Short Circuiting The Market

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Evidence continues to accrue that the Soviet Union did not disappear in 1991. It simply transplanted itself to another part of the world.Brezhnev lead


One of the hallmarks of the Soviet System was top-down central planning – with “incentives” provided by the government. Natural market mechanisms were crippled. You got what the government decided you needed – at whatever price the government decided was appropriate.

The result – back then – was the Trabant and Lada.

Today, the result is electric lemons like the Tesla and Chevy Volt and Honda Fit EV.U.S. President Barack Obama inspects an Opel Ampera electric car

People won’t buy them on the merits – because there aren’t any merits (not any that make economic sense, that is) so the government steps in with “incentives” – massive subsidies: $7,500 to the individual buyer and god-knows-how-much to the corporate cartel that made the thing. Anything rather than accept the market’s verdict that these vehicles are not economically viable.

And that’s as Soviet as it gets.

Only in the case of post-Constitution America, the fiction is maintained that a free market exists – even as market mechanisms such as moral hazard have been effectively eliminated and losses for large corporations with pull are “insured” by a mafia state that will not permit its crony capitalist partners to not make money – no matter how poorly conceived their products, no matter how ineptly or even criminally they run their businesses. It is Soviet in every way except for the doddering old Premier on the review stand – but no doubt that’s coming, too.Brezhnev picture

GM just announced it will drop the price of the 2014 Volt by $5,000 – to $34,995. This is before GM’s partner – the government – cuts the price down by another $7,500 via a taxpayer-funded individual  subsidy. In a roundabout way, GM is conceding that the car was priced at least $12,500 too high. (That sum, incidentally, will just about buy you a very decent economy car – the Fiat 500, for instance – without any “help” from the Politburo in DC.)

Why not just go whole hog and give them away? The plant where the Volt is built – currently idled – could be ramped-up to full production. GM could point to all the cars being made (as in Soviet Russia) and never mind about how much they cost to make – or whether anyone would be willing to part with their own hard-earned money to possess one.ELR picture

GM Is actually doubling down. A Cadillac version of the Volt is on deck. It is even more divorced from economic reality than the Volt. Instead of an electric Trabant, we’ll get (to pay for) an electric Zil (the staff car of the Soviet elite). With an anticipated sticker price somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 it will be – like the infamous Tesla – a  car for the New Nomenklatura of Bailout Nation. The ideal chariot for crony capitalists. Perhaps they’ll get their own special roads to drive them on, too.

It’s not just American corporations that have gone Soviet. Honda recently announced that it will cut the cost to lease its electric Turducken – the Fit EV – by a third. And will also throw in “free” home charging station set-ups and allow the lessee unlimited mileage during the term of the lease.Fit EV picture

Except, of course, it’s not free.

Honda will either:

Make up for the losses by cost-padding other (economically viable) cars, forcing consumers to subsidize the Fit EV that way.


Honda will claim some sort of government “write-off” – which will transfer the costs onto the backs of taxpayers that way.

The obvious thing to do – stop trying to force-sell a product that the market doesn’t want – never seems to occur to the increasingly Soviet-minded bosses of the corporate world.Soviet bosses

Of course, they are “incentivized” by the existence of government mechanism that not only insulate them from market forces but actually encourage decisions about what to make and how to make it that are profoundly Soviet.

Take the case of Tesla as a for-instance.

This “company” – I put the word in italics for the same reason I do “customer” when used by the DMV – exists only because of government and its system of payola for the politically favored. Because its profits depend entirely on Soviet-style rigmarole such as “green credits” – which transmute into FRNs just like an EBT card enables a welfare lout to eat lobster at your expense. If Tesla had to sell its cars on the merits, there would be no Tesla cars. Not until Elon Musk figured out how to make one that was functionally appealing and cost-competitive with conventional cars.

Same goes for GM. And Honda. And everyone else.Homer's car

Which is exactly how it ought to be.

But which, increasingly, it is not.

You may remember an episode of The Simpsons TV show. Homer is given carte blanche to design his ideal car. He doesn’t have to take into account what “stupid” buyers want. Nor what “stupid” accountants tell him the car will cost to make. All that matters is what he wants.

The end result is predictable, but the lesson goes right over the heads of corporate America – and Americans, generally.Homer car picture 2

To be clear: I’m not opposed to electric cars any more than I’m opposed to cars powered by unicorn flatulence . . . provided I’m not forced to subsidize them. But it’s enraging to see someone driving down the road in a car that others paid for – the money taken from them at gunpoint. You want a Volt or a Tesla? Then pay for the damn thing yourself. Full cost to make – plus a profit for the company that made it.

Too much? Too expensive?

Then too god-damned bad. gun in face picture

Stop shoving your hand in my pocket – and a gun in my face.

If a $60,000 electric car is such a great idea, why not also subsidize $600,000 homes for all? It would be so nice to live in a 4,000 sq. ft. house with granite-topped counters and Viking appliances. A new Cadillac electric car would look great in the garage. Hey, it’s a three car garage… why not three of them?

If we had a free market, bad ideas would simply go away – or better yet, never see the light of day. But because we have a Sovietized system, bad ideas can make you rich.

On the dime of your fellow man.

Throw it in the Woods?


  1. Consider donating to this site, so there continues to be a friendly place to throw shit at the PTB and see whose shit storm stops whose fan first.

    Where else can you type – Dianne Feinstein is a withered wizard-sleeved cunted old crony who makes billions voting for wars and shitty CA low spped rail because she is major partner in a defense contractor – and no one deletes your juvenile ramblings for deviating from the robotic smile corporate shill face of the Libertarian Brand.

    Recently, Ron Paul launched his $10/mo website, launches attack on Puppet-in-chief Obama and his hypocritical warmongering, war on drugs he once used, and attacks on whistleblowers he previously promised to champion.

    $10 a month, brays the libertarian jackass, I thought freedom was supposed to be free! Steal cable or watch Internet Pirate TV and cut some other corners, I know the main purpose of the internet is to steal and mooch anonymously, but don’t shit today on the few remaining places you can still eat; you might find out tomorrow the UN has closed your free forums for esoteric extremism or some other newly manufactured thought crime, and then no price will bring back your ideas agora.

    A Message for Libertarian Moochers from Tom Woods

  2. That’s a *very* anti-democratic position. Not to mention, undermining The Rule of Law. (Oops, too late.)

  3. > The ideal chariot for crony capitalists. Perhaps they’ll get their own special roads to drive them on, too.

    Never been to Barackistan?

    • Barackistan.

      A synonym for Obamanation.

      I’m reminded that every conventional monopolistic state is to a greater or lesser degree a Barackistan or Obamanation whenever a black limousine with motorcycle escorts orders us Mere Mundanes aside to make way for — you guessed it — our “civil servants.”

      • How do you know he’s a King?

        He hasn’t got shit all over him.

        ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Who’s castle is that?
        WOMAN: King of the who?
        ARTHUR: The Britons.
        WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
        ARTHUR: Well, we all are. We are all Britons, and I am your king.
        WOMAN: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.

        • Since you’re quoting someone else’s work, I can’t get a good read on your tone.

          If you’re suggesting that The Proletariat that believe in, yearn for, collectivism, are somehow less than their Glorious Leaders, fit only for physical toil in abysmal conditions, like beasts of the field, then you, sir, are a terrorist.

          If you’re suggesting that The Proletariat that are living the collectivist lifestyle are hard working cross dressers, offended by anti-democratic demagoguery, then you, sir, have my vote.

  4. Demand a share of anything subsidised. By law, if you paid a share in something you own that % share. However, that may come down to name on the title/contract. So, steal a Volt and if caught, claim part ownership through subsidy. Imagine the court trying to set a precedent on that..

    Please note – this was probably my stupidest comment ever 😉

  5. Seems to be some linking of Rand with libertarian-ism (as it has been re-defined today).

    She was not libertarian and said so. Her writings (1940 to 1970’s) explicitly warn about today’s USSA misery, why and how it will happen. She was amazingly correct in her predictions. She described the ideal USA as defined by the Constitution. Three parts government, (1) Military to protect the nation from invasion, (2) the police to objectively (no favorites or exempt people) enforce criminal law, and (3) the courts to enforce contract law. Everything else was left unregulated, and to mutual exchanges between people acting in their own best interest. If you are a fool – oh well you loose, too bad, and no government bail-outs, but people are free to help who they want at their own expense. She also knew it would not happen because people are indoctrinated to feel guilty for not giving their earned stuff to those “in need”. In other words, because your neighbors are too selfish you have to elect corrupt fascist/ socialist government “mystic” leaders to do it. Scientifically applied indoctrination by our psychopathic betters has obviously worked out very well for THEM.

  6. A doubleplusrare piece of malculture from the memoryhole of the hippie malbeing state-named Karen Black(Karen Blanche Ziegler) from the untimes prior to the Great Electrocution & Short Circuiting. ILBB – I love big brother. LLDL – Long live dear leader.
    RIPP Karen – Rest in People’s Protectorate and sacred formaldehyde elysium fields of tristan and isolde.

  7. I stumbled on to some tree hugger site when looking for information on EV Spark. The little retards there do not even understand that car exhaust is plant food and that CO2 and water make their precious little plants green. God how I hate stupid people. They are destroying life for all of us on this Earth. First the violent and parasitic public school retards vote for Obama and next they will vote for Hitlery.

    • Hi Ray,

      You’re right – and I think they will. Vote for Hitlery. Or, for the Republican version of Herman Goring (Chris Christie). Either way, liberty is doomed.

    • Ray – Don’t forget that electric vehicles are “elsewhere emissions” vehicles. When you look at the inefficiency of converting fossil fuels (such as coal or NG) to electricity, the losses of transmission, distribution and charging, along with the toxic waste and pollution from manufacturing the batteries alone, you have a real loser from an environmental standpoint. But that’s okay, because EVs are politically correct, expensive (even with subsidies so fewer proles will be able to drive) and the worst pollution from their manufacture occurs in China anyway. Then there’s the additional heavy metals / toxic waste issue if you charge (very slowly and unreliably) with solar (but once again primarily polluting China = NIMBY). When you apply a little critical thinking to the issue it puts the lie to their whole agenda. Fortunately for the farm owners most true believers, like the Clovers they are, have such an overwhelming confirmation bias they never have any need to question their beliefs.

  8. There was another forgettable clover (commie) car – the Wartburg.

    Clovers had a rare opportunity to prove that totalitarian control was “the answer”. The former USSR was considered “utopia empowered”.

  9. A $20K Honda Accord gets 40 mpg at 60 mph at $3.50 per gallon.
    A Fit EV can go 60 miles at 60 mph at a cost of $2.50

    ExxonMobil recharges the Accord in 2 minutes and will have a 600 mile range.

    The Fit EV lease is unlimited miles…Knowing full well you will be limited by charge time and range.

  10. Gets better. In the UK the Lib Dems are actually trying to outlaw the other cars so they can force you to buy those “clean” cars.

    Lib Dems: ban petrol and diesel cars from UK roads by 2040
    The Liberal Democrats want to ban millions of ordinary cars from Britain’s roads.

    Traffic delays set to double Photo: ALAMY
    By Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent
    8:58AM BST 06 Aug 2013
    Nick Clegg’s party has unveiled proposals to only allow ultra-low carbon vehicles on UK roads by 2040.
    The controversial measures would mean millions of petrol and diesel cars being forbidden.
    Only electric vehicles and ultra-efficient hybrid cars would be allowed on UK roads under the Lib Dem plans.
    However, petrol and diesel vehicles would still be allowed for freight purposes.
    The plans will be voted on by members at the upcoming Lib Dem conference in Glasgow and could become party policy if approved.
    “By 2040, only ultra-low carbon vehicles will be permitted on UK roads for non-freight purposes,” the policy document states.
    The Lib Dems also want to introduce a system of road pricing in congested areas.
    While the Coalition ruled out imposing tolls on the existing road network during this side of the election, no promises have been given for the second half of the decade.
    The Lib Dems also want to replace air passenger duty with a “per-plane duty, charged in proportion to the carbon emissions created by that journey”.
    As part of the party’s plans to create a “zero-carbon” Britain, the Lib Dems could also embrace nuclear power and shale gas exploration.
    The Lib Dems will vote to say that gas fracking should be allowed as long as “regulations controlling pollution and protecting local environmental quality are strictly enforced, planning decisions remain with local authorities and local communities are fully consulted over extraction and fully compensated for all damage to the local landscape”.
    Fracking, which involves fracturing rocks deep underground with water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas, has dramatically cut energy bills in the USA.
    Ministers are hoping that it could do the same in the UK, particularly in the Home Counties and north west of England, however campaigners and local people are bitterly fighting drilling.
    Two areas of Surrey and Sussex are estimated by US authorities to hold 700 million barrels of recoverable shale oil – or more than a year’s supply for Britain.
    David Cameron has given his support to shale gas drilling but many Tory voters across the country are opposed to fracking and have vowed to stop drilling in their area.

  11. The economics or lack there of in the production of an electric car are a study in failed government intervention.
    The first thing that came to mind was replacement costs of the storage system. Whether it be batteries or something else like some kind of capacitors. It is a huge problem of expense. Batteries of any kind are expensive to replace.
    The hybrid was a partial answer giving us a longer range but again who replaces the storage system when it goes?
    Then there is the size issue. What does it look like when some idiot plows into it. Is it just another sardine can? What kind of bumper system does it have and how effective will it be against the dinosaur big cars out there?
    I still see people on the road going 40-50 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone bumper to bumper. It is scary in a big truck much less a small vehicle. The bottom line here is these idiots don’t care that you are in a small electric vehicle, they will smash you anyway.
    Which brings up auto insurance. How much does it cost to insure something this expensive, this small, and this vulnerable?
    The reason the big three have gone down the tubes is that they made vehicles engineered to fail far sooner than the foreign competition. Plus they want 3-4 thousand more for a similar vehicle made here. No wonder Detroit is in ruins. These executives simply failed to keep up with the changing marketplace and the world they competed in. In the case of the electric experiment it was designed to fail before it ever started. Makes me wonder if the oil company didn’t have a hand in its production.
    The other problem is if a gasoline engine goes bad it is expensive to fix. If an electric engine goes bad it is normally the brushes need to be changed. So an electric vehicle could potentially be more economic to keep a long time than a gasoline vehicle is. That means an entire revolution in the way we keep and buy cars. So the key vulnerability here is the batteries going bad. That is what kills the whole thing. If I were a company heavily invested in gasoline automobiles I would be motivated to make an electric car fail too!
    So along comes someone from a third world country with good engineering skills and they produce a vehicle running off the power of the planet itself, then what happens?
    Well for one thing, 6 of the 7 billion people on this planet will want one. Just like the bicycle is still used all over this planet as a basic means of transportation with all of its drawbacks because it can be had for a cheap price. Exception is here where you might last 5 minutes on a busy highway.
    Engineering power from natural sources is not new. It is information that has been suppressed for a long time. Tesla wanted to make electricity freely available to everyone. It was suppressed by the financial giants of his time. His work was classified upon his death.
    There is a lot of money made from power production of all kinds.
    Ford had the right original idea of producing transportation at a small profit per vehicle. He introduced an entire generation of people to the assembly line and to vehicles cheap enough for everyone to afford. He also made them simple enough for an entire generation of Americans to be able to repair them. Maybe we need to get back to those concepts first.

  12. Markets can take one of the two paths: develop new solutions or deny access to limited resources. The claim that the former always happens is a hypothesis at best which, in the light of the last thirty years, is looking a little bit strained. If anything, markets are taking us towards global brazil, which is the only thing that contemporary set of technologies can afford.

    The gasoline engine is cheap only as long as you can somehow keep ~80% of people on this planet from driving. You can do a very simple math to convince yourself of that., simply look at the fraction of total oil production that US alone is using.

    I would rather have the government meddle to some degree in the marketplace to help create some alternatives, even if some of this meddling is an expensive dead end, rather than have the same government start wars around the world to protect our access to the resources that “we need”.

    • This logic could be used for any number of products. Oh my the USA uses an incredible percentage of product X and relies on the rest of the world not using much of product X to keep X cheap.

      X is often cheap because of the large numbers of people using it. If X hits a resource wall then it’s price will go up and alternatives will enter the market. But I know, oil and what comes from it is special because it’s limited…. well so is every other raw material. Most are not recovered. Many can’t be. Yet there is no political concern for conserving it or in some cases, like He, the government dumps it on the market thus doing the opposite, encouraging its over-use and waste.

      What makes oil, what makes transportation fuels special, is that they make people less controllable.

    • @mf- Governments often limit access to un-limited resources as well as limited ones. Government interference ALWAYS reduces efficiency, and sometimes makes efficiency IMPOSSIBLE. The person who invented government should have been stoned to death immediately before it spread.

      • Well-said Nathan!

        The defect in the human genome is the urge to force others to act (and not act) according to some arbitrary standard. I have never grokked this impulse.

