First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

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thelawnet
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby thelawnet » 7 Apr 2012, 12:51pm

meic wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
reohn2 wrote:The planet is creaking under the stress of the ever growing human population,we simply are too successful for our own good.
I'm only glad to have lived when I have, it will become harder by each passing generation,if the population keeps growing at the present rate.


They've been saying that since the 19th century.


Not that bit, until now every generation "did as least as well as their old man did*" that has now stopped.


That seems a rather myopic view of history.
Perhaps it is true of the last century or so, but it's rather obvious in the history of humanity that there have been later periods when things have been much worse than earlier....

The children born circa 1950s in the UK have been born in the optimum time for acquisition of personal wealth. It is pretty much getting poorer from then on.


The baby boomers have certainly acquired personal wealth, on the whole, but you would expect them, as the oldest members of the labour force, to be wealthier than the youngest members.

It doesn't seem plausible either to argue that the current younger generation is poorer than the younger generation in the 1950s/1960s. There is more leisure, more food, more technology, more of pretty much everything really.

tatanab
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby tatanab » 7 Apr 2012, 1:24pm

thelawnet wrote:It doesn't seem plausible either to argue that the current younger generation is poorer than the younger generation in the 1950s/1960s. There is more leisure, more food, more technology, more of pretty much everything really.

Also each generation has different standards.
As a baby boomer at grammar school I had two pairs of shoes, two pairs of trousers and free school meals. I changed out of school clothes as soon as I got home into the old set of clothes. When I bought my first house I asked all relatives and work mates if they had any furniture I could have, the usual way of doing things. At that time I had no car, could not afford to run one, no TV or washng machine.

Today children are more aware of brands in clothing etc, as they grow up they "must" have the newest gadget, and in adult hood they "need" all the trappings before thinking of a mortgage etc. I still do not have or want many of those trappings - big TV, super size fridge, fancy car, regular take away meals etc.

I admit that housing is different. My first house was bought in 1978 when the average first time buyer's house was 3 times their salary and they could only get a mortage for 2 1/2 times their salary. Today the national average wage is circa £25k so a first time buyer would probably earn less than that and so a suitable house would be say £70k. Round here you can buy a good terraced house for about £120k but that is out of reach for many unless they forego their gadgets etc and save like mad, even for a couple because wages are low in this particular area. They could not cope with the 15% mortagage rate that I saw twice and I only coped with by living very frugally indeed.

Because of saving money so I had something behind me (agreed I've been lucky as well as frugal) and because there's no work for me, I gave in and retired at 57 and will have to eke out my savings until pensionable age. of course there are no DHSS benefits for people like me.

Car - I keep one. I reckon the annual cost of ownership is less than £500. Tax, insurance, MOT, RAC membership, but not depreciation since it is about worthless. I keep it because I need to go to cycling events I cannot ride to, or I might go on tour for a month which means driving to a ferry and leaving the car. Not practical to rent because one way rentals are expensive. My fuel costs last year were about £100. I think it is worth keeping for the convenience on the few times I need to use one.

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meic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 7 Apr 2012, 2:47pm

thelawnet wrote:
meic wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
They've been saying that since the 19th century.


Not that bit, until now every generation "did as least as well as their old man did*" that has now stopped.


That seems a rather myopic view of history.
Perhaps it is true of the last century or so, but it's rather obvious in the history of humanity that there have been later periods when things have been much worse than earlier....


Yes it is but YOU set the parameters, I just followed them.
Yma o Hyd

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meic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 7 Apr 2012, 3:00pm

meic wrote:

The children born circa 1950s in the UK have been born in the optimum time for acquisition of personal wealth. It is pretty much getting poorer from then on.


The baby boomers have certainly acquired personal wealth, on the whole, but you would expect them, as the oldest members of the labour force, to be wealthier than the youngest members.

It doesn't seem plausible either to argue that the current younger generation is poorer than the younger generation in the 1950s/1960s. There is more leisure, more food, more technology, more of pretty much everything really.



