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  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To martinfrosa

    I forgot to respond about income taxes.

    Yes, it's good that all oil companies pay their income taxes as required of all corporations and individuals by rule of law.

    If and when alternative sources of energy replace oil, those companies who supply alternative energy will also pay income taxes. Will they have less profit, and pay less tax, and starve Big Government? Well, is that a bad thing?

    If consumers spend less for energy, then government will just find an excuse to raise taxes.

    OPEC has overstated their reserves for decades. World oil reserves will not last forever. What's wrong with experimenting with alternative forms of energy now, before oil becomes truly scarce and prohibitively expensive? Experimenting seems to me to be a good idea. No one is forcing you to play along.
    Apr 15 02:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To martinfrosa

    I'll bet you don't live in California.

    I think you're right to laugh for another reason. Solar roof-shingles (a new product, not "panels") were only recently introduced in California where the price of electricity is sky-high, and solar roof-shingles seem unlikely to be popular anywhere but CA for that reason.

    Why are California's electrical rates sky-high? Answer: CA's mild temperatures require little heating or cooling, thus small electrical demand to start with. And because CA utilities are required by law to import green electricity from other states, that leaves even less to be supplied by CA providers. The imported electricity is expensive because its imported, and the local electricity production is expensive because the high "fixed" cost of an electrical plant have to be "spread" over 'fewer' kWh's of electricity produced.

    So unless a consumer is "off-grid" in CA, that consumer will always get charged a share of the high fixed-costs based on his use of grid electricty.

    But even if you only produce about 40% of your electricity with solar roof-shingles, that's about 40% off your electric bill, and it could be a profitable investment, if you can place the ugly roof-shingles on a hidden part of your roof. (If you do live in CA, then may be that's why you have not seen even one solar home project in your neighborhood.)

    The vast majority your electrical demand is during the day, so batteries may not be a profitable add-on unless you go off-grid completely. Going off-grid requires muchos huevos.
    Apr 15 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To martinfrosa

    Sir, Big Oil is not paying any part of that 50-cent per gallon fuel tax. US consumers pay the 50-cent fuel tax through the price at the pump being 50-cent/gallon higher. The fuel tax is just a "pass-through" although the Oil Companies are paid a small % of the 50-cent as a fee for processing the tax payment.

    So, is it OK for "Big Oil" to get a $5 billion or $10 billion subsidy every year just because US consumers pay a fuel-tax of 50-cents per gallon through higher prices at the pump? Well, I'd say "no sir" the 50-cent per gallon that I pay at the pump does not imply that Big Oil has "earned" the "right" to any kind of subsidy. No, sir, not at all.

    BTW, if you have a right to a "subsidy" (a.k.a. a handout from Uncle Sam), whether it is earned or not, it's called an entitlement.

    And here in this discussion, we haven't even yet considered the fact that Big Oil is usually one of the most profitable industries in the US.

    That's what I think. What do you think?
    Apr 15 01:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To John Petersen

    It's good to know your focus is on the whole truth and faultless logic.
    Apr 14 05:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To John Petersen

    Excuse me, but I'm not the one making a fool of you. It's someone else, entirely. It's not my fault that your page counts are low for a Tesla article.

    You seem to think that when I'm here conversing with others, it bars new readers from clicking on to your article. Honestly, that's not the case. My presence here is not hurting your readership ... what hurts your readership is your own faulty logic, half truths ... and inflated ego, after all, not all comments are directed at you, as I mentioned earlier when you butted in on my conversation with fiwiki2.

    Your six years of articles earns you a couple dollars every day? Impressive, but do you complain or not respond to everyone else who leaves a comment on an old article?

    Who is wasting your time? If I write a comment to you, and you consider it a waste of time, then ignore it. You ignore plenty of others who comment, but you seem to single out me for automatic insults.

    Yeah yeah, I know, it can be bothersometo be notified every single time some imbecile leaves any comment on anyof your impressive number of articles, but that's part of the bargain, is it not? That's what you get for a couple dollars a day, no?

