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Thread: Vandalism and Jealousy in Europe

  1. #1

    Vandalism and Jealousy in Europe

    This story caught my eye, and it reminds me of the stories I've heard from many Z8 Club members that they only drive their cars in the most secretive ways, and never in towns or cities if they can help it. I'm so happy we live in the good ole USA where people don't hate beautiful cars, but celebrate them!

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    The Lexus? IS car is the most vandalised car in Britain, according to analysis of thousands of vandalism claims by online insurer swiftcover.com for its 2011 Vehicle Vandalism Index (VV Index).

    The first swiftcover.com VV Index revealed that the Lexus IS (5.56 rating), followed by the BMW Z4 (4.75 rating) and Mini ONE (4.62 rating) make up the top three, while the majority of vehicles in the top ten are prestige cars, with the Audi TT (4.48 rating) and BMW X5 (4.24 rating) both featuring near the top of the rankings. This compares to the Ford Focus, outside the top ten with an index rating of 1.88.

    Robin Reames, claims director at insurer swiftcover.com, said: ?Our analysis shows that luxury cars are more likely to be targeted by vandals however it?s interesting to see the Mini ONE in the top three. The majority of vehicles in the top ten are what we call ?executive cars?, likely to be driven by high earners who see their car as a status symbol, with just one 4x4 making up the top ten.?

    Swiftcover.com analysis shows the top ten cars most likely to be targeted by vandals

    Position Brand and model VV Index rating**
    1. Lexus IS..............5.56
    2. BMW Z4...............4.75
    3. Mini One..............4.62
    4. MB CLK................4.52
    5. Audi TT................4.48
    6. Miata MX-5...........4.31
    7. BMW X5...............4.24
    8. Skoda Octavia.......4.09
    9. BMW 525..............4.05
    10.BMW 530..............3.92

    The analysis found that high-end brands were consistently targeted more than any other (BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz were the three brands of car most likely to be maliciously damaged), and that ?everyday? cars such as Ford and Citroen were vandalised less often.

    Reames continued: ?Vandalism is difficult to prevent but motorists can take some measures to protect their cars as best possible. The most obvious one is not to leave your car on the street ? if you?re lucky enough to have a garage, use it to keep your car out of harm?s way. Installing extra security features such as motion activated lights or security cameras will reduce your risk, as will a physical car cover to hide your car from view.?

    ?We hope that the index gives some insight for those considering their next car.?

    A full breakdown of the 2011 swiftcover.com Vehicle Vandalism Index results is available on request.

    Based on analysis of approximately 2,000 claims for vandalism and malicious damage among the UK vehicles insured by swiftcover.com in 2010. Figures adjusted to take into account numbers of cars on the road and cars with less than ten instances of vandalism/malicious damage per year removed.

    *Based on the percentage chance that the car would be vandalised in a one year period from November 09?November 10, multiplied by 10. The most popular car on the road in the UK, the Ford Focus, has an index score of 1.9. A full breakdown of all the cars on record and calculated is available on request.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  2. #2
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Z8 Madness
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    Thanks for sharing. One of the many early impression left on me when my family (and I) migrated to US some 20 years ago was how well the rich and poor get a long in this county.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    Thanks for sharing. One of the many early impression left on me when my family (and I) migrated to US some 20 years ago was how well the rich and poor get a long in this county.
    Indeed, but I've never heard so much talk of class warfare and envy as I have over the past four years. The constant barrage about taxing the rich so that government can piss-off more of our money is going to start filtering into the subconscious.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
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  5. #5
    Z8Mania
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    Interesting reading and even with our problems its good to see the USA is still a place where we generally respect other people and that includes their property rights.

    I think there are many reasons for it. One comment I found to be interesting about the growing gap between rich and poor in the US was from Malcolm Gladwell whom I know from his books and I saw him discussing this topic on Fareed Zakaria's GPS (a truly welcome show). Malcolm Gladwell argues that whats happening in our society is for many years say up to the 1970s capital was more scarce and talent was more abundant so a talented CEO in the 1950s wouldn't really be able to command many times the average factory worker's salary. But in the 1970s this has flipped and we've made capital more abundant and talent has become scarcer so the top talent can name their price - and get it. He makes an analogy to baseball: the elite players make tremendous salaries and they can get it because there are teams who will pay it. Its a thought provoking point.

    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn....week-on-gps-2/

    Of course our economy is so complex. Its never one thing- but thats something I never even considered before.

    I am not one for class warfare, I'm with you that its a problem. And thats a real beef I have with President Obama because one thing he can control is the tone and message he sets. I am a believer that we need a system to generate revenue for the government and that there are many programs we need to have (the military, social safety nets, etc). But I don't think our revenue generation system should be telling people how to behave. So Im not a fan of for example the mortgage interest deduction- even though it might benefit me at times- I cannot tell you how many purportedly intelligent people I know who thought buying a house was a good investment because "I can deduct the interest". We all here know that argument isn't really a good one. And the kicker is many people get caught up in the AMT which will negate that deduction.

    I think the distinction between income generated from capital gains and more traditional salaried income has become more problematic as the financial industry has become a larger part of our economy. Why should we distinguish between someone who is making income from trading in equities vs the policeman who might work some overtime. If that policeman makes $90k a year, he will be in the 25% bracket for Federal income taxes. Yet if I am involved with financial instruments I will likely see a Federal income tax rate of 15%. Why should I get a 10% discount for trading stocks. Is my job more important? No- they are equally important -- and thats what President Obama and many others are missing in this discussion. I think we should have a flatter (not absolutely flat) more streamlined system- remove deductions and the distinctions of where the income came from and then try to keep the tax rates as low as possible. This shouldn't be about- well you made your money from trading bonds, or being a VC so you're evil and Im just the honest guy whose working as a teacher. It should be- we have a need to raise revenue to fund the worthwhile workings of our government and we will do it by taxing income- its just how we do it.

    In short the message needs to be: we're all in this together.

    [end of my rant]
    [for now ]

  6. #6
    Good rant, I agree!!
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Malcolm Gladwell argues that whats happening in our society is for many years say up to the 1970s capital was more scarce and talent was more abundant so a talented CEO in the 1950s wouldn't really be able to command many times the average factory worker's salary. But in the 1970s this has flipped and we've made capital more abundant and talent has become scarcer so the top talent can name their price - and get it.
    True, but what is being under-reported is the growing education and skill gap. Prior to the 1980s, when we started losing our manufacturing base, the lesser educated could get a good manufacturing job that paid good money and had good benefits; however, that?s gone, first to Japan and now to China, India, etc.

    Now, the kids in the inner city have limited choices when they drop out of high school because they simply don?t have the skills necessary in a technology-based economy, sans manufacturing, like ours. And going to College? forgetaboutit. The income gap will increase and no rhetoric is going to change that without changing attitudes.

    We are throwing money at this problem like drunken sailors at a strip joint, but it?s all wasted. If an inner city kid sees education and well-spoken English as "white" traits then he/she is doomed. If that kid is at home with a single parent who does not give a s..t, then he/she is really doomed.

    I saw a TV show about kids in Africa preparing for some test that they have to take in order to get a scholarship to go to high school. That?s right high school (spaces were limited and money short)! These kids did homework by candle light and yet scored nearly twice as high as their counterparts in our inner cities did. They spend a couple of hundred bucks a year per kid in education and we spend close to $20K in most school districts. Yet, we think that the answer is to throw more money at it.

    My father, who was College professor, used to say, ?There are no bad students, only bad teachers.? Later in life, he changed that to ?there are no bad students, only bad teachers and parents.?

    Off the soapbox I go.
    Sorry for the rant.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
    2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot
    Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery
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    1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner
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  8. #8
    Z8Mania
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    I absolutely agree with your points on eduction- the fact that our system has problems is reported widely- but they do not seem to focus on the real problem.

