The New Brands vs. the Gone Ones

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There are about a half-dozen fewer brands of new cars today than there were about fifteen years ago – and almost all of them were not luxury brands. They were brands like Plymouth and Saturn and Scion (to name a few) that were economy car brands.

Today, there are an almost an equal number of new brands – and every single one of them is a high-end/luxury car brand. Tesla, Rivian, Hummer – to name a few. They all sell electric cars that cost twice as much (or more) than the cars sold by Plymouth and Saturn and Scion.

The cars sold by the remaining brands that still sell affordable cars are also less affordable than they were fifteen years ago, too.

Partly because there are very few new cars left on the market at all – most having been retired in favor of crossovers, those SUV-like things that all look-alike. Crossovers have largely replaced cars, arguably, because cars have become so costly – even the “affordable” ones. Even the little ones – models like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic that were, fifteen years ago, very affordable (and so very economical; the price you have to pay being at least as important to the bottom line as the fuel you don’t burn).

Back in ’07, you could buy a new Toyota Corolla for $14,305 – assuming you paid full MSRP sticker for it. You could almost buy two. Many did – and that made a little car feasible for people who needed more than just one little car.

A ’22 starts at $20,425. Harder to buy two of those. So people buy just one crossover, which has more room than one little car.

And yes, inflation.

Yes – exactly. Back in 2007, the money you had available to buy a new car didn’t lose 8 percent (more like 12 percent) of its buying power over the course of a year. So – back in ’07 – a $14k new Corolla actually cost you $14k. Not 8-12 percent more than that, in terms of what it really cost to buy it.

Plus, of course, the cost of gas. Or rather, minus that – gas costing about half as much then as it costs today (and today you buy it with rapidly depreciating Biden Bucks).

Today, there only a few new cars you can buy for what a Corolla actually cost back in ’07 and their ranks dwindle with each new model year. You can still get a Mitsubishi Mirage for about the same actual cost as an ’07 Corolla. Everything else costs more.

Most costs a great deal more.

Given how much these cars cost, people increasingly go for a crossover that costs the same because at least you get more room, kind of like going for the Exit row in economy class.

But these seats aren’t cheap.

You’d think there’d be more demand for exactly that. Cheap seats.  Cars that cost less rather than more – because people have less rather than more. This was the usual dynamic in prior times, as for example (and most famously) the ’70s – which was the time the Japanese brands – especially Toyota and Honda, also Datsun (today’s Nissan) and Subaru, too – made huge gains in the U.S. because they sold cars that cost less to buy and operate than the cars being made by what were then the Big Three (now much smaller, all of them).

Today – weirdly – all the new entrants are cars that cost much more to buy. And soon, to operate, too. You may have heard about how the cost of electricity is going up and that the cost to charge an EeeeeeeVeeeee approaches the cost to fuel up a car like the Corolla.

This would of course make perfect sense if people had more money to afford this. It is why every new house has not only plumbing and electricity but also (usually) AC, too. These things got less expensive – and people had more money. But cars aren’t getting less expensive – and people have less money, both in terms of what they earn and the buying power of what they’ve earned.

Yet it’s as if – to reach back into the past for a relevant weirdness – the bakers of bread in Weimar Germany were wrapping the loaves of bread in gold leaf and expecting people to pay twice as much with half as much money.

Of course in those days you couldn’t finance a loaf for six years. You can do that – and longer – with a car (a crossover) today. This stretching out of the cost over many years works just like spreading out the debris shoved under a carpet. But you can’t do it forever.

Just for awhile.

That is probably how long the current lunacy will last. This business of new $50,000-plus brands (all EeeeeeeeeeVeeeeeee) cropping up with the regularity of dandelions after a spring shower.

More like tulips. As in tulip mania – the textbook case of a speculative frenzy that ended when people recovered their senses, many of them after having lost their shirts.

At some point, economic reality – which can be considered a synonym for sanity – will reassert itself. In the meanwhile, expect the mania to increase.

But let others buy into it.

. . .

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45 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, Eric,
    Last time I flew SWA ONT->PHX, it really sucked,
    SW was once a decent airline, but no more.
    The seats have been downgraded to the point of discomfort, which is just not acceptable.

