The funniest of these lately [techno-miracles] are the glad tidings
from ("The New" ) General Motors. They came out last week with a laughable
hype-fest for their proposed electric car, the "Volt," scheduled to arrive in
the showrooms around 2011 (about the same time that all the
mortgage-backed-securities sitting in Wall Street's vaults melt into a
monumental puddle of radioactive goo). We're told the Volt will get the
equivalent of over 200 miles-per-gallon, at less than 25 cents a charge from the
plug on your garage wall, blah blah. They estimate that it'll cost about
$40,000. Do we detect a little problem right there? Like, the whole
adult US population is going to rush out and buy new cars priced the same as
today's Mercedes Benz? Good luck with that, GM, especially when money for
car loans will be about as easy to get as a royal flush in online poker.
And good luck with changing out the battery for ten grand a couple of years down
the road, so to speak. And good luck also with your expectation that the roads
and bridges will remain drivable in the years ahead, as every municipality, and
county, and state slides into bankruptcy and the paving machines sit rusting in
the DOT marshaling yards.
What is wrong with our brains? Are they turning to
yeast? And even if it were possible to continue torturing
ourselves in three-hour traffic jams, is that something we would want to
I'm serenely confident that we're in the twilight of Happy Motoring
now. Without debt service there is no auto industry, and we're toast where
debt service is concerned. All we can do now is give cars away, or give US
citizens free money to buy them -- which we are obviously already doing with
"Cash for Clunkers" -- which is additionally hilarious in the same nation that
is deeply paranoid about the government giving anybody free health care.
What a nation of morons we have become.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Nation of Morons
James Kunstler writes about our continuing auto craze: