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tuna55
tuna55 Dork
9/8/10 10:14 a.m.
Dpvog wrote: In reply to tuna55: tuna55 wrote: "Does the government have the right to regulate emissions and crash testing and define this structure by which an automaker must design to? Hell no!" Actually, T55, though I'm not a tree hugger, I'd have to disagree a bit on the emissions issue. While I would argue, to the death, my right to climb into any rickety death trap I can find and drive off to meet my maker, the air thing is an entirely different issue for me. When the government regulates emissions, they protect everyone from me. That is part of the government's job, as I see it. If I had drums of arcenic from electroplating the bumpers on my 58 MGA, I couldn't just go dump them in the nearest lake where your kids swim, and it's the government's job to stop me, or punish me if do it. On the the other hand, with crash standards on automobiles, the government is protecting me from myself, which is NOT the government's job, and never was. If I want to take a risk, that's my own business, but if I want to cause you risk, that's your business, and therefore, the government's business. To put it another way, "God save us from a government that would save us from ourselves." That's the principle that this country was founded on, and basically, I'd have to say that I agree with it. -Doug

I agree that dirty air is bad. I don't agree that the congress has the power to make it so. There is a section of the Constitution that explicitly itemizes the powers of Congress. Without pasting it here in its entirety, I will welcome you to read it and tell me where (without the use of the 'general welfare' clause) Congress is given this power.

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Keith:

AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! In 1965, we had a 1300 lb high performance sports car. In fact, that particular car was the best selling car in the history of Lotus. Today, the lightest road legal production car sold in the United States is an 1800 lb two seat clown car, and if you want high performance, you're looking at a full ton. After forty-five years of improvement in lightweight materials science and technology, not to mention CAD, sports cars have gotten 700 lbs.... heavier?!? Folks say that's what the public wants. Okay, but is that what THIS public wants? This IS Grassroots Motorsports, right? Not the Robb Report or Achitectural Digest? We're supposed to be sports car guys living in the Land of the Free. In England, and Europe, you can buy an Ariel Atom and drive it home. Is anyone else here besides me jealous of that, or are we all just happy with our Escalades?

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 10:55 a.m.
tuna55 wrote:
Dpvog wrote: In reply to tuna55: tuna55 wrote: "Does the government have the right to regulate emissions and crash testing and define this structure by which an automaker must design to? Hell no!" Actually, T55, though I'm not a tree hugger, I'd have to disagree a bit on the emissions issue. While I would argue, to the death, my right to climb into any rickety death trap I can find and drive off to meet my maker, the air thing is an entirely different issue for me. When the government regulates emissions, they protect everyone from me. That is part of the government's job, as I see it. If I had drums of arcenic from electroplating the bumpers on my 58 MGA, I couldn't just go dump them in the nearest lake where your kids swim, and it's the government's job to stop me, or punish me if do it. On the the other hand, with crash standards on automobiles, the government is protecting me from myself, which is NOT the government's job, and never was. If I want to take a risk, that's my own business, but if I want to cause you risk, that's your business, and therefore, the government's business. To put it another way, "God save us from a government that would save us from ourselves." That's the principle that this country was founded on, and basically, I'd have to say that I agree with it. -Doug
I agree that dirty air is bad. I don't agree that the congress has the power to make it so. There is a section of the Constitution that explicitly itemizes the powers of Congress. Without pasting it here in its entirety, I will welcome you to read it and tell me where (without the use of the 'general welfare' clause) Congress is given this power.

Tuna, can YOU please explain to ME how you figure the right to breathe is not part of the "General Welfare"?

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
9/8/10 10:57 a.m.
Dpvog wrote: In reply to tuna55: Can you please explain, how, In God's Name, you conclude that "General Welfare" does NOT apply to the right to inhale?

