The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Obama Signs in New Rules for Automakers

Posted by iusbvision on January 26, 2009

Just when we all thought that cars were expensive enough and the automakers were struggling enough. Obama today signed into effect new rules requiring higher gas milage from cars as of 2011. This is going to cause another jump in auto prices.

How are the middle class and the poor going to be able to buy American cars under such circumstances? Once again it is government acting as if we working folks are made of money. Obama is a millionaire so he can afford it…..

5 Responses to “Obama Signs in New Rules for Automakers”

  1. Hector Villarreal said

    Sure, it might not be the greatest thing that vehicle prices will go up, but essentially, automakers are being forced to make competitive cars. Small, gas efficient cars are popular now. Honestly, I would think it’s the fact that the government needs to force the automakers to build these cars that is most indicative of the failure of American manufacturers.

    [Well lets see – how many Russian cars sold in the US?? How many people wanted Yugo’s?? – The simple fact is that if you look at the best selling cars, they are cars the government never would have made and if you look at cars that companies had to make because the government made them, thsoe are cars that very few people want.

    If the switch to smaller, lighter vehicles continues to grow, the result could be anywhere from dozens to thousands of traffic deaths that would have been avoided in bigger vehicles, according to fatality records and safety forecasters. The number depends on how many bigger, heavier vehicles ultimately are replaced by smaller, lighter cars.

    The result has been government mandated tin cans for cars that have resulted in the unneccessary deaths of thousands. It also results in fewer and fewer of the poor and middle class being able to afford American cars – hense the Hyundai. – Editor]

  2. Hector Villarreal said

    I think you’re missing a few facts, like, the American government isn’t forcing the manufacturers to make “tin cans” or death traps like the Yugo. All they did, (as described in your article) was increase mileage requirements for new vehicles. I believe that the goal could be met without sacrificing safety, or sabotaging the price. As for your second article you introduced, I can’t argue with physics, smaller cars are “more dangerous”. However it’s a bit of a stretch to say that small cars are unsafe because of that. The article admits that the small cars meet today’s safety standards, and some even exceed them. There are even middle of the road options. I myself drive an oldsmobile cutlass, and I probably average 27 miles to the gallon (although I’ve never really watched my mileage that closely) and it’s a fairly substantial car. A front or rear end collision probably won’t injure me unless it’s at some ridiculous speed. Lastly, if the American Auto Industry as a whole, (rather than say, just one company) then wouldn’t it be in the interest of the government to change the rules to protect it’s own interest? What happened to imposing tariffs and taxes to make sure people bought American? I know we have a lot of trade agreements in place now, but when has America let a little thing like, “the world is against it” stop it from doing what it thought was right? Ultimately, America can produce a safe, cheap, fuel efficient car that also looks cool. The question is whether the Car manufacturers will actually go to work or if they’re going to keep begging at the governments teat like some welfare leech.


    I hate to lower the boom on you but your statement demonstrates that you didn’t read the article I linked to you. I can post more like them if you like but the point is, the excessive CAFE standards have already made cars so light and thin that it has already caused thousands of vehicle deaths that didn’t need to happen.

    I will make it easy and quote the opening paragraghs –

    Americans are buying more small cars to cut fuel costs, and that might kill them.

    As a group, occupants of small cars are more likely to die in crashes than those in bigger, heavier vehicles are, according to data from the government, the insurance industry and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

    The newest small vehicles, of course, meet today’s strict safety standards and can be laden with the latest safety hardware, such as stability control and side air bags. They are safer than ever. And differing designs mean some small cars are safer than average. But even the safest are governed by the laws of physics, which rule in favor of bigger, heavier vehicles, even in single-vehicle crashes.

    – editor]

  3. Hector Villarreal said

    cmon now chuck. i did read the article, and I stand by what I said. You even quoted the part of the article I mentioned. So to make it convenient for you, I’ll quote something from later on in the article.

    “If you drive responsibly, you should be safe in a small car,” says NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson. “The important thing is that consumers have a choice. If they want to buy big cars, they should be able to do that. If they want to buy small cars, they should be able to do that, too.”

