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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-30-06, 11:28 PM   #1
jayhuse
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Are Bikes too Effcient for the Goverment ??

Some famous person once said that the bike is just too effcient and does not utilzed enough resources for the mass public to be satisfied.

I thought about it for a while and if you think about cars, interstates, roads, car taxes, tires, gas, licenses and how many people that employees it comes to a whole lot.

What is funny is you never really think about the millions of individuals that are employed at car companies and goverment positions. From 1 of my MBA classes the instructor said that each car now takes about 120 countries with specilized parts to make just 1 car. Resources from around the world are found created an assembled to make a car.

Now the Goverment LIVES off of taxes correct ??? So if we were to stop selling cars in nebraska federal an state taxes are around 7%. Additionally, we have car licenses, road taxes and such. All an all that is a ton of cash the state has to live without. What was even funnier was that here in nebraska people were driving less from the increase Gas prices. The state an other folks were not recieving enough money for their so Called Road Construction so they increased the price of gas tax to compensate for the Lack of driving here in nebraska.

Again remember how everything is forcasted with state and federal budgets. The only thing that most companies and state/goverments forecast is growth. Many see the Gross national Product, increase home sales, increase demand for power, water and other resources as POSITIVE growth ??

If this is correct then why would any Goverment/Companies want to put us back a step or 2 in lessing demand for products that they employe or actually make money at ??

Just food for thought about our Past and Present political views ??

thanks

Jay
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Old 08-30-06, 11:40 PM   #2
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I think we need an economist for this one I was thinking a long the same lines a while back and I came to the conclusion that in a pinch the government will find something to tax more to compensate for any lost revenues. junk food, alcohol, bike sales, tolls for the use of the roads, whatever it takes I suppose.
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Old 08-30-06, 11:47 PM   #3
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It's not that they're too efficient, it's that their energy utilization is too direct. There doesn't have to be some large infrastructure for extracting or processing food so it's nearly impossible to tax. The same goes for diesel engines that run on plant oil and electric vehicles. Instead of getting these, where the fuel can be grown at home, or collected via a windmill/solar panel, we have gasoline cars and hydrogen fuel cells that are deliberately complicated and inefficient, definitely out of the range of the average consumer in terms of fuel production. But any nitwit can press/filter seeds, or have someone install a wind/solar electric system. I'm not stating that this is any kind of "truth", but the use of inefficient vehicles whose fuel supply is owned by a select few, compared to efficient vehicles that everyone can fuel, is very suspect.
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Old 08-30-06, 11:48 PM   #4
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Yes, you are correct. But it does take a little effort in coming up with more tax laws. Not that they can not do this it is typical goverment lazyiness that would not want them to change at all.

By the way I work for the goverment or part of it !
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Old 08-30-06, 11:50 PM   #5
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Wow finally a conspiracy theory that I just might buy off on?

I am not a conspiracy theory guy but that almost makes sense !
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Old 08-31-06, 12:51 AM   #6
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Government will always find something to tax. Wacky things that have been taxed before include beards, horses and glass.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:15 AM   #7
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By most measures governments do not recoop the money they put into automobiles. But of course (democratic) governments don't work to their own financial best interests but to those of their constituents, and automobile companies are powerful constituents.
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Old 08-31-06, 04:54 AM   #8
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You are right. I have thought along similar lines since a 'congestion charge' was introduced here in London, UK. It was set at £5 ($9) a day to drive into central London. Expensive, but by no means unaffordable. If the target was, as stated, to reduce non-essential traffic then why not set it MUCH higher? Because the actual purpose was to introduce another way of taxing cars. A few years later there was an announcement that traffic had reached pre-congestion charge levels, so it was to be increased to £8 ($14.40). Once again, a small enough amount had been added that it wouldn't put off too many people.

It happens in other areas of government taxation too though. We always hear how bad smoking is for you, yet they increase taxes rather than banning it because of the huge revenue it generates for government at all stages of it's sale. Same goes for alcohol. There have been recent discussions over here about introducing a junk food tax because of increasing obesity levels: if the best interests of the citizens were at the heart of government policy, why not pass laws as to the quality of food that can be served instead of allowing them to sell the cheap **** and taking their own cut?

