Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 8, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 13


Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 8, 2019 


It’s not just Costco. There’s plenty of blame to share. Consumer 
Reports, Sam’s Club, BJ’s and every other organization 
that promises to guarantee participants the lowest price 
possible on a new car are all co-conspirators.

This may seem hard to believe but until the 1990s it was almost 
impossible for consumers to find accurate car price information. 
A sheep… excuse me… customer entering a car 
dealership was presented with a situation where the dealer 
had all the cars and all the price information.

Even worse, dealers would not discuss price over the phone. 
Buyers had to go to each individual dealership and be waterboarded by a different 
‘sales team.’

The sales process was akin to the procedure the KGB used to force the condemned to 
sign confessions. The customer sat in an uncomfortable chair while a team of ‘good 
salesman’ and ‘bad salesman’ badgered you with false promises and assurances that 
if you’d just sign the sales agreement they’d let you go to the bathroom.

Asking to see the invoice on a car was greeted with laughter or outright hostility, 
much like the response one gets today after asking a hospital administrator what a 
hernia operation will cost.

If a customer had a couple of weeks to visit every dealer within a reasonable radius 
of home and a high tolerance for psychological pressure, there was a chance he could 
negotiate an excellent price.

Consumer Reports ended that agonizing process by first providing accurate cost 
information and second, by urging customers to negotiate over the phone instead of 
submitting to the time-consuming process of in-person visits for every dealer.

That put customers and dealers on a level playing field. Even with information, 
many car buyers still hated the negotiation process. Edmunds found 33 percent of 
the car-buying population would rather do taxes, go to the DMV, sit in the middle 
seat of an airplane or watch Beto live-stream a root canal than negotiate car prices. 

Costco, CR and other like-minded marketers responded with a car-buying service 
for their customers. Some charge for the service and others just direct you to a dealership 
where the price has already been negotiated. All of the services promise to 
eliminate negotiation.

Which is the problem. Today’s consumer can’t seem to figure out the “No Haggle - 
No Hassel” pricing has a flip side, which is “Take It or Leave It.”

As dealer Brent Emon commented on the Three Thrifty Guys site, “I can say that 
there is ALWAYS someone who will buy our car at our price. It’s not like that poor 
Corolla is going to rot away on the lot because you walked away, it just means we sell 
it tomorrow instead of today.”

So Costco et al did eliminate negotiation, most because the dealers stopped. 

I have yet to buy or lease a car from a Costco dealer, even after getting the Costco 
price, because they won’t budge from that number. And many other CR or TrueCar 
dealers are doing the same.

I blame the buying and price quote services. Consumers are so sheep-like they would 
rather take a price set by a third party - secure in the knowledge if the price is high 
they aren’t the only people paying it - than use that price as a starting point to negotiate 
their own deal.

Dealers like Emon conclude if cars are going off the lot at the “No Haggle - No 
Hassel” then why waste time trying to seal the deal with a penny-pincher like me? 
There’s always some relieved Millennial to take my place.

The last two times I’ve leased a car only one dealer of the five or six I contacted had 
a salesman ready to negotiate a deal, instead of order-takers who wait for a customer 
to buy at the set price. 

I once had a Mercedes finance manager tell me that on some days a customer would 
come into the dealership, see the list price of a car on the window sticker and write 
him a check for the full amount. And he didn’t feel the least bit guilty for making 
a premium on that car, because on other days people like me would come into the 

Don’t passively put dealers that won’t negotiate in the driver’s seat again. Make them 
talk or take a walk.

 Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author 
of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached 





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 




Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

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- Jessica Marquez-
Gates is 
old enough 
to remember 
an America 
before Roe v. 

It was an 
where women 
“douched with 
caustic chemicals” and used coat hangers to 
end unwanted pregnancies. She remembers 
desperate women dying because of botched 

With her 70th birthday closing in next 
month, state governments approving abortion 
bans, and the five-decade-old landmark 
U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing 
abortion under historic siege, Marquez-
Gates is ready for a fight.

“This is an issue that transcends Democrats, 
that transcends Republicans,” Marquez-
Gates said last week during a national day 
of action. “These are our daughters’, our 
granddaughters’ bodies we’re talking about. 
We cannot go back.”

So far, at least three states have passed legislation 
banning abortion after the sixth week 
of pregnancy. Alabama Republican Gov. 
Kay Ivey recently signed a near total ban on 
abortion that would punish violators with 
a felony and take a torch to traditional exceptions 
for rape and incest. Missouri Gov. 
Mike Parson signed an eight-week ban. 

Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled 
House of Representatives recently passed a 
bill banning abortion based on an in-utero 
diagnosis of Down syndrome. Similar legislation 
has been introduced in the Republican-
controlled state Senate. A freshman 
Republican in the state House is also seeking 
co-sponsors for a six-week ban, which 
is before most women even know they’re 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat 
and former Planned Parenthood escort, 
has vowed to veto the bills if they reach 
his desk. Meanwhile, reproductive rights 
advocates expect the bills in other states to 
immediately run into court challenges. But 
that’s the idea.

Evangelicals who held their noses and 
elected a boorish president with authoritarian 
tendencies contented themselves with 
the knowledge that, in return, they’d get an 
abortion-hostile Supreme Court that would 
move to overturn or substantially water 
down Roe v. Wade.

The cruel irony, of course, is that there’s 
nothing particularly “pro-life” or “pro-family” 
about any of these bills.

The small government conservatives who 
cry foul over government intervention into 
every other area of public life are perfectly 
willing to crowd into the examining room 
and make proxy rulings over the most 
deeply personal decision a woman can ever 

What it boils down to is a matter of “bodily 
autonomy,” said activist Amber Blaylock, 
who spoke at the rally.

Women, not GOP lawmakers who tend to 
lose interest in what happens to a fetus after 
birth, should have the final - and only - say, 
she said.

That happens even as Republicans refuse 
to pass bills that help new and expectant 
mothers or gut the social safety net that 
low-income women depend on to help 
make ends meet while they work and try to 
raise their families.

The attacks on abortion access also come 
as the Trump administration has moved to 
impose new restrictions on federal family 
planning money, a move that most see as 
a barely disguised effort to defund Planned 

In April, a federal judge granted an injunction, 
sought by 21 state attorneys general 
that temporarily blocks the rule from taking 

Not only are governors and lawmakers in 
states across the country seeking to legislate 
abortion out of existence, the White House 
is trying to get rid of money for programs 
that would help women avoid getting pregnant 
in the first place.

The end result, of course, is that abortions 
only increase in such a scenario.

And in a world where Roe is overturned 
and control over abortion is kicked back to 
the states, a yawning health care gap opens 
up between the wealthiest Americans - who 
can use their money and privilege to seek 
an abortion in a state where it’s legal - and 
poor women, rural women, and women of 
color who are trapped by income and circumstances, 
and cannot access the same 
standard of care.

“Criminalizing abortion will not stop it,” 
Tara Murtha, of the Philadelphia-based 
Women’s Law Project, told the crowd of 
about 100 rally-goers. “The only question is 
who gets access to safe abortion care. Women 
suffer and die when abortion is criminalized. 
That’s a feature, not a bug, of what 
happens when abortion is criminalized. It’s 
an attack on all of us.”

It’s also a world that Jessica Marquez-Gates 
thought she left behind a long time ago.

“It makes me so mad that these people 
think they have the right to make decisions 
about our bodies, our daughters’ bodies, 
our granddaughters’ bodies” she said, her 
voice rising. “We can’t go back to a time 
when women were dying.”

She paused.

“We’re not going back.”

An award-winning political journalist, John 
L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania 
Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. 

Earlier this week I traveled to central Illinois 
to speak at a memorial service at Eureka 
College, my dad’s alma mater, on the 
15th anniversary of his death.

As I flew halfway across the country and 
talked to many of the good people in the 
heart of America, it struck me how testy 
or peeved off everyone is about politics.

It seems like everyone’s got a chip on their 

You can’t just sit down at a table or a bar 
and have a simple conversation with a 
friend or a stranger because you’re afraid 
of what might happen if you say the wrong 

If you say you’re a Democrat, some Republican 
gets mad at you.

If you say you’re a Republican who doesn’t 
think Trump should be jailed immediately, 
someone else gets mad at you.

It’s always a shame when Americans become 
so divided by partisan politics that 
they can’t find anything uplifting or positive 
to say about their great country, but 
it was especially disappointing to me this 

This was a week when all Americans 
should have been united in celebrating 
two of our historic victories in World War 
II and the brave young soldiers and sailors 
who made them possible.

Instead of bickering over partisan politics, 
we all should have been celebrating the 
Battle of Midway, the decisive naval battle 
we won against the Japanese between June 
4 and June 7, 1942, that turned the tide of 
the war in the Pacific.

We also should have been celebrating - as 
President Trump did on his trip to France 
this week - the heroism of the Greatest 
Generation on D-Day, June 6, 1944, 
when our troops stormed the beaches at 
Normandy and turned the tide of war in 

America had thousands of great heroes in 
the Pacific and in Europe during World 
War II, but we’ve done a terrible job of celebrating 
success stories like D-Day. We’ve 
also done a lousy job of teaching our kids 
the extraordinary things we did to defeat 
the twin evils of fascism and communism.

I don’t ever want to run into another 
28-year-old American man - as I once did 
- who didn’t know why there is a cemetery 
filled with thousands of American soldiers 
on the coast of 

I also don’t ever 
want to talk to another 
young American 
standing where 
the Berlin Wall 
once was and have 
him tell me that the 
United States put up 
the wall to keep the Communists out of 
their sector.

It’s not just the history of World War II 
and the Cold War that young people aren’t 
being properly taught about, though.

The success stories of many famous 
Americans are rarely celebrated for what 
they say about the values of our country 
and the opportunities that are open to everyone 
rich or poor.

For example, when I spoke at the memorial 
for my father at Eureka College, I said 
- as my father often pointed out - that he 
was proof that in America anyone can rise 
to the top.

He didn’t go to Harvard, Yale or Stanford. 
He went to Eureka, a postage-stamp of a 
Christian college near Peoria, on a poor 
boy’s scholarship because his family had 
no money.

Yet Ronald Reagan rose to be president of 
the U.S - and lots of graduates from elite 
schools like Harvard, Yale and Stanford 
had to look to the poor kid from Eureka 
College for affirmation.

My father’s life showed that if you put 
your nose to the grindstone, anything is 
possible in America.

His success - like that of millions of other 
Americans - was proof of the basic greatness 
and goodness of our country.

Along with D-Day and Midway, his life 
was one of the many uplifting American 
life stories we could have been celebrating 
on TV this week.

Instead, what we saw was mostly a lot of 
arguing about whether to impeach the 
president or put him in prison.

Michael Reagan is the son of President 
Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and 
the author of “Lessons My Father Taught 
Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of 
Ronald Reagan.

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