Now Uncle is “Investing” in Tesla

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Elon Musk may be the ultimate crony capitalist – the PT Barnum of our time.Barnum lead

But to give PT his due, he was an honest con man.

He never used the government to make his marks hand over their money. People stepped right up without a bayonet in their backs.

Elon, on the other hand, depends entirely on the coercive power of government to line his pockets. Take that away and Musk goes away.

Unfortunately, he’s not going away. He’s going deeper.

Automotive News reports that Musk is not only fleecing taxpayers via multi-tiered subsidies for his electric turduckens. That’s old news.

Here’s the latest news:

The Michigan Department of Treasury has bought (with funds fleeced from taxpayers) 339,623 shares of Tesla stock – the proceeds of this “investment” (if there ever are any) to be used to fund the pensions of retired state workers.

Priceless.

The small termites helping feed the queen – so to speak.

The stock buy amounts to another $72 million in wealth transfer from the taxpayers to Tesla. That’s how one becomes a billionaire in crony capitalist America.Elon Musk

But the small termites – the retired government workers – might not like the return on this particular “investment.”

Tesla takes in lots of money, but doesn’t make very much of it. The operation depends entirely on the IV drip of wealth transfer via multi-level mulcting of the American taxpayer.

Tesla doesn’t sell cars, for instance. It gives those away.

It sells primarily carbon credits  – a little-known scam the media rarely (if ever) mentions during Fan Boy coverage of Musk and his economically preposterous, functionally ridiculous but very politically correct electric cars.

What’s a “carbon credit”?

It’s a chit “sold” to a real car company – one that makes cars that don’t need multi-tiered subsidies to attract buyers. The credits are used to offset the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandates in states like California, where the automaker is legally obliged to sell a certain number of “zero emissions” vehicles each year in order to be allowed to sell any vehicles that year. (This could rise to 15 percent of all new cars sold; see here.)

Only electric vehicles – which produce their emissions elsewhere – meet this ZEV mandate.

The problem is electric vehicles don’t sell.leafs sitting

Nissan has fleets of all-electric Leafs it can’t give away. The VW eGolf might as well come standard with a fresh cow pie on the dashboard.

Even Toyota has had a hard time finding people willing to buy the plug-in version of its otherwise popular Prius hybrid – which isn’t even a full-on electric car.

They are too expensive – and come standard with too many hassles. And so, they sit.

This is embarrassing.

In order to avoid the embarrassment (and carrying cost) of parking lots full of shiny new electric lawn ornaments, the real car companies are effectively forced to buy carbon credits from Musk, whose entire operation qualifies as “zero emissions.” It’s a form of extortion.

This is how Musk makes billions.

The government imposes a mandate, legislating a “market” for something that would otherwise have no chance of surviving in the real market. Crony capitalists like Musk then cash in, providing whatever it is the government has mandated.crony capitalism

What could be better – from the crony capitalist’s viewpoint – than having the government force others to buy what you have to sell? It’s despicable, but very profitable. Just ask the insurance mafia.

The carbon credits are not directly bought by taxpayers, it’s true. But because the real car companies are forced to buy them (it’s either that or  build – and then give away at a huge loss – a fleet of “zero emissions” electric vehicles) they do so… and then pass along the bill to the taxpayer, in the form of higher prices.

Either way, Musk pockets the difference.

And now he’s got state governments funding him on the back end, too.

Buying stock in his operation.carny

Which is a slick move – you’ve got to hand it to ol’ Elon – because it further beds him down with the state and its legions of ever-dependent (even in retirement) “workers.” Tens of thousands (possibly, hundreds of thousands) of very politically active – very unionized – government retirees who are now vested in Tesla. Plus the legions of current “workers” – whose future checks will depend, in part, on the profitability of Tesla.

Times California and other states that have also bedded down with Elon.

It makes it very hard to imagine ever getting rid of Elon.

The problem – channeling the ghost of Margaret Thatcher – is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money. When that happens, the checks begin to bounce.

But by then, Elon will be long gone.

Just like our dollars.

Step right up!

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151 COMMENTS

  1. BTW, Clovers, Electric mass-transit was tried nationwide in virtually every city in the USA, at govt. expense, no less. Guess what? It lasted less than 4 decades because after WW2, most of the public could afford their own “inferior internal combustion engine”, and the not-so-inferior limitless opportunities that came with it? So, Clover, why don’t YOU research more about this country that was conquered with the Model-T, and stop living in your little “Futurama Bubble”?
    You talk like one of the boneless fat-asses in the cartoon film WALL-E.

    • The left has created all sorts of “conspiracies” why mass transit died. Actually up through the 1940s the transit was still largely private companies. But in order to have right of way these private companies had contracts with government. What happened of course was inflation, politics, and competitive technology. Now our dear leftists will make the automobile and its manufacturers out to be evil but what really killed transit was the government deals.

      The companies were basically forced to operate at a loss. Forced to operate unprofitable routes. Forced into costs like maintaining roads (street cars). Forced to maintain unrealistically low fares. Stuck using high cost equipment. They were bankrupted and government took over.

      Transit has lots of advantages in big cities and if we had free markets privately operated transit would be a very viable business.

      • Dear Brent,

        Agree.

        Some fellow libertarians tend to oversimplify the private automobile vs. mass transportation dichotomy somewhat.

        The oversimplified equation is:

        private auto = freedom
        mass transportation = collectivism

        It is true that many collectivist think in these terms and want to eliminate the private automobile for just this reason. They’re trying to make off grid living illegal as well, for the very same motives.

        But that does not mean that in a free market anarchist society, there would be NO mass transportation whatsoever.

        There would probably be a sensible mix. Mass transport dominant in congested CBDs, and private automobiles dominant in the suburban and rural regions.

        All of this would be through voluntary contractual means. No violations of the NAP.

      • I agree, Brent. I remember driving over old trolley line rails still in the roadbed in the streets of Richmond back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Eventually overpopulation will put an end to the motoring public as we know it here. Either that or we will be looking alot like Asia and India out there on the streets like swarming ants. Meanwhile our lovely beauraucracts (jesus I hate try to spell that word) will just keep on masturbating and legislating us to death over pointless shit like”green cars”, and enviro-friendly energy consumption bullshit.

  2. Hey…..get “Dimwit” to tell us where all the free, enviro-friendly electricity is going to come from for everyones EV! May he can figure a way to just download it from the “cloud”, hahahahahaha!

  3. It appears that Gregory/Clover is too busy waving his “technology” flag to hear anyone else here. What sheeple like him will never accept is that they are being fleeced. The day he sits in his self-sustaining EV and travels where we wishes with his little thumbs texting away as the EV drives for him, is a crack-pipe dream. Why? Because he won’t be going where he wants to go, but where Uncle tells him he may, or must, or must not. The IC motor’s astounding and enduring success is primarily for one major reason………it gave virtually any and all individuals the freedom to travel anywhere, anytime, without help or permission from anyone. This used to be of intrinsic value to most Americans 5 years ago. But sheeple do not like true independence, nor the responsibilities that go with it. The sheeple begged for Govt Healthcare, and we got mandatory health insurance rammed up our asses instead! Sheeple don’t care; hell, they live to be ass-fucked and shorn once a year, or more if they can get it! Just so long as they get the Govt assisted techno-goodies. They will wavw any flag, march any goose-step, throw away any and all civil liberties, theirs and yours, to get that milk-bone treat!

    • Ooops, that was supposed to read “50 years ago”……..I knew this country was fucked the day my 1st ex-wife was dancing around the house alternately sing the “Virginia Lottery Song” and that insipid Springsteen “God Bless the USA” propaganda crap-song in the early 1990’s. I had early suspicions in 1981 with the early stages of Political Correctness crap. It’s like cudzu; it looks pretty, and uniform, and it strangles everything else to death!

      • Hi gtc,

        “Born down in a dead man’s town
        The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
        End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
        Till you spend half your life just covering up

        Got in a little hometown jam
        So they put a rifle in my hand
        Sent me off to a foreign land
        To go and kill the yellow man”

        It is interesting that “Born in the USA” is almost universally considered to be a jingoistic tribute to America. The above lyrics show that it is not. He wrote a simple folk, protest song but delivered it as a chest thumping, stadium anthem. I suspect that he intended to draw people in with the style and then challenge their expectations with the lyrics.

        Jeremy

        • @Jeremy

          You’re right regarding Springsteen’s song and it’s original intent. But Ol’ Bruce is now as statist as they come. I remember him playing a rally in Madison, WI during Obama’s last campaign (he played other stops as well if I recall). I just happened to be in town fighting a speeding ticket and walked up to check out all the statist propaganda going on. I was able to get close enough to hear his “you rah-rah” spiel before going into his next song. Of course everyone ate it up like hotcakes.

            • And of course, who can forget Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to an American”, with its laughably warped understanding of the nature of rights, freedom, and patriotism?

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox4IRQVGsBU

              If tomorrow all the things were gone,
              I’d worked for all my life.
              And I had to start again,
              with just my children and my wife.

              I’d thank my lucky stars,
              to be livin here today.
              ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
              and they can’t take that away.

              And I’m proud to be an American,
              where at least I know I’m free.
              And I won’t forget the men who died,
              who gave that right to me.

              And I gladly stand up,
              next to you and defend her still today.
              ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
              God bless the USA.

              From the lakes of Minnesota,
              to the hills of Tennessee.
              Across the plains of Texas,
              From sea to shining sea.

              From Detroit down to Houston,
              and New York to L.A.
              Well there’s pride in every American heart,
              and its time we stand and say.

              That I’m proud to be an American,
              where at least I know I’m free.
              And I won’t forget the men who died,
              who gave that right to me.

              And I gladly stand up,
              next to you and defend her still today.
              ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
              God bless the USA.

              • Ooops…. I had commented earlier in the wee morning hours about this insipid song, but I had attributed it to Springsteen, who’s ballad-crap I also intensly don’t identify with. Funny that all this self-serving flag waving shit came about with the Gulf-War, and right after the Dustin Hoffman film “Wag the Dog”. Coincidence? I think not.

              • Hi Bevin,

                My rewrite:

                If tomorrow all the Pols were gone, I’d worked for all my life
                Then I could start again with just my children and my wife
                I’d thank my lucky stars to be living free today,
                “Cause the flag don’t stand for freedom, no matter what they say

                But I’m proud to be an American, where at least I’m told I’m free
                And that I control my government because we got “Democracy”
                So won’t you stand up next to me, just vote it’ll be OK
                ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt they stole this land, God Damn the USA

                From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
                across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

                From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
                Well, there’s fear in every American heart,
                and it’s time to stand and say:

                I’m not proud to be an American, where I get to pledge fealty
                To the ruthless scum who rule by lies, who stole my life from me
                And I’ll no more stand up next to you and vote, it’s not OK.
                “Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Damn the USA.

                Jeremy

              • I have to admit to being a soldier stationed in South Korea during the time of Greenwoods first release (I think) of that song, and I really loved it!!!! We overseas GI’s during that time could only access government-approved English-speaking TV channels in the late “80’s, and we suspected that we were seeing a video not available to Americans on the Mainland.
                You see: The public supposedly had just learned that the news media had been dishonest about the brutality of Vietnam Soldiers in the war that took place a decade earlier. There supposedly were widespread occurrences of returning soldiers being spit upon and called ‘baby killers’ by hippies in the past, and Americans pretended to regret that.
                During the years that I was a statist, I actually was an Anarchist who thought that I misunderstood society somehow, so I labored at pretending to be ‘normal’.
                Now: that song nearly makes me puke!

  4. I thought we were supposed to separate state from religion here in the land of the free.

    I supposed this doesn’t apply to Tesla?

    • Nor to Muslims, nor Progressives.
      Anything that gives “them” more power and justification is good. E.G., Islam (unification of Church and State with crippling taxes for everyone not of the Faith – intended to induce slavery in outsiders & conquered peoples).
      Also, Progressives, who worship the state AS God. If a man puts people in an over and cooks them, he’s a monster. If the State does it, provided it’s not the “Religious Right” Nazis*, that’s just “re-education.”
      *: As the regulars know, Religious Right is a misnomer; the Nazis were National Socialists; Nazis weren’t religious, per se.

      Stumbled on an interesting book this morning, haven’t gotten to read it – but for $1 it’ll be interesting. “Fistfights with Muslims in Europe: One man’s Journey through Modernity.”
      https://smile.amazon.com/Fistfights-Muslims-Europe-Journey-Modernity-ebook/dp/B01B2FNUI0/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YKMN9ZHAZD1WZVSVEYFN

      I’ll let you know what I find…

    • If this happened to a Ford or Toyota… there’d be an eruption of media coverage, inquisitorial howls about the car not being saaaaaaafe!

      But because it is a politically correct electric car, no one says nuffins!

  5. “The problem is electric vehicles don’t sell.”Clover

    400 thousand reservations for a long range electric Tesla 3, pure consumer demand (more than Mercedes, segment leader, sells C-class within a year). You call that “not selling”? Have you heard about recent Mercedes investments? Have you heard about LG and Panasonic shifts into more battery production for EVs? LG just cancelled a big deal for oil production, because it decided to invest the funds into electric.

    EVs are the future and they would be even without government subsidies. They will become cheaper and cheaper and less exepensive just like any other electronic equipment, because the battery is the biggest part of its cost – and it will become much much cheaper within few years.
    To hell with combustion engines. Welcome Silicon Valley.

    I suggest you to get used to it.

    • Gregory,

      “Reservations” aren’t sales. And if the cars are subsidized and sold at a loss, it’s not economically sustainable.

      You say batteries will get cheaper. I have been hearing this for 40 years. It’s been a work-in-progress for more than 100 years.

      They are still very expensive. Far too expensive to be economically viable.

      Maybe you are a rich government worker who can afford to spend $35,000-$100,000-plus on an electric car. Most people can’t afford that. And even those that can – if they do the math – are buying the car for reasons that have nothing to do with saving money.

      Maybe, like you, they find the Tesla attractive. Or they like the idea of being “green.”

      But these are expensive indulgences, nonetheless – not economical or practical alternatives to a car with an IC engine.

      If they are as fabulous as you seem to think, then why can’t they succeed on their merits? Why the need for seemingly endless government “help”?

      • Sorry, but batteries are getting cheaper really and stronger. Ion-lithium revolution is here. You heard for the last 40 years what? What type of batteries they were? Who told you what? What was the distance? 60 miles? Give me a break, we are talking about a break even point, where it is beneficial to drive electric, because range is over 200 miles plus supercharging in 20 minutes. In couple of years this will be 400 miles. Whoever told you 40 years ago about that distance reachable on old batteries in 1990 simply lied to you. So for many years – if anyone really said this – they lied. Now, the truth is out there. Batteries are the future of cars, energy, everything. They will be capable to substitute fully horrible combustion engines that will soon be a relict of the past.
        Clover
        Accept it and stop hating EVs, because Merdeces already jumped on the bandwagon, even VW is going to release full electric. They are all behind Tesla, but they clearly follow.

        • Yes, Clover – batteries are getting stronger and cheaper. They are still not strong enough and are still too expensive to be economically sensible or functionally viable for most people.

          Who also don’t have 20 minutes to wait for a recharge (at a massively expensive/heavily subsidized) “supercharger.”

          I don’t “hate” EVs, Clover… I hate being made to subsidize crony capitalists like Musk and leeches such as yourself.

          You want an electric car? Great!

          Buy one – at full freight – using your own money.

          Not mine, not other people’s.

          • Listen, instead of just repeating same old stories, how about you do some research? With the price tag of 35k Tesla 3 will be profitable at margin (35k is the mid-priced mass vehicle that people accept). Most of the price for the car comes from the battery cost. Batteries will be at least two times cheaper in five years. Now, do the math, how this brings down the price of a car. Include the fact that Mercedes and other car companies are jumping on the EV bandwagon RIGHT NOW.Clover
            Consult investmenst strategies of LG, Panasonic and Samsung. See where they put their money in.

            20 minutes of break for 3 hours of driving is a fine conversion, a good break even point, and it will get better. If you drive for 5-6 hours and then have a break, then you just have to wait perhaps 10 more years until the product satisfies you personally. Yet notice you are the margin on the market, less than 10%.

            Again, I am not defending subsidies. I am defending reason and obvious data. By calling me “Clover” you are just showing your incapability to engage in a reasonable discussion, and prefer to use ideological nicknames. Gives yourself a break! Really – a coming market success of EVs will not kill freedom.Clover

            I am not making you subsidize Musk. I am against any subsidies. I just want to remind you that subsides are also elsewhere (General Motors, Ford, oil companies, remember?). And that subsides are not everything in the story. The main thing is that the Silicon Valley will change the world again, just as they did with Facebook, Apple, Uber…

            EVs are the future, the market has spoken, and it will speak louder and louder on this. So be prepared, since even if government stopped all the subsidies to Tesla now, EVs would still win.

            • Clover,

              “Research”? Unlike you, I have experience. I have actually driven the damned things. All of them – since the EV1 in the ’90s through to the latest of them today.

              Have you, Clover?

              You really think most car buyers will accept a car that costs them $40,000 that goes maybe 100 miles (in real-world driving Clover, not city put-put driving) before it has to be plugged in for at least 20 minutes…?

              I’ve stated facts about the functional and economic problems with electric cars – while you’ve eructed your opinions and feelings about them.

              Which is why you are a Clover, Clover!

              • EV1 was an interesting thing, but completely irrelevant to the market. The fact that you drove it means nothing, sorry. How about you check how batteries evolved since EV1?Clover

                And to get down to numbers.

                1. 40k? No, consumers will not accept that price. I agree. The market analysis says that 35k is the highest price for mid vehicles. It should actually be lower than this.

                2. 100 miles? No, consumers will not accept this. Again let’s see the data. They need over 200 miles. Statistically conversion ratio is 6:1 (3 hours of driving, 20-30 minutes of break to eat lunch, stretch a little bit, have a walk – that is how most people drive).Clover

                The price 35k and 6:1 is a margin that consumers in general will accept (most of the market). With price 25k and conversion 8:1 we can be sure of massive success.

                What is important though, the market is jumping in already, other producers are already moving to EVs, and you know what?

                The range will get longer soon, and the price much lower too. How about that? You do not like the market?

