By on May 15, 2013
Elon Musk has enemies in North Carolina

Elon Musk has enemies in North Carolina

The North Carolina State Senate unanimously passed a piece of legislation that would make it illegal for Tesla to sell vehicles via their current direct sales method.

This story will no doubt go viral. But this is hardly the first time the greasy palms of North Carolina’s Senate were asked to target a successful business model that threatened a special interest.

If you are an Ebay seller in North Carolina, it is illegal for you to do business in that state without getting a $250 auctioneer’s license that requires renewal each and every year. Fines, criminal charges, attorney fees, and a long lecture from a disheveled yokel from the North Carolina Auctioneer Licensing Board, are all potential risks you take by selling your Furby collection on Ebay if you live in North Carolina.

At first the entrenched powers that be tried to take on Ebay directly, which resulted in copious amounts of laughter and merriment from Ebay headquarters. Along with a terse reminder that Ebay could deplete the financial resources of the licensing board at the drop of a hat.

Since that was unsuccessful, they are now targeting the little guy. Or lady in this particular case.

The state of North Carolina’s Auctioneer Licensing Board is apparently targeting small business owners who have the nerve to use this Internet thingy to auction off personal property. Why? It may have to do with other auctioneers. But as someone who has worked in the auctioneering staff of thousands of sales here in the Southeast I highly doubt it.

This is a money grabbing scheme that enables local auctioneering schools to make a killing along with the state’s licensing board’s desire to remain financially relevant.

Wanna sell your Furby on Ebay little people? It only becomes legal if you first take approximately $1000 worth of classes whose techniques of selling are rooted in open bid calling methods that are amusing to do if you want to be a live auctioneer, but have no real relevance to online sellers.

Then you pay $250 to the government. Welcome to the new economy, North Carolina style!

 

 

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180 Comments on “And Then They Came For Tesla…...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    Government giveth, government taketh away.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Government taketh, government is forced to give it back.

    • 0 avatar

      Always remember: “the government” is the people’s. The problem is that “the people” have to be WILLING to F’ each other over in order for the government to become tyrannical. This “welfare state” we are witnessing is nothing short of the government stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, but the problem is, as the welfare state grows, we end up getting more poor than rich. There are fewer opportunities, declining innovation and declining levels of skilled workers because the UNSKILLED ARE THE ONES BEING SUBSIDIZED.

      The Republicans are going to be DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD for attacking Tesla in this manner. I can see it now:

      “WHO’S TRYING TO KEEP THE ELECTRIC CAR DOWN”.

      Years ago I would have been on the opposite side of the fence because I don’t consider EV’s efficient or “Earth-friendly”, but because I believe in Tesla’s products after having borrowed them, tested them and witnessed their effectiveness (as well as purchasing their stock while it was at $23.64/share) I have absolutely nothing but GOOD to say about them.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The government is the people just as they are in North Korea. No more no less. The People’s Republic, and all that baloney.

        In reality, the government is no different than any other Mob that, as part of their other activities, also run a protection racket. The only difference, is most of the mobs that go by the name “government”, are substantially more powerful than most that don’t. Just look at North Korea or the US.

        SOME people have no problem effing others over for their own benefit. That in no way means everyone that counts as “people” are responsible for the acts of those that are. In fact, primates that revel in effing others over while hiding behind “governments”, “laws” and other facades for unlimited grift, is much better considered not people at all. As in not human. As in not covered by any moral “thou shalt not……”s whatsoever.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        The irony of you typing this on the internet – a government initiative that seems to have panned out quite well – aside, Tesla is on track to pay back the government loan ahead of time. Also the govt. gets the option to buy a whole lot of stock at about $9.00 a share – Tesla is presently $84.84 – I would say this has been a good investment.

        Before the snarks go on about how Al Gore invented the internet – he was indeed crucial it’s success. As we can see from the Tesla story any vital new tech is resisted heavily by thugs with rocks and eager pockets – Gore made sure it survived and thrived.

        Now about that DOE loan to Ford for $5,000,000,000. Someone else can answer that.

        Research is your friend.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          What Al Gore did was to help fund the R&D that lead to the modern Internet.

          The famous quote suggests that he may have forgotten the difference between funding and doing. As someone with a background in engineering and IT, I take exception to that.

          I like Al Gore a lot better now that he’s out of office and he’s just a rich guy advocating for causes he believes to be important. I agree with him more often than not these days, but I had to pick some major nits with the guy when he was trying to represent my profession. I like it better now.

          • 0 avatar
            kkt

            The so-called famous quote was a deliberate distortion of what Gore said.

            http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

          • 0 avatar
            ranwhenparked

            @kkt

            That’s absolutely true. I’m no Gore fan, but credit where credit is due. Tim Berners-Lee has actually referred to Gore’s legislative initiatives as being key to opening the Internet to commercial use.

            It’s one of those myths that once said by somebody, just takes on a life of it’s own and the truth just sort of gets buried. See also “strategery” and “I can see Russia from my house”.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn too, and those guys are fathers of the Internet. Even Newt Gingrich once acknowledges Gore’s significant role, if I remember correctly.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        See my post below in response to Ronnie’s factually correct comments, but here’s a one paragraph excerpt for emphasis:

        1 OUT OF EVERY 7.5 Americans who are employed work for either local, state or federal government. This number doesn’t even include those who work for quasi governmental agencies, contractors relying on government agencies, or other firms deriving a majority of their income from decree by government agencies. Nor does this ratio include direct members of the armed forces.

        (Think about this ratio for a while…let it sink in).

        • 0 avatar
          car_guy2010

          @DeadWeight- Why all the hate over state/governmental workers?

          Is it jealousy or something?

          A job is a job. I bet you most of those workers are ordinary people like you and I, just trying to eke out a living.

          If anything, if people are going to complain about governmental workers, start with the politicians.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It’s not “hate” but justifiable anger (Americans in the productive class used to get justifiably angry and used to take active measures to ensure the Big Beast of Big Government was reined in; see Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation).

            I’ve frequently and personally have interacted with federal level employees “working” for dreadfully inefficient agencies making close to or even more than 200k a year who would not last a month in the private sector, and who could be viewed as microcosms of the epic waste and inefficiencies and parasitic drain that bloated/unnecessary governmental regulations, agencies and incompetence impose on the millions of small businesses and hard working Americans, and it’s sickening.

            Even at the local level the waste is incredible. In the county where I live, there are DOZENS of public employees who are working a full time government job, with a robust salary and benefits package, who ARE ALSO COLLECTING PENSION payments from A PRIOR GOVERNMENT JOB THAT THEY “RETIRED” from.

            The shit is out of control.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Pretend to giveth…..

    • 0 avatar
      carinator

      Exactly. If there’s any fascism going on, it’s the government diktat of going “green.”

      Here’s Bjørn Lomborg’s take:

      I’ve said electric cars get subsidized too much. Turns out I was wrong.

      In California, they are subsidized ridiculously too much.

      Tesla gets $45,000 for each car it sells in state and federal subsidies. The Tesla S starts at $69,000, so about 40% of its total cost is subsidies (Tesla isn’t making any big profits).

      This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 — up from less than 1% now. This forces other car companies that can’t comply to pay for credits from Tesla.

      “At the end of the day, other carmakers are subsidizing Tesla,” says one analyst.

      Remember, the Tesla avoids perhaps 10 tons of CO2 (more likely, with its large battery pack it avoids nothing or even *increases* total CO2 emissions). That means Americans pay at least $5,000 per ton of CO2 avoided – about a thousand times more than the price in the European Trading System.

      It also avoids local air pollution (which is presumably the Air Resources Board’s objective), but over the entire lifetime of the car, this is worth around $500.

      Summary: Californians are paying ridiculous subsidies for electric cars.

      Air pollution costs:
      For Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/sustainable/doc/2008_costs_handbook.pdf , p57, air pollution for new gasoline cars is about €0.001/km or $150 for 150,000 km;
      For France: http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/DiscussionPapers/DP201203.pdf for France, p26, shows €634
      Danish numbers: DKK 1500 (or about $300) for 150,000km, p147 http://www.dors.dk/graphics/Synkron-Library/Publikationer/Rapporter/Miljo_2013/Trykt/M13.pdf

      We subsidize electric cars too much: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472.html

      http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/05/business/la-fi-electric-cars-20130506

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        “(more likely, with its large battery pack it avoids nothing or even *increases* total CO2 emissions)”

        Not too likely. Turbines used as generators, transmissions lines, power supplies and batteries are all extremely efficient. Otto engines outside of the BSFC islands have horrible efficiency (and don’t pretend a Tesla competitor ever gets near that island outside a racetrack). Also don’t forget to add up all the refinement and transportation costs to the gasoline as well as the electricity.

        Thats assuming that fossil fuels were used to power it. 42% of Californian power comes from clean sources such as nuclear, hydro, and wind.

        Face it, electric is the future. We’re just living in a transistion stage with nasty compromises between pure gas cars with no chance of operation anywhere near the BSFC island, pure electric with batteries that can’t possibly pay for themselves* (last I calculated, you can drive a corvette 160,000 miles for the price of Tesla batteries. Probably a bit less using California gas prices) or overly complex hybrids (of which I’d only claim the Prius and Volt seem to really work).

        * while everybody in DC is trying to “fix” this problem and spend money on powerpoint slides, Apple and Samsung are willing to pay top dollar (in billions) to anybody who can make a better/cheaper/lighter battery.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        You can type – I’ll give you that.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      Who elected communists to run the NC Senate?

      Oh wait….aren’t they mostly conservative?

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    …yet another fine example of what government does best: Represent entrenched interests in opposition to all common sense.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Ah, North Carolina. Where a pregnant 14-yr-old can legally marry a first cousin, as long as that cousin isn’t a lesbian auctioneer selling Furbies.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Always remember that it is government that contains the largest percentage of untalented folks who quite simply cannot survive doing anything else.

    They just cannot hack real life…which is why they are now politicians.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Really? I always assumed that title was held by business majors who use borrowed money to plunder others. Interesting that the government officials in charge of this are the anti-government right-wing which seems to have prevalent support on here.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        Hmm, by unbundling all the meaning in the phrase “real life”, I would agree most gov’t employees are a little more insulated from risk than your average business major. Something about the intensity of your job risk when the market takes a dive, and that sort of thing. Also something about how pensions and predictability are the benefits of being an underpaid gov’t employee.

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          I’m still trying to predict how many days I’m going to be furloughed.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, why should you have to share some of the pain those in the private sector have gone through over the past 15 years? Total compensation for federal employees is about twice what people in the private sector get. There are benefits like “retention bonuses” that simply don’t exist in the private sector.

            When only 400 out of 1.8 million federal employees in the GS system don’t get “merit” bumps in pay, it’s clear that merit has nothing to do with it.

            Yeah, I know, you’re all very smart and highly educated scientists at the CDC saving children, not bureaucrats who will cut those things that directly impact the public before they implement real cost savings.

            People in the real world laugh at your whining about how a 2.6% cut in the rate of growth of your agency’s funding is going to be disastrous.

            Yeah, I know, every single federal employee is a special snowflake.

          • 0 avatar
            jpolicke

            Ronnie,

            Sorry you felt the need to hide the reply button after your attack. Apparently all it took was a crack meant in humor about predictability to launch you on a nasty rant about federal employees like myself. Guess the tax audit didn’t go well.

            Retention bonuses certainly do exist in the private sector. Apparently about 24% of businesses use them. (http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/research/html/retention-survey-q1-6b.html)

            I developed a tool my management found useful and got a merit award for it once. I think the private sector calls that a “bonus”, and I’m pretty sure that it’s a frequently used motivating device.

            I’ve never saved anybody’s children. All I do is try to make sure that equipment purchased for the warfighter is up to quality standards; maybe along the way I’ve saved a few children’s parents but I can’t say.

            Most of us know where a good deal more than 2.6% could be cut. Maybe that’s why we’re never asked.

            Anybody who has read my previous comments here would know that I am far from a fan of, or apologist for, big government.

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            Ronnie,

            If jpolicke is a NC state government employee and not a federal employee, you probably owe him/her an apology. Those guys were getting the royal shaft when the Dems are in charge.

            Now that the house/mansion are both Republican here, I’m pretty sure the legislature will enable hunting the state employees for sport.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            Wow Ronnie, that post is quite possibly the most vitriolic thing I’ve read in the comments section on this site. Are editors here not expected to follow the same basic rules you ask the rest of your membership to?

            Given the relatively good natured discussion that can typically be found on this site I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            cackalacka is correct NC state employees had zero pay rise for the last 4 years. I work in the private sector in RTP (the first and largest research triangle park – so much for bad planning!) and have had several pay rises in that time.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I’ve lost all respect for Ronnie Schreiber. Not because of his articles. Or his political viewpoints. But because of the absolutely toxic and arrogant manner in which he presents himself in the comment threads. His comment above is a great showpiece of how nasty and unhinged he becomes around here.

            Ronnie, is there any chance you are slightly bipolar? I only ask because your unprovoked rant above contrasts so strongly with your reasoned comment at 1:47.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            “I’ve lost all respect for Ronnie Schreiber.”

            Oh, get real. All he did is show he’s human.

            Other than this barely-a-rant, he’s always the soul of scholarly endeavor and conspicuous civility.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            “Other than this barely-a-rant, he’s always the soul of scholarly endeavor and conspicuous civility.”

            …except all it takes is to be wrong once, and then be insulting at the same time…. now he’s just another idiot on the internet, having burned all his credibility with some of us with a single post.

            You can only get away with being a tool if you’re right, and you can only get away with being wrong if you’re polite. You can’t be both wrong and a tool at the same time.

            Here’s hoping he’s man enough to follow this up with some public humility.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            “You can’t be both wrong and a tool at the same time.”

            You still have most of an hour to edit that.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            “You still have most of an hour to edit that.”

            So you maintain respect for people who lash out at others and do so based on incorrect information?

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            Actually I was just thinking of the thousands of internet examples of people who simultaneously manage to be both dead wrong AND a steaming, syphilitic tool.

            Oh, hell, I can’t tell you where to set your thresholds. Yeah, Schreiber barked at this guy. Undeservedly so. But in the annals of internet toolness it won’t even be a footnote.

            And once someone earns my respect they don’t lose it for a one-off indulgence in crankiness.

            BTW, I’m a federal employee so it’s not like I’m impervious to his broadsides.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Summicron, I love your posts and sense of humor but I disagree with you on this one. I’ve poked around here for a few years now, which is enough to notice that this kind of comment from Mr. Schreiber has become a pattern.

            “he’s always the soul of scholarly endeavor and conspicuous civility”. When authoring articles or original comments, generally yes. When rebutting others, Mr. Hyde comes out.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            In the back of my mind I thought that was what you meant…

            Yeah, this is pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things. But when it’s an editor on a site it means a touch more than the random, anonymous, easy to ignore internet troll.

            This site is an oasis of rational conversation in a sea of floaty, corn enhanced turds. It would be nice if the editors/authors behave in a way that reflects that.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            @30-mile

            I like your comments, too. Pithy and no BS.
            Guess we’re just agreeing to disagree.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            How’s this guys?

            If you tried to hang him I’d shoot the rope.

            But he probably deserves to be up on that horse a little while.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “Guess we’re just agreeing to disagree”

            Good enough. I can live with that.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            We can agree. I don’t think anybody wants to see him hanged. I’d just like to see the staff treat their readers with a basic level of respect.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I logged in just to give a huge +1 to Ronnie.

            Having worked for a government entity at one time, and now having to deal with multiple state and federal agencies on a regular basis as part of my private sector job, I can state unequivocally that the % of government employees actually needed EVEN with no modern efficiencies introduced into government administrative agencies and processes is at minimum 30% fewer (and 50% fewer if private sector efficiencies were introduced).

            The only people I can imagine who think I’m exaggerating are those who’ve either never worked in any government agency, and/or have never had occasion to have to deal extensively with government agencies, and/or those working for government agencies or deriving a pecuniary benefit from seeing perpetuation of the status quo.

            1 out of every 7.5 Americans who are employed work for either local, state or federal government. This number doesn’t even include those who work for quasi governmental agencies, contractors relying on government agencies, or other firms deriving a majority of their income from decree by government agencies. Nor does this ratio include direct members of the armed forces.

            It’s astounding that so few taxpayers realize with any degree of even remote accuracy how much of the taxes they pay (income tax, payroll tax, property tax, sales tax, permits-licenses-etc fees, estate tax, capital gains tax, interest incidental, etc.) are completely wasted by an enormously bloated local, state and federal government complex that literally could do the same tasks (many of which are value-negative vs value-added) with 1/3 to 1/2 the employees, which could result in massively lower tax rates across the board, with NO reduction in the level, number, types or quality of services provided (I’d argue that services could dramatically improve with such streamlining).

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Total government spending, including federal, state, and local governments, will be over 6 trillion dollars this year. That’s 38% of our GDP, assuming GDP growth over the past two years in excess of what occurred.

            http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1990_2018USp_14s1li111lcn_F0t

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “I can state unequivocally that the % of government employees actually needed EVEN with no modern efficiencies introduced into government administrative agencies and processes is at minimum 30% fewer (and 50% fewer if private sector efficiencies were introduced).”

            I don’t disagree, but the amount of capital investment required to get rid of some of those employees would not be insignificant either. For example, there are times when I say, “why couldn’t I just do this online?” when dealing with idiot clerks, but in order to do that, you’d need a robust system designed to commercial standards. It’s easily doable and should be done, but let’s not pretend the cost is always zero.

            That said, there is certainly waste in other areas, For example, I’ve known people who dealt with building inspections, and the expectation was that you did X number of inspections per day, which included travel time to each site and more than enough time to do the inspection.

            An enterprising friend of mine once did 2X inspections in a day because he felt like he was being inefficient. His boss hauled his ass in the following day and said, “if you ever pull that s**t again, your ass is fired.” The expectation was that the boss wanted to keep a certain number of people on staff, to maintain a certain budget, and to keep workloads. This crap happens all the time.

            Unfortunately, there are other departments that are very short-changed that get screwed by this, and the employees are actually quite overworked. For example, the court system is way under-funded. A district attorney’s office in a typical urban area has lawyers with insane caseloads, and the judges and their clerks are just as overwhelmed with dockets going years into the future.

            For the courts, it’s not just that they don’t have enough money, but also that we spend money on things like the war on drugs and imprison more people than we should. Of course, if you’re a bankster stealing billions from millions, you get to walk free.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            “a bankster stealing billions from millions”

            *sigh*
            If I only had a brain…

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            DeadWeight says:

            “Having worked for a government entity at one time..”

            At last, I find my tormentor.
            You used to write Management Directives, didnya?

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      @Da Coyote- Then why do these folks have power and not you and I?

      If they were so goddamn awful at their job, wouldn’t that negate having a job in the first place?

  • avatar
    jmo

    “The bill, which passed the state Senate in a unanimous vote Monday night”

    I’m not surprised it passed the Senate. I’m shocked that the dealer lobby is so powerful it passed unanimously.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      Dealers are #1 advertisers in local papers. Local papers support local politicians. In most communities the dealer is the big fish in the small pond. I find none of this surprising.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Neither do I. With so much thought-speak on how much Big Gummint is bad, seems that no one sees the real Elephant in the room; their own local gummint. I pay far more in property taxes, sales taxes and other fun ‘fees’ at the state and local level than I do Fed.

        • 0 avatar
          Advance_92

          Not to mention immediately blaming government employees that enforce laws and not the elected representatives that create them.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s interesting that those who favor more and more government are quick to blame incompetence and rogue employees for things like the current IRS scandal. The solution to incompetent and corrupt government is yet even more government.

          Markets may go away and businesses disappear but government agencies last forever.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            And its amazing how quickly one party is to claim FOUL when out of 300 501c4 applications, only a third were of the right-wing variety. Theres over 200 ‘others’ who are mid to left wing leaning that the know-nothing party doesn’t care to mention. As well there was no dust-up when the W administation went after Green Peace and the Sierra Club for its tax situation. Funny how its SO important to you now.

          • 0 avatar
            probert

            Under Obama the government has shrunk considerably – there are many places to criticize him but if small government is your goal – he’s your man.

          • 0 avatar
            car_guy2010

            I find it amazing that NC has a lot of booming businesses within its’ borders. This move by its’ Senate just sounds more like local protectionism dickery than anything else.

            Not in favor of more government, but rather BETTER government. Those who advocate for LESS government usually advocate cutting social programs rather than wasteful military spending. Wrong-headed approach.

          • 0 avatar
            car_guy2010

            @Ronnie- Do you hoard shit in the woods and spend every day railing about the “evil” government?

            I ask because you sound dangerously close to one of those types.

            For all this ranting against government, I don’t see any of these small government types complaining when they elect conservatives that want the right to determine who can fuck who, who can do what with a fetus and in this case, who can do business in their state.

            That my friend, is hypocrisy at its finest.These folks don’t want less government. No, no, they want a government that only caters to THEM and no one else.

        • 0 avatar
          Felix Hoenikker

          I have the opposite tax situattion. Every year, I end up buying the Feds the equivalent of a nicely optioned mid sized car. That does not include any social security taxes.
          And, I am no where near a 1 percenter in income. I’m just highly exposed to income taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      I would be surprised too, because it didn’t.

      It passed the state senate commerce committee unanimously. Not the full senate. It hasn’t been considered by the full senate, and will die if it isn’t passed by the full senate by “crossover day” which is tomorrow (May 16th).

      (for political nerds only: crossover day defined: http://nchouse116.com/what-is-crossover/)

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Interesting legal question as to whether legislation like this is federally pre-empted.

    I recall a 1977 US Supreme Court decision that upheld a Maryland law that required petroleum refiners to do retail sales only through franchised dealers, not company stores. The difference, of course, was that the refiners were already selling in Maryland. Tesla is a new company that is not selling in North Carolina.

    At the state level, car dealers, gas station owners and trial lawyers are typically the most influential forces in the legislature.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      That is an intersting question. I suspect that dispensing hazardous materials such as gasoline in your example requires certain licensing. Thus the state’s ability to regulate its sale. I am not sure that logic would follow in this case. I dont think NC can show a valid state interest in regulating sales of automobiles through dealer channels. By that same rational, it would stand to reason that individual sellers and perhaps internet purchases (of any brand of car) should also be barred. I think Tesla has a very strong arguement to be made that this legislation should be struck down on the commerce clause or some other means of federal law pre-empting state law. Another good question/arguement is where did the sale take place? In California where I think Tesla is headquartered? Who gets the sales tax? That is typically sorted out during vehicle registration, but there could be a valid basis to outlaw direct sales in there somewhere. I dont see it, but its out there I suppose. And if the sale took place in California, it would seem that barring delivery would constitute an unlawful taking by the NC government. Bottom line, I dont think this stands up to a challenge by Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        “…I suspect that dispensing hazardous materials such as gasoline in your example requires certain licensing.”

        Apparently in Texas this means you’re allowed to illegally store 540,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate next to a town and not face murder charges.

        • 0 avatar

          You did hear that a first responder, a public employee, the incident commander, was arrested for possessing an explosive device and is under investigation, didn’t you?

          But why blame a possibly criminally evil public employee when you can cast aspersions on capitalism?

          Texas Dept of Public Safety has said that they are looking at potential criminal acts in their investigation but have said nothing about illegal storage of ammonium nitrate. The facility has been previously cited by federal regulators for improperly storing ammonia.

          As for your allegations of the company “illegally” storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate, I know that’s a popular meme on the left side of the blogosphere, but it doesn’t appear that the storage was illegal at all. They may have failed to report it to the Department of Homeland Security, but that’s a just reporting violation.

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            Who zoned the fertilizer in the middle of a residential neighborhood (or vice versa?) Who prides themselves on their lax zoning laws?

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            @Ronnie, the Texas Dept of Public Safety should be sacked and the governor himself should be on target. Texas knew he had 270 tons of explosive on site and never said a thing as it is under law to do so to the Dept of HS, a law btw that was signed into action by W, a Texan. And yes, its illegal to own it. Try walking down to your local Lowe’s and try buying 2 tons of ammonium nitrate. Don’t think that’ll raise some red flags?

  • avatar

    Wow. Not at NC, at you. Godwin. *headdesk*

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Aaahhh… but I take an exemption on that one.

      The drafting of legislation to make certain businesses illegal is one that Hitler’s local shitbags in Baden-Württemberg used to take away my grandfather’s cattle trading business. He served his country, received several medals, and they returned the favor by making it illegal for him to make a living and support his family.

      In this case, the powers that be are using the same exact type of legal maneuvering to abolish Tesla’s superior business model. The same type of belief system is apparently alive and well when it comes to attacking those small businesses in North Carolina who apparently don’t have the resources of a state government backing them.

      There is a big difference between calling someone a Nazi, and calling out state officials for engaging in the same exact behavior as Nazis. The only difference is instead of attacking a minority ethnic group, these government officials in North Carolina attack the minority in the form of a small businessman.

      • 0 avatar
        Hank

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I would like to point out that Tesla is certainly larger than almost every car dealer in America barring perhaps a handful of multi-state ultradealers. Also that Tesla’s corporate store doesn’t spend money in NC beyond wages while local dealers almost exclusively reinvest in the state. The argument is truly complex and without having economic impact research in hand I couldn’t give you a hard number on losses to the state. Ultimately the auction license is a bad behavior on behalf of the state that isn’t quite comparable to this move to block Tesla. Of course Tesla could form a holding company just for NC and simply sell cars to the holding company’s dealership and continue on.

