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Tesla said Governor Christie’s administration has "gone back on its word"

Tesla Motors has been trying to push its direct sales model into various U.S. states, and while it saw a bit of success with New Jersey, a new state rule could destroy Tesla's plans. 

According to Tesla, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration recently proposed a new rule that requires that a person have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer in order to be granted a license to sell. 

This is a problem for Tesla, considering it already operates two stores in New Jersey and had plans to open more. It's possible that Tesla could have to stop selling its all-electric Model S and any future vehicles in these stores and instead use them as showrooms where customers can look, but not buy. 

"Unfortunately, Monday we received news that Governor Christie’s administration has gone back on its word to delay a proposed anti-Tesla regulation so that the matter could be handled through a fair process in the Legislature," said Tesla in a statement. "The Administration has decided to go outside the legislative process by expediting a rule proposal that would completely change the law in New Jersey. This new rule, if adopted, would curtail Tesla’s sales operations and jeopardize our existing retail licenses in the state.

"Having previously issued two dealer licenses to Tesla, this regulation would be a complete reversal to the long standing position of NJMVC on Tesla’s stores. Indeed, the Administration and the NJMVC are thwarting the Legislature and going beyond their authority to implement the state’s laws at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers. This is an affront to the very concept of a free market."


Tesla CEO Elon Musk and President Barack Obama

Tesla has been in a battle with many states regarding its direct sales model. The issue is that auto dealerships feel Tesla's new sales model threatens their network, which many other automakers rely on. If other automakers were to follow Tesla's example, it would put the dealerships in a bad spot. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said that dealerships are necessary to ensure competitive prices for customers, and that it will continue to defend franchise and consumer laws in the states.
 
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on the other hand, believes that auto dealerships don't do a very good job at selling specialty cars like Tesla's high-end electric vehicles (Roadster, Model S). Hence, he's looking to run his own Tesla stores around the U.S. where he believes his cars will get a fair shot at being sold. 
 
However, the problem for Tesla is that auto dealerships have much deeper pockets -- meaning that they have a lot more to spend on lobbying, and lawmakers will surely side with them when money is involved. 
 
In fact, auto dealers spent $86.8 million on state election races across the U.S. between 2003 and 2012. They also spent $53.7 million on federal campaigns. Tesla, on the other hand, has spent less than $500,000 on both state and federal politics. 
 
Tesla has gone head-to-head with many other states that are protecting auto dealerships, such as Massachusetts, Ohio and New York. 
 
Just last month, it was reported that Ohio Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) backed a new bill called Senate Bill 260, which aims to prevent Tesla and any other automaker from "applying for a license to sell or lease new or used motor vehicles at retail." Tesla opened its own stores in both Cincinnati and Columbus, as Ohio's current laws allow the automaker to do so. However, Senate Bill 260 would certainly put a stop to it, unless existing stores opened before the bill are deemed safe. 
 
What's interesting is that Patton received at least $42,825 between 2002 and 2013 from state and national auto dealership owners, employees, and political action committees. 

Source: Tesla Motors



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Show me the money!
By Dr of crap on 3/11/2014 12:22:11 PM , Rating: 5
WHY we still have this ability of a "lobbyist" to give money to an elected official so that he might vote in the lobbyists interest is crazy!!

It's legal bribery, no matter how you look at it!

But it will never be fixed - why - MONEY!




RE: Show me the money!
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/11/2014 12:37:07 PM , Rating: 5
If there's one thing that all lobbyists, people who hire lobbyists, and politicians that receive lobbying funds agree on, it's that lobbying must remain legal.


RE: Show me the money!
By GotThumbs on 3/11/2014 12:58:00 PM , Rating: 5
Yep,

Even Obama reneged on his original platform of eliminating the use of lobbyists.

Just another flat out lie IMO.


RE: Show me the money!
By inperfectdarkness on 3/12/2014 3:18:12 AM , Rating: 1
According to 90% of the DNC, this statement is racist. How dare you use such logic!


RE: Show me the money!
By inperfectdarkness on 3/13/2014 4:40:30 AM , Rating: 3
I detect a lot of broken sarcasm meters among DT readers today....


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/11/2014 1:13:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
WHY we still have this ability of a "lobbyist" to give money to an elected official so that he might vote in the lobbyists interest is crazy!!

It's legal bribery, no matter how you look at it!

I think the problem is deeper than that. I think it all stems back to a fundamental incompatibility between two things most people believe should be true.

- Most people believe corporations should be taxed.
- Most people also believe in no taxation without representation.

Corporations can't vote. Since they're taxed, they need some other means of representation if you want the above two tenets to remain true. Ergo - they can lobby.

My usual suggestion is to stop taxing corporations AND prohibit them from any direct influence in politics. If legislation will direly affect a company, they can tell their employees, who will tell their families and friends, who will call/write their representatives. But people are so resistant to the idea of not taxing corporations that my idea gets dismissed as pro-corporate looney fringe. (Even though in the grand scheme of things it makes no difference whether you extract taxes from corporations or individuals. All taxing corporations does is lower wages and increase the cost of goods, so the individual's spending power is the same as if he were taxed directly.)


RE: Show me the money!
By spamreader1 on 3/11/2014 1:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is they can vote, not as a single owner votes, but through the population that works for or purchases from said company. Stock holders also get votes, the union workers (if there are any) also get votes.

The core issue comes down to the businesses financial vote outweighs the votes of the general public. The only way the general public could possible get around this would to create something like a "peoples super-PAC" and then play the same game. Which of course for the general public this would never really make sense and would be excruciatingly difficult for any non-profit group to do without being crushed in some form by the government or other legal war of attrition by the company bent on getting their way.


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/11/2014 1:49:24 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The problem is they can vote, not as a single owner votes, but through the population that works for or purchases from said company. Stock holders also get votes, the union workers (if there are any) also get votes.

That's basically what I'm saying. Corporations can't vote, but the individuals who work at or own it can vote. Likewise, corporations shouldn't be taxed, but the individuals who work at or own it should be taxed instead.

The whole mess starts when you get it into your head that the corporation should be taxed as if it were an individual. (Actually the whole mess started when we decided to treat corporations as fictitious persons. That may have been convenient from the standpoint of saving us from having to duplicate a bunch of laws. But it leads to the conceptual problem I'm describing.)


RE: Show me the money!
By aharris02 on 3/11/2014 3:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you believe corporations shouldn't be taxed?


RE: Show me the money!
By Rukkian on 3/11/2014 3:30:36 PM , Rating: 5
I cant speak for the other poster, but the main reason would be that you take away taxation, and also take away any form of lobbying by them. You can't really keep taxing them and then turn around and say they do not get have a right to representation (taxation without representation).

On top of that, any money that comes out of the corporations ultimately get paid by the people anyways. If you got rid of corporate taxes, pretty much every single company would want to build in the us, and there would be more jobs all the time. Goods would be cheaper, as they are no longer bribing (I mean lobbying) or paying taxes.