            • New car price isn’t the entire story of the vehicle. Keeping it running and maintained is, and regardless if battery technology getting cheaper and cheaper, they wear out and need to be replaced for a substantial amount of money to the consumer. If you think people wont mind paying to replace battery packs after they wear out, think again.

              Look what happened to the rubber timing belt.

    • “EVs are the future”

      One is tempted to retort,

      “EVs are the cars of the future, and they always will be”.

      Actually I would love an EV if the battery problem could be solved. I wish an EV battery could hold enough of a charge to take an EV the same distance that a gasoline or diesel engine takes a conventional vehicle. And recharge in the same time that it takes to fill a fuel tank with gas or diesel fuel.

      As I’ve noted before on this forum, a full sized automobile that is nearly as simple as a slot car, is an immensely appealing concept. The sheer simplicity of an electric motor with only a single moving party, the rotor, and almost nothing to go wrong, tickles me pink.

      Unfortunately wishing doesn’t make it so. Battery tech has never gotten effective enough to make EVs truly practical.

      Perhaps some other way of getting electricity to the electric motor on an EV is need other than a battery? Perhaps some sort of onboard electric generator powered by hydrogen, a miniature nuke plant, or something else?

      I don’t know. All I know is battery tech simply doesn’t cut it.

      • A few years ago fuel cells were all the rage as the power for cars of the future. Now you don’t even hear about them. They seem to be as dead as the Stanley Steamer. If fuel cells became practical, they might eliminate, or at least greatly diminish, the battery issue. But they are certainly not ready for prime time.

        • Speaking of Stanley Steamers, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish an entrepreneur would update the external combustion steam car.

          After the SHTF, an external combustion steam car would be the cat’s meow. An alternative off grid form of transportation. Anything that will burn and heat up water can power the car. One is not dependent upon an entire petrochemical industry chain.

          Gather some combustible biomass. Pour some water into the boiler. And drive away.

          • bevin, a reliable, safe steam engine is very complicated and costly to build. Check out some of the best ones used in ships. They have a parts list a mile long and a great deal can go wrong. In a word, they’re dangerous. If someone could devise one without the costs, danger and complexity it would be good for an emergency vehicle or where an engine is never shut off.

            • eightsouthman is right! I had also considered using steam engine power in the past, but I then learned how incredibly dangerous they are to operate. The steam we are dealing with is way beyond the temperature of the steam you see when you are boiling water. Steam this hot becomes invisible. This is the same steam that made the old style pressure canners so dangerous if something went wrong! Once pressure starts to escape in an uncontrolled fashion things escalate to disastrous levels. Steam engines must be constantly monitored.
              All this having been said: Bevin has made a very good request though! My warnings above are intended to warn potential experimenters of the very real dangers of steam power!
              A system that could monitor all steam operations in a packaged set-up without constant human supervision would be great! The difficult part of this setup would be the fuel supply for the burner. A usable steam powered auto will need to be able to perfectly control the flame temperature at all times using whatever fuel is provided. If the fuel source is firewood; then the controller will have to read what type of wood is going into the burner, its moisture content, and the percentage of oxygen that is in the air. Humidity, temperature, and wind might also be important; I am no expert on this topic.
              Wood gas and other types of gaseous and liquid fuel could also be used instead of fire wood or coal.
              The number one issue for a designer would be to design a system best used as a steady, long term power supply to the variable power demands that drivers require. I suppose that it would not be difficult to create a system that wastes excessive energy by releasing it, but I do not believe that a vehicle wasting vast amounts of available energy would ever gain very many buyers.
              People interested in pursuing this option should begin by visiting http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/
              A person who could indeed overcome these obstacles would become quite wealthy and famous IMO.

              • Dear 8, Brian,

                No argument from me. That’s why I hope better minds than mine can update the old steam engines and make them safer and less likely to explode.

                I read a long time ago that one way they have been made somewhat safer is by using boiler tubes instead of a single boiler chamber. But beyond that, I confess ignorance.

                It just seems to me that external combustion has major advantages in terms of fuel flexibility. Anything that burns is usable. Even old two by fours from a demolished wood frame building, or junked furniture. No fussing around with octane ratings and what not.

                That’s got to be a major attraction.

                • Not to be a nay-sayer, but it’s been tried. Even the best steam power ended up oil-fired to stabilize heat-efficiency. The diesel-electric was the nail-in-the-coffin for many many reasons! Safety, manpower, ungodly maintenence expenses, fuel costs, wear and tear on the roadbed and infrastructure, the list goes on. Nothing short of a Star-Trek transporter is going to best the IC motor for availability, portability, affordability, dependability, servicability, and consumer convenience. The latter seemingly the most important to the up and coming P.E.D. addicted generation.I’m from a generation of dinosaurs, that is, we were reared to take responsibility for our own property, car, bike, airplane, house, canoe, washing machine, stove, furnace, it didn’t matter. If you owned it you needed to understand how it worked, and how to fix it when it stopped working. Todays throw away mentality cannot be even remotely responsible to handle labor-intesive steam engine technology. God-forbid someone actually tries to automate something like that. One little glitch would make the Tesla fatality look like a mere paper cut!

                  • Not to mention that every time you convert energy from one state to another, you lose a considerable amount of that energy, so just the fact that I.C. engines use the fuel air mixture as the working fluid while external combustion engines have to convert the heat charge to steam, lots of efficiency is lost.

                    It’s why in the early days I.C. engines, even with flat heads and 3:1 compression ratios were still 12% thermally efficient vs. the 4-5% that steam locomotive engines were.

                    • All true.
                      But I’m talking about a SHTF Road Warrior scenario.
                      A car able to operate without access to refined petroleum products at the end of a long, high tech production chain has got to count for something.

                    • Gasoline combustion, as thermally inefficient as it may be, has always had the most power-to-weight advantage of any propulsion system, short of nuclear fusion. In the case of locomotive steam power, weight was actually an advantage because it increased tractive effort, ie more load pulling capability. The 100 car loads it hauled could easily offset the operating costs, until the advent of the 2-stroke diesel-electric, that is. Still way too costly for individual transportation needs.
                      As for post-apocalyptic transportation? Watch Mad Max 3, its called camels.

                  • Actually I must be a complete idiot…….Steam power has been modernized and automated. We call it the Nuclear Power Plant. The steam-powered turbines that run the electric generators are powered by Nuclear Fusion rather than wood, or coal, or oil. I think we are all too familiar now with what happens when that automation and their cooling systems fail. So, yes, steam power is still being researched, upgraded, and automated, but it still isn’t the kind of thing you want to toodle off to work or the grocery store with.

                    • …and even if you’re talking about coal or oil fired plants, max efficiency clocks in at best around 40-50%, and that’s with multiple stage extraction, many layers of heat exchangers and recovery of waste heat, something a mobile car couldn’t possibly handle in terms of space and cost effectiveness.

                      I do love steam cars though, I’ve been an avid fan of Jay Leno’s Garage and his Doble and White steam cars. Check his videos out to see the kind of fun you have to go through in order to keep it going.

                      I’d build one for the hell of it, looks entertaining.

                    • OMG! did I say Fusion??? Holy crap my brain is toasted. LMAO, just wait till you hit 50 (years, not mph) I swear I must be losing my mind sometimes.

                    • Oh hell, I just spilled my coffee laughing so hard. I wish Eric was still up to read all this tonight. I’m a night owl and he gets up at the crack of dawn. He will se it it maybe in about 6-7 hours from now. As for me, I need more coffee.

                    • But gtc, The very reason for the beginning of this thread was due to the fact that steam engine technology hasn’t reached “the kind of thing you want to toodle off to work or the grocery store with.”
                      Would you prefer that all non inventors or non experts to just shut the hell up?

    • Apparently Silicon Valley is just going to shit electricity for your convenient consumption? Clover, you are mindless twit, complete with Govt.-issued blinders, start getting used to that!

  6. What really grinds my gears is how they lionize this flim flam artist. I was in a museum last week (in Michigan no less) and they have his pic up with all the great inventors. A: he isn’t even an inventor to begin with, let alone a great one. B. Imagine the egg on their faces when they can no longer cover up for the guy. C: One day there will be a blank space in the exhibit for a while when they are forced to take his ugly mug down.

    He will likely go down as one of the biggest rip off artists of all time. That’s what he is. Just a high rent one.

    • People will never admit being conned. They’ll keep a lie going because they cannot admit being conned. Even if it was something an adult authority figure told them when they were six years old they will not admit being conned.

      • Amen. You can only go to heaven, be saved,(sic)if you take Jesus Christ as your savior. Well, he might convince me but it would take some doing and I don’t accept SS# or DL as proof of identity. Hup two three four, onward Christian soldiers……just a couple examples of something that needs to be told early and often to make it take for life with plenty of discouragement to do a great deal of thinking about it.

        It just seems a shame to not give all the rest of billions of humans a US flag and a Holy Bible. Hopefully you won’t be able to hear the shouts of those “condemned” heathens behind the pearly gates. But then again, if everybody were waving the flag who in ‘hell’ would we have to fight?
        No need for ‘the rockets red glare or bombs bursting in air’. That would put a serious hickey in TPTB bottom line.

        Lockheed doesn’t even make civilian aircraft now that it’s part of the govt. How many helicopters would Bell or Sikorsky need to make if my wife and I were the only reason to circle the troops via air calvary?

    • They did the same with Steve Jobs.

      Jobs did innovate it’s true, but certainly not on the same level as any of the great inventors in history. Certainly not giants such as Nikola Tesla, whose memory is being debased without his approval, by Elon Musk.

      Jobs was more of an industrial designer than an “inventor”. A good one for sure. Apple products are undeniably nice.

      But to lionize him, or Musk the way they have been doing, is way out of proportion to their actual contributions.

      • The masses love the salesmen and don’t give a damn about the engineers.

        Apple exists because of the complementary talents of Jobs and Woz. But only geeks give Woz credit or even know he exists.

  7. Tesla only exists via political terrorism.
    Political terrorism is a very high growth industry.
    Musk -and all cronies- futures are bright.
    Only fools “work for a living” under socialist terror.

  8. Is Musk actively lobbying for more subsidies and more carbon credit mandates? Or is he just taking advantage of what the government has laid at his feet? If he’s not actively pursuing tax payer money, I think it may be unfair to label him a crony.

    Further, if you’ve ever seen a Tesla vehicle first hand, they are far an away better than any of the electrics from the big car corps. The Model 3 has more than 300k pre-orders within days of its unveiling. Surely you cannot tell me that it’s all due to government subsidies (which won’t even apply to the Model 3). Believe it or not, there is actual, real consumer demand for these vehicles.

    Musk is making the electric car viable with his Supercharger network and his innovations in battery tech and production – and it’s not all because of government.

    • Hi Matthew,

      Is Musk ” just taking advantage of what the government has laid at his feet?”

      You make that sound as though it’s somehow ok. To make billions by feeding off the taxpayers, using the force of government create your “market.” Like he’s just as passive recipient of all those billions… they just fell into his lap!

      If there is “real consumer demand,” then why the need for the huge subsidies? Not just Teslas -electric cars generally. Take away the subsidies – and sell them at cost to make plus a profit margin – and let’s see how much “real consumer demand” there is. I recently test drove and reviewed the latest Chevy Volt. It is much more functionally sensible vs. the Tesla as it is not range-limited and doesn’t have to be plugged in to avoid hours-long pit stops every 100 or so miles (as the Tesla does)… but it still costs far too much to attract buyers, so GM heavily discounts each one.

      Tesla touts “sexy looks” and quickness… but why are these considerations at all applicable here? Should Porsches be subsidized, too?

      Musk isn’t “making the electric car viable with his Supercharger network…” he is milking the government for yet more subsidies, to crutch the functional problems of his electric cars.

      His ” innovations in battery tech and production” ?

      They still cost far too much to be economically sensible – and have the same practical problems as ever.

      • 1. Tax credits are not subsidies. Besides with 400k reservations they are basically gone anyway. Also – Tesla is a selling hit also around the world, where Tesla is hampered by government interventions – don’t be so US oriented, please.
        2. You obiously do not know the product you criticize. Tesla has over 200 miles range, and charges not for hours, but up to 30 minutes with a supercharger.Clover
        3. Subsidies are bad. Still they do not change the fact that EVs are the future. They will be so much cheaper in couple of years precisely because of the investments in large scale battery production. Thank you, Elon, for that.

        • Gregory,

          A tax credit is a subsidy – by definition.

          “Over 200 miles range”? On the highway? At current 70-80 MPH road speeds?

          The actual real-word range is considerably less. Especially if you use the performance Tesla constantly touts. See what happens to the range if you do a few all-out 0-60 runs, or run the car at 80 MPH continuously…

          And a recharge time of “30 minutes with a supercharger…”?

          Italics added.

          A gas car refuels in 5 minutes at any gas station. The “supercharger” stations are only available in a few areas and still you’re stuck for 30 minutes… so you can go maybe another 100 or so real world miles.

          Musk is now demanding more subsidies for these “supercharger” stations.

          Why not just have the government provide free piggyback towing for conventional IC cars when they run out of gas?

          It’d be cheaper, probably…

          • 1. Tax credit is not a subsidy. See Rothbard on this. Subsidy means you are a tax consumer. Tax credit means you become a smaller tax payer. It is fine and great one can avoid taxes.

            2. Yes, it’s over 200 miles. Do not compare electric to combustion engine. Temperature and acceleration are not eating up the energy in the same manner. Combustion is highly inefficient. Electric is highly efficient as they know in Norway, where Tesla is no. 1 car (market success, no subsidies there, but great tax exemptions).

            3. Supercharger at 20-30 minutes is still some inconvenience, but it is a break even point and already a revolution as various studies of driving confirm. The ratio of 6:1 (driving:break) is good enough to switch to electric for most drivers (the market decided).
            It is advisable for the driver to take a break after 3 hours of driving for 20-30 minutes (with elder people or children it is an absolute must).
            Of course with a stronger battery the ratio will get even higher, so even the people driving for 5 hours without breakes will he happy (very unhealthy for them though).

            4. I am against subsidies, I do not like the fact that Tesla got some money from the taxpayer. On the other hand I completely shake my head when I see all this hate towards EVs, which are an absolute future and would be future even without government intervention. Musk will be remembered as one of the crucial and visionary innovators of the 21st century, despite the government money. And a lot of his success will be market based. Moreover, even without the government he would still do it! So while criticizing him for taking the money from the Feds (just as GM, Ford and other companies, including oil, did) I suggest we praise his good side.

            EVs will be cheapest, safest, coolest and most convenient vehicles that will even kill public transportation due to various apps and car sharing etc.

            • You wrote:

              … Tax credit is not a subsidy… Subsidy means you are a tax consumer. Tax credit means you become a smaller tax payer. It is fine and great one can avoid taxes.

              Not quite.

              Whether a tax credit is a subsidy is not the issue. The problem is that the crime family known as “The Government” has the power to grant tax credits to Peter and not to Paul. This enables it to pick winners and losers at its whim.

              The tax money that The Government did not extort from Musk, is instead extorted from Elio. You didn’t think The Government was going to take less did you?

              In other words,

              Elon Musk’s tax credit = Paul Elio’s tax

              Tax credits are not “fine and great”, because by definition tax credits are an integral part of the system of extortion known as taxation.

              Claiming that tax credits are “fine and great” blanks out the fact that no one should have the power to extort money in the first place. Selectively not extorting money from some, because they are favored, is therefore not all “fine and great”.

            • “Musk will be remembered as one of the crucial and visionary innovators of the 21st century, despite the government money.”

              No, Musk will become another John Delorean, like the half Chinese crony businessman he is.

            • 1) In Rothbard’s time tax credits were generally available to all. Today tax credits are just a backwards form of selective taxation. Then there is tax sharing too. Yes, a corporation will get a cut of the tax money their economic activity generates. Musk gets selected for less taxes because he can get audience with government.

              2) The electricity is not coming from zeropoint. It’s coming from combustion or fission in most cases. When we are discussing a product efficiency takes on other forms besides energy balance. The Li-Ion chemistry requires a minimum charge to function. There is a lot of energy in the cells that cannot be drained. If it is, the cells are done for. (ask Mr. Musk who didn’t even know enough to have a proper BMS on his early product to prevent that state from occurring from drain of always on systems)

              3) The 20 minutes to the start of absorption mode isn’t good for the cells. For more recent chemistries it is less bad than it used to be but it still isn’t good for them.

              4) Electric cars are the future once zero point or something close to it is upon us. Until then it’s just remote combustion with energy transfer problems.

              Musk is self promoter like Edison. He assumes credit for what those in his employ create. His company should be called Edison. He is everything unlike Tesla and like Edison without the spark of creating any original invention. (paypal is an innovation of financial services not a physical invention) Self promoters do tend to get remembered but it’s all public relations stuff, not substance.

              I’m not in the electric car business and Musk and company continue to make errors that I as an engineer making product know better not to or use processes to detect and stop. I don’t want to buy their products for that reason. The screw ups that GM and Ford have are usually quite complex if-than-else and deal with the dysfunctions of large companies all at the same time rather than fundamental engineering problems I see coming out of TM.

              • “In Rothbard’s time tax credits were generally available to all. Today tax credits are just a backwards form of selective taxation.”
                In fact, ‘subsidies’ that are often erroneously referred to as ‘tax credits’ are available to those who pay little or no tax, and allow them to get a ‘refund’ of taxes they have not paid.

        • Tax credits are a market interference. They are picking winners and losers.

          Instead of calling them tax credits lets say the natural state of business is to be free of taxation. Let’s say there four businesses making widgets. The government decides to tax three of them and leaves one alone. Why? Because that business did something those with political power want done so it has decided to go after the other three.

          If we view tax credits in light of what they really represent, selective taxation, then the true nature of the interference is visible. Also taxes for factories have become a matter of who can get an audience with government. Those who are in the club don’t get taxed. Those who aren’t get taxed. Again it’s a very old way of doing things that’s masked as tax credits or tax exemptions to get people to go along with it. It’s actually selectively taxing those outside the group.

          EVs are the future? Why? Because someone has used political power to penalize everything else with taxes. If government taxed all fruit but apples then apples would be the future of fruit. Just about everything made with fruit would be predominately apple.

          • Tax credits only make the transition faster, but transition is on the way ANYWAY.
            By the way – are you really implying that only EVs get help? Really, really? Regular car companies and oil companies ARE NOT getting subsidies and government backing?
            Plus subsidy is not everything, there were various companies producing EVs that simply failed and went under.

            • Happen anyway? If you mean in the far away zero-point energy future anyway sure. In the status-quo future happen anyway no, they wouldn’t happen without government interference. They wouldn’t happen for the same fundamental problems that resulted in them being put aside early in the 20th century. Such things are improved but the fundamental problems are still there and will continue to be there.

              I wasn’t implying anything but you’re clearly making the argument that since it’s done for this then it’s ok to do it for that. Sorry that doesn’t fly. Just because the nation is a mess with political interference doesn’t give the electric car a pass.

              My point regarding the nature of tax credits remains. We can have a system of outright selective taxation in two forms, selecting who tax or selecting who not to tax, the result is the same.

        • Just one thing on EVs being the future; where are the many gigawatts of electricity to power these cars going to come from? If even 10% of cars on the road today were replaced with EVs, what do you think would happen to the price of electricity? Assuming there was even enough generating capacity to feed them.

          Don’t get me wrong, EV cars have a place, city centers and golf courses.

          As I have pointed out before, I can load my mid 90s F350 with 6 people, a camper and a trailer, drive for 5 hours through 8″ of snow, at -20c, over two mountain passes with the heater blasting. 10 minutes to fill when I run dry. Something no EV can do today, and likely never will.

          • Oh, but don’t you realize, it’s not just EVs that are the future, it’s solar cells and windmills. LOL
            After all, O-Bomb-Ya and company are doing their best to shut down all the coal-fired generators. And despite the best efforts of 8SM and his pals, there is only so much natural gas available. And a significant portion of that is being exported.
            Plus, don’t forget, Peak Oil!

            • “Renewables’ are cute little technologies that wouldn’t even be remotely feasible without fossil fuels.

              The diffusion of renewable energy in the power system implies high supply variability. Lacking economically viable storage options, renewable energy integration has so far been possible thanks to the presence of fast-reacting mid-merit fossil-based technologies, which act as back-up capacity.

              To sum up: if you want your renewables, be ready to pony up for concurrent expansion of fossil fuel supplies.

              Fracking, anyone?

                • Imma go with increased supply due to…..

                  fracking!

                  Maybe we should take another look at nukular while we are at it…

                  Who am I kidding – there is no way in hell a non-greenhouse-gas-emitting, boundless energy supply that totally makes sense will fly with these idiots.

                • PtB, you wish fracing had brought the price to that level. Right now as we speak there are tankers backed up at every US port with fuel from China ready to unload. Only the blending of alcohol(the first big boondoggle)is needed and only trucking to stations is needed for the diesel. They’re stuffing the US with fuel because they have tanked their economy and don’t need it so they’re getting rid of it on the cheap.

                  Iran is doing the same with it’s limitless ultra-cheap crude. Look soon for refineries to go up willy-nilly in Iran so it can get rid of more as fuel like China is doing.

                  We’re still drilling for oil in Tx. and Ok. and some in NM and getting some good wells but we can’t compete with slave labor although we’re getting there too. I look for Tx. and La. to soon be using prisoners to work hell out of the patch. Of course, since Tx. no longer needs as many prisons and everybody is calling for shutting down private run facilities(cheap, cheap labor and govt. help building them…..ah, don’t get any better than that)we’ll soon need more and more prisoners which won’t be too hard, esp. in La. where now merely defending oneself against a badged thug is a “hate crime”.

                  Not 20 miles from me are 3 recently drilled wells by a state of the art process that has enabled 1000+ feet/day opposed to the old process of 100 ft./day. All 3 wells are choked back to 80 BPD(barrels per day).

                  The big rigs that drill half a dozen wells per location have been completed and capped, waiting for the price to increase. Meanwhile, the price of fuel here has dropped due to China and Iran.

                  It would sound like China’s economy and Iran’s both are being increased but that’s just the lie on top of the cake. People in both countries are still starving and we’ll be doing the same when the banksters get their say.

                  I’m glad I’m just down the road from XOM HQ in Midland, Tx. so we can get the bottom of the barrel as it were.

                  If you didn’t hear that big “Whoomph” in November of 2014, you must need to clean your ears. It was the banksters vault door slamming shut on the patch. Hand to mouth now amigos, hand to mouth. And it affects the entire economy.

                  A couple months back VW said it would focus on electric vehicles and software and new features. That may be so in the US but don’t think that’s what they’re doing in the rest of the world. They make cars and trucks and that’s where the money is and where the bottom line is. In this country we’re being fed a load of shit in a trough that runs back and forth through the entire country. Some people, like many on this website, see that credit line and it’s ensuing disaster in the making. Those of us who keep our old tractors and pickups and cars will be glad of it in the near future. Debt is going to eat this country alive.

                  The first time I worked in the patch(age 19) you could get a good ass-whipping for saying what I just said or at least get fired. Now we talk about it and shake our heads. It’s no longer a secret or taboo to speak to the elephant in the room.

                  • Morning, Eight!

                    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing dispatches from the patch… they are as valuable as front-line reporting before reporters became “embedded” shills for McWar, Inc.

                    The stuff about the fuel tankers from China is very, very interesting…

        • “Subsidies are bad. Still they do not change the fact that EVs are the future.” And you know this how? Did you see it in your crystal ball?
          EV’s may be the future, but w/o gunvermin interference on their behalf, they may not. Please allow the market to do the selection, instead of cramming it down everyone’s throat. And ‘Tax Credits,’ whether you consider them subsidies or not, (they are) distort the market.
          Also, even if EV’s are the future, consider the possibility that they are ‘not ready for prime time,’ and let the bleeding edge adapters pay full freight for the cachet of being ‘first on the block,’ etc. And let the improvements you prophesy come about w/o coercion.

    • Let’s say that Musk just takes what government puts out there. Quite obviously a billionaire is going to have the inside track to get it. Even if the application process is fair and the billionaire has no friends in government he would have the inside track.

      Why should tax payers be funding the boyhood dreams of billionaires?

  9. I was recently in Ottawa and I saw more electric cars in a few days than I had throughout my entire life. Only in downtown Ottawa, though. According to the locals, the owners seldom venture far from free charging stations. My guess, cheap leases and free energy.

      • You obviously have no clue about the differences between electric engine and combusion engine. Temperature does not matter that much for the former. Tesla’s are a big hit in Norway.Clover

        • Well, first of all, it’s an electric motor. Not an engine.

          And the issue isn’t the motor. It’s the battery pack.

          Extremes of temperature do affect battery performance. Also, there is more load on the battery pack when additional demand is placed on the battery pack because of high or low temps.

          For example, running the AC in summer and the heater (and headlights) in winter.

          • Access to free electricity. Cheap lease. Downtown. Advantageous to a subset of high income city dwellers, particularly those residing at the seat of government. For everyone else, not so much.

          • Temperatures do affect the battery, but to much lesser extent than you think. Suggesting a car will drive for 10 feet is simply ridiculous. Do not use the experience of horrible inefficient combustion engines to assess the range of EVs. Please read professional tests and consult experts on this instead of repeating myths.Clover
            And get this clover off of me. I am a bigger anarchist then you are, thank you.

            • It’s not what I think, Clover… it’s what I know.

              Do you know what I do for a living, Clover? I test drive new cars. All of them, including electric cars. Which they have to send here on a got-damned flat bed truck because they can’t make the 220 mile trip from the press pool in Baltimore to my place here in SW Virginia.

              Unlike you, I know how electric cars – all of them – actually perform in real-world driving. Because I have actually driven them. For the past 25 years now.

              Have you, Clover?

              “Horrible inefficient internal combustion engines”? You mean the ones that can travel 400-600 miles on a tank? That can be refueled in minutes? Whose range is not affected by extremes of heat or cold? Which cost a third the cost of the least expensive electric cars?

              You are an anarchist, Clover? Then why do you suckle the tit of government? Defend those who – like Musk – do?

            • Wow, a Musk fanboy and a True Scotsman!

              I, for one, never get tired of proggies telling me that resistance to their fantasies is futile.

              Dude, what the fuck do you care if we like EVs or not? We get it, you’re a True Believer. And, like all True Believers, you feel a moral imperative to make sure the rest of us believe, as well.

              Can’t you just go to a TM site and worship there?

              • Hi Yeti,

                Hell, I don’t dislike EVs. I just question their viability, their practicality and their cost.

                A Tesla is very quick and not unattractive. Same goes for a new 911 S4.

                But why should either of these be propped up by government “help”?

                I’m cool with anyone who wants one – and can afford one- buying either. So long as they are paying the freight and not “asking” for my “help”!

                • Hi eric,

                  Yes, that’s exactly right. I like everything on 4 wheels – just on principal (except for the Peugeot 504 diesel), including EVs. I’ve driven Teslas, Volts, Leafs (leaves?) and Prii. They are interesting pieces of technology.

                  I do not like proggies telling me what I can and can’t have or, even worse, telling me what I must have.

          • Maybe there is something wrong with them, I don’t know. I am not a blind defender of this company. I am defender of reason, and the reason tells the obvious: EVs are the future. With government subsidies or without them. Tesla-like cars in ten years will cost around 10 thousand dollars (yes!) and will be safest and coolest cars on earth. I do not really care who produces them, Tesla, Nissan, Mercedes, or Toyota.Clover

            • Clover,

              Asserting “they are the future” is not an argument.

              The fact remains: Despite improvements, electric cars are still gimped by functional issues that are non-issues for IC-engined cars; these issues are real and serious. Most people will not put up with even a 20 minute wait (best case, if they have access to one of your “superchargers”) to recharge. Forget hours. What happens when there is another EV ahead of you at the “supercharger,” Clover? Now you wait for him to recharge before you wait for your recharge

              It is ludicrous. Demented, sick and stupid.

              Most people in this country need a car that is capable of traveling for hundreds of miles without a 20 minute (or hours’ long) recharge session every couple of hours (or less).

              The fact remains: Electric cars are still much too expensive to make economic sense. They are toys. Indulgences for affluent people.

              Who – despicably – use the force of the government to compel other people to “help” them buy one and subsidize crony capitalist con men like Musk, a billionaire… who ought to be ashamed of himself.

              • It is not up to you or me to decide, but to the market. Read the statistics. 95% of driving during the day is less than 100 miles. Over 215 miles range with 20-30 supercharging is a break even for driving on highways.Clover
                Really, it is not me or you. It is what the majority prefers. Yes, there is a minority of drivers that drive for 5 hours and take 10 minute breaks. But it’s a tiny minority, much smaller than people who did not want to use smartphones when they came out.

                Who are you to decide what the market wants? A Clover?

                Be prepared – in a less than 20 years you will be sitting in cool EVs with a big smile.

                • And of course EVs are better in everything (safety, driving, accelaration, price, amortization) except range – but that will be fixed in the next years, and now is already acceptable by 95% of the market.Clover

                  Do not worry. Other producers are jumping in. The market will solve the problem, that is the beauty of it.

                  • Except when they spontaneously catch fire or drive into a guardrail…

                    If the market were operative, Clover, electric vehicles would be concept cars/engineering exercises… because none of them are functionally or economically viable as cars.

                    They exist only because of government.

                    And: EVs are “better in everything… ” including price…?

                    Tell me who your dealer is, Clover.I could use some of whatever it is you’re smoking.

                    • The only thing in which Tesla is worst than a regular car is: price and range. In everything else they kill combustion engine.Clover

                      The price thing is on the way to be fixed (35k) and will get much lower once we double, triple, and quadraple world battery production (LG, Samsun, Panasonic, even Mercedes just invested in a battery factory).

                      The range thing will be fixed too.

                    • The “only things,” Clover?

                      As if price – and range – weren’t damned important factors.

                      You also left out: recharge times (at least five times longer – best case – than for an IC car) and down-the-road battery pack replacement costs as well as the significant negative effect on range/performance of heat and cold, factors which have no significant effect on an IC car.

                      You keep asserting the range and cost issues will “will be fixed.”

                      The fact remains: They are big problems right now. And have been, for generations.

                      Maybe someday, this will change. Maybe someday, zero point free energy will be available, too.

                  • Mate, EVs are NOT better at everything, especially when it comes to driving and safety. Stop trying to speak for the masses, you are not the masses. If you were, then people wouldn’t be pushing back against you.

                    And I don’t know where you’re quoting your statistics from, but nothing is 95% acceptable to anyone, not even white bread on a $5 footlong Subway sandwich.

                • Clover,

                  You keep mentioning the market. Great! How about getting the government out of it, then?

                  GM, Ford (and all the rest) do not need subsidies for their IC cars to be economically viable. Indeed, if the got-damned government got its nose out of it (and stopped mandating “safety” and “mileage” requirements) we’d have much less expensive and far more economically viable cars than we have right now.

                  But the electric cars you’re masturbating to cannot exist without the “help” of government.

                  • I agree! You have my vote! Get the government out of Tesla, of Ford, of GM, of BP, of oil production.Clover

                    Now! The sooner, the better, I am all for it.

                    • The difference, Clover, is that IC cars are fundamentally viable as machines; they do not need subsidies to make it on the market.

                      EVs do.

                  • Dear Eric,

                    You keep mentioning the market. Great! How about getting the government out of it, then?

                    I was wondering when you were going to call bullshit on clover with that! LOL.

                    The simple fact is that electric vehicles are currently being sustained by favored treatment from The Government crime family.

                    Pull that favored treatment out from under the electric vehicle “industry”, and it would go belly up overnight.

                    • It’s funny how you discuss a strawman. Nowhere did I defend government subsidies for anything.Clover

                      Reagular car companies receive subsidies too and regular car companies are moving to EVs. That is a fact.

                    • Exactly, Bevin!

                      One thing about these Clovers – they can’t read!

                      Poor comprehension; an inability to be precise. They typically argue against things I’ve never said. To wit:

                      I have nothing against electric cars as such and have never objected to anyone trying to build/sell one. Nor to people buying them, either. What I do take issue with – and have clearly and carefully elaborated this to Clovers like Gregory – is electric cars being subsidized. Which glosses over their functional problems and economic costs.

                      In particular, and to an extreme degree, very fancy/luxurious electric cars like the Tesla and its billionaire crony capitalist pusher, Elon Musk.

                      Isn’t it interesting that this new Clover is so much like all the others? In addition to the above, his claims about the “market” – which he undermines by advocating government interference – and his claiming to be an “anarchyst” while defending government support for a rent-seeking cretin like Elon Musk!

            • No Tesla Motors like cars won’t cost $10K in the future, not even in inflation adjusted current dollars unless there is a breakthrough that would make today’s gasoline cars cost even less. Why? Because the fundamental structure, interior, suspension, brakes, and everything not drivetrain or fuel system related costs more than that to make in a car of any sort of size and caliber even remotely close to a TM product.

              Besides, the idea isn’t to make more affordable cars for people, the idea is to make cars less affordable. If you pay attention to the politics it quickly becomes apparent that electric cars are simply to ease regular people into no cars.

              If there were suddenly cheap available zero point energy it would be shut down immediately and so would anyone producing a desirable automobile for under $10K even if it is electric. Unless current political trends stop, cars will become a rich man’s toy again.

            • No car costs 10K anymore! What the F are you smoking? In 10 years, 10K wont even but you a motorcycle, much less a cutting edge EV! Jesus, Eric, your stuff really attracts some hardcore fantasy freaks at times. Next this Clover is going to tell us “digital matter transmission” is possible because he saw the movie Tron! In the immortal words of Capt. Taggart – “Digitize me Fred”!

    • Hi PTB,

      I think most anarchists would prefer a “minarchist” system to what actually exists. However, “Minarchy” is not possible. Anarchists are routinely derided as “utopian idealists”, but “Minarchists” really are. Consider this quote:

      “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” —James Madison

      The very definition of government precludes the possibility of external legal constraints because government is the sole judge of its’ own actions relative to the law. Thus, every government exists outside of the law. Every government will seek to expand its’ powers, no matter what “legal constraints” it professes to follow. This will go on until the harm caused by the government, to enough people, is greater than the risk of harm for rebelling. Smart governments offer the illusion of choice, through “democracy”, and expand their powers gradually. Thus, governments can become extremely tyrannical before a sufficient number of people rebel because, for most people, the cost of rebelling exceeds the costs imposed by a tyrannical State. In short, early adopters of resistance get killed.

      Would this problem exist under anarchy? Of course. But, those persons and institutions that attempted to exercise tyrannical power under anarchy would not have “legitimacy” on their side. Nor would they be able to “legally” rob people to further their ends. If they resorted to robbery, everyone would recognize it as such.

      Ultimately, for any society to flourish, the majority of the people must believe that cooperation is a better means of attaining what they want than violence. There will always be outliers who choose violence but doing so is costly and dangerous. In a stateless society everyone would be subject to this constraint. With government, even “minarchist” government, those who wield the power of the State are not similarly constrained. In fact, choosing violence is profitable and safe.

      Jeremy

      • Dear Phil, Jeremy,

        “I think most anarchists would prefer a “minarchist” system to what actually exists. However, “Minarchy” is not possible.”

        Absolutely correct.

        The problem is structural. Minarchism is not fundamentally different from totalitarianism. Minarchism is different from totalitarianism, only in the sense that murdering 100 people is different from murdering 100 million people. The difference is purely quantitative, not qualitative.

        The problem with minarchism is that it “legitimizes” what is illegitimate — the initiation of force, or the violation of the NAP.

        Once one has done that, the game is already over. One has already lost. It is then only a matter of time before the “Land of the Free” under the Framers becomes Bushobama’s rapidly expanding police state.

        In fact, if one looks more closely at the Framers, the problem was already apparent under the “Father of the Nation” George Washington. To wit: the Whiskey Rebellion.

        Washington needed money for his “crime family with a flag”. So what did he do? He went to sovereign individuals who were using their own raw materials to make liquor to sell, and just like Tony Soprano, said “Where’s my money?”