        • 0 avatar
          healthy skeptic

          >> Also that Tesla’s corporate store doesn’t spend money in NC beyond wages while local dealers almost exclusively reinvest in the state.

          So what if the dealers almost exclusively reinvest in the state? If they are unnecessary middlemen who needlessly jack up prices, any reinvestment is more than offset by the economic damage they cause.

          True “reinvestment” in the state is by allowing consumers to buy directly from manufacturers, thereby saving hundred to thousands of dollars, which those consumers will probably invest in the state anyway by buying things they actually need, instead of spending it on worthless markup. That’s much better fiscal policy.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Those handful of publicly traded dealers, along with the smaller ones that also pay into the captive market protection scheme have far more resources and clout than measily Tesla. By cutting out a dealer network, the only people on Tesla’s side are…Tesla.

          Expect to see this happen in more states now that a precedent is set.

        • 0 avatar
          gslippy

          “…I couldn’t give you a hard number on losses to the state.”

          There are NO losses to the state, no matter how little Tesla spends there. Any spending by Tesla is a gain to the state.

          As healthy skeptic says, allowing North Carolina’s consumers to keep their money enriches the state. If Tesla can’t sell cars there, then everybody loses.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            That argument relies on tesla selling no cars in NC. If Tesla has no presence there yet it registers cars in that state as new then the state has lost revenue for locals.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Godwin’s law was repealed when it was realized that it’s sole purpose was to attack the person taking an unpopular position and shut off debate.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Godwin’s law is a tactic for denying the return of fascism.

      • 0 avatar

        In addition to being a heckler’s veto, I find Godwin citations to be particularly annoying when the events of 1933-45 are exactly relevant to the topic at hand.

        I was once in the docket for a Star Chamber proceeding with the clique that runs Wikipedia and one of the things that concerned them was the fact that I wanted to write about Jewish engineers who’d been literally written out of automotive history by the Nazis. They even used the word Godwin.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Ironically, the clique that runs Wikipedia is rather totalitarian and often writes things out of history by fiat. While they try to present themselves as democratic and egalitarian, the people at the top are anything but.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Referencing nazis is cliche. If you see actual Fascism please tell me. I see a state doing business. Right or wrong it isn’t fascism. Mussolini and Hitler were fascists, it’s an extension of ultra-conservative ideology where one group or culture identity is deemed better/right and becomes the standard by force with all who fail to conform or meet those standards removed or placed in second class citizenry. NC has committed a strong arm tactic, not fascism. Their legislature is ultra-conservative but hasn’t committed a crime of fascism over this.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Thank you.
          In this age of charging fascism, racism or both whenever someone else slips into your parking space or swipes the last Coke Zero off the shelf, I appreciate your balance.

        • 0 avatar

          Fascism is a form of socialism and has nothing to do with American conservatism. I know that your Uncle Joe Stalin wanted everyone to forget his treaty with Hitler and post-1939 it became fashionable on the left to oppose fascism, but the Nazi party was called National Socialism for a reason.

          It’s been American “progressives” like Woodrow Wilson (who racially segregated the U.S. armed forces) and Franklin Roosevelt that believed in eugenics, sedition laws and internment camps for U.S. citizens.

          Referencing Nazis is a cliche but “ultra-conservative” is nuanced trenchant thinking, right?

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            @Ronnie, gotta check that tin-foil hat again. Fascism isn’t just relegated to Mussolini and Hitler, there was also Franco and number of other charmers that all shared a similar ultra-conservative bent on how the world worked. Very good in knowing that the Nazi’s were National Socialists, but what you and other historical cherry-pickers fail to remember is the Fascist Nazis overthrew the Social Democrat party, whom ran the SOCIALIST Weimer Republic since the end of WWI.

            Beyond that, what’s really in a name? The German Democratic Republic (formerly East Germany) and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) were neither Democratic nor a Republic, but yet by your inane logic, they should be cause its in their name.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s right, there’s never been any conflict between two groups on the left. The Bolsheviks never fought the Mensheviks and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Again ignorance. The Mensheviks or the Whites were a Socialist type while the Bolsheviks were the Communist type. They fought each other because, ready for this? They were politically opposed to each other.

            No idea what war in East Asia has to do with the argument other than to obfuscate the facts.

          • 0 avatar
            gslippy

            Hey Ronnie,

            I agree with you 100%, but there are many folks who will just never get it. Go have a cool drink of water, and live longer. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Ronnie, I’m going to tell you this once, you’re not disagreeing, you’re wrong. Fascism as a concept is the extreme right of the political spectrum. Anarchy is the extreme left. Modern american politics aside (which are all fundamentally left) the reality stands that fascism is a conservative ideology. American conservatives tend to hinge on whether they are pro-business over pro-worker or social conservatives. American politics really are a debate of how left we are willing to go.

            Now for what else you said, nobody on the left was friendly towards hitler’s fascism except for the communists who took their lead from Stalin. The progressive movement was firmly anti-fascist as were most American conservatives. German-americans and anti-semites were the two groups most likely to support Hitler. Regardless of what Wilson and FDR did the conservative movement’s face was Orval Fobus, George Wallace, and James Earl Ray.

            We can talk circles around each other but the text books on political spectrum clearly state fascism is ultra-conservative.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            This discussion has turned a little ridiculous, and Mr. Schreiber’s comment above hasn’t really helped (for example, forgetting the Federalist Alien and Sedition Acts and things like the PATRIOT Act).

            If we are talking about the typical simplisitc high school-level right-left spectrum, Marxists are definitely left-wing, and Nazis are definitely right-wing.

            Where it gets tricky is that it’s not just a right-left spectrum, and there are various elements that come into play, whether you’re talking about economic or social issues or you’re talking about totalitarianism vs. anarchism.

            At the end of the day, Russian-style communism and German-style fascism both were incredibly totalitarian, even though one would be left-wing and the other right-wing on the simplistic high school spectrum. Neither of them really fit the ideals of Communism in political theory or Fascism in political theory, although very few systems match the ideals of political theory in implementation.

            It’s also worth pointing out that the Nazis did send Marxists to concentration camps — let’s be clear, the Nazi party didn’t want the trade unions to gain control.

            I’m not sure why people think they are having an intelligent discussion by trying to analogize either of German-style Fascism or Russian-style Communism to modern conservatism, progressivism, or anything else, but it’s lazy analysis. But then again, many people in America think “liberal” vs. “conservative” is an intelligent discussion. Labeling people has never really created intelligent discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            If you won’t even admit that fascism is a right wing ideology, you’ve lost all credibility with me. Saying that fascism is a left wing ideology is like saying that the phrase, “Anti-Semite” means being anything other than “Anti-Jew”. It’s just BS.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          Xeranar,

          You need to check your definition of fascism.

          It places the state as the central authority (usually under a dictator). And in most cases, it goes hand in hand with corporatism where the state controls major industries.

          That sounds like the exact opposite of modern conservatism. If there was a form of “ultra conservatism” it would be some sort of libertarian anarchy, not fascism.

          And for the record, the Nazi party’s full name was the National SOCIALIST German Workers’Party.

          A great book on this matter is Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”

          • 0 avatar
            mshenzi

            Fascism is Nationalism on raging steroids. What it shares with socialism is a despising of individualism, (which both considered a relic of Enlightenment thought and incapable of coping with the needs of modern society). Fascists and socialists both held the group above the individual– for socialists, one’s class (whose interests would be managed on the peoples’ behalf by the state); for Fascists the nation, (whose interests were managed on the nation’s behalf by… the state!) Fascist governments allowed for capitalist enterprise, but heavily steered it to serve what the state’s nation building (and, yes, pocket-lining) agenda. Truly socialist governments (i.e., not squishy ones like the British Labour Party) did away with private enterprise.

          • 0 avatar

            mshenzi,

            “Allowing for capitalist enterprise but heavily steering it to serve the state’s agenda.”

            “Steering”? You mean like dictating who the CEO of the country’s biggest automaker will be?

            “Serve the state”? You mean like producing approved and subsidized alternative energy products?

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            @jacob_coulter. Fascism according to Merriam-Webster: “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

            Its not ‘usually under a dictator’, its always. The Fascisti is il Duce or der Fuhrer or el Franco or Rand Paul.

            Socialism is defined as: “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods”. Notice that this isn’t defined as a form of gummint, but an economic and political theory, just as capitalism is an economic and political theory advocating unlimited free market and complete private ownership of goods and services.

