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Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? #2536120
08/14/18 12:46 PM
08/14/18 12:46 PM
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From wsj

Capitalism Fixed My Car
All kinds of goods are improved by
‘trade-tested betterment.’

Stephen Miller

I take for granted these days that my four-year-old car will get me from A to B without breaking down. Forty years ago, this wasn’t the case. When I drove, I would listen carefully to the car’s many sounds, worried that something was about to go wrong.

This anxiety was reasonable. My first car, purchased in the early 1960s, had an unusual problem: The accelerator pedal sometimes stuck to the floor. I would have to bend down to get it unstuck while keeping one eye on the road. A few years later I bought a new car, but before long its fuel pump began to clog, and the engine would suddenly die. My next car had a very exposed gas tank that, in the event of a rear-end collision, could cause a fiery explosion. The car after that had a bad distributor that caused the engine to sputter in rainy weather. I would have to stop every 50 miles and wipe the distributor dry.

The cars of the 1950s through the 1970s were prone to problems.
They had a tendency to overheat when stuck in traffic on hot summer days, and their tires would often go flat.
I once got a flat at 1 a.m. on the approach ramp to the Verrazano Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn. Fortunately, a police car showed up and I changed the tire without getting killed.

Today, cars are much more reliable. I can’t remember the last time I called roadside assistance. “Getting 100,000 miles out of a car in the 1970s was cause for celebration,” economist Steven Horwitz wrote in a 2015 paper. “Not getting 100,000 miles out of a car today is cause to think you bought a lemon.”

The improvement came because of what Deirdre McCloskey,
author of
“Bourgeois Equality,” calls
“trade-tested betterment.”
In countries with strong market economies, companies that develop better products and services usually reap financial rewards—as long as the government doesn’t interfere to protect the existing industry leaders.

Countries that embraced trade-tested betterment after about 1800, Ms. McCloskey writes, were “startlingly more productive, creating ten times, thirty times, a hundred times more goods and services, and to the poorest among us.”

Some people want the government to protect jobs threatened by new technologies, but that’s an old mistake. “The advent of cars did not produce mass unemployment because of insufficient demand for the output of blacksmiths and horse traders,” Ms. McCloskey writes. “Fundamentally, all tools—a blast furnace and a spinning jenny, or for that matter an Acheulean hand ax or a Mycenaean chariot wheel—are ‘robots,’ that is, contrivances that make labor more productive.”

Trade-tested betterment worked not only for cars, but for all the appliances in my house. They are more reliable and sophisticated than those I had 40 years ago, and they use far less energy. The computer this article was written on, a Chromebook, cost me $175 a year ago. My first computer, bought three decades earlier, was more expensive yet did nowhere near as much.

When the government tries to protect jobs, it impedes economic growth and lowers the standard of living for everyone. U.S. policy makers should listen to Ylva Johansson, the Swedish minister for employment and integration, who says: “The jobs disappear, and then we train people for new jobs. We won’t protect jobs. But we will protect workers.”

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536124
08/14/18 12:52 PM
08/14/18 12:52 PM
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Probably ought to consider that it is
nearly impossible to reach parts inside some engine compartments ( Ford especially)
and that a Chrysler 2005 T&C has more than 4000 pages of field repair manuals to go through.

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536140
08/14/18 01:18 PM
08/14/18 01:18 PM
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Guitar Jones Offline
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There is no disputing that cars are way more reliable and last a lot longer than they did even 30 years ago. Are the more complex and harder to work on? You bet they are. But one thing invariably leads to another.


I never learned to count my blessings, I choose instead to live inside my disasters.

The Scamp is sold, now just two old trucks and one new one.
'92 D250 Club Cab CTD, 47RH conversion, pump tweaks, injectors, rear disc and hydroboost conversion.
'74 W200 Crew Cab 360, NP435, D44, D60 and NP205 divorced transfer case. Magnum 5.2 MPI and NV4500 coming soon.
2019 1500 Long Horn Crew Cab 4WD, 5.7 Hemi!
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Guitar Jones] #2536185
08/14/18 02:46 PM
08/14/18 02:46 PM
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Round Lake Beach, Illinoisy
Rhinodart Offline
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Nobody should listen to anybody from Sweden... tsk


The funny thing about science is that if you change one miniscule parameter you change the entire outcome to the way you want it.

JB Rhinehart, Realist

A-Body's RULE!
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Guitar Jones] #2536213
08/14/18 03:29 PM
08/14/18 03:29 PM
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Virginia
BSharp Offline
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Originally Posted By Guitar Jones
There is no disputing that cars are way more reliable and last a lot longer than they did even 30 years ago. Are the more complex and harder to work on? You bet they are. But one thing invariably leads to another.

I might not say "invariably". A large part of today's complexity has nothing to do with reliability or longevity, but comfort and convenience that consumers want and are willing to pay for. Capitalism.

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: BSharp] #2536249
08/14/18 04:27 PM
08/14/18 04:27 PM
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Eagle, Idaho
Neil Offline
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Certain parts of newer vehicles are longer lasting, but as a whole I don't think they are immune from falling apart any less than the old stuff. It's all the unnecessary stuff being added that now breaks in addition to the old fashioned engine or transmission blow up. I know of two people who have vehicles less than a few years old (one almost new and the other is a 2005?) that just had their engines lock up in the last couple weeks One loss oil pressure and the other overheated and seized. One got a new motor and the other went to the recycle yard for scrap as the warranty just expired.

When I was at the dealership in the late 90's no techs worked weekends. Not even once, including the equally large Ford dealer right across the street. The mechanics I know today are 100% expected to work weekends in order to keep up with the never ending work load.

Last edited by Neil; 08/14/18 04:36 PM.
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536311
08/14/18 06:17 PM
08/14/18 06:17 PM
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up yours
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Mandatory OT usually means an understaffing issue. Someone is trying to save benefits money by overworking the existing staff rather than staff up to allow their people to have a life.

As for today's cars being better. Everything is better. Fridges, AC's, phones, TVs, you name it. Unless it's third world scrap masquerading as "kwality" using a first word name.


They say there are no such thing as a stupid question.
They say there is always the exception that proves the rule.
Don't be the exception.
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536315
08/14/18 06:24 PM
08/14/18 06:24 PM
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Hamtramck, PA
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Quote:
The accelerator pedal sometimes stuck to the floor. I would have to bend down to get it unstuck while keeping one eye on the road.


Did he have a really long arm?

A really long neck?

No door on the car perhaps?

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536319
08/14/18 06:29 PM
08/14/18 06:29 PM
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My 14 yo parts runner still has the org. plugs/wires/tail light bulbs/coolant/rotors at 135k miles.

Only oil/trans fliud/fuel pump/water/pump/t belt/brake pads have been changed.

Although its starting to feel its age.

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Supercuda] #2536371
08/14/18 07:52 PM
08/14/18 07:52 PM
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in a cattle trailer down by th...
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Guitar Jones Offline
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Originally Posted By Supercuda
Mandatory OT usually means an understaffing issue. Someone is trying to save benefits money by overworking the existing staff rather than staff up to allow their people to have a


We are required to work every 3rd Saturday or have someone to fill in for us. We can take a day off during the week for that Saturday we work if we want to. It's more of a convienance for the customers.

You can only have so many techs. Most only get 1 stall with a lift these days, good techs get 2, I have 4.


I never learned to count my blessings, I choose instead to live inside my disasters.

The Scamp is sold, now just two old trucks and one new one.
'92 D250 Club Cab CTD, 47RH conversion, pump tweaks, injectors, rear disc and hydroboost conversion.
'74 W200 Crew Cab 360, NP435, D44, D60 and NP205 divorced transfer case. Magnum 5.2 MPI and NV4500 coming soon.
2019 1500 Long Horn Crew Cab 4WD, 5.7 Hemi!
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Neil] #2536388
08/14/18 08:18 PM
08/14/18 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted By Neil
Certain parts of newer vehicles are longer lasting, but as a whole I don't think they are immune from falling apart any less than the old stuff.


Me personally, I worry about “lead free” solder growing “dendrites” that spread like those hairy molds and short out micro electronic circuits randomly.

Just this morning I learned that similar failures can happen when
“low quality Flash Memory”
reaches its maximum number of reads and then generates random but increasing read errors.
I have had a Sony made GoogleTV set top box for HDTV, and now have an AndroidTV set top box. I thought the main problem with these boxes was that they might stop getting software security updates. Google itself has been the best at doing security updates, but this morning there was a warning that Google’s set top box called the Nexus Player is failing due to internal Flash memory coming to the end of its reliable number of reads.

I worry that all this electronics in autos will have short lives and be too costly to repair.
( and then there are nuclear generated electromagnetic pulses, but that is another story)

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536401
08/14/18 08:42 PM
08/14/18 08:42 PM
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in a cattle trailer down by th...
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Guitar Jones Offline
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Some people just worry too much. What are you going to do about it?


I never learned to count my blessings, I choose instead to live inside my disasters.

