By on October 24, 2013

Teen-graph

“Too Poor To Drive”. This is the gut level conclusion that’s been propagated in “Generation Why” since January, 2012, long before the theory gained currency in the broader automotive world. In the nearly two years since, the “kids aren’t interested in cars because of technology/the environment/urbanization” meme has held up tenaciously – and it’s not entirely false.

 

The main issue has been a lack of data to support our argument. Hard data costs lots of time and money, something that is precious in the world of automotive reporting. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who really want the alternate theory to be true, and they’re happy to help their cause with lots of alarming but inaccurate articles.

Juan Barnett of DC Auto Geek has analyzed a new study by the IIHS, which looks at unemployment figures, the number of insured teenage drivers and graduated licensing laws, shows that unemployment for both teens and their parents, is by far the biggest factor in preventing younger people from driving. Without the resources for a car, insurance and gas, young people don’t have much hope getting behind the wheel or any car, let alone their own car.

 

 

 

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358 Comments on “Generation Why: No Job, No Money, No Car...”


  • avatar
    Viceroy_Fizzlebottom

    Not surprising. There are very few jobs for teens anymore. The jobs that would normally be done by teenagers (fast food, retail, etc) are being done by recent college grads whom themselves are facing record student loan debt and record unemployment. Combine that with how expensive used cars have been for a while and how expensive it can be to repair and insure a modern car, it’s not hard to see why this is happening.

    • 0 avatar
      caltemus

      As a commuting college student and young auto enthusiast, money is tight. I’m spending upwards of 100 dollars a week on gas alone. Even with a job, running and maintaining a car that I can afford is a huge burden. If there were public transportation in my area I wouldn’t need a car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      +1 on the name Viceroy.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      The answer is obvious: create jobs, which will create money. And have a “peoples car” (like the original Volkswagen) which costs no more than 10% of a person’s yearly income. Henry Ford did this. Ferdinand Porsche did this. If we can land on the moon, we can rebuild our economy with a domestic Marshall Plan, a program that would include jobs rebuilding the infrastructure, new industry (do we really need to buy ALL our clothing and electronic goods overseas?) and affordable housing and transportation for all citizens (look at China for some ideas- albeit imperfect- on how to boost the economy).

      • 0 avatar
        crm114

        If there were fewer regulations in this country, it could be done. The cheapest you can bring a car to market in this country is about $12k. Get rid of all the safety regs, you can have all the $5k cars you want, no Apollo program needed.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Just make sure that buying a deathtrap requires separate insurance so you don’t jack up my rates, please.

        • 0 avatar
          early

          Dude the cheapest motorcycles retail for $5000 what makes you think you can get the materials for whole car and sell it for that price? Deregulation of safety standards is NOT going to make materials cost come down. Not to mention the economy goes up, so do gas prices, therefore a big cost of car ownership.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            My neighbor owns a late model Harley. A friend came over to visit him with a partially restored 1950 Harley. It was the difference between a first year model T and this year’s S-class! You can make a bike for less than $5,000, but nobody will buy it. The same would apply to under $5,000 cars: it’s possible – think Yugo – but nobody will buy it. At least not enough for the maker to make a profit.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            @ “Deregulation of safety standards is NOT going to make materials cost come down”

            Deregulation won’t make the current $15k Corolla suddenly cost $5k. But deregulation will make market entry easier. If Walmart start to carry 5 different Chinese brands of cars (which you never heard about), would you still be surprised that they start at $4999?

          • 0 avatar

            “Deregulation won’t make the current $15k Corolla suddenly cost $5k. But deregulation will make market entry easier. If Walmart start to carry 5 different Chinese brands of cars (which you never heard about), would you still be surprised that they start at $4999?”

            I don’t see that happening – not with the dealer lobby around.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Jeff, I completely agree with your comment. There should be an affordable people’s car and decent paying jobs will create demand for more cars and benefit the economy overall.

        • 0 avatar
          wsn

          Cars ARE affordable now!

          I still remember my friend’s dad bought a Camry XLE V6 for $34k in 1993. So, roughly speaking, cars didn’t go up in price in the last 20 years, while there were drastic improvements. In comparison, house price went up lot (even with the recent crash accounted for), gold, petro, labor cost, even Chinese labor cost all went up.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I disagree, wages have not kept pace with the price of new automobiles as well as the other things you named.

            Your friend’s father bought a Japanese built car that is closer to a Lexus today in terms of ride and build quality and I’m sure he got plenty of use out of it in comfort and style.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            Car price went up 0% since 1993, and yet starting salaries went up about 50% for fresh graduates (from mid$ $40k to mid $60k). Despite all the news coverage about a supposed recession, it’s actually easier to find the $60k job now as compared to finding a $40k back then.

            I was in that Camry many times. It’s like a first love sort of thing. You thought she is great. But that’s just your emotion. It (she) was never as great as you make it to be.

            A 1993 Camry XLE V6 is about as powerful as a 2013 Camry XLE (without the V6). Much smaller and not as safe. It was beige leather back then, it’s beige leather now.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I agree with wsn, cars are more affordable now than ever. Average transaction price has gone up because content has gone up, but feature content being equal, cars are as affordable as ever.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Car price went up 0%”

            I don’t quite understand what you mean by this, price in relative to wage?

            “yet starting salaries went up about 50% for fresh graduates (from mid$ $40k to mid $60k)”

            Who is making 60K out of school at 21 with no experience? Seriously I want to meet them so I can rob them at gunpoint. No kid with no experience in any field other than perhaps medicine (or maybe engineering) and outside of the metro areas where that’s peanuts should be grossing that much money. I thought the point of the Gen Y malaise was because jobs are few and far between and when they do exist they pay peanuts.

            “A 1993 Camry XLE V6 is about as powerful as a 2013 Camry XLE (without the V6). Much smaller and not as safe. It was beige leather back then, it’s beige leather now.”

            Your points are well taken on improvements but the MY93 has about three times the build quality and materials than the 2013. I personally am not interested in driving either but given a choice I would roll the MY93, but remember this is coming from the guy who drove a 240 sedan to work today.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            28,
            Those jobs are plentiful. Go to any area where it’s known as “The BLANK shale”, and bring your resume along with a good attitude and just about any practical skill.

            The guys who are really having a hard time are over 40 tech guys. The ruse that they “didn’t keep their skill set up to date” is a cover for “they might not be happy as we would like with what we want to pay even if they claim they want the job at the offered salary.” Or it may be code for “we suck as a company, but immigrants and kids won’t realize that.”

            I know a LOT of these guys. Most have moved to non tech fields after giving up, and make much less. Telling your kid to get a tech degree is bad advice unless you warn him to plan on no job after forty. At least a third of the over forty crowd will get pushed out and as usual, you can bet it has little to do with who gets the job done as to who gets tossed out of the lifeboat.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        There are these fabulous things called “used cars”. You can even get one for less than $1000 with a little luck. There is simply no reason to sell unsafe cheap new cars in a first world country. Modern cars are so much longer lasting than old ones, a used car is a much smaller risk than in the past.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Complete BS. In the mid-late 1980s (not that long ago), $50,000 would buy you the Ferrari of your choice. Now, it will not even get you a fully loaded Grand Cherokee.

          Additionally, it is not just the prices of the cars themselves that is a problem. In many parts of the country, gasoline is $4 a gallon. Insurance is also EXTREMELY expensive for young and inexperienced drivers.

          Used car prices are very high too. I remember, 12 years ago, a friend would buy 60s/70s Ford trucks for his Lawncare business. They ran and were in good shape. He would get them for $1000 or less a truck. Now you can’t find a decent one for less than $5000.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            In 1999 we bought our current daily driver brand new. 265K miles later and and it still does the job just fine. Have looked at it’s updated cousins and prices have increased roughly $5K-$6K for the very same vehicle.

            Rolling back the clock to 1984, my parents bought a loaded S-10 Blazer 4WD for $12.5K. What would that vehicle cost today? $30K?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        We can’t make a new Marshall Plan because we are too busy paying for the reverse Marshall Plan, an arrangement where we sell everything that isn’t nailed down to pay for senior citizens. Social Security, Medicare, 60% of Medicaid. It’s about 50% of federal revenue ($1.5T), and then the interest on the debt to cover retirement entitlements, the only programs growing as a percentage of GDP compared to their historical averages. But perhaps the best part, is that we spend about 200% more on senior healthcare, yet we actually manage to shorten their life span compared to other developed nations. Stunning achievement. Nothing says caring like discharging someone into hospice care after failed experimental surgery.

        A bunch of people say we need to shrink the military, which is the only entitlement that actually goes to the lower-middle class, particularly males, who are the most beleaguered demographic in the US.

        If you want to build something new, you’re basically going to have to defund our social entitlements and spend the money on productivity. Middle class muscle has been converted into entitlement fat. Everyone is worse off.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          TW5, you’re saying that military spending is a more effective way to bring jobs to the lower classes than cutting military spending and funneling the money into jobs programs targeted at the lower classes.

          I’d reply there’s a reason why military spending produces hundreds of billions in profits for the CEOs and shareholders of GE, Honeywell, Boeing, General Dynamics, Halliburton, et al. Hint: Not all the money goes to the soldiers.

          As an aside, I’d be hard pressed to refer to those who serve in the military as enjoying an “entitlement” — a word I can’t stand anyway, insofar as it was invented in order to brainwash us all that collecting in our old age on programs we contributed to all our lives makes us leeches. A little taxation on the richest people and most parasitic “enterprises” in this country would go a long, long way without the need to make Grandma eat Kibbles ‘n Bits for dinner.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            It doesn’t matter that companies are earning profits from defense contracts. The comparable social entitlements produce the same profits for corporations, yet produce nothing of long term value for the recipients or the general populace. The military has many problems, but it generally produces something of value, though people often like to pretend that stability has no market value.

            Middle-class productivity doesn’t have to be military. It could be agriculture, aerospace, infrastructure or anything that has some constitutional foundation. The military is the only of those programs that hasn’t been defunded to pay for social entitlements, thus, the military is the only entitlement with a history of success, even if its because the military has managed to survive the gutting of middle class spending.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Apart from the direct effect of technology “replacing” the need for a car, and the obvious economic ability to afford one, is a hypothesis that bridges both ideas: The strains on household discretionary income are greater now than they have been in previous generations. We’re paying more for cable, smartphones, insurance, etc, amid stagnant wages. Sure, in many cases we’re also GETTING more for our money. And in terms of lifestyle improvements, you can easily argue we’re in a golden age of information and entertainment. But part of me thinks if most people cut the cable, went back to antenna, and eliminated cell phones (or at least smartphones), they could find another car payment pretty quickly.

    In other words, we’ve squeezed car payments out of our budgets because everything else is (subtly or subconsciously) deemed more important.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I agree. But it is impossible to ignore this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0ehzfQ4hAQ

      There is a reason luxury car makers are going downmarket. If they want volume, they have to build cheaper cars. It is also why the ultra high end is booming.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        It is hard to ignore it. For me, that’s because I realize that it’s an attempt to gain money and power by misrepresenting reality and by promoting an ideology without disclosing anything about solutions only talking about how terrible the situation is while even distorting that.

        The obvious tricks being used are the usuals.

        • 0 avatar
          skakillers

          The video is an attempt to gain money and power? How? It’s just a pretty simple explanation of some data. I do agree that the whole ’9/10 Americans don’t know this!’ angle is a little cheesy, it kind of reminds me of those ’1 simple secret to weight loss’ banner ads.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            That guy isn’t explaining anything and the explanation may be simplistic but its not simple anything except misleading. He is pushing an agenda and hoping to get something from doing so. He wants to sell something, likely his own self. He wants a job or a grant or to sell books or whatever.

          • 0 avatar
            skakillers

            Ah, ok, I thought you actually had a piece of data to back up your claims. You’re just assuming that he has some sinister agenda because, what, you disagree that there’s extreme wealth disparity in the US?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            If you want to argue with yourself, why involve me?

            There is no hard data in the video, and only opinion after that. You be your own judge.

            There is now, and always will be wealth disparity. The bigger the government the worse it seems to get.

          • 0 avatar
            imag

            Here is the data Landcrusher:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States

            The tax cuts went largely to top earners. Much of that big government money is being funneled to corporations in the form of bank bailouts and military spending.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Imag,
            Nice data, is there a point to repeating it?

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          TIL that anyone who is telling the truth must be doing so for profit. Thanks Landcrusher! You sure did save me from being conned by all those egg head intellectuals and their truthy gobblity-gook.

          • 0 avatar
            skakillers

            It’s interesting that you’ll often hear that critique from people who consider profit to be extremely important.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            … isn’t that *assuming* that the claims involved are Just Truth?

            Plenty of people are “selling” things that look a lot like the truth (and often closely approach it, or a plausible reading of it), turns out.

            Equally people sell things that are damned lies.

            But relevantly, “a really strident sounding YouTube video!” is *better adapted* to emotionally-charged sales of Feelings than to dispassionate *truth-telling*.

            A video full of things like the aforementioned “9/10 don’t know this!” [which has the convenient effect of making the listener feel like he\'s now in a small elite of better-informed, superior people] is a good heuristic for a *sales job* rather than information.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            Sigivald,
            So it sounds like you have a problem with the presentation of the data instead of the data itself. Here is a more academic presentation of the data this video is based on.

            http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Über,
            Anyone using those tropes aren’t doing it because they are just into spreading the truth. People using demagoguery are generally pushing an agenda. Being an egg head is no guarantee of either good intentions or competency. I assume car sales men are trying to sell a car, academics are seeking influence and notoriety, and activists are seeking power. Everyone is looking for money.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            @Landcrusher
            I’m glad I don’t share or even believe in your incredibly pessimistic outlook on human nature. Sounds like you haven’t actually met any real academics. I work with them every day (healthcare) and I will tell you that the ones I have met are not motivated by money or notoriety but by the thrill of discovery and helping people.

            Do you care to provide any data to counter what was provided in the video or paper that I linked to? Care to provide us with sites free from demagoguery so that we can all be as insightful and free from all bias like yourself?

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        @ There is a reason luxury car makers are going downmarket. If they want volume, they have to build cheaper cars. It is also why the ultra high end is booming.

        It’s just a business model.
        Step 1: create a brand with good effort (but you don’t make too much money at this stage)
        Step 2: cheapen the brand down with inferior products (gets truck loads of money)
        Step 3: buyers start to notice and your brand would fail
        Step 4: repeat from step 1, or with the money at hand, buy out a promising new brand

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        I’ll explain the video so you don’t have to guess. During the 50s, 60s, and 70s, we spent money on the middle class. Caused best post-industrial distribution of wealth in US history. Then LBJ created the Great Society. Great Society transferred money away from the middle class and into retirement and poverty spending. The programs slowed the decline in poverty, and created economic problems almost immediately. After playing with inflation briefly (disaster), we started deficit spending to cover our bills, which made the wealthy very rich. The best part is that we started the Great Society just before China decided to get its act together in the early 1970s. Awesome!!

        One segment of the middle class realized they’d been hoodwinked by the government. They demand and immediate refund of middle class tax revenue, which is unrealistic. Another segment of the middle class looked at the distribution of wealth, and decided that the rich were trying to wipe them out. The rich actually can’t survive without their educated workers and well-paid customers, but the lower-middle class don’t understand the situation because the US education system is in shambles.

        Republicans have to get Tweedle-Dumb (conservatives) under control, while Democrats have to make Tweedle-Dumber (liberals) behave. Then they have to figure out how to trust one another long enough to put spending back where it belongs, without killing the elderly and poor. It’s easier to stir the pot and then posture like they can win a filibuster-proof majority. Debt keeps growing. The rich get richer.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I went from $80/month sat bill to an Apple TV w/ Netflix, Hulu+, and buying the rest of what we used to watch on iTunes. I watch less TV and it saves me around $500/yr (up front; not accounting for seasons of Always Sunny and such that I used to purchase after the season aired). While it does save a little bit of money, the product is far better, IMO. Minimal commercials, less time “surfing”, and watching what I want when I want. My cable internet company still pipes a number of channels into my house, so I will watch the occasional football game, but I can barely stand it between the commercials and the relative time spent watching versus the entertainment provided.

      My iphone is not something that I’d soon give up, though. It is my lifeline to friends that live 100s of miles away. Way too easy to share photos of my 1 year old with my parents, facetime with friends and family, get information on the go. Our 2 data plans cost us $40/month over the standard phone plans we have with AT&T. Easily worth the money.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      EDIT: Accidentally posted to wrong thread; my apologies.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Shhh…

      Let them believe there is a universal stereotype of an entire age group and a single reason behind multiple trends. Let’s not let the complexity of the real world taint anyone’s dogma.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Add up the cost of all those monthly subscriptions and plug them into a simple savings calculator. Not hard to save up several hundred thousand dollars over 25 years. Ate lunch with a fellow a while back who lamented his nearly $200 per month cellphone bill – four or five smartphones at his house. Add to that cable TV at $100+ per month, maybe a house phone, maybe internet service if the cable TV doesn’t provide it. Then a car payment or two. A mortgage. And who does their own car and home maintenance anymore (I do but among my peers I am apparently rare…)? Whatever technology you prefer is probably obsolete in a year’s time and if a person is the type that wants to have the latest and greatest… More $$$. Another friend was lamenting the cost of cable TV. $150+ per month. We cut the cord several years ago. Just not worth the expense when my kids were watching one channel, my wife was watching one or two shows, and I was content to watch whatever (not following any shows). That left 100+ channels we never utilized – and we had the small subscription package.

      Compare our 2013 lifestyles to our grandparent’s generation: they seldom ate out. They made a fair amount of their clothes. They fixed and maintained their things themselves. This is still possible – my two cars have been in the shop twice in 15 years… There was far less to buy in the first place.

      So on and so forth.

      I strive to be the guy with the big savings account and still have a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. I don’t mind to skip a few generations of stuff to accomplish this. We carpool, we drive an older car with another older car on standby, our commute distance is short, and so forth.

      We bought my wife’s iPhone outright and 7 months later we beat the subscription plan from the other cell phone company. $35 per month for unlimited service. I dislike carrying a cell so I have a phone I paid $30 new with a pay as we go plan that costs me about $10 per month. Nothing flashy about this phone. It texts (which I seldom use) and it makes phone calls (which I seldom use). ;) I have a phone at home and a on my desk at work. Leave me a message if I’m not there. ;)

      As for earnings: my grandfather worked for one employer most of his life and supported his family on that income. My father traded up on employers a few times and my mother did not work outside the home until us kids were in school. They got by just fine.

      My wife and I had to both work from the get-go but we are comfortable and have secure jobs. Our raises are generally modest COL adjustments.

      My nieces and nephews are lucky to find a job with benefits. No raises. Just employers who use them up and replace them with another warm body when this one quits.

      Some of that lands on their shoulders: as a product of the suburban lifestyle, they never learned to do much except play video games and go to the mall. They didn’t grow up on farms or live in homes where their parents did what our grandparents did – fix and make for themselves. These kids know how to buy stuff and they know how to use Facebook. They have so much to learn but they don’t see the value in it yet. Even among my 40-something peers I have a fair number of friends who never got traction in life even despite a quality education. They are like my nieces and nephews – schooled in the art of suburban living and not much else. A surprising number of them are living with their parents, raising children alone (divorces, out of wed lock children), still not recovered from the ’08 Great Recession – and some of that is their own fault too. Got to get out there to find a job and not just look at webpages with job listings. In my experience the good jobs are filled long before they’d ever reach a website.

      My wife and I both recognize the “dangers” of growing up in a suburb and we are teaching our kids anything and everything. Don’t be a helpless consumer at the mercy of the economy – that guy that the evening news always interviews each time fuel leaps a buck a gallon complaining about how expensive it is to refuel his extra large vehicle. Think McFly! Think (ahead)!

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    It’s a good thing the left hates cars, otherwise we’d see a new law floated in Washington: The Affordable Automobile Act. Subsidies for the poor to purchase cars, the high cost of which resulted from prior misguided government policies, paid for by “the rich” and loans from our unborn grandchildren.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I am liberal and I don’t hate cars. Please cut out the tired cliches.

      And many on the right didn’t seem to mind us borrowing for pointless wars or massive corporate subsidies. I would hope that true conservatives were against these things.

      Why don’t you take a look at where the debt actually came from: http://www.cbpp.org/images/5-12-11bud2.jpg

      • 0 avatar

        I am a moderate, but have been branded a RINO liberal by the current faction that is holing the Republican Party hostage. I didn’t leave the party, the party left me.

        I see no evidence that “the Left,” whomever that is, hates cars. It seems “The Left” recently initiated measures that rescued the domestic car industry, INCLUDING Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me.”

          I use this twist on Regan also. There are a lot of people in the far left of the Democratic party that make me wish I could be a Republican, but then I see the people in the Republican party. I’m straight ticket Democrat on the national level for social and economic reasons, but get a lot more selective at the state and local levels (where most of the waste, fraud and abuse occur, in every state). The worst is single party rule. Any state or town where a Democrat cannot get elected, or a Republican cannot get elected, is going to have massive corruption.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I agree on the single party thing. I have said this about Detroit. When the guys in power have no fear of the voters, look out.

            I can’t vote Democrat nationally though. The Republicans may try to get in my bedroom, but the Democrats succeed in getting in my pocket and the rest of my life all the damn time.

        • 0 avatar
          dreadnought

          You don’t see any evidence the Left hates cars? I’ve spent over 28 years in the government-regional transportation planning. It is a profession that has become dominated by the Green left-and the antipathy toward the automobile is unbelievable.

          I considered myself (and was considered by others), a left-wing guy at one time. One of the main reasons I “switched” was the hate for the auto that I noticed emanated from most lefties by the mid-1990′s.

          There are still some old-time lefties who don’t hate autos (Alexander Cockburn, for example was a big Chrysler buff, though he died recently), but they are mostly the old class-warfare types
          who saw the mobility provided by automobile (correctly, in my opinion) as a liberating force-but now the Greens dominate the left, and they see cars as the number one evil in the world.

          As far as the bailout goes, that was a payoff to the Unions that the Democratic party needed to retain power. Certainly not due to any love for the automobile.

          That “current faction that is holing (sic) the Republican Party hostage” is all that stands between complete domination of this country by the Green left.

          • 0 avatar
            SaulTigh

            You also failed to mention their complete obsession with “light rail” and other money sucking boondoggles in the public transportation sphere.

        • 0 avatar
          wsn

          @ “I see no evidence that “the Left,” whomever that is, hates cars. It seems “The Left” recently initiated measures that rescued the domestic car industry, INCLUDING Ford.”

          1) Bush initiated the bailouts of GM/Chrysler.
          2) An industry doesn’t get rescued or destroyed. It’s just there following economic cycles. The union jobs got rescued.

          3) If there was no bailout, GM/Chrysler would bankrupt Chapter 7. The assets would be bought by Chinese investors, union jobs replaced by $10/hour Mexican immigrants, and the industry is still there pumping out millions of cars per year.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Gov’t was too big then and now, parts of it needs to be sliced off and shut down to start; government is not an industry. The parts of it we still want to carry need to be thinned out as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        That chart is just crap. Repeat after me, “Tax cuts do not cause debt. Debt comes from borrowing.”

        Do you really believe that if the Democrats had stood up and said they wouldn’t vote for a deficit that we ever would have had one? Really?

        • 0 avatar
          skakillers

          What are you talking about? The way that tax cuts work is that the government issues bonds (debt) and then spends the money gained from their sale in place of the tax revenue.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “The way that tax cuts work is that the government issues bonds (debt) and then spends the money gained from their sale in place of the tax revenue.”

            That assumes – as the State always does – that you cannot possibly cut *spending*.

            But, of course, one *can*. It doesn’t need to increase every year in real terms – it can even be decreased!

            I *promise* you that’s possible, and it doesn’t lead to a Mad Max situation with people eating babies. Honest.

            (Also, “tax cuts” are cuts in tax *rates*, which have occasionally increased revenue, but that’s another matter, and we might well be on the wrong side of the Laffer curve for that to work at the moment, so we can ignore it.)

          • 0 avatar
            skakillers

            I wasn’t challenging the idea that tax cuts could involve spending cuts, just describing how they usually go down. I promise you, I know it’s possible.

        • 0 avatar
          imag

          Do you not understand that you borrow money because you do not have enough revenue to cover spending?

          The GOP has spent lots of money while decreasing taxes. I do not understand how you think that does not lead to borrowing.

          Anyway, here’s a little reality check.

          http://www.contrastingsounds.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/800px-US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I don’t understand why you think you know what I think. It’s rather insulting and rude on your part.

            I think that debt comes from spending more than you have. Period. I will vote for the balanced budget guy EVERY time. The democrats don’t seem to have any of those guys, and the Republicans seem to have a few though not nearly enough. At any rate, taxes have nothing to do with it except for when they discourage value creation.

            Lastly, it’s congress that has the most influence over the budget, not the President. Link ignored as dubious trivia.

          • 0 avatar
            imag

            “Debt comes from spending more than you have”

            “Taxes have nothing to do with it”

            I am not trying to be rude. It simply seems obvious that what you “have” comes from taxes. Taxes are the only place you get the money to spend. And yet you claim they have nothing to do with debt.

            And the president signs the budget. Do you think that Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. had nothing to do with the increased spending and decreased taxes on their watch?

            I do not know what you think, but it is rather surreal to try to reconcile your statements.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Imag,
            It’s not complicated. The debt comes from borrowing, from making promises.

            If in 2014 the government brings in 500 billion then it has a choice. Spend up to 500 billion or spend more.

            The same statement is true no matter what the number is. Tax revenue is irrelevant. You only get debt by spending more than you have. We can always decide not to borrow. We are not forced to borrow outside of actual emergencies that threaten the nation.

            And yes, the President signs the budget bill into law, but he doesn’t have to. All budget bills must originate in the House and must pass in both houses of Congress where they get changed and haggled over and porked up to get support. The President tries to get what he wants, but he actually only has two choices. He can take what he thinks is his best deal or shut down the government by vetoing the budget. The Congress can actually override the veto.

            Reality is that the President doesn’t technically have that much power over the budget besides leadership and negotiation. That’s why we have been running the country without a budget lately. Each congressman holds out for what he thinks he can demand.

            The Presidents of course have responsibility, but the reality is that it’s mainly Congresses fault. That’s a problem because blaming a committee never works that well.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Federal revenues have been the same for over 50 years–roughly 18% of GDP +-2%

            Reducing tax rates doesn’t necessarily reduce tax revenues or vice versa.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            History has shown us that the only sure cure for deficits is economic growth.

            The US emerged from WWII wth enormous debt, and a lot of people questioning how it coule ever be paid off. The postwar boom grew the economy so quickly that the debt became much more affordable and taxes could be reduced.

            And yes, the Constitution does require that money bills originate in the House. But they can’t become law unless and until they are passed in the Senate and signed by the President. A Presidential veto can be overridden, but that takes a 2/3 vote in both Houses of Congress – something that will only be achieved in extraordinary circumstances. So, it’s simply not correct to say that the budget is the sole preserve of Congress, and especially of the House.

            The US is officially bicameral, but the “strong presidency”{ built into the Constitution makes it really tricameral.

            Same thing following the recession of 1989-92. The policies of Bush 41 (including a tax increase) laid the ground for the greatest peacetime expansion in US history (which greatly benefited Clinton, because he happened to be in office when it really kicked in). Deficit turned to surplus, and by 200 0 Clinton could point out that the US was on track to eliminate the national debt within 10 years. If only!

            Then Bush 43 got elected, and set out to reduce taxes (yes, mostly on the rich), which immediately turned $200 billion surpluses into $200 billion deficits. The deficits grew, as the Republican congress grew spending at the highest rate in peacetime history.

            In the aftermath of the Great Recession, we need economic growth to restore government finances. But it’s being slowed by the Republican insistence on reducing public spending – a policy that is clearly counterproductive.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @etc

            The policies of individual presidents are not terribly important.

            Clinton benefited from the Asian Crisis. Prior to 1997, Asia was attracting half of all direct investment. After the Asian crisis, investment flooded into the dot com sector. The US became very wealthy, and Clinton’s tax increase in 1993 actually became beneficial for balancing the budget during the boom.

            The bubble burst in 2000, and 9/11 happened a year later. Investment started leaving the US, which was a problem because we needed to be economically strong to fight WOT. Congress decided to expand credit, spend deficits, and attract investment in “outsource proof” industries like housing, healthcare, and education.

            It worked well for a while, but the trade deficit grew to 5% of GDP, nearly half of which was consumptive oil imports. The writing was on the wall.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            TWS, I beg to differ. The policies of a President can have a tremendous impact.

            The boom of the 1990s was due in no small part to the creation of the Resolution Trust Company by President Bush (Bush 41). The banking system was relieved of its bad debts, and had to find new customers to finance.

            By contrast, Japan gave assistance to its banks, which they used to nurse along their bad borrowers, instead of making new loans to good businesses. Almost 2 decades of recession followed.

            The Asian Crisis had no impact on the level of dot com investment, which rose steadily throughout the 90′s. New investment did come into the US, but primarily to Treasuries and megacorp stocks (as becomes obvious when you compare performance of the Dow to that of the S&P and Nasdaq).

            The tax increase of 1990 (Bush 41) took effect as the economy was starting to recover from the recession of 1989. The 1993 increase (Clinton) came into force when the economy was already in full expansion. Theses increases, coming at a time when economic growth was already swelling tax collections, were a part of turning the budget from deficit into surplus, for which Clinton got credit – along with credit for being President during the boom itself (timing, as they say, is everything).

            By 2000, the budget surplus was on a scale that would, had it continued, have paid off the national debt by 2010.

            But it didn’t continue. The Bush tax cut of 2001 immediately turned a $200 billion surplus into a $200 billion deficit, and the Reuplican congress topped that with the largest peacetime spending increases in history. This, plus the cost of the Iraq war, sent the deficit to around $500 billion throughout Bush 43′s second term, and ballooned it to $1 trillion by the time President Obama took office and inherited that albatross (there’s that timing thing again).

            So yeah, presidential policies can make a huge difference. Bush 41 laid the ground for the boom of the 90′s, while Bush 43 did enormous financial and economic damage. Not to mention the the clusterf**k that was the Iraq war, and the blatant lies on which it was based.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ etc

            You can beg all you like, but micro-banking policy under HW Bush does not cause the NASDAQ to triple in 18 months. Clinton’s effective tax rates, the highest in US history, did not cause the NASDAQ to triple. Asia had a crisis. Investors moved their capital to the US. The dotcom boom was born.

            Furthermore, there were no Clinton surpluses. Nominal national debt was rising. Clinton and the Republican Congress were borrowing money from the Social Security Administration, which allowed the GAO to recognize surplus FICA receipts as revenue. They merely created deficits for future administrations.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Hang on. I did not say that Bush 41′s policies triggered any particular run-up in the NASDAQ several years later. But it is true that his initiatives, and particularly the repsonse to the S&L/banking crisis at the end of the 80′s, laid the ground for the huge economic expansion throughout the 90′s.

            The Asian crisis hit in late 1997-early 1998. And yes, it did result in a rush of capital into the US. That capital, however, didn’t flow into dot coms.

            The dollar went up, fuelled by demand for Treasuries.

            The Dow rose by neatly 25% in 1998.

            The tech-heavy NASDAQ, iirc, rose by something like 29% in 1998. BUT, if you took away Microsft, Dell and 3 other large-cap stocks, “NASDAQ-5″ fell by 7%.

            The dot coms were financied within the US, not by foreign money seeking a safe haven. That money went into blue-chips and other large-cap stocks, and into Treasuries (which helped drive interest rates down).

            Cavil as you wish about the nature of the surpluses. But it is true that by the beginning of 2001, Wall Street was complaing to the Treasury that the supply of 5- and 10- year Treasuries that the financial markets use as a benchmark for interest rates was falling, to the point where the market float would no longer be sufficent for that purpose within a few years. So, yes, the surpluses were real, in cash terms.

            I recall it well, as I was in the midst of it.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Landcrusher
          Very true tax cuts don’t cause debt.

          But 40% of the US’s GDP is government spending. It is only collecting 27% of GDP in tax.

          How do you remedy this? Who are you going to sell to to earn some cash?

          I would first reduce subsidised industry and create a more competitive market.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Big Al,
            I wouldn’t ask that question. I would ask what do we stop spending on. Macroeconomics has lots of terms that can get manipulated into free lunch science. There is no free lunch.

            I suspect fifty percent cuts could easily be had in many of the departments with only very minor losses in value output. Raising the retirement age at even a very slow rate like one month per year bends the curve insanely in our favor. Figuring out how to warn people that the operation they are about to get will give them three more months of agony rather than a few days of peace to say goodbye would save Medicare bazillions.

            Before that I would totally overhaul the tax codes in such a way as to for e 80% of people doing tax preparation, counseling, and lobbying into doing something constructive.

    • 0 avatar
      Topher

      Subsidies to the poor are actually subsidies to the industries that rely on the working poor. If MickyDs had to pay employees a living wage, its workers wouldn’t be on SNAP and other social welfare programs. Thus, we’re subsidizing McDonalds by providing these programs which let McDonalds get away with paying so little.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree with your assertion on subsidies, but I disagree on the “living wage” rhetoric. Gov’t I believe sees their subsidies as (1) proactive measure to combat the reemergence of 19th century style slums and (2) the creation/maintenance of voting bloc, other consequences such as effective kickbacks to industry through allowing cheap wages are “officially” unintended. I take a harder view, I believe subsidizing people people with little to know marketable skills only reinforces bad behavior and sets a poor example for the next generation. I actually wrote a quick analysis of the welfare class a few days ago and subdivided into constructive and destructive subtypes, you might enjoy it as I try to take a neutral view based on my experiences.

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          I don’t buy the “voting bloc” argument. If it were that simple, those with the money to throw around in the name of political speech could simply invest said money in the voting bloc by providing that segment of the population with training and a so-called living wage.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m certainly not married to the argument so it could be withdrawn but in my observation the “working poor” do seem to vote as a bloc for whomever promises them a payday.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            ” the “working poor” do seem to vote as a bloc for whomever promises them a payday.”

            And the wealthy don’t?

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            We have a bought government. Regardless of who you vote for.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Ubermensch

            If you mean the elites I agree, but from a voting figures standpoint their bloc is much smaller and more insignificant vs the “working poor” block.

            One might argue the elites use their wealth to buy politicians to get what they want, and I might agree, but that’s off topic of voting.

            @jkross22

            Sad but true.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            @28-cars-later
            The elite voting block may be insignificant in raw voting numbers but their money buys far more influence than the poor could even dream of.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            If people voted for what was in their best interest instead of based on some political philosophy, I think we would be better off. However, there is a fine (and cynical) line between voting for what one assumes is their own best interest (whether it is or it isn’t) and being coerced into voting against what is clearly in ones own best interest.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            If people are stupid enough to sell their vote or have their vote influenced by campaign spending they deserve what they are getting. I don’t believe the attacks on money in politics are worthwhile nor sincere. It’s game playing. The only limit I would think worthwhile is a limit on anonymous contributions.

            I would also like to see better controls on how campaigns borrow and spend. Particularly, I would prevent anyone from taking office with campaign balances over or below zero.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Ubermensch

            “The elite voting block may be insignificant in raw voting numbers but their money buys far more influence than the poor could even dream of.”

            Look at the federal budget. See that we spend 70% of the budget on social entitlements. Take off your tinfoil hat.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            @TW
            Pretty disingenuous on your part to claim that the federal budget is 70% “entitlements.” The only way to come to that number would be to include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. How can you claim that those are “entitlements” when they are paid for by the people receiving the benefits? Damn right they “entitled” to it, they paid in to it all their lives.

            Anyone using the loaded right-wing propaganda term “entitlements” has already pretty much ceded their arguments in my mind anyway. When you have to resort to using terms right out of the Karl Rove play-book it’s pretty hard to take you seriously.

            Yep, all those “entitled” voters, who have seen their wages decline or stagnate over the last 30 years, they sure are a powerful force.

            And I’M the one with the tinfoil hat.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @Ubermensch

            The entitlements were not paid for. Conservative estimates suggest that baby-boomers short paid by about $15T, the apocalyptic estimates exceed total US wealth. Best of all, Medicaid is for the poor and lower-middle class, yet seniors have managed to divert 60% of the funding for elderly care. We spend more on senior care than any other nation, yet seniors die earlier because experimental surgery is not the key to longevity or wellness. Why do you think Democrats proposed Obamacare? Because the current system works?

            There is no right-wing propaganda. There are people who understand the situation, and there are people who talk about business conspiracies, though an overwhelming majority of our budget is spent on counter-productive entitlements.

            You’re the kind of person who believes that feeding someone 4,000 calories of healthy food will make them healthy, not obese. You’re the kind of person who believes that one dose of medicine makes people feel better; therefore, drinking the entire bottle of medicine will cure people.

            There is no excuse for your incompetence.

        • 0 avatar
          Topher

          Link?

        • 0 avatar
          Topher

          @28-Cars-Later Link?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Found it.

            Oddly enough somehow it was on topic in the Mazda 3 review, I have posted the meat of it but you may want to check the other threads in article for context.

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/first-drive-review-2014-mazda3-with-video/

            This is a dangerous topic but I feel I have to add some reality. Whatever the ethnic background in my limited experience there seems to be a welfare class and I would define this class as folks who are typically born into poverty and then make it their lifestyle to sponge from gov’t/society. I would further divide this into two sub classes, those who are self destructive and those who are the opposite and learn how to game the system.

            The destructive ones are those who are given the same bennies as the constructive ones, so ebt, section 8, medicaid, tanf, additional state aid, etc. However they either lack the intelligence or are simply emotionally/intellectually damaged enough they fall into circles of drug addiction, alcoholism, petty crime, child abuse, sex crimes and prostitution. You could give these people the world and it wouldn’t matter, they do not have the skills to live in society. From the automotive standpoint if these people are driving at best the $3K BHPH ride and at worst its a s***box on wheels. Crabspirts wrote a “Last Ride” about an 85 Skyhawk wagon that gave me chills as it reminded me of these folks.

            The constructive ones are far more interesting, IMO. These are people who are born into a culture of dependance and manipulation. From what I have seen they seem to have strong family or ethnic ties and generally have at least the basic skills to live and operate in society. However they choose to stay in poverty (or just underneath it) in order to essentially live as comfortably as they can, partake in a share of pleasureful or hedonistic activities and -here’s the kicker- in most cases not take responsibility for their actions. While they will never be “rich” these are folks who get 90% free housing their whole lives, free food credit, free healthcare, free public transit, and the best part to me is they generally are not held responsible for their moral transgresses. Sure they commit real crimes and they’ll be arrested and prosecuted, and sure if they beat up their spouses they might do a month in county but everything else becomes society’s problem. Oh I knocked someone up, oh well not my problem. I want to sling a little dope on the corner? I know nothing ever sticks below a certain amount so at best I spend a few nights in county, get out on bail, and get probation or some such lesser charge. I feel like driving high or DUI? I can get away with being caught many times because half the people I know don’t have licenses anyway, as long as I don’t kill anyone I can continue this behavior indefinitely. I may be sounding sarcastic but these are real thought patterns to the members of the constructive welfare subclass. From the automotive standpoint I haven’t seen these folks in new cars, I see them in CPO or close to CPO cars. Why? The destructive subclass thinks “S500 Benz for 4K woohoo” and spends 2K of welfare money down over say 200 a week of incoming welfare/drug/charity monies. What they don’t think about is what they are going to do in six months when the ’00 Benz implodes while they are driving to the methadone clinic and have no savings to cover a repair. The constructive welfare subclass member might buy the loaded Ford Fusion, Charger, or Panther but in Pittsburgh they seem to prefer pre 2010 GM so Park Ave/Lacrosse/Lucerne, Grand Prix/Bonneville, Trailblazer/Envoy, Yukon/Tahoe etc. They do this because they realize all of the basic expenses in life that take 1/3rd of our incomes to pay for are provided for free, so they can drive well with the income they have but not too ostentatiously. They then work what you and I might call crappy jobs because the whole system is setup in such a way they can earn X amount taxable income and still get all of the bennies their class provides at the expense of society and the national deficit. I hate to say it but its a scam I’m enviable of, sure your job might suck and you may not live in a Taj Mahal but you drive a newer car, have the newest tv, phone, and other gadgets, you’re probably close to your family, you have total freedom to act as a hedon without real consequences, and between your crappy job/welfare bennies if you make 10,000 clear you just add it to the cash value of your freebies which I would speculate is in the neighborhood of the 30K range (around 40K taxable). Not too shabby considering a limited education and skillset, and its the gift that keeps on giving due to your offspring.

