Not one American nameplate makes it onto Consumer Reports’ Top Cars list.

This year’s Consumer Reports list of Top Picks for car buyers doesn’t include any cars from the Big Three American car makers or, for that matter, any cars from a European company. All of the cars chosen were Japanese nameplates with Honda walking away with 5 out of the 10 slots. Ironically enough, several of these Japanese cars are actually built right here in North America. 

The lone American model on last year’s list, the Ford Focus, was replaced this year by the new, redesigned Honda Civic.

Of the five Honda vehicles on Consumer Reports’ Top Picks, four are manufactured in the U.S. The remaining vehicle, the Honda Ridgeline, was designed and engineered in the U.S. but is built in Canada.

Of the five other vehicles in the list, two are Toyotas, two are Subarus and one is from Nissan’s Infiniti luxury division. Those remaining five are all are produced in Japan. – CNN.com – Honda cleans up in Consumer Reports picks

Since I started driving at the age of 16 all the cars I’ve ever owned were American nameplates (and most of them were GM brands), but this wasn’t necessarily because I felt any great devotion to the American companies despite growing up in an a big automotive state and having worked for two of the Big Three companies in the past. It was mainly due to my dad and his enthusiasm for all things produced by General Motors, in particular he’s been a long-time fan of Chevy cars and trucks.

My next car, however, is likely to be a Honda. In part because they’re on a roll right now and in part because there’s little being produced out of Detroit that really appeals to me. Just about every Honda owner I know loves their car and the company seems hell-bent on making sure people continue to love them. Toyota is another possibility I’m considering because of the hybrid Prius. With the way sales are growing for several Japanese companies—Toyota is on the verge of overtaking GM as the biggest automaker—it seems like a lot of other folks are of a similar mindset.

Around Detroit this thought process is more or less heretical to express openly, but it’s reflective of the problems the Big Three have been having for quite some time. When even long-time supporters like myself resolve to make their next car something other than what they’ve been buying all along the message to the automakers should be loud and clear.

27 thoughts on “Not one American nameplate makes it onto Consumer Reports’ Top Cars list.

  1. Ironically enough, several of these Japanese cars are actually built right here in North America. 

    And that’s why my next new car will also be a “foreign” nameplate. As far as I’m concerned if they employ more American workers than do their competitors, they ARE American car companies. I am for the American worker because I AM an American worker so if buying Toyota means supporting American labor… so be it. Screw the big three!

  2. For years the big three assumed American buyers ‘owed’ them something for nationalistic reasons.  This trend is evidence that nothing trumps economics.  Cars are too expensive not to get the best you can.

  3. My analysis of the picks:
    Sedan under $20k: Honda Civic. The competition in this category was really between two cars, the Mazda3 and the Civic.  Last year’s winner, the Ford Focus is long past the sell by date (the rest of the world currently has a Mazda3 based 2nd gen Focus).  The Cobalt (Cavalier replacement) is supposed to be much better than the Cavalier, but still outclassed by the Civic and Mazda3.  The Neon has just been killed off, and had no chance anyway.  The Corolla is reliable, and that’s pretty much it.  The Mazda3 is supposed to be a very good drive for the price range, at least in sporty S trim, but the Civic offers something for everyone.  Cheap base sedan, nice available options, hybrid model, and a sporty Si coupe soon to be joined by an Si sedan.  The EL Civic is everything to everyone.

    Sedan, $20-30k: Honda Accord.  Much like the Civic, the Accord offers something for everyone.  Reliability, powerful V6 option, sedan or coupe body style, a hybrid model, and excellent resale value.  All in a competitively priced package that’s not as boring to look at or drive as a Toyota Camry.  GM’s offerings in this price range are pretty anonymous, as are Chrysler’s.  The Ford Fusion is supposed to be a very good product, one that is a slightly larger Mazda6, though it doesn’t have the breadth of offerings or the track record of the Accord.

    Sedan, $30-40k: Acura TL.  The TL offers a very well appointed spacious interior and a reasonably fun drive for a very competitive price.  While the German entry level luxury sedans quickly climb to the wrong side of $40k once you start adding options, the sole extra cost factory installed option in the TL is the $2000 navigation system, which is one of the best navi units out there.  The TL probably isn’t the best choice for the performance minded, (the Infiniti G35 and BMW 3-Series do a better job of that), it’s the best choice for most people.

