EV Gravy Train End of the Line?

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Imagine if I bought a Hummer, a high-end, very expensive Hummer or some other very expensive vehicle only the rich can afford.  You know them… the kind of vehicles that cost as much as a small home in fly over country.

 

Hopefully you said… “We’ll, that’s your business.”  But what if I also got a hefty tax credit for doing it.  All of a sudden it would be everybody’s business… Joe average tax payer subsidizing the rich buying cars from rich corporations.

 

Buy an EV (electrical vehicle) and you receive a $7500 tax credit.  Elon Musks’ Tesla business model was designed around that fact and even then… can’t operate in the black.  A 2017 Tesla Model S sedan costs between $69,500 and $140,000.

 

But Elon, and General Motors have a problem.  The gravy train is reaching the end of the line.  The subsidies by law cover the first 200K cars from each manufacturer and then is phased out.  Tesla and GM find themselves on that threshold.  This will make them actually have to compete with other EV makers who haven’t reached that threshold (not to mention non-EV models).

 

 

Elon’s miscalculation (one made by the entire green energy and product industry) is that their business models generally require the gravy train to be non-stop.  Had Hillary Clinton been elected that would have been a safe bet along with a lot of other socialist and crony capitalist schemes.

 

Elon Musk is a snake oil salesman (the likes of Al Gore).  He is the proverbial wizard behind the curtain, and his %&$@ is about to hit the fan.  He’s already scrambling with layoffs, and claiming internal employee sabotage, etc…

 

The writing is really on the wall (Tesla being the most shorted stock in the U.S…) but with the deification of Musk by the left they’ll never see it coming until the very end.  Tesla is Solyndra on steroids.  Musk will walk away with billions, blame everybody and his dog for the fiasco and continue to donate a lot of money to leftist candidates who funneled all that money his way.  And YOU (the tax payer) made it possible.

 

 

But I digress, enough about this asshole…

 

The gravy train (subsidies) never should have existed... but that is what happens in Democratic administrations.  The gravy train should have been de-railed with the tax reform last year… but Republicans are pussies and that is what happens (or doesn’t happen) in GOP administrations.

 

Third time’s the charm?  We’ll see.

 

This will actually be a key test (in my opinion) of Trump really proving that he means what he says when it comes to “draining the swamp”.  Every bit of Washington will be against him on this.  The left would like the EV gravy train to go on indefinitely in the name of leftist, green, ideology.  The Republicans are either 1) in total agreement or 2) pussies.

 

So, this crap going away isn’t a done deal by a long shot… but it should be.

Comments

Pardero Added Jun 21, 2018 - 4:39pm
TexasLynn,
You did not pull any punches, here.
Let's hope Trump can wipe that smug look off Musk's face.
Bravo for calling out the boondoggle!
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 21, 2018 - 6:23pm
Elon Musk is a snake oil salesman and he just sold the Marxist mayor of the Broke and crime ridden City of Chicago a hole in the ground.  He said he would pay for it but anyone that believes this is a dreaming.  The City will find a way of putting the bill on the backs of tax payers.   Mayor we still have houses in the city under water that have been under water since 2008.  Why because too many people are murdered by drive by shooting.   Why because crime rob people and businesses in broad day light in not just the poorest neighborhoods but in the wealthiest and middle class neighborhoods.  
 
We have the most restrictive gun laws but their seems to be no restrictions for gang members and criminals from having guns.  The laws have only made it easier to murder, rape, and robe law biding citizens.  
 
Maybe this is why Chicago was considered easy picking  by  Elon Musk.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 21, 2018 - 6:31pm
Want to see a pack of lies.  I get to listen and watch the Governor campaign ads.   If I remember correctly the legislature is responsible to create a budget by the constitution of the State of Illinois.  Yet the Republican Governor is responsible for not passing a budget for years and thus failing to pay bills and shutting down programs, etc.  I also believe as most states that the budget has to be balanced.  So when the legislature present an deficit budget without any agreement on how to bring the budget into balance it is the responsibility of the Governor to veto it.   
 
The ads never mention any of this.  
Dino Manalis Added Jun 21, 2018 - 7:16pm
 Electric vehicles need further development and made safer and cheaper for consumers.
Bill H. Added Jun 21, 2018 - 7:59pm
I could never understand the "Right's" deep hate for EV's. I am glad to see any new technology that creates jobs, advances technology, and helps curb our reliance on fossil fuels.
Could this be sparked by the close ties between the Republican Party and the Oil Industry?
I suspect I will hear the usual "EV's and batteries produce more pollution than fossil fuels" comeback, but I sense an inborne hate and despise for any mention of anything (gulp!) "Green", or "Alternative Energy". I know for a fact quite a few out here shudder when they see or hear these words.
Maybe we could just sit back and watch the rest of the world make the leaps and bounds in this area, procure all of the patents, and create all of the jobs while we (as usual) write it off as a "commie pinko progressive liberal plot to destroy the petroleum industry" and continue to putt around in our gas guzzling V8's keeping the oil boys happy forever.
Here is just one example of where the rest of the world is headed.
 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.5 sec
Leroy Added Jun 21, 2018 - 9:51pm
Excellent article, Lynn.
 
I used to be a Musk believer.  The more I read about him, the more convinced that he has achieved very little on his own.  I hear that California either passed a law or is getting ready to pass a law requiring solar cells on all new construction.  Again, Musk will be there to suck at the government teat.
 
"I could never understand the "Right's" deep hate for EV's. I am glad to see any new technology that creates jobs, advances technology, and helps curb our reliance on fossil fuels. "
 
I don't hate EV's.  I worked on one 35 years ago.  What I do object to is the government deciding winners and losers.  I despise those commercial businesses that suck at the government teat for their existence.  The government has no business determining winners and losers.
Michael B. Added Jun 21, 2018 - 11:15pm
Interesting post there, TexasLynn. Back in 1996, I worked at a place that made a critical component for the GM EV1, which apparently was a spectacular flop. Describing it in detail would be a post in and of itself. Anyway, as battery and other technologies continue to improve, so will everything else; I'm all for reduction and eventual elimination of fossil fuels in any way, shape, or form that it comes in. However, like with any new thing, there are always up and down sides, and winners and losers.
 
I got a chuckle from your comments regarding Elon Musk. What a name! It sounds like a cheap underarm deodorant that would enter a car in a NASCAR race. I don't know much about the dude, except that he seems to be very astute in his various fields of endeavor, government milking included. Truth be told, when he said that he was "financially conservative but socially liberal", I totally identified with that. "Don't live beyond your means, and don't be an asshole."
 
That's something I'll have to look more into: Failed automobile manufacturers. A quick Internet search reveals that there were several hundred of them in the U.S. alone.
 
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:21am
Pardero,
Thank you for the observation.  I try not to ever pull punches and I always seek the truth of the matter.  The left, the Democrats are willing to sacrifice this nation on the altar of their green god.  And their adversaries, the GOP, will let them out of agreement, or fear.
 
I... think we are lost and they will win.  I hope I am wrong.  I've been wrong before.
 
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Thomas,
I know!  Isn't it amazing that this guy can still pull it off with the leftist morons?  P.T. Barnum supposedly said there is a sucker born every minute... Chicago's mayor and Musk were made for each other.  California and Musk were made for each other.  I'm OK with that.  I say to Musk, bilk the leftist morons for every penny you can... but remove your filthy, greasy mouth from the federal teat!
 
I feel sorry for states like Illinois and California with such leftist leadership.  I hate what is happening to them, BUT also feel the states are the crucibles in which good and bad policies are tried.  If not for such failure, how will the rest of us see and learn.  As long as these states are forced to lie in the bed of their own making... all power to them.
 
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Dino >> Electric vehicles need further development and made safer and cheaper for consumers.
 
Agreed Dino... and they need to do it on their own dime and those who believe in them... not the taxpayer.  THAT is not what is happening today, it's what needs to happen tomorrow.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:22am
Bill H >> I could never understand the "Right's" deep hate for EV's.
 
No Bill, I'm sure you can't.
 
