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Gasoline prices: the end of an era. - Page 5  

post #61 of 240
Listen: People need to be sensible. They also need to be responsible. Know that if you just have to have that gas-guzzling behemoth, you'll pay out the nose in gas. However, if someone is willing to buy the 2006 BehemothX10, and they are willing to spend sixty dollars to fill up, then it isn't the automobile and petroleum concerns' fault anymore. The consumer has absolute control in most markets, and especially in the overall market. As soon as people stop buying gas at current levels, the prices will fall. No "oilman" president, indifferent Congress, or super-powerful oil lobby could have done this. Only the American consumer could.

The tax break? Clearly, Congress didn't anticipate the rise of these abominations when they wrote it. In its original context, it makes a lot of sense. However, these monstrosities pervert the original context. Also, the culture of the loophole has exploited a sensible provision to the point where it is a reward for excess. Nothing new there.
post #62 of 240
If we lived in a "rational" world where cars were regarded like white goods ie fridges, vacuum cleaners etc then the idea of using a 6000LB+ vehicle to move one human being a short distance would be thought of as being unbelievably prehistoric and totally crude - pun intended
But we don't.
post #63 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
We're not talking about entitlement we're talking about freedom. Americans are entitled to freedom but not to possession. The mandate you recommend would take that freedom from us. As I said before they could then mandate the home size you could own and even the amount of food you could buy based on what they think you "need", hell they could mandate our freedom itself! Stalin and Hitler have shown us where this path leads...
Are you forgetting that basically everything is regulated in the US in some form or another? For example, the government mandates how many gallons of water your toilet can consume per flush. Does this throw you in a tizzy too? You should see how much water a German toilet uses. Simple fact is that Americans want what they want when they want it and screw everything and everyone else.

To paraphrase Adam Smith "each person may freely pursue his own goals, provided he does not infringe the equal right of all the others to pursue theirs." People often forget the second part of this arrangement.
post #64 of 240
$2.50-2.60 a gallon here. As a college student getting 25 mpg (city) in a Honda Accord, I'm still about to shoot myself at these prices
post #65 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imyourzero
Wow, I didn't know about that one. Sickening, really. An OBGYN at my hospital drives a maroon H2 and his license plate says "WORK4GAS". Yeah, right. As if he didn't make more than enough money already, he could always use that $38k tax break to pay for his gas...

He also has an S2000; I guess he bought that to balance his fuel usage out a bit.
I looked over the article, and it's based on a pretty unlikely series of circumstances...seems calculated for maximum value for use by angry populists.

This OBGYN of yours isn't going to be writing off the cost of his vehicle, unless he uses it (this is the key) 50% or more for legitimate business purposes. The law wasn't just intended to benefit farmers...any business that has a legitimate use for heavier trucks (e.g. construction, etc..) ought to be able to benefit from it.

Now, as for the so-called loophole - I've got no problem with business (especially small business) using existing tax laws to lower his tax bill. Every dollar of taxes paid by business (especially small business) ultimately ends up being paid by individual consumers. There is an old saying: corporations don't pay taxes, they merely collect them. The day that we eliminate all the fraud, waste, and inefficiency in government, I might sing a different tune. Until then, I trust the small businessman more than the tax man with custody of my marginal tax dollars.

The larger question of rising gasoline prices is a lot more complicated than mere use of SUV's by soccer moms:

It's an issue of refining capacity. Right now, the oil producing nations could double their output of crude oil...and it wouldn't do a bit of good. Until we build more refining capacity, we won't have any more gas. Try to build one, however, and most of those same soccer moms will scream N.I.M.B.Y.!!

It's an issue of how we produce electricy in this country. The use of fossil fuels of all kinds in the production of electrical power is an issue for our ecology AND our economy. One answer that is occasionally suggested is that we build more nuclear power plants. Again, try and build one...

I don't think that hybrid cars are the answer at this point. They're still pretty pricey, not incredibly practical for long distances (though the newer ones are better), and a potentially serious problem when involved in an accident (think leaking lead acid batteries coupled with the potential release of lethal current). Hydrogen powered cars hold some promise, but as noted the release of commercially viable ones is perhaps a decade away at best.

If we want to get back to tax policy, we could easily make tax policy that rewarded families that chose to purchase smaller cars. However, there's a related problem with the health of the auto industry...small cars have very small profit margins.

One step in the right direction would be to increase refining capacity. As someone who drives 120+ miles a day on his commute, that would be a good start. That's not happening overnight either...assuming we broke ground tomorrow, how long would it be until it was up and running?? I'm guessing it's 3-4 years at best...

It's not an easy problem...and there is not an easy solution.
post #66 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Listen: People need to be sensible. They also need to be responsible. Know that if you just have to have that gas-guzzling behemoth, you'll pay out the nose in gas. However, if someone is willing to buy the 2006 BehemothX10, and they are willing to spend sixty dollars to fill up, then it isn't the automobile and petroleum concerns' fault anymore. The consumer has absolute control in most markets, and especially in the overall market. As soon as people stop buying gas at current levels, the prices will fall. No "oilman" president, indifferent Congress, or super-powerful oil lobby could have done this. Only the American consumer could.
*Ding Ding Ding* It's all about demand. There's no reason for them to stop raising prices if the consumers keep the same amount of gas regardless of whatever price that's set. Stop buying so much, and they'll have no choice but to keep the prices down.

Of course the ideal solution would be to zap the oil people with powerful laserz, but that won't be an option for a few more years.
post #67 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by gshan
*Ding Ding Ding* It's all about demand. There's no reason for them to stop raising prices if the consumers keep buying the same amount of gas regardless of whatever price that's set. Stop buying so much, and they'll have no choice but to keep the prices down.

Of course the ideal solution would be to zap the oil people with powerful laserz, but that won't be an option for a few more years.
edit bolded
post #68 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
...Know that if you just have to have that gas-guzzling behemoth, you'll pay out the nose in gas. However, if someone is willing to buy the 2006 BehemothX10, and they are willing to spend sixty dollars to fill up, then it isn't the automobile and petroleum concerns' fault anymore...
But the fact that people drive these types of cars (1985 vintage included) drives the US demand way up which then in turn puts the US at the mercy of foreign oil and their pricing schemes. If US consumption was lower, we could be practically self-sufficient thereby reducing our need elsewhere. This would lower prices and would probably (I'm no political scientist) let us stop sucking up to Saudi Arabia and the like as much as we do. Not only that, it would be better for our environment and would ensure a pleasant lifestyle for our future generations. This comes down to a lot more than the "well, if they can afford it they should have it" argument. Furthermore, by impsing a minimum MPG figure I believe a lot of technology would be spurned and perhaps we'll actually get off oil before it's gone. This stuff won't last forever. I guess all this is moot though because as long as the oil industry funds politics nothing will happen.
post #69 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
Stalin and Hitler have shown us where this path leads.
Obligatory Godwin's law reference.

Not to be snarky, but it's a bit of a leap from restricting automobiles to the gulags.

To the main point: SUVs are not the problem. Consumerism is the problem. Carpooling, public transportation, and simply walking are not acceptable options anymore. Never mind that carpooling is a great social exercise. If people walked more, we'd probably see a decline in the other great "irresponsibility" of our age - obesity. Public transportation is just a good idea. However, since people - as has been noted elsewhere - want what they want when they want it, none of that is going to happen.
post #70 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotoriousBIG_PJ
Its Y-.1k

Think road warrier. First gas prices reset to 0 spuring mass chaos at the pumps, driving all the gas stations out of business, followed by people storing massive gas tanks in their back yards. Rival gangs begin to form and then the sand storms come...

Biggie.
lmao. I love that movie...
post #71 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister
Furthermore, by [imposing] a minimum MPG figure I believe a lot of technology would be spurned and perhaps we'll actually get off oil before it's gone. This stuff won't last forever. I guess all this is moot though because as long as the oil industry funds politics nothing will happen.
I am sure a lot of people would support a general reduction in oil consumption. However, any such MPG requirements would have to grandfather-in all cars made before the action date. Even with planned obsolescence, we'd still have the gas-guzzlers for twenty more years.

Congress should simply rescind the tax break for vehicles owned by corporations with less than 25 employees. Since most people who are taking advantage of the break are routing it through a business (generally partnerships or sole proprietorships) to get the break, restricting the business size would cut the break.

The advantage to the V-12 AbominationK5 would drop to nil.
post #72 of 240
there is a lot of speculation swirling aorund this subject from the Max Max theories to one even more absurd: people will stop commuting because of the drastic gas prices and will start paying closer attention to community responsibility and development.
And do you honestly think that the oil tycoons and the Big Three car companies in Michigan would allow for a minimum mileage tax to be passed without burning a few babies?

Ghostbusters 2 quote from the Mayor (pulling out the big guns):
Being miserable...is every New Yorker's God-given right
post #73 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom
I don't think that hybrid cars are the answer at this point. They're still pretty pricey
Toyota Pirus $21,275 MSRP About average for a new small car. web link Plus there is a $2000 tax deduction available if you buy one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom
not incredibly practical for long distances (though the newer ones are better)
Why? As long as you don't run out of gas it's not a problem.
I think many people don't realize a Hybrid used the gas and electric motors together (and no, you don't plug them in). Around town the electric motor is primarily used. At hard acceleration both are working and at highway cruise, it's mostly on the gas motor. When you hit the brakes, the energy is used to charge the battery.
I've had a ride in one and if you don't look at the display, you can't even tell which motor(s) are operating. It's very smooth, and I was quite impressed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom
potentially serious problem when involved in an accident (think leaking lead acid batteries coupled with the potential release of lethal current).
Traction Battery
TypeSealed Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) [2]
Power output28 hp (21 kW)
Voltage201.6V

Don't think there is a leakage issue with this type of battery, at least not as bad as a lead acid. Not sure what safety features there are in case of an accident, but I'm sure there are appropriate measures. (I'll look into that one for ya) Pruis Specs page
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom
Hydrogen powered cars hold some promise, but as noted the release of commercially viable ones is perhaps a decade away at best.
If even then.
A recent article in Popular Science showed that they would terribly impractical. The volume of fuel that you would have to carry would require a tank almost as large as the car. And that was just one of the problems.

Hybrids are on the road NOW! We should take advantage of energy efficient technology where we can.
TR
post #74 of 240
$40 dollars for 16.5 gallons in the tank today. I have to use premium in my '93 Cadillac, at 2.749 a gallon. At least most of the time. For the trip to Miami and back on Saturday I used the cheap stuff which makes the engine sound unhappy and probably does permanent damage. On the way there I ran the standard 5 miles over the 70MPH speed limit. On the way back I cruised along at 60-70 depending on traffic flow and got close to 30mpg.
post #75 of 240
PSmith08 - c'mon man I know you know your history better than that. There is a large gap between the two but the reference was tied to the a path of decent and of right restriction. Look at what the Jews went through long before the concentration camps when their rights were slowly pulled from them one by one. Not to get into a history lesson here but that is what I am talking about.

jefemeister - You need to read my original post again and think real hard about the comparison. Based on you location you appear to live here... what's up with the anti-American rhetoric??? Explain to me how my Truck or SUV infringes your rights and I'll explain how your larger home and unnecessary trips to Costco infringes mine... all things are equal playing by your rules my friend.

allenf - "massive emissions"??? then why have the duel catalytic converters or any other emission reducers if the carbon dioxide will always equal "massive emissions"?? Why not be up in arms about air planes or the need for hybrid air planes???

Maybe we should start by getting rid of the termites... they produce way too much methane gas... methane is a geeeeenhouse gas right? Then we should go to work on all the volcanoes, they also naturally produce way too many fluorocarbons.

Look the bottom line is that gas prices suck and there are a number of solutions. It is not the SUV's fault nor is it the fault of the driver. It's just simple supply and demand. As I said before we are making great progress, who knows maybe some day they will make a hybrid that doesn't look completely stupid
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