The Roads Less Traveled

2020 July 19
by drdog09

(note: author has advocated for years that it makes more sense to subsidize laying high speed cable rather than more roads. he is a former Verizon employee.)

The whole KPMG piece is here.

Also review this article at zerohedge.

Now the whole point of the ZH article is the negative impacts that this will have on a industry – automotive. But i think the exact opposite.

The problem with the ZH article is that is panders to a status quo within the industry. To keep the churn of new vehicles needed, which means maintaining the manufacturing base we must keep the mile driven (VMT in the KPMG article) steady or increasing. I can agree that automotive is a key ingredient in the economy if for nothing else as being the key enabler for machine tool production alone for other industries. But one has to ask, are we protecting a buggy whip? Every other industry has been severely impacted by new tech, why should automotive be any different?

The Positives

Lets consider the economy as a whole. the CoVid event has shown that major sectors can operate in a teleworker type environment:

  • accounting
  • brokerage
  • sales of all types
  • engineering design and it
  • segments of manufacturing
  • govt (eg: courts, council mtgs, etc)

We have seen the effects that fewer vehicles garner every time there is federal only holiday. I have yet to hear anyone complain that there are a 1/3rd fewer vehicles on the road that day. 🙂 as a consequence many of the above industries have shifted mindset to run their enterprises remotely.

The US EIA indicates that 28% of total us energy use is for transportation. in a shift of less VMT it will not translate to whole reductions as some of the VMT will be moved to materials transport; delivery of amazon packages and the like. But still our overall energy use would decline which is a good thing overall.

With less energy use prices for fuels would remain more stable. The energy reserves in the ground would last longer. Our environment would improve by measures without going to a Green New Deal type scenario.

Our balance of payments might also improve. We are already in a head long fight with China. Our trade with them is going to decline and companies are already looking at other avenues for production. Some here as well as Vietnam and India.

The Shift

The automotive sector was/is going to be impacted anyway. Uber, Lyft, Apple, Tesla are all dabbling in self driving tech. The vision of these companies, especially Uber and Lyft is that they would enable fleets of self driving vehicles that are summoned ‘on-demand’ by the customer base. This tech should it come to fruition would have severely impacted the industry regardless.

The impact would be three fold:

  • Fewer vehicles on the roadways as we are seeing now with CoVid.
  • Fleet sales would dominate over retail sales. those fleet sales may not even be domestically produced but vehicles built to spec for the operator.
  • It means a dealer crash as retail sales dry up.

So if you wish, consider the impacts of CoVid as a test run for what the industry was going to face anyway.

But all is not a free lunch. On a longer time frame the infrastructure that supports the telecommuting economy needs to expand and measurably improve. Fortunately those technologies already exist. High speed fiber can be laid at a fraction of the cost of a 6 lane highway. Couple that with the deployment of 5G wireless tech and the means is at our finger tips to have it happen.

The problem? Will. That is, the mind shift required both mentally and politically. For populace as a whole the reality that they will be home more as their base of operations for earning a living. Politically it means the Pols getting out of the way of deployments that are needed and shifting the funds needed to support the effort; less for roads, more for telecom. I have advocated for years that we need the equivalent of the Rural Electrification Act for telecom expansion across the country. 5G gives us that ability.

(Observation: Wife and I have been conducting an experiment. Can we live with 1 car? So far it seems possible as my work has been conducted online for most of the last two quarters.)

The Negatives

Nothing provides a free lunch of course. There will be industries that will not be favored:

  • Automotive of course.
  • Energy sector, growth will be less.
  • Retail, as this consolidates to players who can make it online.
  • Dining, maybe. Right now with CoVid its cratered. Without the restrictions eating out might be sustained as a way for the family to get out-of-the-house. Fewer visits, but more white table value for a preference to make it an event, not just eating out.
  • Real Estate, certainly. Commercial retail real estate is going to be a disaster. Home housing tastes will shift away from the cities and larger lot sizes will be preferred.


