Tires Sure Are Cheap These Days

A few weeks ago Elizabeth Warren asked her audience, “Have you seen what it costs to put a new set of tires on your car?” As it happens, I got new tires today, and the answer is $600 for the extremely average passenger tires I need for my Mazda 3. That seemed like a lot! But naturally that got me wondering: Is that a lot? It turns out the answer is a resounding no. The cost of tires has plummeted over the past 50 years:

There are two things going on here. First, adjusted for inflation, the cost of tires is about half what it was in 1968. Second, tires last about twice as long as they used to: 40,000 miles vs. 20,000 miles. When you put those two things together, we pay about one-quarter as much for tires over the course of 40,000 miles as our parents did during the Summer of Love. What’s more, modern radial tires are safer than old tires; they handle better than old tires; and they’re less prone to punctures than old tires. How about that?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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