We Will Buy Your Car

This is a great time to sell your old unwanted car. These are the words posted on the internet ad by my local Toyota dealer. “We will buy your car even if you don’t buy from us.”  Carvana is running a similar ad on their cable television ads.  What’s going on?  Why do they want my old car?

It’s simple.  Car dealers lack inventory.  After going to the Los Angeles Auto Show and sitting in their new cars I looked at my local dealer web sites to see what models they had in stock. Some had none.  Some had a handful of 2021 cars and the trim choice was one.  Take it or leave it.  2022 cars are even rarer. To keep their business alive those new car dealers want your old car so they will have any inventory to sell.

What’s going on here? It’s a year of shortages.   The auto industry’s turmoil may be unrivaled.  It’s all about the computer chips in short supply.  Every car needs them and so do appliances.  The chip makers are overwhelmed by the unexpected demand.  Most of the chips are made overseas in China and Taiwan. Most the cargo ships are waiting to be unloaded in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.  Those computer chips are somewhere among the cargo containers on the ships.

2022 will be an expensive year to buy a car.  This is definitely a supply demand situation.  Some car dealers are actually asking for more than the sticker price. Unless you really need another car it has been advised by many to wait until 2023.

Auto Shows are Fun to Visit

I visited the Los Angeles Auto show the other day.  It’s always fun to see what is new.  The big push was on all electric vehicles that are referred to as EVs.

The most significant  thing for me was the number of companies offering cars that I never new existed. Lucid Motors, Fisker, Bremach, Cobera, EdisonFuture, Electra Meccanica, Imperium Motor Co., Mullen, Sondors, VinFast.  Is there any chance that any of these companies will survive?  Fisker has a very large display as you enter the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Henrick Fisker claims to have raised $1.6 billion in a public offering last year, he said, and there were 19,000 reservation holders waiting for his cars.  His display includes his first offering called Ocean, an EV SUV.    

Fisker Ocean

These vehicles are great in a city where there are charging stations but there is a big downside to having an EV if you plan to travel.  First there is finding a charging station. Second is the time to charge the cars.  “Coming to Yosemite with your Tesla or other electric vehicle? Stop in at Tenaya Lodge for a charge! … Things you can do while you charge your car: Dine in one of our five restaurants.” That is on Highway 41 outside the park.

There are two charging stations in Yosemite Valley.  Today the one by the Ahwahnee Hotel is closed.  Using I5 going from Los Angeles to Oregon you will need a map to locate charging station locations and a lot of patience.

Despite these two glaring issues Nissan is introducing a new EV SUV that is beautifully designed.  In my view the vehicle was the outstanding car.

Nissan 2022 Ariya CUV

But there is a problem. A shortage of computer chips has slowed the manufacturing of all vehicles. 

So while going to the auto show is fun. Dealers have little or no 2021 and 2022 cars in stock.

Weekly Jobless Claims Plunge to 199,000

Jobless claims reached the lowest level in more than 50 years. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000. The 71,000 slide marks the eighth straight week of declines, a reflection of a tight labor market that has companies scrambling to retain and expand their workforces.

Unemployment is still higher than it was before the pandemic, resignations are soaring, and employers are struggling to keep their workers. Workers are demanding higher pay and walking away from jobs that don’t provide a living wage or are just plain boring and don’t offer an opportunity for more satisfying work.

Inflation may be up but the economy is growing. Most businesses are seeing higher profits.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Have you ever served on a jury in a criminal case? I have been selected in two cases to serve. The person is presumed innocent unless the prosecution can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

From Cornell University Law School: “Beyond a reasonable doubt is the legal burden of proof required to affirm a conviction in a criminal case. In a criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proving that the defendant is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecution must convince the jury that there is no other reasonable explanation that can come from the evidence presented at trial. In other words, the jury must be virtually certain of the defendant’s guilt in order to render a guilty verdict. This standard of proof is much higher than the civil standard, called “preponderance of the evidence,” which only requires a certainty greater than 50 percent.”

And that is the reason Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury of 12. The decision was unanimous.

Staples Center Gets a New Name

So let’s get this straight. The new name of Staples Center is going to be Crypto.com Arena. The center has been the home of Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles ClippersLos Angeles KingsLos Angeles Sparks.  The owner of the stadium is Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

L.A. Live is an entertainment complex that adjoins the Staples Center and it too is owned by AEG.  So what is the big deal over its name? Absolutely nothing. Staples stationary paid for the naming but their naming rights contract has expired.

It’s not the first theater complex to have its name changed.  Kodak Theater in Hollywood next to the Chinese Theater became the Dolby Theater when Kodak went out of business. We survived that name change.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum became United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2019 That helped to fund a $315 million renovation.

It’s obvious. Money talks! We’ll soon adjust to Crypto.com Arena.

Thanks Joe, You Had Your Turn!

President Joe Biden is in serious trouble despite the fact that his infrastructure bill has been passed.  His social infrastructure bill of $3 Trillion has been striped down to a mere $1.75 Trillion and is looking to be stripped to an even smaller size. Inflation reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just reported that inflation rose 6.2% in the past year. Add to that the supply chain issues that are causing shortages in the things we want, the sloppy withdrawal from Afghanistan, the unconquered COVID-19 pandemic, the likely control of Congress passing to the Republicans next November and you have the formula for a one term president.

The infrastructure bill that will be signed on Monday November 15 will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, including money for roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, ports and waterways. The package includes a $65 billion investment in improving the nation’s broadband infrastructure, and invests tens of billions of dollars in improving the electric grid and water systems. Another $7.5 billion would go to building a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers, according to the bill text. The public is not impressed.

In a new WaPo-ABC poll In a new WaPo-ABC poll

  • 63% of respondents said Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” so far in his presidency. A full 45% said he’s done “little or nothing” — that’s worse than the numbers for then-Presidents DONALD TRUMP, BARACK OBAMA or BILL CLINTON at comparable points in their presidencies.
  • Just 31% said he’s kept most of his major campaign promises — also a worse figure than Trump, Obama or Clinton received.
  • 70% rated the economy as “not so good” or “poor.”

    While the 2024 presidential election is three years away likely candidates are laying their plans now. The winner will not be President Joe Biden nor past president Donald Trump. We want a unifier but politics will be getting in the way.