The automotive sector will be just the most visible sector impacted with fewer vehicle manufacturers and fewer models offered. However that trend will be across the board in other sectors as well as they consolidate. Will we be better for it? Possible. But the reality is we may have no choice so we better be prepared to make the best of it.

Sexy Birthday GIF - Sexy Birthday HappyBirthday GIFs  Bonnie Large

Happy 50th Eph!

63 Responses leave one →
  1. 2020 July 19 2:30 am
    bc3b permalink

    Happy 50th Eph!

  2. 2020 July 19 2:57 am
    bc3b permalink

    As most of you know, I am a girly man. My clients are women’s (and one men’s) professional haircare brands. They sell to salons, primarily through distributors. The salon industry was totally shut down for 2+ months because of COVID-19.

    In late June, the industry’s leading publication interviewed 65 industry leaders – brand executives, distributor principals, etc. The most common area of discussion: COVID-19 sped the acceleration of digital, which was already taking place.

    The industry has gone from in-person selling to online ordering. The largest distributor had cut its sales force by 32% in the four years PRIOR to COVID-19 (from nearly 1,000 reps to 660). There have been additional cuts during the past two months. Only the largest salons see reps today. The rest get emails and order online or via phone for salon owners who aren’t computer savvy.

    Training also will be going digital at a much faster pace. This offers advantages for the brand and the salon. The brand saves the expense of educators (salaries and travel expenses) and the salon owner and stylists can view training modules on their schedule (and re-watch as necessary).

    The question for brands in the future: do I really need distributors? Distributors normally mark-up 100% in selling to salons. If all distributors are doing is taking orders and fulfilling, can’t brands have online ordering supplemented by some telephone service reps and ship from regional warehouses? Why should brands permit distributors to mark up 100% when their cost of sales s much lower?

    This is affecting more than just cars. If educators aren’t making in-salon presentations, it affects airlines, hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies, etc.

    These changes were in the works. COVID-19 just sped them.

  3. 2020 July 19 3:23 am

    What went unmentioned in all that was all the local,state and federal shrinkage in tax revenues, and since we know damn well nobody will actually make cuts or shrink gov ranks, that means ever more tax increases.

  4. 2020 July 19 3:45 am
    bc3b permalink

    KH #3 –

    Michigan has been #2 (behind Nevada) in high unemployment. People who were taxpayers now are receiving unemployment. If more commerce is online and there are fewer brick and mortar retailers, that also means less revenue (from employee income taxes and reduced property taxes).

    As the article states, it will be a disaster for commercial property fewer retailers and businesses consolidating from 5 floors, to 4 or 3.

  5. 2020 July 19 5:17 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    HB, Eph!
    Nice gif LOL.

    Yeah, WuFlu is bad enough. So many other changes are rippling through society right now, with no one paying attention as our stupid media remains oblivious

  6. 2020 July 19 5:57 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Happy 50th Eph….. Don’t forget the bloody mary, it speeds recovery. 🙂

  7. 2020 July 19 6:05 am
    justrand permalink

    Jim: ““our stupid media remains oblivious”

    If they were only “oblivious” I wouldn’t worry so much. They KNOW the damage they are doing, but they assume that if they can just somehow install “Joe Biden” in the White House, then afterwards they can finally ram their Socialist bullshit down America’s throats.

    It won’t be that easy.

  8. 2020 July 19 6:08 am
    justrand permalink

    in re. transportation in the future…those of us in rural communities already rely on UPS, USPS and FedEx to get things delivered. But we do need to go to town every week or so, and it is a long drive.

    I can easily see the tyrannical California “government” trying to essentially restrict us to our own area by limiting our fuel purchases so drastically we won’t be able to go to town except in “emergencies”.

  9. 2020 July 19 6:20 am
    drdog09 permalink

    John Lewis, Selma and the darker side of his ‘legacy’ — — Not defending the article one way or the other just pointing out there is another side to all the fawning by the Left.

  10. 2020 July 19 6:23 am
    drdog09 permalink


    I would say, on average we receive a package a week delivered by one of the major carriers. Restricting fuel? Well I better shut my mouth, I never thought Nuisance Newsome would have gotten away with banning churches as he has so it could be possible.

