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January 28, 2006

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well, weirdly, i have seen Bush stickers on Volvos, and Dean stickers on Expeditions. Just goes to show ya... something. I have no stickers on our crapmobile, but the truck has "Bless the Freaks" and "Tweekers Suck
" and that says all it has to.

Actually, progressives don't necessarily drive Volvos - risk averse people do. Liberal or conservative, either way. I bet you don't smoke, never gamble, and invest in blended/income mutual funds where bonds are prevalent.

Regardless, the main point I mean to make is that you can, indeed, be more green. Your insistence on leasing new cars, no matter what they are, is wasteful.

Leases are frequently just as if not more profitable than sales because of the committed cash flow for the dealer. By leasing brand new vehicles, you are making payments in-kind for the financing you would likely have had, plus subsidizing its depreciation, plus a profit risk premium for using their property temporarily.

That means you're paying far more of your salary than you would have had you found a used Prius or any other vehicle. In effect, you are dedicating more of your own resources for the same transportation - simply for the thrill of leasing new - than you actually have to. That means for the same transportation, you are working more than you could, in other words resources, including energy, capital, etc., supplied by you are being misallocated and wasted if you truly want to look at it in terms of resources saved.

Screwtape, I agree with you. Good points. This is the first time we've ever leased a car, and it may the last. Our motivation was admittedly based on self-interest, not environmentalism.

We're concerned that during the next few years a hybrid SUV that gets less than 30 miles a gallon, as the Highlander does, will look like a hybrid dinosaur--unappealing. So we wanted to be able to walk away from the car if the resale value declines markedly.

If it doesn't, and there isn't a better hybrid alternative, we'll purchase the car. You're right though: generally buying is preferable to leasing, eco-wise.

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