(I'd like to point out that i don't think any of the above things should actually be banned - i prefer freedom of choice and responsible consumption - but they demonstrate the contradictions between our governments words and its actions.)
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Old 08-31-06, 05:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bike_UK
We always hear how bad smoking is for you, yet they increase taxes rather than banning it because of the huge revenue it generates for government at all stages of it's sale.
Well I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that every time the UK government increases the taxation on cigarettes now their revenue from said taxation goes down. Basically it becomes more worthwhile for smokers to hop on a cross channel ferry and load up on several months worth cigarettes & alcohol in France/Holland/Belgium. (Don't forget to tank the car up with petrol/diesel whilst there to take advantage of lower fuel prices too!)
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Old 08-31-06, 05:50 AM   #10
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British govt: BED TAX

The British Govt wants to introduce a 'bed tax'. So every time you go to a hotel or similar and want a bed, you get taxed. No, I'm not kidding. It was on the news yesterday.

They claim they wantto reduce the amount of tax consumers pay. Of course no one buys it. I dont know of any govt that ever wanted to reduce the amount of money coming in.
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Old 08-31-06, 06:10 AM   #11
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What's disasterous about our government is that it doesn't follow the constitution. The constitution says that government is only suppose to get smaller, not larger. Our politicians are there to gain power and how do you gain power? Get more stuff for the people that vote for them. To get more stuff, the money has to come from some place right? Taxes must be raised. That makes people mad. How do you made them happy? Promise to get them more stuff. Vicious circle. Eventually, with the government getting larger and larger, we'll one day have something that we'll not be able to control. Dictatorship. Ok, maybe I went too far..
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Old 08-31-06, 08:23 AM   #12
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I don't like the theory that there can be "too good" of a product, but it almost seems to be a real phenomena (and I post a few examples below)

Computers: OSX and *nix have proven hands down that something better than windows exists. windows persists and as a result some godawful % of the computer industry has a job trying to fix/make things work in windows that are painless in other OS's.

Transit: see OP. the whole bike/train/mass-transit combo could and would solve our transit problems without as much consumption, but as a result less people would be employed.

a counterexample of course is agriculture. its better for everyone (people and planet) if humans/animals do the agriculture. but it takes a lot of people to farm the same area that a machine can, so as a result there are fewer agriculturalists (percentage wise)

I very much agree that our government doesn't follow the constitution knobster.

The problem with the OP's argument however is that after the fed spends those road-taxes (the ones they get from your car's property tax and the fuel-taxes) they then have to spend some of your actual income tax not explicitly earmarked/labeled as road funding. roads are awful bloody expensive. so if we went the mass transit/bike combo route, there might be a little less funding coming from fuel/car property taxes, but the ultimate source of the funding for the roads would still be your income tax, it just wouldn't be such a hidden phenomenon.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:16 AM   #13
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Instead of getting these, where the fuel can be grown at home, or collected via a windmill/solar panel, we have gasoline cars and hydrogen fuel cells that are deliberately complicated and inefficient, definitely out of the range of the average consumer in terms of fuel production.
Government could easily tax the sale of home wind-electric generators and solar panels. And if people rode bicycles more, governments would still be getting those people with income taxes, property taxes, etc.

Generally speaking the economy and government tax revenues can't be expected to suffer because people ride bikes as transportation-- you're likely to spend about the same amount of money either way because riding your bike means more money in your bank, which you can spend on organic food, quality entertainment, or who knows what else. Governments can tax those things too.

Another detail about money you don't spend-- if you won't spend money it'll probably go in the bank (or reduce your loan debt) and that means somebody else will get that money as a loan. And even if it's hard to find borrowers, banks will lower interest rates until it's easier to find borrowers.

And that, my friends, is half of what I learned in economics 101

"Bed taxes," by the way, have existed in various places for quite a while now. It's essentially a tax on tourists. Anyone who wants to stay in a hotel pays, while people who lease an apartment by the year, or own a house, do not. It's a way for the government to take money from people who're from another place (and otherwise pay taxes to another government). The only problem is that if it's a high tax, folks just won't come to an area where the bed tax is in effect.
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Old 08-31-06, 09:22 AM   #14
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Transit: see OP. the whole bike/train/mass-transit combo could and would solve our transit problems without as much consumption, but as a result less people would be employed.
I'm a big pro-car-free kind of person, but this is an oversimplification. If all of the functions of the current transportation system could be performed with fewer resources (i.e. fewer jobs/employees) we could shift to a different transit focus and gradually re-employ the remaining people as government-funded environmental cleanup workers instead of govt-funded road builders, etc. But our culture doesn't encourage that kind of thinking, and our auto industry has political clout, and there are functional tradeoffs between cars and mass transit/bikes.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:45 AM   #15
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This is the broken windows argument. Go around breaking windows, and you will create loads of jobs. Everyone will be worse, off, though, b/c they will have to do more work to sustain the same lifestyle.

