But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

It’s OK if it Kills People


(caption: Standing by a compact car, crushed in a test against a mere mid-sized car: "The laws of physics can't be repealed. Even with modern safety features like multiple air bags, people in small, light cars are always at a disadvantage in crashes." -- Russ Rader, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

(caption: Standing by a minicar, crushed in a test against a mere mid-sized car: "The laws of physics can't be repealed. Even with modern safety features like multiple air bags, people in small, light cars are always at a disadvantage in crashes." -- Russ Rader, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (click picture to see video))

It’s bad enough that new gas mileage standards will cost the already-struggling US automakers at least $21,000,000,000 per year, which they will pass on to YOU, either in as consumers or taxpayers, but they also can TRIPLE the chance of your family dying in a car crash.

The new CAFE standards require automakers to have a much higher average gas mileage within a few years.  But since automakers can’t force people to buy smaller cars, this means they must stop making larger cars, in order to force the “average” bought to be more efficient.

GM, for example, is going to literally stop selling the Caprice, one of its most popular and longest-made cars, to regular people…because it’s large. It will only offer those to “fleet” buyers, like police, taxi, and limo companies. Each company will also make the cars it does offer smaller and lighter. You will have no choice but to buy these, if you want a new car.

And, of course, you will be forced to finance this change through your taxes, with the new Cash for Clunkers law, while Cap and Trade (if you let it pass) will cause more car shrinkage and insane tax burden on you than CAFE and Cash for Clunkers combined.

Forced Green = Death

(caption: You're three times as likely to die in a small vehicle than a large one)

(caption: You're three times more likely to die in a small vehicle than a large one)

Yet no expert seriously denies that smaller cars are far more dangerous than large cars. They may refuse to use those exact words, but crash test results like this are not just normal, but a question of physics.

When a car hits something, its size, weight, and the materials out of which it’s made decide how much harm will come to its passengers. This is true even when an immobile object like a fence or tree…but it’s most true when hitting a moveable object, like a deer or another vehicle. These factors determine how much of the energy goes to moving the object you hit, and how much to crushing your body.

Even if your car has a rigid steel frame (Smart cars) and crumple zones (European cars), the change in speed from hitting a heavier object will snap your body around and kill you.

So when Barak Obama and John McCain attempt to force through standards that will effectively ban the building of larger vehicles for families, they are condemning many people to death. But, they say, this is worthwhile in order to force greater fuel economy on regular people.

Efficiency is more important than human life.

In 2004, a study by Dynamic Research, Inc. found a a 20% change in the weight difference between two vehicles in a collision produced a 15% change in mortality. The motivation, of course, was to show that people needed to be forced to drive lighter vehicles; punish SUV owners by reducing the side of their vehicles…but a more rational way to look at it is that, since large vehicles (and deer, and trees) will not cease to exist, a 20% reduction in the weight of new cars means a 15% increase in the death of families riding in them.

Your Death: A Risk They’re Willing to Take

(caption: Barak will remain safe in his gas-hogging limosine)

(caption: Never fear; Barak will remain safe in his gas-hogging limosine)

Not only will there continue to be industrial vehicles, tractor-trailor rigs, and other necessary vehicles on the road to hit your shrinking family car, and not only will the deer you hit not be on a corrresponding diet, but bear in mind that the “fleet vehicles” the politicians use are effectively exempted. So Obama, McCain, government officials, and their loved ones will still be safe in their gigantic limosines, massive taxis, and ponderous police cars, to collide with and crush we mere mortals.

Statistically, you are twice as likely to die in a small car than a larger one, during a crash…THREE times as likely, if it’s a single-car crash. That’s right; you don’t have to hit an SUV to die from driving a small car: The more your car weighs, the more it can push back against the object it’s hitting, reducing the speed at which your body is jerked in an accident.

In fact, in a recent test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, smaller vehicles even proved doomsday devices in crash tests against mere mid-level vehicles. It’s not just that a smart car will kill you if it collides with an SUV, but even a normal sedan…and when the new laws are in effect, the normal sedans being made then will be death traps against one made today.

So if a Cap and Trade politician’s limosine crashes into your family car, a few years from now, you (not he) will be far more likely to die than today…but that’s ok, it’s a chance he’s willing to take.