    Tyson is basically reinforcing my point. I tried to find actual numbers regarding the death rates for the vehicles, but all that article had was a link to another site that I admit I had trouble navigating. If you can show me numbers that say something along the lines of “small owners are 4 to 5 times more likely to die in an accident than large vehicle owners” than i’ll switch sides then and there. Heck, 2 times more likely and I won’t put up much of an argument. I have the feeling though, that it’s not going to be that clear cut. Buying a large vehicle should not be a band-aid for being a bad driver.

    [Hi Hector,

    Your argument is not a very good one and let me explain to you why.

    Primarily, I never mentioned driver behavior, just the laws of physics in regards to smaller cars so you have just now changed the argument entirely (or moving the goal posts as it were). When idiotic parents buy their 16 year old lil bundle of joy a Turbo Charged Eagle Talon TSi, odds are someone is going to get hurt and having worked at an insurance agency boy have I seen that.

    Minivans are statistically the “safest” vehicle which is likely a combination of the fact that they are on a larger car chassis and the driver has kids and tends to be more responsible. While many smaller cars do well in head on collision tests, they do poorly in side impact and rear impact tests.

    Secondly, you based much of your argument on the following quote,

    “‘If you drive responsibly, you should be safe in a small car,’ says NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson”.

    Ok thats nice – I come back with:

    “If aircraft controllers, maintenence people, and pilots just did their jobs responsibly you should be safe from an airplane crash.”


    “If people at McDonalds did their jobs responsibly, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting the wrong order.”

    Yet one order in five is wrong when I hit the drive through and half the time I ask for light ice I don’t get it.

    The problem with the statement you quoted and the one that I invented is that they are normative statements that are not based on reality. The bottom line is that there are still over 40,000 vehicular deaths every year and the very guy you quoted to buck up your argument also said:

    “The important thing is that consumers have a choice. If they want to buy big cars, they should be able to do that. If they want to buy small cars, they should be able to do that, too.”

    That would tend to undermine your cars mandated by government idea.

    If I may give you a bit of life experience, many years ago a man in a Toyota Corolla pulled into my lane inches in front of my bumper and slammed on his brake (this was in Colorado when con-men engaged in a rash of these accidents in cahoontz with body shops to scam for insurance money). I was driving a 1977 Ford LTD-II at the time. I know that you are too young to have seen one of these, so here is a video of one

    My Ford LTD had a scratched front bumper, the Carolla was destroyed. – Editor]

  4. Hector Villarreal said

    Ah, I replied too soon, I did find a section with some numbers, although there was no link to the actual study so I could see where they got them.

    A June report by a group called the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) includes some data from Ross and co-author Tom Wenzel of the U.S. Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. That Ross-Wenzel data show that drivers of the safest small cars are only 13% to 15% more likely to die in crashes than drivers of midsize and full-size cars are. But the chart also shows that the least-safe small cars are at least 90% more dangerous than midsize and full-size cars, meaning the driver is almost twice as likely to be killed.

    The almost twice as likely is there at the end, which is what I was looking for, so I’ll concede that point with the caveat that I have no idea the speeds of the crashes involved, or whether other factors like driver intoxication were involved. I can’t prove it without being able to see their numbers, but I bet driving habits played a significant role in those death numbers. What I mean is, I bet most of the accidents resulting in death were operator error, (driving intoxicated and the like). Also, crashes in which one vehicle is large and the other is small is more likely to result in the death of the small driver then a collision with two small cars. I don’t have numbers for that, but it’s simple physics as well.

    [Indeed, I was just talking simnple physics here. As we all know, foolish behavior is the number one killer of us all. I am glad that you saw this – cheers. – Editor]

  5. Hector Villarreal said

    Last addition, promise. One quote that was interesting and pertinent:

    But you can’t simply buy a big, heavy vehicle and assume you’re safe. Studies show that extra weight does little or no good after about 4,500 pounds, roughly the weight of a minivan or midsize SUV. And the heaviest vehicles, full-size pickups, have driver death rates about the same as small cars.

    So what does that say? If the heaviest cars have the same death rates as the smallest, that helps me to believe that there is definitely some other factors that aren’t being considered. Otherwise, wouldn’t that be the exact opposite?

    Best wishes

    [Hi Hector,

    Your instincts are quite correct that there is another factor. Some SUV’s are more prone to rollover because the driver needs to understand how to drive them differently. Driver error combined with an SUV prone to rollover can be bad, especially if the driver is not using a safety belt. – editor]

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