April 15th 'Gas out'

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renegade7:

I just wanted to get the word out, since I'm doing this and think it would be cool for everyone to try.

Update: It's about the message, not the money -.-

This is the opposite of useful.

You want to make big oil company's balls feel large? Do this. You want to hurt small time employees, daily workers? Do this.

Here's the thing. If you want to hurt a daily waged guy's job, don't buy gas for a day. They get paid by the hour, so they'll likely go home that day and miss their work. If that's your goal, good job.

If you want to hurt a tycoon's job, don't buy gas, period. They get payed a salary for the year, and so them having a bad sale on one day, means nothing to them.

If anything, it ends up not mattering, because a lot of lazy pricks will gas up on the 14th in preparation for the 15th.

"Oh no, our sales on the 15th plummeted.. to... exactly what we made up on the 14th and 16th in surplus. Carry on gentlemen". And. you. change. nothing.

Actually, oh no. It's worse than nothing. You make sure you send a message to them, that you're 'angry', but not so angry you can't go without gas for more than a whole day. You reaffirm how addicted to oil you are.

Because, let me know, hands up class, how many of you were planning to not buy gas on the 15th, but were planning to fill the tank back up on the 14th or 16th, so you can get back to work or whatever it is you do?

What's that? All of you? How meaningless. Your own little protest message even suggests you do that.

"We'll put the hurt on big businesses, by making them get their money earlier than they would have anyways!"

Ooooh noooes, let me quake my booties.

You want to hurt a tycoon? Stop buying gas, every day. Until then, you're a child holding your breath for a minute. Nobody gives a crap, and you make yourself look weak.

You're like a crackhead that affirms to his drug dealer that he's going to quit forever, and that he'll be sorry he messed with him, then are back buying shit from him that afternoon.

That drug dealer isn't out your sale, he's just mildly inconvenienced because he got his money at 2PM instead of 10AM.

Do you think that makes you look scary? No. It makes you look like a frightened animal, that they absolutely control.

Hukari:

reonhato:

algalon:
I love it when Europeans come here wondering why us idiots across the pond complain so much about gas. Try proposing a bullet train here and see how far you get. The great thing about living here is there's space. The bad thing is there's space. If we can, we prefer to live 10 miles from the nearest human being. This makes gas prices really matter as the nearest gas station is 10-20 miles away, the nearest mass transit 50-60. That's miles, not kilometers. Yes, we still use those weird measurements here, gallons rather than liters, pounds rather than kilos, feet rather than meters. Odd to you, but not to us. You live in a community of tightly packed nations that survive off each other in a shared economy. If Greece falls, Germany gets to bail them out. If the US goes into a depression, who do we have to look to, China? That's not prejudice, that's reality. I can't ride a bike to town nor can I get a taxi, bus, trolly, subway, or Amtrak. It's not economically feasible to create those networks across nations as large as ours. So yes, gas matters.

then what about australia. sure our petrol prices arnt quite up to europes yet but it is still more expensive than america.

image

and we only have 22 million people. btw we have decent public transport, even though people still complain about that.

all the stuff you mention has nothing to do with "cannot" and everything to do with " doesnt want to"

There is one thing you're forgetting, though. Pretty much all of the major population centres of Australia are near the coastlines; almost nobody lives in the Interior, or even goes to the interior in any large numbers.

The US, however, has a large, spread-out population in the midwest and the central US, so public infrastructure only works in densely populated areas, like cities or dense counties.

the USs problem with public transport is cultural not technical.

you could probably pull up the population density for any of the states involved and in all probably find and equivalence somewhere in the world where public transport is still valid (and i say that pretty confidently as a Scot with the most sparsely populated area in Western Europe just North of me still criss-crossed with railway lines and bus routes).

to assert there is some kind of technical problem with providing public transport due to population density is disingenuous. there my be a problem with the economic viability of living in a certain area (especially if you want to drive something akin to a monster truck back and forth to the shops everyday) but that's hardly a new thing for mid western America to face up to and neither is it, in any way, a justification for realistically expecting the continued status quo in the face of a changing reality.

I really dont see how not buying gas for one day will do something. I mean, if you dont buy gas on april 15th, you will buy gas on april 16th... in the end of the week, you will have consume the same amount of gas...

Beside, i always thing it's funny to see american complaining about the price... when we pay a lot higher price, and that we actually share a border...

and we seems to have the unique problem that the price is highly volatile here for some reasons...

see that chart : It the price of gas for montreal and the price from NY for the same period...

http://www.MontrealGasPrices.com/retail_price_chart.aspx?city1=Montreal&city2=NewYork&city3=&crude=n&tme=12&units=ca

notice that one is a lot more stable than the other...

How about this for an idea, use a bike. No need to worry about gas, it is good for you, and can be very cheap.

I know it isn't an option for everybody for everything you need to do, but you can do a lot more than you think.

KlLLUMINATI:

Gashad:
Hmm I will never understand the American obsession with gas prices-Its like half of what Europeans pay and despite that it an astronomical issue in the US while being only a minor issue in Europe. Do Americans really drive that much?

It is what we drive. For example my Camaro gets 11mpg.

