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large suvs

Posted by bill_h (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 10, 05 at 1:04

the detroit news 12/9/05 front page, "partys over for large suvs as tastes shift" forcasters at both automakers agree that demand for large suvs is unlikely to return to peak levels. gee ya think! who didnt see this one coming?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: large suvs

I saw this coming over a year ago. That's when the guys here were clamoring for the GOVERNMENT to ban them simply because "they" didn't like them. I said the MARKET will drive the sales. And as usual, the MARKET is doing just that. The MARKET is leaning to the "crossover" SUVs. And they will be the next "hot" item.

The Government kept it's nose out of it and things changed all by themselves. As it should!

But I still happen to like my '03 Expedition. It tows my cargo trailer quite nicely. Something those crossover vehicles can't do.


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RE: large suvs

Obviously GM and Ford didn't see it coming or else they wouldn't be closing plants and having massive layoffs.


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RE: large suvs

I'm sure GM & Ford saw it coming, they just chose to ignore it. They thought they could dictate supply & demand. But customers proved them wrong.

Toyota saw it coming, and reacted. ;-)


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RE: large suvs

Obviously GM and Ford didn't see it coming or else they wouldn't be closing plants and having massive layoffs.
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Oh, they saw it coming. That's why they came out with the Escape and the HHR as well as the vans that look like SUVs. At least DC was ahead of the curve with the Pacifica. But these companies are so big and top heavy they cannot react in under 3 years to any quick changes in the market. And what really caused the decline in large SUVs was the spike in gasoline. Just like 1974 when we dumped those 12 MPG Chevy Novas, Pintos that exploded and Chevy Vegas that actually rusted before your very eyes for Toyota Corollas. (29MPG for $2500 bucks!)
But the market is fickle. As an example, the Ford Excursion has been killed off. It was big, cumbersome and got lousy mileage. So the market stayed away. But so too is the market staying away from the Toyota Echo. Small, well made, economical, and low priced. But Toyota is killing that off too for lack of sales. So go figure.


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RE: large suvs

CH

I never saw anyone on this forum say that the government should ban SUV's. There is a difference between regluation and banishment. The government regulates tons of things that I'm sure you are in agreement with. For example, the government regulated bumper heights in the past, so why should SUV and truck drivers be exempt from laws that all other drivers are subject to?

The fact is that it has been obvious for many years that the Mass Popularity of these gas guzzlers was dangerous to our society both in terms of road safety and energy usage. This has been discussed over and over. When only limited numbers, such as rural dwellers, construction workers, etc., were driving them, there was never a big stink over the issue.

Of course they have nice features which is why they are popular, but in uncontrolled numbers they cause problems. Therefore, I believe it is reasonable to create some disincentive (other than market forces) to limit their popularity.

The problem with letting the Market control everything is that the market doesn't care about ten years down the road. It cashes in as many chips as it can while the deal is hot, and then it walks away from the table leaving the losers holding the bag. Instead of treating resources as if they are limited, in the way that families budget their expenses, the market waits until the bill collector is knocking at the door and then it adjusts only because there is little choice. We have entrusted our govnernment to manage certain things in our society. There are other historical examples of past laws where the population, through the process of democracy, decided the market isn't always our best leader.

Reasonable minds can disagree on issues, but you appear to be trying to bolster your position by misrepresenting what opposing arguments have put forth.


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RE: large suvs

..."For example, the government regulated bumper heights in the past, so why should SUV and truck drivers be exempt from laws that all other drivers are subject to?"...
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Get with the times Jeremy. The bumpers on my truck are the same height as a Tarus. So there goes that argument.

..."The fact is that it has been obvious for many years that the Mass Popularity of these gas guzzlers was dangerous to our society both in terms of road safety and energy usage. This has been discussed over and over. When only limited numbers, such as rural dwellers, construction workers, etc., were driving them, there was never a big stink over the issue."...
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My truck gets 20 MPG. Much better than my Dakota which gets 16. And it's classified as ULEV by the Feds. Again, that argument goes out the window.

..."Therefore, I believe it is reasonable to create some disincentive (other than market forces) to limit their popularity."...
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And who may I ask is the one to cause this "disincentive" other than your pals in the Government by using taxes or the courts to regulate things? (TAX THE OTHER GUY! NOT ME!)

