Beating a dead horse

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Feb 27, 2006 6:29 pm

Alright....I was thinking about this whole Iraq/Middle East/Muslim/Bush rocks/sucks debate and I had a thought which I believe is hardly unique yet simplifies my whole attitude about our (America's) Middle Eastern approach.


How can a culture and society (the Muslim world) who reacts SOOOOOO violently to a f*ckin' cartoon ever embrace democracy (not even accounting for all the localized ethnic/tribal tensions and other diametric opposition to western ideals)?  I mean, isn't freedom of speach THE cornerstone of democracy? 


It seems to me that the social inertia that has been built through well over a thousand years of tradition in the Muslim world is well entrenched and fundamentally conflicts with the basic tenents of democracy. 


My whole attitude has been misconstrued as a "soft" let's get together and talk approach, when really it's more like...Let's have a better understanding of the ways we should and should not interface with this culture and let them work out their own issues without our interference.  Now, admittedly I am not an expert in foreign policy and understand that the Middle East is strategically important for energy....so I will concede ignorance on the issues lingering in the penumbra. 


Never the less, I would compare our zealous "bringing democracy to the world" attitude to one of us sitting with a client who had been through the depression and did not want to "risk" any of their money.  Would any of us just hammer them incesantly about stocks?  It's my belief that most of us would do our best to educate the client and if no success sell 'em CD (or whatever) and move on.  Is it really productive to try and change the way someone (or someone's) to change their fundamental values and attitudes?


My whole attitude is:  Let's focus our resources in the areas that are most likely to produce results, which unfortunatley (in my opinion) doesn't equate to bashing peoples heads in to change them.

Feb 27, 2006 6:47 pm

Here's an analogy that may be helpful in framing my view.


Think about the differences between men and women.  Y'all probably know the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  Well the basis for this book (which from personal experience I agree with) is that Men and Women speak a fundamentally different language and that the vast majority of male/female tensions occur because of the misunderstanding that occurs during translation.  We may use the same language (english) but the interpretation is vastly different.  I think it has to do with Men being left brain (logic) dominant and women being right brain (emotive/creative) dominant.


Anyway, let's look at the middle eastern culture as a hemisphere of the mind..... maybe (this is all rambling speculation for the sake of illustrating an idea, please grant me some leeway here) they are more dominated by "left brain" ideology, guided by strict rules and logic as they understand it, which is what makes them feel safe, relevant and how they make sense of their world.  We (the western world) are perhaps more guided by right brain ideology, driven by a more open creative and ephemeral ideology which is how we make sense of our world.


Now, just as it is in vain to try and convince a woman to think lie a man (and vice versa), it is similarly in vain to try an convince the Muslim world to think like us.


Never the less, we must co exist and do rely on each other.  Therefore, it seems to me that it is best to reduce our co-dependance so that our individual actions don't affect each other so much, therefore reducing our need to respond and also to establish very clear guidelines for interfacing with each other.  I am using a logic that has been successful in my own life while interfacing with my soon to be ex wife.


Ultimately the skills that work with easing tensions between individuals can work for easing tensions between nations (a collection of individuals).


All I can say is that I have NEVER been sucessful LONG TERM by raising my voice and fighting.  All that has done is create greater resentment and more issues.


I should finally note that this is directed at the macro issue of Western and Middle Eastern relations, not specifically the way we should respond to Al Qeada (which we have our disagreements on) or Iraq.  Thanks for listening.

Feb 27, 2006 7:53 pm

I'm calling in PETA...  Leave that poor horse alone. 


Just kidding.


Y'all probably know the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  Well the basis for this book (which from personal experience I agree with) is that Men and Women speak a fundamentally different language and that the vast majority of male/female tensions occur because of the misunderstanding that occurs during translation.  We may use the same language (english) but the interpretation is vastly different.  I think it has to do with Men being left brain (logic) dominant and women being right brain (emotive/creative) dominant.


While this may be generally true, it is not always so. I am living proof of that, being a woman and fairly left brain oriented.  Of course it takes both parts of the brain to make a whole person. You are using a stereotype to predicate your entire argument. 


