Musk’s money

Re “Sub­sidy king,” Busi­ness, May 31

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

As long as our econ­omy runs on sub­si­dies, I cel­e­brate the gov­ern­ment in­cen­tives given to Elon Musk’s trail­blaz­ing cor­po­ra­tions.

The ar­ti­cle on the gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies given to Musk’s Tesla Mo­tors Inc., So­larCity Corp. and Space Ex­plo­ration Tech­nolo­gies Corp. doesn’t men­tion the fact that the planet’s aging fos­sil fuel in­dus­tries ben­e­fited from — get this — $5.3 tril­lion in sub­si­dies last year, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund. True, th­ese were not all di­rect tax cred­its, but they in­cluded the real costs to so­ci­ety of the in­dus­try’s ac­tiv­i­ties that it does not have to cover.

Don’t want sub­si­dies? Then level the play­ing field and price car­bon via a rev­enue-neu­tral pol­icy of fee and div­i­dend.

Vir­ginia Bernal

Santa Ana

Ac­cord­ing to the ar­ti­cle, New York state is spend­ing $750 mil­lion to build a fac­tory for Musk’s So­larCity. The com­pany will be charged an an­nual rent of $1 and will not have to pay prop­erty taxes for a decade.

Not to be out­done, Ne­vada gave Musk’s Tesla Mo­tors $1.3 bil­lion to build a bat­tery fac­tory there. Other states have fallen all over them­selves to lav­ish sub­si­dies on Musk, hop­ing he’ll build some­thing within their bor­ders.

Ain’t cap­i­tal­ism grand? I bet Henry Ford, Don­ald Dou­glas, Wil­liam Hewlett, Glenn Martin, Wal­ter Chrysler and even Steve Jobs are rolling over in their graves in dis­may and dis­gust.

Where’s Ayn Rand when you need her?

Bill Bell

Mar Vista

Re­gard­ing Musk’s gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies, this is what is meant when we pull out the cliche “we need to in­vest in our fu­ture.”

Elec­tric cars, so­lar power and ad­vances in space travel are what the fu­ture is about. This is where I want my tax money go­ing — not to build­ing a bet­ter smart bomb or sub­si­diz­ing oil com­pa­nies so they can pol­lute an­other beach.

Martin Le­bovitz


Paul Sakuma As­so­ci­ated Press

TESLA MO­TORS’ Elon Musk dur­ing a rally in 2012 at the au­tomaker’s fac­tory in Fre­mont, Calif.

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