            Which is more hazardous? I think on an even keel, the destructive subclass because they are more unpredictable and because the constructive subclass literally has something to lose. However if the constructive subclass continues to grow as it has been the past thirty years eventually it will become more threatening of the two. I’m resigned to the fact there will always be a welfare class but it must be kept in check somehow. If we as society keep rewarding the welfare class it will continue to grow.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            @28-cars-later,
            Hilarious. You could replace every mention of “poor” or “poverty” in your post with “rich” or “wealthy” and it would not only still make sense but would in fact be more accurate.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Not exactly the same rereading it but you have an excellent point I agree there are definite parallels in bad behavior between the rich and poor extremes of society, and both should be held accountable. The two major differences being numbers of people engaged in this behavior is much greater on the “poor” extreme and in theory my taxes are not directly funding this behavior (although one could make arguments indirectly we do).

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            How do you figure? Almost twice as much government money is spent on corporate welfare than on all traditional social welfare programs, and only a small percentage of social welfare recipients are what could be called “abusers” of the system.

          • 0 avatar
            Topher

            I consider myself a realist and a liberal. I understand that there will be a certain level of abuse of any welfare system. Bruce Schneier states it best: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/05/status_report_t.html

            If we have to accept that a “dishonest minority” will break the rules so that we can help the truly deserving, I can accept that.

            I’d leave the class analysis to the anthropologists. Besides, the only potential check on “the welfare class” that doesn’t indiscriminately hurt the deserving poor has to be cultural. How do we sell the “American Dream” to people who suffer from modern racism? http://www.theroot.com/views/quiet-bias-racism-2013

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sorry gentleman I had an appointment.

            @Ubermensch

            Hmmmmm you might have a point on corporate welfare, to really make the 2:1 determination we’d have to have figures but I’ll play devil’s advocate and agree. I suppose the only difference between the welfare system and corporate welfare is perhaps I as a shareholder could indirectly profit with cw, but please don’t take that as me supporting the practice of corporate welfare as I do not. Gov’t should simply act as an umpire, not an umpire, the team owner and some of the players. Honestly I have to say you raised a point which had not come across to me about the similarities of behavior on opposite ends of the spectrum. Perhaps we should accept the fact on either end of society we’ll have classes we may not care for but its in society’s best interest to keep both to a minimum size. I remember in high school I had a teacher for I believe civics who showed a chart of two society models, one was the model in Louis XVI France which was a triangle, the other supposedly the American one and was a diamond shape. In the French model 90% of the triangle were peasants, 9% merchants, the military, and courtiers, and 1% the royals. In the American model the top 10% were doctors, businessman etc (no 1% curiously on the chart), bottom ten were the welfare classes (I can’t recall the name he used), and the 80% in the middle of the diamond were divided into upper middle and lower middle class, with the largest of the diamond being the middle-middle. I fear just in the last 5-7 years we’ve lost whatever was left of the diamond and went straight for the triangle of pre-revolutinary France.

            With regard to abusing the system, I suppose that depends on what the system is designed to do. I’ve always heard the term safety net and in my mind I take it to mean oops sh** happened and I need help. If your system is truly designed as a net then it could catch me but it shouldn’t allow me to roll up in it like a hammock and stay there as so many seem to do. People staying there could be defined as abusers of the system. Now if your system is ostensibly a safety net but in reality allows citizens to freeload along many years, if not generations, then no they would be not abusers.

            @Topher

            Thanks for the link, like much else in life there are always those who break the rules, I myself am a bit of a rule breaker from time to time. However I think you’ll agree a system is funded for X participants, if the number exceeds X participants the system is strained and requires more resources. Whomever is funding the system needs more resources to pass on, and in this case gov’t might money it does not have to cover the expenditure, thus creating debt for us all. I’m sympathetic to a point but society’s producers can only afford so many takers at what ratio I can’t be sure, and for those able bodied individuals who are capable of producing but choose not to, the free lunch shouldn’t last forever. With regard to your last point, that’s quite a puzzling question as the American dream is a tough sell right now to anyone let alone folks who have suffered indignation.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        I think it also helps the government disguise inflation. How much would a burger at McDonald’s cost if they paid $15 an hour? Also, if I could get $15 an hour and the benefits I have now, I would rather work at McDonald’s than spending 12 hours a day in a 5X5 cubicle staring at a computer. It would be a pay cut, but I think my quality of life would improve. I’m also a college graduate with a good work ethic and 20+ years of working experience. What would happen to the high school dropouts that I displace from McDonalds?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “I would rather work at McDonald’s than spending 12 hours a day in a 5X5 cubicle staring at a computer”

          We have open cubes but this pretty much describes my life now, I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.

          “What would happen to the high school dropouts that I displace from McDonalds?”

          We’re seeing this play out in real time now as plenty of overqualified candidates are serving you coffee at Starbucks or making the food over at the Golden Arches. I’m not sure where the teenagers and/or dropouts are going, I’m guessing they are just unemployed or underemployed.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @SaulTigh
          In Australia a McDonalds worker is on about $20 USD.

          http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/mcdonald8217s-slammed-for-budget-fail/story-e6frfm9r-1226681193539

          A Big Mac meal deal is $7.50 Australian or about the same in USD.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/hytam/8459808455/lightbox/

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “Subsidies for the poor to purchase cars, the high cost of which resulted from prior misguided government policies”

      The US has the cheapest cars in the world, adjusted for quality and content. By far. And, factoring in content, inflation adjusted car prices have been decreasing. People cannot afford cars because good jobs are being replaced by automation, it is that simple. Not always an actual robot, sometimes software, or a better process, or more efficient logistics. The US is a manufacturing powerhouse. It just doesn’t translate into a lot of jobs.

      Our “unborn grandchildren” (so dramatic, they’re just going to default and life will go on) are being indebted to pay for a $1 trillion a year bloated military that enriches government contractors at home and protects foreign distribution and factories for the wealthy abroad. The poor get very little money out of the federal government.

      Anyway, who says the left doesn’t like cars, it’s because Obama continued the small bailout started by Bush that we have the 300, Charger, Challenger, Corvette, Camaro, Wrangler, Yukon Denali, etc (ok, fair enough, Obama is a centrist corporatist, he doesn’t represent the left).

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      By global standards, there is no “left” in the US – only different shades of “right”. And there is certainly no significant constituency that “hates cars”.

      What the Tea Party wingnuts imagine to be “left” merely reflects how extreme they are, and what a warped world view they have. Reinforced, of course, by their steadfast refusal to accept information from any news source that doesn’t feed them the propaganda they crave.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        I have had enough of the left and right thing. Neither term means anything useful. It would be one thing if a given ideology were described as mostly being on one side except for this and that, but that’s not how it works.

        Private property and cultural conservatism and religious fundamentalism are supposedly right wing, but so is racism and nationalism? So, if a brand of socialism is redistributionist, pro cultural change, and pro secular, they get to be right wing the minute they spout off some racial lunacy. Except, perhaps if its just a little anti semitism they can stay on the left. Well, not if we get pictures of them killing the children or raping the women, that’s too much, that’s right wing. It’s certainly right wing if you oppress women, but a little of that is okay so long as we don’t get video and its traditional and you are anti US and you promise not to hurt the author, then you can be progressive too. I think.

        Lastly, I would bet you have no idea what most TEA party members actually believe. I suppose I don’t either, but I have read some of the literature and listened to some of the speeches and I have yet to find anything objectionable.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          I actually read a wide variety of views, just to try to understand where people are coming from. And some are pretty entertaining, if you can read them with a certain sense of detachment. I’ve even visited the DPRK website on occasion (it’s not very polished, which is perhaps to be expected of a government that won’t allow its citizens to have cellphones or internet access).

          There is of course no single Tea Party, leor a unified Tea Party ideology. Having said that, the preponderence of what these people think is downright scary, and extemely dangerous for America.

          We can start with the denial of scientific knowledge that isn’t what they want it to be – evolution and the fact that human activity is, by itself, raising the plant’s temperature, come quickly to mind.

          We can then look at the xenophobia. The neo-isolationism that would have the US withdraw from international institutions is bad enough, in a world where technology long ago made multilateralism a fact of life. The notion that the UN is a diabolical global government, when it is clearly anything but, and that free trade is somehow inherently evil, anre also inimical to the greater interests of the US and represnet a denial of reality.

          And of course there is the absolute ignorance of how economies work. We proved in 1930 and 1937 that shrinking government spending during economic downturns is couterproductive, but the Tea Party types have no intrerest in learning from history.

          I won’t even touch on the train wreck that US health care has been, and the Tea Party’s virulent rejection of any kind of reform. Or the inherent contradiction of presuming that the answer to gun violence is more guns, when all the empirical evidence is entirely to the contrary.

          I’d like to believe that the birthers, those who would outlaw contraception, and the black helicopters/hidden codes on traffic signs to guide them types are just fringe wackos, but there seem to ba a lot of them, if they in any way correlate to the people who believe President Obama is a Muslim.

          There is a direct correlation, from 1870 on, between improved educational attainment and economic growth in the US. In recent years, educational attainment plateaued, as did the economy. Those who celebrate stupidity are a danger to the US, not its salvation.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            ect,
            As you say, there is no single Tea party. AFAIK the following are not Tea party issues: evolution denial, global warming, xenophobia, UN conspiracies, international free trade, economic ignorance, birthers, black helicopters, contraception, nor magic traffic signs,

            While it is true that new political movements generally attract fringe elements (ask Perot) those people don’t define the movement. The black helicopter guys try to attach themselves to any group they can find that hasn’t thrown them out already. You would know if you ever got stuck hearing the pitch what I am talking about.

            In short, the TEA party movement is about limited government and low taxes. Particularly, it’s about limiting government by strict adherence to the Constitution. Of course, this attracts mostly conservatives and especially those looking for a way to be heard on fringe issues. Republicans have mostly stopped the bomb throwing liberals remarks, or at least had until the student of a real one got elected, and things aren’t going to get better in this country as long as these sorts of propaganda campaigns stop.

            The people we all ought to be suspicious of are the ones trying to tell you what the the other guys stand for all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Landcrusher, with all due respect, people don’t come with views on only a single issue.

            Economic ignorance is the the core of the the Tea Party ideology. Their views of government finance just don’t correspond to reality.

            And the Tea Party willingness – even eagerness – to prolong the government shutdown and have the US default on its debt is proof positive of how completely ignorant these people are of public finance and global economics.

            Onm Tea Party websites, opposition to “Globalism” (the UN, free trade, immigration, among other things) is an ongoing theme. As is denial of the role of humans in global warming.

            As you say, every movement attracts fringe elements. What is scary about the Tea Party is just how many of its adherents want to believe that President Obama is a Muslim and/or a foreigner, among other things.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Ect,
            I didn’t say people come single issue. The movement is not a person. It’s like the NRA or feminist movement. They have their issues of concern.

            Economic ignorance isn’t an ideology. If you don’t agree with them it doesn’t make them ignorant.

            It took two sides to shut the government. The Tea party wanted compromise on ACA. The Democrats have closed the government over much less crucial matters.

            Anti globalism links to major Tea party sites? Numbers of members with unimportant beliefs about the President’s religion, origin?

            You do realize you are saying what you believe these people are all about rather than giving any real evidence they are hiding their true agenda like a bunch of pinkos, right?

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          I see the left vs right debates as conversational corner cutting. Participants call out their opponents for a few specifics and then make assumptions about the rest of their opponents ideals. It has become a propaganda tool for the talk radio bunch. Their opponent is clearly liberal but then grandiose statements are made indicting that liberal for every mistake or crime their party has ever made.

          Getting specific almost requires a 150 point check list to see how a person measures up. For the career politicians, we need a check list based on their voting records b/c there have been examples of politicians saying one thing and voting another way. And for a few – moralizing to the country while they are lying, cheating, etc with people they aren’t married to.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Here here! We have one party rule in the U.S. the “business party” with two factions. The U.S. is NOT a democracy. It is and always has been an oligarchy.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          We’re supposedly a representative republic, but the only representation are those from monied interests. You gotta pay to play.

          Look at all of the new federal departments formed since 1972. It’s shocking to see what has happened to spending per citizen since that time.

          Do we really need government doing all the things we’ve asked it to do since 1972? Really?

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Since 1972? Look at what’s happened since 2009. Compare the total budget from then to 2013 tax receipts and anticipated 2014 tax receipts.

            If we were willing to live with the services provided by the govt in 2009, we could have a balanced budget.

      • 0 avatar
        E46M3_333

        “The internal combustion engine is a mortal threat to the security of every nation that is more deadly than that of any military enemy we’re ever again likely to encounter.”
        -Al Gore

        You as an individual may differ with Al Gore, but he speaks for the left, as a political movement, and his policy proscriptions and those of other environmentalists pose a threat to the automobile. I don’t see how a true auto enthusiast could support these kinds of policies.
        .
        .

        • 0 avatar
          skakillers

          Al Gore does not ‘speak for the left’, most people who are really leftists (not the centrist democratic party in the US) wouldn’t agree with his politics very much. He sits on the board of Apple, I mean, come on.

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          Last I heard Al Gore does not hold any leadership role in any left wing political party so I’m not sure how you can say he “speaks for the left.”

          So you are now the judge of what political views a “true auto enthusiast” must hold? I know I didn’t vote for you.

          • 0 avatar
            SaulTigh

            As a libertarian who enjoys listening to Rush Limbaugh once in a while, I’ll give you your point if you’ll concede the same thing about Rush.

            “Last I heard Rush Limbaugh does not hold any leadership role in any right wing political party so I’m not sure how you can say he ‘speaks for the right.’

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          I gave up on Al Gore when he made his movie – all while globe-trotting. Even his side trip to tell us about the family farm in Carthage, Tn was done while driving a Lincoln.

          When he’s ready to walk the walk more than just talk the talk, I’ll start to listen. None of this “shell game” stuff either in the form of carbon credits. How does the world trace those and ensure that the same credit or promise to plant a tree somewhere isn’t sold repeatedly?

          Have you seen his houseboat? Solar panels or not, that thing consumes copious amounts of fuel. And don’t forget when it’s parked it’s still consuming electricity.

          Again – the actions of any man far outweigh his words.

          a man that scared of the “end of mankind” would surely be living a very frugal lifestyle?

    • 0 avatar
      Tarditi

      Remember “Cash for Clunkers?” – that was the government trying to get you to buy a new car…

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      The left doesn’t inherently hate cars, but it is based on an ideology that heavily leans on human interdependency (or just dependency, if you’re more cynical). Anything that confers too much power or individuality to the citizenry will almost always be at odds with leftist ideals. The opposite goes for the right. Think about the imagery of “Cars, guns, and rural homes” vs “Mass transit, apartments, and gun control” and how closely those align with major party lines.

      Thankfully, America is a nondescript centrist blob of bickering, posturing, and political inaction. I actually like this because it means we can all basically do whatever is best for ourselves. For now…

      • 0 avatar
        imag

        “Anything that confers too much power or individuality to the citizenry will almost always be at odds with leftist ideals.”

        - Like the freedom to govern our own reproduction

        - Or our right to be free from government-supported religion

        - Or freedom from discrimination based upon race, gender, or sexual orientation

        - Or the freedom of people to marry anyone they choose.

        - Or freedom from persecution under the War on Some Drugs.

        I would expect more from you Ash.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          If a woman becomes pregnant accidentally, she can abort my future child. If I get a woman pregnant accidentally, I get to pay child support for 18 years if she keeps it. Is that your idea of reproductive freedom?

          Republicans voted for Civil Rights 1964 in much higher numbers. Not surprising since they passed the Emancipation and pushed Amnesty.

          Marriage has millenniums of man-woman bias and many regulations pertain specifically to biological reproduction. Only a political opportunist with no brain would try to give a dying heterosexual institution to homosexuals. Give them the privileges they need, and spare them from the unnecessary restrictions.

          War on Drugs is legitimately screwed up. By declaring war on drugs we traded Escobar for the Zetas and Gulf cartels. Nice

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      This is an interesting thread.

      The differing paradigms.

      The basic problem the US (and other countries) is encountering is very simple. You guys are living beyond your means.

      As I wrote earlier 40% of US GDP is based on government spending and it’s only collecting 27% of GDP in tax. Not very good in anyone’s language.

      How do you rectify this? It’s damn hard. If you cut government spending you lose GDP. If you increase taxation you will lose GDP.

      Growth is what your economy is based on. But to maintain growth you are spending greater than your return, or you wouldn’t have debt.

      Something has to give.

      What has been giving is living standard. That’s what this article is really about. The young can’t afford vehicles like we had.

      Like I’ve been stating for a while now the US has to wind back subsidised industry not social welfare. The US has created a nightmare of a subsidised economy, like most of the OECD.

      I see the US’s living standard dropping further into the future to remain competitive. I know many don’t like what I wrote, but just pumping $85 billion monthly into an economy even the size of the US has to have some kind of effect eventually. Inflation?

      What’s going to happen when the Chinese allow their citizens to unleash the 4.5 trillion onto the global investment market? This is just around the corner.

      Some food for thought.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I don’t know how we ever managed without your enlightening insight

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        The problem is only difficult if you take the ideological stance that social welfare is absolutely good and spending cannot be cut.

        Our problem is as simple as the theory of diminishing marginal returns. The first 1000 calories are life-giving. The next 1000 calories make people healthy and functional. An additional 1000 calories makes people fat, which lessens their productivity. The next 1000 calories makes people morbidly obese, self-loathing, unproductive, and unhealthy.

        Intelligent governments in Scandinavia and Germany, have realized that, if 4,000 calories of tax revenues is socially preferable, the government must work out the people. Young workers must be educated and trained with government funding. Retirees must actually earn their pensions via defined contribution. Healthcare benefits are cost-contained and rationed. The US once worked this way, though we taxed around 2,000 calories, accomplished modest government productivity, including worker training via military, and then we let the American people decide the rest, including healthcare.

        Now we tax for 3,000 calories. We spend 4,000 calories. We have a political party that says we cannot cut spending nor can we transfer spending away from counter productive programs to productivity entitlements. Instead, we must raise taxes and transfer more funds from productive entitlements into charity.

        Our problems are difficult because people are stupid. The economics is kindergarten.

  • avatar
    bachewy

    Here’s why my daughter is broke and without a car and decent job:
    - The housing bubble affected EVERYTHING. Employers cut jobs then realized they could work with fewer employees and in-turn get higher profits. They also realized hiring part-time people is cheaper than hiring full-time people. My daughter can only find part-time work, at a low wage. I don’t blame Left or Right for this – just greedy people.
    - Used car prices jumped a few years ago. It’s rare to find a car for less than $5k that’s actually worth a hoot and doesn’t require maintenance. My first car cost $750 and lasted 5 trouble-free years.
    - Dealer hourly charges for car repairs has exploded to $100 an hour or more (while the mechanics still make less than $20 an hour).
    - Lastly, my daughter is a slacker. If I were her I’d be working 2-3 jobs but she seems content working 2-3 days a week at minimum wage, scraping by. (That’s why I made her move out).

    This is a new economic norm we (and our children) have to learn to live with. I’d like to ramble on about how the younger generation are a bunch of slackers but then I’d just be called an old grumpy guy.

    • 0 avatar

      They are a bunch of slackers. But it’s also quite tough for us too. It cuts both ways.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      There aren’t 2-3 jobs there to work. What, you think unemployment is almost double what it was ten years ago because we have more lazy people now?

      And even for those of us who graduated into the meltdown and still somehow managed to get a decent job, the first priority is having a 6-month fund in the bank for when that job unexpectedly vanishes, and the second priority is having a 12-month fund in the bank for when you can’t find another one, and the third priority is having a paid-off car so the repo guys don’t take it away in month 13 when it’s the place you’re sleeping. Taking on a new car loan is way down on that list. I think the economists call this “consumer confidence” — we still don’t have it.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      As a mid-30s Jersey guy that worked 40 hours weekly while attending college fulltime and helping sick family members, I got no love for the current generation of slackers. I didn’t have a Friday night off for 10 years (mid high school till a year out of college once I got my first professional job). I listen to the ‘problems’ the fresh out of school rich spoiled white kids have in my office, and it sickens me. One of the 20 hipster bars they go to 4-5 days a week doesn’t honor a drink special, and it’s the end of the world

      A client yells at them and they want to cry, or want their boss to ‘fix it’. They have to work 50 o 60 hours a week during crunch time and it’s ‘slavedriving’. 2 hour lunches and continuous breaks through the day.

