Tesla Pits Texas vs. the Free Market

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Tesla is having a lot of well-publicized problems selling its cars direct to the public. Most states mandate that cars can only be sold through independent dealers, and that’s shut Tesla out of the market in plenty of places, including ultra-free market bastions like Texas. Paul Waldman comments:

You’d think that if conservatives really believed all their rhetoric about the value of unfettered free markets, they would be all over this issue, advocating for Tesla’s side of the controversy and campaigning to break up the anti-free-enterprise car dealer oligopolies. But of course, we’re talking about Tesla, and liberals like electric cars, and therefore conservatives feel obligated to hate electric cars, so that probably won’t happen.

OK, sure, but here’s the thing: Teslas are also really expensive. That means they can only be purchased by rich people, and conservatives really like rich people. So this is a dilemma, no?

Now, I suppose that in Texas they don’t think much of any car that doesn’t run on refined hydrocarbon products, so maybe the cognitive dissonance there is less than I think. But North Carolina doesn’t have any oil. So what’s the deal there?

In any case, I want to know who’s buying these cars, anyway. Last Halloween, Marian and I decided to escape the house and eat out. In order to kill time, we walked around the shopping center we had gone to and I spied a Tesla store there. So I popped in and sat down in a Roadster. I didn’t even come close to fitting, and I’m only an inch or so taller than six feet. Am I just pickier than most tall people? Do tall people who buy Teslas slouch a lot? Or has Tesla simply abandoned the quarter of the market over six feet?

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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