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Monday, July 13, 2009

Consumer Beware: Are cars overpriced?

It is absolutely sickening that the hawkers of merchandise of all sorts attempt to persuade the consumer that it only costs "X" amount per month to purchase an item. This is especially true of automobile and truck sales gimmicks that most often boldly advertise the monthly payment of a vehicle rather than the actual purchase price of the vehicle.

I have been thinking for the past several years that the prices of cars and trucks are way out of control and that most cars and trucks are way overpriced. This thinking surfaced in my mind once again this morning when I read the Forbes article America's Most Overpriced Cars.

Upon reading the aforementioned article, it was with eyebrows raised that I performed an internet search on the cost and price of cars. After well over an hour, I threw my arms up in despair and frustration because most of the returns I received from my search that used a variety of terminology contained very little factual information and a whole lot of opinionated commentary about who thought what was the reason for the prices of cars.

On many of the web sites, web pages, forums, etc., I found a recurring theme of persons opining that American cars are overpriced because of unions, the UAW in particular, and because of highly paid automobile workers. Often, I read people stating that auto workers make $60 to $70 an hour. WHAT!!! - I said to myself. How can that be?? Then, I went over to where I read the answer to the question: Do auto workers really make more than $70 per hour?

Somehow, I doubt that the facts will be used by many of the people who choose to fault the American auto worker and the UAW for the high price of cars and trucks. A union basher is a union basher.

It is my opinion that the people who strongly advocate America's free enterprise system of capitalism, open markets, supply and demand, private business, etc. would totally eliminate labor unions and government laws and regulations concerning minimum wages, health care benefits, sick leave PTO, disability benefits, retirement plans, and all the other aspects of employment that are employee oriented. Heck, if those folks had their way, I would not be surprised to see them advocate a return to the policies of slavery. Sometimes, I think that the conservative private business advocates might secretly hold the opinion that slavery is free enterprise at its finest. To them, I believe, their thinking is private ownership, maximize profits, and accumulation of wealth without regard to people or the effect on the environment.

I strayed. Back to topic.

I am of the opinion that cars are overpriced, as are trucks. However, I admit that my opinion is not factually based; and therefore, my opinion is subject to informed modification.

What do you think? Are cars overpriced? If so, why? I am interested in your opinions.

I would also appreciate if someone can help me with the facts. Perhaps, someone out there may know of a web site or two or three that can provide me with the factual information I seek.

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