        So long as a person isn’t actually hurting anyone else – or actually causing damage to other people’s property – then it seems to me he has an absolute right to be left absolutely alone.

      • Great comment, Nathan. Disclaimer: I am not advocating – nor do I have any intention of committing – acts of violence against anybody. But I’ve always thought that in an ideal world, people would be so opposed to (and aware of the harmful effects of) government that any person who suggested, say, voting on a tax to help the poor, would be found dead in a road ditch the next morning.

  13. I stumbled across a complaint from a Tesla S buyer this morning that was posted back in March on Tesla’s forum.

    He started having major problems with his car the day after he bought it….and then it outright died on him while he was taking his bosses for a drive necessitating a tow.

    According to his post he paid around $80K for his model S. I remember when the number floated by Tesla was $50k a few years ago…I don’t think you can get one stripped down for that.

    Anyway, he finally posted that he was happy and the problems resolved a month or so later and I noticed his e-mail address seemed strange…so I checked the domain…he was an employee of a federally subsidized solar panel manufacturer!!!! LMAO!

    So not only do we get to subsidize electric cars, but naturally the other subsidized industries whom we support have employees supporting their “brothers” in similar industries….great….just great.

  14. At some point you have to wonder whether the prevalence of larceny indicates that it is actually RIGHT.

    Anyone who has gone to the zoo will understand what I mean when I say, It is a very monkey way of behaving. Monkey see. Monkey grab. Monkey run from all monkeys. Monkey keep.

    The libertarian philosophy is the only one I know that need not tie itself in logical knots to justify its actions.

    But life is short. And no material, financial, or intellectual success will ever mitigate that mortality. Sometimes I wonder whether we’re debating angels on a pinhead.

    The monkeys have the loot NOW. And we are all their slaves.

    It is a grim and dark line of thought that inevitably leads to war, murder, genocide, extinction. After all, fewer monkeys means Monkey grab MORE, RUN LESS, and KEEP MORE.

    What if a moral ‘RIGHT’ isn’t best determined philosophically, but materially?

    What we all are just a bunch of monkeys using our brains to craft a great, hopeful ‘What-If’ that can never actually exist – because, after all, we’re dealing with monkeys here?

    Very dark.

  15. The insanity of “electric” vehicles is worse than government “incentives” and “subsidies”. The entire concept of an “electric” vehicle is a hoax and a fraud, in reality the electricity used for power is actually generated by burning hydrocarbons or controlled fission reactions. A sane energy policy of developing nuclear energy and coal for electricity with natural gas and oil for transportation would make the United States energy independent for a hundred years. What affordable energy and transportation are really about is freedom. But that of course is not what the criminal class in Washington want, they want control.

    • TheShocker, I agree with you about freedom and the criminal class, but I question the need for any “energy policy” in the first place. Such policy is of course a government policy, which means that it is enforced by violence and the threat of violence, as opposed to voluntary action by free people in the marketplace. The idea of American “energy independence” is silly. The only purpose it serves is to get huckstering nationalistic politicians elected and reelected. Americans don’t need to be energy independent any more than we need to be banana independent or titanium independent or anything-else independent. The only way to sort this stuff out and to allocate resources in the best way humanly possible is to let the market work.

      • When you have a persistent trade imbalance in favor of imports – ergo your country is consistently buying more than it produces – and that imbalance is predominantly energy, ‘energy independence’ is the right policy. But tariffs don’t solve this, more production does. Same goes for all the manufactured goods from China.

        Where they are made isn’t what matters. What matters is that you must pay for someone else’s production with production of your own. And what would normally drive the ‘imports’ and ‘exports’ at the INDIVIDUAL LEVEL – i.e. specialization – really doesn’t apply at the national level. It doesn’t apply because the nation, the borders, and the determination of what is an ‘import’ and what an ‘export’ is all artificial and arbitrary, anyway.

        Nations, after all, are purely conceptual, and do not exist separate from people’s perceptions – which, notably, vary widely.

        By ‘independence’ (since a conceptual entity like a ‘nation’ can’t really own anything – only its controllers can) I mean that as much as possible it is good when things can be made close to where they are used. Local production, all else being equal, always has an advantage, and is more efficient, because the shipping costs are lower.

        Of course, we should note, all else is never equal.

        Some respond to this inequality with R & D. Some respond with appeals to men with guns to institute ‘tariffs’ or ‘subsidies’, or ‘excise taxes’ or other such schemes.

        These are all doomed to failure in the longer run. Government subsidies, import tariffs, excise taxes and the like all distort trade and interfere with making the best decisions.

        Ultimately, who is wealthy is determined by who makes the best decisions.

          • Shocker…I’m still undecided on the market anarchy versus limited government approach. Anarchists seem to be exactly right that any limited government ends up being detrimental for the very freedoms it was meant to protect (that is the current United States Government). On one hand they bring forward a theory that seems to hold more water than the history of all limited governments in operation. On the other hand I too think that mob mentality on smaller scales is unavoidable and therefore predation of the weaker individual by the group think seems to exist even without a government. The oppositional theory of course is that limited government will prevent mobs from overunning individual liberty by preventing predation of larger more powerfull groups of people against minorities or individuals, the supposed whole point of our republic to protect us from mobs abroad (foreign armies) and the little groups of derelicts at home. Again the anarchist bring up a valid point of why the Italian mafia would stay confined to the streets of New York and not move up to the oval office as an aspiration?

            Even though I do not see how an ideal anarchy could exist for very long, the point of argument is mute between the anarchist and the limited government. Reason is that we both agree that the correct direction is toward smaller government (more toward anarchy and away from authoritarianism). Whether anarchy is an ideal that can never be acheived is therefore a mute point, its an ideal that both anarchist and limited government people should try to acheive. Even me being a limited government type, I have every much the same objective to reduce government to nonexistence if possible.

            As far a morality being an issue for why anarchy cannot be acheived. Well I agree again with your observation though I’m ok with my anarchist mentors disagreeing with me on this. You have freedom always, but lacking morality the outcome will not be beneficial to humanity. But wouldn’t this be just as true for a limited government? Without morality, evil people will be attracted to the limited but maximum positions of power to abuse that power?

            Anarchy can be acheived but not in a society. In a society it is an ideal for even limited government types. Anarchy however is acheivable at the individual level, when a man understands that his power is as an individual and that power is derived as such from a
            God and not government or group thinks then he can be unencumbered of being ruled by others. You are as free as you want to be, even if the entire world is a garrison. Smart people will always escape any prison, and even in the bible it says that he will lead his people to safety and refuge. Only people that feel they must be ruled will be ruled. Therefore and an individualist I am an anarchist, as a member of society I believe anarchy is an ideal that should be approached. In practice I’d be happy with a limited government over the beast we currently inherited.


          • Roland I wonder as well about what the world would be like if government hadn’t been invented. Though I do think government seems to be a natural creation of an alliance of individuals for self defense against larger predators. In other words, maybe the better question is if men didn’t feel more self righteous in larger numbers (mob) then he feels alone with his own two feet and hands.

            From a Islam, Christian, Jewish view the belief that men are fallen (lacking in knowledge and faith of God) does not seem to much out there. Think of the reinforcement that occurs when one warring faction of mob creates vengeance and vice versa (gang warring).

            Also, I’ve came to realize that most people have an emotional attachment to their current incarnation they were born into. The fact that the U.S. government until recently was a pretty decent place to live as compared to say the rest of the world, has led many people to erroneously assume that what was the U.S. government was a near perfect as could be acheived. This of course fuels their sentiment that “we” are indeed “exceptional”. But when the U.S. turns into chaos and economic ruin, due that very same government then most people who embrace such beliefs live in denial. The question that if the reset button was hit today, the majority would be happy to fond memories of what they thought was “perfect” in their youth. You would ask why 3 branches of government? Why not 6? Why not have two versions of executive and two versions of legislature and two version of Surpremo Court all at odd of further checking and balancing? Why one president? Why not 4 presidents? That way they all check and balance each other? Instead of a supreme court that rubberstamps everything unconstitutional, why not just eliminate it and replace it with case law of jury nullification? Why not let the jury decide whether a law is constitional just like William Penn the Quaker allowed us to have inherited freedom of religion by a jury? Why 3 branches of military? What the F about 3 everything? Did our founders believe in the magic of 3 or is there something I need to know about the cosmic physics of why 3 makes a good government?

            I’ve came to the conclusion that limited government is not a construct of people with a pen and a constitutional convention mandate. Its the quality of people (Shockers Morality). If the people accept tyrannical government in their heart then they will be ruled over by any government, on the other hand if the people overthow illicit and ugly government in their hearts then a limited government will survive for a limited while. The problem is that we have a society of non rock the boaters, people that accept that might makes right. In such a country then nothing will stop evil government from chaining the people it was meant to protect.

            We could annihilate our current government,start over with the basics and in 4 years we’d be back to tyranny. Simply because of the quality of people called citizen today. What took tyranny 200 years to finally become normal in people’s hearts would take 4 years to recomplete.

            The only thing I see that will cause people to re-evaluate morality (truth) is economic collapse. Politics will not reset, only good hard truth and cause and effect will. Right now the people in charge already know their goose is cooked, simply because the bankruptcy of mismanagement is apparent. With hard times people will be forced to re-evaluate what is true again.

            However I seriously doubt any of them will give up their 3 branch government or embrace anarchy. The model is too self feeding and the participants to nostalgic to what they already know. This BTW is the same problem I make for people’s lack of imagination harnessing power… Most people just can’t think outside of the box.


          • Hot Rod, you mentioned the Christian belief that men are all sinners. Lew Rockwell posted a very good interview a couple of days ago with a Roman Catholic lawyer from Missouri who had an interesting interpretation of Romans 13, which Christians incessantly cite as a command by the Almighty to obey anybody who claims to be in charge, anytime, anywhere. He believes that the Apostle Paul, when he says we should give respect where respect is due, pay taxes to whom taxes are due, etc., is actually mocking the state, since the sinners who constitute the government obviously are scoundrels who are due nothing!

          • I have seen the interpretation elsewhere that the letter was simply a way of mocking the state and/or communicating an indirect message in a time of state oppression. It makes sense to me.

            However, even if it were literal, it could be discarded since we have the teachings of Jesus to go by, which are inherently anti-state and anti-banker, opposing the state’s welfare and warfare.

          • Roland and BrentP,

            Could very well be a sarcasm and inverted message by Paul to his followers. As another Lew Rockwell article pointed out that Jesus said to give to Cesar what is Cesar’s and give to God what is his, and yet everything is of God and/or belongs and is of God so Jesus answer of what morally belongs to Cesar is Zippo. This follows through logic, which many people lack. Further many people lack imagination to know that a parable is not a real story necessarily (could be), but a story to convey a hidden and more deeper understanding. In my opinion God speaks more clearer the closer to it you become, it is immense and infinitude power and knowledge. We are but a subset of its infinite math set. BTW, the old testament seems to believe that anarchism is the proper, natural, and righteous order of man to it (God). And then there is Paul.

            Now I can’t judge Paul. I don’t know whether Paul was enlightened and changed from wicked Saul by God himself to an apostle of Christ to lead Christianity. Maybe a baby Christianity of semi-violence embracing kings/emperors/big government/taxes was needed to convert the warrior pegan roman Constatine (and thus Europeans) into a follower of Christ, and Paul filled that roll with honor of God. Or maybe Paul had to speak in intonation and sarcasm to his real followers to avoid the Cesar death penalty. But one thing I cannot understand is if you have the source and you have a paraphrase of a source by another, which do you quote? Most churches I’ve been to spend 75% of their time conveying the paraphraser instead of the source. You see the source could raise a church on the fields of a desert, and feed the multitudes with one loaf. And the paraphrase needed the tithing of church and founded its conception. The churches in the image of the paraphraser need Paul’s teaching more than Christ, though they happily seam the two parts together in a way Frankenstein couldn’t be sewed together.

            And the reason I identify with Christianity and not Paulianity is because I understand the source and that of the paraphraser. And the two have many discrepancies that are obvious to mere mortals (or should I say followers of Christ) with any bit of open mind. The source and the paraphraser, its really our choice as citizens of God really. And maybe for some they don’t have to choose as they are the same, but for me the distinction is strikingly different and so to is the message. So I’ll seperate the fruit based on the tree.

            And as far as the AntiChrist coming? I believe that he has already came as the book of Daniel

            “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there will be 1,290 days (about 3.5 years) “.
            (Daniel 12:11)

            Even Christ on his last supper said that the Anti-Christ was already there to subvert his message. He speaks of near urgency prior to his crucification. In other words a really bad dude was about to sit in the throne of Jesus fairly quickly and make ludicrous statements as if he was the lord to the fill the unfillable vaccum of a teacher messiah.

            For me I’m also do not think Jesus is all of God. I think Jesus is lord of men. And a lord is different than the king in what way? Think landlord or local ruler and something bigger he is subset in (God). This differs quite significantly with most Christians who believe that Jesus was an holographic image of God to give God a face and is one and whole with him. But to me it seems obvious that the Lord on the cross was speaking to a God and not himself. Personally the beauty of Christ’s words and power of his thoughts (which are immense) cannot be reinterpreted by mere mortals like me and Paul. Though I do believe that Jesus or Yeshua was also human, I think he was the messiah, lord (local ruler), and son of God (meaning from God but not God). But that is my opinion. And I’d me more than happy to have a lord like Jesus as he is demonstrated in the Bible, and not so happy to see Apostle Paul in his place.

            I realize that many of you as full church following members of Christ are going to find my word offensive, and keep in mind I’m not pretending that I’m God making these proclamation. I’m just a son of God observing what to me seems fairly obvious to anyone that has questioned some major discrepancies in two similar but different teachings.

            Finally, I don’t like how Apostle Paul capped off anyone else coming to teach of God with threats near the end of his teachings. I think thoughts and beliefs like that cost truth seekers (people like Galileo also of God) their lives. God is so immense there is no way a man such as Paul could make a proclamation that what he presented was all of it (God). Once in a while I feel like having a drink of alcoholic wine (here’s mud in your face Paul) and also here is a toast to the finest messiah (messenger) to have given us answers beyond an eye for an eye. And more a toast for the massive intelligence of everything that exists in both substance and knowledge (God). Now you know why most Christians and Athiests alike do not like me, I’m too unconventional for the both of them. I don’t fit into the nice square and round holes.


        • A libertarian desire for small government does not mean no government. In a “perfect world” where free markets work without without monopolies or corruption, limited and honest governments are equally plausible.

          There is a role for such limited and honest government in the revival of the American economy. American workers needed a miracle to revive the manufacturing segment of the economy, the segment of the economy that can provide stable, well paying jobs for millions of skilled professionals and tradesmen. That miracle has occurred with the boom of natural gas and oil production from shale. Development of this energy cannot only provide millions of direct and indirect jobs, but also, if properly managed by good government policy, fuel a manufacturing renaissance. A secure supply of inexpensive domestic energy, and yes the protection of good manufacturing jobs through insistence on fair trade, not the mythical free trade of academics, can spark the rebuilding of an American economy left crippled by years of gutting by international bankers and there criminal partners in government.

          • The only way a truly free market can operate is in a society of voluntary action and association. You can call any sort of voluntary association a “government” if you care to, but the moment it becomes non voluntary, the freedom and the free market is lost.

            Freedom and “official” coercion/tax theft are mutually exclusive.

            Any time some people are given power to control and steal from other people, tyranny is the inevitable result. The level or amount of the control or theft is immaterial in the long run. There is no such thing as a “limited” involuntary government. Like a cancer, it will grow unless it is killed.

          • Dear Shocker,

            Twenty, nay, even ten years ago, I might have written nearly the same thing you just did.

            But unflinching, in depth analysis of the structural defects in “limited government” eventually compelled me to jettison “minarchism” altogether. Limited government is a theoretical as well as practical impossibility.

            The minimal amount of government in even the constitutional republican model, is already too much. It is akin to bacterium in an otherwise clean batch of food. It is not a question of whether it will ruin the entire batch, it is a question of when.

            You probably are not in a space where you can swallow this bitter pill right now. That’s fine. I wasn’t either 10, 20 years ago. Many on this fora have been there, done that.

            Just put what I said on the back burner and let it simmer. Each time something goes awry under “limited government,” recall what I said.

            Check out this classic article too.

          • Dear ML,

            I agree.

            Funny how Rand, who was right when she said one could not compromise between food and poison, insisted that a little bit of poison (government) had to be tolerated in a socio-economic system.

            She used to admonish others to “Check your premises!”

            She failed to check her premises when it came to minarchism vs. anarchism.

          • I no longer dream of utopias or contemplate perfect societies, I simply want to “bend the curve”.

            Large majorities of the population have been dumbed down by public education, become dependents of the state through socialist wealth redistribution and made amoral by popular culture. The no government, free market utopia you seek requires an independent, well educated, moral population which simply does not exist, nor may it ever have existed.

            Libertarians must come down out of the ivory tower of academic philosophies and the fiction of Rand and play in the real world. Improvements can be made, focus on what is possible.