We have more oil inside the boundaries of this great nation than is in the middle east. Even shale oil is being revisited because now it can be cost effective to produce. And Colorado has virtually billions of barrels of it. And Utah wants to explore for the oil they KNOW is there.
If the market had it's way, we would have been drilling in Alaska years ago and we would have been drilling in the Gulf more. And we would have been free of Middle Eastern ties. But the "America is always wrong" crowd won't allow it.
And don't go into Global Warming. It's happening as it has for eons. We didn't cause it and we can't stop it.

..."Reasonable minds can disagree on issues, but you appear to be trying to bolster your position by misrepresenting what opposing arguments have put forth."...
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So you're the only one that's reasonable? No, my friend. You are on a crusade to force your views on the population by governmental or court rulings because you can't get it done through the ballot box. Our Constitution tells the GOVERNMENT what it can and cannot do. The Liberal's Constitution tells the PEOPLE what they can and cannot do. And the American people are not subscribing to it.

Oh, by the way. Wholesale prices for large SUVs have come back to near pre Katrina levels. So they are becoming popular again. That means people are buying them again. The American people don't want more regulations. I just don't understand what you have against freedom of choice. But I do understand that you want to dictate to your fellow Americans what they should and should not drive. Then run for office and let the people VOTE on your ideas. THAT'S the American way!

Merry Christmas. And if you're politically correct and offended by the word Christmas, happy RamaHannaKwanzMas!


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RE: large suvs

maybe a luxury tax on full siz suvs? but i think the full size suv craze is about dead anyways, the people that really need them will continue to buy them, and folks who buy them to keep up some kind of image will move on to the next new thing.


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RE: large suvs

The Toyota Echo didn't sell because it was ugggggggly!Then Toyota put the same engine and tranny from the Echo in the tiny Scion XA and the boxlike XB and they seem to be selling well. Either is no beauty contest winner and the XA is actually smaller and more costly than the Echo was,so go figure.Maybe the Echo was marketed poorly here as it's still being sold in other countries,but was pulled from the U.S. for 2006.


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RE: large suvs

..."For example, the government regulated bumper heights in the past, so why should SUV and truck drivers be exempt from laws that all other drivers are subject to?"...
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Get with the times Jeremy. The bumpers on my truck are the same height as a Tarus. So there goes that argument.

Maybe bumper height is not the issue it was, but "full-size" trucks and SUVs still are much heavier than most passenger cars. Physics dictates that they will cause more damage in accidents to other (smaller) vehicles and to property. Trucks also are exempt from many other safety standards which apply to passenger cars.

..."The fact is that it has been obvious for many years that the Mass Popularity of these gas guzzlers was dangerous to our society both in terms of road safety and energy usage. This has been discussed over and over. When only limited numbers, such as rural dwellers, construction workers, etc., were driving them, there was never a big stink over the issue."...
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My truck gets 20 MPG. Much better than my Dakota which gets 16. And it's classified as ULEV by the Feds. Again, that argument goes out the window.

And the folks who used to buy "full-size" Fords and Chevys when they wanted "room" and "safety" could be getting 25-30 mpg on the highway. Much better than your truck which gets 20. You forget that there are costs to refining, delivering, and burning that much more fuel. I guess that argument goes out the window.

..."Therefore, I believe it is reasonable to create some disincentive (other than market forces) to limit their popularity."...
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And who may I ask is the one to cause this "disincentive" other than your pals in the Government by using taxes or the courts to regulate things? (TAX THE OTHER GUY! NOT ME!)

Taxation has been used to manipulate public behaviors for -- oh, about forever. It seems to have worked pretty well over the last 200 years or so.

Aside from the weird belief that taxation (the funding of government services) is only for "other guys," the market is not a good regulator of public behavior. The market is out for whatever it can get now and it really doesn't care about future common good or liabilities.

This same market has moved much American manufacturing and jobs outside the U.S. Is that good? Yes, if you're buying shirts and TVs. No, if your job disappeared or your company is purchased by one outside the U.S. or you're being pressed to reduce your wages because some guy in India or China will do your job for one-fourth of what you will. You wanna talk market? Let's talk market.

We have more oil inside the boundaries of this great nation than is in the middle east. Even shale oil is being revisited because now it can be cost effective to produce. And Colorado has virtually billions of barrels of it. And Utah wants to explore for the oil they KNOW is there.
If the market had it's way, we would have been drilling in Alaska years ago and we would have been drilling in the Gulf more. And we would have been free of Middle Eastern ties.

Again, the market responds to today's wants, without regard to the future. There are sources of fuel which are now economically viable. Frankly, I think we ought to look at all of them. But we should do it with open eyes and a full accounting of the costs -- what we gain by lowering our dependence on some of the most corrupt regimes outside of this country; what we lose in air quality or habitat.

A lot of guys I know lament the fact that duck hunting is pretty poor anymore. Duck habitat has been altered and hunting may never be as good again. Is there a connection between drilling for oil and ducks? Doubtful. Is it worth losing duck hunting to gain a source of fuel for some years? We may decide that it is. But it's clear that making big changes to the environment can result in some unwelcome -- and frequently permanent -- changes. The market does not account for that; we must.

But the "America is always wrong" crowd won't allow it.
And don't go into Global Warming. It's happening as it has for eons. We didn't cause it and we can't stop it.

Just because a situation exists doesn't mean that you have to do things which make it worse.

Global warming may have been around for centuries, but that's not a license to accelerate it. By that logic, we might as well not bother arresting people who kill other people. Murder has been happening for eons. We didn't cause it and we can't stop it. So why bother spending all that money prosecuting murderers and putting them into prison? It won't stop murder.

..."Reasonable minds can disagree on issues, but you appear to be trying to bolster your position by misrepresenting what opposing arguments have put forth."...
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So you're the only one that's reasonable? No, my friend. You are on a crusade to force your views on the population by governmental or court rulings because you can't get it done through the ballot box. Our Constitution tells the GOVERNMENT what it can and cannot do. The Liberal's Constitution tells the PEOPLE what they can and cannot do. And the American people are not subscribing to it.

Huh??? Like you're doing any different? Drill wherever. Let me endanger others on the road. I suspect you would react decisively to what you perceived as a threat to your family or property. Who are you to deny anyone else that choice?

Oh, by the way. Wholesale prices for large SUVs have come back to near pre Katrina levels. So they are becoming popular again. That means people are buying them again. The American people don't want more regulations. I just don't understand what you have against freedom of choice. But I do understand that you want to dictate to your fellow Americans what they should and should not drive. Then run for office and let the people VOTE on your ideas. THAT'S the American way!

The American people don't want more regulations? I call BS. They want regulation when they think it's in their interests to have it. I'm guessing most people would agree with regulations that limit how much interest they can be charged on their car loan. There is no grass-roots effort that I'm aware of to raise the BAC level you can have before being considered "driving drunk". I don't see Republican talking points about how it's not fair to ask questions of those poor little oil companies about the profits they were making as they were crying about washed-out refineries. BS.

Buy the vehicle you want. But pay the freight. No whining about $3/gallon gasoline. No crying about paying more road taxes to make up for the extra wear and tear your vehicle puts on roads and for the incremental costs of shipping so much more fuel. No noise about how insurance costs more to cover the knuckleheads who believe that buying a $40,000 SUV or pickup allows them to suspend the laws of physics. No grief about people with more efficient vehicles getting tax credits and preferential treatment on the roads. Don't make me subsidize your ride. Pay as you go. Don't pretend that you can do whatever you want, without cost.

Merry Christmas. And if you're politically correct and offended by the word Christmas, happy RamaHannaKwanzMas!

Happy ChrismaHanaKwanzaa to you, too! :-)


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RE: large suvs

I saw an old smiling guy on a shiny new looking scooter that he had adapted onto the back seat area a box ... and had bags in it. Apparently been shopping.

Scooter had bumpers - I wondered if they were speed rated and at the right ride height.


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RE: large suvs

And the folks who used to buy "full-size" Fords and Chevys when they wanted "room" and "safety" could be getting 25-30 mpg on the highway. Much better than your truck which gets 20. You forget that there are costs to refining, delivering, and burning that much more fuel. I guess that argument goes out the window.
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Yeah, but those cars don't pull a 5,000 pound trailer either. I pull one all the time in my crafts business. But we're thinking of getting a bigger trailer. A 38 foot gooseneck. So we're looking at an F350 Crew Cab dually diesel. Now THERE'S a truck! One guy came to a show in a TopKick pickup towing his trailer. WOW! (Do a Google for TopKick pickup and you'll see.)

"...Aside from the weird belief that taxation (the funding of government services) is only for "other guys," the market is not a good regulator of public behavior.."

