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God Save the Luddites, Anti-Tesla Opponents Exposed

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Big thinker and Chief of the Michigan Luddite chapter, State Rep. Joe Hune.

Big thinker and Chief of the Michigan Luddite chapter, State Rep. Joe Hune.

Someone once said it’s not nice to pile on, but they don’t know fun, right? Saw this floating in the twittersphere, today, “Michigan Gets Luddite Award for Blocking Sales,” and it put a big smile on my face.

As most of you know, “insane” is one of the driving options for Model S P85D and so is “car blocking” an American company’s innovative products to your constituents. However, that’s what the “free-enterprise” politicos in Michigan, Arizona, Texas and New Jersey did in 2014 and, for it, they receive this Luddite award.

It’s a new award from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the award winners are defined as “having worked to convince the public and policymakers that technological innovation is something to be feared and contained.”

In the Michigan case, it was an eleventh-hour bill amendment by congressman (and big thinker) Joe Hune. Here’s an excerpt from Tesla Motors’ blog on the situation:

Using a procedure that prevented legislators and the public at large from knowing what was happening or allowing debate, Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the State. Unsurprisingly, Senator Hune counts the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association as one of his top financial contributors, and his wife’s firm lobbies for the dealers.

You would think “shame” would enter the equation, but that characteristic has long been removed from their political character. And, I don’t really understand why certain factions don’t pivot back to some of their original ideals or principles, like unencumbered market determinism. Crazy.

Of course, you hear the party line about a “legislature addressing the franchise issue”…sounds so even-handed, right? And, maybe the New Jersey legislature will push through currently stalled New Jersey bill, A3216 that “would permit certain zero emission vehicle manufacturers to directly sell motor vehicles to consumers and requires them to operate service facilities.”

One of the goals of ITIF is to educate the public on what technology can do and how to address challenges, such as increasing living standards across the world.

Robert Atkinson, president of ITIF, in a statement, says, “Innovation and technological development are absolutely essential to achieving this goal, but increasingly interests are uniting to thwart technology at every corner. By highlighting the most egregious examples of these efforts we hope to better educate the public and policy makers on why Luddite opposition is profoundly mistaken.”

Educate the public, mmmm, good luck. I’m sure some folks think $2.00 gas is here to stay.

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