The “Jobs Creator”

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The Russians never got to the Moon – because their Moon Rocket, the N1, had trouble getting off the launch pad in one piece. It’s the same problem Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 Space X rocket has been having.

It blew up on the pad back in September – taking a lot of taxpayer dollars with it.

And before it.

Space X is a money-loser. Tesla Motors is a money loser. Both are gaping black holes that suck up resources and spit out things that don’t work or cost too much.

Usually, both

Yet the government continues to hand over money to Musk. Our money. Lots of it. Space X has burned through a reported $900 million, almost all of it insider-deal government contracts, including $400 million to develop the “next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities.”

Maybe focus on achieving flight capabilities first.

Better yet, focus on keeping his hands out of our pockets.

That’s the real problem with Space X – with all of Musk’s operations: They live off the taxpayers’ dime. Could not live without the umbilical cord of taxpayer support. Which, apparently, is bottomless – regardless of Musk’s failures (plural) to deliver on his hocus pocus promises.

At least the Soviet Moon program was not a crony capitalist operation. There were surely cost over-runs and inefficiencies, but no Soviet pseudo Tony Stark/Iron Man was milking the Soviet people, as Elon Musk is doing to the American people.

He gets away with it, in part, because the media fawns over Musk as if he were Tony Stark (whose big screen creations, unlike Elon’s, at least work).

The New York Times – a once-respectable publication – recently published another fanboi gushy but economically illiterate opus about Musk, characterizing him as a jobs creator whom President-elect Trump ought to “consult” about “reinvigorating the manufacturing sector.”

This would be a pants-pisser were it not so sad.

And, expensive.

Trump builds things. Musk steals things.

No one was forced to “help” Trump build Trump Tower – and taxpayers don’t have to pay taxes to “help” people stay there, either. 

Unlike Tesla’s electric cars – which are “sold” at a net loss each, even with massive subsidies propping up their manufacture.     

Trump creates jobs. Defined as a net plus to the economy. The people who work for him are employed doing productive tasks that people are willing to part with their money to pay for – from the bell hop to the guy piloting Trump’s 757.

Which he also paid for using his money – not yours and mine.

And Musk?

Every job he “creates” is in fact a wealth transfer from an unwilling tax victim, forced to subsidize the job “created.” All the money sucked from the pockets of taxpayers could have been used by them to create real jobs in the real economy, as opposed to make-work jobs in the Musk Economy.

The Times’ writer is a mark. People familiar with backroom card games will recognize the term.

The Times’ writer – like most of the media – fell for Musk’s carny barker shtick. It’s understandable. Electric cars sound like a great idea – until you do the math. Until you discover that they are not cost-effective alternatives to conventional cars. Which is why Tesla sells them as luxury and performance cars, soft-selling the economics of the things. Is there anything more ridiculous than spending $70,000 (the base price of a Tesla S) to “save gas”? Is there anything more obnoxious than mugging ordinary working people to “help” rich rent-seekers drive around in $70,000 cars – electric or otherwise?

His Solar City thing sounded good, too. Who wouldn’t like the  promise of free or nearly free energy? Then you find out about the cost of the panels – about the decades it will take to recoup your up-front costs. Which you may never recoup. Musk had to resort to financial flim-flams such as transferring money from Space X to provide operating capital for his Solar City sinkhole. One hand washes the other – only it’s us who’s paying for the soap.

His network of “supercharger” electric chargers – wonderful! Until you read the fine print and find out that it takes at least 30-45 minutes for each electric car to juice up. The lines that will form begin to make your teeth ache.

And this SpaceX stuff.

Musk is using the taxing power of government to finance his “vision” of tripping people into orbit – and then to Mars – at a hefty per diem each, Why is it the obligation of American taxpayers to underwrite this venture?

Why can’t musk – a billionaire – underwrite his own grandiose schemes?

Could it possibly be due to the fact that they’re not economically viable on their own? That without an IV line to the lifeblood of taxpayers, Musk’s entire Crony Capitalist empire would topple like a rickety Jenga tower?

If he really is Tony Stark, if his engineering ideas are sound, if their economics make sense, then why can’t they stand on their own two feet?

