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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 06:46:00 AM

Title: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 06:46:00 AM
Let us assume the following assumption about the future is correct: human-driven automobile's will not be available to the general public in less than 20 years.

I believe this because 10s of thousands of healthy young people die needlessly because humans are crappy drivers. If this were not a normal part of life (10 car accident on I-600, 7 dead, 2 of them children) this would cause absolute outrage.  There are other strong arguments for self-driving cars such as energy efficiency, decreased real estate needs for parking and congested freeways, etc.

Technology is rapidly developing to make automated cars a viable replacement of the current system.

This means that if everyone gets around by essentially self-driving Uber cars with no personal car ownership, men (mostly men) in their 20's and 30's will not be able to spend 30/40/50/70% of their take home pay on personal trucks. 


What will these same people spend all of their spare cash on?


Let's try to keep this thread to the point of just answering the question.  Try not to derail it into discussion related to my assumptions. Thank you. I'm looking forward to hearing what Mustachians have to say.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: G-dog on August 06, 2015, 06:55:25 AM
I think it will vary by rural vs. urban ---
More rural / access to open land or water land - ATVs, boats, etc.
More urban / lack good access - expensive jewelry, e.g. Uber exoensive watches

I think it may also vary by gender - but one commonality may be ultra expensive mobile devices.

My assumption it that it has to be a stays symbol others will see, and / or something you can still drive fast / control.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: vhalros on August 06, 2015, 07:05:25 AM
Perhaps they will just Uber around in excessively expensive self-driving cars?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Valencia de Valera on August 06, 2015, 08:06:54 AM
It'll just throw people into a frothing outrage about "freedom" and how the government is shoving self-driving cars down our throats and taking away our god-given right to go mudding, and actually make owning your own truck even more popular. All the better if it's become some exclusive club due to not being able to just go out and buy one at the dealership. Prices will spiral upward in a buying frenzy, and all the young men will be spending 70% their income on gas and scavenged parts to keep their 20-year-old F-350s on the road.

Once the junkyards have been thoroughly picked over and all the old trucks have disintegrated beyond repair, I agreed with G-dog that people will move on to other flashy things, probably expensive wearable technology and/or other costly and largely useless vehicles like boats. Although, how are you going to get your boat to the lake without your massive truck?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 06, 2015, 08:13:58 AM
There is a lot of need for all of the vehicles on the road, even the bicycles that make everyone's travel that much less safe.  I'm not sure what the evolution of the electric cars and the self driving cars will end up being, but I think I'd rather see bicycles off the road before trucks.  sorry, just sayin, the DIYers on here may very well have an appreciation for truck ownership.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: tlars699 on August 06, 2015, 08:29:24 AM
There is a lot of need for all of the vehicles on the road, even the bicycles that make everyone's travel that much less safe.  I'm not sure what the evolution of the electric cars and the self driving cars will end up being, but I think I'd rather see bicycles off the road before trucks.  sorry, just sayin, the DIYers on here may very well have an appreciation for truck ownership.

o_O Do you read the main articles? Bicycles are waaaaay more safe than vehicles, and self driven cars are being programmed to watch out for small moving objects, aka bicycles with children on them.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 06, 2015, 08:38:22 AM
I was thinking of the mayhem the cyclists cause in my city for all the drivers having to go around them, etc.  We don't have bike lanes, and I am convinced they are all suicidal.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 06, 2015, 08:50:39 AM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Bob W on August 06, 2015, 09:03:09 AM
Not to crush your assumption but out here in ruralville there will always be a need for personal ownership of trucks.   Not-so-much in the cities.

I'm thinking that your Uber selfdriving car membership will come with some options.

Of course there will be Uber Basic, Uber Prime and Uber Ultra.   

One thing your forgot to mention is that all the cars and trucks will be 100% solar electric powered.   So perhaps your are completely wrong.   It may not end up being tiny little cars driving around but lots of even more massive trucks.   (even Elon Musk latest car is a big 4000 pounder) You see at the Uber Ultra $199 a month package everyone can have the massive Hummer style ride meet them at the door, pick them up and drop them off.    It would also make more sense for ride sharing.

I can see one option being express for more money or share a ride for a discount. 

Given the proclivity for US consumers for bigger and shinnier --- I'm guessing that the Uber of the future will include mostly massive vehicles.  There will be 5 times as few of them of course and the cost will be spread.   So it is a win, win.  Massive shinny trucks for the masses at a much lower monthly cost.

If it goes the way of cable to Netflix you'll see a desire of the consumer for niche rides as well.  Convertibles, exotic looks, expensive rides,  luxury interiors. 

Summary -- we will not all be riding around in little prius type vehicles. 


(oddly it may be that car usage increases substaintially as kids as young at 7 become Uber members,  those that don't drive due to ability,  the aged and just the fact that it will be so damn cheap.  We will see Uber as a right just like cell phones.  So you will see everyone that has an Obama phone now have an Uber membership paid by Uncle Sam.  And boy will they use it!   Yes Uber will have status symbol options and people will continue to buy massive houses.)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 06, 2015, 09:13:33 AM
I have noticed more wasteful spending on homes rather than vehicles.  I know too many folks over spending on houses that max out their budget.  Comparing costs of vehicles gets tricky, generalizing truck owners is no different than generalizing civic owners, as some people mod out their vehicles, some go all basic.

Bob W, I like your post. 
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 06, 2015, 09:29:57 AM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 09:33:41 AM
Not to crush your assumption but out here in ruralville there will always be a need for personal ownership of trucks.   Not-so-much in the cities.

I'm thinking that your Uber selfdriving car membership will come with some options.

Of course there will be Uber Basic, Uber Prime and Uber Ultra.   

One thing your forgot to mention is that all the cars and trucks will be 100% solar electric powered.   So perhaps your are completely wrong.   It may not end up being tiny little cars driving around but lots of even more massive trucks.   (even Elon Musk latest car is a big 4000 pounder) You see at the Uber Ultra $199 a month package everyone can have the massive Hummer style ride meet them at the door, pick them up and drop them off.    It would also make more sense for ride sharing.

I can see one option being express for more money or share a ride for a discount. 

Given the proclivity for US consumers for bigger and shinnier --- I'm guessing that the Uber of the future will include mostly massive vehicles.  There will be 5 times as few of them of course and the cost will be spread.   So it is a win, win.  Massive shinny trucks for the masses at a much lower monthly cost.

If it goes the way of cable to Netflix you'll see a desire of the consumer for niche rides as well.  Convertibles, exotic looks, expensive rides,  luxury interiors. 

Summary -- we will not all be riding around in little prius type vehicles. 


(oddly it may be that car usage increases substaintially as kids as young at 7 become Uber members,  those that don't drive due to ability,  the aged and just the fact that it will be so damn cheap.  We will see Uber as a right just like cell phones.  So you will see everyone that has an Obama phone now have an Uber membership paid by Uncle Sam.  And boy will they use it!   Yes Uber will have status symbol options and people will continue to buy massive houses.)

Bob W. I agree that ruralville will be a big holdout. I actually grew up in a town of 300 people so I know the types of people that live out there. Perhaps when cities and major freeways ban human driven cars, there may be some incentive for more people to move out to the boonies.  There certainly are people who really do value their ability to get drunk and drive into ditches.

Whoever monetizes self driving cars will definitely be missing out if they don't sell to the people who value big and shiny.  If the motor vehicle death rate drops to approximately zero, there will probably be fewer people who desire big because of the false sense of security commonly expressed in response to MMM critiques to large trucks.

The reason that most people's spending on vehicles will drop so dramatically though is that there will no longer be the hidden and disparate costs of vehicle ownership that exist now.   Now, especially for luxury and large vehicles, the largest expense is depreciation, buy a $50k car new selling it for 25k 2.5 years later, at a cost of $833 per month.  Plus the cost of gas here, car wash there, new dice for the mirror, insurance, etc.  People who make less than $2000 per month take home can easily end up spending $1000 or more on their car without knowing it. 

Under the new paradigm I imagine, people will see their monthly vehicle bill like a cable subscription and that is all that they will pay. So the same person currently paying >$1000 per month would balk at a $400 per month "Uber" bill.

I foresee that as commuting becomes more expensive people will divert their extra cash to housing probably but I certainly do not think like a typical Truck driver.
 
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 09:38:00 AM
There is a lot of need for all of the vehicles on the road, even the bicycles that make everyone's travel that much less safe.  I'm not sure what the evolution of the electric cars and the self driving cars will end up being, but I think I'd rather see bicycles off the road before trucks.  sorry, just sayin, the DIYers on here may very well have an appreciation for truck ownership.

o_O Do you read the main articles? Bicycles are waaaaay more safe than vehicles, and self driven cars are being programmed to watch out for small moving objects, aka bicycles with children on them.

Bicycles are not actually more safe than cars; Biking actually has a higher fatality rate than driving (see http://www.businesscasualbiker.com/common-rationalizations-risk/ (http://www.businesscasualbiker.com/common-rationalizations-risk/)). It is just that the difference is insignificant and is biased towards that fact that many people who bike do so because they lost their license due to alcoholism... There are also MAML's (middle aged men in Lycra) who are reasserting their masculinity by going fast on mountain roads that also drive up the bike fatality rate.  If it were possible to quantify bicycle commuting fatality rate, it is likely that the bike death rate is lower than cars...

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: AlanStache on August 06, 2015, 09:55:02 AM
Why would Ford not make big auto-driving trucks/SUVs to sell to people that want big trucks/SUVs as a status symbol?

On a technical level I agree we could take road deaths to near zero in a decade or two. 

On a political level I can see human driven cars being banned (on public roads) much more easily than auto-driven large vehicles. 

I think in a relatively short time all new cars will be mandated to be auto-drive.  The safety case and the savings to individuates and society will be to great to ignore.  But there will be hold outs who refuse to 'up-grade' and keep there human-driven car as long as possible.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: slugline on August 06, 2015, 09:57:26 AM
Let us assume the following assumption about the future is correct: self-driven automobile's will not be available to the general public in less than 20 years.

Quote
Technology is rapidly developing to make automated cars a viable replacement of the current system.

^
This is confusing? I think you meant to say one of these or the other.

Well, if you're trying to say that society is going to transition to self-driving vehicles, I'd say that this doesn't mean that they will be any more sensible in size or price. Maybe they start morphing into literal living-rooms-on-wheels, where people lounge in their 3-ton vehicles where a big TV screen fed by a 1000-channel cable package has replaced the windshield.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: FIRE me on August 06, 2015, 10:12:31 AM
Let us assume the following assumption about the future is correct: self-driven automobile's will not be available to the general public in less than 20 years.

I believe this because 10s of thousands of healthy young people die needlessly because humans are crappy drivers. If this were not a normal part of life (10 car accident on I-600, 7 dead, 2 of them children) this would cause absolute outrage.  There are other strong arguments for self-driving cars such as energy efficiency, decreased real estate needs for parking and congested freeways, etc.

Technology is rapidly developing to make automated cars a viable replacement of the current system.

This means that if everyone gets around by essentially self-driving Uber cars with no personal car ownership, men (mostly men) in their 20's and 30's will not be able to spend 30/40/50/70% of their take home pay on personal trucks. 

What will these same people spend all of their spare cash on?

Let's try to keep this thread to the point of just answering the question.  Try not to derail it into discussion related to my assumptions. Thank you. I'm looking forward to hearing what Mustachians have to say.

Sorry to be argumentative, but your assumption is wrong. There may indeed be many self driving cars on the road in 20 years, but I think it will be less than 50% of total traffic.

No way human driven vehicles will be outlawed in 20 years. Heck, many of the cars made in 2015 will still be on the road in 20 years. And the very large majority of the cars made in 2025 will still be on the road in 2035.

Your supposition reminds me of the cashless society predictions. It's been predicted for decades now. Lots of people do prefer to pay by card or smartphone. But won't be cash going away any time soon either.

Still, to answer your question, I think the new big money wasters (as opposed to small money wasters like $5 coffees) will be high technology in nature. Wearable computing, virtual reality, or perhaps domestic robots to do household chores.

Or maybe, big, self driving trucks.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 10:30:06 AM
Let us assume the following assumption about the future is correct: self-driven automobile's will not be available to the general public in less than 20 years.

Quote
Technology is rapidly developing to make automated cars a viable replacement of the current system.

^
This is confusing? I think you meant to say one of these or the other.

Well, if you're trying to say that society is going to transition to self-driving vehicles, I'd say that this doesn't mean that they will be any more sensible in size or price. Maybe they start morphing into literal living-rooms-on-wheels, where people lounge in their 3-ton vehicles where a big TV screen fed by a 1000-channel cable package has replaced the windshield.

It is now corrected above. Thank you for pointing out the confusion.

Also good point.  I know that if I could commute and read a book or working on a project that would significantly improve my productivity.  Many people do this on commuter trains in large cities.  However, people could also make make their commute as unproductive they make the rest of their lives by watching television, reading worthless celebrity magazines, etc.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Bob W on August 06, 2015, 10:37:19 AM
Yeah, it does seem overly optimist that human driven cars will be outlawed.  But I could definitely see Cities like NY going this route.   Makes a lot o sense in the bigger cities.   One can easily imagine a stream of Driverless Uber cars quietly humming along.  No need for expensive parking garages (that is huge space).   NY City seems to be well on the way to this with the number of taxes I see on TV at least.    The paradigm shift and financial incentives are there in places like there and DC. 

No air pollution,  quiet operation,  no wrecks,  cheaper faster,  less congestion,  safer.   Yeah, the self driving Uber deal will work really well in many places. 
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Bob W on August 06, 2015, 10:40:38 AM
Let us assume the following assumption about the future is correct: self-driven automobile's will not be available to the general public in less than 20 years.

Quote
Technology is rapidly developing to make automated cars a viable replacement of the current system.

^
This is confusing? I think you meant to say one of these or the other.

Well, if you're trying to say that society is going to transition to self-driving vehicles, I'd say that this doesn't mean that they will be any more sensible in size or price. Maybe they start morphing into literal living-rooms-on-wheels, where people lounge in their 3-ton vehicles where a big TV screen fed by a 1000-channel cable package has replaced the windshield.

It is now corrected above. Thank you for pointing out the confusion.

Also good point.  I know that if I could commute and read a book or working on a project that would significantly improve my productivity.  Many people do this on commuter trains in large cities.  However, people could also make make their commute as unproductive they make the rest of their lives by watching television, reading worthless celebrity magazines, etc.

For many jobs there is less and less need to actually commute.   Apparently we can have smart phones but not smarter ways to work.   It is odd that even tech companies often require their employees to be "in the office"

Of course with an Uber model in a city this would almost require a more staggered work day in order to minimize the fleet size.   

So yeah,  predictions of the future are almost always way off or most of the nation would be remotely working already.   
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: TheAnonOne on August 06, 2015, 10:41:28 AM
What if human driven cars are never outlawed and instead are simply run along side the self driving cars?

Or, in my mind, more likely......

All self driving cars will ALSO be human piloted. AKA, they will drive themselves most of the time, but still have all of the controls to get 'taken over' if you will.

This would basically, allow people to do everything they do today, but still own cars/trucks and drive them anywhere, though, safer on the freeways ect,ect,ect.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 06, 2015, 10:42:44 AM
I think in a relatively short time all new cars will be mandated to be auto-drive.  The safety case and the savings to individuates and society will be to great to ignore.  But there will be hold outs who refuse to 'up-grade' and keep there human-driven car as long as possible.

You're asking for more government control of your life, which most people are against. I can see it working in limited applications, but I doubt it will become mainstream for a very long time.

Road fatalities can be reduced to near zero immediately by implementing 20 mph speed limits everywhere. The reason they are not is because society has more or less agreed on a boundary line between efficiency (getting there in a reasonable amount of time) and safety.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 10:43:07 AM
Let us assume the following assumption about the future is correct: self-driven automobile's will not be available to the general public in less than 20 years.

I believe this because 10s of thousands of healthy young people die needlessly because humans are crappy drivers. If this were not a normal part of life (10 car accident on I-600, 7 dead, 2 of them children) this would cause absolute outrage.  There are other strong arguments for self-driving cars such as energy efficiency, decreased real estate needs for parking and congested freeways, etc.

Technology is rapidly developing to make automated cars a viable replacement of the current system.

This means that if everyone gets around by essentially self-driving Uber cars with no personal car ownership, men (mostly men) in their 20's and 30's will not be able to spend 30/40/50/70% of their take home pay on personal trucks. 

What will these same people spend all of their spare cash on?

Let's try to keep this thread to the point of just answering the question.  Try not to derail it into discussion related to my assumptions. Thank you. I'm looking forward to hearing what Mustachians have to say.

Sorry to be argumentative, but your assumption is wrong. There may indeed be many self driving cars on the road in 20 years, but I think it will be less than 50% of total traffic.

No way human driven vehicles will be outlawed in 20 years. Heck, many of the cars made in 2015 will still be on the road in 20 years. And the very large majority of the cars made in 2025 will still be on the road in 2035.

Your supposition reminds me of the cashless society predictions. It's been predicted for decades now. Lots of people do prefer to pay by card or smartphone. But won't be cash going away any time soon either.

Still, to answer your question, I think the new big money wasters (as opposed to small money wasters like $5 coffees) will be high technology in nature. Wearable computing, virtual reality, or perhaps domestic robots to do household chores.

Or maybe, big, self driving trucks.

You may be right 100%. It is not a great comparison though.  Using credit card/smartphones instead of cash has no overarching benefit to the population. Nobody is going die because he/she continues to use cash.  However, 1-2 people out of every 10000 Americans are sure to die this year from motor vehicle accidents.

In some ways, however, the arguments against driverless cars is similar to those against cash, less freedom and less anonymity. A strong argument perhaps but less compelling than than over the next 10 years 3-6 of your facebook friends will be dead (calculated based on the average # of facebook friends being 338*).

*I do not have facebook.
 
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 10:50:51 AM
I think in a relatively short time all new cars will be mandated to be auto-drive.  The safety case and the savings to individuates and society will be to great to ignore.  But there will be hold outs who refuse to 'up-grade' and keep there human-driven car as long as possible.

You're asking for more government control of your life, which most people are against. I can see it working in limited applications, but I doubt it will become mainstream for a very long time.

Road fatalities can be reduced to near zero immediately by implementing 20 mph speed limits everywhere. The reason they are not is because society has more or less agreed on a boundary line between efficiency (getting there in a reasonable amount of time) and safety.

There is a small subset of the population with strong feelings against government control (perceived control) who have an outsized political voice. They are certainly not a majority.

Nevertheless, this does not have to be about government control.  Yes, human driven cars would need to be banned (governmental action).  However, people would have more freedom on average at a lower cost.  For example, you could travel across the country drunk the entire time. You currently cannot because of governmental restriction.  Blind people would have equal mobility options to that of seeing people.  Elderly, disabled, minors, ect.  In many ways this is a peoples proposition.

The glass is half full, my friend. :)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MsPeacock on August 06, 2015, 10:56:32 AM
I think in all likelihood people who want do drive their own big stupid trucks will continue to be able to do so (at least for many years to come). However, even having some percentage of people change to safer automated cars will impact the road safety.

I was talking w/ a friend about self-driving cars just the other day. What I had read was the first change will be taxis and Uber type cars will go to automated first, since the cost of car+driver is higher than the cost of a self-driving car.

I hate hate hate to drive and would love to have a self-driving car, possibly sharing ownership w/ others in my area. It really cuts down on the need to have your own personal car if you can take the car to work, and then it can drive itself to the next owner and take them to work, or take your kids to/from daycare/school, etc. It will be a huge boon to older people who can't (or shouldn't drive) and live in areas where there is no useful public transportation.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: AlanStache on August 06, 2015, 11:08:55 AM
I think in a relatively short time all new cars will be mandated to be auto-drive.  The safety case and the savings to individuates and society will be to great to ignore.  But there will be hold outs who refuse to 'up-grade' and keep there human-driven car as long as possible.

You're asking for more government control of your life, which most people are against. I can see it working in limited applications, but I doubt it will become mainstream for a very long time.

Road fatalities can be reduced to near zero immediately by implementing 20 mph speed limits everywhere. The reason they are not is because society has more or less agreed on a boundary line between efficiency (getting there in a reasonable amount of time) and safety.

By government control you mean I can only buy X and not anything I want that someone is willing to sell me?  New cars have 10,000 govt requirements on them today.

"20mph", that would be idiotic in every way, but 100% auto-driving cars (on public roads) would have negligible drawbacks.

If you are thinking about the govt monitoring your travels view vehicle locations, this can be done now with traffic cameras or cell phone tracking, or warranted GPS's attached to your car.  Maybe auto-drive could even have an 'Incognito mode' where no onboard logs are made but plenty of external to the car logs would exist.  If you want to travel anonymously today you have to leave your cell at home and ride a bike/take the bus; even that is nowhere near 100%.

music lover: what am I missing?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 06, 2015, 11:21:52 AM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Kaspian on August 06, 2015, 12:02:38 PM
They would buy Panzer tanks, nuclear submarines, or something like the below.  What's that?  Not needed?  Doesn't matter, they will justify why it's required and why they are special.  ...And yes, that's how ridiculous and insecure I think mainstream society is--idiocracy at its finest.  The larger and more phallic, the better.

(http://pics.imcdb.org/0is527/assblaster005938fm7.6057.jpg)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 06, 2015, 12:05:43 PM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?

I didn't say I wanted to make cycling more dangerous...I said that the number of riders is too small for government to spend multi-millions. Don't put words in my mouth.

Low gas prices don't only help commuters...they help EVERYONE, even those who don't have cars. Virtually every single product you buy requires fuel for processing, and transportation to the marketplace. Raising gas prices means raising ALL prices across the board.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 12:24:54 PM
They would buy Panzer tanks, nuclear submarines, or something like the below.  What's that?  Not needed?  Doesn't matter, they will justify why it's required and why they are special.  ...And yes, that's how ridiculous and insecure I think mainstream society is--idiocracy at its finest.  The larger and more phallic, the better.

(http://pics.imcdb.org/0is527/assblaster005938fm7.6057.jpg)

Best answer so Far!
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on August 06, 2015, 12:30:15 PM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?

Link?

You do realize that the reason gas is so expensive in the UK is because of additional taxes, right?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Eric on August 06, 2015, 12:35:53 PM
All the Google self-driving cars are Lexus SUVs.  (Well, maybe not all, but all the ones I see)

How much do you think a self-driving Lexus costs?  Probably even more than a ridiculous truck.  Problem solved!
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: bacchi on August 06, 2015, 12:40:16 PM
Link?

You do realize that the reason gas is so expensive in the UK is because of additional taxes, right?

Gas taxes in the US are kept low, forcing state DoTs to borrow money from the general fund to pay for new roads and maintenance. In effect, bike riders, through their state income/sales/property taxes, subsidize automobiles.

As for human driving cars, they won't be outlawed but auto-driving will give a huge insurance discount like ABS brakes or air bags.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: acroy on August 06, 2015, 12:41:54 PM
Babes - Bikes - Guns - you name it!!

As long as there are boys with money, there will be toys.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: tvan on August 06, 2015, 12:47:41 PM

All the Google self-driving cars are Lexus SUVs.  (Well, maybe not all, but all the ones I see)

How much do you think a self-driving Lexus costs?  Probably even more than a ridiculous truck.  Problem solved!

There was a recent NPR podcast that talked about how Google has struggled with the perception of safety in the self driving cars. They originally didn't even want to put control in for the human like a break and steering wheel. Unfortunately regulators weren't comfortable with this and required it. I wonder if they are not using the SUV for the same reason - belief that it is safer.