But I do agree that there is a fundamental misunderstanding in communication between the Western and Eastern cultures.  Having been raised in a multi cultural environment (Japanese and American) I know that many little things can cause unintended offense or confusion.  We certainly don't need to be doing that to people who have nuclear bombs. 


However to go back to your men vs women analogy. I think that a good marriage and communication within it, depends on BOTH sides attempting to understand and communicate.  It isn't incumbent on just one side (in this case the United States) to try to be the appeaser or to try to think like the other.  If we are to make this "marriage" or political process work both sides need to try.  So far I only see one side giving an inch.  If this was a marriage counseling situation, I would say we are headed for a nasty divorce.

Feb 27, 2006 7:59 pm
dude:

Alright....I was thinking about this whole Iraq/Middle East/Muslim/Bush rocks/sucks debate and I had a thought which I believe is hardly unique yet simplifies my whole attitude about our (America's) Middle Eastern approach.


How can a culture and society (the Muslim world) who reacts SOOOOOO violently to a f*ckin' cartoon ever embrace democracy (not even accounting for all the localized ethnic/tribal tensions and other diametric opposition to western ideals)?  I mean, isn't freedom of speach THE cornerstone of democracy? 


It seems to me that the social inertia that has been built through well over a thousand years of tradition in the Muslim world is well entrenched and fundamentally conflicts with the basic tenents of democracy. 


My whole attitude has been misconstrued as a "soft" let's get together and talk approach, when really it's more like...Let's have a better understanding of the ways we should and should not interface with this culture and let them work out their own issues without our interference.  Now, admittedly I am not an expert in foreign policy and understand that the Middle East is strategically important for energy....so I will concede ignorance on the issues lingering in the penumbra. 


Never the less, I would compare our zealous "bringing democracy to the world" attitude to one of us sitting with a client who had been through the depression and did not want to "risk" any of their money.  Would any of us just hammer them incesantly about stocks?  It's my belief that most of us would do our best to educate the client and if no success sell 'em CD (or whatever) and move on.  Is it really productive to try and change the way someone (or someone's) to change their fundamental values and attitudes?


My whole attitude is:  Let's focus our resources in the areas that are most likely to produce results, which unfortunatley (in my opinion) doesn't equate to bashing peoples heads in to change them.



PENUMBRA?

Holy sh*te I haven't seen that word since the SAT's!

Feb 27, 2006 10:40 pm

dude, very well put- especially for a monday-


it is easy to agree with most of what you wrote, but where the rubber meets the road is OIL- and choosing when, where and how to interface with this culture revolves around this one thing- i don't think the west would give two hoots to any civilization who demonstrated such anger otherwise-


and for what its worth, you may want to check in with the MAJORITY of citizens from Iraq and Afghan who VOTED for the first time and make sure they all really do hate the way we are forcing democracy down their throats-


i agree that the effort and the money and lives that the USA is spending on this project is based upon a very shakey premise- but the W is kind of a big project guy and i applaud/support him in the grand vision he has for the region- and continue to pray that it works.


Feb 28, 2006 12:20 am

Dude it might be simpler. People who don't have food, security, shelter and protection are bribed to hate for almost nothing.


Since they can't read or write it is impossible for them to think on their own. Add the fact that exterme leaders including Saddam, Semalia warlords, Bin Ladin, Taliban and Arafat pay 20,000 and make statues of those who kill innocent people by blowing them selves up.


So you are saying that some people here relate more to brokeback then others?       Great articles!


Texas -  there are many studies that say 80% of IRAQ says they are confident country will be better in one year (among other things). If they believe and die for freedom how can we not help.


Did anyone see Mitt Romney is moving into the lead for republicans. Billery for the Dems.

Feb 28, 2006 12:41 pm
TexasRep:

dude, very well put- especially for a monday-


it is easy to agree with most of what you wrote, but where the rubber meets the road is OIL- and choosing when, where and how to interface with this culture revolves around this one thing- i don't think the west would give two hoots to any civilization who demonstrated such anger otherwise-


and for what its worth, you may want to check in with the MAJORITY of citizens from Iraq and Afghan who VOTED for the first time and make sure they all really do hate the way we are forcing democracy down their throats-


i agree that the effort and the money and lives that the USA is spending on this project is based upon a very shakey premise- but the W is kind of a big project guy and i applaud/support him in the grand vision he has for the region- and continue to pray that it works.




I understand that the achilles heel in this whole problem is oil, which is why I am very interested in alternative energy sources.


Even though I disagree with Bush, I am certainly hoping he proves me wrong.....Our world is ill prepared for the consequences of failing in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.


Babbling Looney:  I am generalizing about women here.  There definitely are exceptions to the rule.  One thing is clear though, that men and women (generally) have very different underlying motivations and "perceptual lenses" from which they make sense of the world.  In my life (as well as many of my friends) these differences have manifested mostly in misunderstandings arising from misinterpreting the meaning of what each other is saying.


Thanks for the excellent dialogue.

Feb 28, 2006 1:10 pm

I thought this might shed some light on this interesting thread;



http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-200602 19.html

Feb 28, 2006 5:51 pm
mikebutler222:

I thought this might shed some light on this interesting thread;



http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-200602 19.html



Nice.  

Mar 1, 2006 6:35 pm

I believe this satirical Dilbert view to be a large part of the reason we’re in this mess- the sappy, me-generation age worldview of: damn if we do, damn if we don’t and/or “I want my MTV” spoiled rotten attitude--—  a generation ago, we’d be up and arms about how to cut down and cut-out this addiction as part of the “what I can do for my country” role we play in it—<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Now?


We’ve gone from the last crisis 20+ years ago and the Detroit answer to that: gerri-rigged, turbo-Chryslers that got 20+ mpg to the “I want my turbo-hummer” today- don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between who ignored the Monte-Carlo analysis and instead went to Monte Carlo on the sheik’s turbo-yachts wining and dining and basically dropping the ball-  


The result?


As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago, meanwhile our technology has us 24/7 in a space station, shooting robot rockets at comets to analyze their cosmic dust, dune buggy-ing on Mars, ect.----


ya’ think if GM and Ford weren’t trying to out Hummer the other with Excursions, Hummers, F-650’s, ect- and developing 25 to 35 mpg vehicles that their bonds may be worth more than junk today?  And worth even more had they been able to develop those vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm?


Dilbert’s (wrong) view does not take into account the crucial supply/demand process which would drive down petro-profits or terror-profits, and instead throws in the towel with “if you don’t buy it, someone else will” and “its fungible” (a straw man) routine—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country and their families with “Let them fight this battle, give me my MTV”


It’s only going to get worse if we don’t wake-up:


#000066; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">From eia
PROVEN CRUDE OIL RESERVES
#000066; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">
It is generally agreed that the location of proven world crude oil reserves is far more concentrated in OPEC countries than current world oil production. Note that estimates of reserves vary; EIA does not assess oil reserves, but does list several independent estimates.  According to one independent estimate (Oil and Gas Journal), of the world's 1.28 trillion barrels of proven reserves, 885 billion barrels (69 percent) are held by OPEC, as of January 2005.

Mar 1, 2006 7:33 pm

For sure new energy sources is critical for our long term success. Look at Chavez (crazy Anti American (friend of Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan)) he is who he is thanks to oil.


Additionally Americans need to wake up. Dont blame Bush for our greed to drive every where every day, avoid car pooling and buy SUV's. Many need to look in the mirror. Just went to Eastern Europe where gas is about 5 bucks a gallon. These people make a few hundred a month. So most have 1.6l or 2.0l cars.


Amazingly during Clintons first year MPG was supposed to go up after 8 years it went down. One of the great accomplishments during the Billery years.


Tex it seems Toyota (LEXUS) is leading the way with good MPG auto's. They just built a plant in America and have reccord amounts of Hybrids and fuel efficient cars leaving lots now. LS430s get up to 30MPG. This is a big v-8 with 4.3l. GM and Ford should look in the mirror not at American Tax payers to bail them out.

