$50,000 for a Passat?

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If you had any doubt that the car – any car – is fast becoming a luxury item, consider the pending battery-powered replacement for the VW Passat, which was (it’s already been cancelled) VW’s largest sedan and one that the people could afford.

It listed for $27,575 to start before it was cancelled last year – and for that you got a mid-sized family car with more than 600 miles of highway range that enabled routine long-distance travel the people have taken for granted in this country since at least the 1950s.

It is in the process of being taken away from the people.

Behold the ID.7 – the name VW has chosen for the Passat’s battery-powered replacement. It will list for about $50,000 to start, according to reports – putting it out of reach of most of the people who could have bought a Passat.

For that sum, the handful of people who can afford (and want) such a device will get one that might go 300 miles – or half as far as the Passat – on a fully charged battery, but only if you don’t drive it at the highway speeds the people have been used to driving since the 1950s.

And assuming it’s not too cold.

Also assuming you have the app – and the card – to charge the recharge.

One of the greasily hidden things about these devices is that you can only fill ‘er up – so to speak – by using a credit card tied to an app on your phone. The tooth-achingly mischaracterized “fast” chargers – where you wait at least five times as long to do what the people have been used to being able to do in five minutes or less since the 1950s – do not take cash. In order to use them – assuming they work at all – you are obliged to use a credit card tied to an app on your phone.

Another thing the people never used to have to do that “electrification” will force them to do.

The good news is that if you pay VW thousand of dollars more, you’ll be able to go a little farther – though not nearly as far as the Passat could go without costing you a penny extra, as its 650-plus-miles of highway driving range came standard.

The ID.7 will be available with an optional, larger battery that can store enough electricity to power the device for maybe 435 miles – assuming you don’t drive 75 on the highway in the winter, with the heater and defroster running.

The people are not likely to want such a device – and (per above) few will be able to afford it, regardless. Which is both the point of all of this, as well as cruelly ironic. The point part is obvious. It’s self-evident that the people – most of them – cannot afford to spend $20,000 more for a car, which is what we’re talking about, Passat (RIP) vs. ID.7, leaving aside the costs of losing half the driving range and all the time they’d be spending at “fast” chargers . . . assuming they have the electronic money without which they would not be able to pay for a charge.

Assuming they own a single family home that has a garage – devices don’t do well sitting outside, in the cold (and sun) – and an electrical panel that can support a new 240 V circuit on its own 30 amp breaker so as to be able to charge the device at home in less than a couple of days’ waiting.

Assuming they can afford to have their home wired up with two such circuits – or own just one shared device.

Most home panels cannot support two additional 240 volt circuits without major upgrading that cost thousands, which of course most people cannot afford. Ergo, there would only be one place at most homes for people to plug in a device to charge it in less than a couple of days. This is the other way devices will reduce the number of cars a middle/working class average family will be able to have, because it would be pointless to have more than one if only one is regularly drivable on account of only being able to charge one up at home in less than a couple of days.

The cruel irony is that VW stands for volks (the people’s) wagen (car). Which VWs once were. Witness the $27,475 Passat (RIP). Witness the $22k diesel-powered Jetta – a family  sedan for the people that could travel nearly 700 miles on 15 gallons of fuel. It’s no longer available, either – and not because VW “cheated” on federal emissions certification tests. That was merely the excuse used to force VW to transition into the rich people’s car.

Voila, the $50,000 replacement for the Passat.

Cars are to become luxury items – for the few who can afford (and want) them. The people are to be pushed out of cars, by making them unaffordable and impractical for most people.

Perhaps the cruelest irony of all is that VW might have made a case to the people that no people were demonstrably harmed by its $22k (and 700 mile range) diesel-powered cars, which were in fact exactly as clean advertised.

A literally fractional increase in the “emissions” of oxides of nitrogen – and only when the vehicle’s accelerator pedal was held to the floorboards – isn’t “dirty.” It is merely not compliant – and on that hangs all the difference between a car that people can afford and the devices most people can’t and wouldn’t want, regardless.

. . .

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74 COMMENTS

      • And exactly how are they going to provide power for all these new heat pumps, given that the current grids sometimes/often fail to keep up with current demand? Cart before the horse.

        • Oh, John, the point is that the average American shouldn’t have access to heat…at least per the elites illogical thinking.

          Of course, the media refuses to address why Obama needs three 2500 gallon propane tanks on his Martha’s Vineyard property. I am sure he will switch them out for the “cost saving not as effective” heat pumps any day now. 😜

          I think we should all make it a point to do the exact opposite of what government dictates. We would just be pursuing what our masters have already implemented for themselves.

          • Not the average American, only those of us who engage in wrong think. You will get cold soup and you will be happy. Tens of Millions of turd worlders waiting in the wings to replace you.

            Almost every new overreach they come up with seems like something from the diseased mind of Dr. Safe and Effective.

              • Hi RG,

                The only thing I lose sleep over is the kind of country I am leaving my kids and grandkids. Up until a few years ago, Arizona was paradise. Now it’s fast becoming a third world Californicated cess pool.

  1. Holy shit:

    ‘Javier Milei, the outsider libertarian candidate with radical solutions to Argentina’s economic crisis, has just won Sunday’s presidential runoff against Economy Minister Sergio Massa. In a surprise outcome, Massa conceded in a speech to supporters in Buenos Aires on Sunday, saying he called Milei to congratulate him on his victory.

    ‘Javier Milei claimed nearly 56 percent of the vote, with more than 80 percent of votes tallied. It was a stunning upset over Sergio Massa, the center-left economy minister who has struggled to resolve the country’s worst economic crisis in two decades.’ — ZH

    On my first visit to Argentina in 2005, we stayed at a vacation rental run by a French guy, the former manager of Renault’s auto assembly plant in Córdoba, Argentina. His main challenges during his work career were labor radicalism, hyperinflation, and oppressive regulation by the Peronist government. Nothing has changed from then to now.

    Today Argentina turns a new leaf. Taylor Swift fought Milei, but Milei won. Go home, yankee bitch. We’re done with your socialist horseshit.

    • Note how Argentina — a developing economy — efficiently tallies election results within hours after the polls close and announces a winner.

      Third World USA, with its tainted mail-in ballots, can only gaze in envy at what countries with far fewer resources achieve.

      The problem is not money; it’s character. The US fedgov has become the very thing it outlawed during the Nixon administration: a racketeer-influenced, corrupt organization.

      But the US fedgov claims sovereign immunity from being sued under its own RICO statutes. Lowly citizens have no recourse, except to ‘vote harder’ in tainted elections.

      • Elections were much more localized prior to 2000 and the Bush/Gore farce. Everyone thinks 9/11 was a coup, but it really started with the fake drama around the election.

        Besides, Argentina probably only has a few thousand grifters with their hand in the taxpayer’s pocket. When you think about the millions of people who are on the government dole (the real dole, not the direct transfer payments), you better believe they need the right people to win.

      • The loser was last name “Massa”? LOL. Good for the Argentines. I don’t love the weird photos I’ve seen of Milei, who seemed to have posed for them, which is creepy, nor do I think he’s 100% an-cap in a doctrinaire sense. I mean, pegging the peso to the dollar? How about gold as money? However, I do think he, or his campaign, has clued regular people, young people especially, into the thievery and thuggery of the ruling class under socialism and that’s powerful. Kinda like what Eric does here every day without the hair and photo shoots.

        • ‘Kinda like what Eric does here every day without the hair and photo shoots.’ — Funk Doctor Spidock

          Well, hell, he could have a go …

          https://ibb.co/3RDvj4y

          ‘looking down on it from the helicopter, with a bottle of Jack in my left hand, a bag of pills in my right hand, and a blonde head bobbing up and down in my lap, I felt like the king of the world’

    • I just saw Milei’s win. Personally, I am very (pleasantly) surprised. I never believed that the majority would vote to curb the size and spending of government. Maybe, it just takes inflation of 143% to realize it isn’t working.

      I hope Milei stays true to his word. The downsizing will be painful, but it will beneficial to the country in the long run.

      Libertarianism has a chance of succeeding in the Western Hemisphere presuming they do not make a mockery of it.

      I wish his administration the best and hope Milei (and the Argentinian people) prosper.