I know that some would say that they will not lower prices, but in almost all markets there is somebody else that would sell for less if some corp were trying to charge too much. It would also help to even out the playing field so that smaller companies would be on an equal footing (from a tax and regulation standpoint) with large corps, whereas right now, the benefits all go to larger corps since they can put out the most bribes.


RE: Show me the money!
By aharris02 on 3/11/2014 3:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
That makes sense, but I don't see how we'll get out of the current economic mess and deficit if corporations aren't required to contribute to the fix. The financial services sector in particular did, after all, have a significant hand in causing the situation to begin with.

That said, I think corporations should still be taxed, just at a lower flat rate. I also think there's a an easy solution (see my comment below) to the representation issue, though I doubt it'd ever be adopted by corporations since it drastically reduces their current influence. It'd be up to Congress (good luck) and The People (perhaps, if they decided to care enough) to make it happen.


RE: Show me the money!
By SeeManRun on 3/11/2014 4:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
The reason it won't work is because income made from investing is taxed at a lower rate than income. Also, companies can currently horde their money for the future. If a company is not taxed, then it might make sense for them to not be able to hold money, since that money comes out of the economy. Perhaps all profits every year must go to the share holders unless it will be used in the very near future to re-invest..

Not sure how it would all work, but it would be tough to get done. And I imagine people would get upset when they were told corporations are going to be taxed at 0%, but your sales taxes are going up to 21%. But good news, your wages SHOULD go up.

Also, I think there would have to be some rules regarding subsidiaries in other countries and how income earned elsewhere impacts people here. Right now a company gets a tax break on creating jobs here, but if there were no taxes, why not move your company to Canada and sell the product in the US (if there are some expenses in Canada that are cheaper than the US).


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 4:21:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The reason it won't work is because income made from investing is taxed at a lower rate than income.

That's a common misconception caused by people misunderstanding graduated income taxes. Say your income is around the national average - $50k/yr. That puts you in the 25% tax bracket, but that doesn't mean you pay 25% of your income in taxes.

For 2014 you get the first $6200 tax-free.
The next $9075 is taxed at 10%.
The next $27825 is taxed at 15%.
The remaining $6900 is taxed at 25%.

Your total taxes are then $6806.25, or 13.6%. You pay less than the minimum 15% capital gains tax on investment income.

The IRS publishes tax stats for each year. If you click on the 2011 stats (upper left corner):
http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats---Individual-...

Scroll over to cell T10. That's the average percent paid in income tax relative to gross income (S10, percent of taxable income, excludes any deductions from your income). It's 13.6% for the country overall. That is, the average (mean) taxpayer pays 13.6% of their income in federal income taxes, which is less than the minimum 15% capital gains tax.

If you scroll down column T, you can see the average income tax rate does not exceed 15% until T23 (19.7%). Row 23 is the $200k-$500k tax bracket. That is, on average (mean), everyone earning less than $200k/yr pays a smaller percentage in income taxes than the capital gains tax. The median (50th percentile - about $50k) is even lower. They pay on average between 7.4% to 8.6% of their income in federal taxes. (My $50k example above came out higher because he didn't have kids, didn't take a mortgage deduction, and didn't contribute to any charities.)

So the tax rate on investment income is twice what the 50th percentile taxpayer pays.

quote:
Perhaps all profits every year must go to the share holders unless it will be used in the very near future to re-invest..

That is the way it works right now. Profits are distributed to shareholders, unless declared retained earnings and kept for future growth and expansion (i.e. future expenses).

quote:
Also, I think there would have to be some rules regarding subsidiaries in other countries and how income earned elsewhere impacts people here.

That's actually what first got me thinking along those lines. The bottom line is you (as a U.S. citizen) have no say in how Antigua or the Bahamas or Ireland structures their taxes. If they don't want to tax corporations or tax them at a very low rate, that's their right.

Successful owners and accountants of companies became successful by being very good at maximizing revenue while minimizing expenses. That's how they see the differing tax rates in different companies - an accounting optimization problem. Eliminate corporate taxes here and you eliminate their incentive to shift funds to shell corporations in those countries. If you read my post below, you can see how it doesn't really matter whether you tax corporations or individuals. Since you're taxing the employees instead, and their employees are in this country, you're still getting the bulk of (if not more) tax revenue than in the current situation.
quote:
Right now a company gets a tax break on creating jobs here, but if there were no taxes, why not move your company to Canada and sell the product in the US (if there are some expenses in Canada that are cheaper than the US).

Well, they wouldn't do that because Canada taxes corporations and the U.S. would not under my proposal.

The main problem I see is actually the opposite. A corporation sets up factories in China to take advantage of the cheap labor there. Then they cook the accounting books to shift most of the profit back to the U.S. (if it had no corporate taxes). That's great for the U.S., but unfairly deprives China of taxes on revenue its workers are responsible for. Basically the situation with Ireland and the EU.


RE: Show me the money!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2014 4:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
This would be much simpler if we just abolished the income tax altogether. The Government was much better behaved, smaller, and Constitutional without it.

The concept of the income tax is immoral, and was entirely Unconstitutional before they amended it. To take a cut of someones earned pay, before they can even see it, is monstrously evil and it's sad that it is something we've just come to accept.

Abolish income taxes. Use tariffs, sales taxes, and other use taxes instead. Return the power to the States.

End the tyranny.


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 3:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That makes sense, but I don't see how we'll get out of the current economic mess and deficit if corporations aren't required to contribute to the fix.

Because it doesn't really make a difference whether you tax corporations or tax individuals.

Say 100% of our government's revenue were individual income taxes. Say there are 100 people in the country earning an average of $50k per year, and paying the government an average of $15k/yr. That is, the government takes in $1.5 million/yr in taxes. And the average guy has $35k/yr in left over spending money.

One day the people get the clever idea of taxing corporations. So they pass a law eliminating the individual income tax, and now 100% of tax revenue comes from corporations. The government is still looking to take in $1.5 million/yr. How do you think the corporations are going to pay for it? That's right - they'll either raise prices or cut wages.

If they cut wages, they have to spread the $1.5 million across the 100 people. That works out to $15k per person. So now nobody pays individual income taxes, but their average pay has been cut to $50k - $15k = $35k per person. Exactly the same as when everyone paid income taxes.

If the companies raise prices, they have to raise them enough to pay $1.5 million. Spread across 100 people, that's an average of $15k per person in price hikes. So the average person now takes home $50k, but it buys the same amount of stuff as $35k used to buy. Exactly the same as when everyone paid individual income taxes.

See, the idea that a corporation is an entity like an individual leads people to make a fundamental logical error. They start to think of it as us (the people) vs them (the corporations). There is no us vs them. There is only us. Corporations are just people who've decided to work together instead of individually. The only contribution to the economy is productivity, and the only source of productivity is people. So whether you tax corporations or individuals doesn't really matter. In the end, you're still diverting 30% of the fruits of your productivity to the government.

