Political Editors / July 18, 2022

In Brief: The End of Private Car Ownership

You will drive nothing and you will be happy, say our leftist overlords.

The Left makes no bones about pushing us all toward electric vehicles. But while EVs do have certain virtues, columnist Daniel Greenfield notes that central planning is a bad idea that invariably leads to less prosperous future.

The term “pedestrian” has a derogatory meaning because peasants walked while nobles were “equestrians” and rode horses. The industrial revolution eliminated this class difference, as it did so many others, by making car ownership available to the masses until eventually Herbert Hoover was able to boast that “Republican prosperity has reduced and increased earning capacity” to “put the proverbial ‘chicken in every pot’ and a car in every backyard to boot.”

Democrats have spent two generations trying to get those cars out of every backyard.

Biden is trying to bring back Obama’s mileage standards that were estimated to raise car prices by 20%.The goal is to “nudge 40% of U.S. drivers into electric vehicles by decade’s end.”

Will 40% of Americans be able to afford electric cars that cost an average of $54,000 by 2030?

Not likely. Nor are they meant to. Biden’s radical ‘green’ government, which includes Tracy Stone-Manning, the former spokeswoman for an ecoterrorist group as the head of the Bureau of Land Management, isn’t looking to nudge drivers into another type of cars, but out of cars.

Gas prices are a way to price Americans out of car ownership under the guise of pushing EVs.

EVs are becoming vastly more expensive, too. “The raw material costs for an average electric car are up to over $8,000,” Greenfield says. “That’s compared to $3,600 for an actual car. When your raw material costs are that high, electric cars will be inherently unaffordable.” Hence, government subsidies are popular.

Greenfield covers some ground that we have also covered regarding how EVs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be from an environmental standpoint. But that’s not his ultimate point.

The “green” vision is not a world in which everyone has their own electric car. It’s one of collective transport, of buses, light rail, and car-pooling through shared rides and roving self-driving cars. The only vehicle the average consumer is supposed to own is a bicycle.

While the Biden administration is still pretending that it’s out to “encourage” electric car ownership by making actual cars too expensive for much of the country to afford, others are saying the quiet part out loud.

“Car-lovers will doubtless mourn the passing of machines that, in the 20th century, became icons of personal freedom. But this freedom is illusory,” an Economist article predicted.

“There will be fewer cars on the road — perhaps just 30% of the cars we have today,” the head of Google’s self-driving car project predicted.

Governments around the world are pre-banning non-electric cars within the next few years. But again, the goal is fewer cars, period.

The vision of a nation in which private car ownership is a luxury good, in which cars have been priced out of the reach of most people through environmental measures that concentrated on gas-powered vehicles, and then added more taxes and fines for the waste" and “inefficiency” of an individual owning a vehicle is not very far away.

The technocratic sales pitch is that ride-sharing and self-driving cars will make car ownership unnecessary. Why own a big clunky machine when you can own nothing and be happy?

He concludes:

The reality is that car ownership offers mobility and independence. That is exactly what the leftist radicals making social policy want to eliminate. Gas prices are not Putin’s price hike, they’re the green dream. And that dream isn’t to put you in a Nissan Leaf. It’s the Pol Pot dream of dismantling civilization and rolling back the industrial revolution.

Once the dark age norms of their dark enlightenment are restored, peasants will go back to being pedestrians and only the progressive philosopher kings will ride.

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