As a side note IDEO has an interesting display of their take of future automobiles. Which include things like mobile working spaces.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: bacchi on August 06, 2015, 12:58:53 PM
The new Google self-driving cars are marshmallows.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/theoatmeal-img/blog/google_self_driving_car/road_ready_small.jpg
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: vhalros on August 06, 2015, 01:02:10 PM
Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Don't forget the huge subsidy that is free parking.

Really, the fact there are few bicycle commuters is the reason to build *more* bicycle infrastructure to improve this number, at least in urban areas.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 06, 2015, 01:03:21 PM
Big dumb truck purchases, overspending on houses, expensive mods for cars.... how expensive are the self driving cars going to be?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 06, 2015, 01:39:56 PM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?

I didn't say I wanted to make cycling more dangerous...I said that the number of riders is too small for government to spend multi-millions. Don't put words in my mouth.

Low gas prices don't only help commuters...they help EVERYONE, even those who don't have cars. Virtually every single product you buy requires fuel for processing, and transportation to the marketplace. Raising gas prices means raising ALL prices across the board.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm looking at your suggestion logically.  Taxing cyclists will reduce their numbers, reduced numbers of cyclists makes cycling more dangerous.  Your suggestion will make cycling more dangerous.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 06, 2015, 01:45:00 PM
Link?

You do realize that the reason gas is so expensive in the UK is because of additional taxes, right?

Gas taxes in the US are kept low, forcing state DoTs to borrow money from the general fund to pay for new roads and maintenance. In effect, bike riders, through their state income/sales/property taxes, subsidize automobiles.

As for human driving cars, they won't be outlawed but auto-driving will give a huge insurance discount like ABS brakes or air bags.

Taxes breaks and benefits are pretty substantial for gas producing companies as well:  http://www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/Understanding%20Oil%20%20Gas%20Subsidies%282%29.pdf (http://www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/Understanding%20Oil%20%20Gas%20Subsidies%282%29.pdf) .  The spice gas must flow though . . .
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 06, 2015, 01:55:06 PM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?

I didn't say I wanted to make cycling more dangerous...I said that the number of riders is too small for government to spend multi-millions. Don't put words in my mouth.

Low gas prices don't only help commuters...they help EVERYONE, even those who don't have cars. Virtually every single product you buy requires fuel for processing, and transportation to the marketplace. Raising gas prices means raising ALL prices across the board.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm looking at your suggestion logically.  Taxing cyclists will reduce their numbers, reduced numbers of cyclists makes cycling more dangerous.  Your suggestion will make cycling more dangerous.

If more cyclists make the road safer, then they should be willing to pay their fair share to make it safer. Don't you agree?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: vhalros on August 06, 2015, 02:17:30 PM
If more cyclists make the road safer, then they should be willing to pay their fair share to make it safer. Don't you agree?

But, of course, they are already paying for roads like every one else.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Brilliantine on August 06, 2015, 02:19:00 PM
The incentive to forgo human-driven vehicles will probably be in the form of insurance premiums. "Why, yes, my good sir, of course you can own and operate your own vehicle, it is your God given right to do so. The insurance premium will be $1,157.45 a month but if you pay the annual premium upfront, you can get our 5% discount."

I predict (Western) Europe will be the first to go mostly auto-driven. Eventually Canada will convert to mostly auto-driven. Fifteen years later, good ole U.S. of A will still have rednecks driving their trucks with bumper stickers that read "My truck, my insurance premium" or "Come and take it".
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 06, 2015, 02:20:26 PM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?

I didn't say I wanted to make cycling more dangerous...I said that the number of riders is too small for government to spend multi-millions. Don't put words in my mouth.

Low gas prices don't only help commuters...they help EVERYONE, even those who don't have cars. Virtually every single product you buy requires fuel for processing, and transportation to the marketplace. Raising gas prices means raising ALL prices across the board.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm looking at your suggestion logically.  Taxing cyclists will reduce their numbers, reduced numbers of cyclists makes cycling more dangerous.  Your suggestion will make cycling more dangerous.

If more cyclists make the road safer, then they should be willing to pay their fair share to make it safer. Don't you agree?

I would argue that the cost of bicycle's damage to infrastructure is negligible.  Safety measures for cyclists also benefit pedestrians. We all pay local sales and property tax that are used to pay for these things.  I also pay taxes for fire, police and rescue service that respond when a truck driver plows through a fence, bus stop, traffic light pole, or local business (all occurrences I have witnessed along the route of my 28 mile daily bicycle commute).

How do you propose that cyclists are taxed for their fair share.  I actually believe that if you did a full cost analysis regarding all of the things mentioned on this thread and others (unpaid infrastructure damage caused by cars, pollution related diseases - we will not fully comprehend this until internal combustion engine are finally gone, obesity related disease - not present in daily bicycle commuters, real estate cost related to parking and traffic congestion, etc, etc) a daily bicycle commuter should actually be getting checks in the mail and a thank you from the car driving tax payers. :)

Despite this, I would be willing to donate significant amounts of money to improve biking infrastructure. I have actually thought about a post-FI hobby as a bicycle infrastructure planner and philanthropist.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 06, 2015, 04:55:40 PM
Beautiful.  You have a case of poor infrastructure (no bike lanes) and terrible driving (mayhem caused by drivers having to go around cyclists, because they're evidently too stupid to know how to do this safely).  Do we blame the planners and drivers?  Nope.  It's the 'suicidal' cyclists.  Rape victims probably should have dressed differently because they were begging for it too, right?

Perhaps a bike tax can be implemented to improve cycling infrastructure? The reality is that 2% or less of people commute to work by bike and, therefore, it's not a pressing issue for most governments. I know almost everyone here is happy to cycle 20 miles to work up hill in the snow during blizzards, but that doesn't reflect reality. Even with the best bike lanes possible, that 2% number won't change by very much.

Few people commute by bike because gas prices are kept artificially low by our government, huge subsidies have been put in place for automobile manufacturing, and the police often don't take dangerous behaviour of drivers towards cyclists seriously.

Each bike on the road is using less parking, damaging the road less, and polluting your lungs less than a car.  What you're proposing is just a way to reduce the already small population of cyclists.  Why?  Studies have shown that the fewer cyclists who ride in a given area, the more dangerous cycling becomes (because drivers are unused to seeing bikes on the road).  Why do you want to make cycling more dangerous for the people who do it?

I didn't say I wanted to make cycling more dangerous...I said that the number of riders is too small for government to spend multi-millions. Don't put words in my mouth.

Low gas prices don't only help commuters...they help EVERYONE, even those who don't have cars. Virtually every single product you buy requires fuel for processing, and transportation to the marketplace. Raising gas prices means raising ALL prices across the board.

I'm not putting words in your mouth, I'm looking at your suggestion logically.  Taxing cyclists will reduce their numbers, reduced numbers of cyclists makes cycling more dangerous.  Your suggestion will make cycling more dangerous.

If more cyclists make the road safer, then they should be willing to pay their fair share to make it safer. Don't you agree?

Your contention is that cyclists do not pay their fair share?  What resources are cyclists using that don't benefit pedestrians or drivers?

Bike lanes are for cars users as much as cyclists.  The bike lanes prevent motorists from having to change lanes to pass a cyclist safely.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Kaspian on August 10, 2015, 12:35:46 PM
"But we just paved that road three years ago--all those damn cyclists wore out the asphalt!"  <-- Said no city manager ever.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: PeteD01 on August 11, 2015, 02:44:57 AM
It is going to be sex robots, rent to own, subscription, financed.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: PizzaHawk on August 11, 2015, 08:57:47 AM
My personal truck sees a lot of use on the highway and on construction sites. Almost all of its use on sites is something that I doubt a computer would be able to do. I would need a function that allowed me to turn off the auto-drive while at work. How would you see that reconciling with your assumption?

To answer your question, just because cars become self driving doesn't mean people won't shell out tens of thousands for a ridiculous self-driving truck.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: The_path_less_taken on August 11, 2015, 01:15:29 PM
Tomorrow I'm buying 800lbs of chicken feed.

Last week I purchased several tons of hay, and I still need to get at minimum, 150 more bales of hay for my livestock (they run about 120lbs per bale).

I'll be moving that hay on a 21ft flatbed trailer...the same one I use to haul my tractor around...and I assure you: I will not be pulling it with a bicycle. When Costco comes out with their firewood in pallets next month, I will move 2.5 cords of hardwood on that flatbed. (five of those full pallets)

I will not be acquiring a self driving car. Ever. For a multitude of reasons, but the primary one is that turning every single thing over to technology is a wonderful thing: until it breaks down.

Example: elevators have had sensors on them for decades, by law, that prevent them from slamming someone with a closing door. Awesome.

Except for the woman who got in one at JC Penny's (I think, can't recall the article exactly) in Anchorage, Alaska years ago and was literally torn apart when the doors slammed onto her leg, locked, and dragged her (inside the elevator) up a few floors: while her leg stayed down on the ground floor.

Because she 'depended' on that technology, she didn't take the common sense precaution of boarding safely.

Current big thing in cars is "side collision alert" and other buzzing crap to warn you that there are people in the other lanes.

Or....you could just turn your head, and look out the window. Because that window system? It's not ever going to fail. Or have a sensor go bad. Or require a part.


To answer your question: people will buy more bling. More crap that they don't need. A walk in humidifier for your imported cigars that speaks French so you can store and electronically sort your wine in part of it: in filigree silver with inset rubies? Who can resist?

A brain implant for your cell phone so you only have to wink once to call home to Grandma? Perfect.

Don't sign me up.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Rural on August 11, 2015, 08:07:37 PM
^+1
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: use2betrix on August 11, 2015, 08:30:03 PM
I wonder if the OP put any thought into this thread before assuming that because he has no need for a truck, no one has need for a truck.

What will farmers use to tow equipment and hay? What will construction workers use to transport equipment and materials? What about people who own boats? 5th wheels and travel trailers?

I am 27 and drive a $60k truck. A truck I use to tow my 5th wheel I live full time in. How else would I do it?

Oh yeah.. And my $1000 truck payment constitutes less than 7% of my take home pay each month right now. Most my coworkers are the same with their nice trucks.

Great assumptions though.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: okonumiyaki on August 11, 2015, 09:27:40 PM
I refer the OP to George Best's quote

"I spent alot of money on booze, birds and fast cars.  The rest I just squandered"

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 12, 2015, 06:18:04 AM
I wonder if the OP put any thought into this thread before assuming that because he has no need for a truck, no one has need for a truck.

What will farmers use to tow equipment and hay? What will construction workers use to transport equipment and materials? What about people who own boats? 5th wheels and travel trailers?

I am 27 and drive a $60k truck. A truck I use to tow my 5th wheel I live full time in. How else would I do it?

Oh yeah.. And my $1000 truck payment constitutes less than 7% of my take home pay each month right now. Most my coworkers are the same with their nice trucks.

Great assumptions though.

If most of your coworkers live in a trailer attached to their truck, then kudos to them.  If most of them are blowing 7% of their take home pay each month on a truck, they're being pretty shockingly wasteful.

My experience has been that the bulk of new truck sales to men are not made to hard working farmers, construction workers who use the truck on the job, or to tow their full time homes.  Rather they're made by insecure guys to broadcast to the world a particularly unfortunate penis size and confidence level.  These men are absolutely making a dumb purchase.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 12, 2015, 09:05:58 AM
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/google-will-no-longer-build-driverless-cars/
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: AlanStache on August 12, 2015, 09:18:53 AM
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/google-will-no-longer-build-driverless-cars/

Head line is a bit (read-massively) misleading, Google is splitting things up not liquidating the side projects.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: frompa on August 12, 2015, 11:21:25 AM
I'm finding the subtextual "discussion" about the purported negative impact of cyclists on the streets to be both sad and annoying as shit.  Having returned from a few weeks in Denmark, where the cyclists are ordinary, respected commuters, where car drivers (most of whom are also cyclists) are taught to  and do interact calmly and safely with cyclists and pedestrians, and where I seldom heard even a car honk although I was in the three biggest cities, now that I am returned home I am sick and tired of having to feel embattled about cycling to get around.  We cyclists are sane and good for any community, in a host of ways.  If vehicle drivers were carrying the full cost of their vehicle driving, including road maintenance, parking spaces, the death, dismemberment, and disability that we in this country are trained to accept as a cost of getting around, as well as the immense impact on the environment, few people could afford to drive.  I suspect we have the system we have because there's much more money to be made on everyone by forcing us to drive vehicles than by creating conditions that favor cycling.  Read the history of the transportation system in this country.  Even though the mega corporations of the time (ie. conglomerates and United Cities Motor Transit and National City Lines in the 30's - 50s) were found to have acted as illegal monopolies in their systematic dismantling of the local transit systems all over the country, they still made tons of money by paying their fines and continuing to replace transit with individual car driving, putting in place this crazy system we have now. Any body who thinks cars as primary is the natural default setting of modern transportation hasn't considered the whole picture. 

Wow, quite a rant.  I promise that on my bike ride home today, if a single car driver gets aggressive or honks at me, I will give him the middle finger greeting he richly deserves, in further honor of this rant, and continue to cycle off into the sunset.   
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 12, 2015, 11:28:58 AM
I'm finding the subtextual "discussion" about the purported negative impact of cyclists on the streets to be both sad and annoying as shit.  Having returned from a few weeks in Denmark, where the cyclists are ordinary, respected commuters, where car drivers (most of whom are also cyclists) are taught to  and do interact calmly and safely with cyclists and pedestrians, and where I seldom heard even a car honk although I was in the three biggest cities, now that I am returned home I am sick and tired of having to feel embattled about cycling to get around.  We cyclists are sane and good for any community, in a host of ways.  If vehicle drivers were carrying the full cost of their vehicle driving, including road maintenance, parking spaces, the death, dismemberment, and disability that we in this country are trained to accept as a cost of getting around, as well as the immense impact on the environment, few people could afford to drive.  I suspect we have the system we have because there's much more money to be made on everyone by forcing us to drive vehicles than by creating conditions that favor cycling.  Read the history of the transportation system in this country.  Even though the mega corporations of the time (ie. conglomerates and United Cities Motor Transit and National City Lines in the 30's - 50s) were found to have acted as illegal monopolies in their systematic dismantling of the local transit systems all over the country, they still made tons of money by paying their fines and continuing to replace transit with individual car driving, putting in place this crazy system we have now. Any body who thinks cars as primary is the natural default setting of modern transportation hasn't considered the whole picture. 

Wow, quite a rant.  I promise that on my bike ride home today, if a single car driver gets aggressive or honks at me, I will give him the middle finger greeting he richly deserves, in further honor of this rant, and continue to cycle off into the sunset.   

I honked at a cyclist once to try and draw his attention to a car coming at him, in which the driver was distracted.  He turned and flipped me off and missed getting hit by about an inch.  Don't assume all honks are hostile.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 12, 2015, 11:42:43 AM
While it may have been well intentioned, please in the future do not distract and draw the attention of a cyclist away from a dangerous situation by honking at him.  As you saw, it makes the situation more dangerous, not less.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 12, 2015, 11:45:32 AM
My personal truck sees a lot of use on the highway and on construction sites. Almost all of its use on sites is something that I doubt a computer would be able to do. I would need a function that allowed me to turn off the auto-drive while at work. How would you see that reconciling with your assumption?

To answer your question, just because cars become self driving doesn't mean people won't shell out tens of thousands for a ridiculous self-driving truck.

My assumption is that trucks will be used for things that you actually need trucks for, like construction, as you mention, or farming or even off-road recreation. I believe that the requirements to obtain a license to do these things will be much higher than our current systems: requiring one to be not blind, have a pulse/pass a very easy test, and be over 16.

However, commuting, which is what the vast, vast majority of trucks are used for in 2015 (and consequently the vast amount of deaths and cost and pollution) will not be allowed in my assumption.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: uspsfanalan on August 12, 2015, 11:48:46 AM
Wow, quite a rant.  I promise that on my bike ride home today, if a single car driver gets aggressive or honks at me, I will give him the middle finger greeting he richly deserves, in further honor of this rant, and continue to cycle off into the sunset.   

Ha! Good rant, very true. But don't give the single finger solute to a potentially homicidal maniac. I'd hate for someone to act out on their road rage and give you a little bump or pull out a gun and shoot you. Something is seriously f'd up in American society when both of those things are entirely plausible outcomes just because someone wanted to ride a bike.

I don't see human driven cars being banned by the government. I see them being pushed out by the cost of insurance. If self driving cars almost never crash, but human drivers account for 95% of the collisions, insurance companies are going to appropriately charge sky high prices for non-self driving cars. Besides, while some people like to drive, most would gladly let the car do the work, so they have the time to relax or check facebook. I know I'd never drive if the car would do it for me.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: DeltaBond on August 12, 2015, 11:53:41 AM
While it may have been well intentioned, please in the future do not distract and draw the attention of a cyclist away from a dangerous situation by honking at him.  As you saw, it makes the situation more dangerous, not less.

Could have also drawn attention to the car he wasn't seeing... I won't hold back in the future.  Also, when you hire someone to do repairs to your home, or deliver something you can't haul yourself, notice what they're driving.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 12, 2015, 12:00:10 PM
I'm finding the subtextual "discussion" about the purported negative impact of cyclists on the streets to be both sad and annoying as shit.  Having returned from a few weeks in Denmark, where the cyclists are ordinary, respected commuters, where car drivers (most of whom are also cyclists) are taught to  and do interact calmly and safely with cyclists and pedestrians, and where I seldom heard even a car honk although I was in the three biggest cities, now that I am returned home I am sick and tired of having to feel embattled about cycling to get around.  We cyclists are sane and good for any community, in a host of ways.  If vehicle drivers were carrying the full cost of their vehicle driving, including road maintenance, parking spaces, the death, dismemberment, and disability that we in this country are trained to accept as a cost of getting around, as well as the immense impact on the environment, few people could afford to drive.  I suspect we have the system we have because there's much more money to be made on everyone by forcing us to drive vehicles than by creating conditions that favor cycling.  Read the history of the transportation system in this country.  Even though the mega corporations of the time (ie. conglomerates and United Cities Motor Transit and National City Lines in the 30's - 50s) were found to have acted as illegal monopolies in their systematic dismantling of the local transit systems all over the country, they still made tons of money by paying their fines and continuing to replace transit with individual car driving, putting in place this crazy system we have now. Any body who thinks cars as primary is the natural default setting of modern transportation hasn't considered the whole picture. 

Wow, quite a rant.  I promise that on my bike ride home today, if a single car driver gets aggressive or honks at me, I will give him the middle finger greeting he richly deserves, in further honor of this rant, and continue to cycle off into the sunset.   

Good rant. I would like to learn more about transportation history. Do you know of any good books/online resources where I could learn more.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: uspsfanalan on August 12, 2015, 12:12:06 PM
While it may have been well intentioned, please in the future do not distract and draw the attention of a cyclist away from a dangerous situation by honking at him.  As you saw, it makes the situation more dangerous, not less.

Could have also drawn attention to the car he wasn't seeing... I won't hold back in the future.  Also, when you hire someone to do repairs to your home, or deliver something you can't haul yourself, notice what they're driving.

People look where the honk is coming from. The only person that should have honked might have been the other driver. Better yet, the driver should have just slowed down and it wouldn't be an issue. Courtesy goes a long way.

95% of honks cyclists get are angry, get the fuck out of my way, honks. They're meant to intimidate. The best thing a cyclist can do is ignore honking and focus on being alert, take the full lane and try to choose a route with as little congestion as possible.

"I won't hold back in the future" - Good for you, I hope you feel like a man now. Pretty wimpy to use a 3000 lb vehicle to try to intimidate someone on a 30 lb bike. Cowardice in the utmost. 
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 12, 2015, 12:27:58 PM
While it may have been well intentioned, please in the future do not distract and draw the attention of a cyclist away from a dangerous situation by honking at him.  As you saw, it makes the situation more dangerous, not less.

Could have also drawn attention to the car he wasn't seeing... I won't hold back in the future.  Also, when you hire someone to do repairs to your home, or deliver something you can't haul yourself, notice what they're driving.

Do you cycle on the road much?  I ask because I do, and I also drive regularly.  This has given me perhaps a better perspective on the scenario you described.

The honking you did made the situation more dangerous by distracting the cyclist.  Upon hearing a loud and unexpected noise it's natural to look towards the source of the sound.  Unless the distracted driver you're talking about was directly between you and the cyclist, there's little chance that what you did would help the situation.

It's an understandable mistake to make once, but purposely choosing to do this after it has been explained why it's a bad idea seems to indicate that your true purpose in honking is to intimidate, not help.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: frompa on August 12, 2015, 02:06:58 PM


Good rant. I would like to learn more about transportation history. Do you know of any good books/online resources where I could learn more.

I recall reading the anti-trust cases years ago when I studied law, and I've read various versions of the systematic dismantling of the train/trolley system in a number of books about urban planning.  One book that I came across years ago, and is obviously biased, but in the same way as I trend, was DIVORCE YOUR CAR, by Katie Alvord. This was an enjoyable read, most especially when the author explained early on that in real life she was divorced and remained on very friendly terms with her former husband, and that described her ongoing relationship with private car use, as well -- she did not go for all or nothing.  I'm sure there are plenty of on-line sources for this same info.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on August 12, 2015, 02:19:04 PM
While it may have been well intentioned, please in the future do not distract and draw the attention of a cyclist away from a dangerous situation by honking at him.  As you saw, it makes the situation more dangerous, not less.

Could have also drawn attention to the car he wasn't seeing... I won't hold back in the future. 

As a cyclist (and motorist), I can confirm that getting honked at is distracting and is generally taken as a hostile act, no matter what the motivation of the honker is (because I can't know their intentions). I appreciate that you wanted to alert the cyclist to a danger, but unfortunately, honking is not an effective way to convey, "Hey, watch out for that other guy."
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: AlanStache on August 12, 2015, 02:58:36 PM
While it may have been well intentioned, please in the future do not distract and draw the attention of a cyclist away from a dangerous situation by honking at him.  As you saw, it makes the situation more dangerous, not less.

Could have also drawn attention to the car he wasn't seeing... I won't hold back in the future. 

As a cyclist (and motorist), I can confirm that getting honked at is distracting and is generally taken as a hostile act, no matter what the motivation of the honker is (because I can't know their intentions). I appreciate that you wanted to alert the cyclist to a danger, but unfortunately, honking is not an effective way to convey, "Hey, watch out for that other guy."

I had a guy tell me that he honked at me to alert me that he was there and about to pass me.  They were holding at 20ft behind me when they honked and it scared the shit out of me.  Internal combustion is not that quite, I totally heard them before and how I was to divine "Caution my friend, I am about to pass you on your left" from "HONK!!!!!!"
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 12, 2015, 05:08:41 PM
My assumption is that trucks will be used for things that you actually need trucks for, like construction, as you mention, or farming or even off-road recreation. I believe that the requirements to obtain a license to do these things will be much higher than our current systems: requiring one to be not blind, have a pulse/pass a very easy test, and be over 16.

However, commuting, which is what the vast, vast majority of trucks are used for in 2015 (and consequently the vast amount of deaths and cost and pollution) will not be allowed in my assumption.

You do make a lot of assumptions. I used to own a truck I commuted with...and then on the weekends I built decks and fences, and renovated my house. I only needed one vehicle, but I also needed a truck.

I have friends who commute to work in large trucks...and they also need their trucks to haul their camper or utility trailers.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: lbmustache on August 12, 2015, 05:31:02 PM
My assumption is that trucks will be used for things that you actually need trucks for, like construction, as you mention, or farming or even off-road recreation. I believe that the requirements to obtain a license to do these things will be much higher than our current systems: requiring one to be not blind, have a pulse/pass a very easy test, and be over 16.

However, commuting, which is what the vast, vast majority of trucks are used for in 2015 (and consequently the vast amount of deaths and cost and pollution) will not be allowed in my assumption.

You do make a lot of assumptions. I used to own a truck I commuted with...and then on the weekends I built decks and fences, and renovated my house. I only needed one vehicle, but I also needed a truck.

I have friends who commute to work in large trucks...and they also need their trucks to haul their camper or utility trailers.

Well I think the poster is going back to MMM's post. If you need one vehicle, and use a truck often, then it makes sense. But then you have the people who tow something once a year and use a truck to commute every day. That doesn't make sense. Rent a truck if you need to tow something 2-3x a year.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: use2betrix on August 12, 2015, 05:33:04 PM
My personal truck sees a lot of use on the highway and on construction sites. Almost all of its use on sites is something that I doubt a computer would be able to do. I would need a function that allowed me to turn off the auto-drive while at work. How would you see that reconciling with your assumption?

To answer your question, just because cars become self driving doesn't mean people won't shell out tens of thousands for a ridiculous self-driving truck.

My assumption is that trucks will be used for things that you actually need trucks for, like construction, as you mention, or farming or even off-road recreation. I believe that the requirements to obtain a license to do these things will be much higher than our current systems: requiring one to be not blind, have a pulse/pass a very easy test, and be over 16.

However, commuting, which is what the vast, vast majority of trucks are used for in 2015 (and consequently the vast amount of deaths and cost and pollution) will not be allowed in my assumption.

So what your saying is that people who need trucks occasionally, should have more mustachian cars when they aren't towing?

So a truck AND a car is more economic than just a truck?

Hmm..

Either way, the point of the forum isn't for everyone to be on the same level of "mustachianism" as everyone else, but simply improve their financial situations and meet their goals. If someone wants to drive a truck, let them drive a truck. No different than people going to concerts, or traveling, or anything else that others may not hold a high priority on.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't drive my truck if I didn't NEED it to tow my trailer, but it is what it is. Where do we draw the line?

I live in a 40'x8' 5th wheel full time, but you won't see me coming on here bashing people with houses and "extra" room about being wasteful and having more room than they "need." Then again, i can look outside my own box.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 12, 2015, 05:49:18 PM
As has been stated, if you have a legitimate reason to use a truck regularly . . . cool.  For the person who maybe helps a buddy move every other year, and hauls a boat somewhere once a summer owning a truck for regular use is silly.  For those people, trucks are dumb purchases.  There are a lot of those people.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 12, 2015, 07:45:17 PM
My personal truck sees a lot of use on the highway and on construction sites. Almost all of its use on sites is something that I doubt a computer would be able to do. I would need a function that allowed me to turn off the auto-drive while at work. How would you see that reconciling with your assumption?

To answer your question, just because cars become self driving doesn't mean people won't shell out tens of thousands for a ridiculous self-driving truck.

My assumption is that trucks will be used for things that you actually need trucks for, like construction, as you mention, or farming or even off-road recreation. I believe that the requirements to obtain a license to do these things will be much higher than our current systems: requiring one to be not blind, have a pulse/pass a very easy test, and be over 16.

However, commuting, which is what the vast, vast majority of trucks are used for in 2015 (and consequently the vast amount of deaths and cost and pollution) will not be allowed in my assumption.

So what your saying is that people who need trucks occasionally, should have more mustachian cars when they aren't towing?

So a truck AND a car is more economic than just a truck?

Hmm..

Either way, the point of the forum isn't for everyone to be on the same level of "mustachianism" as everyone else, but simply improve their financial situations and meet their goals. If someone wants to drive a truck, let them drive a truck. No different than people going to concerts, or traveling, or anything else that others may not hold a high priority on.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't drive my truck if I didn't NEED it to tow my trailer, but it is what it is. Where do we draw the line?

I live in a 40'x8' 5th wheel full time, but you won't see me coming on here bashing people with houses and "extra" room about being wasteful and having more room than they "need." Then again, i can look outside my own box.

I get my viewpoint from all (and I mean hundreds) of big worthless jacked up trucks that are solely purchased because the driver think it makes them big and cool (I actually don't know exactly what they are thinking). Aside from construction company trucks, I see no trucks pulling trailers or carrying a load justifying a truck.  I also notice that these trucks are often parked outside of homes in poor areas and outside of cheap apartment complexes, residences of the working poor. It is not only mildly amusing to me but also somewhat sad that these folks could probably find a better, safer living situation for their families (or even send their kids to college) if they were not blowing their entire paycheck on maintaining an ego-support vehicle.

I recognize that trucks sometimes (albeit rarely) can be justified based on productive (and even recreational) use. However, this is rarely the case where I live.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MoonShadow on August 12, 2015, 07:59:54 PM
Of course there will be Uber Basic, Uber Prime and Uber Ultra.   

It's actually called Uber Black.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: firewalker on August 12, 2015, 08:50:33 PM
A self driving truck. I want one! That way, when someone borrows it, I can get it back whenever I want. Even if their stuff is still in the bed!
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 12, 2015, 09:07:46 PM
Lots of people with trucks aren't spending 10's of thousands of $$s either. Many people (like me) have older trucks (2001 Ford Ranger)that were bought used long ago very cheaply and are used for work or, in my case, recreation (camping, hauling the mountain bikes, the kayaks, the dogs, etc..).  I doubt a self-driving EV car will be able to do that for me on a long cross country trip for months at a time.  While I don't drive it too much except for longer trips, I ride my bike around town, I find that doing without one would seriously cramp my lifestyle. Of course I really don't see a need to go out and buy a 2016 behemoth truck with a big V-8 to haul around most anything that needs to be hauled even in most work situations, but I do see a need for some people to drive trucks. Especially small trucks.

I bought a 6-year old Dodge Dakota and kept it 5 years. It wasn't great on gas, but when you only spend $800 a year on fuel, who cares? I have friends with cabins so I always had a comfortable bed if bedrooms were scarce....I would put a "real" mattress in back instead of an air mattress. The cap could be removed or put on by one person in 5 minutes depending on the need. I was renovating my house and always running to the home centre. I could have saved on fuel, but at great inconvenience.

It was also my daily commuter. Many people only saw me driving it to work and may have assumed I just "hauled air" in the back, but they never saw the Home Depot trips, or the nights that I slept in the back in comfort, or when I saved on a delivery charge, etc.

For those who drive low miles, a truck only has to be used as a "truck" 8 or 10 times a year to pay for itself...assuming of course, that the equivalent amount is spent on a different vehicle.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on August 13, 2015, 03:06:24 AM
"Uber" ain't going to replace personal cars (or trucks) anytime soon.

Unless your "self driving Uber" car is available to me within 30 seconds of the time I'm ready to go, and CHEAP, I ain't interested.  Nor am I interested in having to find/hail another "Uber" car on the way back.

Uber is fine for tourists and inner city dwellers who don't want/need a car.  A great alternative to regular cabs.  But for day to day use, it's a non starter for most Americans.

I'll keep driving my truck.  Maybe in the future, I'll have my own self driving truck. 

You can screw around with your "Uber."  At this point, I'm not interested.

I'll just keep driving my "dumb purchase" (a big 'ol truck) even if you don't approve.

I'm a well educated, successful, free adult citizen and a multi-millionaire, and I really don't think I need your approval for what I drive.

I already have a mother, I don't need you to replace her
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: birdman2003 on August 13, 2015, 04:47:07 AM
Tomorrow I'm buying 800lbs of chicken feed.

Last week I purchased several tons of hay, and I still need to get at minimum, 150 more bales of hay for my livestock (they run about 120lbs per bale).

I'll be moving that hay on a 21ft flatbed trailer...the same one I use to haul my tractor around...and I assure you: I will not be pulling it with a bicycle. When Costco comes out with their firewood in pallets next month, I will move 2.5 cords of hardwood on that flatbed. (five of those full pallets)

I will not be acquiring a self driving car. Ever. For a multitude of reasons, but the primary one is that turning every single thing over to technology is a wonderful thing: until it breaks down.

Example: elevators have had sensors on them for decades, by law, that prevent them from slamming someone with a closing door. Awesome.

Except for the woman who got in one at JC Penny's (I think, can't recall the article exactly) in Anchorage, Alaska years ago and was literally torn apart when the doors slammed onto her leg, locked, and dragged her (inside the elevator) up a few floors: while her leg stayed down on the ground floor.

Because she 'depended' on that technology, she didn't take the common sense precaution of boarding safely.

Current big thing in cars is "side collision alert" and other buzzing crap to warn you that there are people in the other lanes.

Or....you could just turn your head, and look out the window. Because that window system? It's not ever going to fail. Or have a sensor go bad. Or require a part.


To answer your question: people will buy more bling. More crap that they don't need. A walk in humidifier for your imported cigars that speaks French so you can store and electronically sort your wine in part of it: in filigree silver with inset rubies? Who can resist?

A brain implant for your cell phone so you only have to wink once to call home to Grandma? Perfect.

Don't sign me up.

+1
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 13, 2015, 07:03:40 AM
"Uber" ain't going to replace personal cars (or trucks) anytime soon.

Unless your "self driving Uber" car is available to me within 30 seconds of the time I'm ready to go, and CHEAP, I ain't interested.  Nor am I interested in having to find/hail another "Uber" car on the way back.

Uber is fine for tourists and inner city dwellers who don't want/need a car.  A great alternative to regular cabs.  But for day to day use, it's a non starter for most Americans.

That is the point. Self-driving Uber cars have the potential to be extremely convenient (pick up in 30 seconds or less) in urban (including smallish cities) and suburban environments. It would be difficult to pull this off in rural-dom. 

Also, this idea could be super, super cheap compared to personal car ownership, probably even cheaper than city buses are now.  If they are small, which they should be, and electric (they will be), including capital expenditures and maintenance, I would bet that companies could charge 10-15 cents per mile with a decent margin.  These are some back of the envelope estimates so who knows exactly. 

All I know is that as soon as I identify a company that can scale a project like this, I am going to buy massive quantities of this company precisely because it would be so much more economical for people than the current state of personal car ownership. It would be an unbelievable value proposition for basically everyone, factoring cost and convenience.

I'll keep driving my truck.  Maybe in the future, I'll have my own self driving truck. 

You can screw around with your "Uber."  At this point, I'm not interested.

I'll just keep driving my "dumb purchase" (a big 'ol truck) even if you don't approve.

I'm a well educated, successful, free adult citizen and a multi-millionaire, and I really don't think I need your approval for what I drive.

I already have a mother, I don't need you to replace her

I really like speculating about the future.  I bet there will be an option for millionaires like yourself to purchase your very own self driving truck with 30 inches of clearance and even speakers that make the muffler noises despite it being an electric vehicle.   

Sorry, I had to go there because it is funny to me: in my world of no car driving and seeing these trucks rev their engines for no apparent reason other than that makes them feel more manly? I'm not saying this is you, just a common observation.

I believe in freedom, just like you do Mr. Libertarian,  I just believe that people's freedom to swing their arms has to be limited as soon as it smacks others in the face. Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.   Of course, self-driving uber cars won't solve all of these problems. I just see the idea as a major opportunity to increase people's freedom, not limit it.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MoonShadow on August 13, 2015, 12:54:21 PM
Also, this idea could be super, super cheap compared to personal car ownership, probably even cheaper than city buses are now.  If they are small, which they should be, and electric (they will be), including capital expenditures and maintenance, I would bet that companies could charge 10-15 cents per mile with a decent margin.  These are some back of the envelope estimates so who knows exactly. 


A self-driving version of a Tango would fit that bill easily...

http://www.commutercars.com/

Quote
I believe in freedom, just like you do Mr. Libertarian,  I just believe that people's freedom to swing their arms has to be limited as soon as it smacks others in the face.

Yeah, so do libertarians.  In fact, that pretty much sums up the libertarian position on just about everything.

Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 13, 2015, 01:36:22 PM
Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

No, that's a myth.  You actually are smacking other people in the face with your truck.

Quote
*EVs charged from the electricity grid produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle (with a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon)—even when the electricity is produced primarily from coal in regions with the “dirtiest” electricity grids.

*EVs charged entirely from renewable sources like wind and solar power produce virtually no global warming emissions.

*Nearly half of Americans (45%) live in the “best” regions where EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient gasoline hybrids on the market today (greater than 50 mpg).

*Another third (38%) live in “better” areas where EVs produce emissions comparable to the best gasoline hybrid vehicles (41 – 50 mpg).

*A minority (17%) reside in “good” regions where emissions from EVs are comparable to the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicles (31 – 40 mpg)

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/advanced-vehicle-technologies/electric-cars/emissions-and-charging-costs-electric-cars.html (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/advanced-vehicle-technologies/electric-cars/emissions-and-charging-costs-electric-cars.html)


Quote
How far can you drive on the Kilowatt-hours used to refine a gallon of gasoline

It costs power to refine gasoline. I’ve seen figures claiming 3 kilowatt-hours, 4 kilowatt-hours, or even 6 kilowatt-hours to refine each gallon of gasoline (see [How much electricity is used refine a gallon of Gasoline?](/life-cycle/electricity-to-refine-gallon-gasoline.html)). How far will an electric car drive on the electricity required to refine a gallon of gasoline? How far will a gasoline car drive on that gasoline?

A gallon of gasoline could take a gas-powered car 30 miles or so depending on the car’s efficiency.

An electric car uses 340 watt-hours per mile (or so). Meaning:

3 kwh = 8.8 mi, 4 kwh = 11.76 mi, 6 kwh = 17.65 mi

In other words, if the electricity used to refine the gasoline were instead used to power a car, the car would go nearly as far.

http://longtailpipe.com/ebooks/green-transportation-guide-buying-owning-charging-plug-in-vehicles-of-all-kinds/gasoline-electricity-and-the-energy-to-move-transportation-systems/the-coal-powered-ev-myth-electricity-is-only-as-clean-as-the-method-to-generate-it/ (http://longtailpipe.com/ebooks/green-transportation-guide-buying-owning-charging-plug-in-vehicles-of-all-kinds/gasoline-electricity-and-the-energy-to-move-transportation-systems/the-coal-powered-ev-myth-electricity-is-only-as-clean-as-the-method-to-generate-it/)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 13, 2015, 02:46:01 PM
I'm finding the subtextual "discussion" about the purported negative impact of cyclists on the streets to be both sad and annoying as shit.  Having returned from a few weeks in Denmark, where the cyclists are ordinary, respected commuters, where car drivers (most of whom are also cyclists) are taught to  and do interact calmly and safely with cyclists and pedestrians, and where I seldom heard even a car honk although I was in the three biggest cities, now that I am returned home I am sick and tired of having to feel embattled about cycling to get around.  We cyclists are sane and good for any community, in a host of ways.  If vehicle drivers were carrying the full cost of their vehicle driving, including road maintenance, parking spaces, the death, dismemberment, and disability that we in this country are trained to accept as a cost of getting around, as well as the immense impact on the environment, few people could afford to drive.  I suspect we have the system we have because there's much more money to be made on everyone by forcing us to drive vehicles than by creating conditions that favor cycling.  Read the history of the transportation system in this country.  Even though the mega corporations of the time (ie. conglomerates and United Cities Motor Transit and National City Lines in the 30's - 50s) were found to have acted as illegal monopolies in their systematic dismantling of the local transit systems all over the country, they still made tons of money by paying their fines and continuing to replace transit with individual car driving, putting in place this crazy system we have now. Any body who thinks cars as primary is the natural default setting of modern transportation hasn't considered the whole picture. 

Wow, quite a rant.  I promise that on my bike ride home today, if a single car driver gets aggressive or honks at me, I will give him the middle finger greeting he richly deserves, in further honor of this rant, and continue to cycle off into the sunset.   

Exactly what I was thinking...

I'm lucky to live in a very bike-friendly city by North American standards, but I've also spent time travelling by bike in the Netherlands and they put us to shame in regards to biking infrastructure as well as cooperation/respect between cyclists and drivers.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MoonShadow on August 13, 2015, 03:49:18 PM
Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

No, that's a myth.


Well, I don't give the Union of Concerned Scientists the level of faith that article implies, but it is good to know it's not as bad as it seems.  Particularly since I've seen coal plants in operation, and that is some truly destructive stuff.

Quote

 You actually are smacking other people in the face with your truck.


I don't own a truck, but I still think this is hyperbole.  Trucks do have a place in our economy, MMM's complaint with them is that they are often chosen for reasons other than work.  Your argument might have more validity when there is an electric alternative for real working trucks and vans in the market.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 13, 2015, 04:02:50 PM

Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

Are you denying that that motor vehicle fatalities exist? Is that non-sense?

Of course I am making a bit of a leap of faith that car fatalities will go to zero with self-driving cars but I have a strong feeling they will.  This is mainly based on my daily observation of incredibly careless driving (burrito in one hand, texting on cell phone in the other hand, while running red lights). There is no doubt in my mind that Google cars or other tech can do better.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 13, 2015, 04:14:13 PM
Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

No, that's a myth.


Well, I don't give the Union of Concerned Scientists the level of faith that article implies, but it is good to know it's not as bad as it seems.  Particularly since I've seen coal plants in operation, and that is some truly destructive stuff.

Quote

 You actually are smacking other people in the face with your truck.


I don't own a truck, but I still think this is hyperbole.  Trucks do have a place in our economy, MMM's complaint with them is that they are often chosen for reasons other than work.  Your argument might have more validity when there is an electric alternative for real working trucks and vans in the market.

I definitely think that most peoples qualms with trucks are limited to the people who drive them for the purposes of trying to demonstrate their masculinity (the larger the truck, the larger the qualm), not people who legitimately use them for work (on more than an occasion).  Most people use work as an excuse to own a truck but they could easily use as small car to make it to their job site where it is parked all day.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MoonShadow on August 13, 2015, 04:40:06 PM

Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

Are you denying that that motor vehicle fatalities exist? Is that non-sense?

Of course I am making a bit of a leap of faith that car fatalities will go to zero with self-driving cars but I have a strong feeling they will.  This is mainly based on my daily observation of incredibly careless driving (burrito in one hand, texting on cell phone in the other hand, while running red lights). There is no doubt in my mind that Google cars or other tech can do better.

Impact fatalities are not what we are arguing here.  His claim is that trucks pollute so much more than electric cars, (at least, maybe even regular ICE cars) that 10's of thosands of people have died as a result.  I presume he means due to air quality related illnesses.

I completely agree that self driving vehicles will reduce impact fatalities significantly, but they will never drop to zero.  Even the engineers for Google's cars admit this, and have included code that actually makes a practical decision to reduce the human cost in a scenario that the computer cannot actually avoid an impact.  So if the machine has to swerve to avoid a biker on a wet street, but the other lane is occupied, the computer may decide to hit the biker to avoid a head on impact with another vehicle.  Basicly choosing a high degree of harm to one human to avoid harm to potentially more than one person (because the computer doesn't know how many people are in the oncoming car).

This also means that auto insurance would drop considerablely for self-driving cars as compared to human driven cars, which may or may not drive humans out of the driving business, but would be a huge economic incentive towards that end.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 13, 2015, 04:49:40 PM
That is the point. Self-driving Uber cars have the potential to be extremely convenient (pick up in 30 seconds or less) in urban (including smallish cities) and suburban environments. It would be difficult to pull this off in rural-dom. 

Also, this idea could be super, super cheap compared to personal car ownership, probably even cheaper than city buses are now.  If they are small, which they should be, and electric (they will be), including capital expenditures and maintenance, I would bet that companies could charge 10-15 cents per mile with a decent margin.  These are some back of the envelope estimates so who knows exactly. 

All I know is that as soon as I identify a company that can scale a project like this, I am going to buy massive quantities of this company precisely because it would be so much more economical for people than the current state of personal car ownership. It would be an unbelievable value proposition for basically everyone, factoring cost and convenience.

I wouldn't even call those back of the envelope estimates as they are not based in any form of reality. Please share with us your numbers on how someone can run a car on 10 cents a mile as a business and still make a profit. Please don't forget to include maintenance, depreciation, salaries (after all, a business doesn't run itself), insurance, fuel, etc.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MoonShadow on August 13, 2015, 05:13:58 PM
That is the point. Self-driving Uber cars have the potential to be extremely convenient (pick up in 30 seconds or less) in urban (including smallish cities) and suburban environments. It would be difficult to pull this off in rural-dom. 

Also, this idea could be super, super cheap compared to personal car ownership, probably even cheaper than city buses are now.  If they are small, which they should be, and electric (they will be), including capital expenditures and maintenance, I would bet that companies could charge 10-15 cents per mile with a decent margin.  These are some back of the envelope estimates so who knows exactly. 

All I know is that as soon as I identify a company that can scale a project like this, I am going to buy massive quantities of this company precisely because it would be so much more economical for people than the current state of personal car ownership. It would be an unbelievable value proposition for basically everyone, factoring cost and convenience.

I wouldn't even call those back of the envelope estimates as they are not based in any form of reality. Please share with us your numbers on how someone can run a car on 10 cents a mile as a business and still make a profit. Please don't forget to include maintenance, depreciation, salaries (after all, a business doesn't run itself), insurance, fuel, etc.

The maintenance of an all electric car would be lower than any internal combustion engine, in part, because they are honestly more simple machines with much fewer moving parts.  Depreciation is largely a function of the useful service life of the car, which is largely a factor of it's maintenance costs.  Insurance costs would be a comparative advantage towards automated vehicles anyway, and the costs of fuel/power could be much lower if the vehicle were designed smaller & lighter, which may be possible if the safety record of such machines makes air bags and crash frames redundant technology.  I can't see seat belts ever becoming redundant, simply because the automatic vehicle would depend upon them to keep the occupant in their seat during a maximum breaking event.  A vehicle designed for single occupant communting could be smaller still, to the point of basicly being an enclosed motorcycle.  The per mile cost of a small commuter motorcycle is already below 10 cents per mile in many situations, before any of these other optimizations were applied.  As for salaries, odds are high that such a company would have very low labor costs, consisting mostly of techs & mechanics who work on the vehicles when they are due for service.  Think about how Uber works now, the vast majority of the company's actual role is simply maintaining the software and network servers.  Once vehicles can reliablely drive themselves to a fare, even that much might not be necessary.  An auto-cab could be a self-contained business model, using Bitcoin's smart contracts, the machine itself could accept fares, pay for it's own gas/charging fees and pay the mechanic for regular service, or even repair, from it's own gross income.  All before any theoretical owner takes a cut, or even has to hear about it.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 13, 2015, 07:36:25 PM
That is the point. Self-driving Uber cars have the potential to be extremely convenient (pick up in 30 seconds or less) in urban (including smallish cities) and suburban environments. It would be difficult to pull this off in rural-dom. 

Also, this idea could be super, super cheap compared to personal car ownership, probably even cheaper than city buses are now.  If they are small, which they should be, and electric (they will be), including capital expenditures and maintenance, I would bet that companies could charge 10-15 cents per mile with a decent margin.  These are some back of the envelope estimates so who knows exactly. 

All I know is that as soon as I identify a company that can scale a project like this, I am going to buy massive quantities of this company precisely because it would be so much more economical for people than the current state of personal car ownership. It would be an unbelievable value proposition for basically everyone, factoring cost and convenience.

I wouldn't even call those back of the envelope estimates as they are not based in any form of reality. Please share with us your numbers on how someone can run a car on 10 cents a mile as a business and still make a profit. Please don't forget to include maintenance, depreciation, salaries (after all, a business doesn't run itself), insurance, fuel, etc.

The maintenance of an all electric car would be lower than any internal combustion engine, in part, because they are honestly more simple machines with much fewer moving parts.  Depreciation is largely a function of the useful service life of the car, which is largely a factor of it's maintenance costs.  Insurance costs would be a comparative advantage towards automated vehicles anyway, and the costs of fuel/power could be much lower if the vehicle were designed smaller & lighter, which may be possible if the safety record of such machines makes air bags and crash frames redundant technology.  I can't see seat belts ever becoming redundant, simply because the automatic vehicle would depend upon them to keep the occupant in their seat during a maximum breaking event.  A vehicle designed for single occupant communting could be smaller still, to the point of basicly being an enclosed motorcycle.  The per mile cost of a small commuter motorcycle is already below 10 cents per mile in many situations, before any of these other optimizations were applied.  As for salaries, odds are high that such a company would have very low labor costs, consisting mostly of techs & mechanics who work on the vehicles when they are due for service.  Think about how Uber works now, the vast majority of the company's actual role is simply maintaining the software and network servers.  Once vehicles can reliablely drive themselves to a fare, even that much might not be necessary.  An auto-cab could be a self-contained business model, using Bitcoin's smart contracts, the machine itself could accept fares, pay for it's own gas/charging fees and pay the mechanic for regular service, or even repair, from it's own gross income.  All before any theoretical owner takes a cut, or even has to hear about it.
Thanks for the preface Moonshadow

10 cents per mile estimate

10 cents per mile * average speed 30mph = $3 per hour

Imagine that the car is in service 60% of the day

$3 per hour * 24 hours per day * 60% service = $43 per day

Not sound like much?

That is $15768 per year

As mentioned, these would be optimized small electric cars so energy costs would be exceptionally low, .250 kw-hr per mile at $0.12 per kw-hr.  That is 3 cents per mile in energy costs or ~$5000 per year.

Because these vehicles will be workhorse commodities with very low depreciation. Consider a 7 year lifespan with wholesale purchase price of $15k. This is a small no frills vehicle.  So depreciation assuming no residual value at retirement is $15000/7 = $2142 per year. Insurance would be almost nothing (due to essentially no risk of injury or fatality) , probably a self insure situation, lets say $1000 per year. Maintenance excluding depreciation would be minor things like occasional blown electric motor  and cleaning (probably done by robots)- $2000 per year.  Licensure/regulatory $2500.

This leaves $3126 profit per car.

Now imagine a city with a population of 3M and a ratio of people to cars at 10:1. That is 300000 cars.  300000 cars $3126 per car per year = $930M per year profit! That would be just for one city. 

Let's look at on a national level. Assume a 60% US urban population that could utilize this technology. 320M US citizens * 1:10 ratio of cars to citizens * 60% * urban population * $3126 = $60 billion

This is profits of a trillion dollar company BTW.

Make it 15 cents per mile and profits go to >$90-110 billion per year.

Add international business and that number could grow 10-50 fold.

Of course this is back of the napkin calculations so there are many areas to critique. Nonetheless, I hope this illustrates the scalability/profitability of this business model once technically feasible. This would be a massive project of course and there would be lots of losers: GM, Big oil, insurance companies, organ transplant doctors, etc. Thus there would be pushback. I however see this as inevitable. Let's see how the next 20-50 years go!
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on August 17, 2015, 08:26:06 AM
Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

No, that's a myth.  You actually are smacking other people in the face with your truck.

In a forum where you happily hand out facepunches, maybe you should learn to deal with a slap in the face every so often.

:P
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on August 19, 2015, 07:31:26 AM

10 cents per mile estimate

10 cents per mile * average speed 30mph = $3 per hour

Imagine that the car is in service 60% of the day

$3 per hour * 24 hours per day * 60% service = $43 per day

Not sound like much?

That is $15768 per year

As mentioned, these would be optimized small electric cars so energy costs would be exceptionally low, .250 kw-hr per mile at $0.12 per kw-hr.  That is 3 cents per mile in energy costs or ~$5000 per year.

Because these vehicles will be workhorse commodities with very low depreciation. Consider a 7 year lifespan with wholesale purchase price of $15k. This is a small no frills vehicle.  So depreciation assuming no residual value at retirement is $15000/7 = $2142 per year. Insurance would be almost nothing (due to essentially no risk of injury or fatality) , probably a self insure situation, lets say $1000 per year. Maintenance excluding depreciation would be minor things like occasional blown electric motor  and cleaning (probably done by robots)- $2000 per year.  Licensure/regulatory $2500.

This leaves $3126 profit per car.

Now imagine a city with a population of 3M and a ratio of people to cars at 10:1. That is 300000 cars.  300000 cars $3126 per car per year = $930M per year profit! That would be just for one city. 

Let's look at on a national level. Assume a 60% US urban population that could utilize this technology. 320M US citizens * 1:10 ratio of cars to citizens * 60% * urban population * $3126 = $60 billion

This is profits of a trillion dollar company BTW.

Make it 15 cents per mile and profits go to >$90-110 billion per year.

Add international business and that number could grow 10-50 fold.

Of course this is back of the napkin calculations so there are many areas to critique. Nonetheless, I hope this illustrates the scalability/profitability of this business model once technically feasible. This would be a massive project of course and there would be lots of losers: GM, Big oil, insurance companies, organ transplant doctors, etc. Thus there would be pushback. I however see this as inevitable. Let's see how the next 20-50 years go!


It turns out I am already heavily invested in a company that is allegedly positioned to do this.

http://news.investors.com/081715-766859-tesla-motors-mobileye-stock-up-on-self-driving-cars-uber.htm?ven=yahoocp&src=aurlled&ven=yahoo (http://news.investors.com/081715-766859-tesla-motors-mobileye-stock-up-on-self-driving-cars-uber.htm?ven=yahoocp&src=aurlled&ven=yahoo)

Tesla is a crazy stock though and there tends to be crap like this almost every week and then the shares push back down. It has been a fun experience in owning an individual stock though.  I am definitely buy and hold on TSLA. I hope it pays off and if it doesn't at least I am invested in a company that is doing what I believe to be very admirable things...
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on August 22, 2015, 05:42:26 AM
I believe in freedom, just like you do Mr. Libertarian,  I just believe that people's freedom to swing their arms has to be limited as soon as it smacks others in the face. Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants,

Really?  Hmm, sounds pretty alarming.  I wonder if it's really true?

Did I mention that I've been an environmental engineer for 30+ years (BS Chemical Engineering (RPI), MEng Environmental Engineering (MIT)).

I gotta tell you, I haven't seen anything in the scientific/professional literature that claims "trucks kill tens of thousands of people every year...fill our precious air with noxious pollutants." 

Maybe I just missed that email?

What, exactly, is the source of this factoid?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on August 22, 2015, 06:16:24 AM
Quote
Trucks (and actually all personal cars) smack everyone in the face because they kill 10s of thousand of people every year, they fill our shared precious air with obnoxious pollutants, and they contribute to many people's lack of opportunity by being self-imposed financial shackles.

But this is just nonsense.  They do not, and nor do their owners.  The worst truck in the world is a much cleaner per KW of a machine than a standard coal fired power plant, and that is likely what charges up the average Nissan Leaf.

No, that's a myth.


Well, I don't give the Union of Concerned Scientists the level of faith that article implies, but it is good to know it's not as bad as it seems.  Particularly since I've seen coal plants in operation, and that is some truly destructive stuff.

Quote

 You actually are smacking other people in the face with your truck.


I don't own a truck, but I still think this is hyperbole.  Trucks do have a place in our economy, MMM's complaint with them is that they are often chosen for reasons other than work.  Your argument might have more validity when there is an electric alternative for real working trucks and vans in the market.

I definitely think that most peoples qualms with trucks are limited to the people who drive them for the purposes of trying to demonstrate their masculinity (the larger the truck, the larger the qualm), not people who legitimately use them for work (on more than an occasion).  Most people use work as an excuse to own a truck but they could easily use as small car to make it to their job site where it is parked all day.

People own trucks for a lot of reasons. 

In a free country, each person gets to make his own choice, regardless of whether someone else approves of that choice.

I drive a truck largely because I'm a big guy.  I like the way it sits and drives.  I'd rather have the shoulder room and be sitting up than slumped down, squeezed into the tiny cockpit of my wife's Beemer.

I have also found that it's a Hell of a lot easier to haul around 5-10 dog crates in the back of my pickup than trying to shove them into my wife's Beemer (maximum capacity:  2-3 crates, and a PITA to even fit those in, to say nothing of the mess).  I do a lot of volunteer work for animal rescue agencies, and trust me, son, your Prius ain't going to get the job done. 

I'm an engineer/MBA, not a math major, but I'm quite sure I can do enough math to realize that one trip in my truck is more economical (to say nothing of the time saved), than 5 trips in a 2 seater Beemer/Prius/whatever.

Plus, my wife get's pissed off every time I have to knock out the back window of her Beemer when I'm hauling a load of lumber from Home Depot.

And it's really a bitch to help someone move all their stuff to a new house/apartment if I'm driving a Prius.

Ever tried to haul around a couple of hundred campaign signs/stands in a Prius?  Neither have I, my truck works a lot better.

In other words, what I'm telling y'all is that I'm more qualified to decide what is best for me than than some self appointed know-it-all decider of all things good and grand.

See, that's what freedom is all about.  We all get to decide for ourselves.  Even if others are smug and consider themselves superior (and they rarely are), they don't get to make that call.

I don't need my mother to tell me what to do.  I don't need government to tell me what to do. 

And I sure as Hell don't need any self appointed enviro weenie know-it-all to tell me what to do.

FWIW, I'll bet my environmental footprint is VASTLY smaller than that of most of the smug enviro weenie Prius driving know-it-alls, despite my driving a truck. 

Just a side note:  Driving a 20 mpg truck 2000 miles per year does LESS environmental damage than driving a 50 mpg Prius 12000 miles per year.  Seriously- do the math.  It's not about what vehicle you choose, it's far more about what lifestyle you choose.

And btw, buying a lot of CRAP (filling your house with clothes, furniture, toys, shoes, whatever) does far more damage to the environment than driving a truck.  I'm always amazed at enviro weenies who drive a Prius (so they can feel superior), but spend, spend, spend on piles of consumer crap packaged in plastic, without giving it a thought.  To say nothing of jaunting around the world on expensive vacations.

What morons, that "lifestyle choice" is far more damaging to the environment than driving a truck will ever be...

End of rant.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 22, 2015, 05:14:16 PM
So, to reiterate for yet another time, because the truck loving folks keep bringing up a bit of a straw man to argue against.  Nobody is saying that driving a truck when you have a valid reason to use it is bad.  There are some folks who do this.  Nobody is saying that radically curtailing your life in other ways and driving a truck is worse than being a ridiculous consumer and not driving a truck.

Driving a truck as a daily commuter, or owning one purely as an image thing rather than a need is largely what people think of as unconsionable in this thread.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Bob W on August 23, 2015, 07:56:19 PM
If I trade my 4000 pound gas guzzling SUV for a Prius,  will that make my dick bigger?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on August 23, 2015, 08:42:30 PM
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/google-will-no-longer-build-driverless-cars/

That article title is about as wrong as possible while being technically correct.  No, "Google" is not going to build self driving cars.  Yes, a subsidiary company of "Alphabet," which is a holding company created by Google, will continue R&D on such things.

At least it'll stop people bitching about how anything Google does must somehow tie into advertising.

We cyclists are sane and good for any community, in a host of ways.

Good for a community?  Perhaps.  Sane?  Probably not.  It requires a large dose of utter insanity to bike in most US cities.  I do it every day, and on a good week, I only have to take evasive action to avoid being hit maybe twice.  I'm not really sane in that regard.  It still is better for my mental health than sitting in traffic, but, damn, I've yelled at a lot of cars and told them they're #1.  Mostly Priuses and Ford Escapes, oddly enough - the trucks & such rarely cause any issues.  I've had a Leaf try to run me into a fucking garbage truck by not paying attention as well - that gets your attention, having to do a full on panic stop on a steep downhill in the rain, because the Leaf won't let you get over, and there's a garbage truck on the shoulder.

Quote
I suspect we have the system we have because there's much more money to be made on everyone by forcing us to drive vehicles than by creating conditions that favor cycling.

I don't think there's that much thought going into it.  It's just inertia.  Fortunately, as the economy and western industrial civilization continues it's long, slow collapse, it'll be harder for people to buy cars, so we might get more bikes/ebikes out of the deal.

If I trade my 4000 pound gas guzzling SUV for a Prius,  will that make my dick bigger?

No.  I mean, really, a Prius is just as bad as a light truck (4k lbs.  *snerk*).  They both burn gasoline.  Or diesel.  Whatever.  Just like a Prius.  The new green symbol to show you Care(TM) is an EV.  If you're poor and Care(TM), get a Leaf.  If you're rich and Care(TM), get a basic Tesla Model S.  And if you're rich and just like fast cars, get a Model S P85D.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 24, 2015, 06:15:02 AM
If I trade my 4000 pound gas guzzling SUV for a Prius,  will that make my dick bigger?

No, but at least you won't be advertising your small penis any more.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Basenji on August 24, 2015, 09:41:45 AM
If I trade my 4000 pound gas guzzling SUV for a Prius,  will that make my dick bigger?

No, but at least you won't be advertising your small penis any more.
Gents, it's not the size, it's the mileage you can get out of it.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 24, 2015, 09:47:43 AM
If I trade my 4000 pound gas guzzling SUV for a Prius,  will that make my dick bigger?

No, but at least you won't be advertising your small penis any more.
Gents, it's not the size, it's the mileage you can get out of it.

Penile hypermiling.  Finally, a conservation method we can all agree is worth it!
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Leanthree on August 24, 2015, 10:02:42 AM
So I just rented a Ford F150 (don't own a car, occasionally need one) from Budget that cost $40 less than the economy option. After a bit of gas math I decided it was worth it.

On the road it is such a pain to drive. It has to be a foot or more wider than a Civic (my preferred car), difficult to park, even in oversized american big box store spaces, unstable at high highway speeds, and with so many buttons that are more than an arms-length away from the driver because of how large the center console is. I had to lean over just to use the radio tuner.

 I really have no understanding of why anyone would want one and yet they are one of the best selling models in America. Clearly no one wants to rent them which is why it was the cheapest rental car option.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Basenji on August 24, 2015, 10:15:52 AM
If I trade my 4000 pound gas guzzling SUV for a Prius,  will that make my dick bigger?

No, but at least you won't be advertising your small penis any more.
Gents, it's not the size, it's the mileage you can get out of it.

Penile hypermiling.  Finally, a conservation method we can all agree is worth it!
No one is objecting to a big vehicle if there's a legit need for one, we're just saying it isn't needed for basic commuting.

Wink
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 24, 2015, 04:23:09 PM

In a free country, each person gets to make his own choice, regardless of whether someone else approves of that choice.


I won't touch the rest of your rant because others have dealt with it - good reasons to own a truck exist, etc. etc.

But, as for the free country comment I have to expand...
Yes, we should all be free to pay whatever we want to do/drive the things we want - the problem is that those who choose the low mpg options are typically not bearing the full cost of that decision/desire for themselves.  Government subsidies on gas (from extraction all the way through to the pump) are huge - the more gas your choice of transportation uses, the more you are being subsidized.  (Insert the caveat that EV's have some subsidies too - this is common in startup industries and often disappears later, or temporarily ignore the EV's to compare low mpg vehicles with high mpg vehicles or biking or walking and the point still holds true - low mpg = more subsidy).  And this is only the direct financial subsidy, there are more:

Bigger heavier vehicle = more wear and tear on roads at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share of infrastructure maintenance.
More gas burned = higher contribution to global warming at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share towards environmental issues.
More gas burned = higher contribution to public health deterioration at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share of healthcare costs (particularly true in Canada with public healthcare).

And there are more. 

See http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/ - a study done in Vancouver that breaks out the costs borne by the individual commuter vs the costs borne by society.  Obviously variables will change from place to place but the trend is interesting and telling anyway.

Maybe you personally do plenty of other great things with your life to offset the 'evils your truck casts on the world' (purposeful exaggeration for effect - please don't take literally...) but no can claim, when choosing a big gas guzzler, that they aren't impacting other people in this world, and that they are free to pay extra for such a privilege if they want - not until our systems have changed and the extra they are paying is truly proportional to all the hidden costs.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 24, 2015, 04:41:39 PM
Bigger heavier vehicle = more wear and tear on roads at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share of infrastructure maintenance.
More gas burned = higher contribution to global warming at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share towards environmental issues.
More gas burned = higher contribution to public health deterioration at no extra cost.  Therefore paying less of fair share of healthcare costs (particularly true in Canada with public healthcare).

Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 24, 2015, 06:21:40 PM
Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

Ok, a technicality... they pay slightly more into some of the pots of government money that go towards infrastructure and green initiatives.  But huge portions of the money into those pots come from other sources - incomes tax and real-estate taxes being two very large ones.  The exact proportions of these things will vary quite a bit all across North America.  And remember that the production of that gas has already been heavily subsidized in the first place.

No matter how you slice it, when you choose to transport yourself in a less efficient vehicle, you are not single-handedly covering all the extra costs that come from that decision.  Society helps to carry you along to their (our) own detriment.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 24, 2015, 07:14:20 PM
Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

Ok, a technicality... they pay slightly more into some of the pots of government money that go towards infrastructure and green initiatives.  But huge portions of the money into those pots come from other sources - incomes tax and real-estate taxes being two very large ones.  The exact proportions of these things will vary quite a bit all across North America.  And remember that the production of that gas has already been heavily subsidized in the first place.

No matter how you slice it, when you choose to transport yourself in a less efficient vehicle, you are not single-handedly covering all the extra costs that come from that decision.  Society helps to carry you along to their (our) own detriment.

You can apply that reasoning to almost anything...save your money, retire at 30 and then WD $18k a year and you will live paying minimal tax for the rest of your life not carrying all the costs, and society helps to carry you along.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 25, 2015, 12:18:11 PM
Of course they pay extra. You chose to ignore gas taxes: More fuel used = more gas tax paid, which goes towards infrastructure, general revenue, and govt. sponsored green projects.

Ok, a technicality... they pay slightly more into some of the pots of government money that go towards infrastructure and green initiatives.  But huge portions of the money into those pots come from other sources - incomes tax and real-estate taxes being two very large ones.  The exact proportions of these things will vary quite a bit all across North America.  And remember that the production of that gas has already been heavily subsidized in the first place.

No matter how you slice it, when you choose to transport yourself in a less efficient vehicle, you are not single-handedly covering all the extra costs that come from that decision.  Society helps to carry you along to their (our) own detriment.

You can apply that reasoning to almost anything...save your money, retire at 30 and then WD $18k a year and you will live paying minimal tax for the rest of your life not carrying all the costs, and society helps to carry you along.

Ok, I see your point, live on the minimalist side, pay less tax (there will still be your property tax which is a big part of infrastructure upkeep and school funding, etc.) and therefore you are getting a subsidized ride in life.  But we are getting off topic here.  I'm not saying that living a subsidized life is bad in and of itself.  I'm saying that being subsidized to actively make the world a worse place (by commuting long distances as a solo person in a low mpg vehicle - or just driving a low mpg vehicle for the fun of it/to express your masculinity) is a bad thing.

There's a place for subsidies.  Assisting people to pump out more GHG's and other pollutants is not, IMO, one of them.
And the people who, in regards to truck/SUV ownership, say "I can do what I want because I'm the one paying for it", are incorrect.  We all pay for it.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on August 25, 2015, 01:00:15 PM
How about the person who, while they could make plenty of money, retires early, lives cheap, and uses healthcare subsidies because of their low income?  Or makes use of other welfare type programs they can get access to with a low income?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 25, 2015, 01:44:17 PM
How about the person who, while they could make plenty of money, retires early, lives cheap, and uses healthcare subsidies because of their low income?  Or makes use of other welfare type programs they can get access to with a low income?

I thought I had pretty well addressed this in the comment above.

The person you are describing is being subsidized to live their life in a relatively simple way.  I don't have any strong moral standing on this issue.  Right or wrong, I'm not sure.  It's not what I'm talking about.

I strongly disagree with the hefty subsidies that assist many people to accelerate the pollution of the earth.  Even more strongly, I disagree with the people who claim that they are footing the bill for their lifestyle choice by themselves, by remaining ignorant to the subsidy system they are benefiting from.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 25, 2015, 04:38:04 PM
How about the person who, while they could make plenty of money, retires early, lives cheap, and uses healthcare subsidies because of their low income?  Or makes use of other welfare type programs they can get access to with a low income?

I thought I had pretty well addressed this in the comment above.

The person you are describing is being subsidized to live their life in a relatively simple way.  I don't have any strong moral standing on this issue.  Right or wrong, I'm not sure.  It's not what I'm talking about.

I strongly disagree with the hefty subsidies that assist many people to accelerate the pollution of the earth.  Even more strongly, I disagree with the people who claim that they are footing the bill for their lifestyle choice by themselves, by remaining ignorant to the subsidy system they are benefiting from.

It's not Joe 4x4 who will be hurt the most by removing subsidies...although in the short term it will make some greenies who don't see the big picture happy. Remove all the subsidies and the price of absolutely EVERYTHING will go up, and every single low income person in the country will be worse off. Every single product that people need for day to day living requires fuel to produce and get to market. Those additional costs will be passed on to the consumer.

What you effectively do by removing subsidies is transfer the tax burden from those who pay the most taxes to those who pay no tax, or very little tax.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 26, 2015, 06:00:43 AM
That's why you don't just remove the subsidy.  Your action should be revenue neutral, and return the monies collected from gasoline and 4x4 subsidies to the people who need them most . . . encouraging activities that are better for everyone.  This way the average consumer sees little if any change in their overall bills, but the behaviour that's bad for everyone is no longer incentivized.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Le Poisson on August 26, 2015, 06:33:34 AM
OK I've mostly skimmed over the penis debate and why to own a truck debate and the bits about how great cycling is. I may have missed some important bits, so forgive me if I'm chiming in out of line or context.

I work in traffic engineering with safety and urban development portfolios. I am not worried about driverless cars taking over the fleet for a pile of reasons. Certainly they will gain more acceptance and use, but I don't think 20 years is realistic for an entirely driverless fleet for a bunch of reasons.

I haven't researched the tech that google is using closely, but from what I have heard, the driverless cars are very dependant on linemarking in order to follow a route. Too many roads have undefined or poorly defined edge and centrelines for the driverless option to be able to drive the entire network. This means even autonomous vehicles will need to have a 'human' mode.

Car nuts aren't going to swap their passion for new technology. Certainly cash for cars and programs like it have reduced the age of the fleet overall, but you will always have people driving their classics and they will not give them up for a very long time. Today's new models are the classics we will see on the road in 20 years.

The driverless cars are running mostly independant of network inputs (in other words the vehicle to infrastructure AKA V2I communications) however there is a strong desire to have the vehicles to control signals in order to control flows/optimize timings and reduce delays. This is a great theory, but today the only vehicles with that capability are firetrucks and some buses and ambulances. Without considerable investment from both the public and private sector, V2I is a long ways out. V2V (vehicle to vehicle) is coming along since it is private sector, but even there, the tech is only emerging. Some municipalities are better equipped than others to evolve into an environment where V2V/V2I is useful, but some are still running electro-mechanical equipment without any central system at all. The taxpayer likely doesn't want to pay the price for a fully automated, driverless system.

As far as the safety side, yes, driverless cars have proven very safe so far - but as far as I know Google is only running them at low speeds, offering average speed results that are optimized by the cars ability to minimize delays. It is difficult to see how a driverless car will react to a mechanical failure (lose a control arm for instance) especially at freeway speeds.

I am not an expert in the subject, but based on what I have heard, a completely driverless fleet is a long ways off... then again, 20 years ago I wouldn't have said that humanity could fit the entire knowledge of the world into a phone and then use it to share pictures of cats.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 26, 2015, 12:08:57 PM
That's why you don't just remove the subsidy.  Your action should be revenue neutral, and return the monies collected from gasoline and 4x4 subsidies to the people who need them most . . . encouraging activities that are better for everyone.  This way the average consumer sees little if any change in their overall bills, but the behaviour that's bad for everyone is no longer incentivized.