Off topic by now, but it's like this:

"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, "to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare." For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union." --Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on National Bank, 1791. ME 3:147

"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please... Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect." --Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on National Bank, 1791. ME 3:148

"[If] it [were] assumed that the general government has a right to exercise all powers which may be for the 'general welfare,' that [would include] all the legitimate powers of government, since no government has a legitimate right to do what is not for the welfare of the governed." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:397

"This phrase,... by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the General Government in a claim of universal power. For in the phrase, 'to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,' it is a mere question of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are governed by the first or are distinct and coordinate powers; a question unequivocally decided by the exact definition of powers immediately following." --Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817. ME 15:133

For starters... it was a misunderstanding in syntax which certain overzealous lawmakers (even at that age) took advantage of after the thing had been signed, such that the more liberal meaning used today never actually was agreed upon.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
9/8/10 11:10 a.m.

Dpvog...you DO know that you can get a license plate on your choice of kit cars...right? There are plenty of cars out there that are light, sporty, and no-nonsense that you can license pretty easily. I see plenty of BRAND NEW cars like this all the time, Cobras come to mind as one of the most popular but there are plenty of them. You already have the ability to get what you want, and if you don't like those options you can build what you want and still license it for the road, so why do you feel the need to band a group together to fight for something that already exists? I must admit to not having read the entire thread, but from what I can tell you're barking up a tree that doesn't exist.

Bryce

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 11:19 a.m.

In reply to tuna55:

That is why all but the most ridged literalists refer to the Constitution as a "Living Document." It has to defend itself against threats that its drafters could never have anticipated three hundred years ago. If you say the government has no power to regulate polution, may I purchase the land next to your home for a landfill? Can I dump toxic waste there? How about radioactive waste?The power to regulate those matters does not belong to a literalist government, either. I would love to continue this discussion with you (not the bones of Thomas Jefferson) but not here, in a sports car forum.

bravenrace
bravenrace Dork
9/8/10 11:36 a.m.
Dpvog wrote: In reply to tuna55: That is why all but the most ridged literalists refer to the Constitution as a "Living Document." It has to defend itself against threats that its drafters could never have anticipated three hundred years ago. If you say the government has no power to regulate polution, may I purchase the land next to your home for a landfill? Can I dump toxic waste there? How about radioactive waste?The power to regulate those matters does not belong to a literalist government, either. I would love to continue this discussion with you (not the bones of Thomas Jefferson) but not here, in a sports car forum.

This is the first post I read in this thread about lightness of vehicles...WTF?

paanta
paanta New Reader
9/8/10 11:39 a.m.
I agree that dirty air is bad. I don't agree that the congress has the power to make it so. There is a section of the Constitution that explicitly itemizes the powers of Congress. Without pasting it here in its entirety, I will welcome you to read it and tell me where (without the use of the 'general welfare' clause) Congress is given this power.

Well, with regards to cars, you could make a solid case for the Commerce Clause. You can sell a vehicle across state lines if it meets federal standards.

Even if it's not crossing state lines, it's affecting interstate commerce by changing supply/demand.

Good enough?

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/8/10 11:42 a.m.

That is why all but the most ridged literalists refer to the Constitution as a "Living Document." It has to defend itself against threats that its drafters could never have anticipated three hundred years ago. If you say the government has no power to regulate polution, may I purchase the land next to your home for a landfill? Can I dump toxic waste there? How about radioactive waste?The power to regulate those matters does not belong to a literalist government, either. I would love to continue this discussion with you (not the bones of Thomas Jefferson) but not here, in a sports car forum.

Absolutely factually incorrect.

The drafters of the Constitution intended the Constitution to be a "living document" and established a very specific procedure for the Constitution to be formally Amended as necessary to adress new "threats" that the Founding Fathers couldn't foresee.

At no time did anyone EVER think that the Constitution would be seen as a "living document" through an activist justice system... it's only been since FDR forced the Supreme Court to find his socialist programs Constitutional did the idea of reinterpreting the Constitution to mean whatever you want it to in order to promote a general political agenda became mainstream thought of leftists...

Today through the tortured interpretation of the general welfare clause and interstate commerce clause, leftists have rendered the Constituion functionally inapplicable... and the powers of the Government virtually limitless. COMPLETELY the opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended and inherently anti-American.

