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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last week the governor managed a rare trick: He outraged everyone across the political spectrum. His hand-picked members on the Motor Vehicle Commission banned the sale of Tesla electric cars in New Jersey.

On the right, the National Review said that our governor "slapped free markets across the face."

In the middle, a headline in the California-based magazine Wired read, "New Jersey Bans Tesla to Ensure Buying a Car Will Always Suck."

And on the left, the Daily Kos accused Christie of being "in the pocket of the Koch Brothers and/or their Big Oil pals," adding, "Maybe Christie figured he’s on his way down the drain, so he might as well do one last solid for his puppet masters."

The same governor who whines constantly about over-regulation chasing businesses out of the state. "We need to talk about the fact that we’re for a free-market society that allows your effort and your ingenuity to determine your success, not the cold, hard hand of government determining winners and losers," Christie said.

Over the years, the dealers lobby has managed to get franchise laws enacted in almost every state in the union. That means carmakers can’t sell directly to the public, as Tesla does. And that in turn adds about $20 billion in cost to consumers annually, he said, or about $1,500 per vehicle.
More here: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/03/chris_christie_tesla_bridgegate.html#incart_most-comments

The article has a great video at the bottom with an economics professor who trounces the association's lawyer, Jim Appleton. Toward the end, Appleton argues with a straight face that Tesla has a monopoly on Tesla cars (like Apple has a monopoly on Apple products).
 

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Why is it that guys with bad arguments just want to keep talking? Man we have some stupid arguments. Tesla shouldn't be allowed to sell directly because we license dogs and cats. Makes perfect sense. Also, Telsa shouldn't be allowed to sell cars directly because (1) it's the wrong distribution system for a small company and (2) Tesla with less than a 1% market share has a monopoly. So obvious. Why didn't I think of this.

As for Christie, no principled positions. Just "tit for tat" -- you give me donations and I'll protect you at the expense of consumers. Lovely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why is it that guys with bad arguments just want to keep talking? Man we have some stupid arguments.
The auto dealer rep was digging deep into an empty barrel to come up with reasons to support banning Tesla sales. It was pathetic. He reminded me of Dan Aykroyd as a sleazy salesman defending his bag of glass "kids toy", lol.

Another blooper was dragging the current GM recall into the argument and claiming that dealers protect consumers by (somehow) forcing the car manufacturer to do a recall. Give me a break. Dealers are so effective in this role that it only took GM 9 years to react? That's some consumer watchdog!

 

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Yeah, and I used to like Christie, thinking he was a straight-shooter. No more.
 

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I think we are going to see a lot more of this type of action and to me that is a good thing because it means electric cars are becoming viable. If you look back I history when a disruptive technology threatens industries they will fight back any way they can. EVs will lead to a decline in gasoline sales which gas station owners off the beaten could partially compensate for by selling electricity. But, auto repair and part businesses are just going to take it in the shorts when EVs take off. And they won't get "iTuned" without a fight.
 

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We have to deal with this inane nonsense for Alcohol (and to a smaller extent in some states gasoline). Despite the disingenuous bleatings of the guy from Edmunds magazine and the NJ political machine, I don't find any evidence PERIOD that mandating a multitier distribution system benefits anybody but the MIDDLEMEN in the operation.
 

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I don't believe NJ's rule is quite so simple to decipher. This is an old story, but resurfaces apropos to today's news:

Planet Money Podcast

P.S. As a loyal subscriber to NPR's Planet Money podcasts since episode 1, I'd like to take the opportunity here to give them kudos and recommend their program to one and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
This is an old story, but resurfaces apropos to today's news:

Planet Money Podcast

P.S. As a loyal subscriber to NPR's Planet Money podcasts since episode 1, I'd like to take the opportunity here to give them kudos and recommend their program to one and all.
Great podcast! Very enlightening. Thanks for sharing, stresstool.

"In survey after survey, people rank buying a car as one of their least favorite experiences.

Today on the show: Why car buying is so unpleasant, and what your local legislators may be doing to keep it that way."
 

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The fundamental problem in NJ is that the regulatory authority actually is NOT enforcing the law. The law in question, NJ 56:10-27, is a ban on franchisers selling cars directly. However, Tesla does not franchise and never has. It is 100% in compliance with the law, and the licenses were issued appropriately.

All of this blustering from the NJ automobile dealers is complete and utter bull****. Some states have outright bans on direct sales (which need to be overturned) but NJ is definitely not one of them. This is nothing more than a payoff for bribery three steps removed.

The law is pretty much in plain English (as much as any law is):

56:10-27. Sales through franchises only
It shall be a violation of this act for any motor vehicle franchisor, directly or indirectly, through any officer, agent, employee, broker or any shareholder of the franchisor, except a shareholder of 1% or less of the outstanding shares of any class of securities of a franchisor which is a publicly traded corporation, or other person, to offer to sell or sell motor vehicles, to a consumer, other than an employee of the franchisor, except through a motor vehicle franchisee.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The fundamental problem in NJ is that the regulatory authority actually is NOT enforcing the law. The law in question, NJ 56:10-27, is a ban on franchisers selling cars directly. However, Tesla does not franchise and never has. It is 100% in compliance with the law, and the licenses were issued appropriately.
As far as I can tell, it's legalized restraint of trade implemented by politicians bought and paid for by auto dealer associations. They can try and spin it all they want, but that's what it is, plain and simple. It's not a free market.

Restaurants that are "encouraged" by Tony Soprano to buy their laundry service or trash hauling from a certain, higher priced service are familiar with this way of doing business.
 
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