Your Next New Ford Just Got More Expensive

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A tentative deal has apparently been reached between Ford and UAW workers – who have been not-working in order to leverage themselves more pay for less work. Ford has agreed, apparently, to pay these workers 25 percent more over the next four years, plus cost-of-living adjustments and a “three year path to top wages,” whatever that means.

Here’s what it will mean for you – if you’re looking to buy a new Ford in the future: It’s going to cost you more. Because someone’s going to have to pay for these raises – and benefits. People who think Ford will pay are like the people who think government benefits are “free” – or that public servants are answerable to the public.

How much more all of this is going to cost isn’t yet known. But that it will cost is as certain as the price we pay for government benefits.

Ford will pay by trying to recoup its losses. It will raise the prices of the vehicles it sells in order to make up for what it pays the workers who assemble them. This will make selling them more difficult, especially given rapidly rising interest rates (as on car loans) and the rapidly diminishing buying power of the currency people are obliged to use to buy things with. When two small plastic bags of groceries cost $100 it’s kind of a deterrent to sign up for a car loan that costs $700 per month – which is about what the average monthly car payment is right now.

How many people will sign up for a loan that costs them another $100/month – or even $50?

The breaking point has probably already been passed – and we won’t fully appreciate this until after we’ve long passed it. Just the same as the people on Titanic did not fully appreciate the situation until some time had passed after the ship hit the iceberg.

In this case, the “iceberg” is the unwillingness of UAW workers to grasp the fact that they only get paid if people buy – and that if it becomes more expensive to sell a car, then fewer people will buy. If fewer people buy, there is less demand for what’s not selling. And less need for more workers.

Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds might call that a Bingo!

The UAW’s position, of course, is that Ford can afford to pay; more finely, that Ford’s buyers can afford to absorb the cost of paying workers 25 percent more – plus the cost of benefits. This presumes Ford is a kind of charity operation rather than a business that’s in business to make a profit (including for shareholders). This becomes more difficult to do when what you’re trying to sell costs too much for many people to buy.

Already, the average cost of a new vehicle is nearly $50,000 – which is about $15k higher than it was only three years ago. That’s a disincentive to buy, all by itself. Now add paying twice as much (or more) in interest on the loan, using money that’s lost 15-20 percent of the buying power it had three years ago.

It’s the perfect time to add another straw to the camel’s back, eh?

The UAW – and the Big Three – are caught up together in a kind of dance macabre. They both avoid dealing with the real problem that besets them both, even as they both haggle with each other over peripheral matters.

What ought to matter – to both – is the existential threat they’re both facing, much as they try to turn away from it. That being “electrification.” More finely, the forcing of “electrification” via the out-regulating of anything that isn’t battery-powered.

They think it will be business-as-usual when they no longer work to build cars, after the latter have been forced off the market in favor of battery powered devices. The cost of trying to sell them to people who cannot afford or do want them will be UAW jobs, as fewer workers are needed to shepherd a device down the line. Most of the work can be performed by machines, automatically. And even if there were just as much work involved in putting together a battery powered device, if it costs beyond a certain sum to sell, it won’t sell.

That plus the other costs of battery powered devices that a growing number of people have clearly decided they’re unwilling to pay will render the 25 percent pay raise just leveraged by the UAW as valuable as a Confederate States of America dollar long before four years from now.

When nothing’s selling because no one’s buying , few will be working.

. . .

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Stellantis might as well build a copy of the Robert E. Lee, a brand new Dodge Charger/Challenger with the Stars and Bars would sell like hotcakes.

    Charles Mason graduated number one in his class from West Point in 1829. Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class.

    Who wants to be ruled by anybody? Nobody!

    Especially the stupid shitheads along the most polluted river ever, the Potomac.

    Fuck those people!

  2. ‘The breaking point has probably already been passed.’ — eric

    Ford is FUBAR. Today’s 12 percent kneecapping of its shares has poleaxed the price back to its January 2021 level. But wait, there’s more:

    ‘Ford said customers interested in EVs are “unwilling” to pay the vehicles’ premium prices and it paused billions of long-term investment in EVs due to that disconnect.

    ‘Ford is the biggest issuer in the U.S. high-yield, or junk, market with some $72.4 billion of outstanding bonds. The bulk of its dollar-denominated bonds, or $15.9 billion worth, will nature in 2026.

    ‘The bonds were seeing greater selling on Friday and were 1/4 to 1/2 point lower, according to a market source.’

    https://archive.ph/FaM72#selection-517.0-517.110

    EeeVees are the poison pill that laid Ford low.

    Auto makers check into the EeeVee roach motel — but they never leave.

    Welcome to Hotel Commiefornia! 🙂

  3. Won’t be seeing any regular cars made by Ford in the near future either. Their small cars were already overpriced so they didn’t sell and got discontinued. Hard to sell 15k cars for 25k. So it’s crossovers…..

  4. Sad, sad tidings from EeeVee fanboi Al Rooooooot:

    ‘Ford’s EV business, called Model e, reported a $1.3 billion third-quarter loss on sales of 36,000 vehicles, for a per-vehicle loss of about $36,000 — following a $1.1 billion loss in the second quarter on sales of 34,000 vehicles. That was a per-vehicle loss of about $32,000.

    ‘Ford has shipped about 70,000 EVs over those two quarters. The lack of manufacturing scale and heavy investment in future EV products are partly responsible for the losses. Weak profitability in the Model e division is also due in part to lower pricing.

    “The transition to EVs is well under way,” said CFO John Lawler, adding sales and penetration rates are improving even if at a slower-than-hoped-for rate.

    ‘That slowness is resulting in $12 billion in capital spending being postponed. A battery plant in Kentucky will be delayed in order to balance supply and demand, while production of the Mustang Mach E is slowing down.’

    https://www.marketwatch.com/articles/ford-earnings-stock-price-dc5f8887

    Ford’s whistling through the EeeVee graveyard is called ‘putting on a brave face.’ Ford drank Big Gov’s EeeVee Kool-Aid, but it was laced with rat poison.

    Wake up, Jim Farley: your ‘EeeVee transition’ is the ‘Edsel transition’ all over again. But more promptly doomed, as lard-ass electric clown cars have no engine, and customers have no chargers.

    Ship of fools, ship of fools.’ — The Doors

  5. So glad I took possession of my Subaru Crosstrek before this strike hit.

    I went back to the dealer to schedule my next oil change and bumped into the sales manager. He mentioned that demand is through the roof because people who wanted a Ford, GM, or Mopar ride can’t get them, so they’re going across the street to the Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Nissan, and Mazda stores. And they’re liking what they see.

    Said sales manager also mentioned that while Subaru does have the Solterra EV, it’s “more for show than go. It’s like the old days when dealerships would get a Shelby Mustang, Hemi Super Bird, or L88 Vette. Nobody really expected to actually sell those cars in any great amounts, except for the few with more money than sense. But this time, it’s for politics. That EV is to keep Uncle Sam happy more than anything and to try to bring in the hipsters who see it and end up deciding on another car.”

    “Between you and me, I’ll believe that those EVs are really worth it when the Japanese start making a lot of them. I think the Japanese realize that EVs aren’t really fully cooked, and they’re waiting until they are—which could be years, if ever.”

    “And another thing: I’ve seen this game play out before, and it won’t end well for anyone. I think we’ll still be here for a while though.”

    • Without a real breakthrough in battery chemistry or a “great leap forward” in manufacturing the esoteric lab-only designs, EVs are going to remain 2nd vehicles at best. They require too much of your mental capacity and time to appeal to the masses.

      • Yeah, the PITAS factor rears its head. Used to be one of the best things about having money was you could buy convenience. But virtue signaling beats convenience, I guess.

  6. Question: What new car manufacturers are not subject to unionized labor forces or other government-enforced market manipulations?

    I suspect the answer is none, but surely there is a spectrum. If unions were truly voluntary and not enforced by government mandates, I wouldn’t have a big problem with them. I know that some states have “right to work” legislation which helps weaken some of the pro-union rules on the books as well. I also know that Japan has its own government subsidies/interference with their manufacturers, though I admit to little knowledge of how this actually works.

    In short, who can I purchase a new vehicle from to minimize rewarding government supported parasites, either in the form of unions or manufacturers?

    • With mail-in ballots, voter are no longer necessary.

      We’ve all seen massive general strikes in third world countries with people trying to survive in corrupt systems. Coming attractions for the USA, welcome to the third world.

  7. Good for the UAW. Ford is just the first, all the other auto makers with union shops will be now be forced to settle with the UAW for pretty much the same wage and benefits package. Plus the successful negotiation will give union organizers great leverage going into non-union shops to organize.

