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Drew Bixby


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Tesla was blocked from selling cars in Texas. Is this a bad sign?

In the book Why Nations Fail, (http://whynationsfail.com/) the authors argue that inclusiveness is what made the US great and extractive-ness is what makes nations like Venezuela fail. Very generally, inclusiveness means everyone has an equal opportunity to compete and the laws support such an environment. In contrast, extractive-ness is an environment where rules, over-regulation, political favors, and financial weight give preference to certain groups over others.

This case with Tesla seems very "extractive"/non-iinclusive by their definition. Is this just isolated or is this a bad sign for the state of things in the US?

In case you are not aware, here is a brief synopsis of the Tesla case:


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    Jun 17 2013: My point is that it is not clear. What IS clear is that it is not easy to compete - even for an entity with deeper pockets than some, but not as deep as others. They wish to sell something something of value to end users. The fact it is a morass of issues is the problem. That morass is what I argue is "non-inclusive" because it is strongly biased toward the existing established players.

    Market economies thrive on competition, yet, the existing system makes it difficult and expensive to compete. When is the last time you saw any other new car manufacturer enter the market?? THAT is the problem here and that is what concerns me.
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      Jun 17 2013: I can't speak of Austin. But just down I-35 from me is a new car lot filled with Fiat 500s, hundreds of them. 3 years ago, who ever heard about Fiat 500s. Fiat has deeper pockets then Tesla? OK....

      My thing is that Tesla has a right to sell cars in Austin. But, they have to comply with the rules of the game. Are you saying the existing established players are those who have already compiled and Tesla wants in the game without paying the ante?
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        Jun 19 2013: I think you may have proven his point for him considering the Fiat 500 has been in production in one form or another for over 50 years and widely available everywhere except the US.
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      Jun 17 2013: If politics did not intervene from time to time, it is possible to create a device that would unbalance the economic state of affairs and bring it all down. What if someone created a home electric generator that ran off the air we breathe and could have it on the market in two years? Our whole economy would fall flat on its face... but we would have cheap electricity... if we had a job to buy one of the machines.

      Or, to put it another way, what good does it do, over all, to create a market for "one" designer and kill a huge market for "many". The wealth gets concentrated in the hands of one person or corporation while many fail as a result.

      Capitalism can be fragile in the wake of fast technological progress.
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        Jun 18 2013: Thanks for contributing, John. Contrary to general belief, the Luddites were not afraid of technology so much as they feared that the new technology would eliminate jobs. While their fears were understandable, it turns out they were off base. Yes, some specific jobs were eliminated, but more jobs and opportunities were created.

        Regarding your concerns, check out this TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mcafee_what_will_future_jobs_look_like.html

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