FUH2: The Story of Anti-Hummer Road Rage Retribution

Over the past year, I have taken to the simple and self-satisfying habit of flipping off any H1s or H2s that I see on the road. This was inspired by the site fuh2.com, a collection of submitted photos of other Hummer-haters demonstrating their disdain for these vehicles. To many environmentally conscious people, myself included, the H2 in particular is a symbol of the excessive American consumption, waste, inconsideration and obliviousness that has lead to our current climate crisis and contributes to injustices around the world. This may sound like rhetoric or an overly-dramatic representation, but this is the utmost truth. H2s get 9-13mpg, comparable to shipping trucks and light duty construction equipment, that is, half (yes, 50%) of the abysmal U.S. average of 21mpg (2006 EPA data). They are poorly designed to fit on our highways, our parking lots, and have less storage and seating capacity than the average crossover vehicle or minivan. The worst part is, they are most often driven in the city by one person and rarely, if ever, do any type of the towing or off-road functions that it was purportedly designed for. H2s also carry an childish, introverted “machismo” with them. GM’s latest ad campaigns with “get your girl on” or “reclaim your manhood” appeal perfectly to the short-sighted, selfish, wasteful, immature Americans with self-confidence issues and superiority complexes that actually would purchase these monstrosities.
The point of this post, however, is to describe my latest experience caused by my FUH2 philosophy. My wife and I drove down to L.A. this weekend on a mission – she went to a meeting for a master’s program, we saw some family, and we picked up a few diesel engines that will allow us to convert our ’87 VW Syncro Westfalia campervan (Sally is her name) to biodiesel/vegetable oil!
As we drove, we saw a ridiculous number of L.A.-style Hummers and my finger was getting tired. While one was passing us, I lifted my weary finger, managing a bored and nonchalant flip through the window. He saw this, and with an angered, maniacal gleam in his eye, slammed on his brakes and swerved into our lane, forcing us (a borrowed Jeep Cherokee towing a trailer with 2 engines in it) to maneuver to avoid him! Luckily we didn’t get injured, but it made me think.
I said, “Self?” (because that’s what I call me) “Self, why do you feel a need to flip off hummers? What does it accomplish?”
I have always felt a little bad about it, I mean, although the middle finger has many meanings, at its worst, it is a pretty solid symbol of disdain, anger, and hostility. Not a very Zen thing to be waving about town. However, in the back of my mind, besides giving me some self-satisfaction, I had hoped that if Hummer drivers get flipped off enough, they might think, “why is everyone so mad at me?” “Maybe this choice of vehicles is inappropriate considering our current climate and energy crises, maybe I should get another car?”
The experience of being nearly killed by an enraged, irresponsible, self-absorbed, hyperconsumer with no accountability showed me that this is likely not to be the case. The mindset of someone who actually thinks that it is a good idea to buy a Hummer, that it makes them more powerful, gives them status, makes other people envious, etc, would not allow for a realization of this magnitude. They are much too self-absorbed. Here’s but one of many examples of an comment battle between Hummer and anti-Hummer fans – notice the lack of grammar, insight and overall intelligence reflected in the pro-Hummer postings. Very telling.
“But Clint,” you say, “If flipping Hummers off won’t save the world, what will? What do we do about this terrible overconsumption?”
Well in an ideal world everyone would get over their complexes, selfishness, and greed, and do whatever they can to help in stopping and reversing our current global crisis. People would simply “Do the right thing” and cut back their consumption. This can start with simple but significant things like selling your Hummer, replacing your bulbs with CFCs and maybe even buying some solar panels with the money you made off your H2. The effort can then continue to improve from there in small, inexpensive steps. Unfortunately, our society has much too much invested in purchasing, commerce, ego, and money. It has lost interest in civility, honesty, and respect for their fellow human. If we cannot entrust the future of the entirety of human civilization to the “Individual American”; asking them to make the “right choice”, starting simply by conserving energy, minimizing your carbon footprint, and curbing your wreckless consumerism, then to whom can we turn?
If the “Individual American” can’t be trusted to make the right choice, then we need to initiate a tax, a monetary disadvantage, or a compensatory payment that will counteract the desire and ability to own a Hummer or other similar mechanical behemoth. What can be initiated politically is the formation of a “Luxury Vehicle CO2 Tax”. Basically anyone driving a vehicle that gets less than 25mpg or so and can’t show that that vehicle is legitimately used for their profession (ie. farmers, contractors and the like) need to pay the true costs of their vehicle choices. In order to affect the market, this would have to be on the order of $2000-$5000/year of the life of the vehicle. The money generated can go directly to CO2 offsets for the calculated emissions for the year and the remainder can fund alternative energy products. Everybody wins! Also, our government needs to remember that since it is expected and reasonable to place laws to stop people from hurting other people, it can also place laws to stop corporations from hurting people. We cannot allow auto manufacturers to sue the state for limiting emissions and increasing mileage requirements. These companies cite unfair profit loss and unfair competition from foreign manufacturers (who have been meeting the proposed standards for years!) as a reason to halt government action that is intended to protect the average American. The corporations should not be seen as having the same and sometimes more rights as the American citizen.
Any takers in congress that aren’t in the oil companies or auto manufacturer’s pockets?

