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Do Cars = Freedom?

Forget for a minute what the answer to that question may be, and focus first on why the two ideas are associated with each other. As Dave Reid explains, it's no accident, but rather the result of a relentless marketing scheme by the auto industry.
April 29, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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In the inaugural edition of "Car Culture," Urban Milwaukee's regular series on "the history of our love affair with the automobile, and its true costs and consequences," Reid begins with a historical examination of the association of the automobile with freedom.

Reid argues that, "U.S. automakers successfully sold the American public that access to an automobile is 'freedom', and that an automobile is an inalienable right, not a responsibility. For decades millions of dollars have been spent marketing this concept to us. It is so ingrained in our belief system that I've actually had friends tell me ‘my car is freedom'."

Reid includes two very persuasive advertisements to prove his point, one a Ford television commercial from 1955 and, the other, a Dodge television commercial from 2010. Different era, same message: the car = freedom.

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Published on Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Urban Milwaukee
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