today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnWGYn-zXAc

          No seatbelts, smoking, women who don’t act like men. Crikey!

          • I recall countless people’s opinion of how the Cannonball was to be organized. Turns out organization was the least considered aspect. It was all about having a ball breaking every speed limit without getting caught.

            Every vehicle had as least one person’s story if not two…..or three in some cases. It was a great time of freedom we never saw again.

            Once the predator class caught on, it became impossible to run it. My friends and I used to have similar but much shorter races. I don’t recall anyone even getting a ticket but that was due to the lack of instant-on radar. Later, in the 80’s, it was possible to do a few hundred miles well above 100 because of Mike Valentine.

            You did have to pay attention as cops will stop you when you’re obviously speeding via “visual estimation”. Back then, just being stopped didn’t mean you automatically got ticketed. I don’t know if radar units can still be fooled by hard braking but the laser units have you as soon as the detector responds. At that point, it’s best to have two detectors, one with jamming you can hide if you decided to stop.

            One great thing about a hot bike is you can outrun a cop quickly if you decide to do it……esp. back when even the fastest cop car was ridiculously slow.

          • However by the time I became an adult that world was in the review mirror and fading fast. I grew up in one world but had to live as an adult in another.

  2. I guess everyone here has Boomer disease. Bad mouthing the youngsters for their stupidity. Of course it is more a feature of aging, like enlarged prostate, rather than a disease. Ancient Greek philosophers also had this.

    With the need for two income parents in the post 1960 economy, parents have far less time to personally instruct or teach their kids about many things. Rural families are better at teaching since the work is mainly at home/farm/ranch. Lower income parents often don’t work, or both don’t. So safety stupidity is mainly an urban upper middle class thing. College educated whites the worst.

    Hence the rise of Helicopter Parenting. (Not Kobe Bryant style actual helicopters of course, but that is symbolic.) The upper class/educated parents are imbued with guilt for not being around. Hence they compensate for that by being overly protective and preventing children from doing ordinary things because they aren’t there to personally instruct them. So the kids don’t learn, or learn badly. Schools find far more female teachers to preach “safety” and social gospel rather than the tough STEM or language subjects of our own Boomer youth. Hence “mama” is now your high school teacher warning you about danger. Not from sex, but from doing actual fun things or working with machines. Or firearms, fireworks, fast cars/motorcycles, etc. Sad. Kids are then easily persuaded that Big Government is your New Mama.

    • You leave out a very important point. Man of those boys who are “lost” when it comes to self-sufficiency and having the ability to think through a situation and come up with a solution never had fathers. The feminizing of boys has been going on for generations now, with no signs of abating-definitely bad news.
      For those men, both single and married (to females), it would behoove you to “adopt” a neighborhood boy, if only to show him what “real” men do. From repairing lawn equipment, cars, showing your “adoptee” how to drill, weld, measure, calibrate, troubleshoot and repair various items from toasters to cars, you will have provided an invaluable service. Boys DO need good men in their lives.
      If you are single, such a “friendship” could lead to meeting a nice woman.

    • I had no idea I was affecting these kids. After all, I haven’t made any of them. I learn, often every day, of the evil things I’ve done as a Boomer. And here I always thought I could and did teach the young things I was taught. Live and learn………I’m just an asshole old man.

    • I get that there has been a on-going deliberate social engineering to kill self learning and leave people ignorant and dependent. However most everyone here is a self-learner and as such there is very little in the way of slack given to people who haven’t done it. It doesn’t matter if they are old or young. There is far more negative about the old on this site who never bothered to learn things than for the young.

  3. As a baby-boomer, learned to drive in my dads ‘60 Renault Dauphine (French Yugo) and our ‘56 Ford Fairlane. No safety features on the former and only seat belts, padded dash and deep dish steering wheel on the later.
    My first real car was a ‘63 Ford Falcon fastback, 260 v-8 and 4-speed that I purchased after Vietnam return in ‘68. Thoroughly enjoyed all 3 of these no nonsense, no safety cars. The best safety features are your brain and, in the case of a handgun with no external safety, your finger.

  4. The government indoctrination camps, otherwise known as public schools are there solely to instill fear into impressionable young minds and respect for authority. What they are taught to fear most is the concept of liberty and individualism. Self reliance is a curse to be detested and it’s only the well being of the hive that matters.

    • Gotta get ’em while they’re young. Anyone who grows up with a properly functioning brain would be considered a threat to authority.

  5. My friends’ son, at age 14, was driving the family truck all over the property, plowing snow in the winter. At age 16, he was apprenticing on a backhoe getting ready to go for his hoisters license when he’d turn 18. At age 17, he was tearing down and rebuilding cars in the barn, popping clutches and testing brakes.

    When he finally got his official drivers license, he was only able to drive during the day and not with his 16 year old sister in the car who was already tearing around the property in old Volvos and diesel Jettas. They laugh about it.

    “You grown ups are so f***ing dumb…”

  6. Eric,
    I go to a local restaurant every Sunday morning to do the crossword puzzle. The girls (I doubt they’ll mind that I use the term) keep my cup filled without any prompting from me. I like it.

    It’s good to know there’s at least one other person like that in this world. I lift my coffee cup to you!

  7. “We Gen X’s may have been slackers ”
    Compared to what though?
    We are the generation latch key kids. Daycare? What’s that. You came home from school and fended for yourself. Today they pass laws preventing leaving 13 year olds home alone.

    Also KITT was an artificial life form in the form of an automobile. Like having Commander Data behind the wheel. These “self driving” cars are mindless robots. They do as they are programmed. Recently someone took some black tape to a speed limit sign and turned 35 to 85. Guess what the mindless machine did? It started accelerating to 85mph. They stopped the test before it got there. It was a test done in closed off area.

