At what point does the plug get pulled? Not the one that plugs into the wall. The one that plugs into our wallets – to subsidize the ongoing “purchase” of electric cars?
Air-fingers-quote-marks to emphasize the point.
The subsidies for electric cars were supposed to only be a temporary measure. We were told – as they always tell us, when it comes to this kind of thing – that it was necessary to make nascent electric cars more “affordable” by using the tax code to bribe people to buy them, using other people’s money – because EVs could not otherwise “compete” with non-electric cars.
That this is akin to putting that He Bitch “Lia” Thomas in the pool with women is a thought that never seems to occur to some people. If EVs can’t compete on a level playing field then perhaps there is something wrong with this whole EV business . . . ?
At any rate, people have been buying EVs with other people’s money – the honest definition of a “subsidy” – for more than a decade. These subsidies were supposed to end once a given EV manufacturer reached 200,000 EVs subsidized – er, “sold” – after which the manufacturer would be obliged to actually sell them, at a price necessary to make a profit.
Well, so much for that.
The Biden Thing not only wants to end the 200,000 “sold” limit on subsidies – it wants to increase the bribe to $12,500 per “sale.” A not-far-from-doubling of the original $7,500 per.
This is interesting – because it goes beyond the usual/boring reason.
The federal government has long been in the business of advantaging this business at the expense of that one – and at the expense of all of us. It exists not to serve as a bulwark against threats to liberty but to middle-man endless serial corruption, talking its cut of the money and all of the power involved in the transaction. Everyone knows this. It is old hat. The EV “industry” – which is mostly Tesla – leverages it for its own advantage. So do the other car companies, whenever it is advantageous for them to do so. As back in the early 2000s, when a bankrupted GM used the government to subsidize its failed business.
The free market’s discipline is applied almost exclusively to the businesses too small to be able to afford politicians. It is why it was only small businesses that were “locked down” during the “pandemic” – because (apparently) the “virus” restrained itself from “spreading” at Lowes, Wal-Mart and Home Depot, et al.
That is the usual business.
The interesting business in this case is what the push to dive even deeper into the pockets of people who don’t own electric cars but do pay the taxes used to “help” others “buy” them suggests.
The first thing being that $7,500 isn’t enough to keep the EV conga line going.
If you’re flush – as is true of most who work for the government and the people who are the government, such as the Biden Thing’s secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg – it is no great stretch to find the $50,000 or so it takes to “buy” an electric car such as the Tesla Model 3. A $7,500 tax write-off sweetens the pot a little bit, certainly. But it’s probably not critical, as people who can afford $50k vehicles – electric and not – can still afford them even without the tax bribe.
It is why there is a market for luxury-priced vehicles.
If you gander at the demographic profile of the typical EV “buyer” you will find that he is not someone who sweats $7,500 either way. But if the money’s on the table, why not take it? And so, they do.
But it is a limited market – and a $7,500 tax-bribe is not enough to persuade the average American to buy something like a Tesla Model 3 – or even something like a $35,000 Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf.
There are only so many Americans who can afford to spend that – even less $7,500 – on any car, electric or not. This was true before the Biden Thing was (s)elected to replace the Orange Man bad. It is much more true now that Orange Man gone – and along with him, about 15 percent of the purchasing power of the average American’s paycheck.
Hence, it is necessary to pay him even more, to persuade him to “buy” an electric car. Otherwise, electric car sales will collapse – and that is something the government cannot allow to happen because electric cars are the vehicle for getting private transportation entirely under its control.
The market – sans subsidy – for cars in the $50,000 price bracket is inherently limited. That limit has probably been reached or close to it, as regards electric cars. But the government has “mandated” that electric cars be mass-marketed.
But it cannot “mandate” that the masses buy them. Well, it could – but then up comes the problem of the wherewithal. And that the government can remedy – by increasing the tax-bribe to $12,500. That would cut the price – to the “buyer” – of something like a $35,000 Chevy Bolt by almost a third, bringing it down to about $22,000. Maybe the government will simply give every American who wants one an EV? This would indeed make the “purchase” of electric cars much more “affordable.”
But can we afford it?
These EV subsidies are a kind of UBI (Universal Basic Income) variant on wheels. The government pays people not to work – and pays them to drive an electric car. This sounds fine except that someone’s going to have to pay for it. When everyone is getting paid, whom do you suppose that will be?
Such is the nature of the free lunch – and the free ride, too.
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