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 11:45 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Dpvog...you DO know that you can get a license plate on your choice of kit cars...right? There are plenty of cars out there that are light, sporty, and no-nonsense that you can license pretty easily. I see plenty of BRAND NEW cars like this all the time, Cobras come to mind as one of the most popular but there are plenty of them. You already have the ability to get what you want, and if you don't like those options you can build what you want and still license it for the road, so why do you feel the need to band a group together to fight for something that already exists? I must admit to not having read the entire thread, but from what I can tell you're barking up a tree that doesn't exist. Bryce

I am barking, but the tree I'm barking up is not just a tree, it's a whole damn forest. With laws in the current state, cars like the Ariel Atom and its ilk are reduced to boutique enterprises. With a production car, many more can be built and sold, so the unit prices get much lower. That's the beauty of the assembly line. On a rough guess, the Ariel Atom would cost about $24,000 to mass produce in a factory, assuming there were a US market of 12,000 customers per year. And as the unit costs get lower, the available market increases in other countries as well. Unfortunately, the US market is essentally closed to the car, except to those willing to lay out 55k for a non-streetable track day toy. That means the car has to be hand fabricated, one car at a time, on a shop floor, instead of in a factory. That's why an Ariel Atom, which is far less complex than, say, a Mazda Miata, costs almost twice as much as the Mazda. -Doug

paanta
paanta New Reader
9/8/10 11:50 a.m.
wcelliot wrote: Absolutely factually incorrect. Today through the tortured interpretation of the general welfare clause and interstate commerce clause, leftists have rendered the Constituion functionally inapplicable... and the powers of the Government virtually limitless. COMPLETELY the opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended and inherently anti-American.

Have conservatives ever used the Commerce or General Welfare clause in a way that the Founders would have disagreed with?

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 11:53 a.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

Go back to the beginning! It's better there!

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/8/10 12:00 p.m.
paanta wrote: Have conservatives ever used the Commerce or General Welfare clause in a way that the Founders would have disagreed with?

Depends on what you call "conservatives" and if willingly going along with leftists on a certain subject means "used".

There are several instances of GOP administrations being willing participants... like the establishment of the Department of Education for example, the Senior Drug Entitlement, or even Bush agreeing to the initial bailouts... all using the clauses to accomplish something poltically expedient... but all of these were Leftist supported programs that the right generally rode along on. (And there are clearly "big Govt" GOP types... that's why I question lumping them in with the term "conservatives")

But if you mean have conservatives ever used the Commerce or general Welfare clause against the objections of Leftists (as leftists routinely do) frankly I can't think of an example.

But then it logically wouldn't make sense for that to happen... in general the leftists are for uncontrolled expansion of government and (true) conservatives against... and abusing the clauses generally only works one way. It's difficult to imagine abusing the clauses to limit Government...

Have anything specific in mind when you asked the question?

fast_eddie_72
fast_eddie_72 Reader
9/8/10 12:03 p.m.
wcelliot wrote: "Universal sufferage" is a really unique historical/philosophical issue which would warrant a separate off topic discussion...

Whew, glad we didn't wonder off topic there. Good catch. That was a close one!

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 12:04 p.m.
wcelliot wrote: That is why all but the most ridged literalists refer to the Constitution as a "Living Document." It has to defend itself against threats that its drafters could never have anticipated three hundred years ago. If you say the government has no power to regulate polution, may I purchase the land next to your home for a landfill? Can I dump toxic waste there? How about radioactive waste?The power to regulate those matters does not belong to a literalist government, either. I would love to continue this discussion with you (not the bones of Thomas Jefferson) but not here, in a sports car forum. Absolutely factually incorrect. The drafters of the Constitution intended the Constitution to be a "living document" and established a very specific procedure for the Constitution to be formally Amended as necessary to adress new "threats" that the Founding Fathers couldn't foresee. At no time did anyone EVER think that the Constitution would be seen as a "living document" through an activist justice system... it's only been since FDR forced the Supreme Court to find his socialist programs Constitutional did the idea of reinterpreting the Constitution to mean whatever you want it to in order to promote a general political agenda became mainstream thought of leftists... Today through the tortured interpretation of the general welfare clause and interstate commerce clause, leftists have rendered the Constituion functionally inapplicable... and the powers of the Government virtually limitless. COMPLETELY the opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended and inherently anti-American.