    By the way, the "background radiation" for new readers clicking on your articles does not include "previous" readers who came back to reread the article or respond to comments. So, your articles are probably garnering more attention than the "clicks" indicate.

    So, again, you have no complaint.

    Now, please stop harassing me and wasting MY time. Thanks in advance.

    PS - Thanks for the "clue"
    Apr 14 04:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To portatopia

    Everyone knows where the vast amount of today's energy comes from. But what's wrong with developing wind and solar energy sources, as well as EVs?

    I dare say that all the fuel in mning, refining, chemical plants and car manufacturers could in fact be replaced by electrical energy. And electrical energy is what wind and solar produce. So, what's wrong with investing in more wind and solar?

    I don't understand what you're afraid of.
    Apr 14 03:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To fiwiki2

    And you can give us a heads up when you think you've found the holy grail for replacing the oil whose reserves are dwindling. I don't want to be around to see 7 billion people mad at the "industrial nations" that burned up all the cheap oil in vanity vehicles like Hummers and SUVs.

    By the way, batteries will capture and store all those electrons. Axion makes some good batteries that might be able to do the job with some adjustments. But they aren't intersted in that market yet.

    I've read that there's enough sunlight hitting most roofs in the US to provide the energy used in the house. And the wind blows harder at night.
    Apr 14 03:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To Bill Burtchaell

    I think you misunderstood what I was being critical of: It's unfair to criticize fledgling EV companies for getting subsidies, especially when Big Oil gets subsidies. I probably should have started with saying that "GM benefits from Uncle Sam's largess" rather than launching into Big Oil.

    I'm not critical of GM or Big Oil. I'm just pointing out that it's unfair to criticize Tesla when everyone else seems to be getting larger subsidies that cost the taxpayer more out of pocket, and don't offer any promise of a future benefit.

    It sounds like what you're saying is that our economy depends on the Oil Industry not only for the oil it sells, but for the salaries, taxes and expenses which it pays. You're right.

    But there's always going to be "change" in our economy. New industries will be borne and grow to replace or supplant old industries. Subsidies are supposed to help new industries, but I think all subsidies are stupid.

    Contrary to popluar belief, oil reserves will indeed dwindle down someday, and the price of any resource in short supply and high demand will go up in price.

    You and I agree that Oil is crucial to our economy, and will be for the rest of your life, my life and our kids' lives. There's no way EVs are going to change that inthe next 50 years. That's why it's quite a valuable exercise to develop alternative forms of energy today, before we truly need them.

    OPEC has systematically overstated their reserves for two reasons:
    1.) the overstatment allows each OPEC member to have a higher production quota.
    2.) the agregate overstatement is in OPEC's interest because if the consumers ever realized how small the oil reserves really are, consumers' fears would drive them to embrace EVs or Fuel cells or who-knows-what.

    I assume you've seen my recent post where I talk about the refineries.
    Apr 14 03:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To John Petersen

    Whoa! Stop right there, partner,
    John Petersen, sir, you are way, way out of line.

    I was talking to fiwiki2 when you butted-in to inject a half-baked rebuttal to my response to fiwiki2. You inserted yourself into a conversation, I smashed your half-baked rebuttal, and now you're complaining that smashing your half-baked rebuttal is my vain attempt to garner street cred?

    Where do you get off?

    I put your name in the saluation (above, in this missive) as a courtesy to you and to anyone who might read this missive and wonder who or what I'm responding to. But just because your name appears in the saluation doesn't mean you're required to read it, much less respond to it, especially if you believe the article is already old and stale ... this being the 6th day after publication.

    This is the 2nd time within a week you've accused me of trying to garner some vague notion of "street cred" by responding to an old article, "old" being your own word ... and again I remind you to think through your insults before you hurl them mindlessly. No one can garner street cred, no matter how vaguely it is defined, by responding to a "stale" article because the old stale article has no audience.

