Engine Shrinkage

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If you can remember the ‘80s, you can remember the downsizing of cars. Which, like the downsizing of the American economy (and American life, generally) that’s been under way for the past six months or so, wasn’t the result of natural forces  but imposed by the government.

Which is to say – and it’s important to say it, in order to understand it – a relative handful of people who’ve somehow become the Deciders Unlimited for the rest of us. Some will say these people – and so, “the government” – represent us because we voted for them. The problem there, of course, is that only some of us voted for them. Many of us voted against. Some not at all.

So the representation argument falls apart.

These people who are “the government” don’t “represent” us – i.e., a collective universality; a rhetorical abstract. They perhaps represent some of us – the rest of us are in thrall. But it’s deeper than that since even those who are “represented” actually aren’t except in a very vague manner that doesn’t hold up to close examination, either.

Nowhere on any ballot yet cast in the United States is full proxy power formally given. Yet the “representatives” claim they are fully empowered to act as unlimited proxies; to do as they wish because the voter wished them to do so – but without actually getting the explicit consent of the voter as regards how to act. It is not uncommon, in fact, for a “representative” to do precisely the opposite of what he promised the voters he would do.

“Read my lips – no new taxes!”

Does anyone remember that one?

How about “Lock her up!”? More recent. Also undone. While other things were done; things the “represented” never requested or consented to.

Like Diaper Decrees and Lockdowns.

Like the downsizing of cars back in the ‘80s.

This happened because the government – i.e., the busybody class – decided on our behalf that cars used to too much gas. It was not left to us to decide – by not buying cars that used too much gas, thereby prompting the car companies to sell cars that used less gas. Instead, the busybody class decreed that new cars – all new cars – would use less gas. And the easiest way to comply with that decree was to make cars smaller and thus, lighter. It takes less gas to move less weight.

This is why small, front-wheel-drive cars like the Chrysler K-car became the dominant type of American car where formerly that type of car had been typically imported – and constituted a much smaller portion of the American car market – which was then dominated by large, rear-wheel-drive cars.

They were the typical American car – once upon a time.

Such cars were outlawed – without passing an actual law outlawing them. They could still be made – and sold. But their cost would rise (via ever-increasing fines attached to their manufacture, for “guzzling” gas) such that only the affluent could afford to buy them, which is why such cars (with one exception, the Dodge Charger; get one while you can) are now all high-end luxury-badged cars that the rest of us can no longer afford.

It goes without saying – or ought to – that the busybody class isn’t affected by any of this. It guzzles oceans of gas, via V8-powered armored limousines and government-provided (with your dollars) SUVs.

But big vehicles made an unexpected comeback, because engineers  know how to make things while the busybody class only knows how to order things. They were large – and “compliant.” Which presented a problem, since the purpose of all of this – from the standpoint of the busybody class – is to get rid of cars entirely.

Well, not for them. But for the rest of us.

Thus new decrees – this time not primarily about gas in liquid form but a different gas, in vaporous form. A gas there was too much of this time. A gas that can only be eliminated by eliminating the engine – which is a process now well under way.

Look under the hood of almost any new vehicle  – and bring a magnifying glass. Even big ones have tiny engines. The aptly named VW Atlas – a three-row SUV that’s bigger than three old Beetles welded together. It has an engine – a 2.0 liter four – that’s hardly bigger than an old Beetle’s 1.6 liter four. An Atlas rival, the Subaru Ascent, comes with nothing larger than 2.4 liters and four cylinders. Ditto the Mazda CX9, which seats eight – and comes only with a four.

You can’t get a V8 in Ford’s full-sized SUV, the Expedition. Chevy’s half-ton truck pushes four cylinder power as a virtue-signaling device.

You may need a microscope for the next one, Buick’s Encore GX. This is a small crossover SUV with an almost nonexistent engine. Three cylinders and 1.2 liters. Many motorcycles have bigger engines.

Pedal power – electric power – is at the end of this tunnel. 

The winnowing will continue – will accelerate, if the Green  New Deal is enacted, which it will almost certainly be if the Orange Man isn’t re-elected and may be regardless. It will be decided be what is styled “our representatives” whether to impose new regulations and fines that won’t outlaw engines outright but will have the same effect.

The busybody class – which represents itself very well – will not be troubled, since the costs imposed are meant for us, not them.

And because we pay their costs, no matter what they are.

. . .

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Eric, not sure if you’ve heard – the European busy bodies are at hard at “work” (using the word loosely) and are in the process of making the new “Euro 7” regulations. And here, they intend to stop the smaller engines with forced induction as power replacements by making a cap on power per displacement!!! One of the bosses at Porsche has already come out and said that this will lead to bigger engines once again !! (though I suspect by this time the engine would have become so expensive that the electric car will seem an economically rational decision)

    Looks like the whole thing has gone full circle !!!

  2. Or move to hybrid powertrains…e.g. if you want a new Toyota minivan it’s a (traditional) hybrid.

    Toyota’s hybrid system is well-proven…don’t know about other OEMs.

  3. Not only did spray-tan man not lock her up, but he hired all of her criminal buddies. Gee, thanks, all talk, no action. But he’s the “white jesus”, our savior, our leader!

    BTW, I’m pretty sure ol’ hitlery passed away — she’s never been seen since 9/11/2016 [i think that was the year]. Remember — she passed out and fell over when leaving the event (there was some event in NY that day I think, and she attended it), and ever since then they’ve had her lookalikes pretending they were her, but they don’t really go out in public anyways. What kind of govt is this anyways — when they have LOOKALIKES pretending to be our govt officials? Isn’t that kind of, uh, I dunno, deceivious & just plain NUTS?! How do we know they’re even them?

    • In 2014, Hitlary told the WaPo that zhe (it?) hasn’t driven a car since 1996.

      Supposedly the Secret Service asked her not to drive. But one has to suspect the real reason is that the smoldering anger inside this appalling old battle ax makes her dangerously susceptible to road rage.

      Naturally a non-driver cares not a whit about the survival of personal vehicles.

      Doubtless the hideous old crone (or her double, as the case may be) will offer her ‘services’ to the Harris-Biden administration.

      If the Bidenites paid any attention to how Hitlary used her extorted post in the Obama administration to pursue her own agenda (which is all that she’s ever done), they will brush off the Hildabeest with a polite no.

      After all, Hitlary remains a felon at large, whether the ‘justice’ system takes any action to apprehend her or not.

  4. The most insidious, and illegal per the Constitution, is that at this point in time, most “laws” aren’t laws at all. They are regulations created by bureaucracies which do NOT include anyone that was elected. Congress “authorizes” them to do so. Since such regulations are de facto laws, they are illegal, because all laws must be passed by legislation and enforced by the executive branch. There is no mention of such powers granted in the Constitution. Which means they aren’t valid. Bureaucracy has devolved from a part of government to the form of government. A multitude of marxists proclaim loudly that our “democracy” is being assaulted, all the while those that insinuate themselves in our lives the most, never have to face an election.

    • JWK,
      “…they are illegal…” Exactly.

      There are 454 illegal federal “agencies” controlling individuals and states: https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies
      Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
      prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      The Constitution did not grant any “rights”. It delineates the powers/limits of the federal government.
      Rights are inalienable, unalienable, natural, fundamental, or God-given – not to be taken away by
      despots, politicians, would-be dictators or a “goddamned piece of paper”.

        • And obviously true. The Constitution is an abject failure. Obviously so since it did not prevent any of this tyranny we now suffer. It does not provide for external enforcement. The States were understood to be that authority, until Abraham Lincoln and his Yankee cohorts outlawed that very means of enforcement. Leaving the fox in charge of the hen house. As a result there is nothing except just another branch of a criminal government, SCOTUS, to prevent any criminal act they may engage in. And they don’t.

  5. I remember Mao’s China from the early 1970s. Everybody rode bicycles, EXCEPT for members of the Party, who rode around in limousines (in their “worker” outfits).

    Looks like that’s where we’re headed…

  6. It looks like we will all be driving F250s! Ford offers almost a brand-new 7.3-liter V8 gasoline engine as the second option. New V8 generates 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. According to Ford, new powertrain offers the best-in-class figures for a gasoline engine. If you want a diesel, astonishing 6.7-liter V8 offers incredible performance. This engine has been rated at 475 horses and 1050 lb-ft of torque.

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