        The core premise of the state is that its violation of the NAP is somehow “legitimate”. But that is absurd. No violation of the NAP can ever be legitimate. Any attempted “legitimization” of the NAP is in itself, tyranny.

  10. Musk is busy designing self-driving cars.

    Needless to say, this is exactly the wrong approach. As another reader noted, it’s the Edison approach, not the Tesla approach.

    Here is what Butler Shaffer had to say about this:

    ‘ The greater effectiveness of spontaneous systems of order can also be seen in the practice, in various cities in Sweden, Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, of abolishing all traffic signs: including speed limits, traffic lights, and other governmentally-imposed regulations.

    One might intuitively expect traffic accidents to increase but, in fact, just the opposite has occurred, with one town reporting a drop from eight to two per year. On the premise that “unsafe is safe,” the individual who devised this system defended the practice on the grounds that it “shifts the emphasis away from the Government taking the risk, to the driver being responsible for his or her own risk.”

    Instead of watching for police cars in rear-view mirrors, or reacting to changes in the color of lights in machines, motorists spent more time observing and negotiating with other drivers, leading to a greater “ability to be considerate,” thus fostering “our capacity for socially responsible behavior.” ‘

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/08/butler-shaffer/need-anarchy/

  11. If I were to direct someone to this page in a debate I suspect the fanboys will yelp “Lies, damn lies!”

    Do you have a source that most of Tesla’s income comes from selling carbon credits?

    Actually no, you don’t say most of his income, you simply say “This is how Musk makes billions.”

    Well this linky refutes that; most of the money does come from selling these subsidized white elephants, but it’s nice to see how badly things are going:

    http://www.breitbart.com/california/2016/02/26/tesla-china-sales-fall-33-and-environmental-credits-fall-49/

    • MGM just purchased some Carbon Credits from Tesla here in Nevada. That might be a good place to start the google research on hard numbers.

  12. Any of you (including Mr. Peters) pay any attention to race car collector and driver Adam Carolla?

    He is spot on so many subjects. Any of his podcasts are well worth a listen. Two I think you folks would really like are Car Cast and Reasonable Doubt.

    However, he honestly thinks Musk should be the great decider.

    I think it is a case of “he doesn’t know and he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.”

    I’d love to hear him hit with a comparison between his podcasting empire and that of Musk.

    Would he want to live in a world where people were mandated to purchase his product?

    And since we’re on the topic of Musk, has anyone seen anything comparing him to Tucker?

    • Comparing him with Tucker? Or contrasting?

      The Feds (specifically the SEC) took Tucker down. It’s a pretty depressing story of crazy-ass regulatory malfeasance. Quite the opposite of Musk.

  13. The nonsense phrase “crony capitalist” needs to be done away with for good. This is fascism, pure and simple, it has nothing at all to do with capitalism:

    First, “capitalism” is not a switch we flip instead of some other system; it’s what happens naturally when the government leaves people alone to be productive or freely do business among themselves.

    Second, “crony” is a dead fish tied to the word “capitalist” in order to discredit free markets. You can have cronyism, or you can have capitalism and free markets — not both.

    • I hear you, Brother J –

      Unfortunately, “fascism” has become synonymous in the popular mind with Nazism. In the same way that “liberal” today means (to most people) something very different than it meant to Jefferson.

      Once this happens, it becomes difficult to use the word in its original sense. One would almost have to write a preface to an article about “liberalism” (18th century/original meaning) explaining its original meaning before using the word in the article itself.

      It’s effectively the same with regard to “fascism.” Use it without the preface/explanation and most people will get confused; they’ll assume you are talking about Nazism (which, of course, was a variant of socialism) and will wonder why you are using that word to describe someone like Musk – who isn’t goose-stepping and doesn’t seem to dislike Jews.

      That is to say, few people have any notion about the economic meaning of “fascism.” To them, it is primarily about “racism” and Hitler, etc. Without Hitler and racism, how could it “fascist,” they will wonder….

      • I always go with Fascism: Government control of property with the illusion of private ownership.

        The Volk are responsible for upkeep and maintenance, the government gets the benefits.

      • It is very funny, actually…
        FASCISM is NOT Nazism – Nazis were SOCIALISTS.
        But you could only impart most knowledge to the worthless masses by hammering it into their skulls, using a ballpeen hammer.
        I believe I’ve hit the point of not caring any longer.

        They WANT this mess. They WANT to feed the beast, be part of the matrix. And it’s just growing.

        There will be no revolution, just eternal devolution. TPTB will finance the next empire to destroy, when we fail. BRICS, maybe? Dunno.
        But they always kill the goose to get the eggs, as they intend to just grow a new goose – which they’re already incubating.

    • Just want to point out all systems are capitalistic in nature. Remember, capital is the amount of accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods. Rather, political systems are concerned with WHO controls the capital. Free market / laissez–faire= private ownership AND control of capital. Fascist Socialism = private ownership AND government control of capital. Communist Socialism = government ownership AND control of capital. Currently, the united States is a heavily fascist controlled system. There is no private control of any capital. Every piece of capital is controlled by the state. I have told people, frequently offending them, that the united States at the end of WWII traded one form of fascism (German & Italian) for the uS version of the same.

      I paraphrase George Carlin, You can’t use WWII as an example of WHITE people bombing other WHITE people. Why because those WHITE people were muscling in on our turf and it is our job to control the world!

      When you have to ask a group of thugs aka government mafia for permission to do anything to/in your car, home & land, that is fascism in action. Remember this.

    • Dear BJ,

      “capitalism… is… what happens naturally when the government leaves people alone to be productive or freely do business among themselves.”

      Dead on.

      Socialists often argue that “Why should you be able to impose capitalism on me? Why shouldn’t I be able to impose socialism on you? What makes you right?”

      They are either ignorant, or dishonest. Capitalism is not a system at all. It’s a metasystem. It’s what happens when one refrains from imposing a system on anyone.

      Capitalism (laissez faire) is the economic dimension of anarchism.

  14. “as well as a public that is generally oblivious to [s]economic and mechanical engineering[/s] reality.”

    FTFY. Too narrow a scope.

    As Brent mentioned above, we have government pension funds investing in companies. Here in BC, our monopoly Hydro producer rammed smart meters down our throats and were challenged by a class action lawsuit aiming to prevent the installation against customers will.

    It took three years for the courts to even allow the hearing for approval of a lawsuit to be heard, by which time 95% of homes already had been forced to accept the smart meters.

    A little digging found that the BC Government Employees Pension Fund had heavily invested in the smart meter suppliers and installation companies.

    The lawsuit was denied class action status. Big surprise. But hey, what is a little conflict of interest when you are fleecing the public.

    BTW, the meter on my house is still an old analogue dial type as I refused to allow the installers on my property. Meter has been here since the early eighties. The new meters have an expected lifespan of 11 years according to the manufacturer. Also, Hydro now charges me $32 a month for manual meter reading, even though they only read once every two months. 64$ for, at most, ten minutes work which was already funded by a ‘Rate Rider’ charge for meter reading. The ‘Rate Rider’ is still included on everyone’s bill, smart meter or not.

    So now, every 11 years or so, there will be another $2billion+ spent to replace the meters again. Nice scam.

    • Next time, dig a pit.
      Allow the installers on your property long enough to dump them in a pit of lye.
      Drive trucks to local restaurant or off nearby cliff.

      Fill in the hole… 🙂

      Best option, the hole is on someone else’s property.

    • My meter was replaced with a smart meter this summer.
      I don’t have a fence or any way of stopping them other than being there physically. The meter that was there had been there for decades. For all I know it’s as old as the house.

      Smart meters have been dealt with in the usual way, to paint the informed as insane and paranoid conspiracy theorists. All it takes is to call up the smart meter sales materials online and read them to see they have all the networking and command capabilities claimed. Then reading an IEEE paper that shows with some effort smart meters can be used to identify older appliances via back EMF. All these command and control capabilities and privacy intrusions are considered “conspiracy theory”. Never mind they are in the sales brochures. If pressed by an informed person utilities will say they promise not to use these advanced capabilities. Yeah right. They’ll be used once people are conditioned enough to accept it. Once it becomes ‘oh well the meters have been able to do it for ten years now’. Then it will go from something crazy people say to a good thing. A very good thing. Those who say otherwise end up in the social cornfield just like if they claim it’s possible now.

      • Time of day billing. BCHydro has publicly claimed they are ‘not currently planning’ to implement it. So it is a sure bet they have ‘already planned’ exactly how it will be implemented.

        I had a conversation about Smart Meters with a family member a while back. I was informed that ‘the smart meter saves him money’. Despite much effort I could not get an answer to ‘How does a meter save you money?’. Of course a meter can do nothing to change electrical efficiency. A watt used is a watt used no matter what metering system. The relative was merely parroting the propaganda on the Hydro website.

        I then tried to get the relative to explain the financial benefit of spending $2 billion dollars (to a foreign company) to replace the meters (every 11 years) versus paying a worker to read the meters manually. You know, a local worker who pays taxes and shops locally helping the economy. Not addressed, just insults about ‘Luddite’ and backwards thinking. Hey, even if it was backwards, at least I was bothering to think, unlike the relative.

        It’s hopeless. The willfully ignorant and the truly stupid embrace their chains and abusers. Worse, they will vilify us for not joining them.

