Another Arms Race

Charles Wheelan, who wrote this article about a proverbial little league arms race, reminded me of another arms race that has been occurring in the subconscious of most Americans. The automobile arms race.

My disgust of the unnecessary enlargement of vehicles came when Jon Stewart played a clip of pundits unintelligibly arguing with each other over the very same topic of large versus small cars. At one point, one of the morons experts mentioned that a person would be statistically more in danger if they were in a smaller vehicle.

Well, duh.

But in that utterly obvious statement of his, he let it be known the notion that starts off the arms race. And as Wheelan discussed in his article, just like any other arms race, it becomes exceptionally pointless because one would always find themselves behind by the same amount at which they started.

The point is this, you buy a bigger car, but then someone else buys a bigger car. And so it goes. And the auto manufacturers themselves fall into this same trap because of “car class.” Well, if the Corolla is the largest of the compact cars, then Honda has to make the Civic larger. And so it goes. I mean hasn’t anyone noticed that the Toyota Corolla now is the same size as the Toyota Camry ten years ago?

Pointlessness for profit. The only way out would be for a standardized car classification system where compacts, sub-compacts, would have concrete dimensions (length, width, etc.) associated with them. But that just fixes the nomenclature problem with cars (i.e. Corolla, Camry, Yaris). It would still do nothing to fix the “I need a bigger car than my neighbor” paradigm.

So, with no end is sight, let me at least say this. It doesn’t matter, your neighbor’s car will always be bigger.


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