The Mid-sized sedan is slowed moderately by the impact, but the minicar reverses direction in a fraction of the distance. Outcome: Sedan's driver; pissed off, smartcar's driver; dead

The Mid-sized sedan is slowed moderately by the impact, but the minicar reverses direction in a fraction of the distance. Outcome: Sedan's driver; pissed off, smartcar's driver; dead

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July 20, 2009 Posted by | environment, Politics, Society | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hypocritical Car Dealers’ Whining…


This car dealer whines about how an automaker should not be allowed to lay him off, and then talks about how HE laid off 35 employees

(caption: This car dealer whines about how a car company should not be allowed to lay him off, and then talks about how he laid off 35 employees)

Oh no, the bankrupt automobile manufacturers are ending their association with two thousand car dealerships!

This is unacceptable, because bankrupt companies should never cut costs, nor do anything else to become efficient and remain in business. They should keep all of their employees, business associations, et cetera, even if it means continuing to lose money and vanish entirely within the year.

On the other hand, why are these hypocrite car dealers not doing the same thing?

The ones pandering to a grandstanding Congressional panel today complained that they — the dealers themselves — had to lay off dozens of employees.

One of them said something like “I have been turned into a glorified used car dealer, which…[sob]…cost thirty-five of our loyal employees their jobs! [whimper]”

But…but…why on earth did he not simply keep all 35 of those employees, the way he’s demanding the automaker be forced to keep his dealership?

Every single explanation he might give, if asked this, would translate into an argument for why the automaker needed to get rid of extra dealerships.

Of course, the automakers could have kept more dealerships, if the Obama administration were not undermining their ability to get out of insane contracts with the UAW monopoly.

But, either way, the automakers are SUPPOSED to cut costs, at the cost of jobs and associations.

Or else the car dealerships should not be laying off employees, just because they lost their new car contracts.

And now we see another consequence of the Bush/Obama nationalization of industries...

And now we see another consequence of the Bush/Obama nationalization of industries...

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Politics, Society | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Americans Don’t Buy American


When you hear those lazy, tax-dollar-stealing car company reps on the radio saying you should “buy from us, or otherwise be sure to Buy American”, don’t forget that “Buy American” is unamerican.

Not only do they rob the taxpayers, but these lazy bureaucrats want us to buy inferior cars, out of fake patriotism

Not only do they rob the taxpayers, but these lazy bureaucrats want us to buy inferior cars, out of fake patriotism

The American Dream is for everyone to earn their way, NOT for people to be given an easy way out with affirmative action.

And Buying American™ in order to protect overpriced, inefficient union monopoly jobs is the very worst form of Affirmative Action.

We Americans have, for good reason, a long-standing belief in “meritocracy”, people getting what they earn, earning what they get.

Most of us have ancestors who came here because they could earn what they deserved, regardless of class, nationality, or whatever…at least compared to anywhere else.

And they passed on the kind of attitude necessary for such a tremendous move. Most of us still have a healthy dose of it, today.

And we’re in the one place in the world where we still have some opportunity to exercise it. Not as much as America used to, especially not as much as we’d like…but still more than anywhere else.

So we love this place, America, because we really do believe it’s the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

We love it enough that it’s hard to avoid getting suckered into tolerating, or even supporting, something completely unamerican, if it’s clothed in enough patriotic trappings.

The examples of that today are many…more than since the middle of the Cold War. But, aside from the many others which get plenty of bandwidth on the net already, there’s one which I almost never hear anyone speaking out against.

So I’m doing that, now.

Do you know who deserves to have the money for that new car you want to buy?

Whoever makes the best car in your price range. Frankly, that’s the only answer that fits with the Spirit of America.

Same with your shirt, your birdhouse, your silicon implants…whatever.

Yet some people, mostly bloated, bureaucratic corporations who make products which can’t compete on fair terms because they’re overpriced and underquality, have the nerve to tell us that it’s patriotic to “Buy American”. And because the word “American” is one we love, we’re tempted to fall for it.

But we need to stop.