      • “In some ways it’s worse with a “victory” like this because if he completely fails in his fight against the hydra with a thousand heads (very likely), then the state/state-media/progressive spin is, “Well, there you go. This proves that libertarian ideas don’t work. Milei only won because we had a bad economy because we didn’t spend and inflate and micro-manage enough.” That’s why liberty revolutions should always be peaceful secessions from the grassroots up. You kill a bad tree from the roots, not by climbing to the top and sawing from there on down. Did you hear that, MAGA?”

        https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/javier-milei-elected-president-of-argentina/

        • From what little I’ve read, the situation is spring loaded to blow up as soon as he takes office. That being said, this Dale Steinrich piece on LRC is a little too “you’re gonna fail.” LRC was a major Ron Paul electoral cheerleader and I doubt we would’ve seen this kind of defeatism from those guys if he had won the presidential election. Milei strikes me as similar to Ron Paul in that he’s influenced by libertarianism but not a paragon of it. What I like more about Milei, though, is his fire and understanding that you can’t negotiate with “leftards” (his term of art) because, even though libertarian ideas are better, they will use the apparatus of the State to END YOU (his words again). More non-leftists in the US need to grok this. Milei seems to have gotten through to enough people who said they “have nothing to lose” by voting for him. We’re not there yet here but soon come.

        • Helot: I saw this article. I’m sort of incensed by it because it’s a reflection of the pessimism that seems to be endemic to a certain branch of self-defeating, black-pilled libertarians (“We’re doomed. We’ll never make it. So don’t even try.”). Somehow these people can take an incredible victory and portray it as an horrendous defeat. Heck, this might even be the product of a false-flag psyop designed to demoralize the liberty-minded.

          To this I say fuk-dat! This is a victory for freedom and I’m excited to see how it plays out. Yeah, the world is a mess, but it’s always been a mess. The fight need to be fought on every front (both top down and bottom up), but don’t forget that THESE ARE THE GOOD TIMES, because they are now and we’re part of them.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er9xGRolrT4

          • Hmm, I saw the LRC bit more as pointing out reality & how Not to go about things, and rather highlighting the maybe not-so-obvious more positive & effective path, here.

            Was the glass half empty?
            Was it full?
            Was it being filled? …with gasoline?

            …If you saw a trap, …

          • I thought of you guys when I read this bit:

            “… ‘Libertarian’ outsider, Javier Milei, has just easily secured the presidency of Argentina, which is considered a ‘coup’ for ‘freedom-loving libertarians’ everywhere. He has promised what is considered by most, some very radical changes in Argentina, changes that include blowing up the central bank, and reconstruction of the Argentinian economic system. He also wants to get rid of the peso and replace it with the U.S. dollar, which is a rapidly failing fiat monetary unit itself, and certainly not real money. He calls himself an “anarcho-capitalist,” and some of his ‘beliefs’ lean in that direction. but he still wants to rule over ‘his’ country with a heavy hand. If he fails in what he has promised, he will be able to blame it on the fact that he has no control over the legislature, which could be a convenient excuse. After saying he would burn down the central bank, he now will appoint a new central bank head, and central economic team. He is also it seems, close to Zelinskyy, a supporter of Ukraine and of Zionist Israel, so he is not opposed to war and genocide. In addition, he said he would “retreat from ties with countries including Russia, China, and Brazil, but does not that contradict his free market position? Actually, this sounds like protectionism and market control to me, not anarcho-capitalism.

            I would wish for better things to happen in Argentina, as it cannot get much worse there economically, but thinking that this new ruler will change that country, and make it a bastion of freedom and prosperity because of an election, is just plain idiotic. I use the above example because putting any ‘faith’ in any politician on earth, even one like Milei, in any political party, in any ruling system, or in any election, is completely asinine.”…

            https://www.lewrockwell.com/2023/11/gary-d-barnett/the-scam-of-politics-continues-feigning-hope-where-none-exists/

  2. This is your best yet expose of tje nonsrnse. What a pile of crap this whole lie has become. You’re not pissed. You’re being rational. Im forwarding this to every contact I know.

  3. Comment from this youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A70ttk7OqZU&ab_channel=andyjhaj

    Throttling gas pumps?

    “Sadly soon all combustion cars including classics will be banned from public streets in entire EU and Scandinavia 🙁
    In Germany the Green Peoples Party gave order to shorten fuel supply from 2025
    on by reducing all conventional fuel stations to only one state operated central gas station per city or county. Now they want to slow down all the gas station pumps from 20 litre per minute to 2 litre per minute…From 2027 on in the EU certain car spare parts will be banned too….as exhaust systems, turbo chargers and even some engine and gearbox oils…California and New York will do the same from 2027 on…. So no investments should be done in oil burning cars any longer….They even created a new kind of crime here, called emissions and smoke crime.!!!!!! (BABVVO law)”

    • Joe is combusting carbohydrates while denying Joe Biden, the Biden that he is, is also combusting hydrocarbons, can’t be denied. Joe will die if he doesn’t eat.

      Digestion rules, your stomach goes empty. You gotta eat.

      Everything is work in this world.

      Takes a lot of work to kill Palestinians. Just as much work to kill Jews.

      At this point, what does it matter?

      What would God do?

    • So the EU solution to long EV charging times is to Harrison Bergeron the gas pumps so it takes almost as long to pump gas as get a charge. Not surprising, the whole modus operandi of these control freaks is to keep up the whippings until morale improves.

  4. This is quickly becoming a “Let them eat cake” situation, at least for the dull-witted press who write about EVs with a positive spin. We went from AlGore’s carbon tax exchange, which fell with a thud worthy of Pets.com, to regulatory capture by the Fabian socialists. I’m certain the answer to why is it so expensive will be “But you can lease it for $699/month.” Truly a you will own nothing moment, right there in the showroom.

    This is how it happens. Not all at once, but gradually, one car at a time.

  5. Here’s a fresh surprise, for those who make it to their eighties or nineties:

    ‘Assisted-living centers often charge $5,000 a month or more and then layer on extra fees at every step.

    ‘Prices escalate greatly when a resident develops dementia or other serious illnesses. At one facility in California, the monthly cost for people with cognitive issues increased from $1,325 for those requiring the least amount of help to $4,625 as residents’ needs grew.

    ‘To consistently get 20 percent returns, some assisted-living facilities have devised sophisticated pricing methods. Each service is assigned points based on an estimate of how much it costs in extra labor, to the minute. When residents arrive, they are evaluated to see what services they need, and the facility adds up the points.’ — NYT

    https://archive.ph/kC05e#selection-505.0-509.217

    Lovely. So you give up your driving license. Then you get dinged with points — dozens, hundreds — when you check into the old folks home. Ain’t that America …

    • My sister and I are starting to have this conversation. Mom and dad are having trouble with stairs and their split level is becoming a burden. There are plenty of retirement places around, like everything else, the big investment banks smelled an opportunity to extract wealth. I think we’d be OK with it if the money went toward hiring good staff and upkeep, but too often the majority goes back into marketing, paying back investors and management.

      We used to have charities that would provide a decent place to live out your remaining time in comfort. Probably not very pretty, but nice enough. Seems like they’ve fell victim to the 0.1% return on their conservative endowments, so they jack up the prices to make up the shortfall. Yet another unintended consequence of centrally planed monetary policy. And with the destruction of the church, a vow of poverty is no longer considered noble.

    • it is America unfortunately. Those old folks may have never got mental decline if they were in the care of loved ones and had young people -and kids- around to provide mental stimulation.
      The healthiest way of life is a multi-generational tribal structure where old folks can do baby sitting duties and provide the benefit of perspective of living for many decades. Also giving their daughters a break while the men are out hunting, getting food, building stuff etc. We’re all so atomized today and much sadder for it. Apparently it’s how ((they)) want it so we’re easier to control. Fucking communists.

      • American business is in love with the IBM “I’ve Been Moved” management style. Probably rooted in career military practice, where managers get moved around to prevent getting too attached to anything but the business.

        You might say that in business people make the choice to move, but in reality if you don’t play the game you’ll be ejected by the company.

        And when you retire you’re abandoned. At least with the military there’s usually enough retirees to form their own communities.

    • “America” has been destroyed by the looting scum running D.C.
      I’m heading overseas where people are free to treat others with respect and family life is still honorable.
      Some countries that have been described by the media as uncivilized or uncultured have much more to offer than the rotting corpse of the forced union ‘United States.’
      Hopefully, I’ll be comfortably resident there before the Deep State false flag martial law that precludes another stolen election in 2024.

    • Just like the Hotel California,,, you can check in but you can never check out at least not back into this world. Since you are now classified as “the vulnerable” you get all the cool shots you avoided when you were cognizant. New Yalk Faudci shots killed thousands/millions… who knows. In most states and in Kanaduh they have suicided thousands/millions with DNRs issued by ‘Doctors’ unbeknown to patients. Kanaduh and some US States allows assisted suicide for those that simply don’t like the life they live. Soon I am sure Kanaduh will happily make that decision for them.