    A few days ago, you called it "grandstanding" on an old article ... as if I were stealing something from you.

    This is also the 2nd time within a week that you've invited me to write an article. Thanks, I might do that, but I feel it's also important to point-out flaws in fiwiki2's logic and reasoning, right here, right now ... as well as your own. If you're pissed about me raining on your parade of half-truths and faulty-logic, then you are advised to get an umbrella.

    You have no complaint.
    Apr 14 03:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To John Petersen

    Next time you want to deflate my argument, you really ought to read it slowly to ensure you grasp my argument. You've forgotten several pertinent facts in your rebuttal, and/or you have a very skewed idea of what is a "reasonable comparison."

    1.) the EV subsidies are temporary. They do not last the life of the car, and get repeated in your next car, as does the Big Oil subsidy (presumably) benefit all ICE automobiles from decade to decade. So, someday, that EV subsidy will end and be forgotten, but you can bet that ICE automobiles will continue to benefit from entrenched subsidies.

    2.) By the way, you never mentioned any rationale for the Big Oil subsidy … so, here's the big question all the EV-phobes cannot answer: Why does the most profitable industry in the most profitable nation continually get an annual $5 billion to $10 billion subsidy? Is the annual $5 to $10 billion supposed to ensure cheaper prices at the pump by your aforementioned 5 cents/gallon? Or does the annual subsidy merely line-the-pockets of the Big Oil executives and shareholders? Please let me know what we the taxpayer, or we the consumer, get for that annual subsidy. Thanks in advance.

    3.) EVs are a small market, not a huge market like the ICE market. Your attempt to focus on the "subsidy per EV" or "subsidy per 'avoided' gallon of gasoline" ssems like an all-powerful argument, until I remind you that the EV subsidy is temporary, and if the EV wins popularity in the US, then a larger EV fleet would save A LOT more gallons of gas and not increase the total subsidies (once EV subsidies end). So in essence, you've grabbed the **small** end of a very large branch, and now you're trying to swat the EV industry with it. If you read carefully what I just said, you would understand that "it" doesn't work that way, you should never grab the small end of a branch. Your argument is not working. Good grief, man, think about what you are doing.

    4.) If EVs can reduce the world thirst for gasoline by as little as 5% or so, we'll have 2 huge benefits you've been blind to, even though you and your kids and grandkids will directly benefit from them: A.) EVs will stretch whatever oil reserves we have now to serve us far longer into the future and give us more time to develop other forms of energy for transportation and other uses. If oil reserves get used up before we have other alternative energy sources to employ, there'd be 7 billion cold and hungry humans on earth, who would be rather peeved at the nations that used up all the cheap oil to power Vanity Purchases like Hummers and SUVs. B.) Amazingly, at the same time EVs stretch the remaining reserves of oil, EVs also reduce the price of that oil. How is that? Well, oil must be converted into gasoline by refineries, and US refineries can barely handle our demand when it is at its highest, like in 2007. Yet, when refineries accidentally produce a gasoline over-supply (because the economy slips on a banana peel like in 2008, or in SE Asia in 1998) that's when we see huge drops in the price of gasoline, you know, from $4/gallon to $1/gallon. That's because the demand for oil is what economists label as "inelastic" … meaning the need for oil doesn't change much just because the price is higher or lower. Oil companies have no incentive to invest $billions to build another US refinery which would only serve to lower the price of gasoline in the US. Simple economics.

    NOTE: OPEC has been systematically overstating their reserves for the last 20 years, for logical reasons that benefit them, not us. And Saudia Arabia tapped their last major oil field a couple years ago. Cheap oil is being used up, and the world reserves of oil are a lot less than you would like to believe and have previously reported here at SA. If you find this hard to believe, just ask any friend in the Oil Industry, and do so quickly.