    Don’t shed any tears for the auto makers, steel makers, tech companies or any of the globocap corporations that have been abusing American workers for years. Shipping good jobs all over the world for cheap labor while pocketing huge profits and dumping imported garbage on American consumers here at home. The arrogant, overpaid corporate shitbirds and their bought and paid for politicians don’t give a damn about American workers, never have, never will. Screw’em all.

    • Hi Griff,

      That’s all true – but… I think the UAW is screwing itself, ultimately. When people stop buying cars because they can no longer afford cars, then there will be less need to make cars. And for the workers who make them.

      • Hello Eric,

        The UAW is representing the interests of its’ members. As you have have stated many times, the real villains are government and corporate bureaucracies that have created an economic and regulatory environment hostile to working people.

        The military/industrial/bureaucratic state is the enemy of democracy and working Americans. Organized labor is one way to push back. There is a quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune that says something like “The power to destroy a thing is the power to control a thing.” Sadly, that’s where we find ourselves.

  8. SURPRISE! New Report Reveals Electric Vehicles Will be Far More Expensive Without Government Incentives

    According to the TPPF report — authored by energy experts Jason Isaac and Brent Bennett

    ATTENTION… the average model year 2021 EV would cost approximately $48,698 more to own over a 10-year period without the staggering $22 billion in taxpayer-funded handouts that the government provides to electric car manufacturers and owners.

    The analysis factors in federal fuel efficiency programs, electric grid strain, and direct state and federal subsidies.

    “It is not an overstatement to say that the federal government is subsidizing EVs to a greater degree than even wind and solar electricity generation and embarking on an unprecedented endeavor to remake the entire American auto industry,” the report states. “Despite these massive incentives, EVs are receiving a tepid response from the majority of Americans who cannot shoulder their higher cost.”

    “It’s time for federal and state governments to stop driving the American auto industry off an economic cliff and allow markets to drive further improvements in cost and efficiency,” it continues.

    from the comments..

    95% of all electric vehicles are still on the road…..The remaining 5% made it all the way home.
    and those 5% have to sit and charge for days before they can be driven again. Or the battery stops holding a charge and they have to throw the car away
    Yeah who wants to spend $20K on a battery when your car isn’t worth that much?

    Speaking of EV fires… …
    the media has managed to not talk about the fact
    that about 2 weeks ago an electric car…a diesel hybrid Range Rover…. caught fire at Luton airport in
    England… … the fire destroyed over 1000 cars…a good number were EV’s…which made the
    fire unstoppable…you would think
    that would be front page news ; ONE single electric car…a diesel hybrid…. destroyed over
    1000 cars!!!… … but nope! the media is hiding that story because
    it would turn the public against electric cars… ….Keeping the
    masses ignorant of the defects and dangers of electric cars is their
    priority, they are part of the global warming CULT.

    I heard somewhere that cargo shippers will not allow containers of EVs onboard.
    Rightly so. EV fires are terrifyingly violent and virtually unstoppable.
    Even small Lithium Ion batteries can burn right through “fireproof” containers.

    Did you see the house in south Florida that survived the hurricane only to burn to the ground when the Tesla that was left in the garage and got soaked decided to cook off?

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/10/surprise-new-report-reveals-electric-vehicles-will-be/

  9. Two thousand years ago…. Cicero.

    “The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome (USA?) become bankrupt.

    “Within the character of the citizen, lies the welfare of the nation.” along with
    “We should be careful that our benevolence does not exceed our means.”

    and my favorite.

    “Never was a government that was not composed of liars, malefactors and thieves.

    And the stupidity of the possible settlement:
    Average inflation per year is 16% (Not the nice little 3% they tell Social Security recipients) See Cicero above.

    Hoping it doesn’t get worse (But it will)

    16% x 4years == 64% -25%wage increase == -39% overall loss.
    Only unions can present a loss as a gain. There is no doubt the auto corporations see the end of opportunity in America which is why they are leaving for destinations with far less red ink and why they’ll gladly make this agreement.

  10. At the rate inflation is going, 25% in 4 years seems modest.

    We need to fix the money. I prefer silver, gold is fine, no bank notes but none of this “market basket” crap & especially no fiat.

    Get a handle on the money, and most of the rest will fall into place. Put meaningful limits on government power & spending, and most of what’s left will fall into place.

