Michael Reagan on the Volt

Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author and commentator. His recent book The New Reagan Revolution reveals insights into the ideas and actions of the man who changed the world during the 1980’s. He gives a perspective no one else can offer, including both poignant and revealing stories of his father, as well as offering prescriptive measures drawn from Ronald Reagan’s principles. He is the author of several other books, including the autobiographical account Twice Adopted, and is a frequent contributor to Fox News.


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  1. September 21, 2012
    In fact I *do* love my Chevy Volt. With a modest $6K trade in value for my 12 year old car, the $280/mo. Volt lease (for 36 months, 15,000 miles per year), plus the lack of the $225/month I used to spend on gasoline for my old Mercedes, plus its heavy scheduled and unscheduled maintenance costs, along with the Volt's lower auto insurance rate, saves me about half what I used to spend every month. The Volt's driving experience is far far better. This is the best car I have owned (I'm 55). It is a pleasure to drive, and I am glad to support American vs. foreign jobs. As an experienced electrical engineer, I appreciate the attention to detail in the design of the Volt, and its quality of construction. The Society of Automotive Engineers agrees: Volt won the 2011 North American car of the year award and the European Car of the Year award. If you are in the market for an SUV or mid-priced luxury car, don't let Reagan's dinosaur attitude turn you off from trying the Volt. I might remind Mr. Reagan that over the past 100 years these industries and technologies all had taxpayer/gov't investment and subsidy long before they first turned a dime of profit, yet have since yielded trillions of dollars in private sector profits and tens of millions of quality American jobs. Should the taxpayer have passed on these ideas also, Mr. Reagan?-- 1. Aviation (stimulated by early military and mail delivery interests). 2. The standardized National Highway System. 3. Nuclear power and nuclear medicine. 4. Rocketry and spaceflight. 5. Satellites for communications, GPS, remote resource sensing, weather forecasting, agribusiness needs. 6. The integrated circuit. 7. Computing. 8. The Internet (originally the DOD's ARPANET). 9. Continuing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. 10. Continuing subsidies to the nuclear power industry. Mr. Reagan, you might wish to acknowledge the long history and positive impact of gov't investment and risk taking in advancing new American technologies, corporations, jobs, and the wealth of the middle class. Compared to the ~20 MPG I got with the Mercedes, the 40 mile daily commuting fuel cost has dropped from around $8 (i.e., 2 gallons) to 72 cents where I live (i.e., 12 kilowatt-hours at 6 cents each), if I buy the power during overnight hours. That's a fuel cost savings over 90%. Suppose you now pay $4 at the pump. Imagine it said 40 cents instead. That's what I'm enjoying today, Mr. Reagan. But most days I make enough roof top PV solar power at home to avoid buying ANY coal-based power, Mr. Reagan. My car really is clean. And if you bothered to calculate the rapid payback time of solar power--when it is used to avoid expensive gasoline purchase costs--you might change your tune. Instead of a decade or more to break even, a solar PV investment pays off in just a few years when the electric power is used to NOT buy gasoline. Plus, my PV-sourced solar power has no inflation for the next 25 years, and no price volatility. How's that compare to the past 25 years--and the future 25--of gasoline pricing and volatility? Getting tired of not knowing what a gallon of gas will cost next month, Mr. Reagan, or the month after that? I no longer worry about this. After a couple more years, my "PV fuel" is free for the remaining life of the solar array. Those folks in the Middle East who hate us can go take a hike into their desert as far as I'm concerned. The Volt is both a great drive and a bargain. It's a great product for America and for American jobs. Don't turn away from at least giving it a test drive. Here's a closing thought. I can go into Target or Wall-Mart and in 20 minutes walk out with a Nokia cellphone that cost me nothing after signing up for a new contract. Or, I can wait, camped out in line for the next week, to shell out $400 for an iPhone5. Using your line of argument about the Volt and the Cruise, Mr. Reagan, you may argue that given that choice everyone will go to Target. Yet Apple is the most successful company in the history of the planet, with something like $115 billion in cash in the bank, and Nokia is almost broke. Perhaps, Mr. Reagan, price is not the only thing that sells a product. Perhaps it has more to do with engineering and design excellence, with the user experience, with the coolness factor, with the perceived value, and with the desire on the buyer's part to support the better future for American that the buyer wishes to see come to pass. The dinosaurs went extinct, Mr. Reagan. Remember? Reply