I friggin' LUV ZeroHedge!
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"No single raindrop ever feels like it is responsible for the flood."
Speaking of raindrops, one of my favorite movies of all time is Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
* MINE TOO...!!!
The bicycle scene with Butch and Etta is unforgettable.
Like many, I grew up riding a bike. I learned at a young age how to fix a flat and put on the chain. I loved the freedom of riding around town. My first stitches, five in the chin, were earned in a bike wreck that was caused by me. Consequences are such a powerful thing.
Sadly, kids these days tend to text their friends, or chat virtually inside an x-box game, rather than ride over to each other's home.
* OH... MY... FRIGGIN'... GOD! RIGHT ON TARGET! EXACTLY! A-FRIGGIN'-MEN!
The bicycle is an amazing piece of technology that is capable of solving at least a few of our modern day health, financial, and energy problems.
Consider that in many parts of the world where bicycles are the norm there is usually far less obesity, debt, and reliance on imported oil and the offensive war machine that is required to invade nations and murder people so that we may take their oil.
* ACTUALLY... JUST TO INTERJECT... IT'S MAINLY ABOUT EUROPE'S OIL... AND JAPAN'S... AND A FEW OTHERS...
* US? THE U.S.? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE? WE'RE FRIGGIN' FINE! INDEED, WE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN - AT LEAST THEORETICALLY!
* FRIGGIN' ENTANGLING FOREIGN ALLIANCES... (IF ONLY WE'D LISTENED TO JEFFERSON...)
* ANYWAY... BACK TO THE PIECE...
Bicycles are elegant...
Bicycles are efficient...
Bicycles are effective...
When widely adopted, bicycles can have a big effect on a population.
While Europe is getting fatter, the Netherlands is getting thinner. It’s the only country in which the World Health Organization (WHO) is predicting a decline in obesity rates.
One reason, possibly the main reason, the Dutch are not getting more obese is bicycles:
In the Netherlands 27% of all trips and 25% of trips to work are made by bike. The average distance cycled per person per day is 2.5 km. Holland and bicycles go together like bread and jam. Despite the recession the cycle-happy Dutch are still spending a lot of money on their bicycles – nearly 1 billion euros’ worth a year. About 1.3 million bicycles were sold in the Netherlands in 2009, at an average price of 713 euros ($1,008) each. Amsterdam (the capital and largest city of the Netherlands) is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world. It has 400 km of bike lanes and nearly 40% of all commutes in Amsterdam are done on bike.
In the [good ol'] USA only 0.9% of all trips are made by bike. The average distance cycled per person is 0.1 km.
* I GREW UP ON A GOD-DAMNED BIKE! AND LIFE WAS BETTER FOR ME BECAUSE OF IT!
Minneapolis, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, and Boston are consistently ranked among the top bicycle cities in the USA. You will not find one of these five cities among the 25 fattest cities in the USA. Houston is the fattest city in the USA, is also probably the very worst for bicycles, and was ranked second by county for gasoline consumption, just behind Los Angeles.
The economics are obvious:
The estimated average transaction price of a new car or truck sold in the U.S. in April was $33,560.
Annual Cost to Own and Operate a Vehicle in 2015 is $8,698, according to AAA.
According to Social Security data, the median net wage for a working individual in the US is $28,031.
How do average people afford a $33,560 car when they make $28,031 in a year?
Debt, of course!
Through early September, Wall Street firms issued nearly $70 billion in securities backed by auto loans, up 9% from the same period a year ago, according to J.P. Morgan. About $21 billion of those were backed by sub-prime loans to relatively risky borrowers.
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
* AND YOU FOLKS SHOULD BE SHAKING YOUR HEADS TOO!
Sub-prime car-loan originations have taken off in recent years as lenders have loosened underwriting criteria in this sector, allowing for borrowers with low - and often no - credit scores to get access to financing.
During the first half of 2015, lenders gave out $56.4 billion in sub-prime auto loans, up 13% from the same period a year ago and up 181% from the first half of 2009, when the market for these loans bottomed out, according to credit-reporting firm Equifax Inc.
In contrast, I recently bought this folding bike for less than $300. It was made in China, which I now regret, but if you are willing to spend more than $1,000, then you can get one made in the USA. They easily fold up in about 10 seconds to put it in the back of a car, carry it on a train, throw it in the storage under a bus, or take it up the elevator to an apartment or office.
No gasoline expense. No insurance expense. No parking expense.
So, if you are sick from [and about] being overweight, tired of bombing brown people to steal their oil, and want to know something you can do about it - TODAY - that will also improve your personal financial situation... ditch the car and ride a bike. You will feel better, and better about yourself, and remember, no single raindrop ever feels like it is responsible for the flood.
* LISTEN. I LOVE MY CHARGER. (RT! HEMI! INFERNO RED WITH A BLACK SPOILER!) I ALSO LOVE MY WIFE'S CAR - TWIN SCROLL TURBO POWERED! FAST AS FRIGGIN' HELL!
* AND, NO... FOR US... FOR MOST OF OUR PEERS... A BYCYCLE IS SIMPLY NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A FRIGGIN' CAR.
* BUT FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, FOLKS... THE LARGER POINTS THE AUTHOR MAKES... ARE ABSOLUTELY... UNDENIABLY... TRUE.
* AS FOR YOUR KIDS...
* FIRST OF ALL, I BELIEVE THAT ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO ALLOW YOUR NON-DRIVING, NON-WORKING KIDS A CELL PHONE...
* ...ARE MORONS.
* ALSO... IF YOU HAVE A KID - UNDER THE AGE OF SAY 17 - AND HE OR SHE ISN'T REGULARLY RIDING A BIKE...
(*GNASHING MY TEETH*)
* THEN ONCE AGAIN... YOU'RE A FRIGGIN' MORON. AND A LOUSY PARENT.