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Old 09-28-2009, 01:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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...

Although I know it would be very hard for some, as well as the general economy, I think we should be paying more for gas to make the incentive for all to be more conservative in their fuel consumption.

When it hit $4 a gallon here last year there was a real transformation in the types of cars you saw on the highway and the way people drove. Now it's back to the same old aggressive insanity.

...
I agree. I like to claim that the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Smart, Honda Insight II, and Cobalt XFE are in the USA *because* of higher gas prices.

(and drivers were monster mean today)

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Old 09-28-2009, 01:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old Mechanic -



I agree. I like to claim that the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Smart, Honda Insight II, and Cobalt XFE are in the USA *because* of higher gas prices.

(and drivers were monster mean today)

CarloSW2
I have to agree. However it gets more complex when one really breaks down the full impact of high fuel costs on us.

Am I the only person that noticed our American/World Recession all started after a few weeks of over $4.00 (USD) gas prices? It is my family's belief that high fuel prices is exactly what got our economy in such a mess! I know the media never says that, but I happen to feel very strongly about the high cost of fuel sending the economies of the world into a tail spin. I never bought the housing market started it- except for the fact that many people were using their credit cards to fill up their cars/trucks just to afford to drive to work and back, and when they tried paying off their credit cards they could no longer afford their HOUSE!

I agree higher fuel prices lead to more fuel efficient cars and trucks, but if that price gets too high it starts to throw people out of jobs, which is exactly what I believe we seen sparked back in fall of 2008.

I also believe that China has captured so many of our previous middle income paying jobs that something had to burst. But I still feel the catalyst was the high oil prices of late 2008. I really do not wish to see fuel go up to the levels it was in 2008. Maybe somewhere between today's price and what it was in 2008 would work out better.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Many, many stoopids decided it was feasible to commute 100+ miles/day. Time for a reality check.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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...and when they tried paying off their credit cards they could no longer afford their HOUSE!
But still, it was their decisions to a) drive a guzzler; and b) buy a house they can barely afford with an unconventional mortgage that was the cause. They were skating on the thin ice all along: $4 gas was just where it happened to crack first.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Now Now.. Lets put this in the proper perspective. Many people that choose to drive so called gas guzzlers bought these cars/trucks way back when gasoline was 95 cents a gallon.

I live in a location where many people drive around 100 miles to and back from work, and they are not stupid. They also often drive 4x4 trucks. What happen was when they first located in the country and got a job in the city the gasoline was inexpensive enough that their living was fine. Also the jobs USED TO PAY MORE. But when gasoline slowly went up from 95 cents to over $4.00 and they could find NO other jobs to replace their paychecks and health care, THEN the economy faulted. I do not blame these people for not being able to see the future. Back in the 1990's gasoline was under $1.00 a gallon for 87 octane and the economy was booming. One could not even eat a Big Mac without finding a tiny application for "Help Wanted" underneath their food on their tray. High fuel has changed all of that (imho). I feel we are still feeling the shocks from 2008. I also fault the habit most Americans have of buying the cheapest goods made in China no matter what has impacted our economy very badly. This kind of stuff costs this country millions of good paying jobs, but nobody wishes to discuss that.

If many people don't find a way of driving far less or getting much better mileage (or alternative transportation) then I fear this entire cycle is bound to replay it's self again. It's fine to worry about the environment, but lets not throw away our economy while we are at it.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Jammer -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
...

Am I the only person that noticed our American/World Recession all started after a few weeks of over $4.00 (USD) gas prices? It is my family's belief that high fuel prices is exactly what got our economy in such a mess! I know the media never says that, but I happen to feel very strongly about the high cost of fuel sending the economies of the world into a tail spin. I never bought the housing market started it- except for the fact that many people were using their credit cards to fill up their cars/trucks just to afford to drive to work and back, and when they tried paying off their credit cards they could no longer afford their HOUSE!

...
I agree that high gas prices was one part of the fall. In my ideal world, gas prices would increase *gradually*, so that the auto companies and general economy would have time to adapt (aka adopt "kei car" policies and such). How come Europe and Japan are able to function with gas prices that have been historically much higher than ours?

In terms of bubbles, I look at it this way :

Internet bubble -> Housing bubble -> Gas price bubble (with help from war)

Part of the economic bubble was people borrowing against homes they already owned or had cheap mortgages on. I see so many luxury cars in front of dumpy homes, it's unbelieveable. I should start a photo collection of luxury cars that imply people living beyond their means.

The way I look at it, the people that have the money are just running from bubble to bubble, skimming the profits off, and leaving everyone else with the (empty) bag. I heard that even today, the toxic debts are being "cleaned up" and put back on the bank ledgers. They're still toxic, but they've already become "acceptable" again. Welcome to Housing Bubble II (ha ha, HB-I was not the housing bubble to end all housing bubbles).

Another factor in the price of gas are all the wars we've been fighting. This allows for speculation to run rampant. You can make an argument that debates the current high cost of fuel versus the *real* cost of fuel. In my opinion, when you include our military expenditures in the Middle East, the real cost is $10 a gallon or more. In the short run the current cost of fuel does damage to our economy. But in the long run this will force us to conserve and will allow alternative energy economies to become viable.

