I’ve never hid my admiration for Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). He puts things into space, builds amazing cars and allows me to bill my employers worldwide in a couple of clicks.
How Tesla Motors Has Benefited
In a recent editorial piece by the Washington Post, the editorial board outlined how Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has benefited from government loans on a federal level but remains unfairly hindered by the backwards policies of numerous states. Yes, Tesla received a large loan, $500 million, from the federal government in order to weather the Great Recession. Tesla also repaid that loan well ahead of schedule. For some reason, Sarah Palin even took issue with this, perhaps mistakenly thinking she was speaking of Solyndra when the grizzly bear with the tricorne hat delivered her daily list of talking points for the ignorant.
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While benefiting from this loan, and the large personal investment by its founder, states like Texas and North Carolina seem hell-bent on keeping Tesla down.
I grew up in a state that forced bars to wait until 11AM to open on Sundays. I remember the hassle involved for my father to place bets on the early NFL games without a bookmaker perched on his preferred stool until an hour before kickoff. I also remember when, after a good betting day, my parents on one of their few days off were allowed to test drive a car, decided to purchase it, and were sent away empty-conveyanced due to a state law that forbade the sales of automobiles on a Sunday.
The majority of U.S. states require a license to sell cars to its denizens. Something that has created a series of potholes for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s business plan. Recently, Texas denied Tesla the opportunity to market its cars directly to drivers of the state in a protectionist move to protect car dealers. Car dealerships are often owned by well-established families over generations and, fairly, they feel they need to be protected from a big box invasion.
North Carolina has taken it a step further than Texas and other states. Presently, Tarheels are able to purchase Tesla’s cars online and register it their home state. Proposed legislation would make this illegal. I don’t wish to say this is because of that uppity Nelson Mandela who is South African like Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s founder … but I can’t dismiss that type of thinking from my mind when it comes to former member states of the Confederacy.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has made an amazing car with the Model S Sedan, it’s time for states to appreciate that a car with a sticker price starting over $60,000 needn’t be slowed down by protectionist measures that ensure more pollution and less sexy sedans.