Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cars are not local

I heard this great argument for supporting sustainable transportation, cars do not support the local economy, and this is very true.  Since car manufacturers run with very centralized factories, this means that when you purchase a new car the majority of your money is not going to stay in the region and help support local businesses.  It is very likely that your car was manufactured in eastern Canada/US or oversees in Asia or Europe, and this makes very good business sense for automobile companies as you do not have to duplicate expensive manufacturing line equipment. 

However this is one against the climate and the environment and your local economy.  Since these cars weigh 1 tonne in its final form, it is no small feat to transport a fully built out car across the world and requires a large amount of fuel to run the semi that is most likely carrying the vehicles.  The majority of the money from your new purchase went to the car companies and their overpaid CEO's.  I am going to take a guess that the CEO of Ford or GMC do not live anywhere near Edmonton, or Calgary and thus will not be spending the majority of the money from the car in either city. 

The same can be said about the fuel that runs your vehicles.  Oil companies like car manufacturing companies are very centralized, and only provide a very focused economic benefit.  Often places in the third world countries such as Africa, do not even get to see any of the money produced from the oil leaving their own country, and yet these are the poorest places on the planet.  Again the oil companies and their CEOs are reaping the biggest portion of the money made from Oil, and again I will guess that the owners of the oil companies do not live in Winnipeg, and therefore will not spend their money and support the local economy.

Sure some jobs are created such as car dealers and gas attendants, however the bulk of the money being produced from automobiles and the fuel that runs them is not being reinvested locally.

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