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Old 02-16-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
Reputation: 32309

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Some stuff people like to do is expensive. Skiing is an expensive hobby, so is power boating, and so are many other things. Traveling is expensive too, but many of us love to travel and as long as we can afford the type of travel we do, it doesn't have to be justified.

When I was a child in the 1950's people took road trips, as airline travel had not yet attained common usage. And some of us still like road trips. The private automobile is a wonderful way to travel which has many advantages over airline or rail travel. Sometimes things we want to see, and people we want to visit, are not located in cities large enough to have scheduled airline service. I have made several road trips where seeing the things I wanted to see would have involved flying to some city, renting a car to get to the outlying location, flying to another city and renting a car, and on and on. Having my own car was both cheaper and more enjoyable.

Besides various cousins who live scattered around the United States - not all in major cities - here are some extremely interesting and worthwhile things that are remotely located:

1. The Grand Canyon
2. The National Museum of the Pacific War (Fredricksburg, Texas)
3. The Eisenhower National Museum, Library, and gravesite (Abilene, Kansas)
4. The Amish country in Ohio
5. The National Museum of Naval Aviation (Pensacola, Florida)
6. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, Arkansas)
7. Yellowstone National Park
8. The wonderful Canyon de Cheilly (sp?) in the Navajo country of northern Arizona

I could go on and on; the eight items are just examples of places I have actually visited during various road trips. Of course one can still rent a car and do extended road trips, but I think that would get pretty expensive. My mother of all road trips was in 2006, the basic outlines of which were (starting and ending in Los Angeles) Sacramento, CA; the Oregon coast; the Canadian Rockies; Edmonton, Canada; Kansas City; St. Louis; Buffalo, NY; Washington DC; the Blueridge Parkway; Baton Rouge, Lousiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and home. I drove 10,000 miles was gone six weeks and had a fantastic time.

This has been a little long (sorry). My point is that car ownership has this one great advantage - traveling - that I don't recall seeing mentioned yet in this thread.

 
Old 02-16-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 874,554 times
Reputation: 217
Wow, what a long post to just say:
"this whole saving money business ... is pretty irrelevant to people with even very modest incomes"

Is the average of $8,000 irrelevant?
Not to me. Not to many others.

As I said, I prefer to "invest" that money in paying down a mortgage, and if I had to drive - I will do it in a frugal way. But I would also investigate other ways of saving money, by living or working elsewhere.

My main point is that many people just seem to accept that they MUST HAVE A CAR (or maybe must have an expensive car), rather than rethinking the big picture of their lives.

QUESTIONS:
========
+ Do you really have such a quarrel with my simple and logical point of view (on rethinking the big picture)?

You have not answered this, so I shall ask again:
+ How do you get comfortable with your exposure to a possible future rise in oil prices?


SO MANY DRIVERS SEEM TO LIVE IN DENIAL, thinking these risks do not matter, and we will simply go back to a situation like 2005-6. I think that complacency arises from fantasy. And some intelligent people have written books to try to get people to come to grips with changing reality.

Here's James Howard Kunstler interviewing John Michael Greer :
(why do these dystopic writers favor three names ?)

The God of Progress is Dead

MP3 : http://media.libsyn.com/media/kunstl...erCast_217.mp3

John Michael Greer, author of The Long Descent, The Wealth of Nature and Apocalypse Not, returns to the KunstlerCast to speak with JHK by phone.
===
/more: KunstlerCast #217: The God of Progress is Dead The KunstlerCast
 
Old 02-16-2013, 09:47 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,857,889 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Wow, what a long post to just say:
"this whole saving money business ... is pretty irrelevant to people with even very modest incomes"

Is the average of $8,000 irrelevant?
Not to me. Not to many others.
Having a car saves my wife and I hundreds of thousands of dollars (over 30 years) in not having to live in a place where one can get along without one. Having a second car so I save an hour in my commute (compared to taking the bus) saves about 235 hours per year... if my time is worth a modest $20/hour, that car pays for itself quite easily.

Quote:
My main point is that many people just seem to accept that they MUST HAVE A CAR (or maybe must have an expensive car), rather than rethinking the big picture of their lives.
Why would one want to completely rethink one's life to just to avoid having a car?

Quote:
+ Do you really have such a quarrel with my simple and logical point of view (on rethinking the big picture)?
I find it simplistic and illogical.

Quote:
You have not answered this, so I shall ask again:
+ How do you get comfortable with your exposure to a possible future rise in oil prices?
Same way I get comfortable with exposure to a rise in any cost. What makes oil different than electricity, food, natural gas, taxes, or mass transit fares?
 
Old 02-16-2013, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Wow, what a long post to just say:
"this whole saving money business ... is pretty irrelevant to people with even very modest incomes"

My main point is that many people just seem to accept that they MUST HAVE A CAR (or maybe must have an expensive car), rather than rethinking the big picture of their lives.

QUESTIONS:
========
+ Do you really have such a quarrel with my simple and logical point of view (on rethinking the big picture)?

You have not answered this, so I shall ask again:
+ How do you get comfortable with your exposure to a possible future rise in oil prices?
First, I said other things in my post beside the sentence you quoted, but if you don't wish to acknowledge it or couldn't understand it, that's O.K.

Sure, some people are complacent and live unexamined lives. My quarrel with your "simple and logical point of view" is with its arrogance in assuming that the rethinking of the big picture must arrive at a single conclusion. Many posters in this thread have shown that they have indeed thought about the big picture of their lives and that the conclusions they have arrived at are different from yours. Not everyone wants to live the way you want to live.

To answer your second question, I am a flexible, resourceful, and thoughtful person. I am capable of making changes when necessary. In my case at age 68, I am more likely to have to give up driving because of health and/or vision problems than because the price of gas has made it impossible.

You underestimate the flexibility of our economic system. When gas prices rise, people find ways to drive less - or even stop driving altogether (your holy grail of a solution) - thus relieving demand on the reduced supply and thus moderating the price increases. Those of us not living from hand to mouth financially will still be able to afford driving for a long time. And if I'm wrong about that, refer to my previous paragraph above.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 10:31 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,767,214 times
Reputation: 10164
An American without a car is like a Comanche without a horse.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 10:52 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
Reputation: 14811
This lost whatever urban planning content it ever had a while ago.
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