    Firstly if we take Malcolm Gladwell's point and yours together it means we have to cultivate the talent. And we can't do that with a broken education system. We all know its broken. Its a system that doesn't have to be accountable (teachers, principals, etc); its parents who don't back up what happens in the class room/ school/ its everything. And IMHO at its most fundamental its how we even view our system.

    I'm usually a states rights advocate, I'm in favor of federalism. But, when it comes to education, we have this massive amount of federal dollars we cannot really get to the states because of the issues of local control- so instead it gets gobbled up by a bureaucracy called the Department of Education. What does the DoE really do? Does anyone know? Yet they account for billions of dollars of the budget. Its not being anti- education to question the efficacy of the DoE. And we give all kinds of federally funded incentives for college- 529 plans, Pell grants, etc. All very well intended. But we have to ask if everyone is supposed to go to college and if so- what does that do the value of a college degree (lowers it) and if so how does one distinguish themselves (get more advanced degrees)- and in the process what happens to the people who come out of this setup who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt- and we wonder why no one wants to be a teacher or do anything besides something that makes a lot of money- its because most people want to pay off their debts and thats the best way how. It also costs 4x as much per year to educate someone at the college level as it does in the k-12 level. Because there are greater administrative costs in college. Does anyone ask why the rate of inflation college tuition is so steep?

    No- its just the sound bite "Im pro education so I increased funding for these grants". In doing so it sounds good and it certainly allows more to go to college, which sounds like a good thing, but this is like Chinese handcuffs, the more you do a good thing, the worse the problem gets.

    In short, we are not attending to the foundation of our building and are just worried about how the master bedroom will look.

  9. #9
    Yes, so true, sometime it seems that we have more people wanting to get into study groups to study teachers than want to become teachers. It's a stepping stone up the ladder of state and federal employment with fat salaries and wonderful pensions.

    The fish rots from the head, and right now that head is Wall St, everyone coming out of collage wants to go into finance because a top hedge fund manager makes a million a day. Who wouldn't want that gig if you're starting out at eighteen? Once we turn finance back into an accountable utility, and stop it being a run away casino that bribes and cajoles Washington we might have a shot at inspiring people with what Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and others have done, that should be the goal of our civilization, to offer something that benefits all, Wall Street benefits nobody but themselves.

    OK, thats my rant, but I'll throw this excellent interview with William Black, the prosector of the Lincoln Savings and Loan - Keating Five into the mix.It is almost an hour, but well worth the listen.



    OK, thats me off my soapbox too! :-)
    Andrew Macpherson

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  10. #10
    Z8Mania
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    Listening now. Im not so sure finance should be the utility but it should probably not be such a large portion of our economy.

  11. #11
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    OK, here is a rant.

    I will pass on the social comments and stick to the economics. I work on the street and am proud to say that. I have worked 10-14 hour days since I started decades ago, and that continues to this day. I work nights, weekends, holidays and vacations as the world never stops presenting risk/opportunities that I need to take into account for my clients. I have been fortunate in life. I am not in the minority on the street, but part of the majority that are honest, hard working people who go home to families and children and share the goal of achieving the American Dream just like everyone else. I am tired of hearing about millionaires and billionaires being the source of all evil. I am tired of hearing about "bankers", "wall street" etc. being the source of all evil. I am tired of people in the best country in the world complaining about people who have achieved success while they do not work as long or hard as the vast majority of the country. America is a great country, full of opportunity for people who are willing to work hard. Yes these are tough times, yes, opportunity is hard to find and requires constant work and moving to keep ahead. That is the definition of capitalism. It may not be a perfect system, but it is the best one the world has come up with so far. If you doubt it, ask any hard working immigrant why they came to America. It is for the same reasons our ancestors did, for opportunity to advance their life and that of their family. As the world adopts capitalism the competition is going to get harder for Americans. Education is key, motivation is the foundation, rolling up your sleeves and giving it all you have to be successful is undeniably the final ingredient that increases ones chance of success.