    Luxury sedan: Infiniti M35.  Excellent mix of performance and luxury.  Interior is a massive leap over the previous Infiniti M45.  Available all-wheel drive for the safety minded, available V8 for the leadfoots.  Like the TL, pricing is very competitive with the German cars in the class.  Cadillac is making great strides these days, but still have a little ways to go to catch up with the class leaders.  Lincoln is showing few signs of life, and Chrysler, though making great strides, will have a ways to go before they have the reputation of Cadillac, let alone Mercedes-Benz.

    Fun to drive
    : Subaru Impreza WRX STi.  300hp turbocharged engine, AWD, racetrack ready brakes and tires.  For real world point to point speed, it’s tough to beat the Japanese rally specials, the STi and the Mitsubishi Evo.  Most reviewers think that the Evo is a better drive, but Subaru does do much better than Mitsubishi as a whole in the reliability rankings, a huge plus with the CR crowd.

    Small SUV/SUV less than $20k: Subaru Forester.  Good reliability rankings, excellent ride and handling for the class, available turbo engines, less likely than taller SUVs to tip over when you really botch things, another huge plus to the safety minded CR types.

    Mid-sized SUV/SUV more than $30,000
    : Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  The same vehicle as the Lexus RX400h, just not quite as nicely appointed and at a lower price point.  Appeals to the folks who think that a hybrid is automatically eco-friendly, even if it gets significantly worse fuel economy than a small to mid-size car.  If you’re the kind of person who really needs an SUV for what they do, you’ll be looking elsewhere, but let’s face it, few people buying SUVs do any towing or off roading.

    Minivan: Honda Odyssey.  A perennial award winner ever since the second gen Odyssey stole Chrysler’s minivan crown, this is no surprise.  Compared to the competition, the Odyssey has no weaknesses and offers Honda reliability along with one of the better engines in the class.  GM and Chrysler’s minivans aren’t as dominating across the board as the Odyssey, and Ford’s refreshing of the Windstar and renaming it the Freestar (terrible name) failed to make it appealing or competitive.  The Toyota Sienna, like many of Toyota’s products, is extremely reliable and does many things well, but just isn’t quite as good as the Honda.  The Nissan Quest was homely and had a weird interior, though both have changed for 2006.  Has a better engine than the Odyssey, but fell short in other ways.

    Green car
    : Toyota Prius.  No surprise here, there’s really no competition.  A hybrid that looks futuristic, a rolling eco-statement.  Sure, most of a vehicle’s pollutants are formed to make it, and it would be better for the environment to drive a used compact sedan, but that’s missing the point.  In the same way a blinged out Hummer demonstrates one’s aggressive lack of taste, the Prius is a badge of the environmentalist.

    Pick-up truck: Honda Ridgeline.  A pick that was common among car magazines, and I’m not sure why.  The Ridgeline can’t do what other trucks do, and even if most people don’t need real trucks, they want a truck that can do more.  The people who realize that they don’t need a truck and don’t care buy SUVs and cars.  The people who do need real trucks (or who think they do) buy ladder framed, live-axled, leaf-sprung trucks like those offered by Ford, GM, Dodge, Toyota, or Nissan.

    The big 3 as I see them:
    Ford:
    Good: F-series will continue to be a best seller (there’s always a market for pick-ups), the Mustang is a hit, the Fusion is a good product, Volvo division is undergoing a renaissance and Aston Martin sales are expanding.
    Bad: Aston is always going to be low volume, Jaguar X-Type has been a failure, lack of product development in key areas (leading to declining sales of Mk1 Focus and Freestar minivan), Explorer and Expedition sales are declining as market shifts to crossover unit body SUVs (of which Ford has none in the midsize market).  Competition and decline of truck based SUV sales have put pressure on Land Rover.  Lincoln has not had a Cadillac-like turnaround, and Mercury offers nothing unique anymore and should be eliminated as a brand.

    GM
    :
    Good: Cadillac product offerings are very strong and competitive these days, with distinctive styling.  New full size trucks have class leading interiors.  Corvette continues to get better, with Z06 model offering the highest performance to dollar ratio of any car on the market, and the Pontiac Solstice is generating massive buzz on the low end of the sports car market.
    Bad: Legion of retirees, most Chevy vehicles are bland and mediocre, Saturn and Buick brands have zero buzz about them, full size truck sales are declining, remains to be seen whether Solstice effectively acts as a halo car increasing other Pontiac sales.  Saab brand should probably be sold off or killed.  The market is unlikely to support two makes of turbocharged FWD Swedish cars.

    Chrysler
    :
    Good: 300/Charger/Magnum are hits, lower pension costs than GM or Ford, available Hemi engines excellent for marketing purposes.
    Bad: most Chrysler and Dodge vehicles offer few reasons to purchase over the competition.

  4. I test drove a 3 and then a Civic. I was seriously disappointed by the Civic. I’ve been driving a 1989 Civic Si since 1991, so the Honda had the benefit of my doubt, but I couldn’t get into a proper seating position relative to the pedals, steering wheel, and shifter despite seats that literally has four times the adjustments that my beloved Si has. If I was the right distance from the pedals, I had my arms straight out to reach the steering wheel and shifter. The steering was numb and too light (of course, Wild Zeke lacks power steering, so I’m skewed towards the heavy end of the feel segment), and, well, I was just relentlessly underwhelmed. It felt like the Civic, once a tossable driver’s car, had gone soft. Even the new Si has gone the heavy-car-with-more-power route instead of keeping weight down to achieve better performance. And, similarly equipped, the Civic was significantly more expensive.

    Our Copper Red 3 hatchback will be arrive any day now. I hope my wife will let me drive it once in a while…

    did

  5. Ironically enough, several of these Japanese cars are actually built right here in North America.

    It’s not the company itself which makes Big Three cars so crappy.  And it’s obviously not some sort of Japan / United States thing..  As you pointed out, most Hondas and Toyotas are made in the USA.  My Honda Civic was built in Louisville, Kentucky.

    It’s the UAW.  Honda and Toyota don’t have unions.

    The unions have basically resigned themselves to sucking every last drop of lifeblood from the Big Three.  They know that five or ten years from now, Ford and GM will have gone bankrupt.  They aren’t going to let up; they will try to get every single dollar they can, while they can.  If that means destroying these companies, well, so be it.

    Honestly, I don’t know why GM doesn’t just Man Up, let the UAW strike, then hire permanent replacement workers.  Factory jobs paying $30 an hour??  They’d have ten people lining up for every one job.

    Sure beats paying a billion dollars a year to people who don’t even pretend to work.

  6. On this point I’m in complete agreement with you, Daryl. My own personal experiences with unions left a bad taste in my mouth and the ongoing troubles the Big Three seem to be having because of them only worsens my opinion. Which isn’t to say that they didn’t serve a purpose at one point in time or that all unions are bad, but the UAW in particular seems to have allowed it’s power to corrupt it to the point that they’re biting the hand that feeds them.

    Of course if all companies treated their workers well there wouldn’t be a need for unions in the first place, but this is a less than ideal world.

  7. Are all of the Big Three’s ills because of the evil unions?  If so, that’s very sad.

    I owned all GM cars when I was in my 20’s.  2 of my favorites were my gold ‘69 Cutlass 442 and my baby, the big brown ‘73 GTO that slurped gas and chewed up pavement like a raped ape . . . but gawdammit, there’s nothing better’n cubic inches to add hair to your chest and inches to yer pecker, lemme tell ya!

    In 1988 I bought my first Ford product – and my first brand-spankin’ new car.  It was a beautiful blue Thunderbird, with power *everything* and a cool digital dash. I drove that thing everywhere and loved every mile of the 89,000 miles I put on it before trading it in during ‘96 – in perfect condition – for my current vehicle, a ‘96 Crown Victoria, also blue, also with power everything and a cool digital dash. 