Bill H >> I am glad to see any new technology that creates jobs, advances technology,
 
All these things are good... when they can stand on their own two feet.  When they can't and when they are used to siphon off billions to crony capitalists at the expense of tax payers?  Yes... we on the right are against that.
 
Bill H >> ... and helps curb our reliance on fossil fuels.
 
And that they key... isn't it Bill.  The green god upon which the left puts all it's faith.
 
Bill H >> Could this be sparked by the close ties between the Republican Party and the Oil Industry?
 
No... Bill, it's the ties between the right and the taxpayer.  Did you read the article?
 
Bill H >> I suspect I will hear the usual "EV's and batteries produce more pollution than fossil fuels" comeback, but I sense an inborne hate and despise for any mention of anything (gulp!) "Green", or "Alternative Energy". I know for a fact quite a few out here shudder when they see or hear these words.
 
Bill, I hope and pray that Green Energy makes it and is a remarkable success.  I hope it destroys fossil fuels.  I hope we discover cold fusion and put all this nonsense to rest.
 
I also hope for world peace…
 
BUT until then, green and alternative energy is nothing more than crony capitalism used to make the likes of Elon Musk filthy rich; while producing (in the long run)... nothing.  Solyndra?  Tesla?  It's all the same thing.  Thievery through crony capitalism.
 
The solution?  Allow the free market to do its job.  NO subsidies for these thieving assholes.  When the technology is there, when green can actually compete with fossil; it will happen.  But it should not happen one day, one minute, before green can stand on its own two feet.
 
Bill H >> Maybe we could just sit back and watch the rest of the world make the leaps and bounds in this area, procure all of the patents, and create all of the jobs while we (as usual) write it off as a "commie pinko progressive liberal plot to destroy the petroleum industry" and continue to putt around in our gas guzzling V8's keeping the oil boys happy forever.
 
Bill, when have we “as usual” allowed the rest of the world to out innovate us?  We’ve often allowed them to steal our innovation… but actually do it themselves?
 
All I ask Bill is that YOU put your money where your mouth is.  How much stock in Tesla do YOU own?  How many of their products have YOU bought?
 
God bless you green dreamers... just leave us (the taxpayers) the fuck out of it.  We're tired of getting fleeced and screwed.  Come back in a year or two and tell me how ahead of his time Elon Musk was (assuming the bastard doesn't somehow extend the subsidies he's getting).  Tell me how much money you made by investing in his (and your) green dreams.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:22am
Leroy,
Glad you liked the article.  Elon Musk is indeed a con artist the likes of Al Gore, who also became filthy rich on the back of the green god.  Often these shysters make their money via their government and insider connections.
 
THAT is what we on the right want to stop; we want the government to stop deciding the winners and losers.  We want ideas and products to win (or lose) based on the content and quality of the ideas themselves and the men/women behind them.
 
Musk and Gore and Clinton and many, many more will always be there sucking on the government teat and demanding more, more, more.  I know it is a dream to break that cycle... one might as well pretend they are going to drain a massive swamp.  Both are equally unlikely.  But we've got to try.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:22am
Michael B,
 
I'm glad you found the post "interesting".  And it's good to get a perspective from someone with first-hand knowledge of EVs.
 
I've got nothing against them or green energy.  My problem is theft through subsidy, plain and simple.  And I'll be the first to say, that the EV and green energy industries are just the tip of that iceberg.  But... they are the most visible tip and worthy of attention.
 
Again, I'm all for both industries thriving... just not on my (the taxpayers) dime.  I'm also all for fossil fuels to go the way of the buggy whip... but I want it to go in the same manner... because the free market found a better way.
 
Judging Elon Musk by his actions instead of his words I think we can get a good judge of the man.  The man is a con artist and thief... and a very good one at that.  He has run a socially liberal scam upon the people of this nation (with the help and support of the left) that has about run its course.  He will have no choice but to wrap it up soon... and retire a multi-billionaire for his efforts.
 
There are indeed many car manufacturers that have bit the dust.  The Tucker Torpedo (1940s) and the DeLorean (1980s) immediately come to mind.  I used the Hummer as my initial example because it was (when you think about it) the opposite of the green movement vision.  It too... went defunct.
 
The free market spoke for each and every one of these guys.  Let it speak for the EVs and green energy.  If they survive that, we'll be better for it.  If they don't, we'll still be better for it.
 
"Don't live beyond your means, and don't be an asshole." are honorable and noble goals... and in no way, describes Elon Musk. :)
Digress Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:40am
Elon's Space program is no better! The Progressive Industrial Complex is pissing away billions, while children starve.
Neil Lock Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:13am
Good article, Lynn. The green gravy train is indeed starting to come off the rails. More importantly in my view, inquiring minds are starting to look harder at the foundations and the history of the green agenda. See, for example, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/20/the-thirty-year-war/.
 
I think the author of that piece is right; in the war against greenism we're just about at the inflection point - as Churchill put it, not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.
Flying Junior Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:32am
A comparison between purchasing a ridiculously expensive Panzerwagen and purchasing an electric vehicle holds no water for me.  I have to call false equivalency.
 
I agree with Bill H.  Y'all are deliberately closing your minds to real and much needed progress.
 
If you are simply pessimistic and have to laugh at the feeble efforts of an overfed and wealthy people who insist upon multiple plane trips in a single year or otherwise fly in the face of informed efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution, just come out and say it.
 
The woefully inadequate efforts that the U.S.A. has so far made to combat global warming are much less than needed and really no more than a joke.  We have fallen almost completely short of defined goals of twenty years ago.  That was before the monster took over.  What's more our energy policies actually pale in comparison to the rest of the civilized world.  Even China has made significant strides to reverse bad policy.  India is a forward-thinking country which is on track to convert to a majority of electric vehicles.
 
Clinton couldn't even get you crazies to sign on to the Kyoto Protocols.
 
Just be honest.  You believe it's hopeless.  We have already gone way too far.  Just fuck it.  Burn the coal.  Burn the gas.  Forget renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal and wind.
 
It's already too late.  Just keep on playing those lovely string quartets whilst they re-arrange the deck chairs on the H.M.S. Titanic.
 
I don't understand willful ignorance.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 22, 2018 - 8:03am
Elon Musk is an optimist, and all optimist have a problem, poor planning for failure.  The tend not to see pit falls and the effect of them.  Failures, at least minor ones will occur because no one can predict the effect of variation combinations because the variables are in the hundreds.  The combinations are in the millions.  They also then to do better in preparing for the early failures because failures can end the adventure of development.  
Leroy Added Jun 22, 2018 - 8:15am
"The woefully inadequate efforts that the U.S.A. has so far made to combat global warming are much less than needed and really no more than a joke.  We have fallen almost completely short of defined goals of twenty years ago.  That was before the monster took over.  What's more our energy policies actually pale in comparison to the rest of the civilized world.  Even China has made significant strides to reverse bad policy.  India is a forward-thinking country which is on track to convert to a majority of electric vehicles."
 
Whoaaa....hold on there, FJ.  Isn't the US number 2 in green energy investment?  China may lead the way, but I suggest a visit to China to observe the wind turbines that actually turn.  I'll wager less than half.  Where I used to live, there was a great debate about what to do with the energy from the wind turbines.  The best idea was to use it for public heating in the winter.  They couldn't just dump the energy into the grid because it would make the coal-fired plants inefficient if they were throttled back.  Some of the wind farms aren't even connected to the grid.  One thing one learns from living in China is that just about everything is fake.
 
And, maybe the US stumbled into it, but it has cut back more on CO2 than Europe.  Ok.  The fracking boom created a lot of gas and gas puts out less CO2; nevertheless, the US is leading the way.
 
India and China got a pass with the wonderful Paris Accord.  They are on track to produce more CO2.  But, but, but...you say, they didn't pollute as much in the past.  Let's face it; it was lipstick on a pig to make it sellable.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 9:21am
Lynn,  Musk is an interesting guy.  While I dont support him getting subsidies for a luxury car, the Tesla S is quite impressive.  As are his SpaceX accomplishments. 
 
Of course SpaceX like all the private space vehicles gets government money, it does seem to be a lot less costly than what the government was spending for NASA to send things into space. 
 
His problems with making money with the Tesla, is that while the design is cool, ramping up production is not fun, and not something that can be done with a few really smart people.  It took car companies a long time to learn to build 1000s of cars a week, and until Musk hires some people who know how to do it, and then spends the money to get it right, they will be spinning their wheels.
 
I dont think the government should be in the business of picking winners and losers.  Having said that  the  web of government subsidies for all industries is a pretty tangled mess.  Often there are conflicting taxes, and subsidies so the net is difficult to sort out.
Spartacus Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:14pm
Bill K, I agree.  Good comments.  EV is not a con-game.  Solar is not a con-game.  Space vehicles are not a con-game.  Not sure why the author is labeling Musk as a con-artist.  Opportunist seems to be the correct label.
 
The government has been subsidizing for decades tech which it thinks will benefit society.  And with some degree of success.   This is the government's investment into the country and its people.  Examples:  NASA (although originally a military program), nuclear power, hydro dams, the interstate highway system, the electric power grid, railroads.  The list is pretty long containing some very successful ventures.
The reality is that a government can be a venture capitalist too . . . and successful if run correctly.  Since the government has huge tax resources, it can leverage that power to create some amazing new tech/infrastructure.  There are increased risks with venture capitalism and this goes with the territory.
 
If the author wishes to decry Tesla as a con-game, it seems he has to first make a bigger and more difficult argument in saying that pure capitalism is the only way to progress new technology. 
 
Tough argument there Lynn.  Listen, I'm a capitalist and a righty . . . and I also am a Keynesian.  There are many, many examples of the government doing some pretty amazing things for society.   The government has also invested in some really bad ventures.  Those are the risks of venture investments.  If you disagree, then we should start discussing the new wall on our southern border that Trump (the gov) is building.  Are all those contractors con-artists too?
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:35pm
William,  every time a company gets a tax break for bringing jobs to a community, citizen money is subsidizing the company.   Investment tax credits are a subsidy, their are myriad forms of government incentives.  Sometimes the government gets it right, sometimes there is cronyism involved, sometimes the government just gets it wrong.  Not that different from private industry.  
 
Yes they are using tax money to do this, and yes the case could be made that no tax money should subsidize new technology.  Having said that, Musk is far from the worst taker of tax money, because at least he has products and technology to show for the money.  Some people take the hand out, and produce nothing. 
 
Musk companies have done some pretty amazing things.  Unlike people who  created Uber, and really only wrote some software, and then made the drivers take all the risk, Musk has built cars, and rockets.  I think even if Tesla is a failure as a profit making company, Tesla has raised the bar for EV cars, and SpaceX has moved the bar for lowering the cost of putting things into space.   This is what the government incentives were supposed to do. 
Dave Volek Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:36pm
Nice article from Lynn. It brings up some important points of government subsidies.
 
Because I'm not up to date on this particular company, I shall refrain from making an opinion on this particular subsidy.
 
Governments, most of the time, should stay out of the free market. However, there are times when it does need to interfere. I will just give you one of my better examples.
 
Circa 1970, Alberta (western Canada), had the best economics for raising cattle. However nearly all of the beef packing plants were in eastern Canada. So cattle had to be shipped by rail to the east. There they would be slaughtered and processed. The processed beef (usually quarters at that time) would be shipped back to Alberta grocery stores by truck. So a pound of hamburger would have to travel 2 x 3000 miles to find its final customer. The irony is that the hamburger started its journey in the customer's back yard.
 
The economics at that time did not warrant a big investment for packing plants in Alberta. Plus the eastern packing plants worked together as a monopoly to make sure any private investment would fail in Alberta. To get the packing industry in Alberta, the Alberta government had to subsidize about 20 small packing plants. These plants then had enough economic power to break the monopoly of the eastern plants.
 
The "free market" would have kept the beef processing in eastern Canada. Today, no cattle are shipped by rail. Processed beef from western Canada is shipped to eastern Canada, the USA, and other parts of the world. Government intervention was needed to effect this change.
 
In a like manner, EV will need a subsidy until demand reaches a point where "scales of economy" can happen. If we don't get EVs to this state, then the internal combustion engine will rule for a very long time.
 
I think Bill K had an interesting comment which I shall repeat:
 
I dont think the government should be in the business of picking winners and losers.  Having said that  the  web of government subsidies for all industries is a pretty tangled mess.  Often there are conflicting taxes, and subsidies so the net is difficult to sort out.
 
Eldon Musk may now be losing the PR war as to which companies get subsidies. There will still be a lot of companies and industries getting subsidies that don't get media attention.
 
Leroy Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:43pm
"His problems with making money with the Tesla, is that while the design is cool, ramping up production is not fun, and not something that can be done with a few really smart people."
 
In his arrogance, he declared he could produce cars much more efficiently than the auto manufacturers, who are already pretty darn efficient.  Oppppps...I guess not.  He blames over-automation for his current problems.  An EV is just another car.  It has a few special requirements.  That's all.  Now we know he can't do it more efficiently.  EVs are nothing new.  There's a lot more competition coming online.  What does he have beyond a slick design?  A promise of a better battery?
 
His no-brainer investment in his cousins' Solar City is starting to look like a brainer.  California came to the rescue but will it be enough?
 
SpaceX is riddled with problems. 
 
They are all potentially viable businesses.  Maybe the leader is the problem.
 
Musk is a big idea guy.  It's cool to have these visions of the future.  I can be a big idea guy too if I had people giving me lots of money.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:54pm
Leroy, it isnt quite as simple as you say.  His big ideas were brought to some fruition.  The cars exist and work, and the rockets exist and work.  So he did more than just have the ideas, he did actually create the machines, and given a pile of money not just anyone could do that.
 
The government has piles of money, why couldnt they figure out how to launch cargo into space at $40 million per flight?  We know why.
 
Scaling, and profitability is a another matter, and another skill set from design.  Musk is getting a lesson in that. 
 
Ever here of Billy Durant? he had big ideas for the  car industry, and was a visionary, whose ideas got a bit ahead of implementation.  He was the father of General Motors and joined the various small car companies together. It took Alfred Sloan to make GM profitable.  That doesnt mean Billy's ideas were worthless.
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 1:31pm
William Stockton,
It can't be a coincidence that all the "successes" of government involvement are in the 'inelastic' sector, as per your own list. 
 
The 'elastic' sector should be 'pure' capitalism, with rare exceptions, otherwise you have crony capitalism. If taxpayer assistance is necessary to work towards autarchy or self-sufficiency, that is another and uncommon, matter.
 
Private sector automobile manufacturing, EV or otherwise, is a flourishing and highly competitive arena, which does not require taxpayer assistance to foster competition and innovation.
 
Leroy makes excellent points. I am not particularly impressed with Musk's achievements per taxpayer money spent, either. SpaceX is a somewhat different argument, but if a bloated and near useless NASA was held accountable, SpaceX would have no raison d'etre.
 
This ain't exactly Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come. Misguided environmentalists and rose-colored glasses wearing futurists are trying to jumpstart and force something before its time.
 
The money would have been better spent in the inelastic sector, on infrastructure, rather than novelties for the rich to style around in, impressing others with their conspicuous consumption and virtue-signaling.
Dave Volek Added Jun 22, 2018 - 1:33pm
Bill
Nice history lesson about GM. I think there are lots of stories about how visionaries need to hand the rudder to astute business people. Tesla maybe needs to change its CEO, but not because the current one is incompetent, but because the company has moved beyond the CEO's abilities.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 1:52pm
Padero, as you know it is not a perfect world.
 
GM needed a bailout not long ago.  Many were against it, but it saved a few hundred thousand related jobs for GM and its suppliers, and dealers.  It seems this was a good move.
 
Car companies have LOTS of government requirements thrown at them for pollution, mpg, safety, tariffs, osha, etc.  Compliance and verification costs a ton of money.  Given that, helping with R&D does not seem unreasonable, and since they limited this to the first 200K vehicles built, it has a sunset clause built it.  Hardly the worst hand out I have seen.
 
If we are going to say the government cant subsidize new technology, do we also want to say the car companies can operate without government dictating product features?   That would not be my preference, though people in favor of pure capitalism would argue yes.  Pure capitalism would require a lot of consumer knowledge that most people dont have the time for, and many dont have the knowledge to sort out.  Then we really are back to the snake oil salesman promising results that arent real. 
Rick W. Added Jun 22, 2018 - 1:55pm
Modern America was built on tax subsidies. For a century, the oil industry has gotten tax breaks that no one else gets: write offs for "intangible drilling costs," "depletion allowances," etc that keep it disproportionately profitable. FDR and Truman tried to close the tax loopholes. Congress, solidly in oil's back pocket in 1940s-50s, said "nope." Kennedy brought it up again, to little interest, and Nixon said it was "in the national interest" to leave it be. Reagan tried to remove the breaks, but failed to motivate a Republican-led Congress. Clinton signed an act letting big oil drill in federal waters royalty free. Obama tried to repeal the tax breaks, but the proposal died in a Democrat-run Senate Finance Committee. 
 
This is not a party thing. This is America. 
 
 
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:00pm
Modern America was built on tax subsidies
 
True. 
 
Many industries get subsidies of one kind or another.  Build a mall, a factory, or large office building, and you will get subsidies.  At the same time you will have government regulations to comply with.  It is a trade off. 
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:14pm
Bill Kamps,
Thank you for well considered comment.
 
I had mixed feelings about that GM bailout. Then I reconsidered, and supported those American workers by purchasing an economical Cruze that was assembled in Lordstown, Ohio of 65% domestic parts. My research indicated the it was the most 'American' car available at the time. 
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:30pm
Padero,  thanks.
 
I was not in favor of the bailout, but it worked out, we were fortunate.  My reason for being against the bailout was that I didnt think it would work and that GM would still go under.  Not everyone was made whole, but it was better than the alternative.
 
Actually this subsidy for the EV cars was one of the better thought out ones.  The car company has to get the EV made, and sold, before they can get the subsidy.  If they cant sell it, they they dont get the money.  This is much better than handing them a check for the raw R&D before anything works.   The government allows the customer to decide if the vehicle warrants the subsidy, because they wont buy if it doesnt work well enough.  This along with the sunset clause, makes this pretty low risk from the government point of view.
 
If all government hand outs worked this well, we all would be complaining a lot less. 
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:33pm
Great comments all… I’m having a hard time keeping up with you guys.  I’ll probably have to get more general in my replies.  Thanks for the interest in the post.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:34pm
Digress >> Elon's Space program is no better!
 
I suspect all of Musk's companies are the same... pay no attention to the man behind the curtain or the illusions he creates.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:35pm
Neil,
Thanks for reading the post.  I hope you're right about the gravy train coming off the rails; though as I stated above, I'm not as sure of that.  The forces of the swamp would indeed keep it going if they have any say in the matter... and they do.  Let's stop this particular train and then see where it goes with the other 999 trains barreling down the track.
 
This for me is a big test for Trump.
 
There have always been inquiring minds concerning the global warming scam.  Whether or not that is increasing I can't say.  With the power of the main stream media, it will be an up-hill battle to expose these bastards.  Elon Musk for example would still be going strong with his subsidies renewed (perhaps indefinitely) by now had Hillary won.
 
The left uses science as their god and their whore at the same time. 
 
As for their god, the pantheon is replete with all the trappings
-- god: the earth
-- the priests: the "scientist"
-- the churches: Solyndra, Tesla,
-- the faithful: good leftist, the woke
-- the apostles: the main stream media
-- the devil: energy companies
-- sin: carbon, fossil fuel
-- god's anger to be appeased: changing climate
-- apostates: scientist who don't tow the line (are expose the priests scientists)
-- infidels: conservatives, those who don't accept their religion on faith
 
As for their whore, the left pimps science out to their various causes with climate change being their best John.
 
As a man of faith, I'm OK with their religion, as long as they don't make me pay for it (which is what is currently happening).
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:35pm
FJ,
Your attitude is the perfect example of secular green as a religion.  You list sin after sin we conservatives and skeptics are guilty of.
-- Panzerwagen
-- CO2 emissions
-- USA inadequate efforts to combat global warming
-- non-cooperation with the woke world
-- Trump (the monster)
-- No Kyoto
 
Those of us who refuse to buy in to the green philosophy are heretics and evil.  You would create a green theocracy with adherence not being all that optional.
 
FYI... I don't believe it's hopeless; I just believe it is exaggerated with the goal of promoting globalism and socialism.  Before global warming it was an ice age, over population, and depleting oil... There has always been an existential leftist crisis pushing us towards the holy grail of globalism and socialism.  Climate change is just the latest and to date, most effective.
 
FJ >> I don't understand willful ignorance.
 
At least we have that in common.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:36pm
Thomas >> Elon Musk is an optimist, and all optimist have a problem, poor planning for failure.
 
You may be right Thomas... it's hard to know what is in the mind of another.
 
If Musk is an optimist or an opportunist, the result is the same.  A failed venture ending in Musk being a billionaire at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
Leroy,
Good points Leroy... When it comes to all these agreements, you have to notice the pattern is always to screw the U.S. and give the big polluters (India and China) a pass.  It's always us, paying the little guys via some fund to go green.  We're always picking up the check.
 
If I'm China (or India or Europe), why wouldn't I agree for my competition to hobble himself; while I give lip and mere appearance service to the green movement.  It's just good business sense.
 
Yes, we've made progress in reducing CO2 thanks for natural gas and fracking, but understand CO2 reductions are not the main goal, but rather globalization and socialism.  The U.S. will never do enough by leftist standards.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:36pm
Bill K,
 
I'm sure Musk has some very pretty products.  I thought the stainless steel DeLorean was a beautiful car... I would have love for Musk to make a real go of it.  My argument is just that it isn't worth billions of tax payer dollars.  Let his products and ideas stand or fail on their own two feet.  That goes for all his companies.
 
Bill K >> His problems with making money with the Tesla, is...
 
I agree with all the problems you listed... and... it doesn't change the math ... he should do it on his own risking his own capital and those who want to risk theirs with him; with no help from the government.
 
Bill K >> I dont think the government should be in the business of picking winners and losers. 
 
On that we agree... and that is exactly what is happening with EVs and green energy.  So let's stop it.
 
Bill K >> Having said that  the  web of government subsidies for all industries is a pretty tangled mess.  Often there are conflicting taxes, and subsidies so the net is difficult to sort out.
 
On this we agree also... so... let's untangle it and stop it also.
 
William S >> EV is not a con-game.  Solar is not a con-game.  Space vehicles are not a con-game. 
 
EV, Solar, and Space vehicles are products.  There are themselves not a con.  How they are used to get money out of individuals or governments would be the "con-game".
 
William S >> Not sure why the author is labeling Musk as a con-artist.
 
Musk's business plans (specifically for solar and cars) is built on the foundation of government subsidies for his product.  He had not during the many years of subsides even come close to achieving a maintainable business model without said subsidies.  I maintain that his intent all along was to use his influence to keep the subsidies in place indefinitely.  That is a con.
 
BUT I could be wrong.  I Tomas said above... it could be that Musk is a naive optimist and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.  In my defense, the end result of both (con artist and naive optimist) is generally the same; failure at the expense of the tax payers.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:36pm
William S >> The government has been subsidizing for decades tech which it thinks will benefit society.
 
Agreed.
 
William S >> And with some degree of success.
 
Not so agreed.  I'm not saying that government doesn't have a role in promoting infrastructure but with the subsidies of EV and green energy we've gone off the deep end... Now we're subsiding ideology more than the common good.
 