CarloSW2
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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OK Let's try putting it in the proper perspective again:

That the U.S. and the world are depleting a finite resource has been no secret for at least 35 years.

People and Americans in particular have had ample opportunities to be proactive. They chose instant gratification instead.

Anyone that built their life around cheap energy was stoopid, period. And by built their life I mean 100 mile commutes, in V8 4x4s, back and forth to McMansions they couldn't afford- and afford to heat and cool- in the first place.

Yup, gas was 95 cents when I got my start too. I didn't buy the most expensive house I qualified for. I made being within bicycling distance to work one of my house-shopping criteria and then I followed through by bike commuting most of the time for 13 years. I added insulation and a new high-efficiency furnace with programmable t-stat to my house before heating costs spiked. Gee, all that and no government financial assistance besides- how did I ever think of it??? It's called awareness.

You know when you're driving at night and you come to a rise and you can plainly see there is a vehicle coming towards you on the other side of that rise and you have lots and lots of time to dim your headlights before they crest the hill? Have you ever noticed that 90% of those dumb em effers evidently aren't situationally aware enough to dim before they crest- they hafta get blasted with headlights before it occurs to them to dim their lights? And even then that often isn't enough, you have to flash them. AWARENESS. SELFISHNESS. STOOPIDITY.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Jammer -

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Now Now.. Lets put this in the proper perspective. Many people that choose to drive so called gas guzzlers bought these cars/trucks way back when gasoline was 95 cents a gallon.

...
Yes, but I think that is a false reality. I would argue the old cliche "the bigger they are, the harder they fall". The longer we have cheap gas, the bigger we crash in the future. Unfortunately for you and me, that crash is happening right now.

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Old 09-28-2009, 03:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Part of the economic bubble was people borrowing against homes they already owned or had cheap mortgages on. I see so many luxury cars in front of dumpy homes, it's unbelieveable. I should start a photo collection of luxury cars that imply people living beyond their means.
Heh heh, bulls-eye!

I've been a landlord, and I've seen how trailer dwellers live. PRIORITIES. Or, rather, the lack of them.

You will see new/nice vehicles and expensive toys in front of clapped out trailers.

You will see said people in their new/nice vehicles, in- say, new leathers which I KNOW cost about $1000, at the grocery store using food stamps.

I've had renters who repeatedly failed to pay rent. It didn't escape my notice that they did have money for cell phones, cable tv, video games, smokes, pull-tabs, bingo, what had to be substantial liquor store and bar tabs, take-out food every day, etc.

After a very long, very generous grace period for rent delinquency I asked a gal if sitting outside somewhere with her cable tv sounded like a good idea? She absolutely couldn't believe it when the day finally came I booted her *** out.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Good points all the way.

I happen to believe part of the reason our economy was going so good over a decade ago was partly due to the sudden importation of cheap goods from China- that meant in the short term our standard of living went up, only to be at the cost of millions of middle income paying jobs that we have now lost. I guess I'm one of the few here they prefer to buy American, but I also believe that due to the competition from the imports our own domestic cars/trucks are of much better quality.

I do not blame people that have to drive a long ways to work. Most people prefer to live near their families, many have to take care of their relatives that are elderly or disabled, and it's not always easy to pack up the bags and move to the big city to save gas. However, I managed to trade my 2005 med size 4X4 Chevy Colorado (due to a bad wreck, insurance settlement paid for my Cobalt XFE) in for the most fuel efficient car I could buy with the money I had for a new car.

I do question why more people near me don't trade in their full size Dodge Rams and other gas guzzlers, which often get around 10 MPG for the older models. I very well could be one of the people that will again have to drive a long ways to find a decent full time job. Personally, I am struggling right now to find full time work. But I did go from 17MPG to over 45 MPG. Most people I know that drive such large trucks rarely ever use them for towing or hauling stuff, and that does puzzle me as to why so many continue to settle for less than 20MPG and drive 80 to 100 miles a day just for their jobs. Often times such drivers claim they are safer in these large trucks because of all of the sheet metal involved in a crash.

Fact is many prefer to live in the country while about 99% of the jobs are in the big city. So people either have to make enough money to cover their gas bill, or perhaps get much higher MPG to get by.

I once worked for a guy that used to pick me up in his extended long bed Dodge Ram pickup truck which hauled a large trailer full of tools. He would normally go about 95MPH on the 70MPH interstate for 45 miles to the big city, and he got some of the lowest MPG of anything I ever seen, about 6 or 7 MPG at best- I think a semi truck gets better mileage! I never could understand how this small business man could not understand how much $$ he was losing by simply speeding so fast. He could of saved some serious $$ just by slowing down from 95 to 65! And the police gave him several tickets as well, but nothing slowed him down even while he was driving such a large 4x4 hauling a large full trailer of tools.

Nevertheless I live near many people that can not easily move due to family roots and family obligations, yet they must drive almost 100 miles round trip to keep a decent job. I do not fault such people if they just to their part to drive and high MPG car at a speed that returns decent mileage. It's the best some can do.

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