(There are certain taxes which have other functions that simple revenue generation. Property taxes discourage people from "sitting" on a property instead of putting it to good use. Sin taxes discourage activity harmful to the overall economy. VATs discourage flipping. etc. So an economy based solely on individual income taxes is probably a bad idea. But whenever possible we should be consolidating taxes to simplify calculation and reduce the cost of collection. The current "tax corporations but allow them to lobby" structure unfairly concentrates power in the hands of the people running the corporations IMHO.)


RE: Show me the money!
By aharris02 on 3/12/2014 5:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
The problem I see with that system is that retained earnings get by scot-free without taxation. This could hinder dividend issuance, but I guarantee it will lead to widespread abuse of corporations by people simply trying to avoid taxation of their income.

What would be done to address that?


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 5:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
Retained earnings have to be spent at some point to be useful, so I don't see it as a problem. Either it'll pay for new equipment and services, or it'll go into wage increases and new staff, or the company will decide to distribute it to stockholders and it'll become income for them. All that's happened is it gets time-shifted. i.e. if you changed your accounting scale from FY2013 to 2013-2023, it's like it wasn't ever retained - it was all spent in the same time period that you made the revenue (though now you have different revenue which is retained). So in that respect, retained earnings are just an artifact of us deciding an account period for tax purposes should be one year, and the fact that business payments lag revenue receipts.

The main problem I see (and one which I still haven't figured out a clear or easy solution to) is people having the company pay their personal expenses. If you own a company which pays no taxes, and you get the company to lease a personal vehicle for you, pay for your food as a meals expense, and pay for your gas, airline tickets, and hotel in Cancun as a business travel expense, then you're essentially getting those things as "income" without having paid income tax on them. This already goes on, and there are already laws in the books to prevent or discourage it. But it's tough to enforce without having significant insight into the internal operations of the company.


RE: Show me the money!
By crimson117 on 3/11/2014 1:48:30 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
- Most people believe corporations should be taxed.
- Most people also believe in no taxation without representation.

"No taxation without representation" refers to being an individual who is governed but has no say in who governs them. Every american corporation has american employees and relatives who can vote, and american customers who may want to see the corporation do well.


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/11/2014 1:57:22 PM , Rating: 1
You're not seeing the duplicity in your statement? For representation purposes, you're saying the corporation isn't an individual. For taxation purposes, you're saying the corporation is an individual.

Either it is an individual or it isn't. Pick one. You can't have it both ways. Your reasoning was used by the South pre-Civil War. They didn't want to give blacks the right to vote, but they wanted to count blacks as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of determining proportional representation in the House.


RE: Show me the money!
By Etsp on 3/11/2014 2:26:29 PM , Rating: 5
Corporations, or "Limited Liability Corporations" are entities that have their own income, and their own assets, and these assets are not tied to individual human beings.

If it has income, it gets taxed. Individuals within that corporation are able to leverage these assets to lobby the government (or the people) for the sake of the corporation, but the corporation itself is not an individual, and cannot make its own decisions.

Decartes said, "I think, therefore I am." He didn't say, "I pay taxes, therefore I am."


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 3:00:34 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Corporations, or "Limited Liability Corporations" are entities that have their own income, and their own assets, and these assets are not tied to individual human beings.

As has been adroitly pointed out, those assets are indeed tied to individual human beings. They're called owners and employees. All a corporation is is a shell for legal protection purposes.

quote:
If it has income, it gets taxed.

Income is an insufficient measure upon which to base taxes. Say I own a brick. My friend buys it from me for $1. I buy it back from him for $1. He buys it back from me for $1. We repeat this a million times. Congratulations - he and I have both generated $1 million in income.

For taxes to make sense, there needs to be productivity. Some value generated with the transaction. This is generally classified as profit (a worker's "income" is actually their profit from working). But profit in a corporation is either paid to employees as wages, or distributed to owners as distributions. You can have retained earnings for reinvestment in the company, but that just increases the potential for future wages or distributions. i.e. - it's all going to individuals anyway.
quote:
Individuals within that corporation are able to leverage these assets to lobby the government (or the people) for the sake of the corporation, but the corporation itself is not an individual, and cannot make its own decisions.

Right. Which is why you and I agree it makes no sense to allow corporations to vote. Which is why it makes no sense to tax corporations if you believe in no taxation without representation.


RE: Show me the money!
By aharris02 on 3/11/2014 3:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
I've never put those two together. Thanks for pointing out that connection.

I think a better approach is to drastically restrict lobbying, maintain corporate taxation via a flat rate, then give the corporation the ability to cast a number of votes equivalent to the number of jobs INSIDE THE US that it creates. Votes could be cast as decided by the stakeholders or whatever makes the most sense for the corporation.


RE: Show me the money!
By Rukkian on 3/11/2014 3:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
If you were going to go that route, you may need to base it on FTE (Full time equivalent) or something of that sort, or corps would have some incentive to just go make everybody 20hour a week half timer and hire twice as many people.


RE: Show me the money!
By aharris02 on 3/11/2014 3:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Is there anything tragically flawed about taking this approach to representation, besides large, politically-active corporations hating it?


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 5:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
You need to adjust your expectations. It's been mathematically proven that there are no flawless representation systems.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow%27s_impossibili...

They are all flawed in some way in certain situations. You just have to sift through them and pick one which fails in cases which you think are least likely, and in ways you could live with when they do fail. Our current plurality wins voting system actually turns out to be pretty bad.

In the greater scheme of things, a better interpretation of the above is "Just because you find a flaw in a representation system isn't cause for immediate rejection." Unfortunately, this is one aspect of life where we have to resign ourselves to live with imperfection. Just try to minimize the impact of those imperfections.


RE: Show me the money!
By BifurcatedBoat on 3/11/2014 4:43:17 PM , Rating: 3
I think that would bother people even more - especially if their own political views were diametrically opposed to those of the company ownership. You can imagine a scenario where a presidential candidate received only 40% of the popular vote, but 90% of the corporate vote to eke out a win.


RE: Show me the money!
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 5:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, don't misunderstand the second option I listed. I don't seriously think corporations should be allowed to vote. We've already got a system clearly established on one person, one vote. A corporation is just a bunch of people deciding to work together. There is no justifiable reason why that should entitle members of the corporation to 1.1 or 1.2 votes per person. (Worse yet, the additional voting power wouldn't be equally distributed, with the ownership taking the bulk of it just because they can.)

That's why I started exploring the "don't tax corporations" option.


RE: Show me the money!
By kickoff on 3/11/2014 5:07:19 PM , Rating: 5
You say the problem is that corporations can't be taxed without representation.

But I'm not sure I agree with that. The "no taxation without representation" is for people, not for companies. You're anthropomorphizing them as a base assumption and I'm not sure you even realize you're doing it. Why then wouldn't I say that it's illegal to tax dog food...because dogs need to eat yet they have no representation to fight this tax?
That may seem like an extreme example, but only because we are used to thinking of corporations as people but that may simply be a bad assumption that we've taken as "fact" for too long.