  11. ‘Ford will pay by trying to recoup its losses.’ — eric

    Indeed. After an early pop on the deal news, Ford shares fell back to unchanged at late morning. Evidently, Ms Market sniffs that Ford’s expenses are headed up, but recovering them with price hikes is going to be tough.

    Default rates on subprime auto loans have soared. Buyers who were flashing their covid cash in 2021 have gone to ground, focused on survival and evading the repo man.

    In fact, stocks — mostly owned by posh folk — are looking decidedly sick these last few days. Though a crash is never a likely event, the action resembles early October 1987, before stocks tumbled over a waterfall and smacked the jagged rocks below.

    And why wouldn’t investors blanch, as 412 co-opted Congress Clowns roared their approval yesterday — as their first order of business after electing a Speaker — for Israel uber alles in a saber-rattling battle hymn of bellicosity. It was one colorful scene in the people’s crackhead circus; see for yourself:

    https://ibb.co/zmTbpZ6

  12. They’re Great Resetting. Move the decimal point to the right. What used to cost tens of dollars now costs hundreds. Get used to it, you’re just along for the ride.

    Oh you wanted to retire? Sorry, no. Turns out you don’t have enough saved up since we “reset” your account. And besides that, we need workers! That AI and automation stuff is taking a little longer than we anticipated, so you’re just going to keep punching that clock for another 5 years. And get back to the office! Do laundry and raise your children on your time!

    Boomers have been turning 65 since 2011. 10,000 people per day, every day, until 2030 (there’s that date again… the same year global warming is going to end live on Earth if we don’t roll out global communism). What’s the solution to the Social Security underfunding? Just devalue the currency and pay out with inflated dollars. Sure, there’s an adjustment for “inflation,” but that’s whatever the system decides is inflation. So don’t count anything that actually costs more, just use a little of that marketing and salesmanship to charm people into believing they’re getting more! ‘Ehere you are, mates! Automagic adjustments for gran. Hope she likes tunafish, cos that’s all the protein she’s going to get… Unless she wants to try one of these new bug steaks… Taste tests and focus groups say you can hardly tell the difference between this and the real thing! Costs a fraction of what beef and chicken go for, so see, inflation is under control!

    • You are not wrong, I found this line from the article particularly telling- “Already, the average cost of a new vehicle is nearly $50,000 – which is about $15k higher than it was only three years ago.”

      I found this so odd when it first happened until I saw people I know, the same sheep that put their masks on and for 4 injections of experimental RNA into their bodies dutifully go out and start purchasing 50 thousand dollar “economy” cars. Hondas and Toyotas as if it had always been that way.

      This is when I realized that the reason they are accelerating and houses are now averaging 400K in places where people make -50K- annually is, no one is going to do anything. And they realize it too. There is no indignation to great to heap on the dumbed down lowered IQ Tik-Tok addicted general public. Half your earning power? No one cares! I have my phone, tik-tok, if female I shake my ass for selfies, if male I can simp for that female and give her money for shaking said ass, etc.

      Idiocracy was a very prescient film but it took nowhere NEAR 500 years into the future (the film’s target date) to reach the idiocracy. It is here today, there will be no resistance to the panopticon, the shackles, or the loss of freedom. I was often puzzled by how so many regimes in history cowled the population into obedience, but I am not anymore. Your average human wants to be led & controlled. We who desire independence and freedom are an utter anomaly in the long line of history. This should be more than apparent to anyone with functioning eyes by now in 2023.

      • And when you ask why they pay, they just say “That’s how much it costs.” or “Greedy corporate bastards!”

        Every transaction is negotiable. It is your duty as a buyer to get the best price you can get. Of course you can always walk away. You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.

        The great success of the modern retailer is convincing shoppers that the price is set by the seller, not agreed on by both parties. Even the “we’ll beat any competitor’s price” is BS if every retailer charges too much. Take it or leave it is the option. And if you leave it, well then it must be a bad product, or marketing, or whatever. And it becomes a topic for the Monday morning quarterbacks who write books about business.

  13. I’m glad I ordered and locked in the price of my Maverick before the strike. It’s built in Mexico, but major parts like the engine and transmission are built in the US. It’ll probably be the last new vehicle I buy.

    • Unless you have a confirmed delivery date, Ford could always play the game of asking you to decide between accepting an upgraded trim package on the vehicle at a higher price or face an indefinite delay in delivery of the vehicle.

