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Old 02-23-2013, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,513,144 times
Reputation: 15950

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Would it be a disaster, if Americans bought less foreign junk from places like Walmarts?

If they come to live in smaller homes in denser neighborhoods, they are going to have less space for that junk anyway.

Instead, they might buy more of their food from local Farmers Markets, and that might be a very good thing.
But that's their decision to make; nobody appointed a high-minded "green clique" as judge, jury, and court of last resort.

 
Old 02-23-2013, 06:32 AM
 
3,463 posts, read 4,543,501 times
Reputation: 7127
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
But that's their decision to make; nobody appointed a high-minded "green clique" as judge, jury, and court of last resort.
We are where we are because America will always choose convenience over responsibility.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
We are where we are because America will always choose convenience over responsibility.
That's an ironic soundbite, but is probably not true.

More true than that might be:
"Americans will do the 'right' thing in the end, but may try everything else first."

I am looking forward to the day where a majority of the population "gets" it, and the vast energy and creativity of the nation is concentrated on modifying its living arrangement in a more positive way.

Here are some comments related to positive trends in place:

=== QUOTE : 'julius' ===
I'd like to see a greater diversity of housing types in general - currently, it's a herculean effort to build something not envisioned by the local zoning codes. I would point out that many folks do like to live in less dense communities and the major thing that would change their minds is going to be the cost of such an option. Higher gasoline prices will definitely be a factor there, but increased telecommuting could counterbalance that.
=== UNQUOTE ===

I agree with you, J.
A hopeful thing is that new types of communities are being built in America, and they tend to be less car dependent.
And many of them are proving to be highly successful.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
But that's their decision to make; nobody appointed a high-minded "green clique" as judge, jury, and court of last resort.
Who do you mean when you say "their decision"?
And the decision concerns what?

Highway spending and free parking favors motorists - who made THAT decision?
Road building got huge subsidies from the government when the 2009 Porculous program was announced - who made THAT decision?

I do think there is a very powerful MORAL argument against excessive car dependency, but that is not the argument that I am making. My argument is based on economics, not "high minded" moral considerations. It can be expressed like this:

"Car dependency is draining the wealth of our nation. And the drain will get worse and worse if/when the dollar sinks. We need to address this dependency sooner, not later."

Beyond this, we can debate how best to "address the challenge of excessive car dependency."

Do you really disagree with this? If you do, on what basis, if you please !
 
Old 02-23-2013, 07:40 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Thanks.
And if you want to add a serious response to that one... It could be very interesting.

(I am one of those guys who predicted a crash in US home prices months and even years before it happened, and took some ridicule for it. But after it happened, some people called me up to congratulate me for getting it right, even if being a bit early in making the forecast.)
And if you want to be a mod, go lobby someone to appoint you.

So you're a soothsayer, too! Good for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFL_City View Post
I think you're inadvertently making the hugely significant point that the Environmental Health article that Katiana cited didn't control for other things that might cause obesity other than one's neighborhood. That the BU study didn't apparently control for factors known to correlate with obesity such as diet, income, and race is kind of appalling, almost as much as the punctuation error in the abstract ("and who's [sic] streets are almost universally lined with sidewalks")
Now just a minute! That wasn't MY article, that was the article Geologic posted, referenced by a blog. My article correlated for all that stuff. Perhaps you could point out the typo; I don't see it.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
And if you want to be a mod, go lobby someone to appoint you.
So you're a soothsayer, too! Good for you.
No soothsayer, but I published various articles predicting a crash in property
 
Old 02-23-2013, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio516 View Post
The average car in the US gets 21 mpg.
The average american drives 13,000 miles/yr
The average gallon of gas costs $3.54 today.

That means the average american spends $2195 on gas per year.

The average american spends $750/yr on insurance

At 13,000 miles/yr, you need, on average, 2 $40 oil changes.
You'll need a $350 major service every 2.77 years, so $126/yr
You'll need to replace $400 of tires every 5.77 years, so $69/yr

Total cost of owning a car in america is $3220.

If you live downtown Ann Arbor, you don't need a car. But groceries are lacking. But there are quite a few zipcars to hit Krogers or Meijers. You could take the AATA to Krogers or the Ann Arbor Saline Meijers. Theres also a nice co-op by Kerrytown.
Thanks for the figures. They seem to add up, but you have forgotten:

+ The capital cost, including depreciation or financing cost of the vehicle, and
+ Parking and tolls.

Add these, and you could easily double the cost.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:09 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Thanks for the figures. They seem to add up, but you have forgotten:

+ The capital cost, including depreciation or financing cost of the vehicle, and
+ Parking and tolls.

Add these, and you could easily double the cost.
Not everyone has to pay for parking at work, in fact, most people don't. Some employers will subsidize parking, too. Most people, again, do not pay tolls. It is not necessary to finance a vehicle. The last time we paid interest on a vehicle, 20 years ago, we put the loan on our mortgage so we could get a tax deduction. And, we paid off the car (van actually) in two years. For the next 20 years, we paid cash for cars, bought infrequently, I'd add. This fall, needing a car and having just paid for a wedding, we bought a car with zero percent financing, and again, hope to pay it off long before the 5 years is up. I just saw a commercial on TV last night that Ford is now offering 0% financing. Depreciation is a moving target that keeps going down the longer you keep the car.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
... I just saw a commercial on TV last night that Ford is now offering 0% financing. Depreciation is a moving target that keeps going down the longer you keep the car.
0% financing does not mean Zero capital cost, you still have to pay back the principal amount of the loan
 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,377 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Not everyone has to pay for parking at work, in fact, most people don't. Some employers will subsidize parking, too. Most people, again, do not pay tolls. It is not necessary to finance a vehicle. The last time we paid interest on a vehicle, 20 years ago, we put the loan on our mortgage so we could get a tax deduction. And, we paid off the car (van actually) in two years. For the next 20 years, we paid cash for cars, bought infrequently, I'd add. This fall, needing a car and having just paid for a wedding, we bought a car with zero percent financing, and again, hope to pay it off long before the 5 years is up. I just saw a commercial on TV last night that Ford is now offering 0% financing. Depreciation is a moving target that keeps going down the longer you keep the car.
You are sensibly prudent with your car-related expenditures, but not all are like that.
I am quoting average figures, and so very everyone below the average, there is likely to be another above it. (that would be definitely true, for the median figure.)

If you pay off a car over 5 years, then for each of those years, you have to add on 20% of the purchase price to your other costs.
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