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19 Responses to “FUH2: The Story of Anti-Hummer Road Rage Retribution”

  1. People are just plain ignorant right now. I say keep up the good work (at least keep those middle fingers up!)

    Or just avoid ever seeing the people and try a little citizne justice! Just deflate their tires at night, or leave angry notes on their cars, or syphon out all their gas. All would be good forms of direct action.

    I think sitting complacently by and watching the ignorant and bull-headed destroy our planet is more unjust than any direct action could ever amount.

    Think back to the people sitting complacently while we killed the native americans or enslaved the africans, don’t be those people…

  2. Don’t encourage the middle finger, Gavin! It’s like screaming crudely at some one who is oblivious.

  3. ps: that was me, Laura. It was a scary moment in our travels.

  4. politeness won’t stop the revolution Laura!

    http://home.comcast.net/~daschor/clipart/bush_middle_finger.png

    I hope you can see this middle finger cause I’m doing it as hard as I can!!

  5. Are you for real or are you the one that is completely self centered? Its just an SUV nothing more than that, no hidden meaning or anything else. I do appreciate your concern on the environment and the public safety factor, however there are several other vehicles on the road that are far more destructible to the environment, I am sure you can search them on the internet.
    I own a few of these myself and I average around 2K miles a year on them, nothing major, but the last thing I need is someone like yourself giving me the finger. This action speaks loudly about your insecurities and it invades my space and freedom to commute in peace without being harrassed.
    I would not consider myself to be uneducated or insensitive to other people, however you paint a different picture of people you have no idea about and post your personal opinions on the net as to state fact.
    FUH2 is a site promoting this type of behavior and it appears that educated people like yourself are lowering the bar on what is acceptable behavior in public. I would suggest a different approach if you would like you opinion to be heard.

  6. Actually, it’s not being self-centered, it’s the exact opposite – concern for our entire planet and the people in it. We’ve evolved into a society that chooses looks and status over practicality and efficiency, regardless of the cost.

    I agree with you that flipping people in Hummers off is unproductive, that’s why I generally no longer do it. It does indeed “bring down the bar” and I prefer to educate and discuss over meaningless gestures. Also, I came to the conclusion that this simple gesture can’t transmit the needed message and that anyone who has the mindset to drive a Hummer wouldn’t be able to comprehend what the true meaning is meant to be. It is a fact that there is no other reason to drive a Hummer except to show off – it is less functional than the average SUV of it’s size, gets horrible mileage, and considering the climate crisis and the impending crisis of peak oil, everyone should be swapping out their SUVs for efficient, alternatively fueled or electric vehicles instead of driving Hummers. To many of us who are conscious consumers, Hummers are the ultimate symbol of the excess and oblivious attitude that have led us to where we are today and driving them is simply unconscionable. I am not implying that you are unintelligent at all, but if you are choosing to continue to own and drive a vehicle like this (and I include Escalades, Excursions, and other similar bohemoths in this category), you may have missed some of the information on the reality and the severity of the crises that lie before us. I would recommend reviewing the essay on the front page and do some independent research on Peak Oil, it’s frightening and our energy infrastructure will need to shift mostly off of fossil fuels fairly quickly to avoid a collapse of our transportation and energy economies. We truly need everyone to join the effort by making personal changes first, then become active in your local community’s and the country’s energy security.

