Originally Posted by tonton
Seriously... why are there so many teachers here? SDW, Nick and I are all teachers.
Maybe you guys just have a lot of time on your hands...
[ducks and runs for cover]
BR, you either continue to misunderstand or deliberately misrepresent the [general] conservative position on electric cars.
Very few conservatives, actually none that I know of, have any serious problem with the idea of electric car technology. Especially if it does take the U.S. off oil. The main problem is in using the state apparatus, with truckloads of taxpayers' money, to force inferior products onto the market.
Why are they inferior? I'm sure you'll ask?
What makes me so sure the Volt isn't going to be the best electric car on the planet?
Think of the car you drive today. Almost every new vehicle today has power windows and locks. When these were introduced to the market, they were premium luxury features. However, as time went on and the tech got cheaper, power windows became a virtually standard feature for cars.
That's where most people stop in thinking about business processes. It's where liberals get the idea that if you throw enough money at a product, you can create solutions for everyone.
However, what's often overlooked is the quality side of the process. When high end clients were paying $50,000 for a car with power everything, those features had better work. High end customers can be demanding, and reputations can be cemented by a single bad product.
So this market process has an inherent discipline to it with regards to quality. Apple takes this to previously unheard of (and sometimes ridiculous) levels, but the fact is that knowing your competitors can put you out of business tomorrow with a new or better marketed product can focus an organization greatly.
When government steps in and starts skewing the market with subsidies and tax rebates and starts picking winners and losers, the best parts of capitalism get thrown out. And when a company starts pitching its 'next generation' as the key to its turnaround to access government funding, you can be assured it's being designed to fit a need - but not for customers.
American capitalism would have worked just fine in getting the American auto sector back up and running. It would have likely meant that Chrysler would have been carved up between GM and Ford, but I still believe that would have been better than selling the popular Jeep and Minivan franchises to the Italians.
In short, nobody dismisses the Volt because it's an electric car. But plenty of people will dismiss it because it seems to be plagued with bureaucratic design history and goals and hardly a product put out by people who are truly passionate about what they are designing and why. (For that, look to Tesla.) Steve Jobs taught us better than that, both about business turnarounds and passionate design.
And personally, I think a lot of people realize that the battery tech runs on rare earth minerals and has the potential to be just as environmentally damaging as the oil we're condemning today.