Chris Christie Prohibits Tesla From Selling Cars In NJ

It isn’t just Chris Christie. Many states have banned Tesla from selling “direct” to consumers. Crony corruption is so foundational to the politicians that they sometimes simply assume that everyone knows about it and should act accordingly. Reading this Bloomberg story I get a similar reaction to the first time I realized how insanely government-botched our farming and food system is.

Bloomberg reports:

Governor Chris Christie’s administration blocked Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car maker that doesn’t have franchised retail dealers, from direct auto sales in a move the company said could shutter its only two stores in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which includes members of Christie’s cabinet, unanimously approved the proposal today in Trenton, delaying public comment on the matter until after the hearing. Tesla earlier today said it learned only yesterday, after months of negotiations, that the rule change was coming to the most densely populated U.S. state, which is important for reaching customers in the New York metro area.

Christie “has gone back on his word,” Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said early today on Twitter. “His administration, under pressure from auto dealers, may shut down Tesla in NJ as soon as today.”

Tesla is battling dealers state by state to secure or protect the right to sell its cars directly to consumers. Auto dealers in Ohio, New York, Minnesota, Georgia and elsewhere in the past year have sought to block Tesla from directly retailing its models, arguing that independent retailers are better for shoppers and owners of vehicles. Texas dealers successfully backed a law setting the nation’s toughest restrictions on Tesla. Arizona, Colorado and Virginia also imposed limits.

Why should the states have anything to say about it? Tesla wants to sell cars and, some people want to buy them. On what basis does the state halt this social, productive, and peaceful relationship? There is no justice to it. They just have guns and write down rules to interfere.

And why should auto dealers tell shoppers and owners of vehicles what arrangement is better for them. That is up to the shoppers and owners. They can mind their own business. Except this is the banana-republic United States where no one allows others to be free.

With New Jersey it is especially egregious:

The New Jersey vote shouldn’t have been a surprise to Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, said a Christie spokesman.

“Since Tesla first began operating in New Jersey one year ago, it was made clear that the company would need to engage the Legislature on a bill to establish their new direct-sales operations under New Jersey law,” said Kevin Roberts, the spokesman. “This administration does not find it appropriate to unilaterally change the way cars are sold in New Jersey without legislation and Tesla has been aware of this position since the beginning.”

On the commission with the three members of Christie’s cabinet are four gubernatorial appointees. The panel is led by non-voting Chairman Raymond Martinez, who was appointed by Christie, a Republican, in February 2010.

Bloomberg is coy. It refers to the statute and implies that Tesla was violating it. But then why not say “it is illegal” instead of “not find it appropriate”?

Reuters makes it clear: Tesla broke no law. The New Jersey government is simply pretending that anything not authorized by law is therefore forbidden.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission approved the rule, proposed in October, a representative at the commission confirmed, making explicit the need to have a franchise license to sell new cars in the state.

So this rule, which didn’t exist before, is now permitted to be retroactively binding, forcing Tesla to close its stores.

I know this isn’t an important story like Obama messing up our health care, or financing terrorist in Syria, or forcing people to publicly condone homosexual marriage. But Obama started as a corruptocrat in Illinois. All these control-freak, money-chisellers are waiting in the wings of practically every state in the union, learning the craft of pushing away some businesses in order to protect others depending on who can deliver the most influence, aspiring to practice the same at the national level. And these same people will talk about American greatness and “free enterprise.” They don’t even know what the term means. They are just thieves and bullies. They are socially useless. The stuff they should concentrate on, administering justice, doesn’t interest them much and they are often incompetent about it.

I don’t even like electric cars and this story still enrages me. I feel like I’ve been lied to about what country I live in.

One more quotation from the Bloomberg story:

Tesla should either adjust its business model to conform with New Jersey law or seek changes to it, said James Appleton, president of the state’s dealer association. New Jersey’s “statute is on the books to protect consumers,” he said, while “Tesla’s business model crushes competition.”

Translation: consumers want those cars more than they want ours so the government should crush them and force consumers to settle for what we offer.

I suppose the government should have stopped VHS from crushing BetaMax. Or videotape should have been prohibited from wiping out Polaroid’s development of self-developing super-8 film. Just think of all the missed opportunities to stop change and prohibit consumers from making choices!

Wrong. Just wrong.