    Thanks for reading and good luck!

  7. Well I fundamentally disagree with you on Hummers. I do not believe that all Hummer owners are as you categorized them. WE are not less intelligent or uneducated, we are not out to compensate for something and we surely are not trying to prove how ” Macho” we are. I like many others bought the H2 because we happen to love the truck .. If there wasnt the Hummer brand I would of bought a ford f-350 which is even less efficient then the H2.. ” Do some research”… I have found that most of the idiotic people that partake in flipping us the bird and cutting us off are the MORONS, not the Hummer drivers !! Once again research all the other makes that offer the same efficiency as the hummer… There are currently 7 other vehicles that deliver the same or WORSE mileage then the H2 and are still being manufactured in the USA today. The fact that you single out H2 owners just illustrates what this is REALLY about, and that is PURE JEALOUSY !!! However I do not condone someone being ignorant and making you slam on your breaks and almost getting into a accident. Im glad that you and your family is okay… THANK GOD.. If you really want to focus your efforts on a true travesty that is killing the enviroment, let me point you in the direction of the marine industry aka ” yachts”…

  8. Reign,
    I must say that it is a refreshing change to have a rational, reasonable discussion from a Hummer owner rather than the usual inane insults and posturing. However, you are wrong on a few points. I have done the research and of course there are vehicles that get worse mileage than H2s, but most of them are functional work vehicles, such as the f-350 that you mentioned, being very reasonably and necessarily used for agriculture and construction applications. The H2, however, along with the Escalade and similar vehicles, are far less practical, with less cargo space than mini-vans, and not suited for actual off-road or functional use. It’s because of this concept of practical utilization of our resources that the H2 and this class of large vehicle with no increased functionality, has become such a symbol of excess and waste to many like myself who are environmentally conscious.

    So, there is certainly no jealousy involved at all, although I could afford most any car, my vegetable oil powered Westfalia camper van and biodiesel Jetta are the perfect combination of thoughtful resource use, frugality, and functionality for my family. It’s not about looks or ego, it’s about what makes sense for us and for our environment.

  9. Kevin Grace Says:

    Well Seep, I hope your finger is feeling better. The Hummer is now defunct, congratulations!

    I worked at an H3 manufacturing facility and thanks to this complex you and your Liberal buddies have against anyone, or anything, greater than yourself, and your hatred for anyone who dares to not live by your standards, 5,000 people are out of a job.

    Keep up the good work….saving human civilization and such…. Hopefully we all will be able to afford an electric scooter to take us to the unemployment line.

    • Kevin, you may have noticed that when I was practicing my FUH2 finger exercises, it didn’t apply to the H3, since they actually got reasonable mileage for an SUV, as opposed to the H1 and H2 models. Even though it still was a symbol of American aggression and overconsumption, it simply didn’t qualify for a flip-off. I’d like to clarify a few things, though – I don’t think that progressive thinkers have hatred for anyone really, just a desire to see things done better. We know that peak oil is coming, the time when we’ll reach the limit of oil extraction per day, and if demand continues to rise as it has, we’re heading for a major economic catastrophe with skyrocketing fuel prices which will effect our transportation, manufacturing, and food industries. Now is the time to start transitioning to domestically produced, renewable energy, leaving behind the excess and waste of the H2 mentality. Do you really support wasting fuel and causing increased emissions for no reason? Particularly when most of that fuel comes from unstable terrorist-harboring countries in the Middle East. I have a bumper sticker on our vegetable oil powered Vanagon that says “How many soldiers per gallon does your SUV get?”, which means that we should not be sending our brave men and women to war for resources to support our wasteful ways. Granted, some industries will suffer, such as the coal industry and the archaic parts of the automotive industry which unfortunately included your factory. However, this shift will create new jobs in manufacturing of high-efficiency vehicles, electric cars, wind turbines, and yes, electric scooters. You also may take note that the same liberal politics that are trying to improve efficiency, decrease waste, and prepare us for a post-carbon economy, are the ones that bailed out your former employer GM in an effort to save a company that refused to change with the times. Ideally, GM would have been shifting factories over to electric vehicles over the past few years and been able to save you and your coworker’s jobs, but their lack of foresight and stubbornness to support the oil industry ultimately led to its downfall. Before placing blame on me, it is important to look at all aspects of the problem – I’d say that GM is to blame for the loss of your job, not the people trying to save American industry and economy through a needed shift to sustainability and responsible consumerism.