Revenues from gas taxes and subsidies already go to the people that need them the most...low income people benefit from reduced fuel prices, which lowers the price of every single thing that they buy. In effect, the money is "returned" with every purchase that they make. It monitors itself and everyone gets a benefit based on what they purchase. Those with low incomes get a greater return because food and consumer goods make up a higher percent of their spending, and they pay little or no subsidies because they pay very little or no tax. Those with high incomes pay higher taxes which contribute to those subsidies.

Your suggestion involves raising all prices across the board, and then trying to fairly return the money to those who "need" it through another level of government bureaucracy, which is less accurate, less efficient, and more expensive.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 26, 2015, 12:50:51 PM
Why does a level of government bureaucracy need to be created?

The revenues generated via the additional gas tax can just be redistributed via refund directly to the people according to their income.  No new bureaucracy, just an additional line item for the IRS.  This eliminates the incentive to use gas (or buy silly gas wasting products), while maintaining purchasing power for everyone.  Everyone gets the same subsidy that they had before, but they pay the real price of the item rather it being hidden from the consumer as you apparently prefer.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 26, 2015, 01:46:37 PM
Why does a level of government bureaucracy need to be created?

The revenues generated via the additional gas tax can just be redistributed via refund directly to the people according to their income.  No new bureaucracy, just an additional line item for the IRS.  This eliminates the incentive to use gas (or buy silly gas wasting products), while maintaining purchasing power for everyone.  Everyone gets the same subsidy that they had before, but they pay the real price of the item rather it being hidden from the consumer as you apparently prefer.

Using that logic, you can eliminate sales tax and simply add another "tax payable" line on the income tax form. Everyone pays based on income instead of on what they actually buy.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 26, 2015, 02:45:17 PM
Revenues from gas taxes and subsidies already go to the people that need them the most...low income people benefit from reduced fuel prices, which lowers the price of every single thing that they buy.

If a subsidy lowers the price of everything, then those who buy more, are subsidized more.  Generally speaking low income people are not the ones who buy the most, and are therefore not the ones being subsidized the most.

The point I'm trying to make is not to what level high vs low income people should be subsidized... that's a whole other debate to be had.  The point is that actions and lifestyles that are detrimental to the planet and the population around you should not be subsidized.  As a rich person or a poor person you should to some extent be free to make your vehicle choice as you see fit, but the rest of the population around you shouldn't be subsidizing that choice.

Sure, there has to be a balance made so that the cost of living doesn't suddenly jump for everyone.  But I'm sure there are many many ways to overcome that.  GuitarStv mentioned one, here's another: maybe the money that used to subsidize all of our fuel purchases gets funneled back to companies that transport goods across the country - they pay more for fuel at the pumps but their overall profit margins stay the same so they have no extra cost to pass on to retailers & consumers... or maybe even get to overall reduce the costs they need to pass along...  maybe this has some holes in it to be cleaned up as well... whatever, I'm sure there are other ways to make it work.  I'm not the one who will come up with the policy specifics - people more knowledgeable in the field can do that.

People need to know the full cost of their vehicle choices, and they need to pay them directly.  Then, people will finally have the incentive to make efficient choices.  And then, those people who choose to burn through double the gas as the people around them can honestly say "I paid for it so I'll do what I want".
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 26, 2015, 03:01:49 PM
Revenues from gas taxes and subsidies already go to the people that need them the most...low income people benefit from reduced fuel prices, which lowers the price of every single thing that they buy.

If a subsidy lowers the price of everything, then those who buy more, are subsidized more.  Generally speaking low income people are not the ones who buy the most, and are therefore not the ones being subsidized the most.

Of course not. But, they are being subsidized a greater percentage of their income. This story about beer puts it into perspective:

"Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!” “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore."
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 26, 2015, 04:24:36 PM
I find it frustrating that you keep bringing this back to a rich vs. poor debate...
I've tried to make it very clear that that's not what I'm interested in.

Pretend one of the beer drinkers in your story wanted to taint everyone's beer with poison and send them all to hospital that night (excuse the loose and exaggerated analogy where this action is akin to using an inefficient low-mpg vehicle for "regular" driving that could be done more efficiently - similarities are just that it is not necessary, he wants to do it anyway, it forces costs onto the people around him).  Ignore the legal side of poisoning people... It's the best I could come up with quickly.  I don't care if it's the richest, poorest, or any of those men who gets their kicks by puking with his buddies and having a big sing-along in the hospital as they sit around their IV carts... Whoever pushed that situation onto everyone else should be the one paying for all the medical costs.

Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

If you want to debate whether or not the government should help out when people want to drive long distances, alone, with no super-heavy equipment, in large and low-mpg vehicles - I'm all ears.

If you agree that maybe it's not the best course of action to keep up subsidies as per above, but are concerned about how best to implement change - let's talk about that and brainstorm some ways to make it happen without other negative side effects.

But if you want to keep going back to taxing the rich vs the poor, I'm not the right person to talk to.  I will politely decline to engage with any further comments.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on August 26, 2015, 04:27:42 PM
So... what's the proper cost of driving a truck instead of a car?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on August 26, 2015, 05:31:49 PM
Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 26, 2015, 05:48:38 PM
Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.  And going back to some of my earlier posts, there are other costs involved: healthcare for those affected by pollutants and/or collisions, GHG emissions and their affect on the climate, infrastructure maintenance, each individual driver's effect on overall congestion.  Does the current tax vs subsidy balance on fuel work to cover these costs yet?  I'm guessing many of these have not been specifically quantified... and so the answer would be no, the taxes involved don't yet cover these costs.

So... what's the proper cost of driving a truck instead of a car?

I don't know.  If our governments would hurry up and determine a cost per unit of GHG emissions (based on good science) it would be a good start, studies to determine values for some of the other costs I mention above would also be helpful.


Can I infer that you are both in agreement with the principle that insentivizing and subsidizing inefficient personal transportation is bad?  And now we have moved on to discussing a)whether or not our current system in fact does just that and b)if it does, how it's best to fix it?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: MoonShadow on August 26, 2015, 06:16:56 PM
Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.

It depends upon the state, but where I live, the tax on gas is 33 cents per gallon, which is roughly four times the average profit margin on that same gallon of gas.  The subsidy is harder to judge, because it mainly includes tax breaks for oil exploration & extraction as well as economic externalities, as you have already mentioned, costs to the public due to air quality, costs due to use of the military to secure foreign sources & transport, etc.  There really isn't any direct fuel subsidy except for winter home heating for the poor.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on August 26, 2015, 06:18:50 PM
I really don't think it's a huge problem, TBH, and far too many people use "efficient" vehicles as excuses to have insanely long commutes.  I'm quite confident that most of the Priuses at work emit radically more emissions than my truck, because they're driven every day, and I drive my truck rarely (ebike as a commuter vehicle, truck for hauling stuff).

Yes, there do exist people who make insanely long highway commutes in trucks, but I don't think this is particularly common - most people with very long commutes pick something more efficient, and a long commute with an efficient vehicle can easily have more total impact and emissions than a short commute in a truck.  That's not even considering the environmental impact from the battery packs & such, as opposed to a simple metal construction.

And in general, I think picking on trucks is pretty well absurd.  It's just a popular thing to bash on around this particular forum.  I don't think that it's worth spending the effort to change what isn't that big of a problem in the first place.

Live close to work, and it doesn't matter what you drive.  Because you'll probably bike anyway.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Papa bear on August 26, 2015, 08:00:50 PM

Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.

It depends upon the state, but where I live, the tax on gas is 33 cents per gallon, which is roughly four times the average profit margin on that same gallon of gas.  The subsidy is harder to judge, because it mainly includes tax breaks for oil exploration & extraction as well as economic externalities, as you have already mentioned, costs to the public due to air quality, costs due to use of the military to secure foreign sources & transport, etc.  There really isn't any direct fuel subsidy except for winter home heating for the poor.

I was reading through this thread recently and was hoping someone would bring this up.  I'm not aware of any specific subsidy on fuel either.  Most of those "tax breaks" are deductions that are given to every US manufacturer. (Domestic production activities deduction)

Putting a value on the negative externality of additional pollution would be difficult to do, but I understand what the thoughts were here.

As for wear and tear on most roads, from a civil engineer friend of mine (bridges and highways) most of the damage is from trucks.  As in semi trucks, not necessarily pickups. 
 
With the move to EV's and high MPG vehicles, I thought I had heard grumblings that the gas tax wasn't producing enough revenue.  They were considering other options, including a tax based on usage and total mileage.   Low mileage pickups are currently paying more for our roads than the Leaf drivers.

Back to the topic, boys will buy things to show off.  Maybe people will start spending on servants / housekeepers again? My gardener can lift more than yours can!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: dragoncar on August 27, 2015, 12:17:18 AM
I'll preface this by saying this is one reason I think home prices in desirable cities will continue to skyrocket.  It's very possibly that other household expenses will deflate, leaving excess cash left over to bid up housing.

edit: I see BCBiker beat me to it.... coming to this thread late :-(  It's really good!

I don't buy the narrative that 30% is the most income you can comfortably spend on housing.  How do I know this?  Because it implies you need at least 70% of your income for all the other stuff.  And we mustachians know you really don't.  I could spend 70% of my income on housing and still save enough for retirement because my other expenses are low.

That said...

It'll just throw people into a frothing outrage about "freedom" and how the government is shoving self-driving cars down our throats and taking away our god-given right to go mudding, and actually make owning your own truck even more popular. All the better if it's become some exclusive club due to not being able to just go out and buy one at the dealership. Prices will spiral upward in a buying frenzy, and all the young men will be spending 70% their income on gas and scavenged parts to keep their 20-year-old F-350s on the road.

Once the junkyards have been thoroughly picked over and all the old trucks have disintegrated beyond repair, I agreed with G-dog that people will move on to other flashy things, probably expensive wearable technology and/or other costly and largely useless vehicles like boats. Although, how are you going to get your boat to the lake without your massive truck?

This.  It will still be legal to own a truck -- you will still need a manually operated one for actual heavy deliveries, construction, etc. for a very long time.  It may just cost a lot to insure for highway use, etc. 

But hey, people drive V8 mustangs, etc. now and those cost a lot to insure too. 

I can see one option being express for more money or share a ride for a discount. 

Can't wait for Uber helicopter, where you climb into a padded capsule and a drone picks you up and delivers you to your destination.

Or uber bike messenger where you get on the electric bike and it zips you down wrong-way streets, between stopped traffic, up on the sidewalk, over old ladies, to get you to your destination pronto.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 27, 2015, 10:18:04 AM
I really don't think it's a huge problem, TBH, and far too many people use "efficient" vehicles as excuses to have insanely long commutes. 

I agree completely that an efficient vehicle can still be used in a stupid way - this is behaviour that I think should also be strongly discouraged.

Yes, there do exist people who make insanely long highway commutes in trucks, but I don't think this is particularly common - most people with very long commutes pick something more efficient

It's not just about the long commutes.  Sure they are a significant part of the problem, but every day I see parking lots full of trucks and SUV's at grocery stores, malls, and office buildings (from short commutes)  - and I live in a VERY bike-friendly city.  The millions of short trips made by low-mpg vehicles add up.

And in general, I think picking on trucks is pretty well absurd.  It's just a popular thing to bash on around this particular forum.

I think the real thing that gets bashed is inefficient lifestyle choices.  Trucks (that are not used to their fullest on a regular basis, but instead serve as some sort of status/masculinity/'it makes me feel good' item) are just one easy target in this category.  Long commutes (in any vehicle) and excessive heating/AC are also targeted pretty frequently.

Live close to work, and it doesn't matter what you drive.  Because you'll probably bike anyway.

This is a great philosophy that I enlist to as well.  But in reality we are an extreme minority... First of all many people don't choose to live close to work, second of all those who do usually still drive anyway.  In the last city I lived in I worked at an office of about 60 people.  At least half of these people lived within a 20 minute biking radius which included bike-friendly streets and a bike trail alongside the hwy through town.  At a guess, 45 weeks of the year I was the only one to arrive by bike, there were 2 other people who would occasionally ride, and during 'bike to work week' the number would surge to 10 or 15.  Instead, nearly half of those people arrived in very large trucks and SUV's.

In places where this is the norm - things will not change until there are significant incentives (or disincentives) to push the issue.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on August 27, 2015, 10:47:50 AM

Forget rich vs. poor.  I'm just supporting deinsentivizing (ie. removal of subsidies for) inefficient forms of transportation.

The taxes paid on gas far exceed the subsidies. Auto makers also pay penalties for producing inefficient vehicles.

Do you have a source for that stat?  I'm not saying it's wrong... I honestly don't know what the value of either figure is.  I have just read in general that fuel is highly subsidized.

It depends upon the state, but where I live, the tax on gas is 33 cents per gallon, which is roughly four times the average profit margin on that same gallon of gas.  The subsidy is harder to judge, because it mainly includes tax breaks for oil exploration & extraction as well as economic externalities, as you have already mentioned, costs to the public due to air quality, costs due to use of the military to secure foreign sources & transport, etc.  There really isn't any direct fuel subsidy except for winter home heating for the poor.

I was reading through this thread recently and was hoping someone would bring this up.  I'm not aware of any specific subsidy on fuel either.  Most of those "tax breaks" are deductions that are given to every US manufacturer. (Domestic production activities deduction)

Putting a value on the negative externality of additional pollution would be difficult to do, but I understand what the thoughts were here.

As for wear and tear on most roads, from a civil engineer friend of mine (bridges and highways) most of the damage is from trucks.  As in semi trucks, not necessarily pickups. 


In Canada anyway, our oil and gas extraction industry has been receiving Billions of Dollars worth of tax credits and exploration subsidies over the past decade.  Here and even more so in the USA, we fill up our vehicles with some of the cheapest gas on the planet.  I still don't know what the specific subsidies are but I know that we do not pay the full cost for our transportation choices.

Putting price tags onto all the external or 'soft' costs is no doubt a very difficult task.  And the specifics of how it's done (my spare time is worth $x not $y!, and you must be crazy it will cost much more than that to negate my driving-induced carbon footprint!).  But people have finally started to try in North America (this type of calculation has been the norm in Europe for quite a while).

Here's a study from Vancouver that I posted earlier: http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/
Here's a US specific article with links to other reports: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/01/the-real-reason-us-gas-is-so-cheap-is-americans-dont-pay-the-true-cost-of-driving/384200/

To be fair, these studies are about personal vehicle commuting, not specifically truck-commuting.  Either way, heavy drivers are not paying their share of the costs.


Back to the topic, boys will buy things to show off.  Maybe people will start spending on servants / housekeepers again? My gardener can lift more than yours can!

I'm sure one-upmanship will never die!  I just hope people start to admire and pursue more badass ways to show off - like the ability to bike long distances without breaking a sweat! Or growing an abnormally large carrot! Haha, my buddy's EXTREME ABILITY to secure financing on a large vehicle, or that guy down the road's TERRIFIC SKILL at pressing his gas pedal all the way to the floor! just doesn't do it for me...
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on September 14, 2015, 09:27:42 PM
Yes, there do exist people who make insanely long highway commutes in trucks, but I don't think this is particularly common - most people with very long commutes pick something more efficient

Wow! This really took off since I have been gone. Really good discussion! Especially RidinTheAsama. I agree that incentives are what drive our stupid car behavior. I hope that incentives can be better aligned with the needs of more people in the future but am not hopeful.

Syonyk: I'm not sure if you live in the Netherlands or some other more reasonable society but in my city and in every other American city I see 10s of thousands of truck/suv commuters without having to look very hard...
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on September 14, 2015, 11:13:39 PM
I live in the greater Seattle region and it's mostly EVs, Priuses (Priui?), and such.  Tons of Leafs, tons of Teslas, all sitting in traffic as I zip past on my ebike.  Most of the trucks I see are obviously work trucks.  Landscaping, construction (with crap in the bed), etc.

The thing is, I don't really care that much what other people do.  If other people want to drive trucks to work, fine.  I don't actually see many in the parking lot at work.  I don't think replacing a stupidly long commute in a truck with a stupidly long commute in a Prius is going to change much, and a short commute in a truck just doesn't matter much either.  The newer ones are fairly efficient, and the older ones are well paid off, embedded-energy-wise.

And you can ignore me entirely because I might be badly biased.  I do own a truck.  It's a huge tow pig.  Diesel (7.3 Powerstroke, as God and International intended), crew cab, long bed, 4WD, everything.  I use it to haul stuff and tow stuff.  My wife & I are moving out to the middle of nowhere (by most people's terms), I am going to be doing a radical amount of landscaping/garden beds/aquaculture/etc, and we're going to buy a used 5th wheel to tour the country in.  It made sense to buy a low mileage truck out here instead of buying a much higher mileage truck once we moved, as the cost is lower out here (oddly) and I intend to keep this thing on the road for about the next 60 years.

I just don't drive it to work.  And, I find it very funny how many people ask me if I can help them move stuff.  Or haul stuff to the dump.  Or whatever.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 15, 2015, 04:07:04 AM

Maybe you personally do plenty of other great things with your life to offset the 'evils your truck casts on the world' (purposeful exaggeration for effect - please don't take literally...) but no can claim, when choosing a big gas guzzler, that they aren't impacting other people in this world, and that they are free to pay extra for such a privilege if they want - not until our systems have changed and the extra they are paying is truly proportional to all the hidden costs.

You presume that the person who drives a truck has more negative impact on the environment than someone who drives a politically correct vehicle.

Your presumption is WRONG.

I drive a "gas guzzling" 2002 Silverado.   

A smug enviro weenie who pulls up along side my truck probably feels superior because "his environmental footprint is lower."

I just had my truck inspected.  In the past year, since my last inspection, I had driven it 1,200 miles.  Lets say my truck get's 12 mpg (it actually gets significantly better mpg than that, I'm just keeping the math easy).

Smug a-hole 2014 Prius driver drives his Prius 12,000 miles per year (about the national average).  The Prius gets 48 mpg, maybe.

So "environmentally correct" smug Prius guy actually burned 2.5 times as much gas as I did, and had a far greater negative impact on the environment  than I did with my "evil" truck.  I won't even get into his greater environmental footprint due to driving a newer car (frequent replacement of ANYTHING, including cars, has a HUGE negative impact on the environment), using more parts, more tires, more oil, environmentally dangerous batteries, etc.

See, folks, being "environmentally friendly" ain't as easy to achieve as you might think. 

You don't become "environmentally friendly" just by joining the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, buying a Prius, and slapping a "save the whales" sticker on the back of your new iPhone 6s (which replaced your "old" perfectly workeable iPhone 6) . 

You can't judge a truck driver as "evil" and the smug Prius guy as "good" just by the vehicle they drive. 

Well, you can make that "judgment," but you'd be an idiot if you did so.

Why do I drive so little?  Because I've made lifestyle choices to allow myself to do so.  I mostly work from home.  I plan and schedule trips to accomplish multiple purposes, I don't just pop into the car and drive every time I need a quart of milk.  I frequently walk or bike or ride share.

Needless to say, these choices are also money savers.

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 15, 2015, 04:31:44 PM

You presume that the person who drives a truck has more negative impact on the environment than someone who drives a politically correct vehicle.

Your presumption is WRONG.


I never said a prius owner is automatically holier and better than a truck driver.
I never said driving a prius 12,000 miles is better than driving a truck 1,200 miles, and I don't disagree with you in the slightest regarding your whole comparison.

In some ways I am much like you.  I've designed my life to involve as little driving as possible.  I own a Subaru Outback that gets 25-30 mpg - somewhere between your truck and the prius.  I justify this by using the vehicle to its fullest capacity as often as possible (with the seats down and the back lined with a tarp I can fit about 3/4 of a yard of mulch or similar in there). Maybe we should pat ourselves on the back for doing a good job, or maybe we should keep trying to do better.

So, where we seem to agree:
Driving less is a good thing.

Where I hope we agree but maybe hasn't been made clear:
Driving the most efficient vehicle that is suitable for the type and amount of driving one does is a good thing.

Where we disagree:
You previously implied that a driver covers all the costs of his/her driving choices, and has no impact on the society around him/her (unless I misunderstood you?).  I think I have made my position on this quite clear, and provided reasonable support for that position.  Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized.

When I drive, I am not ignorant to the fact that society around me is helping to cover the cost, and is worse off for it.  I do not feel any guilt for this since I already do what I can to minimize my impact in this regard.  I strongly believe that our system should be adjusted (taxation would be one way, I'm sure there are many others to which I would be open) such that drivers are forced to face the reality of their situation and actually pay for the damage they do.  I think this is the only way to affect serious change in driver's habits.

I hope that clears up my position on this.  If there's anything you'd like to refute please do!
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: BCBiker on September 15, 2015, 08:19:34 PM

Maybe you personally do plenty of other great things with your life to offset the 'evils your truck casts on the world' (purposeful exaggeration for effect - please don't take literally...) but no can claim, when choosing a big gas guzzler, that they aren't impacting other people in this world, and that they are free to pay extra for such a privilege if they want - not until our systems have changed and the extra they are paying is truly proportional to all the hidden costs.

You presume that the person who drives a truck has more negative impact on the environment than someone who drives a politically correct vehicle.

Your presumption is WRONG.

I drive a "gas guzzling" 2002 Silverado.   

A smug enviro weenie who pulls up along side my truck probably feels superior because "his environmental footprint is lower."

I just had my truck inspected.  In the past year, since my last inspection, I had driven it 1,200 miles.  Lets say my truck get's 12 mpg (it actually gets significantly better mpg than that, I'm just keeping the math easy).

Smug a-hole 2014 Prius driver drives his Prius 12,000 miles per year (about the national average).  The Prius gets 48 mpg, maybe.

So "environmentally correct" smug Prius guy actually burned 2.5 times as much gas as I did, and had a far greater negative impact on the environment  than I did with my "evil" truck.  I won't even get into his greater environmental footprint due to driving a newer car (frequent replacement of ANYTHING, including cars, has a HUGE negative impact on the environment), using more parts, more tires, more oil, environmentally dangerous batteries, etc.

See, folks, being "environmentally friendly" ain't as easy to achieve as you might think. 

You don't become "environmentally friendly" just by joining the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, buying a Prius, and slapping a "save the whales" sticker on the back of your new iPhone 6s (which replaced your "old" perfectly workeable iPhone 6) . 

You can't judge a truck driver as "evil" and the smug Prius guy as "good" just by the vehicle they drive. 

Well, you can make that "judgment," but you'd be an idiot if you did so.

Why do I drive so little?  Because I've made lifestyle choices to allow myself to do so.  I mostly work from home.  I plan and schedule trips to accomplish multiple purposes, I don't just pop into the car and drive every time I need a quart of milk.  I frequently walk or bike or ride share.

Needless to say, these choices are also money savers.

I agree with you that thinking that driving a Prius automatically makes you better than truck is a false-premise. Indeed, the environmental impact is often more dependent on miles than mileage. I actually do not focus a whole lot on the environment. I find it interesting how people who are "environmentally conscious" and don't believe in post-its because of environmental impact but happen to drive large Subaru SUVs 20 miles to work every day still fits in the same world-view. That is certainly not rational by any stretch of the imagination.

As it were, my environmental impact related to my daily commute has been pretty close to zero over the past 4 years... whatever the impact of 2 bicycle tires, some chain grease, and the extra metabolism required is.

I don't bike to work for environmental reasons. I do it because it makes my life better.  There is a narrow set of circumstances in which a truck can make one's life better for an extended period of time in practical, rational terms (truck is being used frequently to haul stuff so consistently that renting doesn't make financial sense, potentially recreation). Some people think that feeling like a big man by rumbling the muffler makes their life better (or at least I assume this as I see it all the time and it doesn't make a lot of sense).  Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Most people who own trucks don't need them and the overall impact on their life is negative, especially in financial terms. And the reason for this post is to point that out and speculate what these same folks will do when it is not an option. :)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 18, 2015, 02:41:20 AM
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son. 