Willam S >> The reality is that a government can be a venture capitalist too
 
That is obviously true... but I don't think it should be... especially not to the extent it is now.  As to the point many of us keep coming back to (including Bill K); we've reached a point where this is all about picking winners and losers.  Green energy wins, fossil fuels lose.  This may indeed be the final result.  All I'm saying is than when government makes that decision it's artificial, premature, and generally bad in the long run.  When the market makes that determination is real, timely, and generally good in the long run.
 
William S >> Listen, I'm a capitalist and a righty . . . and I also am a Keynesian.
 
And I respect your opinion... so keep it coming.
 
We'll have to disagree on the Keynesian economics... not that I'm an economist or an expert on Keynes economic theory… but…
 
I deduce that (in practice) Keynesian economic theory suffers the same fatal flaw as socialism.  It relies on government to act against its nature; and that NEVER happens.
 
In times of hardship Keynes says that government should spend.  Logical... except by nature government will NEVER quit spending.  To pretend otherwise is to deny nature.  And when government is spending it is in its nature to gravitate toward... abuse, corruption, and picking winners and losers.
 
Musk, EVs, and green energy are proof of all the Keynes’ theory falling on its face.
 
William S >> If you disagree, then we should start discussing the new wall...
 
Musk was not contracted to deliver cars to the government for a set price.  Government buying a product or a service is not the same is giving money to a business to be in business... this is a straw man.
 
Again.... thank you for the comment.
 
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:43pm
Lynn, the issue is that the government isnt just helping EVs.  If that was the case, then sure it is "easy" to stop.
 
The government is involved in everything, taking with one hand and giving with another.  The put many requirements on almost everything that is made, for pollution control, for safety, etc.  This is especially true in the auto business. 
 
Now you could say the government shouldnt be doing this either.  However, that would put that burden onto us to sort out which cars, would be safe, and work, and which would not.  Yes eventually the market would sort things out.  But while that eventually worked itself out, people would die, waste money and waste time trying to figure out what worked and what didnt. 
 
I certainly am not going to say the government gets it right all the time.  However, I would rather they give a rebate on a working product as a subsidy, than provide raw R&D funding like they did for Solyndra, which never got anything made. 
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:46pm
Dave, I appreciate the example you gave concerning government intervention in a market.  My belief is that the government's role in the free market is to keep the playing field even and when it is not (as in the example you presented) make it so.  That is not even close to the role government has chosen for itself today... that were we need to get back to.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:51pm
A lot of you guys are pointing out that the subsides are all over the board and I agree. Government cronyism is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. This is as good a place to start as any since... it can be solved by doing nothing. Let the subsidies expire and don't renew them in any way.
 
After this... let's tackle the next most obvious abuse.
 
Musk has had some limited success in actually producing product, but has fallen far short of what he promised and is far short of what will be needed to remain viable. If all things remain the same, meaning he loses his subsidies, I'm skeptical he can pull this out of the current nose dive. I want things to remain the same... and wish him the best.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:05pm
Lynn, I largely agree.  Government cronyism is a problem.
 
I have less of a problem when the subsidies are given industry wide, like the EV subsidies, than when specific companies like Solyndra are given the subsidies.  I also prefer they are given in the form of customer rebates than before there even is a product.  I got a rebate on my new air conditioner because it replaced the Freon based one, with a chemical better for the  environment.  This was not company specific.  Was the subsidy wise or not? doesnt seem terrible if the new chemical really is better, I did not have time to study the problem. 
 
Musk is walking on the edge.  It is possible he can pull this off, but then that will probably require giving up some control, which it seems he doesnt like to do.  Of course I derided Amazon for a long time because they werent making a profit, I was wrong about them. 
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:06pm
Bill Kamps,
Great points!
I suppose that Musk's high profile and political inclinations, make him a handy target.
 
The way you put it, these EV subsidies are the least of the problem with subsidies.
 
Look at the Dakotas, where Federal subsidies pay farmers to take land out of production for environmental concerns, yet federally subsidized crop insurance encourages farmers to put marginal land into production. Those subsidies are at cross purposes and would appear to highly susceptible to gaming.
Spartacus Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:10pm
Lynn:  I'm not saying that government doesn't have a role in promoting infrastructure but with the subsidies of EV and green energy we've gone off the deep end.
 
No arguments from me.  However, you should not cut down the entire tree because of a few bad apples in the pie.  The government's investment in society through these special projects does have benefit.  Cronyism is a different problem and you have not proven yet that EVs and solar tech, subsidized, are exclusively crony projects.  Yes, let us fix cronyism.
 
The difference is when the government's investment (subsidy or project) is for the sake of growing the government rather than society.  There are risks in venture growth.  These massive government projects are no different.
What you have not given us in this text is an alternative.  Should the government never seek to improve society with these large endeavors?  If not, what is the alternative?  Patreon?
 
Musk was not contracted to deliver cars to the government for a set price.
Show me one successful government-funded project that met any time-zero budget estimate.  Set price.  That is funny.  If you have ever been involved in a research project, you know that cost adjustment is par for the course.  EV and solar are research tech.  We do not know the set price in finding new battery tech and solar cell efficiency.  Subsidies seem the correct application.  If people buy the product, the government will share some cost in new research and development.
Dave Volek Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:14pm
Pardero
 
I like your approach to buy a vehicle mostly made in your country. I think many of these economic issues would resolve themselves if more people like you defined your principles and based a buying decision on those principles.
 
Lynn
I do not see any movement on EVs unless there are subsidies of some kind. I can't comment on whether the Tesla subsidies are good or bad, but overall this industry does need some government help. Otherwise the oil companies get their way--and consumers won't have the choice between the two different types of vehicles.
 
 
Spartacus Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:23pm
Pardero:  This ain't exactly Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come. 
 
With any venture project, that can be said 100% of the time.  Nobody is assured of success even if they invent anything new.  EVs and solar have a very compelling future (demand) if new tech is invented turning them into an "elastic" market product where supply and demand rules apply under free-market rules without government subsidy. 
EVs and Tesla are two really bad cases if you want to make a point against government subsidies.  If there are some new discoveries made in battery and solar tech, these would be transformative changes . . . for the better of society.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:25pm
There are better subsidies and worse subsidies.
 
The government for example sets the price of milk at a higher level than the market price.   This to support the dairy farmer at the expense of poor people who need milk for their kids.  The supposed reasoning goes back to the Great Depression when many  milking herds had to be destroyed because of low prices.  Maybe it is time to try letting the price be dictated by the market, how long will GD price controls go on, forever ?
 
No R&D here, get a cow, some grass and you get milk.  Of course the price support is extremely complex, and if you read any part of it you would need an attorney and an accountant to figure what the price of your milk needs to be. 
 
The government subsidizes tobacco farmers so they  can make a profit growing tobacco, while at the same time taxes the product at a very high level to deter consumption.
 
Yes, the government pays farmers not to grow crops.  Even when I was 10 years old I had trouble understanding this, I still do.  Of course this supposedly is to subsidize the "family farm" as though that is some sacrosanct job that needs to be forever preserved.  What about families of engineers, or accountants, or what have you? where is our subsidy?   The irony of course is that most of the subsidy goes to large corporations because they own the biggest farms, duh!
Spartacus Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:27pm
And by the way Pardero and Lynn, I have not made one argument using green energy or global warming . . .  both of which makes me cringe.  The benefits of EV and solar, with new discoveries, go way beyond any benefit to the environment.
Leroy Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:43pm
"BUT I could be wrong.  I Tomas said above... it could be that Musk is a naive optimist and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.  In my defense, the end result of both (con artist and naive optimist) is generally the same; failure at the expense of the tax payers."
 
My opinion of Musk now is that of a total flake after he cut off two analysts calling their questions boring.  He can't play in the big leagues.  Then he repeatedly makes false production claims.  He claims that he doesn't need an infusion of more money when it is obvious that he does.  He invents stories of sabotage.  His tent factory just had a fire.  That will be his excuse at the end of the month for not producing 5,000 Model 3s a week. Automation is not the solution; it is the problem now.
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:00pm
Dave Volek,
Thank you.
 