New Camero or old one?
I have an 84 Blazer which got me 18 mpg while a car across country if I was not towing I probably would have been 23-25 MPG, which is awesome since most new hybrid trucks are getting about 22 MPG.

Sleekit:
are you suggesting, even for a moment, that large bore US "sports cars" are more "entertaining to drive" than their smaller bore European and Japanese cousins ?

Hah, exactly what I was about to ask. Then I meant to also make a snice comment about the real entertaining part of driving is using three pedals.

because unless "entertaining" is some kind of code for makes a lot of noise, uses loads of gas and can't go round a corner properly i don't know anyone, not even clarkson, who would agree.

This, in a nutshell. (PSSSSST! It's not about entertaining to drive it's about showing off and mine is bigger than yours...oops, there, I said it.)

Also, real drivers use three pedals...oops, there, I said that, too.

Sleekit:
are you suggesting, even for a moment, that large bore US "sports cars" are more "entertaining to drive" than their smaller bore European and Japanese cousins ?

because unless "entertaining" is some kind of code for makes a lot of noise, uses loads of gas and can't go round a corner properly i don't know anyone, not even clarkson, who would agree.

sports cars are smaller, well comparatively to SUV's and trucks, the US sports cars are much larger then their European cousins.

if you are unable to turn a corner in a vehicle larger then a mini cooper you have some major problems over there in europe.

Hukari:

reonhato:

algalon:
I love it when Europeans come here wondering why us idiots across the pond complain so much about gas. Try proposing a bullet train here and see how far you get. The great thing about living here is there's space. The bad thing is there's space. If we can, we prefer to live 10 miles from the nearest human being. This makes gas prices really matter as the nearest gas station is 10-20 miles away, the nearest mass transit 50-60. That's miles, not kilometers. Yes, we still use those weird measurements here, gallons rather than liters, pounds rather than kilos, feet rather than meters. Odd to you, but not to us. You live in a community of tightly packed nations that survive off each other in a shared economy. If Greece falls, Germany gets to bail them out. If the US goes into a depression, who do we have to look to, China? That's not prejudice, that's reality. I can't ride a bike to town nor can I get a taxi, bus, trolly, subway, or Amtrak. It's not economically feasible to create those networks across nations as large as ours. So yes, gas matters.

then what about australia. sure our petrol prices arnt quite up to europes yet but it is still more expensive than america.

image

and we only have 22 million people. btw we have decent public transport, even though people still complain about that.

all the stuff you mention has nothing to do with "cannot" and everything to do with " doesnt want to"

There is one thing you're forgetting, though. Pretty much all of the major population centres of Australia are near the coastlines; almost nobody lives in the Interior, or even goes to the interior in any large numbers.

The US, however, has a large, spread-out population in the midwest and the central US, so public infrastructure only works in densely populated areas, like cities or dense counties.

america is almost exactly the same, most people live near the east or west coast, on the west it is almost exclusively near the coast and the east does go inland more and slowly becomes less dense population wise.....similar to australia, hell we even have our own south where the population picks up again. sure our population density changes quicker than americas when going into the centre but there is a thing you are forgetting, nobody live in the interior or goes there in large numbers because we dont have large numbers, there are only 22 million of us using the space you guys have 300 million in.

as for the cars issue. if americans are stupid it is their own fault. ive only had my license for about a year, i did wait till i was 22 to learn to drive though so i was able to buy a new car, the first car i got has a fuel consumption of about 8.7L/100km. in american language that is about 27mpg, and my car is not even close to being considered fuel efficient in australia.

This is stupid. The reason gas prices are increasing is because the world is starting to experience the effects of an oil supply crunch, and not because oil companies feel like being extra greedy. Since 2004, global oil production has plateaued at an average of 84-86 million barrels a day, but global demand has been increasing steadily during the same period thanks primarily to China and India.

The only way you are going to see a significant drop in the price of gas is if another global recession happens, which will drive down demand as people drive less and businesses close, forcing down the price of Brent crude. Even then, the price drop will only be temporary, as we saw in 2008. Right before the financial collapse, oil was trading at $147, then it bottomed out in the $30s, and now its back to the $120s for Brent crude.

Don't believe anything OPEC oil ministers say about being able to meet increased demand through spare capacity - these are the same people who claim that after 30 years of steady pumping and not a single major new find in the Middle East since the 1960s, somehow their reserves went UP instead of down. It's all bullshit political maneuvering. The fact is global supply is extremely tight right now. All it takes is a political crisis in Saudi Arabia, or a shooting war between Iran and Israel that turns into a regional conflict, and we will see another recession.

In fact, I sincerely doubt we will ever see gas prices in the US under $3.00 except for short periods during future recessions. The era of cheap, easy-to-extract oil is coming to a close. There's still over a trillion barrels of oil left in the world, but now it has to be harvested from strip-mined bitumen in Canada, blasted out of shale rock formations in North Dakota, or drilled for six miles under the water off the coast of Brazil, or under moving Arctic ice floes.

Hukari:
The US, however, has a large, spread-out population in the midwest and the central US, so public infrastructure only works in densely populated areas, like cities or dense counties.

While this is true, it doesn't really address the real problem. While the US population is spread out, we also do have cities. Some of those cities are pretty big even. And while some cities do have internal public transportation, unless you're on one of the coasts there is very little public transportation between cities, which is a huge problem. We don't need to make it so every town has a good train system, but if we can't get some rail networks in the interior the problem is entirely our own lack of interest.