      • Kevin Grace Says:

        I’ll have to apologize for prolong reply, Seep— so many inaccurate, liberal bullshit, talking points…so little time.

        “Kevin, you may have noticed that when I was practicing my FUH2 finger exercises, it didn’t apply to the H3…”

        Gee, thanks. I don’t have a problem with Muslims either….just the terrorist types. Bombing all the innocent ones to kill the handful that pose a threat is just unfortunate collateral damage, I suppose. I guess that makes us even. Although I don’t recall an H2 ever attacking the Pentagon.

        “……Even though it still was a symbol of American aggression and overconsumption”

        Does the term “passive aggressive” mean anything to you?

        “I don’t think that progressive thinkers have hatred for anyone really, just a desire to see things done better.”

        Lol, I’m sure every despotic, murdering dictator claimed the same. The point being, here in America, you don’t have right to impose your view of “better” on everyone else. If you can prove you were injured by one of those mean ole Hummers, fine—- sue the driver; sue General Motors; sue DOT; otherwise you need to myob, and quit being an ass.

        I bought my wife an H3 because she carries my ten year old daughter to school, dance, and such. If nothing else, it is a safe, sturdy, versatile, comfortable ride. I am only assuming the buyers of an H1 or 2 have similar concerns, but more money to address them. In general, we don’t flip-off other drivers, even if their Crisco-powered Vanagon, is slowing down traffic in the left lane.

        “….We know that peak oil is coming”

        When I was in fourth-grade they told us we’d be out of oil by 1990. “Peak oil” has nothing to do with the price of oil….at least thus far. It has more to do with the value of the US Dollar, and the propensity of Liberals to spend us into oblivion. It amazes me that Liberals will go to all this effort to FORCE people to use the amount of fossil fuel, THEY deem, “better,” yet do absolutely nothing…or worse…to limit government spending.

        Long before we begin to run out of oil, Seep, prices will NATURALLY climb. And when they do people will be driven to conserve and explore and invest in alternative energy. And yes, auto companies will live or die by their ability to respond to customer demand. This doesn’t mean you can preempt the free market, and enforce a cookie-cutter “solution” to a problem that does not yet exist.

        The return General Motors get on SUVs and trucks enable them to keep some production in the US. The Cruize, the Volt, and ALL the small, energy efficient, vehicles manufactured in the US by ALL the automakers, are sold at a loss. GM, more than all the others, must do this to comply with CAFE standards. This is why GM has been in a slow death spiral since CAFE standards were first enacted. It would be possible for GM to scale down, and specialize in large, expensive, vehicles, and still turn a profit. But CAFE standards make this impossible. Thus GM follows the traditional path of Liberalism—- If it moves, tax it; if it still moves, regulate it; if it stops moving, subsidize it!

        Btw, SEEP, since the Liberals, in all their wisdom and foresight, enacted CAFE standards, US consumption of gasoline and dependence on foreign oil, has INCREASED. When vehicles increased their mpg, Americans more than doubled their driving distances. Oops.

        “I have a bumper sticker on our vegetable oil powered Vanagon that says “How many soldiers per gallon does your SUV get?”, which means that we should not be sending our brave men and women to war for resources to support our wasteful ways.”

        We get very little oil from Iraq, and none from Afghanistan. Something most Liberals can’t understand is that there will always be people, and countries, that have an acute, irrational jealousy, of those with more than they. It doesn’t matter if its oil from the Arabs, fruit from the Cubans, or Hummers from GM, there will be people who envy. And when some narcissistic, well-spoken, leader is able to convince them they are somehow being oppressed, they will blindly follow him/her to their own demise.

        “…Granted, some industries will suffer, such as the coal industry and the archaic parts of the automotive industry which unfortunately included your factory. However, this shift will create new jobs in manufacturing of high-efficiency vehicles, electric cars, wind turbines, and yes, electric scooters.”