Yes and their wealth when they reach that stage is greater than their parents.
However when their children reach that stage, the children's wealth will be less than their parents.


It is totally plausible and more so obvious. Retirement age, pension pot, house ownership, free University Education etc.
For all the important things it shows, the youth may have modern baubles but not real wealth.
Yma o Hyd

thelawnet
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby thelawnet » 7 Apr 2012, 4:56pm

meic wrote:
meic wrote:

The children born circa 1950s in the UK have been born in the optimum time for acquisition of personal wealth. It is pretty much getting poorer from then on.


The baby boomers have certainly acquired personal wealth, on the whole, but you would expect them, as the oldest members of the labour force, to be wealthier than the youngest members.

It doesn't seem plausible either to argue that the current younger generation is poorer than the younger generation in the 1950s/1960s. There is more leisure, more food, more technology, more of pretty much everything really.



Yes and their wealth when they reach that stage is greater than their parents.
However when their children reach that stage, the children's wealth will be less than their parents.


It is totally plausible and more so obvious. Retirement age, pension pot, house ownership, free University Education etc.
For all the important things it shows, the youth may have modern baubles but not real wealth.


Free University Education? For whom?
5% went to University (free or otherwise) in 1960, 15% in 1988, now 40%.

Home ownership is certainly expensive now, and has been in the past, but it's not reasonable to assume it will remain so for the next 3 decades.

Pension pots are already sharply devalued thanks to low interest rates and QE, this is affecting the baby boomers living off savings/pensions/annuities and is barely relevant to their children proposing to retire in 3 or 4 decades time.

Retirement age reflects increased life, it's not something to complain about necessarily.

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meic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 7 Apr 2012, 5:11pm

thelawnet wrote:
Free University Education? For whom?
5% went to University (free or otherwise) in 1960, 15% in 1988, now 40%.

Home ownership is certainly expensive now, and has been in the past, but it's not reasonable to assume it will remain so for the next 3 decades.

Pension pots are already sharply devalued thanks to low interest rates and QE, this is affecting the baby boomers living off savings/pensions/annuities and is barely relevant to their children proposing to retire in 3 or 4 decades time.


Free University education for whom? ALL of us who went.

House prices? Well it is right now that they want to buy a house. Their parents had laid deposits by that age. It was not reasonable to assume the house prices would carry on rising 20 years ago but they did! As the generation who own the housing stock are in control they will keep it that way.

Pension pots devalued, maybee but they have a long way to fall yet before they get anywhere near as low as future ones are going to be. The conditions of the pensions are getting worse every year. Old pensions are far better than new ones.
How can it not be relevant to compare the generations pension incomes through annuities etc? That is the whole point of this discussion that you and I are having.

Retirement age reflects increased life, it's not something to complain about necessarily.


Not any more it doesnt.
Yma o Hyd

thelawnet
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby thelawnet » 7 Apr 2012, 5:52pm

meic wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
Free University Education? For whom?
5% went to University (free or otherwise) in 1960, 15% in 1988, now 40%.

Home ownership is certainly expensive now, and has been in the past, but it's not reasonable to assume it will remain so for the next 3 decades.

Pension pots are already sharply devalued thanks to low interest rates and QE, this is affecting the baby boomers living off savings/pensions/annuities and is barely relevant to their children proposing to retire in 3 or 4 decades time.


Free University education for whom? ALL of us who went.


Shame about the rest of them, eh? (Which was the great majority.)

House prices? Well it is right now that they want to buy a house. Their parents had laid deposits by that age. It was not reasonable to assume the house prices would carry on rising 20 years ago but they did! As the generation who own the housing stock are in control they will keep it that way.


20 years ago house prices were falling.
If you bought your first house at the end of 1989 (probably a baby boomer) in Yorkshire, you'd still be in negative equity a decade later. Taking the UK as a whole, it wasn't until 2002 that real house prices reached their 1989 peak.