  11. 2020 July 19 6:34 am
    drdog09 permalink

    “As most of you know, I am a girly man.”

    One time I was too, for a while. Back when I lived in Philly I worked for Rite-Aid for nearly 3 years. They shifted their managers around a lot. For quite some time I managed one store that sat below a Barbizon school. Cosmetic sales thru the roof and I got a lot of flirt time.

  12. 2020 July 19 6:35 am
    Eph permalink


    Thats a great gif-t!!!

  13. 2020 July 19 6:45 am
    Eph permalink


    New thread please….

  14. 2020 July 19 6:58 am
    Eph permalink


    Can i trade all those for the helicopter pic?

  15. 2020 July 19 6:59 am
    bc3b permalink

    Eph –

    ip can clear out a party even faster than a James Taylor album.

  16. 2020 July 19 7:24 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Jeez….. Even eye bleach can’t cure one from that visual dump. I can’t believe for the first time, HRC would be my choice out of them all and that is saying alot!

  17. 2020 July 19 8:21 am
    bc3b permalink

    I think I’ll catch a second online mass and pray that they go away.

    Eph – This year I spent twice as much on your present as you spent on mine. Check the front porch.

  18. 2020 July 19 8:33 am
    drdog09 permalink

    “Check the front porch.”

    You gave up your March 1973 issue of Playboy? What a guy!

  19. 2020 July 19 8:38 am
    bc3b permalink

    The March 1973 issue is a lot better than the last one. Playboy stopped producing a print edition after several years of Playmates that looked like ip picked them.

  20. 2020 July 19 8:44 am

    Eyewash for eye yore

  21. 2020 July 19 8:55 am
    Eph permalink


    I dont even understand pic 2

    And no drinks yet!

  22. 2020 July 19 8:56 am
    Eph permalink


    I have the Jan 1979 “Girls of Vegas” issue

    My have things changed…

  23. 2020 July 19 9:01 am

    EPH 21 ~~~Flotation devices

  24. 2020 July 19 9:02 am
    bc3b permalink

    Eph –

    I added a pic of Bonnie Large, March 1973 Playmate of the Month, next to your birthday girl, just in case the magazine doesn’t arrive.

  25. 2020 July 19 9:03 am
    Eph permalink

    24. BC

    Thank you for that.

    Great addition.

  26. 2020 July 19 9:16 am
    bc3b permalink

    Eph #25 –

    In 1973 you didn’t have to wonder; they were still real.

  27. 2020 July 19 9:30 am
    bc3b permalink

    Slow weekend in Chicago:

    But, the rain is supposed to end by 1 PM so they can still hit double digits.

    Meanwhile, things are picking up in Peoria:

    You’d never suspect this suspect in Peoria (not the same shooting as above):

  28. 2020 July 19 9:35 am
    bc3b permalink

    Getting back to the original thread. A lot of things were in process (digitalization, working from home, etc.). Others (decline in driving, questioning the need for a second car, consideration of home schooling) are directly attributable to COVID-19.

  29. 2020 July 19 10:20 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    Funny, I don’t miss the sports much, but I do miss the cheerleaders… I bet I’m not alone.

    Regarding the original thread, as JR noted, the media is carefully avoiding a lot of topics in case they reflect badly on Dems. But wow, there should be tons of stories about which companies and which industries are surviving the storm and which ones are in real danger.

    I see many closed offices but so far only a few “for lease” signs. Either the businesses are hoping to survive or the “for lease” signs will sprout like mushrooms when (if?) the economy is reopened.

    It was particularly cruel out here in CA. They had just moved up a stage (barber shops, for example, reopened) and after only 2 days BAM, shut down again.

    I went in for dental cleaning this week. All the workers covered head to toe. Each chair area had an air filter and a UV device. Each was the size of moderate waste basket. Businesses are being forced to spend big bucks to re-open, that’s for sure.

  30. 2020 July 19 10:39 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    btw, wish me luck!
    At end of month, I will travel to Ohio for my Aunt’s memorial service. It will be quick: just fly, one day in OH, then fly back.

