There are a lot of places you’d expect to find a defense of trickle down economics (the idea that wealthy people create jobs for people further down the food chain). National Public Radio is not one of them. And yet there it is: the publicly-funded [via rich people] bastion of liberalism ran a piece thanking Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags for . . . buying the Tesla Roadster. Otherwise, Tesla wouldn’t have the capital to build cheaper Teslas for the rest of us (providing you exclude their applications for federal funding, paid for by rich people). “Using money from rich customers to fuel mass-market production is a fairly common business model,” NPR’s reporter reports. “Think of the Tesla Roadster as the $2000 cell phone of 1985,” Tesla spinmeister, Diarmuid O’Connell, suggests helpfully. Is it a coincidence that the DeLorean-lauding movie Back to the Future came out that year? Probably. Anyway, “O’Connell says we take for granted our easy access to cheap products, and forget the role of the rich in making it happen. He says we wouldn’t enjoy such low airfares today if it weren’t for the initial wealthy travelers.” Me, I worship first class passengers. Anyway, big news! New car!
DIARMUID O’CONNELL: We’ll be shortly introducing what we call the Model S, which is a four-door, five-passenger sedan, which will retail — after a federal tax credit — for $49,000.
The Model S is being unveiled next week. But O’Connell says there’s a less expensive, zero-emissions car in the works.
O’CONNELL: We’re already looking at our third vehicle, which is targeted at a $30,000 price point. And building in the hundreds of thousands.
So much for champagne dreams and caviar cars, then.