If Mitsubishi and Hyundai make better cars than Ford and Chrysler, then they’re going to get more money. Then Ford and Chrysler are going to struggle. The solution? It’s for them to get off their lazy butts…and we, as Americans, are just the kind of straight-talkers to SAY that about them…and make better effing vehicles.

But if they can convince us to unconditionally “Buy American”, along with forcing us to give them billions in bailouts, then they don’t have to. They can keep making mediocre-or-worse cars. Which is what they’ve done since at least the mid seventies.

I remember an ad where Lee Iacoca leaned forward earnestly at what was implicitly his desk as a Ford executive, and said, in essence, “OK, we admit it, we have been half-assing the cars. But you taught us a lesson, so now we’re making really good cars. All you have to do is come back and try us out, we’ve decided that Quality is Job One, now.”

That was twenty-something years ago, if I recall correctly.

Just recently I saw another ad. Another car exec looking repentantly into the camera and ernestly saying something like “OK, we get it, we’ve been half-assing the cars. But you taught us a lesson, so now we’re making really good cars. We think quality is job one, now. No…really. This time we mean it.”

No, they’ll mean it when the people — who really do buy inferior cars because of emotional appeal — stop letting  the FEELING of being patriotic come before the actual actions of American ideals.

I’m going to stick to being a REAL American, and you should, too.

Support whomever deserves it, because anything else is not only wrong, and unamerican, but self-destructive in the long run.

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Politics, Society | , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Why Nobody Wants to Bail Out Automakers (except bureaucrats)


One thing you’ll notice about the debate over bailing out the automakers is that, even more than in general, everyone’s against it except corrupt politicians, panhandling automakers, and monopolistic union officials.

That’s because it’s a lose/lose situation if we do, but things might actually get better if we don’t.

First, let’s consider the big, fat lie that three million people would be put out of work. 

We’ll ignore (for a moment) that bankrupcy will actually keep them in business and let them become more efficient.

Let’s pretend, instead that the automakers would actually [poof] ceased to exist.  Only a couple hundred thousand workers, not three million, actually are employed by those car companies.

If the companies vanished, then all other 2,800,000 workers would not only continue to have jobs…

(continued after the spiffy pic)

They claim three million jobs are at stake, but the bailout would actually cost jobs, and make a few union management types rich

They claim three million jobs are at stake, but the bailout would actually cost jobs, and make a few union management types rich

…but probably end up with better versions of their jobs. Why? Because people wouldn’t stop buying cars, they just would be buying DIFFERENT cars. Cars that need dealers, mechanics, parts sellers, and all the other jobs that the car companies are dishonestly counting as “three million jobs”. If you don’t buy a car from the Big Three oligopoly of panhandlers, you’ll buy one from someone else, instead.

 

Of course foreign cars often don’t need repairs and parts as often as American cars, but THAT would represent a savings for americans in general, that would create more jobs.

But, of course, the Big Three are in ZERO danger of magically vanishing.

Instead, they’d have to file for bankrupcy “restructuring”, which would be a way to allow them to fix a lot of the stupid inefficiency that laws and bureaucracy have trapped them with, WITHOUT them having to steal twenty five billion dollars (a number that will grow) from you and me, and then have Big Brother socialize them with mandatory “changes” that don’t represent what we consumers want, anyway.

And…well, really, that’s it. There are no other excuses for squandering $500 from the pocket of every middle-class family on yet another socialist bailout. Just “three million jobs” that is really only a couple hundred thousand jobs that would not go away, anyhow.

Sure, I could point out how restructuring, instead of a bailout, would break the back of the UAW monopoly, which forces American car companies to pay nine times as much for labor as foreign car companies. And how the UAW is therefore bribing the Democrats the way the Big Three automakers are bribing the fake-Republican neocons…which might just happen to be why they are all for the bailout, when everyone else is against it.

But, really, it boils down to “three million jobs is a lie”.

In fact, it boils down to the fact that americans would probably GAIN jobs from letting GM file for restructuring, while we will LOSE jobs by squandering more money on the bailout, which will ultimately come out of YOUR pocket, and mine. When the government wastes money, we lose the opportunity to spend the money on actual, productive things that employ people.

We need more economic freedom, to regain true American prosperity, not more handouts lifted from our own pockets.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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