The cost of being green: Honda Clarity versus Honda Accord

Our 2007 Infiniti M35x is on its last legs with about 85,000 miles on the clock. The latest issue is a disconnection in one of two mufflers that, absent craft welding skills, requires $ 1,300 in third party parts ($ 2,500 in official Infiniti parts?) to repair. This follows failures in the radiator, brakes, A/C coolant hoses, etc. Nissan is not up to the challenge of New England winters and roads!

We are considering saving the planet with a Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid.

Let’s assume that lease numbers are the best guide to the actual cost of owning a vehicle since that is the price at which an arm’s length transaction for three years of ownership occurs.

We got a quote from the same dealer at roughly the same time for $ 0 down 36-month leases.

  • stripped Honda Clarity: $ 556/month (residual value 46 percent)
  • stripped Honda Accord LX CVT: $ 376/month (residual value 60 percent)
  • upgraded Honda Accord EX CVT $ 434/month (residual value 59 percent)

As noted above, the Clarity Hybrid has a much lower predicted resale value than the gas-powered Accords. This, plus the higher list price, leads to $ 6,480 in extra costs over three years.

What about fuel cost savings that might offset this? Suppose that we drive 25,000 miles at 25 mpg in the Accord. That’s 1,000 gallons of gasoline at $ 2.75 per gallon = $ 2,750. The Federales say that the Clarity can go 100 miles on 31kWh of electricity (about $ 4 at Massachusetts electric rates). We assume that we can go 12,000 miles on electric at a cost of $ 480. The other 13,000 miles in the Clarity will happen at 30 mpg? That’s 433 gallons = $ 1,192. So the fuel savings are $ 1,078.

Readers: Did I make any mistakes above? Or is the cost of lording it over neighbors in the Greener Than Thou department roughly $ 5,400?


Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Laws against women being topless conflict with protection for transgendered?

A friend who is passionate about sartorial freedom sent me “Belligerent, topless soccer fan, 23, charged with ‘indecent exposure’ to 7-year-old boy” (Fox News):

A female soccer fan who was caught watching a game while topless in the presence of a child has been charged with “indecent exposure.” … arrested Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis after a 7-year-old boy spotted her … She was charged with indecent exposure, a gross misdemeanor charge, and could face up to a year in jail or a $ 3,000 fine.

It is not illegal for a man to be topless, right? And the government is not supposed to discriminate against transgender citizens, right? So why wouldn’t a slam-dunk defense against a charge of being topless be “I identified as a man during that soccer game”? If the government comes back with “But you are appearing in court today in women’s clothing,” the accused criminal can simply say “gender is fluid.”

Readers: As a practical matter, how can these laws be enforced in a transgender age?

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Gender equity in being a photographic subject?

One of the things that I like to take pictures of is people taking pictures. Now that arguments about gender equity are consuming our society I paid some attention during a recent two-week trip (cruise with mom) to the apparent gender IDs of the photographers and subjects.

First, an astonishingly high percentage of tourists seem to be assembled into heterosexual cisgender couples. Reading the last couple of years of the New York Times led me to believe that same-sex and transgender romance is blossoming worldwide so I’m not sure what accounts for the preponderance of apparently male/female couples wandering around Portugal, the Atlantic islands, and Morocco.

Second, when one member of a couple is taking a picture of the other it is usually the man taking a picture of the woman.

Readers: Do you know of any studies of these phenomenon? I’m wondering if what I observed anecdotally is consistent with data.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Gallagher Being Gallagher

This 2007 interview is simultaneously fascinating and sad – – Gallagher, presently 71, comes off as painfully bitter. Almost every single comedian they ask about he declares as just terrible. Also take note early on he claims to know more about stocks than all the Wall Street analysts combined (which, let’s face it, is probably true). […]
Slope of Hope

Is the market being rational regarding wages for women?

Back in 2010, in “MIT failing to meet its race-based hiring quotas“, I wrote the following:

If a professor of a particular sex or race has more value to the school, why shouldn’t he or she be paid more than a white or Asian male?

