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August 17, 2023


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Good idea, bad idea??

Let's give China invaluable missle technology from Clinton and Motorola via launches of Iridium satellites in China.

Let's allow the far east to corner the market on chip manufacture.

Let's allow China to manufacture critical military parts.

Let's allow China to control\manufacture critical medical drugs.

Let's allow China/India to ship ship tons and tons of precursor chemicals to Mexico to make meth and fentynol.

The list is almost endless. The solutions will be too late.

Even my alias last name is probably made in China.

Gee Elsa i dont know.
I called Nixon. No Answer.
I called Kissinger. He just snored.
I called Bliken. He kept screaming "strategic competition."
ADOT voice mail just repeated 303,404 505. We are going pave everything.
Cal, from the ASPHALT DESERT.
In memory of Naoh in his quest for fire.

So many things have to change to make for a viable future anywhere. Water scarcity is glaring as is the planning and placement.
We've had shortsighted politicos pushing the unrealistic for so long it's hard to imagine something solid arising from this. And now? Well we are getting bigger population wise but not much better in wisdom and planning.

They can't find enough skilled labor for the east valley FAB. Where are they going to find 12,000 more.

Susan, new head of chamber of commerce says AZ doesn't have a water problem.

Propane Jane cost us $300 million.
Sheriff Joe cost us $250 million.
Doofus Ducey will cost us $900 million.

The next GOP leader waiting in the wings will likely go over the $1 billion mark.

If they built a FAB downtown they could draw from The Zone for any help they may need and solve the homeless crises at the same time.

Maybe the C of C guy is right. Looks like things are coming up rosy all over this state. I wonder what kind of mind altering drugs he uses?

Based on the cars that I see on our roads, more than half of Americans think that American-made automobiles are inferior to foreign-made ones. I went to Japan and South Korea four years ago, and less than one out of 100 (maybe less than one out of 1,000) vehicles on the roads there were American brands.

It's obvious that most of us and the world consider American-made products to be inferior to Asian-made products and to not be a good value. Is there a federal law that at some point American-made microchips must be used in products sold in the USA? If not, there better be a magic wand to cast a spell upon Americans and the entire world to make them believe that America makes high-quality chips that are a value for their cost.

Maybe the magic wand will be that Americans would be making the microchips for a Taiwanese company. Only under their supervision can we make a quality product, right?

Salvatorre, you mean Danny, CEO at Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
Just another robot paid to speak palabras de nada.
Give him a couple years and he will land where its still green and lots of water.

Arizonas politicians liberal and conservative regularly send me emails about how they are making Arizonas economy GROW. WTF.

More people. More water sucking industry. Makes me wonder if these folks every reduce their refrigerator spoilage.

I tried to dial up Elizabeth Colbert
for a comment but rumor has it she's shacked up with Elon Musk on Mars.

Kevin, the world caught onto the Detroit car manufacturers scams about 1973.
I once had a great 1960's Datsun sedan.
55 mpg to LA and back.



Hate to burst a bubble, but:

If the FAB were built at 24th and Washington the following would occur:

Out of 12,000 construction workers, maybe 100 would use the light rail.

Once complete, out of 4,000 FAB workers, maybe 50 would use the light rail.

Meanwhile, the I-10 through Tempe would be expanded to 10 lanes each way.

West I-10 would be expanded to ten lanes each way.

I-17 would have a double deck from Anthem to downtown with five lanes each way.

It's in AZ DNA to not use public transit. It's in AZ DNA to build roads.

The double deck would allow wrong way drivers the opportunity to pass each other going the wrong way and honk as they pass before they kill people.

Changes to DNA happen very, very, very slow. Or out of necessity, after a catastrophic event.

Cal, can you share details about Detroit car manufacturer's "scams" from about 1973? Links to credible sources would be appreciated. My parents were teenagers in 1973, and I wasn't even a twinkle in their eyes. That was half a century ago, after all.

Tony good post.
Besides the DNA factor there is a
"follow the money" trail that leads to specific groups and individuals.

The make America White folks in the Arizona legislature have transferred former government civil services jobs to the private sectors. In the past i was hired to assist in such in an Arizona government ran by a Robber Baron decendant.
For example:
Daily I view freeway cleanup crews in new fancy trucks and trailers occupied by Nordic appearing individuals.
I must confess I'm guilty of roadism.
My 2008 Honda Fit has 264000 miles.

Back in 75 as a Union president i managed to get Phoenix to allow Cops, Firefighters and Postal employees free bus service. Few took advantage. This later got extended in some form to most city workers. Dont know how successful.
Today in Phoenix i regularly see huge tandem busses.
Mostly empty.
And the scotters lay abandoned.