    No more for me, thank you.
    Henceforth, any transcontinental travel will be via Amtrak.
    Hint: pay for the sleeper compartment, unless you enjoy interacting with obnoxious drunks.

    > closely avoided getting myself in real trouble.
    I resemble that remark. 🙂

    I *CAN* recommend Hawaiian Air, at least from 3 years ago.
    LAX->LIH was very pleasant and uneventful. As always, YMMV.

    • Hi Adi,

      One of the reasons I’ve been considering a small travel trailer is so I can travel again. I can’t fly given the situation. It’s simply not worth it to me on multiple levels. A small travel trailer also strikes me as a sound back-up plan for possible really tough times ahead in that it beats Hell out of a tent, especially in winter.

      I’m up still, by the way, on account of I torqued my knee somehow and sleep isn’t happening right now!

  2. I have to occasionally fly because of work and I loathe it because of what you detailed. The surliness of the airline staff is galling, but so is that of the passengers. Not to mention the Smurf Nazi TSA.

    A few years after 9/11, I was flying commercial for work and the smurf suited HUT-HUT-HUT-HUT TSA dip-dunk no-load demanded that I remove my shoes. I told him I don’t think so and some National Guardsman double-timed it over and pointed his M-16 at my head. I noticed he had his finger in the trigger guard and the safety was set to fire.

    I told him that he was pointing his weapon at a superior officer and that I was ordering him to lower it. I retrieved my military ID showing me as a Major in the USAF Reserve and his demeanor changed immediately as he realized he’d made a world-class mistake. I got the plane without any further issues, but it did irritate the people in line behind me. Sorry, but I’m not walking on the dirty ass carpet of the airport in dress socks.

    It was absurd, but no less than this security theater that every airline traveler is subjected to under the guise of stopping “terrorism.” Private companies should be responsible for taking care of this task, not the Imperial Federal Government.

    I sometimes wonder if the whole point is dissuade normal people from flying, because I was less likely to jump on an airplane to go anywhere after that experience.

    • “I sometimes wonder if the whole point is dissuade normal people from flying,”…

      I’ve thought the same thing, either it’s a conscious black-magic effort or some form of synchronicity in that flying, which was a freeing and exciting experience is now degrading, a pain in the ass, and as you said, either do the whole “welcome to jail” routine or get a gun pointed at your head. Fuckers.

  3. “At some point, economic reality … will reassert itself.”
    Unfortunately, such reassertion is often quite unpleasant, to the point of death.
    Economic reality, aka the free market, was created by God. There is no flaw in it. We are the victims of over a hundred years of self proclaimed “authorities” assuming their own Godhood. The sad truth is that the result may include one of the major goals of such psychopaths. Depopulation. Unfortunately for them, they will be among the “depopulated”. Perhaps first in line.

  4. I have often found it curious that the inventor of the SUV, International Harvester, is no longer in business. The International Harvester Scout was, unfortunately for them, about a decade too early.

  5. “‘At some point, economic reality … will reassert itself.”’ — Eric

    In a free market, that would be the case. In a free market, we would never have even gotten to this point….but we no long have a free market- we have an artificial market perverted by the existence of a third party (Uncle) which has now controls virtually every aspect of the market; and the manufacturers no longer have to please the customers, but rather dictate to the customers, and are now even complicit with the government which dictates to them. Since the natural inputs and stimuli are now essentially gone or at least greatly buffered, the natural and timely response that one would expect to be made to market conditions is so delayed or lacking entirely, that by the time anything could be done or anyone even realizes what is going on, it is too late- assuming that the freedom even existed for the manufacturers to repond to those conditions- which it largely doesn’t- and it’s largely the manufacturers own fault that it doesn’t.

  6. I find it interesting that virtually all of the defunct brands of this century weren’t stand alone brands…but rather just alternate marques of still-extant manufacturers which sold the same basic junk as their respective parent company, only in different trim and with different options/gadgetry, which, was the only way to differentiate between a so-called ‘luxury’ model and lesser models. The defunct marques were superfluous- unlike the contraction in the auto industry in mid-20th century, when we lost a bunch of actual stand-alone manufacturers, like Kaiser and Hudson and Studebaker and Willys (Don’t touch my Willy!).