          • TheShocker: Oh, puhleeze. Anarcho-libertarians do not yearn for “utopia.” We know that humans are imperfect. But we understand that when you give some imperfect humans a monopoly on the use of force, you make things worse, not better. What special pool of spotless, selfless angels do you propose we draw our rulers from?

          • Shocker, did you ever ask where that school system came from and why it dumbs people down? It was intentional by the people who control and influence the state.

            Government is a tool everyone from busy body control freaks to well meaning useful idiots all the way up to devious wealthy men who want to create their vision of the world use to exploit everyone else.

            I don’t know how you propose to keep that tool around and not have all the horrors it brings both short and long term. No statist can ever get further than ‘if just the right people ran things’. They can’t tell me how they will get ‘just the right people’ through popularity contests.

            I have noticed that among statists the popularity contests are losing their luster. I am seeing calls for Obama to be a strong dictator. Ok they don’t say that they say he should by-pass congress with executive orders to ‘get things done’, but that’s how dictatorial fascism starts. It starts with a strong executive who gets things done by doing away with pesky things like a legislative body. Another aspect that is getting traction comes right out of 1930s eugenics and wealthy elite’s desire of how to run the planet. Rule by experts. Experts which they control of course, state intellectuals.

            The first step to work towards an independent, educated, and moral population is undo the damage of the last 100 years of statism, which starts with not accepting the conditions it created as a given. That’s how those who wield the state did it. They create a problem using government then convince everyone that government can solve it.

          • I agree with much of what is said here. I differ in that I believe there is a role for limited government. Libertarian ideas of free markets, non-aggression and individual sovereignty sound great, but when confronted by a world of scarcity, greed and violence, government becomes necessary to enforce a framework of laws and conduct. Like socialism, anarchy fails wherever it’s tried.

            Granted the leviathan state as it exists today is anti-liberty, anti-freedom, and anti-free market, but given human frailties, I see little alternative to regulated capitalism within some type of limited government to avert chaos.

          • Dear Shocker,

            No market anarchist I know of imagines that everything will suddenly, magically be better under market anarchism.

            Market anarchism is far more modest in its expectations. I for one, will be happy merely to be rid of the brute force coercion that is the bottom line for every minarchist system ever proposed — even constitutional republics, the “least bad” minarchist system in human history.

            If I’m left free to muddle through, without brute force coercion from the monopolistic state, that will be enough for me.

            Unless you define even that as “utopian,” then no, not “utopian.”

  16. I have a serious question about the battery packs in hybrid cars. Eventually, the batteries won’t be able to hold a charge, right? And if so, what are the economics of replacing the batteries vs. operating the hybrid with the dead-weight of the spent batteries vs. replacing the whole car, net of any FRN’s recouped when the battery-impotent hybrid is re-sold, exclusive of environmental costs for battery disposal? Does a hybrid, sans functional battery, have any value?

    • Robert: I coulda swore (but of course I could be wrong) I heard that a Prius battery pack is on the order of $4500. Essentially, is is like getting a new engine for your car. (I know, I spent $4500 repowering my S-10 about 4yrs ago….)

      Hmmm, could you bypass the hybrid system in a Prius? I’d have to believe someone in this world has…

    • Hi Robert,

      I’m not sure it’s even possible to run the car without the battery/motor side of the hybrid drivetrain operating. I suspect the car’s computer would put the thing into “limp home” mode. At the least, you’d be driving a car with abysmal performance – and poor economy. Remember: The gas engine in these vehicles is smaller (and less powerful) than would otherwise be the case. They’re assisted by the batteries/electric motor. That away that assist and you’d have an over-worked and severely under-powered car!

  17. When I had my first house built in the mid-1980s, there were huge tax credits for solar heating systems. The countryside was crawling with salesmen begging to install an array of ugly collectors on your roof with the promise of low, low utility bills and big tax refunds. One of them found me, and gave me a quote of $15,000 for a system to heat my small house-to-be. If I remember correctly I would have got about half of that back as a tax credit. I told the loan officer about this and he said something like, “Are you nuts, fifteen thousand dollars? The whole house is only $58,000!” As it turned out I sold the house a few years later, so I would not have come close to recovering even the net cost if I had taken the bait. By then the tax credits had gone away, as had every one of those solar companies.

  18. These electric vehicles may not be competitive because fossil fuels are still economically available to power vehicles that require gas and oil. If the corporations that produce and market oil products can short their inventories and cut down on production, making the costs of fuel-powered vehicles sufficiently high, these subsidized electric alternatives will become economically viable. If the corporations that control the oil supplies are interlocked with the corporations that provide electric vehicle transportation and both are functionally the government that regulates trade, the market shifts and we drive, if at all, the vehicles we’re offered.

    • Hi Lee,

      “If the corporations that produce and market oil products can short their inventories and cut down on production, making the costs of fuel-powered vehicles sufficiently high, these subsidized electric alternatives will become economically viable.”

      The problem then is that in that event, personal transportation will cease to be economically viable for other than the very affluent. Who else can afford to spend $30k-plus on a car? (Or artificially inflated – via manufactured scarcity, as per above – $8 a gallon gas?)

      We’ve grown accustomed to this – of hearing about people (average people) spending $30k (or more) on a car – but if you stop and think about it, it’s crazy – in economic terms. The typical family income in this country is about $60k, IIRC. Thus, a $30k car represents half their annual pre-tax income. Without even factoring in the unavoidable peripheral costs – mandatory insurance, taxes, etc. – this is an unsupportable burden.

      For an electric car to be mass-market viable in economic terms, it would have to be cost competitive in overall cost-to-own (purchase price and cost to operate) with a $17k standard (non-hybrid or electric) car.

      I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

      • Average salary in the 1970s was ~$7500. Average new car was what? ~$3500?

        I still think that with cars it’s the gains that that have been eaten as automakers have been largely able to cope, but there is no doubt government doesn’t intend for mundanes to drive in the future. The pressure will increase until automakers can no longer cope but have to go out of business or go upmarket.

        • IIRC, the typical new car loan in the ’70s was three or four years. It’s 5-6 now.

          Also, one must take into account mandatory insurance (wasn’t mandatory then) as well as confiscatory property taxes (where applicable).

          • And Eric, of course there are the features imposed by government in the name of safety. I doubt many people understand that the car companies love these, since they help to prevent new competitors from entering the market.

            • That’s another excellent observation, Roland.

              Very true.

              A start-up could not afford to rash test (throw away) a dozen or more cars just to make sure they comply with government edicts.

              “Safety” is just window dressing. It’s in fact a barrier to entry – and another way to squeeze money out of people.

          • There are all sorts of added burdens from the state.

            People don’t realize they are slaves so long as they can get the loans. Which of course bind them further.

  19. Hey Eric, or anybody else who can answer: What does “fuel” actually cost per mile to run one of these contraptions in the real world (with heater/air conditioner) compared to a conventional car? When my gasoline/diesel spending is reduced to zero after I buy one, how much does my electric bill go up?

    • Hi Roland,

      I’d like to know, too!

      It’s very hard for the end user to separate out what it costs to charge the car – for the same reason that figuring out what it costs to run the fridge is difficult.

      The meter reading indicates the electricity used during a given time period by the whole house. There’s no way (that I know of) to separate out what it took to “top off” a car like the Prius plug-in I had a few weeks ago. Even comparing month-to-month will only give you an approximate number because it’s damn near impossible to use exactly the same amount of electricity one month to the next.

      That said, I believe the current cost to charge is probably pretty low. However, whatever you save that way must be measured against what you had to pay up front. Also, there is the very real chance that they – TPTB – are going to impose new taxes (such as by miles you drive) on electric/hybrid cars, to make up for the lost motor fuels tax revenue – and also because it’s the perfect excuse to monitor (and control) when (and how far) we’re “allowed” to drive.

      • To expand on your last paragraph I think TPTB will pass a “road tax” for EV’s to “be fair” since the owners aren’t paying for gasoline, then, maybe a couple years down the road TPTB will expand the tax to all vehicles, gas, electric, horse drawn, anything with wheels. This way those of us who have no use for EV’s get to pay twice (but only till they can figure out how to get us to pay 3 times)

      • From Eric: “The meter reading indicates the electricity used during a given time period by the whole house.”

        That’s changing. Electric “Smart Meters” are being installed – you didn’t think your specific electric usage wouldn’t be spied on, did you? Probably connected to NSA.

        • But to actually read up on the full capabilities of the Home Area Network and reading the paper on identifying older devices by back EMF is a conspiracy theory!

    • Is it urban legend or is it true, that the lowest *total* carbon footprint (summing the cost to produce, fuel, repair, and dispose) over the entire lifespan of a vehicle goes to, like an F-250 diesel??? Yes, it only get 15mpg or so, but all the other factors put it less than these fancy green cars?

      Could be true… ‘Frinstance I know for sure I read a WaPo article that cited (over a 15yr period) the incandescent lightbulb was cheaper to operate than a CFL. (I’m stocked up BTW…)

      • Ok lets use some gobbermint logic here..

        We build an electric F250 and then throw a large diesel powered generator in the bed to power it. Now we get to clam the $7500 subsidy/write-off (whatever) to buy electric and we can all be green and proud of ourselves PLUS we can say that we don’t spend a dime on gas or contribute to global warming. On top of that we can use red dye diesel since the generator isn’t really powering the vehicle!

        Is that a FUCKED UP brilliant idea or what?
        (never mind don’t answer that).

        • Hey GW, just don’t make the mistake of filling up with the red stuff at the station where I get it for my farm and lawn equipment. It’s “biodiesel,” beloved by greenies and crony capitalist agribusiness types alike, and even with the road tax removed it’s almost as expensive as the highway-legal D-juice!

  20. Hey, I like the idea of living in a $600K house at someone else’s expense. Just so long as I don’t have to subsidize someone else.

    • Ross Nelson wrote, “Hey, I like the idea of living in a $600K house at someone else’s expense. “…

      Are you saying the makers of these electric cars are like squatters?
      Or politicians?
      Or do i repeat myself?

    • I don’t!

      The idea of living off others – especially off victims who can’t (legally) fight back – makes my skin creep.

      (And I know you were being facetious.)

  21. On a side note, I liked homers idea for the separated back seat so you don’t have to listen to your kids bitch and moan. And the multiple horns (because when you’re really mad, you can never find one). And the huge cup holders.

    I think I just like homers car.

  22. Is Elon Musk a crony vulture capitalist, and the enemy of all free individuals? Why is it that for every product America produces, countless others must be destroyed and prohibited?

    Is Elon Musk the Judas of our day, for destroying the independence of PayPal in return for 30 pieces of silver from the financial cartels? Who is responsible for seven billion people being unable to communicate rationally with each other through honest pricing due to the false money of central banks?

    Some tweets from the gilded cage of crony vulture capitalist Elon Musk:

    I am thinking of doing a movie “sequel” of sorts to Thank You for Smoking. That movie was about bad CO2 for individuals, this movies is about bad CO2 for the planet.

    It is worth reading Merchants of Doubt. The same people who tried to deny smoking deaths are denying climate change.

    Climate change should really be considered a centrist issue, as it affects everyone.

    I am not suggesting shutting down CO2 production, but rather to price in environmental cost and to shift to sustainable energy. Sorry for all the heavy stuff about climate change, but I really thought world would take action sooner. No time for subtlety. A carbon tax will lead to a better way.

    I’ve always admired Margaret Thatcher — she was tough, but sensible and fair, much like my English Nana.

    Alexander Hamilton was awesome

    • The theoretical basis for AGW or man-made climate change has never been formulated or even proven. They simply created a bunch of COMPUTER SIMULATIONS and said here is the evidence.

      It’s complete and utter nonsense.

      • Hi David,

        Yes, absolutely.

        Only, from a certain perspective, it’s not nonsense.

        From a political perspective – as a means of cowing the public and getting it to acquiesce to demands for an impoverished life in the name of “saving the planet” – it is very sensible indeed.

  23. Great article Eric. Just one point to nitpick. You mentioned “writeoff” in a negative light.

    ‘”Honda will claim some sort of government “write-off” – which will transfer the costs onto the backs of taxpayers that way’

    As libertarians, we should all be for as many wrtieoffs as possible. Writeoffs are not the same as tax “credits,” in that wiriteoffs merely shields some “income” from becoming taxable. Tax credits, on he other hand, are actaully taking money from some and giving to others.

    I understand the point – that costs are transferred, but we should all be for as many writeoffs as possible. Just because Honda may or may not get writeoffs to lower the amont of taxes they are responsible to pay does not mean we are footing the bill for it. Relatively – perhaps, but not directly.

    Instead of arguing that electric cars should not b provided these wrtieoffs, we should instread argue for all cars to get them. The less money in the “Revenue” side of Uncle Sam’s balance sheet, the better off we all are.



    • “Tax credits, on the other hand, are actually taking money from some and giving to others.”
      They are? I don’t think so. A credit for $7,500 reduces your tax liability by $7,500. It doesn’t raise anybody else’s. A deduction (which is what I assume we mean by “write-off”) only reduces by $7,500 the income you are reporting, which will reduce your tax liability by a smaller amount. Either way, some people are simply having less money forcefully taken from them by the evil IRS to be used to make their lives worse. At any rate, I agree with your suggestion: Give the same tax break to everybody who buys a car. Heck, give it to everybody, period.

      • Tax credits can be argued either way. Yes, that means that simply less will be stolen from a particular individual or company, but government is, unlike productivity, a zero sum game. Government isn’t going to spend less because of tax credits. Thus other people will pay. Maybe it will be children later or savings that get devalued.

        Tax credits also distort markets. It’s a way government can pick winners and losers. Tax A and don’t tax B. Who gets an advantage?

      • “A credit for $7,500 reduces your tax liability by $7,500. It doesn’t raise anybody else’s”

        Yep, that’s the way I view it as well. I remember when the idea was originally floated for “school vouchers”. The original idea was to give a tax credit voucher to any family paying for private school or homeschooling because that family wasn’t participating in the public school system and thus burdening others in order to get indoctrination/babysitting for their tads.

        Look at what the “school voucher” scheme amounts to now vs the original idea.

        • Here’s the problem, the government isn’t going to spend less because some people got tax credits. So indeed someone else is taxed in some way for a credit. Does that make taking a tax credit bad? Probably not, but it is fair to call many tax credits subsidies for certain choices.

    • That’s the deal though. Carrot and stick social engineering. You do what the elites want you to do (live with something that’s not as good) and they “reward” you by letting you keep more of your money.

      Nevermind that I was in Aspen yesterday and saw 2 Ferraris cruising highway 82 (one of which being piloted by a very attractive middle aged blond woman …possibly payoff for catching hubby with the secretary). Of course they get the “privilege’ of paying a gas guzzler tax, which just serves to make it even more elite, since fewer people will be able to buy them. And let’s not forget the fleet of hardened SUVs and limousines for the pres and his posse.


  24. And who the fuck would BUY a $20K battery pack? One would have to be critically stupid. Leasing a Fit EV would be a fun toy for $250 / month and you don’t have to own the friggin battery pack.

  25. I get a lot of flak on another site when I don’t join in their Musk worship and instead point out he’s just another member of the political insider corporate class. Their most recent article was about some hyper-loop pod transit pipe dream of his. I simply mocked it and demanded my own absurd transit idea paid for by others. This time, perhaps after being beaten intellectually the first few times they simply didn’t bother this time around. Then again mocking it rather than outright criticism might be a better tactic.

    I can’t take how human society worships social manipulators of the political class. How they create and then bow to so-called authorities. How they want to be led, told how to live, told what to do, even when they know better go along with cultural myths without so much as peep. There are so many things that most people know are total BS yet, they won’t say anything so they persist. If people just had the guts to say ‘this is BS’ it would go away.

    I know people are lazy and want others to do the work for them but in most cases it just results in them being exploited, ripped off, etc and so forth. Just create some cultural myth and make billions. Convince the people of its goodness and then have government mandate and subsidize. The people who see the scam will largely go along so they still have friends and get laid and so on and so forth. The scams don’t even have to be technically clever, just socially leveraged.

    Perhaps one day I’ll snap and just do what society rewards. People make it so easy to fleece them, it’s like why shouldn’t they be fleeced?

      • Dear Mith,

        Oh yeah, The Magnificent Seven.

        What a great flick.

        Couldn’t view the link you pasted in, but I know the film so well, I know exactly the scene you’re referring to.

        Calvera: If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

        • My father and his banker friend used to ask:

          “If the sheep come into your living room, are you not supposed to shear them?”

    • “I can’t take how human society worships social manipulators of the political class. How they create and then bow to so-called authorities. How they want to be led, told how to live, told what to do, even when they know better go along with cultural myths without so much as peep. There are so many things that most people know are total BS yet, they won’t say anything so they persist. If people just had the guts to say ‘this is BS’ it would go away. ”

      The people want freedom FROM choice, freedom FROM fear, freedom FROM responsibility.
      Normal Rockwell’s “4 freedoms” are perverted that way – freedom FROM want, fear, etc. No one seems able to deal with the fact that words have meanings, and we’ve accepted meanings so different from the words, that while we have “freedom”, it actually MEANS “Rigid, unyielding, unflinching obedience to Authority of “Dear Leader”.”

      Most people are too stupid to self-regulate anyway. Obesity, need for a “social safety net” or Social Security, etc. No ability nor willingness to plan for the future. (though with costs going ape-shit again – it’s now not really possible to plan appropriately regardless.)

      Might I suggest checking for some other excellent readings, especially today’s ( and August 5th’s (

      • “…Rigid, unyielding, unflinching obedience to Authority of “Dear Leader”.”

        Except that “Dear Leader” doesn’t have a clue, and has no actual power of his own to do much of anything. The Soviet system in Russia broke down as soon as the people realized that and did something about it – mostly ignoring the dictates and going on with their lives.

        The people with the real day to day power over our individual lives are a lot closer than Washington… The local tax collector, building inspector, police, and all the other bureaucrats right down town in your city. The various bureaucrats at every level who actually write the “rules” that have the full force of “law,” and who can mess with any individual they please at any time. These are accepted by most people where you live as some sort of “necessary evil.” Many are quick to condemn the president and the guys at the top, but that’s not where the power truly comes from.

        How many times has the POTUS come to your door to dictate anything? Never? Me too. And he won’t be coming around to “enforce” the new Unafordable healthcare scam either. Those who have willingly, or reluctantly, paid their “income tax” will have all the “enforcement” they can tolerate via the mandates where they work, and the USPS mail from the IRS, most likely. The question is, will they finally revolt when they learn they will not be getting any real health care out of the deal?

        To put a face on the tyranny, go downtown and visit city hall, a county commissioner’s meeting, a state legislature session. Ever notice that all the “park rangers” are now full militarized COPS? We’ve talked a lot about “cops” here, and most of them are our neighbors! They live where you do, and go to the same stores, churches and their children go to school with yours. And their neighbors actually do have the power to shun them, to take their own lives back from them.

        But they have far too many convinced that they can’t survive without control from “above” and what they’ve been taught as “their fair share” of the loot stolen from everyone. And they will continue to control and steal… just as long as we allow them to “own” us.

        Washington D.C. would return rapidly to its origin as a nasty smelling swamp if the people who bow down and pay the Danegeld to the city and county simply stopped doing so…

        • Great comments, MamaLiberty. I try to avoid all things political these days, but about a year ago I reluctantly attended a city park board meeting because a friend who wanted a new facility at a city park named after a dear departed friend thought that if enough of us showed up with her they would take her suggestion. It truly gave me the willies, starting with the Nazi-like pledge to the “indivisible” nation-state. Even in a town of about 12,000, the arrogance of the “public servants” was breathtaking.

    • “There are so many things that most people know are total BS yet, they won’t say anything so they persist.”
      “I know people are lazy and want others to do the work for them…”

      It’s funny because most people would say that they’re leaders and not followers. Yet as you point out, nobody wants to be the one to make a stand. I’ll at least admit that I’m generally a follower, except in a few/certain situations. Everyone just likes the idea of being the leadership type, but their actions, or lack thereof, reveal the obvious truth.

  26. The truly sad innovator is the engineer working for a defense contractor. When you see all the interesting ways people figure out how to kill other (brown, usually) people, I weep for society. Not just because of their inventions, but because of what they could have been spending their time developing had they not been lured into the military-industrial complex.

    Look at what’s on the horizon just with electricity: Wind power, conservation, “smart” grid operators shutting down your appliances when there’s not enough generating capacity… What the hell happened to us? Why are we going backward? The US of my father and grandfather would have simply increased supply to match the demand and we’d be done with it (likely using nuclear power). But we’re so pussyfied now that we not only accept going back to reliance on the whims of the Earth, we welcome it.

    Now imagine if those engineers stolen by the military were given the task of making effective hybrid automobiles. They are people who know about turbine engines (very powerful), lightweight materials manufacturing, safety, and even autonomous systems (self-driving, even if just on highways, should have been here by now). But because they never got that chance, we’ll never see what could be.

    And don’t get me started on the generation of elite computer programmers stolen by Wall Street for their flash trading algorithms…

    • I’ll believe in EV when the military starts converting to using Humvees, Drones and Tanks that are electric powered. Or is go-juice only for the use of the commissars?

        • Hey, if I could add a few zeros to my bank account every time I needed to fill up my gas tank, I’d probably not care either about the cost of driving something with a 1500 horsepower gas turbine engine.

          Speaking of which, has anyone floated the idea (more an excuse really) that the use of armed attack drones is part of a green initiative to cut military fuel consumption? I can really see some FedGov desk jockeying pinhead coming up with that one.

  27. A friend of mine is in the pilot program for the Mini/BMW full electric vehicles. He was given various cars to test as daily drivers for a one year period, every year they send him a new model and provide the home charging system for it. I was amazed that even the 3rd generation BMW (the 1st two were Mini’s) had the same basic limitations of electric vehicles from the early 1900’s (long charging time, short range). I personally think EV technology peaked at the electric golf cart. It makes you wonder what other 100+ yr old tech the feds will try to force down our throats next.

    • Batteries and motors don’t follow Moore’s law. Because cellphones get great gains in battery life with every generation we all think that everything else should, too. What people don’t realize is that the reason your phone gains battery life is because the microscopic traces between transistors get smaller and smaller with each chip, so less power is “wasted” traveling along the die. You can’t do that with a motor.

      Batteries are restrained by chemicals and cost. The latest and greatest is zinc-air, but to attempt to use them in an automobile at today’s prices would be ridiculous.

      • Batteries are chemistry.
        Chemistry really doesn’t change. There will be incremental improvements but batteries will always face the same problems.

        Maybe some day a battery will be atomically structured to solve them, but I don’t even think that’s going to work.

        Electric cars need zero point or some other equally exotic system that isn’t a battery. Such a breakthrough however will break the political status-quo. Thus it will be squashed faster than an actual cure for cancer.

        • Since batteries rely on moving electrons, and electrons aren’t really involved in atomic actions, how can a battery work that is “atomically structured”? Chemical reactions occur through restructuring of electron sharing between atoms. The only way to get power from nuclear reactions is to use the energy disappated to boil water or other higher level mechanical/thermal function to propel electrons. Spinning coils and magnets work but they have to be spun in some manner, usually with boiling water or the like. Chemical interactions can move electrons but that takes you back to a standard battery.

          • What is this? usenet?

            Structured on the atomic level by man. Tab a into slot b on the atomic level to make everything perfect for electron transfer.

          • Do nonsensical comments deserve nonsensical answers?

            Electrons are electrons. Electrons are involved in chemical reactions, not nuclear reactions. The one possibility would be to figure out how to change neutrons into protons at will and capture the beta particles released. But to make that a “battery” you would also need to be able to return the beta particles to return the neutrons back to protons. This may be doable but with the vast number of hurdles to be overcome it would be at best highly speculative science fiction.

            Now, if you can figure out how to build a zero point energy module the worries of the world would be solved.

          • Gebbus H…..



            “Imagine charging up the battery in your electric vehicle in five minutes, then accelerating rapidly to join traffic on the highway. That’s the vision of MIT scientists who are looking to speed up the flow of electricity into and out of rechargeable batteries. Their recent research findings provide atomic-level insights into what limits that flow — and why fabricating electrodes from nanoscale particles eases the problem.”

            Understand now?

          • The confusion arises from the imprecise use of the word “atomic”. When used as in your initial post it implies “nuclear” as opposed to “chemical” which is how all batteries currently worked. When used in the article put out by the media department at MIT it is referring to crystalline structures which are nominally “atomic”, but not “nuclear”. Electron flow is still and always has been (to date, who knows what science fiction will bring us) a chemical phenomenon. Crystalline structures are of the scale of the chemical, not the nuclear. They don’t involve manipulation of protons and neutrons but of entire atoms.

            Perhaps more care needs to used in the wording for these efforts. Even chemical reactions can be called “atomic” as they involve complete atoms being rearranged to form different compounds. But that just means you are using two words to describe one phenomenon leading to confusion and redundancy.

          • Perhaps you’d be better off not slicing so thin and losing context.

            I wrote: “atomically structured”
            MIT used: “atomic-scale structure”

            1. Of or relating to an atom or atoms.
            2. Of or employing nuclear energy:

            My wording of “atomically structured” is just fine. In plain ordinary English it means structure relating to atoms, an atomic level (or scale) structure.

