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Well, because of the economic recession/depression, most people cannot afford a new fuel-efficient car. I read that the average age of a car on the road today is ten years old. So the mpg is dreadful.

As prices go up, we are driving less and less. And as long as we have a corrupt congress, we'll never see the same fuel efficiency that we see in European cars.

John D

I saw a Plymouth Reliant driving down the road the other day. Googled it and found that they stopped making them in 1989. People are keeping cars much longer than the experts think.

Love my Crown Victoria

Mileage means so little anyway.

New 33 MPG Car Cost: $30,000
$4 Gas over 100K miles: $12,000.

Older 20 MPG Car/Truck Cost: $2,000
$4 Gas over 100,000 miles: $20,000.

That's $20,000 in my back pocket. Plus I save more by not insuring a car I can easily replace with cash I save.

Besides, I like a big car, especially with the predatory and aggressive driving encountered nearly every day on America's Roads of Rage.

Just keep it looking respectable so you don't get pulled over for Driving-While-Poor. I just got a rust fix and half a paint job for $900 from Mr. Shade Tree that'll probably last 3 years.



Wow, Dave! This was absolute Ether, and I mean absolute Ether to American made bullshit.

(ps Ether is a song that was made by Nas in 2000 as a response to a track titled The Take Over by Jay-Z - it was one of the biggest rap battles in hip hop history, arguably between the two biggest rappers from NYC, and it produced Ether which is generally regarded as a top 10 diss track of all time)


Thanks very much Dave for another excellent post!

Have been a regular reader for some time and find your site to be one of the best out there.

Regarding America's (among others) "leading industry", I wonder if you have seen this blog site - https://mtwsfh.blogspot.ca/

It seems to have been unfortunately abandoned in April, 2011 - but still maintains a decade by decade account of American history - sans bullshit (indexed along the right hand side).

It presents an interesting historical complement to the contemporary bullshit that you so effectively deconstruct each day.

Please do keep up your excellent work!

Mike Brehm

Dave -

New keyboard please. I snorted coffee all over mine when I read the phrase about us delaying the peak oil apocalypse by 4 minutes!

Oh my, that was good.

So, playing around a bit with the numbers for light-duty SWB vehicles: if the 2010 average is 31 mpg and the 2011 average is 33 mpg, then over the last 4 years the average increase is 3.98 mpg or close enough to 4, as "claimed" by Leonard.

Looking at this chart (https://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_23.html) I noticed that the claim for vehicle efficiency in the lower half of the table [for new vehicles ONLY] is 33.9 for 2010 and 33.8 for 2011. Using those two numbers mixed into the table you presented gives 4.7 mpg. Of course, it also represents an astounding 10 mpg increase in a year's time, completely contrary to the general improvement trend (as shown in Stuart's graph). There would have to be a HUGE discontinuity in his curve right at 2010 to make that believable.

So it seems as if Leonard is practicing a very pernicious form of bullshit by mixing apple and orange lines from an "official" (cough, cough) US government chart. And he mostly knows that the majority of folks won't take the time to investigate to find the real numbers as Dave did. And, then to play with the numbers to see what is actually being represented.

Fact is, just GIVE every driver a fucking Prius and you'll start to see an improvement in average fuel efficiency. Of course that would mean using our military to take over the Toyota corporation to do our bidding and build us 200 million cars in 2-3 years or so. Ain't gonna happen. Easier to keep junkers on the road and steal oil from places, at least according to our current societal trade-off matrix.

Just another wishful thinking, pie-in-the-sky piece from Leonard to assuage the masses and get us all thinking that things are "getting better!", "looking up!", "green shoots!" and all that other feel-good nonsense.

Good job shooting this kind of crap down Dave.


Don't the black boxes that do high frequency trading for the likes of Goldman Sachs scour the internet for news stories to try to fit negative and positive news into an algorithmic decision to buy or sell? Does that just push the fantasy thinking and denial even harder than typical human nature or am I in the nut house?


@Brett, if that's true then God(s) help us all...


Dave, I'd also been noticing this "efficiency meme" creeping into articles about how the US has become - cough - an oil exporter. Had seen Stuart's graph, and now your stats complete the picture.
It's really amazing how articles in so-called respectable newspapers and magazines really aren't being checked for accuracy and misleading articles. Part of the problem is that there's a whole loada dumbing-down going on, and no-one really cares anymore. If a celebrity says something, or a journo writes something in the msm, it's just gotta be true !

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