The Weight of the Govenment on Their Axles

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Everything government touches turns to crap.

Cars and trucks would be far more advanced than they are now, if only the government would get out of the way. Government, as you might suspect, is made up not of experts in any particular field, or scientists, engineers, or entrepreneurs for that matter. It’s mainly comprised of control freaks, busybodies and egomaniacs whose sole concern is keeping their personal gravy train fueled and rolling. To believe that any politician actually cares whether cars have air bags and back up cameras, or how the most recent CAFE -fuel economy- numbers are achieved is the height of naivete. Far more important to please those who would directly benefit from any mandates in the name of safety, such as those self same manufacturers providing said mandatory equipment.

In reality, modern cars perform about the same as cars from the mid to late 80s. Fuel mileage is still in the mid 20s. And there were some cars in that era that got as high as 50+ mpg.  With mechanical fuel pumps and carburetors, no less. Surely with modern electronic engine management, better manufacturing methods with higher tolerances and improved tire technology even the most hyper horse-powered car should be able to significantly improve fuel mileage? Nope. And the reason is simpler than you might think.
You see, the average new car for sale today is 500-800 pounds heavier than cars from yesteryear. And weight is not the friend of fuel economy. What with the airbags, cameras, engine management tech, bigger wheels, more metal and myriad other stuff added for the sake of “safety,” it’s no wonder that manufacturers struggle to meet fuel standard. It’s also no small wonder why mane fuel efficient cars that are available elsewhere in the world are unavailable here; companies like Renault and Vauxhall just don’t find the added expense of making their cars U.S. compliant worth the trouble.Passenger Airbag_web
It’s not as though we, the consumer have any choice in the matter. It matters not if you want airbags, or computers, or even seat belts in your car. You have no choice. It’s not like it was with power windows and air conditioning, which became so popular the are now de facto standard equipment. Heck, who under the age of 40 remembers when a radio was an option? I venture to say that without government mandates, most safety stuff, like seat belts, would be a popular dealer installed option. Multiple bombs airbags? Maybe, maybe not.
Modern engineers and designers must constantly work to make their creations compliant with the whims of an overreaching and frankly clueless apparatus more concerned with self preservation than with actual advancement. I say get the politburo out of the way, let the creative and brainy types do thier jobs, and let the market decide what is safe. Believe it or not, it might just work.

Let Us Now Remember…

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On Saturday, November 30th, a charity event was held in Los Angeles  for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. At the conclusion of the succRodasheadshot_200x250essful event, Roger Rodas fired up his Porsche Carrera GT and, with passenger Paul Walker, left the festivities. Shortly thereafter, the car slammed st speed into a utility pole and burst into flames. Both occupants were killed. Rodas is survived by his wife, Kristine, and two children. He was 38.

Roger Rodas was a successful financial adviser for Bank of America/Merril Lynch,having been named one of America’s top wealth management advisers three years in a row. He was a successful business owner and entrepreneur; he owned Always Evolving, an automotive specialty shop, and sponsor of the November 30th charity event. And he was a successful racing driver, competing in the Pirelli  World Challenge in 2013 as a rookie, and placing 2nd in points in the Pirelli Porsche Driver’s Cup Series championship in 2012, with2 race wins and 6 podium finishes.

With his well earned wealth and extensive financial knowledge, Rodas was extremely generous with both his time, money, and expertise. He was a board member of Asomugha Foundation, a charity who aided young women and children in Nigera and South African countries who were victims of poverty, human rights violations and national widespread health epidemics. Also he, along with Walker, founded Reach Out World Wide, which brought skilled volunteers to disaster stricken areas such as Haiti. Rodas was also instrumental in developing waste to energy power plants and wind farms in Central America, and he was also owner of Cielo Recycling, a Central American recycling plant. Finally, Rodas helped Walker establish a foundation in Reach Out World Wide that enabled Walker to accept donations on behalf of his foundation and bring the biggest bang for his philanthropic buck when it came to bringing skilled volunteers to areas hit hard by natural disasters.

Roger Rodas exemplified the American Dream. He worked hard, played hard, and most importantly gave of his time, fortune, and knowledge to leave the world a better place. His example should be used as a life model for anyone, young, old, rich, poor, Native, immigrant.  There are actually many more like him out there who give unselfishly. They come from all walks of life. Sadly had Mr. Rodas not had a famous passenger on that fateful drive, we may never have heard of him. Let us focus on his accomplishments, and not make his memory merely the answer to a trivia question.