Tesla as Boondoggle

Monday, July 23, 2018

Image via Pixabay.
The New York Post carries an article titled "Elon Musk Is a Total Fraud," which passes along some pretty damaging information on both the amount of government loot Tesla is going through and Musk's "leadership" style. Regarding the former, Maureen Callahan reports that Tesla burns through half a million dollars an hour, receiving $4.9 billion in subsidies a year.

Regarding the latter:
Musk infamously does not take criticism well and refuses to be questioned or challenged -- three lethal traits in a leader. On a conference call with analysts in May, Musk dismissed questions about Tesla's diminishing capital and other dubious claims with name-calling.

"Excuse me," Musk said. "Next. Boring boneheaded questions are not cool."

Tesla's stock plummeted 5.6 percent after that performance. They also dropped 5 percent after an April Fool's Day tweet in which Musk announced Tesla had gone bankrupt. [bold added]
These strike me as opposites of the kind of qualities someone would need to trade with others to mutual benefit, to say the least.

Callahan also reports that a major investor is predicting that Tesla is headed for a "brick wall." I am inclined to believe that, and when it happens, it will be important to remember articles like this. When this loot-funded enterprise fails, some will inevitably blame it on "capitalism" -- even though companies like Tesla would not even exist under actual capitalism.

The article casts further doubt on the Musk's character and the viability of his other enterprises, but it could have stopped with Tesla. We have, after all, become used to the idea of massive theft of our own money and assets by the government as well as its doling out of the same. We should be indignant about these practices, to say the least. Instead, the government gets away with theft and props up businesses built on unsound premises. Worse, if the conclusion stated in the title of this article is true, by doing the former two things, the government will have enabled a fraud to mimic success well enough to dupe people who could have put their money into a real business. That, too, is worth remembering, since Space-X going under could deal an undeserved blow to the cause of privatizing space exploration.

-- CAV

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