But you guys only want to tax the "rich". Not yourselves. You have major problems when they don't pay their "fair share". Whereas I believe we're ALL taxed too much. I believe everyone should pay taxes. That's why I was in favor of the National Sales Tax that was discussed. That way the people that use the Government will also pay for it. And I will pay a bigger tax on my truck than you will on your car. That's only fair.

"...This same market has moved much American manufacturing and jobs outside the U.S. Is that good?..."

The American auto makers built the plants in Central America before NAFTA. Why? Because there were huge tariffs on American goods shipped there and no tariffs on goods coming from there. And the fastest growing segment of buyers for the smaller cars was Central and South America. So they went where the main customers were. And they shipped the cars to the US tariff free.

"...Just because a situation exists doesn't mean that you have to do things which make it worse..."

I have a question for you. The Earth has experienced three ice ages. That means there was MASSIVE GLOBAL COOLING and MASSIVE GLOBAL WARMING three times in the past. What caused it? Was man responsible? In the 8th century Greenland and Iceland were crop growing regions. That was a mere 1,300 years ago. A nanosecond in the overall history of the planet. That means the earth was a LOT warmer than today! What caused it? And what caused the massive global cooling since then? And so exactly WHAT IS the "normal" temperature of the planet? Scientists say we're coming out of a mini ice age. So is the Earth going back to "normal" and we're trying to stop it? I'll await your answer.

"...Don't make me subsidize your ride. Pay as you go. Don't pretend that you can do whatever you want, without cost..."
And I agree. Don't make me subsidize the hybrids then either. What's good for one is good for the other.

And it RamaHannaKwanzMas.
It covers all the major holidays at once. Ramadan, Hannakuh, Kwanzaa and Christmas. It covers those that get "offended" for a living and want to dictate to others how things should be done.
But I gotta go now. I heat my home with a renewable source. So I gotta throw some trees in the woodstove.


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RE: large suvs

Re: the Toyota Echo - It is *not* being discontinued; rather, a new, revised model is replacing it because the Echo is at the end of its usual 4-5 year life cycle. The new version will be called the Yaris though (which was what the old Echo was already called in Europe). Pictures are on the ToyotaUSA.com website.


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RE: large suvs

Looks a lot like the Scion XA,but I think they could come up with a better name than Yaris!Yaris Bueller's Day Off?

Here is a link that might be useful: Toyota Yaris


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RE: large suvs

[quoted]And the folks who used to buy "full-size" Fords and Chevys when they wanted "room" and "safety" could be getting 25-30 mpg on the highway. Much better than your truck which gets 20. You forget that there are costs to refining, delivering, and burning that much more fuel. I guess that argument goes out the window.
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Yeah, but those cars don't pull a 5,000 pound trailer either. I pull one all the time in my crafts business. But we're thinking of getting a bigger trailer. A 38 foot gooseneck. So we're looking at an F350 Crew Cab dually diesel. Now THERE'S a truck! One guy came to a show in a TopKick pickup towing his trailer. WOW! (Do a Google for TopKick pickup and you'll see.)

I can understand buying a truck if you have a large trailer to pull. But where I live, most of the pickups and SUVs don't tow large trailers (they don't even have hitches) and they have never been off-road (unless you count sliding into the ditch because whoever was driving it "lost control" of it). Those trucks are sold on the basis of how tough the buyer thinks it makes them look; they certainly not being used to carry the people and stuff that even a mid-size Ford or Chevy could handle.

I've seen the TopKick in the car mags. It's quite a truck. It's interesting that the diesel engine isn't standard, given that the target market is towing bigger trailers and could use the grunt down low. And I am a little surprised a Ford guy would go for a GMC.... :-)

[quoted]"...Aside from the weird belief that taxation (the funding of government services) is only for "other guys," the market is not a good regulator of public behavior.."

But you guys only want to tax the "rich". Not yourselves. You have major problems when they don't pay their "fair share". Whereas I believe we're ALL taxed too much. I believe everyone should pay taxes. That's why I was in favor of the National Sales Tax that was discussed. That way the people that use the Government will also pay for it. And I will pay a bigger tax on my truck than you will on your car. That's only fair.

You have no idea who you're talking with, do you? I am one of the "rich" people you talk about. I get taxed plenty, thank you. The irony of your statement is that rich people tend to use more government services than poor people do. Check out what Bill Gates Sr. has to say about taxation and the rich. Eye-opening reading for most neo-cons.