            The fun thing with theory is that it is not set in an absolute, rather its in varying degrees of gray. Hard for the know-nothing party to understand I grant you, but thats what discussion is for.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “Its not ‘usually under a dictator’, its always. The Fascisti is il Duce or der Fuhrer or el Franco or Rand Paul. ”

            You’re comparing someone who is effectively a libertarian with a dictator? Do you have any clue, or did you just formulate a list of people you dislike?

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            dolorean,

            So what exactly are you trying to say?

            That because Rand Paul has the exact OPPOSITE instincts of fascism, that he should be compared to Mussolini and Hitler?

            I just don’t understand why the Left can’t say “I disagree with the small government philosophy of modern conservatism, and here’s why” instead of the ridiculous and diametrically opposite comparison of “conservatives are modern day fascists” It’s not even in the same ideological ballpark.

            You do understand that the definition of “fascism” is not “politician I don’t like”? I don’t think you do.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            “And for the record, the Nazi party’s full name was the National SOCIALIST German Workers’Party.”

            Well, I’m glad you can read. Now, do you believe everything you read? Of course they added a “socialist” and “worker” to their name – without it, their rantings would have been dismissed by the general public. Socialism was soup-de-jour in post WWI Germany. And many other places, including the USA.

            So Hitler had his brainwave. Lie. He found it worked well time and time again. Stupid people believed him.

            If they called themselves the National Blond White Supremacy Ethnic Cleansing and Dictatorship Party, it might not have had the same widespread appeal.

            Why are so many Americans so good at taking things at nominal face value? The Nazis were socialists because THEY said so?

            Believing that is the very definition of gormless. I had family killed in WWII fighting these nazis. It’s serious business to me when people can’t even get their history and politics straight. Sadly and strikingly, most of these people seem to inhabit North America and paid no attention in school.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            wmba,

            That has to be the dumbest explanation I’ve ever heard. The Nazis put “socialist” in their name because they were socialists.

            They seized just about every private industry and made them jobs programs to employ Germans. VW was founded by the Nazi trade union to create a “people’s car” so every German would have access to transportation. One of the first things the Nazi regime did was to raise taxes to 50 percent on all wages.

            Does that mean all socialists are closet Nazis that want death camps? Of course not, but the Nazis were anything but free-market capitalists which is what modern conservatism espouses.

          • 0 avatar
            probert

            It goes against what modern conservatism says, but not what it does. A prime example would be the Tea Party which is mainly funded by the Koch family.

            Frequently lobbyists from such industries as the Banking interests and Credit Card companies write the legislation that ends up on the floor. This is generally deregulation legislation which is generally a conservative mantra (although Clinton was a huge douche in this game).

            Not to mention the Citizens United ruling and the idea of the corporation as a person.

            Also the book you mention regarding the oxymoron of liberal fascism is a bad joke and not a serious analysis.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            probert,

            So the “Tea Party” is fascist because it wants to deregulate industries (less power for the state and less corporatism?)

            Which side of the aisle wants the state to take over banking and other industries?

            Oh, and somehow bringing up the name of the Koch brothers just has to have something with fascism.

            Why can’t you just say “I disagree with the concept of less government intrusion in private industry” instead of making and nonsensical comparisons?

            The mental gymnastics your side does to justify their worldview is shameful.

            Fascist regimes almost exclusively use Leftist economic models. It’s hard to have full and total control of a populace when there’s economic freedom.

          • 0 avatar
            Steven Lang

            At first I hated this conversation. I guess now I hate it just a little bit less.

            Left wing fascism is not a contradiction so much as it is two distinct things that are mistakenly melded together.

            A behavior and a belief.

            On one extreme, fascism represents violence and the use of force to take over the private property of another person or company. The political philosophies don’t play into it because the very acts that are done seem to be synonymous with the idea of a fascist.

            This is a false assumption, and way too commonly assumed these days by those who can’t separate the behaviors from the actual political beliefs.

            A leftist government can easily use tactics that are identified by others as fascist behaviors. Terrorism bombings. Targeted killings. Censorship of the press. Even working in concert with certain large corporations in the pursuit of consolidating wealth and weaponry for the few.

            However, a murderer is a murderer. It doesn’t matter if the person who does it is a communist or a fascist. They are engaging in the same exact behavior which is why some folks mistakenly identify fascism as a potential left wing behavior.

            They believe that violent thugs are ‘fascist’ because it’s all about behavior… when in face, communism and fascism are blunt and opposite political beliefs.

            They may use the same tools to achieve the same totalitarian goals. But the two extremes are as different as night and day.

            They are also connected if you think about it. Not just by the behaviors. But of the fact that it’s easier for a communist (or extreme socialist) government to gradually turn into a fascist system than it is for it to turn ever so gradually to democratic socialism, a republic, a democratic republic, or any type of government that encourages greater freedom.

            Interesting conversation this evening, but let’s try to remain civil about it. All the best!

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Lets break down what you just said to me.

            Fascism places the state as the central authority (usually under a dictator). Not at all true. Fascism requires a nationalist identity that has an ethnocentric or racial component tied to it that creates a defined identity for the state. In other words, what Hitler did was essentially declare Germany for non-jews. He narrowed the scope over time to include groups he disliked. This is a fundamentally conservative ideology and how fascism works. It uses the state for coercion and reinforcement of the ideology. Corporatism and state controlled industries are polar opposites and cannot coincide if we’re using the terms in the modern American sense. Corporatism in the US is generally defined as the support and expansion of corporate power in the private sector for private power, generally supported by right-wing libertarians and conservatives alike. It’s Rand Paul’s fundamental position. State controlled industries can be used to empower workers or empower corporations. Once again the traditional 20th century Fascists used them to empower select people and their personal supporters.

            By the way, anybody who ever calls Nazis socialists come across as imbeciles. Nobody seriously took them as socialists in 1933 and nobody seriously took them as Socialists in 2013. It’s why they have almost exclusively been referred to as NAZIs because their exact brand of totalitarian fascism isn’t socialist, it’s barely anything but Fascism and if you go back to Newspapers in that era you’ll see them referred as such.

            Also Goldberg’s book is a joke. It was a pump and dump book by conservative book clubs that nobody outside of the right wing takes seriously. He has an undergrad degree from a small liberal arts college, no formal education in history or graduate level political science. He’s a wingnut welfare pundit who relies on the trimmings of billionaires to promote his obscure views. I know this ruins my thoughts in your mind but somebody had to set you straight. Nobody in serious circles considers anything that man writes to be worth the paper it is printed on.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            The distinction between Communism and Fascism is irrelevant. Centralized state power is what has caused the great evils of our history. Economic and personal freedom are what have brought us the most good.

            Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Kim Jung Il, are all the same to me, whatever label you put on them. They were the leaders of totalitarian state systems. Those systems of state power are responsible for 100s of millions of miserable deaths, torture, maiming and unimaginable suffering that continues to this day.

            Limiting the size and power of the central state in order to protect human freedom and promote general prosperity was the central goal of the founders of the United States of America because they already knew all of this. They essentially predicted the 20th Century because they had studied history. The state, if not restricted to its minimum necessary functions, inevitably grows into a colossus, strangling freedom and prosperity, and leading to tyranny, whatever label you choose.

            Traditional American conservatives believe in the original small government ideas of the founders and believe our massive central government is a mortal threat to our freedom and is responsible for our economic decline.

            Thus, American conservatives are astounded when leftists, the relentless promoters of bigger and more powerful government, describe fascism as a right wing philosophy. Maybe in Europe it is, but not in America.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @thelaine:
            I’m actually with you philosophically.

            There is a practical problem with your argument, which is that governments aren’t the only entities who can centralize power.

            Large corporations can easily wield as much power as a government and its far harder to vote them out. Some corporations have competitive advantages that mean we have to put up with them no matter how badly they behave. Others have enough influence to have laws created yo protect their corporate institutions. When you look at politics and power in a practical and comprehensive way, decentralizing power is far more difficult than your post suggests.

            Which brings us back around to the actual topic. I actually like one of my local car dealers a lot – but car dealers are one of those businesses who that has managed (in aggregate) to game our political system and gain power for themselves.

            The question for me is: if the legal protectionism granted to the car dealers is repealed, will the power be more or less centralized? It may actually be more centralized, if car manufacturers control that portion of the economy. On the other hand, the technological limitations that made dealer networks necessary have been solved for a decade (as demonstrated by Tesla), so they’re probably obsolete and unable to adjust either way.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            To thelaine, no modern american conservative has seriously advocated for smaller central government except for lessening worker’s rights or environmental restrictions. They believe in restricting abortions, lowering tax revenue without cutting programs or what programs they do cut are exclusively at the cost of the poor, urban, non-white, and middle class.

            Just for you, all those dictators you named existed in weak central governments before they consolidated power in themselves. Only the USSR which was a single party system really outlasted their dictator. Our democracy really prohibits that but the founding fathers actually fought for a strong central government. Historically the conservative in the US has advocated for consolidation of federal power except where slavery or Jim Crow was involved. Only in the last 3-5 years has anti-government sentiment taken root in conservative ideology. I remember statements in the 1990s by conservatives talking about using federal power and being in the majority forever. Since they lost federal supremacy after holding it for nearly 16 years they’ve become virulently anti-government because that’s what opposition parties do.

            I’m willing to admit american progressives have redefined themselves several times but conservatives have done the same. This current anti-government stance is a new attack on the same pro-business/pro-corporate power architecture. I just wonder how conservatives sleep at night knowing they’re essentially hypocrites.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @Luke42
            Thank you for the reply. Only in the TTAC vortex does this sort of communication take place on the internet, in my experience.

            I believe that history shows goverments to be the agents of endless slaughter, outrage and suppression of their own citizens. Corporate crime and misbehavior is not trivial, but is trivial in comparison.

            Regardless, powerful governments simply become the allies, enablers and agents of powerful corporations, not a check on corporate power. Harnessing private corporations in the service of the state, and vice-versa, is a component of the facist model.

            Small government people believe that “good government” people are fooling themselves. Once the government becomes too big and powerful, it only serves itself and the entrenched intests that feed it. It cannot be “reformed” except by being shrunk.

            Big government advocates can console themselves with the historic fact that once government has gotten big, it will never allow itself to get small again. The progressives should relax. They have won.

            Unfortunately, as a result, the nation will stagnate and decline and future generations will be taught that it was inevitable or the result of factors beyond anyone’s control.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “Also Goldberg’s book is a joke. It was a pump and dump book by conservative book clubs that nobody outside of the right wing takes seriously.”

            Don’t have a horse in this battle, except to say that if you think Jonah Goldberg is a serious commentator worthy of being studied, you really need to find better things to read.

            I’ve rarely seen as poorly written, easily refuted op-eds as from Jonah Goldberg. The guy is a joke.

            There are a lot of good conservative writers, but Jonah Goldberg can’t even shine the shoes of that group.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Steve, I thought the red states were the business-friendly places. Of course, maybe I’m a bit innocent in that regard. Perhaps it’s that those states are only friendly to particular businesses. Yes, that must be what it means.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Friendly to which businesses is the right question.

      “Business” doesn’t imply liberty (like ability to create a start-up or to pick an industry to cater to). Politics is too often about to whom you give power. Typically, it is to preserve a group’s existing power, hence special interest groups, lobbying, etc. The very fact that Tesla has run into problems in most states proves who has the power, and they aren’t intesested in losing any.

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      You think NC is a Red State? Where did you get that assumption from?

      No, typical old-world Democrat Blue-Union state. That, and WV, are pretty much the only Southern states still in a Democrat grip. We’re talking local level here, where it really matters on day to day matters.

      One might think WV is a red-state because, apparently, only people pay attention to Presidential elections. But on the local level; mayors, prosecutors, town council, county representatives, etc. It’s all very very “Blue”. Not the gay-friendly Democrat types of New England, more the block-civil right type of Democrats from fifty years ago. Hell, WV kept electing Byrd, an old KKK member (and Democrat) to senate until he died. Still, big interest and corruption runs deep.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        You are pretty spot on with the oddity that is WV politics. It is very much a conservative state when viewed socially. The Byrd re-elections aren’t that WV loved that he was a KKK member back in the 1940s. It was the simple fact that Byrd was a means to an end. Byrd had the ability to funnel federal funds through a state that is exceptionally poor. Taking the moral high ground and kicking someone out of Congress for an admitted mistake made when they were 23 years old would leave the state in an even direr financial situation.

        Oddly enough, the only auto manufacturer in WV is Toyota. It is a non-union shop. The driver behind bringing Toyota to the mountain state was Democratic Congressman Jay Rockefeller. I doubt he will see another term as he came out recently saying the coal industry needs to see the writing on the wall.

        BTW, I am a very socially liberal WV native. Despite being surrounded largely by democrats, I rarely see eye-to-eye on social issues with the people around me.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Don’t even try with that. NCs state senate is OVERWHELMINGLY republican by a 32-18 margin. NC’s state House is similarly republican controlled by a large 77-43 margin. NC’s governor is republican McCrory. And I don’t need to remind you that the voters of NC just returned trespassing philanderer former republican governor Mark Sanford to his old House seat.

        • 0 avatar
          AMC_CJ

          Sanford if from South Carolina. There’s two different ones. As far as the Congress is split, you are right on that one. Good job. But NC overall is still a very Blue-Union ago state, and I bet if you dug deeper down to the local (not just state legislative) you might find see that some.

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            No. Wrong. NC is very red and very anti-union.

            Google ‘Greensboro Massacre’ to see what happens when Tarheels attempt to unionize.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            I’m not sure how you separate the Greensboro Massacre from its racial undertones.

          • 0 avatar
            cackalacka

            You can’t.

            Much like you can’t separate it from it’s labor overtones.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          This is not a Democrat/Republican thing. Dealers will pitch a fit if an automaker is allowed to circumvent their state licensed scheme of controlling new car sales. If whomever is in power doesn’t react, those wealthy dealers will be happy to fund the incumbent’s opponents next election plain and simple.

          If Tesla gets around them and sells directly to the public, whose to say one of the established marques doesn’t try it next? Think about it, sell similar product just under what they the dealers do and keep the difference between dealer holdback (true invoice price) and “invoice” or mfg msrp (which is fiction). Doesn’t sound like much but it adds up when you dealing in tens of thousands of sales. Oh then of course there’s the “public” to protect, because the dealer has your best interests at heart don’t ya know vs that evil Tesla corp ;)

        • 0 avatar
          LH

          NC politicians have much to answer for, but Mark Sanford (R-Appalachian Trail) isn’t ours. He was elected in South Carolina.

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          “And I don’t need to remind you that the voters of NC just returned trespassing philanderer former republican governor Mark Sanford to his old House seat.”

          Unless we have been transported back to before 1729, you should be aware that Carolina has been separated into two colonies/states.

        • 0 avatar

          So yeah, a bunch of RINOs suddenly made the state of John Edwards “red”. Awesome logic driven by supremacy of two-party machine.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            And the state of Jesse Helms, I wager you don`t really know what you are talking about Pete.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        So….you’re talking about conservatives. That’s what they’re called. More specifically social conservatives. In places like WV they vote to protect their mining unions which makes sense then lay waste to all social issues and vote exactly like other conservatives.

        I hate to burst the bubble but yes, NC is for all intensive purposes a ‘red’ state. The red states are pro-business over environment and workers’ rights, not business to business. That’s where people get confused.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        I’m not sure how you’re asserting that NC is a union-friendly state. It is definitely a right to work state and has been for many many years.

        There are some Dixiecrat types in NC still that vote Democrat because their granddaddy voted Democrat, but a lot of them have died off. Most of them voted for Reagan, Bush I, Dole, Bush II, McCain, and Romney, but voted Democrat locally, again, if they’re still alive. They did vote for Jimmah Carter in 1976, but not 1980.

        The general voting pattern in NC currently is that the 5 largest counties (Mecklenburg [Charlotte], Guilford and Forsyth (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/Triad), and Wake and Durham (Raleigh/Durham)), along with an occasional surrounding county like Orange (Chapel Hill), tend to go to Democratic in national elections, although that’s a recent thing. Mecklenburg used to be fairly Republican-dominant and its suburban counties still are, and Wake County went for Bush II twice, I believe.

        Then the black population in the northeast and the former industrial population in the southeast also tend to vote Democratic. There are a few western mountain counties that will occasionally vote Democratic if it’s a landslide (for Clinton and for Obama in 2008 — Obama won three mountain counties in 2008, but only Buncombe in 2012, where Asheville is), but otherwise the whole rest of the state is Republican for the most part, including most of the coast and most of the rest of the foothills and Appalachians. Obama’s win in 2008 was a huge surprise, and I think he won something like 35 out of 100 counties.

        North Carolina has been more competitive in national elections lately because of demography change. As it has become the 10th largest state in the country and Charlotte has gotten much bigger and taken on more regional and national headquarters of corporations, things have changed quite a bit in how people vote there.

