I like the idea of choice too but am ready for our tax dollars to be spent on building and maintaining roads for cars and trucks, etc. I use it myself train heading downtown whenever practicable which is most times that I head downtown. I chose a home near my job to minimize my commute since I see time spent commuting as mostly wasted. But if these ladies think that most Americans are going to forsake cars and driving for any of the reasons noted in this review, they clearly have NOT been living in the same America that I live in.
One of my brothers has never owned a car. He drives a company vehicle for work, but not to and from his home. He has always chosen to live close enough to work that he can walk. Some bicycle infrastructure would help, but it would have to be paid for by taxes, and so few people ride….. I believe with better infrastructure more people would ride, but what comes first? Because they have to give up something they want. Utopia comes at a price. But if both the authors of this book tell about how they do not own cars, I will give their views some respect.
Otherwise, they are just telling us that the solution is to bell the cat.
54 Comments on “Book Review: Carjacked: The Culture of Automobiles And Its Effects On Our Lives...”
Second, if such a place exists in another corner of my state, or 3 states away, can I be sure of finding employment there? You may have heard that the national unemployment rate is rather high. I would not like to loose it and start over. Last but not least, my current home is paid for, so what I used to spend on mortgage payments is now money for either pleasure or investment.
When a man is less than 15 years from retirement he has to think about keeping expenses down. This is not the time in my life to take on a new mortgage. Where we live depends on a lot of factors. If I bought acres of land and wanted to build houses on 1 acres lots, that would be fine in almost all parts of the country. A reasonable facsimile of those places do exist. Harrisburg is a good example. Those who seek urban living will find it in one of several neighorhoods of either rowhomes or older duplexes. Shopping and eating establishments, as well as the night life, are very close, or a bus ride away.
The housing is either dense duplexes or very dense rowhomes. Those who seek suburban living can find it one of the many townships and small towns that surround the city. They range from traditional small towns Camp Hill, Hershey, Mechanicsburg to more rural, undeveloped townships that feature subdivisions and shopping malls. Those who want rural living can find it about minutes from the city center.
These are areas where black bears roam through yards and the only sound at night is of crickets chirping. The people I see complaining are those who seem to think that there should be no trade-offs, or, that said trade-offs are somehow the fault of suburbanites, the car companies, Standard Oil, etc. They will say they would love to live in the city, and complain about life in the suburbs, and all of the cars on the road. Cities have been more crime-ridden for generations — long before the automobile appeared on the scene.
And urban areas generally have higher taxes, for a variety of reasons — some good more need for services and some not so good more graft and waste in govermment. People need to accept that all choices have trade-offs would we express sympathy for someone who chooses to live in a rural area and then complains about having to drive everywhere? The elephant in the room that nobody mentions is affordability. Why do people do the 30 min commute? Obviously not. Look to the small house movement for more ideas.
As been shown in the developing countries, car ownership is both a privilege and a major want and to ignore or to surpress it is fraught with peril. Until an efficient transportation method is devised that is cheap enough and convenient enough transporter beam? Zoning laws militate against that convenience just as they do against planned unit developments and the like. I lived for years in just such a walkable neighborhood. My wife worked close by but my drive commute was 25 miles each way. After kids, my wife worked out of our home and we moved closer to my work, in so doing losing the neighborhood conveniences — now all 4 miles away.
Overall, it still cut our driving by at least a third. Excellent review, I can tell that I would have no interest in reading this book, as it would likely infuriate me. From the review it seems the book carries all the tenants of a typical anti-consumerist rant. Relentlessly blame the product, and those who market and sell it, without holding the purchaser to any responsibility reducing individuals to mere pawns of these malignant forces as Ed nicely put it , and most importantly offering absolutely no working alternative what-so-ever.
Very typical of modern punditry. I would have this to say to the authors your possessions always end up owning you. That is no new concept. Everything from Buddhism to Communism has dealt with that subject. In the end the real trick in a consumerist world is to simply choose your possessions very carefully.
Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives
Cheap, reliable and extremely fuel efficient. They cost much less to own and operate than autos. As a motorcycle owner I have to be more aware of my surroundings.
I believe more motorcycle ownership would lead to safer drivers as well. More motorcycles mean less traffic. I know this is blasphemous in some circles, but I prefer taking my legs out of the riding equation so I can place more attention on enjoying the ride. I disagreed strongly with Cash for Clunkers, but I could see myself getting behind a version that increased motorcycle ownership. Tires may not last you 15K miles. Maybe half that on sport bikes. I enjoy my motorcycles. A scooter might be cheaper though but avoid the Chinese generic brands!
Friend was in the hospital for a year while they tried to save his leg, then had it amputated. Any car, even a poorly rated one, and he would have had only minor injuries. I am not buying it.
- See a Problem?!
- Bajas Hidden Gold: Treasure Along the Mission Trail.
- Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives | Catherine Lutz | Macmillan.
- Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives?
- Starstruck In Seattle (novella) (Novella).
- Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives | Times Higher Education (THE).
- The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives.
My choice to live where I live and drive what I drive is predicated on what I can afford and will improve my quality of life. Same with the apartment I rented a few blocks from work. Dealing with assholism up close and personal on a daily basis did not improve my life.
Have your say
It detracted from it. Hang what I want. My neighborhood benefits from the roots I have put down and the investment I have made in it. The shops and businesses I use in my city benefit as does the tax base. That time is golden and just as valuable as if I were sitting at home.
Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives - Features | Planetizen
Go figure. Such a caveman. And I have 2 other cars as well. These two can piss off. I lived in Boston for 7 years and walked 10 minutes to grad school and then after graduation, to work. I had a car, but used it only on weekends to go skiing, beach etc.
I owned a small 1 bedroom condo — square feet — and life was good. Everything — groceries, beer, restaurants, movies, banks, did I say beer? I also had homeless guys sleeping on the front steps, hideous maintenance issues endemic to year old buildings, noisy and nosy neighbors, sirens at a.
Got married, had kids — and the primary driver behind our decision to move to the burbs — and endure a 1 hour commute — was affordability. At least in eastern Mass. People esp. We live in a modest 3 bedroom, square foot house with 2 kids and a dog. I have to drive to get the Globe and donuts for the kids on Saturday mornings.
My commute by car and train is just over an hour. Problem is that the commute emotional pressure mounts as years go by and sooner for most, they regret the choice.