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Old 10-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Teens generally can't afford to do anything. At that age not many of them make enough to do much at all. If they wanted to drive, they'd find a way. There isn't as much interest in driving, and more interest in other things, so there is less incentive to make it happen. I had no money in my teens, but I really wanted to drive, so that was all I spent my money on. I can see that if I wasn't interested in driving that bad then I probably wouldn't have bothered making the effort to make it happen. Maybe I would have spent my money on a sport or some other activity, but I think with the limited funds teenagers have pretty much always had, if one thing isn't your priority then it doesn't happen. And these days there are so many distractions away from making it the priority it used to be that it just goes by the wayside as being "too expensive".

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Old 10-24-2013, 05:54 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I had a paper route, cut grass, took the boat out an picked up oysters, sold them by the bushel. Made enough money for the car and gas as well as some fun money.

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Cheapest car I owned ended up costing $0.16 per mile including buying it for $800 and not having any major issues with it, so at the AAA's 10,000 miles per year that is still $1,600 per year, I can have a lot of fun for $1,600 per year!
What's impressive is the friends of mine who started out not owning cars because they were expensive now have jobs that pay well and they are still choosing not to own a car and it's allowing them to enjoy life all that much more.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:50 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Study: Teens can't afford to drive | The Detroit News

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And there are other reasons that teens are putting off getting licenses. Most states have imposed graduated driver license programs that mean it can take years to get an unrestricted license. Starting in 2011, beginning teen drivers in Michigan faced limits on the number of passengers and shorter nighttime driving hours.

States also are requiring more training for young drivers. Many states, including Michigan, ended free driver education programs administered by local school districts, meaning that young drivers and their families must pay for private driver training. Other states have raised the minimum age at which drivers can be licensed. But those rule changes took place, in large part, before 2006.
There is this tidbit, too. Not sure how much of an effect this has, since it appears to vary by state, but overall it sounds like getting a license is becoming more European in nature.

Now, if only there were some way to price driving out of the range of those who currently play with their stupid-phones while driving.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:28 AM   #75 (permalink)
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I'm kinda torn here;, some of y'all are reminding me of Old Economy Steven more than a little bit, but on the other hand if younger (or older, or any age) people actually want to drive and money's the only problem.. you CAN just go buy a cheap broken car and fix it. I don't have any wizard magic or special education in fixing cars, I just grabbed wrenches and books and got started. Machines are just machines, if you can dress yourself in the morning you can figure out how to fix anything on a car. I keep a freakin SHO on the road and have never been educated in automotive repair by anything other than books, failure and the internet. (If you've ever owned a SHO you know what I mean)

But I'm ok with the idea of less people driving, that's cool. I like bicycling and I'd love to see cities get more bike friendly, more public transit, and less congestion/collisions/smog on the road.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Let's see . . this country has not created a single "family wage" job since 1999, student debt loan is astronomical . . and the AHCA will drain another $3k annually from a 20-something . . money he doesn't have.

Yet, if someone needs a car they'll find a way (as distinct from wants). Much of my skill was self-taught (reading factory service manuals), but it was the decision to buy the tools which made the difference in keeping transportation costs low. It may have been someone around here who made the comment, and it is apt, that the tool is 90% and learning to use it well is 10%. Doing the grunt work and hiring out the specialized, skilled work hours to near-minimum was a good approach. But this approach also meant housing that could/would accommodate working on the car on the premises. And foregoing a social life of any note for weeks at a time.

I lived (and now live) in cities where public transportation is fair to poor (times versus distances) and ever-present heat make it highly unattractive. These have been metro areas predicated on automobile ownership where one is unlikely to find decent employment without a car. So sacrifices to that end [future orientation] paid off. The current vehicle was paid for in cash, used. Smart Spec and Smart Use have kept CPM as well as annual costs to a minimum.

To have a social life -- to put myself back into 20-something shoes -- among those one might wish to marry in a post WWII city it would seem that a car is still mandatory. Better to have the options open, in other words.

I do wonder if the "I can't have the car I want" syndrome is not simply being intimidated by learning to maintain and repair (plus associated costs), but in not going the next step, aesthetically, and cleaning said car to the toothbrush-in-the-crevices level. As my Depression-era childhood Dad would have said, old clothing that is repaired, cleaned and pressed brings no shame to the wearer. The time to buff out faded paint and to do the cheap, but worthwhile changes (new carpet, headliner and seatcovers) is the sort of thing that causes it all to be too much, emotionally, to those who believe that there is nothing in life lasting more than twenty-minutes that cannot be interrupted by yet another cretinous tweet, twitter or twaddle. (And they are. All of them. Same for tattos. Hilarious that some believe that there is "good" and "bad" therein. Same for t-shirts worn in public. Etc. Ad infinitum).

On the other hand, extending childhood to age 25 seems to me to be the answer to the question of why the younger don't want to drive (so much). Yes, expensive. Yes, time-consuming . . but where are the jobs (not McJobs) geographically, and where is the place (more in the heart, if not the head) to which I'm going? A rudderless ship will have no crew.

Human evolution it is said, is diverging along two pathways. The very few who will wait to marry and establish a household once a career is underway (now usually in jobs protected from competition), and the four-fifths of Americans for whom a two parent family is a luxury not seemingly affordable are on separate pathways. Multi-generational households with a family car makes more sense. The poor have to reproduce sooner so that both the youhg adults can be employed full-time, and their parents still young enough to raise the youngest before the early death attendant on the worse occupations and shorter lifespans arising from poor health. 18 versus 28, for first children . . . after all, the entire meaning of human life is to reproduce. Nothing else comes close. And a car was once a way to have privacy [sex] that is no longer so necessary. Five-generations per century is quite different than three, folks.

Cars are like kitchens: elevated out of proportion to their importance. The garage should take just as much money to finish out as the kitchen, and maybe more, as it is not solely a place of consumption (and some income offsetting), but is possibly income-producing. If both are seen as "shops" (manufactories) then some balance is restored. A car that covers the basics of reliable, long-lasting transportation more than covers the costs.

I think these boys need to grow a pair. Shop and kitchen are both vital. A man who ca't fix a car is like a woman who can't can food. Of questionable desirability as a mate. (Submit whatever skills: handling a pair of horses or midwifery. Etc). That would be the personal side of things. The larger context -- that the future will not be like the past -- was best summed up by Morris Berman a few days ago:

"The US made money the purpose of life, everyone bought into it, and now there's no money."

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Old 10-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Having lived most of my life carless, and even now, writing about and driving cars for a living, still not being keen on it or seeing the necessity of it.

Of course, that's because I live in a country built around a lack of car ownership. Where the teeming mass of blue collar and many low-to-middle-level white collar workers commute via public transport. (Said public transport being nearly fully privatized in this country)

If it's available, there's nothing wrong with public transport. Nothing wrong with not wanting to spend either money (cost of purchase, registration, insurance, gasoline, repair) or time (which is also worth money) on a motor vehicle. Not unless you absolutely need it to deliver goods or equipment for business.

I realize Amierca is a little different. Mostly in the fact that public transport outside major cities absolutely sucks. But given a youth that has little money, fewer available jobs, and an electronic means of satisfying their social obligations (no need to drive out to the bar to meet up for beers or to drive up to see your family more than once a year) or sometimes even work (telecommuting and meeting online... rocks), the actual need to own a car and to learn its inner workings is becoming as outdated a skill as knowing how to field-strip a rifle. Well... both are useful skills to maintain, if ever civilization were to fail tomorrow... but they grant no survival benefit in the here and now.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
To have a social life -- to put myself back into 20-something shoes -- among those one might wish to marry in a post WWII city it would seem that a car is still mandatory.
This brings up a neglected point about teen driving: it was seldom the driving that was the really important thing about getting a license and car, it was the parking. Having a car gave you a way to get private with that interesting person of the opposite sex. Maybe today, with both parents working, that can more easily be done at home?

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I think these boys need to grow a pair. Shop and kitchen are both vital. A man who ca't fix a car is like a woman who can't can food.
Sorry, but your sexual stereotypes are showing. While I generally don't can food (I really dislike the taste of most canned food, and would rather freeze or dry it), I have made batches of grape, crabapple, and plum jam in the last couple of weeks, and may do a batch of quince today.

And I can fix cars, handle horses, and sew on buttons too. "Specialization is for insects" - R. A. Heinlein
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:58 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Gender stereotyping is accurate enough, same for racial differences. It exists, and is seen universally. A minority of exceptions -- and no prohibitions, legally -- don't change gender-specific tasks or responsibilities better suited to one or the other.

Lets understand that a kitchen -- attached to the main house, air-conditioned and replete with highly expensive devices and room finish detail, etc -- is hardly central to the finances of a married couple. The house is enormously expensive, yet the second-highest expenditure after that house is transportation . . and the money spent on care/maintenance (past the land, additional structure and finish) is nothing by comparison to a kitchen. Cars are seen as disposable, and over a working lifetime, steal money as they are not husbanded with care by the owner. "Kitchen granite countertops" is the cry of the stupid, emotions over reason.

The rarity of women who work on cars is case in point, whether as hobby or as profession. The savings in money, over a decade, points to the garage as being more important than the kitchen.

A house is a workshop, on several levels. Itself a machine. And if land cultivated around it is part of family well-being, then even more so. The part support the whole.

The boy needs to grow a pair. What might make him attractive as a potential husband is not that he owns a car, but that he knows how to use one . . he might understand where it fits into a larger picture.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post

The rarity of women who work on cars is case in point, whether as hobby or as profession.
This woman can/does repair cars, lay concrete, frame houses to code, build almost anything and made all of the clothes you see.. and is unemployed/can't find work.

America, F yeah.

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