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?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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