If everyone dropped their cars, a whole industry would die, but individuals would just spend that 20% of their income on something else that would create jobs and be taxed. Furthermore, it would be spent on things that have more of a value added component, and the money would change hands more times. Think of the 7 x multiplier - when you spend a dollar, it is then respent by the recipient, etc. 7 times. When you spend a dollar on gas, < 10% goes to refineries - the rest goes to some fat cat in a foreign country. In addition, the gov't has to spend another dollar or so fighting wars to insure that you can buy your gas.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:12 AM   #16
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A little know fact in American history is GM's effort to buy up and kill
ALL trolley systems in America in order to sell more cars.

http://www.iww.org/en/blog/2

GM, big oil & a big business serving federal Gov't. are 100% responsibe for our dependance on
oil with the associated suburban spawl & pork barrel road projects.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 08-31-06, 11:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang1
The British Govt wants to introduce a 'bed tax'. So every time you go to a hotel or similar and want a bed, you get taxed. No, I'm not kidding. It was on the news yesterday.
Most US states/cities have that. It's easier to pass a tax on people who don't live and/or vote where the tax will be collected.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazygluon
Transit: see OP. the whole bike/train/mass-transit combo could and would solve our transit problems without as much consumption, but as a result less people would be employed.

a counterexample of course is agriculture. its better for everyone (people and planet) if humans/animals do the agriculture. but it takes a lot of people to farm the same area that a machine can, so as a result there are fewer agriculturalists (percentage wise)
Well the answer is simple: Everyone who used to build cars may now go into the fields to plow. Still others may pilot human-powered trucks (six riders working in tandem!). The rest may operate road-side rest stops for all the tired and hungry truck riders.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by yes
This is the broken windows argument. Go around breaking windows, and you will create loads of jobs. Everyone will be worse, off, though, b/c they will have to do more work to sustain the same lifestyle.
GDP!
I really shouldn't be laughing, because it's stupid destructive...
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Old 09-01-06, 04:16 AM   #20
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British Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher is famous for the phrase The Great Car Economy which she encouraged at the expense of public transport.
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Old 09-01-06, 12:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhuse
I thought about it for a while and if you think about cars, interstates, roads, car taxes, tires, gas, licenses and how many people that employees it comes to a whole lot.
Paul Krugman was writing about how the business of America for the past several years has been buying and selling houses to/from each other. You're thinking it's been cars and their infrustructure too? I suppose that's a definite possibility.
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Old 09-01-06, 01:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster
What's disasterous about our government is that it doesn't follow the constitution. The constitution says that government is only suppose to get smaller, not larger.
Where does it say that?

Quote:
Our politicians are there to gain power and how do you gain power? Get more stuff for the people that vote for them. To get more stuff, the money has to come from some place right? Taxes must be raised. That makes people mad. How do you made them happy? Promise to get them more stuff. Vicious circle. Eventually, with the government getting larger and larger, we'll one day have something that we'll not be able to control. Dictatorship. Ok, maybe I went too far..
Consider the possibility that government provides services, and like everything else, those services cost money. When you drive-- or ride-- on a road, that road was built and maintained by paying people to do the work. When you call the police because a prowler is outside your window, the person answering the phone is being paid to answer the phone, and the police are paid to show up-- in cars that cost money and require fuel and maintenance. Government services exist because some people want those government services. And everything costs money. Even if government wasn't providing those services, and the private sector was providing them, with few exceptions they'd still cost you money.

Last edited by Blue Order; 09-01-06 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 09-01-06, 07:22 PM   #23
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Yes agreed but you forgot the Most important question.

Is there a different way to do it ??? What I am saying is that there are different ways to do things. What is the best most effcient methods of getting something done.

In our goverment we have beliefs and standards off of the old system. In the old days and still today they base our econmony off of Car sales, like FORD, GM and Crysler. As you noticed our American Car companies have been getting it handed to them because they simply will not change. This year and Last not one american car was in the Comsumer Reports 10 Ten as a best buy.

Pretty sad but we have not adapted into new ways of getting things done. Even at $5 a gallon we will still be pushing SUVs.

Thanks

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Old 09-01-06, 08:25 PM   #24
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Is there a different way to do it ??? What I am saying is that there are different ways to do things. What is the best most effcient methods of getting something done.
Do what specifically, in what conditions?
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Old 09-02-06, 09:06 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
GM, big oil & a big business serving federal Gov't. are 100% responsibe for our dependance on
oil with the associated suburban spawl & pork barrel road projects.
I think you would have to say GM, big oil, the government and *its citizens*. If the citizens were clear-thinking enough... Just think about what the music industry tried to do to the mp3 music format. They tried everything possible to kill it... but digital music really won't be killed.
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