    If job creation is what is missing in this country and it is, the source of the trouble is not globalization but over regulation and taxation. Need proof compare the growth of Texas to the decline of California, Tennessee or South Carolina to Washington or any state in the NE. Even NY, NJ and MA have now figured this out and are beginning to take corrective baby steps.

    Are there bad apples on wall street, yes. There are bad apples in every industry from police, to politicians to teachers to journalist to doctors to ditch diggers. That fact does not make everyone that works in those lines of work evil incarnate. I agree with the sentence in the earlier post that stated that we are all in this together. There will be winners, there will be losers, that is life. Goal is to make certain that the losers have their basic needs met. That is America today, yesterday and tomorrow. I praise our President for his actions over this past weekend, but I would trade the current pessimistic rhetoric for a return to the optimism of President Regan all day every day. Do any of you really like being around someone who points out every flaw relentlessly and sees no good? Do you ever want to work for someone, with someone of be the boss of someone that never sees positive in life and only complains about someone else? Both partys in DC are tone deaf, partisan and not working for the citizens of the country.

    I do not have the answer, other then I will get up at 5 tomorrow as I do every day, and will be a good person who meets the fiduciary standards that I owe to my clients. I will go to sleep every night knowing that I work on wall street, am 100% honest, am exhausted and have earned my pay. As for income tax, 99% of the people that work on wall street are taxed at ordinary income levels, not cap gains. Living in the NE that means a top tax bracket of 35% federal and up to 10% state, if you live in NYC that means an additional 4% income tax is due. Someone that makes $250,000 in NYC has a lower quality of life then a Midwesterner making 40% as much. Do I feel over taxed, yes, but it is the price of success (and poor geographic selection) of living in the best country in the world.

    I am not a religous man, but take great comfort in a quote from this weekend. "For God and Country, Geronimo".

    My rant is over.

  12. #12
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    One of the reasons that is the case in America is because the American Dream lives in our citizens. With hard work we or our kids can have a better life then our parents. Attached is a link to a wonderful charity that raises money to give children from poor families and schools a head start throughout HS so they can break the cycle of poverty. I know extraordinarily successful professionals who have graduated from this program. the video is only 5 minutes long, worth watching.
    http://www.seo-usa.org/Home
    http://www.seo-usa.org/Scholars_Program_Video
    As an aside, Wall Street heavily supports this charity.

  13. #13
    Z8 Madness
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    A lot of passion among people in this group ...

    Ditto most of what Ouray has to say in particular the part about working hard and smart. Most successful people deserve what they earn.
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  14. #14
    Very inspiring video, and great as always to get your perspective from the street too.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  15. #15
    Z8Mania
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    Ouray, I completely agree with your points. I hope you didn't take my prior comments in any other way. My point is we can't have a structure that treats different income differently- its just an arbitrary way to raise revenue. I agree that we're taxed too much already. In some years my all in tax rate is over 50%.

    I worked on Wall Street for a few years a long time ago and the VAST majority of people are honest and hardworking and deeply patriotic.

    There are always a few bad apples in any industry. The thing is, we need the President to set the tone and he is in a unique position to bring us together and just say- the bad ones will get what's coming to them- but let's not condemn a whole group. There is a big societal value to what the financial industry does for us- we need to understand that as well. The thing is, it can't be our whole economy. Thats all.

  16. #16
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    No issues, just wanted to make sure that everyone realizes that cap gains tax treatment primarily goes to hedge fund managers, not everyone on wall street. Also that when you hear the huge average compensation for people at wall street firms that it is not an accurate number. When a handful of people make huge numbers, $10's of millions, it brings the average of all people up. Just want to try to dispel "the millionaires and billionaire" line of misinformation that is so popular in DC these days.

  17. #17
    Z8Mania
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    So true- I love when some people say they think the ordinary rates should get increased- they don't pay them!

  18. #18
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    Hey, I used to be a drunken sailor ;-) and still ended up okay, but I get your point
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  19. #19
    Z8Mania
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    Yeah but I bet you never even dreamt of spending money like these guys do.