Kevin, at 83 i retired from the investigation business but I'll try and dig up some dirt for you other than my personal experiences in purchasing way o many vehicles since 1956.
By 1996 i was completely sold on Japanese vehicles.


Japanese versus American

My first eye opener would require the way back machine.

I purchased a Toyota and noticed this: An American made car at its first (three months use) and subsequent oil change showed black, black oil. The Toyota oil changes had oil that looked like it was put in that day. Per mechanics I queried, That was an indication of extremely tight tolerances with the oil rings, engine operating temperatures and overall engine design. For most of my life I have been a Chevy man and Toyota man. Toyota wins hands down.

Kevin 1973.
Google the Dale Car Scam
Of 1973

Kevin, I suggest reading "The Reckoning," by David Halberstam.

Kevin 1970's Chevrolet Vega.

Kevin 1975
Google the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Today called the Lemon Law.
The 1975 act was primarily focused on vehicles different from a similar condumer protection act in 1952.

Kevin, when your folks were Teenagers i was in Prescott hanging out in a nice small quaint village with a Whiskey Row and a Hotel called Head.
One day on the way back to Phoenix in my 59 Chevy with 4 on the floor and a bench seat with a lady sitting up close to me i was in a slightly less curvy section of the highway between Sunset Point and Black Canyon city at about 90 mph when Gus Stallings passed me in his 1957 Gull Wing Mercedes.
At about 100 mph I blew a rear tire just before the exit to Black Canyon City.
I didnt catch up with Gus he was faster and had better tires.
Sadly today Prescott is a town by overpopulated by Nothern Europeans.
In memory of Sam Steiger. HA!

Its the PRC vs the PRCA.

The I'itoi instructs Pimans not
to be destroyers of the land that others will do such.

Aint nutin like genocidal
manifest destiny.

A little off topic, but definitely something involving me having a "chip on my shoulder".

As a former disaster victim, I have a short essay to share with you. It involves the state of our response to disasters.

When you are struck by disaster it is important that your disaster is sufficient enough to generate strong t-shirt sales, a visit from the current President and most importantly that your community now be renamed with the word STRONG after your name.

Vegas Strong
Maui Strong
Paradise Strong
(enter name of gun massacre)- Strong

You get the idea, superficial bullshit.

And finally, identify cause of said disaster, spend millions studying said disaster, then........do nothing.

@Ruben, it's a way for a community to grieve and bond over some kind of shared tragedy.

The "Strong" sentiment I noticed in Boston after the marathon terrorist attacks.

San Bernardino Strong and Vegas Strong were in responses to mass shootings. And a vast, well-funded and well-armed constituency of Americans demands that nothing be done.

In the case of Vegas Strong, that community outpouring of grief morphed into a battle cry for the Golden Knights NHL team. The same year as the music festival shooting was the Knights' inaugural season in the NHL, and they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final but lost. (It took five years but they won the cup this year). Vegas Strong became a fandom for a cold-weather sport in a desert city.

And Vegas got Oakland's pro sports teams. The Raiders moved to a state-of-the-art stadium by the airport, and the A's have begun the relocation process with a new ballpark planned to replace the Tropicana Hotel at the south end of the Strip.

Paradise Strong has no happy ending. Basically, the fire wiped the town off the map. The population declined by 90% after the fire, and with a combination of a highly combustible environment, long-term damage from the drought and no economy to support the town relative to the costs of rebuilding, Paradise is lost.

I don't know what shape Lahaina will be in. The community is still very much in grief and even told the governor to hold off on the rebuilding talk. On the one hand, Maui is probably prosperous enough to cover the costs of rebuilding through tourism. On the other, the Maui that people remember is lost to history, so what is there to see? Also, Lahaina is a casualty of climate change and a warning of what's to come. "We shouldn't rebuild" is going to be a difficult notion to entertain.

Jon and Cal,

Thank you for giving me some items to research on Detroit car manufacturers’ “scams” about 1973. I checked them out this morning.

Cal, I looked up the “Dale Car Scam of 1973.” That is a fascinating story about a fraudster named Jerry Dean Michael who became a transgender female, changing his name to Liz Carmichael (possibly as a disguise to avoid punishment for previous crimes), then cheated investors out of millions on a fake three-wheel car purported to get 70 mpg. Apparently, the gas-sipping “Dale” and the California-based company that would build it, Twentieth Century Motor Car Corp., were a sham. Carmichael went to prison for his/her crimes, and I found nothing that implicated any major U.S. automobile manufacturers in this case.

Likewise, I couldn’t find any information that said that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act was passed as a reaction to scams by U.S. Automakers.

Jon, David Halberstam’s THE RECKONING is available at Chino Valley Public Library. I just placed a hold on it, and they’ll send it over to Prescott’s library. Looking forward to reading that. Hopefully it will provide credible analysis that helps explain why more than half of Americans abandoned American manufacturers and transferred a huge amount of our national wealth to Asia and elsewhere.

