5-10-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Government Motors, Missouri Style

No, Governor Jay Nixon hasn't copied the President by socialistically taking over an automobile company -- but the Missouri legislature is closing in on fascistically dictating who can and can't sell cars:

"This is worse than a mere case of dealers trying to protect an existing monopoly -- this is a case of dealers trying to create a monopoly," Tesla [Motors] said in a statement.

The Republican lawmaker who introduced the Missouri legislation, Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment. [bold and link to definition of monopoly added]
To be clear, the dealers would be completely unable to do ths without he government's assistance. And, yes, note that a member of the GOP, which is often mistaken for a pro-capitalist political party, got the ball rolling on this underhanded attempt to increase government involvement in the economy.

Regarding the underhandedness, a statement from Tesla elaborates:
In the last week before Missouri's legislature ends its current session, dealers proposed new language in an existing bill that would force Missouri consumers to purchase new vehicles only through middleman franchised dealers. The bill, HB 1124, has been in circulation since December 2013. It was passed by the House on April 17 without the anti-Tesla language. Last night, the bill with the new anti-Tesla language passed the Senate after zero public consultation and could soon move to the House floor for a final vote, essentially without debate.

This change is not an innocent, minor amendment. It is completely unrelated to the original bill, which was about laws regarding all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles, and utility vehicles. It is also a complete 180 from current law. The current statute only bars franchisors from competing against their franchisees (for example, Ford cannot compete against Ford dealerships).
The statement includes a link anyone can follow to contact their representative.

I am not a fan of electric cars generally and -- for the same reason I oppose government interference in the economy in general -- I oppose the political agenda promoted by AGW fear-mongers in particular, regardless of the scientific merits of "climate change". Nevertheless, Tesla Motors deserves support on this issue. The government has no business dictating the terms of trade between consenting adults, so long as such acts do not violate anyone's individual rights.

Weekend Reading

"The resilience research of University of California sociologist Emmy Werner, Ph.D., demonstrated that well over a third of kids studied were never affected by the grinding poverty, alcoholism or abuse in their homes." -- Michael Hurd, in "Five Ways NOT to Feel Sorry for Yourself" at The Delaware Wave

"They won't tell you what to do or what you want; but they will help you discover the best way to achieve what you want." -- Michael Hurd, in "Searching For a Decent Therapist?" at The Delaware Coast Press

My Two Cents

The first of Michael Hurd's two columns twice reminded me of my parents, both in terms of their rising above dysfunctional aspects of their own childhoods and in terms of their being excellent parents. Every once in a while, something like that column reminds me how of fortunate I was as a child.

Will Google+ Fall Victim to "Addition by Subtraction"?

Maybe not, but an article at TechCrunch suggests the following welcome change:
In the long run, the issues with Google+ didn't especially stem from the design of the product itself, but more from the way it interjected itself into your day-to-day Google experience like some unwelcome hairy spider. Perhaps these changes will scale back the grating party crashing?
Hmmm. Maybe there's also hope yet that treating us all like tablet users will come to an end.


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