The idea that this guy – arguably the greatest con man since PT Barnum and almost cartoonish archetype of crony capitalism – is someone President-elect Trump ought to be getting economic advice from is as risible as seeking out the Pope for tips on how to pick up girls at bars.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe in homogeneous mature societies authorities can create jobs. But not here in young heterogeneous America they can’t.

    Elon Musk puts a spark in the cold heart of statists and inspires drunken fantasies of them becoming an Ikuru figure and actually helping the people.

    Ikuru is one of my favorite films and I watch it every Christmas season instead of that Rothschild peon It’s A Wonderful Life. Dreamers like Musk inspire even the most soulless bureaucrat he has some shard of humanity if Akira Kurosawa is correct.

    Ikiru: Gondola no Uta
    https://vimeo.com/83175718

    Ikiru
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x10fqpe_ikiru-1952-pt-1_creation

    Ikiru (生きる?, “To Live”) is a 1952 Japanese film that examines the struggles of a minor Tokyo bureaucrat and his final quest for meaning. The script was partly inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s 1886 novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, although the plots are not similar beyond the common theme of a bureaucrat struggling with a terminal illness.

    Gondola no Uta
    Life is brief. fall in love, maidens
    before the crimson bloom fades from your lips
    before the tides of passion cool within you,
    for those of you who know no tomorrow

    life is brief fall in love, maidens
    before his hands take up his boat
    before the flush of his cheeks fades
    for those of you who will never return here

    life is brief fall in love, maidens
    before the boat drifts away on the waves
    before the hand resting on your shoulder
    becomes frail for those who will never
    be seen here again

    life is brief fall in love, maidens
    before the raven tresses begin to fade
    before the flame in your hearts flicker and die
    for those to whom today will never return.

    • Hi Tor,

      Of course, a “job” can be created – easily. Pyramid building (or the manufacture of electric cars) “creates” jobs. But if there is no market for these “jobs,” if the compensation is via forced transfer of wealth, then they are make-work jobs.

      • True. But most pyramids were like the ancient downtowns. Centers of agora and community.

        Cahokia
        https://kekiongacomics.com/2012/11/05/cahokia/

        I doubt many Chinese or Japanese see such things as forced. They only resent money being squandered due to corruption.

        Those that do should ideally be able to peacefully opt out. Hopefully Trump Brexit and Italexit are early signals of just such a thing.

        People with a strong ancient healthy group identity might only wish to adopt NAP characteristics.

        Not all nations are inflicted with a cancerous national social identity.

        Only when our thought experiments generates real world repeatable beneficial results can we convincingly claim to be the cure for statism.

        Until then so long as we feed Moloch we are only another stripe in the great rainbow of diversity luminaries.

  2. Trump not paying tax amounts to a different form of state aid, but it’s aid nonetheless. Musk got 900 million dollars in subsidies. Trump did not pay maybe 1 billion dollars in tax. So it is money taken from taxpayers after all. Musk took the money, Trump never paid what he should have owed. They are both old fashioned greedy capitalists.

    • Sounds like you had Bernie Sanders for Taxation 101:
      – Rich people should pay income tax even when they lose money (losing money being just a trick to avoid taxes).
      – If you’re rich, and the tax rules say you owe nothing this year, you “should have owed” some anyway, because, hey, you’re rich dude!
      – When a rich person pays less tax, I have to pay more.
      – A tax cut and a check from the government are the same thing (not paying = taking).
      – People who produce things that we buy voluntarily are greedy; people who take our money by force and use it to make our lives worse are selfless public servants.

    • Hi Radu,

      Roland beat me to this – but, as he notes, keeping your money out of the grabby hands of the government is not the same thing as government grabbing other people’s money (or having government grab it for you, as Elon does).

      • eric, no, it’s not the same but close enough you can’t get an .001″ feeler gauge through the difference. People like Trump get “rich” by not paying taxes. Ask any really good CPA and they’ll be able to tell you the countless ways rich people have of not only not paying tax but getting subsidized in the process. It’s certainly nothing new.