        In addition, North Carolina has no problem splitting tickets on occasion. North Carolina had no problem voting Jim Hunt to 4 terms as governor and Mike Easely to 2 terms, even while voting hardcore for Reagan, Bush I, Dole, and Bush II during those periods. NC also had no problem having Sam Ervin, Bob Morgan, Terry Sanford, and John Edwards as senators at the same time as it had Jesse Helms and Liddy Dole as senators.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I was referencing West Virginia’s mining unions. I’m fairly sure North Carolina has little unions and I believe their furniture industry is semi-unionized, this is going off the top of my head, so don’t hold me to it. I was more so pointing out West Virginia’s strange divisions.

          North Carolina is a perfect example of a swing state as the red/rural parts are displaced by blue/urban parts. I suspect if you look at the national election results it was presidential years that saw liberal candidates elected. I’m just not extremely familiar with NC local politics to comment extensively.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Cronyism and the Good Old Boy Network aren’t confined to just one political party.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Right, this has nothing to do with political party. As it is in every other state, the entrenched franchised car dealers have a very good lobby organization.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      You should see how the GOP contorted itself and its rules to prevent Michigan, Nevada, and about five other states from sending Ron Paul delegations by scrapping their state conventions and having the party chairmen choose the national delegates – and how Willard had them rewrite the rules so that the Minnesota convention incident will never happen again, either.

      If you think there’s a lick of difference between the parties and their service to entrenched interests, look for any actions (not words) different in the last several administrations. I hope Tesla wins this one, as it seems like the dealers are using political power to prevent modernization, but uphill against entrenched interests never works (how many people have asked for factory direct orders? What about that Chrysler store that had to become a dealership? How is this substantially different from the red flag man laws?).

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Not the GOP, the leadership of the GOP. There’s a reason Republican grass roots call them the Republican wing of the Ruling class, or simply RINOs – Republicans in name only. Our current Ruling Class (and intellectual “elite”) are the worst we’ve ever had, and are constituted from elements of both major parties. At the Congressional leadership level, they’re indistinguishable. The rest of us are the “little people” to whom all the laws, rules and regulations apply. The Ruling Class is exempt.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    It’s not just North Carolina that is blocking Tesla, New York and Massachusetts dealers are also in a fight, and Texas too. This is all about the power of the dealers and their influence with state legislature. As a 35 year resident of the Old North State, nothing surprises me anymore with what the legislature will do, particularly when it comes to coddling business interests.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I chuckled a bit but really… Otto Skorzeny being decorated… couldn’t come up with a funnier one?

    A scene from Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition comes to mind.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Mr. Musk prefers to take his case federal so he doesn’t have to fight door-to-door. I don’t know what the legal mechanisms are to do this, but I applaud it.

    I concur with Jeff W’s comment above – I too thought the red states were more business-friendly, but corrupt power knows no bounds.

    If I lived in NC and wanted a Tesla, I’d buy it out of state.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Obviously, old time auctions are losing ground to on-line stuff and instead of just getting with the times – they call on big brother to fix it, and the consumer plus the online business owners lose. It’s the same thing that happened years ago with barbar shops, hair/nail saloons and funeral homes. The good old boys didn’t want no competition so they formed organizations that essentially said would could and who couldn’t do business. Sounds like the mob doesn’t it!

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      I don’t think the old-time auctions would ever have given the small-timer with a couple items the time of day. They’re complaining about losing business they never had and never wanted.

      Couldn’t a NC Ebayer get around this law by claiming that they aren’t conducting an auction? They are merely communicating information, images, and terms to Ebay, speech being a constitutionally protected right. Ebay is the party actually conducting the auction.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      Sounds like the last few administrations. As the oldest portions of the labor market get softer, huge federal programs prop them up. We literally invest in obsolete businesses. No wonder there’s none left for the programs that bring about actual results. We’re too busy making sure nobody loses their livelihood, whether it’s good for the country or not.

  • avatar
    360joules

    I think the Otto & Adolf pic is a bit much. More like Boss Hogg to me. At the stroke of a pen, both elected politicians & government bureaucrats can enrich or decimate a business.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Republican ‘Free Market’ at its best. You’re free to market your junk as long as the GOP gets its cut.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Any party that wants access to my hard work and achievement whether GOP or DNC are the enemies – As for these pro business policies all I can say is I really hope these hacks spend the US to her dead bed soon – Once this current farce is over maybe then we can try again. Proud moderate libertarian

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I’m going to save my long speech but lets just be clear, unless you are some magic man who sprouted from the earth itself you got help. Even now you live well in the US because of your interconnectivity. So your libertarian love affair is more like a waking nightmare.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Not aure I get the “waking nightmare” aspect but this sound like a certain ridiculous comment a certain President made. I think what you (and he) were getting at is by society working together we all can grow economically and as people.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Many people, including Xeranar, confuse Libertarianism with Anarchism. Either deliberately or out of ignorance. In this case, I suspect deliberately.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Well, let’s be careful there. Extreme libertarianism is basically anarcho-capitalism.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Not quite.

            Libertarians see government as a necessary evil that is best taken in small doses.

            Anarchists want to get rid of the government.

            Libertarians are less naive about how human societies work. Libertarians are still pretty naive and ideological, though, and I ended my involvement with them when I started to really watch and understand how humans behave. When I build my model from human behavior, rather than from ideology, I come up with pragmatic centrist answers.

            (The libertarian way is actually workable in the sparsely populated rural setting where I grew up. But it doesn’t work for the kind of big science and high technology that interests me enough to get me to work every morning – that takes huge amounts capital, stability, large teams, and the economic benefits may not be realized for a decade or more. No normal business is going to do this kind of thing, despite its long term value.)

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Ridiculous? You mean you found an education lying on the street? You found telephone wires running from pole to pole? Cheap electricity to rural areas? The internet? The countless other benefits that make modern US living reasonable among them social security, medicare, courts, and developed roads?

          I find it extremely common but kind of ironic in that IT people like to take this stance when their very job exists because the government picked up huge sums to get computers off the ground at universities and other public institutions.

          I know we’re going to disagree but it’s because the people who take these stances are blind to the inter-connectivity of our society due to some piece missing for them to connect how jobs are never actually held by merit due to the nature of surplus population so at any given point we are in our place due to a certain amount of chance. It can be disheartening but it is reality.

          To Danio3834,

          Libertarianism says everybody does their own thing but those with power can exert their influence.

          Anarchism says everybody does their own thing but those with power can exert their influence.

          The biggest difference is who exerts power over who. In libertarianism it is generally those who already hold capital. In Anarchism it is those who takes physical force. They both pretty much end in the same way, a smoldering heap of death and decay. You can’t seriously believe in a world without worker’s rights companies would hire on merit? We have surplus population, it is a race to the bottom. Ricardo knew that and he was alive 160 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      cartunez

      As I stated I am a moderate libertarian. Collectivism only works when you have a mostly educated society – the current status of the average voting American is pathetic – It’s easy to paint libertarian ideas as people who just wanna crawl under a rock but the sad fact of the matter is democracy is not working. Keep in mind when I say educated I am not talking about college education – I am speaking on being able to view things the way they are not on the hope of what you would imagine them to be

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    One end run around the franchase mafia might be for Tesla to sell francises for $1 on the condition that they are revokable on one day’s notice with a full $1 refund.
    Elon could set up employees as dealers this way. When the inevitable response from the toadies in the legislature arrives, file a antitrust lawsuit and keep at it until it bubbles up to the Supreme Court.
    If there is enough Karma left in the country, the whole franchised dealer cabal might see a paradigm shift that they will not like.

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    I agree with other commentators that the Hitler reference is (more than) a bit much. For at least three reasons, IMHO:

    1. It is indeed a cliche and as such indicates a lack of rhetorical imagination on the part of any writer. Are the only references to abuse of power that writers can find nowadays limited to Adolf, Joseph, Mao, and maybe the occasional Nero? Sheesh.

    2. It trivializes the catastrophe that was the Holocaust. Sure, there is an analogy to be drawn, but it is beyond tenuous. If the neighbor’s lawn mower throws off some noxious exhaust fumes, is that “Just like the mustard gas the Germans used on our doughboys in the trenches of World War I!”? Not much equivalency between a blinded soldier and a fleeting bad smell.

    3. It (to use an automotive metaphor)pegs the rhetorical redline. If the North Carolina legislature is already Hitlerian, for weighing in on a cat fight between a few hundred businesspeople and a car company, what can we say about them if they do something truly heinous, perhaps in the field of human rights? This reminds me of North Korean rhetoric: once you’ve used every negative epithet you can think of to describe the USA and South Korea, with no shooting war going on, what can you possibly say if hostilities do break out? Once Iran has called the USA the Great Satan, what do they say if we bomb their reactors? The Super-Duper Extra-Great Special Satan?

