Monday, September 9, 2019

The automotive industry loves regulation

A friend who recently retired from the auto industry recently made me rethink regulation.

He contended that regulation is a GOOD thing.

Without regulation, automobiles would be like hamburgers. Anybody can make a hamburger. You can buy hamburgers in bars. You can buy hamburgers in a million fast food restaurants. You can make them at home. You can cook them over charcoal or wood fires.

There is little or no profit in hamburgers.

Enterprises that specialize in hamburgers go up-scale seeking profit margin. Capital floods in to fill the void left at the bottom end. Profit, if it exists, is in the fractions of a percent. Well within the margin that can be erased by one crooked executive pillaging accounts and fleeing to a sovereign nation without an extradition treaty with the US.

What was the pinnacle of pickup truck evolution? Answer this as somebody who USES one. Was it 1995?

What can a current automobile do that a 2000 Camry cannot? Even if you could find a new Tesla at the cost of a used, 2000 Camry...would it be as functional and as trouble free?

For that matter, what can a modern firearm do that a 1895 Winchester 30-30 cannot do? Or a 1898 Mauser? If you push hard, maybe you can get me agree to a 1945 SKS or a 1947 AK-47?

Is there any pistol that is materially "better" than the Glock 19 which was first produced in 1988? Is there a revolver that is materially "better" than the Smith and Wesson Model 10 that was first produced in 1899?


  1. I think the pinnacle year for pickup trucks was in the early 90s. No later than 1994.

  2. 2005 for pickups

    1910 or thereabouts for pistols....

  3. Sure, any pistol is a pistol.
    Not all have safety transfer bars and thus are carried one shy.
    Not all have 21 round mags, but if you like seven, 1911 is a good year.
    My 10 year old Kahr (7 rounds) is fine by me, but there have been some significant advances in the technology.

    I really have no need for a truck newer than my 2001, and given the technical problems with newer ones, I'll baby mine.
    My 2015 Taurus is really not a better car than my '99 was that preceded it. The '99 had the same acceleration with the same displacement, and better mileage! And I didn't need a backup camera, because unlike the new one, I could see out the old one.
    I'll bet the newer one is more survivable in a crash.
    i don't want to find out.

  4. There have been substantial safety improvements in the last x number of years. Are they all worth the cost? Hard to justify them all except if you happen to need one of them in a crash.

    All of the electronic lane warning systems, brake warnings, bluetooth, etc. are nice but I don't find them necessary. Someday it is likely that all of this stuff won't work or maybe there will be no one to fix it.

    My 91 F150 project does everything I need it to except it does not have air bags. Having had the need for those a few times, I can appreciate them. It is not currently set up as a bug out vehicle, but it won't take much to get it there.

  5. In 1992, our GM Assembly Plant Body Shop got a letter of appreciation.
    A gentleman was driving his new Bonneville on the expressway in the dark at 65 mph and hit a dumptruck that was left parked in the middle of the road.
    His car crumpled the way it was supposed to and he opened the door and got out.

  6. One additional lock-in is lawsuits. I know of one plane manufacturer that can't produce a new plane because if a new part breaks, they can't deal with the lawsuits.

    Regulations also require scale. It takes a group to read the regulation, understand the regulation, and then comply with the regulation. Plus, the people who write the regulations then go into the private sector and sell the expertise they have on the loopholes that they intentionally wrote into the regulations for $400 an hour.

    But other than that, regulations are awesome!


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