        Back in the mid-60s before many of the people here were born Art Linkletter had a guy who was a millionaire(don’t recall his name)who was on sort of an enlightening mission. He broke down his income, well in excess of a million dollars, quite a bit of money back then, and showed how much he made and then showed what he owed in tax. Then he laid out piece by piece what he’d done with some of that money and how certain investments were not only not taxable but some even elicited govt. payments. At the end of his lecture he had shown he had not only not paid any taxes but made even more money that he received from the govt.

        It was one of those things intended to wake people up but not enough have ever complained loudly enough to get it changed. Does anyone think those incentives have decreased since then? Or increased?

        When someone not only doesn’t pay taxes but gets subsidized whose money do you think they use for his subsidy?

        • Tax deductions are sold as a way to keep things “fair.” Of course they do no such thing, but that’s SOP for any time a politician opens his mouth. The first thing that happened when the set up the income tax was no tax at all for the first $3000 in income. Right from the start there were exceptions. The 1970s made finding deductions a game to be won, with rich people incorporating themselves to take advantage of an even bigger selection of deductions. As long as the tax accountant’s fee was less than what the client would pay in income taxes, why not pay the accountant instead?

          I’ve tried to have this conversation with some progressives I know. They really don’t understand the concept of “fairness” when it comes to income taxes. They love to get caught up in the percentages paid instead of the real dollar amount. This is just what the politicians want because it obscures the real dollars confiscated. 10% of $10 is a buck. 10% of $10,000 is $1,000. Yet we’re supposed to believe that dollar is somehow worth more than the $1000. A clearly doesn’t equal 10,000 times A, yet once again that’s exactly what we’re told. My brother in law can’t get this. When the deduction that eliminated the “marriage penalty” was enacted in the late 1990s, we got into a fairly big debate over it. When I pointed out that I was being penalized by being single, he refused to listen. When I pointed out that I was being penalized by not having a mortgage, or having children, he simply went back to it being “fair” for him to get those deductions. He really didn’t understand that true fairness would be to pay a flat percentage, period. And he really didn’t understand that the reason for deductions is 100% political.

          • You mean Burger King employees have lobbyists in congress who get them a special tax deal on their $9/hr?

            Rich is a often used word to mean a lot of different things. Somebody who gets a check with withholding and all the rest will pay a great deal of tax. That isn’t what I call rich even though they might earn a 7 figure income and even at that, some ways of getting paid can avoid a great deal of tax. Elon and the Donald bet 7 figure sums on flea races or something equally as meaningless. Oh sure, they throw spreads and employ a lot of service people just for a party or such but that’s some company expense.

            I don’t blame anyone for not paying one cent of tax they can avoid but the laws really aren’t made to keep the Burger King guy from paying taxes.

        • 8Man, what about the guy working at Burger King who gets back more in his tax refund than what he even paid in? Probably gets entitlements on top of that, too. Meanwhile, even if that rich guy “paid no tax”, he paid more in sales taxes alone than 20 of us would pay in income tax in a year; and if he had enough deductions “not to pay any taxes”, you can be sure that he lost a lot of money- like when they’d invest in worthless real estate in the pre-Reagan years- real estate on which thyey’d spend money to buy and maintain and pay property taxes on, but which lost money?

          I know some rich people- all except one pay a LOT in taxes; and the one who doesn’t, doesn’t because he doesn’t earn any money, but rather is really losing money every year.

          This media crap about “the rich paying no taxes” is just another prop in the propaganda bag-o-tricks to incite envy and make the envious want a share of what belongs to someone else- hence all the young socialists we now see.

          It’s funny too, because such nonsense works across all classes. The rich guys I know, who are only worth a few million, are envious of those who are richer than they, and always assume that they pay no taxes; while the middle-class guys below my rich friends, think that THEY don’t pay any taxes!

          Socialism is a religion based upon greed and envy. Every socialist is envious of anyone who has more than they do, and thinks it only fair that what that person has should be taken from them, and given to themselves. It’s sick- and this is exactly what a progressive income tax is designed to do. (Any time you see the word “progressive”, watch out! It’s short for “progressive tyranny”!)

          • Kudos to anyone who manages not to pay taxes! Taxation is slavery. If we’d all stop paying all taxes, it would be the most libertarian thing we could ever do! Stop funding their wars! Stop funding their surveillance! Stop funding their murderous cops! Stop funding their indoctrination camps; their code-enforcement; their social engineering; their subsidizing of illegitimate babies and illegal alliens!