    The contraction of this century was more of a streamlining, -the manufacturers getting rid of unnecessary duplication in the artificial market which they created. It is ironic that unlike Henry Ford who started out building cars that the masses could afford, today’s manufacturers are seeking to appeal mainly to the affluent, with only a smattering of truly lamentable crap-boxes for the average American (Though the average American continues to buy the vehicles intended for the affluent, even if they have to sell a lung and impoverish themselves to do so), while at the same time, these ‘woke’ manufacturers are pursuing policies and agendas which ultimately will destroy the very classes who can afford to buy their vehicles.

    • Hi Nunz

      I agree your post, but I think the biggest problem is the younger generations have been indoctrinated so much that everything now is a replica and repeat of something prior. This is not only referring to autos, but movies, music, TV shows, fashion, furniture, etc. Creativity and innovativeness were traits to be admired and applauded over the previous century, but the education system has made it dangerous for young minds to dream today. The new rules are everyone and everything must be included and represented. History must be rewritten to showcase this and punishment is harsh if one deviates from these lessons.

      These teachings leaves an individual fearful to stray from the new normal. It is sad and sickening because it sacrifices the greatest trait of all…the imagination.

      • Very good point, RG!!

        Related: While I gave up TV decades ago, I’ve occasionally had the unfortunate experience of being exposed to a blaring TV on rare occasions over the years, and it would always kill me when a commerical would be playing for some obnoxious new movie….and they’d have a good old classic song from the 60’s or 70’s playing as the anthem for said movie. I’d always pray that it would never be a song that I like, ’cause that would pretty much kill the song for me. It happened with some songs I vaguely liked…once I’d hear it blasted over and over in such a commercial obnoxiously to try and lend credibility to the crappy movie being advertised, I could no longer stand to ever hear that song agin.

        All of these redux things are similar- be they cars with the names of good old classic, or movies trying to capitalize on the success of some good old nostalgic show, -they’
        re always an abomination.

        [Blaring from TV speaker]: “Coming to a theater near you” [138 seconds of loud annoying percussive noises] “It’s SUPERPERSON!! [Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side blares] -“Superperson! Able to crush abortion protesters in a single bound! Faster than Joe Biden locating a little girl in a crowd! Who can read warped minds to instantly identify any of the 27 genders! Who always uses the correct pronoun and invents new ones as needed!” [“….and the colored girls say, doo…doo-dooo..doo-doo doo-doo….”]…….

        • I feel your pain, Nunz. GM is now using Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” for their new electric car commercial. When I first heard it, I yelled “Nooooo.” Great song, shitty ad, but now I associate the song with the advertisement. I don’t know if I am getting older or if I hate EVs that much. I never had that response when GM used Bob Seger’s “Like a Rock” to advertise their Silverado truck series. But, then again, I like trucks so maybe that is the difference.

  7. ‘At some point, economic reality … will reassert itself.’ — eric

    One would think. This morning the Slimes has an article about booming EeeVee sales in China. It is full of rich contradictions. Some are quoted saying that ICE vehicles and EeeVees compete on a level playing field, with EeeVees being highly economical.

    But a few grafs down, the contradictory caveats appear:

    ‘Beijing said last month that it was extending a tax waiver for new energy vehicles until 2023 at a cost of $14 billion.

    ‘In Chengdu, traditional cars are restricted from being on the road certain days of the week to help reduce congestion and pollution. Electric vehicles, however, are free to come and go. For electric cars, parking is free for the first two hours at public parking lots.

    ‘[Buyers] also benefit from a government subsidy that can knock nearly $2,000 off the sticker price, depending on the E.V. Also, the government will waive a 10 percent car purchase tax on “new energy” vehicles — a catchall phrase used in China that also includes plug-in hybrid cars.’

    https://archive.ph/Vc07p#selection-765.176-765.449

    Well, hell. If you really need to drive into Chengdu every day, then an EeeVee is the only game in town. But without the artificial nudges and incentives, would EeeVees still be booming?

