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  1. #26
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    This comment at the very end of the article is pertinent: "Car ownership has indeed become a ball and chain." It is true! We have built a society in which maintaining an automobile is crucial to one's ability to live and be productive. This puts a tremendous burden (and stigma too!) upon the very people the article mentions: those having lower incomes and needing assistance.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    During a public hearing last night the local elected body was chastised for trying to improve a small downtown. They were told that making the area bike and pedestrian friendly would take away this guys ability to drive a car - therefore removing a choice for him.
    Last edited by Ridefreemc; 04-25-12 at 08:45 PM.
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  3. #28
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Locally, getting around by auto is the fastest and easiest form of transportation, and anyone walking, riding a bike or using mass transit as a main means of transportation, is either consider an environmentalist, poor, or a loon.
    Or considered to have a DUI (or DWI depending on your state).
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  4. #29
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I wonder if most people are aware of how much their cars are subsidized by the government.

    Especially I wonder if Margaret Thatcher's political heirs (like the Tea Party folks) know that their taxes are higher to pay for cars. How do they support this fact within their philosophy of cutting all taxes--even when it means cutting services to the poor, the elderly, children, and other vulnerable people. Is there an element of hypocrisy here, or are they just unaware of these expensive car subsidies?
    If you or anyone else runs across that statistic I would be very interested to see it.
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  5. #30
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    that's from the book Carjacked.

    Anyway, its a sexist quote. it should be any "person" and they have the age wrong: it should be 25. I cycle more miles than I drive but can't be without my cars.

    Regardless whether you have a car or not, or what your age is, I see that quote more as an inspiration to do better, even if I choose not to pursue car ownership.
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  6. #31
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
    If you or anyone else runs across that statistic I would be very interested to see it.
    I think I answered my own question.

    This article doesn't support much of our statements, but I do not think it is accurate. What it does not include are the subsidies given to oil/gas companies and the auto industry for example and it does not discuss the actual subsidies:

    http://www.newgeography.com/content/...hways-a-primer

    Here is a good statement to remember when discussing these things though:

    "There is a simple way to tell the difference between subsidies and user payments. With subsidies you pay whether or not you use the service. In contrast, with user fees, you donít pay if you donít use. People who donít use electricity from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power donít pay and people who donít use the highways donít pay either."

    ___
    This article is more in-line with what we hear on this forum (and likely more accurate):

    http://t4america.org/blog/2009/12/11...ly-subsidized/

    Good quote there:

    "Of the 18.4 cent federal gasoline tax, 2.86 cents Ė about 15 percent Ė is directed toward mass transit projects, and an additional 0.1 cent toward environmental clean-up, according to the report. That leaves more than 80 percent strictly for highways. Even if we spent 100 percent of gas tax revenues on highways, only 65 percent of their total cost would be covered. There would still be a need for significant outside revenue Ė in other words, subsidies. Does that mean highways are ďgovernment waste?Ē Or are transportation dollars an investment to provide access to jobs and movement of goods?"

    ___
    Here is a good related article/study that will help you justify your ditching of the auto for personal reasons:

    http://www.1000fof.org/PUBS/lanes/1000ene6.pdf

    Or try this quote:

    "Highway construction. Itís estimated that
    the costs of highway construction, improvement
    and repair totaled $33.3 billion in 1989
    (MacKenzie, Dower & Chen 1992.) About 60
    percent of these costs were paid directly by drivers
    in the form of gas taxes, tolls and other user fees.
    The remaining 40 percent, or $13 billion, was
    subsidized ó predominantly from state and local
    government property and sales taxes."

    ___
    Another:

    http://www.assmotax.org/Releases/AMC...%20Subsidy.php

    And this:

    "To what extent is automobile use a "free" good? According to Hart and Spivak, government subsidies for highways and parking alone amount to between 8 and 10 percent of our gross national product, the equivalent of a fuel tax of approximately $3.50 per gallon. If this tax were to account for "soft" costs such as pollution cleanup and emergency medical treatment, it would he as high as $9.00 per galion. The cost of these subsidies-approximately $5,000 per car per year-is passed directly on to the American citizen in the form of increased prices for products or, more often, as income, property, and sales taxes. This means that the hidden costs of driving are paid by everyone: not just drivers, but also those too old or too poor to drive a car. And these people suffer doubly, as the very transit systems they count on for mobility have gone out of business, unable to compete with the heavily subsidized highways.1 "
    Last edited by Ridefreemc; 04-25-12 at 09:21 AM.
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  7. #32
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    I'd better let the nonagenarian I see cycling around town with his WWII vet hat on his head and his walker strapped to his back rack know that he's a failure at life.