    4.) The subsidy was not put in place at the request of Tesla, the concept of the subsidy existed prior to Tesla's existence. All subsidies are bad, but they are everywhere. Why don't you rail at all subsidies? Oh, I forgot, you really can't do that because in years past Axion filed a request for subsidies. So, are you angry that Axion was denied the subsidies? By the way, I would like to remind you that I am a fellow Axxion shareholder, and I do not own any Tesla shares, though I do intend to buy a Model E in 2016 or so.

    There's nothing terribly wrong with EVs so far as I can see. Please find a valid and reasonable criticism of EVs, if you can, before I buy one in 2016. It's your job.
    Apr 14 12:07 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To fiwiki2

    I meant competing against ICE, head-to-head.

    You forgot to include the subsidy for the original Prius, which came out in 2004, as well as subsidies for fuel-cell automobiles, compressed air automobiles and all hte other crazy ideas inventors came up with.

    You also forgot to include the $billions that Big Oil receive every year.

    Funny thing, back in 2010(?), Big Oil made record profits and got a $10 billion subsidy. That's a heck of a lot more money coming out of the taxpayers pocket than the handout to electrics. Oh, wait, let me guess, your retort is that this subsidy is roughly only $5 billion per year, for an average life of 12 years per car, which is $60 billion over 250 million cars in the US, which is "only" $240 per car.

    Ok, got me there, but you know the ICE industry has been around about a hundred years, it's mature industry … what's the excuse for the $240 subsidy for each ICE auto? Tesla's subsidy works out to be roughly $1 per taxpayer. That's a lot less the $480 paid by the average taxpayer per ICE auto. (The number of US taxpayers is about 125 million, right?)

    Statistics are funny things.

    Besides all that, it's my belief that these subsidies did not end up in the consumers pocket, but ended up in the manufacturer's pocket. In other words, without the subsidy, the consumer would have paid roughly the same price and the manufacturer would have made less profit, or a larger loss.

    I will not even try to offer any excuse for any of these subsidies, all subsidies are bad, even those that are supposed to help fledgling companies (or subsidiaries, or new types of cars made by ICE manufacturers) survive among a deeply entrenched incumbent with a hundred years of infrastructure product-perfecting technology to rely on.

    I would rather ask you 2 simple questions:

    1. What's your beef against electric cars?

    2. Do you think it is important to explore every possible way to diversify transportation energy?
    Apr 14 02:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To bwmaki

    Well, it seems someone ought to be able to point-out without correction or ridicule that electric cars from several manufacturers are indeed competing on price as of 2012.

    Plus a hundred years later is 2015.
    Apr 13 01:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Inflation Next? [View article]
    To JasonC

    << One can in fact gauge quite accurately whether an increment to the money supply was actually demanded and is actually being willingly held, or exceeds the demand for money and people are trying to get rid of it, by tracking the *total value* of the money supply. That just means take the monetary aggregates and deflate them by the CPI. If that total value is *rising*, then it means the expansion of money is also an expansion of real value. Conversely, if that total value is *falling*, then it means the expansion of money is destroying total value. >>

    --> I say horsefeathers. Seems obvious that if the Fed continued QE for another 50 years, there'd be very few new bank loans (annually) because interest rates would remain so low that Banks can't lend to anyone but those who don't need loans, and there'd be low or no inflation because the Banks aren't making many loans. A dismal economy does not inspire new equity investments, especially if the only leverage available is more expensive leverage from the non-banks.

    --> So, if the Fed were to continue QE into the unforeseen future, you could surely expect a continuance of low inflation, a continually bloating money supply, and the predictable result that your metric would always indicate that the incremental increase in the money supply was desired. According to your metric, QE should continue forever. And that's just wrongheaded because QE is a emergency measure to avert deflation, not a new economic paradigm. (And besides being an emergency measure, it is a controversial measure.)

    --> There's little difference between holding money with a 0% yield and holding Treasuries with a 0.3% yield. And to buy any other asset has risk. (I ignored today's 1.5% inflation for clarity. If there's 1.5% inflation, there's merely a 1.5% penalty to holding money, as well as a 1.2% penalty to holding the Treasury bond). The penalty for holding cash (relative to a short-term Treasury) has been low.