Fine. You win. I'm a pinko, leftist, commie bastard because I want to breathe clean air, and think that it is appropriate that the government should be responsible for regulating what others try to dispose of in the air we breathe and the water we drink. By the way, this kind of reasoning is exactly what prevented Robert Bork from taking a seat on the Court. I hope you don't have any ambitions to serve there, cause your chances aren't looking great if the Senate Confirmation Committee gets a hold of this string!

In the meanwhile, however, I just want to drive a beautiful, light, modern sports car. Given your positions on everthing else we've discussed here, you have to be with me one this, right? Can I just have my car now, please?

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 12:06 p.m.
fast_eddie_72 wrote:
wcelliot wrote: "Universal sufferage" is a really unique historical/philosophical issue which would warrant a separate off topic discussion...
Whew, glad we didn't wonder off topic there. Good catch. That was a close one!

Now THAT is FUNNY!!!!

96DXCivic
96DXCivic SuperDork
9/8/10 12:09 p.m.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
9/8/10 12:20 p.m.
Dpvog wrote:
Nashco wrote: Dpvog...you DO know that you can get a license plate on your choice of kit cars...right? There are plenty of cars out there that are light, sporty, and no-nonsense that you can license pretty easily. I see plenty of BRAND NEW cars like this all the time, Cobras come to mind as one of the most popular but there are plenty of them. You already have the ability to get what you want, and if you don't like those options you can build what you want and still license it for the road, so why do you feel the need to band a group together to fight for something that already exists? I must admit to not having read the entire thread, but from what I can tell you're barking up a tree that doesn't exist. Bryce
I am barking, but the tree I'm barking up is not just a tree, it's a whole damn forest. With laws in the current state, cars like the Ariel Atom and its ilk are reduced to boutique enterprises. With a production car, many more can be built and sold, so the unit prices get much lower. That's the beauty of the assembly line. On a rough guess, the Ariel Atom would cost about $24,000 to mass produce in a factory, assuming there were a US market of 12,000 customers per year. And as the unit costs get lower, the available market increases in other countries as well. Unfortunately, the US market is essentally closed to the car, except to those willing to lay out 55k for a non-streetable track day toy. That means the car has to be hand fabricated, one car at a time, on a shop floor, instead of in a factory. That's why an Ariel Atom, which is far less complex than, say, a Mazda Miata, costs almost twice as much as the Mazda. -Doug

So your problem is that the Atom isn't built with mass production techniques?!? Or is your beef that 12,000 US consumers don't want an Atom? If 12,000 customers wanted an Ariel Atom (or similar), I bet Ariel (or similar) would be happy to oblige.

You might think you're barking up a tree, but I'm pretty convinced there's no tree. There's nothing keeping your "dream" from happening except for demand. 12,000 road-going "kits" could be built, sold, and licensed for the roads...there are MANY loopholes to allow this. However, there just aren't many people who want such a thing, even if it were half price.

Bryce

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 12:24 p.m.
96DXCivic wrote:

Whoa! What's that fish so bummed out about???

fast_eddie_72
fast_eddie_72 Reader
9/8/10 12:26 p.m.
wcelliot wrote: in general the leftists are for uncontrolled expansion of government and (true) conservatives against...

What's amazing is that there are "leftists" who so clearly are on a mission to destroy the country and so many people vote for them. Of course we now know it’s a Socialist plot by European neo-Nazis to infiltrate our government and bring us down from the inside. Yeah, they pretend that they just want what’s best for their fellow man and believe that government can be a tool to care for the wellbeing of every American. But we know that’s a rouse.

Also amazing is that the righties are determined to wage war on every country on earth and are actively working to make our environment so bad the planet will no longer support life. As it turns out they’re all part of an eco-terror plot. They believe it is God’s will to destroy humanity as he did with the great flood. Of course God will save them with an inter-galactic arc. Sure, they wrap it in a guise of fiscal responsibility, reasonable concern about an enemy who has attacked us and vowed to do so again and a legitimate defense of personal liberty. But we know they don’t really believe any of that.

As evil as they all are it's almost hard to believe its all true. It's almost like everyone is grossly exaggerating in order to position anyone they disagree with as an extremist in an intentional effort to dismiss their arguments as the ratings of a lunatic.

I’m glad we’re all smarter than that.

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 12:30 p.m.

In reply to Nashco: "There's nothing keeping your "dream" from happening except for demand. 12,000 road-going "kits" could be built, sold, and licensed for the roads...there are MANY loopholes to allow this. However, there just aren't many people who want such a thing, even if it were half price. Bryce"

Well, you may be right. I figured if there was anywhere in the country I could find like-minded individuals who wanted lightweight sports cars of this type to be more easily available and less expensive, it would be here. If I'm wrong, which it looks as if I probably am, I'll sure be sorry to discover that. -Doug

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/8/10 12:34 p.m.
Fine. You win. I'm a pinko, leftist, commie bastard because I want to breathe clean air, and think that it is appropriate that the government should be responsible for regulating what others try to dispose of in the air we breathe and the water we drink.

You see, that's the different in Constitionalists and anti-Constitutionalists.

I never said that it wasn't appropriate for the Government to be responsible for regulating anything... I only said that under the Constitution it was not within their powers to do so.

If the power to regulate something is so important that we agree we want the Federal government to expand into that area, then by all means let's give them that power via the Amendment process.

But let's not neuter the Constitution to make it say whatever fits our agenda.

Bill

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
9/8/10 12:45 p.m.
What's amazing is that there are "leftists" who so clearly are on a mission to destroy the country and so many people vote for them. Yeah, they pretend that they just want what’s best for their fellow man and believe that government can be a tool to care for the wellbeing of every American. But we know that’s a rouse.

Actually I believe that leftists support the expansion of Government because they think that's the best for the country and their fellow man. Even though they are tearing down the political underpinnings on which the country was based, they see themselves as improving it.

Collectivism/leftism/etc is a valid, defendable political philosophy ... I just happen to think it's wrong.

The problem is that if you read and understand history, you come away with the understanding that some of the greatest tyrants in history (including Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc) all thought they were doing the best for their country and their fellow man... and in most cases it was the unbridled acquisition of power (often with the support of the population) that allowed them to become the monsters that they did.

Once you change your political philosophy from Government being centered on the individual to Government being primarily concerned with the welfare of society as a whole, you start down the path to totalitarianism. You don't always end up there... but if you do, it's always because you started down the path to begin with.

As an example, once the Feds decided that they had the power to regulate cars under the commerce clause, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from banning cars under the same pretense.

Politically that might be a stretch, but legally it's not... look how close convertibles came to being completely banned...

History shows us that once a precident is established, you have to assume that sooner or later a political opponent will use that power against you.

Also, you example of the "right" is describing the "big government right". They are no different nor any less dangerous than the big government left. They share the same political philosophy, just different goals. Both are in conflict with the political philosophies on which the US was based.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
9/8/10 12:51 p.m.

Dpvog...there surely aren't 12,000 people hanging out here that would spend $24,000 on a brand new, bare bones street car. To add to it, for every one person that WOULD actually pony up cash for such a beast, there are 25 that say they will definitely buy one after the car is 5 years old, used up, and depreciated enough that they could buy it for half price. There are probably 100 for every one that would rather buy an old Civic, Miata, or E30 for about 10% of that price and do whatever mods they want to do to accomplish their goals themselves. I can't imagine many people out there want a modern CRX HF or Metro XFi equivalent that would cost $25k, even if it gets 75+ mpg and corners like it's on rails. Car companies also can't imagine it, it seems.

As an automotive engineer, I'd love for you to join the party and prove that there is a demand. I just don't think it exists, and I don't think it's the government holding demand back.

Bryce

Dpvog
Dpvog Reader
9/8/10 1:08 p.m.

In reply to Nashco: Bryce, you're assuming that it's still entirely possible, with the present safety and crash standards as they exist in the US today, to build appealing sub-2000 lb cars. I think that's wrong. Sub 2000 lb cars exist all over Japan and Europe, but not here. I don't think it's because there's no demand for new fun, fast, light, cars in the US. I think it is because current goverment standards cause sub-2000 lb cars to look like the Smart Car. Get rid of the safety and crash standards for low production sports cars, let them come here, and we'd have a better sense of whether the demand exists. And for the record, I'm not just talking about a replacement for the CRX si, which I miss, I'm talking about the next generation of Lotus Elan and Lotus Europa.-Doug

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