  8. #33
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    It isn't clear Mrs. Thatcher ever said it: http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question...0080112AAery9r

    I have been able to find no speech of hers that has this in it, including in the searchable database of Margaret Thatcher foundation - which has speeches made in Commons in the sixties, so, I daresay they're reasonably complete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Good article. Thanks for posting.

    I didn't know Margaret Thathcher said that remark about people over thirty not having cars. LOL! I was a little over thirty when becoming car free and never regretted that decision. I watched a film by her just yesterday with Merrill Streep playing her role. You have to understand that Thathcher was a conservative who did not care much for public transit.

    You also have to understand that Ms Thathcher was from a generation where motor transport was cheap. Not anymore. Quite frankly, people who are really "Losing" are those who are spending 20 percent or more on motor transport.

  9. #34
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    Back to the OP.... Around here, in DC, that's what the cabbies mostly believe: Worse yet you're a bigger loser if on a bike. They somehow can't comprehend that maybe we bike for exercise and because we can afford a car. Rather than renting a cab for the day, and making time by endangering pedestrians and cyclists....

  10. #35
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I don't know about Thatcher, but I'd love to ask Romney or Gingrich what he thinks about people on bikes.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #36
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I don't know about Thatcher, but I'd love to ask Romney or Gingrich what he thinks about people on bikes.
    I only know of one president in the last 10 or 15 years that cycled themselves. http://www.cleveland.com/nation/inde...ured_vete.html

    I couldn't help myself, you threw the pitch I had to take a swing.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  12. #37
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Well I guess both my wife and I are "losers", La, La, La, what's new??? Were working poor, ride the bus or bicycle and we really feel our lives are now, MUCH BETTER, than before when we struggled every month to pay a car payment, insurance, maintenance, ownership taxes, lic. plates, etc. We now go to a movie or out to dinner "once a week" and actually help the economy, instead of living like a hermit in a cage!!! To each his own. JMHO, YMMV.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I think this varies a lot depending on the bus 'service' available.

    Where I am, in the suburbs of Los Angeles 90% of the time buses are for losers or idealists. And often the idealists fade out rather quickly.

    When the bus schedule sucks few choose to ride the bus. (At least near me they at least seem save and clean).
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
    Well I guess both my wife and I are "losers", La, La, La, what's new??? Were working poor, ride the bus or bicycle and we really feel our lives are now, MUCH BETTER, than before when we struggled every month to pay a car payment, insurance, maintenance, ownership taxes, lic. plates, etc. We now go to a movie or out to dinner "once a week" and actually help the economy, instead of living like a hermit in a cage!!! To each his own. JMHO, YMMV.

    While you have a very valid point the government tends to base COLA on Housing and the Automotive industry. When those two tanked so did the economy. Technology purchases are a big part of it as well because when Apple to a little hit last week the stock market was very timid. But still you are right people can move their expenses from cars to something else and it could help the economy.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  15. #40
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I only know of one president in the last 10 or 15 years that cycled themselves.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #41
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I think Obama needs a bike fit.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
    Well I guess both my wife and I are "losers", La, La, La, what's new??? Were working poor, ride the bus or bicycle and we really feel our lives are now, MUCH BETTER, than before when we struggled every month to pay a car payment, insurance, maintenance, ownership taxes, lic. plates, etc. We now go to a movie or out to dinner "once a week" and actually help the economy, instead of living like a hermit in a cage!!! To each his own. JMHO, YMMV.
    like button.

  18. #43
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    I guess I can count myself a success now, since I haven't been on the bus in a year. Bought some studded MTB tires to handle the snow/ice of winter, so my last 'need' for the bus is gone.....

    Or not; because I have no hesitation to taking the bus somewhere, for some reason, should I feel it necessary. I just prefer to ride, and keep the bus fare in my pocket. There isn't a destination the local bus system can reach that I can't on the bike.

    Guess I've chosen to be a sometimes loser, eh? Regardless of who said that idiotic statement (sounds like it may have come from my mother!), anyone over 30 who's MAKING A LIVING is not a loser.

  19. #44
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    Fiscal conservatives are in favor of tax cuts in order to accomplish a couple of things:
    1. reduce the size and scope of government
    2. increase personal wealth
    I'll assume you can form a thought and arrive at further conclusions from those two points.

    Such folks never claimed to not care about the people who are truly in need of help.
    Such folks also realize that they will have to sacrifice a lot of things through this process as well.
    I know because I'm of the same mindset.