Also, I'm not sure where this "guys who drive trucks do it to be more manly because they like loud exhaust noises" bull crap came from.  I live in Texas.  You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a truck here.  And yes, once in a while, you'll run across some guy with a truck with a fake loud exhaust (and usually a rebel flag flying from the rear), but these clowns are one in a thousand truck drivers.  Almost all of the trucks on the road are just regular trucks, no "loud" or "large" or "manly" add ons. 

If they spend extra money on anything, these days it's usually on LUXURY crap- leather this and that, fancy sound systems, technology, massaging leather seats, stuff like that, not loud mufflers.  Most of the trucks my friends drive are far more expensive, and far more luxurious than my wife's Beemer. 

More "plush" than "manly."

And yes, driving a truck is a bit more expensive than driving a mini-econo-enviro-whatever.  Again, we all make choices.  I'm the multi-millionaire next door.  I chose to buy the (allegedly) "expensive" truck.

I'm quite damned sure that I don't need you to give me a lecture on how I'm failing financially because I drive a 14-year old pickup that you don't approve of.

All this talk about trucks is giving me "car fever."  I might just go out this weekend and buy a new truck. :)

Fear not, kids, the cost of that "expensive" truck will be little more than a rounding error on my net worth. 

And don't panic when I blow by your little Prius (or whatever), it's going to be okay.  I'm not going to hurt you.  Really.  I'm just trying to get to Home Depot to buy a new water heater.  I'm not trying to intimidate you.  Relax.

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 18, 2015, 03:00:45 AM

Where we disagree:
You previously implied that a driver covers all the costs of his/her driving choices, and has no impact on the society around him/her (unless I misunderstood you?).  I think I have made my position on this quite clear, and provided reasonable support for that position.  Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized.

When I drive, I am not ignorant to the fact that society around me is helping to cover the cost, and is worse off for it.  I do not feel any guilt for this since I already do what I can to minimize my impact in this regard.  I strongly believe that our system should be adjusted (taxation would be one way, I'm sure there are many others to which I would be open) such that drivers are forced to face the reality of their situation and actually pay for the damage they do.  I think this is the only way to affect serious change in driver's habits.

I hope that clears up my position on this.  If there's anything you'd like to refute please do!

Might I suggest that you are irrationally obsessing about "car choices" and ignoring everything else.

Hell, son, EVERY PURCHASE YOU MAKE, whether a truck or a box of condoms or a cheap plastic toy, has a "societal cost."  To be even more specific, that cheap plastic toy is TRANSPORTED OVER PUBLIC ROADS ON A BIG TRUCK.   You say "Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized."  But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

So maybe you should stop bitching about truck drivers and bitch about anyone who ever buys anything?

Look, not everyone "pays their fair share" on everything.  It's never happened, and it never will.

It's absurd to obsess about the "unfair advantage" the truck driver might have, while blissfully ignoring all the THOUSANDS OF OTHER inequities. 

People with no kids subsidize those who have kids to an APPALLING DEGREE (don't get me started on this).

Those who achieve, earn, and save subsidize that don't to an almost criminal degree.

Those who buy and use less subsidize those who buy a lot of crap to a huge degree.  Transportation/road costs are just a tiny part of this.  I could rant all day on the economic and environmental impacts of buying piles of "stuff" (which most self-styled environmentalists conveniently ignore or are ignorant of).  Excessive consumerism is a far bigger problem than "low mpg trucks."

Any "unfair" advantage you perceive (and again, I could argue, with numbers, that in many cases, you'd be wrong about the "truck" guy having an unfair advantage) earned by a guy driving a truck rather than a Prius is a ridiculously small drop in the bucket compared to any of these.

My suggestion, stop whining and obsessing about such a relatively trivial "unfairness."   If you do feel the need to obsess about "unfairness" in society, focus on the larger ones I mentioned.

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 18, 2015, 10:13:07 AM
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son.

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on September 18, 2015, 10:25:10 AM
NFL Defensive Lineman sized, so "pretty damned big." 6'3, 320+ lbs?

No idea what he actually is.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: TheBuddha on September 18, 2015, 11:20:48 AM
But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

Really?


Quote
On average, a typical 80,000 pound GVW tractor-trailer truck pays $13,889 per year in truck highway taxes according to the above data. A hypothetical auto owner driving 20,000 miles per year at 25 mpg, and paying $100 in registration fees, ends up paying about $397 per year. So on average, looking at federal and state taxes, a tractor-trailer combination trucks pay about 35 times what a typical auto would pay based on national averages.

Link (http://www.mackinac.org/8433)

I'm a truck driver. We pay a ton of tax out here just to operate. It's not our fault congress keeps raiding the Highway Trust Fund for their pet projects.

Quote
A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, compiled at the request of Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain, details how the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has obligated $78 billion over the last five years for “purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.”

Link (http://www.americantrails.org/resources/fedfund/Out-of-gas-Senator-Coburn-McCain-2009.html)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: AlanStache on September 18, 2015, 11:53:42 AM
But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

Really?


Quote
On average, a typical 80,000 pound GVW tractor-trailer truck pays $13,889 per year in truck highway taxes according to the above data. A hypothetical auto owner driving 20,000 miles per year at 25 mpg, and paying $100 in registration fees, ends up paying about $397 per year. So on average, looking at federal and state taxes, a tractor-trailer combination trucks pay about 35 times what a typical auto would pay based on national averages.

Link (http://www.mackinac.org/8433)

I'm a truck driver. We pay a ton of tax out here just to operate. It's not our fault congress keeps raiding the Highway Trust Fund for their pet projects.

Quote
A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, compiled at the request of Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain, details how the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has obligated $78 billion over the last five years for “purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.”

Link (http://www.americantrails.org/resources/fedfund/Out-of-gas-Senator-Coburn-McCain-2009.html)

ok, that is one half of the fraction, but "heavily subsidized" here is what the trucker pays divided by total costs.  You have listed only what the trucker pays.  Is 14k more or less than the a trucks 'fair share' of the total road maintenance costs?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: AlanStache on September 18, 2015, 12:20:22 PM
ok, that is one half of the fraction, but "heavily subsidized" here is what the trucker pays divided by total costs.  You have listed only what the trucker pays.  Is 14k more or less than the a trucks 'fair share' of the total road maintenance costs?

According to this DOT cost allocation study (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/hcas/final/five.cfm), tractor-trailers cost between 10-20 times as much per mile for road repairs. If we're paying 35 times as much, then it's more than our fair share.

It's a complicated formula of course and I'm not saying we pay too much. It feels about the right amount for the amount of damage we obviously do to the roads. But to claim that we're "heavily subsidized"? I just don't see it.

"times 10-20 per mile", with "35 times" more tax, but if trucks drive more miles than cars it could even out on a per vehicle basis (if I understood the numbers correctly).  So "heavily subsidized" might be a stretch (wrt road maintenance) for tractor-trailers.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: TheBuddha on September 18, 2015, 12:28:25 PM
[I removed my previous post, I messed up while editing and somehow lost the original text.]


"times 10-20 per mile", with "35 times" more tax, but if trucks drive more miles than cars it could even out on a per vehicle basis (if I understood the numbers correctly).  So "heavily subsidized" might be a stretch (wrt road maintenance) for tractor-trailers.

Okay I found the data, after clicking around. It looks like tractor-trailers do underpay, except for the very heaviest ones.

But here are some fun discussion points:

Quote
Pickups and vans have the largest over or underpayment of any vehicle class; as a group those vehicles pay $1.6 billion more in highway user fees than their highway cost responsibility. Other vehicle classes that in the aggregate pay more than their highway cost responsibility are 2-axle single unit trucks, all truck-trailer combinations, and 5- and 6-axle twin-trailer combinations. Five-axle tractor-semitrailers have the largest underpayment of any vehicle class, followed by automobiles and 3- and 4-axle single unit trucks. These classes account for 32 percent, 16 percent, 15 percent and 13 percent respectively of underpayments by all vehicle classes.

Link (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/hcas/final/execsum.cfm)

Pickups/vans overpay their fair share, while autos underpay:

(http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/hcas/final/execsum/img6.gif)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 18, 2015, 12:52:21 PM
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son.

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

At 6' and 210 is closer to the size of a receiver.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on September 18, 2015, 12:58:16 PM
http://www.ninersnation.com/2013/2/23/4021846/2013-nfl-combine-results-defensive-linemen-measurement

They're *big* - and, generally, quite tall.

And, often, tall people have problems with small cars.  I'm 6'0", and the only way I could drive a Mazda2 was with the seat all the way back.  If I were another few inches taller, I wouldn't be able to fit in that car comfortably, even if I were super thin.  Or if my legs were abnormally long for my height.

This isn't a problem in a truck.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Kashmani on September 18, 2015, 03:42:12 PM
So I just rented a Ford F150 (don't own a car, occasionally need one) from Budget that cost $40 less than the economy option. After a bit of gas math I decided it was worth it.

On the road it is such a pain to drive. It has to be a foot or more wider than a Civic (my preferred car), difficult to park, even in oversized american big box store spaces, unstable at high highway speeds, and with so many buttons that are more than an arms-length away from the driver because of how large the center console is. I had to lean over just to use the radio tuner.

 I really have no understanding of why anyone would want one and yet they are one of the best selling models in America. Clearly no one wants to rent them which is why it was the cheapest rental car option.

As a big guy, I always have the opposite reaction. I sit in a full-size truck and it feels remarkably spacious and non-cramped. The nicest vehicle I have ever driven was a full-size Chevy Silverado. The head was not bumping against the ceiling. The shoulders (and, alas, love handles) were not pushing over the side of the seat. The buttons were big enough for me to wear mittens (important in minus 30 Celsius) and still turn them. And the pedals were big enough and far enough apart that wearing a pear of Sorel pac boots does not mean pushing in two pedals at once. The kids could be in the back and there was STILL plenty of room to carry stuff, without the need to fold down any seats. So unlike our family station wagon, it's not a choice between kids or materials. And with a fibreglass topper, it can be a year-round hauler, with an enclosed trunk that can be removed when hauling building materials, soil, gravel, or anything else. Plus, recently getting the family car stuck on a non-maintained road simply because mud filled up the wheel wells after half a mile, bigger wheels and bigger wheel wells hold some appeal. I can definitely see why people like trucks, even though they are expensive to buy and run.

Disclaimer: I live in a condo and drive a Smart Car when not walking or biking. There is no way a full-size truck would actually fit into my life, or either my underground parkade at home or or the one at work. However, when out in the countryside, I do look longingly at them. I totally get why people like them. Most cars are a compromise between utility and economy. Economy is a good thing. But sometimes it is tempting not to have to compromise.

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 18, 2015, 03:46:25 PM
Might I suggest that you are irrationally obsessing about "car choices" and ignoring everything else.

There are many other issues I think are worth debate, and require change in our world.  This is just the one that came up in this thread.

Quote

Hell, son, EVERY PURCHASE YOU MAKE, whether a truck or a box of condoms or a cheap plastic toy, has a "societal cost."  To be even more specific, that cheap plastic toy is TRANSPORTED OVER PUBLIC ROADS ON A BIG TRUCK.   You say "Driver's do not cover their own costs and are in fact heavily subsidized."  But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

So maybe you should stop bitching about truck drivers and bitch about anyone who ever buys anything?


Not to worry, my previously mentioned list of things I'd like to see changed in this world ALSO involves people who buy too much shit they don't need.

Quote
Look, not everyone "pays their fair share" on everything.  It's never happened, and it never will.

That's a really bad reason not to strive for something worthwhile.
"There has never been world peace.  Let's just give up that idea and let the world fall into anarchy" - Nobody, ever
"There has never been universal access to the internet.  Let's just leave that as a 'city' thing and ignore the rest" - Nobody, ever

And to be clear, I don't think everyone should pay their fair share for "everything".  I differentiate between human rights and human privileges.  Everyone should have access to clean drinking water whether or not they can afford it.  Anyone who chooses to build a large daily commute into their lives should pay for that privilege.

Quote

It's absurd to obsess about the "unfair advantage" the truck driver might have, while blissfully ignoring all the THOUSANDS OF OTHER inequities. 

See above... many worthy issues out there.  This is the one that came up in this thread.  I'm kinda new to the forum, perhaps we will have a chance to discuss some of the others in the future.

Quote

People with no kids subsidize those who have kids to an APPALLING DEGREE (don't get me started on this).

I should probably take your advice and not open this one up.... but I just don't have the willpower to let it slide.

Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.

If that doesn't do it for you, there's the idea of having an educated society surrounding you.  If you enjoy interacting with at least semi-intelligent people, and your life is improved by some of the systems around you that were created/maintained by educated people (phones, internet, banking, roads, etc.) then you have the school system to thank - keep paying into it.

Regarding "baby bonus" style tax incentives and such:
I suspect that some of your wealth and achievement in life is in part thanks to a growing economy.  To date, a growing economy depends on a growing population.  Your tax dollars that help grow the population, help to grow the economy, which helps to line your pockets.

If this topic should be shifted to a separate thread, and anyone wants to do that, please go for it... sorry for letting it get the best of me and crowding things up here.

Quote

Those who achieve, earn, and save subsidize that don't to an almost criminal degree.

Those who buy and use less subsidize those who buy a lot of crap to a huge degree.  Transportation/road costs are just a tiny part of this.  I could rant all day on the economic and environmental impacts of buying piles of "stuff" (which most self-styled environmentalists conveniently ignore or are ignorant of).  Excessive consumerism is a far bigger problem than "low mpg trucks."

Any "unfair" advantage you perceive (and again, I could argue, with numbers, that in many cases, you'd be wrong about the "truck" guy having an unfair advantage) earned by a guy driving a truck rather than a Prius is a ridiculously small drop in the bucket compared to any of these.

My suggestion, stop whining and obsessing about such a relatively trivial "unfairness."   If you do feel the need to obsess about "unfairness" in society, focus on the larger ones I mentioned.

Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Truck vs. Prius - I thought we already agreed that unnecessary driving of either is a bad thing.


And FINALLY, we get back to the whole point I am trying to make, and which you keep avoiding by steering us to other tangents.  Way back in this thread somewhere you said (paraphrased, because I'm not going to go look it up) "I can drive whatever I want, however much I want, because I PAY FOR IT"  This is wrong.  If you want to debate on this one statement, please reply separately from any replies to all our tangents above so we can keep it straight.  I don't care whether a prius driver or a small pickup truck driver or 'supped up monster truck driver is paying 'closer to their fair share' including or ignoring all the variables like age of vehicle, or humanitarian purposes the vehicle is used for, or distance driven...

EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on September 18, 2015, 04:12:29 PM
Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.
[...]
EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

It's wrong to look at that system as a 'drivers should pay taxes for the roads they drive on.' The taxes everyone pays towards the road system are based on the necessity of a nationwide transportation infrastructure that provides emergency services, food supplies, and public transit as well as private transportation abilities, regardless of how that's used by each individual. Instead, the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes into the transportation infrastructure that allows the country to function'.  Though ironically, pickup drivers pay more than their share (see several posts prior).

:P
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 18, 2015, 05:07:05 PM
Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.
[...]
EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

It's wrong to look at that system as a 'drivers should pay taxes for the roads they drive on.' The taxes everyone pays towards the road system are based on the necessity of a nationwide transportation infrastructure that provides emergency services, food supplies, and public transit as well as private transportation abilities, regardless of how that's used by each individual. Instead, the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes into the transportation infrastructure that allows the country to function'.  Though ironically, pickup drivers pay more than their share (see several posts prior).

:P

Touché.
Well I like the style of your rebuttal there anyway.  But what I get from your argument is that we should not complain about our infrastructure taxation, and in fact should welcome more of it to provide these essential services.  Which is similar to my conclusion - drivers should pay more taxes (or in some other way directly pay for the privilege to shuttle themselves around the country while spewing exhaust)

As for the post about truck drivers paying more of the tax burden.... I couldn't find in that study what cost they associated with emissions and health implications.  Obviously different from the ones used in this study that I've linked a few times http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/
I guess that's one problem with all-encompassing cost analyses.  Some costs are very hard to put specific numbers to, and can be treated differently in different studies.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on September 19, 2015, 01:14:57 PM
Regarding property tax that is a common form of funding schools: 
It's wrong to look at that system as a 'parents pay taxes for their kids to go to school' setup.  The taxes you pay to the school system are based on your property value and ignore whether you have 0, 1, 4, or 12 kids in the school system.  Instead the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes back into the school system that educated me', this ends up looking a lot more 1-to-1 in terms of students-to-taxpayers.
[...]
EVERY driver is being subsidized for EVERY mile they drive.  This should be changed.

It's wrong to look at that system as a 'drivers should pay taxes for the roads they drive on.' The taxes everyone pays towards the road system are based on the necessity of a nationwide transportation infrastructure that provides emergency services, food supplies, and public transit as well as private transportation abilities, regardless of how that's used by each individual. Instead, the system should be looked at as 'I pay taxes into the transportation infrastructure that allows the country to function'.  Though ironically, pickup drivers pay more than their share (see several posts prior).

:P

Touché.
Well I like the style of your rebuttal there anyway.  But what I get from your argument is that we should not complain about our infrastructure taxation, and in fact should welcome more of it to provide these essential services.  Which is similar to my conclusion - drivers should pay more taxes (or in some other way directly pay for the privilege to shuttle themselves around the country while spewing exhaust)

As for the post about truck drivers paying more of the tax burden.... I couldn't find in that study what cost they associated with emissions and health implications.  Obviously different from the ones used in this study that I've linked a few times http://movingforward.discoursemedia.org/costofcommute/
I guess that's one problem with all-encompassing cost analyses.  Some costs are very hard to put specific numbers to, and can be treated differently in different studies.

I didn't intend it as a serious argument, but the parallel was too good to not touch, haha.

Statistics are really tricky, and it's difficult to provide a fair and accurate comparison when it is so easy to manipulate numbers in a way to paint an argument in a specific way. This isn't intended towards anyone here - just speaking generally.

For example, both of my vehicles haven't been driven since late May. I'm still paying normal registration fees - they're going to be parked again over the winter with minimal use, but suspending registration isn't worth the hassle IMO. I'm subsidizing for roads that I'm not even using (I'm out of the country), and my property tax is paying for schools I won't use (I have no kids and I was homeschooled).

It would be interesting to see a thorough cost analysis, but I'd be surprised if drivers weren't paying for most of their cost, if not all. If we aren't paying for it, who is?  People who don't drive, by income taxes? Most people I know who are carless are lower income (I know this isn't universally true), and most high income people I know have cars (multiple ones), and therefore are paying a much larger amount in income tax, which goes to the government, which is allegedly subsidizing the roadway infrastructure?

The percentage of people in the US who don't take advantage of the roadway system in some way is so absurdly small, I'm not sure I really understand the argument.

Now, from a pollution perspective, it's entirely different - but paying more money in tax doesn't make the air any cleaner.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 21, 2015, 03:15:04 PM
Now, from a pollution perspective, it's entirely different

That's exactly the perspective I am taking - The "external costs" perspective.

Quote
but paying more money in tax doesn't make the air any cleaner.

If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 21, 2015, 03:58:30 PM
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 21, 2015, 05:10:52 PM
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 21, 2015, 08:23:47 PM
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.

That doesn't really solve anything because all it really does is add another layer of beaurocracy and raise costs across the board. And, of course, food isn't the only thing low income people buy. Then there is the issue of trucks that carry some food and some other products. What will it cost to keep track, to issue refunds, and to prevent abuse or fraud on nation wide program where millions of commercial vehicles operate every single day?

There are already gas taxes on fuel purchased...those who use more fuel pay more tax. It's simple, it polices itself, and it doesn't require another layer of government.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on September 21, 2015, 08:41:47 PM
Yeah, but that doesn't punish people who drive something someone else thinks is stupid enough - people obviously still buy trucks to drive!

If you want to reduce carbon emissions, tax carbon directly.  In all it's forms.

If you want to reduce people buying big trucks, tax trucks directly.

As an interesting hypothetical, what happens if people are buying big, jacked up, electric pickups?  They're still going to be less efficient than a Leaf, but they won't be polluting (directly) nearly as much.  And if someone who lives in an area with a lot of solar/hydro power buys one... what then?  How will you justify attacking their choice of transport?

I mean, I could pull my truck's engine, throw half a ton of batteries up there, toss half a ton of batteries in the back, and it'd only be slightly heavier than it is now.  I actually intend to work on this project at some point (with a local runaround truck).
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 22, 2015, 11:46:15 AM
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.

That doesn't really solve anything because all it really does is add another layer of beaurocracy and raise costs across the board. And, of course, food isn't the only thing low income people buy. Then there is the issue of trucks that carry some food and some other products. What will it cost to keep track, to issue refunds, and to prevent abuse or fraud on nation wide program where millions of commercial vehicles operate every single day?

There are already gas taxes on fuel purchased...those who use more fuel pay more tax. It's simple, it polices itself, and it doesn't require another layer of government.

You just argued about the unfairness of a flat tax on the poor.  Now you're arguing that the current flat tax on the poor is absolutely the way to go.  Does a flat tax harm the poor or not?  Why is a flat tax both the best way to tax gas, and untenable (at any rate other than the current one)?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 22, 2015, 12:03:27 PM
Yeah, but that doesn't punish people who drive something someone else thinks is stupid enough - people obviously still buy trucks to drive!

If you want to reduce carbon emissions, tax carbon directly.  In all it's forms.

If you want to reduce people buying big trucks, tax trucks directly.

As an interesting hypothetical, what happens if people are buying big, jacked up, electric pickups?  They're still going to be less efficient than a Leaf, but they won't be polluting (directly) nearly as much.  And if someone who lives in an area with a lot of solar/hydro power buys one... what then?  How will you justify attacking their choice of transport?

I mean, I could pull my truck's engine, throw half a ton of batteries up there, toss half a ton of batteries in the back, and it'd only be slightly heavier than it is now.  I actually intend to work on this project at some point (with a local runaround truck).

If there were a direct carbon tax it could help sort out this problem as well.  All the emissions that went into manufacturing those batteries get paid for, the one who charges via solar pays differently than the one who charges via coal.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 22, 2015, 12:09:30 PM
If the monetary cost of driving were to double overnight, many people would drive a lot less.  So actually, a tax applied in the right way does make the air cleaner. (please nobody attack the specific double'ing of cost phrase... just an example... haha)

Of course, but you're not looking at the big picture. All goods are transported using fuel, therefore, raising the price of fuel would also raise the price of every single product people buy, which will hurt low income and poor people the most.

Who is hurt more when $100 of groceries goes up to $120...the low income earner, or someone making $100k a year?

So give trucks that carry food a rebate for the gas taxes they pay, avoiding the problem entirely.

That doesn't really solve anything because all it really does is add another layer of beaurocracy and raise costs across the board. And, of course, food isn't the only thing low income people buy. Then there is the issue of trucks that carry some food and some other products. What will it cost to keep track, to issue refunds, and to prevent abuse or fraud on nation wide program where millions of commercial vehicles operate every single day?

There are already gas taxes on fuel purchased...those who use more fuel pay more tax. It's simple, it polices itself, and it doesn't require another layer of government.

This is why we have marginal tax brackets.  If the additional tax on all purchases (groceries in particular) hits the poor harder, then adjust marginal tax rates accordingly.  No new systems or bureaucracies necessary.

Additionally, this would help to make locally grown food more competitive in the market, thereby reducing the need to truck food all the way across the country in the first place.

And yes, everything gets more expensive for everyone... As it should be.  We are currently not paying the full price of our goods because we are deferring payments on cleaning up the environmental mess we are making.

We've strayed pretty far from policies to discourage excessive and inefficient driving, and are heading towards excessive and inefficient consumption in general... They are different topics but overlap in a lot of ways.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 22, 2015, 04:34:48 PM
If you want to reduce carbon emissions, tax carbon directly.  In all it's forms.

Carbon is not pollution, it's one of the building blocks of life. In fact, the human body is 18% carbon. Plants need carbon to grow. Without carbon, all life on Earth would cease to exist.

I can understand taxing pollution, but carbon is not pollution.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 22, 2015, 05:47:21 PM
If you want to reduce carbon emissions, tax carbon directly.  In all it's forms.

Carbon is not pollution, it's one of the building blocks of life. In fact, the human body is 18% carbon. Plants need carbon to grow. Without carbon, all life on Earth would cease to exist.

I can understand taxing pollution, but carbon is not pollution.

Oh goodness...

First of all, yes, carbon is a necessity of life.  And no one is saying we should eliminate it from the planet so no worries there.

BUT, anything is dangerous in excessive quantities.  Sulfur, phosphorous, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen are each also considered among the building blocks of life.  And too much of these are also dangerous.  Some of them have already formally been recognized as pollutants.

I fear we are heading for a climate change debate, and in that arena I have never (except a rare celebrity or 2) heard of anyone who decided to "switch sides" after even the most extensive and exhausting exchanges of "facts".  So maybe it's best if we just not go there.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 22, 2015, 06:20:27 PM
If you want to reduce carbon emissions, tax carbon directly.  In all it's forms.

Carbon is not pollution, it's one of the building blocks of life. In fact, the human body is 18% carbon. Plants need carbon to grow. Without carbon, all life on Earth would cease to exist.

I can understand taxing pollution, but carbon is not pollution.

Oh goodness...

First of all, yes, carbon is a necessity of life.  And no one is saying we should eliminate it from the planet so no worries there.

BUT, anything is dangerous in excessive quantities.  Sulfur, phosphorous, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen are each also considered among the building blocks of life.  And too much of these are also dangerous.  Some of them have already formally been recognized as pollutants.

I fear we are heading for a climate change debate, and in that arena I have never (except a rare celebrity or 2) heard of anyone who decided to "switch sides" after even the most extensive and exhausting exchanges of "facts".  So maybe it's best if we just not go there.

I'd rather not go there again either, but it's hard not to respond to those who think another tax is a solution. Increased taxes never solve as many problems as they create.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 23, 2015, 06:57:03 AM
Increased taxes never solve as many problems as they create.

[[Citation Needed]]
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 27, 2015, 06:11:13 AM
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son.

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

That's about the size I was in 8th grade, give or take.

That ain't "big," that's "a little bit larger than average."

My whole family is big, always have been.  Despite that, we tend to live a very long time.

Yeah, I'm big all around.  Over the last 30 years, I've gone from fit, big college athlete to "big former athlete who spends too much time in an office."  It ain't all that uncommon in the USA.  There are a lot of large people in this country.

Do I need you to "fat shame" me to get me to whip myself back into my college rugby weight?  No. 

Look, genius, people who are overweight don't need bullies, and especially chicken squat pencil necked bullies hiding behind keyboards, to tell them they are overweight.  This society tells them every day.

Unlike most overweight folks, who tend to wilt under the bullying and shaming of punks like you, I won't be intimidated by bullying from some jerk off on the internet.

Quote
If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

Hey, big mouth wanna be bully, have you got a solution that will take me from from 6'5" and 320 to a relatively fit 6'5" 250 before I buy my next car/truck?

I didn't think so.

So don't be offended if I tell you to STFU and let me buy the vehicle that I feel is best for me.

And trust me, son, a "Prius" ain't got to cut it.

Just out of curiosity, just exactly what did you think you were adding to the conversation, other than being a fat-shaming bully?  Does it make you feel like a "big man" to quote your height and weight and call someone else "fat?"

If so, how small a man are you, really?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 27, 2015, 06:17:29 AM
But I double damned guarantee you that 18-wheeler is even more heavily subsidized.   

Really?


Quote
On average, a typical 80,000 pound GVW tractor-trailer truck pays $13,889 per year in truck highway taxes according to the above data. A hypothetical auto owner driving 20,000 miles per year at 25 mpg, and paying $100 in registration fees, ends up paying about $397 per year. So on average, looking at federal and state taxes, a tractor-trailer combination trucks pay about 35 times what a typical auto would pay based on national averages.

Link (http://www.mackinac.org/8433)

I'm a truck driver. We pay a ton of tax out here just to operate. It's not our fault congress keeps raiding the Highway Trust Fund for their pet projects.

Quote
A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, compiled at the request of Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain, details how the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has obligated $78 billion over the last five years for “purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.”

Link (http://www.americantrails.org/resources/fedfund/Out-of-gas-Senator-Coburn-McCain-2009.html)

No argument here.  The Feds mismanage funds everywhere, the most egregious being the mismanagement of the "social security trust fund."
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 27, 2015, 06:34:14 AM
Or perhaps it is because of the size of vehicle and a perception of comfort, all of which is bull shit.

Umm, no, it is NOT "bull shit."

I'm a big guy, about the size of an average NFL defensive lineman.

Trust me, my really basic "work" style truck with it's cheap cloth bench seats is a whole Hell of a lot more comfortable than squeezing myself into my wife's little Beemer (I have to fold myself into the damned thing) even though she has fancy leather bucket seats with heating/cooling, lumbar support and a whole lot of other stuff. 

None of it makes up for the fact that those seats are JUST TOO DAMNED SMALL.

Maybe a truck isn't more comfortable for YOU (I have no idea, because I'm not you), it is far more comfortable for me.

See, that's the beauty of a free country.  I get to decide which vehicle is best for me, and you get to choose what is best for you.

If you weigh 150 lbs and want to squeeze into a Prius or an econo-mini-smart-eco-whatever-the-Hell, go for it. 

But don't presume to lecture me on why I should do the same.   You ain't me, son.

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

At 6' and 210 is closer to the size of a receiver.

Yup, that's true these days.

I sometimes do some volunteer assistant coaching at one of the local HS teams to help a friend of mine.

It's not uncommon to see 17-year old kids who are 6'5 and 280+ playing HS ball.  That would have been freaking huge back in my day 30+ years ago.  Back then, any kid over 220 was pretty much a lineman (this was at a small school, but still).

One of the kids on the team is probably 6'8' and 320.  Makes me feel like a midget.  I'm not sure what they are putting in the water these days to make the kids so huge- I've heard theories that it's about growth hormones in cattle and the food we eat, but I have no idea.

Just read a story on MSN yesterday about a HS player who was 7'0" tall and 440 lbs.  WTF is that kid eating? :)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 27, 2015, 06:37:40 AM
http://www.ninersnation.com/2013/2/23/4021846/2013-nfl-combine-results-defensive-linemen-measurement

They're *big* - and, generally, quite tall.

And, often, tall people have problems with small cars.  I'm 6'0", and the only way I could drive a Mazda2 was with the seat all the way back.  If I were another few inches taller, I wouldn't be able to fit in that car comfortably, even if I were super thin.  Or if my legs were abnormally long for my height.

This isn't a problem in a truck.

Another problem with small cars I didn't mention before.

If you are tall, you often need to "fold" yourself into them, just to get in the door.

This wasn't a problem when I was 25 and fit, but now that I'm over 50 with a back injury, it's not easy to fold into my wife's Beemer.

But it's no problem at all in a truck or an SUV.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 27, 2015, 06:45:00 AM
So I just rented a Ford F150 (don't own a car, occasionally need one) from Budget that cost $40 less than the economy option. After a bit of gas math I decided it was worth it.

On the road it is such a pain to drive. It has to be a foot or more wider than a Civic (my preferred car), difficult to park, even in oversized american big box store spaces, unstable at high highway speeds, and with so many buttons that are more than an arms-length away from the driver because of how large the center console is. I had to lean over just to use the radio tuner.

 I really have no understanding of why anyone would want one and yet they are one of the best selling models in America. Clearly no one wants to rent them which is why it was the cheapest rental car option.

As a big guy, I always have the opposite reaction. I sit in a full-size truck and it feels remarkably spacious and non-cramped. The nicest vehicle I have ever driven was a full-size Chevy Silverado. The head was not bumping against the ceiling. The shoulders (and, alas, love handles) were not pushing over the side of the seat. The buttons were big enough for me to wear mittens (important in minus 30 Celsius) and still turn them. And the pedals were big enough and far enough apart that wearing a pear of Sorel pac boots does not mean pushing in two pedals at once. The kids could be in the back and there was STILL plenty of room to carry stuff, without the need to fold down any seats. So unlike our family station wagon, it's not a choice between kids or materials. And with a fibreglass topper, it can be a year-round hauler, with an enclosed trunk that can be removed when hauling building materials, soil, gravel, or anything else. Plus, recently getting the family car stuck on a non-maintained road simply because mud filled up the wheel wells after half a mile, bigger wheels and bigger wheel wells hold some appeal. I can definitely see why people like trucks, even though they are expensive to buy and run.

Disclaimer: I live in a condo and drive a Smart Car when not walking or biking. There is no way a full-size truck would actually fit into my life, or either my underground parkade at home or or the one at work. However, when out in the countryside, I do look longingly at them. I totally get why people like them. Most cars are a compromise between utility and economy. Economy is a good thing. But sometimes it is tempting not to have to compromise.

I actually test drove a Smart Car once just because my wife dared me to (she thought I wouldn't fit in it).  It was surprisingly spacious for the driver, more so than a LOT of much larger cars.

I'm not going to trade in my truck and buy one, but I was surprised at how comfortable such a small car was for a big person.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on September 27, 2015, 06:54:48 AM
Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Yes, we could debate endlessly on the level of taxation and how it should be funded, but as you say, that is probably best done on another forum.

On this forum, I just want to defend my allegedly "evil" truck purchase.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on September 27, 2015, 07:13:45 AM
I never could find a correlation between car size and driver size. I've driven some small cars that were very roomy, and some larger cars I could not find a comfortable way to sit in.

Generally, taller vehicles fit tall people better, though.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 28, 2015, 06:44:57 AM

I'm 6' and 210 lbs, and have no issue at all sitting in a Prius or most small cars.  Can I ask what your height and weight are?  Most of the people I've heard making your complaints are obese.  If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

Look, genius, people who are overweight don't need bullies, and especially chicken squat pencil necked bullies hiding behind keyboards, to tell them they are overweight.  This society tells them every day.

I didn't say that you were overweight.  I said that the only people who I've heard complain about the size of their car seats were overweight.  Based on your comments, this observation appears to hold true.


Unlike most overweight folks, who tend to wilt under the bullying and shaming of punks like you, I won't be intimidated by bullying from some jerk off on the internet.

My intent was to get to the root of the reason for your complaint about the size of seats in vehicles.  And we have.  And it appears to have nothing to do with the size of seats in cars.


Quote
If this is your case, maybe the seat size isn't the real issue you should be addressing. . .

Hey, big mouth wanna be bully, have you got a solution that will take me from from 6'5" and 320 to a relatively fit 6'5" 250 before I buy my next car/truck?

I didn't think so.

Absolutely, I do.  You can PM for ideas and suggestions.  I'm about the same weight now that I was in grade four, being fat isn't something that I'm unfamiliar with.  In the vast majority of cases, overweight is due to diet and exercise.  It's a simple fix . . . just hard to implement long term.

You would have to stop arguing with the straw man of me that you've been talking to though.


So don't be offended if I tell you to STFU and let me buy the vehicle that I feel is best for me.

You can buy whatever vehicle you want.  Just don't pretend that there's something wrong with the design of the seats in a smaller car (as you were doing) to justify it.


And trust me, son, a "Prius" ain't got to cut it.

Not if you fail to take responsibility for your health, no.  But I guess being a Libertarian you aren't big on personal responsibility . . .


Just out of curiosity, just exactly what did you think you were adding to the conversation, other than being a fat-shaming bully?  Does it make you feel like a "big man" to quote your height and weight and call someone else "fat?"

Check the posts I made.  I didn't call you fat.  Any shame you're feeling is due to the life choices you have made.  Again, if you're interested in changing these choices maybe I can help.  PM me.

I quoted my height and weight because I'm larger than the average person and fit quite comfortably in most vehicles.  I've got an uncle who is almost seven feet tall probably around 250, and he has had a few problems with the interior height of certain vehicles but has never mentioned a complaint about seat size.  Your complaints seemed curious, as I had never heard similar from a healthy person.

Based on your comments, you've thrown your hands up and said 'I need to drive a bigger car because I'm too obese to fit in regular seats'.  That's rationalizing the purchase of something rather than trying to fix the root cause of the problem.  Not an optimal way to approach things.

If you find my tone with you brusque, please review your own posts.  I've responded in kind.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 28, 2015, 03:35:26 PM
Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Yes, we could debate endlessly on the level of taxation and how it should be funded, but as you say, that is probably best done on another forum.

On this forum, I just want to defend my allegedly "evil" truck purchase.

I think the only time I used the word "evil" I clarified that it was not meant literally and was only stated for dramatic emphasis on the point being made.  I don't think truck owners are evil people.

I think we should all have the option of purchasing trucks (or any other vehicle) and driving them as far (or as little) as we like.  BUT ONLY when the systems in place force FULL payment for that driving, including ALL EXTERNAL COSTS that typically get ignored.

My only (vehicle-related) issue with what you've said remains that you claim to pay fully for your driving choices.  You don't.  None of us do. 

If you've been personally installing CO2 scrubbers, paying the medical costs any time a resident in the area of your driving has an asthma flare-up, patching potholes, installing noise abatement devices along your routes, and volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers all in direct proportion to the amount that you drive your truck then do-tell, and I will kneel before you and tell you I was wrong.

Until then, be thankful to the rest of society who subsidizes your driving/vehicle choices.

Oh, and please don't respond along the lines of how much more tax you've paid than most due to your extremely high income.  My arguments about your driving are equally directed at low-income people who scrape by to finance their vehicles and commute to minimum wage jobs.  None of us, rich or poor, should be incentivized to travel inefficiently. 
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on September 29, 2015, 06:28:27 PM
Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Yes, we could debate endlessly on the level of taxation and how it should be funded, but as you say, that is probably best done on another forum.

On this forum, I just want to defend my allegedly "evil" truck purchase.

I think the only time I used the word "evil" I clarified that it was not meant literally and was only stated for dramatic emphasis on the point being made.  I don't think truck owners are evil people.

I think we should all have the option of purchasing trucks (or any other vehicle) and driving them as far (or as little) as we like.  BUT ONLY when the systems in place force FULL payment for that driving, including ALL EXTERNAL COSTS that typically get ignored.

My only (vehicle-related) issue with what you've said remains that you claim to pay fully for your driving choices.  You don't.  None of us do. 

If you've been personally installing CO2 scrubbers, paying the medical costs any time a resident in the area of your driving has an asthma flare-up, patching potholes, installing noise abatement devices along your routes, and volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers all in direct proportion to the amount that you drive your truck then do-tell, and I will kneel before you and tell you I was wrong.

Until then, be thankful to the rest of society who subsidizes your driving/vehicle choices.

Oh, and please don't respond along the lines of how much more tax you've paid than most due to your extremely high income.  My arguments about your driving are equally directed at low-income people who scrape by to finance their vehicles and commute to minimum wage jobs.  None of us, rich or poor, should be incentivized to travel inefficiently.

In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 29, 2015, 07:11:18 PM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's selective outrage...trucks are treated differently here.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 30, 2015, 06:04:31 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on September 30, 2015, 12:36:48 PM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

This is exactly what I meant.  If all the costs were actually being paid for by taxes, even in some abstract roundabout manner then JLee would be correct.  But many costs are not being paid by taxes, they are being deferred to future generations when it comes to environmental impacts, and they are being put onto the shoulders of individuals when it comes to health impacts (not just the air quality effects - more distance driven by more cars/trucks means more accidents, more lawyers fees, higher insurance for everyone, etc.)  These are the costs that should be incorporated in our driving choices.

And even if all these costs were currently covered by our taxes, I'd still say the system should be changed so that it is a more direct cost system, so that people actually see these costs when they make their driving choices, rather than having them hidden away not to be worried about.

Finally, music lover, my outrage is not at all selective.  It applies equally to all unnecessary and/or inefficient driving, in any vehicle.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on September 30, 2015, 05:24:59 PM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Living in a city is a choice, there are both benefits and drawbacks.

If someone pays no taxes, then they are being subsidized by taxpayers. To claim otherwise suggests that you don't have the ability to think critically.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on September 30, 2015, 09:18:16 PM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

This is exactly what I meant.  If all the costs were actually being paid for by taxes, even in some abstract roundabout manner then JLee would be correct.  But many costs are not being paid by taxes, they are being deferred to future generations when it comes to environmental impacts, and they are being put onto the shoulders of individuals when it comes to health impacts (not just the air quality effects - more distance driven by more cars/trucks means more accidents, more lawyers fees, higher insurance for everyone, etc.)  These are the costs that should be incorporated in our driving choices.

And even if all these costs were currently covered by our taxes, I'd still say the system should be changed so that it is a more direct cost system, so that people actually see these costs when they make their driving choices, rather than having them hidden away not to be worried about.

Finally, music lover, my outrage is not at all selective.  It applies equally to all unnecessary and/or inefficient driving, in any vehicle.

Many of them are are. Have you ever had a few at-fault accidents and then priced insurance?

One could use your argument to claim that the existence of a family with children is subsidized by future generations who have to figure out what to do about over population and exhaustion of the earth's resources.  Claiming that costs are "subsidized" by people who don't yet exist is a misuse of the word and is, as mentioned earlier, a selective outrage.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 01, 2015, 06:05:07 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Living in a city is a choice, there are both benefits and drawbacks.

Sure.   That doesn't change my point at all though . . . which is that taxes don't cover the cost of polluting, so the claim that "all subsidies are paid by taxpayers" is demonstrably wrong.  The price of driving is lower because we just ignore many of the future side effects.

If someone pays no taxes, then they are being subsidized by taxpayers. To claim otherwise suggests that you don't have the ability to think critically.

Yep.  Good thing nobody claimed that!  :P





Quote
Many of them are are. Have you ever had a few at-fault accidents and then priced insurance?

Many are, but not all.  Which is kinda the point that was being made.

Quote
One could use your argument to claim that the existence of a family with children is subsidized by future generations who have to figure out what to do about over population and exhaustion of the earth's resources.  Claiming that costs are "subsidized" by people who don't yet exist is a misuse of the word and is, as mentioned earlier, a selective outrage.

If you really want to get into pedantic hair splitting, sure we can stop using subsidy.  We can just substitute it with 'cost' and the points being made will be equally valid.  There are costs that the drivers of vehicles are protected from in our current system.  These costs are deferred to the future, and may be paid for by people who don't drive.  So, the original point - that drivers don't pay the full cost of driving - stands.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 01, 2015, 01:32:25 PM

One could use your argument to claim that the existence of a family with children is subsidized by future generations who have to figure out what to do about over population and exhaustion of the earth's resources.

So what I'm hearing from you is approximately "Having children and causing overpopulation for future generations to deal with is a bad thing.  Therefore this other problem currently being discussed (driving too much) which will also leaves future generations dealing with the negative outcomes, should be ignored."

First, accepting one bad thing (overpopulation) is by no means a valid reason to accept other bad things (excessive/inefficient driving).

Second, no one has said anything about accepting overpopulation and ignoring it.  It's another pressing issue in our world that also deserves attention.  If it's important to you and you want to push for some sort of solution, or brainstorming session that could help come up with solutions, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.

So, back to that 'other problem currently being discussed'...  If you are ready to move on from "ignore it because other bad things are also happening", you might try:
1) "excessive/inefficient driving is not actually a problem" - I have a hard time imagining solid arguments that could make this point, but I try to be open minded and would gladly hear any you'd like to open up to discussion.
2) "our current system does not promote excessive/inefficient driving" - I feel similarly to this as to #1 above.
3) "the solution you are proposing to this problem is not the best one, here's how it can be done better" - At this point we'd both be in agreement that excessive/inefficient driving is indeed a problem, and that our current system actually promotes this problem; we could then constructively discuss potential solutions.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on October 01, 2015, 07:43:40 PM

One could use your argument to claim that the existence of a family with children is subsidized by future generations who have to figure out what to do about over population and exhaustion of the earth's resources.

So what I'm hearing from you is approximately "Having children and causing overpopulation for future generations to deal with is a bad thing.  Therefore this other problem currently being discussed (driving too much) which will also leaves future generations dealing with the negative outcomes, should be ignored."

First, accepting one bad thing (overpopulation) is by no means a valid reason to accept other bad things (excessive/inefficient driving).

Second, no one has said anything about accepting overpopulation and ignoring it.  It's another pressing issue in our world that also deserves attention.  If it's important to you and you want to push for some sort of solution, or brainstorming session that could help come up with solutions, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.

So, back to that 'other problem currently being discussed'...  If you are ready to move on from "ignore it because other bad things are also happening", you might try:
1) "excessive/inefficient driving is not actually a problem" - I have a hard time imagining solid arguments that could make this point, but I try to be open minded and would gladly hear any you'd like to open up to discussion.
2) "our current system does not promote excessive/inefficient driving" - I feel similarly to this as to #1 above.
3) "the solution you are proposing to this problem is not the best one, here's how it can be done better" - At this point we'd both be in agreement that excessive/inefficient driving is indeed a problem, and that our current system actually promotes this problem; we could then constructively discuss potential solutions.

What you're hearing from me is:
Quote
One could use your argument to claim that the existence of a family with children is subsidized by future generations who have to figure out what to do about over population and exhaustion of the earth's resources.

Anything else you decide to infer is a product of your imagination.

The simple existence of humans on this planet causes unquantifiable future ramifications. If I paid $1,000 per mile, it would far exceed any remotely rational "costs" of my contribution to environmental pollution, but it wouldn't change anything of significance (except drain my wallet). So, until there is a quantifiable way to have people "pay for their choices" instead of a vague "you're creating problems we can't quantify yet that will be handled by future generations," how is a solution possible out of this thread - and how is this anything other than slamming people for choices that you have a personal problem with?

Pretty clever argument, though - claim that "people don't pay their fair share" and then go on to say how that's impossible, therefore you have an un-losable argument while staying within your stated terms.

In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Living in a city is a choice, there are both benefits and drawbacks.

Sure.   That doesn't change my point at all though . . . which is that taxes don't cover the cost of polluting, so the claim that "all subsidies are paid by taxpayers" is demonstrably wrong.  The price of driving is lower because we just ignore many of the future side effects.

If someone pays no taxes, then they are being subsidized by taxpayers. To claim otherwise suggests that you don't have the ability to think critically.
Yep.  Good thing nobody claimed that!  :P
I didn't say that..check your quote. :)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 02, 2015, 03:22:34 PM
What you're hearing from me is:
Quote
One could use your argument to claim that the existence of a family with children is subsidized by future generations who have to figure out what to do about over population and exhaustion of the earth's resources.

Anything else you decide to infer is a product of your imagination.

Fair enough, but no matter how you word it, you seem to be saying that since we allow some bad things, we should therefore allow other bad things.  And this just doesn't have any weight to it.

Quote
The simple existence of humans on this planet causes unquantifiable future ramifications. If I paid $1,000 per mile, it would far exceed any remotely rational "costs" of my contribution to environmental pollution, but it wouldn't change anything of significance

No significant changes?  There would be one very quick and major change: people would drive less!
On top of that, there would be much higher funding for programs/research/other TBD... that could help to clean up the mess we are making.  So that's less mess-making in the first place, and more cleaning of existing mess.  (Please don't attack the simplified terms... I'm hoping we are all familiar with some of the specifics by now)

Quote
So, until there is a quantifiable way to have people "pay for their choices" instead of a vague "you're creating problems we can't quantify yet that will be handled by future generations," how is a solution possible out of this thread - and how is this anything other than slamming people for choices that you have a personal problem with?

