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Old 05-27-2008, 05:56 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by opelgt73 View Post
I think you are partially correct. But I think the bigger problem is that Americans no longer live within their means.

I'm not saying we should go back to living like the 50's but back then how many cars did the average family own? How large of a house did a family of 5 live in? How much debt (adjusted for inflation vs salary) did they carry?

99% of the people I hear complaining about how terrible the economy is and how they can't afford to live anymore have a house much larger than their needs, far too many cars, eat out 3-4 times a week and have a plasma TV. And they also can't afford their credit card payments either.

America needs to wake up and stop spending money they don't have on things they don't need. A drop in consumer spending is detrimental to the economy but it cannot be sustained as is and we are due for a bust (or are already busting, e.g. the credit crunch).
good post, however don't forget the families that ARE living within their means that are struggling because of fuel prices and related increases in consumer goods. look at our situation...

we have a $520 mortgage, 2 cars paid for w/avg~30mpg, no credit card debt(except for a washer on 0% interest-will be paid off soon),~$150avg utilities, dial-up i-net(saves a lot on purchases), and we eat out only during sales(rarely more than $15 for 5 of us).

if these fuel/consumer prices continue, we could be in serious trouble. my thought is, how many families like mine will NEED assistance in the future be it busing kids to school(vehicle elimination), healthcare(can no longer afford it), or even more degrading help(you know)? certainly mass assistance will stress our economy/national debt beyond its limits.

all i ask is for fuel prices and taxes to be fairly controlled. if it takes domestic drilling, the fair tax,nuclear power, gov't conservation(God forbid), or all of these and more...let's act, NOW!

isn't the key word in one of the parties running for president "change?"
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:40 PM   #52
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Ok, I'll concede that I cannot presume to know everyone's circumstances with respect to being able to trade into or purchase something more economical, but I'm still gonna stand by the notion that 99% or more drivers made a choice at some point to drive what they drive. Even so, the writing has been on the wall for at least the last 7 years with gas prices inflating far in advance of the economy in general. Surely ANYBODY can come up with a more economical choice within that amount of time - even if that simply means moving closer to work, or working closer to home etc.

We went 6 months with only one car for our family and I rode mass transit or my bicycle during that time. As for geting the family around, we really didn't even NEED the one car based on our proximity to everything we need and access to mass transit.

Some people might contend that their mass transit is horrible if it even exists at all. I would contend that if it is an issue, then they need to move to where it is not horrible.

Obviously some people would still be victims of circumstance even there, however I think the generality of my position is valid for the vast majority of society who do not need their vehicles in the performance of their work.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:43 PM   #53
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Oh, and I forgot to mention that I ordered my 50cc 2-stroke for the bike yesterday. At 120+ mpg, it will take me well over a week to use just half a gallon of gas if I don't pedal at all.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:11 PM   #54
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Oh, and I forgot to mention that I ordered my 50cc 2-stroke for the bike yesterday. At 120+ mpg, it will take me well over a week to use just half a gallon of gas if I don't pedal at all.
Eh, should have done a four stroker.. Better economy, lower emissions.

http://cyclehappy.com/bicycle_engine...ain_drive.html
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:18 PM   #55
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Some people might contend that their mass transit is horrible if it even exists at all. I would contend that if it is an issue, then they need to move to where it is not horrible.
Be careful what you wish for.. If everyone were to do what you suggest you would not be able to afford to live in an area with decent mass transit..

There's this thing called "the law of supply and demand", more demand and the prices rise..

FWIW, I can't think of a really good mass transit system in my entire state, I'm thirty plus miles away from the closest, in Atlanta, and it ain't that great.

But then I'm comparing to NYC, where my wife comes from, you don't really need a car there..

There are a huge number of people hanging on by their fingernails in America today. I've talked to my grandkids teachers and they tell me that there are entire families living in their cars with the kids in their classes. And I by no means live in what you would normally think of as a depressed area.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:23 PM   #56
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I considered it, however, as I wanted a frame mount kit, I wasn't able to find a 4-stroke kit that appealed to me. Plus the 2-strokes are significantly less expensive.

I can't argue with you about the emissions, but I look at it this way: A 2-stroke bike motor pumping out twice the dirt of a 4-stroke is still likely lower emissions compared to the volume of pollutants from driving my car the same distance.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:35 PM   #57
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Be careful what you wish for.. If everyone were to do what you suggest you would not be able to afford to live in an area with decent mass transit..

There's this thing called "the law of supply and demand", more demand and the prices rise..

FWIW, I can't think of a really good mass transit system in my entire state, I'm thirty plus miles away from the closest, in Atlanta, and it ain't that great.

But then I'm comparing to NYC, where my wife comes from, you don't really need a car there..
Ok, while nothing in the US is likely on par with NYC, the definition of 'decent' is what this boils down to. As even our local bus service goes over 40 miles out of town to provide rural access, and there's allot of open space between here and there.

Buses aren't for everbody, that's for sure. There is often a significant time penalty to use them, but with a little foresight and schedule in hand, they still provide an extremely cost effective means for people to get around.

You are correct on the cost of mass transit however. As contrary to what many might think, expanded ridership increases costs to the local system despite the higher fares, because the costs are subsidized by the federal government and fares do not cover the added expense of additional busses without additional federal funding.

I know my position is a little hard-assed on this.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:40 PM   #58
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I know my position is a little hard-assed on this.
In that vein, I suspect as gas prices continue their upward march people will be forced to make these kinds of decisions.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:43 PM   #59
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all i ask is for fuel prices and taxes to be fairly controlled. if it takes domestic drilling, the fair tax,nuclear power, gov't conservation(God forbid), or all of these and more...let's act, NOW!

isn't the key word in one of the parties running for president "change?"
Since oil is a commodity whose price is controlled by world markets, why would you expect domestic drilling to bring prices down? The oil companies would pump it out of the ground and then sell it for 120+ bux per barrel and continue to make huge profits. Also, since the US pretty ,uch owns Iraq - that has some of the largest oil reserves in the world - why aren't we pumping that stuff out of the ground as quickly as possible??

Furthermore, as the oil companies are largely vertically-integrated enterprises, why is it so bad that they are making profits when they largely do not control prices?

Lastly, I'm not sure the alternatives will materialize in time to have any affect. The environmentalists have largely tied the hand of politicians to make deals that end up in new nuke plants, oil refineries, etc. There is plenty of blame to go around.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:59 PM   #60
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In that vein, I suspect as gas prices continue their upward march people will be forced to make these kinds of decisions.
That's the bottom line. The cost of fuel is NOT going to go down by any significant amount any time soon - if at all.
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