India and China have much weaker economies than the US despite their recent growth, and large populations of which a significant chunk in each are much poorer than the average US citizen. Both have much more difficult terrain to work with than the US. But they both have inter-city rail networks. Hell, the Chinese government built a train to freaking Tibet.

The attitude in the US toward public transportation can be neatly summed up in two sentences:
"It's hard, so we don't want to."
"It's not fun, so we don't want to."

Which are both neat and tidy explanations of why our economy is struggling to stay ahead of the rest of the world. We've lost interest in doing things that are hard or not as fun even if they will make us stronger.

Katatori-kun:

Hukari:
The US, however, has a large, spread-out population in the midwest and the central US, so public infrastructure only works in densely populated areas, like cities or dense counties.

While this is true, it doesn't really address the real problem. While the US population is spread out, we also do have cities. Some of those cities are pretty big even. And while some cities do have internal public transportation, unless you're on one of the coasts there is very little public transportation between cities, which is a huge problem. We don't need to make it so every town has a good train system, but if we can't get some rail networks in the interior the problem is entirely our own lack of interest.

India and China have much weaker economies than the US despite their recent growth, and large populations of which a significant chunk in each are much poorer than the average US citizen. Both have much more difficult terrain to work with than the US. But they both have inter-city rail networks. Hell, the Chinese government built a train to freaking Tibet.

The attitude in the US toward public transportation can be neatly summed up in two sentences:
"It's hard, so we don't want to."
"It's not fun, so we don't want to."

Which are both neat and tidy explanations of why our economy is struggling to stay ahead of the rest of the world. We've lost interest in doing things that are hard or not as fun even if they will make us stronger.

Let's not forget that, for some unidentifiable reason, using public transportation in the USA carries some kind of weird stigma with it, as if you'd have to be desperate to ride a bus.
Here in Europe, it is normal to ride the bus. Everybody does it. Trains go from city to city all over Europe, and in the north-west, people ride their bicycles everywhere.

Not judging anybody, I am just very, very curious to know why this situation is so very different from the situation in the US.

This is a horrible idea in so many ways I don't know where to begin

brb charging more for gas on 14th and 16th.

Americans really need to shut up about fuel prices. We pay over € 1,80 for a litre. That's several times what you pay in the US and our economy is pretty big on transportation.

I never got why Americans and Canadians choose cars like they do. Big trucks are expensive, poor suspension, use a lot of fuel, handle poorly... I honestly can't think of a single reason to drive one. And automatics too, take away a lot of your control over the power that's being provided and over fuel economy... And if I can kick a Renault Clio (2nd generation) with a little girly man 1,2 litre engine up a 14% grade, then rough terrain isn't even an excuse.

Not G. Ivingname:
How about this for an idea, use a bike. No need to worry about gas, it is good for you, and can be very cheap.

That becomes kind of hard if the past 50 years of spatial planning have consisted from "Oh, who fucking cares, just build anywhere" like the US has been doing. Now they have suburbs that are so many kilometres away from all services that they need, that they basically can not support the population.

Bassik:
Not judging anybody, I am just very, very curious to know why this situation is so very different from the situation in the US.

Public transportation requires public spending, and that's a swearword for many Americans.

Blablahb:
Americans really need to shut up about fuel prices. We pay over € 1,80 for a litre. That's several times what you pay in the US and our economy is pretty big on transportation.

I never got why Americans and Canadians choose cars like they do. Big trucks are expensive, poor suspension, use a lot of fuel, handle poorly... I honestly can't think of a single reason to drive one. And automatics too, take away a lot of your control over the power that's being provided and over fuel economy... And if I can kick a Renault Clio (2nd generation) with a little girly man 1,2 litre engine up a 14% grade, then rough terrain isn't even an excuse.

Not G. Ivingname:
How about this for an idea, use a bike. No need to worry about gas, it is good for you, and can be very cheap.

That becomes kind of hard if the past 50 years of spatial planning have consisted from "Oh, who fucking cares, just build anywhere" like the US has been doing. Now they have suburbs that are so many kilometres away from all services that they need, that they basically can not support the population.

Bassik:
Not judging anybody, I am just very, very curious to know why this situation is so very different from the situation in the US.

Public transportation requires public spending, and that's a swearword for many Americans.

The first time I learned about American Suburbs, I thought they were a really bad idea. Why would you live there? It seems like a silly place to live, considering how far away everything is.

Blablahb:
Americans really need to shut up about fuel prices. We pay over € 1,80 for a litre. That's several times what you pay in the US and our economy is pretty big on transportation.

I never got why Americans and Canadians choose cars like they do. Big trucks are expensive, poor suspension, use a lot of fuel, handle poorly... I honestly can't think of a single reason to drive one. And automatics too, take away a lot of your control over the power that's being provided and over fuel economy... And if I can kick a Renault Clio (2nd generation) with a little girly man 1,2 litre engine up a 14% grade, then rough terrain isn't even an excuse.

this seems about right except for the bit about automatics. while true for older cars, it is getting to the point now that computers in cars are making automatics just as efficient if not more efficient. basically if your buying an older car and do plan on driving it economically, manuals do a bit better, newer cars the difference is negligible to either one (some cars are starting to be listed better as automatics) and in the future manual cars will almost never be used.

there is also CVTs, which are already more fuel efficient than manuals. even though they have been around for a while it is only in the last decade that they are becoming more popular. nissan and honda seem to use it the most, but there are a couple other companies starting to bring out cars with CVT as an option

I drive at least 60 miles a day. It gets bad real fast when gas start cutting into your food budget.

