Saturday, May 8, 2010

The DIY Factory

Have you ever stopped to think that 66-75% of the cost of a car comes from the labor? I never have! But here's another question: what if you learned how to build a car from scratch? How much could you save?

Obviously, most people couldn't even fit that into their brains. A car is just too complicated. That may be true, but a car is also a logical system, with logical step-by-step manuals. We've all built Legos. Maybe you're just too busy to learn, which is fair. However, not having the time is a matter of re-examining the situation.

Few things are better bonding projects than rebuilding a classic car, and even fewer amount to good investments. Yes, modern cars are complicated with their computers and bells and whistles, but cars that constitute classics are not that tough. The biggest drawback is money and perhaps the availability of parts, but both problems can be normally addressed by simply delaying the finish date. If it's a classic, it isn't depreciating like that brand new sedan—so what's the rush?

I refer you to the scene from LOST where Hurley is a kid helping his dad fix up an old Camaro. It's a milestone in Hurley's life where the unfinished car represents an incomplete relationship with his dad, who leaves the car and his young son with the message, "You make your own luck." Years later, the car remains unfinished, but Hurley never sold it. Fathers have this sort of bond with their sons, for better or worse.

That brings me to my usual connection with media and marketing. We're sold on buying the newest, most expensive, right now, on credit. But that is not intelligent. I don't mean to judge, but it's not. We have all done it, plan to do it, even think it's a great idea because a car is an investment. Largely though, they're not. What that debt hustle does is keeps people employed doing the labor (the 66-75%) so they can afford the debt they should have been educated against in the first place.

With the auto industry in its current slump, we're all largely aware that it isn't even keeping people employed. So what if we started preserving history by doing the labor ourselves—what Oliver DeMille calls mini-factories. Smaller DIY projects like this are not only going mainstream, they're essential to this country's economy righting itself. If you're looking to change your economic future, forget the big factory and join the DIY factory—you might save 66-75%.
LOST - The groundbreaking epic series that spans a whole range of human issue from the petty to heart-breaking. An odyssey of fate, faith, and sci
The Coming Aristocracy - A phenomenal book about the current class-based economic system in America, how it's failing, and what individuals can do about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment