“Boring… Next”

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When financial analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford C. Bernstein asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk about the money-losing electric car company’s capital requirements going forward (Tesla has burned through – cue Dr. Evil – one billion dollars in three of the last four quarters) Musk replied: “Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next?”

Fo sheer effrontery, this tops even The Chimp’s I am the Decider!

Neither man gives a damn about the damage – human or financial – imposed on others. Nor that others are made to pay for it all. They don’t even give lip service to pretending  anything they do bothers them in the least. All that matters is the Great Dream – whether it’s “regime change” in some resource-rich country which hasn’t attacked us (a war crime, once upon a time) or this equally demented business of manufacturing electric cars that almost no one would freely buy absent the subsidies and mandates.

Raise your hand, ask a reasonable question – and it’s dismissed as “boring” and “boneheaded.”

Sacconaghi was also lectured by Musk to not “make a federal case” out of Tesla failing to achieve the ludicrous 25 percent gross profit margin on sales of the Model 3 it claimed it would make. A reasonable question, given most legitimate car manufacturers – those whose cars sell on their economic merits, without needing taxpayer-financed propping-up via subsidies and mandates – earn about 4 percent or so.

“That’s something that we’ll solve like within three months to six months later,” Musk said.

The sun will come out, tomorrow…

The guy is a crony capitalist Rasputin. He bewitches and seduces. Whatever the ersatz Iron Man says is taken as holy writ, not to be questioned.

 

Another analyst, Joe Spak of RBC Capital Markets, had the audacity to ask Elon a question relating to the true cost of the Model 3 – production of which is also nothing close to what Elon promised, but never mind that.

“Boring. Next,” came the reply.

With good reason. Move way from that one as quickly as possible.

Musk likes to tout the “estimated” $35,000 base price of the Model 3 – about half the price (but not the actual cost) of the Model S. The touting is critical. Musk knows – even if he won’t admit – that the electric car is a non-starter as a mass-market car unless the price (if not the cost – more on that in a moment) comes down to a number that the mass market can deal with.

Given that most people – most families – have an annual income of $60,000 or less, a car that costs $40,000 or more is not going to work economically, regardless of its “carbon footprint” or how quickly it can accelerate to 60 MPH. Even if it didn’t take 9-10 times as long to recharge vs. refuel (and even then, only a partial  – 80 percent – charge due to load imposed by the “fast” charger) and wasn’t range-gimped vs. a regular car.

So Musk says $35,000.

But what he says is like what those late-night commercials touting rapid weight loss without dieting or exercise say. You could lose as much as 20 pounds in a week! But in fact, you probably won’t lose any pounds and may even gain some – meanwhile, your wallet is lighter, having paid for the Miracle Weight Loss pills.

Once you “configure” – in Musk-speak – a Model 3 (assuming you can ever get one; remember those ongoing production delays; thousands of people who put down money to secure themselves a place in line have yet to receive a car) it gets pricier and pricier. Elon doesn’t tell you that the highest-performing battery pack – which you need to get the best-case range/performance touted (310 miles vs. the standard 220) and other features most buyers would probably want – kicks the price of the Model 3 to $44,000.

Spak touched a nerve there.

The Model 3 – touted as a mass-market car – is in fact a high-priced luxury-performance car. Any car with a price tag of $35,000-plus is a car that costs $20,000 more than a perfectly sound economy sedan such as a Hyundai Elantra, as a for-instance. There is a reason why Hyundai sells about 15,000 of them in a month – without subsidies, mandates or expecting buyers to wait years (literally, in the case of the Model 3) to actually get hold of one.  Tesla sold about 3,800 Model 3s in April – each one a subsidized, crony capitalist affront to the free exchange of goods and services.

“Sorry,” Musk said, “these questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

Yeah. Me, too.

. . .

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114 COMMENTS

  1. Regarding the fact that the Model 3 is a luxury car: In the 1990’s, the United States government created a “Luxury Tax” for automobiles costing over $30,000. So, whether Mr. Musk-oil Salesman wants to admit it or not, his car qualifies as a luxury. I know we’ve had car price inflation since, but the figure has to go somewhere. It wasn’t like the number just came out of the back end of a Congress-critter. Although, I think it actually did.

    And the fact that so few are actually available helps to define it as a rarity, something akin to being a luxury. After all, if everybody was able to get one, it would no longer be a luxury.

  2. Fun to rag on Musk but plenty of people were willing to hand him their money for a vehicle they can’t buy until 2019 at the earliest (base Model 3 – you want a Model 3 in 2018, you pay $60,000 for the fully-loaded model)

    Even if Tesla needs a billion to stay in business…they’ll get it.

    Lots of money sloshing around looking for a home in what is still a low-yield environment.

    • Bill, that Musk was able to sell some suckers his snake oil does not validate Musk’s claims about the “miracles” of the snake oil.

      And if there is so much money sloshing around in need of a home why was it necessary for Musk to use stolen money (taxes)?

      • skunkbear,
        I hope that situation hasn’t just come to your attention, because it has been a universal characteristic of marketing for as long as anyone has tried to sell anything to anyone else. Musk hasn’t “stolen” anything that wasn’t already ill-gotten gain. He probably accepted offers from a large field of them that were freely offered by the revenuers.

  3. The Musk-rat needs to expand his product line, that’s all. You know, more automotive related stuff to be sold to those who don’t actually OWN a Tesla car but, want to partake of the Tesla BRAND. People would pay big bucks to just bask in the glow of Tesla’s wonderfulness. He could market the stuff through traditional retailers like Wal-Mart, AutoZone, Pep Boys, etc. He could start slow with a couple items…like blinker fluid…muffler bearings…stuff his supporters would buy by the truckload.

    • Great idea, Mark! His biggest product would be an add-on Virtue-Signaling unit.

      Bumper stickers could be big too!:

      “I only drive at night, so all of my emissions are nocturnal”.

    • Nikola Tesla would probably hold Musk to be just as incompetent and crooked as he did Marconi, who stole most of his patents from Tesla, whose estate got back priority through the SCOTUS after they were both dead.

            • Amen! The state of NV. gave E-loon 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS in the hope that he would employ enough tax slaves to far out-perform that “investment”.

          • He’s in the midst of it as we speak, the hammer just hasn’t fallen yet, but it’s going to. The writing is on the wall, in the SEC filings and the most recent analyst conference call. The facade that is Tesla is coming apart. Doubt it? Prove me wrong by investing in TLSA and reaping your reward in a profitable investment. I wish you luck.

              • Bill, everyone knows when to sell- 5 minutes after the market crashes. Most people buy high (“Look at the market, honey! It’s up there and doing great. We’d better get in on that!”) and sell low (“Oh noes! The market just hit rock bottom, I’d better sell!”).

                I take moral issue with owning stocks, but if I didn’t; if I had merely done as I had figured out as a child: Buy every time the market crashes and sell every time it makes a new high and then dips down, I’d be rich! -But I never cared to be rich, anyway.

                  • Ooo! Now THAT’S an enviable position to be in! If it were me, I’d be liquidating now, and enjoying the proceeds. (I know we don’t agree on this, but I believe PMs are near a top/in a bubble, and will tumble, rather than rise when TSHF. Also, win, lose, or draw, it ain’t no good if ya still own ’em on the day ya croak, ’cause then all it will have been is numbers on a page.)

                    • Don’t tell me that’s what they’re saying! I’d find it hard to believe that for once they managed to extricate their heads from their rectums and get it right!

  4. Where is that clover troll that was trying to defend Musk on one of your earlier posts, Eric? Will he show up again to try to defend Musk’s obnoxious arrogance/ignorance?

  5. There is NOT ONE DOCUMENT outlining any extermination plan for jews or others. In fact, prominent Zionists formulated plans at the highest level of the German government for the “transfer” of jews to what was then known as Palestine. Nothing about extermination.

    Official International Red Cross figures for all camp “deaths” total around 731,000–NOT “6 million”. In fact, population totals pre-WW2 and post-WW2 show an INCREASE in the jewish population in post-WW2 Europe immediately after the cessation of the war…

    If a country were hell-bent on genocide, WHY WOULD IT KEEP RECORDS?? WHY would it build “camps” hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away with sanitary facilities, housing, medical, recreational and other ancillary facilities? Would it not have been easier to just “eliminate” them without going through all of this trouble? Why would they expend massive effort on logistical movement utilizing their limited energy resources if the goal was extermination? Things do not “add up”…

    Something BIG “stinks” in this whole jewish “holocaust ™” deal. It is no secret that jewish Zionists made “deals” with the German government in order to make life “uncomfortable” for jewish Germans. In fact, it was jewish Zionist leaders who first proposed that all jews wear the “yellow Star of David” armband so that they could be easily identified.

    The establishment of a “homeland” along with the 6,000,000 figure was a Zionist “dream” since the 1800s. What better way to encourage “emigration” to a foreign land than to make things difficult for the “cream of German society” (jews)?? The TRUTH about the so-called jewish “holocaust ™” is out . . .

    The so-called jewish “holocaust ™” has been turned into a de-facto “religion” in which no deviation from orthodoxy is permitted. In fact, in most European countries, independent investigation into jewish “holocaust ™” truths is strictly forbidden under pain of fines and imprisonment. In the USA, things are not quite as bad, only job loss and personal and professional destruction at the hands of those of the “tribe” that FEAR the real truth of the jewish “holocaust ™” being exposed is evident. TRUTH CANNOT BE USED AS A DEFENSE OR ENTERED INTO EVIDENCE IN THE “KANGAROO COURTS” THAT PROSECUTE THOSE WHO DARE TO INVESTIGATE THIS HISTORICAL EVENT. A question for you “holocaust ™” promoters–why are there laws that criminalize the search for truth??

    When the truth about this historical event comes out, it will change much of the world’s perception about those that are using this event as a “cash cow” that “keeps on giving”. . . “there’s NO business like “SHOAH business”.
    Jewish complicity in this event is carefully “covered up”.

    A good example of present-day censorship is the fate that awaits those that dare question “official” jewish “holocaust” orthodoxy. Most European countries have criminalized ANY line of thought that deviates from the “official” jewish “holocaust” story. WHY?? In fact, TRUTH is no defense when it comes to “all things holocaust”. Ask noted WW2 researcher David Irving, who was forced to recant TRUTH in order to avoid punishment. . .

    If people only knew of the planning that took place (among those of the “chosen”) to engineer the jewish “holocaust”, there would be a pogrom of massive size. You see, the jewish “holocaust” was necessary in order to force the establishment of a jewish state. In this case, the ENDS justified the MEANS. There have been many “holocausts” of much greater misery throughout human history, yet the jewish “holocaust” is the only one that counts . . .

    Look at the “commercialization of the so-called jewish “holocaust ™” while the much larger communist (true) holocaust is conveniently forgotten. To assure a continuing supply of jewish “holocaust ™” “survivors”, jews are tattooing their ATM (oops, I mean “camp” numbers) on their children and grandchildren. In addition, jewish psychologists have come up with a new concept, and “disease”–”holocaust ™ “transference syndrome”. You see, children and grandchildren of jewish “holocaust ™” survivors are infected with this “disease” and should also be considered “holocaust ™” survivors, eligible for “holocaust ™” reparations.

    Since the jews declared war on Germany in 1933 (yes, 1933), the Germans had no choice but to complete the Zionist plan of marginalizing German jews (to say the least).. This fulfilled the Zionist plan of forcing German jews to emigrate to Palestine while making the world grant jews a “homeland”–Israel. It is interesting to note that the German boycott of jewish businesses lasted for one day, whil the jewish boycott (actually the jews’ declaration of war on Germany) started in 1933 and lasted until the summation of WW2.

    Zionists have been predicting a jewish “homeland for the last two-hundred years while predicting a “holocaust ™” of 6 million for the same amount of time. The ACTUAL number of non-combatant deaths in the European theater of operations is approximately 731,000, NOT 6 million (official International Red Cross figures).

    Regarding that “holocaust ™” “showplace” Auschwitz, there are engineering inconsistencies in the design of the so-called “gas chambers”. The doors are not of a gas-tight design; it would have been impossible to retrieve the bodies, and there is no means to ventilate the rooms after the so-called “gassing” took place”. There is a “gas chamber” chimney that is not connected to anything. From an engineering standpoint, these are very serious errors that would have caused the deaths of the “operators” of these supposed “gas chambers”. As Germans were excellent engineers, it is difficult to observe the glaring engineering errors that presently exist in these “camps”.

    American execution expert, Fred Leuchter travelled to Auschwitz, surreptitiously obtained samples from the purported “gas chambers”, had them tested and published his results. The absence of Prussian blue (ferricyanide) in ALL of the samples, save one, was PROOF that the “gas chambers” did not exist. The one positive sample was taken from a room used to disinfect clothing. In fact, the “chimney” for the supposed “gas chamber” does not connect to anything.

    Mr. Leuchter’s was rewarded for his search for TRUTH by his professional and personal character assassination by those of the “tribe”. He lost all of his federal and state contracts, and was prosecuted under an obscure Massachusetts “law” for “practicing engineering without a license”–a law which had never been used before or since. . .

    It is no secret that after WW2, the Soviets attempted to “create” the “death camps” for propaganda purposes. Yes, there was extreme deprivation and suffering–many people perished. The prime cause of death was typhus. As allied bombings destroyed most of the infrastructure, typhus was at epidemic levels. THIS is what caused the massive amounts of human deaths . . .NOT gassing.

    It is interesting to note that, before the camps were “liberated” by the “allies”, the camp occupants chose to flee with the German troops, rather than be “liberated” by the Russian “allies”.

    I urge those “holocaust ™” believers to check these things out for yourselves–IF YOU DARE. You will not like what you find…

    • Anarchyst, but The History (sic) Channel shows footage of goose stepping Nazis followed by doctored pictures of “Death Camp” (sic) facilities. What more proof do you need that six million Jews were gassed?!

      Seriously though, how can anyone justify making the pursuit of Truth through facts and logic a crime?!?!

      • Criminalizing TRUTH is the main method that holocaust ™ promoters use to keep it alive. Add to that, the holocaust ™ museums located throughout the world which “keep the dream (and shekels flowing) alive. Did you know that “tribal” psychiatrists are now claiming that the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of holocaust ™ survivors are all suffering from holocaust ™ “transference syndrome”, thereby declaring future generations to be holocaust ™ survivors, eligible for “reparations”. If this takes hold, it will never end for the one only holocaust ™ throughout history. Victims of truly horrific communist holocausts need not apply.

        • “Victims of truly horrific communist holocausts need not apply.”

          Could that be because the Soviet slaughterers were often members of a certain tribe?

          I have yet to hear a rational argument for why Truth must be protected from scrutiny regarding the holohoax. Has anyone?

          • Only the ignorant need to be protected from the truth, which requires no defense on its own. If humans spent as much time finding the truth as they do hiding or “defending” it, we’d have a lot more proven truth, and a lot less gross ignorance running the world.

          • There is a lot more to the jewish holocaust ™ as the aim of the zionists was to get jews to abandon their comfortable lives in Europe to emigrate to what was then known as Palestine. In fact, there were agreements between the German government and zionists to effect such “transfers”. As most jews considered themselves to be Germans first, it was an extremely “hard sell”. The genius of the zionist “plan” wss to marginalize German jews, thereby “encouraging” them to emigrate. A few “dirty secrets” that zionists do not want exposed is that it was zionists who made the “suggestion” to require jews to wear an armband specifying their ethnicity, as well as forcibly shipping jews to labor camps. An inconvenient fact was that many jews served in the German military of the time…

            • The Zionists also bombed sites in Iraq to get their leaders to expel the jews they’d peaceably lived with for centuries.

              Hey, Israel in 1948 needed people and Iraqi jews were desirable in the new Israeli state.

        • Even if what you say is true (it is). I think you put Mr. Peters in the position of deleting your off topic post or being accused of supporting it. I’ll bet the guy has enough professional issues to deal with just due to his libertarian perspective. Now you want to bring the Zionist down in him. Not nice.

          • Matt, your point is correct that this is probably not the place for such a discussion. But as such this helps validate Anarchyst’s point.

            Anyway, my apologies to Eric for helping to high jack the thread.

            • Yes, me too. I apologize to Eric for helping hijack the thread…will try to be more careful in the future…

              • Anarchyst, the way I see it (And I hope that Eric shares my viewpoint- but I’m expressing it just as a matter of reader feedback), the subjects we get off into in these comment sections, is what keeps the site interesting.

                While Eric’s articles are GREAT, and always seem to express my own sentiments perfectly, but much more eloquently than I ever could, there is only so much that can be said on the subject of cars and how it relates to libertarianism.

                These articles are fertile ground for the average Joe, who normally never hears the true Libertarian philosophy; and they even keep the choir well-educated, but what keeps me coming here multiple times per day, are these comments.

                Even if they don’t strictly pertain to the specific subject of the related article, they never-the-less constitute a great exchange of ideas and information.

                I mean, where else can ya interact with such a group of like-minded liberty-minded people? Whether hearing of other users personal experiences, or their ideas on a given topic, or their perspective, etc. it’s all a rich tapestry, that all melds together to advance the cause of personal liberty/self-ownership.

                Eric provides the stimuli.

          • I think if Eric were worried about stuff like that, he’d still be working for the Wurshington Post, and not proclaiming the glorious truths of liberty here…..

            But I know you mean well, Matt- and it’s a good point. If Eric has any beefs with me, I hope that he’ll let me know.

  6. Eric,
    Thanks. I watched “Search for the Super Battery” on PBS yesterday. Interesting info, but the real upshot is that the whole thing is an all in religion of reduce “fossil fuel usage”, reduce “carbon emissions”, “we can save the earth” etc, etc. Then they have an ad stating that you should listen to NPR because NPR tells the truth. Yeah, right. At least NOVA admitted that electric cars are only 1% of the market.

  7. Do artificially low interest rates trick entrepreneurs?

    https://www.inman.com/2016/03/14/artificially-low-interest-rates-trick-entrepreneurs/

    This is a pretty insightful blog post, worth the few minutes to read. It was just the first hit on Bing, BTW. Are entrepreneurs fooled by all the free money out there, or are they just gaming the system? It seems like the 0% interest rate has created opportunity for wealth without profit. Of course it’s all phony, but if your goal is to become rich what’s the harm? Moral hazard aside of course. The money is out there, why not grab it for whatever BS idea comes along? If you don’t someone else will. So long as the music plays and you’re selling quarterly who cares? It’s not 401(k) investment grade anyway.

  8. I viewed some recent vids that addressed Musk’s production issues. His robot assembly line is slow a hell. He was all too eager to show the interviewer that he has sleeping on a couch in his executive meeting room there at the factory. There wasn’t another human being in sight the whole time they were touring the factory, which was running. He tells her he should have more people instead of all the robots, but I didn’t see anyone else there. I gewt the impression it is a very elaborate money pit meant intentionally to impress visitors with the high-tech automation, but not to really be a source of steady employment. You can definitely see that is where most of the missing funds are….I think he would love to build a robot utopia, and let machines run people, if he could. The majority of the vids about him are like this, and 99% of the comments are his fanboys, including his investors. Apparently they don’t give a shit if they have to wait 5 years to get their car, “he’s a visionary” and they all worship this creep as if he was “God of Skynet”. They are the same crowd that applauds our sub-standard education “merit system”, and all the internet “virtual mega-corps” that automate labor and give them what they want……the future, now! There are still way too many people in this country that have it too good to see where all this crap is taking us…..too bad, cause it just means we will get to the breaking point all that much sooner!

  9. As an investor, I’d be really concerned if the CEO I gave my money to was blowing off questions like this.

    I think his production targets for the Model 3 are a pipe dream. He says he wants tenth-millimeter precision on the panel gaps, but in order to get that, the robots will have to significantly slow down in order to get the parts positioned (because of gear lash, torque moment, etc. in their mechanisms). Which means they can’t assemble as many cars a day.

    .. UNLESS they have multiple body assembly lines running at the same time. Which he can’t do because they’re almost out of room at the Fremont factory. And the capital costs of additional stamping presses with dies and tooling are something he can’t afford.

    • Chiff, what do you mean “Musk can’t afford”? It seems that E-loon has a never-ending supply of money, which enables him to lose billions and just keep going. What’s a measly nother few hundred mill?

      Yeah… 0.10mm precision…then the car hits one NYC pothole, and there’s $27,000 worth of body damage…..

      • More like “totaled” because the repair shop couldn’t get parts.

        (Tesla is prioritizing production over seeding the repair channel with replacements)

  10. It’s no coincidence that when the quality of money is debased, that society becomes debased along with it. This paves the way for the incompetent and ignorant to rise as leaders of their perspective industries and institutions.
    Poor businesses such as Amazon, Angie’s List and Tesla (none turn a profit, but are valued extremely well), Poor government (morons & idiots abound writing laws and starting wars to enrich themselves and their ilk), Poor education (administrators get paid well and teachers go on strike for more pay while churning out mass produced
    junk that is now sitting on the shelves in droves aka unemployable) and so on. Musk is a great example of what rises on the tidal wave of that cheap, easy money known as credit.

    • 6, from everything I know of history, what you so accurately describe as being the present condition sounds JUST like the way things were in 1929….except that the edumacation was a lot better then. (Seriously. My mother started gov’t skool in ’30 or 31, and my goodness, the things she remembers today just from elementary school is far more advanced than what any 4-year college student knows today!)

      And what a benefit to me, having been raised by someone of that era, as opposed to my peers, who were raised by hippies!

  11. The guy is a crony capitalist Rasputin. He bewitches and seduces. Whatever the ersatz Iron Man says is taken as holy writ, not to be questioned.

    He’s a CIA asset, Eric. That’s really the only plausible explanation I can think of for being able to waste obscene amounts of capital without consequence and then be so cavalier and arrogant about the future consequences of such. A real businessman in such a predicament as Musk and Tesla are in would be shitting himself in panic. Elon doesn’t have to, because he knows that the Boys of Langley are going to bail him out so that he can continue with their agenda of forcing cripplingly inefficient and expensive technology down our throats, hobbling our ability to move, which is their end goal.

    CronyCaps like Elon and their CIA handlers have the same attitude and strategy that old-time Communist ideologues had: play the long game, take three steps backward if that will gain you one forward, and don’t let money be an obstacle to achieving the end goal.

    • Funny, Liberranter, I was just thinking to myself last night: “Where does this E-loon guy get this seemingly endless supply of money to a continue his Ponzi scheme for YEARS, despite massive losses year after year?”. It ain’t coming from Model 3 deposits, ’cause that’s pocket change by comparison; ain’t coming from the stockholders; he didn’t get a GM-style bail-out…. Your theory is about the only plausible option, ’cause anyone else, the doors would be shut; he’d be called the new Enron; and he’d be in jail. This guy? He can get away with anything and just say “Aw, F$%# IT!”.

  12. It seems one of the big reasons why we don’t ever seem to be able to turn the corner on economic growth for the majority, is the complete lack of BASIC business management sense.

    When you stop running a company to EARN a PROFIT, it’s very unlikely that you will, unless your product or service is so needed it just happens out of dumb luck. A portion of the computer world manages to do so, so many think that is the way to go. It’s not. You cannot operate a business on dumb luck.

    Then you have the companies trying to squeeze every last cent out of a business no matter the overall cost (often by a corporate raider). The short term profiting. So much that you end up losing your customers due to your penny pinching, and your workplace becomes hostile to most of the employees. You end up liquidating something that had been a going concern until someone thought they were going to “add” value for stockholders.

    Its the complete lack of the middle ground how most companies used to be run. The give and take between profit and expense. It’s either be cheap, or spend so much you can’t make a living.

    IMHO almost every major company is incompetently run today. That’s why you see so many companies, some with century plus histories going out of business. And even bankruptcy law has been messed with

    In the Chicago area, the long time department store chain Carson’s is going out of business. Twenty thousand jobs going away by the end of the summer (just the Carson’s division). Carson’s actually wasn’t losing money, but its corporate parent Bon-Ton certainly was. Bon-ton borrowed heavily to buy Carson’s and other local department store chains (4 billion plus)a number of years ago. But they had spent too much and it was collapsing. So it was sold at auction. But instead of splitting it up to save the profitable parts, it was sold to a liquidator. Short term profit over trying to save a company for long term profits. It will probably finish off a number of struggling malls in the Chicago area, and put a big dent in the rest, as there are no longer any other department stores out there looking for locations. And nobody in their right mind would start a new department store, even though you could cherry pic the good locations Carson’s is leaving.

    • +1 on the corporate incompetence. I once requested a change to the company software which would make our lives easier and thus reduce errors/remakes. Three months or so after the request I was told the business improvement committee decided to deny my request for improvement. This was a copy-paste, change one variable type of software change.

      Something I’ve begun to notice is that when certain parts of a town get depressed and go out of business, new businesses spring up in a different part of town, and all the people go there. Then another new area comes up, and the old-new area becomes dead. So towns seem to have 1-2 hoppin’ areas and then the remaining old centers that mostly sit vacant. Seems like a waste. Its not looking good for retail out there in general.

      • BrandonJ, your description of “old new areas turning dead, and new new areas springing up” is exactly what I picture every time I read of some municipality spending millions of taxpayer’s money to “revitalize” some decrepit part of their town. The revitalization lasts a few short years, until the incentives and other artificial stimuli dry up, and the new businesses which were wooed by promotional campaigns and artists conceptions, and politicians promises and dreams encounter reality. And then that new area quickly falls into disrepair, and then the cycle starts all over again.

        In many places, that has been the scenario for 3 or 4 decades now- and no one ever seems to notice that IT DOESN’T WORK!

        On Long Island where I used to live, there was a town a few miles from me (And bear in mind, that that is one of the most expensive, over-taxed and over-regulated areas of the country!) where every ten years or so they use tax money to “revitalize downtown”. They lay new sidewalks with fancy red brick borders and vintage-looking lampposts, and build some subsidized apartments….and a few new bars and restaurants open….and are gone in a year or two…..

        Crony, non free-market “capitalism” at it’s most blatant….and each time, they spend more, and do a little more, and destroy the quality of life for the old residents, in a place where in addition to countty and township taxes and absurd regulation of everything one could possibly do, even on their own property, those efforts are out-done one better by the town’s own village taxes and regulations (add NY state and federal BS to the mix and ya have FIVE layers of government in such places!).

        Imagine if instead of all of the “planning” and and regulation and sudsidizing and absurd triple taxes, they were instead merely allow a free-market to exist?! The problems would be solved overnight. But OH NO…they can’t allow that! Too many high-paid no-show local government and union jobs and 6-figure pensions for blue-collar workers to maintain- so just keep on extorting money from everyone who’s crazy enough to stay there. Why keep the money and the decisions in the hands of the people to whom it rightly belongs, when the elected Mafia can fare sumptuously on it?

        • If you get a chance, go watch the movie “Little Pink House.” You might have heard the Tom Woods podcast with the producer last week. I saw it on Saturday and even though I was familiar with the story I didn’t know the ironic twist at the end.

          People in government are spending other people’s money, who have no way withdraw support or stop “investing.” They think because they get reelected that gives them carte blanche to do whatever they want. So everything becomes a great success, right up until it doesn’t.

          • Movie? Heck, if it’s about THAT, we’re living it! I’ll check it out though (If it’s on Youtube or DVD…my only sources of such things…) Thanks.

        • Nunz I witnessed one of these improvement projects. Part of it was to build a new sidewalk that went on for miles, leading to nothing, and abruptly ending into nothingness.

    • Ah! The new generation of executives, who have never even run a successful lemonade stand, but who were taught by a buch of radical socialist burnt-out ex-hippie professors (who also never even so much as ran a successful lemonade stand) to implement philosophies and ideals which not only have zero to do with business, but which are antithetical to it!

      What’s happening must be the desired results, because this is exactly what academia has implemented, and it didn’t happen overnight.

    • For reasons that only make wrt general economic destruction the buyers of a company get to place the debt of the purchase on the company instead of themselves. Why the banks permit this when they get stiffed I have no idea. If you or I buy something large with a loan, that thing is collateral. We can’t put the debt on it. If we buy say a sandwich shop or car or a house or whatever with a loan we own on the loan, not the thing we purchased. If it is taken for nonpayment whatever shortage there is sticks to us. But with buying a company on the large scale the buyers get to walk away after they drain the capital of the company into their personal wealth. Then the banks get stiffed when the company goes bankrupt. It’s similar to how Trump operates.

      • Just like Toys’R’Us, Brent- A decling business already heavily in debt, and the bank lends many millions against the already encumbered business? Truly astounding! And even if they could manage to turn around and turn a profit, how would they ever repay a double debt- much less while their business is in decline and their business model is obsolete!

        There’s gotta be more to these things than meets the eye! A freaking hippie on LSD wouldn’t make such bad decisions!

        • Toy’s R Us was profitable. All it’s debt from its purchase. It was the loan that it had to carry from its purchase that killed it. had it not been purchased it would still be around. It wouldn’t be meeting expectations but a profit is a profit and the doors stay open.

          • I believe Toys’R’Us was tanking even without the debt. They failed to compete. Many of their items could be had at Walmart for a lower price, and everything could be had online much cheaper. Their model is obsolete. Who wants to go to a stand-alone B&M store that just sells one category of item- especially when those items are ubiquitous and can be had for less with greater convenience?

            There’s a Youtube channel- I believe it’s called Retail Archeology- where the vlogger goes to dying stores and dead malls and videos as he walks around. He has a few of Toys’R’Us….the stores are ghost towns.

            I remember going to one c.20 years ago, before the internet even got into full-swing, to look for a hard-to-find classic game (they didn’t have it). The store was empty THEN, and I was miffed at how high the prices were.

            Just like Borders and Sears….they refused to adjust their business model to stay relevant in changing times. Add the heavily leveraged debt on top of that, and………. The only surprise in my book is that they managed to last as long as they did- but I guess that explains the debt.

            And may be mistaken, but if I remember correctly, they were also doing some creative accounting to make themselves look more profitable than they were.

            • Nunz, I think brick and mortar stores, especially specialty stores, are all susceptible to going under fast. I will be stunned if Sears and Kmart are not toast before the Christmas season.

              An interesting case to watch though is Petsmart. It is a specialty store but one I think can maybe remain viable (for a little while anyways) in certain big city areas because people like to take their dogs browsing in it. But more importantly Petsmart bought Chewy.com which is in keeping up with the obvious future of commerce.

              Maybe Sears should go back to selling through a catalog rather than stores. Online catalog of course.

              • I agree, SB.

                I didn’t know that PetSmart bought Chewy! I recently started buying from Chewy. That just might save Petsmart, ’cause from what I’ve seen locally, (One opened here a few years ago) it’s another obsolete B&M….everything really overpriced. I think the grooming is keeping the local store alive- but having to drag along a big store and inventory for a small grooming service…doesn’t make sense.

                I do like stores that let ya shop with Bowser though- or see other people’s dogs if you’re there alone.

                Sears, yeah…put a fork in it- it’s done. They tried…but there website is one of the very worst. Very little product info; slow; and their prices? Full retail. No way that can fly on the internet. I bought a Bible online for $99. Same exact thing on Sears website? $500-!!!!!!!!

                Damn, I miss the Sears catalog days! I have a few old Sears catalogs from the late 60’s & early 70’s. Damn! Those days were a time when we had balance: Enough technology to make life really rich- and much of it was accessible to all- and yet not over-the-top technology run wild for technology’s sake.

                I think another problem for retail businesses these days, is that with all of these companies around that aren’t earning any profits…how does one compete AND still earn a profit? You can’t compete with those who work for free. Ya can’t offer more convenience than 2 or 3 day shipped-to-your-door delivery……

                As much as we might want to patronize the mom & pop….what’s the point? Ya go there, and they say they’ll have to order what you want, and it’ll take two weeks for it to come, and then you’ll have to go pick it up…and it costs more, than if you just go online and order it…get it faster; cheaper.

                Or their dog food is 9 months old….

                I think the future of retail, are businesses that specialize in things that are too big to be efficiently shipped. I’ll buy a refrigerator or a couch or a rear-end for a truck locally……

          • Profitability is academic as long as there is enough cash flow to keep the doors open. Amazon has never been out of the red in its existence.

            • All the cash-flow in the world is worthless without profitability. Without profit, one is either just breaking even, or losing money- and that is why there is always so much debt, which inevitably leads to demise.

              It’s no different with a business than it is with an individual. You could make a million dollars a year, but if after all was said and done, you just broke even, and don’t have a cent left to save, or to spend in some way that enhances your life, but yet have to do the requisite work to earn a million a year….you are much worse off than someone like me, who makes c.$14K a year, but virtually all of it is profit.

              And the above is born-out in real life. I once had to lend my friend, who is worth quite a few million, $4K, ’cause he needed quick cash and couldn’t come up with it. His weekly cashflow is about the same as my yearly….but what good is it, if it’s just numbers on paper and not generating anything usable after expenses?

              • The stock market is doing just fine with historically high prices and historically low PE ratios, which makes them unprofitable.

                • Historically low??!!! When I first started to play the market in 1980, the PE’s were in the 6-10 range and it was easy to find blue chip companies that paid dividends well over 6%.

                  • I was assuming that Bill mistakenly reversed the meaning of the term- surely, even he can’t be that oblivious…

                    Imagine telling a younger person today: “Yeah, virtually every blue-chip, and many other stocks always paid dividends; and companies on the major exchanges actually had positive balance sheets and bazillions of dollars worth of assets, and actually earned good profits, and weren’t a step away from bankruptcy!”

                    They’d think we were kidding!

                    Half of today’s companies, with little or no assets; huge debt; no profits, let alone dividends, and their only real value is name recognition and blue-sky….would have been penny stocks!

      • The old ways of growing a company for the long haul are gone. Vulture/crony capitalism is the dominant mode of operation, especially with private equity firms, who buy companies, load them up with debt and run them into the ground.

  13. BTW, I have often said that the Tesla Corporate Logo resembles a crucifix. Had a new insight which is pretty ironic, actually. It’s a portent of the fate that awaits Tesla owner/drivers. “The T-Man” has NO HEAD, just a v-neck shirt collar. Could that be a sickle going across the top, that took off his head? Why don’t we ask Timothy Brown, the Tesla “gaulieter”, who was “heiling” Musk right up to the instant HE lost HIS head!
    New Song!:
    “Our Fuhrer Elon says vee are ze master race,
    Unt zo vee HEIL, ppbbt, HEIL, ppbbt, right into Elon’s face!” (or a semi, firetruck, or concrete divider, whatever works)
    Why can’t we put all these pricks like Musk, Schneiderman, Cheney, and our entire corrupt Politburo, in their own Fuhrer-Bunker, fill it with napalm, and light a match to it? Then just bury it under a parking lot like the East Germans did? Sounds like the civilized thing to do, for our sake, anyways.

    • Hi Graves!

      Well, now that you’ve brought up der Chef… do you remember my cat, Half Hitler? I have purchased for him an Iron Cross (first class) to be worn around his neck. It adds to his character, don’t you think?

  14. The only 3 questions anyone should be asking this Criminal are:
    1: Where is the money you received to build this car?
    2: Where the hell is the car you were supposed to me producing?
    3: What tree do you want us to string you up from?

    • Sorry, I need to proofread my rhetoric. “be”, not “me”. Hey…that should be this carpet-bagger’s slogan.

  15. Wow the dude is really losing his cool. What’s more disgusting is the religious worship of the guy in comments on YouTube and elsewhere. I wonder when investors will stop throwing their own money at the ponzi scheme.

    • Brandon,
      For the same reason an entire generation of Germans “Heiled” Hitler right up to their very destruction. They are selfish bastards who need some prominent “dickhead” to hold up as their Glorious Savior so they can have the “goodies of the future” at the taxpayer’s expense. Also, once they have been duped, they have to deny the fallacy of their foolish investment. They were “the smart ones” that will give you the “just wait and see, this is the way of the future” bullshit. For the same reason people keep throwing money at these fat-ass Evangelists, despite all the ones who have been exposed as frauds and thieves. These “charismatics” are the representation of the greed of all their followers, and there is no end to that “human resource”.

      • Hi Graves,

        As you know, this Musk ferret isn’t an engineer or even a mechanic. I doubt he could perform a competent brake job on his own. Yet he is “designing” cars….

        • Yeah, I know.
          And I have to deal with many of the “innovations” these “geniuses” incorporate into what should be a n affordable piece of hardware to transport people and things from point A to B. All of their great ideas increasingly complicate even the most basic services required to keep a vehicle operational, if only to go to the grocery store once a week. Sure, you’re the “man of the hour” when you show up to work in the latest technological wonder on 4 wheels, but then it just sits there, doing nothing more than inviting a dented door or bumper from some other schmuck not so “well-endowed” by the car gods. You and I both own vehicles that are practical and useful machines of transport, and we both own some just for pure enjoyment, and use each in their respective right. But how retarded is it to wear a tuxedo to a job as a janitor, so to speak? Makes about as much sense as trying to hit 100 mph on the freeway with a 1964 Ford farm tractor.
          No engineer should be designing shit he or she has not the carnal knowledge of.
          The fact that theoretical engineers dictate the form and function of a practical piece of hardware it he reason men like Soichiro Honda are an extinct breed.

          Musk is a wealthy “pretender” stealing other people’s money to make his fame and fortune, an act that would reward you and I both with an IRS audit, and time in prison.

        • To be fair, Steve Jobs wasn’t an engineer or designer either, but he was able to lead Apple in developing game changing products.
          What made Jobs successful was excruciating attention to detail. Musk seems to be a hand waving guy, who makes big promises without understanding what it takes to deliver on them.

          • Hi Escher,

            Yup! The big difference between the two as I see it is that Jobs didn’t need subsidies or mandates to sell Macs. Musk’s “business” is entirely dependent on subsidies and mandates.

            People bought Macs because they made sense, gave them value for the dollar.

            Teslas make no sense, except as totems for True Believers, who use the government to force us to impose their religion on the rest of us.

          • He did do some programming when at Atari. Most known for the game Breakout. Some say that he actually got Wozniak to write it while he took credit, but I’m sure we’ll never really know.

          • Jobs and Woz were two pieces to make a successful company. Jobs also knew enough to hire the right people. I have no love of Steve Jobs but on the product level he clearly could hire well.

            When Musk started his electric car company he couldn’t find an engineer that knew how to not make Li-Ion batteries brick. I’m a mechanical engineer, I know what’s required to prevent bricking a battery pack. What did Musk do? What he always does, blamed the customer.

            The other day Musk put out an edict against contract employees. Just a global firing of them unless a regular TM employee would put his career on the line for a contractor. Then those could stay. Just insane practices.

          • Teslas still have normal brakes. The regen only absorbs around 50 kw of power. If you want to stop quicker, you have to use the conventional brakes.

            • Then they should redesign the brakes on the Tesla, because a Segway stops just fine without anything else but regenerative braking.

              • Segways don’t weigh 4000 lbs. and go 90MPH….. (Or maybe the lack of real brakes is what occasioned the death of the owner of the company when his went off a cliff….)

                • They would be if they were a properly designed electric car with fully regenerative braking. The potential braking power of a Tesla is based on the same engineering considerations as that of the Segway. Maybe the Tesla would be better designed if Dean Kamen had been involved, but it most likely would have cost more like a Maserati than a Lexus, as well.

                  • Since regenerative braking has no capabilities to actually completely stop, positively hold, or modulate the wheels, it would not be suitable as the sole braking system on a motor vehicle. It’s purpose is to recapture energy that would otherwise go to waste- the braking is being used by the motors/generator, not T’other way ’round.

                    • You are confusing regenerative braking with digitally controlled tractor motors, which propel both the Tesla and the Segway. The only difference between a motor and a generator is what they are optimised to do most efficiently.

                    • Bill, what ever configuration is being used, the points I made about regenerative braking apply to all.

                      The “regenerative” is about the energy from slowing the vehicle puts back into the system; The “braking” effect created by that is just a by-product- it is not meant to be a vehicular control system, just a way of recapturing energy that would otherwise go to waste.

      • I think Hitler could do a more competent job than E-loon, of running a car company. Too bad E-loon hadn’t been born sooner- if he had been running Benz during Der Feurher’s day, there’d be a lot fewer dead Jews, ’cause those ovens never would’ve been delivered!

        • Morning, Nunz!