Bassik:

Let's not forget that, for some unidentifiable reason, using public transportation in the USA carries some kind of weird stigma with it, as if you'd have to be desperate to ride a bus.
Here in Europe, it is normal to ride the bus. Everybody does it. Trains go from city to city all over Europe, and in the north-west, people ride their bicycles everywhere.

Not judging anybody, I am just very, very curious to know why this situation is so very different from the situation in the US.

Yup. We have bought into a car culture to the point that for a lot of us it is synonymous with our sense of well-being.

It all began in the 50s. Loads of men had come home from WWII, and wanted to be part of "The American Dream". And at that time "the American Dream" meant a home and a car. So we built suburbs, so everyone can have a little lawn. And everyone stopped sharing things. Apartments, public parks, neighborhood barbecue pits, all these things gradually became signs of a lack of success. But to have the space to fit
all our stuff, we needed to have bigger homes. That means we needed bigger neighborhoods. Suddenly the bus ad train stopped being an option altogether because our suburbs were so spread out, even if there was a public transport option, most of us lived outside walking distance to it. Now for so many Americans public transport is uncool, it's what homeless people do. And there's no support for re-organizing our living spaces even if economics show we desperately need it.

Katatori-kun:

Bassik:

Let's not forget that, for some unidentifiable reason, using public transportation in the USA carries some kind of weird stigma with it, as if you'd have to be desperate to ride a bus.
Here in Europe, it is normal to ride the bus. Everybody does it. Trains go from city to city all over Europe, and in the north-west, people ride their bicycles everywhere.

Not judging anybody, I am just very, very curious to know why this situation is so very different from the situation in the US.

Yup. We have bought into a car culture to the point that for a lot of us it is synonymous with our sense of well-being.

It all began in the 50s. Loads of men had come home from WWII, and wanted to be part of "The American Dream". And at that time "the American Dream" meant a home and a car. So we built suburbs, so everyone can have a little lawn. And everyone stopped sharing things. Apartments, public parks, neighborhood barbecue pits, all these things gradually became signs of a lack of success. But to have the space to fit
all our stuff, we needed to have bigger homes. That means we needed bigger neighborhoods. Suddenly the bus ad train stopped being an option altogether because our suburbs were so spread out, even if there was a public transport option, most of us lived outside walking distance to it. Now for so many Americans public transport is uncool, it's what homeless people do. And there's no support for re-organizing our living spaces even if economics show we desperately need it.

in 2009 american new homes were the 2nd biggest on average in the world at 205 square metres. they only come second to australia who are at 215 (we kind of have the space to spare so). NZ come in 3rd at 196. in europe the largest is denmark coming in at just 137 square metres

reonhato:

in 2009 american new homes were the 2nd biggest on average in the world at 205 square metres. they only come second to australia who are at 215 (we kind of have the space to spare so). NZ come in 3rd at 196. in europe the largest is denmark coming in at just 137 square metres

So those big homes on American shows are not TV weirdness but real?
Now remember this is just my opinion, but I think you lot should learn to be happier with less. Imagine how much money you'd save by not buying into this kind of thing.

Bassik:

reonhato:

in 2009 american new homes were the 2nd biggest on average in the world at 205 square metres. they only come second to australia who are at 215 (we kind of have the space to spare so). NZ come in 3rd at 196. in europe the largest is denmark coming in at just 137 square metres

So those big homes on American shows are not TV weirdness but real?
Now remember this is just my opinion, but I think you lot should learn to be happier with less. Imagine how much money you'd save by not buying into this kind of thing.

Yeah, they're real. Not everyone has one (my parents' home is unusually small but sits on an enormous property in the middle of no where. They like it but I can't stand it.) But the real tragic thing is, we don't have to make do with less to have a healthier lifestyle. I visited an apartment complex in Singapore where people had spacious, bright open rooms, complete with balconies on both sides and HUGE windows so despite it being a tropical climate people rarely felt they needed air conditioning. There were shared swimming pools, weight rooms, barbecues, and lawns. So all the amenities I really care about are there. The only thing is you need is to share some of these thing with others.

As opposed to how people I know live- with their own personal weight bench stowed away in a dusty basement. or a grill that gets used 3 times a year stowed in a giant garage. They're convinced that one day they'll use them, but until then they're nothing but a big hunk of metal that necessitates lots of storage space. And that sentiment is what makes us "cool" as a country. Better to have a poor-quality, Chinese-made, Wal-Mart-bought hunk of metal of your very own than to be an uncool communist who shares with others.

Bassik:
The first time I learned about American Suburbs, I thought they were a really bad idea. Why would you live there? It seems like a silly place to live, considering how far away everything is.

