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Old 04-06-2005, 02:47 PM   #41
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[quote="Fishyfanatic"]
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Ahh, childhood memories. I bet you also drank from the garden hose. And I bet none of your toys were ever recalled beacuse some child out of Nowhere USA broke their toy and swallowed a piece. Oh the good ol days.
I still drink from those hose. I don't remember baseballs, bats, or mitts ever being recalled.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:05 PM   #42
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With my girl being 1 years old next week Im a good study on car seat safty.

# Your baby should be in a rear-facing position from birth until he or she has reached at least 1 year of age and weighs a minimum of 22 pounds, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
# Your child should be in a forward-facing car seat until he or she is approximately 40 lbs.
# Your child should then be in a booster seat until he or she is 80 lbs.
# It is recommended that children under the age of 12 should sit in the back seat.

http://www.safety1st.com/product.asp?productID=647

We have two of these car seats. We wanted this seat for several reasons but the biggeest one is that this one will grow with our child. No need to buy 3 specific car seats when one flexable one will do the job. One for my car and one for my wifes. We both have what I consiter small cars. Mine is a two door Chevy Cav 2003 and my wifes is a four door Saturn Ion 2003. It was a challenge to get the car seat in the back of my car from the passenger side and thats the one where the front seat slides forward.

When ever we take our child on a trip thats more than a one day affair we know that if we have a second child we MUST get a SUV or minivan. The amount of stuff that one has to take along with a kid and yourselves is to much for a medium or small car to hold and expect to be able to bring anything back. Before SUV's you had BIG cars. Now a days the largest car is still small compaired to some of the beasts that used to traval the roads.

Blanket responses like "get a smaller car" or "drive less" or "carpool" its always the answer. If your in a position where you dont NEED a larger capacity car then by all means consiter a smaller more fuel economy version. If you are one to get board and just dive around town then I suggest you find something else to do like take a walk or ride a bike instead but some already drive as little as possible and the distances we do drive are required. Finally carpooling should be encouraged but alot of us dont have the flexability of jumping on mass transit or commuting to and from work with a group of folks whom work and live close to eachother.

And the absolute best no brainer comment I have heard is to get a job closer to your house. Well to that I say by all means if you want to make that contrabution then go right ahead. Many of us including myself have a talent set where we cant just score a job within 5 miles of our home and moving closer to our work is not a viable option either.

Right now our house is about half way between my and my wifes work. We go to work in opposite directions.

There are a few things that should have happend years ago that would have limited todays price impact on oil. First, there is a limited number of gas processing plants in the US. The refinery that blew up in TX was one of those that processed gas for cars. Now that its out of production there is a greater demand on the other processing plants that for the most part are all old and aging fast. We need to build new refineries and more refineries as our demand for gas increases due to population growth, etc we need more capacity. Second, emerging countries like china are using up more and more oil every year. Just 10 years ago the oil consumption in chinia was only a small % of what it is now and their consumption will only rise. Efforts need to be made to have countries like chinia become more efficent with their use of fuel. If that means giving them technology then so be it. Its all for the greater good of the world after all. Finally we should increase our domestic oil pumping efforts. The recent senate approval to drill in the alaska tunra will help but it will be several years before we will see the first drop of oil from that area.

I remember when gas was under a $1 and anything above a $1 was high way robbery for gas. Now I consiter myself lucky to find it under $2.10. How does this affect the average joe. It greatly reduces the spendable income after bills and I can tell you the average joe's employeer isnt about to give a gas price pay increase to offset the costs of going to and from work.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:09 PM   #43
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Quote:
I just avoid going anywhere with my friends if they're gonna bring their kids.
We HAD friends like that. Notice the word had. After you have a child you find out alot about the people you assocate with on a personal level. Those who see a child as a fith wheel usually get dropped off by the way side as other friends emerge that dont mind children or have some themselves.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:12 PM   #44
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Gasoline prices are driven by the cost of crude oil, which itself is driven by global free market forces over which the consumer has no control (OPEC policy, supply, global demand, refinery output, market speculation, etc). About 1/3 of the price at the pump is due to federal and state taxes.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/brochure...mer/primer.htm

It's easy to blame the Arabs and the oil companies for rising gas prices, but they are only part of the cause. Blame also lies with the rapid industrialization of China and our own resurging economy (both raise global demand). Americans will always be forced to REACT to gas prices until the federal government gets its act together and implements a coherent energy policy. Right now, any semblance of an energy policy is administered by the states - a hodgepodge of guidelines and regulations that do little to buffer the consumer from fluctuating energy costs.

The way things are now, fuel prices rise to the point where people really start to take notice and react (shunning SUVs, driving less, lowering the thermostat, insulating the house, etc). OPEC, fearing that we may grow less dependent on their product, lowers prices by raising production. We then obligingly slip back into energy use complacency until prices creep higher and start the cycle again.

I think the federal government should maintain a stockpile of crude oil and gasoline (SEPARATE from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – that’s there for times of war). They should use this stockpile to take the edge off price spikes of home heating oil and gasoline. By buying low and selling high, the stockpile should at the very least break even, and not cost the govt money to maintain.

I don’t think that ANY non-commercial passenger vehicle that gets less than 20 MPG should be allowed on the road. The govt should slowly implement a minimum passenger vehicle fuel efficiency of 20 MPG over the course of several years. With the proper legal/economic prodding, auto manufacturers could, and would produce a 4WD SUV that gets 20 MPG. Owners of fuel-inefficient vehicles should pay more in registration fees, while owners of fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles should receive some kind of tax credit.

I drive 350 miles a week just to go to work. It costs me about $29 a week at today’s gas prices. I think it’s obscene that the same commute by public transportation would cost me well over $200 a month. And I live in NYC, where the mass transportation system is well developed and funded. In most American towns and cities, the closest thing they have to mass transit is a small fleet of taxis. This has got to change. At the very least, parking at mass transit hubs should be free and plentiful. Mass transit costs should also be fully tax deductible at all levels.

High fuel prices are a problem that will not go away by ignoring them and waiting for the market to sort itself out. Fuel costs affect all of us, even those of us who don’t own cars – we all pay higher consumer prices due to rising shipping costs.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:27 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by fishfreek
There are a few things that should have happend years ago that would have limited todays price impact on oil. First, there is a limited number of gas processing plants in the US. The refinery that blew up in TX was one of those that processed gas for cars. Now that its out of production there is a greater demand on the other processing plants that for the most part are all old and aging fast. We need to build new refineries and more refineries as our demand for gas increases due to population growth, etc we need more capacity. Second, emerging countries like china are using up more and more oil every year. Just 10 years ago the oil consumption in chinia was only a small % of what it is now and their consumption will only rise. Efforts need to be made to have countries like chinia become more efficent with their use of fuel. If that means giving them technology then so be it. Its all for the greater good of the world after all. Finally we should increase our domestic oil pumping efforts. The recent senate approval to drill in the alaska tunra will help but it will be several years before we will see the first drop of oil from that area.
Only one problem there - the oil industry is an oligopoly and not a true competitive market. There's a few major players and massive barriers to entry into the market. Couple that with the fact that we don't have a reasonable substitute for oil in most cases and you have a sector that NEEDS to be regulated by the government.

The problem with an oligopoly is that the most efficient level of production for the company is not the most efficient level for the public (as it would be in a competitive market). In this case, one company CAN influence the market value for it's own product. If one major player decides to double it's production, and in the process increase it's marginal and capital costs, while simultaneously reducing the market value of it's product by half, why do it? The answer is that they don't. The oil companies are very happy with the prices right where they are.

If you're interested in the greater good, you're in the wrong country I'm afraid.
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We'll be fighting in the streets with our children at our feet, and the morals that they worshipped will be gone.

And the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong, they decide and the shotgun sings the song.



125 SW
80 lb LR
330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:37 PM   #46
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Good points QT.