The Scamp is sold, now just two old trucks and one new one.
'92 D250 Club Cab CTD, 47RH conversion, pump tweaks, injectors, rear disc and hydroboost conversion.
'74 W200 Crew Cab 360, NP435, D44, D60 and NP205 divorced transfer case. Magnum 5.2 MPI and NV4500 coming soon.
2019 1500 Long Horn Crew Cab 4WD, 5.7 Hemi!
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536449
08/14/18 10:04 PM
08/14/18 10:04 PM
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Seattle
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"When the government tries to protect jobs, it impedes economic growth and lowers the standard of living for everyone. "


Oh please.

Seat belts saves lives. Air bags saves lives. ABS saves lives.

CAFE raising fuel mileage standards, we now have 300hp engines getting 30mpg.

I wouldn't say capitalism per se makes cares better. COMPEITION and some gov't mandates do.

Would you rather have your teenage daughter driving around a car everyday to school in a car that:

- hood can decapitate you
- steering column that can impale you
- fly out of windows due to no seat belts
- slide off the road from tires that suck/not-DOT approved and no ABS

This WSJ article author doesn't have a clue.

Capitalism is to make the most money w/the least amount of resources. Car companies have fought every gov't regulation to the tee.

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Rhinodart] #2536562
08/15/18 01:53 AM
08/15/18 01:53 AM
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Sacramento CA
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Originally Posted By Rhinodart
Nobody should listen to anybody from Sweden... tsk


Oh come on, we all know you are a huge ABBA fan

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: ragtopdodge] #2536589
08/15/18 07:51 AM
08/15/18 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted By ragtopdodge
"When the government tries to protect jobs, it impedes economic growth and lowers the standard of living for everyone. "


Oh please.

Seat belts saves lives. Air bags saves lives. ABS saves lives.

CAFE raising fuel mileage standards, we now have 300hp engines getting 30mpg.

I wouldn't say capitalism per se makes cares better. COMPEITION and some gov't mandates do.

Would you rather have your teenage daughter driving around a car everyday to school in a car that:

- hood can decapitate you
- steering column that can impale you
- fly out of windows due to no seat belts
- slide off the road from tires that suck/not-DOT approved and no ABS

This WSJ article author doesn't have a clue.

Capitalism is to make the most money w/the least amount of resources. Car companies have fought every gov't regulation to the tee.


Capitalism drives competition.


526 cubes of angry wedge, pushbutton shifted, 9 passenger killer!
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Spaceman Spiff] #2536590
08/15/18 07:59 AM
08/15/18 07:59 AM
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Oakdale CT
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Originally Posted By Spaceman Spiff
Capitalism drives competition.


Yes.




"I think its got a hemi"
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: Guitar Jones] #2536602
08/15/18 08:58 AM
08/15/18 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted By Guitar Jones
Some people just worry too much.


Half of all people worry too much.
Half of all people worry too little.

Both situations worry me.
smile

“Worry is like a rocking chair,
Ya spend a lotta energy
But ya get nowhere”

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: 360view] #2536613
08/15/18 09:29 AM
08/15/18 09:29 AM
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West Virginia
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Capitalism improves the bank accounts of big wigs

...with no regards to quality, safety, longevity, customer satisfaction or anything else.


1969 Buick Sportwagon 455 Stage 1 Ram Air SOLD
Nationwise Auto Parts Alumni 1982-1984

Now 1972 El Camino, original 402
Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: ragtopdodge] #2536641
08/15/18 10:58 AM
08/15/18 10:58 AM
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Manitoba, Canada
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Originally Posted By 360view

Trade-tested betterment worked not only for cars, but for all the appliances in my house. They are more reliable and sophisticated than those I had 40 years ago


Bull bull bull. Look at the planned 5 year life expectancy for any new junk appliances you buy these days. Look at the thin cheap plastic all new junk is now compared to the old heavy steel stuff that used to last forever. The author's argument has just been a race to the bottom. The only reason cars have gotten better is government regulations. Now I'm no fan of regulating everything to death but in this instance let's not pat the auto makers on the back for doing something they were forced into doing.

Originally Posted By ragtopdodge

This WSJ article author doesn't have a clue.

Capitalism is to make the most money w/the least amount of resources. Car companies have fought every gov't regulation to the tee.


Yup. If it was up to the car companies, air bags, fuel injection and abs would still all be optional. If they could cheap out on R&D and safety equipment they would.

Re: Correct/Incorrect: Capitalism improves Cars over time? [Re: DaytonaTurbo] #2536679
08/15/18 12:03 PM
08/15/18 12:03 PM
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Round Lake Beach, Illinoisy
Rhinodart Offline
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I have had my microwave for 32 years now, my dishwasher for 30, my stove for 29, my fridge for 25, my washer and dryer for the same. I WILL NOT buy a new appliance unless my old one's explode... tsk


The funny thing about science is that if you change one miniscule parameter you change the entire outcome to the way you want it.

JB Rhinehart, Realist

A-Body's RULE!
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