RE: Show me the money!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/14, Rating: -1
RE: Show me the money!
By TSS on 3/11/2014 8:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's some high grade doublespeak you're employing there. If a company is "just a group of people", how the hell would the company not be represented if the company itself wasn't considered a person? It's made up entirely of persons! it's already represented!

Not only that but you cannot even see that you're agueing for taxation WITHOUT representation! (You thickheaded buffoon! usually i hate namecalling but goddamn you're so indoctrinated it's not even funny).

Because the corperations are able to exert such power in the democratic process, the vast majority of the US's population ISN'T represented right now! Because the politicians are bought off by corperate sponsored lobbyists what chance does a single voter have? What representation do all millions of voters combined even have if they cannot even compete with only ~10,000 lobbyists?!

It just blows my mind you can look that post and see nothing wrong with it. What drugs are you on? Stop doing them. If you're not on any, start. This includes legal/prescribed drugs by the way.


RE: Show me the money!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/2014 10:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
Dude I'm not the one who invented "Corporate Person-hood". I'm just speaking facts. I know it doesn't jive with the populist opinion, but what are you gonna do?

The problem is that there are some very sound practical and Constitutional reasons for the doctrine of corporate personhood.

You're using a straw man to say I must obviously support out of control lobbying if I support corporate personhood.

Actually "support" is too strong of a word. I'm simply informing you of the pragmatic realities of the situation. I happen to the think the First Amendment and the Constitution is a big deal, if you don't..okay.

Do you really care about seeing both sides of this? Let me quote you something, and honestly think about how it would be without Corporate Personhood.

"When individuals pool their resources and speak under the legal fiction of a corporation, they do not lose their rights. It cannot be any other way; in a world where corporations are not entitled to constitutional protections, the police would be free to storm office buildings and seize computers or documents. The mayor of New York City could exercise eminent domain over Rockefeller Center by fiat and without compensation if he decides he'd like to move his office there. Moreover, the government would be able to censor all corporate speech, including that of so-called media corporations. In short, rights-bearing individuals do not forfeit those rights when they associate in groups."

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id...


RE: Show me the money!
By kickoff on 3/12/2014 1:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point, but I have to agree to disagree.

Not granting corporations person-hood does not mean we have to by default go to some extreme where the corporation has no right to have a place of business. Saying that a corporation (or Union, etc) should not have the right to lobby or otherwise act as a PERSON in the political process does not automatically imply the Mayor of NYC can walk in and take over a building he wants.
If we're not intelligent enough to right laws that should pertain to a business as opposed to a person, then we're not capable of governing ourselves in the first place.

There has to be a reasonable middle ground.


RE: Show me the money!
By senecarr on 3/13/2014 9:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
But none of that follows from denying corporations personhood.
A corporation is a type of legal charter owned by people. Those people are still free to act as individuals even if their corporation isn't.
It is like saying, if my house isn't a legal person, that means the mayor of my town could take over my basement because it is part of my house, and I just own the house, while the house itself owns the basement.

Also, if you think the constitution as intended meant to protect corporations in anyway, you don't know the founders. The Boston Tea Party, for example, was not simply about anger with the government, it was anger at corporatism - the participants hated the East India trading company and its tea monopoly just as much as the government giving it to them.
Initial laws on corporations limited their existence - their charters forcibly expired so they couldn't run forever. Individuals running the corporation could face criminal prosecution for actions of the corporation. Corporations were usually required to work in only one sector / commodity to limit their influence.


RE: Show me the money!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2014 12:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
Corporate Personhood has been upheld by nearly every Supreme Court for over a hundred years.

You're going to have to do more to outweigh that than a poor interpretation of the Boston Tea Party.

I've often heard Progressives make the argument that the Founders were against Corporations so we should be too. But that's clearly not based in any researchable facts.

If you can find me a first world nation with a thriving economy that's banned Corporations, I would like to see how they did it.


RE: Show me the money!
By senecarr on 3/14/2014 8:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Corporate Personhood has been upheld by nearly every Supreme Court for over a hundred years.

You'll note I said founder's intent. Court decisions are different from founder's intent, some judges view constitutions as living and founder's intent not necessary. Others require strict intent, and others rely on founder's intent in modern context. Usually each of these interpretations ends up amounting whatever the heck the judge feels anyway.

quote:
You're going to have to do more to outweigh that than a poor interpretation of the Boston Tea Party. I've often heard Progressives make the argument that the Founders were against Corporations so we should be too. But that's clearly not based in any researchable facts.

I've listed several facts that showed anti-corporate laws - corporations had limited "life" spans, they had laws requiring the to operate in specific areas, can you provide anything more concrete saying those things didn't exist?

quote:
If you can find me a first world nation with a thriving economy that's banned Corporations, I would like to see how they did it.

I don't have to find you any such thing because that's a strawman. We're discussing limits on corporate power and corporate personhood, not the efficacy of having laws allowing corporations. I know it is hard to think in grey areas instead of black-white like corporations must be allowed the same rights as people, or corporations cannot exist in any form.
And even if it was what we are arguing, you're now arguing from popularity, which is equally fallacious. No current economy operates on fusion power, but if tomorrow someone developed virtually free nuclear fusion power, would that mean no country should adopt it?


RE: Show me the money!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Show me the money!
By superflex on 3/11/2014 1:28:03 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think Musk doesn't lobby?


RE: Show me the money!
By SeeManRun on 3/11/2014 4:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
Lobbing almost always favors the already established industry (auto dealers). If you removed ALL lobbying, then only common sense solutions should be proposed. If people wish to buy their vehicle without a dealer, then they should be allowed to do that.


RE: Show me the money!
By mars2k on 3/11/2014 1:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
Republicans are all for freedom until their cronies are jeopardised.
What happened to the conservative penchant for free market everything? What hypocrisy!
Remember when congress made Canadian pharmaceuticals illegal for US citizens to buy or import even when they had prescriptions?
Consumers are treated like herds of cattle belonging to this interest or that to treat as they will.
We are here for the benefit of business and not the other way around.


RE: Show me the money!
By omgwtf8888 on 3/11/2014 4:04:51 PM , Rating: 3
It is not legal bribery! It is just bribery!

Whoever - (1) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent - (A) to influence any official act; or ~

The oh it's just a campaign contribution is a lot of BS. These campaign contribution that are quid pro quo for targeted legislation are bribes. What we need in NJ and at the Federal level are Attorney Generals that are elected independently and not appointed by the Governor/President. This is not freedom of speech it is just bribery.


RE: Show me the money!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/14, Rating: -1
Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 12:35:11 PM , Rating: 5
This BS with requiring a middleman in-between an auto manufacturer and the consumer has to stop. Any and all people who think there's the slightest validity to this requirement please go take a long walk off a short pier.

This is nothing but cronyism and profiteering based on the efforts of lobbyists.

There are ZERO credible reasons why a middleman *must* exist between an auto manufacturer and a consumer. None. If there was, it would necessarily be so for ALL products as well - not just cars.




RE: Just stop
By Solandri on 3/11/2014 1:33:49 PM , Rating: 1
Middlemen do exist for pretty much all products. Very few manufacturers or farmers sell directly to end-users. They all sell through distributors and retailers. The grocery store you buy produce at? Middleman. The department store where you buy your clothes? Middleman. Amazon.com? Middleman. Pretty much every laptop brand? Middleman (the laptops are actually designed and built by little-known Taiwanese companies like Quanta, Pegatron, Wistron, Foxconn).

Most producers and manufacturers just want to concentrate on growing or building stuff. They don't want to deal with market analysis, demand estimation, and the headaches associated with product distribution. They'd rather hire a company which specializes in that. This is actually good for the economy because the distributor can use the market analysis structure it already has in place for one product, to analyze the market for another product. Much more efficient than each manufacturer having to have its own marketing department in-house. Same goes for retailers. Most distributors don't want to deal with the headaches of buying retail space, dealing with individual customers, etc.

What's changing all this is the Internet. Before, it was hard to get marketing data without an army of people out there doing product surveys. Now you can get it by watching people's web browsing habits. Likewise, before it was difficult for a manufacturer to do direct-to-end-user sales. Now you just set up some computer scripts and databases, and the end-customer orders can automatically be compiled and grouped together as if they were orders from a distributor.

The main difference I see with car dealers is that their price is negotiable. In most of the world this is considered a good thing - haggling is normal and expected. But for some reason it's considered a hassle in highly developed societies, and people would rather pay a fixed price. I guess people's desire for everyone to be treated equally overrides their desire to want to get the best possible deal. So it's considered better for everyone to equally pay a high price, then for everyone to pay a different but on average lower prices.


RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 1:52:43 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Middlemen do exist for pretty much all products.


...is there a law that requires it? No.

Why is there no law that requires it? Because there's no possible reason to create such a requirement.

Vast numbers of products are sold directly from the producer to the consumer. And it's categorically incorrect to say that either the producer or the consumer is at any kind of disadvantage because there wasn't a middleman.

In all cases, the middleman increases the cost to the consumer - by necessity. Not having a middleman, at a bare minimum, benefits the consumer by not causing his price to increase.


RE: Just stop
By Solandri on 3/11/2014 2:09:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
...is there a law that requires it? No.

Completely agree. If the middleman requires a law for their existence (like car dealerships), then most likely they are unneeded.

quote:
In all cases, the middleman increases the cost to the consumer - by necessity. Not having a middleman, at a bare minimum, benefits the consumer by not causing his price to increase.

Completely disagree. If there is no law requiring a middleman and a middleman exists, then they exist because they are lowering prices. That is how the economy works - by eliminating inefficiencies which raise prices. Just because you don't understand how they're lowering prices doesn't mean they aren't lowering prices.

Take garbage hauling. In your ideal world without middlemen, everyone would haul their own garbage to the dump once a week. 120 million households, all driving their cars to the dump once a week. Then someone gets the bright idea that there should be a middleman - someone who goes around to each house and collects their garbage, then hauls it en masse to the dump in one trip. Saves fuel, saves time, saves money, and is a middleman.


RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 2:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Completely disagree. If there is no law requiring a middleman and a middleman exists, then they exist because they are lowering prices.


This is so horrifically wrong I don't even know where to begin.

A middleman increases cost because it has to. There's facility costs, payroll, shipping, you name it. There is no possible universe in which implementing a middleman does not by necessity increase costs...unless you think some commerce fairy is magically making that part free.

For many consumer goods, a middleman exists because of logistics...like, you're not going to to Korea to buy an LG washer and dryer in person from LG. But that's not to say that there's any reason LG can't just sell directly to consumers via their website, and dropship their stuff around...that's just a business decision for them.

Traditionally middlemen exist as distributors - buying in bulk from the producer who doesn't want to mess with one-off sales anyway - and then selling to the consumer in one-off sales themselves - MAKING PROFIT ON THE TRANSACTION AS THEY DO. How do they make profit? Because they increase the cost of the product to the consumer. Period.

In the modern world, particularly driven by online commerce, more and more logistical issues are being solved and more and more producers can easily sell directly to consumers. Your assertion that middlemen exist to decrease price is moronic - they exist to facilitate logistics, and the need for such facilitation is dropping constantly as time goes on.

When you go to a farmers market and buy a melon from the farmer himself for 25% of the cost of the same melon at Cub Foods, you saved 75% because there was no middleman - or, possibly, middlemen. By your theory, buying directly from the farmer at the farmers market would cost more than at Cub Foods.

But that doesn't work that way, now does it?


RE: Just stop
By Wy_White_Wolf on 3/11/2014 3:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
I see you haven't been to too many farners markets. Melons quite often cost more there than at the Supermarket. Economics of scale fall into place here.

A farmer selling at a local farmers market has to charge higher price as he would be very limited on the number of melons he can sell. Selling at wholesale to a chain he can deal in a large volume and not need to make as much per melon and still turn a profit.

That is where tesla fits in. They are trying do do the farmers market of car sales. But others can deal in a larger volme and not need to make as much profit per car sold.

All I see Tesla as needing to do is issue a franchise agreement to themselves.


RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 4
lol

You must go to some pretty crappy farmers markets.

The middleman serves a purpose only for logistics...and in that equation, he necessarily raises the cost to the consumer.

Logistics is the beginning and ending of why middlemen exist. Saving money for the consumer does not, in any way, figure into that equation.


RE: Just stop
By The Von Matrices on 3/12/2014 2:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
Your argument is only true because you are neglecting all the non-monetary costs involved with purchasing an item. The cost most people forget is the cost of time. When you can save a half hour per day traveling between stores by simply going to a large chain store, then a slightly higher nominal price is a more than acceptable tradeoff. You see people doing crazy things when they don't consider these time costs, like spending hours clipping coupons to save less money than could be earned by simply working at a job for the same amount of time.

There are many reasons people go to specialized shops like farmers' markets. They might enjoy traveling to them, they might meet friends there, they may want to support local businesses, and they might even find a slightly lower nominal price. But for commodities the only people who visit specialized stores for the lower price will be the few that can justify the extra time spent traveling between them. Middlemen are not present in everyday life because of some conspiracy to raise nominal prices for the consumer; they are here because they lower overall costs to the consumer.


RE: Just stop
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 5:21:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The middleman serves a purpose only for logistics...and in that equation, he necessarily raises the cost to the consumer.

I'm only going to explain this once more since you're clearly resistant to examining the situation in any other way than the narrow scope you've pre-defined it in your mind.

Shimano makes fishing reels. They could do the logistics for distribution (marketing research, finding and booking transport companies, etc) by themselves. Yes it would reduce cost compared to a middleman who only buys and resells Shimano reels.

Penn also makes fishing reels. Like Shimano, they could do the logistics themselves, and it would reduce cost compared to a middleman who only buys and sells Daiwa reels.

But look what's happened. You now have two companies, both with their own in-house logistics division doing the same thing . That is duplicated work. Now multiply this by the dozen companies that make fishing reels, and you're talking about a whole lot of duplicated (wasted) work.

In steps a distributor - a middleman. They do the market research for all these different reels simultaneously. They negotiate a single contract for retailers to carry the reels. They handle the transportation contracts with a single employee. They track shipments with a single database.

This eliminates a lot of work and saves a lot of time compared to when each reel manufacturer did it in-house. Consequently the middleman is able to handle the logistics work at less cost than any single manufacturer could do it in-house. The manufacturers sign up with the middleman to distribute their goods, and the final price is lower for the customer. The middleman has lowered prices.

quote:
Logistics is the beginning and ending of why middlemen exist. Saving money for the consumer does not, in any way, figure into that equation.

Saving money for the customer is everything in a competitive environment. If you can save the customer money compared to a competitor, more of them will buy your products and you will make more money. Using a distributor saves manufacturers money, which they then pass on to customers in the form of lower prices.

It's the same reason why I moved my previous small business over to a hosted mail service. I'm technically competent enough to run my own mail server. But the amount of my time it took and spare resources we'd have to keep on hand (extra hard drives, computers, backups, etc) made the cost enormous.

The hosted mail service has those same costs, but they're able to distribute them over hundreds of customers. Their ratio of techs to mail servers is about 1:100, so they're not spending most of their day browsing the web waiting for a problem to crop up. They keep spare drives in the closet, but where I needed 100% redundancy (1 operating drive, 1 spare), they may only need 10% redundancy (100 operating drives, 10 spares). The labor involved running and validating the backups was about 1 hour/month. But the hosing service could do it for 100 mail domains simultaneously making their labor cost 36 seconds/month. Lower than my costs to do it in-house.

When a middleman consolidates work like this, they lower costs for everyone. You're purposely thinking of middlemen as only people who flip - buy something and resell it with no value added. You're right that flippers increase costs. But other middlemen add significant value to the product distribution stream, and consequently lower costs.


RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/14/2014 4:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
You're not smart.

The reason why middlemen serve logistics roles is because not everyone lives next to the Shimano factory.

If, somehow (doesn't matter how for this exercise) you could get a 100,000 people in the Shimano parking lot all at once who wanted a reel, you could most certainly buy 100,000 reels from Shimano at the bulk rate, and everyone would have their reel as cheaply as it could possibly be gotten.

That's the best-case scenario. Highly unlikely, but still...best case.

Middlemen buy in bulk from Shimano, and perform the function of a distributor - WHICH NECESSARILY INCREASES THE COST OF THE PRODUCT TO THE CONSUMER. Because they have to pay for, at a minimum, their apportioned amount of the logistics costs. And, realistically, whatever additional % the middleman wants to stick on top of it.

At no point did I ever say the middleman wasn't performing a service - at all points I said all he was good for was logistics. This is irrefutably true, and it is also irrefutably true that having the middleman in the equation necessarily increases costs to the consumer. Period. Case closed. There is nothing more to say, and you need to shut your moronic mouth because you're clearly in way over your head.

No one should force a middleman into a retail transaction by law. There's no just cause for it. In the specific case of buying Tesla cars, Tesla is perfectly capable of receiving an order from a consumer and shipping the car out - or, probably, letting the consumer pick the car up at the factory (I'm guessing). REQUIRING that a dealer (middleman) be inserted into that equation MUST NECESSARILY INCREASE THE COST TO THE CONSUMER. Because the dealer doesn't work for free.

Now please stop making the internet stupider with your incessant willful ignorance about these simple facts.


RE: Just stop
By Mint on 3/12/2014 3:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
All I see Tesla as needing to do is issue a franchise agreement to themselves.

Yes, that's all they should need to do.

But laws prevent them from doing so. They require the dealer to be independent.


RE: Just stop
By BifurcatedBoat on 3/11/2014 4:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that cost can also come in forms other than money.


RE: Just stop
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/14, Rating: -1
RE: Just stop
By senecarr on 3/13/2014 9:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
Your reasoning implies that logistics are FREE when done by the party making a product, and suddenly NOT FREE when done by some other party that is not the producer nor consumer of the product.
If LG had to sell everything themselves via their website, they'd incur a cost. At the same time, consumers would have view several different websites instead of one showroom to make an informed purchase between LG, Samsung, etc. This time spent is a cost (just not one reflected in a price).
I think the problem is you're fixed on the price and want to call that the cost. They are not the same thing.


RE: Just stop
By Mathos on 3/11/2014 2:25:25 PM , Rating: 1
One of those rare times I agree with you.

What certain other people around here don't realize. Is that the produce you buy at the super market... Doesn't come from a local farmer. It comes from industrialized farms and hot house growers. Local farmers do quite often sell directly to consumers. The shear amount of fresh fruit and veggie stands I see in the local area around places I've lived proves that. Good luck finding that near large cities though.

And, a lot of American manufacturing companies do sell directly to consumers now, via the internet. Unfortunately, due to major chains like Wally world, selling mass amounts of made in China crap, it's becoming increasingly harder to find American made goods in chain stores. Quite a few of the cabinetry places I've worked at sell direct to consumer as an example.

Now as far as the auto dealership thing. They're as full of shit as it comes. Someone needs to protect the consumer from the shenanigans that most dealerships pull. Nothing like going to the brands web site, looking up a vehicle with the loadout you want, having them give you a price, and then going to a dealership to buy the exact same car, to have them try and tack another $5000-$8000+ on the vehicle. Then they try and lie and cheat you out of any incentive programs going on at the time, or they try and charge you extra to install things that came preinstalled. Oh you can tell the lovely dealerships I've had to deal with around Texas.


RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 3:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
There are few institutions so anti-consumer in this world as car dealerships.


RE: Just stop
By milktea on 3/12/2014 4:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with you on the car dealerships.

But first off, after reading many of the posts with the word 'middleman', I just like to stress that middleman is a general term that covers a broad range of businesses. So I would avoid making general statments on the term middleman. Otherwise, you're just stereotyping which is quite off the track. Some middleman are good for the consumers, while others are debatable.

But getting back to the car dealerships, I'm in full agreement with your thoughts. People who thinks 'CAR' dealerships doesn't charge you more (on top of manufacturing price) is just in complete ignorance. They need profile inorder to survive and to hire dealers. And most often than not, they will try to sell you all the extras that you don't really need. Some people just doesn't know how to say 'no'. There's a lot of psychology in consumer spending buying and selling. Personally, I find no benefits haggling with a 'car' dealer. It's stressful and time wasting (opportunity cost there). And I don't know anyone who'd like to haggle to a dealer.

The question is, 'car' dealership do they really benefit the consumer? And if not, the 2nd question is, are they essential to the well being of the economy?


RE: Just stop
By jdietz on 3/12/2014 5:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
Kickstarter people hire middlemen (Amazon Fulfillment Services is a popular one) to service their customers. Servicing your customers is hard. Most companies would rather leave it to other to care for retail customers.