    • Well-said, Brent – as usual!

      I had forgotten about the Latchkey Kid thing. But it was so – and it was good! Maybe I’m a kook, but I can remember feeling like a grown up at 11 or 12 because I effectively was. I came home after school and was responsible for myself. So were my friends. We hung out, made our way just fine – and meandered home for dinner around the time our dads came home. It was such a good life! I feel for kids today who are suffocated by parenting. They are never on their own, which is to my mind extremely unhealthy. How are they supposed to learn to not be kids? To figure out how to make decisions for themselves?

      • I am a Gen-Xer and learned to drive a manual about the same time Eric did. I still drive one to this day.

        I am not opposed to safety — such as wearing seat belts and driving cars with engineered crumple zones and airbags. I vividly remember in the early 1980s driving around with my older brother, long before seat belt laws, and we came to the realization — at age 16 — that it would really suck to hit the dash or go through the windshield in the event of a crash. So we put our seat belts on, and I have been wearing mine for the last 40 + years, whether or not the state tells me that I must.

        I wear a full-face Snell-approved motorcycle helmet because I CHOOSE to, not because the state tells me that I must — the state’s helmet requirement is far less stringent than my own.

        I think it’s SMART to be safe. What’s different about Millennial kids is that they fetishize safety because they’re stupid, passive and sometimes lazy. The “safety” they fetishize is automatic, computer-controlled safety, of which they are a passive recipient. I am a VERY safe gun owner: yet I was always taught “never rely only on the safety; the real safety is between your ears.” So true. Millennials want to ban guns, not become disciplined enough to be responsible with them.

        I think there’s several reasons for this. One is the advancement of technology that enables people to be dumber. Second is the high divorce rate and legions of children being raised by single moms who are incapable of doing a lot of manly stuff like rebuilding a car engine, so they sit their kids in front of a television all day long to passively absorb things, not engage the world “hands-on.” As a general rule females are less capable of figuring out how to do things for themselves and fix unexpected problems alone. Third is the fact that most Boomer parents did a LOT of reckless stuff in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly promiscuous, casual sex, hard drug use, and drinking, and when they became parents they were terrified that their kids were going to do all the wild and dangerous and crazy shit they did themselves. So they became “helicopter” parents.

        So I think “safety” is good; but expecting that machines and computer programs and laws are going to keep you safe and enable you to live in a perpetually childish state is a dangerous delusion.

        • I think safety is okay, too. I remember having a conversation with my cousin, who has an IQ of about 75. She was involved in a car accident back in 1987. None of the people were wearing seatbelts. Her friend was killed in the accident. She told me that if they had a seatbelt law at the time, her friend may not have been killed. I sat in stunned silence before telling her bullshit. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Years later, I saw on the news some asshole filling up his car during the fuel shock of 2008 and he stated that he needed a 55 mph speed limit so that he would be forced to save gasoline. Same mentality, same stupidity. I don’t know where it comes from.

          • Well, she might have lived if belted and she might not. That second guessing is easy to do. I had a friend ejected from a vehicle(pickup) and died from it and another that was ejected and lived because of it. I don’t pretend to have that crystal ball so many clovers seem to possess.

        • Exactly! Safety should be based on common sense and not forcing everyone to live in idiocracy.

          And you are very correct about my generation. Most Millennials have indeed been trained by the MSM and their single moms to fear life itself. This may explain the increase in suicides. Well, that and they probably find life to be pointless because of the obnoxious clampdowns.

  8. Things have gone through a fourth dimensional change now that Joe the Sniffer has won big with the dopes that bother with the imbecile show. He will outlaw manual gearboxes on everything. He even has a task force on getting rid of the manual transmissions on diesel-electric locomotives. Our only kicks will be from old junk that has no backup camera and a screen that ruins the night vision.
    I was a clover in insisting that all are better when I time the stoplights to give them and me better mileage. I was hated on here for suggesting such a driving practice. Ya’ll of the haters can go to Hades if you think that i will change my clover habits.

    • Yeah, and I ain’t Anonymous, I am Erle and I hope that you brake slammers at the stoplights have short brake shoe life and die in a fiery crash because they were all used up.

    • I’m assuming you’re being facetious with the locomotive thing. But speaking of slow brakers, count me in. I recall all the best race car drivers had the least amount of brake and tire wear. I’m that guy that drives a truck that needs brakes much less often than others like it. I drive slow approaching lights to synchronize with the greens and sometimes am speeding up going through the light. That guy that passed me and just got stopped is the one I go by just tooling along. Then he has to tromp on it to catch up and pass me again. All that pedal slamming is hard on everything.

      I know people who cuss diesel pickups for the very reason I love them. I’ve been asked what sort of transmission I have and I say a “two speed”. Ease out in 2nd or 3rd, depending on the type of transmission and shift into OD. All that torque is wonderful.

  9. Gee whiz Eric. what’s with knocking all of the safety features on modern Au Go Go vehicles? The automatic everything has its benefits. Have you ever considered how a truck filled with explosives driven by a newly arrived alien can stay within its lane and fight the driver that wants to run it into a bridge over the Mississippi river? This is the price of safety and it is worth every penny.

    • you seem to think all the aliens who might want to blow up a bridge are helpelss morons with no life OR driving skills.

      If such an one seriously WANTED to blow up a bridge, it would be easy enough to buy a worn 9ut but running twenty foot hooipe of fCraign’s List for about two Large outfit it wih a SERIOUS explosive charge (I wont go into details but this can be supid simple and easily.untraceabley obtained) drive if halfway across that lONG bridge and detonate the thing. The ONL reason this has not happened is that no one has wanted to.

      You think that lane assist idiocy would revent such an event? Nope. Becuause Achmed the would be Dead Terrorist would not CARE about where on the roadway he was. when he hit the Rdd button to launch himself toward those seventy two whoors he thinks he’s gonna get.

      • Smart Achmed could send a huge amount of explosives down river on a barge and just watch from a distance. All needed would be an RF controlled rudder. I’m not happy with the thought someone would want to do this.

    • Or, if you think the government capable of such, they take control of the vehicle and smash it into the bridge as a false flag event.

      But governments would never do something like that, would they? Sacrifice people to forward an agenda? Lie about intentions and actions? Never.

  10. I drive a 2018 Chevy one ton. It has none of the assists. Just a backup camera. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a new car again. Occasionally I’ve driven my parents’ 2018 Pacifica which has all the safety bells and whistles you can imagine. It annoys the hell out of me to drive it. There’s beeping and lights flashing for no reason. I don’t mind my parents having all of that because they’re late 70s into early 80s. In the end though, I tell my dad that my 3500 Silverado is safer because it’s 30 or 35% heavier. Pretty simple physics. I’d rather be in a train engine car with no airbags than whatever Volvo or whoever just put out.

  11. Eric,

    I’m a long time reader and I really appreciate your work … but I have to take you to task for a moment in what I hope is a constructive way.

    I am also the father to a Down Syndrome son. He’s twenty-six and he’s a really sweet kid (well, not really a kid). He’s the only one of my son’s that my nasty ex wife hasn’t been able to turn against me as he only see’s life as it is not as her fantasy describes it. You could use a ‘crazy uncle Joe’ comment to convey the concept. But I always cringe when Down Syndrome folks get held out in this way.

    Just a thought . . .
    Fred

      • Not the sharpest tack in the box are ya sparky. I happen to know that Eric has a rather rich set of metaphors without taking a gratuitous swipe at the disabled. They, unlike yourself did not choose to be that way. So find yourself a nice quite spot and GFY.

        Have a nice day 🙂

  12. Really sad to see what’s become of my generation. But of course, I know that 99% of us are not responsible for the neo-communist society. The 1% that are, however, includes certain people whose name(s) I shall not mention.

    *cough*Zuckerberg*cough*

  13. Hey talking about safety- here in the UK we have something called “the royal society for the prevention of accidents”…. going around doing stuff like certifying kids toys…. (hope I didn’t make you guys jealous out there 😉

    • Nasir, I’ll try to get through it all without having some sort of fit. Don’t rub it in too much. I always wanted to be part of a “royal” something. My life just revolves around royalty and societies. Don’t know how I’ve made it so far.

    • Yu lot across the Puddle are no further ahead than we lot this side of it. Can’t even buy a kid’s toy something wtithut a whole raft ot tags, certificates, warning labels, etc. Frends recently were in a relatively minor prangup in their car… Baby one year old was in a certifiecd car seat, side impact at rear door, where Baby was. She hollered from the noise, but was absolutely unhurt. Car totalled, two side airbags popped. Drivaable, but the price of the two aribags ($2500 plus fitment” puts it over the top. The whole car is now junk…. They were taken in the Aid Car to hospital one sister required staples to close a head gash, some were sore and stiff for a few days. all now fullly recovered. Imagine my friend’s total shock when hospital officlals would NOT release the one year old to her parents UNTIL they nad acquired a BREAND NEW several hundred dollar car seat to replace the one she had been in during the prang. The seat had not a mark on it. NOTHING compromised whatever. But “the law” states clearly that NO baby car seat can be used once its been in a crash, of ANY level of force. They had to leave one par3ent with the baby, go off, rind and purchase a NEW car seat for Daugheter, before they would release her.

      I might have handled it differently.. on WHAT authorty can YOU deprive me of custdy of my daighter? SHe is MY childl you are NOT her Mama.. or owner. Bugger off, wretch.

      • Wow, that’s a seriously horrible story. The people enforcing rules such as this typically hide behind “I’m just doing my job” excuses. Yeah, so were Stalin’s goons. You can’t escape moral responsibility for your actions by saying you’re following someone else’s orders.

        • Love your writing but truth is cars are much safer today then back in the 80’s. As a father of 3 teenagers I’m thankful for that and buy cars based on how many safety features they have. I was born in 64 and went to high school with 5 kids that died in 4 separate crashes. Remember the free market wants safe cars

          • Gee. Do you wrap them in bubble wrap and make them wear a helmet around the house too? How safe is safe enough?

            Four in my senior high grad class died in motorcycle crashes. Caused by people turning left in front of them. Let’s do away with left turns too…. Very unsafe for motorcyclists.

            Remember, some of us are OK with taking our chances. Free market would allow it, government does not. Free market has nothing to do with car safety today.

            • Almost every motorcycle accident I have known of was because of 30-40 year old women turning left and not giving a damn about the cycle driving straight on the roadway. I’ve had it happen myself to the degree I managed each time to avoid being in a wreck but only because I was driving “for” that out of touch female “driver”, if that’s what you call it.

              • I think one of the biggest factors in the four crashes was that daytime head lights were introduced a few years before. At one time the only vehicles with headlights on during the day were bikes. Then it became a sea of headlights and the bikes no longer stood out.

                And of course, many people are shit drivers who don’t care who they endanger as long as they in a steel cage.

                I stopped riding years ago after three very near death experiences. Like you, I was always riding “for” other drivers expecting them to do the stupidest thing possible. In all three situations, that is exactly what they did. It just became no fun to ride anywhere there was a high density of cars, constantly expecting to be killed. The cost of insurance here made keeping a bike just for Sunday back road driving prohibitive.

                • Amen, Anon!

                  DRLs are a pox on the competent tendered as a palliative for the incompetent. Can’t see in daytime? See the got-damned eye doctor!

                  Instead, we can’t see bikes anymore because of all the got-damned glare.

