Heck, Mr. President - Why don't we see if we can make things worse...

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Bill Putney, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Bill Putney

    Bill Putney Guest

  2. How exactly is this making things worse?

    Every automaker that wants to sell cars in the 13 states that follow the CA
    regulations must operate under the same regulations. No one automaker
    is being singled out. So, what is your supposition here - that domestic
    cannot meet this but the Japanese can? Fine, then I'll take back that
    bailout money right now - that's my tax dollars that those automakers are
    using, they
    damn well better be using that to design cleaner cars.

    The fact of the matter is that there's plenty of passenger car designs out
    that can meet the standard, and there HAVE been in the past - like the GM
    The fact of the matter is that those designs haven't been profitable because
    are radically different, and thus do not have the economies of manufacturing
    to be able to crank out parts a mile a minute - which would make the parts
    The fact of the matter is that a technological switch to electric vehicles
    will not
    happen until the EV is manufactured in the same quantities as the gasoline
    vehicle -
    thus putting it's purchase price comparable to gas vehicles.

    The situation is the same as that with computer storage medium. Today
    storage medium - optical - that for the same volume can store 100 times that
    of magnetic media. But the computer business isn't switching to it because
    media has such a history that it can be manufactured more cheaply - because
    the assembly lines already exist, the infrastructure already exists. It
    doesen't matter
    that the techniques to cram data onto mag media are unbelievably esoteric
    the techniques to cram data onto optical are basic.

    If optical and mag media had to start at the same time from square one,
    would win hands down. But we have mag media due to industry inertia.

    The auto industry has huge industry inertia. Obviously the CEO's and such
    of the
    current automakers would rather go with gasoline designs they have now that
    proven sellers, that they can predict in advance the profit on. So in an
    open market
    they are going to do what is best for them - not what is best for the

    The situation is the same as that of Social Security. Every citizen who has
    20-odd years of payroll taxes is expecting to see that money back and will
    to the death any attempt to abolish SS - even though it's bankrupting the
    US -
    because it's in their own self-interest to do it, NOT in the country's
    interest. The
    country's interest would be to not have SS at all and to have something else
    of it. That was what Bush was driving at with his privatization of SS
    initative. But
    of course that got shot down.

    The situation is also the same with digital TV. There is a huge expensive
    hump to
    get consumers over to transition from analog to digital. That is why the
    would never have voluntarily done it, and why the transition had to be
    forced by
    the federal government. But once we get over that hump in the long run it
    be cheaper, and much better for the country.

    Granted, your still burning fuel to create electricity. But, your doing it
    in a
    stationary power plant and you can extract every bit of usable heat from the
    instead of dumping half your fuel energy out the radiator like a car does.
    You can
    also sequester the CO2 from a power plant by running it into an algae field
    uses solar energy and the CO2 from the power plant which can then create
    That isn't practical in a vehicle.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Jan 27, 2009
  3. The key thing that made the American economy so great (or, at least, so
    big....) is the fact that it is a large single market.

    Setting up internal trade barriers is truly idiotic. When I heard about
    this plan a few days ago (yes, even reported in the UK) my first thought was
    that it was daft.

    The EU is painfully working its way to a true single market by the
    harmonisation of, among other things, technical standards. Of course there
    is also mutual recognition of (old) national standards to accelerate the
    process of free movements of goods, but it would be very foolish to create
    an uncoordinated plethora of new standards.


    To send an e-mail directly replace "spam" with "schmetterling"
    Dori A Schmetterling, Jan 28, 2009
  4. Bill Putney

    Brian Priebe Guest

    Yes. Much better to agree on a single standard for the acceptable
    degree of curvature of a cucumber. :))
    Brian Priebe, Jan 29, 2009
  5. Bill Putney

    Bill Putney Guest

    Hah! I heard the news story a couple of months ago about the small
    farmer whose entire harvest of - what was it - avacado's? - was
    destroyed because some of them were 2 mm under the minimum required size
    for sale for human consumption according to the EU specs.?

    Laws like that are ridiculous whether coming from some wannabe
    centralized world government or a single state. The problem with
    centralized stuff like the EU and the UN is that everything becomes one
    size fits all, and there's just too much to be gained by corruption by
    otherwise meaningless, counterproductive, and plain damaging to the
    human condition laws (similar to communism). It's bad enough in single
    countries as we are finding out for the 10,000th time.
    Bill Putney, Jan 29, 2009
  6. A lot of the stuff you read about the EU is nonsense. British papers are
    full of it as they love to bash "Brussels" without actually comprehending

    The questions of definitions are tricky, as quality has to be defined. Easy
    to mock when not thinking about it.


    To send an e-mail directly replace "spam" with "schmetterling"
    Dori A Schmetterling, Jan 30, 2009
  7. Bill Putney

    Bill Putney Guest

    I don't accept that an entire harvest of whatever vegetable it was has
    to be destroyed (they refused to allow it to be used for anything -
    bureaucrats had to make a point). Aren't there at least some starving
    people somewhere that could have used them. Besides - if I wanted to
    buy some smallish samples of whatever it was, I should have the right to
    do so. I find this kind of crap more than grossly absurd.

    Not to worry, Dori. It is clear that the U.S. is now on an accelerated
    schedule to the same fate as Europe.

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')

    Bill Putney, Jan 30, 2009
  8. Bill Putney

    Art Guest

    Nothing to stop the manufacturers from building to the highest spec......

    Art, Feb 1, 2009
  9. I'd assume they could have used it as animal feed - or does the EU have
    specs on that too?
    Dori, Bill doesen't have any excuse for this and should know better, but you
    are perhaps unaware that ever since the 60's that CA has had differing
    requirements for automobiles than the rest of the United States. In short,
    if you
    wanted to sell cars in the US you either built your entire model to be
    -compliant, or you did what most manufacturers did, and made a special CA
    version of your model for sale in CA.

    So the idea that the American economy is a large single market has never
    true for automobiles. And the fact is that although a lot of car guys
    sneered at
    GM for making exactly the same vehicle and badging some of them Chevy and
    some Buick, selling the different badges in different geographical markets,
    is a strategy that worked - and it is further evidence that the American
    isn't homogeneous.

    What is going on now in the US is that as more and more states adopt the
    CA emissions requirements, automakers will be forced to eventually adopt
    those as the standard for ALL models sold in ALL states, even if that state
    not adopted the standard.

    Now, as for Bill, for shame, shame!!!! Let me remind you Bill that it is
    political party - the Republicans - who are die-hard states-rights
    activists. Weak
    and small central government, remember? Well, I guess it's just more
    hypocracy -
    your all for states rights when a state wants to turn the clock backwards on
    abortion, but when a state wants to set tigher emissions standards, boy
    how quick you and your ilk will run crying to the feds to override that
    That is what your old bud the Chimp did when he was President after all -
    override the CA States Rights on this issue. Accellerated schedule to the
    fate as Europe, my ass!

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Feb 1, 2009
  10. Bill Putney

    Bill Putney Guest

    You missed where I said "(they refused to allow it to be used for
    anything - bureaucrats had to make a point)". The news story I heard
    specifically mentioned that they would not allow it to be diverted even
    to animal feed. Not that it couldn't have from a practical point. The
    point of that was that they had to send the message that they were in
    charge, not that any real good would come of that spec. That's what
    bureaucrats do - operate to exercise their power for the sake of that
    power. Acting for the common good is not in the equation.
    And Californians paid for that in higher costs - like they do with

    My philosophy would be that if California elected legislators that
    exacted their own standards on cars that California then deserved what
    it got in the form of paying more for their cars. Pure and simple.
    Californian's have a way of shooting themselves in their collective foot
    and then blaming everyone else.

    There are too many examples of that to list them all, but I remember I
    think it was in the early or mid 90's, California passed some ridiculous
    restrictions on auto insurance companies - things that would make
    staying in business impossible.

    All of the insurance companies immediately pulled their business out of
    California. Then California bitched about that. Imagine that - people
    refusing to be forced to do business in a state where it would be
    impossible to not go broke - oh those bastard insurance companies!!

    And the answer to your future response to that is: Then let some wise
    businessman start a new insurance company to operate in California under
    those regs. There's a reason that no businessman - wise or otherwise
    would have done so.
    You're suggesting that those states *require* vehicles be made special
    to looser standards, and therefore their people pay *more* for specially
    built cars? Why would they do that. But they are *free* (key word) to
    do that if they so desired as California was free to do so for what it
    wanted, and its people ended up paying for it in the price of things in
    many areas.

    Yeah - let's make it illegal for people to clear brush from around their
    houses to protect mother earth - oh I'm sorry - Mother Earth, and then
    ask for sympathy and aid from everyone else when their houses burn down
    because the fires spread like - umm - wildfire.

    But - you are right - the rest of the country is becoming like
    California and Europe. Like Dr. Phil would say "How's that working for
    ya? What were you thinking!?" Only then it will be too late.
    Bill Putney, Feb 1, 2009
  11. I am aware that California had its own car standards for a long time.

    I wanted to write more but it's late and I have to go for a loooong drive
    tomorrow, starting early. And it's snowed. And nobody has winter tyres in
    southern England, me included...


    To send an e-mail directly replace "spam" with "schmetterling"
    Dori A Schmetterling, Feb 1, 2009
  12. Bill Putney

    Bill Putney Guest

    And for us, the Superbowl is starting. :)
    Bill Putney, Feb 1, 2009
  13. Hmmm... The US has been doing something like this since 1971 at least:


    "...When fruit are found that fail to meet these requirements the receiver
    has the
    option to recondition the fruit so that it does meet requirements or the
    fruit is destroyed..."
    Well keep in mind that CA got this special consideration because they
    started emissions regulations BEFORE the federal government did. Is your
    position that there should be no emissions regulations whatsoever, federal
    or otherwise?

    CA is somewhat of a special case, though. When you can land in LAX and
    get off the plane and look straight up and the sky is orange, as I have
    you realize what real air pollution is.
    Your thinking prop 103 that regulated insurance rates and cut all of them
    That never happened. Many large insurance companies experienced
    losses for a few years after that - but CA then passed prop 213 which
    prohibited uninsured drivers from suing for medical, etc. as a result of
    accidents - this greatly encouraged the purchase of auto insurance, which
    put those companies back in the black.
    None of this happened and your story is a rediculous distortion of what
    actually happened.

    The current fight nowadays is over offering quake insurance - insurance
    companies all over the country are dropping this coverage in states that
    have fault lines. Some of this is due to regulations that prohibit them
    discriminating against brick and mortar buildings or buildings built before
    The economies of scale dictate that if enough states vote this in that the
    incremental cost of adding the emissions controls will be very very small -
    because all vehicles will be doing it.

    Also, there are health costs the society has to bear as a result of
    air pollution. Sure, auto owners may save a few bucks if the auto companies
    are allowed to produce more polluting vehicles - they end up paying far
    more than they save years later in medical bills and increased medical
    premiums as a result of dealing with more problems as a result of increased

    You also forget how elastic the car market really is. If new vehicle costs
    increased as a result of more emissions regulations, then fewer will be
    as a result used vehicle resale prices will go up since fewer newer vehicles
    be passing into the used market - and as a result used vehicles will be more
    to be repaired to get more years of use out of them, rather than being

    I've been in and out of wrecking yards enough to see that the vast, vast
    majority of
    vehicles are scrapped due to engine or transmission problems, NOT due to
    crashes or worn out bodies. If fewer new cars are put into the pipeline,
    in order to maintain the same population of cars on the road, then fewer
    cars can be scrapped out - and ultimately the ones in the
    pipeline will need to be kept on the road longer. This results in increased
    activity among repair businesses and decreased economic activity among the
    new car automakers, so the net result is merely that your shifting jobs from
    segment of the market to another.