    It will be interesting to see how air travel works these days, whether they pack people in or purposely leave gaps, what shops and services are open in airports and so on. It will also be interesting to compare OH to CA. They tightened the ratchet here last week, shut down some categories of business which had reopened. NextDoor is full of angry Karens insulting all those bad people who allowed Cases to spike.

    Clearly though, we “flattened the curve”. We didn’t build herd immunity. Every time the authorities reopen things a bit, there will be a spike in cases. They’re driving the economy with one foot on the brake and one on the accelerator and thinking they can fine-tune outcomes. Instead, of course, they are just jerking people around.

    I’m going to ask my doctor for a 5-day prescription for HCQ w/ Zinc as a preventive. Ever since Trump said a good word about it, the MSM, state Governors and the medical establishment have been working overtime to demonize HCQ. However, plenty of doctors use it themselves, plenty prescribe it and at least TWO major negative studies (I think Lancet and JAMA?) were forced to be withdrawn due to mistakes. It’s been used for decades, dosage is well understood and I’ve read that it can be prescribed to pregnant women. So at the least, it seems like it doesn’t do harm.

  31. 2020 July 19 11:13 am
    Eph permalink


    That’s a rough turn around.

    Bring caffeine

  32. 2020 July 19 12:47 pm
    mulletover permalink

    The mullet’s gone deep in the tidal pool, washing his eyes with mud and silt.
    Slap the surface with a cane pole when it’s safe to return..

  33. 2020 July 19 12:47 pm
    fight on permalink

    Happy 50th King

  34. 2020 July 19 1:40 pm
    Eph permalink

    32 mull

    Its safe to return. For now…

  35. 2020 July 19 9:05 pm

    All this does it tell encourage people to refuse testing, especially proactive testing before a planned trip like this woman did. Fking stupid of the authorities, too since nobody was refusing to quarantine they just (and think wisely) decided not to ‘sign’ anything.

  36. 2020 July 19 9:10 pm

    Thank god for the eye wash.
    Here a couple more

  37. 2020 July 19 9:11 pm
    Eph permalink


    Nice. Snatch city.

    Who is that??

  38. 2020 July 19 9:15 pm

    Pic 1 – Riley Reid
    pic2 – Lexi Belle(left) and Allie Rae(right)

  39. 2020 July 19 9:29 pm
    Eph permalink

    Much better than IPs girls

    For shizzle

  40. 2020 July 20 3:41 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Yep. And considering that there are stories of people being declared CoVid positive who did not even take the test! I would refute the validity of the tests themselves. It is becoming quite clear this entire thing is becoming a ponzi scheme. CoVid exists, but the mechanics of detection/treatment/management is clearly out of control for purely political purposes.

    And on cue —

  41. 2020 July 20 3:44 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Someone REALLY wants the whole Epstein affair buried — — Son, husband of judge shot.

  42. 2020 July 20 4:01 am
    drdog09 permalink

  43. 2020 July 20 4:09 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Summer is almost over, better book your trip soon — — Otherwise the wildlife will be harder to find.

  44. 2020 July 20 4:18 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Mall operator to file Chp 11 — — The dominoes are starting to fall. I wonder who is their biggest lender?

  45. 2020 July 20 5:18 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    Allen West elected to head TX Repub Party.

    That’s puzzling about the Epstein judge. Epstein’s dead. And now there’s nothing left to threaten the judge with.

  46. 2020 July 20 5:20 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    43 is great, plus they could add a photo of a cloth mask and say “This is a fashion accessory not a medical device”

  47. 2020 July 20 6:11 am
    bc3b permalink

    Bros come through with a strong finish to help Eph celebrate his 50th

    Of course, as Mayor Beetlejuice will tell you, it’s all about guns and lax gun laws in Indiana and Wisconsin. Black gangs have nothing to do with it.

  48. 2020 July 20 6:32 am
    justrand permalink

    Portland and Seattle are done for. Anybody who stays there at this point frankly deserves whatever happens. I only feel sorry for those trapped there for economic reasons (I.e., unable to sell a house, have a business they can’t relocate, etc). But anybody who CAN move and doesn’t is either too stupid to be saved, or is part of the problem.