      Freakin’ unbelievable.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Morbo I say this in all seriousness but if you’re truly pushing your body that hard please ensure you’re getting all of the proper vitamins, nutrition, and exercise else you will wear yourself out and be of no use to anyone. My grandmother always warned me about “running myself ragged” with little to no sleep, drinking to much, and poor eating habits when I was younger. I’ve only realized in the past six months what she really meant (and she lived to be exactly 92, as did her father, and her grandmother in 1954 no less). Since June I’ve lost 11 pounds and feel great, heck I’m even going to see a nutritionist today because I want to lose another 10-15.

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          I hear ya 28. I’ve learned some hard life lessons from my 20′s and have made improvements in my 30′s. I agree that most people underestimate the value of 8 solid hours of sleep, plenty of water, and walking/biking/hiking daily.

          But in my 20′s it was my best and possibly only way out of becoming yet another failure living in a ghetto. I can’t say I would do it differently, even though it probably took several years off my life.

          It only infuriates me more so when I see these young kids in the office that were handed success on a platter by their parents hard work, and they complain about Every, Freakin’ Thing.

          Sorry to vent, I also learned to a long time ago to keep my real thoughts about my co-workers to myself unless i was managing them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Please feel free to vent, no matter who you are or what age I never cared much for people who didn’t work and toil to achieve what they have. Almost gone are the days of the self made man. Yet the “noble” class in America will continue to grow in the future, you and I may one day work for “kids” of the current generation of noblemen…. hmmmmmm whose up for an insurrection?

            Additional: I’ve been on the health kick since June and if nothing else I recommend you look into supplementation of essential vitamins of C, E, D, and a nice multivitamin with some magnesium, calcium, and vitamin A. Costco also sells organic carrot juice with plenty of Vitamin A, just mix 80% carrot juice with 20% apple juice to help with the taste, I drink it every night.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Look at that – an entire generation made up of straw people!

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          “an entire generation made up of straw people!”

          I got a dozen of them ‘working’ with me here in Crystal City VA if you’d like to do some empirical research.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            And I have a bunch working for me here in Boston, and a 50- or 60-hour week for them is called “a good week.” And they’re six figures in debt before they even start their jobs. And they have far less of a chance of being promoted to partner than they would have 20 years earlier, because the company is making far, far fewer partners than it used to.

            Maybe they’re the exceptions; maybe the kids you work with are. But if one of those kids in your office looks up the plural form of “anecdote” in a dictionary for you, I’m pretty he won’t find “data”.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I don’t know man. A lot of people have still had it worse than you.

        It wasn’t that long ago you could be working along side someone with concentration camp numbers tattooed on them (Godwin!). I’m sure to those folks talking about owning a 14 year old rusty truck and having to work while you were in college would have seemed like trivial whining too.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “I’d like to ramble on about how the younger generation are a bunch of slackers but then I’d just be called an old grumpy guy.”

      If only they had the work ethic to bareley graduate highschool, get $60K+ (previous generation wages adjusted to current dollars) factory jobs with definied benefits pensions and then buy single family houses in their early 20s.

      Not that I support the luddite, inefficient policies that would return us to that time. But at least we can not call them slackers, as a generation.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I had a brief conversation with my best friend last week about my observations of the under 25 crowd I have encountered. We joked but I asked him if he felt these “kids” were fed lead paint as children, but in all seriousness I’m not sure if its a social trend or true physiological problem, but so many of these folks seem to be intellectually underdeveloped vs those older and myself at that age. I’m not speaking of maturity because Lord knows I wasn’t the most mature person at 21, but I was very intellectually developed, I was well aware of what was going on in the world at the time and frequently spent time in the school libraries, read the London Times Online, Telegraph, and WSJ.

        • 0 avatar
          aristurtle

          No surprise there — the media has been decreasing in quality. Take the WSJ, for example: the paper hasn’t been the same since the NewsCorp hostile takeover back in ’07.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I point my finger to our ever declining attention spans which are a side effect from many things, smartphones, more multi-tasking than normal, fast-paced video games, fast-paced “Anime” and films, all of these add-up to people of my generation who’re great with getting headshots but can barely communicate beyond brief sentences let alone concentrate.

          A few issues with short attention spans are naturally concentration, but also a lack of time that people will think on things, often acting on knee-jerk reactions and lacking the patience to think about something and “learn” it properly.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            … Huh? Oh, yeah, the drugs man, it’s the drugs that do…

            .

            .. what you said

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Also good points Ryoku, although you and I have also been at least partially subjected to those influences, we may simply be outliers.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Thanks, those influences aren’t really easy to avoid in todays times so at least a few are inevitable, first thing to fix ones attention span is to be aware of it being too short.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          Excessive numbers of hours playing computer games and communicating by computer… Stunted their growth and that real life education i.e. having to do for yourself.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Unfortunately for them, the our world has moved on. The best thing they can do is get with it. Blaming external sources for their predicament won’t get them to where they want to be.

        No one ever really ‘aspired’ to be a line worker anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Brad2971

        I’m just going to merely note that whenever anyone talks about $60K+ wages for high school grads in the ’50s, it came in the face of near 25% poverty levels AND was in the middle of an era of segregation in nearly all facets of society.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      I would call the majority of you self righteous premillennials whose ‘bubbles’ ruined the job, housing, and education markets for my generation. Most of us will spend our entire lives in debt thanks to your generations policies.

      I would never kick my daughter out of the house either.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Difficult to lump us all as pre-millenials, the tail end of X is only a few years older than you, although I see your point. I would also add you should hope you’ll never need to kick your daughter out of your house. I know it sounds unthinkable now but sometimes tough love is called for depending on a situation. I was way out of line once and my mother threw some of my stuff down the stairs onto the pavement screaming at me to get out and it was only at my grandmother’s intervention that I was able to calm down and see that I was wrong. I voluntarily slept in my car for the night, kept my mouth shut after that.

    • 0 avatar
      Brad2971

      So in other words, this is the economy of 1993, with only a slightly higher unemployment rate. Everything you said, outside used car prices (1970s cars then were dirt cheap!), this GenXer heard 20 years ago.

      But never mind that, I need to show some empathy toward those Millenials. Which I can do for as long as you want, until said Millenial asks “WHAT IS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS?!!!!!” Then things get…a little dicey.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      We saw a situation where the recession delayed retirements b/c their investments tanked for a long time. Because they wouldn’t retire, nobody under them could advance up the career ladder.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Well obviously. I’ve been working full time for four years and I can barely afford to keep a 1000$ saturn on the road with insurance, gas, maintenance, which I do all myself, on top of living costs. The idea of owning even a somewhat new car is a laughing matter, I end up in the hole with a car I paid for a year ago. Didn’t even pay for it, I traded my truck for it because that was too expensive too. But it’s all fine with me cause I prefer to drive/work on older vehicles any day any time. Plus I hate the look of modern vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree, running costs are entirely too high.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Most of us have felt that way early in our working careers. Keep working at making yourself more valuable and one day you may have the car you really want and be able to run it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Truer words are seldom spoken.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        No kidding. I graduated from Law School into the ’90s recession and could not BUY a job with a law firm in Maine. I ended up working at Staples selling computers – talk about a crappy retail job! BUT, it let me make contacts that led to my making a great career in IT. But I did not have two nickels to rub together for YEARS, was underemployed for a decade more, and for 20 years ago quite a lot of school debt. As I have posted before, I did not buy my first new car until I was 31, and I sold it when I no longer was making enough mileage reimbursement from work to pay for most of it. I bought my REAL first new car at 40.

        Kids these days seem to just want it ALL, right now! And they really need to stay off my lawn.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          When I read your comment it reminded me of my (former) son-in-law who also graduated law school and passed the BAR in CA during the 90s.

          He found a job as a Corporate attorney readily enough and was very productive for several years.

          Then his employer decided to leave CA, move to Texas and open a manufacturing facility in Mexico.

          His job was eliminated and his ambition dwindled since my daughter was gainfully employed and could support the both of them.

          He was entitled to unemployment benefits, so he “worked from home” taking cases when they came along, enjoying unemployment benefits for the 99 weeks, etc.

          I told my daughter to ditch this guy. He wasn’t looking for work, slept late and watched TV all day.

          And after all these years she finally did dump him and moved from LA to El Paso, TX, to start her new life in a new job.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    My problem is not that I can’t afford a car, it’s that I can’t afford a GOOD car.

    Unless I buy a subcompact crap-box at 99 dollars a month, I’m stuck with a beater.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Don’t knock beaters my friend, I could honestly afford much better than I have I just don’t think its worth the cost vs the value returned.

      What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. – Oscar Wilde

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Additional: I’ve driven many cars since I got my license and owned many briefly (through the indy dealership I worked at) but the car I’ve owned longest is the 98 Saturn stripped down base model my father sold me in 2006. This is also the model I’ve put the most miles on (shy of 78K) and I have to tell you it felt so frustrating to me to drive that POS while my friends bought/leased Mustangs, a 350Z, and various BMWs because they lived at home or made more money or drove under 17K a year to work and didn’t pour their paychecks into the pump as I was. When I bought my Pontiac I split my driving between it and the GP and ever since then I don’t hate the Saturn as much as I used to because in my mind “I made it” I have a *real* car loaded to the brim with options if I want to spoil myself for the day. I prob do 6-7K a year on the Pontiac but its all highway, I drive the Saturn and now Volvo around down and to work most of the time prob in a 60/40 time split. The Saturn despite its overall cheapness and abuse has a very different feel than both of the other two and its *factory* suspension handles the bumps and holes of the awful roads of Pittsburgh much better than its cousins. When it came time to either dump the Saturn and replace it or repair it, I opted for the junkyard transmission installed for $1,000. The well running beater is indeed your friend.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Your friends may have the shiniest quickest sports cars on the lot, but at least you own your car.

          Buyingselling cars ain’t worth the hassle I feel, best to grab a good one and stick to it like your life depends on it (in most cases it kinda does).

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “Unless I buy a subcompact crap-box at 99 dollars a month, I’m stuck with a beater.”

      Why is something with an incredibly safe structure, ABS, six-airbags+, cloth seats, carpet, mirrors on both sides, body color bumpers, an audio system (at all), not to mention one with aux-in (at least, probably USB also), a 5 or 6 speed manual (as compared with 3 or 4 speed), likely Bluetooth, 100+ HP, and maybe even AC and power locks/windows a crap box? If you consider any new car on sale in the US a crap box, then you don’t know what a crap box is. Is it a crap box because it doesn’t looks baller enough to you or have a fashionable name? The gold anodized iPhone is for prestige, the car is just supposed to get you places. Unless you care about cars a lot, then you can get an old Miata or f-body very cheap and have a rear wheel drive manual transmission sports car.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        Exactly.

        “Oh woe is me, I can only afford a Nissan Versa or Toyota Yaris. Oh the horror of airbags, crumple zones, and an automatic”

        God, my first car was a (then) 14 year old Chevy pickup that could turn most of the way left, usually had functional brakes, and was two-tone painted if rust is considered a color. I would have loved to have been commuting 100 miles daily in Versa or similar instead of that hulking death trap. That statement about hating the $100 monthly econobox is perfect representation of the entitlement this new generation feels. Something happened around 1982/1983. Kids born after that (Gen Y) are legitimately spoiled. And that was before the GR hit. The GR just provided them with an excuse for their laziness.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          87 K-car shadow in 1998 whose driver door actuator sometimes failed to lock (and would open while making turns), whose glued on bumper cover fell off after tapping a guardrail, whose front speakers blew out the first time I tried to use them, and whose trunk mounted luggage rack was pulled off in a heavy gale. It always started though.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Because it’s ugly, slow, and looks as cheap as it costs.

        I DO care about cars a lot, I refuse to drive a Chevy Spark or Mazda2 just because that’s all I can manage.

        Also, I really don’t care about safety. I’d rather have a car with no airbags that handles well and gives good performance than one with twenty that wallows all over the road like a Camcord.

        The kinds of cars I believe in, the kinds of cars that get me going, don’t really exist any more, having been legislated out of existence or forced into enthusiast circles by way of economics. Nobody makes a simple cheap RWD car any more for various reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          A Mazda 2 is an awesome little car you whiner. Although if I didn’t have a lot of money I would get a used Miata or V6 F-body, both can be had under $5K. If you don’t care about safey get a motorcyle.

          http://powersports.honda.com/2014/grom.aspx

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            How does a tiny egg-shaped thing with plastic-coated wheels and a soda straw tailpipe equal awesome? Is there some higher trim Mazda 2 that I’ve never seen before? A 100 horsepower putt-putt is not something I want to drive, it’s just not my style.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “it’s just not my style”

            And that is the problem for many in your generation. You can afford damn nice cars, like the Mazda 2. You cannot afford your “style”.

            The Mazda 2 is awseome as a cheap car. The dynamics are well praised, it is so good Toyota is going to start having Mazda build the next Yaris based on the Mazda 2. It is incredibly well equipped for a small car with AC and power locks and windows standard. But you can still choose manual transmission. Look at all the stuff the stock car comes with, before any options:

            http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayPage.action?pageParameter=modelsSpecs&vehicleCode=MZ2

            But it is not your “style”. No regular young people, of any generation, have been able to afford cars that are their “style”. If it was affordable it would not be stylish. And what the generations before you had to put up with was a LOT worse than a Mazda 2.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Sorry NoGoYo, but you’re driving a 1995 Skylark right now for chrissake! A Mazda 2 will outhandle and even out-accelerate your current ride. Let alone complaining about poor handling “camcords”. If having a powerful rwd newer car is that important, pony up (get it?) for a base model stick shift V6 mustang. No it won’t be $99 a month, but performance has never come cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Miata or V6 F-body would both be great choices. I’m not going to judge cars I’ve never driven, but I don’t care much for any of the hatchback segment, NoGoYo may feel the same.

            NoGoYo I’m sorry of the guys are being a little harsh but when most of us were 21 we may have had similar feelings but most of us would have aspired to a 95 V6 N-body let alone to the fast cars or big SUVs we all really wanted. Make do with what you have, the economy was ten times better when I was in high school and prob five times better when I was last 21 in 2002. A car does not define you, YOU define you. Get employment. Get workable skills. Get experience. All of these things will eventually allow you to obtain what you want. In the meantime work with what you have. If you can really turn a wrench, hit the junkyard and see what sort of parts you pull off of other nicer GMs and add to the skylark. Give it a tune up, change all of its filters, slowly put money/time/parts into it. Customize it tastefully, make it yours. Pre-Dexcool 3100s are actually reliable motors they are just not rocketships and still more powerful than my “good car” 92 Cav 2.2 with a whopping 95hp. Eventually as you grow and gain experience you’ll have enough money to make a payment and then look for something that floats your boat a little more, but I’d still keep the Skylark if its clean and drop a 3800 in.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The more I look at them, those are actually pretty nice looking cars from the outside. I had an N-body so I know the interiors are cheap and options limited, but cleaned up the 95 ‘Lark is pleasing to my eye.

            http://www.cardomain.com/ride/566788/1995-buick-skylark/

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            As often as I complain about newer cars the Mazda 2 and Ford Fiesta are the only newer ones I’d really consider buying.

            My main mode of transport for years were cheap low powered hatchbacks, only the Tercel was really that bad.

            The only Skylarks that interest me have V8s in them.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        1982 Cimarrron. Diarrhea Tan. Busted power steering, Leaking A/T. Non-functional gauge cluster. Pockmarked body. Iron Duke that on a good day made 80hp.

        … And I was thankful as hell that it was given to me in high school, as it (usually) ran and gave me the same independence as an S-class or 7-series would.

        Kids today have zero idea what a real shitbox actually looks like.

    • 0 avatar
      skakillers

      I can kind of agree with this. I live in Boston, and the T is generally faster during high traffic hours than a car. This makes a car a non-utility purchase for me, as I probably wouldn’t use it to commute, so I would only buy an enthusiast or sports model. Why buy an econobox just to have one? There’s no real case for it. My definition of econobox is not a new yaris, versa, etc. but rather absolutely the cheapest car possible to buy and insure.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    It amazes me how many buy the line that, after (or during) the Great Recession, employers all of a sudden wised up and realized they could “make more profit” by paying people less or employing fewer people. What is it that explains this? Maybe they were all stoned before the Great Recession hit and their loss of profits caused them to sober up?

    Seriously . . .?

    Wages are a function of supply and demand. If their are fewer jobs (as there were massively during the GR) then labor becomes cheap. In 2006, before all of this nastiness happened, it was reported that, in many areas, McDonald’s had to pay their people more than minimum wage to fill the jobs they had. Were the managers of the McDonald’s stores back then confused about what kind of operation they were running and thought that they existed for the “higher purpose” of paying generous wages? Uh-uh. They needed bodies in jobs, and that’s what it took to fill them.

    The basic problem today is inadequate job growth, which cannot accommodate growth in the labor force (the labor force is actually shrinking). When I was a college student in the late ’60s, I had summer jobs working construction, working the night shift in a bakery, etc. Some of my friends did that or worked for moving companies.

    Those jobs are now being filled, not by college students or college graduates, but by immigrants from “south of the border.”

    No one wants to talk about it, especially the Democrats who see more votes for their candidates, but at the lower end of the wage and skill scale, American-born workers have been put under tremendous pressure by a seemingly unlimited supply of unskilled immigrant labor. This has kept wages relatively depressed in those areas of work: good for the hospitality industry, the construction industry and corporate agriculture. Not so good for the people who had planned to work there.

    The topic of the post well-illustrates the likely long-term adverse effects of the GR: delayed family formation, delayed purchases of major goods, reduced personal saving and stunted careers and maybe . . . less demand for suburban residences that require car ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      hf_auto

      It’s interesting watching companies that have tried to maintain recession-level compensation during the recovery. I think some companies bought into the notion of a new normal, and the resulting exodus is staggering.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “It amazes me how many buy the line that, after (or during) the Great Recession, employers all of a sudden wised up and realized they could ‘make more profit’ by paying people less or employing fewer people.”

      Laying-off people is not that easy, even if unions and government are not in the way. And cutting existing workers wages is not easy either (see Sticky Wage Theory).

      What the “Great Recession” did was finally put companies in the position where existential threat to their existence finally drove them to risk morale by pushing out large numbers of redundant workers.

      Many of the redandant workers were making more than supply and demand in their fields justified, because of sticky wages. When those workers re-enter the workforce they are not going to benefit from sticky wages, but only make what is justified by supply and demand in their field.

      • 0 avatar

        American productivity is up a lot of that is caused by dead wood workers being cut out true. But some of it is corporate american overworking its current smaller workforce while trying to find a breaking point. Talking to my friends looking for work they are running into a lot of companies still looking at pay level at the new normal (15-20% less than 2007 wages in the field) I worked a job at a fortune 100 company during the recession in that time a number of people left due to stagnant wages and cuts to benefits virtually none of them were replaced those that were were repaced with workers making much less and typically younger and previously under employed (read hungry hard workers)These were white collar jobs. I left because of this combined with some insane micro managing. I talk with some of the people still there and they are currently working 6 days a week trying to keep up with work load for the past year with no pay increase. The job market is still crappy enough apparently for them to get away with it.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      One problem that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention is automation in the workplace. One version is the big yellow or orange robot welding cars together. Another is the computer on your desktop that replaced the multiple secretaries with a single secretary with a computer. Another example are retailers like Amazon who replace many stores employing many people with a website and a warehouse doing as much business as dozens of brick and mortar stores. Then there is Netflix and a few cousins which have replaced the nation’s video rental stores.

      The internet and the computer has helped a handful of online companies consolidate and dominate just about every business formerly done in a building with human workers.

      If McDonalds wanted to, they could automate their stores and reduce the staff to two – the drive-thru and cash register person – and FWIW I expect that to happen eventually when it is socially acceptable i.e. when ornery customers won’t denigrate the food as being machine made (which it mostly is already).

      So my question is – how far do we consumers want to take this? Do we continue to use companies like these? It’s like complaining about how all the jobs went to China but still shopping at WalMart – as several people in my social circle do regularly.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Problem? More like progress. Displaced workers need to find new jobs in emerging fields. Those who want to stay in the same old same old will be left behind. We aren’t going back to rooms full of switchboard operators any time soon.