        • The way people repeat what they are told as if they are informed. Again I go back to the schools. The best kids are the ones that can repeat back to teacher what teacher said. So we end up with this population that socially enforces whatever the “teachers” say. Whatever the government and media says that is the truth. Good and smart people repeat it. Now there’s a lot of that in alternative too, but usually something caused that person to veer away from the mainstream and he’s usually still reachable somehow.

          So I repeat myself like a broken record, there’s a reason they took the schools first and there can be no fundamental change so long as they have them.

          Depending on how cheap they get the smart meters in bulk there may be a cost savings even with replacement every dozen years or so but the corporate cost calculation won’t likely include that. If it does they are planning on replacing the meters with the next more intrusive technology at that point anyway. So what if the meters are at EOL or have decades to go, they are chucking them for something else anyhow.

  15. This is happening around the world in many different ways with regards to many corporations. Central banks are buying stock, government pension funds are buying stock. The retail investor isn’t there to be the greater fool like he was in 2008 so now government is going to make the taxpayer the greater fool. The usual suspects will walk away with a bag of money again.

  16. What’s the deal with Michigan governments? Maybe it’s just the press reporting it, but it seems like they always make really truly epic bad decisions. Like building tourist attraction boondoggles instead of fixing sewers. Or keeping derelict abandoned factories and property around because anyone who purchases them has to pay millions in back taxes (just give it up, that money’s never going to be collected).

    Not saying that other governments don’t do the same thing, but it seems like there’s a concentration of them in Michigan.

  17. How does he feel like “Tesla” is an appropriate name for his company. Shouldn’t ‘Edison’ be a more fitting name? Similar to how Edison wanted to connect us to electricity – this guy is selling a product that is inefficient and gratuitous.

    • Hi CP,

      Yup – but Musk has an adoring Fanboy media and complicit government in his corner… as well as a public that is generally oblivious to economic and mechanical engineering reality.

      • By the way – im looking into buying a 4dr 1973 Continental. I could care less about the gas mileage. It has been parked for several years. Aside from the brake lines is there anything else I should be cautious about?

        • Hi CP,

          Great car!

          The main issue with any car that age – from that era – to be on the lookout for is our “friend,” rust. Especially in areas that are structural (frame) or expensive to repair (welding required).

          It will also have AC with Freon refrigerant – unless it’s already been updated to R-134a (ask the previous owner about it). Freon is scarce and expensive; you need special permit/license to even buy it. So AC repair – if it needs it – can be expensive.

          If it’s been sitting for several years, it’s very likely the fuel system will need to be gone through. At least the carburetor (disassembly/rebuild with a kit that has ethanol resistant parts and probably re-jetted to a richer mixture if you plan to use today’s E10 fuel) and possibly the fuel pump (replace; it’s cheap) and – if there’s rust in them – the tank and lines. I would drain the tank and remove/inspect. The gas is surely bad, there is probably water (and rust flakes) in the tank, too. This can make for Perpetual Hassles you don’t want to deal with.

          The tank can be treated and sealed, if it doesn’t have major rust, but a 1973 (if it has its original – steel – tank, probably does have some rust. Use Eastwood’s prep/seal kit for the fuel tank (assuming it’s not got holes) and if you need new lines, I recommend Fine Lines – they sell both stock steel reproduction and stainless steel lines.

          I would also drain the oil and change the filter – before starting the car. It has been sitting for years. There could be all kinds of funk in the sump (and filter). Then change it again after running the engine to full warm.

          PS: Be sure you have oil pressure! One thing you might do (that I’d do) is disconnect the coil/ignition (so the engine doesn’t fire) and crank it while watching the gauge/idiot light. Pressure should build almost immediately. If it doesn’t… find out why.

          Drain/replace coolant and all hoses. Also the thermostat. The Connie has a big V8 (460, IIRC) and you don’t want it – or the transmission (cooler in the radiator) to overheat. Be sure the engine isn’t running hot before you drive it anywhere.

          I’d also check the tranny fluid before attempting to start and (this is OCD me again) drop the pan, change the filter and fill with fresh. This will not change all the fluid; only about half of the capacity. But by dropping the pan, you will be able to remove goo/gunk that has settled in the pan and you’ll know the filter is not clogged. Also, you can find out a lot about the condition of the transmission – and how it was treated – this way. If the fluid is not bright red or at least reddish but instead is brown/black-ish, it’s not good. If there are little bits of metal in the bottom of the pan, it is very, very bad. A small amount of fine-grained metallic stuff is normal.

          I’d also check the brake calipers to make sure the pistons aren’t sticking and the tires are likely flat-spotted and dry-rotted (one or both) if the car sat in the same place for years. It Probably needs new shocks and all suspension/steering pieces should be inspected (and greased, where applicable). Check the rear axle gear lube level; I’d change this out, too.

          All drive belts will likely need to be replaced as well.

          I know the list is fairly long, but none of the above is big bucks or big hassle… just a pre-flight for an old car being put back into service!

          • Thanks Eric,

            I am going to check it out this weekend. The guy says it is an “every day driver” though I am skeptical. Thought the paint looks good I am worried about the rust – in some of the pics there are signs of bubbling.

            I spoke to a guy at an AC shop who tried to tell me I can buy an adapter an use the newer type refrigerant. I don’t want to be cheap about it so I am going to look for a second opinion. Mostly I don’t want to be stuck to the old upholstered seats in this terrible heat wave we are having in the valley over here.

            A buddy tells me he can help me with the carb. As for the tank I will take your advice.

            The way it sits the guy wants 4k – I am going to try to get him down to 3k. It seems he might have the upper hand as these are getting rare. On that note I am reminded of your Cash for Clunkers article – perfectly usable cars being smashed, forcing us to buy the newer stuff. Terrible!

            • Hi CP,

              Don’t sweat minor surface rust – including even bubbling of exterior sheetmetal. That is cosmetic. It doesn’t look great but it doesn’t make the car unsound.

              Structural (frame) rust is another matter. You want to have the car up on a lift and thoroughly gone over by someone who knows what to look for. In addition to the frame, check suspension mounting points and steel lines (fuel and brake) as these are often in need of replacing on cars this age.

              On AC: You may be able to convert to R134a (new refrigerant) without having to replace major components such as the compressor. Ask an AC repair shop about this.

              The carb stuff is easy… don’t sweat that. Absolute worst case, I can put you in touch with a guy (Cliff Ruggles) who knows carbs like HL Mencken knew the American language. You call him, send him your carb, he tears it down and rebuilds it (with the right parts) and adjusts it perfectly for your car (and current conditions).. sends it back and you bolt it on and go.

              Keep me posted!

              • (2nd attempt at posting this, first time appeared to fail.)

                Hydrocarbon refrigerants such as Enviro-Safe and Duracool work extremely well as drop-in replacements for R12. Unlike R134, these work fine with the old-school mineral oil already in your AC system and if anything are more efficient than R12. However this is only an option if you work on your own air conditioning since no shop will want to touch a system that contains an alternative refrigerant. (Uncle has turned the business of AC service into a high-regulated and expensive undertaking.)

            • BTW, if the transmission fluid is low, add some synthetic and let it wash around in there till it’s warm enough to change. Most transmission won’t be hurt by having an extra quart so just throwing some synthetic in before running will be a boon. Having said that though, don’t run it far and don’t run it hard before you change fluid and filter and use synthetic fluid when you do. There is a HUGE difference in synthetic and conventional fluid and synthetic will clean the whee out of it. You’ll want to keep an eye on that fluid since the synthetic will dissolve stuff in there left by conventional fluid. I’d keep a close eye on it and if it begins to turn a bit darker I’d only let it go so far before changing it again.

              Synthetic motor oils all recommend an engine flush prior to installing, a really good thing since putting synthetic motor oil in a previously conventional oil engine will result in really dirty oil very quickly. I found that out changing my wife’s car to Mobil 1 long ago. Once I found Amsoil and their flush, I never simply changed an engine without doing the flush. There’s a good reason to only run that flush for the recommended 20 minutes as fast idle. What you drain out will have you wondering how engines survive on conventional oil. Amsoil doesn’t mention changing the filter before you flush an engine but I put on a good quality filter, not necessarily one of the AE jobs that are expensive but something better than a Fram. Once I’ve drained the engine oil I replace that filter I’ve only run for 20 minutes. Believe me, it ain’t overkill. Even flushing an engine(and I don’t mean to say you should change to synthetic on this engine but if it only uses a little oil synthetic may stop that over a couple oil changes)with flush results in some nasty stuff coming out.

              Some people don’t believe in this but I think they’re wrong to say using synthetic will turn stuff loose that would normally stay there and cause no problems. Whatever will come out of an engine that’s not part of it, is a good thing. I’d also use some fuel additive with a good cleaner in it such as SeaFoam. It will remove carbon over a long time, a good thing since a chunk of carbon will do a number on a cylinder wall as you probably already know.

              Something you might want to do also is to change thermostats when you change coolant and use one of the Failsafe jobs that remains open when it fails instead of closing and doing damage. I once had a thermostat fail and caught it right away but it caused the radiator to leak even though it was only getting hot and not running really hot. Good luck.

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