atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6849: Pickup trucks "most expensive"

Highest ownership costs on an annual basis at $10,839, for a brand new truck.

And that's ridiculous.

Pickup trucks used to be work vehicles. You didn't buy a pickup truck unless you needed to haul things--quarter- or half-ton loads--or pull big trailers. You'd get a pickup truck if you worked construction because that way you could haul things to the job site. If you worked on a farm, a pickup was the go-to vehicle. They cost about the same as passenger cars (sometimes less, as they had fewer amenities).

These days?

Most of the pickup trucks sold are kept spotlessly clean by their owners. The slightest scratch (even in the load bed) is a crisis. Pickups also cost twice as much as cars, and come with leather seats and eight-speaker sound systems and-and-and. It's almost impossible to get a basic full-size truck with a V8 engine under $20,000; most of them cost a hell of a lot more than that. I priced a GMC-1500 pickup truck on their web site. Two-seat cab, V8, 2WD, cloth seats, with nothing but standard equipment, and it came to $30,000.

The hell of it is, these trucks are still built using the same basic technology they were built with 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago: ladder frames, coil front suspension, solid axle in the rear with leaf springs. I'm reminded that in the opening years of this century Ford was earning a profit of $15,000 on their big truck-based SUV models, built using this kind of engineering. What's GMC getting for its trucks?

It's ridiculous how much new cars cost these days, and I'm at a loss as to why. The price of a TV, adjusted for inflation, has dropped by about 95% in the last fifty years, such that you're getting a hell of a lot more television for fewer dollars that are worth less than they were in 1969. Stoves and refrigerators and other home appliances have experienced deflation too, though to a lesser degree. Every manufactured good that we can buy in America has actually become cheaper in the last half century due to improvements in technology and productivity.

Why not vehicles?

Vehicles cost more, both in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars and in terms of their unadjusted price tags. The basic pickup truck of 1969 cost somewhere around two thousand dollars; today it's thirty--a fifteen-fold increase in price--and that increase cannot all be attributed to inflation. The rising level of "standard equipment" doesn't explain it, either; in a lot of cases automakers will make a feature into a standard one simply because it's not worth the expense of having it be optional. For example, it's cheaper to include an 8" touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard of every vehicle you sell because it combines a lot of individual controls that you'd otherwise have to install separately, and that way you can standardize that control system across your entire product line.

Of course the big cost is labor. The unions pitch a bitch if you try to automate the assembly line. You'd think that would give nonunion companies a leg up. To some small extent, it does. But not enough, it seems.

* * *

Related: the dollar has lost 97% of its value since 1913.

Incidentally, please don't tell me how this or that policy has added X much to the deficit "over the next ten years". One Congress and one President cannot bind the actions of future Congresses or Presidents. (As much as the 9th Circuit court wishes it could.) The law established by one Congress can be stricken down by the next; that also applies to budgets and spending.

"It added $1.7 trillion more to the debt over the next 10 years," says the article, but you can't make that kind of prediction--and that figure is $170 billion per year, which is half a percent of the federal budget at best. All you're doing is trying to make the number appear bigger than it is.

* * *

Pay administrators what you pay teachers and make all their salaries $60,000 per year, and I'd bet that it would end up being a net savings.

* * *

Gun confiscation will not work without the police going door-to-door. The anti-rights people have moved from "no one wants to take your guns" to "we're going to take away some guns but we promise we won't shoot anybody." One such confiscationist, Democrat Presidential candidate Cory Booker, said:
Yeah, it's mandatory. You have to set up a system to pull them off. But this idea, this imagery that the fearmongers and demagogues try to say of somehow armed police officers showing up & confiscating weapons, that's the fear mongering.
No; that's the next fucking step you assholes will take when people refuse to comply with your totalitarian bullshit. We've seen what happens to people when they voluntarily disarm: concentration camps, the gulag, executions by the millions.

People know that, and they're not playing that game.
New Jersey couldn’t get anybody to turn in their magazines, New York got 4% compliance on registration – which isn’t confiscation – and in Florida, nobody has turned in their banned bump stocks.