  14. Posted this in the RQ “Any Upsides?”;

    I wonder how many people are anti-EV like us, but don’t get to express it

    I’m the millennial who grew up on gaming, so there was NFS, Forza, Midnight Club and any other game that allowed me to race and modify, so I’m essentially part of the group that prefers cars to work, mod, race and play with/enjoy vs the tech savvy douchebags who couldn’t drive “Paddle shifters” to save their own life (sister’s exes brother came in one day expressing excitement his dad was teaching how to use the paddles on a Challenger >.>)

    As far as I’m concerned, EV and Hybrids are the enemy and I’ll never submit to them, period.
    ___

    Adding to that, who needs Saaaaaaaaaaftey?

    My rental truck is a 4th gen Ram Warlock, and it’s bare bones as hell, I actually look to see whose in my blindspot. No Mirror LED’s to alert you, no automatic braking, no ass, just like my truck, closest thing it has is LED fogs and backup Camera, otherwise pretty much ideal.

    I hate the term Millennials, don’t wanna be lumped in with those retards, period

    • Zane, I likewise hate the term baby boomer for the same reason! I was born at the tail end of that era. I will say that I noticed a significant difference between those generations though. I was a party animal like other boomers back in my teenage years whereas the younger people were tame and lame in theirs. OTOH, older boomers were responsible for supporting draconian safety laws and MADD! They enjoyed their partying years, then slammed the door shut behind themselves afterwards!

  15. A major part of the problem is what has been taught in “business schools” for the last century or so…
    Wall street sees “labor” as being a necessary evil, its true value to be minimized at all cost while valuing the CEOs and “stockholders” above and beyond their true worth.
    This even applies to CEOs, that run their corporations into the ground while still receiving massive “rewards” for their “expertise”.
    Let’s not forget the corporate vultures (a la Mitt Romney) that specialize in parting out viable businesses in order to maximize their “profits”
    Henry Ford “got it right” when he CREATED a market for his cars by making them inexpensive while paying his workforce a decent wage. He realized that a well-paid workforce would be able to buy his products, among other things. It could be safely argued that Ford, CREATED the middle class. Automobiles, once “playthings for the rich” were made affordable for the “ordinary common man”.
    Henry Ford KNEW who the banksters and vulture capitalists were and made no bones about calling them out and naming them, Father Charles Coughlin did the same thing and was ostracized by the Catholic Church for pointing out the TRUTH about our vulture capitalist society.
    “Vulture capitalism” can be defined as the owners of businesses and industries that collude with each other, also in collusion with the “money types” (banksters) depressing wages solely to increase their stockholder “profits” at the top while impoverishing those who actually WORK, producing their products.
    All one has to do is look at today’s CEOs, even in failing companies, being paid exorbitant salaries, along with stock options and other “perks” while pleading poverty, pushing down wages for their employees.
    Today’s capitalist “mantra” is that labor costs must be as cheap as possible while the “value” (profit) to the stockholder must be as great as possible. Sacrificing labor on the altar of “maximum profits” NEVER works in the long term.
    Of course, in the short term, with cheap Chinese goods flooding the market, the economy looks, good, but without CONSUMERS who hold jobs that pay reasonably well, all bets are off. There needs to be a balance between profits and labor.
    Presently, labor is looked upon as a “necessary evil” to be minimized at all costs. The problem arises-without labor there are no consumers. As I previously stated, a “balance” must be maintained. Labor is not evil, but a necessary component of capitalism.
    Pre-WW2 Germany’s economic successes and the rapid rise of the German economy was predicated on labor being assigned “value”and monetized-something that is (and has been) missing in capitalist societies today.
    If labor costs need to be trimmed to assure “profit” at the top, something is seriously wrong. In fact, in the well-paid American automobile industry, labor costs account only for approximately 10% of total costs.
    Offshoring production results in consumers (customers) being “lost”.
    As to “tariffs”, the American country ran on tariffs from its inception until 1913, when the “income tax” and “federal reserve” was established.
    The American economy is being propped up by the “social safety net” which obscures the TRUE economic situation in the U S .

    • So glad I dropped out of collage, and didn’t go for business courses like the sheep did

      Quality over quantity, also why I’m not politically correct and never bought into the hysteria over the Limp Wristed Queen, Watermelon Communism (Green movement) and was all for the Dank God Emperor

      Also, when I finally get a break $$$ wise, gonna save up for some retro sports car, cause who needs Saaaaaaafety

      • Good choice on a retro sports car. Even a lowly MGB can be a lot of fun with your bird dog gal in the right seat with her ears flapping. Most of those are hopelessly rotted out so I have no recommendation, but the guy that runs the joint might have a suggestion. Axe him.

        • Yup. Any MGB after 1963 would be a great one, just, as mentioned, inspect carefullh for the toll the Oxide Bugs have taken. Those were some of the greatest cheap cars ever. Handled VERY well, drop it down in inch or so, slightlu wider Blie Streaks on alloy wheels, the five main engine (64 onward) can be easily built to rank out increbiel power for such a lightweight car. Newar perfect balane. Balance, cut fluehwee, nice cam port and pin match manifolds headers and twin inch outlet, you’ll get about an 8500 red line, stock gearing with nonoverdirve will get you about 120, with overdirve another ten at least. Must respray to BRG…. leave those SU carburetters on it, perhaps build a new inlet manifold to fit a pair of HS 6 instruments, rather than the fours that fed the stock one HEAVY antiroll bar up front. Limited slip diff if you can find one.

        • There is a company in England that still makes entire MGB uni-bodies and panels. You can actually build an entire car from aftermarket parts today. Not cheap, but what would you pay for an absolutely brand new chrome bumper MGB today?

          Of course, I would just buy a Miata. All the fun of a MGB without the English reliability.

