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Cohen
05-10-2008, 06:17 PM
Hey guys, I'm testing a current claim about gas prices for my STATS(MA206) class. Now I dont mean to deviate you from your cg work, but I am grateful for those who are able take the time to answer the following question. A simple 'yes' or 'no' response will do.

Question: Have the recent increases in gas prices caused any financial hardships to your or your family?

Thank you for your responses and your time.

hrgiger
05-10-2008, 06:28 PM
Yes, but mostly because they're simultaneously cutting hours at work.

Bush has completely ruined our economy and thanks to the falling dollar, gas prices will continue to rise and it really will be a financial hardship for a lot of people.

geothefaust
05-10-2008, 06:59 PM
It became a financial hardship not all that long ago, for me, actually. Last year I started looking at cheaper ways of commuting. Luckily I wasn't in too much of a bind at the time. However that quickly changed.

For years, my primary way of commuting was by bicycle. But I had an injury that made it impossible to bike or even walk long distances. So I had to purchase a car, after having surgery in NOV06. FEB07 I find a vehicle. Gas prices continue to rise, and paying over $100 a month to fill my tank. Until NOV07 when I'm more able bodied, I decide it's time to find other ways of commuting, although still unable to ride a bicycle permanently. I decide a motorcycle is the way to go. So, NOV07, I purchase a used motorcycle, and began riding it. I saved a lot of money on insurance by taking a safety course ($75 a year for insurance!). To fill my tank then, it cost less then $4-5 every two weeks. Now it costs just under $10 every two weeks.

Anyway, long story short; gas prices drove me to sell my car and ride a motorcycle. It's been a wicked two years.

Hopper
05-10-2008, 07:40 PM
For me it was "almost" a yes.

I was driving 120 miles per day to and from work (contracting). My gas bill was around $650 per month. I have a 1500 Silverado for my daily driver and it only gets 20mpg. I haven't finished my "fun" car I've been working on for the past couple of years. Amazingly enough, when it's done I'll have over 500hp and still get around 30-35mpg.

But... I split that gig and now drive only 24 miles per day to and from work and it still sux. I spent $70 Thursday and didn't even get a full tank.

So for now, I would say "no". (for now).

And like geothefaust, I too am looking for a motorcycle.

Cohen
05-10-2008, 07:46 PM
Thank you for your responses guys. Anyone else care to help me out? Just a simple yes or no will be fine. I need about 15 more samples for this project to work. Perhaps staff members Chuck or god Proton Vaughan would like to shoot a reply? Or any other regular forum contributors? It's much appreciated seeming how It's mothers' day tomorrow and I'm going to be hard pressed in getting these last samples.

Thanks guys.

Cohen
05-10-2008, 07:47 PM
Thanks Hopper

BlueApple
05-10-2008, 08:12 PM
No.

No financial hardships yet, but I have noticed an increase in food prices, gas, etc. Once it gets to the point where we need to make tough choices with discretionary income (or whether or not we have any "discretionary" income) then I will feel like we're in "hardship" mode.

rezman
05-10-2008, 08:14 PM
I'm wondering how Bush ruined the economy...not getting that one.

Steamthrower
05-10-2008, 08:54 PM
My answer would have to be no; however, it's still money that could have been spent on anything nonessential like DVDs or guitar pedals or a steak dinner.

I drive an old diesel car; though it gets 27 mpg I have to drive about a 90 mile round trip commute each week day. And last time I filled up it cost $4.25 a gallon.

So while it's not causing me any financial hardships per se (not like I have a wife and kids to feed), it's still money lost that I could have put into my stocks, or buy useless crap, or at least have in the bank getting interest.

hrgiger
05-10-2008, 08:57 PM
I'm wondering how Bush ruined the economy...not getting that one.

Oh, you must have been out of the country for the last 8 years. But don't feel like you have to respond because this thread will derail fast. I don't care who started it.

JamesCurtis
05-10-2008, 09:40 PM
For me and my wife I'd have to say yes.

I'm a LW 3D freelancer and my wife is currently unemployed and it's easily costing us about $130 - $150 per month in gas - mostly because of her looking for work and driving to her aging mom's to help her with things she can't do anymore. Gas here has recently risen by 35 cents a gallon over the last week or so to $3.79.

My wife does get some money from her though for helping out, but it's not nearly enough. Our heating costs have gone through the roof over the winter season as a direct result of the economy and the weakening dollar. My freelancing has picked up a little this year thanfully.

GATOR
05-10-2008, 09:52 PM
No

Hopper
05-10-2008, 10:09 PM
Gas here has recently risen by 35 cents a gallon over the last week or so to $3.79.
Remember back in the days when the price of gas rose 3 cents and it made the news...

By the time summer's over, I could buy another lawn mower with the equivalent money spent on gas for it.

A friend of mine from the UK mentioned the other day.. "That's not bad, we pay almost $6.00 for an equivalent US gallon over here". My response... "But I don't live there. If I lived in Kuwait, I'd be paying just under 70 cents."

RudySchneider
05-10-2008, 10:16 PM
No, though it's a major pain in the pocketbook.

On the otherhand, all of the following examples do NOT imply that gasoline is cheap; it just illustrates how outrageous some prices are. And, you will be really shocked by the last one! (At least, I was...)

Think a gallon of gas is expensive?

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 ... $10.32 per gallon

Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ... $9.52 per gallon

Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 ... $10.17 per gallon

Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 ... $10.00 per gallon

Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ... $33.60 per gallon

Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 ... $178.13 per gallon

Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 ... $123.20 per gallon

Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 ... $25.42 per gallon

Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 ... $84.48 per gallon

And this is the REAL KICKER... Evian water 9 oz $1.49 ... $21.19 per gallon! $21.19 for WATER and the buyers don't even know the source (Evian spelled backwards is Naive)

Ever wonder why printers are so cheap? So they have you hooked for the ink. Someone calculated the cost of the ink at (you won't believe it, but it's true) $5,200 a gallon!

So, the next time you're at the pump, be glad your car doesn't run on water, Scope, Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or, God forbid, Printer Ink!

Just a little humor to help ease the pain of your next trip to the pump...!

GandB
05-10-2008, 10:25 PM
Yes.

That is a good one though, Rudy. :)

hrgiger
05-10-2008, 10:29 PM
I know it was intended as humor Rudy but just remember that we're not actually paying those prices per gallon per items above. You have to advertise items like Diet Snapple, you have to package it, market it(promotions more then advertising) transport it....and that is of course after you have researched it, tested it, created it, manufactured it, design packaging for it, pay employees who researched it, tested it, created it, manufactured it, designed packaging for it, etc...
Gas on the other hand... we practically pluck it right out of the ground, refine it, and transport it around the world to sell. No advertising or marketing because everyone needs it and comes looking for it, not much research other then where to dig, and someone else creates the packaging for us (gas stations). Gas is the cheapest thing on that list you gave yet look how much richer the people who produce oil are then probably all the creators of those products put together.
The printer ink cartridge might be an exception. That does seem a tad over priced...

rakker16mm
05-10-2008, 10:31 PM
I'm wondering how Bush ruined the economy...not getting that one.

That's OK, neither does he.

geothefaust
05-10-2008, 11:50 PM
That's OK, neither does he.

Hehe. No kidding. Thanks for that one, I got a great laugh out of that. :D

Matt
05-11-2008, 05:20 AM
I'm in the UK, "gas" (or as we call it petrol/diesel) prices have increased a fair bit, not to mention that we have always paid more than the US, but I wouldn't say it's impacted me just yet. The more noticeable hike is actually fuel (gas/electricity) prices, they've gone through the roof!

prospector
05-11-2008, 08:27 AM
I'm wondering how Bush ruined the economy...not getting that one.

OOOhhh OOOOhhh OOOhhh (in the voice of Arnold Horseshak)
Mr Kotter, I know...I know

He's made no executive order to drill for oil everywhere (thus bypassing enviro whiners), build Nuke plants for every city over 10,000 people, Build more dams, build more refineries, and get us off this bio crap so food prices go back down.

But no, it hasn't effected me..
Still run my jeeps, still run my 84 diesel which gets 10 mpg, AND just got a diesel 40' bus conversion motorhome getting a whopping 6 mpg, costs $800 to fill (at 4.00/gal price) and will go 1200 miles before empty.
But I get carbon credits cuz wife bought a Grand Prix which gets 20 mpg, so we can say we conserve..:D:D:D

Qexit
05-11-2008, 08:50 AM
A friend of mine from the UK mentioned the other day.. "That's not bad, we pay almost $6.00 for an equivalent US gallon over here".Please could you let me know where your friend lives as that would have to be the cheapest fuel in the UK by a very long way right now. The cheapest round here for unleaded fuel is:

1.0799p/litre = 4.91/IMP gallon=$9.56/IMP Gallon=$7.96/US Gallon

Diesel is 1.2099/litre...you do the maths :D

My present car only does 35-38mpg on unleaded, so it is hurting :thumbsdow

Tzan
05-11-2008, 10:53 AM
No, not feeling it.

But I work at home these days and only fill up once per month, $45. You would think a PT Cruiser would get more than 18-20 mpg.

8 years ago when I had a real job, once per week fill ups = $100 per month. So really $100-150 per month these days should be no big deal.

Jim_C
05-11-2008, 11:51 AM
No, but the rise of food prices is starting to hurt a little.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9s1odqQTKyU
(dang troublesome cowlicks)

rakker16mm
05-11-2008, 02:37 PM
No, but the rise of food prices is starting to hurt a little.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9s1odqQTKyU
(dang troublesome cowlicks)

Food is going to get a lot more expensive in the near future as oil becomes more scarce. Firstly because modern agriculture is largely dependent on oil. So what ever causes the price of oil to go up also causes the price of food to go up as well.

Secondly as more arable land is used to produce bio-fuels there will be less land availible to grow food crops on, and as soon as the demand outstrips production you are going to see inflation.

In short things are going to get ugly, but hopefully this will inspire people to think beyond the old paradigms of let's have a war to protect OUR RIGHTS to the oil under THEIR SAND, versus Bio-fuels will solve all our problems. Both those arguments have their supporters and detractors but the truth is this problem goes beyond where the energy comes from. It is also how we use the amount of energy we are going to be able to produce when oil and coal become too problematic to rely on.

My prediction is there will be a profound change in the way we look at personal transportation VS public transportation. As the cost of fuel goes up the desirability of more efficient forms of transportation such as electric trains increases. I think we can expect to see a lot more electric train lines and fewer new highways.

I also expect people in the suburbs will replace their hedges and lawns with victory gardens, but what do I know?

Steamthrower
05-11-2008, 04:43 PM
Not just raw foodstuffs, but meals in general are getting expensive. I spend $30 to $35 a week or more just on lunches if I don't pack a lunch for work. And that's cheap meals at Subway, too.

All stems from fiat currency...

Cohen
05-11-2008, 05:52 PM
Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate your time, and the investment each of you put into your responses. Now on to my report. :caffeine:

zapper1998
05-11-2008, 08:45 PM
No, not feeling it.

But I work at home these days and only fill up once per month, $45. You would think a PT Cruiser would get more than 18-20 mpg.

8 years ago when I had a real job, once per week fill ups = $100 per month. So really $100-150 per month these days should be no big deal.





My PT gets @26mpg
i allways check air in tires, @38psi tire pressure, just tuned it up, air filter (K&N) never have to replace it, just wash,rinse, re-oil it and put it back in..
and use the cruise control allot, found I get better mpg using the CC..

Reg is $3.64 9/10 today price
Diesel $4.39 9/10 today price
Michael

meatycheesyboy
05-11-2008, 09:10 PM
No, not yet

*Pete*
05-11-2008, 09:11 PM
Even if the us economy gets sorted out, it doesnt mean that gasprices will return to a low price....why should it, after all, its where the oil companies make the profit and you just showed to them that even at prices high as these, you are able to pay for it and drive as usual, meaning that gasprices arent high enough yet and gas is still affordable.

if the price of oil goes down and gas prices stay the same, the oil companies will make more profit...is there any reason why they would give up that profit margin?
taxing oil companies will end up with higher gasprices, untill the level is reached where us motorists drive less and buy less gas.

issaid
05-11-2008, 09:23 PM
No...

But I do have to think twice about going to see parents on the weekends, it's adding up to be quite an expense.

*Pete*
05-12-2008, 05:00 AM
find alternative methods of travel, cars cant be the cheapest way to visit distant relatives?

sure, we have large differences in europe and usa, but i can take a bus from Oslo, Norway to Gothenburg, Sweden (400 km) for about 25 dollar, and it includes a free return ticket if i return within 24 hours.

with our gas prices, i wouldnt be able to get 100 km from Oslo for 25 dollars, not to mention a free ticket back..other than pushing the car, or leaving it and walking back.
and trains are even cheaper way of transportation if you go for longer distances.

not knowing how your bus/train services work in USA, but i bet that there will be far more focus on services from them in the future...you simply cant compete pricewice (fuel/distance/persons transported) between cars and buses or trains.

so the future for USA is what has been reality here for ages...cars are expensive, and buses and trains are the prefered method of transportation.

hrgiger
05-12-2008, 06:52 AM
so the future for USA is what has been reality here for ages...cars are expensive, and buses and trains are the prefered method of transportation.

Well of course you're leaving out that us Americans are spoiled rotten, notoriously selfish and self serving. En masses, they will never give up their cars. It's all a part of that gloriously silly idea of the American dream.

No, the answer for us is clean alternative energy such as hydrogen which will allow us all to keep driving our own vehicles on our already over congested highways and roadways. Mind you, we've been able to build efficient clean cars for years, but of course too many industry giants stand to lose too much money over oil to let that happen. It's just a matter of whacking the right people.

guardonduty
05-12-2008, 07:17 AM
I have offset the recent hike in prices buy buying OIL REFINERY stocks. Bought a boat load of stocks of a small refinery in Utah. IRCE (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=IRCE.PK). They output DIESEL. the refinery is set to open in a month or so.

frantbk
05-12-2008, 07:27 AM
Hey guys, I'm testing a current claim about gas prices for my STATS(MA206) class. Now I dont mean to deviate you from your cg work, but I am grateful for those who are able take the time to answer the following question. A simple 'yes' or 'no' response will do.

Question: Have the recent increases in gas prices caused any financial hardships to your or your family?

Thank you for your responses and your time.

I don't see where this information will help you. Unless you cross reference the yes and no based on location within the U.S. and the type of jobs these people are working at you don't have much if any true statics. The person in MD you gave a no. What kind of work is he doing? The people who gave a yes, what kind of work are they doing. One person said he is contracting (a tough way to make a living because he is always looking for his next contract).

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 07:29 AM
not knowing how your bus/train services work in USA, but i bet that there will be far more focus on services from them in the future...you simply cant compete pricewice (fuel/distance/persons transported) between cars and buses or trains.

In theory, Pete, your idea is excellent and that's the way it should work.

However here, there are problems with traveling by train or bus.

1. Amtrak (our train system) is notoriously late and unscheduled. Around here it's normally up to four hours off time. They've been known to cancel journeys and buy the current passengers plane tickets to their destination. Amtrak is a joke.

2. Riding a bus, which stops in every little town, takes an eternity to get anywhere around here. A bus will normally be on time but our distances are much much greater distances to travel vs. the distances you go in Europe.

3. The passengers both on train and bus around here are very poor company. The clientele consists of extremely shady characters. There are no executives traveling about in trains here.

Of course, the metropolitan trains are different, but they tend to be just short commuter trains. They're only in the large cities like LA or NYC or Boston, though. Not practical for traveling interstate.

EDIT: To prove how slow riding a bus here is, I knew a guy who went to check on a house to buy in the opposite corner of the state. He returned home via bus (I can't remember the reason why) but it took him almost 24 hours to travel what he could have driven in 4.

frantbk
05-12-2008, 07:36 AM
find alternative methods of travel, cars cant be the cheapest way to visit distant relatives?

sure, we have large differences in europe and usa, but i can take a bus from Oslo, Norway to Gothenburg, Sweden (400 km) for about 25 dollar, and it includes a free return ticket if i return within 24 hours.


Which is about the same if someone from the Northern part of San Francisco to San Diego California. That's not the same as traveling from the Minnesota to California to visit relatives. Nor is that the same as traveling from Minnesota to Indiana. Most of the Midwest and Western States are 80% the size of one of the countries you traveled.

hrgiger
05-12-2008, 07:43 AM
3. The passengers both on train and bus around here are very poor company. The clientele consists of extremely shady characters. There are no executives traveling about in trains here.



If by extremely shady, you mean lower income then yes. The people who are taking advantage of our public transit systems are the ones who themselves can't afford to have and maintain their own vehicles in a lot of cases. I'm not sure implying that bus and train riders in this country are 'shady' aka 'seedy' is a very apt description and is frankly probably offensive. If you were speaking of a criminal element, the only reason that might be is because the lower income don't enjoy the same kind of police protection and/or surveillance that the rest of us do.

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 07:47 AM
If by extremely shady, you mean lower income then yes. The people who are taking advantage of our public transit systems are the ones who themselves can't afford to have and maintain their own vehicles in a lot of cases. I'm not sure implying that bus and train riders in this country are 'shady' aka 'seedy' is a very apt description and is frankly probably offensive. If you were speaking of a criminal element, the only reason that might be is because the lower income don't enjoy the same kind of police protection and/or surveillance that the rest of us do.

Wasn't talking about lower income at all. Lower income to me does not imply anything criminal. I work with lower income people all the time. I live in Arkansas for Pete's sake (no pun intended!)