    Both of those vehicles ran for YEARS with nary a trip to the mechanic (not that I’d need to, I do my own work anyway).  I put in oil and gas, changed filters, and that’s IT. On both vehicles, I have not had to replace so much as a light bulb in all those years.  No shit.

    My Crown Vic finally needed a new air suspension system when the bags blew out during the extreme cold we had a few weeks ago.  After 10 years and 148,000 miles, I finally had to shell out $1,700 for a whole new air suspension because there was no way for me to troubleshoot the thing – every car repair book I own said “bring it to the dealer, you can’t fix it.” 

    I don’t know what I’m trying to say here . . . I guess it just saddens me because I felt that american cars during the late 70’s / early 80’s were such pieces of SHIT that it was refreshing to own two american-made vehicles that worked so well and gave me no troubles at all. I expect to keep my Crown Vic until it literally cannot run any more, because this car looks and runs *great*.

    If we have it in us to make such great vehicles, then why *are* the american car makers failing?

  8. Of course, harsh reality:  American workers are now the fattest, laziest, least literate, most violent workers in the industrialized world.  And you can’t blame unions for THAT!

    And the rise of corporatism has lead to GM’s financial arm now swapping—- the car manufacturing division is now just an arm of the FINANCE division. And in fact 70% of Americas economy is now based in finance . . . just moving paper around. Its a shell game that is going to end badly. You can’t produce NOTHING and yet have just 6% of the worlds population consuming 30% of the worlds resources.  They won’t stand for it forever, and they shouldn’t.

  9. BT asks…

    Are all of the Big Three’s ills because of the evil unions?  If so, that’s very sad.

    I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say ALL of the Big Three’s Ills are due to the unions, but they’re certainly not helping the situation much. The spiraling costs of health care combined with the requirements for such laid out in the union contracts is a growing problem for the Big Three. In 2004 GM spent some $5.2 billion on health care for 1.1 million employees, retirees and dependents throughout the United States. GM estimates that adds up to $1,500 for every vehicle they produced that year. According to GM most of the Asian automakers don’t have as many U.S. retirees and back in their home countries the government covers a greater portion of employee and retiree health-care costs.

    That’s just one of the problems, though. Ford themselves admit that they have to do a better job of simply building vehicles that people want to buy. They kept pushing SUVs as the gas prices went up and were caught without a transitional vehicle when that market suddenly started to pick up steam.

    Susan writes…

    Of course, harsh reality:  American workers are now the fattest, laziest, least literate, most violent workers in the industrialized world.  And you can’t blame unions for THAT!

    That’s an awfully big generalization and flies in the face of the simple fact that four of the top 10 Consumers Report picks are Japanese vehicles built by Americans in America. Now I could see the argument that UAW workers might be spoiled by the decades of very lucrative contracts, but to paint all U.S. workers with the same broad brush just doesn’t match up with reality.

  10. Unfortunately its not a generalization or broad brush, its simple demographic data. Look it up in any almanac online or paper you wish.  America:  fattest, least literate, most violent in the industrialized world.

    There are many exceptions but the exceptions simply prove the rule.

  11. There are many exceptions but the exceptions simply prove the rule.

    You might want to go read up on that expression before the next time you feel the urge to use it. The core meaning isn’t what you apparently think it is.  Nor is it what the popular ‘explanation’ says, either.

    Used as a means to brush aside obvious counter-examples, it’s asinine and illogical.

  12. Frankly I could give a shit what the official meaning of the expression is. My intended meaning should be clear, whether or not it meets your high bar for the intellectual behavior of others.

    My point is that the fact regarding the physical and mental state of Americans is clear. And there are those who are not that way, they are rare.  Period.

  13. How rare, Susan?  There are entire factories full of them.  For the most part, non-union factories, calling bullshit on the aspersions you cast on American workers.  Toyota didn’t find some kind of mutant American worker in Smyrna, Tennessee; they just said; “We’re going to build cars here, and we’re going to do it right.  If you want to work here, you’re going to have to agree to that.”

    Unions cripple the worker’s ability to respond to the needs of their employer, by putting a thick, insulating layer of entitlement between the worker and the company.

  14. Les sez:

    …In 2004 GM spent some $5.2 billion on health care for 1.1 million employees, retirees and dependents throughout the United States. GM estimates that adds up to $1,500 for every vehicle they produced that year.

    Thanks for the link . . . I imagine it’s not going to get any better, what with all the baby boomers heading into their retirement years.

    According to GM most of the Asian automakers don’t have as many U.S. retirees and back in their home countries the government covers a greater portion of employee and retiree health-care costs.

    But even so, don’t consumers wind up paying for it (health care & retirement) one way or the other?

    That’s just one of the problems, though. Ford themselves admit that they have to do a better job of simply building vehicles that people want to buy. They kept pushing SUVs as the gas prices went up and were caught without a transitional vehicle when that market suddenly started to pick up steam.

    I’m in total agreement with you there. In fact, when Ford came out with that utter *pig*, the Excursion, I just shook my head and asked *WHY?* – my CV weighs 3600 pounds, can hold 6 people, and for a big car it can get out of it’s own way in a hurry if you stomp on the pedal. With all of that weight, it still manages to get 19.5 mpg city and 25 mpg highway on the cheapest regular gas I can find in town. Not bad at all for a big car.

    If the Excursion gets an average of 10 mpg, I’d be very surprised. I wonder who thought *that* was a “better idea” over at Ford . . . these are the kinds of stupid things that don’t help the Big Three either.

  15.   Ok, its all the unions faults.  And you know, all that other crap that stands in the way of efficient work needs to be scrapped too – all that crap imposed by those damn liberals like:

    – Child labor laws
    – Overtime
    – 40 hour work week
    – Factory health & safety standards

    And etc!  Kill kill kill the poor for McJesus!

    smile

  16. Susan, that’s a straw-man argument and you know it. Union excesses like the the jobs bank are crippling American companies to the great harm of our nation.  So the unions get a large chunk of the blame.

    The other – let’s say ‘half’ – of the blame goes to the car companies themselves for (as Les said) failing to design cars anyone would want to buy. You need to have good taste to hire a good designer, and apparently that is something the big 3 lack.  They have also been way behind the trends.

    Add to that the ‘memory factor’ when (pointing no fingers of blame here) US car makers were building CRAP during the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.  Automotobiles are the second-largest expense people make after a house, and have zero investment value.  People felt screwed by those junky cars and promises like GM’s “we know we built bad cars but we’re all better now” will inevitably be met with hard skepticism.  People can’t afford to risk buying a crappy car.

    The US car companies are leaning heavily on their foreign partnerships for design – GM on Toyota, Suzuki, and Saab, Ford on Mazda and Jaguar, and Chrysler on Mercedes.  It bothers consumers that we can’t seem to design a car.

    This goes way back.  I remember back in the ‘75 when I worked in a ‘service station’ (look it up, everyone) it bothered me that foreign cars’ wiper arms would fold all the way out so you could easily clean the windshield, but you had to hold the American cars’ wiper arm with one hand and clean the windshield with the other.  It seemed like such an obvious design flaw.

    Years later I heard an interview with a GM exec, in which he was asked why American cars had to have two keys; one for the ignition and one for everything else.  He said it was too expensive to match up the lock cylinders and besides, ‘consumers prefer it that way’. 

    I am starting to think that, despite the ‘success’ of the government bail-out of Chrysler some years back, the company should have been allowed to sink or swim.  It would have put useful fear into the hearts of the auto company, and the unions.

  17. 2 of my favorites were my gold ‘69 Cutlass 442 and my baby, the big brown ‘73 GTO

    *sigh* I get all hot & bothered just thinking about pre-‘74 American muscle cars.  They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to.

  18. Ultimately they are all meaningless arguments. Any nation that consumes more than it produces, has the writing on the wall.

    Look here:  http://mwhodges.home.att.net

    Judge me as beneath you all you want, we have a farm with horses on it – and getting more and more off the grid. My computer lab will just get junked when the time comes.

    Good luck to you.

  19. Susan writes…

    Any nation that consumes more than it produces, has the writing on the wall.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with that point, Susan, but I’m also not sure I see the same warning signs you do. It’s entirely possible it’s there and I’m just missing it, but a lot of what’s on that website sounds like Chicken Little. Not to say that everything is just hunky-dory, but I’m also not seeing the need to buy a bunker out in Montana and start raising my own livestock while abandoning all of modern society.

    The site’s big on charts and self-references, but little in the way of outside sources for the numbers used. That makes me more than a tad skeptical of it.

  20. Ok – America will continue forever, unlike every other empire in history. No worries!  smile  The end of America doesn’t mean the end of the world though, most familys in the former Soviet Union were ok, it was just a scary time.  Now – we are fatter, lazier, more violent, more heavily armed, less agricultural and less literate than most of them—but hopefully we’ll still mostly be ok. 

    The bunker in Montana mentality is an idiots game though. You run out of food, somebody always has a bigger gun. Community is the solution – having folks around with various assets and skills.  The greatest irony of all is that the folks we’ve always made fun of are the best positioned for huge economic/energy changes – folks like the Amish!

    As far as his data – expend some energy: look at the Federal Reserves website, the US Treasury’s Website and other such sources . . . . look at his references and footnotes.  Then, write off the Fed and Treasury as “Chicken Little’s” if you so desire !

    xxoo,
    Susie (AKA – The Jesus Shaped Dildo—“Be FILLED with the LORD!)

  21. Susan:

    I don’t read where Les or DOF have given any suggestion that you are somehow “beneath” them at all.  What I am reading is that you seem to making some pretty broad brush strokes, and some very questionable predictions.

    You proffer that Americans are the “laziest” workers in the industrialized world.  Can you provide me with the following please: 1) a definition of laziest, 2) the nations that make up the industrialized world, and 3) The study you rely upon to support this assertion. 

    The reason I ask is that such an assertion doesn’t seem to match up to reality.  I say this because if we use number of hours worked, typically a good indicator of a hard worker, we will find that American families work more. You will find the chart that reflects this here http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_07072004

    In contrast, our European counterparts work fewer hours.  You will find that here http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/051128ta_talk_surowiecki

    Neither source is even remotely conservative.  They both have a liberal bias to them. 

    If we were to measure how much the average worker produces, another good measure of the laziness factor, we would find just the opposite of what you say.  The American worker is much more productive than he/she has ever been.  See http://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ForeignLabor/prodsuppt02.txt
    And the American worker is more productive than his/her Japaneese counterpart. 

    I also want to take issue with your less agricultural statement.  We may have fewer acres planted, and there may be fewer families toiling in the field, but we are producing more than we ever have.  Each decade has seen a rise in agricultural output because of the hard work of the American farmer. 

    The fatter part I will agree with, but I fail to see how that is related to anything other than potentially impacting overall productivity in the future through increased usage of the health care systems and shorter life expectancy.  Although, it could theoretically be offset in reduced social security costs.

  22. You know, in my wine enhanced emotional state last night I made a very stupid factual overlap/mistake.

    I had just read an article detailing the fact that America’s CHILDREN are the most obese, least active, most violent and most illiterate children in the industrialized world—but that wasn’t referring to their *parents*.

    Now, the facts regarding children are indisputable. Look them up and whine and bitch all you want. But I apologize for the worker comment.

    But, unfortunately it means I was also just ahead of myself. Becuase if “children are the future” – and they must be, since we are mortal. It means America has no future.  And, its not the kids fault – they only have the genes and environment we gave them.  But no matter how much we love our kids, the facts are clear.

    Again I apologize for the mistake. Its Americas FUTURE workers who are the most obese, laziest and least literate. Our current workers are busy indeed – earning money to keep the kids TV’s, Video Games, microwave Lard-O-Meal and Ritalin scrip’s going!

  23. Susan, I’m not sure why you’ve got such a hostile tone to your replies. You’ve been a semi-regular around here and by now I’d think you’d know that I’m the sort that doesn’t accept big claims without something to support them. So far you’ve provided a single link to a website that primarily uses itself as the source of its information. That’s not all that different from someone claiming that God wrote the Bible so it’s infallible and the Bible says God exists so he does.

    The truth is I do spend more than the average amount of time keeping up with various reports on the state of the nation and how fat and lazy we happen to be and what I’ve been reading contradicts a lot of what you’re suggesting in your comments.

    I’ve also never claimed that “America will continue forever, unlike every other empire in history” and I think anyone who actually believes that is somewhat foolish, but at the same time I don’t see the “End if Nigh” signs that you seem to be seeing. America may fall like the Roman Empire did or it could just stick around and change forms lots of times like China did or it could just shrink down to a smaller version of itself like the U.K., I don’t pretend to know what will become of America in the distant future and, honestly, I’m not that worried about it.

    Change is a natural thing and America hasn’t been a static entity since its inception. The country today is quite different than it was at its founding, a point your website also makes, and it’ll likely be quite different in another 200 years.

    Rob Adams may be surprised to hear this, but I don’t necessarily disagree with his assessment that we live in a unique period for this country that the generations that follow may look back on with disdain.

    That’s entirely possible as is the doomsday scenario envisioned by the website you linked to, but I’m not convinced that adapting the ways of the Amish is the proper solution to the possible problems that lie ahead.

  24. Les, did my apology cross your good tough disipline in the mail?

    Anyways, yep – I’m hostile because I was at an economics conference this weekend – and I’m just generally pissed. Becuase I have children, and its looking like the endgame for our nation approaches.

    Now, we are in a unique position – we have a computer lab . . . on an organic horse powered farm. So we are far better positioned that most city/suburb boys for the upcoming changes.  But I’m still pissed, I’ve lived all over the world but I always loved America!

    Anyways, I was being silly and reactionary about the worker comments. But the kid comments?  Google around, its no tinfoil hat fringe stuff – our kids are fat, dumb and violent.  Period.

  25. Susan snuck in a reply while I was busy writing mine.

    I had just read an article detailing the fact that America’s CHILDREN are the most obese, least active, most violent and most illiterate children in the industrialized world—but that wasn’t referring to their *parents*.

    Was this article online? It would help greatly if you could provide a link. In a magazine or newspaper? Knowing which and what date it was published would help us to check it out. Otherwise we’re left to address points using what we know.

    For example, the claim that American children are the most obese may very well be true. There’ve been plenty of reports on the growing (pardon the pun) problem of childhood obesity, but are our kids the fattest in the “industrialized world” as you claim?

    According to this NIH News article kids in the U.S. are the most obese of 14 industrialized nations, but there are 30 industrialized nations out there. The report only looked at kids from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Flemish Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Ireland, Israel, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United States leaving half the nations unaccounted for. It’s entirely possible that our kids would still be the fattest if you included those additional nations, but we don’t know that for certain based on this report. I’d also question the sample they chose to look at: 29,242 children 13 and 15 years of age. Why only 13 and 15 year olds? There may have been a good reason, but the news article doesn’t mention it.

    So, we can conclude that American kids are fatter than at least half of the Industrialized World, but don’t know if we’re the worst of the lot as you claim. This is why you need to cite your sources.

    Your claims may be completely correct, but we can’t consider the basis of those claims without citation of the sources.

  26. One article:  http://www.acei.org/frostbridgingthegaps.htm

    Generally you’ll find the issues of AmeriKKKa’s fatass children, their illiteracy and their violence addressed in seperate articles. But that one article covers them all.  If you very much refuse to believe it – then no source will convince you, but if you GOOGLE AROUND on “America children obesity”, “America children literacy”, “America children violence”, you’ll find TON’S of seperate sourcing for studies.

    Though again, we all know that no number of studies can convince somebody who’s mind is made up. So don’t bother if thats the case!  smile

    xxoo,
    Susie

  27. I’m willing to be convinced, that’s why I asked for citations.

    Also note that I’m not suggesting that we don’t have problems in regards to obesity (I’m fat myself), violence, illiteracy (I rant about the pathetic state of science literacy of all Americans on a regular basis), etcetera—nor am I foolish enough to think that things in these areas couldn’t get worse—but I’m not entirely convinced that we’re on the edge of societal collapse as a result of them either. Certainly there’s room for improvement and there’s plenty of hot air from me on this site calling for such improvements. I don’t think we’re beyond hope, but I don’t think we need to all become Amish.

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