I actually want a "curb weight tax" along with your standard plate fees. Any amount your vehicle weighs over 4,000 lbs is taxed at $1 per pound - meaning the proud owner of a new Ford Excursion would pony up about $4,000 per year in extra taxes to drive that behemoth on our streets.

The deductions people get for buying fuel-efficient vehicles are pitiful, but that's a tough road. Any amount of subsidy is just going to show up on the pricetag - the same as what's happened to health care. If the market value of an electric car is $15,000 but the government provides a $5,000 subsidy, the market value will simply rise by some amount between $1-$5,000, depending on the elasticity of the market of course.
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We'll be fighting in the streets with our children at our feet, and the morals that they worshipped will be gone.

And the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong, they decide and the shotgun sings the song.



125 SW
80 lb LR
330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 04-06-2005, 04:22 PM   #47
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The problem with taxing cars based on their weight or gas mileage is that not everyone is the same. A family of 6 can't drive a little Dodge Neon. They need a larger vehicle that probably won't get that great of gas mileage. PLUS, when my brother had his old truck, it got about 10 mpg. It was all that he could afford (big honkin truck) to buy. He didn't drive more than 8,000 miles a year because he worked 14 hours a day. So why should he be taxed a greater amount of money just because he has a larger truck that he uses in his job (farmer, needs a truck that's big with power)? He already has to pay for alot more gas than the average person, so why should he have to pay an ADDITIONAL tax. It just doesn't make sense. Taxing someone just because they don't have a car that gets great gas mileage is not the plan. Older vehicles don't get good gas mileage but that doesn't mean that we should ban them from the streets or make the owners poor by taking their money for taxes.
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Old 04-06-2005, 04:31 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Fishyfanatic
Taxing someone just because they don't have a car that gets great gas mileage is not the plan.
Actually, that's exactly the plan. A tax is a disincentive, a subsidy is an incentive. Taxing high fuel consumption or subsidizing low fuel consumption accomplishes the same task.

I'm sure that every person who owns an 8,000 lb SUV can come up with every reason in the world he NEEDS it and shouldn't be taxed. If we aksed everyone to please pitch in based on their level of consumption, at their own discretion, the total amount collected would be zero.

People with kids are already reaping large tax breaks, even though they're consuming a greater piece of the collective resources. I could complain about that I guess...
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We'll be fighting in the streets with our children at our feet, and the morals that they worshipped will be gone.

And the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong, they decide and the shotgun sings the song.



125 SW
80 lb LR
330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:28 PM   #49
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One of my co-workers has 4 kids who are between the ages of 8 and 15. She has to haul them around all the time to baseball practices, religion classes, volleyball games, 4H meetings, school, recitles, everything. This includes sports equipment, farm animals (chickens and ducks in cages), other students/friends, music instruments. We were just talking about this and she said that she COULD get rid of her SUV and drive a car like mine (04 2 door GrandAm) BUT then she would have to take multiple trips to get things to the places where they need to go. Therefore she would make two trips to the baseball game, using just as much if not more gas in the process. What does this solve? Nothing.

Thinking of a way to punish people for driving their cars is not black and white. Why should Suzie Q Soccer Mom be penalized because she is the one who carpools the neighborhood kids to school and soccer practice? She has to have a bigger vehicle. Therefore, she has to pay more money in taxes in addition to gas and insurance?

Come on, give me a break. This is on topic that I'm sure everyone is going to disagree on. There is not a right or wrong answer, just opinion.
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Old 04-06-2005, 06:02 PM   #50
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Supply and demand with regard to oil prices is a fact. A large part of the reason prices are rising, is we are competing with other industrializing nations for a finite supply of oil. China being the fastest growing oil consumer.

Just like JFK made it a national priority to put a man on the moon by the end of the 60s, so too should George Bush make it a national priority to rid ourselves of oil dependancy by the end of this decade. The sad truth is, our economic future depends on it. We can't keep absorbing the price of oil without harming the country.
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