  6. ‘Behold the ID.7 – the name VW has chosen for the Passat’s battery-powered replacement.’ — eric

    Yeah, ID.7 — that’s some real Teutonic poetry there, squareheads. In English, ‘ID’ smacks of ‘Ihre Papiere, bitte.

    Automakers have economists who estimate the price elasticity of demand — in layman’s terms, hike the price, sales go down.

    But you don’t need no PhD Econ to estimate that raising the Passat’s price from $27,500 to $50,000 will roughly halve sales.

    Ship of fools.

  7. Prius, Rav4 hybrids have NiMH batteries, Ford Escape hybrids have NiMH batteries too.

    Gotta go hybrid. You can buy a nickel metal hydride battery for 1,200 dollars, not twenty grand. Other hybrids are Honda Civic, Chevy Malibu.

    Very safe batteries and have fewer problems.

    EV fad is over, only so many customers want one. No more buyers, they’re not there.

    Desire is the first motivation to own a veicle. Nobody really wants a battery vehicle and won’t go far. Have to face the music, the handwriting on the wall.

      • Yes, that is true. The not new models can still have the nickel metal hydride battery. Still available. Panasonic does the job.

        Although, the lithium ion battery is and can be a replacement for the NiMH battery. It’s all online.

  8. Here in Texas, qualifying for a $350k home at the best interest rate currently possible requires a $70k down payment and a household take home income of $12k a month. Failure to meet those numbers means paying a lot more … or renting. Not much will be left over for cars at most households soon around here.

    Where is VW planning to build the Passat replacement? Mexico?

      • Hi Allen,

        In my area, a single pack (8 ounces) of KerryGold butter approaches $6. A pint of heavy cream is about the same. Steak? Forget it – unless you’re rich enough to afford it. I eat hamburgers, mostly. Hopefully, they’re not made with what I suspect they are probably made with. Ah, well.

        • I buy the KerryGold grass fed butter as well because other butters that make no such representations started either being completely tasteless or watery (!) even. The other day I was checking out at the Food Lion with some and the checker, unsolicited, said to me, “I buy KerryGold butter also because it’s the only real butter we sell here anymore.”

        • Our supermarket had them on sale for $3.50 per half pound last week. I bought the limit and froze them.

          The grass fed ground beef can be had for around $5 a pound around here.

        • Eric – get some beef from you neighbors.
          I buy a whole beef every year and it works out to be less than $7 per pound. ($3.25 per pound for the hanging weight plus processing)

          A lot cheaper and you are not getting a steer that has been on a feedlot for months getting who knows what growth hormones and other chemicals.

          They are usually OK with selling you a half or quarter if you don’t need that much.

          You will be amazed at the difference – we can no longer stand the smell of cooking grocery store hamburger.

          Anon

          • I did that in 2021, bought a half cow from a relatively local farm. Never again. The average price you mention isn’t really comparable vs. something like packaged hamburger or Ribeye steaks because of all of the garbage cuts you get like shanks and such that you have to figure out what to do with. There’s a reason you don’t see that stuff in grocery stores.

            As far as chemicals, even the lower end stores near me like Food Lion sell organic, grass fed, regeneratively raised beef at prices between $6 and $10 a pound depending on sales.

            • Funk, the “garbage” cuts you refer to are what goes into that “cheap” burger you are getting. I use the “garbage” cuts, including organ meats, heart, liver, kidney, tongue. I do get my beef from a local real organic farmer (he is a maniac on the subject). Totally grass fed, with some kelp and finished with apples. Lean, high protein. Works out to about $7.00 per pound for the beef (cut weight). It tastes great, I also get the bones for bone broth. Many of the lesser parts go to my dogs. I have a pack of Vicious Viszlas for home protection.

              • There are no organ meats or shanks in the ground beef for sale that I referenced. Believe me, I know the difference. You can eat that stuff and tell me how good it is but I won’t believe you. Garbage. You’re paying more than $7 per pound for the good stuff. Bones and broth are another thing altogether. I don’t enjoy boiling that stuff in my house for hours and hours on end to do it properly no matter the health value. I did that, too, and won’t do it again. YMMV.

    • Hi Roscoe,

      Yup; and it’s similar here in SW Virginia – where (as per the article I published a few weeks ago) an average (small) house sells for around $300k but the average individual who lives here only makes about $26k annually. You used to be able to buy a small house here for around $125k. You can’t buy a single wide (on its own patch of land) for that anymore.