I was shut down, due to clogged fuel filters, a while back. Middle of the night, and my US made filter wrench was never seen again. I went to 4 places in town. One had just discontinued it, in favor a a Chinese line. 2 never carried it, and Home Depot could order it, but did not stock it in stores.
 
I am stubborn, and ordered a genuine Lisle filter wrench, made in Clarinda, Iowa. The price, for the finest band type wrench available, was less than any of the disposable imported wrenches.
 
I am not sure if consumers have all the say, higher profit margins seem to be a factor in what is displayed on merchant's shelves. 
 
Craftsman tools are all cheap imports, now. If you want a good tool, but are unwilling to pay ridiculous tool truck prices, US made SK Tools are an alternative, though their products are not cheap. They may have a future since they were purchased by Ideal Industries. I have an antique tool box with leather handle. It wears a transfer/decal "The Sherman-Klove Tool Company, Chicago."
Flying Junior Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:02pm
I don't doubt that the U.S. leads the world in clean energy.  Yet my thesis is difficult to refute.  The global population and the U.S. have both missed important goals.  If these goals had been met we would all be a lot safer today.  I don't think anyone really expected to meet these goals.  But a greater effort was hoped for.  I didn't mean to suggest that China and India were making greater sacrifices than us.  But to my understanding both countries are converting to fleets of electric vehicles.  I can guess that it is likely that there is government subsidy.
 
Conservatives have long opposed government subsidies of the clean energy sector.  But the way I see it, these subsidies help the consumer as much as the manufacturers.  We all benefit from programs that make it affordable to put solar on roofs and get people into electric cars.
 
OTOH, the Trump administration sees tariffs as sort of a magic cudgel to solve our trade problems.  Democrats offer subsidies.  Trump offers destructive tariffs.  But that doesn't rile the conservatives at all.
 
Decisions such as pulling out of the Paris Accords are largely symbolic, yet it sends the wrong message.  And it is very true that the Trump administration is moving quickly to reverse long-standing energy policies.  They are striking down EPA mileage standards.  They are allowing increased oil exploration and keeping coal-powered power plants on line.  I'm sure I could find more examples.  It is a political football.  Just like the guys in Tennessee rolling coal with their big trucks love to antagonize Prius drivers.  The Trump cabinet makes these reckless decisions to fire up the extreme anti-environmentalist base.
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:14pm
William Stockton,
Excellent points. Green energy should be considered separately from EV and solar. Anything that offers an alternative to nuclear, deserves the benefit of the doubt. 
 
Just as lighter weight materials account for most of the increased MPG in IC engines, which may be near the peak of efficiency, we may be at a point of modest improvements to batteries. 
 
Ward Tipton has touched on bio-fuels and bio-char, which could provide the energy to charge those batteries, should there be a breakthrough.
 
I hope that practical batteries aren't an elusive pot of gold, that distract from some truly revolutionary and radical innovations that may hold far more promise.
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:49pm
Flying Junior,
Until we have power grids that are predominately renewable power supplied, we are merely robbing Peter to pay Paul, while
cluttering the countryside with highly toxic and dangerous batteries, that are charged via fossil fuel combustion.  Will these batteries amount to a delayed environmental reckoning, as I consider nuclear power to be? 
So much for that 'cheap' nuclear energy.
Wouldn't we be better off driving around in refuse burner powered cars?
 
Some ideological groups are big on "sending a message" to the detriment of practical activities. I doubt if any messages sent by the Trump administration will affect the Europeans or BRICS an iota, except to give some of them something to caterwaul about.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 5:15pm
RW >> Modern America was built on tax subsidies.
 
Modern America is built on a lot of things we should raze.
 
RW >> For a century, the oil industry has gotten tax breaks that no one else gets...
 
I once heard a leftist loon congresswoman describe oil industry "subsidies" this way.  They make a lot of money and pay taxes.  They don't pay enough taxes.  The difference... she considered a subsidy.
 
I buy stocks from time to time.  Sometimes I pick a winner and make a bit of money.  Sometimes I pick a loser and lose a bit of money.  In a given year I get to subtract the losers from the winners (that I sell/realize) and I'm taxed on my actual profit.  I'm even allowed to carry over the losers a year or two based on the tax law.  It's actually a pretty fair arrangement.  What would be unfair, is being taxed on all my winners and given no credit for my losers.
 
Businesses write off expenses... they write off ventures that don't pan out against those that do.  Do tax laws (based on lobbying) expand the definition of some of these expenses and losses?  I'm sure.  Does this happen for all industries?  Absolutely sure.
 
What's the solution?  Start from scratch with the tax code and a base percentage.  %^%$#!  Do that for business and individuals.
 
Tech industries are currently using tax law (well more efficiently than big oil) to pay zero taxes.  And these are tech industries run by die hard lefties.
 
RW >> This is not a party thing. This is America.
 
It's an entrenchment thing.  What's the solution?  Wooof... a tough one...
 
Term limits, simplified tax code (with no loopholes), smaller government.
 
Thanks for the comment... good to see you...
Neil Lock Added Jun 22, 2018 - 5:32pm
Lynn, I really enjoyed your “pantheon” a lot. Here’s my own version. Hope you like it. But I won’t try to make my own post out of it right now – I already tried that with a reply to TBH, and it didn’t work. Besides which, my ideas here can benefit from your, and others’, comments. So here it is:
 
The Green Religion
 
1) God: Gaia
 a) Her representatives on Earth: green activists 
 b) Her son: the United Nations
 c) Her cardinals: green politicians
 d) Her bishops: “scientists” that support the green agenda
 e) Her apostles: the mainstream media
 f) Her dogma: do as I say, not as I do
 g) Her faithful: collectivists, those that profit from the religion, the idiot believers

2) The devil: Enlightenment (a.k.a. “Lucifer”)
 a) His representatives on Earth: Every human being who doesn’t buy the green agenda without objective proof. Including individualists, libertarians, real scientists, many conservatives, and objective thinkers of all political stripes
 b) His three sons: Truth, Ethics and Justice
 c) His cardinals, bishops and priests: He has no permanent positions available
 d) His dogma: You have your religion, and I’ll have mine
 e) His apostles: All of us “heretics” who dispute the conventional wisdom when we think it’s wrong
 f) His faithful: Every human being worth the name
 
Kurt Bresler Added Jun 22, 2018 - 5:43pm
The US Government has an open check book and an endless line of credit.  As long as it, the Gov't isn't required to be responsible financially to pay back what they borrow then we will have abuse of any federal subsidies
The USA Going is trillions of dollars in debt and there is no end to the borrowing and spending.
The ease at which money can be borrowed creates a scenario where the big banks and players can buy any company they want and therefore take over the generation of income as well as designate expenditures.  This is what I believe the Left is doing as they try to rule over the USA by literally buying all the companies and then using the income to support Democratic and Leftist candidates.
As far as Elon Musk is concerned any subsidies should have been tied to the production of a car which could be used by the average American worker rather than one which serves the rich.   This surely would have increased the value of Tesla as a company which serves the people.
And I agree with most here, that Government subsides have been going on since Government itself was created.  So there will always be Government subsides of some form whether paying Tobacco farmers not to grow crops or rebates on green products. 
If we are to have subsides then we need them to work for the people and not just for the rich.
  
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 5:52pm
Neil >> I really enjoyed your “pantheon” a lot.  Here’s my own version.
 
Whoa!  Now THIS is impressive!  Please... allow me to take a little bit of credit for inspiring this!
 
To the point, I really do see the followers of the green movement as falling into one of three categories...
 
1) A largely invented excuse to push a political agenda (globalist and socialist).  Many apocalyptic scenarios have been tried before with this being the latest iteration.
 
2) A scheme by which many have decided they can make a lot of money.  Basically scientist who have prostituted themselves when they discovered they can make an easier living on their back than by doing the actual work required by real science.  And businesses ready to take advantage of the hysteria.
 
3) And then there is the faithful who have invested so much into the green dogma that it has, in fact, become a religion for them.  Most on WB belong to this category; though they would never be able to see it for themselves.
 