    • So, Radu, if you are in a group of people being robbed, and you manage to avoid “contributing” anything to the robber’s kitty, have you “cheated” the other robbery victims?

      HINT: No, the robber has cheated them, and you just managed to avoid being cheated by the cheater!

      How come when one rich man pays $400K in taxes, it is “his fair share” (As if, somehow, the other taxpayers have provided $400K in services that he managed to use in the course of a year), and yet another man, who uses the same roads and sidewalks and fire dept. but who works in a factory or burger joint, pays $2K in taxes; or a guy who makes $20K a year and has 12 kids [I actually knew such a guy!] pays no taxes, yet gets a few hundred grand in services per year, like free public school dumbing-down for all of his kids; free medical car; help with heat and utilities and food, but we are oh so worried that the rich man who takes care of his own and who provides jobs for others, is not “paying his fair share” if he “only” pays $100K a year in taxes, instead of $400K? Why is someone’s “fair share” dependent upon what they earn/how well they do? (Especially when they are the ones who use the LEAST services, and who actually provide benefit for society)?

      And who gave the state the right to forcibly take our money in exchange for some very expensive “services” which used to be provided by the free-market for those who wanted them, and who paid for them, as opposed to forcing everyone to pay for them, whetehr you use them or agree with them or not?

      • It’s a very easy question to answer. Collectivists see those who have more as to have obtained it by theft or exploitation because that’s the way they seek to get wealth themselves. To get the wealth institutionally. So they build the structures by which that’s the only path to wealth making it self-fulfilling.

  3. Trump has used government to his benefit. Not on the order of Musk, but he has made deals where government power has benefited him. Trump has also had to buy political protection to keep his businesses from getting squished too. The problem is, he seems to think that businesses courting favor with government is how things should work. Not just how they work but how they should work.

  4. I have heard the Donald made liberal use of eminent domain and other crony laws in his long career as a developer. Any business that wants to be successful has to play ball with the state. Only difference is how much.

  5. Elon Musk will likely be remembered as the most successful con man up to this point of history. And yes, there is no question he is a con man. At some point his con game will collapse. Like Hillary he likely won’t ever see the inside of a jail cell, but hopefully we can someday turn off the money. He is only a billionaire because he never spends his own money on these money losing ventures.

    Unfortunately that collapse will only further victimize taxpayers. The other victims will be the rank and file (not the other high level crooks who do know better but don’t care) employees who think they have good permanent jobs when they really don’t. Those “jobs” disappear the minute the scam ends. For example, folks who learned how to fix windmills, that no one will use after the tax money goes away. Thus, useless skill set in the real world.

    Sucks that Tesla’s name will be muddied by this criminal. Tesla actually was a genius. Musk isn’t.

    I will argue the NYT’s was never an honest publication. The Walter Duranty years are just as dishonest as today’s people.

  6. A related problem is that the products and services Musk provides are to serve political purposes more than economic purposes; in other words, they’re not things that free markets and consumers demand, but things that political elites demand, like electric cars.

    The same is true of GM and other car companies that went whole hog for hybrids and electric cars. Those cars are built and marketed to show how “green” and “environmentally friendly” they are…never mind that the fuel consumption and pollution reductions are minimal, and that they merely shift the pollution from their exhaust pipes to power plants’ smokestacks and nuclear waste dumps…and then there are their toxic batteries.

    After all, a company accused of being “environmentally unfriendly” even if untrue, will face its business and reputation being ruined…just like being accused of being “racist” or “sexist” will ruin your career and reputation.

  7. To show how superior its system was, the Soviet Union stole wealth from its people and used it to shoot stuff into space. The people were mesmerized by the noisy spectacles, and filled with pride in their government.
    To show how superior our system is, the United States stole wealth from its people and used it to shoot stuff into space. The people were mesmerized by the noisy spectacles, and filled with pride in their government.
    Take that, commies!

    • I have said for years that:
      The good news is that the U.S. is the best place on earth to live.
      The bad news is that the U.S. is the best place on earth to live.