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    “Hard data costs lots of time and money…” Might want to check out Quandl, all of this data is free. There is still the time issue though…

  • avatar
    skakillers

    There’s a weird disconnect in this thread. There seems to be a willingness to acknowledge that yes, everything does cost more now than it did in the past, and yes, wages have been stagnant, and yes, the job market is really shitty right now, and these all contribute to why young people aren’t owning cars. But at the same time there’s a stubborn refusal to admit that this generation isn’t slacking any more than any other, and that maybe difficulties in getting jobs are due to structural, rather than personal, issues. I’m not sure where this comes from, but I can say that, as 22 year old, I know a fair number of legitimately motivated people who have had extreme difficulties in securing employment in anything relating to what they went to school for, and have ended up working in a job they could easily have done with a high school education or less. Even people I know with a lot of family support (money, connections in the target industry, so on) and good qualifications haven’t had an easy time. So just consider that the situation in which many people find themselves today (underemployed, with no real prospects for moving forward or upward) is structural in nature, not necessarily the result of bad choices or lack of motivation by the individual.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      “egitimately motivated people who have had extreme difficulties in securing employment in anything relating to what they went to school for”

      See, right there is your problem. I have a B.S. in Materials Engineering. I can tell you that silicon dioxide undergoes a Beta phase transition at 523 Celsius resulting in 10% volumetric expansion. That’s what college taught me.

      What do I do in the real world? Best explanation is I solve moderately complex human process engineering problems for moderately stupid political people with access to power and money. I moved to a part of the country I really didn’t want to (Capital Wasteland), and will leave as soon as the job market returns to the great Garden State.

      It appears to me, as someone that was willing to whatever it took to keep my car note and mortgage paid, that you Gen Y kids aren’t willing to make the sacrifice necessary to achieve the goals you want in life. I wanted a nice house, fancy car, and financial stability, so I sucked it up working multiple dead end jobs before and during college that I was grossly overqualified for in order to get that piece of paper. While I enjoy science, my first passion was and still is history. I got an engineering degree because that’s where the money is. That history degree is a one way path to lower class working class poverty. Complaining about how the $120K debt for a poli-sci / history / English degree is crippling this generation ignores the fact that they ignored the reality of what degrees are worth.

      Right now, in the year 2013, plenty of work for engineers and technical trademen in the Dakota oilfields, planning/construction in the nuclear industries (NRC, Toshiba/Westinghouse, Areva), robotics and automation, and logistics. This may mean moving to a place you don’t like (North Dakota, Texas, Pittsburgh, etc.) or taking a job that you don’t like. Use it a stepping stone to where you actually want to be and a job you actually enjoy.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The automotive industry is also clamoring for engineers. If you have a degree and don’t come off as a retard in an interview, you can basically walk into a $75k/year job out of college.

        ” I know a fair number of legitimately motivated people who have had extreme difficulties in securing employment in anything relating to what they went to school for, and have ended up working in a job they could easily have done with a high school education or less.”

        This is often due to a refusal to honestly examine the changing employment landscape. Getting a degree in basket weaving doesn’t guarantee a job in that field if there are too many basket weavers or too little demand for them.

        The big problem I see in this age group is a general lack of direction and willingness to get on board with the sectors that are moving. The people I know in this age group who have identified areas of need, and got training in those areas have no trouble finding work.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          Ewww but doesn’t that mean I’d have to move to Detroit? :O

          In all seriousness I’m trying to reboot my life in the midwest or southwest. Somewhere less humid than Virginia.

          • 0 avatar
            morbo

            You got that right. I live in Northern Virginia now and dread May thru October.

            I know Phoenix and Utah are building data centers like there’s no tomorrow (no earthquakes, no floods, plenty of cheap power, and you just bolt on more air conditioners for cooling make it ideal for locating mission critical data centers), West Texas oil is booming, and Albuquerque is… Albuquerque. Great place to live if you work for Intel or Sandia labs…. but not much else workwise.

      • 0 avatar
        skakillers

        Maybe I didn’t make my point very clear.

        I thoroughly agree that in order to survive you do need to make sacrifices, and maybe take a job you aren’t that into to pay the bills. I have a close friend with a recently-minted degree in primatology, for instance, who is working at a non-profit teaching people personal finance skills, because it was the only thing he could find. He’s got a plan moving forward that’s a little bit more realistic now (planning to get a teaching certificate through Americorps, teach science in high school). I do think though that it’s overly simplistic to critique someone in this situation as having made poor choices or having done this to themselves.

        No one acts with perfect knowledge. A lot of people picked degrees that, pre-financial crisis might have been the path to a decent job, or at least a passable chance at one. I can’t really fault someone for picking something like history, literature, art, or whatever as a degree because throughout my public school experience we were constantly encouraged to shoot for college as a goal, and told that no matter what degree we got it would leave us making more than if we’d just gone to high school. I first realized this wasn’t really true when I talked to a guy who’d gone to tech school for welding, finished in 6 months, and started a job at $60k/year right about in October of my first year of college.

        In other words, I think the painting of ‘millennials’ or gen y or whatever as a bunch of shiftless kids who have tons of debt because they got impractical degrees ignores the reasons for that situation coming to be. We were all told that if we just went to school and then graduated we’d be ok, and we’d have the ability to acquire the same sort of financial security our parents have. That turned out not to be the case for a lot of people, and you can imagine why they’re a bit mad about it.

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          Sorry you fell for that bs kid. They told me the same lies in high school in the early 90′s. You are right that the education industry ripped off a generation of kids tricking them into some easy degree like English or Poli-Sci to get them to sign those loan docs. Also used marketing for ‘good’ schools like Vanderbilt/Villanova/Georgetown/etc to overcharge for degrees that could have been had for less than half at state schools.

          That said though, the work ethic I’ve witnessed from many of your peers is disheartening at best. I realize exceptions apply to all rules, but I’m not happy with what I’ve seen personally. I will also say I have far more success working with kids coming out with hard science/math degree degrees (Chemistry / Physics / Biology / Mathematics / CompSci)than any of the traditional liberal arts. The quality differential in a liberal arts vs. hard science degree has been known for decades, so no excuses there.

          • 0 avatar
            skakillers

            I suppose I did fall for it, but then again I’m working on a PhD in the field I did my undergrad in (biology) so I’m doing alright. I don’t know that it’s really fair to say that no one of my generation can work hard though, how many people can that statement really be based on? Maybe it’s because I’m in a graduate program that’s fairly selective, but I know many people my age who work their asses off and produce great quality work.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Apparently a B.S. in Materials Engineering doesn’t include a course on humility. What’s with all the commenters crawling out of the woodwork to bash young peoples’ supposed lack of work ethic and to give themselves a pat on the back?

        Congrats, sounds like you’ve made good lives for yourselves, that’s something to be proud of. No need to go out of your way to belittle others that are just starting out.

        -Young Automation Engineer

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          “Apparently a B.S. in Materials Engineering doesn’t include a course on humility. ”

          No it didn’t. Maybe it’s because I come from the great Garden State, where the weak are killed and eaten, but I never had time to worry about other people’s feelings working myself to the bone.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            For a guy that works himself to the bone, it’s surprising you find time during your busy work day to post on car blogs eh? ;)

            People that go around beating their chest about their work ethic are one thing, it’s the humble guy that keeps his nose on the grindstone that you gotta watch out for.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Do they ground the weak up into fertilizer in the Garden State, Morbo?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Maybe you should change your avatar to Frank Grimes?

            I’m not really sure what you are looking for other than an opportunity to vent.

            There will always be Timmy Trustfund complaining that for graduation he got the 911S instead of the Turbo and there will always be the guy from Serbia that probably that thinks your “weak are killed and eaten” upbringing in New Jersey wasn’t so bad.

    • 0 avatar
      Brad2971

      If it’s structural in nature (and I’m not inclined to doubt that), maybe we should look a little closer at, you know, the structure. Inside the structure, we have the previous record-holder for greatest-spending generation (Baby Boomers) gearing down their spending. Their immediate children (GenXers) are themselves into family-rearing, with nearly all expenses geared toward rearing that family. And then we have the Millenials, which are finding out that quite a few of the jobs the Baby Boomers were supposed to free up by retiring were…themselves retired.

      I just described the structure of the economy of 2013. Which is not really that different than the structure of the economy of 1993. Having said that, buck up Millenial. It’s going to get better.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        When Asia has a crisis, and capital comes flooding into the United States, which gives us unprecedented prosperity and stupidity for 4 years?

        Actually, sounds like heaven compared to the current situation. Give me dot com boom part II. I don’t care if it gets worse afterward.

  • avatar
    mr.cranky

    It frustrates me because rather than find the true reason for why more younger people are not buying cars (hint: they’re poor!), that “auto journalists” would rather make up some bullshit meme (“they’d rather have smartphones!”) and other petty excuses.

    It’s just another example of bias against the youth, propagated by a generation that was once hopeful and motivated to change the world, before the 1980s and Reaganomics showed up.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I just assumed that it was all bait to fill in article quotas and leech from other articles, too many journalists trade credibility and integrity just for readership.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I still think the smartphones are a partial and valid reason some of the young don’t have cars. Everyone – even the ones I hear professing having financial troubles – as a smartphone with all the bells and whistles (internet, texting, etc). What do that cost? $100 per month? Now add to that the standard costs of a college student – a place to live, internet service, cableTV, utilities and money to go out on. It adds up quick.

      Nobody is using a five year old flip phone b/c they can’t afford better. Well, I do but that’s because I’m not enamored with telephones or smart phones and only have a phone in case my kids or wife have an emergency. $10 per month.

      And what do these people with smart phones do? They walk around with their eyes glued to the screen for one reason or another. They sit in pubs and coffee shops and restaurants with their eyes glued to the screen vaguely aware of what their friend is rattling on about. I see them occasionally – two or three people – all sitting together staring at their screens. I often wonder if these people learn anything from those little screens worth knowing. In previous decades those hours per day could have been soaked up learning something from their fellow man or woman in conversation or the time spent learning to actually do something instead of checking the screen to see what “Justin Beaver” did today.

      I used facebook for a month or two. I was bombarded by marketing, political propaganda for this side or that, a few clever cartoons, and a whole ‘lot of ME-ME-ME-ME – people eager to tell the world what they think and what they did and what they were doing at that second. No thanks. Don’t need to put my life on hold to stare at a Facebook page. It has alot of potential for sharing but it seems to play host to alot of self-centered posts. Unintended consequences?

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    An economic reset is inevitable. Because we cannot abandon the principle of “no (insert group here) left behind,” we cannot hope to reverse direction. All we can do is keep kicking the can down the road, postponing the reset.

    The problem is, of course, that the longer we postpone it, the worse it will be when it hits.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Are you saying we should leave certain groups behind?

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        No, but if/when Unca Sam’s tit runs dry, it will happen anyway. Everybody needs some kind of skill that will keep them alive. Whether it’s an (purposeful, in-demand) education or learning how to garden or hunt, you need to have a means to put food on the table.

        By no means do I *want* it to happen, but this is a trend many people feel we need to reverse.

      • 0 avatar

        For the example you have to look no further than to former communist countries of Eastern Europe. They kicked the can down the road as long as they could and then inevitable happened – they run out of money. People living on the Government handouts left with nothing esp older people. People who took care of themselves suddenly got freedom to become very rich and younger people were able adapt or leave the country (it now happens also in Spain,Greece, France and other European socialist countries).

        At the same time Chinese were wise to not kick the can down the road and made necessary reforms early and compare where are they today – taking the world leadership away from the stagnant USA.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        It’s not about leaving behind or not leaving behind.

        It’s more similar to diet and exercise. Once upon a time, people were gaunt and overworked. Over the years we added more healthy calories to entitlements and reduced their work load. Now we feed people 4,000 calories a day (but it’s healthy food!!) and they do no work and have few career prospects.

        They are obese blobs (sometimes figuratively), and they are getting left behind. Time for a real strategy, not a political fairy-tale.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Everyone (that predicts this kind of thing) expects cars to become less common because they become more taxed and regulated. Maybe they remain relativiley untaxed and unregulated, but become less common because increased population and automation makes people less valuable, i.e. less well paid.

    Can the world support 7.2 billion cars? I’m not arguing that the world cannot, but I would like to see an arguement that it can. And if it cannot then this issue would arise one way or another. People making less money seems to be replacing the need for taxes and regulation to be used to limit vehicles.

  • avatar
    Johnnyangel

    It never seems to be mentioned amidst the political and economic debates that these Generation Why posts invariably inspire, but one of the major motivations for young people to acquire cars used to be getting laid (or at least to be able to imagine that you might). Now, innumerable factors — changed social norms, absentee parents, larger homes, you name it — mean that all one needs to find is a willing partner. Bench seats or seats that recline no longer required.

    Teenagers seem to have no problem finding places to “party.” (Plus, drive-ins are gone, lovers lanes are paved over, it’s less safe to park somewhere random.) That right there removes a HUGE motivator for having a car.

  • avatar
    walker42

    The young would-be driver today grew up in a car environment far less interesting than the same person did a generation ago. Cars have made relatively few advances, compared to what we saw in the 80s versus the 70s. Add the relative sameness of cars today (crossovers and Prius dominate) and their lack of excitement… well, how would you feel about cars if you grew up in and around that?

    I’m putting out there that this, more than anything else, explains the drop off in interest, i.e. the OEs have done it to themselves.

    I also think the lack of interest is overblown. Of course there is still interest, and at a much higher level than the headline seekers would have you believe.

    Finally be careful with the data. You need to remove the noise before making comparisons. For example compare the interest in cars of an 18 year old 25 years ago to the same person today, but ONLY do it among those who can afford a car, not the general population of young people. Because I would agree there are more 18 years olds today that can’t afford a car than there were 25 years ago and that creates apathy.

    The employment situation will correct itself, or the auto industry will adjust to a new volume reality. The types of cars to be made is a different matter. It would be a mistake to think that no matter what you do the dogs won’t like the dog food.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      A V6 Camry will pretty much blow the doors of any car made in the 1970s and 80s. And that’s just off the line, we won’t talk about braking or cornering.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Measureable performance is different than exciting or interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        walker42

        So would a 1993 Camry V6. Mom’s new V6 family sedan was mighty impressive to a wide-eyed young guy back then, it was an exciting time for cars. Now Mom drives a Prius or Highlander. Need I say more?

        20 years later and a new Camry doesn’t blow away the ’93. They look almost identical as do the current Accord, Altima and Mazda 6. Only the Fusion stands out today where in ’93 no one would mistake an Accord or Volvo or Camry for anything else.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    I think we’re heading into an era of structural unemployment/under-employment. Between automation and out-sourcing, fewer people than ever are going to be participants in the economy (as we see here with cars). If people don’t get paid, they can’t spend money. If they don’t spend money, Businesses will seek to cut cost and further automate/outsource, etc. etc. Rocks fall, all die.

    I think we’re not very far away from some election year where “Productivity” and “Efficiency” become four-letter-words associated with “Killing Jobs” and such.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      I was thinking about this recently.

      There’s always been something of a pipe dream that greater productivity/efficiency would lead to a sort of utopian ideal society, where the tasks required to feed/clothe/supply/serve everyone require less and less effort, and it would be replaced by leisure.

      Instead, it means less gainful employment, larger corporate profits, and greater inequality. The answer is clearly not communism (poorly planned economy and little incentive), pure robber-baron capitalism (unregulated economy and defacto rule by corporate interests… we tried that, remember?).

      I really don’t know what the answer will be, but I imagine that the paradigm of liberal capitalism and authoritarian communism on opposite ends of a single spectrum as the preeminent metric of a society will seem hopelessly obsolete in 100 years, if not far sooner.

      • 0 avatar
        stryker1

        The answer is going to be that we’re going to have to come up with new philosophies to deal with an increasingly large, idle/non-participatory section of our population.

        Here’s one guy who seems to be thinking about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frithjof_Bergmann

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          It has been written that only 63% of America’s workforce CHOOSES to participate, so I believe that the jobs are out there but people don’t want to move to where the jobs are.

          In the early pioneering days of America people “headed West” to look for work. Ditto during the Great Depression because there was no safety net then that encouraged people to take foodstamps, free phones and welfare.

          And as far as ‘young’ people not able to find jobs? I have two young people in my household who are both employed as well as go to school full-time.

          My grandson who got of the Marine Corps in June was offered a job by the Marine Corps before he was even released from active duty. He didn’t apply. They asked him.

          My youngest son was offered a job by ICE as a Supervisory Special Agent before he retired from the Army. He didn’t apply. They asked him based on his profile with TROA.

          My wife’s niece recently got a new job in Zephyr Cove, NV, through LinkedIn and my daughter recently changed jobs from Los Angeles and moved to El Paso, TX. They were contacted by head hunters!

          The jobs are out there. Why else would we have to import people to do the work that Americans can’t or don’t want to do.

          And I’m not even going to venture into illegal aliens to make my point except to say ALL of them are working.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “My grandson who got of the Marine Corps in June was offered a job by the Marine Corps before he was even released from active duty. He didn’t apply. They asked him.

            My youngest son was offered a job by ICE as a Supervisory Special Agent before he retired from the Army. He didn’t apply. They asked him based on his profile with TROA.”

            Well, that is one solution, we could just give everyone a goverment job.

          • 0 avatar
            stryker1

            That may well be true, and it sounds like you have a family of highly functional, high achievers. Congratulations.

            I’m not entirely sure that it matters why people can’t, or won’t participate. You could argue that people should be hungry enough to do whatever it takes to run something to ground, and I could counter that people have lives, and set roots in communities, and after a certain age (especially if you have kids) retooling and retraining to get back in the job market is unrealistic. But I don’t think it matters in the end.

            In the end, it only matters that these people are out. They don’t consume (much), they don’t contribute tax revenue (much), and attributing blame won’t really help us when they don’t consume. The pie will still be smaller, and what we’ll be left with is a knife-fight to divide up whats left.

            At least, that’s what I think. Could be wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Sorry about the delayed reply, gents. My system suffered a DoS attack right after my post and I just got it up and running again.

          racer-esq., you failed the mention the other two examples I gave that were NOT gov’t jobs.

          The point I made was that there are plenty of jobs to go around in America but most people don’t want to move to where the jobs are. They’d rather collect unemployment and wait for a job to be offered to them on a silver platter.

          stryker1, I agree with you that these people are out of the work force, but they could easily remedy that by taking a job.

          My area is overrun with illegal aliens and they all seem to find work, make a living AND sent money home to Mexico and other countries South of the Border.

          There is so much talk about ‘increasing the tax base’ these days but there are also millions of jobs in the US that go unfilled.

          We’re importing millions of people legally to the US each year because so many Americans refuse to do those jobs or are simply not smart enough to do them.

          I do not believe that members of my family are especially gifted or high achievers. But I do think they apply themselves to whatever it is they are tasked to do.

          And in doing so, they build a reputation for consistency and a proven track record. They become a known commodity. And employers like to hold on to known commodities and offer them a job to stay on, in some other capacity.

          I think the greatest factor in life is luck and being at the right place at the right time. But kids do see their parents and other family members as role models and act similarly.

          OTOH, there are also many retired military and civil service people who have voluntarily withdrawn from the workforce. If the nation could harness all that talent and put it to work, what wondrous things we could achieve, on a HUGE scale.

          IMO, a large number of the non-contributing 37% of the workforce not participating find little or nothing with our current government they wish to support.

          Maybe they prefer to take out of the system instead of paying in to the system.

          There’s no incentive to break sweat. Obama has us all covered with handouts, bailouts, money for nuttin’ and foodstamps for free.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “racer-esq., you failed the mention the other two examples I gave that were NOT gov’t jobs.”

            So half of the people in the country should work for the government?

            I’m definitely counting the private sector jobs. It’s that I am not counting the government ones. The government job rolls at all levels (federal/state/local) are bloated and unsustainable, especially in the security areas where people scream 9/11 when anyone talks about cuts (when in fact 9/11 had nothing to do with there being too little spending or manpower, and did have a lot to do with already bloated agencies being too large to communicate, AND Bin Laden’s goal with 9/11 was to get America to freak out and spend itself into bankruptcy on reactionary security measures).

            Still, that the government does offer jobs so freely does backup the point about people that aren’t getting jobs. Any young person can walk down to the local recruiter’s office.

            The illegal immigrant point is not as strong, illegal immigration is actually net zero, as many are leaving as coming:

            http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/04/12/america-is-losing-as-many-illegal-immigrants-as-its-gaining/

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            racer-esq., I also believe that the American government is way too big and intrusive, but if government offered ME a life-time job at the pay that I want, I’d be a fool not to take it!

            And that’s what’s happening today. The government is offering jobs to people they want to keep in the fold, even though those people did not actually apply for a job with government. We’re constantly being watched and our performance is tracked.