[quoted]"...This same market has moved much American manufacturing and jobs outside the U.S. Is that good?..."

The American auto makers built the plants in Central America before NAFTA. Why? Because there were huge tariffs on American goods shipped there and no tariffs on goods coming from there. And the fastest growing segment of buyers for the smaller cars was Central and South America. So they went where the main customers were. And they shipped the cars to the US tariff free.

And your point is ... what? Manufacturing outside the U.S. is good for stockholders and executive management. It's not so good for the folks who have lost good-paying jobs and now have to work for a third of what they were making. How are these folks supposed to afford their own health and retirement? How are they supposed to send their kids to college so they have half a shot at a career that isn't outsourced itself? The market doesn't care about the future of these peoples' lives. It's made its money and moved on.

[quoted]"...Just because a situation exists doesn't mean that you have to do things which make it worse..."

I have a question for you. The Earth has experienced three ice ages. That means there was MASSIVE GLOBAL COOLING and MASSIVE GLOBAL WARMING three times in the past. What caused it? Was man responsible? In the 8th century Greenland and Iceland were crop growing regions. That was a mere 1,300 years ago. A nanosecond in the overall history of the planet. That means the earth was a LOT warmer than today! What caused it? And what caused the massive global cooling since then? And so exactly WHAT IS the "normal" temperature of the planet? Scientists say we're coming out of a mini ice age. So is the Earth going back to "normal" and we're trying to stop it? I'll await your answer.

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." First, 1,300 years ago (one of your "earth nanoseconds") is about 65 human generations. Put things in human terms and they sound quite different. Second, you're displaying the same kind of binary logic you did with your trailer example. We may not be able to stop the cycle of global warming or cooling or whatever is going on. But, in the face of much independent scientific research that confirms problems in the ozone layer and increased rates of melanoma and weather extremes, does it not seem like long-term thinking to do something that can delay our effect on that phenomenon? Do you let your toddlers play in the street, on the theory that -- statistically -- they'll be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point in their lives anyway, so why worry about it now?

[quoted]"...Don't make me subsidize your ride. Pay as you go. Don't pretend that you can do whatever you want, without cost..."
And I agree. Don't make me subsidize the hybrids then either. What's good for one is good for the other.

Well, we agree on something. If there was a true free market in vehicles in the U.S., though, there would be a lot of used pickups and SUVs around. Several lots of them, in fact.

And it RamaHannaKwanzMas.
It covers all the major holidays at once. Ramadan, Hannakuh, Kwanzaa and Christmas. It covers those that get "offended" for a living and want to dictate to others how things should be done.
But I gotta go now. I heat my home with a renewable source. So I gotta throw some trees in the woodstove.

I leave out Ramadan because it's not a Christmas wannabe like the other two. Oh, and if you can tell me how I can make a living out of being offended, I'd appreciate it. Sounds a whole lot easier than my job.


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RE: large suvs

"...I can understand buying a truck if you have a large trailer to pull..."
Thank you for allowing me to keep my truck. I am forever in your debt.

"...But where I live, most of the pickups and SUVs don't tow large trailers (they don't even have hitches) and they have never been off-road (unless you count sliding into the ditch because whoever was driving it "lost control" of it)..."
Did these vehicles do things on purpose to make the drivers "lose control"?

"...Those trucks are sold on the basis of how tough the buyer thinks it makes them look; they certainly not being used to carry the people and stuff that even a mid-size Ford or Chevy could handle..."
The largest purchasers of Hummers are women. Big and tough?Yeah! Right!

"...You have no idea who you're talking with, do you? I am one of the "rich" people you talk about. I get taxed plenty, thank you..."
And you feel you should pay more taxes? If you do and are serious about griping about the "tax breaks for the rich" silliness there is a form published by the IRS that allows you to pay more money to the government than your tax bill indicates.

"...No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." First, 1,300 years ago (one of your "earth nanoseconds") is about 65 human generations. Put things in human terms and they sound quite different. Second, you're displaying the same kind of binary logic you did with your trailer example. We may not be able to stop the cycle of global warming or cooling or whatever is going on. But, in the face of much independent scientific research that confirms problems in the ozone layer and increased rates of melanoma and weather extremes, does it not seem like long-term thinking to do something that can delay our effect on that phenomenon? Do you let your toddlers play in the street, on the theory that -- statistically -- they'll be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point in their lives anyway, so why worry about it now?..."

You dodged the question. I'm still waiting for an answer. What caused the massive global warming and cooling in the past?

"...If there was a true free market in vehicles in the U.S., though, there would be a lot of used pickups and SUVs around. Several lots of them, in fact..."
Free markets mean lack of government intervention. I think you want LESS of a free market so the vehicles you don't like are not sold.

You don't like certain body styles because they "use up resources". I hope you don't live in a home larger than say... 1500 square feet. And if you do I hope you aren't using up all the resources by heating it with gas or oil. After all you don't "need" a large home. You need a bedroom for you and your spouse and a bedroom for each of your kids. Add a living room, kitchen, maybe a dining room and a basement for storage and anything more than that is wasteful. I know you agree. These McMansions are the SUVs of the housing world. I was doing a craft show last fall and I was talking to the exhibitor next to me about the price of oil and she said she just built a 4300 square foot house in NJ and she was frightened as to how she was going to pay to heat it. I went back to my booth and just shook my head at the total waste of energy that is being used.

So let's use those "disincentives" you like to force the owners into more sensible houses. Right? See, we CAN agree.

PS. I live in a 3 year old 1300 sq ft ranch style home that I had custom built on 2 acres here in Vermont. I use wood as my primary heat source and oil for hot water and backup heat. I'll use MAYBE 300 gallons of oil this year. And I stay nice and comfy even when it goes to minus 30 in January.


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RE: large suvs

"...I can understand buying a truck if you have a large trailer to pull..."
Thank you for allowing me to keep my truck. I am forever in your debt.

Well, if you think being childish will help...

"...But where I live, most of the pickups and SUVs don't tow large trailers (they don't even have hitches) and they have never been off-road (unless you count sliding into the ditch because whoever was driving it "lost control" of it)..."
Did these vehicles do things on purpose to make the drivers "lose control"?

It is well-known (except in the he-man hinterlands, I guess) that SUVs have a much higher center of gravity than cars. They are far more likely to tip in an extreme maneuver than a passenger car. They also are heavier than many cars, which means they take longer to stop. This is all basic physics, but maybe not everyone took that class. In addition, many SUVs come with "all-season" tires which really aren't good on packed snow and ice. Couple trucks with less of a dynamic with drivers who don't compensate for the fact that this vehicle doesn't drive like their old Cavalier and people end up in the ditch. But I suppose they're all smarter where you live.

"...Those trucks are sold on the basis of how tough the buyer thinks it makes them look; they certainly not being used to carry the people and stuff that even a mid-size Ford or Chevy could handle..."
The largest purchasers of Hummers are women. Big and tough?Yeah! Right!

If you don't think there's an appeal to women in appearing strong and invulnerable, you need to join the 21st century.

"...You have no idea who you're talking with, do you? I am one of the "rich" people you talk about. I get taxed plenty, thank you..."
And you feel you should pay more taxes? If you do and are serious about griping about the "tax breaks for the rich" silliness there is a form published by the IRS that allows you to pay more money to the government than your tax bill indicates.

Normally I don't talk about my finances because it's no one else's d**n business. But I'll tell you that my entire Dubya-ordained tax cut went to charity as soon as it showed up in my paycheck. There are many people out there who need that money far more than I do. And, IIRC, you were the one who was griping about taxes ("And who may I ask is the one to cause this "disincentive" other than your pals in the Government by using taxes or the courts to regulate things? (TAX THE OTHER GUY! NOT ME!)")

I never claim to be a friend of big government. I don't want to pay more taxes any more than anyone else does. I just realize that there are matters that the Almighty Market does not address. Who will address them but the government? You and the rest of the "compassionate conservatives" certainly won't. You may not think so, but we all have a stake in providing physical safety and security, a basic education, and economic opportunity to all citizens. No one is holier than anyone else. What I know is it doesn't come free. It also doesn't have a payback sometime within the next fiscal quarter, which is why the Almighty Market doesn't deal with it. Spend the money carefully, but spend it. Not doing so is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

"...No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." First, 1,300 years ago (one of your "earth nanoseconds") is about 65 human generations. Put things in human terms and they sound quite different. Second, you're displaying the same kind of binary logic you did with your trailer example. We may not be able to stop the cycle of global warming or cooling or whatever is going on. But, in the face of much independent scientific research that confirms problems in the ozone layer and increased rates of melanoma and weather extremes, does it not seem like long-term thinking to do something that can delay our effect on that phenomenon? Do you let your toddlers play in the street, on the theory that -- statistically -- they'll be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point in their lives anyway, so why worry about it now?..."

You dodged the question. I'm still waiting for an answer. What caused the massive global warming and cooling in the past?

Fish. That's at least as logical an answer as your question. I don't know what caused climate change in the past; none of us was around to observe it. 65 generations is a long time to suffer through anything. If your entire argument depends on the answer to this question, you're hanging by a thread.

"...If there was a true free market in vehicles in the U.S., though, there would be a lot of used pickups and SUVs around. Several lots of them, in fact..."
Free markets mean lack of government intervention. I think you want LESS of a free market so the vehicles you don't like are not sold.

No. You went to Civics class, but you obviously failed Economics. In a truly free market, we would not be subsidizing cheap oil with a fraudulent war that all of us pay for (especially the tens of thousands who have died fighting it). We would not be paying by-the-head for the EPA or for crash standards or the fire departments and ambulance corps which have to respond to accidents caused by big trucks. Business owners who bought big trucks would not be getting tax breaks for buying them (as they have over the past years). People who buy big SUVs would be charged for the additional damage those vehicles do to roads and other common property -- as well as the costs of trucking additional fuel to stations because they're so thirsty. That is a free market -- not taxing everyone per capita regardless of their actual use of resources. If the people buying big SUVs and pickups had to pay what they actually cost, many fewer people would own them.

You don't like certain body styles because they "use up resources". I hope you don't live in a home larger than say... 1500 square feet. And if you do I hope you aren't using up all the resources by heating it with gas or oil. After all you don't "need" a large home. You need a bedroom for you and your spouse and a bedroom for each of your kids. Add a living room, kitchen, maybe a dining room and a basement for storage and anything more than that is wasteful. I know you agree. These McMansions are the SUVs of the housing world. I was doing a craft show last fall and I was talking to the exhibitor next to me about the price of oil and she said she just built a 4300 square foot house in NJ and she was frightened as to how she was going to pay to heat it. I went back to my booth and just shook my head at the total waste of energy that is being used.

Ha! I happen to live in an 1800-square-foot house (including basement, which is largely unused). It is heated with natural gas but all of the electricity is from wind power. No, I don't "need" a large home. And I don't have one. In fact, the only reason I have a house as large as I do is that it's difficult to find a smaller one that I could make handicapped-accessible.

So let's use those "disincentives" you like to force the owners into more sensible houses. Right? See, we CAN agree.

PS. I live in a 3 year old 1300 sq ft ranch style home that I had custom built on 2 acres here in Vermont. I use wood as my primary heat source and oil for hot water and backup heat. I'll use MAYBE 300 gallons of oil this year. And I stay nice and comfy even when it goes to minus 30 in January.

You seem to like twisting what I have to say. I don't need to spend any more time undoing the pretzel you're creating. My contention remains that, if people had to pay the true costs of the vehicle they drove, the only people driving large SUVs and pickups would be the ones who need to drive them, not the poseurs who hope that such a vehicle will substitute for their personality. Considering the real cost of buying anything -- even what we "buy" with our taxes -- would be a valuable exercise and no doubt would transform a lot of purchasing in this country. It's the folks who believe that everything is free who really are deluding themselves.

Merry Chrismahannakwanzakah to you.


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RE: large suvs

You know CH, we probably don't disagree on as much as you think, even though I'm one of those liberals you seem to dislike so much. First off, I'm not interested in what religion you practice, and if you truely want to wish me a merry Christmas, then thank you. Although, your wishes are not expressed in a very sincere manner, your religion is not my business.

What is my business (and yours) is how other people affect us. The whole point that I was trying to make (and I think Steve O too) is that it is perfectly "reasonable" for a person, such as yourself, who hauls trailers to use SUV's. In your apparent eagerness to disagree, you seemed not ignore my addressing that in my very first post.

My disagreement is with using an SUV as if it were a substitute for a regular passenger vehicle. Every person has their reasons, and I can't make the best decision for them. But when every other person feels the need to jump on the bandwagon it creates problems. (YES or NO?) If you think that it is a good idea to have an average gas mileage the same as it was in 1970, then I think we have nothing more to talk about.

This discussion has nothing to do with global warming or holidays. Even the white house agrees there is need to address our country's energy usage through a variety of approaches.

