18.6.13

The One Where Da-da Messes Up the High-End Car Market

This image works for everything.

Da-da doesn't exactly live in Beverly Hills, but more and more he's seeing 20-somethings driving luxury cars all over the place. It's not difficult to see why. Car manufacturers are being increasingly disingenuous to sell at any cost, suckering kids with seductive music-video commercials and ads, "helping" young adults into buying or leasing cars they can only afford by way of EZ Monthly Payments -- over an 11 year car loan. A car mortgage!

11 years. To pay off a car. You're gonna lose half its value just driving it off the lot, unless you're foolish enough to lease it. But that's just the beginning. College grads and pre-grads, before you go out and abuse that clean new credit to purchase a BMW or Mercedes or Land Rover or whatever, there's something car manufacturers haven't told you.

Sure, these might be amazing luxury vehicles, and the prices (and silly taglines and marketing) and "maintenance included" spiffs equally amazing, but besides the extra interest you'll pay on that 11-year loan (or lease money tossed into a bank hole), just wait till you have to pay $2200 for brakes in 15,000 miles, or $1200 for tires, or $3000 for a new clutch, not to mention higher taxes and vehicle tags (tag price/registration is based on car cost).

Ok, this one might be worth it.

Leased vehicles -- even ones from the future -- also require the most expensive level of car insurance because... it's not your car. You just rent it from the bank. They want their property looked after. And when the lease is over, they get their property back and you have nothing to show for your "investment." (FYI, cars are generally bad investments.)

Basically, banks win. You lose. Anyone who tells you any different is selling something.

That '81 Honda (THAT GETS 34 MPG) is starting to look pretty good right now, huh? Of course it isn't. But buying what you can afford, buying something with CASH... well, it might not be an awesome luxury vehicle, but it gets you from here to there, and it's paid for. Paid-for is a wonderful feeling. It doesn't happen very often in our "modern" world. And those cool young people with the cool luxury vehicles... well, some are just lucky, but Da-da's guessing most of them are bankster victims, victims of 50 years of automotive manipulation.

Indebtedness is not cool. Excess is not cool. Greed is not cool. Manipulating, debasing, ripping off billions of your fellow human beings while sipping $200 glasses of wine atop the power pyramid is not cool.

Then again, some might like being taken advantage of, as well as their heirs and their heirs, ripped off in perpetuity, generation after generation.

A pity the U.S. is so short-sighted when it comes to public transportation. It's easy to see why so little of it exists: like public education, there's no MONEY in it.

Bikes are looking pretty good to Da-da these days. As are other countries.

Da-da's new ride is here. Yup: it's a bike.

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