By 'shady' I was referring to a criminal element that rides on trains. Nothing whatsoever to do with monetary status, because drug dealers have more money than I do.

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 07:50 AM
That's not the same as traveling from the Minnesota to California to visit relatives. Nor is that the same as traveling from Minnesota to Indiana. Most of the Midwest and Western States are 80% the size of one of the countries you traveled.
True... but you can't blame the gas prices for the fact that people leave far apart from each other. Or demand lower costs of transport because of it. My mum lives four countries and 1000 miles away, and I see her once per year at most. If I want to see her more often I can either spend more money, move over or have her move. Choice of living though - within the constraints imposed.

Cheers,
Mike

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 07:50 AM
http://www.winonadailynews.com/articles/2004/07/06/news/7-6%20drugs.txt

http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0624-02.htm

http://www.ketv.com/news/15654149/detail.html

frantbk
05-12-2008, 07:51 AM
If by extremely shady, you mean lower income then yes. The people who are taking advantage of our public transit systems are the ones who themselves can't afford to have and maintain their own vehicles in a lot of cases. I'm not sure implying that bus and train riders in this country are 'shady' aka 'seedy' is a very apt description and is frankly probably offensive. If you were speaking of a criminal element, the only reason that might be is because the lower income don't enjoy the same kind of police protection and/or surveillance that the rest of us do.

I'm pretty sure the criminal element enjoys a level of surveillance greater then the average white collar worker. I do agree to the offensive nature of the shady remark about the people on buses and trains. I doubt the person that made that remark has traveled on a train or bus lately. Most of them are just people trying to live there lives just like the rest of use. :D

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 08:03 AM
I'm pretty sure the criminal element enjoys a level of surveillance greater then the average white collar worker. I do agree to the offensive nature of the shady remark about the people on buses and trains. I doubt the person that made that remark has traveled on a train or bus lately.

Well...I'd have to ask you the same question. Have you traveled on a train lately? Have you visited an Amtrak station recently?

And most importantly, do you work by an Amtrak station where every single week day you can see the drug dealers, the escapees, and the police swarming about? The Amtrak station is the center of illegal activities in this sector of the downtown. I'm not speaking in blind ignorance. I see this every day.

Ember
05-12-2008, 08:21 AM
No offense guys, but your gasoline is still cheap. Here in Finland I just today checked the prices again and it was showing 1.48 euros per litre which would equal to $8,65 per gallon.

ps. I sold my car over a year ago. I'm happy using trains and buses these days...

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 08:34 AM
And most importantly, do you work by an Amtrak station where every single week day you can see the drug dealers, the escapees, and the police swarming about?
That's pretty much the same all over the world... and has no relation to the people actually using the trains.

Cheers,
Mike

PIZAZZ
05-12-2008, 08:35 AM
I believe we have several POVs here that don't match up. Some of you are forgetting that the U.S. does not have realistic public transportation. Where we are in the U.S. (Texas), there is no practical way to use public transportation. Whether it be bus, train, or whatever. Catching a train is literally taking your life in your own hands in our part of town. If you don't have a gun then forget it. The Greyhound bus stop is down the street in the same situation.

One of the other things we have is the heat. If you want to bike in 95 degrees and 99% humidity then go right ahead. You will not arrive dry by any means. I only live a little less than a mile from my office so I could bike here but when it is lunch time or time to buy anything then the trip is closer to 5 miles.

I just bought a new Dodge 1ton Truck with the new Cummins Turbo Diesel, (I said I was from Texas remember), and the price of diesel is just ridiculous at $4.35 per gallon. The irony is our local refineries make most of the fuel for the U.S. and it is no cheaper here than Kansas. I had to buy the truck for some projects we are doing with the business so I don't have much choice but to suck up the fuel cost and raise my rates to offset it.

I wish we had more options like the North East U.S. or Europe has but the facts are the U.S. is severely behind deploying usable public transportation. It is just not an option for some of us.

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 08:41 AM
I wish we had more options like the North East U.S. or Europe has but the facts are the U.S. is severely behind deploying usable public transportation. It is just not an option for some of us.
I think that is quite clear. However, that doesn't mean that it couldn't be an option if there was some effort put into it. If it could be made a viable alternative - it just makes a lot of sense considering that energy in general is not likely to get cheaper any time soon...

Cheers,
Mike

UnCommonGrafx
05-12-2008, 08:50 AM
Steamthrower,
Your shared perspective is part of the American psyche to keep cars a goin'.
Three stories does not make those riders shady; it makes the criminals stupid. These are not the same people.


The riders of municipal transportation here in Indy are either, low income people or people that work downtown, the ONE FRIKKIN place here where there is good service. For that matter, they've started an express bus system for the 'execs' in the 'burbs: you know, the more affluent, more caucasian groups...
Surely, THAT group isn't looked upon as Shady...



And yes, there is no statistical data here; anectdotal, yes, but no numbers or info of significance.

UnCommonGrafx
05-12-2008, 08:54 AM
And Steamthrower,
It is not my intention to put you on defensive.

Our experiences are obviously different. While your perspective is clear, I fear that the brush you've used is too broad and covers the innocents as well.

For any slight perceived, my apologies.

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 08:55 AM
No, Robert, I think the metro rails intended as commuter trains are very decent in the US. Not shady at all.

I'm not sure where the idea came about that I'm "prejudiced" or something against those with lesser income. It's just that, as Pizzaz said, if you ride on a train or a bus in our area you are very much taking your life into your hands. I'm not automatically saying that every single occupant of a public transportation system is a criminal; but you'll much more likely get into a fight on a bus than you will driving to work in your own vehicle.

I have no problem against trains. When in Europe, I ride public transportation as much as possible. Heck, when I'm in a large city in the US I use public transportation! It's positive thing, yet it's just not acceptable to do in my area.

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 08:56 AM
And Steamthrower,
It is not my intention to put you on defensive.

Our experiences are obviously different. While your perspective is clear, I fear that the brush you've used is too broad and covers the innocents as well.

For any slight perceived, my apologies.

That's great; definitely understand! I hope I don't appear offensive either.

cheers,
Gil

4dartist
05-12-2008, 09:02 AM
Hum.. gas prices haven't really caused me any hardship.. I guess flying to see my family may be more expensive so I can't do it as often. But really other than that I really don't stress. I often ride my bike to work and when I do drive it's only 6 miles away.

AdamAvenali
05-12-2008, 09:05 AM
No they have no affected me yet, but I only have a few miles to drive to work.

Maybe gas prices would drop if Autodesk bought all the refineries (heavy sarcasm intended haha, please no one take that seriously) :thumbsup:

hrgiger
05-12-2008, 09:36 AM
I'm not automatically saying that every single occupant of a public transportation system is a criminal; but you'll much more likely get into a fight on a bus than you will driving to work in your own vehicle.



Riding the bus is 170 times safer than automobile travel, according to National Safety Council data.21.

Typically 40,000+ people die every year in their own cars in the US.

ted
05-12-2008, 09:44 AM
Riding the bus is 170 times safer than automobile travel, according to National Safety Council data.21.
Typically 40,000+ people die every year in their own cars in the US.

Is that in numbers of riders or percentages of riders and does that include hours of riding? Obviously Americans spend far more time/miles in their cars than on the bus.
Statistics can be manipulated.

Iain
05-12-2008, 10:06 AM
The price of fuel has been climbing here (the UK) for the last few years and it is becoming restrictive for a lot of people who commute daily at their own expense.

Our government is desperately trying to get us to use public transport and so have deliberately contributed to the rising costs by hiking up taxes and purportedly investing more in public transport.
We have the same mentality as most capitalist societies, however, in that we love our cars and our right to use them and most of the public transport systems still leave a lot to be desired.

Andyjaggy
05-12-2008, 10:07 AM
I'm not feeling it too bad, but I only feel up about every 2-3 weeks or so. I've got a little Sedan that gets about 28 mpg.

I'm going on a road trip this summer though and it's going to hurt.

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 10:12 AM
Riding the bus is 170 times safer than automobile travel, according to National Safety Council data.21.

Typically 40,000+ people die every year in their own cars in the US.

Even if this is true (statistics, like Ted said, can be manipulated) I'd much rather die in a car wreck crushed by a truck, than die knifed by a doped-up meth dealer getting out of a train. :D

Cohen
05-12-2008, 10:19 AM
frantbk

I don't see where this information will help you. Unless you cross reference the yes and no based on location within the U.S. and the type of jobs these people are working at you don't have much if any true statics. The person in MD you gave a no. What kind of work is he doing? The people who gave a yes, what kind of work are they doing. One person said he is contracting (a tough way to make a living because he is always looking for his next contract).

In statistics, there are always lurking variables. Thats what you are suggesting when you speak of an occupational relevance to those affected by the recent increases in gas prices. I'm not worried about these as their are hundreds of them in context of this observation. I am only interested in what it is, which is a population paramter of Theta. A very simple, categorical variable that is binary. There are only two possible outcomes (yes or no), And with these results, I will be able to test a the original claim that I have found with an alternative hypothesis, and then test the probability of it being ( in my case) greater than their null hypothesis Theta. Maybe thats too much jargon, but basically I'm going to do a significance test, where I will be able to state if its possible for theta to be higher then what the guys at gallup.com have said it to be.

frantbk
05-12-2008, 11:41 AM
frantbk


In statistics, there are always lurking variables. Thats what you are suggesting when you speak of an occupational relevance to those affected by the recent increases in gas prices. I'm not worried about these as their are hundreds of them in context of this observation. I am only interested in what it is, which is a population paramter of Theta. A very simple, categorical variable that is binary. There are only two possible outcomes (yes or no), And with these results, I will be able to test a the original claim that I have found with an alternative hypothesis, and then test the probability of it being ( in my case) greater than their null hypothesis Theta. Maybe thats too much jargon, but basically I'm going to do a significance test, where I will be able to state if its possible for theta to be higher then what the guys at gallup.com have said it to be.

Twenty first century Bu......, Does anyone really listen to Gallup.com? Let alone any of the other pundits that spout doom and gloom predictions? At the end of all of this you'll find that you haven't proved anything useful, or true to what is happening across the country. I could slice out all the data in Silicon Valley and claim that nobody is effected by the high gas price. I could also slice out the poorest people of any state and make a counter claim that there is a recession equal to the 1920's. What you are proving is not proving anything because the data is disproportionate across the U.S. You might as well try to track food prices with a yes and no which in the end would still be junk data because of the relational effect of region.

JGary
05-12-2008, 11:50 AM
I haven't finished my "fun" car I've been working on for the past couple of years. Amazingly enough, when it's done I'll have over 500hp and still get around 30-35mpg.


O.K., you have me curious...what's this 500hp car that would still get 30-35 mpg!? I have a 350hp Subaru STI and get 20mpg (sticking it to the floor here and there)...I thought this was pretty incredible gas mileage considering performance, but nothing compared to what your talking about.

As for the question...gas prices have not significantly affected finances, but we have taken steps to help counterbalance rising fuel and food costs. For instance, I recently went back to work for a company instead of freelance, but negotiated working from home 3 days a week as part of job to keep from having to drive in everyday. We also use a lot of coupons...on average about $50 saved on every $200 spent on groceries.

*Pete*
05-12-2008, 12:28 PM
No, the answer for us is clean alternative energy such as hydrogen which will allow us all to keep driving our own vehicles on our already over congested highways and roadways. Mind you, we've been able to build efficient clean cars for years, but of course too many industry giants stand to lose too much money over oil to let that happen. It's just a matter of whacking the right people.

true, but to get enough Hydrogen cars to the market will take a long, long time, during which time you will have to adapt to living with higher fuel prices.

and no, i didnt mean any hidden insults vs americans...imho, as a non-motorist, high gas prices are a very, very good thing and forces us into new, less polluting technology, that hopefully will be of infinite supply (hydrogen, electricity etc etc).



I have offset the recent hike in prices buy buying OIL REFINERY stocks. Bought a boat load of stocks of a small refinery in Utah. IRCE (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=IRCE.PK). They output DIESEL. the refinery is set to open in a month or so.

you do know that you are actually taking part of increasing fuelprices? ;)


In theory, Pete, your idea is excellent and that's the way it should work.

However here, there are problems with traveling by train or bus.


problems, yes..but those problems need to be solved and as far as i can see, its the best place to start improving, we did it...now we are incredibly angry if we get 5-10 minute delays.

I am aware of the state of the train and bus network in usa...but it cant be too difficult to overhaul it into a better shape.


Which is about the same if someone from the Northern part of San Francisco to San Diego California. That's not the same as traveling from the Minnesota to California to visit relatives. Nor is that the same as traveling from Minnesota to Indiana. Most of the Midwest and Western States are 80% the size of one of the countries you traveled.

my example was more on the price than distance...but, atleast regarding to myself, i have travelled further with a bicycle than a airplane...well, almost.
1600 km with bicycle, 1800 km with airplane.

still..the point was that you simply cant beat the economy of travelling by bus or train, and the longer the distance, the bigger the savings.


I live in Arkansas for Pete's sake (no pun intended!)

HEY!!!....how did i get the blame for that?? :D

Mitja
05-12-2008, 01:12 PM
What are you complaining guys?
If I'm not wrong 1 gallon is about 4.5l.
You pay it 3.8-4.3$ per gallon.
1 euro is 1.55 $.
In italy fuel costs 1.42E/l.
...

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 01:14 PM
We are complaining about the...Spanish Inquisition!

Mitja
05-12-2008, 01:16 PM
We are complaining about the...Spanish Inquisition!

Thanks!

frantbk
05-12-2008, 03:04 PM
My example was more on the price than distance...but, atleast regarding to myself, i have travelled further with a bicycle than a airplane...well, almost.
1600 km with bicycle, 1800 km with airplane.

still..the point was that you simply cant beat the economy of travelling by bus or train, and the longer the distance, the bigger the savings.


I haven't traveled by bus or train, but I'm not too sure that it is cheaper to travel by bus, or train in the U.S. of A. The last time I checked it was about the same for train v. plane. Also the train had greater limitations on when you could travel (in the U.S. of A.).

I think you've missed my point. Traveling in the U.S. of A. doesn't compare 1:1 to traveling in Europe.

LW_Will
05-12-2008, 03:05 PM
I'm wondering how Bush ruined the economy...not getting that one.

Um... take foreign country. Invade. Pour money into the war, security, every fricken project you want, allow foreign war to increase oil prices, let you friends speculate on price of oil, increase aprox. 75% since you took office, then soon (like now) people cannot eat the costs of the chemical fertilizer (made from petrolium), the costs of fuel at every step in the process (tractors, trucks, diesel haulers, boats, delivery vans) increases food costs, forcing people in the world into food riots.

That is how Bush destroyed the economy. Well, really everyone around Bush and not him.

There is hands off management then there is anarchy.

Where do you think we are now?

frantbk
05-12-2008, 03:15 PM
Um... take foreign country. Invade. Pour money into the war, security, every fricken project you want, allow foreign war to increase oil prices, let you friends speculate on price of oil, increase aprox. 75% since you took office, then soon (like now) people cannot eat the costs of the chemical fertilizer (made from petrolium), the costs of fuel at every step in the process (tractors, trucks, diesel haulers, boats, delivery vans) increases food costs, forcing people in the world into food riots.

That is how Bush destroyed the economy. Well, really everyone around Bush and not him.

There is hands off management then there is anarchy.

Where do you think we are now?

This is an over simplified argument; Most of the inflation is the results of the last part of the Clinton presidency and the first half (if that of the Bush presidency). The housing problem predates Bush the son and can be tracked back to Bush the father. Therefore Bush the father & Clinton have more to do with the housing problem then Bush the son. Most of the job losses are due to Free Trade Agreements of the 1990's and that has nothing to do with Bush the son. Anyone who has had any business experience knows that incurred debit is previous years and not the year the is due.

The debit Bush the son has incurred will hit us several years from now, not now. The debit we are dealing with is the debit of the 1990's.

Iain
05-12-2008, 03:31 PM
Traveling in the U.S. of A. doesn't compare 1:1 to traveling in Europe.

I think that's true but only if you are talking about travelling within European countries rather than the union. Flights between European countries are now very cheap but none of the individual countries are big enough to warrant cheap domestic flight prices through volume demand.

As an extreme but not unusual example, I live on the East coast of Scotland and can drive to the West coast in an hour.The petrol would cost about 7.
The train costs about 9 and also takes about an hour.
You can fly that journey in 20 minutes but you'd have to check in an hour before flight time.
The flight costs about 160 :).

Now on the other hand, I can fly to Barcelona or Paris for 30. That would only get me to London by train.

Iain
05-12-2008, 03:39 PM
This is an over simplified argument............


This is always the case with new government. The fact is, however, that a government's first priority should always be to solve the problems incurred or exacerbated by the previous one.
That is, inevitably, the promise that puts a new government in power.

How quickly they forget.

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 03:41 PM
Flights between European countries are now very cheap but none of the individual countries are big enough to warrant cheap domestic flight prices through volume demand.

As an extreme but not unusual example, I live on the East coast of Scotland and can drive to the West coast in an hour....
You really had to pick an extreme example, didn't you? ;) It only shows how expensive petrol is... you can cycle in half the time from the East to the West coast of Malta and it costs you nothing but a bit of sweat and a bicycle :D

Germany North/South or France North/South easily warrant flights (and those are national and not more expensive than going by train - that is compairing cheap flights to regular train fares).

Cheers,
Mike

Iain
05-12-2008, 04:37 PM
Germany North/South or France North/South easily warrant flights (and those are national and not more expensive than going by train - that is compairing cheap flights to regular train fares).



Yes but the prices are actually quite high compared to domestic US flights in relation to quality of life (salary minus expenditure).

Germany N/S isn't quite the same as Seattle-NY in my experience. I've done both for roughly the same price and one took 7 hours more than the other with markedly better customer service.

IMI
05-12-2008, 04:48 PM
We are complaining about the...Spanish Inquisition!

Wow, I certainly wasn't expecting that...

prospector
05-12-2008, 05:02 PM
I'd much rather die in a car wreck crushed by a truck, than die knifed by a doped-up meth dealer getting out of a train.

Yea, that's it...blame the truck driver:D

prospector
05-12-2008, 05:09 PM
I am aware of the state of the train and bus network in usa...but it cant be too difficult to overhaul it into a better shape.

The only way is to get govt out of the train buisness. Amtrak is a joke.

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 05:26 PM
...in relation to quality of life (salary minus expenditure).

I question the bit in brackets as a measure of quality of life ;)

I know what you mean in general though.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 05:28 PM
The only way is to get govt out of the train buisness. Amtrak is a joke.
Not necessarily. Allow our British friends to educate you on the benefits of a privatized rail (and we're about to make the same mistake... I do hope some lessons haven been learnt though).

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
05-12-2008, 05:29 PM
Wow, I certainly wasn't expecting that...
Nobody ever is ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Steamthrower
05-12-2008, 07:30 PM
Nobody ever is ;)

Cheers,
Mike

I'll come in again.

Hopper
05-12-2008, 11:31 PM
You know gas prices are bad when ....

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/12/old.gas.pumps.ap/index.html

Jeez...

inquisitive
05-13-2008, 12:28 AM
hmm my full gas tank went from around $30 to around $65 in the last two years. $4.20/gal overhere (premium though) - everything went up in price, food,drinks,other stuff.

Read an article in the local paper recently, stores are running out of locking gas caps... seems that since the gas is more expensive, now the crooks are stealing gas from people's cars in the middle of the night.

LW_Will
05-13-2008, 12:31 AM
This is an over simplified argument;

Of course it is, its in a post on a website. I haven't had the time to write a book. Besides, thought this conversation was about gas prices.


Most of the inflation is the results of the last part of the Clinton presidency and the first half (if that of the Bush presidency). The housing problem predates Bush the son and can be tracked back to Bush the father. Therefore Bush the father & Clinton have more to do with the housing problem then Bush the son.

My contention is this. The economy has been very nearly screwed for all of Bush Greater, Clinton and Bush the Lesser. It is my contention is that the only brite spot in that list is the Clinton administration. Wonder why that is? Could he had people working on the economy? Actually watching the economy and not trying to get us into a war, saying we were going to win the war, and now saying that the administration never said they were going to win the war, just manage it a little.

Bush the Lesser got us involved in a war, has run the debt to unheard of levels... Clinton, btw, BALANCED the Federal Budget (what would you call that, tax or spend?)... and DID NOT WATCH THE ECONOMY. Granted, Clinton had Greenspan but George has... whoever.


Most of the job losses are due to Free Trade Agreements of the 1990's and that has nothing to do with Bush the son. Anyone who has had any business experience knows that incurred debit is previous years and not the year the is due.

You know that idea that we don't have to pay is why the credit is so messed up. Credit doesn't equal money. You shouldn't spend credit like money. See; most of the country.


The debit Bush the son has incurred will hit us several years from now, not now. The debit we are dealing with is the debit of the 1990's.

Markets are not infinite, they work with the capital that they have and move it about the planet. Keeping inflation low allows us to live in these rich times. And soon, it will make our saleries worthless in front of $5 a gallon gas and bread that is also $5 a loaf. Have you priced a gallon of Milk recently?

The war debt has not come due, but it is drawing the available capital from infrastructure and manufacturing in this and other countries around the world. Oh, we are paying for it now, and then we have to actually PAY for it again.

Iain
05-13-2008, 12:48 AM
Not necessarily. Allow our British friends to educate you on the benefits of a privatized rail (and we're about to make the same mistake... I do hope some lessons haven been learnt though).


Quite. No lesson learned here though-we've just had the same mistake made with our Mail system.

Lightwolf
05-13-2008, 01:37 AM
Quite. No lesson learned here though-we've just had the same mistake made with our Mail system.
We're working on following you there as well :(
Privatization of everything just doesn't work (there's just too many examples of that), especial of institutions that uphold a certain infrastructure needed for a society to thrive.

Cheers,
Mike

Panikos
05-13-2008, 03:02 AM
I wonder that out of so many people, the most idiot ones are elected to lead countries.
A possible answer, the people that have the money impose an idiot without will in order to satisfy their interests.

Iain
05-13-2008, 03:08 AM
I wonder that out of so many people, the most idiot ones are elected to lead countries.
A possible answer, the people that have the money impose an idiot without will in order to satisfy their interests.

Nah, it's popularity isn't it. People forget why they're electing a leader. Who cares how smart he is, I like him.

Gordon Brown is possibly the most intelligent PM we've had in decades and everybody hates him because he's dull.
He hasn't even really had a chance to do anything and he's going to get unceremoniously ejected.

Qexit
05-13-2008, 03:19 AM
Gordon Brown is possibly the most intelligent PM we've had in decades and everybody hates him because he's dull.
He hasn't even really had a chance to do anything and he's going to get unceremoniously ejected.He's increased the amount of income tax paid by the lowest paid workers by removing the 10% Tax rate. He's restricted the pay rises of the lowest paid workers to 1.9% when inflation for them is running at around 10-12%. With those two moves alone, he's done more than enough to warrant being hated by a large percentage of the electorate. Being 'dull' isn't the main reason why he is likely to get dumped by his party :D

Iain
05-13-2008, 03:52 AM
He's increased the amount of income tax paid by the lowest paid workers by removing the 10% Tax rate. He's restricted the pay rises of the lowest paid workers to 1.9% when inflation for them is running at around 10-12%.

I know I'll get shot down for this, particularly when I generally purport to have Socialist sensibilities but I have little sympathy for those affected by the low income tax increases.

There is an apparent need for higher taxation but the opposite end of the earnings scale is punished enough already.
A few years ago, I became what is ludicrously classed as a high earner. A 1000 rise meant that I started paying an incredible amount more in tax and I actually ended up worse off than I was two years before.
Because I struggled to pay my mortgage as it was, I considered moving jobs to earn less!

Obviously, I don't merit sympathy either-my point is that whereas there should be a relationship between earnings and tax, it shouldn't be to such an extent as we have here.

Rewarding underachievement is arguably what has bred the culture of benefit sponging.

Qexit
05-13-2008, 05:34 AM
There is an apparent need for higher taxation but the opposite end of the earnings scale is punished enough already.
A few years ago, I became what is ludicrously classed as a high earner. A 1000 rise meant that I started paying an incredible amount more in tax and I actually ended up worse off than I was two years before.
Because I struggled to pay my mortgage as it was, I considered moving jobs to earn less!Sounds like you need to check with the Inland Revenue over that. Your Income Tax payments would only have increased on the amount that took you over the Tax/Income threshold which should only have meant you got less of your pay rise than you would have liked. On its own, it should not have resulted in your losing net income. Of course, if the rise included a fringe benefit like a company car then your take home pay would have suffered :thumbsdow

On the other hand, you could also have fallen foul of the same sort of problem that hits people on benefits when they start earning a real wage. The increased income means you no longer qualify for several benefits. For those on benefit, that means they have to pay their rent/mortgage and Council Tax out of their wages rather than having the State foot the bill. For regular wage earners, an increase in income can mean they no longer qualify for a variety of tax credits. This could result in your net pay going down even though your gross has gone up. This is a big problem when a small pay rise takes you through a tax band :thumbsdow

Bottom line: Tax is never fair but it is frequently very complicated :D

mattclary
05-13-2008, 06:50 AM
I'm in the process of getting a divorce and am supporting two households. So yeah, $50+ to fill my tank feels like being the new guy in Cell Block D.

frantbk
05-13-2008, 08:12 AM
My contention is this. The economy has been very nearly screwed for all of Bush Greater, Clinton and Bush the Lesser. It is my contention is that the only brite spot in that list is the Clinton administration. Wonder why that is? Could he had people working on the economy? Actually watching the economy and not trying to get us into a war, saying we were going to win the war, and now saying that the administration never said they were going to win the war, just manage it a little.

What planet do you come from? Every President inherits from the preceding President administration. This Clinton administration was the one that sold off 90% of the industrial base of the U.S. of A. The Clinton administration sold off most of the technology industry that people are now complaining about National Security. Clinton didn't get us into a war, you are right there, but Clinton didn't use his administration to stop the people from planning 9/11. That infrastructure that lead to 9/11 was built during the bush-Clinton administrations, not Bush the son's administration.

frantbk
05-13-2008, 08:26 AM
You know that idea that we don't have to pay is why the credit is so messed up. Credit doesn't equal money. You shouldn't spend credit like money. See; most of the country.

What in the world are you talking about? You, me and everyone in the U.S. of A. are to blame for any credit problem. You, me and everyone have had plenty of chances to vote against the current administration, and that of the previous administrations idea of a paperless economy.


Markets are not infinite, they work with the capital that they have and move it about the planet. Keeping inflation low allows us to live in these rich times. And soon, it will make our saleries worthless in front of $5 a gallon gas and bread that is also $5 a loaf. Have you priced a gallon of Milk recently?

What are you talking about? Markets are not infinite. The only reason capital is moving about the planet is because 80% of the markets you're talking about are public traded companies. Privately owned companies are not the major cause of inflation. It is the stock market and the need to have high returns to the share holders that have cause most of th inflation. Go do your research you will find that all of the major food suppliers are publicly traded companies. Cross reference the dividends returns from the last ten years to ten years prior to that and you will see that there is a direct relationship.

As for your milk problem, coming from the Midwest I know that your milk problem is because of NFTA, and the fact that the independent cattle produces were driven out of business during the mid 1990's. Nobody raise cows unless they have a contract with a packing plant. There isn't any free market like back in the 1980's -to- early 1990's. That is one of the major problems you have in todays world for food prices.

Steamthrower
05-13-2008, 08:54 AM
What in the world are you talking about? You, me and everyone in the U.S. of A. are to blame for any credit problem. You, me and everyone have had plenty of chances to vote against the current administration, and that of the previous administrations idea of a paperless economy.

Actually I think Will was dead on. We can't pass all of the citizen's debt problems on to Uncle Sam. It's still very much an issue of the individual citizen as to how he spends his money. And credit is not money.

I have no debt and hopefully I never will. Yes, I would like a new car (like a new 911 GT...that would be cool) but I don't have the cash on hand to buy that...and it would be foolish for me to take out a loan to get one.

The government is ridiculous and has a multitude of problems...but we have to be careful and not blame them for all of our own faults.

Hopper
05-13-2008, 11:38 AM
Also keep in mind frantbk, you are siting stock markets. Just curious ... how do you see stock markets as being 80%? Although these are not small markets, there are commodities trading, energy markets, currency markets, and other global markets that do not involve corporate stock ownership and involve much more currency movement.

Nicolas Jordan
05-13-2008, 12:20 PM
Yes, but mostly because they're simultaneously cutting hours at work.

Bush has completely ruined our economy and thanks to the falling dollar, gas prices will continue to rise and it really will be a financial hardship for a lot of people.

Our Economy and dollar is pretty stable up here and the gas prices continue to rise. $1.38 cdn per Liter and rising almost daily. Expected to hit between $1.50 and $2.00 cdn per Liter this summer. A $1.38 cdn per Liter is equal to $5.22 per Gallon US.

Medi8or
05-13-2008, 12:55 PM
Oh, I feel so sorry for you all with your sky-high gas prices. I'll send you some warm thoughts when I fill the tank for $9.85 per gallon. :thumbsup:

Steamthrower
05-13-2008, 12:57 PM
Oh, I feel so sorry for you all with your sky-high gas prices. I'll send you some warm thoughts when I fill the tank for $9.85 per gallon. :thumbsup:

Okay...I'm confused here...you have to fill your tank up? I thought you had bat-ears...and could fly?

Medi8or
05-13-2008, 12:59 PM
Well, I didn't say it was a car. Have to fill up my lighter now and then.. ;)

nanaboso
05-13-2008, 01:28 PM
I'm sitting 500 km from my home. The reason for this is that I'm building (not entirely on my own) a new drill-rig specially designed for working up north under extreme conditions. Building oil-installations has been my occupation my entire adult life. I remember back in 1987 when "Gullfaks B" a large north sea condeep-platform was put into production. At the time, building this plattform was an economic gamble. To make a profit they needed the oil price to be as high as 17$ a barrel. I beleive that todays price is about 100$ higher.
Norway is the fifth largest oil-exporting country in the world. But our production has peeked and is getting smaller now, the same goes for the rest of the world. And as the flow of oil gets smaller the demand keeps growing. I don't think the price will drop much in the long run.
On the other hand our wages also grows and alltough Medi8or and the rest of the Norwegians pay a lot for the gas, we have to work much shorter time today for the same amount of gas compered to 30 years ago.

Chris S. (Fez)
05-13-2008, 02:10 PM
IMO the problem is largely outlandish loans and limitless credit cards granted to people pursuing The Dream...

The many, many Americans who have been living beyond their means are simply waking up. The U.S. economy has been a Jenga tower built on a wobbly base: it was bound to crash eventually.

The US has been humbled, but we will rebuild and be stronger than ever as long as we leave behind the excesses of the 80's and 90's. The Dream, as it was, is dead...now long live The Dream!

Titus
05-13-2008, 02:45 PM
Norway is the fifth largest oil-exporting country in the world. But our production has peeked and is getting smaller now, the same goes for the rest of the world.

That's right. We have here oil only for the next 12 years.

frantbk
05-13-2008, 06:32 PM
Also keep in mind frantbk, you are siting stock markets. Just curious ... how do you see stock markets as being 80%? Although these are not small markets, there are commodities trading, energy markets, currency markets, and other global markets that do not involve corporate stock ownership and involve much more currency movement.

Name some companies that are major global players that are not publicly traded. Don't quote me government own companies or companies from the Middle East because many of these are own by Royal families that are the government.

frantbk
05-13-2008, 06:35 PM
Actually I think Will was dead on. We can't pass all of the citizen's debt problems on to Uncle Sam. It's still very much an issue of the individual citizen as to how he spends his money. And credit is not money.

I have no debt and hopefully I never will. Yes, I would like a new car (like a new 911 GT...that would be cool) but I don't have the cash on hand to buy that...and it would be foolish for me to take out a loan to get one.

The government is ridiculous and has a multitude of problems...but we have to be careful and not blame them for all of our own faults.

What are you talking about? Nobody is talking about passing on citizen's debt to the U.S. Federal government. What has been talked about is the problem of an unregulated industry that has no Federal oversight. credit is money, to have credit there has to be money involved, otherwise how would you charge interest? :confused:

Hopper
05-13-2008, 06:36 PM
Name some companies that are major global players that are not publicly traded. Don't quote me government own companies or companies from the Middle East because many of these are own by Royal families that are the government.
Nevermind. You didn't get my point. No worries - not really worth pursuing.

Lightwolf
05-13-2008, 06:42 PM
Nevermind. You didn't get my point. No worries - not really worth pursuing.
Well, his figure is pretty close. I read somewhere (I'd need to look up the source) that basically there has been a huge shift in capital in the past 15 years. 80% of all capital (world wide) is invested in financial markets, while only 20% is actually used on the goods market (i.e. to produce and purchase). 15 years ago it was 50%/50%. That also means that labour itself has decreased in value. I.e. you'd be stupid to work and not invest (in a very simplified nutshell - of course, if you can't invest you're screwed right from the start).

Cheers,
Mike

Steamthrower
05-13-2008, 06:47 PM
What are you talking about? Nobody is talking about passing on citizen's debt to the U.S. Federal government. What has been talked about is the problem of an unregulated industry that has no Federal oversight. credit is money, to have credit there has to be money involved, otherwise how would you charge interest? :confused:

I meant to say we can't blame the government for the citizen's debt problems. That's like someone committing murder and then blaming the police for not keeping an eye on him.

zapper1998
05-13-2008, 07:56 PM
these are funny

zapper1998
05-13-2008, 07:58 PM
and these

zapper1998
05-13-2008, 07:59 PM
and these 2

Steamthrower
05-13-2008, 08:36 PM
I love the Chanel one.

Cohen
05-13-2008, 09:11 PM
Frantbk, you are putting too much energy into this, for I have already finished my paper. :p On a side note. I was not, and have not said, that I was trying to prove that recent increases in gas prices have caused financial hardships. I did say however, that I was testing the probability of their claim to be higher. I was not trying to prove anything.

-cheers

Cohen
05-13-2008, 09:14 PM
One more for Zapper.

frantbk
05-14-2008, 06:09 AM
I meant to say we can't blame the government for the citizen's debt problems. That's like someone committing murder and then blaming the police for not keeping an eye on him.

If like in the housing problem where companies failed to follow Federal guide lines then yes you can blame the Federal government for the current debt. The guide lines are there for a reason.

I really don't know how you jumped from the one person complaining about Bush, the son, ruining the current economy to citizen's debt. As for your misplaced police scenario. If there were prior complaints filed by the person murdered then yes the police are a fault for not doing their job and investigating the murder.

Steamthrower
05-14-2008, 07:19 AM
I really don't know how you jumped from the one person complaining about Bush, the son, ruining the current economy to citizen's debt.

You must have me confused with someone else. I haven't mentioned Bush the son ruining the economy.

Andyjaggy
05-14-2008, 08:17 AM
What! You mean Americans were living beyond their means and racking up insane credit card debt and buying houses they had no way to afford and now everyone is surprised it has all come crashing down!!!!???? I don't believe it.

Cougar12dk
05-14-2008, 10:24 AM
Lol!

hrgiger
05-14-2008, 01:29 PM
What! You mean Americans were living beyond their means and racking up insane credit card debt and buying houses they had no way to afford and now everyone is surprised it has all come crashing down!!!!???? I don't believe it.

Except it's not all the consumers fault. The banks are the ones making high risk loans because they thought they could cover any losses. Obviously, they weren't prepared for these kinds of losses. They over-extended credit to those who should not have been able to get it and they knew it. It's similar to what took us into the great depression. People buying stocks were able to borrow about 10 times the money they were actually putting into their securities to buy more then they could actually afford. It was wonderful when the market was winning, but not so great when the stocks lost value. Yes, the consumers are at fault in this housing crisis. But the banks who should know better and have an understanding of how finances work should take most of the blame.

And I don't care how Bush spins it, we're in a recession. The fact that he's racked up so much debt in the meantime isn't exactly helping anything.

hrgiger
05-14-2008, 01:31 PM
You must have me confused with someone else. I haven't mentioned Bush the son ruining the economy.

He didn't say you said it, he said he didn't know how you went from the one person complaining about Bush (that was me) to citizen debt.

Steamthrower
05-14-2008, 01:38 PM
But the banks who should know better and have an understanding of how finances work should take most of the blame.

I understand what you're saying here, but I really don't think it's all the bank's problems. Granted, the banks have their own problems, and the ethics of taking advantage of people are somewhat in the grey here.

As example, if a person tripped in the middle of a 6-lane interstate and hurt himself, and you make an offer for $100 to carry him to safety, that's similarly wrong. You'd be taking advantage of a deep situation. However, it doesn't excuse the guy's ignorance and stupidity in gadding about in the middle of the freeway in the first place.

That's not a perfect analogy but I think it illustrates my thoughts on it a bit.

Steamthrower
05-14-2008, 01:41 PM
He didn't say you said it, he said he didn't know how you went from the one person complaining about Bush (that was me) to citizen debt.

Aha. I was referring to LW_Will's references and frantbk's own post:


What in the world are you talking about? You, me and everyone in the U.S. of A. are to blame for any credit problem. You, me and everyone have had plenty of chances to vote against the current administration, and that of the previous administrations idea of a paperless economy.

hrgiger
05-14-2008, 01:59 PM
I understand what you're saying here, but I really don't think it's all the bank's problems. Granted, the banks have their own problems, and the ethics of taking advantage of people are somewhat in the grey here.

As example, if a person tripped in the middle of a 6-lane interstate and hurt himself, and you make an offer for $100 to carry him to safety, that's similarly wrong. You'd be taking advantage of a deep situation. However, it doesn't excuse the guy's ignorance and stupidity in gadding about in the middle of the freeway in the first place.

That's not a perfect analogy but I think it illustrates my thoughts on it a bit.

Except your story is flawed in one way. It was the banks who lured us out into the middle of that 6 lane highway to begin with. If they had constructed barriers (you know, turning us down for loans we can't afford and probably won't be able to pay back), we wouldn't be able to get out into the highway in the first place. Most of the people who took these loans thought they could afford them. And this is because the banks use these adjustable rate mortgages to make it appear if it's not as expensive as they turn out to be. It's a deceptive practice and trust me, everything they don't want you to see is in the fine print which is worded in a way that's far from clear.

My bank charged me three times last year for overdraft because they somehow like to hold my deposits for a few days before they credit them and yet somehow, anything I charge to my account is withdrawn at the speed of light. My paycheck is direct deposited on Friday morning at 12:01am, yet somehow it doesn't apply to my balance until Monday morning. I read the other day that my bank lost millions of dollars this year. All I can say is, I'm really glad. Bastards.

prospector
05-14-2008, 02:07 PM
It was the banks who lured us out into the middle of that 6 lane highway to begin with.
So the people who bought half million dollar houses making 30K a year, are blameless?
Were they thinking that intrest would never go up?
were they thinking that balloon payments would never come due?

Were they dragged kicking and screaming to the bank and forced at gunpoint to sign?

I so no fault for banks. If people bought houses knowing they couldn't afford them in the longrun then they have no right to buy in the firstplace.
I feel zilch pity for them.

*Pete*
05-15-2008, 03:40 AM
Banks lending money to people they know cant pay for the loans, is directly comparable to letting a person who cant drive a car, drive a car.

a crash is not certain, but the chances are great for that to happen, and when it happens, yes..it is the fault of the driver, and the one who let him drive the car.

in the case of the housing market, people were pretty much lured in under false pretences, banks knowing the positives and negatives of the market, who know the risks, only explained about the positives and opportunities to the people who didnt have any understanding of the markets...its the same as inviting children to drive your car, it might go well, it might not..the risk is that the end result is dramatic and you shouldnt be able to avoid getting the blame for what happened.

achrystie
05-15-2008, 04:14 AM
"knowing the positives and negatives of the market"

Isn't it the responsibility of the bank "and" the buyer to know this?
It never ceases to amaze me how much the average person expects "others" to spoon feed knowledge and protect them from themselves.

I see this every day unfortunately.

It's almost as if personal responsibility to know "anything" is completely lost in modern American society. In this particular case it's sad too because...it's really just a simple math problem and a bit of foresight on whether or not you feel confident you'll have the same job and salary in the future.

This is not to say that I don't agree that the efforts of banks (and I'll extend that to businesses) to delude the buyer and build these "amazing hype machines" was/is not irresponsible.

I just never understood as people were buying these homes how they expected to afford them. Even married friends of mine who now "each" work two jobs and spend $250 a week on child care just to have the opportunity to "work more hours", and still don't have any money in their pockets.

But then again, as someone with zero debt (by being frugal about paying things off and not adding to my debt), who is only one generation removed from the great depression, who was brought up with the words "neither a borrower or a lender be"...I probably don't think the same way that most people do.

Lightwolf
05-15-2008, 04:25 AM
"knowing the positives and negatives of the market"

Isn't it the responsibility of the bank "and" the buyer to know this?
It never ceases to amaze me how much the average person expects "others" to spoon feed knowledge and protect them from themselves.

Tough one... if a brain surgeon tells you that you need an operation, you'll probably get a second opinion (who'll tell you the same thing). If the decision is wrong, can you blame yourself for taking the risk? How much do you know about brain surgery to make a knowledgeable decision? Or banking, insurance, computer programming, engineering, manufacturing etc...?
There is nothing wrong with having an educated buyer, but let's face it, you'd have to be a specialist at everything if you wouldn't want to rely on other peoples opinions. And the so called "specialists" should be held accountable (in this case the banks) if they screw up in their profession (which includes actually educating their customers of risks as well as keeping their investors money safe). After all, they actually get paid to do that.

I've yet to see a hobbyist or spare time banker give out loans ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Qexit
05-15-2008, 04:43 AM
"knowing the positives and negatives of the market"

Isn't it the responsibility of the bank "and" the buyer to know this?
It never ceases to amaze me how much the average person expects "others" to spoon feed knowledge and protect them from themselves.

I see this every day unfortunately.

It's almost as if personal responsibility to know "anything" is completely lost in modern American society. In this particular case it's sad too because...it's really just a simple math problem and a bit of foresight on whether or not you feel confident you'll have the same job and salary in the future.As you say, the basics are very simple. You see how much money you have coming in, deduct the amount you have to spend on food, energy, clothes etc. and what you have left is largely disposable income. However, finding out about the details and how they might change and affect you is not so simple. At this point, you find the information. For a lot of people this means going to someone they trust to answer any questions they might have. You can read this sort of stuff up in books, or go online but this does not always help some people as they cannot make sense of what they are reading and need it to be explained by someone else who does understand it. This same problem can be seen in tutorials to learn packages like Lightwave. Some people can read a book and immediately know how things work, others need to see it demonstrated either live or in a video tutorial. Both groups can be equally intelligent but need a different education method to gain an understanding of the material available. In the financial world, people will look to banks and financial institutions to provide the alternative training. Unfortunately, these tutors have their own best interests at the forefront of their explanations rather than giving customers complete, relevant and helpful information and advice. The only failing a lot of people seem to have is that they still trust these organisations and their representatives to give them good advice that is in their best interests :thumbsdow

achrystie
05-15-2008, 05:54 AM
Well, the sad thing is, in our modern society, with way that our economy depends on technology, if figuring out whether or not you can afford a home and deciding what is an appropriate level of risk is "that hard" for the average person to learn (or rather they need "hands on activities" to teach it to them), then we are in SERIOUS trouble as Americans, and it's no wonder numerous jobs go out of the country as other nations have "droves" of people that would find these financing problems absolutely ridiculous and obvious to figure out. I'm sorry if that offends people, but that is "reality".

Also, you're making this a much larger "problem to solve" than it really is, which is evidence of the issue at hand. People "think" there is some great mathematical theorem that needs to be solved to determine whether or not you can afford a house. The reality is, some basic "rules of thumb" are more than appropriate and easy to make a decision with. Let alone, people get so caught up in living in a "particular area" that they forget that there are numerous other places you can go and buy a much less expensive house, and still do the same job(s), and therefore force themselves to compete over the same 500 houses in a particular area of the country.

In fact, here is how "simple" it is to figure out and assess basic risk. My father quit school in the 9th grade which was 1957. He works as a mechanic. He got a GED when he was in his 20's. Despite this, he has "never" had any trouble doing any of the following:
a) determining what he can afford to buy
b) keeping himself with little to no debt
c) balancing his checkbook

My mother is an artist that never went to college, she also has no trouble with any of a), b) or c) above.
She owns a house in Florida.

Neither of them ever had any money "won or inherited". They just got jobs, moved to areas where they could afford a house, and were smart about what they purchased.

The thing is, it's not even just a function of being "told" what to do, because people don't even want to listen. I went to inspect the home of two friends of mine a couple of years ago and told them to ask for about $30,000 off the price because there was a termite issue, the basement had leakage, and it needed a new roof. They looked at me like I had two heads, they did however ask the realtor to drop the price, and immediately capitulated to the realtors demands.... because they felt this amazing need to "compete" over this 0.1 acre yard 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath $300,000 home. Needless to say, the value of their house has gone down drastically, they had to spend money out of their pocket to fix the house up, and all I can do is sit back and think..."I told you so".

Other friends, they bought a house that had a payment that was more than "half" of BOTH of their combined GROSS pay....I thought to myself...what if one of you gets sick, dies, or just gets laid off? Needless to say, they're severely struggling and I TOLD THEM THIS AHEAD OF TIME....yet they still pushed forward on it anyway. So it's not just a lack of understanding, it's a blatant lack of "wanting" to understand.

For the brain surgery analogy. In that case, the brain surgeon is the expert, and they are "liable" for their diagnosis because it is life or death, not "can you afford to buy" what is essentially an "optional" thing. Buying a house is an opportunity and an option, not a right or a necessity. Also, when buying a home you have time to research and make the best decision, in brain surgery, the need for surgery is often immediate. Completely an apples and oranges comparison. However, in the end, in any of the cases provided, there is always risk. Such is the way. It's just a matter of minimizing it by being smart about it and not expecting every other person and organization to do it for you, or even worse, not listening to those people and organizations when they tell you it IS a large risk.

Lightwolf
05-15-2008, 06:04 AM
However, in the end, in any of the cases provided, there is always risk. Such is the way. It's just a matter of minimizing it by being smart about it and not expecting every other person and organization to do it for you, or even worse, not listening to those people and organizations when they tell you it IS a large risk.
That is the point though... but if you don't get informed properly, you can't make a well judged decision.

I do agree with the common sense issue, however, that is something that seems to be lacking in general (and there industries built around screwing your common sense ;) ).

As my dad says, the best way to save money is not to spend it in the first place :D

Cheers,
Mike

hrgiger
05-15-2008, 06:29 AM
I probably don't think the same way that most people do.


And therein lies the problem. Let me explain why I hate Rush Limbaugh, why I think he is a elitist blowhole, and it will lead into this whole discussion of why personal responsibility can only go so far as the consumer is concerned.

Rush Limbaugh goes on every day about how everyone has an opportunity to be great in America, how if you're one of the unfortunate poor or middle class in this country, all you have to do is take some responsibility and just go out and make more money. How government should not insure the poor because the poor have the means to insure themselves as if all poor are just lazier then people who make more money. This is a typical conservative view and it is grossly out of touch.

Guess what, everyone is not as smart as everyone else. Everyone is not raised the same with the same quality of parenting as everyone else. Everyone does not deal with struggles, emotional, physical, or mental as everyone else. Everyone does not have the same amount of common sense as everyone else. You can scream all you want about how people should not have taken a loan they could not have afforded but you are applying your own experience, understanding of finances, personal responsibility to those people as if it's the same as yours. this is not admonishing responsibility of people whatsoever about what they are getting into when they buy a home, but it should be the responsibility of the banks to clearly spell it out, and they don't go out of their way to do that now. You are also making a blanket assumption of all the people who have been foreclosed on.

Do you think that everyone who has lost their homes in this crisis is because they took a loan they couldn't afford and they should have know better? Boy, that would be the easy way to think of it. But a lot of peoples situations change, people get sick, they lose their jobs, they get divorced, they're the victims of credit fraud or other serious crimes. Some have lost as a result of this crises because the economy has slowed and people have been laid off. Are we blaming all these groups of people too? You shouldn't have got that cancer and went bankrupt paying for all those ridiculous medical bills you knew you couldn't afford. Silly people.

Do people aspire to be janitors? Or fast food workers? Does anyone choose to make poverty level wages? If the conservative view were accurate, society would no longer function. Because everyone would be Doctors or lawyers, or worse yet, politicians and nobody would be cleaning up our garbage, bagging our groceries, and we would no longer have fast food because nobody would want to make $6 an hour to take some crap from some uppity customer who asked for no onion on his beefy beef cheeseburger and got it anyway. People live life the way they know how and it's based on their upbringing, their education level, their experiences... any or all of those things can really be limiting factors in how you 'achieve' in life.

Nobody buys a house thinking "Awesome, I bought a house and in a year or so , I'm going to lose it!". Obviously, a lot of these people thought they could have afforded these houses. Whatever their individual circumstances were though, I couldn't say. I don't think any of you can either. Generalizing them by saying they were all irresponsible is far too simple. I don't think you can say the same about the banks however...

hrgiger
05-15-2008, 06:38 AM
So the people who bought half million dollar houses making 30K a year, are blameless?


Ok, I just have to reply to this genius comment. First of all, is that your assumption, that everyone who lost homes were people who were making 30k a year and bought a half million dollar home? Wow. Ok, it was just a question really, no comment.

Secondly, are you saying that banks were giving half million dollar loans to people making only 30k a year? And you're saying they're no fault in your opinion? That's just super, really, just super. Because I say if they were doing that, they deserve to fail.

prospector
05-15-2008, 06:40 AM
My father quit school in the 9th grade which was 1957. He works as a mechanic. He got a GED when he was in his 20's. Despite this, he has "never" had any trouble doing any of the following:

And there is your error.
Your comparing 1970 and previous schooling to now.
Big mistake

Real schooling was taught then
Feel good schooling is taught now

Then...2 + 2 = 4
Now...2 + 2 = whatever feels right as long as you try

hence the idiots making 20 to 50K trying to buy a half million dollar house.
To them, the numbers add up :thumbsup:

Iain
05-15-2008, 06:45 AM
Guess what, everyone is not as smart as everyone else. Everyone is not raised the same with the same quality of parenting as everyone else. Everyone does not deal with struggles, emotional, physical, or mental as everyone else. Everyone does not have the same amount of common sense as everyone else.

That's a very well written post. It's easy to look around and wonder why everyone doesn't have what you have.

My wife teaches in an inner city school and the staff there can easily spot kids who are going nowhere. Some of them are almost proud of their lack of prospects and some just look defeated at age 14.
Their personal circumstances vary from minor neglect to heartbreaking levels of abuse and are much more to blame than their intelligence levels.

prospector
05-15-2008, 06:45 AM
but it should be the responsibility of the banks to clearly spell it out, and they don't go out of their way to do that now.
Every number and payment and every contingency is spelled out in any contract, especially loans which are pages and pages long.
The banks have told customers what happens, what payments are and WILL BE in future.
They hide nothing.

prospector
05-15-2008, 06:47 AM
First of all, is that your assumption, that everyone who lost homes were people who were making 30k a year and bought a half million dollar home?
not every one, just the ones whining the most.
There has always been forclousers since banks first made hoising loans due to jobloss or some other reason, tho jobloss really isn't a reason,
but now people are whining (and we will probably bail them out), because they neglected to read contract and see how thier payments would increase in future.
And I wouldn't doubt that there will be some people who take advantage of bailout by intentionally being forclosed on, just to get govt assistance, tho they really don't need it.

Iain
05-15-2008, 06:58 AM
Real schooling was taught then
Feel good schooling is taught now

Then...2 + 2 = 4
Now...2 + 2 = whatever feels right as long as you try

hence the idiots making 20 to 50K trying to buy a half million dollar house.
To them, the numbers add up :thumbsup:

I don't know where you get the information to make that assumption but noone will pass an examination nowadays by using answers different from in the 70's.

More people are now emerging with diplomas and degrees than ever before. That's true in the US as well as here.

achrystie
05-15-2008, 07:06 AM
And therein lies the problem. Let me explain why I hate Rush Limbaugh, why I think he is a elitist blowhole, and it will lead into this whole discussion of why personal responsibility can only go so far as the consumer is concerned.

Rush Limbaugh goes on every day about how everyone has an opportunity to be great in America, how if you're one of the unfortunate poor or middle class in this country, all you have to do is take some responsibility and just go out and make more money. How government should not insure the poor because the poor have the means to insure themselves as if all poor are just lazier then people who make more money. This is a typical conservative view and it is grossly out of touch.

Guess what, everyone is not as smart as everyone else. Everyone is not raised the same with the same quality of parenting as everyone else. Everyone does not deal with struggles, emotional, physical, or mental as everyone else. Everyone does not have the same amount of common sense as everyone else. You can scream all you want about how people should not have taken a loan they could not have afforded but you are applying your own experience, understanding of finances, personal responsibility to those people as if it's the same as yours. this is not admonishing responsibility of people whatsoever about what they are getting into when they buy a home, but it should be the responsibility of the banks to clearly spell it out, and they don't go out of their way to do that now. You are also making a blanket assumption of all the people who have been foreclosed on.

Do you think that everyone who has lost their homes in this crisis is because they took a loan they couldn't afford and they should have know better? Boy, that would be the easy way to think of it. But a lot of peoples situations change, people get sick, they lose their jobs, they get divorced, they're the victims of credit fraud or other serious crimes. Some have lost as a result of this crises because the economy has slowed and people have been laid off. Are we blaming all these groups of people too? You shouldn't have got that cancer and went bankrupt paying for all those ridiculous medical bills you knew you couldn't afford. Silly people.

Do people aspire to be janitors? Or fast food workers? Does anyone choose to make poverty level wages? If the conservative view were accurate, society would no longer function. Because everyone would be Doctors or lawyers, or worse yet, politicians and nobody would be cleaning up our garbage, bagging our groceries, and we would no longer have fast food because nobody would want to make $6 an hour to take some crap from some uppity customer who asked for no onion on his beefy beef cheeseburger and got it anyway. People live life the way they know how and it's based on their upbringing, their education level, their experiences... any or all of those things can really be limiting factors in how you 'achieve' in life.

Nobody buys a house thinking "Awesome, I bought a house and in a year or so , I'm going to lose it!". Obviously, a lot of these people thought they could have afforded these houses. Whatever their individual circumstances were though, I couldn't say. I don't think any of you can either. Generalizing them by saying they were all irresponsible is far too simple. I don't think you can say the same about the banks however...


I hate Rush Limbaugh too. Not even sure what your point is here. I agree, people can get sick, and experience hardships "well beyond" what they may have anticipated. However, is this really the issue? Are the "majority" of people who bought homes they can no longer afford victims of major crises like death? Is the bank even capable of, or responsible for anticipating these issues? I find that very hard to swallow, and have a lot of my own subjective data that leads me to the opposite conclusion.

FYI, as stated, I come from a family where no one had gone to college, where my grandfather lived through the depression, where my mother's side of the family had numerous people on welfare and/or in jail. My father is diabetic. My mother just had breast cancer and now has heart trouble that requires a pacemaker. She was also molested as a child by her grandfather. Her grandmother was native American and forced out of the country into Canada, then married a french man and moved back to America, changing her name for fear of persecution. My parent's are divorced. I paid my own way through college. I left home at 17. I had a child when I was 22 but have never been married (I pay child support and have full joint custody). My father was abusive. I've lived in some of the worst sections of major cities over the past 10 years. I teach in a Title I urban school district... and yet somehow I don't have the proper perspective to formulate an "understanding" of "American hardship"?

Let alone, I'll be the first one to say I have it relatively "easy" compared to some of my students who come from Bosnia and have bullet or knife wounds, or from Africa and spent the first half of their lives in abject poverty.

Not sure who has the "narrow view" here.

Steamthrower
05-15-2008, 07:08 AM
I'm agreeing with prospector here, but I also have to agree with Iain's view of early education.

The environment surrounding one during the first 15 to 20 years is a major formative influence...and due to varying degrees of influence, some not always positive, some people are going to make uninformed decisions and take out a $300k loan when they only make $30k a year.

Unfortunately, though parents and teachers and environments can be blamed for some of this uneducated debt, we CAN'T fall into the trap of blaming them for everything. Individuals are very responsible for their own actions, just like Warren Buffett is very responsible for becoming the world's richest man...just like Timothy McVeigh is very responsible for murdering hundreds of people...and just like Charles Dickens was very responsible for writing Oliver Twist.

And like all of the above were responsible for what they did (good or bad, wise or foolish) then we as individuals are all responsible for our investments, purchases, sales, etc.

Iain
05-15-2008, 07:23 AM
... and yet somehow I don't have the proper perspective to formulate an "understanding" of "American hardship"?
..................Not sure who has the "narrow view" here.

It's not just about hardship.
You are obviously a tenacious and intelligent individual. Not everyone is, however, and that's the point I think hrgiger was making.
You can't say "I did it, why can't you?" or "I understand this, so should you."

There are far too many variables in personal drive/self esteem, genetic inheritance and quality of upbringing for that to work.

hrgiger
05-15-2008, 07:32 AM
FYI, as stated, I come from a family where no one had gone to college, where my grandfather lived through the depression, where my mother's side of the family had numerous people on welfare and/or in jail. My father is diabetic. My mother just had breast cancer and now has heart trouble that requires a pacemaker. She was also molested as a child by her grandfather. Her grandmother was native American and forced out of the country into Canada, then married a french man and moved back to America, changing her name for fear of persecution. My parent's are divorced. I paid my own way through college. I left home at 17. I had a child when I was 22 but have never been married (I pay child support and have full joint custody). My father was abusive. I've lived in some of the worst sections of major cities over the past 10 years. I teach in a Title I urban school district... and yet somehow I don't have the proper perspective to formulate an "understanding" of "American hardship"?



In a sense, you're perspective may be skewed more then some. You see all these hardships that you've presented and then say, even despite all this, I can manage my finances as can my parents, so why can't other people? As I've said, other people deal with hardship and life in general much differently then one another. In the long run, those things may not have faltered you, but those things can falter other people and may even stop them entirely from being able to function well in our 'perceived' notion of what society should be.

You ask if life circumstances make up the majority of people who have had trouble paying for their homes and I would grant you no, I don't think it is. But it gets back to the point that people who were not making sufficient money to begin with, they should never have gotten the home loans at all. But the banks overextended themselves just as they have in the past and it led to massive market failure. They should know better. But I would say that the housing market has been a downward spiral for a lot of people and jobs have been lost and people who could afford homes when they signed for the loan can no longer do so.
Can you blame people for wanting more house then they can afford? Sure. You probably should. But you're also dealing with a sad fact of our society is that we've been brought up in this society to want such things, to crave more material goods. Some people are more susceptible then others. I suppose you can say it's an addiction. You have to look at reasons why people get into debt and over their head. Poor planning? Sometimes, but people aren't blind. They know that their debt is growing and yet they keep spending money. Why? They don't care? They want a lot of debt? No, I don't think so. People spend money to make themselves feel better I think. Much the way an alcoholic drinks. Does an alcoholic drink so that they can puke the next day, ruin their relationships and lose their drivers license? No, they do it because short term, it makes them feel not so sh|tty. I suspect it's the reasons a lot of people go into debt. And this isn't just all wild speculation, I'm speaking from some of my own experiences.

And Prospector says that banks hide nothing. Really? Then why are the good numbers like that low introductory rate big enough you could hang on a highway billboard, but the bad numbers like the balloon rates the size of a fleas offspring? Why are loan agreements several pages long and full of jargon it would take a lawyer to decipher when everything could be stated in a few easy to understand paragraphs and chart? Because they are hiding, maybe 'obscuring' would be a better word, all the things they would rather have you not understand up front.

prospector
05-15-2008, 07:42 AM
I don't know where you get the information to make that assumption but noone will pass an examination nowadays by using answers different from in the 70's.

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:cfkKy7Fp4fkJ:www.wpri.org/WIInterest/Vol10No1/Vukmir10.1.pdf+2%2B2%3D5&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=us
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_3_7_03mc.html
http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/cheney.htm

hrgiger
05-15-2008, 07:44 AM
Unfortunately, though parents and teachers and environments can be blamed for some of this uneducated debt, we CAN'T fall into the trap of blaming them for everything.

True, parents and teachers shouldn't be blamed for everything. Sadly, it's getting even harder to blame them because society itself is restricting how much influence a teacher or even a parent can have on children.

My girlfriend is also a teacher, though not at an inner city school. She teaches at a private catholic school. She constantly complains about how soft kids are anymore and how they don't seem to know how to do anything for themselves, even the simplest of things. That or they don't feel like they should have to. Society, and when I say society I'm speaking of government and parent groups and people who decide policy, have gotten way too coddling of kids. You can't punish kids anymore, you can't hold them accountable and you have to hide everything from them and censor everything because apparently they can't deal with it. It scares me that this is what we're creating for tomorrows decision makers.

Iain
05-15-2008, 08:02 AM
http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:cfkKy7Fp4fkJ:www.wpri.org/WIInterest/Vol10No1/Vukmir10.1.pdf+2%2B2%3D5&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=us
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_3_7_03mc.html
http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/cheney.htm

These make for quite funny reading. The concept of ambitious but fundamentally flawed fads in education isn't something that arose recently, however, and it's something that has had little effect on society.

The 'new-new' math you've referenced is so-called because of the equally ridiculous (however well intentioned) 'new math' of the 60's.

Schooling has indeed become less strict but there is a very strong argument that that is why more people stay in education longer. They want to.

greeb1957
05-15-2008, 08:06 AM
I see what you are saying exactly, i am a Teachers assistant in my communications technology class and i have seen a drastic change in the way the students learn. Not more than even three years ago the students could be told a set of instructions and be left to go do their job with minimal if perhaps no guidance along the way. Now they cant seem to go more than 30 min without putting up there hand and asking a queston that is in the book right in front of them. The other teachers in the school see this as well, the math, history, tech and various other departments.

Steamthrower
05-15-2008, 08:28 AM
True, parents and teachers shouldn't be blamed for everything. Sadly, it's getting even harder to blame them because society itself is restricting how much influence a teacher or even a parent can have on children.

My girlfriend is also a teacher, though not at an inner city school. She teaches at a private catholic school. She constantly complains about how soft kids are anymore and how they don't seem to know how to do anything for themselves, even the simplest of things.

Very true. She's got a good point. Of course I'm not exactly the oldest and wisest person on these boards, but I had the advantage of a quality education and parents that raised me well before I was out and about. And I can see, and could see, how soft and fat kids were getting (metaphorically). Now it's become a problem for me...I know an Air Force pilot who now trains recruits. They call the recruits SNAKs...sensitive new age kids.

The problem for me stems from my age. Both of my bosses like to hire young guys (their exact words are, "young guys who have ideas and haven't been molded into concrete yet") but I see young guys come in all the time and get turned down because they're not bold enough. I remember one guy coming in, and you would have thought he was a 7-year-old girl. He was in a suit but he smiled weakly and shook my hand like he was a dead fish.

Is that what the new standard is? Weak-gripped guys who smile weakly and won't proffer their opinion? What does that make prospective employer/customers expect me to be like?

That's why society's going downhill...these are the guys who won't be man enough to say to themselves "no, I can't afford that Lexus"...and they'll take out a loan and ruin themselves (or at least turn themselves into debtdroids).

prospector
05-15-2008, 08:36 AM
Schooling has indeed become less strict but there is a very strong argument that that is why more people stay in education longer. They want to.
Not really

http://chronicle.com/news/article/4231/report-shows-stunning-failures-in-high-school-graduation-rates

And dozens of more reports just like it.

Lightwolf
05-15-2008, 08:42 AM
That's why society's going downhill...these are the guys who won't be man enough to say to themselves "no, I can't afford that Lexus"...and they'll take out a loan and ruin themselves (or at least turn themselves into debtdroids).
Lol, actually, that's called compensation ;)

The bigger and faster the car, the smaller the ego :D (to dig up a nice cliche).

Cheers,
Mike

Iain
05-15-2008, 08:50 AM
Not really

http://chronicle.com/news/article/4231/report-shows-stunning-failures-in-high-school-graduation-rates

And dozens of more reports just like it.

One not at all like it................

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DEFD8163BF931A1575AC0A96E9482 60

Iain
05-15-2008, 09:04 AM
One not at all like it................

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DEFD8163BF931A1575AC0A96E9482 60

Sorry that's an old article.
You can't get much lazier than lazy google searching.:hey:

achrystie
05-15-2008, 09:12 AM
It's not just about hardship.
You are obviously a tenacious and intelligent individual. Not everyone is, however, and that's the point I think hrgiger was making.
You can't say "I did it, why can't you?" or "I understand this, so should you."

There are far too many variables in personal drive/self esteem, genetic inheritance and quality of upbringing for that to work.

I'm not saying that at all. The question becomes, where does that go?
If people are so "disadvantaged", then what do we do?
Just walk around saying "oh sorry everyone who wants to be is a victim and everyone else who is driven and capable is not"?
Makes no sense.

Isn't there some "basic" requirement for accountability and understanding for the "vast majority" of people? Seems as though there has to be or else we cannot function as a society. The sad thing is, I think people don't realize just how deep the rabbit hole of excuses goes. I see students daily who are easily capable of doing far more than they do to try and make their own lives better, and simply choose not to. Now maybe they have deep psychological trauma that prevents them from doing so, but what happens at that point? Do 50% of people (at least in our little area) just sit around for the rest of their lives being miserable and/or living off someone else?

Here are some sad statistics that reach right to the heart of many of these problems.
Our school has 70% on free or reduced lunch (lunch is $1.50).
And yet based on a recent survey of ALL students, here is some more data:
90% of our students have:
a) their own personal cell phone
b) cable TV in their home
c) buy new clothes every year
d) have spent $75 or more on a pair or shoes or a t-shirt at least once in their lives
e) have an MP3 player of some make or model

In fact 70% of our students have at least one computer in their home, with internet access.

So where is their motivation?

So my question becomes (and pretty off topic from home foreclosures), how does that make any sense and where does it lead?

Here are some more interesting facts.
Over the last 8 years I have had about 30% of my students each year that, if asked to bring home a piece of paper and then return the next day with that same piece of paper, for a guaranteed A grade....would not bother to do it.
I've had numerous students (probably 10-20% each year or roughly 10-20 students) who could barely read and couldn't tell you what five times five is (and keep in mind I have taught High School chemistry and physics), and yet could recite word for word the lyrics to hundreds of different songs.

Now maybe there are the greatest and most noble of reasons for this, but I would yet again ask...where is this going to lead these people, let alone our society as a whole, and is it really unjustified to expect these "basic" things from people?

Steamthrower
05-15-2008, 09:17 AM
where is this going to lead these people, let alone our society as a whole, and is it really unjustified to expect these "basic" things from people?

I don't think it is. Whether these problems (laziness, lack of ambition, or just sheer unability) stem from upbringing or not, they're still problems. When these kids you're teaching graduate from school and get into the real world, the problems are just exacerbated...exacerbated into problems that affect OTHER people.

When your personal problems affect other people (like putting your wife into debt...or depriving your children of necessities...or causing stress to your relatives/friends)...that's when your issues become blatant, and that's when you can start blaming that specific individual...and when you are justified to expect the person, as a citizen/adult/spouse/whatever, to do basic things.

Iain
05-15-2008, 09:27 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7244099.stm

Where I got my info on more people staying in education.

prospector
05-15-2008, 09:33 AM
Well, that's the UK
It's an island...what else is there to do? :D:D

Iain
05-15-2008, 09:45 AM
Well, our sheep are nervous for good reason.

prospector
05-15-2008, 10:09 AM
:thumbsup::D:D

*Pete*
05-15-2008, 09:34 PM
Archrystie.

My theory of people is that hardships overcome in life strenghtens them and gives the groundbase for individual thinking and good judgement, hardships ignored or avoided, or a overly easy life will not help anyone with decision making.

its not that people are smart or educated, its about some of us being able to think through the actions we are about to take and some people just assume that problems will never arise, or that they will just pass by as always.

people are different, of a 100 people you find 100 different personalities, none of them necessarily more or less stupid than the other.
when you, as a bank offer the service to lend money for those who want to get into the lucrative housing market before it gets too expensive for you to ever to be able to buy a house, you will need to take into account that even if some of your customers are very aware of what they are getting into, as there are risks, and that some of your customers have no clue what so ever and just wants to get aboard asap.

having no clue about banking, housing or the risk of increasing intrest rates or falling prices, would you make those vital questions to the banker that you should??..what if, what if??
the word "subprime" was largely unknown a year ago, now we all "always knew it", a year ago we watched the housing prices go skyhigh, now they drop "as expected"

if anyone should warn you, or prevent you from making the mistakes, it would have to have been the banks, not lending you more than you can pay for.

LW_Will
05-16-2008, 04:17 AM
I'm not saying that markets are infinite, the are NOT infinite. Money is not spontaneously generated by these "companies".

You know, I've recently listened to an NPR show called THIS AMERICAN LIFE that breaks down the problem, and presents it showing that there really isn't anyone to blame, and that there is only everyone to blame.

Its called "The Giant Pool of Money" and is available on iTunes and thislife.org. It really explains the good times and the bad... and how we blew it. It is the best version of the show I've even heard, even if Ira has lost his voice.

I whole heartedly recommend that all of you download and listen to it. Then I'd be more than willing to discuss this situation with any one of you.

By the way, I did "vote the bastards out" every time. And I keep voting, its the only thing I can do.

(Oh, NAFTA? Give it a rest, dude.)

mattclary
05-16-2008, 06:41 AM
Sooooooo..... How 'bout those gas prices?! Whew!! ;)

hrgiger
05-16-2008, 02:00 PM
Sooooooo..... How 'bout those gas prices?! Whew!! ;)

Well, my feelings are complicated and hard to describe. My feelings transcend to many levels....

They blow.

Steamthrower
05-16-2008, 02:02 PM
Sooooooo..... How 'bout those gas prices?! Whew!! ;)

I thought this thread was about socioeconomics.

IMI
05-17-2008, 05:22 PM
Well, my feelings are complicated and hard to describe. My feelings transcend to many levels....

They blow.

I wouldna thought it possible but current gas prices both suck and blow at the same time.
I think it's time to bring the horse back into regular everyday use. ;)

nthused
05-17-2008, 06:32 PM
One of the main reasons I stay in the apartment we're in is because I can walk or ride my bicycle to work everyday. We have two cars, a Toyota Corolla (38mpg) and a 15 passenger van (12mpg) that we haven't driven in a while...really need to sell or donate that machine.
Cost of fuel is like anything in a free market...supply and demand. If at all possible, drive less, walk and bike more.

IMI
05-17-2008, 06:47 PM
At this point in time, at least here in the US, we'd do well to increase our supply while decreasing our demand for oil.
Refined gasoline is only a percentage of it - I believe power generation and industry makes up the bulk.
Well, here in the US we sit on billions of gallons of un-pumped oil and millions of tons of un-mined coal. Because a very small minority with a very powerful lobby like it that way. While they offer nothing but idealism as a solution.
And don't even think about saying "nuclear". The very thought of that is almost as terrifying as the early humans must have perceived a solar eclipse to be...

ted
05-18-2008, 04:35 PM
Well, here in the US we sit on billions of gallons of un-pumped oil and millions of tons of un-mined coal. Because a very small minority with a very powerful lobby like it that way. While they offer nothing but idealism as a solution.

And to think, in another 30-50 years the value of all that oil we are sitting on will drop to almost nothing. How's that for stupidity? Just sit on something so valuable until it's not! :thumbsdow
What nuckelhead is running this show? :thumbsdow

rakker16mm
05-18-2008, 07:05 PM
Well... actually one of the most expensive fluids you could fill your tank with is printer ink.... think about it :D

Puguglybonehead
05-18-2008, 10:08 PM
Well, gas prices hit me hard. I don't even have a car. Business at the lube shop I was at had gotten so slow, we were spending half the day just mopping the floor. Nobody is getting their regular oil changes anymore, the price of gas has everybody that freaked out. People are so worked up about the cost of running their vehicles, that they aren't even bothering to maintain them properly now. Got laid off 2 weeks ago. Hopefully this won't screw up school plans (supposed to start an animation course at the end of June).

ted
05-18-2008, 10:13 PM
So very true! :D:D

prospector
05-19-2008, 07:17 AM
If we HAVE to go biofuel, then why can't we drill for more oil? Thats biofuel from millions of years ago...it WAS made from plants...isn't it?

That's why envirowackos are talkin thru both their buttholes.

Can't use a premade biofuel, but we CAN use a foodsource for it.

they want energy independence, yet we can't get our own.

Can't use 100 sq feet for an oil well but we CAN destroy millions of acres with airplane propeller towers.

Can't use 50 acres to build a nuke plant, but we CAN use thousands of acres to bulid solar panel farms.

Can we fill one of those water powered cars at any rain puddle? Or are we dependent on someone?

And if all this other stuff is *supposedly COUGH COUGH* so cheap...why does it cost more than oil??

Enviros have no clue....idiots

Steamthrower
05-19-2008, 07:23 AM
But if we solved the world's problems, there wouldn't be any reason for enviros to exist! And without enviros, who would make big money while doing nothing? Where would the parasites be?

*Pete*
05-19-2008, 02:29 PM
If we HAVE to go biofuel, then why can't we drill for more oil? Thats biofuel from millions of years ago...it WAS made from plants...isn't it?


yes, yes...but youre missing out that much spoken about thing...CO2.
if you take a plant, churn it into oil and then burn it, you will release exactly as much co2 as the plant contained.
plants breath co2, they keep the carbon (the C) and release the oxygen (the O), this is good, plants get carbon and can grow, we get air and can breath.

biofuel is called co2 neutral becouse you are not actually adding any more co2 than is actually absorbed by the nature.

now, digging up fossile fuels from under ground and releasing that CO2 will upset the balance and we will get more co2 than can be absorbed by the nature...this is why it is possible to see increase in co2 levels in the recent times...we added it there.

im no scientist, so i may be wrong...but thats i think the general rule.




Enviros have no clue....idiots

heh..yeah :thumbsup:

ted
05-19-2008, 03:06 PM
I just read in the paper that all trees emit toxins in the air. Some more than others. I guess now the enviros will have us cut all trees down. :D

IMI
05-19-2008, 03:39 PM
Using biofuels isn't going to make any difference anytime soon. To a certain extent it may sound good, but the fact is getting biofuels to replace oil anytime soon simply isn't going to happen. It's going to take decades.
Unfortunately, even drilling our own oil and building new refineries would take probably just as long to make an impact.
Meanwhile the prices rise and rise. Not doing anyone any good what might be, ten, fifteen years from now. People want lower prices now, not in a decade.

These are problems they should have been working on 20 years ago. As long as I've been aware of current events - my entire life since I was five or so, there has been the discussion of what to do about the finite oil supply, yet so little has been done. And you know, it's not like the concept of low supply/high demand causing price increases is some new phenomenon.

What we can do now though is use less oil in industry and power generation, saving the oil for our vehicles, by creating more high output and CLEAN power with hydroelectric and nuclear - things which make sense.
Screw that little fishie species which has lived for five million years and might go extinct if we dam his river. Seriously, he had a good run, but all things come to an end.
To Hell with the nuclear wimps - people who saw China Syndrome and have been living in terror ever since. Let them move to a third world nation far away from the threat if it scares them so much. It's the natural order of things that there are potentially dangerous consequences to many things in life, but for an intelligent species, danger is manageable and can be defeated.

I don't understand why so few people really see the reality. We have a serious problem in the making (no, not the myth of global warming).

But we have people moaning about gas prices and how the government should FIX it. Well, why do we trust the gov to FIX ANYTHING anyway? Everything in need of fixing was broken by them in the first place, either through outright interference or quietly giving in to special interests.

So, people want a solution to a problem that actually has many solutions. Too bad all the good, practical solutions are deemed evil by some group or other... except of course for the silly, altruistic and outright currently impossible solutions.... those get everyone's Feel Good Vote.

ted
05-19-2008, 06:29 PM
But we have people moaning about gas prices and how the government should FIX it. Well, why do we trust the gov to FIX ANYTHING anyway? Everything in need of fixing was broken by them in the first place.

Ha! So very, very, very true! :D That's gotta become my new slogan. :beerchug:

KevinL
05-19-2008, 06:56 PM
Yes

danielkaiser
05-20-2008, 12:07 AM
As I'm disabled and living on a fixed income, yes this has become a very real problem.

I guess that's what we get for having a country run by a Dick "N" a Bush.

*Pete*
05-20-2008, 12:50 AM
Personally i do not believe biofuel will be the saviour...not hydrogen either, both will be temponary solutions (5-20 years) before we are running electrical cars.
the battery capacity is slowly increasing and with that so does the range and speed of the electrical cars, and once they reach acceptable (competetible) levels they will have loads of benefits when compared to hydrogen and biofuel.

you can fill the "tank" anywhere where is electricity, even from home or from work.
no need for the large infrastructure of producing gas, biofuel or hydrogen that are all very specialised for cars and trucks, when you can simply produce electricity and it will fill the needs for nearly everything, from fridges to computers and to cars.

there is loads of cool, simple and cheap technology for producing electricity, one that i heard of recently is about using mirrors (not expensive solar panels) to heat a larger structure filled with seawater, this will create steam which in turn will power turbins and produce electricity..and the waste product will be salt and...fresh, drinkable water (think Africa and the middle east) ;)
it will require only a couple people to run a plant that can support some 15-20.000 houses will electricty.

the minus is that it only works daytime..but the possibility is there, and not far from our reach if we become as effective with energy production and transportation as with gasproduction and transportation.

so, hydrogen and biofuel are at best temponary solutions...

parm
05-20-2008, 12:54 AM
What we can do now though is use less oil in industry and power generation, saving the oil for our vehicles, by creating more high output and CLEAN power with hydroelectric and nuclear - things which make sense.

That doesn't make much sense actually.

There's not much point generating 'clean' power. Simply to ensure that; millions of cars can continue to randomly pollute. Oil reserves will still deplete. And will continue to get more expensive, until it actually does run out. Then what?

Reversing your statement would be slightly better, all be it, just as idealized and simplistic.

Still. It would make more sense, to limit the use of petrol. By making all public transport electric. Same for privately owned vehicles. Although other non-petroleum based fuels would be acceptable.

Fossil fuels. Should be used only for generating electricity at central power stations. Where their emissions are much more easily controlled at source.
There are many ways of generating electricity. And as technology improves. Coal and oil fired power stations can be replaced.


To Hell with the nuclear wimps - people who saw China Syndrome and have been living in terror ever since. Let them move to a third world nation far away from the threat if it scares them so much.......

Absolutely!

Needless to say. Third world nations will never be allowed Nuclear power.

wp_capozzi
05-20-2008, 01:44 AM
I had to cut out World of Warcraft because of the gas prices here. Talk about tough times.

Iain
05-20-2008, 01:48 AM
I think I've got the (suitably blinkered and downright stupid) answer to everything:

Why don't we just get rid of "the government"?
I'm not sure who it is but it seems that all it does is just f*** everything up.

Why has no-one thought of that before?

*Pete*
05-20-2008, 01:49 AM
Needless to say. Third world nations will never be allowed Nuclear power.

like Pakistan and N Korea?

there arent many nations worse to have nuclear power than those two, one is the twin brother of Afganistan with strong elements of Al quaida and Taliban, a near war relation with India and a very unstable goverment, the other is...beond any comparison.

what other 3rd world countries are there we couldnt imagine getting nuclear power/weapons?..Somalia? ;)

*Pete*
05-20-2008, 01:53 AM
I think I've got the (suitably blinkered and downright stupid) answer to everything:

Why don't we just get rid of "the government"?
I'm not sure who it is but it seems that all it does is just f*** everything up.

Why has no-one thought of that before?

oh..it has been though of, multiple times...the french revolution, removed the king, created a peoples republic that ended up having an emperor.

oh, and the russian revolution, removed the tzar, created a communistic, equal society and ended up with dictatorship of the few.

the reality is, as stupid as a goverments actions are, letting the power to the masses would at best result with free beer and chaos, and in the worst case just chaos without free beer.

Iain
05-20-2008, 02:10 AM
Everyone KNOWs what to do and wonders why we don't do it since it's SO obvious.

Everyone thinks that THEY'VE got the answers and their views are correct - obviously the OTHER side has no clue.


The armchair quarterback metaphor is particularly ironic when people are dismissing "whining enviros".
They may be right or wrong but at least they are doing something; trying to make things better rather than just point out the obvious by shouting at the TV from their armchair.

hrgiger
05-20-2008, 04:28 AM
Then again... GWB was elected twice. :D

I think you meant GWB 'stole' two elections. Don't think that having a brother as governor in a key battle ground state wasn't helpful. After all, he did lose the popular vote...

And people such as yourself who say that nobody is qualified to make decisions is probably just too either A) too uninformed to have an opinion or B) afraid to take a position and stick to it or C) don't care and probably should even chime in.

The gas problem that we're facing right now is easy to at least ease. Stop buying hummers and other vehicles that get crappy gas milage. And it's not because I am a 'whack' environmentalist, it's simple economics. Take GM for example, they're in the crappy position right now of making a lot of vehicles that people now don't want because they get poor gas milage and fuel is too expensive right now. Less milage means more fuel consumed meaning higher prices at the pumps. If everyone drove an efficient car, it would means millions and millions of barrels of oil that weren't being consumed in this country and the market would respond accordingly.

But then, people seem to be suffering a huge case of penis envy and try to make up for it buy buying a bigger car.

brian.coates
05-20-2008, 05:56 AM
If we HAVE to go biofuel, then why can't we drill for more oil? Thats biofuel from millions of years ago...it WAS made from plants...isn't it?
Petroleum is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon generated from organic processes, mostly the result of plant respiration. It isn't actually made from plants.


Can't use a premade biofuel, but we CAN use a foodsource for it.
The current world food shortages show what a good idea that is.

Generally speaking the energy required to produce biofuel is more than you get back but as a liquid fuel, ethanol uses the same distribution infrastructure as petroleum, so as an oil alternative it's cheaper and cleaner in the short term.

Makes you look like you're being 'green' at least.


Can't use 100 sq feet for an oil well but we CAN destroy millions of acres with airplane propeller towers.
You'll see plenty of plants and animals living around wind turbines. I don't think you can say the same for oil wells.


Can't use 50 acres to build a nuke plant, but we CAN use thousands of acres to bulid solar panel farms.
Solar panels don't produce waste products that are lethal for THOUSANDS of years and we already have thousands of acres of available real estate, right now, without clearing a single square inch of land.

They're called roofs.


Can we fill one of those water powered cars at any rain puddle? Or are we dependent on someone?
Dependent on looking beyond oil as our main energy source at least.


And if all this other stuff is *supposedly COUGH COUGH* so cheap...why does it cost more than oil??
Oil is hardly cheap.

Petroleum production has been financed and subsidised by governments for nearly one hundred years. The infrastructure required is immense and the up-front costs (detection, extraction, distribution), are enormous.

Have you actually seen the size of some of those marine drilling platforms?

In the context of long term economics, oil production industries would have a hard time surviving without artificial support. Just like the nuclear industry, established by the US government in the late 1940's and for most of it's history has required substantial financial support to stay viable.


Enviros have no clue....idiots
I think you're the one without a clue.

mattclary
05-20-2008, 06:12 AM
Check this out. Better to buy an old used car than a Prius.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/05/the-ultimate-pr.html

mattclary
05-20-2008, 06:21 AM
Oil is hardly cheap.


Going to have to disagree with you there. It only JUST hit $100/barrel. It might be expensive to start, but the volume of oil produced makes up for it. Up until 3 years ago it was less than $50/barrel.



Interesting article...
http://www.wtrg.com/prices.htm



Surely, I am reading this graph wrong! Are we seriously using about the same amount of oil we did in '79?

http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/USpetroleumconsumption.gif

Puguglybonehead
05-20-2008, 06:54 AM
the reality is, as stupid as a goverments actions are, letting the power to the masses would at best result with free beer and chaos, and in the worst case just chaos without free beer.

I'd settle for just the free beer. Our government has taxed it to the point where it's no longer the drink of the poor, up here.

brian.coates
05-20-2008, 07:19 AM
Going to have to disagree with you there. It only JUST hit $100/barrel. It might be expensive to start, but the volume of oil produced makes up for it. Up until 3 years ago it was less than $50/barrel.
I wasn't talking about financial cost, I was referring to the investment in material and energy.

Oil is RELATIVELY cheap because it has a large infrastructure 'momentum', something which renewables don't have. Petroleum has been the energy source of choice for so long that the consequences of changing that paradigm are pretty unattractive.

As a civilization we have 'chosen' to be dependent on oil.

We can choose to use other energy sources that are cleaner and have less of an impact on the planet by investing our material and intellectual resources in developing those energy sources so that they develop economies of scale, just like we did when we replaced coal with oil.

mattclary
05-20-2008, 07:34 AM
As a civilization we have 'chosen' to be dependent on oil.

We can choose to use other energy sources that are cleaner and have less of an impact on the planet by investing our material and intellectual resources in developing those energy sources so that they develop economies of scale, just like we did when we replaced coal with oil.

The second half of this quote holds up my response to the first. We "chose" to use oil because it was (is) the most feasible technology. We couldn't have very well built reactors in the early 1900s. It's probably just as well that we didn't build a lot more reactors in the mid 20th century.

Nuclear energy is the only technology that we currently have that has any serious possibility of replacing hydrocarbons in our society. We could probably build nuke plants and drive electric cars within 30-40 years if we set our mind to it. It would be expensive, but probably worth it.

brian.coates
05-20-2008, 08:28 AM
We "chose" to use oil because it was (is) the most feasible technology.
Well, some of the first cars were electrically powered (http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/223/electric-car-timeline.html). They must have looked pretty feasible at the time.


Nuclear energy is the only technology that we currently have that has any serious possibility of replacing hydrocarbons in our society.
Why?

In terms of reliability I'd say nuclear is currently on a par (http://www.davidsuzuki.org/about_us/Dr_David_Suzuki/Article_Archives/weekly03170601.asp) with solar electric generation systems, if not behind. Compared to fission plants, solar cells need bugger all maintenance, are probably a lot easier to build to equivalent scales and cheaper to run.

Making solar a viable option would be just as easy as nuclear to my mind.

AbnRanger
05-20-2008, 08:32 AM
I think you meant GWB 'stole' two elections. Don't think that having a brother as governor in a key battle ground state wasn't helpful. After all, he did lose the popular vote...

And people such as yourself who say that nobody is qualified to make decisions is probably just too either A) too uninformed to have an opinion or B) afraid to take a position and stick to it or C) don't care and probably should even chime in.

The gas problem that we're facing right now is easy to at least ease. Stop buying hummers and other vehicles that get crappy gas milage. And it's not because I am a 'whack' environmentalist, it's simple economics. Take GM for example, they're in the crappy position right now of making a lot of vehicles that people now don't want because they get poor gas milage and fuel is too expensive right now. Less milage means more fuel consumed meaning higher prices at the pumps. If everyone drove an efficient car, it would means millions and millions of barrels of oil that weren't being consumed in this country and the market would respond accordingly.

But then, people seem to be suffering a huge case of penis envy and try to make up for it buy buying a bigger car.This is the only benefit we have from high fuel costs...it FORCES change! If they weren't so hard on the wallet, you can bet that auto manufacurers would still be cranking out those glorified buses. If you have looked at the upcoming models in this years major auto shows, Green is "IN"... and to my surprise GM has, what looks to be the most hybrid models of any manufacturer! Their auto designs have asthetically changed for the better in the past few years, so maybe the crisis they have been going through has made them get off their duffs and get serious in all areas.

While we are trying to steer this mountain in a different direction, we DO need to at least scare OPEC somewhat by drilling everywhere we can (with tougher enviro-standards in previously prohibited areas). Practically, it might not mean all that much, but just the threat of attacking this problem from every angle (especially ramped up ability to drill and refine on our own territory) is enough make the "Get-Rich-Quick" investors start to sell and therefore start bringing prices back down.
Remember, Wall Street and markets like it worldwide move even when there's a rumor that someone farted in the room (sorry to be so crude, but it's true :D).

*Pete*
05-20-2008, 10:07 AM
True Abnranger...high fuel costs forces changes.

When the economical downturn started (in usa, mainly) we not only feared that it would spread globally, but also that during an economical downturn issues as global warming would be put on hold while we struggle to get back up economically.
But, the economy is a strange beast and you never know where it will bite..and this time it bit the resources sector, where Oil is a big part of it...

people afraid to loose the money invested in other areas bough oil as crazy, well knowing that this is something that will not drop in price all too suddenly, raising the price for oil to record high.
there arent many signs of the oil price decreasing much, so as this will result in the high fuel prices you now have in USA (here too, but its always been high so its no big issue)...which in turn will force people to think twice when buying a large, fuelconsuming car, this resulting in fast (critical) changes in the car industry to produce fuelefficient cars, hybrid cars and electrical cars.

very intresting turn of events...as they say, nothing is that bad that there is nothing good in it.

as for energy sources...for short term, nothing beats nuclear powerplants, but for long term we will need to turn to solar and wind power, the true never ending powersources we have.

mattclary
05-20-2008, 12:04 PM
This is interesting...


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


In France, unlike in America, nuclear energy is accepted, even popular. Everybody I spoke to in Civaux loves the fact their region was chosen. The nuclear plant has brought jobs and prosperity to the area. Nobody I spoke to, nobody, expressed any fear.[7]

A variety of reasons are cited for the popular support; a sense of national independence and reduced reliance on foreign oil, reduction of greenhouse gases, and a cultural interest in large technical projects (like the TGV and Concorde).[7][8]

At the time of the 1973 oil crisis, most of France's electricity came from foreign oil. France was strong in heavy engineering capabilities, but had few indigenous energy resources,[2] so the French government decided to invest heavily in nuclear power, and France installed 56 reactors over the next 15 years.[7] President of Electricite de France Laurent Striker said, "France chose nuclear because we have no oil, gas or coal resources, and recent events have only reinforced the wisdom of our choice".

Steamthrower
05-20-2008, 12:25 PM
Matt,

Have you not seen what havoc (http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f303/lourdesofdaflies/zombie453678.jpg) nuclear power plants can wreak?

Andyjaggy
05-20-2008, 12:36 PM
Yes electric cars are the answer. I just have to plug them in and they use the power that magically materializes in my power socket. It's ingenious. We just need to build more magic power sockets and the energy solution will be solved. Doh!

And don't ditch those who have large overly excessive vehicles. If they feel the need to drive one that is there right. They can even plaster a large American flag on the back window to show that they are American and can do whatever the he!! they want, screw you all. More power to em. I just don't want to hear them bitching at the gas station about how expensive gas is.

And as for the solution to the problem. I don't think there is any one solution, it seems everyone is looking for the magic bullet. I think it will ultimately be a combination of alternative fuels, new oil digging, better and more efficient vehicles, and a change in consumer behavior. I'm just glad I live close to work and drive a small vehicle at the moment.

mattclary
05-20-2008, 12:53 PM
Yes electric cars are the answer. I just have to plug them in and they use the power that magically materializes in my power socket. It's ingenious. We just need to build more magic power sockets and the energy solution will be solved. Doh!


Yes, the power of the atom may SEEM magical to some... :tsktsk:

Andyjaggy
05-20-2008, 12:56 PM
A'll admit electric cars are probably more efficient then their gas powered counterparts. It just makes sense, a combustion engine seems so inefficient to me, but I don't really know either way. Still though that power has to come from somewhere, and it is most likely coming from GASP! a coal powerplant. Oh my goodness, a coal powerplant churning all that CO2 into the air. Yikers.

mattclary
05-20-2008, 01:19 PM
Yes, electric cars with our current system would be a complete waste of time, it's just moving the power generation to the plant. With a nuke plant, that is fine.

I read something kind of odd a while back, I have never been able to track down verification:
I read it is more efficient to use an ICE (internal combustion engine) to run an electric motor than to use ICE to push a drive train. Railroad engines are basically big electric generators that use electric motors to power them. Same thing with ships.

Wonder why cars haven't gone that route? Are the current hybrids out there using this technique?


Andy, I see you live in Utah. Heard it has become a big thing out there to get a car that runs on compressed natural gas. Cleaner burning and about $1/gallon with about the same efficiency as gas. Looked into this?

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/apr/25/natural-gas-vehicles-hot-utah-where-fuel-cheap/

Andyjaggy
05-20-2008, 01:21 PM
Yep I do think trains use combustion engines to power electric motors that drive the train. Or something like that. The benefit being the insane torque you can get with an electric motor.

Andyjaggy
05-20-2008, 01:39 PM
Heres an article on desiel locomotives.

http://www.essortment.com/all/locomotiveengin_rwoc.htm

zapper1998
05-20-2008, 02:07 PM
.......

So The Question is ....

What happens, when the oil runs "OUT"


Michael

Andyjaggy
05-20-2008, 02:27 PM
The enviros rejoice, and the earth flourishes.

Steamthrower
05-20-2008, 02:28 PM
Nope. Then they'll have to actually get a job, are introduced into real life, and they sweat, and wish they had some automated machinery to do the work for them.

Lightwolf
05-20-2008, 02:58 PM
Nope. Then they'll have to actually get a job, are introduced into real life, and they sweat, and wish they had some automated machinery to do the work for them.
Hah, this coming from a bunch of mouse pushers and stylus wigglers ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Steamthrower
05-20-2008, 03:03 PM
Hah, this coming from a bunch of mouse pushers and stylus wigglers

I have pushed around so many spreadsheet cells today, man, talk about exertion.

You should have heard my backup laptop groaning for 6 hours this morning. He was undergoing CPU pain. Nodal surface, gosh, sure are hard on a guy.

Andyjaggy
05-20-2008, 03:15 PM
I think that everytime I go eat out and look at how hard the people cooking the food are working. I think to myself, I haven't worked that hard in a long time.

Hopper
05-20-2008, 04:31 PM
Hey, it's hard being an Office Commando... Those paper cuts can get vicious!!! :D Lugging around all that communication gear and all the travel time going from meeting to meeting to meeting with substandard coffee and the horrible office tan you have to endure day in and day out.

It's rough I tell ya.

Lightwolf
05-20-2008, 04:58 PM
I think that everytime I go eat out and look at how hard the people cooking the food are working. I think to myself, I haven't worked that hard in a long time.
Well, thinking about a pro kitchen... yup. 100 hour weeks chasing a deadline is a cushy job compared to that (and I _am_ being serious for a change).

Cheers,
Mike

Hopper
05-20-2008, 05:17 PM
I DO hope you are kidding.

If not, you have NO idea at all about what environmentalists do and how they work and live.
nope .. Nope .. NOPE ... aint gonna go there ... It was a joke - or at least mildy poking... Let's not turn this thread down that dark path shall we.

Ok .. move along now. nothing to see here.

IMI
05-20-2008, 08:23 PM
Well whatever it is, something's going to have to give, something's going to have to change.
This thread was about current gas prices. In the US the high gas prices are due to oil demand being disproportionately higher than supply as well as the lack of sufficient refineries.
For now, the alternative fuels aren't going to make a noticeable difference as far as demand goes for vehicles. Average everyday people can't afford the hybrids or the electric cars just yet.
Not to say they shouldn't go down that path, just saying it's not going to happen overnight.
I just said one simple, immediate solution would be to begin building more nuclear plants and hydroelectric plants - things we can do right now, as opposed to developing some new technology.
For that matter, a commitment for such projects on a large scale might just immediately lower oil prices a little, since market speculation has alot to do with the current prices as well.
Again, not to say the new technology shouldn't be explored - IT SHOULD BE - but it's just not there yet.
What's wrong with the idea of replacing our coal and oil burning power stations with nuclear?
Well, it scares people, plain and simple.
They're scared to do it, for the environment as well as their own personal safety, but bitching and moaning at the same time about the way things are.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Like I said though, we should have begun doing these things decades ago. As far as species go, we're pretty bright and can come up with some seriously cool and innovative things when we need to. If they had begun seriously working on the fuel problem decades ago, we likely wouldn't be in this situation now.
Oh but wait, that could never happen as long as your government is for sale to the highest bidder... and we all know that's exactly what happened, just as it continues to happen.

prospector
05-20-2008, 08:45 PM
f not, you have NO idea at all about what environmentalists do and how they work and live
See them on TV all the time.
Collecting govt grants (my taxes), producing nothing.
Finding ways to stop buisnesses, (oil, lumber, fishing, mining)
Looking for judges to put up restrictions instead of getting laws passed.


My happy day will come when gas hit 20 bucks a gallon.
Streets will be clear of non essential drivers, I can cruise without worrying about idiots out there just cruising for the purpose of clogging my roads.

So when will the oil run out?
Another 500 years minimum..... :eek:

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/bg/bg159/index.html#19

Steamthrower
05-20-2008, 08:55 PM
I DO hope you are kidding.

If not, you have NO idea at all about what environmentalists do and how they work and live.

Well, on second thought, some of them do go out and live in nudist colonies and eat vegetables.

prospector
05-20-2008, 11:16 PM
Agsain, not taking in the big picture
I look at the big picture.
And I look at history.

A lot of people knew, yes KNEW, that when you take food stuffs and divert them for something other than food, will create shortages in the food chain and prices will rise, and EVERYTHING concerned with that food stuff will also rise.

Lots of people knew, yes KNEW that enviros were lying when they said the spotted owl ONLY lived in virgin forests, well there ARE NO virgin forests, so they changed it to old growth and we knew, yes KNEW they were STILL lying, because the spotted owl will live in a broken K-Mart sign

Lots of people knew, yes KNEW they were lying when they said we were heading for global cooling.

And we know, yes KNOW they are lying when they say we are headed for manmade global warming.

So I'll let you describe the big picture...

At what time have the enviros said anything that has proven to be totally true?

And maby an even easier question...

When in the history of man has a liberal program ever worked?

parm
05-21-2008, 03:11 AM
Last nights' File on 4 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/file_on_4/7408659.stm), on BBC Radio 4. Offered a very interesting angle on this subject.

A very interesting program. Well worth listening to on their listen again (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/progs/listenagain.shtml#f) service.
It gives good insight into the role, that speculation in the commodities markets play. On the pricing levels of such things as food and oil.

The suppliers of these commodities insist. That there are currently no actual shortages of these things. And that, although demand is high, it is being comfortably met. So, the high prices are apparently disproportionate.

It seems that those, who gave us the recent housing crises. And the not so recent 'Dot Com' crash. May be about to deliver another burst bubble.

colkai
05-21-2008, 03:23 AM
Strange,
For me, it's simple economics, never mind the environment.
When gas goes up, I cease to be able to afford to fill my car, which i need for work as it takes me between an hour and 90 mins to get there.
So, can't fill car, can't get to work, can't get to work, don't get paid, don't get paid, can't pay bills - result - broke N homeless.

Meanwhile, contrary to what most people think, it IS those who use cars for non-essential travel that can afford it. I see people slapping all of 5 quids worth in a car here, (just about a gallon), then toddle off, to do their 3 journeys a week, probably only 1 or 2 miles each time, just popping to the shop.

The difference between 5 and 7 quid a gallon to them is squat, meanwhile, I fill up, now costing over 45 quid, (2 years ago it was 26 quid). The difference to me is far from insignificant, so you end up hitting those who need cars, not the mums with gas guzzling 4x4's to take the kids round the corner to school. I see it here, literally, one dozy cow actually used her car to go the shop, which was across the road from the end of her close.
She got in the car, started it, out the drive, across the road, parked outside the shop, back in, across the road, back up the drive. I just stood and watched amazed, fer fecks sake, it was no more than 50 yards!

Trouble is, you will NEVER get to those people as they see it as their god given right to drive,heck, they'd probably drive to the garden shed if they could.
Same mentality as tailgating you at 60 whilst full of "baby on board - back off" stickers. Argghhhh. I just want immunity for a month and a couple of car-mounted machine guns, I'd sort the traffic problem out!

Cougar12dk
05-21-2008, 03:27 AM
I could not agree with you more!

Lightwolf
05-21-2008, 03:35 AM
It seems that those, who gave us the recent housing crises. And the not so recent 'Dot Com' crash. May be about to deliver another burst bubble.
Well, they're the ones that created the bubble in the first place. I'd rather blame them for that than for actually bursting it (which is the healthier process).

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
05-21-2008, 05:49 AM
You can't seem to get it through your head that there ARE no absolutes in climate science
Didn't specifically say climate...pick anything


Sorry, not biting that bait.

Smart...there are none :)


that speculation in the commodities markets play. On the pricing levels of such things as food and oil.

Indeed
Last year farmers here got between 7.80 and 7.90 per hundred weight for rice.
Already speculators are bringing that to 18.00 this year and they are just getting the seeds in the fields.
So around here we are looking for rice to double by harvest this fall.

And as far as enviros working hard?
They come around here in their ''''FULL SIZED vans and pickus'''', dip a little vial in the rice field water, cap it off. sit a bit and just watch birds, then go home, and look for ways to restrict water usage.

Hard work :D:D:D



they'd probably drive to the garden shed if they could.
You mean I shouldn't start and use my riding mower to hook to a garden wagon to haul potted plants around???
Actually carry 3 pounds at a time???

I got no doctor that lives here to fix my back....
can't be done
gotta ride

Plus it saves my shoes from wearing out which saves animals from becoming soles. :thumbsup:

prospector
05-21-2008, 06:08 AM
And if we follow that on down the line,
Because I do that, I am saving.......
Transportation fuel for cow to be killed for hide...
Fuel for factory to kill cow.....
Transportation fuel for hide to be delivered to tanning factory...
Transportation fuel for tanned hide to be delivered to shoe factory....
fuel for factory to make the soles of shoes....
Transportation fuel for shoes to go to wherehouse and stores....
Transportation fuel for me to go to store to buy shoes....


Why...I'm like a conservationist on wheels !!!

And after all that fuel I save elswhere...YES...the world ows me fuel to drive my lawn tractor around.

And it does idle while I plant flowers because I use the switch less and the starter less, which saves even MORE fuel thru the transportation and manufacturing of THOSE parts.


It's amazing just how MUCH fuel I save. Yea, the world owes me :agree:with colkai

mattclary
05-21-2008, 07:20 AM
What's wrong with the idea of replacing our coal and oil burning power stations with nuclear?
Well, it scares people, plain and simple.


But, DOES it? Really? I think the media tries to hype up fear fro rating purposes whenever the subject comes up, but I just don't think the average person really gives a flying f...

Dennik
05-21-2008, 08:32 AM
They've built the cities in such a way that we are slaves to the gas and car transportation for our every need. In my hometown I lived 23 years without the need for a car. I went to school on foot, I went grocery shopping on foot. Everything was within 10-30 minutes walking distance. Its a shame we still use internal combustion engines for more than a century now. Enough with the greed already.
Anyway... Sorry for the rant. Indeed gas prices hurt my wallet as well. Not only that, they make me mad.

Iain
05-21-2008, 09:03 AM
But, DOES it? Really? I think the media tries to hype up fear fro rating purposes whenever the subject comes up, but I just don't think the average person really gives a flying f...

What is there to fear? Chernobyl probably won't happen again (careless Russians!) and it only released 30-40 times as much fallout as a tactical nuclear strike.
Unlike other man-made disasters, the esoteric nature of radiation means that there is still debate over how many people were and will be affected.

Perfect scare-mongering material.

Lightwolf
05-21-2008, 09:38 AM
Perfect scare-mongering material.
Not only that, but you have minor accidents and leakages happening all the time. Wusses... after all, man is known to be able to construct fail safe projects, heck, even NASA can do it...

Cheers,
Mike

*Pete*
05-21-2008, 10:40 AM
While on the issue of nuclear plants....

It was today reported over the news that the Swedish police arrested one or more people who attempted to smuggle in explosives into a swedish nuclear plant.

The person(s) arrested were working at the nuke plant as wekders doing maintenance jobs and had free acces to allmost all of the plant.


while speaking about explosives and nuclear plants..
we have this now wellknown conflict regarding Iranian nuke plants, and American/Israeli threats to bomb the plants..as if this is not bad enough, Iran threatens retaliatory action by blowing up Israeli nuke plants...they do have to ability to do so, all that is needed is motivation.

While...in a perfect world where no enemies or wars exist, nuclear power is the magic cure for electricity problems, but in reality, they do pose a serious threat during a war, terrorist action or even a simple accident.

mattclary
05-21-2008, 10:47 AM
What is there to fear? Chernobyl probably won't happen again (careless Russians!) and it only released 30-40 times as much fallout as a tactical nuclear strike.
Unlike other man-made disasters, the esoteric nature of radiation means that there is still debate over how many people were and will be affected.

Perfect scare-mongering material.

Chernobyl is a study case in how to f... up. They did pretty much everything wrong. It's doubtful Homer Simpson could have f...ed up that bad.

We have many nuclear reactors floating around in salt water for decades that are accident free. As stated in an earlier link, France has many many nuclear plants and few 3 headed babies, last time I heard.

Oil is the root of so much political turmoil. The environment is the least of my concerns. If you take oil out of the equation, the mid-east becomes irrelevant, and maybe people can't stop killing each other over there.

prospector
05-21-2008, 10:58 AM
and maybe people can't stop killing each other over there.


Why, they were killing before oil was anything more than black goop.

Andyjaggy
05-21-2008, 11:02 AM
Yeah they've been killing each other for 3,000 years, I don't think oil has much to do with it. More religion.

Lightwolf
05-21-2008, 11:04 AM
Yeah they've been killing each other for 3,000 years, I don't think oil has much to do with it. More religion.
3,000 years? Nice, that precedes just about all common monotheist religions that are still about...

Cheers,
Mike

Andyjaggy
05-21-2008, 11:13 AM
3,000 years? Nice, that precedes just about all common monotheist religions that are still about...

Cheers,
Mike

Um no.

Iain
05-21-2008, 11:18 AM
Yeah they've been killing each other for 3,000 years, I don't think oil has much to do with it. More religion.

Who exactly?
And were they the only ones killing each other over the last 3000 years?

This is all getting a bit weird.

mattclary
05-21-2008, 11:19 AM
Why, they were killing before oil was anything more than black goop.

People kill each other everywhere throughout history. I suspect there will still be many deaths there when we are using anti-matter power generation, but at least we can ignore them and let them work it out for themselves.

Of course, the real problem over there really isn't oil, it's the desire for Israel to cease to exist.

Andyjaggy
05-21-2008, 11:23 AM
Well I was thinking mainly of the Jews, but maybe I dont know me history as well as I would like to think.

That still doesn't change the fact that the middle east has a long bloody history that goes back way before oil was anything but a black sticky goo.

Lightwolf
05-21-2008, 11:24 AM
Um no.
Hm, Let;s see, we have judaism, christianity and islam. Only judaism is 3000 yeras old, the other two are much younger. So which other monotheistic religions did you have in mind?

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
05-21-2008, 11:27 AM
That still doesn't change the fact that the middle east has a long bloody history that goes back way before oil was anything but a black sticky goo.
Quite obvious since it is the birthplace of civilization as we know it. They had a longer time to go back to be bloody.
Then again, the "West" managed to catch up quite easily...

Cheers,
Mike

parm
05-21-2008, 11:43 AM
Well, they're the ones that created the bubble in the first place. I'd rather blame them for that than for actually bursting it (which is the healthier process).

Cheers,
Mike

How healthy the process is depends on where and who you are, when it happens.

For sure. At the unregulated end of financial markets. Hedge fund managers and private equity speculators. Are consistently reaping huge rewards from economic instability, and the aftermath of economic downturn and bankruptcy.
Not so great for those, for example. Who suddenly find their homes are worth far less, than what they borrowed to pay for them.

Hedge funds have on occasion, been implicated in the manipulation of markets. And are not averse to pricking a few bubbles of their own. Famously, in 1992. George Soros effectively forced the Bank of England to devalue it's currency. By offloading billions of dollars in pounds.

*Pete*
05-21-2008, 12:24 PM
Of course, the real problem over there really isn't oil, it's the desire for Israel to cease to exist.

not entirely true.."they" may be yelling death to Israel, but history has shown that in every case where Israel has given back land taken during the 1967 war, relations have been normalised and have stayed unproblematic.

examples being the Sinai given back to Egypt and the end of occupation of Lebanon.
This is also the very reason why Israel is having discussions with Syria about the Golan heights...becouse the "land for peace" program works.

but, as for killing eachother for ages..it has rarely been about religion, but nearly always about power and wealth.
Even the Crusades went through the christian Constantinopel (main trading point for spices), sacking the city before continuing the journey to the wealthy Jerusalem and so forth.

The Mongols invaded China becouse the Chines refused to trade with them on even terms, ending up with massive starvation among Mongols and forcing the Invasion of China...

to find a conflict that is purely founded in religion and nothing else, you will have to resort to fiction.
now..People who do the fighting, be it al queda terrorists, christian crusaders, the mighty Romans or even modern soldiers from what ever nation, fight for the higher ideals such as religion, freedom, democracy and so on.
but wars do not start becouse of those noble ideals, wars start becouse people in power look for more power, or wealth..or both.

mattclary
05-21-2008, 12:56 PM
not entirely true.."they" may be yelling death to Israel, but history has shown that in every case where Israel has given back land taken during the 1967 war, relations have been normalised and have stayed unproblematic.

examples being the Sinai given back to Egypt and the end of occupation of Lebanon.
This is also the very reason why Israel is having discussions with Syria about the Golan heights...becouse the "land for peace" program works.


So, let me get this right. "Every time" they give land back, things stayed unproblematic. So, they have given land back. And there are no more problems? Or, are you saying there were no more problems for a small period of time?

What about that little problem of why the 1967 war happened? Why were they attacked that time?

*Pete*
05-21-2008, 01:45 PM
So, let me get this right. "Every time" they give land back, things stayed unproblematic. So, they have given land back. And there are no more problems? Or, are you saying there were no more problems for a small period of time?


yes, you got it right ;)

problems remain with Syria (backing Hizbollah) and Palestine, both of them having territories occupied.
The Golan heights belong to Syria (and a smal part belongs to Lebanon), this is still held on to by Israel, who also agrees on that the land belongs to Syria but refuses to hand it over..thus the friction.
Palestine is far worse off though, having no real nation and unable to get one either, Israel still today building new and enlarging existing settlements on what is supposed to be palestinian territory...as i said, while "they" scream death over Israel, even Hamas has given signals that they would be satisfied and lay down the arms if they would get the palestine as defined by the pre 67 border.

Egypt and Lebanon, they have got the occupied territories back and have totally normalised trade and diplomatic relations and no problems with Israel what so ever.



What about that little problem of why the 1967 war happened? Why were they attacked that time?

the 1967 war was started by...Israel.
lasted 6 days..quite famous.

you could argue that the nations attacked by Israel were about to attack Israel, but then again...with pre-emptive wars we will never know.

Either way...history is history, done is done and to solve problems you need to look at the current sitation and how you want things to be in the future, staring at the past will keep you in the past.

and..if you care to look at the past, why not look further away than just 60 years...why not look back a bit longer, and you will find that Jews were not persecuted by Muslims, but by Christians.
the time when jews were banned from owning..well, anything in Europe, they served as well respected advisers of kings, high scientists and were totally integrated into the societies of the time in Arabic/Muslim kingdoms.

why look so far back in the history?..becouse my point is that the desire to "drive the jews to the sea" is not based on religious hatred, but on political tension...something that can be solved if the will is there, on both sides.

Elmar Moelzer
05-21-2008, 02:50 PM
My wife is from the US and we are currently living here in Austria. So I kinda get a good perspective from both sides of the pond.
I can only say: if it is bad in the US, it is worse here in Austria.
Despite the extremely high Euro which hurts our export- business, things here are still waaaay more expensive than they are in the US. Despite the toll- free trading in the EU things from EU countries cost more here than they do in the US.

Examples:
1. Gas: 7 Dollars 50 cents per gallon.
From what I get it is at most 5 dollars/gallon in the US now. It is somewhat amusing to see our politicians praise the high Euro and tell us that it would be worse if it was not so strong... Yeah, sure...

2. Food. Food prices here have almost doubled in the last 7 years, depending on the product. Noodles e.g. (which is again strange since they mostly come from EU countries and the EU was supposed to make things cheaper for us, go figure...
A gallon of milk costs 6 USDs here...
A two litre bottle of Pepsi (half a gallon) costs 1.90 Dollars.

3. DVDs and consumer electronics. BSG season 3 is now available on Amazon for our region (uh yeah, took us a year longer than in the US). It costs 35 USD on Amazon.com. It costs 65 Euros (thats 100 USD!!!!!!!) at Amazon.at.

4. Cosmetics and makeup (just got that confirmed by my dear wife):
A lipstick from Clinique (a french company!!!) costs 14 USD in the US, costs 17 Euros here (thats 24 USD).
So much about the advantages of toll- free trading, LOL.

5. Even worse with US products of course. Lets say Levi's Jeans. They cost about 30 USD in the US, cost 120 USD here in Austria.

CU
Elmar

Elmar Moelzer
05-21-2008, 03:48 PM
On the bio- fuel part of this discussion: This article is a good read for both proponents and opponents of biofuels. Some interesting numbers in there. It is also quite pleasent to read that biotechnology seems to have a really good and actually quite reasonable solution coming soon:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423115917.htm

CU
Elmar

zapper1998
05-21-2008, 04:18 PM
Who did the LightWave Song ???

I wish he would write a song about the GAS Prices, that would kick butt..

$3.78 9/10 for Reg Unleaded today, Spokane Wa

So where does the 1/10 of a penny go ????

Michael

IMI
05-21-2008, 04:28 PM
Yes, I've already seen how you view history - from generally a one-sided anti-government anarchist viewpoint. No need to tell me anything more.



You say that as if there's something wrong with that. ;)

There are so very few things you could point to in this country where The Fed got involved in that have turned out well for the citizens in general. it's all some sort of special interest, mostly insurance companies and lawyers end up benefiting the most when Uncle Sam pokes his nose where it ought not be in the first place.
Well, that can explain a whole boatload of rising prices, most dramatically in construction and medical costs - regulations/taxes, more regulations, more taxes....
But more specific to this discussion are the mutually exclusive powers of the environmental and oil lobbies. Mutually destructive, probably is a better way of saying it.
And of course, The Fed, through its ever changing rotation of ambitious evil minions (Congressmen) have always been more than willing to accommodate these purveyors of their own interests at the expense of Joe Q Public's interests.
I really can't see any reason at all to be at all supportive of what the US government has become, and it's going to get alot worse before it gets better. And the two sides, while disagreeing about almost everything, are in collusion to see that whatever happens, The Fed maintains its own status quo.
And the mindless throngs of people cheering on the next new batch around the corner - always promising CHANGE! year after year, term after term... they breathe life into the beast when they should demand its death, while ridiculing those of us who never asked for an evil nanny.
It's always The Right is all screwed up or The Left is all screwed up, but the fact is, it's the nature of the beast for it to become corrupted beyond repair.

Maintaining an anti-government, anarchist viewpoint is probably about the most patriotically American way of thinking possible at this point in time ; this government was set up to answer to The People, not the other way around.

Lightwolf
05-21-2008, 04:42 PM
There are so very few things you could point to in this country where The Fed got involved in that have turned out well for the citizens in general.
Hm, now is that because your government is just screwed up or because there should be no government involvement in the first place (and, pray tell me, what should replace that involvement?).
Blaming everything on "government" in general is imho not constructive and certainly throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Cheers,
Mike

Puguglybonehead
05-21-2008, 07:00 PM
Frackin' idiot speculators. Now look where crude oil (http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20080521%2foil_prices_080521) is at!

ted
05-21-2008, 07:34 PM
crude oil[/url] 701854]Frackin' idiot speculators. Now look where [url=http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.is at!

And we Americans deserve what we get.
If you have food in your fridge and insist on buying food from your neighbor who is ripping you off, you deserve what you get. Idiots! :thumbsdow

We have plenty of oil and should drill it and use it while it has value. In another 20 to 50 years it won't be worth near what it is now.

Even OPEC laughed at us and told Bush, America won’t drill your own oil so what right do you have to ask us to increase our production.

This should prove what a screwed up policy we have when other countries laugh at us for letting our own oil just sit there unused while we pay other countries a ransome. Why don't we get it?
Idiots! :thumbsdow

geothefaust
05-21-2008, 07:50 PM
What I fear most, are posts like your's Ted. I think that view is either extremely naive or you just simply don't care about the planet we live on. Either of which, is a massive mistake on your part, and other people with the same view.

The fact is the fuels we currently use to produce energy for the amount of people we have here on this planet, create too much Co2 for it (the Earth) to handle.
We (the humans, or otherwise) have no means to process this much Co2.
If we keep using these sources of fuel, we will soon pass the point of no return for the damage WE have caused here. The damage we are seeing now, is from past generations. Can you imagine what it will be like for future generations of humans, and let us not forget the other animals who live here as well, will be like? Most animals other then humans will be annihilated due to our immaturity. But, oh, wait... bacteria will still be around. So hopefully they'll respawn life here on Earth once all is settled and the planet flourishes once again in a few hundred thousand years.

On behalf of all the creatures here on this planet (other then humans, we deserve to be ridden of), I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the lousy self centered humans for creating an Earth that no animal can live on. Here's to you guys!

Steamthrower
05-21-2008, 08:41 PM
Maintaining an anti-government, anarchist viewpoint is probably about the most patriotically American way of thinking possible at this point in time ; this government was set up to answer to The People, not the other way around.

I like that statement. Government corrupts, there's no way to get around that fact. Every government in the history of the world has become corrupt. Every government in the history of the world has failed at some point (usually because of corruption). I've studied, and everyone here has studied, enough sociology to know that...well, it's just the natural order of things. Humans are like waves; we ebb and flow.

Speaking as a libertarian near-anarchist (who actually wouldn't mind a monarchy) I can stand back and look at the world and say "aha". That's all I have to say. I don't have to vote for any candidate, and I can still retain a "patriotism" to some degree, but I can distance myself from the foolish politics, laundering, pandering, media, grassroots efforts, scandals, and environmentalists, and say "aha" until men in green scrubs drag me away.

Ain't anything I can do, or any normal adult can do, about the world except keep from getting merged into by a gigantic Dodge on the freeway.

ted
05-21-2008, 10:49 PM
What I fear most, are posts like your's Ted....On behalf of all the creatures here on this planet (other then humans, we deserve to be ridden of), I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the lousy self centered humans for creating an Earth that no animal can live on. Here's to you guys!

With all due respect, sorry you "fear" my thoughts so much. :D

And I don't think we deserve "to be ridden of"?
But do I think we should be intelligent enough to work towards better alternatives while intelligently using what we currently have.

Even the creatures wouldn't waste recourses and I hope to God we're smarter than those creatures you want to turn the world over to. :hey:

geothefaust
05-21-2008, 11:07 PM
god is another topic, which I wont touch on. :)

Well, you tell me why we shouldn't be ridden of. This prolonged murder/suicide of life on this planet is becoming very sad. Why, if we can't peacefully live here, should we be allowed to continue to do so?

Just to add, it wasn't targeted to just your views on destruction, but other people who seem to care about the economy and not our home (Yeah, you guessed it, the Earth).

colkai
05-22-2008, 02:13 AM
Food prices here have almost doubled in the last 7 years, depending on the product. Noodles e.g. (which is again strange since they mostly come from EU countries and the EU was supposed to make things cheaper for us, go figure...
A gallon of milk costs 6 USDs here...
A two litre bottle of Pepsi (half a gallon) costs 1.90 Dollars.

Elmar, the food thing is really the 'hidden' price hike to a degree, people just comment on the fact it seems expensive these days, but our food bill had t be put up an extra 60 quid a month, that's a rise of darn near 30% on what we allocated previously. Only now are people on the government starting to use the "recession" word, it coming for sure and it ain't gonna be pleasant.

colkai
05-22-2008, 02:15 AM
I hope to God we're smarter than those creatures you want to turn the world over to. :hey:

Alas, I'm with Einstein on this one. ;)

Lightwolf
05-22-2008, 04:00 AM
I like that statement. Government corrupts,...
Power corrupts, government is just a means to excert it (as is religion).


Speaking as a libertarian near-anarchist (who actually wouldn't mind a monarchy)
:jester: nice one :D


I don't have to vote for any candidate, and I can still retain a "patriotism" to some degree, but I can distance myself from the foolish politics, laundering, pandering, media, grassroots efforts, scandals, and environmentalists, and say "aha" until men in green scrubs drag me away.
So, what is your alternative, except for a monarchy (which is nothing but a different kind of government that will be corrupted over time)?

Cheers,
Mike