Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Federal Government Rescues Billionaires From Their Own Vanity

According to the Associated Press this morning, the Energy Department will announce today that Tesla Motors will receive a $450 million loan from a $25 billion fund to develop fuel effiecient vehicles. (Ford and Nissan are expected to receive loans as well.)

This is the same Tesla Motors whose Chairman and CEO (and largest shareholder) is also the South African billionaire co-founder of PayPal, Elon Musk. (The billionaire co-founders of Google are also investors.) This is also the same Tesla Motors whose only commerically available car currently is an electric sports car called the Roadster, pictured above, which starts at $109,000, and has sold to the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger (that's him in one above) and Leonardo DiCaprio. This is the same Tesla Motors that announced proudly yesterday it had recently brought down the costs of the raw materials (raw materials!) that go into each $109K car to $80,000, compared to $140,000 in 2007.

Should the government really be propping up a company whose only a product is a vanity car that is so pricey it only sells to celebrities and milllionaires? And despite the hefty sticker price, still loses big money on every car it sells? And which is owned and run by billionaires?

That is a beautifiul car pictured above, with its optional carbon fibre accents. And it's very impressive that it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, despite being an electric car. If you happen to see George Clooney or Bill Gates punch their Roadsters up to 125 mph along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, you can proudly say to yourself (while you pump that $3.50/gal. gas into your Camry) that might not have been possible without the foresight and compassion of your Federal government....

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