    The only downside is your making vehicles more expensive to all segments of
    the population - so the very poorest people in the population are ultimately
    unable to afford a car. However, from a public policy viewpoint this is a
    good thing - because the poorest car owners are least likely to purchase
    vehicle insurance, which causes all of the rest of us to pay for them when
    get into accidents as a result of increases in our own insurance premiums.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Feb 2, 2009
  14. Bill Putney

    Bill Putney Guest

    No - I already said that they should be allowed, by states rights to
    impose whatever requirements they want, but that they should be prepared
    to bear the costs as well as the benefits of whatever peculiar
    legislation they impose on themselves.
    Yep - that is an argument against one-size-fits-all legislation.
    Yes it did. We may be talking about two separate events. For a short
    while, CA was in a crisis because people could not get insurance.
    No argument from me - I'm an engineer. But again - if individual states
    want to put additional requirements on themselves, that is between their
    citizens and their elected legislators.
    Oh really? I think more than a few people would disagree with you on that.
    But the greenies are conflicted on that. They want to get older cars
    off the road. Just as they oppose windmills because they kill birds.

    See http://www.summitracing.com/streetandstrip/news.asp
    As long as a new transfer of wealth scheme is not cooked up to "fix" the
    Bill Putney, Feb 2, 2009
  15. Heh. There's many people with a vested interest in seeing large numbers of
    sales who claim the market is inelastic. They have nothing to say in the
    face of all
    the automakers having the worst sales years in history. Even Lloyd fell
    flat when
    he claimed last week that Toyota stock was a good investment since it paid
    (Toyota declared a loss and is not paying dividends now)

    There are also many fools who claimed a few years ago that you would have to
    pry their SUV from their cold dead fingers. Those have nothing to say as
    well as
    they tool around town in their econobox rice grinders and their SUV is
    sitting with
    500 of it's brethern on the local used car lot.
    This actually started up under your old friend George Bush.

    George Bush Senior, that is. In the early 90's. See here:


    You have to keep in mind
    what is really going on with the stimulus package. Both the House and
    members are basically tailoring the package into 2 completely different
    by tacking all manner of pork on to the bill. This allows a congressman to
    go back to their constituents and claim that they voted for a
    project that is dear to the constituents hearts. However, as you know only
    unified bill may be sent to the President for signature. When congress
    differing versions of a bill the two versions are sent to a joint conference
    that works out a unified text. In the case of the stimulus package they
    will simply
    strip away everything that isn't in the other house's version.

    The cash for clunkers package wasn't included in the House version of the
    so even if it does make it in to the Senate version, the committe will
    strip it out of the package sent to the President for signature. That
    allows whatever
    congressman that proposed this to go back to their constituents and claim
    they voted for the clunker idea, so they must be a green congressman. In
    meantime pay no attention to the fact that it was never passed - the
    has his talking point that can be used in advertising, etc.

    Obviously, anyone who is serious about the environment understands that the
    emissions savings by retiring a SUV early and replacing it with an economy
    does not make up for the emissions caused by manufacturing a new car. But,
    your average dumb bunny doesen't, and so would probably believe the hype
    that this program helps the environment.

    I liked what the Sierra Club had to say about that.

    As for the windmill thing, it is true that older wind farms kill some birds.
    we are talking really old designs here. Todays mega-windmills (the 1.5mW
    designs, particularly) have huge blades that turn slow (they couldn't turn
    and are geared up to turn the generator fast. Any bird can fly around
    The older windmills had small blades that didn't have much gearing on the
    and those turned fast.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Feb 4, 2009
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