      They’ve done this with F150 deliveries since the pandemic started.

      Plus, don’t underestimate the dealer insiders’ games too. The only people I know driving new Mavericks purchased in the last year bought them from dealer employees even though the closing paper got signed in the F&I room as usual, complete with extended warranty and “appearance” guarantee pitch.

      • I do have a scheduled build date. So far the dealer has been on the up and up but I’ll be watching carefully. I tried to order from another dealer (Green Ford Greensboro NC) and they tried to mark it up with bogus charges – $699 for “EPP” (some environmental BS), $299 for “Nitro Fill” (fill tires with nitrogen), $629 doc fee. No deal!!! I walked out. Too bad, the salesman was a nice guy but the manager was a jerk!

        • Geesh, I thought Nitro Fill was pretty much debunked by now.

          Good luck. The Maverick fires a lot of imaginations and Ford won’t make enough to meet demand lest they cannibalize Ranger and F150 sales which pay for the EV folly.

          If Ford could put a normally aspirated 2.5 L engine with a simple transmission into that design and really price it for $20k, they would own entry level vehicles period, not just trucks.

  14. They can demand higher wages all they like but if their customers can’t afford to buy the cars they produce they won’t buy them. China, Mexico etc. all produce affordable cars and your next car might be a Geely because you could still afford it. Consumers around the world are getting tapped out due to inflation (caused by inflating the money supply) raising prices on everything so what makes the UAW think people won’t buy something else so their own books balance.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say I can see people holding onto their cars a lot longer now.

  15. “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”. TANSTAAFUL;
    Bob Heinlein, The Moon is a Hash Mistress.
    The only way for this raise to come to fruition is for FedGov to print up some more dollars and give them to Ford. Which will make their raise worth less than what they had. It can’t work, so it won’t.

  16. For the life of me I can’t understand how the UAW can demand and the US automakers will capitulate on such high skilled wages for unskilled labor. Especially in the era of super globalization where a manufacturer can just pack up & head to any third world country or China.

    Granted I’m an overeducated salaried schlep that hasn’t worked under 50 hours / week in his entire career. Guess I just can’t understand.

    • Amen, Mike –

      There’s also something about extortion that gets my back up. People have every right to seek the highest wage they can get. But when they start making demands – and threats to back them up – they deserve to be fired. And replaced.

      • Amen, Eric.

        At one time, I could believe unions were beneficial (around the turn of the 20th century), but they have outlived their usefulness. It irks the hell out of me that an entire group receives the full advantage when only a few are worth it. It isn’t like Ford or GM is putting out a quality product for their higher wages and rich benefits.

        Honestly, if Ford, GM, and Stellantis decided to close their union plants would anybody shed a tear? I have been following this strike from the beginning and I have not read any comments online that support the union workers, even from liberal websites. It just goes to show when the Left won’t even support you, you have gone too far.

        • They promise what they cannot possibly deliver to workers, a guarantee. They threaten employers with shutdowns, which harm the workers more than the employers.

          Most employers are pretty good about trying to pay a fair wage. Unfortunately too many people want to meddle in the employer-employee relationship. And by forcing benefits where they’re largely unnecessary the workers become locked into work they don’t like. Unions, by focusing on benefits instead of pay, reenforced this idea of employer as parental surrogate, instead of maintaining a transactional relationship. Made sense when towns had one factory and there was a high cost to leave, but with the rise of mega-corporations most employees would have normally gained flexibility but instead chose to settle into one place until the factory closes and they’re forced to relocate. The exception being managers, who were purposefully moved around to generate allegence to the company. (wow, that took a turn)

          Anyway, I was part of a union decertification drive. The final nail in the coffin for the union was a simple chart showing the pay differences between union and non-union shops within the company. Turns out those “experts” negotiating your contract probably aren’t as skilled as they lead you to think, and the reason for union wages being higher than average is becuase of the industry and company’s age, not union representation. And most contracts backload the increases in salary and tie everything to tenure. A 3% increase per year will add up faster than a 1.5% with a 5% jump after 4 years, but try explaining that to someone who needs an app to figure out a 15% tip.

        • >At one time, I could believe unions were beneficial
          Ironic, isn’t it?
          These days, the “workers” most likely to be unionized are government employees, more specifically police and fire fighters. Both these unions have large slush funds, which bankroll the political campaigns of would be members of city council.

