More Monday Mishmash

I don’t think I’ve ever posted three times in one day, until now.

Maurice and I have been having a text exchange all morning, spurred by this post about this car:

From a picture of a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Maurice asked me what I thought was more important in a daily driver, power or handling. Not copping out, I replied that I believe it’s a great balance of styling, engineering and comfort that makes a great car. The reason I loathe the look of cars that are “slammed” to the ground and have giant wheels is because the look is totally out of balance. The C2 Corvette looked great with 15-inch wheels; why does anyone think they need 22-inch wheels to look better? Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but a lot of custom cars make my eyes hurt.

When I worked in baseball I did a study of the records of teams that had either: A) led their league in runs scored AND allowed the most or, B) allowed the fewest runs but also scored the fewest. Granting that ballpark effects play a role in such extreme teams, what was the aggregate win-loss records of the two groups? While I don’t know if this is still true, at the time of the study—about 25 years ago—the aggregate win-loss records of both groups was a shade BELOW .500. These teams represent the extreme in imbalance and were not successful. (So much for baseball is 90% pitching and defense.)

A balanced approach to almost everything is usually optimal. Eat, but not too much. Exercise, but don’t overdo it. Sleep, but not too much or too little. The same goes for cars. That’s why I actually prefer the small-block C2 Corvettes because in my opinion the big-block (available beginning in 1965) ruins the weight and handling balance of the car.

What do you think makes a great car?


A total shift…I want to end with a remark by Milton Friedman:

“A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome [emphasis mine]—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom. On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality.”

In my opinion, equality of outcome is impossible and is an insane policy goal. A country will chase its tail forever.