          Hitler deserves more credit. His people’s car was actually a sound concept – proof of which is the production, largely unchanged for 70 years, of the design he and Dr. Porsche conceived.

          Ironic, isn’t it?

          • HAHAha! Eric, I forgot all about that! Didn’t even occur to me. I must be getting slow! When I was a kid, the older generation used to even refer to der volksvoggen as “Hitler cars”.

        • Many claims made by holocaust ™ promoters and advocates have been proven to be false. Holocaustianity ™ has been turned into a religion in which no deviation from its orthodoxy is permitted. There are many countries that charge, indict, and prosecute those who merely pose questions about this historical “event” in human history. WHY is investigation and the search for truth into this historical event punished. It is said, that the “light of day” is the best disinfectant, but it does not apply to “all things holocaust ™. It most certainly appears that holocaust ™ promoters have something to hide–dirty secrets, perhaps… During these modern-day “show trials”, TRUTH cannot be used as a defense and is disallowed, if it goes against the “commonly held beliefs” of holocaust ™ orthodoxy. WHY??

          • Monika Schaefer is the latest victim of the holocaust ™ promoters. She is a 70ish Canadian woman who is imprisoned in a high-security prison in Germany, awaiting trial for merely posing questions about the holocaust ™

            • What a time we live in…. A “first-world” country right next-door to the USA on the North American continent- Canada- and the most basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of thought and belief, do not exist- and those who practice such and who do not conform to the propaganda, are imprisoned…..

              Makes ya wonder how we arrived at this point.

            • A “Nazi grandma” who apparently went on the run rather than serve a jail sentence for Holocaust denial has been caught and put in a German prison.

              Ursula Haverbeck, 89, had been due to report to prison to start a two-year sentence on May 2, but instead the authorities discovered she had vanished from her home in Vlotho, central Germany.

              • Hi Bob,

                The idea that people are being caged for expressing a viewpoint – however wrongheaded or even abhorrent – ought to arouse loathing and contempt in any thoughtful person’s mind.

                If they can jail a person for being “obnoxious” – which is fundamentally what this is all about – then they can define “obnoxious” to mean anything they disagree with or don’t like – it means that anyone can be caged.

          • Hi Anarchyst,

            What bothers me about this business is the indifference to the Soviet Holocaust – which was far worse and lasted much longer. How many people even recognize the following names: Drzhinsnky (sp), Yagoda, Yezhov and Beria (the latter introduced to FDR by Stalin at Yalta as “our Himmler”)?

            How many millions did Stalin murder? A whole class of people (the so-called Kulaks, or middle class peasants) as well wholesale deportations of entire peoples… Deliberate mass starvation. The Gulags. The brutalization of most of Europe for almost 70 years.

            Yet no rictus of outrage about any of it – at least, nothing comparable. Why didn’t Britain and France declare war on Soviet Russia for invading Poland? Even today, after all his crimes have become public knowledge, one can wear a T shirt with Stalin’s face on it and walk around in public safely… speak of him admiringly and not be shunned (or worse). Try that with Hitler.

            No one is searching for Soviet perpetrators of crimes against humanity… they live in peaceful quiet retirement. Molotov, for example, lived to 92… and never had to run to Bolivia or Argentina to escape the justice he so richly deserved.

            It’s very odd.

            PS: This isn’t a defense of Hitler – to any imbeciles out there who will try to say so. It’s a statement of fact about Soviet communism (and also Chinese communism) being soft-sold by the powers-that-be.

          • Very true, Anarchyst.

            The niggers have slavery. The Jews have the Holocaust. Both things really happened and were terrible, but they affected far fewer people than *they* would have us believe today….

            The numbers alone, concerning the Holocaust, don’t even add up. There are only 18 million Jews in the entire world TODAY….and they want us to believe that more than 6 million were living in Germany in the 30’s (“more” because it is claimed that 6M were killed….and not all of ’em were killed…) What? Were they having a freaking sale in Germany or something in the 30’s that attracted every Jew in the world at the time?!

            And people have done the calculations, based on the number of concentration camps, ovens, manpower, etc. To have killed 6 million people in that time period, they would have had to have had Jews marching 4 abreast into the gas chambers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non-stop- which obviously wasn’t the case, and nor could the chambers handle such a load non-stop.

            So the story they feed us is definitely a lie. Like slavery, it is something that will never be questioned, criticized or let go of though, because it is a convenient excuse to stifle criticism of a people who perpetually perpetrate evil on those of other cultures, while themselves pretending to be innocent victims.

            In South Carolina, it is a CRIME to criticize or protest Israel!!! How is this possible in the US of A?!!!!

            Like most things in life, [re: the Holocaust] it is a case of it being neither A nor Z, but the truth being somewhere in the middle. Did it really happen? Yep. I’ve known people who managed to evade Nazi capture, while their families were killed. But were the numbers anywhere near what they say? Of course not.

            I’d imagine that the exaggerations were first started by Uncle, so that when he was conscripting peons to defend Joe Stalin, who killed many more than 6 million, he could at least have a plausible excuse for fighting “the Gerry’s”.

            “C’mon guys! Fight Germany, ’cause their invading our good friend, Soviet Russia!”. “Nope”.

            “C’mon guys! Fight Germany, ’cause they killed a couple of guys named Schlomo!” “Nope”.

            “C’mon guys, fight Germany ’cause they killed SIX million Jews and a few Jehovah’s Witnesses!” “Well…alright, long as we don’t have to save the JW’s!”. (They say more Jews died from heart attacks in the camps, when the JW’s offered them Watchtower magazines, and then told ’em they’d have to pay twenty-five cents for ’em, than from the ovens!)

        • You do know that he was responsible for the VW Bug, don’t you? Wasn’t that car wildly popular…and profitable?

        • How many electric cars have you been the head of the design team on?
          What does the current population of any race in the world have to do with the population of that race in the 1930s, let alone the early 1940’s, when the Holocaust was claimed to have happened?

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