Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Critical to Mass Adoption" - EPautos - Libertarian Car Talk (on the ethanol lobby)

Welfare used to be about government cheese. Today’s it’s about grafting thousands of dollars to rich people so as to “encourage” them to drive around in electric cars.
Few seem to mind because electrics are the cablinasians of the car world; affirmative action/diversity hires whose merits must not be questioned – and their deficits never mentioned.
Well, congressional Republicans did exactly that – a startling thing, given the GOP’s usually reliable penchant for bringing-up-the-rear acceptance of everything Democrats enact (Obamacare, for example).
But this time, they broke ranks.
Included in the House version of the GOP’s budget proposal (expect Senate Republicans to out the kibosh on this) is language that would eliminate the $7,500 per electric car bribe that’s been used much in the same way that ether is used to start an engine that won’t. The difference being that in the case of using ether to start a balky engine, the engine – once started – is capable of running on its own steam.
Electric cars, of course, are not. They require a steady, never-ending IV of ether – in the form of massive wealth transfers – which is what subsidies are – in order to keep them running.
This fact is well-known to EV boosters, who admit that EVs are not viable on the merits by squealing uproariously about the prospect that the subsidies might be yanked.
This would be funny if they  realized it – and if they lacked the power to force others to  . . . subsidize it.
Last week, a cohort of  22 mayors sent a letter to members of the House and Senate conference committee working on reconciling the tax bill, pleading with them to keep on spraying the ether into the electric car carburetor (so to speak; electric cars don’t have carburetors . . . these, after all, work).
From the letter:
“The increased consumer demand for electric vehicles that arose through this tax credit has resulted in the creation of 200,000 new jobs in the U.S. automobile industry, driven technological innovation, reduced oil dependency, saved consumers money, and generated economic benefits.”
The ancient world equivalent of building a Tesla . . .
The economic logic of this is  . . . interesting. If the federal government can “create jobs” in this manner – by subsidizing products that can’t compete on the merits – why not just magic-wand unemployment away by subsidizing, say, pyramid building? The analogy is apt in more ways than just the one. Electric cars are to cars as pyramids are to housing. The EV does not go far – at great expense. The pyramid houses one pharaoh – also at great expense.
Both involve a lot of trouble for not much gain – except, of course, for the few who stand to gain from them – i.e., the rich welfare king who drives around in his electric car and the also- rich pharaoh who lies comfortably in his spacious pyramid. Both are tax parasites who hag-ride the public, using the force of government authority to enable the filching.
Here’s more from mandibles of the feeders:
“Congress designed the credit this way to promote multiple manufacturers’ investment and to allow the plug-in electric drive vehicle manufacturers to achieve commercial-scale production and the attendant reductions in per unit costs, while maximizing consumer options,” the Electric Drive Transportation Association said in a separate letter to Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas.
The Electric Drive Transportation Association is, of course, a lobby for the interests hoping to keep their rice bowls full without having to deal with the difficulty of producing an economically viable product.
Indeed, one of the worst aspects of the massive subsidization of electric cars is that it has encouraged those who make them to focus on everything except practicality and economy. On the attributes, that is, which might actually make them competitive with conventional (that is, internal combustion-engined) cars.
It is exactly like being told you can eat anywhere you like and don’t worry about the bill. In that case, the diner will usually choose the ribeye over the hamburger.
Thus, we have electric cars like the Tesla – which emphasize how stylish they are, how technologically hip they are and how quick they are. None of which are bad things per se but they become outrages when someone else is being made to  . . . subsidize them. In exactly the same manner that it is obnoxious to be compelled to pay for someone else’ s ribeye with all the trimmings, while you get the hamburger.
So there are two very good reasons for nixing the EV ether shot, one of them moral – the other practical.
The moral reason ought to be obvious enough. Bribing rich people (who are the only people who can afford these things, even with the inducement of subsidies) to buy electric cars which emphasize technological hipness, quickness and stylishness is as outrageous as using the federal bullwhip to provide “assistance” to buyers of any other high-performance/luxury car.
The argument that the electric high-performance/luxury car is “clean” is as fatuous an argument as arguing that the ribeye is more nutritious than the hamburger. And in the case of the ribeye, it is at least actually nutritious whereas the electric car is only “clean” if you close your eye to the source of the electricity which powers it as well as the environmental sausage-making involved in its actual manufacture.
The practical reason for cutting off the gravy train might be even more persuasive, though. It is simply that if EVs were forced to compete on the merits – a dreadful concept, apparently – their emphasis would have to be on things like (gasp) low cost, simplicity and functionality.
EVs of that sort would, however, rapidly find buyers – for the same reason that more hamburgers are sold each day than ribeyes.
But that may not be what’s wanted.
Possibly for the same reason that Khufu – aka Cheops, depending on the source you go by –  didn’t want the mass of Egyptians housed in pyramids like his, either.
. . .
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