I'm not sure exactly the point where house price mania took over the UK, but it certainly wasn't 20 years ago, when houses were just a place to live, relatively affordable, and not a tool for dinner party chatter and speculation - closer to 10 years.

I agree that it was a pity that 'no return to boom and bust' Brown presided over such diastrous inflation of house prices, but it had happened before and is likely to happen again. There's no reason to believe it's a systemic change.

Pension pots devalued, maybee but they have a long way to fall yet before they get anywhere near as low as future ones are going to be. The conditions of the pensions are getting worse every year. Old pensions are far better than new ones.


That depends.

Certainly a defined benefit scheme is a fantastic deal, in retrospect. As you can see here http://www.opalliance.org.uk/decline.htm these have declined from 5.5 million to less than half that number. However clearly as with free university education it was still a minority that benefited from these.

As for defined contribution schemes, the payout is determined by the available investment return, taxation treatment, and life expectancy. All of these conditions are reducing or have reduced payout, but the investment return is not something we can speculate about 3 decades into the future.

How can it not be relevant to compare the generations pension incomes through annuities etc? That is the whole point of this discussion that you and I are having.


It's not really relevant to say what current annuity payouts are because as mentioned above, if investment returns increase, so will annuity returns. Current annuity returns are already dreadful, and these are being paid out to those baby boomers with contribution-based pensions. Their children, contributing to their own pensions (or not), might find annuity returns are substantially higher when they are retired. We don't know, for instance, that life expectancy will continue to grow (it's already priced into today's annuity rates), investment returns are more likely to improve than get worse (just based on the fact that they cannot get that much lower), and we have no idea about tax treatment. So while we know that today's retirees get a poor return from a given £1000 of pension pot, we can't say that the current generation will do so.

kwackers
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby kwackers » 7 Apr 2012, 6:36pm

It's quite simple really:

Wealth is measured by the amount of "stuff" you can own. The greater the share of the earths resources the wealthier you are.
Those resources are running out at an increasingly exponential rate which means that they'll become more expensive which in turn means the amount of "stuff" any one person can own (regardless of numbers in a bank account) will fall.
So it follows there's only one way for personal wealth to go and that's down.

This in itself produces many problems, civil unrest as sectors of society try to maintain their relative income, inflationary pressures and an increasing potential for international conflict over the remaining resources.

We've seen what can happen with a minor hiccup in the economy, imagine how pear shaped things might get when the real pressure starts on oil and other energy, when food prices go through the roof as fertiliser and transport prices start to rocket, when people can't afford to travel to work.
A lot of these problems could be solved, but not by a government that only has a 5 year plan, instead it's going to take one with balls and foresight and since that's not going to happen what will occur instead is a race to the precipice, the only question is how good are the brakes and will enough people feel the need to press them in time...

mark davey
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby mark davey » 7 Apr 2012, 11:40pm

meic wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Valbrona wrote:Car driving is the preserve of the avoricious and self-interested......

That statement is utter bunkum


I think it is true for people like myself who understand what they are doing.
Then perversely I had to reinstate the car for the greater common good as others replaced my 46mile journeys with their 90 mile journeys.
Unfortunately once you have the thing sat on the front ready to go and it costs much less than public transport* to use, so you get back into using it more.

*Public transport that is neither right here or running for hours or days at a time.

So I have plenty of "good" excuses to hand but the fact is, looking at it with a wider viewpoint of time and geography, Valbrona is right. Though most of the guilty are not looking at the big picture.