Even you are condemning people with large homes, who may not need the square footage. Well how are they different from people who may not need SUV's? Homeowners pay tax on square footage, how about a tax on cubic feet in a vehicle?

Let's make another thing very clear. This discussion does not revolve around your individual gas mileage or bumper height. I'm talking about a widespread pattern, not you personally. What difference does your bumper height have to do with those huge SUV's that would drive right over my car? Are you saying that all SUV's have the same bumper height because yours is the same as a Taurus? I'm not sure what I can do to "get with the times." In the time that I live in, the government is not regulating the bumper heights on some large SUV's. If my bumper is regulation, then I don't agree that someone else should have a different set of rules. What times are you in that I need to get with?

In fact, I would think that others jumping on the SUV bandwagon is actually detrimental to you too, because you claim to need your truck, and just as the bad apples spoil the whole bunch, you are placed at a greater risk of getting some punitive tax against your vehicle, because of the SUV's mass popularity.

Anyway, I don't know why the argument has gone off into global warming and religion. I believe there are many unreasonable statements made above. If we want to have a debate, maybe we need to regroup. My beliefs are A) SUV's in mass quantities are a problem in terms of both safety and energy consumption If A is true, then B) SUV's should be regulated to make them less popular.

C. Other arguments about square footage, and global warming may be somewhat relevant but they do not change A and B.

Do you disagree with A, or B or both? If you don't like the premise I have established, why don't you frame the argument?


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RE: large suvs

Oversized motor vehicles are popular due to failed federal government policies. The 27.5 mpg standard should apply to all passenger and truck(used as passenger) vehicles.

This would have forced development of the automotive(so-called "light duty") Diesel and more sensibly sized vehicles as we have in Europe..
I cannot understand why it has been so hard to design a motor vehicle of the sensible size - many cars, even some trucks are too damned small, many others are simply too big and heavy, but, I think is problem is improving however slowly...

Intellect comes into play here, check out the parking lot of a college and compare that to a bar-room lot...or a factory employing the unskilled...

Which is even possible to alter, intellect or the world's climate ??

Trucks are fine for hauling tons of freight, ludicrous for hauling but one man, unless his ego weights that much !


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RE: large suvs

Exactly why they made the SUV popular.The auto makers were having a hard time developing vehicals to fit everyones taste that would meet the MPG restrictions.

So they hired a few sports figures to make comericals to get the Ego people to buy into it.People like to not only dress like the Jocks but drive what they drive.That way they got around the MPG issues.Because there are no restrictions for trucks.It worked and the rest is history.


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RE: large suvs

Earthworm please do hold europe up as a good example of anything.


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RE: large SUVs

ChevyTech, farmers do not, and never have, abused the right of driving any truck, and I have never said this.

For what I have seen in my 66 years, a great deal of people do drive the biggest vehicle they possibly can - here a type of luxury tax should be used, primarily to cut the real farmers(and working men) a break.
I have never seen any sense in a man driving around in a 2.5 ton vehicle when a 1.5 ton mode of transportation is sufficient..

Beaglebuddy, like it or nor, we as a nation can learn much from the Europeans - they have, as a civilization been around a lot longer than us...


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RE: large suvs

Not all that long ago, in many states even pickups and things like Wagoneers and Suburbans were registered commercially. That might be one way to differentiate between "necessary tool" and "fad".


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RE: large suvs

Im a farmer and use a pickup only for farm use.If its not going to be hauling or pulling or going thru a field its in the shed with the rest of the farm machinery.I drive a car the rest of the time.For several years I did not have a second vehical so I did drive a pickup full time.But when gas went up.I decided to let the insurance company get there hands in my pockets.Rather then the oil tycoons.

I have nothing against driving a large pickup.If you need it.But I know alot of people who will not haul anything in there pickup trucks.Because they might scratch the bed.That burns me and there are a lot of these people on the road.I had a friend ask me if he could use my farm truck to haul furniture.Because he did not want to take off his Tounoe cover.That comes off in 5 minutes.Meaning he did not want to scratch his bed.The answer was NO.I felt a little bad about it later.Until I realised he is the first to gripe about the price of gas.


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RE: large suvs

johndeere,

What do you think of those Cadillac Escalade pickup trucks? I always laugh when I see one. I doubt if they EVER put anything in the bed to scratch it up! Just my opinion, but gotta be just a prestige thing - oh well, to each his own...........


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