      • In the early to mid 1920’s the prevailing wage was $1.24 per hour. That would pay a home off in 5 years,,, a vacation home in another 5 years. It would support a family of 5 all the way through college. The $850 Model T dropped in price to $260 after Henry Ford invented the assembly line and other improvements. And they were smart enough to know EV’s were not viable and they disappeared from the market.

        All this without any government intervention!!! Amazing…..

        Then the new Federal Reserve that became law on Christmas Eve of 1912 decided to destroy the economy. (Admitted to by Greenscam) Been downhill ever since and accelerated when Gov took over the schools and today about everything else.

        • But think of how many people put off purchasing a Model T, knowing that the price would fall over time!

          Really? Who does that? Other than dowdy old British economists?

          In 2007 I paid $699 for a Nokia N95 smart-ish phone. I justified it because I was looking for a point-and-shoot digital camera and was tired of all the hype around “feature phones” of the day. I wasn’t disappointed either. The inflation calculator says that would be $1037 in 2023, which is about the price of a base iPhone 15 Pro, a phone that’s orders of magnitude better. Should I have held out? Of course not. Especially when there’s no way that $699 would have earned enough interest to offset the inflation (especially when the Wall St casino went pop a year later).

          “I’ll not buy that green banana now, I’ll wait until it turns black because it will be cheaper! You fools who buy green bananas are paying too much!”

          • RK thats why deflation is regarded as the worst tragedy possible by TPTB. It puts money into everyone’s pockets and takes it away from our ((tribe)) overlords. Hence why it’s not allowed.

        • Henry Ford’s $5 a day worked out to $150 K per year in recent year equivalent. And that was before the corona-flation induced money printing. So probably about $250 K per year now.

          • $5.00 per day in 1910 is an ounce of gold to have in your pocket. In four days, you earn 2000 dollars in today’s dollars.

            200 days on the job, 50 ounces of gold. 100,000 dollars.

            Have to pay auto workers 100,000 dollars for 200 days of work to equal the money earned by auto workers in 1910.

            260 dollars for a Model T would be 13 ounces of gold, double-eagles, 26,000 dollars in 2023 fiat dollars.

            What you call hyper-inflation.

  9. Short term, customers will gravitate toward the affordable (non EV) cars that are available.

    Long term, EV makers will cry to Uncle; public opinion will cause fedgov to backtrack.

    When the choice comes down to you bank account vs climate fraud, the bank account will win.

    • Yes congress is a Parliament of Whores, and relatively cheap ones at that, for probably less than $5 million into the right pockets we could almost certainly get all this crapola repealed.

  10. I can only conclude that the Psychopaths In Charge hate our guts, and would prefer us dead, sooner rather than later. Every thing they do seems bent on making our lives as difficult and painful as possible. Can’t get it through their thick skulls that the better we do, the better they do. That “money” can most certainly be created out of thin air, but wealth cannot be. Including their wealth. Turning us into a nation of billionaires that can’t afford lunch.

    • Hey John
      Watch’em line up in the cattle chute outside a voting station voting for what they term,,, the “lesser of evil”.
      By now, from the looks of things, I’m willing to wager that long ago we’ve reached 110% evil no matter how one ‘votes’ and it’s for sure they don’t give a damn about this nation or its citizens which are voting for their own funeral.

    • The big buzz shifted from blockchain to AI. People couldn’t grok blockchain, so it’s an “under the hood” tech. But AI! WooHoo! Look at the cool things it can do! Why it wrote some college kid’s dissertation! It punched up my writing! It even knows how to write Python scripts (simple ones anyway).

      Shut up and take my money!

      Turns out if this plays out the way the investor class wants, we’ll finally have that “lights out” factory, with robotic assembly of AI designed parts using materials delivered “just in time” by self-driving vehicles that line up and wait for free. Think of the productivity!

      But of course it will be a sham. Much like the 1980s Japanese factory, the final assembly will be in clean modern buildings, but the subassemblies and parts will come from thousands of contractors, many of whom will have small 3D printers and CNC mills on their property, cranking out simple small parts. Maybe they’ll set up shop in Mexico or further south, where tax and environmental laws are more flexible. The investors won’t see that, only the shiny new stuff off the American assembly lines. Ready for consumers, if there are any left…

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