    As usual with the Lügenpresse, one must pay attention to the dog that didn’t bark: coal accounts for 55% of energy use in China, according to the EIA. Coal-powered EeeVees aren’t actually green at all.

    • Hi Publius,

      Yup. I expect that to be official, soon. There are only two Chrysler models left and one of those is the 300 sedan. Perhaps an EeeeeeeeeVeeeeee version is coming. That plus a minivan is probably not going to keep the brand afloat for long.

      • The proud Mopar brand is all but DEAD.

        Remember that ’66 Chrysler Newport in the music video by Blue Oyster Cult, “Burning for You”? That’s when Mopars had some “SOUL”…e.g., even if all that Newport had was the 361 “B” block engine sucking through a Carter two-barrel, it still had enough low-end torque to move that beast more than adequately off the line. As a kid, although I had my own ride, borrowed my Dad’s ’66 Dodge Coronet 440, the two-door one, that had the “Poly” 318…and even room to “get lucky” at the drive-in!

        But, as if the “Malaise Era” didn’t strangle the performance out of Mopars with those gawd-awful emissions regs (“Electronic Lean Burn” was hell to tune right, but IF you learned the tricks, it was sweet…), once they went to the “K” cars and their derviatives, especially the minivans, it just wasn’t the same anymore.

        I’ll give Chrysler this, though…they made decent minivans and for some time, the now ex-wife and I had a Pacifica that drove and handled well. When Mopar brought out the Magnum, and then the Charger and Challenger, it seems that some of what had made the brand worthwhile was BACK. But that’s ending too, this year. Damn. They just don’t get it at Hammtrack anymore.

        • Hi Doug,

          It’s tragic about Mopar. Especially at this moment in time, because Dodge and Ram and Jeep have stellar, strong-selling models in their portfolio and they are abandoning all of them in favor of EeeeeeeeeeeeVeeeeeees to “comply” with this Green Mile last walk into oblivion.

  8. There’s no fixing this at the ballot box. One side will do whatever their corporate paymasters require, while the other is obsessed with Gaia worship, wiping out “whiteness” and whatever weirdo outrage occupies their restless, evil minds.

    Their diabolical dream is the Soviet Union: The serfs living in identical apartment blocks, greatly reduced in number and working menial jobs with no chance of advancement, riding public transportation and eating bugs while they eat Kobe beef, fly on private jets and ride around in their version of Zil limousines to their dachas on the river.

    Thankfully, the whole rotten mass of this government is nearing collapse. Once the Great American Empire collapses, the government will be like it is in Third World countries and the way our Founders intended: Distant and relatively powerless. The whole idea of the federal government worming its way into every aspect of life has ruined this nation.

    • ‘the federal government worming its way into every aspect of life has ruined this nation’ — dr_mantis_toboggan_md

      In the 1950s, when US states still possessed a degree of sovereignty, American commentators would compare the US to classic centrally-managed regimes like France and Japan, pointing out America’s greater freedom and adaptability.

      No point making such a comparison now, when the US fedgov micromanages every detail of life. When I read The Federalist Papers as a student, I thought it was brilliant. Now it reads like a sadistic satire. What were they thinking?

    • So many “conservatives” had been deluded that they’re “winning” (ala Charlie Sheen) and will turn things around this coming election (farce). Either the “steal” redux will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for the Democrats (as if the Republicans aren’t well-practiced at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!), or, even if a GOP blowout is acknowledged, either the new class in the 118th Congress will be quickly bought off and/or intimidated into fecklessness, OR, the Phony POTUS will simply declare the elections “tainted” and rule by decree, with a court-ordered substitute Clown-gress to rubber-stamp what his puppeteers want done.

  9. I’m constantly amazed by what people are willing to put up with. Flying must be amazing because it seems like it gets worse every year. The psychopaths running airlines must not think much of their customers.

    I flew for the first time since 2019 last week. Nearly full planes on all legs. Paid for extra leg room/bulkhead on the return flight and glad I did. Got lucky on the flight out becuase no one was in the middle seat. All-in the cost was just over $1000, but I got free parking flying out of Aspen and left the truck at the office. Other times I’ve flown from DEN and saved on the flight but paid up for parking and getting a room the night before, so I figure that was a wash.