I found two well-written articles about the prevalence of American-brand autos in Japan and South Korea. It’s as bad as I thought. According to this article: https://kokoro-jp.com/columns/4555/#:~:text=4%25%20were%20American%20brands.,%25%20of%20total%20car%20sales, only .4% of automobiles (less than one out of 200) that are sold in Japan are American brands.

Meanwhile, according to this article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelpremack/2017/11/14/the-real-reason-why-koreans-wont-buy-american-cars-and-its-not-tariffs/?sh=21a560594d12, just 1% of cars purchased in Korea last year were American, according to data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

These articles support my observation that more than half of the vehicles on U.S. roads are now made by foreign companies (40% Japanese brands, 9% Korean brands, and that doesn’t include European brands).

My post was not intended to derail a discussion about a microchip plant that is being built in Phoenix and Phoenix’s position within the tech industry. The intention was to point out a belief system that is becoming ingrained in the minds of Americans that what we produce in this country is inferior, especially when it comes to automobiles and electronics.

As an adult, I’ve bought two used Fords – an Explorer and an Escape – that were both six years old when I bought them with cash. Neither ever broke down and left me stranded. I’ve taken them in for oil changes and preventative maintenance according to the schedule in the user’s manual. This despite smarty-pants coworkers’/acquaintances’ gleeful derisions that I would regret buying American (“FORD stands for ‘Fix Or Repair Daily’, they would snort).

The Kokoro article cited above points out that Japan’s “geographic and cultural isolation has fostered immense consumer loyalty for home-grown products and services that cater to the population’s unique needs.” Having traveled to Japan and South Korea, and having had a long romantic relationship with a Japanese-American, I firmly believe that if it was shown that American-made autos were a slightly better value, the vast majority of Japanese people would continue to buy Japanese vehicles.

In this piece, Jon states, “But USA can't have nice things. Amtrak hasn't served Phoenix since 1994, making it the most populous city in North America without intercity passenger trains.” Japan and South Korea have world-class high-speed rail and local public transit systems that run frequently and nearly always on time. I imagine that a big part of the reason they can afford that infrastructure is because they haven’t developed an inferiority complex about their own people and their own products and thereby stupidly transferred a huge chunk of their wealth to other nations.

Good work Kevin.
Keep digging.
Maybe you can help Elon build autos on Mars.

I've owned Ford cars and Trucks.
The trucks functioned fine up to 100000 miles. The cars about 80000. Then i usually traded. I know a number of old guys with American Manufactured vehicles with 200000 plus miles.
I found proper Maintence is the Secret to all machines including the human body.
And a hunk of bailing wire.

Over the years i grew and am still disenchanted with all the model changes and continuous updates to accessories.

I continue to view the manufacturing and sale of vehicles and many other products scams on "manunkind."

My old 2008 Honda suits me. I can get in it with my Stetson on. My 2002 motorhome With 320 square feet has solar and a Generator. What more could i ask for?
I gave up un-movable structures.

My heroes were the Hunter/gatherers hoofing it along 14000 years ago.
Time to reduce earths auto and human population.
At 83 I'll soon move on.
From the Great Sonoran Desert
Whats left of it.
Screw getting a chip plant.

Old joke about Chevys.
"You spend more time under them than in them."
Note: i blew my 59 Chevy engine shortly after running it at the Beeline Drag Strip.
I bought a 1960 Ford Truck. 6 cylinders with no heater or radio. Put 100000 miles on it delivering the Arizona Republic.
Always kept a can of lighter fluid and a coil of bailing wire in it. The fluid was to squirt on the points when you flooded out going thru flowing Arroyos.
Chevy trucks flooded out even more.
Then bought a 1961 Ford truck. Same story.
The biggest problem with the 60 was a one piece bed and cab.
My last Truck was a Honda Ridge Line.

God bless ADOT for asphalt

Cal, the Head Hotel still stands on Cortez Street here in Prescott. It's single-room occupancy (shared bathroom) and studio apartments now. The new name is "The J Prescott."

A meth lab was busted there not too long ago. My friend lives upstairs in the 111-year-old apartment building next to it, and he watched it go down from his windows that look out over the small parking area behind the old hotel.

Police and hazmat cleanup crews came and went from the rear alley, not disturbing any tourists visiting the antique shops, boutiques, and cafes on Cortez. There was no article about the bust in the Daily Courier. Gotta keep up the reputation as "Everybody's Hometown."

Well buy it and make it a bed and breakfast for other world travelers.

A Way Station.
Make sure to offer Burro rides to Whiskey Row.

In the 80's one of my best bicycle rides was to ride from Glendale to Yarnell joined by the point man from my "SWAT" team.
Have lunch and then a
No brakes zoom down the mountain.
Easily passed automobiles.

And of course my 90's experience of rounding up cattle with the most honest Arizona legislator, John Hayes and his Vaqueros at the Hayes Ranch in Peoples Valley.

Wow, I can't imagine bicycling up the mountain to Yarnell (well, maybe on an electric or gas-powered bike)! You had to be in great physical condition to do that! And a no-brakes zoom back down sounds like temptation for the grim reaper. I'm glad you survived and can tell us your Arizona stories!

My point man is living if you need confirmation.

"Taiwan technically is the Republic of China."
Should that not give pause to locations?
Like flight patterns at Luke AFB. And the water behind Lake Pleasant dam

Back in November of 2013 i went past a Chinese plant south of Juarez on a visit to El Pastors asylum in the desert. From the asylum you can see the huge painted Huffington horse on the Mountain.
It was commissioned by a Mexican Cartel boss who had a airfeild and storage facilities located on the mountain and protected by the Mexicamln military.

While visiting i was told the Chinese had bought up many acres in the area for future industrial usage. I'm sure they included talk about water.

Does the US really need to get bigger in manufacturing. More resources consumed so we can build bigger guns to kill the enemy? Yep we fear Chinas 100 Year Marathon for Hegemony. Like we are sacrificing Ukrainians to deplete Putins stock piles.

Let Taiwan of China build it
some place else.

Beeline drag strip !!!!

Boy, did you age yourself with that comment, old timer.

What are you 150?

Kevin, another great ride.
Back in the early 80's myself and PPD assistant chief Ben Click (now retired Dallas Police Chief) took off on our bicycles from Cactus and Cavecreek Road and Via Payson stopped at the Strawberry Lodge. The following day we peddaled on past Happy Jack and Lake Mary to Flagstaff. Later that night we had Steaks at Morman Lake.
Ben and i for exersise would run from Munds Park to Mormom Lake trying to keep up with my Spouse Dorothy.
But Ben and i were no match for Dottie who ran against indeginous folks from Mexicos Gold Canyon in the Leadville Colorado 100 mile jaunt.

Reminds me of Englishman Richard Grant who packed from the start of Mexicos Sierra mountains to the US. You can read of his trip in a book called,
The Middle Finger of God.

An interesting read:
The Hundred Year Marathon
Chinas Secret Strategy to replace America as a Superpower by Michael Pillsbury

AzRebel,Ruben and Helen(three faces of?)
They bladed The Beeline.
The tower is gone.
In 1960 i was 20.
In 2023 i am 83
Im 83 and 10 months if you count from conception.

Kevin, old US/German industrail BS story.
An american company claimed to have made the worlds smallest drill bits.
Germany ask to exam the bits.
When the bits were returned to the US a hole had been drilled thru lengthwise.

Why do some think the 2008 Honda Fit is the best Fit. Some say because it is the only Fit manufactured and Assembled in Japan.
The rest assembled outside Japan.

I seem to recall a General Motors press statement years ago where GM admitted they had some catching up to do.

As of today American and other vehicles are vastly improved from yesterday.
(Should i mention Ralph Nader)
My daughter just got the biggest Dodge Truck one can buy. Its like a 747.

It's super funny thinking these plants will "provide jobs" to Americans. I know many Chinese & Taiwanese at the plant. They have to keep bringing in more Taiwanese to do the important jobs because the diversified Americans are too f-ing dumb and lazy to get the job done

(it's 5 o'clock, so work's over, right Mr. Taiwan boss?)


Taiwanese Mojados?
Shades of Braceros!

Kevin speaking of scams maybe some thoughts on why US Presidents havent outlawed Wall street?
We could use T.R. today.
Maybe he would change course and make Arizona a Wilderness.

A world on edge. Collapse.
Two good reads by Michael Klare on Tom Dispatch.
Phoenix Heat included along with good mention of Jared Diamond.

Whats in the CHIPS when Xi and Vladimir consult with Elon?

@Kevin in Preskitt, you may be seeing a lot of "imports" because I think it's because American automakers have tacitly given up the car (read: non-truck and non-SUV) market to foreign competition.

The best selling vehicle in the U.S. for four decades and counting is the Ford F-series pickup truck. And in a lot of clickbait articles -- I can't vouch for their quality -- on what's the best-selling vehicle in each state, in red states it's always a truck. The only variation is which: One article will say Texas likes Ford F-150s, another says Texas likes Chevy Silverados.

It's only coastal states where the best selling vehicle is a car -- some variation on Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla or Toyota Camry.

It's almost never a GM, Ford or Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) car. With the American brands, it's probably because the trucks and SUVs command such brand loyalty and are usually good on the tangibles (reliability, maintenance costs, holding value) that they don't put in the same effort for the cars. The Japanese (and now Korean) carmakers command the same brand loyalty for their cars.

Per Yavapai County MVD there are
188,443 vehicles in the county. Interesting web site.
Wonder how many are Trucks.
Ford Trucks.
Does Yavapai County redidents politics effect their buying efforts?

How many pickups have Gun Racks and NRA and MAGA bumper and window decals?
Lots in Chino Valley?

i used to live on the Verde River.
Had a 1960's Dodge pickup with 16 inch split rims and recapped tires. You could grind to almost anywhere in First gear.

Elsa forgot that Nixon opened up China and businesses shipped most of our jobs overseas to up their profit margins. That's who sold us out. CEOs buying votes for more tax breaks and disloyalty to American workers.

The Sackler family marketing Oxy to our citizens as "non-addictive" got many more people hooked on drugs. The crackdown on opioids forced many people to heroin and fentanyl alternatives. Its happened in my family and millions across this country.

Any effort to rebuild the American middle class is welcomed. This will have many challenges like getting employees trained for these jobs. Its a matter of national security that we never experience the CHIP shortage again.

Don't forget Nixons brain, Kissinger. Henry is still out there with his consulting gig.

The Sacklers should be in prison.
They made Chapo look like a small drug dealer.

@Bobson Dugnutt: Sadly, the data on truck and SUV sales in the U.S. shows that Americans buy Japanese and Korean trucks and SUVs at a level that far exceeds the paltry U.S. auto sales in those two nations.

According to https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/, which provides “manufacturer-sourced automotive sales figures” and has been cited in numerous reputable publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Popular Mechanics, and the Globe & Mail (which I verified), Japanese brands comprised 17% of light trucks and 30.5% of mid-size SUVs sold in the U.S. in Q2 2023. This is compared to American brands making up a measly 0.4% of total auto sales in Japan, as mentioned in my earlier post.

I’ll give South Korea a pass on SUVs. The same website’s data shows that the Korean share of light truck sales in the U.S. during the same quarter was 1%, which matches American automakers’ share of the overall Korean auto market. However, Korean brands made up 13.7% of SUV sales in the U.S. during Q2. American’s extremely disproportionate purchasing of Korean autos contributes significantly to our multibillion dollar trade deficit with South Korea, as described here: https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/japan-korea-apec/korea

A common justification that I hear for buying Japanese or Korean cars is, “Asian automakers have plants in the U.S. and employ U.S. workers, and components of American-brand autos are from other countries.” Both are true. However, General Motors has plants in Korea, as shown here: https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20221122000578

Even with GM employing thousands of Koreans, 99% of the nation’s residents pass on buying American-brand cars. Likewise, while Japanese automakers have factories in the U.S., auto export revenue from the U.S. to Japan is $40 billion a year (as of 2020), contributing to the $55.4 billion trade deficit we have with them, as described here: https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/japan-korea-apec/japan

The facts don’t lie. Jon Talton says the U.S.A. can’t have nice things. Maybe we could if we kept more of our money at home. A huge impact could be made if people would reconsider the largest purchase that most will make in their life besides a house: the automobile.

Correction: the first sentence of the third paragraph above should read, "I'll give Koreans a pass on light trucks" (It's late and I'm getting tired).

Great research.
Good stats.
But is there something in the water causing purchases to favor Japanese products? Subliminal advertising?
A liberal conspiracy?
Surely not quality?
America builds superior stuff.
Just ask Oppenheimer.
Or Elon.
Be a patriot and buy American.
North American.

@Cal Lash, nothing in the water. It's just the consumers' heart wants what it wants.

I'm Generation X and too young to know when Japanese were perceived as making cheaply made inferior goods. When we came of driving age, it became a truism that Toyota, Honda and Nissan were "good cars."

Gen-Xers memories of Hyundai and Kia were what older generations' memories of Japanese cars. We remember when Hyundai's Excels and later Kia's Sephias went on sale. They were in this uncanny valley of too crappy to be a good car but too good to be a crappy car. These entry-level cars were more like a basic new car at used-car prices rather than a worthy competitor to new-car peers.

It took both about 15-20 years for the Korean carmakers to finally get respect. (Note: In Korea, Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same parent conglomerate and are sibling brands. In the U.S., they are more autonomous with separate headquarters and assembly plants.) Millennials and Gen Z-ers have positive connotations of Hyundai and Kia, while some X-ers still have that lingering stigma of Korean cars.

What really hurt the American automakers was that lingering stigma of manufacturing crap that took root from the '60s to the '90s. The American carmakers could get away with it, because our economic rivals in Europe were still rebuilding from World War II and had a captive car-buying market. The Europeans and Japanese had been studying the American market and found the soft spots in quality, fuel economy and reliability. They also had newer, more economically efficient factories.

Those memories live long, though even JD Power and Consumer Reports note that the American carmakers are putting out much better vehicles than the public gives them credit for.

Thanks Bobson. I knew that. Just not literate enough to say it. Excellent scribbling on your part. I posted above hoping to stimulate something like your excellent presentation.

At 83 been buying and driving since 1956.
Actually driving since 1946 backing horse driven hay wagon into barn. Until my grandad bought a little grey Ford tractor. Loved doing the separate brakes one at a time.

@Kevin in Preskitt, it's a tricky question as to what would happen if we did keep more of our money at home -- at least with regards to car purchases.

Regardless of whether you buy an American brand (and it's debatable whether Chrysler can be considered an American brand still since Stellantis maintains a national headquarters for its legacy brands though it's a true global multinational), most of the economic value of the car stays close to the point of its sale.

The financing of vehicles, both for the driver and the dealer, is mostly done domestically. If a foreign carmaker opens a U.S. factory, most of the economic output stays within the U.S. All foreign carmakers also establish a U.S. headquarters, so most of the decision-making for the U.S. market is done at the American HQ level by American employees.

For maintenance, much of the car's inner workings can be done with parts domestically sourced or produced domestically under foreign ownership. For instance, TechCrunch has mapped the planned electric vehicle and battery production following the tax credit changes posed by the Inflation Reduction Act.


Most of the investments in domestic battery production (two will go to Canada, but for NAFTA/USMCA will be treated as a North American common market) involve Asian companies setting up transplant factories in the U.S. or entering joint ventures with carmakers established in the U.S.

Of note to Rogue readers: Arizona will get one of these battery plants. Korea's LG is investing $3.2 billion in a plant in Queen Creek, on the southeast edge of the Phoenix metro area. It's set to open in 2025 but no job numbers are specified.

Currently those who purchase electric vehicles are wealthy and use as status-symbol daily drivers. Excessive cost equates to multiple thousands to replace the batteries. Once service life has expired from these cells, how does one properly dispose? They are toxic waste.

The bulk of the population will operate as insure vehicles they can afford and rely on, government push be darned. An engine replacement via a junkyard, a commercial rebuild or kits will offer "regular folk" the ongoing means of being responsible, by recycling.

Cal, "quality" is very subjective when it comes to cars. That is probably why I can't find any credible sources without potential bias or conflicts of interest (like magazines that sell ads to auto manufacturers while also doing auto performance and reliability ratings).

Most of what I can find online states that foreign-brand vehicles as a whole are slightly more reliable and fuel-efficient than American brands. The same websites state that they are also more expensive than similar American autos. Sounds like a coin toss to me regarding whether one is a better value than the other in the long run.

In this column, Jon Talton states that the U.S.A. can't have nice things.

Jon, you're wrong. Americans can have nice things. More than half of us have decided that a Japanese-, Korean-, or European-made vehicle in our garage is a nice thing.

Oh, wait. By "nice things," do you mean major public infrastructure improvements like a high-speed rail network? If that's the case, you're right.

Millions of individual decisions have resulted in a huge transfer of wealth from the U.S. to Japan, Korea, and the E.U. I've been to two of those three places, and they have public infrastructure that will knock your socks off.

But we won't have that in the U.S.A. anytime soon. All these "experts on quality" around here vote with their dollars for other nations, so we don't have the tax base and industrial framework to bring about the kind of nice things you dream about.

The links I posted last night about the U.S.A.'s multi-billion dollar automobile trade deficit with Japan and South Korea show that, despite the jobs, etc. that Asian automakers bring to the U.S.A., we give them more money than we get. Much more.

Nice stuff.
Kevin your correct.
I been typing here with my recent purchase of an a Android Fold 4 cell phone.
Made by SAMSUNG!

Also Got a portable Key board made by Logitech to go with the cell phone.

Although i own a Honda my RV is a
Ford chassis mostly made and assembled in the US.

Note i got the Honda Fit for its cargo capacity. Fuel economy and because i found as crippled up as i am it was easy to get in and out of and one of the few vehicles with headroom enough to get in with my Stetson hat on my head.

Logitech is a Swiss owned company

Will Toyota vehicles go away as Japan shrinks and if it embraces a Marxist economy?
Ask Japanese professor Koehi Saito who is advocating degrowth communism.

I once owned a 1950 Dodge 2 door Wayfarer Business Coupe. Only One big bench seat. No seat belts.
Plenty of room behind seat for your sales catalogs. Huge trunk. Ideal for Mafia bodies. Fluid clutch.
The doors opened and closed like the biggest heaviest doors on bank safes.

Kevin, about every 2 years someone shows up on Rogue Columnist with great intelligence. Great research and good supportive scribbling skills. Normally they pick a "thing" to attack and at first it all appears to be very intelligent and extremely logical. But eventually the commenters gods show up. Its usually a god of politics. Of course there are at least 4000 of those.
While i understand your points on US manufacturing currently we are locked into a Global economy.

From a logical standpoint i undetstand Lite Rail and Amtrack as something that is not necessarily a bad thing.

But i will say that in 1950 the two paved, cottonwood and irrigation ditch lined, ashalt lanes, many between South and North Mountain were a beautifully drive.
Today's lite rail Howard Roark steel
above ground lines are really ugly.

About 14000 years ago Maricopa and Yavapai counties were good places. Not so much since the invading white European hordes.

For reality i recommend a campfire and a conversation with Rover about human future.


As a "car guy", I have a lot of opinions on U.S. vs. foreign cars. I've read The Reckoning and recommend it as a good overview by a non-automotive writer on the ills of the U.S. auto industry in the 80's. A couple other books by industry experts are:
-On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors by John Delorean (former GM exec, written before his eponymous car company misadventures)
-The Decline And Fall Of The American Automotive Industry by Brock Yates (Car & Driver writer and author of several car books, founder of The Cannonball Run). As a primer, the book was inspired by his classic 1968 article "The Gross Point Myopians" https://www.caranddriver.com/features/columns/a20053814/the-grosse-pointe-myopians-feature/
-Car Guys vs. Bean Counters by Bob Lutz (former Ford, Chrysler and GM exec) A more recent book covering up to his time at GM in the lead up to their bankruptcy)

All these books are written to a general audience and are very readable.

I think judging the quality of american cars by their percentage on the roads might have been a useful gauge in the 80's and 90's. These days, things are much more muddied. Many american cars are made in other countries, many foreign cars are made in the U.S., Chrysler is now foreign-owned. Regardless of manufacturer, car parts come from all over the world.

American car makers have mostly learned from their historical errors and their cars are generally quite competitive in engineering and manufacturing quality. The quality and reliability of all cars has increased massively over the last few decades (moreso U.S. makers since they had more ground to make up).

Well said.

@Cal Lash, no Toyota will not go away. It's a multinational capitalist business that's selling the most cars in the world.

Whatever happens with Japan, and what's likely to happen is that Japanese will slowly decline due to sub-replacement birthrates, won't affect Toyota or any of their globally competitive firms because they are plugged into world markets.

Toyota has manufacturing plants on every continent and the decision-making is based upon the national headquarters, not the global headquarters in Japan. As an enterprise and brand, it will live on.

Kevin in Preskitt wrote:

Oh, wait. By "nice things," do you mean major public infrastructure improvements like a high-speed rail network? If that's the case, you're right.

The answer to the question of why can't Americans have nice things it turns out is not the scarcity or allocation of nice things, or the ability to acquire or capacity to keep nice things.

The problem is Americans.

Alon Levy has set out to ask the question of why American infrastructure projects cost so much, take so long to build, are overbuilt, tend to be poorly maintained and deliver poor outcomes.

In his research, they (Levy uses they/them pronouns) didn't pinpoint a single source or overarching cause of infrastructure cost disease. It turns out that systemically, there's an ecosystem of mutually reinforcing bad decisions at every level of the process.

Levy works with other researchers on the Transit Costs Project but regularly posts observations on infrastructure best practices, and conversely America's worst practices, on their blog Pedestrian Observations, pedestrianobservations.com .

The discussion is of a highly technical nature and is dry, and is mostly aimed at experts. However, Levy knows a general lay audience is reading so there's a lot of explanatory material on hand if you wish to engage with the topics.

Following up on my above comment, here's one example of a Pedestrian Observations post and why failure is embedded into American infrastructure processes, in "Pete Buttigieg, Bent Flyvbjerg, and My Pessimism About American Costs":


An excerpt:

But what we’ve persistently seen is an unwillingness to just go ahead and learn from foreigners. ...

And there’s the rub. We’ve talked to Americans at these levels – regulators, agency heads, political advisors, appointees – and they are often interested in issues of procurement reform, interagency coordination, modular design, and so on. But when we mention the issue of learning from outside the US, they react negatively:

They rarely speak foreign languages or respect people who do, and therefore don’t try to read the literature if it’s not written in English ... .
They have no interest in hiring foreigners with successful experience in Europe or Asia ... .
They don’t ever follow up with specifics that we bring up about Milan or Stockholm, let alone Istanbul ... .
They sometimes even make excuses for why it’s not possible to replicate foreign success, in a way that makes it clear they haven’t engaged with the material; for a non-transportation example, a New York sanitation communications official said, with perfect confidence, that New York cannot learn from Rome, because Rome was leveled during WW2 (in fact, Rome was famously an open city).

Good scribbling Bobson.
I posted proffessor Koehi Saito to encourage a response.
Good answers.

NOTE: My pal Peter Charles Magadini, DRUMMER EXTRAORDINAIRE died on the 20th.
Great human being. One of the good guys.
We attended Washington High School together and we both participated in Gymnastics and Wrestling.
Pete will be greatly missed by family and fellow musicians and fans.

In the Chips.
Flannery and Associates plan a new MEGA city in the San Francisco Bay area.
They got the dough and the water.

In The Chips is an investment board game that a San Jose company, Tega, brought to the market in the early 1980s.

Now thats cool.
Sounds illegal
Like wall street
capitalism should be.

Climate change, immigration, guns, abortion, climate change, immigration, guns, abortion, climate change, immigration, guns, abortion.

Election fraud.

We really didn't need a new wedge issue inserted into the circle of disharmony we had going.

Jon, I just read your ST column about heat immigration to Seattle. Then I read all the comments. I don't think Americans can even agree anymore about something as simple as "hey look, the sun is shining".

Going back to a comment Kevin in Preskitt mentioned earlier, one source of information on car quality is Consumer Reports.

It's different from the automotive press since its audience is a consumer, and tailors reviews to how a vehicle will be used each day. Consumer Reports doesn't take advertiser money and recommends but doesn't endorse products.

CR does review a couple of cars for its magazines, and annually it produces an encyclopedic list of every car available for a model year. It usually goes on sale in October or November for the following model year.

CR does outline its methodology. It tells you how it goes about getting its data -- a combination of CR employees driving a car on a test track, data on repairs CR gets from carmakers, and ratings from Consumer Reports subscribers (there's an online database that subscribers can use to rate their own cars). CR discloses the biases that emerge from their methodology: Any carmaker that introduces a new generation of model gets penalized for reliability, but its corrected after 2 or 3 years; conversely, there's also a "Mazda bias" because Mazda goes a very long time before it redesigns a car, and this conservative approach to engineering it allows it to be top-of-class in reliability categories.

Also, reliability ratings are given by colored dots: dark green (high) to red (low). The reliability ratings are meant to be looked at for vehicle segment, and not an overall gauge of reliability for all vehicles on the market. So it's possible for a luxury midsize sedan to get a dark green for high reliability, but the luxury midsize sedan could overall be yellow (mediocre) compared with another category like non-luxury midsize sedan. So a BMW would get a dark green if its competitors are MBZ, Lexus, Infiniti, etc., but might get a yellow if it were compared side-by-side to a Toyota Camry of comparable size.

Today in 2014 Charles C Bowden died in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In memory of his published brillant"scribblings" his profound works live on.

"I don't think Americans can even agree anymore about something as simple as "hey look, the sun is shining"."...Yes, I agree it really is that bad. And from there it will turn into an argument on climate change.

Never heard of Charles Bowden until Cals comments here now I have most of his writings, Blood Orchid my favorite. The Red Caddy on CD for trips to Vegas. Thanks Cal.

No reading about the South West particularly Deserts is complete without reading Mary Hunter Austin, Joseph Wood Krutch. John Van Dyke, Terry Tempest Williams Edward Abbey and Charles C. Bowden.

Octane, where i live the club house library has hundereds of romance and mystery NOVELS.
Not one non fiction book.
Gods forbid a Sierra Club Magazine.

Its definiltley a Blue moon tonignt. A good time to read Blue Desert by Chuck Bowden.

Jon Talton
Ed Abbey
Charles Bowden
Chris Hedges

Voices of reason lost in the windstorm of ignorance sweeping our state and our nation.

We have JOE

Back on topic:


Certainly Bidenomics is a reasonable plan. But I'm not sure I'm for a Taiwanese Chip plant. And definitely not in Arizona.
Just will suck up.more WATER.

Lehi, is a nice little village but Mesa seems intent on becoming a BIG city.

And in the news today it seems big cities are losing

Bobson Dugnutt and Jon7190:

I appreciate the thoughtful commentary you contributed here. I had to step away from this comments section, because it got me all worked up. I spent hours researching and writing my comments. Surely, nobody's mind changed as a result. Just a big waste of time. I'll probably stick to commenting on Rogue's Arizona nostalgia posts from now on.

Kevin, i appreciated your research and comments. It generated some interesting posting. At 83 i likeky will not buy another car but if i did the Chevy Bolt is a real possibility.
Note: my coffee cup is good clear glass made in the US.

@Cal, interesting news about the Bolt. Chevrolet announced this year it was discontinuing the Bolt with the 2023 line.

Turns out there are a lot of Bolt lovers out there who were infuriated by the news. They campaigned to get GM to continue the line, and the Bolt is returning and will have the GM Ultium electric vehicle platform. (GM is also trying to export the Ultium platform to other carmakers.)

Thanks Bobson

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