    --> One could also argue that there's no inflation because velocity has fallen almost as fast as the Fed has created money. The decrease in velocity could indicate people are more and more fond of holding more and more dollars because the dollars are more and more valuable than before, which is not what the Fed intends. (What the people see in money is "security" in liquidity.) Oh, yeah, OK, that's exactly what you said, people are happy to hold more and more dollars, rather than spend them ... but it is because they are scared-to-death by the dismal economy. And people who are scared-to-death do not spend ... and they do not invest.

    --> Increases in the money supply affect prices over variable time lags; perhaps this lag today is being lengthened by the fall in velocity. So, although anyone can believe that plenty of time has been given, how does one know for sure that enough time has been given and inflation will not occur in the future due to recent (or past) money supply increases?

    --> Perhaps the CPI is not the measure to use, perhaps the increase in asset prices would be the better measure. Why choose the CPI and not something else?

    --> Three more questions:
    1.) What is this metric "normally" used for?
    2.) Under what circumstances might this metric break down?
    3.) Why wasn't this concept advertised by the Fed when QE began?
    Apr 12 05:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    To slevental

    I thought it was chivalrous for men to start the engine of a woman's car, even though back in 1915 very few men owned cars, and far fewer women owned cars. Heck, isn't 1915 about the time women finally got the right to vote? And wasn't it not until 1969 or that women could get credit cards and rent apartments?

    Sounds like what you're saying is that Ford realized that if an electric motor could drive an entire "carriage", then a smaller electric motor could "drive" an internal combustion engine until it started. Thus was born the electric starter.
    Apr 11 08:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla - 20 Key Risks That Longs Are Ignoring [View article]
    To surferbroadband

    << Strongest risk is the price of oil going down to $15/barrel. >>

    This is a risk, but I doubt this is the strongest risk for two reasons:

    1.) China and India have yet to fully flex their economic demand for oil to fuel their economies. These two countries have a lot of potential demand for gasoline.

    2.) "Refinery capacity" is the bottleneck that keeps the "excess oil" from being turned into excess gasoline and swamping the market, at least here in the US. No oil company wants to build another U.S. refinery as it would cost a few $billion and accompish little more than keep the price of gasoline low forever. Oil companies know that the volume of gasoline sold would not increase much, even as the price would fall like a rock.

    What is more likely (but still a small probability) is that the proliferation of electric vehicles could theoretically "reduce or moderate" the demand for gasoline and thus keep gasoline prices moderate, assuming that the demand for gasoline were to be held at or below the current refining capacity. But that would require a very large penetration of electric cars immediately as the economy improves - I'd guess 5% of the US car fleet of 250 million vehicles (I think 250mm is correct, but I'm not sure) might do the trick, but a larger penetration in the future as the "driving" population expands, and the economy heats up.

    What keeps the gasoline price low today is the dismal economy, worldwide, not the newly accessible excess reserves of oil.

    However, in the long run, we will definitely run out of oil, and as the supplies dwindle low, the price of oil could go through the roof which would do nothing but wreck economies around the world and bring a smile to Putin's face. Putin is sitting on a lot of oil, the price of which he mght be able to manipulate if supplies dwindle.

    OPEC has been overstating their reserves for decades, mainly so that each of the smaller producers can produce more. NOTE: It is in OPEC's interest to overstate thier reserves. THe last thing OPEC wants to do is make the world worried about the current state of oil reserves. Saudia Arabia tapped their last large oil field a few years ago. Cheap oil is being drained as we speak.

    Hopefully we will have good technology ready to replace the ICE technology that we have relied exclusively on for the last 100 years.

    Otherwise, welcome disaster, and salute Mr. Putin.

    (Putin rose to power due to his knowledge of the Russian oil reserves.)
    Apr 10 03:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment