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Old 05-10-07, 08:28 AM   #1
oilfreeandhappy
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Cycling Answer to Trade Deficit?

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070510/economy.html?.v=12

Grim news again for the US Economy regarding the Trade Deficit. Even though our imports to China grew at a record pace, our trade deficit still went up.

"The trade deficit shot up in March to the highest level in six months, driven by a big jump in imported oil. The politically sensitive deficit with China shrank as U.S. exports to that country hit an all-time high...It reflected a big 17.6 percent jump in oil imports, which climbed to $24.6 billion, the highest level in six months."

Any type of decrease in American Oil Consumption will help with this deficit. It's hard to believe, with the cost of gasoline, that we continue to consume so much oil. Cycling could play a role, but I believe Mass Transit and smaller, more fuel efficient cars are the key. A smaller fleet of cars would help cycling also, leaving more room for cyclists on the road.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:49 AM   #2
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Their products are worth more to us than our money. I don't see the problem.
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Old 05-10-07, 01:37 PM   #3
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Their products are worth more to us than our money. I don't see the problem.
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here, and it's relevance to the topic. Please expound. Thank you.
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Old 05-10-07, 03:30 PM   #4
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The roads that you ride on are maintained by the taxes raised from motor vehicle usage.

I personally think that high density housing is the answer, not driving smaller cars or mass transit, and does not exist because of zoning laws. People should live within 10 miles of where they work. No commute, no gas used.
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Old 05-10-07, 05:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by geo8rge
The roads that you ride on are maintained by the taxes raised from motor vehicle usage.

I personally think that high density housing is the answer, not driving smaller cars or mass transit, and does not exist because of zoning laws. People should live within 10 miles of where they work. No commute, no gas used.
I would argue that a mix of all of those would solve the issues you are concerned about, not just density. The market will not support a rapid shift in density even in our current popularity of urban living. But I digress.

I really don't think that the US will ever not have a trade deficit again. The global labor market will make sure of that. Our economy has changed and will keep changing to adapt.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
It's hard to believe, with the cost of gasoline, that we continue to consume so much oil.
Actually it's pretty easy to believe. When you're willing to pay $500 a month for 72 months to buy a giant SUV, what's another buck or two per gallon of gas? There have been discussions about how high gas prices will have to go before the majority of people will change their habits. I think the last estimate I saw was that gas will have to hit $7 a gallon.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:09 PM   #7
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If gas ever goes that high it's going to effect you all. How do you think all your stores get all your junk (even bike parts)? Trucks, planes, ships all running on gas! High gas prices means you're going to be paying more for everything since their freight costs all shot up.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:13 AM   #8
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If gas ever goes that high it's going to effect you all. How do you think all your stores get all your junk (even bike parts)? Trucks, planes, ships all running on gas! High gas prices means you're going to be paying more for everything since their freight costs all shot up.
YES..I've said that in other similar posts.I relocated less than a year ago from NY.,I'd commuted 35 miles a day back then.I've owned ONLY 4cyl. cars for over25 yrs. Since I moved,I've bought gas 5 times in 9months. Still the price is a concern,the prices screw-up everything else,including the social climate that prevails.The few bucks a week for those that do drive matters less than effects of oil price increases.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by geo8rge
The roads that you ride on are maintained by the taxes raised from motor vehicle usage.

I personally think that high density housing is the answer, not driving smaller cars or mass transit, and does not exist because of zoning laws. People should live within 10 miles of where they work. No commute, no gas used.
The tax base issue is only partially true. In my state, money is pulled out of the General Fund (Sales Tax revenue) every year for road maintenance. With this in mind, cyclists pay for more than their share of road maintenance, especially considering that cycling does very little damage to roads.

High Density housing and Mass Transit go together. As a matter of fact, high density housing without mass transit is a recipe for disaster. Just ask the city of Houston. They tried it for many years. Take the Mass Transit out of cities like New York, London, Tokyo, etc, and you would have gridlock from one end of the city to the other.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Thor29
Actually it's pretty easy to believe. When you're willing to pay $500 a month for 72 months to buy a giant SUV, what's another buck or two per gallon of gas? There have been discussions about how high gas prices will have to go before the majority of people will change their habits. I think the last estimate I saw was that gas will have to hit $7 a gallon.
I heard a radio host say that it took $75 worth of gas to fill his Yukon. If this is done once a week, that's $300 more a month. If gas prices go up another dollar, that $500/month car payment will also have a $500/month gas bill.
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Old 05-11-07, 02:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
I heard a radio host say that it took $75 worth of gas to fill his Yukon. If this is done once a week, that's $300 more a month. If gas prices go up another dollar, that $500/month car payment will also have a $500/month gas bill.
If he was willing to pay that, why does it bother you? And who are you to tell me where to live and how to get to work? If you want to conserve gas, then do it. Don't preach to me or anyone else about it.

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Old 05-11-07, 09:45 AM   #12
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If he was willing to pay that, why does it bother you? And who are you to tell me where to live and how to get to work? If you want to conserve gas, then do it. Don't preach to me or anyone else about it.

Tim
Preaching? First of all, last I heard, the US is a country of free speech. Secondly, healthy discussion, dissention, and macro problem analysis is what has made this country great. My address is not to any one individual. Everybody is unique in their own situation. Our country, as a whole, has a problem. Even our oil-baron president has admitted it. Is he preaching to you too?
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Old 05-12-07, 06:11 PM   #13
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I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here, and it's relevance to the topic. Please expound. Thank you.
What idcruiserman means by, "Their products are worth more to us than our money. I don't see the problem." is that in capitalistic free-trade, the buyer and seller determine the value of the exchange willingly.

In other words, if USA consumers are willing to trade their dollars for Chinese goods, it is a fair deal. Nobody is forcing them to do it. The USA trade deficit with China is a result of free-market conditions.

Of course, what we are experiencing isn't really free-market conditions with the USA dollar being over-valued and the Chinese RMB currency being officially undervalued by the Chinese government. Still, with these artificial factors being thrown into the mix, the flow of currency and goods is done by the free-choices of the producer (China) and the consumer (USA).
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Old 05-12-07, 06:18 PM   #14
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Shouldn't this be in P&R?
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Old 05-12-07, 06:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo8rge
The roads that you ride on are maintained by the taxes raised from motor vehicle usage.

I personally think that high density housing is the answer, not driving smaller cars or mass transit, and does not exist because of zoning laws. People should live within 10 miles of where they work. No commute, no gas used.
We have yet to see the compass settle on the price of gasoline in the USA. I believe that the optimum price is going to be around $6.00 per gallon.

At that price, we will see USA lifestyle changes similar to what we see in the rest of the world. In other words, commuting in personal automobiles for long distances will not be practical for many Americans.

We will see centralization of cities and the slow-down of urban sprawl because many citizens simply won't want to invest so much of their income in transportation.

This is not new science, of course. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, people moved from rural areas to cities and there was a great demand for centralized convenient housing. People had to live within walking or streetcar distances from work. There was no option for personal automotive daily travel.

If you think it's crazy, look at many/most USA cities today. Check out Washington DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and other cities. From the 1950's through the 1990's, there was an exodus away from the cities and long commutes became the norm. City centers became depressed slums with low-rent housing. Today, these cities are being reclaimed with tremendous construction of new buildings and the re-construction of old buildings. Inner-city real estate values are doubling within three years. People have been hit with the high cost of fuel and the realization that they would rather spend their time at home rather than in the car commuting.

The future is now. We are seeing it take place before our very eyes.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cs1
If he was willing to pay that, why does it bother you? And who are you to tell me where to live and how to get to work? If you want to conserve gas, then do it. Don't preach to me or anyone else about it.

Tim
It bothers me because their consumption causes the price of my gas to go up. Cut the consumption and the price goes down.

I'm not suggesting that people drive the micro type cars like they have in Europe but I think it is absurd for someone that lives in LA to be driving a full sized Hummer.

I'd like to see a FlexXCar type program for pickups and SUVs. A pickup can sure come in handy once in a while. It would be nice to be able to rent one at a reasonable cost and with little hassle.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
What idcruiserman means by, "Their products are worth more to us than our money. I don't see the problem." is that in capitalistic free-trade, the buyer and seller determine the value of the exchange willingly.

In other words, if USA consumers are willing to trade their dollars for Chinese goods, it is a fair deal. Nobody is forcing them to do it. The USA trade deficit with China is a result of free-market conditions.

Of course, what we are experiencing isn't really free-market conditions with the USA dollar being over-valued and the Chinese RMB currency being officially undervalued by the Chinese government. Still, with these artificial factors being thrown into the mix, the flow of currency and goods is done by the free-choices of the producer (China) and the consumer (USA).
The big problem with buying Chinese goods is that it goes to fuel the Chinese military. Unless the atmosphere in China changes, We are going top be very sorry someday we bought those cheap products. Until then our spending serves as an insurance policy for peace with the Chinese. They would never kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mike
What idcruiserman means by, "Their products are worth more to us than our money. I don't see the problem." is that in capitalistic free-trade, the buyer and seller determine the value of the exchange willingly.

In other words, if USA consumers are willing to trade their dollars for Chinese goods, it is a fair deal. Nobody is forcing them to do it. The USA trade deficit with China is a result of free-market conditions.

Of course, what we are experiencing isn't really free-market conditions with the USA dollar being over-valued and the Chinese RMB currency being officially undervalued by the Chinese government. Still, with these artificial factors being thrown into the mix, the flow of currency and goods is done by the free-choices of the producer (China) and the consumer (USA).
Thanks for the clarification. And I agree, but the gist of the article was that even with our Exports to China going up in the latest period, we still had a larger-than-expected trade deficit, due primarily to Oil Imports. Cycling is one way that Americans can bring down the deficit. Others as mentioned - car pooling, mass transit, walking, and smaller more fuel-efficient vehicles.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:49 PM   #19
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The big problem with buying Chinese goods is that it goes to fuel the Chinese military. Unless the atmosphere in China changes, We are going top be very sorry someday we bought those cheap products. Until then our spending serves as an insurance policy for peace with the Chinese. They would never kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
We WILL be sorry, how soon we forget where China was a few years ago,as well as where they actually are now. Many think it's OK to patronize them,it's OK for the government there,not for us, our economy or our future. I dare say not even for the people there,in the long run.Enviornmental and health problems as well as certain ethnic groups within mainland China. It's only the start, they've only been in the world economic game for a relatively short time. OK, I'll make it non-political now, bicycle-wise of course.
The "in" that US companies and American and Canadian consumers have provided China is just starting to have adverse effects on the industry.Profiteers realize short-term gains,ultimately the bike buss. suffers.
As do we !
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Old 05-12-07, 07:55 PM   #20
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oilfreeandhappy,

How could you possibly be oil free? Do you grow your own crops and till the earth by hand? What are you riding that has zero oil? Did you walk to the factory that built your zero plastic bike? You are posting with a computer that uses no plastics?

You may have reduced you oil consumption by giving up your car. I really admire you for that but you can hardly be oil free. In today's world that would be nearly impossible.
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Old 05-12-07, 08:24 PM   #21
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oilfreeandhappy,

How could you possibly be oil free? Do you grow your own crops and till the earth by hand? What are you riding that has zero oil? Did you walk to the factory that built your zero plastic bike? You are posting with a computer that uses no plastics?

You may have reduced you oil consumption by giving up your car. I really admire you for that but you can hardly be oil free. In today's world that would be nearly impossible.
It's an advocacy message I wear when I'm cycling, and not burning oil, not when I'm shopping. All quibbling aside, I think it gets the point across.
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Old 05-13-07, 03:40 PM   #22
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Speaking of the trade deficit with China.... I believe most of the lower end bikes are made in China, even in the same factory. Trek, Giant, Schwinn, Bianchi ....

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Old 05-15-07, 12:13 PM   #23
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Speaking of the trade deficit with China.... I believe most of the lower end bikes are made in China, even in the same factory. Trek, Giant, Schwinn, Bianchi ....
NO.. by and large,you're confusing Taiwan with mainland China,have always been culturally different and have been different nations for 70+ years. China makes bikes, not any brands that you've mentioned.
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