Markets work and central planning doesn’t. The last century proved this. There are examples every day that prove this.

Here is a Time article (sorry it’s behind a paywall) about the recent scare over China hoarding rare earths. It was supposed to be a harbinger of dreadful future tech times. Have those dreadful times come to pass? No. Markets responded and there never was (and never will be) a crisis. Markets work. When scarcity drives up the price new incentives kick in. The market finds a way to get people what they want at the price they are willing to pay.

And here is the opposite: the electric vehicle failure of this decade. Billions of dollars of DOE loans dumped into failed and failing businesses. Note that nearly all of the businesses in question are publicly traded companies which means it is VERY easy for private investors (people like you and me) to support these companies if we want to. But no, BO and Chu think it’s more worthwhile to forcibly take our money and then invest it in places that we wouldn’t/didn’t do voluntarily. Here is a particularly great passage:

Yet Americans bought just 71,000 plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles in the past two years, according to GreenCarReports.com. That’s about a third as many as the Energy Department forecast in a 2011 report that attempted to explain why Obama’s goal was not preposterous.

Federal billions cannot overcome the fact that electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids meet few, if any, of real consumers’ needs. Compared with gas-powered cars, they deliver inferior performance at much higher cost. As an American Physical Society symposium on battery research concluded last June: “Despite their many potential advantages, all-electric vehicles will not replace the standard American family car in the foreseeable future.”

If you don’t believe the scientists, listen to Takeshi Uchiyamada, the “father” of the Toyota Prius: “Because of its shortcomings — driving range, cost and recharging time — the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most conventional cars.”

Even Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, whose commitment to the all-electric Leaf helped his firm get a $1.4 billion U.S. loan guarantee, has reduced his boosterism in the face of disappointing sales.

The central planners – sometimes people call the behavior of the planners industrial policy – just don’t get it: nobody wants these vehicles at the price at which they can be produced and sold. The central planners will break us; they will take everything from us, give it to others, and expect us to just keep on keeping on.

-JD Cross

 

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