But back to your expanded and improved pantheon.  Well done!  Run with it. :)
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 5:52pm
Bill K >> Of course I derided Amazon for a long time because they werent making a profit, I was wrong about them.
 
You know that is a very good point.  Amazon is still supposedly barely profitable... yet note the wealth of the founder/CEO.  Amazon is one of those companies that deftly plays the tax loophole game.
 
But... Bezos pulled it off... Musk can too, though I'm with Leroy in that I'm less impressed with Musk and think he is too flaky.  I don't see it and if I had to place a bet; it would be against him.  His car business will last as long as the subsidies do plus a year or two is my bet.
 
Pardero >> ... on farm subsides
 
Uggg... don't even get me started on farm subsidies.  Ethanol being one of the worst.  Paying farmers not to farm.  Protectionism, allotments, guaranteed loans on building chicken/pig farms that will barely cash flow (thus subsidizing Pilgrim and Tyson)...
 
Yes... guys, I know I'm picking on EVs right now because it is topical and relevant to today.  Tesla and GM are about to reach a point where they won't be subsidized anymore.  You can bet there will be a push to extend those subsidies.  Thus, the timelines of the post.
 
BUT yes... there is abuse everywhere.  We can solve this problem my for once making sure congress and Trump just let the dam things expire... THEM I'm all ready to tackle each and every subsidy you guys bring to my attention. :)
 
Mentioning these is very relevant to the topic, and thank you... I just want to make it clear as to why I chose EVs for the post.
TexasLynn Added Jun 22, 2018 - 6:01pm
I think Kurt has hit a home-fun in analyzing all of this.  We think about how far should government go with big projects and helping this or that technology.  But then there is the cost and waste associated.  How about compromise?  Government doesn't do any of these type projects until we prove government can be responsible with the check book.
 
Balance the budget every year for several years and begin the process of reducing the debt and then we'll see... It's kind of like taking the credit card away from the big spender until he proves he can handle it again.
 
And when we do support this kind of endeavor, define the goal and measurements of success better.  Tie the money to concrete objectives... like producing an affordable EV car for the common man.  This is something Musk promised... but it never materialized.  Maybe he just wasn't sufficiently motivated since the money flowed no matter what.
 
Kurt >> If we are to have subsides then we need them to work for the people and not just for the rich.
 
REALLY good point Kurt!  And one that had yet to be presented.
Neil Lock Added Jun 22, 2018 - 6:20pm
Lynn: Thanks, I'll put it on my own bloguette. And I'll link to this discussion. But it's getting late here.
Spartacus Added Jun 22, 2018 - 11:03pm
How about this practical solution to subsidies . . . mandatory sunset clauses. 
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 11:52pm
William Stockton,
Simple but brilliant.
Bill H. Added Jun 22, 2018 - 11:55pm
Best to avoid the word "Green", as it sends shivers down the spines to the likes of Stockton, Messano, and Haluska at least (Mike, where are you?).
Flying Junior Added Jun 23, 2018 - 3:17am
Batteries and Trucks Go After the E-bus Success Story
 
 In a recent press release, Volvo Trucks has unveiled its first all-electric truck for commercial use - the Volvo FL Electric.

https://www.idtechex.com/research/articles/batteries-and-trucks-go-after-the-e-bus-success-story-00014349.asp
 
Volvo Trucks – Premiere for Our First All-Electric Truck  (YouTube version)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAbbulKiX-o
 
Volvo press release from this spring
 
https://www.volvotrucks.com/en-en/news/press-release.html?pubid=23025
 
Flying Junior Added Jun 23, 2018 - 3:34am
From the Volvo press release.  Volvo has sold 4,000 EV buses since 2010.  The superior technology has eluded their main competitor, China.
 
"From experience we know how important it is that cities, energy suppliers and vehicle manufacturers cooperate in order for large-scale electrification to become a reality. With attractive incentives, agreed standards and a long-term strategy for urban planning and expansion of the charging infrastructure, the process can go much faster," explains Jonas Odermalm.
 
Volvo Trucks believes that it is essential to take a holistic view of electrification of the transport sector to handle the ongoing challenges in areas such as electricity generation and batteries.
 
"For instance, in order to ensure that raw materials for the batteries are extracted in a responsible way, the Volvo Group works with the Drive Sustainability network, which has a special function that monitors this issue. The Volvo Group is also involved in various projects where batteries from heavy electric vehicles get a second lease of life, reused for energy storage. All the questions about handling of batteries have not yet been solved, but we are working actively both within the Group and together with other actors to drive development and create the necessary solutions," says Jonas Odermalm.
 
The first trucks in the Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with customers in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks.
 
Facts

Fully electrically-powered truck for distribution, refuse collection and other applications in urban conditions, GVW 16 tonnes.
Driveline: 185 kW electric motor, max power/130 kW continuous output, two speed transmission, propeller shaft, rear axle. Max torque electric motor 425 Nm. Max torque rear axle 16 kNm.
Energy storage: 2-6 lithium-ion batteries, totalling 100-300 kWh.
Range: Up to 300 km.
Charging: AC charging via the mains grid (22 kW) or DC fast charge via CCS/Combo2 for up to 150 kW.
Recharging time: From empty to fully charged batteries: fast charge 1-2 hours (DC charging), night charge up to 10 hours (AC charging) with maximum battery capacity of 300 kWh.
The first two Volvo FL Electric trucks will be operated by refuse collection and recycling company Renova and haulage firm TGM.
The Off Peak City Distribution project studied the effects of goods transport at night in central Stockholm. By avoiding peak hour traffic the trucks were able to do their jobs in one-third of the time compared to daytime operation.

Link to high resolution pictures:
target="_blank">https://bit.ly/2GNo4Aj
Leroy Added Jun 23, 2018 - 7:09am
"Best to avoid the word "Green", as it sends shivers down the spines to the likes of Stockton, Messano, and Haluska at least (Mike, where are you?)."
 
I get a chuckle out of how gullable consumers are when the word "Green" is associated with a product.  Even my previous company associated the word with its products.  It is the stereotypical landfill product that takes centuries to break down...but it is Green.  It is Green because its use contributes marginally less to CO2 than the competitors' products.  It's like me claiming to be Greener than you because my diet causes me to flatulate less.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Jun 23, 2018 - 11:01am
Great article. 
 
We ought to dispel the phony propaganda that sez:  electric cars have no pollution!--because 80% of all electricity is  generated by coal. Tesla and other cars must use only the 20%  generated by other means although there are  gas turbines in this  part.
 
Leroy
 
 I use the term  Green Weenies as a synonym of my alternative: EcoNazi. The only thing 'green' about these parasites is the amount of  money they get from the government .   
Bill Kamps Added Jun 23, 2018 - 12:15pm
Lynn, Im not in favor of extending the EV subsidies.  I think they have served their purpose.  There are a quite a number of EV cars out their now, and that should provide the  market with choice, and the ability to make a profit or not.
 
Whether Tesla succeeds depends more on the private sector funding than our government funding at this point.  This is how it should be.
 
I would agree Bezos is less of a "flake" than Musk.  But I give both of them credit for challenging the status quo for what consumers should expect.  I would never have guessed something like Amazon would have succeeded, or that they could deliver things as quickly as they do.  A few weeks ago my car dealer waited four days for a part, and I was dumbfounded, because of how Amazon has changed expectations.
 
Sunset clauses should be in a lot more legislation.  I dont mind experiments, I mind experiments that fail, and then go on forever.  In the private sector I learned a valuable lesson, fail quickly.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Jun 23, 2018 - 12:30pm
Bill
 
"Whether Tesla succeeds depends more on the private sector funding than our government funding at this point.  This is how it should be."
 
A strange comment since the funding of this corporation has been very expensive for the US government:
 
Tesla Is Worse Than Solyndra
How the U.S. government’s bungled investment in the car company cost taxpayers at least $1 billion.--http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/05/tesla_is_worse_than_solyndra_how_the_u_s_government_bungled_its_investment.html
 
"In 2009, as the financial crisis raged and General Motors and Chrysler plunged toward bankruptcy, Tesla Motors faced a seemingly impossible task: raising half a billion dollars to build an electric-car factory. Tesla had just staggered through a year of layoffs, canceled orders, and record losses. Then suddenly, salvation. The U.S. Department of Energy offered to lend the company $465 million at rock-bottom interest rates.
 
