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Big truck hits the streets

     
2:11 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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11:50 pm on Sept 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I use firefox about half the time. Problem is no google toolbar.
12:25 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Words to my favorite Lou Reed song HERE [sing365.com]

And for some strange reason This [lyricsdomain.com] is a close second. :)

12:49 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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lawman,

Point me to your favorite heaven 17 lyrics, and I will have my third sex change surgery and ask you to marry me.

12:49 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Problem is the country you live in, is on some planet, pal. On this planet all living things try to breathe the very same air. That quoted sentence above reads so offensive to me, I cannot reply without going into politics. (It's not allowed here, political discussions always turn sour).

SO what about all the big trucks that bring you your food so that you can drive down to the store and buy it and all the other products you buy brought in by brig trucks...

What makes this one so offensive? Ya everyone is upset about paying $1.87 per gallon....wont last forever.

You can ride a bike....I am driving my truck.

2:26 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You can ride a bike....I am driving my truck.

That's so NOW! And your grandkids kids will be 'driving' what?

Classic quote coming up...

"We do not inherit this earth, we merely borrow it from our children."

Syzygy

2:51 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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1. Apparently there is no law precluding purchase of the truck.

2. If the truck fills a business need, and if the initial cost and operating expense can be justified, then purchase of same makes sense.

3. Even if no business need exists, a buyer would not have to justify his/her purchase to anyone else.

4. If you believe vehicles of this type should be outlawed in your country, you have recourse through whatever national entity enacts laws.

BTW, the world is not about to run out of oil, this particular truck notwithstanding.
uh-oh, should I have said that?[edited by: lawman at 2:56 am (utc) on Sep. 19, 2004]

2:56 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I say if someone can afford it, they should be able to buy it. Besides, they'll probably put it to good use and get some work done. Maybe it could be used to haul newspapers or service 50,000 watt radio stations that we all use.
3:17 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Aww c'mon Mac, if I ever get to go whale hunting I can use a truck like that to haul the whale to be processed.

You can probably get one with a bike rack...

10:21 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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BTW, the world is not about to run out of oil, this particular truck notwithstanding.
uh-oh, should I have said that?

You know you shouldn't have...;-)

Just as certain as death and taxes is the knowledge that we shall one day be forced to learn to live without oil.

Exactly when that day will dawn nobody knows, but people in middle age today can probably expect to be here for it.

More here [news.bbc.co.uk]

As for hauling a whale in the monster truck, well, I suppose if one makes use of the blubber, etc, to fuel your lamps indoors then that's alright. ;-)

Syzygy

11:49 am on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Battle of the internet articlesInsofar as conventional oil resources are concerned, if no additional reserves are found, we can expect depletion in a little over 50 years. However, non-conventional oil resources could provide oil for the next 500 years.

[ncpa.org...]

The same article also says "How long will it last? No one can predict the future, but the world contains enough petroleum resources to last at least until the year 2100."

Keep in mind, availability is not the short-term or even the long-term problem; it's the cost. Of course, once the cost reaches a certain level, other energy forms become attractive. I can't wait. :)

<added> Solid hydrogen is tantalizing. </added>

1:02 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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SO what about all the big trucks that bring you your food so that you can drive down to the store and buy it and all the other products you buy brought in by brig trucks...

The <sic>brig</sic> trucks carrying food is just another absurdity that came from roads. Roads (as we know them) where built to accommodate cars. Which explains the absurdity of road transportation. Cars became popular less than a century ago and since this relatively short period, humans changed the face of earth to a point all life is threatened. If cars were not emitting poisonous gas as we drove them, it would be a non issue, but unfortunately it not the case.

you can drive down to the store

I live in a city, I donít need to drive down to the store to purchase the food I donít grow myself.

What makes this one so offensive?

What makes it so offensive is mainly his fuel consumption, therefore itís poisonous gas emission level. I just donít get why people need a ton of steel to carry themselves from point A to point B. Sounds like a mistake humans just got used to. This particular model just looks like the most obscene status symbol of a decadent empire from my point of view.

Ya everyone is upset about paying $1.87 per gallon....wont last forever.

The price people are paying for fuel is risible compared to the real cost of itís consumption. If it was from me, I would tax 5 $ a gallon to finance decent public transportation.

You can ride a bike....I am driving my truck.

Of course I cannot impose you to ride a bike instead of driving your truck, morality always will be conditional to individual choice.

===

1. Apparently there is no law precluding purchase of the truck.

There should be, since education donít seem to work, it seems we need regulations.

BTW, the world is not about to run out of oil, this particular truck notwithstanding.
uh-oh, should I have said that?

Yup it seems we will suffer all this damage until the world run out of gas, since education donít seem to work.

You can probably get one with a bike rack...

A bike rack? what is this for? People need vehicles to carry vehicles? Sounds as weird as a horse trailer.

Solid hydrogen is tantalizing.

Very much so, as long we donít get it from water using coal centrals for the electric power. :)

1:24 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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To the best of my knowledge, the tires on a bicycle wouldn't be what they are if it wasn't for all the engineering work that went into designing tires for cars. Designing decent tires was a big headache. If I can remember what it was, it had something to do with sulfur and vulcanization. The engineers worked their butts off to get it right.

Are there challenges ahead? You bet.

3:03 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Mac, there's no pubtrans out here, doubt there ever will be. Surely you don't advocate that every last person on this earth move into the cities? What a horrible thought!

And what's weird about a horse trailer? I have one so that I can take my horses to the vet (in town, needless to say), or so that we can go outside the valley to ride, or to take them along so we can use them while hunting. (I imagine that's another inflammatory statement in someone's eyes....)

And that's the last response I'm making to this thread - this is one of those "agree to disagree" ones I think.... While I will defend to the death an environmentalist's right to believe as heesh does, I also maintain it's my right NOT to buy into ALL of hisser arguments.

3:09 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Mac, I'm just having you on a bit. ;)

But the reality is there's a need for horse trailers. Ya see, you don't often buy horses that are close to your house. Not really feasible to ride the horse back 100 miles. Then there's horse shows, and unfortunately, those don't happen in your yard very often.

Cattle is another story altogether. And with the price of beef right now, I plan on having more than 10 head. So...I'll need another trailer. And a big gas-sucking vehicle to pull it with. So I can help feed some of those people that pull up to McDs in their gas-sucking SUVs. Have I mentioned the gas-sucking farm vehicles? Tractors, combines, etc.

That vicious cycle of consumption...

8:00 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Such a serious topic this has become (not without reason!). I'll try to skirt politics ;)

So...

People will have legitimate reasons for owning such a truck

... [owners will] probably put it to good use and get some work done

Maybe so, but the options available for it make me think this is a vehicle whose purpose is simply to be the biggest ride on the road, and not principally a working vehicle ("The cabin seats six and can be customised with everything from a flat-screen TV to beds and leather upholstery"). The options include:
  • leather interior
  • wood grain trim
  • reclining captain chairs
  • a fold-down bench that can be used as a bed
  • a DVD [player, I think...or maybe they just mean something shiny to hang from the rear-view mirror... ;-p ]
  • a rear-mounted reversing camera
Most of this stuff is not particularly necessary on non-long-haul trucks...

Apparently there is no law precluding purchase of the truck.

Also true, but (at least in Canada), you will need to upgrade your driver's license [icbc.com]. Contrary to my point above, this may cut down on, um... 'hobby' ownership of this thing, but I still think that it's a solution looking for a problem - that is, it wasn't developed to satisfy an existing need but rather to create a need simply by existing. (All of you horse trailer haulers are already pulling your horse trailers with something besides horses, right? ;-p )

What makes this one so offensive?

It's not just this one. It's the Hummers and SUVs and big diesel-powered 6-wheeled trucks that a) get no non-urban use (and are frequently never used to haul anything heavier than groceries), and b) kill and maim [google.com] with impunity on rhe roads and highways throughout North America.

Moreover - and this applies to all cars though, again, the trucks do more than their share - there is the issue of pollution - a very serious problem world-wide, especially in cities [google.com]. In cities, where a very great portion of the pollution comes from cars, a huge amount of the traffic (and, for that matter, a huge proportion of the automobiles) that generate the pollution is utterly unnecessary. I never cease to be amazed when, in cities with pollution problems such as Toronto [google.com], Vancouver [google.com], Los Angeles [google.com], New York [google.com], Seoul, South Korea [google.com], or Bangkok, Thailand [google.com], people complain about the pollution but still take their cars everywhere - even when they're transporting nothing but their bodies, and that only for short distances.

To be sure, part of the problem in modern cities is that they are designed around automobiles, and this does make some of that traffic hard to prevent. But, on the other hand, it's obvious to the most casual observer that many (I had to exercise great restraint to keep from typing 'most') of the cars are entirely superfluous.

Rural dwellers might think that, since cities are where the pollution is most noticeable that they are off the hook. If the pollution were confined to the cities, then they would be, but the cities are just the places where the pollution is easiest to see. It becomes increasingly obvious as time goes by that air pollution is a serious global problem - and even on the global scale, cars and trucks are a significant contributor to the problem.

Many people regard the issue of global warming as an unproven hypothesis, and this is true. But all science is unproven; we simply back up theory with observational data (empiricism does not allow for proof as such, simply greater or lesser degrees of observational confirmation), and the same is true for global warming.

There is some debate about what the evidence [google.com] in the global warming debate shows, but the potential consequences [google.com] are so severe that many would argue that many argue for drastic reductions in polluting emmisions - such as that spewed out by the tailpipes of cars and trucks. This is a form of what is known as the precautionary principle [google.com]. In a simplistic form, the precautionary principle states that, when the possible consequences are severe enough, in the absence of proof (which, as noted is not available for either side of the debate), we should choose to act such that our actions would minimize or prevent the theoretical undesirable consequences.

Others would argue that the employment of the precautionary principle in this area (i.e. the area of our 'freedoms' to drive whatever fuel-gargling monster-vehicle we prefer) would represent an undue restriction of various rights or freedoms, but these sorts of arguments (while it's important to have them) are frequently of the 'straw man [google.com]' type - in other words, they are often presented (by those opposed to the regulation of emissions/vehicles) as issues of fundamental freedoms, even though it's pretty easy to find examples of analagous freedoms that are curbed without comment in the name of the greater good.

The issue is only peripherally about individuals' freedom to own and drive what they like. Every person on Earth and (as Macguru points out), potentially every other living thing too, has too much to lose if the no-global-warming crowd is wrong to permit it be simply an issue of property and rights in the world's richest countries.

-B

[edited by: bedlam at 8:03 pm (utc) on Sep. 19, 2004]

8:02 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It is difficult to answer in this thread without talking politics, which is (quite rightly) banned.

Even if no business need exists, a buyer would not have to justify his/her purchase to anyone else

When the purchase and use of an item has negative consequences upon other around you, the yes there should be some kind of justification.

The argument is not really about working trucks and people living in a log cabin 400km from their nearest neighbor. The problem is the the toys-for-boys big trucks in the cities. When my neighbor in my city street turns up in his shiny black Dodge Ram, complete with skirting and alloy wheels which would break if he as much as mounted the kerb, and he runs his engine under my window for 30 minutes to warm it up before driving his kid 300 metres to school, then I and the rest of my street (and my city) have to deal with the pollution that the thing spews out, creating clouds of smog even in winter.

If you need a combine harvester, then that's just fine, but don't come driving it down my street to do your weekly shopping.

8:40 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Apparently there is no law precluding purchase of the truck.

But it and many SUVs are already illegal to drive [slate.com] in many cities in California and elsewhere.

9:02 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The end of the World has always been just around the corner. Just 200 years ago, who would have predicted that we would be where we are now with computers, radio, aircraft, etc?
10:48 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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When the purchase and use of an item has negative consequences upon other around you, the yes there should be some kind of justification.

Sorry encyclo, I have no intention filling out a form and getting a certificate of approval from you whenever I buy a vehicle (or anything else for that matter).

I would like to provide some food for thought. Let's use and SUV for an example. It provides basic transportation, allows for light hauling, has a third row seat providing seating for 7 people whenever the need arises, and when the rear seat is down, provides room to pack whatever a family needs for long trips. Takes the place of three or four more specialized vehicles.

11:26 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would like to provide some food for thought. Let's use and SUV for an example. It provides basic transportation, allows for light hauling, has a third row seat providing seating for 7 people whenever the need arises, and when the rear seat is down, provides room to pack whatever a family needs for long trips. Takes the place of three or four more specialized vehicles.

I'll bite ;-)

This tastes a bit like the much-beloved-of-politicians 'false dilemma [google.com]' fallacy (no offense meant Lawman!) A false dilemma occurs when a situation is presented as 'either a OR b' when other alternatives exist. In this case the false dilemma is that we can own an SUV to do multiple specialized tasks, OR we can own multiple specialized vehicles to do the same tasks.

But there is an alternative, and it's actually pretty obvious: we can use the multiple specialized vehicles without owning them. This is what happens when we take airplanes or buses or trains and what happens when we hire movers - and even, for that matter, when we rent cars for vacations.

When you consider that a transit or long-haul bus, a delivery company's truck, and maybe even a rental car services multiple persons/families,* the 'SUV-replaces-several-other-vehicles' argument seems pretty weak; the SUV winds up being used for the equivalent of a small fraction of the specialized vehicles' utility at a much greater energy cost per person per trip. If you factor in the extra costs of wear and tear on the roads of tens of thousands of arguably superfluous personal vehicles, the cost per person per trip of SUVs is likely to seem much higher...

Sorry encyclo, I have no intention filling out a form and getting a certificate of approval from you whenever I buy a vehicle (or anything else for that matter).

Why not? You already do this in order to obtain permission to drive - for the same reasons.

-B

* This may even be true for passenger aircraft and trains, but because of the huge amounts of fuel they consume compared to road vehicles, I don't know if the conclusion I draw would be true with respect to planes and trains.

I'm picking on trucks and SUVs because of how the thread started; the same points apply to cars too...

11:38 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to figure out this particular vehicle's purpose.

What does it do that can't be done already? Is it more fuel efficient than 'lesser' models? Is it big for the sake of big? Is it's shear monster size the sole appeal? Or is it just about one-upmanship; my car's bigger than your car; my dad's bigger than your dad?

Sensibly, the mayor of London has been theorizing about applying specific taxes to those who feel the need to drive 4x4's and the like in town; there just isn't any need after all.

No doubt that in rural areas there is a need for specific terrain vehicles - but what does this 'thing' offer?

Syzygy

11:58 pm on Sept 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sorry encyclo, I have no intention filling out a form and getting a certificate of approval from you whenever I buy a vehicle

Don't you register your vehicles, then? That's a bit lawless for a lawman ;) I'm not challenging your right to anything, but as a lawyer you know that rights are counterbalanced with responsabilities. I don't think that draconian laws will solve the problem, as the only chance of success would be a strong willingness within the population for measures to combat pollution. It has happened with drink-driving and smoking, I don't think it'll be too long until such selfish, anti-social, wanton acts of pollution as the truck in the photo are seen in the same vein as someone blowing cigarette smoke in your face.

Big trucks such as the one pictured in the original post are utterly impractical, and so-called "multi-purpose" vehicles are inherently mediocre in everything they try to do. The moms in their Suburbans which they bought for reasons of practicality and security are actually driving a far more dangerous (for themselves, their passangers and other vehicles and pedrestrians around them) than a standard sedan car. The practicality aspect disappears in a puff of noxious exhaust fumes when they mostly drive it empty and alone, yet they pay through the nose (and the rest of us smell the fumes again) for the occasional use fully-loaded. Off-roaders are all awful on the road, even with road tires - I've witnessed too many accidents with SUVs which have crashed, left the road or rolled over, especially in the snow, partly from their poor design, and partly from the false sense of security that a 4x4 gives.

I own a car - a Toyota Echo, to be precise. I pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars less per month than the owner of an SUV - in taxes, lease payments, gas, etc. When I needed to transport some furniture a few weeks back, it wouldn't fit in my little Echo. Did I wish I owned an SUV? No, I wandered out to my local truck hire place and hired a truck for a day for less than $60 - including fuel. I could do that 5 times a month and it would still be cheaper than owning an SUV. The multi-use argument is utterly spurious - and I don't live on a farm, so I don't need a truck.

12:04 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sensibly, the mayor of London has been theorizing about applying specific taxes to those who feel the need to drive 4x4's and the like in town

Trouble is, that's a typical politician's response - convert the problem into a money-making scheme. If you decide that such vehicles are undesireable, then you should not let them in the city.

Taxes hurt the poorer people first and foremost - and the PHB working in the City can afford the extra taxes for his Hummer, whereas the tradesman trying to make a living with his truck is going to get hit hard by such a measure. It might help fill the coffers of the city, but it won't solve the problem.

Sorry about the double-post.

2:08 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A good polemic is fun. Many of you get high style points. However, no way one side will argue the other into submission. There is an obvious answer, which I mentioned in my second post. If you really want change it will have to be done as a whole and not piecemeal. Namely, lobbying the national legislature to effect the change. That way nobody has to try justify their purchase and get a permission slip from bedlam and encyclo. (You guys need to read my posts tighter). ;)

bedlam, as you know, much more than mere economics goes into a decision to buy an SUV. The convenience of having a multi-purpose vehicle for one. Yesterday, I decided to clean out the garage and make a run to the dump. Throwing the junk in the back of the SUV was much more convenient than driving the SUV 24 miles round trip to the nearest car rental place and hoping they had a truck or van or SUV I could use to haul away my cast-offs. Especially since the dump was only about 9 miles round trip.

Another reason is that I know what shape my vehicles are in. I have them serviced regularly. I've rented vehicles that made it to the destination only by coaxing, cussing and fervent prayer.

Still another reason, I have a wife - a short wife. I bought this particular vehicle for her because of its safety features, its survivability in a crash, because she could adjust the accelerator/brake pedals to fit her size, and because she has a better view of the road. She also seems to have more "stuff" to haul around than any woman I've ever seen.

Oh yeah, the seven seats really come in handy on the regular occassions when my wife, son, two daughters, one granddaughter, and I go somewhere together.

Now, you jaspers keep in mind that I eagerly anticipate new technology. I'd gladly drive a reasonably priced hydrogen-fueled SUV. :) This can happen sooner or later depending upon national government policy.

2:38 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You would need a fleet of them to haul away the amount of fertilizer this thread is buried in. ;-)

You can probably get one with a bike rack...

A bike rack? what is this for? People need vehicles to carry vehicles? Sounds as weird as a horse trailer.

One of the funniest exchanges I can remember reading on WebmasterWorld. :)

2:39 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Adding fuel to the fire (lawman ducks)I try not to drive my wife's vehicle. I drive THIS [images2.fotki.com]. I have to drive to courts all over south Georgia (primarily rural). I'm on two lane roads more often than I care to be. When I need to pass a logging truck followed by an SUV too timid to go around, my 280 ponies give me plenty of safety cushion.

Intangibles: I love the acceleration, the sound of the exhaust, and I especially love it when a saucy vixen pulls up next to me and tells me she loves my car. :)

2:41 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Oh yeah, pmac - I know what kind of car you drive - and it's just as fast as mine. :)
2:42 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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... no way one side will argue the other into submission.

True. More's the pity for both sides ;-)

... lobbying the national legislature to effect the change. That way nobody has to try justify their purchase and get a permission slip from bedlam and encyclo. (You guys need to read my posts tighter). ;)

;-p

You need to read my posts more closely. If you're in the US or Canada (at least in same province) or most of Europe these days, when you register a vehicle/get driver's license/otherwise transact with government, you are consulting me or your neighbours. Democratic governments are not separate entities from their constituents (although they often seem not to know this :-0 )

bedlam, as you know, much more than mere economics goes into a decision to buy an SUV

Sorry, I might not have been clear enough, but the non-economic factors pack a serious economic punch too. When I was talking about cost per trip per person, I was trying to talk about total cost - which is meant to include not only owner's actual outlay for any given trip, but total cost - which includes everything from initial resource extraction, cost and maintenance of roads/highways and fueling infrastructure to consumables (gas! tires! #@$%#&* cv-joints! [ yes, I have owned a vehicle... :-) ]), disposal of vehicle at end of life and environmental cleanup resulting from the various stages of a vehicle's life-cycle (production facility, service-station, junkyard...) This is what goes into convenience...

And all of this stuff does get paid for, but it's easy to forget when looking at sticker and pump prices who pays for it (Sticker prices and gas prices notoriously fail to reflect the cost of cleaning up garbage/air pollution or the initial and ongoing costs of the road infrastructure). The roads, cleanup etc are typically paid for by government, and what did I just say? The government around here is us.

-B

*Whew* I'll just relax and listen/read now. Maybe Brett should put a character per day per member limit on the board :-D

2:55 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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when you register a vehicle/get driver's license/otherwise transact with government, you are consulting me or your neighbours

In that case, thanks for your express permission to have, own, and drive an SUV. :)

When I was talking about cost per trip per person, I was trying to talk about total cost

Hard to put a price on psychic benefits. But I'm willing to pay to play.

The roads, cleanup etc are typically paid for by government, and what did I just say? The government around here is us.

Specifically, paid for by those who use the roads through fuel taxes. Like I said, I'm willing to pay to play.

3:02 am on Sept 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Specifically, paid for by those who use the roads through fuel taxes. Like I said, I'm willing to pay to play.

Heh, I know I said I was going to sit out, but this is either a) a really big difference between the way things work in Canada and the US, or b) wrong.

I could be misinformed, but I believe that around here, fuel taxes don't even come close to paying for road maintenance let alone their construction.

Do fuel taxes really pay for all of that in the 'States?

-B

[edit]Maybe still not clear enough: in any case, the costs do not all accrue to the owners of these things...[/edit]

This 118 message thread spans 4 pages: 118