      • I have a legit 575 HP 1965 Cobra replica with a supercharged 347 FI Edelbrock Ford. I would rather have a 100HP ragtop to drift around on bad hard tires, so I will sell the car on the cheap. Contact me at BR-549 on your cell phone. I await your call once you get the dough.

        • Hi Erie,

          There is much to be said about driving a slow car fast! Or even a slow-by-today’s standards car. I have more fun in my Orange Barchetta – a 1976 Trans-Am – than I have in the new performance cars I get to test drive, many of which have twice or even three times the performance capability.

          But that capability is cosseted. The tires only slip so much before the traction nanny cuts throttle or applies brakes. Your line is corrected by stability control. Anyone can run a perfect quarter mile because of something called “launch control” – which takes the art of the thing entirely out of the thing. You are along for the ride as much as your passengers and it gets boring because it’s all so tediously predictable, no matter how quickly the thing runs down the track.

    • Nice screed, I initially recoiled from your term of CONSUMERS but you corrected that near the bottom. I do concur that Henry Ford’s evaluation of the bankster rackets still deserves a read. There was concerted hate for him several years ago from the Ashkenazi folks, so i bought the four volume set and did not see a heck of lot of difference from nearly one hundred years ago to now, other than it is far worse, and my best to you.

  16. One thing I’ve noticed about terrible barely-there driving is that it seems to be spreading to other groups. I ride a motorcycle almost daily and so I’m hyper-alert. I’ve noticed that the jackasses drifting into my lane while speeding up and slowing down erratically (all while staring at their got-damned phones) are as likely to be gray haired as they are to be kids. And there are far more crappy inattentive male drivers than there used to be, who don’t even seem to be embarrassed by it. I can’t remember the last time I got an apologetic wave.

    Maybe stupidity and insouciance is a virus with electronic screens as the main vector of infection.

    • Hi Bill,

      I see the same. What the Hell is it with these got-verdammt phones? I feel no compulsion to constantly text and talk… I just don’t get it.

      • Smart phones are best thought of as a highly addictive drug. They create (by design) psychological dependency. Their nature demands constant attention and they play to the deepest insecurities of the human mind. I am an addict, having recognized it I attempt to control the addiction, but just giving it up isn’t possible due to modern business and life revolving around it.

        • the ultimate question regarding the “devices” is which runs which? WHO is the superior being? If you are stupid/immature enough to let the small brick be your supreme overlord, then yuo DESERVE the miserable connected dependent life you now life.
          Yes, I’ll make a call on the stupid phone when I”m driving… but ONLY when traffic and road conditiions render it safe to do so. Talking on that hing tends to leep me awake on the long stretches sometimes.. I have a couple of friends who will often call me to keep their minds alert as they drive home from late jobs. WIthout the mind stimulation, sleep tends to dominate…… BUT, when I’m driving and talking I will end the call when a change in traffoc conditions make te call unsafe I will simplu inform the other end that I’m getting into a situation where I need both hands and ALL my brain, good bue. Pick this up when its clear again

          • Excellent, Anon!

            There isn’t anything intrinsically unsafe about talking on a phone while driving or even texting. If there were then it follows it is also intrinsically unsafe to converse with a passenger and to adjust the stereo. It depends on the moment – and it depends on the general skill/attentiveness of the driver. I know people who are better drivers using their knees to steer than some people. A slight exaggeration – but not much.

            It’s analogous to the PC (and legal) definition of “drunk” driving. It’s become – effectively – the presence of any alcohol in the driver’s system, irrespective of the driver’s driving. Similarly, one can be ticketed – and Hut! Hut! Hutted! – for texting while driving irrespective of one’s driving. It is not necessary to establish that the driver wasn’t in control of his car; that he was driving erratically, etc. Merely that he was texting – which is now itself proof of “distracted” driving.

      • eric, it’s as if speaking with one another is verboten. I don’t get it either. I have gotten texts directing me to a site for loading or unloading so I just press the switch on my headset and call in. I get this “I just sent you a text” and I reply “I know, I just wanted to know approximately where it is if it isn’t anywhere I’ve been before so I don’t have to STOP and read the text, not only dangerous in a big rig but ILLEGAL, another ticket I don’t need.

        It often turns out to be some place I’ve been many times so why not make the call and save us both time? It’s not cool? I don’t get it.

      • The phone devices are a disease. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made people stupid too, via brain damage/modification.

      • I’m not really a rules person, but I might get behind my state’s proposed ban on phones while driving.
        I got my first cellphone in 2000 and I tried to call someone while driving at night on a curvy road. I looked up and realized I was driving up a hill on the wrong side of the road.
        So … no more phone for me.
        I figured I was the problem, that I just didn’t have the talent to drive and do the phone. I have a friend who puts his Harley on cruise on the interstate and texts. I’d be road pizza if I tried that.
        My game now is how to tell the difference between a drunk driver and a cell phone user when I am behind them. They both drive too slow in the fast lane and weave around. The phone user generally catches himself before he actually leaves the road, so you see abrupt, violent corrections, while the drunk may drive on the shoulder for 1/4 mile or so.

        • “might get behind my state’s proposed ban on phones while driving.”

          Won’t matter. We have had a ban here for years. Phone is not even allowed to be visible while driving. Makes no difference, just like our ‘keep right except to pass/no traveling in the passing lane’ rules. People don’t care and ignore the rules.

        • It’s been years ago that many surveys showed texting was more dangerous than drunk driving. You can watch the road while technically drunk and drive, not so texting. It’s for that very reason CDL drivers are banned from using cell phones that require more than a single movement to operate, hence, pushing the button on a headset or an in-vehicle button to operate.

          Some people say they’re distracted from talking on a phone regardless of how you began the process. I have never had the problem since I can see and speak concurrently. If you can’t do that, be advised to not sing while driving.