Yet despite all the public celebration, both Solyndra and Tesla stand as warnings of the dangers in deputizing bureaucrats to play bankers and venture capitalists. In both loans, the government walked away laughably undercompensated for the risk it accepted in the startup companies. In fact, the Tesla deal was arguably far more costly for America than the Solyndra fiasco."
 
This is a result of sleazy leftist  politics trying to pick 'winners' and friends using taxpayer's monies. 
 
A disgrace. 
 
Logical Man Added Jun 23, 2018 - 2:25pm
The whole car issue is hugely complex, to say the least.
The industry is so huge and employs so many people that it ends up being used by government and banking as a huge money grab. The connected issues of fossil fuel use and environmental degradation tend to take a back seat to the debt-producing, revenue collecting opportunities offered by people's wishes to own the latest greatest most tech-filled tin box. Banks benefit from the debt and government put laws into place with revenue collection, rather than safety or sense as their primary purpose. Stop signs are a perfect example of this. Cars use most of their energy accelerating, so making them stop every 5 seconds makes a total mockery of any government regulation regarding fuel efficiency but they are a great way to ticket and fine drivers. I doubt they make much difference to safety. Yield signs with clear rights of way have to be a better solution.
To claim that any EV is zero-emmission is obviously not true, as the materials used to make  cars, or anything else for that matter, require large inputs of energy, mostly from fossil fuels and the energy to charge their batteries comes from the same sources. An all-electric vehicle just moves the emmissions to a distant smoke stack.
Transport systems and vehicle production both need radical re-thinking. Cars need to be designed from the points of view of energy consumption from manufacture, through lifetime use and on to disposal, all of which use significant amounts of energy.
Planned obsolescence needs to end.
I haven't had a car on the road for almost 10 years now, I cycle almost everywhere within 20km all year round - Canadian winters can be be a tad chilly though - but my bike keeps me fit and saves me a fortune.
I terms of the objects they are, cars are very cool, but the consequences of almost universal ownership are too great for to be ignored.
Jeff Michka Added Jun 23, 2018 - 4:46pm
TraitorLynn raves against the government getting involved in anything except dissolving the US.  Yeah, what if you had a Hummer and were under it and it slipped out of park?  The family would have to go out and buy another dish scrubbing brush, since you'd not be around to get your head whirled in dirty pans.  A pleasant idea.  I still wonder how your "nation of good white people" will pay for all the stuff in your breakaway, treasonable republic.  Of course, you'll just take it, then watch it get bombed and shelled to rubble.  May Trump will ask for Russian troops to come and save you.   EVs, I  understand have a lower "heat signature" than conventional vehicles.  That might help you dodge the drone strikes.  LOL  You cry about government being involved, but who will establish the operating standards?  VHS or Beta got silly, a bunch of different specs  from different manufacturers won't easily be resolved.  More rightist drivel from a leading rightist source of drivel.  Shit article, TraitorLynn.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Jun 23, 2018 - 4:54pm
"May Trump will ask for Russian troops to come and save you."
 
Psychotic reflexive rant..............
Rick W. Added Jun 25, 2018 - 11:00am
TL>What's the solution?  Start from scratch with the tax code and a base percentage.  %^%$#!  Do that for business and individuals.
 
I would support that. Why won't it happen? Neither the left nor the right wants it (continued below).
 
>Tech industries are currently using tax law (well more efficiently than big oil) to pay zero taxes.  And these are tech industries run by die hard lefties.
 
This is sort of true. Amazon, Apple, etc all pretend to be based in Ireland or Lichtenstein or whatever to dodge taxes. But their leaders are establishment Democrats, not progressives (or what *I* think of as "die hard lefties"). It's similar to the establishment Republican vs true conservative thing. Watch what happens to any Dem nominee who says he wants universal health care. The party masters will say, "Whoa whoa, slow down there, Che Guevara!" And he'll back off, and say he simply supports Obamacare, or they'll scuttle his campaign. Because they don't want to alienate the big check writers.
 
This is why true lefties like Bernie cannot win -- the left and right wings of the donor class really aren't that different. Neither wants to hear the message "the economy is rigged." They're doing great in this economy! It's why Hillary says one thing to the regular people, and something else at a Goldman Sachs luncheon. It's also why Trump will never "drain the swamp." He's *from the swamp*. He plays golf with Swamp Thing. His entire staff read like a random encounter list for "Terrain : Swamp" in the old DMG. :)
 
TL>Thanks for the comment... good to see you...
 
Thanks!
TexasLynn Added Jun 25, 2018 - 11:20am
Rick W, 
Why do you have to be so cynical?  Why can't you be more positive and optimistic... like me? :)
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Jun 25, 2018 - 12:04pm
Most of the time they honk the leftist party songs. 
Leroy Added Aug 18, 2018 - 10:01pm
Elon Musk is self-destructing.  And talk about white privilege.  His house guest, Azealia Banks, was selling his white derriere down the river over his tweet about talking Tesla private.  For those not following the story, Musk tweeted that he had financing to take Telsa private at $420 a share.  He didn't.  He has an obsession with short traders of Telsa stock.  He wanted to burn the shorts and teach them a lesson.
 
She starts out with, "I waited around all weekend while grimes coddled her boyfriend for being too stupid to know not to go on Twitter while on acid," implying that he was tripping on acid when he made the tweet.  Of course, Musk denied even knowing Banks, which he later had to walk back.
 
She had a few more choice quotes:
 
"(T)hey're both two fucking crackheads. He's on tweeting on acid fucking up own stocks and whatnot. A real life dummy."
 
"But his dumbass kept tweeting and tucked his dick in between his ass cheeks once shit hit the fan."
 
"I saw him in the kitchen tucking his tail in between his legs scrounging for investors to cover his ass after that tweet."
 
Somehow, I don't think he will be CEO much longer.  Rumor has it that they are searching for a new CEO, a woman.  There's a name for this that escapes me at the moment.  Anytime an organization starts going downhill, they turn it over to a female.  Does HP ring a bell?
TexasLynn Added Aug 19, 2018 - 10:52am
Leroy, I was thinking about coming back to this thread with a update and an (I told you so).  I appreciate you remembering and coming back.
 
Musk is a snake oil salesman whose scam is continually being exposed.  Thus, he is panicking and self-destructing.
 
If he could swallow his ego and pride, he'd take the ill-gotten money (billions), move to Europe or a tropical island and live it up.  He won't be doing that.
 
His latest little stunt with twitter would have landed just about anybody else (especially an oil company exec) in prison.  He will get a slap on the wrist.  But it has woke up a few at Tesla.
 
Tesla, the company, has no choice but to jettison Musk.  He is less stable by the day.  The problem with that is... the product is still snake oil... and isn't viable without government subsidies.
 
Government subsidies is the only business model that will work.  They've drained that trough and we've got to be sure it's not refilled for them.  Trump will be an ally in this regard.
TexasLynn Added Sep 7, 2018 - 11:07am
Chaos Erupts At Tesla: Stock Crashes, Bonds Implode After Heads Of Accounting, HR Quit
 
Elon musk jumped on a comedy podcast, smoked a joint, and "mused philosophically" (09/07/2018).  Yep... that's what I'm looking for in a CEO.  This is a snake-oil salesman running out of fools/buyers.  The stock and bonds are showing a bit of wear.
 
"As a reminder, Tesla has long struggled with high turnover among its senior executive ranks..."
 
Translation... the rats abandon ship, so they find new rats who come in, see what's really going on... and abandon ship.
 
Just a quick "I told you so" that you eco-guys will continue to ignore.  I suspect when the whole house of cards collapses, you'll still find a way to blame Trump or conservatives but never Musk and the smoke and mirrors product he pushes.