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Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why Sykes Was Wrong Today...

I was listening to a ball game and found my car on 620 this morning. Charlie was going on and on about the Obama plan to put emission and mpg standards on the car makers.

The main points he drove home until the callers were in a frantic frenzy were:
  • Obama's gonna take away your minivan (American car companies won't be able to make minivans that meet the standards and so they won't make them or will make them too expensive for the average family).  If Obama lets you have a minivan, you won't be able to afford it.
  • Obama's gonna raise the price of gas by taxing it to oblivion.
  • Hybrid cars are flimsy and unsafe.
  • Electric cars run on electricity, but Obama's gonna cap and trade emissions and add $1800 to your annual electric bill (oh wait, that last part was from the baseball debacle from day before) before you even plug it in.
  • Obama's a hypocrit because he drove a big American car before he was president.
Let's get an overview of how weird his arguments were...

The American car industry has tanked because no one wants big gas guzzling cars since the Bush Admin let gas prices go over $4/gallon.  Toyota and Honda in particular jumped out ahead of the American car companies who were still selling Hummers and cars that get 14mpg and began to introduce gas/electric hybrids that get up to 55 mpg.  The Prius in particular is cute, comfortable, full of fun extra toys and you can get to Madison without the gas gage moving and because it recharges itself, doesn't even need to be plugged in...  Everyone I know who has one LOVES it.

So you can't buy a Prius without a year or more waiting period.  A few years back it was 3 years...  And somehow, the American car companies are going bankrupt because Americans still want big cars?  No one is going to take away anyone's minivan.  You're just going to get a better car that costs a bit more upfront (or maybe not since they still have a market to compete in) and pay a ton less in gas at the pump.

I have a Toyota minivan.  It gets 25 mpg city and 28-30 highway depending on how I'm driving it.  It's cute, comes with lots of adorable toys, so comfortable my family of 5 can travel to DC in it and it feels like a trip to the Dells, roomy and turns ON A DIME, drives like a dream and I got it two years old with 40,000 for $14,000....  American minis get 12-17 mpg and don't hold their value because after a few years paying high gas prices everyone wants to dump them to get a Sienna or an Odyssey so they can afford the gas.

If everyone's driving hybrid cars, won't demand for gas go down naturally and therefore prices (Economics 101)?  If no one needs gas, why bother to tax it?

If Honda and Toyota can make high quality, low mileage, safe cars for affordable prices and can't keep them on the lots paying equal or better wages and benefits to their workers as the American companies, why couldn't revamped and regulated American car companies do the same?

If Obama had been driving a high efficiency hybrid, it would have had to have been a foreign car and you'd be yelling at him for not driving an American car.  Catch 22 argument Obama can't win this one...

The Prius system would solve this problem, reverse engineering has been around as long as engineering.  Deal with it.  As for the cap and trade issue, I much preferred when the government owned the electric and gas companies and prices were controlled by the taxpayers. Prices were stable and without a profit margin to work into the equation, the people got electricity and gas at cost and when grids needed to be upgraded any "profit" was reinvested in the system instead of going into the pockets of anonymous fat cats.  This is a great argument for de-privitizing the industry...especially since we'll be bailing them out anyway with taxpayer dollars.

American car companies are just now releasing hybrids and because they gave their profits to their executives and stockholders instead of reinvesting them in the technologies they are so behind on now, they are in a pickle and coming to the American taxpayers for help.  This is not the workers fault either by the way.  They were building the cars the executives told them to build.  

If gas is truly the greatest threat to American security, then aren't I acting like those during WWII by buying a high mileage car, using less and ultimately protecting American security?

Basically all Obama's doing is acting like a sane CEO.  Telling the American car companies to build the cars with the highest demand, controlling our investment dollars if they are put in the industry and reorganizing the companies to do what they were incorporated to do.  Make the best cars in the world for the best prices, pay their workers enough to buy their cars (H. Ford) and use a fair share of the profits to learn to make even better cars.

If Obama was a CEO or had the last name Bush, the stockholders (and GOP) would be hailing him as the best new car CEO in America.  Because he's a Democrat, Sykes is going after him like a rabid dog...  sigh...  

No one is going to take away anyone's minivan.  You're just going to get a better car that costs a bit more upfront (or maybe not since they still have a market to compete in) and pay a ton less in gas at the pump (between needing less and lowering demand).  Think of the razor you got as a giveaway at Summerfest, fell in love with because of it's performance and then went to get refill blades only to find that a pack of 4 cost $12!  That cheap or free blade's real cost isn't upfront, it's in the continued use of it over time...

Its time to retool, rethink and rejuvenate the great American auto industry! Even if they need a kick in the rear to get it done.

Please try to make some sense with your next argument Charlie.

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