    Widespread use of the Nazi metaphor is unimaginative, insulting, and limiting.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Are they killing people? No. However, that part of the metaphor that harkens back to an overly intrusive government that obsesses over mindless regulations, and operates on a model of government of, by and for the well-connected, comes close to the mark. The Nazis were supposedly about the ‘workers’ welfare, but they didn’t make out nearly as well as Krupp, Daimler, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “intrusive government that obsesses over mindless regulations”

        Both traits of other contemporary governments such as the Roosevelt administration and Stalin’s gov’t, the latter’s of course going much beyond “intrusive” in its treatment of citizens. I suspect the above picture used was for simply shock effect and to tie into a bit of Steve’s family history.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Anyone claiming NC is a red state obviously has never lived there. I am fortunate to no longer live there which is a pity because the Western part of the state is beautiful and I would love to settle there when I retire were it not for the looney politicians and taxes. As it is Eastern Tennessee will be where I one day hang my hat.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Red or blue is not really relevant anyway. Whatever the color, it is a poorly run state.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Poorly run? It must still be better than a great many other states, since people are flocking to move there.

        • 0 avatar

          If only for the ability to make money hand over fist while paying as few taxes as possible. Otherwise people wouldn’t give NC the time of day.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            So you’re saying that low taxation and the strong economy it produces are bad things?

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Agreed, it is relatively well run, as shown by the growth figures. They believed in education (UNC system for example) and that is why it has done economically better over the past 30 years than deep red states like AL, MS, LA and SC. Also regularly features in the top 5 states for business friendliness.

            http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45khhf/4-north-carolina/
            http://www.cnbc.com/id/46414199

            I was surprised to hear about the auctioneer fee, as a colleagues wife sells on Ebay regularly (and files taxes related to that) and has never mentioned this fee or “training”. They should remove this antiquated law.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      It’s a red state. Lived here my whole life.

      And you’re right, it is a poorly run state. As bad a job the previous party did, the current crop of winners is doing an outstanding job making them look almost competent.

  • avatar

    This isn’t really a left or right thing, though the left does like to regulate, regulate, regulate, which makes a lot of this possible. It’s a case of entrenched interests using political power to keep barriers to competing with them high.

    It’s no different than food trucks being regulated out of business by politicians in the pocket of brick and mortar restaurants, smartphone apps to find a car service being outlawed by taxi commissions, or requirements to get a license to become an interior decorator. Almost all of those regulations eventually create a vested interest joint venture between government and established businesses.

    Like my cousin, a retired magistrate told me, “who do you think owns the traffic schools and DUI testing facilities? The spouses of judges, that’s who.”

    It’s hardly a pro market situation.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      They recently started doing this here in Ontario by establising a “College of Trades” which is nothing more than a Provincial regulatory board which collects yearly fees (dues) from nearly all tradesman (which are required to be Provincially licensed, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters, carpenters etc.)

      Here’s the sickening part (aside from the fact they’re collecting fees from lower wage earners for something for which they get no value), since to get a license in any of these trades a journeyman must attend a Provincially sanctioned technical college. The board determines how many journeymen they feel is appropriate in the marketplace and can control enrollment.

      This is all sold under the guise of “protecting the consumer” from those shady fly-by-night plumbing services, when in actuality it’s a Government/Trade Group joint venture to control demand and prices.

      And The People eat this sh1t up. Well, except for the apprentices who are finding new lines of work.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Not to drag this out further, but wouldn’t a private entity doing the work of the state be a market solution and thus by definition ‘pro-market?’ It sounds to me like pro-business conservatives are conspiring to alter the form of government and using the guise of ‘liberalism’ to cover their covetous tracks. In a socialist/leftist view the licensing bureau would charge a sufficient amount to actually train the people properly and hand out licenses until a saturation point was exceeded but that would be measured by years of market research watching.

      I understand your view is they shouldn’t exist at all and I do actually agree. There is no reason to license people if public safety isn’t in mind and a serious concern. But lets not confuse cash grabs with left or right, I’m willing to just call these schemes what they are, fraud.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I do not understand how a rational person can believe the dealer body is expendable. Think you have warranty problems now? Wait until you get your wish and complete manufacturer integration arrives. Who will become the scapegoat then?

    • 0 avatar
      carinator

      Too bad Obama threw the dealers overboard in the Chrysler and GM bailout then, huh?

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Complete mfr integration means the dealer can’t blame the mfr. I’d rather work directly with the mfr than a dealer any time.

      When a dealer will sell just any brand, they’re not really as invested as you want them to be.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        If the current zone management model is used, where will that warranty center be located? How will it be staffed and educated? I can picture their accountants dictating that certain targets of up-selling be met, or the location closes. How will being one of five million be better than being one of one thousand? The corporate model of efficiency can be cruelly inhuman. I cannot see manufacturer control of all aspects of the car experience being better for the average person. I can fix my own car, but I am a miniscule minority, even in my own family. Be careful what you wish for.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          The Silicon Valley style of management emphasizes learning quickly from mistakes.

          Smart people guess at how to do then they try it, see how well it works, and then fix the problem. Tesla will screw it up and then recreate their service organization to fix the problem. They’ll do this over and over again every two weeks until the customers are satisfied. Then they’ll find more customers, redesigning the product of necessary.

          The old fashioned model only made sense because expertise couldn’t travel through wires and because you couldn’t ship parts quickly… An electric car built by Silicon Valley is basically the perfect storm for this business model. And good riddance to the anti-competitive laws that protect it.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Why is a scapegoat a benefit to the customers in a warranty claim?

  • avatar
    carinator

    “a successful business model”

    LOL! Successful business model!

    If the government gave me $45K per unit, I could sell icebergs to Eskimos!

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    Car Dealers cry “free market” when the government tries to protect their customers, employees or the environment. When they need protection, the “free market” seem less important. I don’t want to see Dealerships put in jeopardy, I just think they should acknowledge that fact when they are complaining about how government stifles them. Most people in the government are doing the best they can and are trying to make things better. Technology is moving so fast now, it is hard to predict the consequences of any regulation. This is the kind of thing that cries out for compromise. They need to put their heads together and figure something out. My belief is, that it’s better for everyone if the United States is the leader in this technology and that impeding Tesla is short sighted.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    For the love of all that is holy Mr. Musk, if you really are the messiah everyone thinks you are, please fight this to the highest court in the land. Whether you win or loose I might be forced to hang an 8X10 of you in my office for standing on principle.

    If you win some manufacturer will be brave enough to try online sales with ala carte ordering.

  • avatar
    wsimon

    Pretty sure the eBay rule is a violation of the interstate commerce clause. People need to start legally challenging legislation like this, the main point of the judiciary is to stop runaway legislatures like the one in NC. It will be interesting to see what Tesla’s attorneys do in response to this latest action.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a website that caters to car enthusiasts?

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    The solution begins with a one term limit for lawmakers.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Since Tesla’s lobbying budget is apparently lower than a collection of small town Chevy dealerships, maybe the way to play this is just to let the law go into effect and just refuse to sell cars in North Carolina. After all, there are 49 other states and 193 other countries to sell in. Just focus on everything outside NC, and let wealthy, environmentally conscious North Carolinians with time on their hands fight the battle for you.

    The problem is most eBay sellers are either private individuals or small businesses, they just don’t have the clout to fight dumb regulations like that, since government doesn’t really exist to represent ordinary people.

    But just wait till some millionaire in Kill Devil Hills or the Research Triangle finds out he can’t have one of those fancy Model Ss his peers in New York and LA are tooling around in.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That’s pretty much how I see this playing out.

      When Montana and New York registered Tesla start traveling the streets of North Carolina with well heeled commuters behind the wheel, then the dealers will realize that this law doesn’t solve their problem. Round 2 will be more interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “But just wait till some millionaire in Kill Devil Hills or the Research Triangle ”

      Are you just naming places that you’ve heard of in NC? I doubt there are too many millionaires in Kill Devil Hills. It probably wasn’t even an incorporated township until at least 50 years after the Wright Brothers’ famous flight, and didn’t even have its own high school until sometime in the last 10 years if I remember correctly.

      More likely to find a millionaire in Charlotte — lots of McMansion building going on there, and getting proper plots of land there for them is not cheap.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Obligatory NC joke given all the Hitler talk, courtesy of The Simpsons:

    “Look at what happened to Hitlerville, North Carolina. If they hadn’t changed their name to Charlotte, they would have been ruined!”


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