          Naturally, there is a quid pro quo, namely, take care of the fellas at contract time. That is why we have firefighters making $300,000 to $500,000 per year, mostly “overtime pay.” You see, “base pay” (low six figures) only covers a) sleeping at the fire house*, b) working out at the gym, c) shopping for groceries, and d) cooking and eating their meals.

          You want them to FIGHT FIRES ??? That’s extra! Lots extra.

          *alone, for now, but that may be subject to negotiation next time the contract comes up for renewal. Either conjugal visits, or hardship pay in lieu thereof. I wouldn’t bet against the possibility.

  17. ‘It’s the perfect time to add another straw to the camel’s back, eh?’ — eric

    Why, yes! Here you go:

    ‘Ford is increasing the price of the F-150 Lightning for the 2024 model year by up to $9,600.

    Trims:
    • Pro: $52,090 ($2,095 increase)
    • XLT: $59,590 ($2,500 increase)
    • Flash: $72,090 (new trim for 2024)
    • Lariat: $79,590 ($9,595 increase)
    • Platinum: No 2024 pricing yet’

    https://twitter.com/SawyerMerritt/status/1717261452585628100

    As I’m fond of repeating once per quarter, Lightning sales are nowhere near 10 percent of F-150 sales. And, absent a shutdown of gasoline-powered F-150 production, they never will be.

  18. ‘someone’s going to have to pay for these raises’ — eric

    Between fresh price hikes and ‘impaired driver detection’ coming in 2026, new vehicles now are both unaffordable and undesirable.

    The US auto industry has run out of road. It sold its soul to Big Gov, as a willing collaborator. Now Big Gov is euthanizing it — as disgracefully illustrated by the man who’s impersonating the president showing up on a UAW picket line.

    May auto makers and the US fedgov gurgle down the drain together, making this a better world!

    • May auto makers and the US fedgov gurgle down the drain together, making this a better world!

      Amen. US automakers have been arrogant and condescending towards their customer base for decades. In the 1960’s it was them making vehicles that were unsafe. In the 70’s it was them making big cars at the same time throwing the government a nugget while the quality of their vehicles fell through the floor. In the 1990’s it was them bending over backwards to meet new emissions mandated targets and installing airbags that kill people instead of listening to what the customers want. In the 2000s to today, the automakers continued to lick the governments boot on safety equipment and fuel economy regulations. Their mastry of technology is impressive, but their treatment of their customers is dismal.

      Mobil oil company looked after the interests of the industry and more importantly, the public in the 1970s. They employed a technique that involved advertorials to sway public opinion in favor of deregulating the price of oil and gasoline which was still under price controls in the Middle 1970s. It ended up changing enough public opinion to be able to fully take advantage of the changing political climate that started in 1978 or so. By 1981, true to Mobil’s predictions, the drilling reached new heights with over 4000 operational rigs in the US and later, this country became awash in oil. The oil industry had stood up to the prevailing nonsense of the day and that was the result. Instead of wimpering, they sold the public, turned the sentiment slightly in favor of their activities and they won the day. I didn’t agree with everythign Herb Schertz did, but it truly changed the course we were on.

      As for automakers, they enjoyed a favorable public opinion despite the ascerbic Ralph Nader. Long out of touch, they deserve their fate. I feel bad for some of the workers and their suppliers who don’t subscribe to the UAW line of bull. This is too coincidental not to be considered assisted suicide.

      • Transportation is essential. The automobile manufacturers know this (as do airlines), and so they begin by assuming you’re going to buy their product. It doesn’t matter what they do to make it unusable, you’re still going to buy it. Because despite the concept of a “walkable” city, the only places that are truly walkable are cities that predate the automobile (and train… heck, maybe even the horse). The attempts by civic planners to recreate the London or Manhattan neighborhoods almost never work out because they’re not organic, and the shopkeepers are going to be competing with retailers accessable by transportation.

        Most old industrial cities were once surrounded by farmland, no more than a few miles away because horsecarts could carry produce, meat and milk to the city shops. While it was possible to move produce via rail, most considered processed food to be inferior to local, which also happend to cater to the general population. This all changed after WW2 and the adaptation of military rations for civilian use. As did the concept of a “victory garden” where small plots could be used to supplement the factory workers’ diet without needing the farmland, leading to the suburbs. Propsperity led to the suburban standard of recreating an English estate, sans food production, and the decline in access to fresh food, instead becoming an esthetic hobby.

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