Anybody know Ford/Toyota/Honda/GM opinion on direct-to-customer sales? Do the big guys want to do direct-to-customer sales? I think you can buy direct from big automakers, but it doesn't save you any money (if you're buying only one or two cars), which is why nobody does it.


RE: Just stop
By inperfectdarkness on 3/12/2014 3:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, Amazon isn't a middle man. Neither is Ebay. They are both essentially operating a flea market. The company that offers the floor space/accommodations that the flea market operates in is NOT a middle man--but rather someone offering floor space for a price. At a farmer's market, for example, the goods are direct-to-consumer sales--though the stall has to be rented/purchased from the market owner.

It is a seemingly small distinction, but a significant one. MANY vendors on Amazon/Ebay do offer direct-to-consumer sales. Don't think of it as middle-man with a markup; think of it as a online shopping mall where each store produces its own goods in-house.


RE: Just stop
By coburn_c on 3/11/14, Rating: 0
RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 4:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The credible reason for keeping auto dealers local is to keep auto sales profit local.


For what possible reason do you think that makes any sense? Because it's also the *local* people PAYING for that unnecessary "local profit." All you're doing is robbing cousin Peter to pay cousin Paul.

Your little rant though about trying to tie dropping the requirement to have dealerships into destroying your communities though is just hilarious. The shareholders are already getting their money, and they'd continue to get the same amount of money - with or without a dealer. The question is simply whether or not there's another hand out in the middle.

You want a dealership, then fine. Have a dealership. Just don't pretend there's any basis to have to require them by law.

By the way...if dealerships were "necessary" you wouldn't need a law to force them into use, now would you?


RE: Just stop
By coburn_c on 3/11/2014 6:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
unnecessary profit?

That's nonsense, the dealer markup won't disappear anymore than the the Bose markup disappears when you walk into a Bose store.

In case you have completely missed it, this argument is about letting the manufacturers run the dealerships. Any savings that would come about for the consumer would only be temporary while they run the locals out of business. Once firmly in the monopoly it is likely prices would rise as corporate could control local competition.

This is entirely about shifting dealer profit from local small businesses to corporate. If you think the dealership will just magically disappear and you will order your car via UPS then you are mistaken.


RE: Just stop
By Reclaimer77 on 3/11/2014 7:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
In Moto's world you can buy an unlocked flagship smartphone for like $200. It's the carriers (middleman) that make them $700!


RE: Just stop
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 8:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In case you have completely missed it, this argument is about letting the manufacturers run the dealerships


No...as a matter of fact, no such thing has been uttered until you did just now. This categorically isn't about letting manufacturers run dealerships - it's about whether or not a state should *require* dealerships in order to sell cars there at all.

quote:
Any savings that would come about for the consumer would only be temporary while they run the locals out of business. Once firmly in the monopoly it is likely prices would rise as corporate could control local competition.


What monopoly? Is there only going to be one automaker left if the laws requiring dealerships are lifted? Or is the consumer still going to have the choice between Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Cadillac, Lincoln, Jeep, Acura, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Kia, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum? Oh that's right...it'll be the latter. In which there isn't the slightest whiff of a monopoly.

And even if there are manufacturer-owned dealerships...who cares? Did it make any difference when Apple started opening their own stores? Or Nike? Do corporate-owned Burger Kings somehow dominate over franchisee-owned Burger Kings?

Get a f%cking grip.


RE: Just stop
By Mint on 3/12/2014 3:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No...as a matter of fact, no such thing has been uttered until you did just now. This categorically isn't about letting manufacturers run dealerships - it's about whether or not a state should *require* dealerships in order to sell cars there at all.


No, actually you are incorrect.

This whole issue IS indeed about Tesla being able to run their own dealerships, i.e. Tesla Stores/Galleries. How many people would buy a car without ever sitting in it or doing a test drive? Only a small fraction. Tesla isn't so cocky as to think that they can operate showrooms with significantly less overhead than dealerships.

What they really want is to control the sales message for their products, and point out things you wouldn't hear from a dealer getting 90%+ of his revenue from gas cars.

quote:
What monopoly?
Indeed. The rest of your post is correct. coburn is dead wrong about the implications.


RE: Just stop
By Mint on 3/12/2014 4:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, the middle-man is NOT what created the middle class. Blue collar workers did. All economic activity helps the middle class, and as long as Tesla keeps on growing (buying machines, building factories, hiring workers, hiring engineers, contracting supercharger installers, contracting service "rangers", etc) as opposed to hoarding profits, the middle and lower classes benefit.

In this case, Tesla isn't cutting out the middle guy. They're helping them.

How many EV-centric dealerships do you see? Nothing compared to the number of Tesla stores. They all have employees/managers paid by Tesla, and they wouldn't exist independently (mainly because dealers get half their revenue from service, which is almost zero for EVs).

Tesla cares more about getting their message out than locally maximizing sales per salesperson, which is how dealers maximize efficiency. That means more sales employees per car sold, not fewer.

Dealers aren't going anywhere, as they're too essential for car distribution/sales/service. The only people that are under threat to get cut out are the higher income dealer owners.


The Northeast is archaic...
By MrBlastman on 3/11/2014 12:16:17 PM , Rating: 4
They still have gas stations that require you to pay an attendant, for crying out loud. And they like to give the South crap...




RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/11/2014 12:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I've NEVER understood that. You can't even pump your own gas/diesel? What kind of stupid, effed up idea is that? It's like saying that your residents are so dumb that they can't unscrew a cap and stick a nozzle in a hole.

It just blows my mind. Next thing you know, they'll have someone standing behind you at the urinal to help you shake.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By GotThumbs on 3/11/2014 12:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
Forced job creation for low skilled labor.

It's that simple.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By Motoman on 3/11/2014 2:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not so much that as it is a kneejerk reaction to "Save" jobs that had clearly become obsolete.

The nephew of someone important was gonna lose his job at the gas station...


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By Argon18 on 3/11/2014 3:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
"You can't even pump your own gas/ diesel ? "

Actually yes you can pump your own diesel fuel in NJ. And kerosene. And jet fuel.

It's only gasoline that requires a gas station engineer to pump it for you. You know, because it's far to complicated and dangerous for the average person to manage.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By superflex on 3/11/2014 1:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Oregon has that crazy law as well.
Because pumping gas is hard.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By XabanakFanatik on 3/11/2014 3:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
The law isn't really that crazy, I still pay lower prices for gas than anyone in California. It saves me the trouble of having to get out in the freezing cold in the winter or the burning hot in the summer. It's really quite convenient.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By MrBlastman on 3/11/2014 3:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
lol

quote:
It saves me the trouble of having to get out in the freezing cold in the winter or the burning hot in the summer.