        I only wished I could suddenly stop the flow of fossil fuels to your little Liberal utopia. I think you would quickly be kissing the ass of the nearest owner of a gallon of gas. By every economic analysis I’ve seen, for every “green job” created (i.e. government subsidized), numerous jobs are lost in those “unfortunate” industries that have enabled you to live in your current comfort. Green technology will become a greater source of energy when it becomes a greater value for its customers. Sorry, but I find it a little arrogant to assume you get to define “responsible consumerism.”

        “You also may take note that the same liberal politics….are the ones that bailed out your former employer GM…”

        Didn’t I say that my plant was closing? It may also be useful if you didn’t get your information from the Liberal media. When former CEO Rick Waggoner originally approached Congress for funds, it was in response to the credit crisis, and that, in his testimony, General Motors, once the financial markets recovered, “would be profitable going forward.” The UAW had already reduced employee costs “in line with the transplanted automakers.” The original request was $18Billion in loans, and GM would avoid bankruptcy. GM estimates the costs of complying with Federal mandates— be they CAFE standards, EPA standards, California emissions standards, or safety standards—- to be about $8Billion ANNUALLY.

        But those sweet little Liberals in Congress refused the original offer, and Obama fired Waggoner. Instead, they opted for over $70Billion in loans and stock ownership, a large portion of which went to the UAW; a bankrupt company and loss of thousands of jobs; and a “new forwarded looking company” whose future profits rely on a series of money losing products and technologies, that no one wants unless the Government pays a portion.

        I guess the bright side is that YOU and your children will be paying this, SEEP. I’ll be living sweet on my Government “help.”

        I believe the finger from me would be appropriate at this point. : – ))

      • Also, as a followup to my response below, the attitude that “doing the right thing” is only OK if you can make a profit is a horribly unethical way to conduct business. The automobile standards are in place for a reason – they increase safety, decrease healthcare costs, save human lives, decrease environmental effects, and hold automakers to a responsible standard. It’s not the government’s fault that GM was making vehicles that were irresponsible and unsustainable financially, it was GM’s fault. If GM had been more forward thinking decades ago and not fought zero-emissions initiatives, they would have already had economically viable vehicles and your factory would likely still be prospering. Instead, by partnering with oil companies, lobbying against improved standards, and pushing on with unsustainable practices, they finally succumbed to their folly. I appreciate the relatively civil discussion, we can still do without the cursing and fingers – I changed my approach and no longer flip off Hummers, opting for more productive and congenial efforts.

  10. fishydude Says:

    This is hilarious. The amount of personal mental energy being wasted by eco-fascists over what vehicles other people choose to drive is dumbfounding.
    Like most people who still exercise their right to choose, I choose a family vehicle based on what my family needs. My family is in that evil anti-environmental category of “above average height.” And that means there is not a single car that get over 30MPG that will fit my family. The only vehicle I found that fits my family and cost under $20K is the Jeep Patriot. We get about 30MPG highway. I am 6′, my wife is 5’10” and our son is 6’4″ and not done growing yet. There isn’t an import or hybrid that he can fit in the back seat of.
    I don’t question why people buy Hummer either. My guess is that safety is the number one concern.
    Single vehicle fatality rates are 3 times higher than that for mid size cars.
    The people who are actually trying to “compensate for something” are those who believe they have to right to dictate how others live. That is, by the way, one of many definitions of FASCISM (which is only slightly less left wing than socialism, not “right wing”) “Sustainable Development” is another one of the pretty sounding names for fascism. The government dictates every aspect of how “private” property can be used.

    • fishydude,
      Thanks for your contribution to the discussion but I think you’re missing the point. First, let me put you at ease to say that there is no height discrimination, being tall does not make you evil or anti-environmental, and I certainly understand your difficulty in finding suitable cars. While you may not realize it, you made a very eco-conscious decision in going with a Jeep Liberty, an efficient vehicle that also makes sense for your family. I looked into the diesel version to use with my homebrew biodiesel but went with the Syncro Westfalia instead. With Hummers, on the other hand, there really is no logical reason to have one aside from the ones in the sticker above – they are poorly designed for off-road use, are highly inefficient, and have limited cargo capacity for their size. The point of conscious consumerism is that we evaluate our needs and the lifecycle impact of a product before we buy it

      Regarding your FASCISM and socialism comments, holding people to a certain level of social responsibility is neither fascism or socialism. In our free country, I certainly agree that people should have the right to do whatever they want, as long as it does not negatively impact others. Like it or not, buildings that don’t meet code can be unsafe and cost human life and government (public) money to mitigate, inefficient and CO2 spewing vehicles like Hummers increase particulate emissions and increase health problems, and degrade the environment, all incurring costs that end up covered by society and public resources. Smoking is the same problem, the 167 billion dollars in healthcare costs per year from tobacco is primarily covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Does that change your thoughts on how we should encourage changes in people’s behavior? The point is that the Right wing has everyone up in arms about an inaccurate and highly exaggerated concept of what socialism is and fairly ridiculous correlations are made that are simply wrong or irrelevant if put to even the slightest scrutiny.

      • Kevin Grace Says:

        “Regarding your FASCISM and socialism comments, holding people to a certain level of social responsibility is neither fascism or socialism. In our free country, I certainly agree that people should have the right to do whatever they want, as long as it does not negatively impact others. Like it or not, buildings that don’t meet code can be unsafe and cost human life and government (public) money to mitigate, inefficient and CO2 spewing vehicles like Hummers increase particulate emissions and increase health problems, and degrade the environment, all incurring costs that end up covered by society and public resources.”

        What you propose is beyond “holding people socially responsible.” It is DICTATING behavior before there is an evidence of injury. The public cost of poor decisions made by individuals is made possible by “progressive” social programs. I’m sure cigarettes will be illegal should Liberalism continue its reign over the free market. This is how it works— get them hooked on government subsidies, then the “government” will get to dictate their behavior.

        I don’t have a problem with regulations that requires a seller to tell the truth of their product, and facilitates the information available to the buyer—– be it cigarette warning labels, or posted mpg. I don’t have a problem with laws that demand an injured party is compensated and the perpetrator punished. But to move beyond that IS Facism. And in this respect, Fishdude is absolutely correct.

  11. Kevin,
    I think you’re misinterpreting what I’m proposing. We clearly can’t outlaw either cigarettes or Hummers. After all, it’s a “free” country and people can make choices, good or bad, if they so desire. However, these choices incur a cost to society as a whole, be it through increased healthcare costs, increased environmental cleanup costs, increased asthma from particulate emissions, political unrest and wars for to secure resources (ie, more gas for the Hummers), and if the true societal costs are factored into the products that we buy and the resources that we use, people will make very different choices. This is not the government telling people what to do, it’s simply holding both corporations and individuals responsible for the greater costs of their behaviors and practices. Using gas as an example, the U.S. Government subsidizes oil and gas exploration to the tune of more than 2 billion dollars a year, essentially giving money to companies that are already making billions and billions in profits. Aside from direct subsidies, the government spends billions more on environmental cleanup, superfund sites, and healthcare costs related to emissions, obesity, and more. If all of the costs of exploration, extraction, processing, and environmental cleanup are taken into account (this doesn’t include healthcare costs), a gallon of gas should cost about $12. Since Europe doesn’t subsidize like we do, they pay closer to this figure, around $8-$10. This increased cost, closer to the actual costs, leads people to make significantly different choices in regards to their vehicle, riding bicycles, walking, or using public transportation. These concepts are actually fairly conservative and support the Republican principles of personal/corporate responsibility, with less subsidy and manipulation of the “free” market. The problem is partly in our perception of the free market, which is not really free at all, it is twisted by these subsidies, lobbyists cutting deals, consumer manipulation, unjust treatment of workers, exportation of labor, shortcuts leading to environmental degradation and human health problems, and a slew of other factors.

    Another way to put it is for a simple pair of tennis shoes: would you choose to buy a $10 pair of shoes made from toxic chemicals that contaminated the local stream made by foreign workers who aren’t paid a living wage, or would you buy a $50 pair of shoes made from renewable resources in the U.S. by a worker who can feed their family and have healthcare coverage? I find it discouraging and disheartening that many conservative people scream for smaller government, less regulation, and still make socially irresponsible decisions when they consume. Please take into consideration the lifecycle and true costs of what you purchase. Buy local, buy responsibly made goods with socially responsible practices. This concept is in no way socialist or fascist.

    • Kevin Grace Says:

      Seep,

      First, merry Christmas. 😉

      As to your liberal theories and programming:

      “the attitude that “doing the right thing” is only OK if you can make a profit is a horribly unethical way to conduct business.”

      Why is that?! If a business is making a profit, they are providing value in an efficient way. If people are buying their product, they value the product more than the twenty dollars it cost, and the $20 worth of alternative products they could have purchased. “Profit” allows the company to invest in better products, that better meets the demands of the consumers. And with the additional value the consumer gained, he/she is able to spend in other areas of the economy. That sounds like a ‘win-win’ in areas outside of MSNBC.

      Therefore, your premise that “profit” is inherently evil, is moralistic judgement on your part. Why is that most Liberals claim to oppose those who wish to impose their religion on others, yet claim the right to impose their own on others??

      “The automobile standards are in place for a reason”

      And that would be because consumers demand greater value in their products, and a free market allows for competition. Safety features such as seat belts, anti-lock braking, stability systems, air-bags, ect., were ALL developed, and available to consumers, PRIOR to DOT, NHTSA directives. Demand for fuel-efficient vehicles increased due to the price of oil, long before CAFE requirements. “Standards” are ways to protect and inform the public; “REQUIREMENTS” are ways to limit consumer choice, market access, and impose costs on producers, consumers, AND taxpayers.

      A perfect example, “air-bags:” Step 1; Government forces automakers to install passive restrain systems, i.e. airbags. Step 2; Government must increase crash test requirements to include PRS tests, automakers must respond with increases in R&D and testing costs. Result…babys and small children are killed due to airbag deployments. Step 3; Goverment increases requirements on Child-seats, and forces automakers to test on smaller passengers….more R&D, more costs. Step 4; Government requires automakers to install ways to deactivate airbag systems. Results, a confused consumer goes to the dealer to deactivite their airbags, and Federal rules prohibit dealers from “disabling a required safety device.” Step 5, Government rewrites regulation to allow certified mechanics to disable safety device. Step 6, Government establishes rules for conditions when a device can be disabled, and what constitutes a “certified” and properly trained mechanic…..Meanwhile, the UAW imposes more work rules and requirements for employees involved in installing and handling air-bags, as they are considered an explosive device and regulated by OSHA.

      The short of it, managing consumer demand and meeting their needs is easily done from your computer desk, and at the Sierra Club. But pretending you are doing anything but imposing the political ethos of a minority upon a broader free market, is vain justification.

      “However, these choices incur a cost to society as a whole, be it through increased healthcare costs, increased environmental cleanup costs….”

      You can find imaginable “costs” with nearly EVERY human activity. The question is do you develop a system where individuals get to evalute the cost/benefit of a particular activity, or do you allow a handful of Government employees to define value for everyone.

      In order for a free marked to exist, individual freedom must be protected against the force, fraud, and injury of another. Example: BP spills millions of barrels of oil in the Gulf. BP pays the economic loss of individuals affected, and pays to bring the environment back to its previous condition. Of course there are aspects which are more complicated than that, starting with the fact that the damaged property is OWNED by the government, which pretty much eliminates free market principles to beging with….but I digress.

      The point is, there IS a cost associated with this damage. It was so costly that I am quite confident, BP, Halliburton, and Trans Ocean, will try to avoid in the future! Their ability to push this cost to consumers will be limited ONLY by securing the right of the other energy producing companies, who HAVEN’T screwed-up, to continue their business as usual. Whereas, the “liberal” solution would be to impose burdens on ALL the producers, and in affect, socialize BP’s mistake on all of us.

      Like I said before Seep, if you are so confident of these alleged costs, get a lawyer and sue. That too, is part of the free market.

      And finally….the best of new years for all of us.

  12. small jobs…

    […]FUH2: The Story of Anti-Hummer Road Rage Retribution « The S.E.E.P.[…]…

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    […]FUH2: The Story of Anti-Hummer Road Rage Retribution « The S.E.E.P.[…]…

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