You pretty much hit the nail on the head there. The distances are asociated with many problems. Some urban geographers (the critical ones mostly) even predict impending doom for US styled suburbs that rely on cars, as oil gets more pricy and the population ages.

I mean, we Dutch build several times denser than suburbs, and we have to tear down whole villages in remote regions (north east Groningen is a very well known one) because the service level cannot be supported any longer.

But there's also not much to predict. Many US-styled suburbs are already collapsing for decades. I've been to Canada in 2005 and the US in 2007 and I've seen neighbourhoods that are just in large part abandoned or have entire chunks of neighbourhoods missing because the houses had to be torn down. I did some counting here and there, like in Canada's Kamloops and Nashville, Birmingham and some other places in the US, but some neighbourhoods are just dying slowly. It's really amazing.

Bassik:
Now remember this is just my opinion, but I think you lot should learn to be happier with less. Imagine how much money you'd save by not buying into this kind of thing.

You've received a badge!

image

+1 Dutchness
Realised spending more isn't always the answer

You can view the badges that you've been awarded on your profile. ;-)

I don't even with the amount of stupid in that message....If you do that with a company as big as the gas and oil industry, the national/global market is going to take one hell of a turn for the worse! We all rely on gas in some way, shape, or form and to just decide to have a 'gas out' simply because you're tired of being owned by the man is juvenile.

Those are jobs you are putting at risk, products that are going to be affected indirectly by lack of funding, and entire economies you're fucking with. If you really want to make a positive difference, raise awareness about alternative fuels and ways to market them to people to where it'll be affordable for people to switch over to. Because doing your little boycott will only hurt the rest of the world and, ultimately, yourself in the end.

Katatori-kun:

Hukari:
The US, however, has a large, spread-out population in the midwest and the central US, so public infrastructure only works in densely populated areas, like cities or dense counties.

While this is true, it doesn't really address the real problem. While the US population is spread out, we also do have cities. Some of those cities are pretty big even. And while some cities do have internal public transportation, unless you're on one of the coasts there is very little public transportation between cities, which is a huge problem. We don't need to make it so every town has a good train system, but if we can't get some rail networks in the interior the problem is entirely our own lack of interest.

India and China have much weaker economies than the US despite their recent growth, and large populations of which a significant chunk in each are much poorer than the average US citizen. Both have much more difficult terrain to work with than the US. But they both have inter-city rail networks. Hell, the Chinese government built a train to freaking Tibet.

The attitude in the US toward public transportation can be neatly summed up in two sentences:
"It's hard, so we don't want to."
"It's not fun, so we don't want to."

Which are both neat and tidy explanations of why our economy is struggling to stay ahead of the rest of the world. We've lost interest in doing things that are hard or not as fun even if they will make us stronger.

It's not so much if it's hard or fun or not. It's that nobody will vote willingly to pay for it, because we as a country can't conceive of the idea of paying for things unless we're the sole benefactor of said things, coupled with the persistent myth that even if we've already payed for those things as earned benefits or through taxes, in lieu of earning more cash, it doesn't count an we're not 'entitled' to things we've already earned, unless we pay cold hard cash out of our pocket, forcing us to pay for everything twice with those benefits are scaled off.

If it was just about us avoiding hard work, we wouldn't work 3 jobs for half the pay we used to make in one job, nor would we forgo benefits we already worked and earned for because we didn't 'pay for them' with cash.

It's about people believing that if they earn a benefit that isn't cash, it's not really 'theirs' and they have no right to it, regardless of how much work they put into it to earn it.

If we build nothing of lasting value it's not for lack of hands capable of laying rail or willing to drive buses, it's because we've convinced ourselves that unless we pay 100% out of pocket for something we don't deserve anything of lasting value.

And obviously no one single citizen among us that would need a mass transit system can afford the whole system themselves out of pocket, so we don't have it.

We'd rather drown in a pile of our own filth than let somebody earn a benefit of one cent more than they payed in cold hard cash (whether or NOT they worked hard for that benefit is irrelevant).

Damien Granz:

Katatori-kun:

Hukari:
The US, however, has a large, spread-out population in the midwest and the central US, so public infrastructure only works in densely populated areas, like cities or dense counties.

While this is true, it doesn't really address the real problem. While the US population is spread out, we also do have cities. Some of those cities are pretty big even. And while some cities do have internal public transportation, unless you're on one of the coasts there is very little public transportation between cities, which is a huge problem. We don't need to make it so every town has a good train system, but if we can't get some rail networks in the interior the problem is entirely our own lack of interest.

India and China have much weaker economies than the US despite their recent growth, and large populations of which a significant chunk in each are much poorer than the average US citizen. Both have much more difficult terrain to work with than the US. But they both have inter-city rail networks. Hell, the Chinese government built a train to freaking Tibet.

The attitude in the US toward public transportation can be neatly summed up in two sentences:
"It's hard, so we don't want to."
"It's not fun, so we don't want to."

Which are both neat and tidy explanations of why our economy is struggling to stay ahead of the rest of the world. We've lost interest in doing things that are hard or not as fun even if they will make us stronger.

It's not so much if it's hard or fun or not. It's that nobody will vote willingly to pay for it, because we as a country can't conceive of the idea of paying for things unless we're the sole benefactor of said things, coupled with the persistent myth that even if we've already payed for those things as earned benefits or through taxes, in lieu of earning more cash, it doesn't count an we're not 'entitled' to things we've already earned, unless we pay cold hard cash out of our pocket, forcing us to pay for everything twice with those benefits are scaled off.

If it was just about us avoiding hard work, we wouldn't work 3 jobs for half the pay we used to make in one job, nor would we forgo benefits we already worked and earned for because we didn't 'pay for them' with cash.

It's about people believing that if they earn a benefit that isn't cash, it's not really 'theirs' and they have no right to it, regardless of how much work they put into it to earn it.

If we build nothing of lasting value it's not for lack of hands capable of laying rail or willing to drive buses, it's because we've convinced ourselves that unless we pay 100% out of pocket for something we don't deserve anything of lasting value.

And obviously no one single citizen among us that would need a mass transit system can afford the whole system themselves out of pocket, so we don't have it.

We'd rather drown in a pile of our own filth than let somebody earn a benefit of one cent more than they payed in cold hard cash (whether or NOT they worked hard for that benefit is irrelevant).

So Americans are like the Ferengi guys from Star Trek? I can't believe that all Americans think like that?

Bassik:

Damien Granz:

Katatori-kun:

While this is true, it doesn't really address the real problem. While the US population is spread out, we also do have cities. Some of those cities are pretty big even. And while some cities do have internal public transportation, unless you're on one of the coasts there is very little public transportation between cities, which is a huge problem. We don't need to make it so every town has a good train system, but if we can't get some rail networks in the interior the problem is entirely our own lack of interest.

India and China have much weaker economies than the US despite their recent growth, and large populations of which a significant chunk in each are much poorer than the average US citizen. Both have much more difficult terrain to work with than the US. But they both have inter-city rail networks. Hell, the Chinese government built a train to freaking Tibet.

The attitude in the US toward public transportation can be neatly summed up in two sentences:
"It's hard, so we don't want to."
"It's not fun, so we don't want to."

Which are both neat and tidy explanations of why our economy is struggling to stay ahead of the rest of the world. We've lost interest in doing things that are hard or not as fun even if they will make us stronger.

It's not so much if it's hard or fun or not. It's that nobody will vote willingly to pay for it, because we as a country can't conceive of the idea of paying for things unless we're the sole benefactor of said things, coupled with the persistent myth that even if we've already payed for those things as earned benefits or through taxes, in lieu of earning more cash, it doesn't count an we're not 'entitled' to things we've already earned, unless we pay cold hard cash out of our pocket, forcing us to pay for everything twice with those benefits are scaled off.

If it was just about us avoiding hard work, we wouldn't work 3 jobs for half the pay we used to make in one job, nor would we forgo benefits we already worked and earned for because we didn't 'pay for them' with cash.

It's about people believing that if they earn a benefit that isn't cash, it's not really 'theirs' and they have no right to it, regardless of how much work they put into it to earn it.

If we build nothing of lasting value it's not for lack of hands capable of laying rail or willing to drive buses, it's because we've convinced ourselves that unless we pay 100% out of pocket for something we don't deserve anything of lasting value.

And obviously no one single citizen among us that would need a mass transit system can afford the whole system themselves out of pocket, so we don't have it.

We'd rather drown in a pile of our own filth than let somebody earn a benefit of one cent more than they payed in cold hard cash (whether or NOT they worked hard for that benefit is irrelevant).

So Americans are like the Ferengi guys from Star Trek? I can't believe that all Americans think like that?

My full longer post got swallowed by the void of the internet, and I'm too lazy to repost the whole thing, so I'll just leave with this:

Nobody said 'all' Americans with absolute certainty think any specific way or another. But I will say this despite that: Enough do readily think that way to sway voting in that favor with complete regularity, and all it takes is a simple framing of the question to elicit that response.

If you want proof, look to the insurance or the recent GOP debate on whether or not a company can rule what a woman does with her earned benefits. All you hear about is 'entitlements' as if earning something in lieu of cash means it's not yours or you didn't deserve it.

Unless you're a millionaire CEO, there's no way you can touch their pension and shit when they firebomb a company and drive it into the ground, they earned that shit and you can't touch it, never ever nope nuh-uh.

The difference? The pension pays out in cold hard cash, which is 'theirs' and the earned benefits pay out in insurance benefits, which is an 'entitlement' that they should get on their knees and kiss ass they even got considered for. Even if you have to work for both. See?

Meh, Really, I dont think Gas prices are as bad as they could be, especially since where I live it is below the national average ($3.60/gallon here, $.30 less than average). And really, nothing is going to get me to give up pickup trucks and muscle cars. If it hits $10/gallon, I will convert my truck to run off corn alcohol or fryer grease (You can actually do that stock with diesel).

But the thing I complain about is diesel prices and when people complain about pickup-trucks.

First, Diesel: The life-blood of our logistic. Trains run on diesel. Trucks run on diesel. Buses run on diesel. Tracters run on diesel. Combines run on diesel. If diesel gets to expensive, we will literally start grinding to a halt and starving. I dont care how expensive gas gets, Diesel NEEDS TO GET CHEAPER!! NOW!!!