        • I looked up and realized I was driving up a hill on the wrong side of the road.
          So … no more phone for me.

          Amy, the soludtion is stupid simple.. WAIT intil you are on a straight sterch of road with little traffic. the problem is not the phone itself it is the tendency to let that supid little brick RUN YOUR LIFE ?Take authority over the stupid thing. YUO decide when’where to use it. Four lane freeway nobody on it, no oroblem. Heavy traffic, stop and go, lane cutting, heavy rain, etc, LET IT GO. YOU run it, it does not run YOU.

    • two smart phone pet peeves: theres an elevator in my apartment building and it stops fairly often on the way down in the morning. When the door open some idiot male or female glued to it will slowly walk in with no acknowledgment of youir existemce. I want to slap the damn thing out of the rude fuckers hands.

      Two when guys take a piss while holding their phone. I’m like jesus you cant put it down for ten fucking seconds?

      • And the ppl in grocery stores that walk around talking on their phone, barely even buying anything in the store, just walking around having a big (loud) conversation. OMG — they are obnoxious and have no shame and no class and don’t know how to behave in public.

        I LOATHE the stores for putting transceiver antennas in their stores, enabling ppl to use their phones in the store.

        • If near enough, loudly say “SIR (or Madam) the tests are back and not to worry, it is only genital warts”.

          Use your imagination and you can probably come up with even more targeted and embarrassing things if you listen in to the conversation.

      • Just ‘accidentally’ bump into them. They will likely drop their shiny slippery phone and get to watch it smash. Don’t smile outwardly.

    • I regularly pass people while on a motorcycle or car that are driving slowly with a huge gap in front of them because they are looking at their phones. It is infuriating. It now happens about once every other day in Tampa traffic while commuting.

  17. Eric, I do have some good news that not all millennials are hopeless. A friend of mine and fellow gen Xer has a son in high school who had just gotten his license. The boys first car is a 1966 F-100 truck sitting on a 1978 F-250 chassis 4×4 with a manual 4 speed and loud exhaust. And the kid drives it like he owns it. So there may still be hope for the future.

      • She is awesome. People like her have few correlatives in Gen X. She, like Greta is a product of the times.

        One thing I noticed about this current generation is that they are highly engaged in politics. It’s unlike anything that our generation has done, to be honest. It’s good and bad.

        This girl is a well spoken reaction to Greta and her cult.

        I don’t understand or particularly like young people being too involved with politics myself. Often it takes until adulthood to formulate a worldview. I don’t think the same as I did 30 years ago or even 10…

        What’s astounding about today’s kids is their collective assurance in their collective ignorance. People who couldn’t find DC on a map are giving us lectures on climate Justice, the exploitation of Chief Nanny Goat in the 1500s, and all sorts of other woke dialog bullshit. All this instead of just enjoying the good things that life has to offer. .. a nice hot summer day, a road trip and a nice cold beer.

        Similar to the Victorian temperance people, this is an insufferable bunch.

        Millenials

        • While I agree, they’re just repeating the bs they’ve been fed their entire lives. They really do believe it.

          Like the “greatest” stock advisors shilling on the internet, the people who buy into their stocks going up and up have no idea they’re being used so the “great” stock advisors can short shit out of their stock and make scads of money while they pat their victims on the back and tell them “there’s always next time and it’s just around the corner”.

  18. Shit, The gen-xers in Idaho got their licenses when they were 14. All the millenials got them when they were 15. They just recently changed to 16.

    It changed from 14 to 15 in the mid 90’s because a lady that had a wreck with a 14 year old lobbied her dear leaders to up the age. I remember cursing that bitch.

    That was back in a better time when it actually made a lot of difference which state you lived in. Now, with the exception of a handful of states that are really bad like NY, IL, CA, etc., the differences are trivial.

  19. Luckily my 16 year old grandson has been racing go karts for about 6 years and just completed his SCCA road race school and has a full competition license.

    He’s now pretty jacked to learn how the race car works and is developing wrenching skills. When I told him the other day he was using his great-great-grandfather’s Snap-On ratchet and sockets (Pa was a mechanic among other things) to replace the hubs on the car he got a look in his eye that I’d never seen before. He realized what a tradition he was becoming a part of. I dang near teared up.

    • How do I get my future kids involved

      That’s my life goal, get my future kids into gokarting and racing, so they’re not retaded as teens

      • Find a go cart track, call the owner/mngr. and ask if they have rental carts, or schools/lesson. Most do.
        I did this with my son around 12-14, when we were getting heavy into off-road motorcycle racing, and I said to myself ‘I really should show him ‘car’ racing, just to see if he takes to it?’
        The owner/mngr took us on an off day, put us in two really fast single speed carts, I think these were their entry level units, but wholly crap they were awesome. He asked us a bunch of questions to make sure we were not gonna wreck his stuff, gave us some tips and let us loose. The cool thing was a local team was practicing that day (he didn’t know they were coming), and he just asked us to stay out of their way. It was awesome to witness the high end capabilities of the team/drivers, etc…
        I had soooooo much fun (x-motorcycle roadracer), and my son while scared at first, got into a good groove.
        At the end of the day, I told him to think about it for a while and, a couple weeks later he said “I think I like motorcycles a lot better cause I can move my body around to effect what the bike does, and when strapped into the car, I have no body effect. I like the physical part of bike racing over cars”, or something like that.
        Walla, he’s since advanced enough since then to attempt getting to the AA (top 20 in a region) level in the next couple years. Way easier said than done.
        Best of luck.

  20. “Does this kid have any idea how to handle a wheel dropping off the edge of the pavement?

    Probably not.”

    I’m right on the borderline between the millennials and Gen Z and I’d do it on purpose in a heartbeat – in fact I used to all the time – but all I ever hear from other “car enthusiasts” is how selfish I am for wanting to. So there.

  21. I take comfort knowing this 70+ year old guy may very well someday be the “One Eyed King in the Land of The Blind”

  22. It’s so sad to think of what the future holds, I chose to put the youth around me in the fire.
    Racing dirtbikes has been a great tool for me to teach them, that good things in life are hard.
    And not the motocross type, but the off-road type where you’re on your own miles from help. If you want to win, or even do decent, it takes a lot of mettle, smarts, preparation, resolve, etc….

  23. Couldn’t agree more Eric. Well said as usual.
    I blame us GenX parents. Feminism rose, Many men became girly-men.
    These auto issues was one where ‘I put my foot down’. Wife wanted to kill me or worse. Didn’t care.
    My kids would be taught the hard way, drifting and crashing dirtbikes, same on a a side-x-side. Crash the f-er. See what it does, doesn’t do, etc…. I paid the price with many hospital visits and worse. Lucky she really did love me. Today, my kids know how to drive and better. They even race competitively, and have learned more from those really tough lessons than from me. And my wife has admitted that it was worth the effort. Good things are hard.
    I got yelled at by other parents who said to stop teaching their kids this dangerous stuff, hahaha…….. You should see them now.

    • I blame Gen X parents to a degree as well. We ought to have known better. On the other hand, when the rubber meets the road so to speak, our generation had the highest proportion of both parents working, were saddled with increasing insurance rates, property taxes, plagued with persistently high housing costs, and increasingly high vehicle costs as well as energy and utilities.

      Add non existent job security that GI, Silent and early boom people had in their careers, and you have long periods of time when you couldn’t make the payments. This helped add to the divorce rate and the addiction rate for many.

      I remember hearing that we should “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.” Well, you can’t dimimish the value of hard work, but AOC, like a broken clock, might be right on this one. You could afford “bootstraps” when the cost of a mortgage was under $100 a month like I used to hear from many silent gen and early boomers, but when your rent started out at $400 a month and you made $1200 a month in the mid 1980s, it was hard to make ends meet. It’s more like shoelaces.

      I tired of those stories. I call BS when I hear them.

    • Yes: With the “Participation Trophies” for our toddlers, and safety nannies, etc., etc., we created the Millennials.

  24. I just saw how, apparently, important “safety” tech is to people now. I recently drove the XLE trim of the RAV4 Hybrid. Lane keep assist, front radar collision, radar cruise control, automatic speeding warning, etc. were all present but an auto-dimming rear view mirror was not. I was stunned. A week of driving after dark made me realize just how wonderful that tech is. My stripped down ’16 Tradesman Ram 2500 has an auto-dimming mirror for crying out loud, so I thought an auto-dimming rear view had become like intermittent wipers, just another standard feature of a car. For the RAV4, I learned, to get an auto-dimming rear view you have to max it out at the Limited trim, yet the base LE trim gets all the “safety” tech.

  25. Lane Assist was the first thing I turned off on my 2018 Camry after the car nearly killed me on the way home from the dealership when I drifted too close to one of those white lines as I came to a stop at an intersection.

    While the assist can be turned off (for now), the feature depends on a $1200 camera installed behind the rearview mirror which will require replacement when it breaks.

    • Hi Roscoe!

      One of the reasons I added a modern stereo to my ’02 truck is because I will not drive a car with any of these “assists.” I test drive new cars – so I am intimately familiar with how annoying and pestery they are. The constant dinging/flashing lights/buzzing seats/ pecking at you is enough to incite this Saxon’s wrath and contempt.

      As great as new cars are in many ways they are becoming insufferable in others. And the balance has now tilted beyond what makes the former worth the latter.

  26. Well, Eric, to be fair on this “generation” thing. I can recall about thirty-odd years ago, when the “GenXers” were the self-professed “cool, hip” upcoming generation, thinking they’d “invented” all things “cool”, especially sex. Often you’d run into one of them, goatee beard, “slacker ‘tude” and all, all butt-hurt because, in the wake of the recession prevalent in the early 90s, he found his medieval-basket-weaving degree wouldn’t land him a job in Corporate American starting at $80K a year, and he was put upon to work as a barista in a coffee shop.

    Of course, at least your generation, though they tended to “rice out” the Japanese imports, with the occasional BMW, were continuing the “hot rod” tradition in some form. I don’t see today’s feminized young lads doing jack shit these days.

    • Gen Xers got a shit sandwich from their boomer siblings and their silent parents. The recession of the early 1990s sucked dog feces for everyone in all walks of life. They returned the shit sandwich in the form of Millenials and Gen Z, which we all hate.

      My generation did rice out cars and could work on muscle crap blind folded.

      Gen X is an unlucky one, marred by time. Born at the tail end of the American high (1965), came of age during an awakening and reaching middle age during an unprecedented crisis largely created by elitists. We are fucked.

      • I was born midway through 64- I’ve always considered myself a Generation X. I agree completely with what you said- all my life I’ve considered myself as trying to survive and eke out a living in the wake of a vast horde of locusts.

        After the silent gen accepted socialism following the depression and WW2, the boomers came along and put it on the fast track. Gun control, “child support”, femmunism, ever increasing welfare, more and more enforcers, more and more taxes and controls. I remember a pretty good country, and optimism that we would undo all that crap. Unfortunately too many yuppie boomers made way too much money and got way too much power on that.

        Look at the clown car of Communist candidates running under the “D” banner. All aging boomers proud of how much they’ve done to us and scheming to do it harder and deeper until they’ve f**ked us to death. Then I look at the “R” side and see that the proferred alternative is a sick amalgamation of socialism, fascism, and plain old despotism.

        I raised my kids as well as I could, the boy came out- carries his gun like I taught him and has no respect for illegitimate authority. But there are so few decent girls out there for him to make a life with. The girls I mostly lost to the lure of femmunism- the grrl power brainwashing is just too seductive.

        So yes- we got a s**t sandwich- and now the millenials are rebelling but against the wrong things. We were simply born in a bad time- and the technology gave it such promise.

        • This is also why people fleeing a diseased place inevitably spread the disease – they just don’t make the connection between their opinions, expressed at the ballot box, and the disintegration of their previous home. People from a place like, say, California get tired of extortionate taxes and not being able to do anything fun without it being illegal somehow, and they realize there’s more freedom in Colorado or Alaska. But when they get there, they still want to save the planet, and help the poor, and promote diversity and inclusion, and reduce gun violence, and, and, and… and soon enough, their new home comes to resemble their old one. They never realize that their noble causes, by definition, cause the sickness they fled from, and that there is no way to have the former without the latter.

          The secret ingredient is gradualism. Californians didn’t just wake up one morning and decide in unison that they wanted bullet buttons and EV mandates. They got there slowly, over many decades, and to this day the state’s liberalism is mainly a function of the dingbat-infested coastal counties leading everyone else around by the nose. So when California expats move somewhere else, they may be tired of bullet buttons and homeless camps, but what’s wrong with a little common-sense gun legislation, or some protections for this beautiful wilderness area, or a small welfare program just for the poorest among us, or…? And by the time their new home becomes inhospitable enough to realize something’s wrong and leave, it’s too late. The cancer of big government has already metastasized.

          • Thats why I call it the Zombie Plague. These poor fools take their Prog mentality with them, and infect and subvert any place they flee to.

          • I am not as charitable in my description of people who advocate gun control, saaaaaaaaafety or any of the other trappings of liberalism except for maybe a social safety net. Even there, the social safety net has been blown apart by inflation and the “less government” crowd that couldn’t prioritize their dinner. I’m sick of the whole lot

          • ‘Round here, we say “I don’t care how you did it up Nowth.
            Y’all don’t like what you found here, Delta is ready when you are, have you in Cleveland by evening, can we help y’all pack?”

            A Spectator

          • The New Hampshire legislature met every two years. There were no sales or income taxes. The folks running from Massachusetts became folks ruining New Hampshire. And so it goes.

            I agree with the folks just below this. Yankees are destroying the South. Me? I am A Repentant Yankee Living in Occupied Alabama. It occasionally disheartens me, though, that many “born and bred” southerners (lower case for them) are bigger Yankees than those from whom I fled up north. (The first thing that gives you a clue is that they refer to the Civil War.)

        • Us boomers were the last generation to see real wage growth, despite our “forbears” (those of the “greatest generation”) “poisoning the well” with misguided “civil-rights (for some)” “affirmative action” and ” forced “public accommodation” statutes which effectively disenfranchised us whites (especially white males).
          As well, our “birthright” was stolen from us with the imposition of the “Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965” which redirected immigration away from Europe in favor of the third-world.
          Us boomers were too young to affect the political process, which, by then had been given over to “you know who”.
          ALL of these things were “put in place” BEFORE us boomers were able to exercise the political process. We “inherited” our “troubles” from those of “the greatest generation”.
          Gotta admit, we did have cool cars…

  27. I see 2 things with these idiot kids: 1) A talented free thinker will be able to make a fortune while his nascent competitors sit around whining; or 2) These lazy fools will elect a Stalin to “save them” and America will be another has-been of history.

    I’m raising my 8 year old son to see opportunity where others see obstacles. (And shoot a rifle)

    • Right on Auric. I say the same thing to my kids (19-21) and their friends. “you guys have such a huge advantage over your typical idiot peers, it’s up to you to do something with it”.

  28. Not only that, but the millennial does not know how to live without technical assistance. I find that many can barely speak English, after spending their entire communicative life texting. Few have any mechanical skills at all, and would look at the prospect of changing a tire as an insurmountably complicated procedure. Current culture has produced a crop of helpless snowflakes who will perish the moment life becomes difficult, spelling the end of western culture.

    • It’s so sad to think of what the future holds, I chose to put the youth around me in the fire.
      Racing dirtbikes has been a great tool for me to teach them, that good things in life are hard.
      And not the motocross type, but the off-road type where you’re on your own miles from help. If you want to win, or even do decent, it takes a lot of mettle, smarts, preparation, resolve, etc….

    • funny that you say change a tire. Yesterday one of my ‘students’ had to change his dirtbike tire. Took him 3 hours, all the time he’s looking, crying at me for help, knowing that I can do it 5 minutes, and I just keep snickering “nope not gonna help”.

    • Eric’s coffee shop encounter reminded me of this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpE1Pa8vvI

      Not long ago I went to one of the chain parts stores to pick up a few small items. The millennial tending the register had to get one of the older guys out from the back because he did not know how to make a cash sale. (Forget any of the younger crowd knowing how to manually count out change – if the register didn’t show it to them they’d be helpless.)

      To be fair there certainly are some hard-working, knowledgeable young people. Contrast the millennial gal at Eric’s coffee shop with this one:

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

      • Hi Eric,

        I started “stealing” my mom’s car when I was 15. It was a 1979 Dodge Colt with a 4 sp. manual.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Colt#/media/File:1977-78_Dodge_Colt.jpg

        I was responsible for closing up the house in the evenings. Sometimes, I would “forget” to close the electric garage door. I’d wake up around 2 AM, put the car in neutral, push it to the end of the driveway and position it in the street. This was far enough from the house that, when I started the car, my parents would not hear it and wake up. I’d joyride for a couple of hours and finish by approaching the house, turning off the engine and the lights, and coasting into the garage. I did eventually get caught; still feel bad about the look on my father’s face when I stealth rolled into the garage at 3 in the morning.

        Cheers,
        Jeremy

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