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We Are the 99%


To recap: California’s emissions mandates are so onerous that they require mandates for electric cars that consumers won’t buy without subsidies that go mainly to the wealthy and that are now so expensive that they have become another drain on the state budget. Look for the middle class to be hit with a fee or tax increase to make up the difference.

It’s the WSJ, so it’s probably all a vast lie. My favorite part was this:

Palo Alto-based electric car maker Tesla has made a $119.5 million killing (300% of its net income) this year from hawking its excess credits.

To get more electric cars on the road, the state also offers consumers $2,500 rebates financed by a $20 “smog abatement fee,” which all drivers in the state must pay for their first six registration years. The rebate is on top of the $7,500 federal tax credit and $1,000 or more the state pays drivers to retire their gas guzzlers. The combined government incentives can reduce the price of a Nissan electric Leaf to about $18,000.

But wait: According to state survey data, the typical rebate recipient earns over $150,000 and owns at least one other non-electric car. About 80% hail from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Orange County. The most popular car among rebate recipients this year has been Tesla’s Model S sports sedan, which runs between about $70,000 and $100,000.


And just because I can’t post this on its own since I’m so worked up, here’s what “they” forget to tell you … (HT: Maggies Farm)

“…seven to eight times as much sexual misconduct takes place in public schools as in the Catholic Church.”

May they all burn and rot in hell. And I mean this from the depths of my cold, doomed soul. (Of course, that is not a scientifically determined figure – nor should it really matter)

5 Responses to “We Are the 99%”

  1. Harry says:

    I wish the gnomes in the EPA would make a mistake and provide carbon credits for every user of an electric golf cart, perhaps limiting the credit to users who play eighteen holes in three hours or less. The Acorn healthcare enablers could police this, too.

    Also, should not every resident of The Villages in Orlando not get carbon credits for their golf carts, which they drive all over the place? This assumes the logic of subsidizing favored business, in the Italian Fascist style.

    Regarding the other horrors in California, I am at a loss for words.

  2. Harry says:

    On the latter point, may they all burn in hell, WC.

  3. Harry says:

    This is off-topic, but I just heard Dr. Ben Carson on Greta. I am not one to follow any warrior on a horse, but he projects the kind of good sense, with an honest demeanor, that I trust, and find persuasive. This is a person who would be worth a headline lecture at the U of R, a guest of AHIW, or perhaps the guest of the University, should they be brave.

  4. Greg Werbin says:

    Has anyone ever run some numbers on those tax credits? I can see why the only electric cars so far have been expensive luxury models (marginal costs, etc), but I haven’t reasoned through what the incentives of those credits might be for manufacturers. Would a supply-side subsidy have a different effect? What if subsidies (supply or demand side) somehow took into account the affordability of the car? That is, the subsidy tapers as the price of the car grows.

    Then again, if someone is going to pay $100,000 for a sports car (after tax rebates), would you rather it be a 22-highway-mpg R8 or a 90-highway-mpg-equivalent* Tesla? The Tesla is vastly more efficient at converting energy into miles traveled. You could then go run a cost-benefit analysis of energy (or power grid burden, or financial cost, or emissions) saved per dollar of subsidy, and even calculate a rough marginal savings curve. Perhaps California’s subsidy is, in fact, a redistribution of income from all (registration-fee-paying) car owners to (Tesla-buying) rich car owners. But then we could at least see if registration-fee-paying Californians are getting their money’s worth in reduced emissions from sports cars purchased in their state.


    • wintercow20 says:

      In fear that my Eco 238 students find this post, I cannot show you the calculations right now. But I and many others have done them. And it is not even close to the case that a 90-mpg Tesla gets anything really like that when we do an apples to apples comparison over the life cycle and not “at the tailpipe.” The Tesla is NOT obviously vastly more efficient at converting energy into miles traveled – remember that we have to run a power plant to power it, those plants are surprisingly inefficient. My back of the envelope is going to put a Tesla’s real mpg closer to 35, which is not really better than a very good ICE. Other electrics do better, some do much worse. And then once we recognize that, you can compute the spending per ton of CO2 reduced, or spending per ton of particulate matter reduced and get surprisingly large numbers. Certainly those numbers are well beyond what we should reasonably spend to reduce those things. I’ll perhaps post our students’ best calculations when the quizzes are done. If you look hard you can find other examples worked on by economists.

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