Between 2003 and 2006 I only had a bicycle and commuted about 35,000 miles, I then moved jobs and combined car and cycling. Two bad winters have put me back in the car, plus five crashes on the bike:
1 Snapped Crank - Shimano Ultegra - hit road very hard, car wheel missed my head by 2 inches.
2 Spilt diesel combined with rain - punched hole in my leg
3 Icy cobbles - broke jaw
4 Ice in untreated car park smashed elbow
5 Hit broken kerbstone smashed knee - crutches 8 days
All these accidents were avoidable except the snapped crank in 2009, looking at the bigger picture in the past two years car commuting I've had some great conversations with my car share and no time off due to injuries sustained on the way to work. There's no right and wrong it is a personal choice.

mrjemm
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby mrjemm » 8 Apr 2012, 7:46am

kwackers wrote:It's quite simple really:

Wealth is measured by the amount of "stuff" you can own. The greater the share of the earths resources the wealthier you are.
Those resources are running out at an increasingly exponential rate which means that they'll become more expensive which in turn means the amount of "stuff" any one person can own (regardless of numbers in a bank account) will fall.
So it follows there's only one way for personal wealth to go and that's down.

This in itself produces many problems, civil unrest as sectors of society try to maintain their relative income, inflationary pressures and an increasing potential for international conflict over the remaining resources.

We've seen what can happen with a minor hiccup in the economy, imagine how pear shaped things might get when the real pressure starts on oil and other energy, when food prices go through the roof as fertiliser and transport prices start to rocket, when people can't afford to travel to work.
A lot of these problems could be solved, but not by a government that only has a 5 year plan, instead it's going to take one with balls and foresight and since that's not going to happen what will occur instead is a race to the precipice, the only question is how good are the brakes and will enough people feel the need to press them in time...


Well said kwackers. Tis a shame there seems to be no way to avert this without stepping on lots of toes and denying many perceived "human rights", which blatantly will not happen. Certain media (etc.) have created a belief that "ecology", "environment" and other such blanket concepts are for extremists and the self-righteous, and that "normal folk" can see sense. At least in the liberal nations, whilst the developing world (no, not the newfangled version of the "3rd world", but anyone who are developing, including wealthy nations such as PRC) do not consider consideration or concern as factors in their priorities; throughout the development of technology and the "modern world", the planet has been ill-considered, and environment/resources rayped (please excuse my choice of word and spelling), so why should "we" (developing nations) not take "our" turn to do likewise?

But we all know these arguments, and I am sure they've been repeated ad nauseum in such fora, and in far more eloquently. Sorry for preaching to the choir- my goat gets got!

mark davey
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby mark davey » 8 Apr 2012, 12:42pm

All gone a bit off topic hasn't it.....".....

kwackers
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby kwackers » 8 Apr 2012, 1:30pm

mark davey wrote:All gone a bit off topic hasn't it.....".....

Such are the forum rules.
It'll stay this way until someone invoked Godwins Law...

The Mechanic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby The Mechanic » 10 Apr 2012, 11:03am

I read in the papers at the weekend that a new report by the AA suggests that the cost of running a new Nissan electric car for 5 years at 10k miles a years is over £15,000 more than a Ford Focus 1.6.
Cancer changes your outlook on life. Change yours before it changes you.

ukdodger
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby ukdodger » 10 Apr 2012, 11:21am

The Mechanic wrote:I read in the papers at the weekend that a new report by the AA suggests that the cost of running a new Nissan electric car for 5 years at 10k miles a years is over £15,000 more than a Ford Focus 1.6.


I think electric bikes will become popular long before electric cars. Beats me why Sinclair never invested in those rather than the silly C5.

kwackers
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby kwackers » 10 Apr 2012, 11:35am

ukdodger wrote:I think electric bikes will become popular long before electric cars. Beats me why Sinclair never invested in those rather than the silly C5.

I think the reasoning was "of its time".
These days electric bicycles make sense, back then they made no sense. People aspired to be car owners and cycling was mainly the transport of the poor, a childs toy or the province of a small number of enthusiasts.

He couldn't build a true electric car, the technology didn't exist and the research capital needed was too much but he could try and persuade folk to try something that superficially appeared better than a bike but not really a car.
Of course that meant it got picked up by the motoring press who had a field day with it and once that happened you couldn't give them away.