Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think a lot has to do with commuting distance and the lack of inexpensive, efficient mass transit, a situation that you note before zeroing in on the social status cause.

Why is there a lack of mass transit?

I would argue that much of the resistance to mass transit on the part of the wealthy is a belief that it is below their station in life.  

Put simply, poor people ride the bus. And to ride the bus indicates that you are poor, and therefore have less status.

And in the end, what you are buying when you spend that money on car commuting is not the utility of having the vehicle, but the status it conveys.  And after all.  

And if it were utility alone that people were seeking, why do they drive a large vehicle that has an oversized engine instead of something that got them from point a to point b?  Looking at choices within the mode of transportation, why is it that the obvious choices to achieve the same purpose, independent transportation, at less cost are overlooked in order to drive a larger, fancier vehicle that conveys status?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Jul 7th, 2008 at 01:34:35 PM EST
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