Your burning hot in the summer is a springtime picnic here. I always hear Northerners complain about their summers and then I visit where they live during the summer. I laugh myself all the way home. :)


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By Rukkian on 3/11/2014 3:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
So because you are lazy means it should be a law to make everybody else be lazy? If there are enough of you around willing to pay extra for it (which in the end you are one way or another), then stations will do it. I see no reason to have a law requiring it.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By Argon18 on 3/11/2014 3:53:19 PM , Rating: 1
"The law isn't really that crazy, I still pay lower prices for gas than anyone in California. It saves me the trouble of having to get out in the freezing cold in the winter or the burning hot in the summer. It's really quite convenient. "

I've filled up twice in my live in NJ. Both times, the incompetent schmuck working the pumps didn't screw my gas cap back on. Five minutes later I'm driving down the freeway, and smell a strong gasoline smell. I pull over and find the cap loose and rattling around with gasoline spewed all down the side of my car.

Yeah, real convenient. I hope to never enter that horrid state again.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By Flunk on 3/11/14, Rating: 0
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/12/2014 6:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
Being from the northeast, I have to point out that full-service gas stations are only mandatory by law in NJ. They do exist elsewhere but are not the norm. I've seen them around in CT and MA, but definitely less common there than self-service stations in those states. I did accidentally stop at a full-service station in upstate NY once. The guy came out after I'd started pumping and asked if we had full-service in PA (he noticed my out-of-state plate); I told him it was very uncommon. In VT I have never seen a full service station anywhere.


RE: The Northeast is archaic...
By pandemonium on 3/14/2014 2:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
Hey now, I live in the South and we don't have attendants required to pump gasoline. Yet, I see tons of tank covers open, plugs dangling, and even a few nozzles/hoses dragging along with the car because the person was too stupid to realize it.

Maybe we need some forced attendants?

I also can't comprehend people that only pay cash at the register for filling up with only a certain [small] amount of gasoline. As if they're not going to be driving this car that long? Fill the tank, everytime, and use your card at the pump. If you can't tell what a shady card reader that doesn't belong there looks like, then you probably shouldn't be in this magical world that we live in.


I call Bull Sh_t on NADA
By GotThumbs on 3/11/2014 12:55:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said that dealerships are necessary to ensure competitive prices for customers


This is why I have never purchased a new car and why I do not trust dealers.

Buying direct from factory is always cheaper.

Dealers can still be service stations but forget about all the commissions. Just look at the newer/larger dealer stores. Of course there is lots of profit from owning a dealership and forcing consumers to buy through the NADA network.




RE: I call Bull Sh_t on NADA
By Solandri on 3/11/2014 1:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just because someone is making a profit does not automatically mean he is increasing prices. The arbitrage that makes the economy work means that any time there is an inefficient distribution or allocation of resources, there is an opportunity for someone to make money. They make money, but by improving the distribution of products, they actually decrease average prices for the end buyer (fewer unsold goods returned, fewer goods need to be re-shipped to a different location, goods arrive to the end buyer more quickly, and for car dealerships in particular the end buyer can test drive the product to make a better decision on which product best suits his/her needs).

I think times have changed enough that a good argument can be made that car dealerships are not needed as much. But don't make the mistake of thinking that someone making a profit is automatically increasing your prices. The economy would grind to a halt if that were the case.


RE: I call Bull Sh_t on NADA
By Mint on 3/12/2014 3:14:26 AM , Rating: 2
It is true that middlemen don't always increase prices over direct sales.

However, it is also true that mandatory middlemen will give you prices greater than optional ones.


RE: I call Bull Sh_t on NADA
By Dr of crap on 3/12/2014 12:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
While I do not disagree with you, I do have a question -
Where do the middleman, from any industry, make/get there money from to operate their business?

It has to be from increasing the price from what they are paying the producer, and then selling to the consumer.

Where else does their profit come from??
Econ 101 anyone?


RE: I call Bull Sh_t on NADA
By Reclaimer77 on 3/12/2014 1:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It has to be from increasing the price from what they are paying the producer, and then selling to the consumer.


That's would be true in a world where price margins don't exist and everything was sold at cost.

As I've already pointed out, an example of this would be Wal Mart. They are a "middle man" between the manufacturers and the consumer. Yet they leverage such massive buying power, manufacturers accept less profit margins leading to lower prices for the consumer.


RE: I call Bull Sh_t on NADA
By senecarr on 3/13/2014 10:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
This is another time of when I dislike people who think Econ 101 teaches you everything about economics, or much of anything about economics in the real world.
In econ 101, most of your examples include ideal conditions like perfect competition and perfect information. Last time I looked, shipping big, heavy cars is expensive. If you have more information about local markets that lets you order just the right amount, you can save money on unreturned stock.
Now if you have a method that instead lets GM know perfectly how many cars to make (perfect information) and lets them build them on demand for the same cost as producing them continuously in a production line, I'm sure they'd gladly throw millions of dollars at you.


Tesla
By Richard875yh5 on 3/11/14, Rating: 0
RE: Tesla
By Argon18 on 3/11/2014 3:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Why does Tesla expect special treatment from the rest of the auto companies? I don't think they want to compete fairly."

Huh? What "special treatment" do you think Tesla is receiving from the other auto makers?


RE: Tesla
By Lonyo on 3/11/2014 4:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't asking for special treatment. They are trying to have a rule that applies to everyone. But certain groups don't want that rule that applies to everyone because it's against their self interest.

Really the only way to have everyone somewhat happy WOULD be for Tesla to ask for special treatment. Request a law that, for instance, if you sell below X units of cars per year in the state/country, you are exempt from having to use a dealer network, that way the large companies are still forced to use a dealer network, but small car companies can have their own direct to consumer sales where they are more able to reflect the value of their product.

Tesla's argument is that they aren't big enough for a dealership to only sell Tesla cars, which means it would be a shared dealership. And in said shared dealership, the other parties would be better represented as people have a better understanding of the product on offer, and the salespeople wouldn't properly be able to sell Tesla's cars.

Or that's how I understand the situation.


RE: Tesla
By Lonyo on 3/11/2014 4:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
Also the law they are fighting in the NJ instance doesn't exist. They are TRYING to get one in place.


RE: Tesla
By senecarr on 3/13/2014 10:23:04 AM , Rating: 2
Also the dealership would have an incentive to sell a gas/diesel vehicle because dealerships make a fair deal of money doing maintenance work. Pure electric vehicles don't require anywhere near the maintenance normal vehicles do.


if NADA wins consumers will suffer
By KOOLTIME on 3/12/2014 11:31:06 AM , Rating: 2
Auto dealers have been ripping off consumers for years with bad prices.

There is no such thing as competition when all the dealerships are in the same group, so pricing gets "FIXED" regardless of which place a person shops.

Being forced to sell only into a franchise system, means we are a communist state, no free competitive business any more.




Bad laws - unconstitutional ?
By KOOLTIME on 3/13/2014 11:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
Id say the ruling is right on the edge of unconstitutional.

Laws Specifically targeting business types specialty system, is not fair, a manufacture should never be forced to franchise because they make a particular market segment product.

Laws that do this means a communistic law, vs fair competitive open business systems.

Telsa is a privately held company, so they cant franchise, due to franchise businesses as such, they are public.

Forcing a manufacture to franchise to do business, means manufactures cant build new products and stay independent, which ruins the entire concept of fair, equalized businesses.




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