Second, pickup trucks: The Back-bone of the working man. Where I live, most people dont drive pickups because they WANT to...they drive them because they NEED to. Unless you can point out a car that can haul 10-tons of hay, pull an RV, drag a log, carry 5 tons of building lumber, and pulling bulldozers. Contrary to popular belief, our trucks dont look like this:

They look like THIS:

And I can think of 3 ways to get more oil:

1: A machine that recycles plastic into oil
2: A machine that converts CO2 into Oil
3:

Katatori-kun:

Yeah, they're real. Not everyone has one (my parents' home is unusually small but sits on an enormous property in the middle of no where. They like it but I can't stand it.) But the real tragic thing is, we don't have to make do with less to have a healthier lifestyle. I visited an apartment complex in Singapore where people had spacious, bright open rooms, complete with balconies on both sides and HUGE windows so despite it being a tropical climate people rarely felt they needed air conditioning. There were shared swimming pools, weight rooms, barbecues, and lawns. So all the amenities I really care about are there. The only thing is you need is to share some of these thing with others.

As opposed to how people I know live- with their own personal weight bench stowed away in a dusty basement. or a grill that gets used 3 times a year stowed in a giant garage. They're convinced that one day they'll use them, but until then they're nothing but a big hunk of metal that necessitates lots of storage space. And that sentiment is what makes us "cool" as a country. Better to have a poor-quality, Chinese-made, Wal-Mart-bought hunk of metal of your very own than to be an uncool communist who shares with others.

Yeah, but that involves other people! That's bad, m'kay!

In all seriousness though, it's just the general American mindset. If you live in New York, yeah, getting an apartment seems reasonable. But go to the rural areas or any smaller city, and I challenge you to find someone who's dream home is one. People want their own place, not a shared one. The feeling of being near others, but far enough away to have all the privacy you want is something most people look for in a home in America. Be it suburbs with just a few meters between houses, or out in the more rural areas with up to miles between houses.

Hell, my parents live in a place similar to the one you describe- a smaller house sitting on several acres of land. The nearest neighbors are kind of close- you could walk to their place in about 3 or 4 minutes or so. But that's what's great about it- You have the place all to yourself. There is no chance of having an annoying roommate, or having the guy in the upstairs apartment refuse to turn his music down. You can go talk to neighbors if you like, but if you want to just be left alone, there is literally no chance of anyone bothering you. On top of it all, you own the house. You aren't renting it, it's yours and only yours.

I've always thought that Americans are, on average, more individualistic than Europeans. Usually that seems to be the case, anyway. So it kind of makes sense that we are more touchy about gas prices. We want to be able to hop in our cars and drive to see our friends or go to town when we want, not have to wait for the 6:00 bus.

SirDoom:

Katatori-kun:

Yeah, they're real. Not everyone has one (my parents' home is unusually small but sits on an enormous property in the middle of no where. They like it but I can't stand it.) But the real tragic thing is, we don't have to make do with less to have a healthier lifestyle. I visited an apartment complex in Singapore where people had spacious, bright open rooms, complete with balconies on both sides and HUGE windows so despite it being a tropical climate people rarely felt they needed air conditioning. There were shared swimming pools, weight rooms, barbecues, and lawns. So all the amenities I really care about are there. The only thing is you need is to share some of these thing with others.

As opposed to how people I know live- with their own personal weight bench stowed away in a dusty basement. or a grill that gets used 3 times a year stowed in a giant garage. They're convinced that one day they'll use them, but until then they're nothing but a big hunk of metal that necessitates lots of storage space. And that sentiment is what makes us "cool" as a country. Better to have a poor-quality, Chinese-made, Wal-Mart-bought hunk of metal of your very own than to be an uncool communist who shares with others.

Yeah, but that involves other people! That's bad, m'kay!

In all seriousness though, it's just the general American mindset. If you live in New York, yeah, getting an apartment seems reasonable. But go to the rural areas or any smaller city, and I challenge you to find someone who's dream home is one. People want their own place, not a shared one. The feeling of being near others, but far enough away to have all the privacy you want is something most people look for in a home in America. Be it suburbs with just a few meters between houses, or out in the more rural areas with up to miles between houses.

Hell, my parents live in a place similar to the one you describe- a smaller house sitting on several acres of land. The nearest neighbors are kind of close- you could walk to their place in about 3 or 4 minutes or so. But that's what's great about it- You have the place all to yourself. There is no chance of having an annoying roommate, or having the guy in the upstairs apartment refuse to turn his music down. You can go talk to neighbors if you like, but if you want to just be left alone, there is literally no chance of anyone bothering you. On top of it all, you own the house. You aren't renting it, it's yours and only yours.

I've always thought that Americans are, on average, more individualistic than Europeans. Usually that seems to be the case, anyway. So it kind of makes sense that we are more touchy about gas prices. We want to be able to hop in our cars and drive to see our friends or go to town when we want, not have to wait for the 6:00 bus.

But the point being made is, in part, that you wouldn't have to "wait for the 6:00 bus" if you spent a fraction of the money you waste buying fuel for inefficient vehicles on improving your public transport system. No doubt that crazed english-xpowerx will be along in a minute to lament the British state and how awful everything is, but it's actually fantastic.