            On the one hand that’s a good thing. The government is offering jobs to their best and brightest. And it makes it worth their while.

            OTOH, it does stifle a person into only one career path, and limits their income potential to exactly that what the position pays. No more. No less.

            But even as large as government is, the number of people it employs, including the military, is but a small percentage of the legal US population.

            The rejection rate for the military recruiting offices varies but is actually quite high in some places. All of my kids, including my daughter, were solicited in HS to join the military. My daughter did not join.

            The majority of MY family members did not make the military a career but were offered jobs with the military or Federal Law enforcement prior to leaving the military.

            My wife’s sisters are each married to a retired military man. All except the attorney haven’t been employed a day since they retired from their branch of the military. The attorney has a law office in WY and employs a number of people, but less than 25, of course.

            Not everyone leaving the military gets a job offer to stay on in some capacity. Some do, most don’t.

            My oldest son was also offered a DoD civilian job with the Marine Corps but he chose to use his MBA to do International Banking with a Japanese Bank, in Japan, 1998-2006. Now he’s working for that bank in CA.

            Not everyone gets the same breaks in life. Some people try and try again to get ahead and are destined to fail time and time again.

            That’s life. Life’s a bitch, and then you die. It’s hell after that.

            While we can complain about the size of government, employment in some form of government-related job of any kind does put food on the table and pays the bills. Those who do not want to participate do not have to. Most don’t.

            People are free to accept or decline. Our niece in Zephyr Cove, NV is in Insurance. My daughter in El Paso works as a teacher of teachers for the Texas School Board.

            The problem with the civilian job market is also way overblown. If a person is currently employed, they will have NO problem finding a new job.

            If a person is not currently employed, their chances of finding a new job are slim to none.

            The philosophy is that if they weren’t good enough to keep employed in the first place and were shown the door, they aren’t good enough to take a chance on. It’s better to stick to a known, currently employed, commodity.

            Illegal immigrants remain a problem in the border states, yet all of them who stay do seem to find jobs in the US. New Mexico helps them with Drivers Licenses, Bank accounts, free Medical, etc etc etc.

            That’s why OUR taxes are sky-high for the second poorest state in America. To pay for all the illegals here.

            I’ve employed a fair number of illegal aliens to help me with the refurbishment, remodeling, maintenance and repair of the homes owned by my wife’s family.

            I couldn’t find any Americans to do the work. And I tried. How I tried! For years I tried.

            Retired Military Vets I approached told me I couldn’t pay them enough money to give up their life of leisure.

            The unemployed Americans I hired in for a project were not worth asking back. They were not keepers.

            If America’s unemployed were keepers, they wouldn’t be looking for work now.

          • 0 avatar
            stryker1

            I’d quibble with your last point. Welfare programs have mostly shrunk under Obama, not grown.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            stryker1, yeah, and the deficit too, but we’re still more than $17Trillion in debt.

            Obviously, this is working for the majority, because they voted for it and the majority rules in America.

            I don’t dispute that many people are indeed much better off under Obama. I’m just not one of them.

            OTOH, this past week has been excellent. We managed to sell and close on two houses we put up for sale and are currently basking in the limelight of temporary cash wealth.

            I have to admit, this has mellowed me a great deal. Nothing exemplifies success…. like success.

            And the past week paid off big time.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The answer is that there is no one answer. I’m a Libertarian because I truly believe that only individuals hold the answers to their problems and they need to be fully empowered to reach them with minimal influence from others. Empowerment doesn’t mean disempowering someone else through the use of force either. Make your way with what you’ve got.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          +1 danio3834. I’m an Independent and I share your philosophy.

          Nobody ever gave me anything. I got what I got the old fashioned way; I worked for it!

          • 0 avatar
            stryker1

            Your parents never gave you anything?
            Bummer.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            stryker1, my dad was a poor post-WWII Portuguese immigrant, and my mom was a pre-WWII German immigrant in CT.

            To say money was tight for us is an understatement. They put my ass to work at age 12 delivering newspapers in Huntington Beach, CA.

            I got to keep ALL of my earned money, but it was still underwear and socks for Birthdays and Christmas.

            I learned to be frugal but it served me well.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        There is a middle ground, and it is government”s role to ensure there is that middle ground. I am a registered Republican but I think you need to count me as an Eisenhower Republican. Regulations and taxes are what create a middle class and an overall prosperous economy. FDR’s reforms really did fix a lot

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          ttacgreg, the philosophy of the current administration is self-evident and pales by comparison to FDR’s reforms.

          In fact, this current administration is worse than that of Jimmy Carter, and that was the worst in recent history.

          I’m an Independent, not affiliated with any political party, but started life in a Democrat, Union household, evolving into a Republican when I got a job and had to pay taxes.

          With the current policies I believe we, as a nation, are in for more bad times ahead. I am living my life accordingly.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “Regulations and taxes are what create a middle class and an overall prosperous economy.”

          Regulations don’t “create” anything, they’re just rules. The will of the people creates wealth and prosperity. Too many people give too much of the credit to a few politicians.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      I cannot see large blocks of US voters becoming luddites, but it could happen. People do have an amazing ability to rationalize things, for example the way that they fool themselves into thinking that the bloated US military, which is basically a mix of a government jobs program and very inefficient Keynesian stimulus, is protecting US security, when it is actually weakening US security by indebting the country and diverting funds from education, infrastructure and taxpayers.

      Here are several possibilities people have written about with regard to less demand for workers in the future:

      http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Work-Decline-Post-Market/dp/0874778247

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Matrix-Keanu-Reeves/dp/B00000K19E

      And here is something the Swiss are actually considering:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004

      If people are being supported by the government in a utopia, instead of being limited by what they can earn, breeding becomes a big problem. If the government supports everyone then there is really no constraint on breeding either out of genetic selfishness or demographic warfare. Restrictions on reproduction are probably likely.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “breeding becomes a big problem”

        Elephant? What elephant?

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        I would argue that a large military isn’t the issue, just the way it’s currently structured. Gotham needs Batman, Metropolis needs Superman, and the world needs a strong leader. That’s been America for 70 years, and I hope for centuries to come.

        Our pols are unwilling or unable to speak the truth, but our military ensures global security. If the US military, with it’s current strength and force projection capabilities went away tomorrow, I give the world 18 months before it’s reduced to a radioactive shell.

        That said, as currently structured, the US military is woefully bloated. Too many generals, too many bases, not enough contractor oversight, not enough grunts and tradesmen. Most functions can be centralized at centers of excellence, with remaining bases located based on force projection needs (more bases near major airports / seaports, less in the hinterlands save for training purposes).

        • 0 avatar
          afflo

          I disagree on further centralizing the military at more megabases. When placed in a large installation, the military tends to be a very insular subculture.

          It’s a bit more expensive, and less efficient, but spreading military members across more communities keeps the military population better grounded, so to speak, with the civilian world. How many Americans interact on a regular basis with someone in the military? For many, they are an almost theoretical group of people somewhere else.

          This goes especially for “blue” states, as military bases have shut down and been consolidated in larger “Joint Bases.” I don’t believe it to be healthy for military bases to be cut off so completely from American society.

          - Other than ROTC, I don’t think I ever saw an actual military person in uniform until I stopped by a recruiters office. And then, I really had no concept of what military people were like outside of movies. In my mind, it was a mix of Stripes and Full Metal Jacket.

          (I’m in the Air Force, which is more like a mix of Star Trek and Office Space!)

          • 0 avatar
            morbo

            I hadn’t thought about the cultural interaction aspect. Since NJ has lost all but three bases (NJ Air National guard in South Jersey, Joint Base Dix/McGuire/Lakehurst in central jersey, and Picatinny Arsennal army in North Jersey, there is little chance of seeing a uniformed soldier outside an airport in transit back home.

            That’s probably a key reason Germany and Japan became our allies after WW2, seeing that the victor wasn’t some cruel monster but just regular people.

            Granted here in the capitol wasteland it’s different. But you’re right about most places outside of the megabase type communities like Hampton Roads / Colorado Springs / Ft. Hood / Ft. Benning / San Diego / Arlington.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The Swiss are fools if they authorize that program.

        “Restrictions on reproduction are probably likely.”

        Coming to a country near you!

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          It will be an interesting experiment. I don’t agree with the Swiss implementation. But with automation and technology the private sector is not going to create good jobs for everyone. There have been MASSIVE gains in productivity. The kind of gains that allow the US to be a manufacturing powerhouse while still having almost no manufacturing jobs base.

          Paying someone $2,800 a month to do nothing costs $33,600 a year, only the payments times 12. Paying someone roughly the same to go overseas and destabilize a foreign country, weakening our security and massively indebting the country, costs ~$815,000 a year.

          “During a budget hearing today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, asked Department of Defense leaders, ‘What is the cost per soldier, to maintain a soldier for a year in Afghanistan?’ Under Secretary Robert Hale, the Pentagon comptroller, responded ‘Right now about $850,000 per soldier.’”

          “One thing is clear, the soldier impacts only a small percentage of that cost. A typical army sergeant with four years service makes a base pay of less than $30,000 a year.”

          http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/28/one-soldier-one-year-850000-and-rising/

          Whatever your feelings about the Swiss proposal for dealing with people that cannot get jobs in the private sector, it is massively more efficient than how the US is dealing with people that cannot get jobs in the private sector. Paying $850,000 a year to create a $30,000 a year job is insane.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’d have to know more about Switzerland’s doing now to make a more accurate assessment, but tossing a set minimum amount of money to the populace sets a floor for income and will eventually lead to inflation thus devaluing all holders of the currency. If you’re correct about the a future surplus in human labor due to automation, then somehow activities must be found for this excess otherwise you end up paying people to do nothing (even if its the cheaper of the two as you point out in your soldier example).

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            I don’t think it’s a good idea, I’m just putting it in perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Have you done any research on the history of US military spending?

        The military is half the size it was in the 1960s. All spending growth has occurred in social entitlements, and those programs are responsible for driving our debt.

        The military is about the only entitlement that still goes to the middle class, particularly middle class males, who are a depressed demographic. The military basically pays people while training them to work in the private sector. If you think the military is inefficient, look at the movement in prices when we lose control of a shipping lane or industries are afflicted by warfare or unrest.

        Military security is worth far more than we pay for it. Other countries should kick in, but why when they can make us do it?

        • 0 avatar
          jeffzekas

          The military is NOT half the size. Here are the figures: 1965 $61.6 billion spent, in 2010 $847.9 billion on “defense”. In 1965 we had 2,653,926 active personnel and in 2011 1,468,364 personnel.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Historical government spending is not measured in nominal dollars or even real dollars. Spending is measured as a percentage of GDP.

            In the 1960s, military spending was about 10% of GDP. Today, it’s about 4.5% of GDP. For all intents and purposes, the military is a worker-training program, and it has a history of producing engineers and healthcare professionals, two professions with insufficient supply today. Before we began cutting military spending in the 1970s, we had the best distribution of wealth in post-industrial US history.

            If people don’t want to spend on military, fine. But we can’t cut middle class productivity spending by 5% GDP ($800B) and then spend the money on unproductive pork that makes us worse off.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Years ago I would look at how many carmakers were targeting my generation, Generation Y, and thought “Why bother? Save for a few lucky few, we can hardly afford a decent used car let alone a new car”, smartphones and other things may be a priority too but thats not the biggest problem (thats just dribble that journalists came up with to get articles out).

    One problem is naturally financial issues, another problem is that marketing campaigns that’re often tailored to people of my generation, who tend to be put off by said ads as they feel like they’re being condescended.

    Another issue is the utter amount elitism in the car world, a new driver posts about how happy they are to get a ’94 camry and a license? they should be ready for barrages of “LOL You drive a slushbox”, “You have a Camry? Ur no auto enthusiast”, “Wat is dat ur moms car lols”.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Another issue is the utter amount elitism in the car world”

      Thank you! Auto enthusiasts are some of the worst and most insufferable jacka**es around. We make beer and music snobs look good.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Thats how I feel sometimes, I only mock the tuner crowd be it done right with a huge mod list for their forum sig or done wrong with farts and spoilers, but I’m very careful about what I say, nothing too mean.

        If someone owns a plain jane car and they like it I’m always glad to hear, the only thing that I push is to follow the cars scheduled maintenance.

        I do have a few follow Gen Y friends who’ve never so much as driven a car so I’m doing what I can to support them, they haven’t gotten a car simply because of both money and other priorities like college.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “Another issue is the utter amount elitism in the car world, a new driver posts about how happy they are to get a ’94 camry and a license? they should be ready for barrages of ‘LOL You drive a slushbox’, ‘You have a Camry? Ur no auto enthusiast’, ‘Wat is dat ur moms car lols’.”

      No way, I’m not going to make fun of them unless they pimp the Camry, then the gloves are off. I’m going to tell them to take it to a solo event. Tell them it’s fine for solo as is, and I’ve seen much worse. Maybe go tray drifting if they really want to hoon.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I make fun of my cousin’s Camry, but only because he somehow lucked into an unreliable Toyota. I know, sounds like an oxymoron, like “luxurious Chevrolet” or “reliable Alfa Romeo”.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The motor vehicle is a tool. The consumer and the manufacturer have turned a tool into a political item.

    All nations have vehicle ownership, it varies to income, politicial structure and lifestyle/culture.

    If the young aren’t buying motor vehicles, is the necessity of vehicle ownership a significant as some make out?

    Why should someone buy a vehicle if they don’t need or want one?

    One issue not mentioned is the new “18″ is now “25″.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    One way to increase employment is to reduce the minimum wage. Conventional wisdom says the minimum wage should be a ‘living wage’ – whatever that is – but reality says that as the minimum wage rises, so does unemployment among those it’s intended to benefit.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/S5JaCvJvXVI/AAAAAAAAM8o/meY3TSpmJMY/s400/minwage1.jpg

    Employers simply hire fewer workers, and become more selective about it, as they are forced to pay more for unskilled labor.

    A low-wage worker is more likely to buy something – anything – than someone with no job at all.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Quite sad for people to call my generation lazy. Oh well. I’m working on getting some work certifications ( I’m in IT, and continuing my education while working 28 hours a week, which is nearly full time with travel thrown in ).

    I’ve been working 6 years in my field. Mind you i don’t have a bad job and nearly have gotten 60,000 a year jobs ( interviewed for a few ) but, I’m just not quite there.

    I’m thinking of moving somewhere else. Maybe live with my girlfriend if i can find a Job that i can do remotely. Who wouldn’t pass up free rent ( apartment is paid for, and living in a foreign country where a car isn’t necessary ). I would bank a ton of money even making 30,000k a year. Be in close distance to neat European destination, and own a few beaters to screw around with.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @racer: Can it be driven fast? Both cars I’ve owned so far are not fast cars and I probably prematurely killed the first one by driving it faster than it was ever intended to go. But when I think of how I’m not satisfied with the 160 horsepower I have now, the idea of driving a 100 horsepower sub-compact seems like a step backwards.

    Also, it seems that you can’t get any optional wheels unless you upgrade to the next trim level and that’s a major auto-maker pet peeve for me. I know certain things require other things to go along with them and thus can’t be ordered separately, but these are f***ing WHEELS.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Is the other commenter right that you have a ’95 Skylark? That’s a 3 speed automatic, right? And a big car. 100 hp in a Mazda 2 will be a rocketship compared to that. If you get stick. You can’t have auto in a 100 hp car. I’m not a fan of rims because they are a waste of money and steel is more durable. Putting performance tires on the stock wheels is a lot better option. If you don’t like the hub caps take them off. Get chrome numbers from Pep Boys and put 15″ on the front fenders, you kids like being ironic, right?

      Your best bang for the buck performance option is an F-body. But the Mazda 2 is not at all a bad car if you want new. I consider it an example of new cars being better and cheaper than ever before.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Well if I could find a decent F-body or Fox ‘stang for less than 3 grand, I’d have one already.

        I certainly could use a car that I could trust to keep running, but it seems my only options on that front are to get good at fixing cars (it’s what I’m going to school for come next fall, wanted to finish my 80% done liberal arts degree first) or get something brand new and trust a dealership to fix it.

        And my car weighs around 3000 pounds without me aboard and makes 160 horsepower, it’s not the world’s biggest slug but it’s no rocketship either.

        Also, I’m rather ashamed to admit that I’ve never been taught how to drive stick…my mom’s car is an automatic and both cars I’ve owned are automatics, so I haven’t had a chance.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “100 hp in a Mazda 2 will be a rocketship compared to that.”

        His is a 3.1L V6 so it would have the 4-speed.

        “Rocketship” is greatly overstating the comparative situation as well. They should be about the same in accelerating to highway speeds.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Now if there was a 140 hp Mazda2, I’d be on that like white on rice. 40 horsepower makes a lot of difference in a small, light car.

          Of course, if I made more money, I’d skip the 2 altogether and go for a 2.5 Mazda3…

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Keep the Buick. Nothing at all wrong with it. Take it solo racing. By no means am I saying to buy the Mazda 2. I am saying that it is not a “crap box”. For anyone looking for a new car it is a great option, especially because it doesn’t put AC, power locks or power windows into optional packages. Stick in a car like a Mazda 2 is super easy to learn.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I feel like a pathetic excuse for an enthusiast since I don’t know how to drive stick…

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Why don’t you learn?

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            My parents never had any stick cars when I was driving, I just lied that I knew it when I took test drives. If you do that just watch some youtube videos first. Low power FWD cars are way easy to shift.

            Or keep the Buick for now if it’s not completely falling apart.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            We never had a stick-shift car either, but my friends did, I learned on theirs. Even if you never own a car with a stick, you should learn how to drive one. You might really get into it.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Don’t. You don’t need to know how to use some antiquated shifting method to be enthusiastic about cars any more than you need to know how to rebuild a carburetor or set ignition points. If it’s something you want to learn, find someone who has one and ask them to show you.

            Nothing bonds two people like one teaching the other how to drive stick (or tears them apart haha).

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ” You don’t need to know how to use some antiquated shifting method…”

            - Ouch!

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Looks to me that the article cited by our author pretty much nailed it. The wicked combo of the Great Recession and $100 oil are likely the main causes. The good news is that both will eventually go away.

    One dynamic no one has yet mentioned has been the effect of technological changes on the career paths of young blue collar mechanics. This trend begun to manifest itself in the early 2000′s. In 2000 in the USA, there were about 925,000 persons employed in servicing and repairing motor vehicles. By 2010 this number had DECLINED to about 830,000. Over that same period, the USA motor vehicle fleet actually increased slightly from 225 million to 240 million. Why get interested in an occupation seeming in long-term decline?

    Good news! Even that trend seems to be reversing. Since 2010, employment is up by about 30,000.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @28-Cars-Later – I have to challenge your theory on the welfare class: “folks who are typically born into poverty and then make it their lifestyle to sponge from gov’t/society” and “the I would further divide this into two sub classes, those who are self destructive and those who are the opposite and learn how to game the system.” This topic is too broad and complex for a car site but WTF, the ball has been put into play……………

    The whole tenant or foundation of your theory is based upon the thought that those people are there to parasitically live off of the taxpayer. That is typically a “right wing” or “conservative” view point. “Stop supporting the bums on my dime and all will be fine” is the standard “fix all” to the problem from that camp.

    I can loosely paraphrase your 2 groups into those who are 1. Too stupid and/or stoned to get off of welfare or 2. Lazy exploiters who don’t want to.

    I’ve spent a large portion of my life dealing with this demographic and at one time my ideology was “Stop supporting the bums on my dime and all will be fine”.
    The problem is considerably more complex than that. Liberals or left wingers feel that the way to fix the problem is through more social programs and more funding.
    The real answer lies somewhere in the middle.

    Group 1 – Stupid and/or stoned.
    A large portion of street people and those on “welfare” suffer mental illness. Is cutting them off appropriate? but then again, is giving them more money appropriate? Treatment, counselling, and support will help.
    Too stoned – addiction is very difficult to treat, but do you chose to turn a blind eye because they “chose” to do drugs or alcohol?

    The best approach is to try to prevent any of this in the first place but as you have pointed out, there are those that are “born into it”. A respected senior police officer once told me “sewer rats beget sewer rats and followed that charged comment with the comment, “you need to be an exceptional swimmer to swim out of that cesspool”.
    We hear people talk about paradigms or thinking outside the box. They basically mean the same thing. How do you convince someone that there is a better life out there when they cannot see outside of their box?
    Group 2 – Lazy exploiters. There tends to be some overlap with group one and often they are trapped within their own “box”. “This is all that I’ve ever seen and is all I know”. How do you change that mentality? The criminal law system and a blend of “social” interventions can help.

    To change things one has to have an extremely long term strategy in place that blends various ideological approach’s. It would be highly unlikely that the left or right would agree on an approach. They view the other camp as wrong and both vie for the same tax dollar.

    It is impossible to totally get rid of the problem and no one wants to take some personal responsibility for helping turn things around. Government “safety nets” are funded by taxpayers which in itself sets up a poor remediation pattern. We the public absolve ourselves of personal responsibility since we pay taxes to “fix” social and criminal issues. This also absolves the users and abusers of any responsibility because they don’t need to look you and I “in the eye” while they use and/or abuse the system.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      All that sounds good to me.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good comments Lou. I agree its a very complex issue as discussed above and I can’t offer any solutions, simply my observations. Human society will always have some element of group 1 and 2 regardless of the reasoning behind these individuals, I simply fear these groups will continue to grow and eventually shock an already strained system.

      From a treatment standpoint you’re probably right something in the middle is required to change the situation, because taking the hardline law and order approach doesn’t help much (because “this is all I know” after all) nor does simply throwing money at the problem. I can’t even begin to speculate on a permanent strategy other than to say it sounds as if the people aren’t necessarily the problem but the culture of dependance. If you could somehow remove the people from the environment at a young enough age, you might be able to break the cycle, but now we’re talking something out of fiction. This whole topic is certainly a more complicated subject than what did you think of the new Corolla, but I’m pleased we can all conduct a civil conversation on it. I’ve certainly gained some new insight.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      After living with people in those groups for a good period of time in my younger/poorer days, I tended to lose all sympathy for them, so I am a “cut them off” type, at least the lazy blobs first. The thing is, little to nothing is done to identify the needy from the lazy/poachers. I like the idea helping the truly needy, so I volunteer instead of voting for policy that forces people to pay for other’s questionable lifestyles.

      Michigan’s recent approach is a good start, 4 years lifetime cap, and you’re done. Retroactive. A state can’t help people very well if it goes bankrupt, so at a certain point you have to shed some barnicles.

      As for the mentally ill, where do we set the bar? Is ADD or Aspergers a mental illness that entitles someone to a lifelong stipend? Whereever there is free money, people will bend the rules and pile on. That’s why I think these programs should be extremely strict to non-existent.

      If someone feels that helping the less fortunate is a worthy goal (it’s rewarding) I would encourage them to get out and help them instead of half-assing it with a “can’t someone else do it?” policy solution.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    There are those members of the “younger” generation that are too lazy to work or are guilty of falling into the trap that WE create for them. That is the educational belief that came out of the 60′s: “It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you feel good about yourself”. That has encouraged many to get an education in unmarketable fields. It also lends itself to complaining since personal responsibility gets removed from their conscience.
    There are many who are victims of a rapidly changing world. I had read that some of the most sought after professions didn’t exist 20-30 years ago. How do you prepare for that?
    It makes the most sense that there are those without vehicles because they cannot afford them. To many, staying connected with smartphones and other electronics is more important.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “There are many who are victims of a rapidly changing world. I had read that some of the most sought after professions didn’t exist 20-30 years ago.”

      This is the biggest part of the issue. In general I believe the millenial generation wants to work and make something of themselves. There are many who are discouraged with a negative attitude, which I wouldn’t hire. However, the biggest problem is this generation’s failure to get on board with the sectors that are seeing growth. Technology, medicine and even many skilled trades can’t find people to fill many positions.

      An English degree doesn’t fulfill a specific skill to grant someone a position of value in those fields. It can be a good start as in general an English degree ensures you can read, comprehend and write (a high school diploma doesn’t unfortunately). However, to make one’s self truly valuable, they would also get training or experience in a specifically marketable skill.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @Lie2me: All I need to do is find someone with a stick-shift car willing to let me practice, I’m sure I could get the hang of it for the most part real quick.

    Hardest part of driving stick, so I’ve heard, is downshifting down to neutral when you get to a stop sign or red light.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The hardest part to learn enough to drive a stick car is accelerating from a stop. That is when people stall. But that part is pretty easy in a light, low power FWD car. At a light or stop sign you just throw it into neutral and brake, very easy.

      Proper downshifting (heel-toe) to, for example, slow down to go around a corner and then accelerate out of the corner in the proper gear, takes practice, but isn’t necessary to get started.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Oh, I have a feeling I can learn it, I just need practice.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Yes, practice, there really isn’t a “hard part” once you know the basics. It truly is like riding a bike. It seems hard for the first few minutes, but once you get the feel for it you pretty much know it forever.

          I can’t imagine that you don’t know anyone who has a stick… I guess you can’t even rent a stick these days, if you could then all you would need is someone who at least knows how to drive a stick

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            My aunt used to have a stickshift Tracker and a stickshift Jeep before that, but I’m pretty sure her current vehicle is an automatic.

            My mom’s boyfriend had a ’92 Jetta with a stick, but it was an utter pile and got sent off to the pick-a-part.

            So yeah, I can’t think of anyone I know right now who currently owns a manual car…

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    As someone of the Generation Y I feel I should explain my situation and why I don’t own a new car.

    Currently I own a ’92 Volvo 240, paid a grand for it, I buy my own gas, and I try to keep it maintained better than what most cheap beaters get, but I’ve only been able to do this because of help from my parents. The Volvos just $50 a month to insure. I buy new video games once in a blue moon and I have no smartphone, just an older cell.

    Finding a job isn’t easy and the last one I had I couldn’t hold due to health complications and lacking a drivers license. For the last few years I’ve been making chump change from merchant work and often use all of it on gas and food.

    I do not have the money nor the desire to finance a new car at this time, recent loaning schemes are doing nothing to encourage me either.

    I own my own car because I’m a car enthusiast and I need basic transportation, I lack the money for anything fancier or newer let alone insurance and parts for a modern car. I’m lucky to even have a car thats a bit unique.

    My point with this? Automakers should try selling cars to my parents who can actually afford one, not me, I’m quite fine with my old Volvo thank you, once I get a job I’ll still drive it as buyingselling cars has become a pain in the foot, already swapped like 4-5 crummy cars to get to where I am.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ” Automakers should try selling cars to my parents who can actually afford one”

      The reason automakers don’t do this is because of a marketing credo that says to the effect, “An old man will happily buy a car that’s considered a young man’s car. A young man will never buy a car that’s considered an old man’s car”

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Normally I’d agree with that, but a when I’d look at car reviews on carsurvey I would see that numerous teenagers own and proudly boast about Town Cars, B-Bodies and Crown Victorias.

        “I’m 18 and I have a Crown Vic with 65k miles on it and I’ve never had any issues”!

        I do agree that older people probably buy “young people” cars like the Xb, but young people like older people-cars too, at least on the used market.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          A Caprice is bulletproof, and with fuel injection can manage 20 mpg easily. The “aero” Panthers can probably do just as well.

          Only reason why I don’t own a Caprice or a Panther is because I couldn’t find one cheap when I desperately needed a car.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I drove a ’94 Caprice with the 4.3L V8 for a while and it got 23mpg every tank in 50/50 city/highway mixed driving. They’re dirt cheap because people think they’re fuel hogs, but those 20 year old boats return similar mileage to 4 cylinder CUVs of today.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “but young people like older people-cars too, at least on the used market.”

          See, that right there, automakers don’t care what you buy used. Often that used car choice is purely economic. Automakers know that when you can afford a new car chances are it won’t be panther-like

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            “. Automakers know that when you can afford a new car chances are it won’t be panther-like”

            Which explains why BMWs, Camrys, and other popular models are becoming more bloated and softer, right?

            I’m not saying that we need to return to the B-bodyPanther era though, they’re just decent cars on a used budget, but I get your point.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The middle class is in a depression and it’s the new normal, purchasing power and discretionary income are GONE and it wasn’t overnight, it’s been a steady erosion over the last 33 years. Even if the fed can mask it with QE a fake corporate profits, he can only play financial games for so long before it blows up. Again…

    The typical US 20-30 year old is MUCH worse off today than the ones from 30 years ago. Thank Reaganomics for that, the worst thing to happen to this country in the post WWII era, nothing else comes close to how bad Reagan has been to the middle class of this nation, he single handedly created the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in this nations history.

    Cars? Cars are an afterthought for most of us. Most of us who did everything right like we were told found out life doesn’t work that way, through no fault of our own and with massive student loan burdens unlike the generations previous. I don’t EVER see myself being in a place where I can safely afford a brand new car in my entire life, let alone important things like a family and a nice house. Instead I’m looking at saving everything I can due to an uncertain future where it might be months between professional engineering jobs, renting for life and moving around every couple of years just to hold down a job.

    That is the reality of today. I am a veteran (of a war based on lies), hold 2 bachelors (physics/mechanical engineering) and a masters of mechanical engineering, so before you old timers show your naivete and call me lazy, walk a mile in my shoes. By the way, thanks for leaving us “the greatest nation on earth” you naive boomer fools.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      I should add. Some manufacterers get it (volkswagen, nissan). Cars of the future are going to be massively decontented and sold on price point. There are only a fixed number of used cars to go around and eventually we WILL be forced to buy new.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        You can never assume much of anything with ABSOLUTE certainty, even something as seemingly obvious as the fact that old machinery wears out. One of the latest reality TV hot topics is the cottage industry of remanufacturing worn out motor vehicles by hand. Even the crusher can be put off and often in a semi-fashionable way. In desperate times, like WWII Europe, enterprising mechanics were running vehicles designed for diesel and gasoline on homemade coal gas generators.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @nickoo – if you can’t find decent work in your own country look abroad. It is unfortunate that you can’t find steady work. The USA economy is still weak.
      It is typical to blame the prior generation. Once us “boomers” leave the workforce you will be able to find more secure work. That is happening right now since we are in the 65-50 year old range.
      I am sure that you will do a much better job running things than us…………… and I’m sure a frustrated young buck will say you f-cked it all up for him too.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Interesting advice, Lou, since that is exactly what my oldest son did when he was stationed on Okinawa and about to be released from active duty. He found a job in Japan, and they paid him very well!

    • 0 avatar
      E46M3_333

      “…biggest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in this nations history.”

      Yeah, Reagan was the problem. How exactly do you transfer wealth from the poor to the rich? Read that statement slowly to yourself a few times and see if you can figure out how rediculous it sounds.

      And if you really have the degrees you claim to have, and you’re reasonably competent, you should have no trouble finding work, and purchasing a modest home within two or three years.

      Can I get some cheese with that whine?
      .
      .

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        All the money has gone to the top. That is a fact. It is not disputable that the rich own more of the wealth than they ever have in thos country. The top 400 individuals own as much wealth as the bottom 150 million in this country. We are living in a false bubble built on credit. It already popped once and qe is maskingt it. It won’t be long before that blows up too with a bond market crash and you see the reality of the situation we;re in…

        You are naive as hell if you think people from my generation are going to be buying homes after 2 or 3 years…we all have student loan burdens that cost as much as a cadillac, not to mention the rediculous cost of real estate anywhere near where the jobs are. I make 80k/yr in a job that should be highly secure but thanks to congress; there will be a reduction in force next year if sequestration doesn’t end. That means 1 or 2 years searching for another engineering job, that means relocating again, that means starting from zero. Again. This will be start number 5 for me in the last 10 years. So even if I could afford a house that wasn’t a dump and not in the ghetto, I would be a fool to buy it.

        That’s the reality that we were left with. Thanks for nothing

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “All the money has gone to the top. That is a fact. It is not disputable that the rich own more of the wealth than they ever have in thos country. The top 400 individuals own as much wealth as the bottom 150 million in this country. ”

          So what are you going to do to get your piece of it?

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

            Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I stopped reading when you blamed a dead president for your problems.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Your naivete is laughable. Its not MY problems. Its the entire future of this country, and yes reagan is to blame. We are on a path to become the next mexico, a country of very poor working class and a country of very rich.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Naivete isn’t my problem, nor is being a martyr. I’m not a victim of anyone’s policy.

          I’m not a particular fan of Reagan, but he did preside over one of the longest and most generally prosperous times in American history.

          A lot of people say the same things about Clinton’s policies that you said about Reagan’s, and he also presided over a good period of prosperity. Frankly, it gets a bit tiring.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            The structural changes in government, regulation repeal, and tax overhauls are what led us to the destruction of the middle class. (Reagan), not to mention his war on drugs which in reality was a war on blacks (the us holds 1/3 of all prisoners in the world, mostly minor drug offenders) which that racist “welfare queen” ahole perpetuated along with his war on the unionized working class makes him the worst president in the post ww2 era. Bush Jr is second worst for obvious reasons; clinton third worst for nafta, and obama fourth worst for his corporate fascist healthcare plan. How much more of this can we take at this point? The structural changes have screwed an entire generation.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Reagan isn’t to blame. He’s just the guy who didn’t fix the problems. Same as H.W. Bush, Clinton, W Bush, and now Obama. Whoever comes after Obama probably won’t do anything, either.

          If you want to see the rich get richer, try living in deflation. Nominal wages would plummet. Real debts would skyrocket. Everyone under 40 would be wiped out.

          Deficit spending is relatively humane in the grand scheme.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @nikoo
      Darwin has about 150 000 people, with literally hundreds or even a 1 000 job vacancies. But you will have to be prepared for a better lifestyle :-)

      If you are an engineer you should be able to land a $100k up to $200k job. There is work, if you want to work. I do similar work to you.

      Darwin is a great place to live and bring up a family. Just beware of the weather. It’s monsoonal. But with the worlds most spectacular storms. Google Darwin thunderstorms.

      http://www.ntnews.com.au/classifieds/nt-darwin-jobs.html

      http://au.indeed.com/jobs?q=mechanical+Engineer&l=Darwin+NT

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I don’t know about Reagan taking the whole fall for the situation we are in. We consumers have been buying “Made in China” for a long, long time – all in the name of low, low everyday prices – and we’ve funded the closing of factories and all of the ancillary jobs that a factory funds such as industrial suppliers, machine suppliers, etc. have gone away too.

      We’ve replaced those jobs with service jobs which earn a few a decent living but most folks make a bit over minimum wage and little or no benefits. Our economy seems (at least around here) to be catering to the $.99 cent per item consumers. or the $100 TV folks. Or really low payments… That last six or seven years. That helps some folks to stay in endless payments b/c by the time they’ve paid off that item they are paying for the replacement also on a payment schedule.

      I used to wonder why folks in the Middle East would blow themselves up to make a point and then I realized b/c those individuals had no hope of a brighter future for themselves or their family. They can go out with a bang and further their ideology.

      In America I see some folks making choices b/c they feel they have no other choices to choose from. Short term happiness becomes the main motivator – shopping, sex, drugs, etc becomes prime motivators. Long term they can only see struggles to make ends meet and to find a better way to earn a living. It’s a version of the low income propensity to have trophies. As if anyone thinks that dude with the $150 sneakers and the $1500 wheels (on a $500 car) is rich. A few folks might be impressed but anyone giving the situation real thought knows that dude is dead broke but just has a few trophies to show off. Short term results. Short term spending power. Long term poverty. A four year (five year) education is unobtainable due to the perceived cost or they’ve grown up in a home where they’ve been told they are too stupid to make anything of themselves. They spent 12 years of grade school ignoring the teacher b/c nobody around them values an education and now they are completely unprepared for anything but scratching out a living among the people just like them. They can’t communicate, they can’t study/learn, they don’t have the manners, don’t have the skills to function very far from the people they’ve grown up.

      If you think my opinion sounds like I’m only discussing African-Americans, understand that the rural southern whites are facing the same odds, same choices and making the same wrong choices in some cases. The only difference lies with how far they have to drive to get food from the market. The south is where I’m living. (FWIW there are some incredibly bright folks here too that do very well for themselves either working for themselves or working for someone else. Success is built upon careful personal planning.)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It’s a shame that this thread has become a magnet for boomer and Gen X resentniks. (And I say that as a member of Gen X.) The topic provides an opportunity to analyze the auto industry, but the commentariat seem intent on using it as a vehicle for their own insecurities.

    Incidentally, there is credible data to support the position that younger people are genuinely losing interest in driving. (UMTRI is just one example.) I am personally inclined to lean more heavily in favor of the economic arguments, but this is not a settled question.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      +1.

      I’m a baby boomer. My general observation would be that old people get pretty bitter about life, and one of the ways they exhibit this is to carp that the next generation has had it too easy, lacks any knid of work ethic, and will never amount to anything.

      Certainly, I recall hearing this from people of my parents’ generation about those of us who came of age in the late ’60s. And now I get to hear it from my contemporaries about our chldren and granchildren (don’t have the latter, yet, but know lots who do).

      It was bs then, and its bs now. The world has changed, and continues to – and the pace of change is accelerating. But people adapt.

      Our daughter is now about to turn 28. She has a Masters degree and a work ethic that puts her parents to shame. We’ve met a number of people in her circle of friends. They are bright people, working to build their lives just as we did. The present economy makes that difficult, but they are all coping or better.

      Similarly, I deal with a number of clients in the technology field, and mentor/judge a leading new business competition (www.tiequest.org). Many of these people are in their 20′s, and they are universally motivated to succeed. They live their lives differently than I lived mine, which reflects changes in society, but they are advancing society, not sucking the llfeblood out of it.

      The problem is not my daughter’s generation, it’s mine. My wife and I don’t have pensions to look forward to, but we have been diligent in putting money aside to fund our retirement. Many of our contemporaries have not, though. The stats on the net worth and retirement income of boomers are absolutely alarming. My wife is a realtor – an NAR study of realtors over 40 (published within the past year) found they had an average net worth of less than $50,000. That ain’t enough! And I’m sure it’s not significantly better across other occupational groups.

      Presumably, then, the baby boom expects to be supported by its kids?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m going to be at least partially saddled with my mother although in her defense she got saddled with hers when my grandfather died in 1975. This especially stings as my mother and father, right or wrong, burned through a considerable amount of capital in the first twenty five years of my life and now have very little to show for it (the kind of capital she could have retired on at 50). The whole system looks like its going to be in spin cycle for awhile, and it would certainly be more helpful if the under 30 crowd in general had a better skillset or education. I include myself in this mix as my father taught me nothing, outside of tinkering with cars and the IT industry I don’t have many practical “handyman” type skills, the type of skills my father had in his generation (basic plumbing, carpentry, welding, woodshop).

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          It doesn’t help that most handyman skills have been cut from education systems from what I know.

          A good deal of those practical skills work for artists, but from what I’ve seen in the art field most work is done on the computer these days.

          As I’m typing this my hand-made from recyclables puppet is standing beside my monitor.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Presumably, then, the baby boom expects to be supported by its kids?”

        I’m expecting to see euthanasia clinics bloom like the thousand flowers of our Mao-worshiping youth. Yes, I know that’s actually a misquotation.

        I already know what drugs I want in my nightcap.

  • avatar

    Wasn’t the gen Y the one deciding vote behind so called “hope and change” expecting to get handouts from the Government in return? They got what the voted for because there is no such a thing as a free lunch. In my personal experience in socialists countries you have to wait like 5 to 10 years to get just the opportunity to buy a (crappy) car assigned to you by Government, if you saved money of course – no handouts. Or you can take the risk (of getting in jail) and play against the rules. Of course there are always people who get rich under any regime – these people are smart, they know what they are doing and do not live by rules. This is a new reality – just get used to it. No free lunch sorry – it was a lie.

    There are lot of young people in Silicon Valley who prosper. But they are smart, they are immigrants, they know what they are doing and they get education in the areas that matter and are paid high salaries as a result. Mat and science are tough stuff but who said life should be easy? Hard work always matter. There is nothing special about Gen Y to be entitled to easy life.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Well, now some are having buyer’s remorse after having seen how much their mandated insurance is going to take out of their pay each payday……

      Prior to the mandate many of these same folks didn’t have and didn’t want insurance. Hope and Change, eh? LOL!

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        I support the notion of universal healthcare but knew that there was a big chance of the real universal healthcare in our country being a boondoggle. It has been amazing to see how folks take sides without any firm numbers being offered back when this was just a debate. So exactly how much is this going to cost us as a nation and individually? How much will this change the cost of going to the doctor or the hospital? Yet this side was against it with no hard data and that side said they supported it without any hard data. What a shame our gov’t doesn’t function any better than it does or that tough decisions get made so flippantly.

    • 0 avatar
      walker42

      It’s a pretty safe bet those young Silicon Valley types are as into cars as young people have ever been. I’ve seen two Mercedes CLAs on the road and both have had young Asian women drivers.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s an interesting link regarding this very topic.

    It’s from todays paper in Australia about younger Australians.

    http://www.news.com.au/money/cost-of-living/a-year-but-living-pay-cheque-to-pay-cheque/story-fnagkbpv-1226746813694

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Big Al – something that was mentioned in your link that shows exactly my point “That is the educational belief that came out of the 60′s: “It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you feel good about yourself”.

    “Social trends expert Neer Korn says Gen Y spends a lot of money on instant gratification and “experiences”.
    “It’s interesting for this generation of people, travel is seen as an investment, not an expense,” Mr Korn said.
    “It’s all about increasing your personality and experience and life experiences and it’s not a holiday as other generations might see it.”

    @highdesertcat – people with the proper education and skill sets need to broaden their horizons. Some job experts say that it isn’t the actual skills that you have that will guarantee your employment but your ability to adapt to new circumstances. I changed career paths rather quickly after graduating college because I didn’t want to be in a line of work that was heavily dependant upon market trends. I’ve never regretted the change.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC
      Younger people are really into the ‘me’ experience. Oddly, in the baby boomers it appears the ‘me’ time in life is when you have the financial means to do it.

      I’m considered on of those selfish baby boomers, but to be where I’m at financially I’ve worked weekends, holidays etc for decades.

      Now I’ve earnt and I’m paying out of my pocket for my ‘not’ excesses.

      This is the problem with the young. They call buying an experience (excess) an investment. We called buy or the ability to buy an experience (excess) a luxury.

      When I was young we went out and bought a $hitter to drive around in and it didn’t matter what you drove, because it beat walking.

      Now the young want new, they just don’t want to start at the bottom. Even on the job.

  • avatar
    JD321

    It’s like the political terrorists burning down all the farmer’s crops and then declaring “Americans have lost interest in eating”. It takes an American public school retard to suck this up. Goebbels would be proud.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Yep, all the crops have been burned down. The US only produced 10,328,884 cars last year.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_motor_vehicle_production

      More than any other country on earth, except for one that has 4.3 times as many people.

      US auto production is only up over 1.6 million a year since the anti-colonialist (Boston Tea Party wannabes don’t like an anti-colonialist?) Kenyan Muslim (shh, don’t tell anyone, centrist corporatist) was elected.

      http://www.oica.net/2008-production-statistics/

      Using the drones to bomb people in foreign countries is just practice so that they can be deployed to bomb domestic auto factories.

      Luckily you were home schooled and know the real truth, unlike those fools that took AP Physics, Chemistry and Biology from teachers with PhDs at public schools. US students, demographically adjusted, outscore European students and tie with Asian students:

      http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/12/amazing-truth-about-pisa-scores-usa.html

      “Another policy implication is that Europe can learn from American public schools, which appear to be better than most European countries. I can only compare Sweden with the U.S, but I can tell you that from my experience, the American system is superior. I always thought this was just anecdotal evidence, but I am beginning to realize that American schools are indeed better.

      For example, we don’t have any real equivalent to Advanced Placements classes. We have cheaper and worse textbooks. The teachers on average have far less education. I could go on.”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @racer-esq.
        The story you are giving sounds similar to how the Europeans where talking in the late 19th and early 20th Century about the US.

        “We are this and we are that”. The US is a significant force in all spheres, this is undeniable. The US is sliding comparatively speaking though.

        The Eurozone, even with its economic woes is still significant, it is sliding as well.

        This article could be talking about most any OECD economy, not just the US as most of these economies are near identical in development, finances and lifestyle/culture. That’s why I laugh at some of the US biased comments, we all experience very similar day to day problems. We are much closer than some think.

        What is going on outside of this world we live in? How is education in other countries. Many on this site only ever compare to Japan or Europe, not the plethora of other countries out there.

        This is our real competition in the future for natural resources, jobs and money, not Japan and the Eurozone. We have learnt to live with each other and share what is available.

        How will we share with the rest?

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          Are you refuting something I said? Does your comment have a point? I don’t mention Japan. The only country I reference is China “More than any other country on earth, except for one that has 4.3 times as many people.” I reference the continents of both Europe (US students are better educated than European students adjusted for demographics) and Asia (US students are on par with Asian students adjusted for demographics).

          We’re all screwed, the world is becoming increasingly overpopulated and polluted, it’s inevitable. Every year there will be more global competition and increasing displacement of workers by technology. Duh, we all know that.

          But to suggest, as JD321′s ridiculous comment did, that the US is burning down its auto industry or that the US does not have top tier public education is objectively false.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @racer-esq
            Yes. My first sentence states it all and so does my comment that it appears you are only looking at Europe as a comparison. To make a feel good comment about the US.

            I think the US has deeper problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @racer-esq. I just looked up some stats and the USA scored 17th in reading/math/science in 2010 (study was done with 15 year olds). They were also 17th in 2012.
            http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/best-education-in-the-wor_n_2199795.html

          • 0 avatar
            JD321

            “But to suggest, as JD321′s ridiculous comment did, that the US is burning down its auto industry….”

            You missed the point entirely…how did you manage that?

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        @racer-esq.

        “US students, demographically adjusted, outscore European students and tie with Asian students:

        http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/12/amazing-truth-about-pisa-scores-usa.html ”

        Thanks for a nice reference. One of our quirks here in the US is that our sociologists are almost verboten to actually use race, religion, ethnic origin or IQ scores as variables in their empirical investigations. They can count their numbers without committing professional suicide, but that is about all. There are a few employers, like the Fed, that are partial exceptions, but not many.

        We also have a longstanding tradition of kicking ourselves in the ass using unfavorable comparisons with other countries. This is a very pronounced tendency among our schoolteachers. Nearly all Americans have been so indoctrinated at some point in their life.

        Massive immigration is, imho, the principle reason US students average so low on test scores. Considerably less than half of immigrants are ‘Cherry Picked’ using Green Cards and other methods. The rest are mostly just displaced farm workers who wander back and forth across our porous southern border. Once they get here, these ‘illegals’ can be arrested and deported, but until the Great Recession, that was only an inconvenience.

        Every few decades, the USA offers the ‘illegals’ a one time amnesty and a path to citizenship. Since many of them have children who are already US citizens by birth, this seems like the decent thing to do. Plus, US employers love them as a source of cheap labor. Our scholars tell us that their ancestors were actually here before mine were.

        Teaching the kids is very difficult, time consuming and expensive. Many of them start the first grade not speaking English at all. Some years ago, an old friend of mine solved her problem with sixth graders by finding a bright, bilingual student who translated her lecture to her 5 or 6 Spanish-only students. It seemed to work, at least a little. Bringing these kids into the US mainstream ASAP is way cheaper than creating a semi-permanent underclass.

        A second reason is a sizable group of so-called ‘inner city’ African Americans who typically stay in school until 16 but have extreme difficulty with book learning. Lots of them end up as petty criminals. From what my educator friends who have taught there (most of them white athletic coaches) tell me, the problem is not lack of general intelligence, but some kind of as yet undiagnosed learning disabilities, and/or possibly teaching techniques that need revising, and/or it is a cultural attitude. Any way you slice it, looking away from the problem just can’t be the way to solve it.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @jimbob457
          Immigration?

          The US for its size has a relatively low rate of immigration. So the impact of immigration is lower than many other OECD economies.

          I think the biggest issues confronting the US is the scaling of wealth across a classes of your society.

          I’m not stating using only taxation as a tool to redistribute wealth. There are other ways to do this.

          The problem confronting the US is the disparity between the haves and have nots.

          As you stated this isn’t a simple problem to resolve. A cultural change is needed.

          But the middle class will defend their dominance. This has to be expected. Sooner or later the middle class will be reduced and the lower middle class and working poor will change the US.

          The current situation in the US has shown that even many in the middle class are very uncomfortable with the direction the US is heading in.

          The size of the working poor in the US is increasing.

          Like I’ve stated structural reform is needed. But for this to occur you need a society prepared to want this.

          The US can’t continue on as it has in the past. Once the populace comprehends this the US will not be as polarised as it is now and it will move forward.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            The facts are that foreign born residents in the USA represent 14% of the population. This compares with 28% in your ‘Cherry Picking’ country (good on ya’ mates, must be nice to be on a remote island, so make the best of it while you can), 21% in Canada, 14% in Spain, and 12% in the UK, Germany and France. Every other major country reports significantly lower percentages.

            The world flocks toward today’s winners. Some of us know how to gain additional advantage from this. Others, not so much. Like I said, it is our custom to kick ourselves in the ass with bogus international comparisons of one thing or another.

            Be not deceived. For the time being, China’s and east Asia’s economic emergence and the demographic collapse in Europe and Japan actually improve the US relative standing in the world’s pecking order, at least by a little but probably for a relatively short time, at least in an historical perspective.

            P.S. The reason the US politicians have been acting like such idiots lately is that the country feels safe and dry and deems it can afford to indulge in such foolishness.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @jimbob457
            Our ‘cherry picking’ island is very competitive then. If we can get more suitable immigrants it will benefit the nation.

            The US middle class is declining and I do know the working poor do it much harder than our ‘poor’. I have nieces, nephews who are working hard and not receiving much for their efforts.

            I do think if they worked as hard here they would be better off.

            Here an opinion piece from the Washington Post, an interesting read.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/alice-americans-slipping-out-of-the-middle-class/2013/10/25/7555ce0c-3699-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html?hpid=z3

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @jimbob457
          Your post isn’t even worth rebutting.
          Talk about garbage.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            @Lou_BC
            Hee… hee. Can you spell dumbass?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            He’s a liberal economist, not very dry, quite wet.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            Zowie! An economist, yeah. I gotta a PhD in the subject. But a liberal in the American sense of the word, or ‘wet’ in the English sense of the word? You must be kidding?

            My only beef with the Tea Party crowd is that their views are such that they can’t win elections, except for local dogcatcher. Don’t win elections. Don’t have political office. You become irrelevant.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Quit your cry’n and get off the couch. The American Dream is still attainable. OK, let the immigrants have it all.

    Everywhere I go, I see “Help Wanted” signs. I understand they’re for ‘minimum wage’, not a dream job and an insult to your higher learning. At least it’s not digging ditches or shoveling sh!+.

    Early ’80s, I didn’t know any teens of driving age, that didn’t own a $200 beater, at least. You didn’t want to be seen on a school bus, public transportation, riding a bike or hanging your thumb out. Loserville. A car, any car meant freedom and independence.

    Entry level, new cars were as easily done, while living with your parents. Minimum wage is more than 3X what it was in the early ’80s and new cars start barely at 3X what they were back then. Wanna talk about “decontented”? Those base cars had crank windows, vinyl seats, manual trans, no A/C, radio deleted and even the side-view mirror was a dealer installed option. On base pickup trucks, rear bumpers were also ‘dealer installed’ or aftermarket.

    If you feel you were brainwashed by the school system, you’re right. Keep your bachelor degrees in your back pocket while you enter a blue collar industry at the ground level, squeezing a mop. Any one will do. Learn, save, then start your own company. Not a big deal, immigrants do it every day. Eventually you’ll burn your Liberal Arts diplomas and never look back.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @DenverMike
      I think the American Dream is harder to attain. This is shown statistically. The US middle class has declined. It is much more competitive to live that Dream.

      I don’t think most of the people that are unemployed or who have given up looking for work in the US want to be in the position they are finding themselves in.

      I noticed when I’m in the US there are a lot of older people working at places like gas stations, McDonalds, checkouts than we have here at the moment in Australia. I even noticed the same in Europe.

      This would make it harder for the young to find work.

      I do agree with you about the job snobs, but when they get hungry enough they will work. They might be the ‘older’ people I see working the checkouts, pumping gas (NJ), flipping burgers, etc.

      I have read that 5% is considered close to full employment. I do think this figure is correct. You will always have people who just don’t want to work and live off of others or are going through a hard patch in life (mental issues, divorce, etc).

      The world (US) isn’t what it was 30 years ago. Just like the 80s wasn’t like the 50s or the 50s like the 20s and on and on.

      I have read that the current generation of kids in the US will be the first to have a reduction in their standard of living compared to their parents. This is worrying, I just hope the US can get traction.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        Finally an intelligent post.

        I think we have just began the downward slide of the us. It’s bound to happen to all global powers, it’s not a question of if but, when. Time to wait and see.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Onus
          It is good that DenverMike can offer intelligent comment and debate. I would like to thank him as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Onus
          I don’t think the US will slip a significant amount.

          Look at the Europeans after WWII. The US will lose influence more than anything. That’s why I look at the US vehicle manufacturers the way I do.

          A slip in the standard of living overall will occur. I would think the average US person will end up on a similar standard of living as the average European, like France, Germany or the UK.

          The Eurozone is reliant on about 50% of GDP as government involvement, the US is currently on 40%. The Canadian’s are actually less at 35% and here in Australia it’s 32%.

          What worries me is the interest has to be met every year on these borrowings. This increases taxation with no input into the country, it takes away from needed growth.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAF0 – The “Dream” is hardest to attain when you expect the world to hand it to you on a platter. Gen Y’re were led to believe everyone’s a Winner and everyone’s Special. You’re not. And Liberal Arts? There should be a class-action lawsuit.

      • 0 avatar
        Brad2971

        I presume when you mean “reduction in their standard of living,” you mean on a general basis. If you’re thinking that’s going to happen, well, you may be waiting a while.

        OTOH, I am a native of the Great Plains. My section of the country has had “reduction in their standard of living” at varying times since at least the 1930s. Heck, the prices of most agricultural acreage in the Great Plains states have (on an inflation-adjusted basis) yet to meet the prices land speculators paid in the late 1880s!

        Let’s just say that, in order for a general decline in the standard of living to happen to this generation, you have to have New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, AND Chicago all be in the economic soup AT THE SAME TIME. This never happened in the 1930s, and it’s hard to see it happening in the next 10-15 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Willyam

          An aside: One of the better discussions I’ve ever seen on this topic, from all sides of the argument.

          As a fellow flyover country resident, our poor usually are a bit heavy and carry cell phones. Not a bad standard of living for being at the bottom of the earnings curve. They’re gaming the system ’cause they don’t feel a way out is realistic/worth the effort. Most of the shacks around my town with missing shingles and window panes also have satellite dishes.

          If our lowest-common-denominator media didn’t worship wealth, we really wouldn’t know we were that bad off.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            My brother and his wife are the definition of working poor. They don’t have two nickels to rub together, she is a waitress and he works as a landscaper seasonally. They get a lot of financial help from my Mother. Yet they have a big screen TV, two cars, a Playstation, smartphones, tattoos (!?!) etc. What they don’t have is any particular security or any sort of safety net beyond my Mother. Not even a checking account. No health insurance of course – at least that should be fixed soon. No kids (and smart enough not to want any that they cannot support), so they don’t get much of any assistance from the government. I think my brother got food stamps before they got married, but combined they don’t qualify for them. They are in their mid-30s, my brother is 9 years younger than I am. Does making poor choices make you poor, or does being poor cause you to make poor choices? Both? Are you just screwed?

            Seems like a weird way to live, but I stay out of it as much as I can. Annoys me to see my Mom spending her retirement money on them though. In particularly, my SIL waits tables at Denny’s, when she could easily get a MUCH better paying waitressing job around here. But she “likes” it there and won’t leave! He’s my half brother, and it really shows a lot of the time – major attitude issues, has a hard time keeping jobs. Seems to be slowly getting it together, his wife has been a great influence, but she is no fount of ambition either. Sigh.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Does making poor choices make you poor, or does being poor cause you to make poor choices?”

            Something to meditate on.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            krhodes, I too have a younger brother much like yours. He was in such a self destructive spiral that he eventually became I liability to the family.

            Things started to turn around once we has finally cut off. He moved out west to find work and after a series of really tough jobs, finally ended up trucking rig materials (think Ice Road Truckers). He’s mostly doing alright and I actually look forward to seeing him on the odd holiday now.

            So the moral I see is, some people will only move off their mark if hey absolutely have to to survive. Once that happens they can look to reach their potential. I feel bad for your mom. My mother was the same way, but she doesn’t worry about him anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Divorce has a financial impact that is rarely discussed. ~52% of the American population needing to start over along the way due to a failed marriage and often the mother is left raising kids with little help stunting her income. and then there is the distraction of the whole event and the marks it leaves on the kids.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      That 5% figure is unemployment.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @DenverMike – I agree.
      When I graduated from college I couldn’t find a job in my chosen career due to the hit of a big recession. I got a job as a security guard at a hospital just to pay the bills. I decided to change career paths and worked my way through college by working 2 part-time jobs. I make a very good living now.

      My brother graduated a year after me with the same Forestry degree in the same recession. He often worked 6 different jobs in the year. He’d run logging equipment, do contract forestry work, anything. After 3 years of that he landed a full time job with a large Forestry company but the position he got was in a remote area. He got that job because he gained all sorts of “real world” experience in all of those “unfit for his degree” type jobs. He works for the same company but now he is a “Capital Projects” Manager making exceptionally good money.
      An education isn’t a guarantee of a good pay cheque. You still have to prove yourself and work your way up.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Lou_BC – Kids today want to start at the top and work their way down… What’s in it for an employer that’s not their Dad? You might have to work for free, at first. But you do have to show up and bring value to the brand. Bring frick’n donuts if you have to.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @DenverMike – I think that there are several reasons why younger generations don’t want to wait or work towards their goals.
          Their parents were successful at a time of increased standards of living. Everything was available so they did not need to wait for anything.
          Same for everything else.
          Fast foods – minimal wait, you want information – google it. You want to know what your friends are doing – look at your smart phone or facebook/twitter account.

          I grew up with a landline that was at first a “party” line. It was shared with other users. There were NO answering machines or call display. If my dad was waiting for a call for a new contract, he literally had to wait or go talk to the person face to face. We did the same, I walked or rode my bike to a friend’s place to see what he was up to.
          If I wanted a new bike I had to wait because I had to do chores to earn it. If I couldn’t find an answer to question in the dictionary or reference books, I had to go to the library under my own power or wait for a ride. TV only had one channel. You waited all week for children’s shows.
          Computers, email, internet, cell phones did not exist.
          I can cite many more examples. We got used to waiting and planning and goal setting to get what we needed or wanted.
          They, for the most part never had to.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Yeah, and they won’t stay off my lawn.

            :)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Right. But Gen Y is great at sniveling though. They want it now, or never mind. The cards are stacked against them so why even try? Boo frick’n hoo. You have to “choose” to have a better life than your parents.

            And saving for nice things or luxuries is a bizarre concept, even when they have do a job and still sponging off their parents.

            If you decide early on that you’re gonna lose at life, guess what?

  • avatar
    Travis

    If nigga no go to school, nigga no get a job. If nigga no get a job, nigga gonna have no money. If nigga have no money, nigga won’t be able to afford BMW 7 series nigggaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Über,
    Sorry, can’t find our conversation any more. There really are no unbiased sources. We all have to be more critical of what we get in media.

    As for Academics, I spent plenty of time with academics and know plenty of them. Most of my disdain for the modern Academy comes from academics themselves relating their experiences. I don’t doubt healthcare researchers want to help people but that doesn’t make them immune to power and fame. You might think sales people are all about money, but actually a lot of them take their jobs very seriously. Like a guy selling surgical tools in an operating room will be more concerned about doing his part than making a profit. Still, if someone screws up his comp plan, it will change his behavior over time. I have seen it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    DM & Big Al-You both have brought up valid points. A college degree does not guarantee success and when you are starting out you need to be willing to take a job that is below your educational and skill level to get the experience and pay the bills. The American dream of each generation doing better than their parents is much harder to obtain. The US is in a global economy and will eventually lose the Number 1 status as an economic and military power. We as a country need to adapt to the global economy and a changing status as a World power.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @JeffS – one has to work to get ahead. In the 90′s when I was still single I had a neighbour who was a DJ and had tons of younger friends. We all road sport bikes. Most of our riding group would bitch and complain about not having a good job or not having a big enough pay cheque but they often would ditch work due to a hang over or because it interfered with their social lives.
      These same guys would say that I was “Lucky” because I had my own house, a dirt bike, a truck, a street-bike, and assorted other toys and I always seemed to have money. I pointed out to them that I had a full time job plus 2 part time jobs and lots of education.
      I was “lucky” because I worked hard for what I had.
      They had a difficult time seeing that part.


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