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Old 03-15-2014, 09:39 AM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Free-Market Cheerleader Chris Christie Blocks Tesla Sales in New Jersey

Like a lot of Republicans, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie likes to talk about how the government should get out of the way of the free market. In a speech last week in Washington, D.C., he railed against President Obama’s economic interventions. “We don’t have an income inequality problem, we have an opportunity problem in this country because government's trying to control the free market," he said. And he urged his fellow conservatives to shout their opposition to government regulations from the rooftops. “We need to talk about the fact that we’re for a free-market society that allows your effort and your ingenuity to determine your success, not the cold, hard hand of government determining winners and losers.”


Then Christie came back to New Jersey and signed off on a cold, hard government regulation that blocks Tesla from selling its cars in the state.


The rule change prohibits automakers from selling directly to consumers, as Tesla does. Instead, it requires them to go through franchised, third-party dealerships, as the big, traditional car companies do. In other words, it requires that the middle-men get their cut. The Christie Administration made the move unilaterally, via the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. It was urged on by lobbyists for the state’s existing car dealerships, which fear the competition. The upshot is that Tesla will be forced to stop selling cars at its two existing dealerships in the state, and drop its plans to build more. It’s unclear what will happen to the employees of those dealerships.


New Jersey is the third state to effectively block Tesla by banning automakers from selling their cars directly. The other two are Texas and Arizona.


In a blog post, Tesla blasted the Christie administration for enacting the rule change administratively, rather than waiting for the legislature to resolve the ambiguity in existing law. A spokesman for Christie, on the other hand, told me the governor views the new rule not as a policy change so much as a clarification of the status quo for car sales in the state. He added that the governor might be open to approving a law overturning that ruling, but noted that the legislature has not presented any such bill so far.


Tesla, needless to say, is not thrilled. The Christie administration and its bureaucrats, the electric-car company alleged, are “thwarting the Legislature and going beyond their authority to implement the state’s laws at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers. This is an affront to the very concept of a free market.”


The auto industry, it's worth noting, is already something less than free, with both Tesla and traditional U.S. automakers benefiting from various forms of government largesse. That said, blocking Tesla from competing with existing car dealerships seems like a particularly blatant form of "picking winners and losers."



If there’s a silver lining for Tesla, it’s that when bills banning direct sales do make it to state legislatures, they tend to get defeated. It turns out the public likes being able to buy cars from whomever it wants, rather than having its choices constrained by Republican governors and their bureaucrats.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_te...?wpiburger_bar
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:40 PM   #16
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I've seen at least 100 Teslas around the DC Metro area and they are awesome. Someone in our building owns a Grey one and it's parked in the underground garage-really beautiful inside and out. I've asked a few of the owners and they all rave about them.

They even have a great showroom in the Tyson's Corner mall
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Tesla shouldn't be in business. Their entire profit is made on the backs of stupid government "green incentives". It's a POS product that has zero viability in a truly free market, and shame on anyone who is rooting for this embarrassment to continue having blood pumped thru it's (zombie-like) veins.
****ing stupid as usual. Tesla did get a loan, but has paid it back in full....nine years early.

http://www.teslamotors.com/about/pre...ne-years-early

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ney-off-tesla/

Tesla did not waste a single dime of taxpayer money, paid off its obligations early, and is a successful company.

Are green incentives risky and should the government do them? I would say yes, they are risky, and no, the government should stay out. But saying Tesla is the problem with green incentives is just plain stupid. They borrowed responsibly and paid it back early.

Christie's decision in NJ is bad. NJ loses jobs and tax revenue, as people will just buy Tesla's cars in other states and bring them in that way.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Tesla shouldn't be in business. Their entire profit is made on the backs of stupid government "green incentives". It's a POS product that has zero viability in a truly free market, and shame on anyone who is rooting for this embarrassment to continue having blood pumped thru it's (zombie-like) veins.
That's a legitimate complaint but a different issue, the government subsidizing sales of luxury cars made by well-connected green outfits.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:47 PM   #19
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$85K for a car that can only go 250 miles on a charge?
You best plan your route right for scheduled stops while the car gets recharged before you continue on
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mnchiefsguy View Post
****ing stupid as usual. Tesla did get a loan, but has paid it back in full....nine years early.

http://www.teslamotors.com/about/pre...ne-years-early

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ney-off-tesla/

Tesla did not waste a single dime of taxpayer money, paid off its obligations early, and is a successful company.

Are green incentives risky and should the government do them? I would say yes, they are risky, and no, the government should stay out. But saying Tesla is the problem with green incentives is just plain stupid. They borrowed responsibly and paid it back early.

Christie's decision in NJ is bad. NJ loses jobs and tax revenue, as people will just buy Tesla's cars in other states and bring them in that way.
Prison bitch is dumb as ****.

However, there are some legitimate debates as to how should we view Tesla and Elon Musk. Is he a rentier or is he a visionary? A good chunk of Tesla's profits have come from trading carbon credits. They still make money on the cars, but they would not be near the Wall St darling that they are now without the profits from the credits.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:59 PM   #21
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Here is a column on it.
http://www.bloombergview.com/article...or-rent-seeker
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Income inequality has been a big theme in U.S. politics and economics recently. We discussed a mathematical anomaly about the 0.01 percent earlier in the month. A number of folks have offered up defenses of the wealthiest Americans, but they seem -- like this rote piece from former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Greg Mankiw -- half-hearted and wimpy.

What got me thinking about this recently was an intriguing article by University of Houston professor Craig Pirrong. In "The Rent Seeker, Posing as Visionary,'' Pirrong criticized the long line of government-support programs that Elon Musk’s many companies seem to be involved in.

Income Inequality

Rent-seeking has morphed over time: "Rentier'' is derived from the French term to describe those who lived off the income from rents, typically for real estate. But that is morphing into income from government-enforced monopolies, such as patents, copyrights or government projects. The manipulation of regulations by lobbyists -- particularly by those of the financial industry -- has also given rise to claims of rent-seeking.

Which brings us back to professor Pirrong. What was so galling about Musk to him? Well to begin with, his sheer level of hypocrisy. His car company, Tesla, received $452 million in government loans; after the company paid them back, Musk suddenly decided that federal investments and/or loans to promote alternative energy was a bad idea. That is to my mind, the equivalent of Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. opposing bank bailouts, but only after 2013 on.

As Pirrong points out, almost all of Musk’s companies rely in some form on government subsidies or tax breaks. Tesla’s earnings, according to Forbes, aren't derived from selling automobiles, but from selling “emissions credits mandated by the state of California’s electric vehicle requirements.”

SpaceX, Musk’s space-launch venture is dependent on government contracts (it is the recipient of a $1.6 billion contract to resupply the International Space Station). And his SolarCity, the nation’s second-largest solar-electrical contractor, also benefits from tax breaks and subsidies.

Is Musk a visionary, or a rent-seeker? I think it's premature to make the claim that he is a full-on rentier. He certainly has a foot in each camp. Where he falls on the spectrum from parasitic monopolist to visionary genius has yet to be determined. I lean towards visionary, despite how much I despise PayPal, the online-payments system that Musk sold to eBay Inc. It is fairly clear that the final verdict on Musk has yet to be determined.

Which brings us back to the public perception of the ultra-wealthy. Many of the defenders of income inequality misunderstand the public's anger. As Josh Brown wrote, the public adored certain billionaires for their innovations. No one begrudged the vast wealth they created for themselves and their shareholders. There was a global mourning for the death of Steve Jobs, who made billions of dollars from both Apple Inc. and Pixar. Not to be maudlin, but I would bet Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com Inc. and Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google Inc. will likely receive much more adulation than boos when they shuffle off this mortal coil.

But don’t expect to see throngs of public mourners for today's crop of Wall Street barons. Those who manipulate government for their own benefit in the absence of innovation will receive no such send off.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:07 PM   #22
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$85K for a car that can only go 250 miles on a charge?
You best plan your route right for scheduled stops while the car gets recharged before you continue on
Well, on a good day you can get 50 miles with a $40k Chevrolet Volt before the 4-banger kicks in.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:58 PM   #23
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It's not just N/J.'s Republican governor that are against Tesla selling cars. The other two are Texas and Arizona both with Republican governors and Republican controlled legislatures.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by mnchiefsguy View Post
****ing stupid as usual. Tesla did get a loan, but has paid it back in full....nine years early.

http://www.teslamotors.com/about/pre...ne-years-early

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ney-off-tesla/

Tesla did not waste a single dime of taxpayer money, paid off its obligations early, and is a successful company.

Are green incentives risky and should the government do them? I would say yes, they are risky, and no, the government should stay out. But saying Tesla is the problem with green incentives is just plain stupid. They borrowed responsibly and paid it back early.

Christie's decision in NJ is bad. NJ loses jobs and tax revenue, as people will just buy Tesla's cars in other states and bring them in that way.
Doesn't matter what they paid back and how early--there is no Constitutional authority for this. And if they get it and not others it's not equality under the law. It's neo-mercantilism and unnecessary as markets will deliver what consumers want or they go out of business if they don't.

Either way, this also is not free market which Republicans claim they're for.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:02 PM   #25
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Tesla shouldn't be in business. Their entire profit is made on the backs of stupid government "green incentives". It's a POS product that has zero viability in a truly free market, and shame on anyone who is rooting for this embarrassment to continue having blood pumped thru it's (zombie-like) veins.
Thanks for this information. Still though, Republicans not allowing choice by consumers in their state's is similar behavior.
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