I'm ok with people making the choice to have driving as a big part of their life.  I don't like it, but it's their choice to make.  The part I'm slamming is when those same people claim to be covering the costs of those choices for themselves

Quote
Pretty clever argument, though - claim that "people don't pay their fair share" and then go on to say how that's impossible, therefore you have an un-losable argument while staying within your stated terms.

I never said it was impossible.  I said it will be difficult to quantify with precision.  How to quantify it is one of the topics I think deserves more discussion (at levels far above this forum).


My goal here is to help some people realize that there are many more downsides to driving than the current personal financials would lead you to think.  And hopefully with a few more people on board with that, there will be more push/support for changes at the political level when the day finally comes.

And to be totally honest, I would also get great satisfaction from hearing a few more people say "Ya, it's true, my driving choices ARE being partly paid for by others... I should be thankful for that, and maybe do what I can to help lessen my load on society."
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on October 04, 2015, 03:45:14 AM
You can buy whatever vehicle you want.  Just don't pretend that there's something wrong with the design of the seats in a smaller car (as you were doing) to justify it.

Apparently, you have a reading comprehension problem to go along with your personality disorder.

I NEVER SAID "there is something wrong with the seats in a smaller car."  I said THEY DON'T WORK FOR ME (because, well, they don't- or at least not on most small cars, there are exceptions).  This was in response to some jerk (I can't remember if it was you) who claimed that "people only buy trucks to "appear manly"" or similar ridiculous blather.

Quote
And trust me, son, a "Prius" ain't got to cut it.

Not if you fail to take responsibility for your health, no.  But I guess being a Libertarian you aren't big on personal responsibility . . .

What are you talking about?

Oh, I get it, you are being a know-it-all judgmental jerk who ASSumes anyone who isn't a pencil neck must be "unhealthy."

Son, I'm well past 50.  I've never spent a day in the hospital.  Never had a broken bone.  Never had any medical procedure more significant than the "you're over 50, so you need a colonoscopy" thing (btw, I passed that with no problems at all, thanks for your concern).  I'm plenty healthy. 

My whole damned family is big.  My grandmother was big even when she died at 101.  My great grandfather was big when he died at 100 after catching pneumonia. 

My parents are both big and well into their 80s with no serious health problems.  Their smaller, "fit" friends are dropping like flies.  The good news is, my dad is still big and strong enough to act as a pall bearer.

You can't really be foolish enough to be drinking the "anyone who doesn't fit the government approved size charts is going to die young" Kool Aid, can you?

Quote
  Again, if you're interested in changing these choices maybe I can help.  PM me.

If I ever take advice from someone like you on ANYTHING, please have the kindness to call the local Alzheimer's facility, because I'll probably be 95, dazed, and confused before that ever happens.

Quote
If you find my tone with you brusque, please review your own posts.  I've responded in kind.

I get it.  You are an overly aggressive, judgmental, keyboard warrior with a reading comprehension problem.

You are hardly unique on the internet.  Trolls, bullies, and punks are everywhere.

And to get back on topic:  I prefer trucks for all of the reasons I stated before.

We went out and test drove a new Silverado today.

As I still like to get the best value for my money, I actually like the no frills "work truck" version of the Silverado.  It's not as "no frills" as my 2002, but it's still pretty basic.  Minimal chrome, fabric seats (which I prefer, leather may look cool, but in summer in Texas, it's not fun if you wear shorts), far less "doo dads" than the other versions.

Anyway, I liked the truck, though it feels a fair amount bigger than my older Silverado.  It rides higher, just feels heavier, I practically had to push my wife into it (she's "vertically challenged," and it has no running board to help shorter people get in like the higher end models have). 

And, of course, the price is ridiculous (this statement, however, applies to almost all vehicles today).

Given that I don't drive a lot these days, I am also considering smaller vehicles.  Believe it or not, my large behind fit pretty comfortably into a Chevy Spark, which had far more room than I expected.  It's not my ideal vehicle because it is a bit small (and really under powered), but I will think about it because 1) it's cheap and 2) it's far more environmentally friendly.

I probably won't buy just yet, because my old truck is still running fine.  I also need to check the F150 and maybe the Toyota. 

Plus, I still hold out some hope that the car I really want to buy will become available sometime soon:

http://www.eliomotors.com/

I actually got to sit in one of the prototypes of the Elio a year ago, and it had an incredible amount of space.  Hard to believe though it may be, this car will probably fit anyone smaller than Shaquille O'Neal.

Anyway, I prefer trucks, but I'm not married to the idea.  I will consider smaller vehicles.

But if I DO CHOOSE a truck, it won't be because it makes me "feel like a big man" or similar ridiculous nonsense, it will be because I've decided it's the best vehicle for me.

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on October 04, 2015, 03:53:23 AM
Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Yes, we could debate endlessly on the level of taxation and how it should be funded, but as you say, that is probably best done on another forum.

On this forum, I just want to defend my allegedly "evil" truck purchase.

I think the only time I used the word "evil" I clarified that it was not meant literally and was only stated for dramatic emphasis on the point being made.  I don't think truck owners are evil people.

I think we should all have the option of purchasing trucks (or any other vehicle) and driving them as far (or as little) as we like.  BUT ONLY when the systems in place force FULL payment for that driving, including ALL EXTERNAL COSTS that typically get ignored.

My only (vehicle-related) issue with what you've said remains that you claim to pay fully for your driving choices.  You don't.  None of us do. 

If you've been personally installing CO2 scrubbers, paying the medical costs any time a resident in the area of your driving has an asthma flare-up, patching potholes, installing noise abatement devices along your routes, and volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers all in direct proportion to the amount that you drive your truck then do-tell, and I will kneel before you and tell you I was wrong.

Until then, be thankful to the rest of society who subsidizes your driving/vehicle choices.

Oh, and please don't respond along the lines of how much more tax you've paid than most due to your extremely high income.  My arguments about your driving are equally directed at low-income people who scrape by to finance their vehicles and commute to minimum wage jobs.  None of us, rich or poor, should be incentivized to travel inefficiently.

In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

Yup.  Taxation is always unfair.  Some people pay far more than their fair share (typically, affluent singles and child free couples), and some pay far less than their fair share (low income people with large families).

Therefore, I prefer to keep the nanny state, and hence the level of (largely unfair and unequal) taxation, to a minimum.

I would also posit that, if you are worried about "tax fairness," "the amount people pay to drive big vehicles versus small vehicles" would be near the bottom of the list of inequities in the system.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on October 04, 2015, 03:58:23 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 04, 2015, 08:54:21 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

He's paying in the future for your choice in the present.  If you don't want to call it a subsidy, then how about we just call it violence that you're inflicting on him by your actions?
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on October 04, 2015, 09:07:29 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

He's paying in the future for your choice in the present.  If you don't want to call it a subsidy, then how about we just call it violence that you're inflicting on him by your actions?

I think you might be slightly insane.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: music lover on October 04, 2015, 09:07:52 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

He's paying in the future for your choice in the present.  If you don't want to call it a subsidy, then how about we just call it violence that you're inflicting on him by your actions?

And yet, without exception, the quality of life and life expectancy in modern societies always exceeds that of countries with no national road/transportation system and limited personal vehicles.

If the opposite was true, you might have a valid point. But, the facts don't support your claim. What you also completely overlook are all the benefits that a modern road system and vehicle ownership provide...even if you don't drive, you benefit daily from a national transportation system that improves the quality of your life in immeasurable ways.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 04, 2015, 10:46:57 AM
So you're claiming that personal automobile use makes those who don't own a car live longer?  Got anything to back up that claim?  We're not talking about transport trucks shipping goods, but guys choosing to drive in large trucks because they're too fat to fit in a car, or too insecure to drive one.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Syonyk on October 04, 2015, 12:54:02 PM
Our current economy certainly relies on people being able to get around...

If you've just argued that driving a car is violence another person, though, it might be time to step back from the keyboard and go outside. Or join the Deep Green Resistance.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: Cathy on October 05, 2015, 12:02:27 AM
I think libertarian4321 has presented a good case for trucks, assuming that we consider personal automobiles in general to be a reasonable form of transportation.

I think it's worth noting that thinness is in part a mater of luck and privilege. If I ate huge servings of McDonald's, multiple times per day, every day, for many years in a row, I would still be thin, because that's just how my body works. There may be studies demonstrating an inverse correlation between health and obesity, but none of those studies suggest a perfect correlation. Part of it is chance. There is no reason to be rude to somebody because of their body shape.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 05, 2015, 10:05:15 AM
Again, again... other inequalities deserve attention too... some other time, some other forum thread...


Yes, we could debate endlessly on the level of taxation and how it should be funded, but as you say, that is probably best done on another forum.

On this forum, I just want to defend my allegedly "evil" truck purchase.

I think the only time I used the word "evil" I clarified that it was not meant literally and was only stated for dramatic emphasis on the point being made.  I don't think truck owners are evil people.

I think we should all have the option of purchasing trucks (or any other vehicle) and driving them as far (or as little) as we like.  BUT ONLY when the systems in place force FULL payment for that driving, including ALL EXTERNAL COSTS that typically get ignored.

My only (vehicle-related) issue with what you've said remains that you claim to pay fully for your driving choices.  You don't.  None of us do. 

If you've been personally installing CO2 scrubbers, paying the medical costs any time a resident in the area of your driving has an asthma flare-up, patching potholes, installing noise abatement devices along your routes, and volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers all in direct proportion to the amount that you drive your truck then do-tell, and I will kneel before you and tell you I was wrong.

Until then, be thankful to the rest of society who subsidizes your driving/vehicle choices.

Oh, and please don't respond along the lines of how much more tax you've paid than most due to your extremely high income.  My arguments about your driving are equally directed at low-income people who scrape by to finance their vehicles and commute to minimum wage jobs.  None of us, rich or poor, should be incentivized to travel inefficiently.

In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

Yup.  Taxation is always unfair.  Some people pay far more than their fair share (typically, affluent singles and child free couples), and some pay far less than their fair share (low income people with large families).

Therefore, I prefer to keep the nanny state, and hence the level of (largely unfair and unequal) taxation, to a minimum.

I would also posit that, if you are worried about "tax fairness," "the amount people pay to drive big vehicles versus small vehicles" would be near the bottom of the list of inequities in the system.

It's not "tax fairness" alone that I see as the problem; it's tax systems that promote (rather than discourage) behaviour that has a net cost for society. 

Yes, our transportation network is very important, even necessary, to maintain our high standards of living.  But in the process of designing this system to be very efficient at moving goods, allowing rapid emergency response, etc. we have the side-effect of it being very easy and even encouraged for individuals to drive long distances, alone in a vehicle (some in a prius, some in an F-350 - neither is good) almost daily.  This is a system we know to be having negative consequences overall.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 05, 2015, 10:09:39 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

Subsidy might be the wrong word here (and I don't agree with GuitarStv's use of the word violence either).
What you are doing in the scenario where your actions cause someone to get lung cancer is to create a cost to someone else, without paying for that cost.

If a cost that you create is paid for by someone else, is it a subsidy?  Maybe the terminology is wrong and it isn't... but it isn't a good thing, and our system should not encourage/allow it.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 05, 2015, 10:12:57 AM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

He's paying in the future for your choice in the present.  If you don't want to call it a subsidy, then how about we just call it violence that you're inflicting on him by your actions?

And yet, without exception, the quality of life and life expectancy in modern societies always exceeds that of countries with no national road/transportation system and limited personal vehicles.

If the opposite was true, you might have a valid point. But, the facts don't support your claim. What you also completely overlook are all the benefits that a modern road system and vehicle ownership provide...even if you don't drive, you benefit daily from a national transportation system that improves the quality of your life in immeasurable ways.

As per my post above to libertarian4321,
Yes, road systems provide us with great benefits.  We just need to fine tune the system so that it can still provide those benefits, without also encouraging individual behaviour that is detrimental to all of us.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 05, 2015, 10:33:44 AM
I think libertarian4321 has presented a good case for trucks, assuming that we consider personal automobiles in general to be a reasonable form of transportation.

I think it's worth noting that thinness is in part a mater of luck and privilege. If I ate huge servings of McDonald's, multiple times per day, every day, for many years in a row, I would still be thin, because that's just how my body works. There may be studies demonstrating an inverse correlation between health and obesity, but none of those studies suggest a perfect correlation. Part of it is chance. There is no reason to be rude to somebody because of their body shape.

I agree, it's not productive to make personal attacks especially in regards to body size/shape.
I also agree that in certain circumstances, the choice to own and drive a truck is perfectly reasonable.

To be specific about libertarian4321 who has provided lots of personal info, in my opinion his vehicle choice is somewhat justified - maybe he could have found a smaller or more efficient vehicle that met his needs if he had really tried, but it doesn't seem to have been a mindless or vain decision.  However, he claims that either
1) his choices are not affecting others, or
2) in the amount that his choices affect others his payments are enough to offset this. 
I can't tell which of these claims he is making, but I disagree in either case.

Sticking to libertarian4321 as an example, perhaps his actions and choices would remain totally unchanged under some of the systemic changes I suggest, only his monetary cost would be a little higher for them. 
Many people are far less mindful in their transportation choices, and their decisions would likely be heavily swayed by systemic changes.

Many of us mindful transportation decision makers would be in the same situation as libertarian4321 - we would see increases in cost that may or may not affect our transportation decisions. So be it.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on October 05, 2015, 01:08:56 PM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

Subsidy might be the wrong word here (and I don't agree with GuitarStv's use of the word violence either).
What you are doing in the scenario where your actions cause someone to get lung cancer is to create a cost to someone else, without paying for that cost.

If a cost that you create is paid for by someone else, is it a subsidy?  Maybe the terminology is wrong and it isn't... but it isn't a good thing, and our system should not encourage/allow it.

http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/guide/lung-cancer-causes

I thought we were talking about trucks, not smoking.

Air pollution is listed at "up to 1%" of all lung cancer deaths, and that's a broad category (vehicles, industry, power plants). The numbers at play here are, IMO, statistically insignificant. Also, in this case the cost someone is creating is equally applied on themselves as well as everyone else - it's not like truck drivers are exempt from their own emissions, so implying they affect others and not themselves is absurd.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 05, 2015, 01:34:55 PM
It doesn't matter if you're also giving yourself cancer.  The important thing is that you're causing someone else harm by your actions, harm that could be avoided or minimized by choosing a different form of transportation.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: JLee on October 05, 2015, 01:59:49 PM
It doesn't matter if you're also giving yourself cancer.  The important thing is that you're causing someone else harm by your actions, harm that could be avoided or minimized by choosing a different form of transportation.

I think you're causing more harm to my mental health by your ridiculous rantings than I am causing to anyone by owning a truck, which has about 600 miles of use on it in the last four months.

It's a long fall from that horse you're on...might want to be careful.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: RidinTheAsama on October 06, 2015, 01:43:18 PM
In a society where all subsidies are paid by taxpayers, I'm not sure how this is a valid argument - you can't apply the "you don't pay your share" argument equally to people who pay no tax and to people who pay a lot. That's absurd.

It's a fallacy to believe that all subsidies for driving are covered by taxes.

Pollution issues and problems that are being created today won't manifest themselves for years.  Many of them will be deferred to people not responsible for their creation, and not really paid for by society as a whole.

For example, the person who pays no taxes and owns no car but gets lung cancer because of years of living in a smog filled city is subsidizing those who drive in that city.

Logic check.

What kind of "subsidy" do I get from someone who PAYS NO TAXES?  He may get lung cancer, and he may have a beef, but I sure as Hell get no "subsidy" from him.

Unless you can figure out a way to monetize diseased tissue from a corpse.

We won't even get into the epidemiology of this issue.

Subsidy might be the wrong word here (and I don't agree with GuitarStv's use of the word violence either).
What you are doing in the scenario where your actions cause someone to get lung cancer is to create a cost to someone else, without paying for that cost.

If a cost that you create is paid for by someone else, is it a subsidy?  Maybe the terminology is wrong and it isn't... but it isn't a good thing, and our system should not encourage/allow it.

http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/guide/lung-cancer-causes

I thought we were talking about trucks, not smoking.

Air pollution is listed at "up to 1%" of all lung cancer deaths, and that's a broad category (vehicles, industry, power plants). The numbers at play here are, IMO, statistically insignificant. Also, in this case the cost someone is creating is equally applied on themselves as well as everyone else - it's not like truck drivers are exempt from their own emissions, so implying they affect others and not themselves is absurd.

It was just an example... one that someone else started and I was just following.  Substitute asthma, premature birth, or one of many other ailments if you prefer.  Even if it's a small contribution to any given disease, it's a small contribution on the cost side, and 0 contribution on the benefit side.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: jba302 on October 06, 2015, 01:59:33 PM
Yup.  Taxation is always unfair.  Some people pay far more than their fair share (typically, affluent singles and child free couples), and some pay far less than their fair share (low income people with large families).

Therefore, I prefer to keep the nanny state, and hence the level of (largely unfair and unequal) taxation, to a minimum.

I would also posit that, if you are worried about "tax fairness," "the amount people pay to drive big vehicles versus small vehicles" would be near the bottom of the list of inequities in the system.

Tangential discussion point:

I'm very curious - what would you do for taxation in terms of fairness? This ends up being basically a "how do you define fairness" discussion and I think trucks are neat despite being a little over the top for most people, that's a boring conversation.

In my mind, I think super rich people can both afford to pay a lot of taxes (since their marginal practical benefit from an extra million is basically nothing while a poor person practically benefits greatly from their increased dollars up to a point, which is assumptive for the broad middle but not a leap either), and have the most to lose in a society that doesn't pay taxes (nice cars need nice roads, high level of comfort is provided by the safety benefits of cops and law and order and such <-less assumptive but also hand waving a bit).
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on October 09, 2015, 05:38:32 PM
It doesn't matter if you're also giving yourself cancer.  The important thing is that you're causing someone else harm by your actions, harm that could be avoided or minimized by choosing a different form of transportation.

Another childish and silly "argumen"
on your part.

Look, genius, essentially EVERYTHING ANYONE DOES can be considered to "cause harm" to someone else.  You buy a meal, you cause harm-think of all the energy and "carbon" that went into it- maybe you could minimize it by starving to death, you buy ANYTHING at the store, you cause harm for the same reasons (you could minimize it by not making that purchase- shall we do an in depth analysis of EVERY PURCHASE you've made in the past 10 years?).  You pass gas, you cause harm (maybe you should "minimized it" by shoving a cork up your butt).

It's insane to "call people out" with your inane "arguments" on anything you don't like (I suspect you only do it on behaviors you personally don't approve of) and claim "you are harming blah blah blah." 

Good God, you either have limitless time to make trivial and silly "arguments" (which would make you a full-time professional troll) or you are completely irrational.

Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on October 09, 2015, 05:39:21 PM
It doesn't matter if you're also giving yourself cancer.  The important thing is that you're causing someone else harm by your actions, harm that could be avoided or minimized by choosing a different form of transportation.

I think you're causing more harm to my mental health by your ridiculous rantings than I am causing to anyone by owning a truck, which has about 600 miles of use on it in the last four months.

It's a long fall from that horse you're on...might want to be careful.

Yup.

Though we may be to partially to blame for feeding the troll. :)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: libertarian4321 on October 09, 2015, 05:42:20 PM
Yup.  Taxation is always unfair.  Some people pay far more than their fair share (typically, affluent singles and child free couples), and some pay far less than their fair share (low income people with large families).

Therefore, I prefer to keep the nanny state, and hence the level of (largely unfair and unequal) taxation, to a minimum.

I would also posit that, if you are worried about "tax fairness," "the amount people pay to drive big vehicles versus small vehicles" would be near the bottom of the list of inequities in the system.

Tangential discussion point:

I'm very curious - what would you do for taxation in terms of fairness? This ends up being basically a "how do you define fairness" discussion and I think trucks are neat despite being a little over the top for most people, that's a boring conversation.

In my mind, I think super rich people can both afford to pay a lot of taxes (since their marginal practical benefit from an extra million is basically nothing while a poor person practically benefits greatly from their increased dollars up to a point, which is assumptive for the broad middle but not a leap either), and have the most to lose in a society that doesn't pay taxes (nice cars need nice roads, high level of comfort is provided by the safety benefits of cops and law and order and such <-less assumptive but also hand waving a bit).

Fair taxation, even when people try, is hard.  Of course, our government really doesn't attempt to achieve fair taxation, they dole out favors (tax breaks) to people based on what those people do for the politician.

Since there is no way to be truly fair in taxation, it is best that we keep taxation, and the abuses of power and corruption behind it, to a minimum.

Bet you never expected to hear that argument from a Libertarian. :)
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 09, 2015, 05:50:46 PM
It doesn't matter if you're also giving yourself cancer.  The important thing is that you're causing someone else harm by your actions, harm that could be avoided or minimized by choosing a different form of transportation.

Another childish and silly "argumen"
on your part.

Look, genius, essentially EVERYTHING ANYONE DOES can be considered to "cause harm" to someone else.  You buy a meal, you cause harm-think of all the energy and "carbon" that went into it- maybe you could minimize it by starving to death, you buy ANYTHING at the store, you cause harm for the same reasons (you could minimize it by not making that purchase- shall we do an in depth analysis of EVERY PURCHASE you've made in the past 10 years?).  You pass gas, you cause harm (maybe you should "minimized it" by shoving a cork up your butt).

It's insane to "call people out" with your inane "arguments" on anything you don't like (I suspect you only do it on behaviors you personally don't approve of) and claim "you are harming blah blah blah."  Since there is no way to be truly fair in taxation, it is best that we keep taxation, and the abuses of power and corruption behind it, to a minimum.

Good God, you either have limitless time to make trivial and silly "arguments" (which would make you a full-time professional troll) or you are completely irrational.

So (since anything that anyone does causes others harm according to you) how does your reasoning on taxation work?  It doesn't matter if we keep taxation and abuses of power to a minimum since somewhere on Earth someone will be abusing power or taxing folks . . . following your argument.  Which makes this statement a little odd:

Quote
Since there is no way to be truly fair in taxation, it is best that we keep taxation, and the abuses of power and corruption behind it, to a minimum.

. . . because it sounds an awful lot like you're advocating for (what you see) as a reasonable minimization of harm to others.
Title: Re: What will replace Trucks as the next dumb purchase?
Post by: jba302 on October 13, 2015, 07:15:21 AM
Fair taxation, even when people try, is hard.  Of course, our government really doesn't attempt to achieve fair taxation, they dole out favors (tax breaks) to people based on what those people do for the politician.

Since there is no way to be truly fair in taxation, it is best that we keep taxation, and the abuses of power and corruption behind it, to a minimum.

Bet you never expected to hear that argument from a Libertarian. :)

Well right, of course I would expect that :), and I think everyone would agree that minimizing taxes is appropriate to prevent wasting people's money etc. I'm just wondering how you specifically would apply it. I think understanding this type of thing helps people avoid arguments since it's a type of "I like sausage more than pepperoni because obviously!" situation.

As an extremely dumbed down example, you have person A making $25k a year and person B making $1M / year. For a public project, say a roadway or fixing a water supply issue, you could take the same from each and call it fair ($5k each let's say? so a tollway would be an accurate take on this variation, usage tax), or do you take $250 from A and $9,750 from B as a proportionate share (straight tax), or you could take virtually all of it from B ($9,999) and $1 from A and argue that there's no practical negative benefit to either (progressive style). Which one would you think is most appropriate?