  8. I still can’t quite figure out what the point of Space-X is. The idea is that it is a “privately” funded corporation that is contracted by NASA to fly to the International Space Station. Well, that’s all well and good, but I seem to remember a lot of pictures from the NASA archives where technicians were in jumpsuits with a Rockwell Collins logo on their back, and knowing that Grumman built the lunar lander, etc. So what makes Space-X any different? There’s nothing really stopping anyone from building a rocket (except need), and companies like Hughes Aerospace and GE maintain satellite networks and other (profitable) space ventures.

    Maybe it’s the accent?

  9. I’m going to put on my tin foil hat and say that I’m not entirely convinced that the US ever actually went to the moon either! Hell, I’m no scientist, so I admit that I might be crazy, (or just stupid) but my spidey sense tells me that, given the technology of the time, and the track record of our lying gov’t, it seems a stretch of the imagination that they actually made it. Especially since they aren’t able to do it again today, even with technology a million times more powerful. Sure, all the “hoaxers” are supposedly “debunked” by the MSM, but some critical thinking about legitimate questions should make you at least wonder.

    • It’s actually fairly easy to navigate through 3 dimensional space, and the technology of the day was definitely up to the task. Precision timing and reliable firing mechanisms were common, even the Big Boy nuclear bombs were able to fire their high explosive charges within a few μseconds of each other. Maintaining a pressure vessel was pretty easy too. Diving bells had been around since the late 19th century, and that’s basically all a space suit is. The difficult part was doing it in a cost-effective manor, but that wasn’t a problem either, thanks to the massive post war US economy and “temporary” income tax increases that never went away after World War 2.

      The real conspiracy was that the American people were duped into paying for a marketing plan for the defense industry.

    • Think about it. The Germans were sending V2s into England in 1945. By 1961 Alan Shepard was flying on a rocket largely built by those same Germans. Why is so hard to understand that in 16 years rocketry could advance that far? Seven years later a crew circled the moon. I know the guys who wrote the software for the Saturn. I wrote software for Space Lab. They went. They really did land on the moon and stroll and ride around.

      One of my memories is of Gene Cernan talking about trying to make his neighbors understand when he pointed to the area of his landing and saying “I lived there!”. Kind of makes me choke up every time. Hard to grasp. But it is probably no harder than to believe “Success four flights this morning all against twenty one mile wind started from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home Christmas” in 1903.

      The only thing stopping us now is that we don’t have the hardware ready. We could in short order. But we would have to give up something else. You can only print so much money before people wise up. The most obvious question is: “Why go in the first place?”. I know all the arguments that we have reaped many benefits. The only thing that really changed was the time frame. Throwing tons of money at a goal does reap benefits. And often faster than otherwise. But I can guarantee that the cost of having those benefits is exponentially higher as the timeline is shortened.

      Creating jobs is easy. Creating wealth is much harder. And I never understand how making a thing that blows itself up, then blows up large quantities of other wealth, can be economically sound. Even when you discount the lives that are snuffed out, either by the bomb itself, or by the repercussions of not having a home, or a hospital, or a power plant. Total Insanity! But “Good for the economy!” Hog wash!

      • Blowing s*** up sells a lot of newspapers. Fearing the unknown is much easier than actually learning something. Burning witches makes ugly women more attractive.

    • Vzguy, you are correct! Do not doubt yourself. All of this space BS is built upon theoretical BS (formulated before telescopes were even invented) and now used by governments to justify their evils and elicit the cooperation and faith of citizens.

      Just one example: WHY are their only TWO official images of Earth taken from “outer space”- and one of them is near 50 years old? Both are crude CGI images, which can be dissected in Photoshop/GIMP/etc..

      Google those images and examine them. Notice that on one image, North America occupies almost the entire northen hemisphere, while on the other, it is much smaller. Check the alignment of the continents: like where Florida is pointing to on one vs. the other.

      We are shown a picture of a perfect sphere, but now NASA’s own “scientists” are proclaiming the Earth is really an “oblong pear shape with a gulge in the middle and fatter at one end than the other”. Hmmm…guess the cameras that took those pics didn’t have that info!

      They claim that it will be 10 more years before we figure out how to get humans safely through the Van Allen radiation belt which lies between here and the Moon. Hmmm….funny, since they supposedly did this in 1969 already….

      Check out the Youtube video “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Moon”…..

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