Hater’s Guide To Tesla

With Tesla (TSLA) announcing plans to build a manufacturing plant in Central Texas – and with the possibility of company headquarters arriving as well – many in this state will rejoice. Not me. 

Tesla is the worst. And Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO? He’s awful too. My hatred for both the company and the CEO burns inside me with the heat of ten thousand SpaceX rocket launches. 

My reasons for rage range from the profound to the petty. I’ll list them in that order. Tesla, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

  1. Taxpayer Subsidy for Private Enterprise

Del Valle ISD offered $46.4 million in tax breaks for the privilege of hosting Tesla’s new manufacturing facility. Travis County commissioners approved other goodies, for an announced total package of $60 million. Will the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund be far behind in offering public subsidy for private enterprise? 

In return, Tesla plans to employ 5,000 workers at a salary of $35,000 per year. In other words, poverty wages for a family of 6. And this was celebrated by Governor Abbot and other Texas leaders? But see, it’s already obvious Tesla moved here precisely because they could pay their workers $35,000 a year! We shouldn’t have to pay Tesla an additional $60 million dollars in public subsidy for the thing they planned to do already.

And anyway, why does a CEO with an estimated net worth of $70 billion demand to take money from Del Valle public school kids – 85 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged – for his company’s bottom line? Because he can. Because there is no shame anymore in late stage capitalism, as practiced by Elon Musk.

Thanks Mr. Musk! Please sir, may I have another?

  1. Electric Vehicle Subsidies

A debate rages over the past four quarters whether Tesla is profitable over the past year, or whether it is still losing money at this time. What is not debatable is that the only way the firm can report a profit is because – for regulatory reasons – other car manufacturers are forced to purchase “regulatory credits” from Tesla. Because other companies do not produce enough electric cars in their fleet, according to federal government regulations. Tesla booked $782 million in payments from traditional auto manufacturers in the first half of the year. Tesla reported a profit of $16 million in Q1 and $104 million in Q2 2020, meaning it would show a loss without the “regulatory credits” forcibly paid by its competitors. 

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