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#3 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [larsb]
Oct 25, 2006 (7:57 am)
Don't you think the article emphasizes my opinion that hybrids are just there to make the wealthy feel good about their gluttonous lifestyle. They are not practical vehicles for mainstream Americans.
#4 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [gagrice]
Oct 25, 2006 (9:09 am)
Gary, how many times do we have to have this discussion?
How is a range of cars (and there are now 4 or 5 hybrids which fit this price range) which cost LESS THAN THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A NEW CAR in the USA to be construed as for only "wealthy" people?
All the 300,000 or so hybrids on the road in the USA are all purchased by "non-mainstream Americans?"
You see how silly that sounds?
Am I "rich, gluttonous wealthy person" as a single dad with one job working to make ends meet and try to save a little college money for my kids, who wants to spend as little as he can on fuel costs and and keep the air cleaner by buying a couple of hybrids?
Just because Toyota has said the Prius is TARGETED at families making $100,000 or more a year does not mean that EVERY Prius owner or hybrid buyer is a rich guy or gal.
Over at greenhybrid we have a LOT of hybrid buyers in their 20s and 30s who are not by ANY STRETCH "rich" people trying to support a "gluttonous lifestyle."
#5 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [larsb]
Oct 25, 2006 (10:21 am)
How would you interpret what that article was saying? I got from it that the one fellow bought the Prius so he would not feel guilty about owning a gas guzzler. Which I am sure is the case with 9 out of 10 celebrity types that buy into the hybrid hype.
Maybe now that the demand has decreased they will be priced where Joe average can afford one.
As far as how many times we have a discussion depends on how many times you present articles that I have a comment on. Or articles I post that you have comment on.
I realize my broken record on hybrids is just about equal to yours on diesel. Maybe some day we will have a vehicle that we can both agree on. Maybe an electric vehicle. I know too much about hybrids to buy in again.
#6 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [gagrice]
Oct 25, 2006 (10:29 am)
It looked like to me he was merely saying "I get emotional feelings about muscle cars which I don't get from hybrids."
That is what I consider to be the gist of the article.
Regardless of "why" someone buys a hybrid, the point remains that if you care about reducing oil consumption in this country, and you care about lowering your own personal fuel bill, and about reducing pollution, ALL IN ONE VEHICLE, then you need to shop the available hybrids. That's not going to change.
#7 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [larsb]
Oct 25, 2006 (10:34 am)
ALL IN ONE VEHICLE, then you need to shop the available hybrids.
You mean like the GS450H or the upcoming LS460h? Those are dandy examples of the direction hybrids are going. There is no doubt they are muscle hybrids. Still gas guzzlers with a green tint.
#8 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [gagrice]
Oct 25, 2006 (10:35 am)
Perhaps he's a frustrated Socialist?
Here are the facts.....
"As the U.S. population crossed the 300 million mark sometime around 7:46 a.m. Tuesday, October 17th, (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the typical family is doing a whole lot better than their grandparents were in 1967, the year the population first surpassed 200 million.
Mr. and Mrs. Median's $46,326 in annual income is 32% more than their mid-'60s counterparts, even when adjusted for inflation, and 13% more than those at the median in the economic boom year of 1985. And thanks to ballooning real estate values, average household net worth has increased even faster. The typical American household has a net worth of $465,970, up 83% from 1965, 60% from 1985 and 35% from 1995.
Throw in the low inflation of the past 20 years, a deregulated airline industry that's made travel much cheaper, plus technological progress that's provided the middle class with not only better cars and televisions, but every gadget from DVD players to iPods, all at lower and lower prices, and it's obvious that Mr. and Mrs. Median are living the life of Riley compared to their parents and grandparents.
So why are they so unhappy?
Yes, despite their material prosperity, the Medians are a grumpy lot. A Parade Magazine survey (a good source for all things median) performed by Mark Clements Research in April 2006, showed that 48% of Americans believe they're worse off than their parents were. A June 2006 study by GFK-Roper group showed that 66% of Americans said that their personal situations in the "Good Old Days"--defined by the bulk of respondents as anywhere between the 1950s and the 1980s--were better than they are today. And in May, a Pew Research Center poll showed that half of U.S. adults believe the current trends point toward their children's future being worse than their own present.
Attribute some of the dissatisfaction to what economist Milton Friedman dubbed "Permanent Income Theory," which assumes that people measure where they are relative to where they expected to be a few years ago. They don't care a bit what the average income was four decades ago.
"If you expect a 3% rise in income and you get 2.5%, you're disappointed," says Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, a private research group in New York.
And because people generally judge their fortunes not in absolute terms, but by comparing themselves to others, the super-success of the top 1% can make Mr. and Mrs. Median feel relatively poorer. Take CEOs--the $19 million that Wal-Mart Chief Lee Scott raked in last year was 410 times what Mr. and Mrs. Median made, as opposed to the $469,000 a year earned by Exxon's Ken Jamieson in 1975, which was a mere 40 times more.