Mar 2, 2006 8:05 am
TexasRep:

I believe this satirical Dilbert view to be a large part of the reason we’re in this mess- 



Hardly. Dilbert points out economic truth that Prius drivers and Micheal Moore fans will never understand.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


TexasRep:

We’ve gone from the last crisis 20+ years ago and the Detroit answer to that: gerri-rigged, turbo-Chryslers that got 20+ mpg to the “I want my turbo-hummer”



Detriot's answer to the last oil crisis was diesel engined cars that weren't worth a dime three years after you bought them. BTW, you may have noticed that Hummer sales (and Chysler doesn't make them) have fallen off and the reborn Hemi has the technology to turn off half of its cylinders for increased gas mileage. I suspect you're unaware what technology is available at your local dealer.



TexasRep:

As our vehicles depreciate and wear out,



As all cars, made everywhere, always have....


TexasRep:

the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago,



You have some evidence of this? I think you're wrong on this one. A similarly sized family sedan or mini van gets better mileage today than did a 1986 model. In fact, the mega SUVs get better mileage than the station wagon my father drive back at the dawn of time.


TexasRep:

ya’ think if GM and Ford weren’t trying to out Hummer the other with Excursions, Hummers, F-650’s, ect- and developing 25 to 35 mpg vehicles that their bonds may be worth more than junk today? 



Now you're really confused, and on a couple of fronts. Those larger vehicles, the ones that sold, are the only models Detroit made a profit in selling. If you want junk bonds, imagine a GM selling only the low margin subcompact line. Secondly, consumers determine what models sell (and until very recently it's been SUVs) not the auto makers. Detroits failures are many, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.


BTW, if you want to buy an American made 25-35 mpg car, the lots are full of them.


TexasRep:

 And worth even more had they been able to develop those vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm?



Ahhh, how about garbage powered? Dream powered? Seriously, there's nothing that keeps Ford or GM from producing BOTH massive SUVs (and I'm not a fan) AND high mileage cars like Ford's hybrid escape. In fact, they already do. You've simply ignored the consumer demand issue. You may have noticed even the sainted foreign car makers build SUVs and trucks.


TexasRep:

Dilbert’s (wrong) view does not take into account the crucial supply/demand process which would drive down petro-profits or terror-profits, and instead throws in the towel with “if you don’t buy it, someone else will” and “its fungible” (a straw man) routine



You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact.


If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism (a link, btw, that's vastly exaggerated. We get a much smaller percentage of our oil from the middle east than most Americans know) someone else WOULD buy that oil. It wouldn't sit in the ground, and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.


Drive a golf cart, if you like, it wouldn't change that fact.


TexasRep:

—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country



Oh spare me....

Mar 2, 2006 8:10 am

If you have a real interest in fuel mileage, here's the EPA link.


http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/all-alpha-06.htm


And, oh, yeah, the Acruas at the top of the list, the ones getting mileage in the teens in town and low to mid-twenties on the highway, not made in Detroit... 


Mar 2, 2006 9:54 am

[/quote]


 I suspect you're unaware what technology is available at your local dealer.


i'm very aware- just bought an '06 2 weeks ago



TexasRep:

the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago,



You have some evidence of this? I think you're wrong on this one.


i read it somewhere- it is an average mpg study, lump in your 30+'s with the 10 mpg hummers and the average has gone DOWN over this period


Now you're really confused, and on a couple of fronts. Those larger vehicles, the ones that sold, are the only models Detroit made a profit in selling. If you want junk bonds, imagine a GM selling only the low margin subcompact line.


you missed my point entirely-


Secondly, consumers determine what models sell (and until very recently it's been SUVs) not the auto makers. Detroits failures are many, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.BTW, if you want to buy an American made 25-35 mpg car, the lots are full of them.


my point has never been "US consumers should do XYZ"- my context was that Detroit, should have been out in front of this enough to be able to give Joe consumer what he wants, and 25+ mpg.


[Ahhh, how about garbage powered? Dream powered? Seriously, there's nothing that keeps Ford or GM from producing BOTH massive SUVs (and I'm not a fan) AND high mileage cars like Ford's hybrid escape. In fact, they already do.


Ford's hybrid Escape? i shopped it,  and i would no more buy it than the gerri rigged turbo diesel of yesteryear- my point is: Detroit / USA- should have been able to be sufficiently ahead of this to be offering better by now-


You've simply ignored the consumer demand issue.


no, you've simply misread my post and manufactured your own debate-


You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact.If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism


who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.


...and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.


if the USA consumed 25% less of that oil than we currently do, what would happen to the overall price of oil globally?
if the cars out of Detroit (big, massive cars that Joe consumer WANTS) got 50+ mpg, then Japan, China,Europe, ect followed with their vehicle production and as a result the world's demand dropped by 25% or more, what would that do the the global price on oil?


TexasRep:

—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country



Oh spare me....


[/quote]


go back to your funny papers- this issue is too big for you.

Mar 2, 2006 11:00 am
TexasRep:

 


 I suspect you're unaware what technology is available at your local dealer.


i'm very aware- just bought an '06 2 weeks ago


I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, it sounds like you don't deserve it.



TexasRep:

the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago,



You have some evidence of this? I think you're wrong on this one.


i read it somewhere- it is an average mpg study, lump in your 30+'s with the 10 mpg hummers and the average has gone DOWN over this period


Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.


 


Now you're really confused, and on a couple of fronts. Those larger vehicles, the ones that sold, are the only models Detroit made a profit in selling. If you want junk bonds, imagine a GM selling only the low margin subcompact line.


you missed my point entirely-


I doubt it.


Secondly, consumers determine what models sell (and until very recently it's been SUVs) not the auto makers. Detroits failures are many, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.BTW, if you want to buy an American made 25-35 mpg car, the lots are full of them.


my point has never been "US consumers should do XYZ"- my context was that Detroit, should have been out in front of this enough to be able to give Joe consumer what he wants, and 25+ mpg.


Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.


[Ahhh, how about garbage powered? Dream powered? Seriously, there's nothing that keeps Ford or GM from producing BOTH massive SUVs (and I'm not a fan) AND high mileage cars like Ford's hybrid escape. In fact, they already do.


Ford's hybrid Escape? i shopped it,  and i would no more buy it than the gerri rigged turbo diesel of yesteryear- my point is: Detroit / USA- should have been able to be sufficiently ahead of this to be offering better by now-


You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota. Do explain "better".  BTW, I hope it's more reality based than my anger at Detroit that the neat flying car has yet to show up at the dealership. 


You've simply ignored the consumer demand issue.


no, you've simply misread my post and manufactured your own debate-


Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...


You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact.If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism


who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.


Again, you can't be serious.


...and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.


if the USA consumed 25% less of that oil than we currently do, what would happen to the overall price of oil globally?


And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage. Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.


 



if the cars out of Detroit (big, massive cars that Joe consumer WANTS) got 50+ mpg, then Japan, China,Europe, ect followed with their vehicle production and as a result the world's demand dropped by 25% or more, what would that do the the global price on oil?


Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.



TexasRep:

—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country



Oh spare me....


[/quote]


go back to your funny papers- this issue is too big for you.


Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.

Mar 2, 2006 12:04 pm

mikebutler222
Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I originally started with BOTH by stating:
As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago.
- what I should have stated was “of cars sold”, which would point to the lack of fuel efficiency in cars Joe-public actually wants to purchase- which AGAIN, is my main point: That Washington/Detroit could have/should have collaborated for the greater good to produce BOTH vehicles that consumers want AND fuel efficiencies which are MUCH better than they were 20+ years ago in those vehicles.


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.


Again, from my original post:
”…don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between…”
What part don’t you understand? I originally stated that the worth of GM/Ford would be “….. worth even more had they been able to develop those (the one’s they want) vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm…”


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota.


Have you driven it? Have you towed with it? Has it been battle tested enough to warrant the expenditure of $20,000+ on?
20+ years go by, the next crisis occurs, then whammo- here’s your answer- I’m not going to write a check, are you?
would you suggest that Joe-consumer who cannot afford to be upside down on a vehicle 5 years from now, take a flyer on what this “..core technolgy leased from the gods at Toyota..” will be worth in 2011?


#cc3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...


Really?
”…  don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between..”


 


mikebutler222
who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.
Again, you can't be serious.


Totally.


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> 


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage.


From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
”.. The root cause of high gasoline prices is soaring demand, caused in large part by increasingly fuel-inefficient cars and trucks. Of the 20 million barrels of oil consumed each day, 40 percent is used by passenger vehicles, 24 percent by industry, 12 percent by commercial and freight trucks, 7 percent by aircraft, and 6 percent in residential and commercial buildings.
1 The U.S. passenger vehicle fleet alone accounts for one-tenth of world petroleum consumption..”


 


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.


From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp#ff3333">
”…
According to the U.S. DOE, monthly average gasoline prices hit an all-time high in March 1981, when prices in today's dollars peaked at almost $3 per gallon (see Figure 4). The primary cause of that price peak was the war between Iran and Iraq, which removed large amounts of oil from the world oil market along with OPEC's ability at that time to enforce price and production quotas.


In response, the United States and other oil importing nations radically reduced their demand for OPEC oil through fuel efficiency, fuel switching and new production. In response, the total demand for OPEC oil fell by 13 million barrels per day, or 43 percent, between 1979 and 1983.20 Unable to maintain its desired market share at the high oil prices it was charging, OPEC was forced to slash its prices….”


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> 


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.


Cite the data.


 


mikebutler222
Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.


Whose reality?   Dilbert’s?   Genius.


 


Mar 2, 2006 1:08 pm


mikebutler222
Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I originally started with BOTH by stating:



As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago.
- what I should have stated was “of cars sold”, which would point to the lack of fuel efficiency in cars Joe-public actually wants to purchase-


So you acknowledge Joe consumer actually drives the train. Progress is being made...


 


which AGAIN, is my main point: That Washington/Detroit could have/should have collaborated...


The fact remains that fuel mileage IS better, much better than 20 years ago for similar cars. Joe consumer, otoh, has wanted bigger vehicles. I'm still trying to figure out how you blame anyone but Joe.


Or is it you're suggesting there's a technology that could make a Suburban with "much better" mileage? If that's the case, two questions 1) what evidence to do have that it's possible  2) why wouldn't car makers offer it if it was possible?


#ff3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.


Again, from my original post:
”…don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between…”
What part don’t you understand?


#669966; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Part missing part. The part where you don't admit that consumers buy what they want and that no union of politicos/car makers could change that by any means other than taking away that choice.


And could you answer my question? Who produces what Joe wants with the mileage you claim is possible?


 


 I originally stated that the worth of GM/Ford would be “….. worth even more had they been able to develop those (the one’s they want) vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm…”


It seems pretty much a cheap shot to me to claim that car makers have failed because they haven't produced a technology that you haven't even proved is possible. I could use the same approach to attack airplane makers for not offering me a private plane I could deflate and store in my closet.


mikebutler222
You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota.


Have you driven it? Have you towed with it? Has it been battle tested enough to warrant the expenditure of $20,000+ on?


Yes, I've driven it. The fact is it's every bit as good as a Toyota. Just what did you eventually buy?


 
would you suggest that Joe-consumer who cannot afford to be upside down on a vehicle 5 years from now, take a flyer on what this “..core technolgy leased from the gods at Toyota..” will be worth in 2011?


Now your point seems to have completely vanished. You bash Detroit for not producing a high mileage car (and Detroit alone, I should add) and when one's offered to you, you won't buy.


#cc3333; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">mikebutler222
Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...


Really?
”…  don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between..”


#66cc33; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Ohhhh, so "don't blame it all" translates to Consumers buy what they want?


mikebutler222
who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.
Again, you can't be serious.


Totally.


Obviously you weren't an econ major....


mikebutler222
And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage.


From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp


Wait a sec, you're quoting the NRDC?????  Gee, bias-free there...


BTW, note they're talking about GAS PRICES, not OIL PRICES. And note their conclusion, 10% is all the cars in the US consume of total world  oil demand. A whopping 90% goes to other uses, and that demand continues to expand. Even if you DOUBLED US fuel mileage, you'd affect a miniscule amount of total oil usage.


#339966; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> And again, all this supposition  is all based on a technology you can’t even prove is possible.#339966">


mikebutler222
Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.


From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
”…According to the U.S. DOE, monthly average gasoline prices hit an all-time high in March 1981..


Note again, OIL PRICES, and they moved up because of SUPPLY THREATS. Also remember back just a few months ago to when gas prices hit near $3 again. While there was a heightened interest in high mileage vehicles, total oil consumption barely moved. Why? Because oil consumption is very inelastic.


In response, the United States and other oil importing nations radically reduced their demand for OPEC oil through fuel efficiency, fuel switching and new production.


Note how “NEW PRODUCTION” slipped in their last. The fact is world consumption is no where near as elastic as these people would have you believe. New production made up for the decline in OPEC sources.


http://www.mees.com/postedarticles/oped/a46n42d01.htm


Note the chart at the bottom of the page. World oil output actually increased while OPEC production plummeted.


BTW, here’s something you might find interesting. OPEC is about 45% of world oil production. Cut out of OPEC, Persian Gulf nations make up only 27% of the world’s total production. IOW, this “Detroit didn’t offer the high mileage cars they could, which in turn funded terrorists” nexus accounts for an entire 27% of the oil being discussed and a “possible” change in 10% of total world oil consumption.


 


mikebutler222
Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.


Cite the data.


See above


 


mikebutler222
Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.


Whose reality?   Dilbert’s?   Genius.


#339966; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Yes, the economic reality clearly on display in a cartoon. You’d think it was spelled out there simple enough for anyone to grasp.


#339966; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> 


#339966; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> 


 


 


 




Mar 2, 2006 1:13 pm

Rather than blinding everyone with multicolor, cut and paste post, let's start anew. Here are a couple of questions for you.


1) What technology could produce what you're talking about, if Detroit failed, who has it.


2) What total reduction in world oil demand would that produce.


3) Why would that oil remain in the ground and not be purchased by some other, rapidly grown market.


4) Aside from removing the consumer's choice, what would move people out of larger, less efficent vehicles?


5) Given that OPEC produces 27% of the oil consumed, what effect would a reduction in US auto consumption do to their income?

Mar 2, 2006 2:38 pm

It all stems back to the gluttony (sp?) of your avg American.  How many people on this forum drive Lexus, Acura, BMW, etc. just because we can?  I goes right along with why the majority of the American population spends more than they make,... because they can, it's accepted in our culture.  And how many of us have homes twice the size of our parents houses, while raising fewer children?


I spent some time in Europe years ago.  One day I was talking to a young German gentleman, and he couldn't believe the spending habits of Americans.  If he were to buy a new car, he drove his old one until he had enough money saved up  to buy a new one.  We don't think like this, our culture is an immediate gratification system (buy now pay later).


  I feel better now, having gotten that off my chest.

Mar 2, 2006 3:08 pm

EREJ I have a big LEXUS and we get okay mileage. Also others like myself utilize Amtrak and cut out useless or consolidate trips.


America I think has woken up. During the Billery years many of us were happy, fat and ignorant (maybe we still are). The problem now is every one thinks their home equity is guaranteed. We (general population) assume "The housing market will never correct."


So everyone is getting bigger and better. Little Billy and Bobby Joe have all their toys and a free trip to college. There they can study liberal arts to increase their awareness of peace and free speech. The great thing is we can choose to do what ever the hell we want, but it's not surprising foreigners think were fat, ignorant and happy.


Laaaaa laaaaa laaaaaaaa..... As I rant more and more. Just like to do the opposite of most Americans. Live healthy, save money, travel and enjoy life debt free!


I feel so much better.