…but not an end to the impulses that led to the latest, or soon to be latest, green disaster.
GM said it would sell 10,000 of its signature electric, the Chevy Volt, a key component of Obama’s “Green Jobs” push. Reuters reports that final sales for 2011 were “around 8000.”
The spin never quite stops. While mathematically, it’s fair to round up, the actual figure of 7,671 looks even worse. On the bright side, that’s 329 massive,toxic batteries that will not have to be disposed of one day.
Although its hard to track down totals( Neil Cavuto on Fox wasn’t quit able to), a large portion of 2011 Volt sales are to fleet buyers, prominent among whom is GE. No surprise here, as GE has long since ditched its role of a quality American producer of electrical and industrial goods, from light bulbs to locomotives, in favor of the security of being a government favored enterprise. Municipal governments have also been buyers in Michigan, Florida, where federal funding was used, New York City, Las Vegas, and of course the Feds are in for a few as well. A more exhaustive search might well come up with further examples.
Some commenters on an earlier posthere on the Volt defended the government’s
role in electric vehicle development by citing spin offs from defense research and development. They have it backwards. The internet wasn’t invented so I could write this post; GPS wasn’t developed so amateur hikers who couldn’t run compass courses didn’t get lost. The government developed these technologies in carrying out its constitutional mandate to defend the nation. Further developments in the private sector brought the technology to the consumer, and government uses privately developed technology as well. The drone operator using a joystick is utilizing technology developed for missile control, game playing, and industrial uses, a continuous cross fertilization going back many decades.
The German National Socialists did have a vision of prosperous citizens zipping about the autobahn in “people’s cars”, but the Volks with its air cooled engine and the advanced road network were developed for military purposes. The Russians didn’t put the first Sputnik up so I could one day watch American cable here in Bali, but to develop their military communication and spying capability.
The Soviets wanted to build a Socialist man. Stalin thought he could change the drainage of Eurasia, and Khrushchev made the deserts bloom, and then added the Aral sea to the expanding sands. The Volt springs from a softer, but quite recognizable collectivist impulse
This is the hubris of the Left. It waxes and wanes, but never changes. The Left sees the world as it is and then tries to reshape it, without reference to human nature, laws of economics, or even physics. Obama and Chu want us driving electrics, and bring the influence of government to bear, so that we who need instruction, learn, and follow the proper path.
But while our leaders work from a collectivist impulse we are not yet a collective.
Consumers in the old East Bloc had a limited choice of goods, many of which no one wanted in any case. In the United Sates, the administration and GM cannot force the Volt on us, and have instead used borrowed dollars for subsidies to supplement moral suasion in trying to induce consumers to want the car. One would hope that the President and his faction would learn from this, but given the history of the Left, this is unlikely. Rather , should this administration continue in power, more likley, while compulsion is not yet possible, incentive may be replaced with penalty. Rather than a bayonet, six dollar gasoline.
(Meanwhile, in other news: BMW sales reach record highs…)