When a kid buys his first car in the Capitalist System

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 30 12:28:50 MDT 2002

Hunter Gray wrote:

>A rare disagreement.  Aside from the interesting challenge of selling a
>socialism-with-few-cars to the Workingclass of the World [including me], I'm
>just quite sure that, under just about any genuinely democratic system,
>we're going to have lots and lots of cars and pickups etc.  for lots and
>lots of folks.  And, if we didn't, how in the Hell are we going to go deer
>hunting after work in the evenings?
Everything has an environmental cost, and most especially cars. You may
not see such costs in Idaho or other thinly populated states , but in
the rest of the country the automobile has been a disaster. It produces
global warming. With five per cent of the world's population, North
Americans produced 25 per cent of the world's greenhouse gases in 1998.
 In the United States, only two per cent of drivers owned SUVs in 1975,
but that figure increased to 22 per cent by 2001. Not only do SUVs emit
more carbon dioxide than cars -- 5.4 tons a year compared to four tons
-- they also pump out 30 per cent more carbon monoxide and 75 per cent
more smog-causing nitrogen oxides. This is unhealthy for those in the
rich countries and the poor countries that will be victimized by
climactic changes.  Attributable to smog, asthma is now the NUMBER ONE
childhood illness in the USA. In the South, the effects will be far
worse. Some scientists believe that the current drought in Africa is
related to greenhouse effects in Europe. They also believe that the
growing severity of hurricanes in Central America has the same cause.

> And what about the isolated small
>ranchers and small farmers and  hard-rock miners and loggers et al.?  The US
>and Canada -- and Navajoland and Mongolia -- ain't One Big New York and
>Toronto.  [Side comment:  just try selling the Dine' of the Southwest on
>getting rid of their Navajo Cadillacs [pickups]!
Nobody will take their cars away. We are really talking about places
like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. where most people live. When I
see some idiotic Jeep Cherokee rolling down 3rd ave., I scratch my head
at the folly of capitalist consumerism.


Louis Proyect

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