It's the same with celebrity athletes. Those who worshipped Joe Namath in the 1960s could at least identify with the $142,000 a year he made ($848,000 in today's dollars). But how many can identify with the $87 million Tiger Woods took in last year? And not only are the elite making much more today, relatively, than the Medians, the rise of cable television and the Internet assures that they know all about it.
"It's now easy for us to see how other people around the world live, not just how our neighbors live," says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College. Schwartz also argues that the plethora of consumer choices today, while generally a good thing, can be a catalyst for bringing people down. Not everyone can have a new flat screen television with both a 60 inch screen and premium sound.
"The more options you look at, the more you have to give up," he says.
It's true that the wealthy have grabbed up a larger share of the growing economic pie over the past 40 years. Census Bureau stats show that the percentage of pay collected by the middle 60% of wage earners dipped to 46% in 2005 from 52% in both 1965 and 1975. That figure doesn't include income from investments, which would make the gap even larger.
But the overall pie is much larger too. A near quadrupling of the Gross Domestic Product since 1967 means that today's Americans share $12.5 trillion in wealth, or $41,579 per capita, compared to the $3.8 trillion, or $18,951 per capita, enjoyed by 200 million people back then.
Of course, the super-rich have done even better. When the first edition of the Forbes 400 hit newsstands in 1982, the top-ranked person was shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig, with an estimated net worth of $2 billion. That was about 20,000 times the net worth of Mr. and Mrs. Median at the time. There were only 12 billionaires on the list that year.
The top person on the 2006 edition of the Forbes 400, Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) Co-Founder Bill Gates, had a net worth of $53 billion, or 133,741 times the Medians. That means that while Mr. and Mrs. Median have seen their net worth rise 130% percent since the first Forbes 400, the richest man in the country is worth 1,225% more. Oh, and every member of the list is now a billionaire.
But what does the pay of celebrities and CEOs have to do with the average American, other than provide fodder for jealousy? It would be one thing if growing incomes at the top stretched prices of goods and services so much as to dramatically push inflation ahead for everyone else. But inflation has been tame for over two decades.
The fact is that in real terms, the Medians are doing great. Mr. Median makes 25% more than his father did 30 years ago, even after holding for inflation. Mrs. Median is a lot more likely to work in the professional ranks than her mom was, and to be paid about three times as much doing so. And though she still makes only 77% of what her male counterparts earn, this is up from 33% in 1965. They dote on the same number of children (two), but waited longer to have them, until both careers are well under way. They also pay less tax to the federal government and have 8% more purchasing power than they did 20 years ago, including 5.7% more than they had just ten years ago.
But, if despite their prosperity, the Medians need some cheering up, there is one powerful person whose wage growth they have outpaced nicely over the last two generations.
When Lyndon Johnson occupied the White House in 1965, he earned $100,000 a year, or 14 times what the Medians earned. This year, George W. Bush will earn $400,000, or just eight times the Medians."
ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
#9 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [gagrice]
Oct 25, 2006 (10:39 am)
Those are not "dandy examples" of where hybrids are going at all.
They are two high-end hybrid options put forward by Toyota which are MORE FUEL EFFICIENT THAN A COMPARABLY POWERFUL GAS ENGINE ONLY CAR.
As I said for the first time almost two years ago:
Hybridization is NOT MERELY for "super-high-mileage cars." It's also going to be used to make a comparably powerful car which is more fuel efficient.
There are about 12 more hybrid cars, trucks, and SUVs to hit the USA shores by the end of the 2008 model year. Not all of them are "high-mileage only" but EVERY ONE OF THEM will be more fuel efficient than the gas-only version of that same car.
#10 of 38 Re: Very cute little opinion/review piece [terry92270]
Oct 25, 2006 (3:56 pm)
Nice study. Too bad it does not tell the whole story. How those at the top making millions bring up the median income with out anyone attached. It does not show that the folks at the bottom of the income ladder are not doing as well as those at the bottom 50 years ago. If you have two people one making a dollar a year and the other 1 million a year the median income is $500k per year. The study I like to use claims the average CEO makes 583 times more than the bottom paid employee in the company. I think that is morally wrong. But not legally wrong. I don't advocate doing what the French did in the late 1780s. The study makes it sound glamorous for a mother to have a good job. Most were doing fine as house wives. Not many men make enough to support a family today like they did 50 years ago.
Getting back to hybrids. If you take the median priced hybrid built by Toyota/Lexus it will cost about $42k. Hardly the average priced vehicle. That median price will go up when they add the next two hybrids to the string. I hear the LS460h & LS600h are close to $100k. That should please the Hollywood types that are tired of driving around in that goofy looking Prius.