The piece in the WSJ supplement, "What a Car Really Costs," MT Sunday, Nov. 8, is a small part of the whole story. The automobile is heavily subsidized as an element of a massive "transit" system paid for by the public:
- Vehicular deaths — 38,000 annually — plus the even greater number of personal injuries. Costs of insurance rates, conduct of civil and criminal actions, traffic policing, emergency services, and superior highway engineering.
- Bridges, culverts, signal controls, lighting, signage, etc.
- Governmental agencies, licenses
- Fuel, oil, repair, and general maintenance
- Two cars? Nearly double the cost.
- Inefficiency. At least 80 percent of expense of owning and operating a car goes to moving its dead weight, leaving only 10 percent for its primary mission, passenger transport.
- Storage space: a two car garage over a 30-year mortgage costs a bundle. City parking is at least $10 per day.
- Environmental damage: nearly incalculable in terms of energy use, air pollution, tire dumps and other toxic waste, plus resource depletion — and salted roadways.
The article mentions only first-cost and depreciation. However, it seems we are willing to pay the exorbitant additional costs and won't call them "subsidies." Semantics! — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville
I confess. I traded my vote for a gift from President Barack Obama! I am not reluctant, embarrassed or ashamed to joyfully admit it. It's one of the things I was most thankful for this Thanksgiving and consider it an early Christmas present, as well.
I already received my gift on Nov. 6. The president whooped up on Mitt-Flop fancy-rich-pants Romney. What more could I want? Well, here's the stuffing in the turkey and the tinsel on the tree. Not only did my guy win, but he made Mitch McConnell one of the biggest crow-eating losers of the new millennium.
You remember Mitch, the minority leader of the Senate, pledging no second term for the president. Wrong! Even better, if McConnell doesn't learn to compromise and negotiate as leaders have in the past, the president and Senate Majority Leader Reid will make him irrelevant for the next four years.
Happy Holidays! — Thomas Johnston, Medford
I looked at my nice wide TV to watch the Civil War. Alas, it wasn't on here. Pac-12, you've gone too far! Now all you sports fanatics may think this somewhat lame. Though not a die-hard football fan, I've always watched this game.
So I'd like to send a message, just in case there's any doubt. There's little joy in Medford — mighty Charter blocked us out. — Wendyn Price, Talent