Companies express unhappiness about the number of female executives on staff. Why don’t they just offer higher salaries to attract and retain women? The Wall Street Journal suggests that this may in fact be happening. From “Though Outnumbered, Female CEOs Earn More Than Male Chiefs”:

… female chief executives at some of the largest U.S. companies repeatedly outearn their male counterparts. Last year, 21 female CEOs received a median compensation package of $ 13.8 million, compared with the $ 11.6 million median for 382 male chiefs, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of S&P 500 leaders who held the job a full year. Women in the corner offices of the biggest U.S. firms made more money than men in six of the last seven years…

Three out of 10 of the highest-paid CEOs are women, two at tech companies (Meg Whitman at HP; Ginni Rometty at IBM).

The option packages are kind of interesting. Ginni Rometty has 10-year options where some are at a strike price of 25 percent above the current IBM stock price. Assuming that IBM’s stock price remains constant, in real dollars, she gets nothing from these options in a static or deflationary environment. If there is a lot of inflation, however, her options will be worth a fortune. (See also the “Profits from Marriage and Child Support Depend Heavily on Inflation Rates” section within the Quirks chapter.)

Readers: What do you think? Does the higher pay of a sought-after category of worker show that the market is working? Or does the higher pay simply reflect that particular women are doing an awesome job (see HP and IBM versus the S&P 500 during Whitman’s and Rometty’s terms as CEO)? Or in a world where salaries are set by golfing buddies on the Board, is it nonsensical to talk about market pay?

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Being Boring

I want Slope to be exciting and interesting. I want people to seek it out on a daily basis to read what I’ve got to say. But, Good God in heaven almighty, just look what I have to work with these days, people: That’s the Russell 2000 for the past two months. Day after day […]
Slope of Hope

How much does it cost to keep one row in a DBMS from being cracked open by the Russians?

From Network Solutions:

Domain registration services are the cornerstones of our business. Ensuring your domains are secure and that our systems are compliant with ICANN* regulations requires ongoing attention and technology upgrades.

Because of this, renewal fees for certain domain extensions are increasing. Going forward the annual base price of your .com, .org, .net, .info, and/or .biz domain name(s) will be $ 39.99. This pricing will be effective upon your next renewal.


Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Unusual hazard to a helicopter: being hit by a car

“Helicopter struck by suspected drunk driver near Gallup” describes a good day for Airbus (formerly “Eurocopter”) and a bad one for everyone else. It looks as though an Astar medevac helicopter got tangled up in a secondary accident. Not sure if this can compensate for the slowdown in the offshore oil rig transportation market, but at least someone in the parts sales department is going to be busy.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Fall 2016 SMB DNA Applications Now Being Accepted

We are very excited to announce that applications are now being taken for the Fall 2016 DNA of Successful Trading!
The Spring DNA students gave outstanding feedback and we’ve implemented some huge improvements that we will be letting you know about over the next few days.
The program starts in just a few weeks, so take a minute to apply right now.
The DNA of Successful Trading has been the turning point for many traders. We are proud of the success that traders are experiencing and hope you plan to join us this fall. Read more […]
SMB Capital – Trading Education

The Weekend Trader – Stop Being Timid!

Today’s video discusses the excitement, passion, and assertiveness required to successfully compete in one of the most challenging businesses around.

We also continue the discussion of the overstatement of probability and statistics.

Love, uplift, and inspire … and stop being timid!

Have a great weekend!

And yes, that’s my 174 pound body (high school weight!) at the end.

Don Miller’s S&P Trading Tank

Are markets so inefficient that global warming isn’t being priced properly?

During our two weeks in Ft. Lauderdale we learned that a beachfront house costs between $ 3 and $ 8 million. Most of these are approximately the same height above sea level as a crushproof cigarette pack. If the seas are rising up to swallow Florida, as the climate change doomsayers predict is imminent, why are these houses still worth so much? Here are some possible theories…

  • markets don’t believe that a serious sea level rise will happen for at least 50 years
  • Federal flood insurance keeps the market buoyant, so to speak (subsidized by taxpayers in the Midwest, of course!)
  • Florida beachfront house buyers are impulsive live-for-today types; anything that happens 10 or 15 years from now is irrelevant to them

Readers: How to explain the apparent paradox that (a) everyone intelligent supposedly believes that climate change will result in fairly imminent and fairly dramatic sea level rise, and (b) houses at sea level at crazy expensive?

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog