Why Should the Government Bail Out Car Industry?

We were driving on a very long straight stretch of road, across the very flat land of Illinois, surrounded by lots of corn fields as far as the eye can see, in our family car (Honda Element) when the radio news mentioned the government may help out the ailing automobile industry. This started a conversation. We asked each other to name all the American car companies, and then list what cars they make. Now we are your average family making well below the $250K that the politicians were all talking about in the run up to the election this year. We make a slightly more than the average income for our town of $35K a year. Our car is 4 years old and finally paid off, and we have a second car that is eight years old and paid off as well. We think of ourselves as an average family, and fairly in tune with popular culture. So back to the question. What American car and American car makers exist? We made a rule that we had to answer the question in one mile driving at 70mph. We then asked the question again about foreign cars. The results are in the tables below. We checked the car prices when we got home on Edmunds.com.

American car makers we could remember, and the cars we thought they made:

1 Ford F150/Mustang $21K/$20K
2 Chrysler 300/Town&Country $25k/$25k
3 Chevy Camero –not in production until 2010 $22k
4 Dodge ? trucks ?
5 Hummer H2/H3 $62k/$33k
6 Jeep Wrangler $20k

Foreign cars we could remember:

1 Toyota Prius $22k
2 Honda Civic $15k
3 Saab 93 $30k
4 Volvo S40 $28k
5 Subaru Outback $22k
6 Landrover Range Rover $77k
7 Mercedes E Class $51k
8 Jaguar ? ?
9 Scion Xb $15k
10 VW New Beetle $17k

Cars we know we could never afford, but know the makers name anyway:

1 Lexus ? ?
2 Acura Integra ?not sold any more ?
3 Lamborghini ? Canon ball run ?
4 Ferrari ? Magnum PI ?
5 Porsche Boxster $45k
6 Bugatti ? ?

When we checked Edmunds.com later we found that we missed quite a few car makers. There are 48 makes being sold in the United States, 13 are US brands. We added the prices for the base car, if we knew its name. Sorry Dodge, we could not think of any vehicle made by you. The names of cars we wrote down were the first ones that came to our head, that is why Camaro beat out Corvette for Chevy. The makes in the tables are in the order that we remembered first, so Ford is still number one in our memory as a car company, Jeep is last. Sorry Buick, Cadilac, GMC, Lincon, Pontiac, and Saturn, we forgot you even existed, until we got home and looked you up on the Internet. Actually, not true about Cadilac, we remembered their cars can “turn you on”,  we don’t know which ones, but apparently that is what they do. As for foreign cars, we knew Jaguar made something, we just had no idea what kind anymore. While thinking about Jaguar, we remembered Dodge made the Neon, which I don’t think they sell any more, and then the Viper came to mind, which is insanely expensive; we still don’t know what Jaguar makes as of this writing. The last table is the exotic cars list, you know, the ones you dream of owning. We remembered Bugatti as one company, because of a U-tube video. We were pretty clueless about what the other companies produce these days except for the Porsche and it’s Boxster which beat out the 911, because one passed us on the highway while we were making our list.

Now for economics, if you own a house you should not have a payment on your house that is more than what one person in your family makes in a week. That is our philosophy and we stick to it. So if you don’t buy a car outright, then you should still have 10% down and the monthly payment should be one quarter of what you pay for your house. If you do it like that, and you make $50k a year, or about $800 a week, then a car payment should not be more than $200 a month. Based on the lists above, none of the new cars we listed are affordable to someone who makes 50K a year, since a $15K car cost $296 a month at 7.23% interest and 10% down for 60 months. Even with 20% down the car is too expensive. I think the car companies in America made the same mistake as the banks and pushed the limits too far above what people can really afford and relied on badly made car loans to help make a profit. If we are going to use tax payer money to bail out auto companies then, at least, bail out the ones that we can remember. Sorry Cadilac, you may turn us on, but then the endorphins kick in, and we forget who you are.

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Who's Obamas VP choice?

Ok, we are not political groupies; we are more like your average American family, we tend to follow politics the way a puppy follows a hot dog. With that said, we both watched the Democratic National Convention coverage and the Republican National Convention converage on TV. We both like Obama and McCain. My wife really likes Obama and I really like McCain. Anyway time went by and we had not watched the news and this morning we could not remember who Obama picked for his running mate. We knew it was not Hillary and we knew Palin was McCain’s right off without pause. Considering all the hype this past year in the media leading up to the conventions, we knew Obama and Hillary were on top in the race for the Democrats and the guy who was endorced by Chuck Norris was out on the Republcan side –bummer for Chuck. I think the Republicans made a great move with the VP choice mainly because we had to sit down and google Obama to find out who is running mate is. Joe Biden is Obamas running mate. We made a link to your wiki page so we will not forget anymore. And to be fare we made a link to Palin’s wiki too, though we probably will not forget her.

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iPhone 3G Arrived Today -Broken

My old iPhone died the week before the 3G came out so instead of dealing with repairing the old beat up iPhone, I bought the new iphone 3G thinking that it would at least work when it arrived. Well It works mostly… I was able to sync in all my contacts, email accounts and music, but when I went to add the iPhone to my access list for my house wireless network it said No WiFi am on hold going on 10minutes with apple support… grr… 15minutes to get a person Yeah!

Starting to miss my old clunking Samsung phone right now.

Apple support guy said to reset my iPhone, it will take about 30 minutes and it should work then. so I opened up iTunes plugged in my iPhone; after the phone showed I should click the Summary Tab and (oh here you need to make sure all the important stuff is backed up) select the Restore button and answer all the prompts to get a fresh factory iphone (225MB) software.

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Super Fat Tuesday

Super Fat Tuesday –bring in the clowns 

We voted today. I went for the republicans and geko went for the democrats. The poling place had a colored piece of paper which indicated either a republican or a democrat. The papers were stacked face down in neat piles; the pile for the democrats was much higher than the pile I put my paper on…

Wikipedia had “Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”) is the day before Ash Wednesday” they aslo had a note that no one could edit the article until Feb 6th, 2008 due to vandalism. Those darn Carnival-Goers…not even wikipedia is safe.

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