  49. 2020 July 20 7:00 am


  50. 2020 July 20 8:40 am
    bc3b permalink

    Rather than upgrading cultures that foster “inequality,” let’s reduce everything toi the lowest common denominator:

  51. 2020 July 20 9:10 am

    42 – Hit on the judge that missed the intended target it would seem (or maybe not). Interesting that she just happen to be in the basement at the time, I’m wondering why the shooter didn’t finish the job if she was the actual target. Why they didn’t search the house for the presumed target, what spooked the shooter off after pumping shots into the son and the husband?

    43 – Pretty damn accurate

    46 – I don’t know, Maybe the judge was made aware of something that people wanted her to forget, or it’s related to another long past case, or she ordered the hit on her husband, or she, the husband or the kid is a weak link in an entirely separate corruption endeavor since her husband was lawyer too and the kid went to school in DC? Don’t worry though FIB is on the case so we’ll never get the actual truth instead we’ll get some seth rich type …. it was mugging gone wrong. 😉 What it does highlight though is that despite the seeming failure to hit the intended target is that most federal judges are quite ‘touchable’.

  52. 2020 July 20 9:18 am
    JimNorCal permalink

    Sure, hard to know about the judge. One speculation I read is that this was an “encouragement” to give Ghislaine Maxwell bail so that she has an opportunity to commit “suicide”. Seems more likely that it’s unrelated to Epstein.

    In the meantime, a piece of traditional humor LOL.
    Hope Eph behaved himself mostly, and is not feeling any pain from the day.

  53. 2020 July 20 9:29 am
    drdog09 permalink

    “Rather than upgrading cultures that foster “inequality,” let’s reduce everything toi the lowest common denominator:”

    Jeez. Hell lets just grunt at each other and spew paint making hand prints on walls. You know, like the Neanderthals did.

  54. 2020 July 20 10:18 am
    bc3b permalink

    drdog09 #54 –

    “Jeez. Hell lets just grunt at each other and spew paint making hand prints on walls. You know, like the Neanderthals did.”

    A step above Ebonics?

  55. 2020 July 20 10:45 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Operator: “Hello, Suicide Hotline, how may we assist you?”
    Hillary Clinton: “Yes, there seems to have been a problem with my last order…”

  56. 2020 July 20 10:45 am
    bc3b permalink

    Portland Mayor claims protesters were peacefully rioting until the feds came in:

    Sometimes God warns us about people through their physical appearance. Ted Wheeler just looks wesk.

  57. 2020 July 20 10:51 am
    bc3b permalink

  58. 2020 July 20 11:11 am

    “american people expect… I expect….”
    Translation… nuffing of substance coming.

  59. 2020 July 20 11:26 am

    Update on the Salas related shooting…. if you believe it.

    Update (1324ET): Now, authorities are telling media that the suspect in the shooting has been found dead via suicide in Liberty, NY. … But here’s the real twist. Though his name hasn’t been released, authorities said the suspect was an attorney who once argued a case before Judge Salas, back in 2015. Police told reporters that they suspect the suspect killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot. A municipal employee discovered the body in a car, a fedex package addressed to the judge was also found in the car.

    Pretty convenient.
    Every time I hear self inflicted gunshot wound, why is it a picture of HRC comes to my mind? lol

    Kind of odd to me guy traveled to liberty to shot himself unless he lived there, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere-ville NY up route 17 ( I used to stop at a diner there and get gas often on trips when I was a teenager and doing trips to cooperstown and friends at summer camps in pa). Then again I suppose it _is_ the sort of area one might go to try and disappear, or meet a contact. Beautiful area though in the summer (as is the whole of route 17 between bear mountain and Handcock (where that Islamic training compound is at) and Binghamton further north.

  60. 2020 July 20 11:32 am

    Next up this death will be counted as wuhan related for Sullivan county. lol

  61. 2020 July 20 11:52 am
    drdog09 permalink


    And require a lockdown of the whole county.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.