    Lastly, there is no way achieve these goals in the near future.
    Many people who call themselves fiscal conservatives are no such thing. They may want to reduce the size of government for ideological reasons, but balancing the books doesn't really figure into it. What I'm seeing is a situation where right-wing (fascist?) ideologues get themselves elected, cut taxes, especially for the wealthy, drive the government into debt, and then, then, citing the fiscal emergency that they themselves created, slash the budgets of parks and rec, education, libraries, environmental protection, public transit, and sometimes even road infrastructure. The tragic thing is that this kind of demagoguery hurts pretty much everyone across the entire socioeconomic spectrum. It especially hurts the middle class: in my state of Washington, tuition at public universities has increase 32% in two years because state support for these schools has decreased because of budget shortfalls. In the long run, this will even hurt the wealthy. I ask you: would you rather be a rich person in Germany, where taxes are high, or in Guatemala, where taxes are miniscule and the government about small enough to almost please Grover Norquist?

    It should be obvious to anyone who can form a thought that government performs services that no other institution can provide, vital services that make this society tolerable to everyone, including the rich. Personally, I'm willing to pay my fair share, even if that means I'll have to forgo that new LHT with disk brakes that I've had my eye on...
    Last edited by bragi; 05-09-12 at 09:53 PM.
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  20. #45
    I run A New Bike
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    I know this is probably just me, but I feel stealthy riding a bus, like James Bond or something. The buses are running at the same schedule if I get on them or not, so I feel like I can hop on and get to another destination without anyone knowing. Adds some spice to getting groceries.
    Bike Stories with Photos + Stereo Sound ANewBike.com

  21. #46
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anewbike View Post
    I know this is probably just me, but I feel stealthy riding a bus, like James Bond or something. The buses are running at the same schedule if I get on them or not, so I feel like I can hop on and get to another destination without anyone knowing. Adds some spice to getting groceries.
    Interesting--I feel the opposite, I think. I feel very public on a bike. Friends often say something like, I saw you riding over on the west side the other day. looked like you bought some toilet tissue at Meijer's....They would never know that if I was in a car or even the bus.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  22. #47
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Interesting--I feel the opposite, I think. I feel very public on a bike. Friends often say something like, I saw you riding over on the west side the other day. looked like you bought some toilet tissue at Meijer's....They would never know that if I was in a car or even the bus.
    Yeah there's nothing worse than people commenting on your brand of TP. I usually shop with a trailer and can get the tp under cover....

  23. #48
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Mine sits up on top of the rack...but we buy in bulk But then again when I ride my bike to the grocery store it is very obvious, there are a grand total of two of us that ride bikes to the grocery store.

    Aaron
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  24. #49
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    our buses around here are really nice, quiet and comfortable. I'm really a little surprised that more people don't ride them because it's cheaper than the gas required to drive a car, even my Prius. If you had the same schedule every day, I don't see the downside.

  25. #50
    Senior Member ubringliten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    Many people who call themselves fiscal conservatives are no such thing. They may want to reduce the size of government for ideological reasons, but balancing the books doesn't really figure into it. What I'm seeing is a situation where right-wing (fascist?) ideologues get themselves elected, cut taxes, especially for the wealthy, drive the government into debt, and then, then, citing the fiscal emergency that they themselves created, slash the budgets of parks and rec, education, libraries, environmental protection, public transit, and sometimes even road infrastructure. The tragic thing is that this kind of demagoguery hurts pretty much everyone across the entire socioeconomic spectrum. It especially hurts the middle class: in my state of Washington, tuition at public universities has increase 32% in two years because state support for these schools has decreased because of budget shortfalls. In the long run, this will even hurt the wealthy. I ask you: would you rather be a rich person in Germany, where taxes are high, or in Guatemala, where taxes are miniscule and the government about small enough to almost please Grover Norquist?

    It should be obvious to anyone who can form a thought that government performs services that no other institution can provide, vital services that make this society tolerable to everyone, including the rich. Personally, I'm willing to pay my fair share, even if that means I'll have to forgo that new LHT with disk brakes that I've had my eye on...
    Excellent post. This is exactly how I feel about politics.

    Anyhow, I love riding public transit. It' fun and I get to see all kinds of characters. People watching is one of my favorites when I go to a park or eat at an outside cafe. I even think that people by nature like to be around other people and why public squares, public parks, public transit, etc. exist. I have a car and I drive it about once or twice every month to get outside the city but man, I hate the journey. The stimuli deprivation. No wonder motorists are called "cagers".

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