Poor people that can make a car payment can buy a luxury car as well to impress. They may live at home or with 6 roommates, but it happens.
In turn, a low key wealthy individual may drive an obscure car. It also have something to so with not being a target for robbery today. Don't totally go by what people drive or even where they live. They can be be far overextended to impress people.
I have driven cars home in very rough condition prior to extensive restoration. Not cream puffs yet.
There are a # of middle class Americans with over a million in their 401k. In turn, ask them if they can retire on that today. You would be surprised at most of the replies.
I buy my cars with applications and actual requirements. I went to a large SUV to tow and for a family of 4. The teens are as big as any grown adults. Buying a SUV new or used isn't buying a new Rolls Royce. If you have local employment and family from the area, what is the big deal? The actual fuel consumption could be less than the commuters driving the econo buggies. Then factor in the wear and tear, and high mileage depreciation, as well as the daily smog filled bumper to bumper commutes, and leaving home and returning in the dark each day. I work 40 hours a week. If I commute an hour each way daily, add another 10 hours driving. Wear your car out quick, and really you are working a 50 hour week. I'll already be home in my mint high quality low mileage SUV with my family having quality time.
The government isn't going to outlaw anything. Remember that half of our government drives around in big SUVs and fancy European saloons that all weigh well over 3,000 lbs. Why on Earth would they outlaw something they enjoy having?
Americans have to toughen up and stop looking to the government to solve all their problems.
That's the sad part, no retirement. Us younger people are going to have a hell of a time figuring out how to clean up that mess. Unless you make over $150,000 a year in the future, retiring will just be a dream. I'm not into the whole idea of working until I'm dead for lower wages and little to no benefits.
Regular cars are great for people with a couple of kids, they get the job done well. If you're one of the odd few who has 3+ kids, a crossover will probably do. Full-sized cars are almost extinct in today's market, unless you really have to go overkill and buy a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, but I hope nobody makes such a bad move like that.
I would say a 22 foot long Mercury would be the ideal vehicle for a large family.
"Cars to him were transportation."
Most people I know seem to think this way. My Dad could care less about driving a luxury car. His passion is guitars.
Any person with a million dollars in his 401K who can't retire comfortably is either horrible at budgeting or chooses to live a lifestyle that is hardly "middle class". If a person has their home paid for at retirement, there aren't that many expenses.
I disagree on that comment. The old guys I know that are pre internet, iPad, Nook, cells, 300 channel TV, and TIVO, collect cars. We had pinball and cards. We have had more time and money to do so.
I am amazed how much it costs to buy collector cars today. I am buying cars now that cost as much as my first home. My youngest son and I also play guitars as well. I live close to Martin in Nazareth Pa. Try pricing them! I know this hobby has kept me very healthy vs being on the couch.
Watch Suzie Ormann sometime, as she may not agree. People live much longer today, especially health and long term health care expenses, utilities, repairs, property taxes. Most people working do not even have the minimum 8 month emergency contingency fund if they lose their job. If you have zero pension, it might be wise to put most of what you have away as you will need it. I see lots of people playing the lotto every week or at the slots... no wonder!
I read an interesting article on Yahoo! today discussing the fact that fewer and fewer middle-class Americans can afford to buy new cars. Car prices are the most ever (not surprisingly). What is surprising is what you get for your money compared to a few years ago. Many of the new compacts are just as much as comparable mid-size cars were 5-6 years ago. The fact that there are more small cars on the market than ever, yet the average price for a new car is over $30K is ridiculous. Few middle-class families can afford to even pay the initial sticker price of many small cars. That, coupled with the larger expense of fuel for a bigger vehicle, is forcing many Americans to down-size or buy used. This completely supports what I said before, that Americans have historically driven larger vehicles than the rest of the world when they can afford to, so for the majority down-sizing is a necessity, not something out of choice. Chalk another one up for the liberals, while the middle-class continues to die.
Older cars are really going up in value, even for these big Lincolns. I guess they just don't make luxury cars like they used to.
I agree that many middle-class Americans have a hard time buying a new car these days. In 1980 I bought a beautiful bright yellow Mustang brand new for $4500. In 2007 I bought my last new Mustang for five times that. But there was a huge difference in the cars. My 1980 Mustang did not have power steering, power brakes or air conditioning. It had crank up windows and manual door locks. It did not have expensive air bags or even a radio.
American consumers only have themselves to blame for the high cost of cars. Too wimpy to drive without power steering and too spoiled to do without air conditioning. Too lacking in common sense to use seat belts, forcing the need for expensive air bags. And insisting on all sorts of outrageous electronic gimmicks costing thousands.
My best friend recently bought a new car. He wanted a basic car with no frills. He couldn't find one. Every car he looked at was crammed with every power gimmick imaginable, and all sorts of electronic gadgets costing thousands of dollars.
We have become so spoiled in having thousands of dollars in totally unnecessary options that we, the buying public, have driven car prices through the roof. All my cars now have air conditioning, but even living in one of the hottest Southern states, I might average using my A/C two weeks out of the year. I have air bags because of irresponsible people who chose to kill themselves by not using their seat belts.
Some years ago I was experiencing severe shoulder pain and my doctor suggested buying an older car without power steering. He said people no longer get any exercise in their daily activities. I found an older sports car with manual steering and my shoulder pain was gone in a few months. I wish I could find a new car without power steering, but they don't exist (and my shoulder pain is back).
And I have no idea what being "liberal" has to do with any of this. Car prices are always dictated by the choices spoiled consumers make. Americans demand useless and unnecessary gimmicks and gadgets, and we all end up paying for it.