I can step out of my front door, pay just over a pound, and ride an unlimited distance on one of four bus routes which arrive every twenty minutes; every ten minutes during peak hours. Round the corner two minutes away is another stop with three different routes. The buses are clean, modern, fuel-efficient(as much as such a big vehicle can be), have full CCTV coverage to discourage any dodgy crap, and while the fares have gone up a bit in recent times, they're still ludicrously cheap compared to running a car, especially if you buy a daily or monthly pass rather than pay-per-ride.

I can get one of those buses to the front entrance of the city's main railway station and the secondary, where I can get a train to any other major city in the country, and most minor ones as well. The issues with the trains we have are largely due to the incompetence and greed of the private sector operators. I can also get one of those buses to the main bus terminal and get on an intercity bus, where I pay a fraction of the cost of the train in exchange for the journey taking a bit longer. Most of them even have free wi-fi now.

A second bus operator runs a slightly more expensive service that has dozens of routes which go out to the boonies, and come almost as regularly as the city operator(and even they go quite far out of the city itself).

I could, if I wanted, travel across the entirety of the EU on public transport, for a fraction of the cost of doing so in my own vehicle.

Our current socio-economic system requires that a certain number of people have personal vehicles, and this is likely going to be more true in America than elsewhere even if you did have decent public transport, but the situation you're in today is plainly daft and eminently solvable if you weren't cursed with this self-destructive insistence that EVERYTHING to do with the government or the public sector is the first step on the road to tyranny.

If those systems were in place already, I highly doubt people would think it was bad. But that's just it- Proposing an idea like that around here is silly. Just due to the cost factor, really.

We have public transportation in big cities, but big cities are a tiny percentage of the land here. We have rail tracks, but mostly for commercial trains and such. As such, we would have to build or buy tens or hundreds of thousand of buses, set train tracks, hire thousands of employees, and so on. The cost to cover one state, let alone the entire country, would be enormous. In a time where we're already above our budget and there is about a 0% chance of congress saying okay to adding a few million more to it, let alone a few billion, it's just not feasible to set a system up from scratch right now.

Also, even if we did have a comprehensive bus network, people like me would still be left out in the cold. It would still be at least 7-10 miles to the nearest bus station from my place, unless they put one every few miles in every direction, regardless of population. People are so spaced out around here that any form of public transportation short of a "you call them, they send a cab to your place" setup wouldn't work.

...as for the whole budget issue, well... The money I work for is *mine*, and the government taking what the do already is theft enough. That's not me talking, by the way. That's my friends, family, teachers, fellow students, every worker in the factory I've worked in, and so on. I'd go as far as to say it's the mindset of the population. A population in which almost every member has a method of private transport already, and sees the cost they would have to pay in taxes to get public transport as paying for something they don't need.

Umm...so everyone buys their gas the day before...oil companies don't care about the day-to-day sales, but the monthly. There would have to be a rather large dip in total sales in a single month for them to take notice.

Bassik:

reonhato:

in 2009 american new homes were the 2nd biggest on average in the world at 205 square metres. they only come second to australia who are at 215 (we kind of have the space to spare so). NZ come in 3rd at 196. in europe the largest is denmark coming in at just 137 square metres

So those big homes on American shows are not TV weirdness but real?
Now remember this is just my opinion, but I think you lot should learn to be happier with less. Imagine how much money you'd save by not buying into this kind of thing.

i remember reading that purely due to people in suburbs having fashionable dark coloured rooves on their houses the us has 14 power plants just to cover the air conditioning requirements of people being fashionable rather than practical

nikki191:

Bassik:

reonhato:

in 2009 american new homes were the 2nd biggest on average in the world at 205 square metres. they only come second to australia who are at 215 (we kind of have the space to spare so). NZ come in 3rd at 196. in europe the largest is denmark coming in at just 137 square metres

So those big homes on American shows are not TV weirdness but real?
Now remember this is just my opinion, but I think you lot should learn to be happier with less. Imagine how much money you'd save by not buying into this kind of thing.

i remember reading that purely due to people in suburbs having fashionable dark coloured rooves on their houses the us has 14 power plants just to cover the air conditioning requirements of people being fashionable rather than practical

Whatever influence Dutch immigrants had on the United States, doing practical things because they save money seems to be not one of them.

The phrase "think of how much money you will save!" should be uttered a bit more I think.

Also, thanks for the badge, Blahblah, if it were real it would be the #1 under my avatar.

wintercoat:
Umm...so everyone buys their gas the day before...oil companies don't care about the day-to-day sales, but the monthly. There would have to be a rather large dip in total sales in a single month for them to take notice.

Actually, my economics teacher says it wouldnt even take a month. He says that if just 30% of the US population were to carpool or use the bus for a WEEK, then the oil companies would start to notice.

SirDoom:
snipy

Zack Alklazaris:
I drive at least 60 miles a day. It gets bad real fast when gas start cutting into your food budget.

Wouldn't this issue be a little easier if you all didn't live so far away from where you work?

theonewhois3:

SirDoom:
snipy

Zack Alklazaris:
I drive at least 60 miles a day. It gets bad real fast when gas start cutting into your food budget.

Wouldn't this issue be a little easier if you all didn't live so far away from where you work?

Yea, but to make a long story short apartment prices are too high and I make too little to move to a better location.

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