Cars: blessing or damn

Discussion in 'Conspiracies' started by Asexperia, May 21, 2019.

  1. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

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    1- Cars give us freedom.
    2- Cars shorten time of transportation, but
    3- Cars are the cause of many accidents and victims.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    If I lived in a small city/village, where I could bike or walk most places, including work, I'd give up owning a car. Traffic, maintenance, car payment, blah. It's a pain.
     
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    It's kind of a loaded question, since much of our civilization is designed around cars.
     
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  7. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    The real issue is accessibility of transport. Begin again.
     
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  8. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

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    Consider how Ford started large scale auto production:

    The Model-T was introduced at $850 in 1908
    Then he kept making the same car year after year into the 1920s
    The price went down to less than $300

    Technology progressed of course. In 1939 the US military adopted its first 400 mph plane, the P-38 Lightning.

    Since 1950 the auto industry has changed the designs of cars year after year. How much has that raised the price of cars and complicated maintenance? In 1994 there were 200,000,000 cars in the US. Our problem is stupid consumerism.

    Our economists do not tell us how much consumers lose on the depreciation of automobiles every year.

    http://www.toxicdrums.com/economic-wargames-by-dal-timgar.html
     
  9. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    $805 in 1908 is $23,227.38 today.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You mean after inflation? Very few of them. Car prices are about the same as they were in 1950 in real dollars.

    Complicated maintenance? Very few of them. Cars today do not need points adjusted, do not need carburetor adjustments or timing reset.

    On the plus side, cars are much more efficient - and much safer - than they were in 1950. They are faster and higher powered (on average) as well. So those designs aren't just for the sake of changing things.
     
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    They give some of us one particular kind of freedom: to move our bodies to distant places, without any physical contact with the landscape in between. To receive our warmed-over food in paper packages through a window, avoiding eye contact with the person who hands it to us, with no idea who made it. To live so far from where we work, shop, learn, visit family, get healed, exercise, recreate and worship that we can spend a quarter of our adult lives en route from one to another.

    At the same time, we are tethered to gas stations, mechanics, car dealerships, bank loans, parking facilities, fuel bills, insurance payments, traffic laws and fines - and completely up shit creek if the transmission goes. As for the people who can't afford their own car, buses are merely an extended car, on which they can rent a small space for short time, so they're freed from walking, but tethered to the bus routes and schedules.
    Since cities and highways are laid out to accommodate car traffic, everyone not in a car is inconvenienced accordingly.
    Older civilizations; cities and countrysides that were laid out before the advent of automobiles, suffer unmanageable traffic congestion, gridlock and delays, which limits the freedom of all their residents.

    From some places to some places. An ambulance needs to get to the hospital quickly.
    But it can't, because the road is jammed up with trucks full of surplus clothing, overpackaged gizmos, sugar-water in plastic bottles and other instant garbage that never should be transported from anywhere to anywhere; indeed, never would have been made anywhere if they couldn't be transported someplace else.Hence the abandoned factories US-wide: there was no distant destination for their product.
    Doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, traffic grid controllers, hydro repair crews, etc. need to get to their clients in a hurry.
    Of course, they wouldn't be needed half as much, without all the problems caused by cars.

    That's the least of it. They're also making people isolated, alienated, violent, crazy, physically sick and soon, unable to inhabit the planet*.

    *It's a team effort: Autoculture shares that endeavour with religion, militarism and monetarism.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Swimming pools keep us cool.
    They are fun and enable us to exercise.
    People drown in pools.

    Food keeps us alive.
    Some people get fat because of food.
    Sometimes people choke and die because of food.
     
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Now, if we could just figure out a way to chart the relative merits and demerits of these things: cars, swimming pools and food...
    ... say by rating their contribution to survival, available options for filling the same need, and incidence of damage/death directly attributable,
    I wonder how they'd compare.
     
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    One of my mom's best jokes: "If children would walk to the gym instead of being driven, they wouldn't need a gym."

    That was in the early 60s - and mom wouldn't pay for a gym so we walked to the playground every day in summer, with the death-defying swings, teeter-totters, monkey bars and the dreaded merry-go-round. It's a miracle that any of us survived.
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Laugh not! I nearly killed my little brother by telling him to go around to the other end, where our lighter-than-me cousin sat. The small idjit went wa-a-y around the swings, that had wooden seats in those days and got bonked on the head. Bled like the dickens!! Cousin fetched mothers, mothers took small idjit to hospital, got him stitched up. Terrific scar where no hair grew, blackmailed me with it for years, then once he was old enough, wowed the girls with heroic lies - so I guess that blow on the head made him smarter - so I guess I was doing him a favour, really, improving his survival skills.

    Nevertheless, we were allowed to roam free, unsupervised, in Toronto, on foot or bicycle, climbing the alley fences, dumpster-diving behind the dairy, exploring condemned houses, making friends with all the backyard dogs, feuding and colluding, and having real life (as opposed to reality-show) childhoods.
    I wonder the present crop of coddled mollies learns to survive!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  16. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

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    i recently purchased a car. I'm hoping it will be my last.
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Drive blindfolded and your wish will come true.
     
  18. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

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    Strangely, the older I become, the more cautious a driver I am. seemed to always be in a hurry when I was young. Now I just take my time.
     
  19. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    When young people are in a hurry, I tell them I've probably already been where they're going.
     
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  20. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

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    I know $850 was a lot different value back then.

    My point was the price going down from $850 to $300 and making the same machine helped that rather than retooling factories to make products look different.

    There are books about 1950s cars with pictures of all of the variations in chrome bumpers. Now we have lots of different styles of lights but car's bodies keep changing.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You mean like what Tesla is doing now? ($75,000 to $35,000 in 3 years)
    Definitely. Change is pretty much a constant.
     
  22. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

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    And useless change increases costs without providing any practical benefits, but idiots that "love cars" keep prices up.

    There were 200,000,000 cars in the US in 1994. Suppose the depreciation per car was $1500. That is $300,000,000,000 per year. When do you hear economists discuss this?

     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Of course. However, emergency braking and lane departure warnings save lives. So do airbags, collapsible steering wheels, crumple zones and safety glass. So do adaptive headlights. So does the use of high strength steel. Hybrids save gasoline, leading to a lower cost of ownership. Anti-corrosion coatings extend the life of the vehicle. 48V systems reduce copper cost and improve efficiency.
    ?? All the time. I have often heard economists (and financial planners) lament the costs of car ownership. The important comparison is that cost vs. the money lost if cars were not available.
     

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