So just exactly how do Beto and Booker expect their mandatory buyback to work considering that at the state level, ban compliance is somewhere between 0-4%?

Either the government will have to go door to door or the government will have to claim that 2% compliance is a victory.
...or it will have to acknowledge that the people refuse to be disarmed and repeal the law.

Ha! Ha! Ha. I am such a comedian.

* * *

The polar bears are doing just fine, thank you very much. Not that the facts ever matter to the warmistas.

* * *

"There is scientific evidence that excessive levels of carbon in the atmosphere could adversely impact our climate..." I'm going to stop you right there, because that statement is factually incorrect at best. At worst, it's an outright lie.

There is, in fact, no evidence demonstrating that "excessive levels of carbon" in our atmosphere would have any deleterious effect on the climate, at least not until you get into levels which would be actively poisonous for all air-breathing life save (possibly) plants. The amount of carbon in our atmosphere has been much higher than it is right now, in geologically recent times, and there was no "adverse" impact on the climate that we can point to as an effect of it.

In fact, warming lags increased CO2 concentrations by centuries. There is more evidence suggesting that warming causes increased atmospheric carbon than there is to the contrary.

The entire anthropogenic global warming scare is meant to scare us into ceding an enormous amount of power and money to the government. That's the point of the linked article; as it says, "Clearly,...Democrats are more determined to scare us into accepting socialism than in reducing carbon emissions." Widespread acceptance of their premise is the first step towards them accomplishing their goal.

The fact is, Earth's climate is changing. That's nothing new; it's been continuously variable since the Earth first accreted out of dust and gas some five billion years ago. The average global temperature of today is not, can not, will not be, the same as it was three centuries ago, or even last year. It changes, all the time...and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Understand that the eruption of one volcano spews more sulfur aerosols into the atmosphere--in a matter of days--as Man has since he harnessed fire. The natural contribution of CO2 to the Earth's atmosphere is 97% of the annual carbon budget using present-day figures but if you look at other recent geological eras the 3% that man emits right now would be 1% or less. Even with CO2 at 1,000 PPM (current level is about 400) the Earth cooled and entered an ice age; AGW theory states that at 1,000 PPM an ice age was impossible.

It's why Michael Mann generated his "hockey stick" and why climatologists were all so eager to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period and to "hide the decline" from those high temperatures. The warm climate of that era wasn't due to atmospheric carbon dioxide. It torpedoes their entire argument.

The United States has, as the article attests, led the world in reducing its carbon emissions. No one has reduced their carbon emissions more. The biggest emitters in the world are, in order, China and India, but no one is after them to curtail their output.

You do the math.

* * *

You go right ahead. I don't know how this is supposed to do anything other than keep useless stooges from reproducing. Certainly they're going to be the only ones doing this; the fraction of people willing to curtail their own breeding until a certain political goal is met must be vanishingly small, and by definition they're all going to be leftists.

*shrug* Okay! Enjoy!

* * *

Vegans are idiots. They didn't want the hens to be "raped" by roosters, so they separated them.


"The group also smashed the eggs, claiming that they 'belonged to the hens.'" This displays a level of intellectual incoherence that is simply astonishing.

* * *

Red flag law, working as intended. No criminal charges, no alleged crime, just a statement that he'd defend himself if he were attacked. FBI took all his guns away.

* * *

One of the most frightening things about evil is how banal it is.

* * *

It's 88 outside but the dew point is 60, so the "feels like" temperature is 85, which makes another summer day with, effectively, a wind chill. Heh.

* * *

You want to hear something funny? The last time, before this month, that I put gas in the Jeep, was July 13. I filled it on the 2nd so I could return the work equipment on the 3rd. And now, I've done so much running around, I had to fill it again yesterday.

Averaged 20 MPG, at least.

In that time, gas dropped precipitously from about $2.85 (on the 2nd) to $2.54 (what I filled it at yesterday).

Oh well.

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