    As I watched my fellow travelers get on the planes I wondered how they were physically going to fit in the seats, and indeed some clearly did not. There was a bit of a shuffle in one or two rows to balance out the blubber and the sticks.

    However, I’m saving the best part for last…

    Flight from DEN to ASE: The RJ is sitting at gate B51 (jetway gate), which is a little odd because it is an regional jet and they’re normally at outdoor access gates downstairs. OK whatever. Means I didn’t have to sprint through the airport to get my connection so I settle in. Gate attendant annouces departure will be 30 minutes late because of a delayed connection. OK, odd, no big deal, so go for a little walk. Happen to notice two police officers standing around the gate. We load up the plane, then sit for another 20 minutes “just to give these folks a little more time to make it.” Finally Nancy Peloci and her entourage get on the plane. Flight to Aspen uneventful. Two black Surburbans waiting on the tarmac at Sardy Field speed her off with police escort. Don’t kid yourself, the United States has a monarchy.

    Imagine my suprise on Sunday morning when I read that she made an appearance at the Global Citizen communist concert. My guess is she flew to Aspen, spent the night at her place in Woodycreek, then got a charter flight to NY for the show. Nice carbon footprint there Nancy.

    https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/festival/nyc/2022/

    • Hi RK,

      I doubt I will ever fly (commercial) again. It is unendurable for me, probably because I can remember how it used to be. The low-rentness of it is bad enough. Hordes of people, many of the most obnoxious sort. Ugly, harried old bags – or gay men “flight attendants.” The smells. The Third World experience, including the ubiquitous delays. But above all, I deeply despise being herded (and hefted) like a steer – by lowlife cretins with authority to have you manacled if you dare to stand up to their insolence. I almost lost control of myself the last time I was obliged to fly and closely avoided getting myself in real trouble.

      I am wise enough to avoid putting myself in situations like that now.

    • RK,
      My flying days ended when the DHS appeared. It would serve no purpose for me to try. If some unqualified goon put their hands on me, I would be departed on my way to jail. This may have contributed to my divorce from my wife of 35 years, because I refused to fly with her to Florida for her father’s funeral. Even though I volunteered I would drive there. Two years later, she left. Good riddance.

    • Hi Mike,

      If the rumors that are surrounding China right now can be validated there won’t be a country worldwide that will not be economically destitute.

      • Hi RG,

        Which rumors, specifically? I’ve not heard anything new recently – being preoccupied with the prospect of nukes flying on account of Keeeeeeeeeeeev!

        • I’ve heard a rumor that there was a coup and Xi is under house arrest. It’s circulating the internet lately.

          Personally, I find it difficult to believe. But, who knows?

        • The rumor is that Xi is under house arrest and a military coup is underway. There is over 20 miles of military equipment going into Beijing. It is a rumor, but something funny is going on. I have only been able to pick up bits and pieces from Eastern Hemisphere news stations mainly out of India and the Middle East. The Western media has shutoff any discussion about it, China has canceled 60% of their air flights over the Mainland this prior weekend. There has been assumptions from a change in leadership or The Red Dragon is preparing for war.

          It could very well be nothing. Kinda of like the times the USSA media starts making assumptions that North Korea’s Jong Un is sick or dying and then he shows up sometime shortly fat and happy. Because the Western media isn’t talking about it makes me nervous.

          • The 20th peoples congress is next month. The party is going to decide if Xi gets another 5 years in charge or not. There is a fairly large number of dissent voices in the party who favor a less authoritative government, but I don’t know how much power they really have. Xi has been working on consolidating his power and reducing layers of bureaucracy so he has more direct control over the PLA. If anything, I would think any troop moves are to show Xi’s strength, not to take him down.

            https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/30/asia/china-20th-communist-party-congress-intl/index.html

          • RG,
            The question being, would it make a significant difference in the US if the rumors are true? The Western hegemon would still be at war with China. Because it has already fallen of the cliff of its own design. Just hasn’t hit bottom yet. China has options, having more resources and more people. And a lot of willing partners. Like Russia, who also has options.

            • Hi John,

              Honestly, my answer would be yes, because regime change is never for the better. It is best to deal with the enemy you know rather than the one that you don’t. I won’t even describe the possible panic that this would inflict on the global economy and the coming depression that it would bring with it.

              By the USSA whoring herself to the lowest bidder we could not provide the needed resources and essentials to keep our country running on short notice. Ninety percent of all medication is manufactured out of China. Whose parents will be sacrificed when they cannot get their insulin, statins, or blood pressure meds? Globalization is never for the greater good. There is always the possibility of war or a collapse. When one outsources their needs, the outcome may be one they did not anticipate.

              • So the US would hit the bottom a bit sooner.
                One might reasonably expect the “new” China to behave much like the old China. So far, China can’t get along without foreign markets, so I would not expect those markets to do without Chinese imports.
                Regime change is NEVER better? So the US Revolutionary war was fought for nothing? I would agree that it has steadily degenerated into NOT better, but it started out well.
                This whole notion of “our enemies” does nothing for the people of either nation. It does make bankers and the Military Industrial Complex fatter and happier, but that’s about it. The gravest threat to our liberty, prosperity, and our very lives is not in China, nor Russia. it’s in Washington DC, and the quicker we realize that the better off we’ll be.

                • Hi John,

                  I will stick with my original intent that regime change is never for the better. All regime change is authoritative (even the Revolutionary War). We went from a monarchy to a republic. Did anything really change? Were people any freer? We didn’t it make it past Washington’s first term before the US government was centralized again and the rights of the individual were accosted. The elites always demand more power. The US government was no different. It was still run by (and elected by) the elites.

                  The winners write history. They can make it sound as gory or great as they want.

                  As for “enemies” that honor stands for every government not just China (but, yes, China is one). All governments should be looked upon as the enemy of the individual. I do not see Washington DC being any different when the sole focus is to rob a human being of their natural right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

                  • RE: “As for “enemies” that honor stands for every government not just China (but, yes, China is one).”

                    That reminds me of what The Daily Bell & Brandon Smith have highlighted: it’s not ‘nations’ so much as it’s The Power Elite and their strong arm – the Central Banks in probably all nations – all controlled via The Bank for International Settlements (B.I.S.).

                    I watched a video from ‘Doug and Stacy’ about money & ‘The Hamilton Project’ & a recent F.J.B. Executive Order.
                    I could easily see many on this blog make similar statements.

                    …I’ve not read anything about, ‘The Hamilton Project’ or the E.O. mentioned in the video. (90% of Central Banks are implementing digital currency?)

                    ‘CASH is gone! Get ready…It is NOW LAW!!’

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voD64p–q-8

                    Anyway, RE: “All regime change is authoritative (even the Revolutionary War). […] Were people any freer?”

                    You’re definitely paying attention. Reminds me of Gary North’s bit:

                    ‘The American Revolution Was a Mistake’

                    … “The Boston Tea Party was in fact a well-organized protest against lower prices stemming from lower taxes.” …

                    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/07/gary-north/the-american-revolution-was-a-mistake/

                  • Hear, hear. The USA was probably the freest under the Articles of Confederation. The states were united in PURPOSE as to fending off foreign enemies, but otherwise, each did what they wanted.

                    Whitley Strieber wrote his own “nuclear apocalypse” novel, called “Warday”, first published in 1984. WWIII happens in October 1988, based on fears of then President Reagan’s push for “Star Wars” and some rather fanciful ideas of what EMP nukes can do. Suffice it that the war lasts less than an hour before a cease-fire is declared, and each side gets off one fairly limited volley, though the bulk of each others’ navies are wiped out. New York (at least Brooklyn, Queens, and the western part of Long Island), Washington DC, and San Antonio TX (places Strieber and co-author James Kunetka were familiar with), as well as much of the ICBM silos in MT, WY, NE, and the Dakotas are hit, killing seven million Americans on Warday. The Soviet Union, at least every major republics’ capital as well as key military and/or industrial targets, mostly west of the Urals, are taken out by the American salvo, including some devastating “purple” bombs that turn the once-fertile Ukraine into an uninhabitable wasteland. The Soviet Union dissolves into various ethnic republics, including an Azerbaijani kingdom. Although most of the US is left intact from actual bombing (California suffers the least of the EMP effects, and becomes de facto an independent country), with the modern telecommunications destroyed, all the banking and mercantile information gone, only a minority of cars, trucks, and buses able to run, and most TVs, radios, and phones rendered junk, the US economy collapses as most of the survivors are reduced to a mixed technology of ultra-modern and nineteenth century. Although the dollar is soon restored as a currency, “paper dollars” are all but worthless, as most consumer goods, especially cars, TVs, and computers that are imported from Japan or the UK or France are sold only for “Gold” dollars.

                    The authors are freelancing reporters, living in the DFW area, some five years later. They decide to write the rest of the “book”, first by getting as close to nuked San Antonio as they dare, and arrange an overflight thanks to the surviving Air Force. They then travel to “Azatlan”, a sort of Latino rogue state centered around El Paso. Then they get across the Southwest, largely depopulated as, with most air conditioning lost on Warday or due to lack of parts and/or freon, broken donw, most folks, especially the elderly, cannot bear the desert heat w/o AC. They have to sneak into California, as it repeats what it tried to do in the 1930s with border cops, to see several pre-war acquaintances. They make their way into LA, and then get up to the Bay Area. Trying to visit Sacramento to see the de facto new nation’s capitol, they get caught in the San Francisco train station and are sentenced to several year’s imprisonment for illegal entry. They escape on their way to the prison, and manage to catch a train headed out of the “Golden” State. The “tour” picks up as the train heads across the devastated Great Plains, which is sealed up to avoid breathing in fallout, and have to shelter during a huge dust storm, which, since the land is no longer tilled, are frequent, in a Kansas City suburb. They make their way to Chicago, which has lost most of its black people, as most of them perished in the famines and the epidemics, including an insidious AIDS-like plague called “NSD” (Non-Sclerosing Disease). From Chi-town, they manage to interview a crabby Canadian businessman that declares that America is a country in name only, that the Pacific Coast states are one country, Texas is another, the Midwest states are a loose confederation, as is old Dixie. He blames the “Damned Yankees” for what Soviet Canuckistan suffered during the “Electro” (EMP event). Finally, the reporting pair make their way to what’s left of New York City, where Strieber visits his old apartment which he, his wife and son had to abandon after Warday. The once-great city has a “population” of but 7,000 persons, all salvagers steadily stripping buildings of needed copper and other materials, even though the work exposes them to radiation. The reporters finally end up back home in Texas to look to an uncertain future, as the USA is de facto an economic colony of Japan and Western Europe.

                    • Oh, I forgot to mention the BEST part. Since Washington, District of Criminals, was obliterated, the rump US Federal Government is relocated to Los Angeles, in the old Federal building, but to pay the utilities, rents out part of it to the State of CA, which houses its Department of Hydroponic Gardens. Only in the Granola State…

            • Oh yeah, Mike. If the Chinks just vote for the “lesser communist communist” things’ll be 100% I’m sure, it really will be, ya know! 😉

        • Saw this comment on CFP the other day (I’m not applying it to any one individual) “Some of you don’t understand what rumor means.”

          Anyway, RG is referring to this, I think:

          ‘About Those Rumors Of A Chinese “Coup”‘

          “The Chinese rumor mill has gotten out of control over the last 48 hours. For those who have not heard the rumors, Xi has been supposedly removed in a coup ahead of October’s Party Congress. […]

          This is Xinhua Gate, the main entrance to the Zhongnanhai compound, where the entire central leadership resides and works, including Xi Jinping.

          Elite paratroopers have wrested control over the gate, cunningly disguised as the five middle-aged dudes who always stand there. /2” …

          https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/about-those-rumors-chinese-coup

      • If it’s true that Xi’s been deposed, it’s b/c he slipped his leash one time too many, and those that REALLY run China, the Kosher Kabal, had their “muscle” in the form of the CCP and the People’s Liberation Army take him out, or at least arrest him.

        • Maybe the millions of regular Chinese people had enough to the constant lockdowns and decided that they’ve had enough……something that should have happened here in the USSA.

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