            Go play ‘gotcha’ with someone else.

        • Dear Brent,

          Exactly right.

          Battery technology, at least as we define the term “battery” currently, is pretty much maxed out, at an output level that is simply inadequate.

          A vehicle driven by electric motors is not a bad thing per se. The mistake is supplying the electricity using batteries.

          What’s needed is a far less limited source of electrical energy to drive the motors, small and light enough to be installed in the vehicle. Something far more advanced. Something we unfortunately don’t have at the moment.

          Something like John Galt’s motor, or failing that, something like a miniature reactor, fission or fusion, that can crank out all the energy one would ever need for long distance travel.

          As long as we keep falling back on batteries, at least as the term “battery” is currently defined, we are barking up the wrong tree.

          As a old Chinese expression puts it, that is “yuan mu qiu yu” (searching for a fish up in a tree).

    • I’ve driven all the electric cars made since the 1990s – including the EV1/Impact. Every one of them was an expensive, impractical toy.

      The Tesla looks great – and is very quick. But these considerations are irrelevant when the main (supposed) objective is to build a car that’s less expensive to own/operate than an otherwise equivalent car. What sort of imbecile spends $100k to own a Tesla when for $40,000 less they could have bought a just-as-nice (and longer-legged) BMW 5?

      Same goes for the Volt. It can go 35 miles on the batteries? Hey, great. But if I can buy a Camry for $15,000 less, who gives a damn?


      • Why would anyone wants a car with more than eight cylinders for that matter? Or why do people pay big buck for, say, luxury cars when down-to-earth cars also exist that can deliver much the same performance? For example, the Lotus Evora is a glorified V6 camry as it uses a standard Toyota V6 engine the body may fancier but to the point it justifies the difference in expense? Using pure logic would everyone driving 4-cylinder cars for maximum monetary value and economic fuel consumption.

        • Clover,

          The issue isn’t “want.” It’s whether it’s acceptable to force you (or me) to pay for someone else’s wants. If people want electric cars, fine – let them buy them. But don’t force anyone to subsidize the purchase. Or the manufacture of the cars themselves.

          I’ve explained the distinction to you many times before – the difference between free exchange and coercive redistribution. It’s a simple thing, yet something you’re either not smart enough to understand or too intellectually dishonest to acknowledge.

          • Your previous argument was that no one in their right mind would own a Telsa Roadster not playing the consent card. The Model S version has acceleration in the 12-cyilnder performance range.

            • Actually, Clover, the base model Tesla’s 0-60 time is 6.5 seconds. About what a current (and $22k) V-6 Mustang can do. Not slow – but nothing special, either. Certainly not “in the V-12 range” (i.e., exotic high-performance) which would be in the high 3 second range.

              This car costs $60,00 by the way.

              Now, the top-of-the-line Tesla model does get to 60 in 4.4 seconds. But, it also costs six figures. A BMW M5 is quicker (4.2 seconds) and costs much less. It is also capable of maintaining much higher speeds.

              The BMW can accelerate to 60 in 4.2 seconds as many times as you like – and be driven as fast you like – without leaving you stuck for an hour (hours) recharging.

              The Tesla, meanwhile, can only accelerate from rest to 60 at its maximum potential a couple of times before you’ve begun to seriously run down the battery pack – and cripple its already limited range. Drive it even 70 MPH for any length of time – and your range will plummet to 100 miles or less. Unlike the BMW – which can be refueled in 5 minutes – the Tesla takes at least an hour. If you can find a “fast charger.” If not, it will be several hours.


              So, on performance, it is inferior to cars that cost less.

              Much less.

              And in terms of economics, it’s a loser. It is more expensive to own/operate than an otherwise similar non-electric car.

              So, tell me:

              What is the point of an electric car that costs more to own/operate than a conventional car – and which is inferior in terms of performance/capability?

              How about it, Clover?

          • Perhaps it will become a trolling sport to get Tesla drivers to engage in a little stop light acceleration…. do a few times and then they’ll be stuck at the side of the road 😉

          • Most stats seems to put the BMW in the 5 or so seconds for 0-60 time. Nonetheless anyone shelling $100,000+ for any car can’t justify it on a purely economic level. You could get a good near-new V8 sports car for a quarter of the price if you’re in it for the performance.

            • I said M5, Clover. The high-performance version of the BMW 5.

              “anyone shelling $100,000+ for any car can’t justify it on a purely economic level…”

              Thank you for conceding that point.

              Now then, given the Tesla is also slower and has significant functional limitations that impose hassles on the owner (e.g., if driven faster than a Prius, the performance collapses along with the range and forces the owner to stop for a lengthy recharge) why would any person buy one absent subsidies and political motivations?

              My point stands: Tesla would not be building any cars absent subsidies and politics.

          • Eric great article on short circuiting the market. Very clever and true. I especially like the Homer mobile (lol). Nothing makes me madder than seeing those autocratic get togethers of the EU / US G10 summits. Well if only we have came full circle from Adam Smith, to the economic macro wizards.

          • Actually more like half circle, 180 degrees out. Unless of course full circle is before Adam Smith. The invisible hand has been replaced by our elite who know better for us.

        • Well, Clover, I very much want a 440-powered Jensen Interceptor. Also a DeTomaso Pantera. But unlike Elon Musk, I don’t expect anyone else to “help” me acquire one.

        • Nobody has a problem with anyone who wants to pay for their own choices themselves.

          The problem comes when people decide what they think is a good idea should be subsidized by the population at large.

          • Racing a Tesla
            in San Dago Colliefornya is only $30 per race. It’s only $10 to watch. Get a can of O’Doul’s for $8 a can and a pack of candy cigarettes for $15. Enjoy your freedom trifecta responsibly!

  , the safer and sanctioned track alternative to illegal street racing, was developed with one goal in mind. Saving the needless loss of young lives to an illegal street race gone bad is RaceLegal’s mantra. To that end we have been remarkably effective. The concept was one of providing a youth oriented environment in a neutral and centrally located location where we could replicate a street environment, but with safer and sanctioned conditions that insured the safety of our racers and their fans. The underpinning is one of skillfully redirecting illegal street racing behavior to the safer and officially sanctioned sport of drag racing in a youth oriented setting. As sated above, the results are impressive.

            Most communities view illegal street racing activity solely from a law enforcement perspective. In San Dago we choose to view this high risk behavior as a broader public health and safety issue. With that concept in mind we developed a comprehensive community based solution entitled “Closing the Loop on Illegal Street Racing.”

            The “Closing the Loop” approach to intervention is comprehensive, across the board and accomplished with a spirit of cooperation between all agencies involved. The community realized early on that we were not likely to significantly impact this high risk behavior without the combined and committed effort of rigorous law enforcement, consistent adjudication, meaningful probation and a user friendly track alternative like RaceLegal.

            The results in the appropriate direction are unprecedented and a testament to what a community in unison can accomplish. Using federal funding, we provide a minimum of 12 annual safer and sanctioned track alternative to illegal street racing “events” at San Dago’s Qualcomm Stadium.
            Continue to serve as an integral aspect of San Dago’s “Closing the Loop” approach to intervention as it relates to the incidence of illegal street racing in our community.
            Continue to organize the San Dago community via the techniques of social networking, media advocacy and creative epidemiology in an effort to maintain high level community awareness of the incidence local illegal street racing activity, driving unbuckled and ’0′ tolerance as it relates to drinking and driving.

            – Brought to you by Lil Kim Jon UN People’s World Motorsports

      • Eric:

        Don’t know much about ‘rithmatic, don’t know much about electric cars either. Chemistry ain’t my beat, never was. Too much thinking I guess or the wrong side of the brain. But I do know what a clover is and there are a load of them. There is much I know about political theory and communism is just that, a theory. Practice will never make perfect what is illogical. Seems politicians are only theories too and are horribly illogical.
        An electric car is a good idea but for that money, ha, I’d walk or take the bus. Too many years spent on a fantasy. Too many years telling us suckers to fork over the dough for their illogic. An electric car like a PC? Plug and play! Never in my lifetime!
        In other words, excellent article. Have read from many of your postings and thoroughly enjoy. Keep educating.

        • Thanks, Philip!

          Rather than obsess about what might be done with an electric car, why not do what we know could easily (and cheaply) be done using a lightweight chassis and modern gas (and diesel) engine technology?

          In a 1,600 lb. car, a 1-1.5 liter gas or diesel engine could deliver acceptable performance – and phenomenal mileage. It could also be done for less than $20,000 – without subsidies, at an honest profit for the manufacturer.


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