Talk for Article "Fact check: The public funding of Elon Musk’s ventures"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Shouldn’t this factor in how many cars Tesla produce relative to the other companies? The fact that they are cars for wealthier people as well seems like a big factor in terms of government handouts

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Air pollution is not just caused by coal, and it isn’t just from combustion emissions. London has a lot of tailpipe emissions from both petrol and diesel powered vehicles, and those emissions are disproportionately in populated areas – that means they effect more people’s health. But there is another area of air pollution that gives hybrids and Electric vehicles an advantage, and that is brake dust. When you brake using friction you create brake dust – tiny particles of brake pads etc. Electric and hybrid vehicles do much of their braking by using their electric engines to convert some of the momentum of the vehicle into electricity – an inherently cleaner way to brake.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    The claim that electric vehicles cause more pollution related disease than those powered by internal combustion engines is unsubstantiated. I tried to edit the article, but this didn’t seem to work. [new user]

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    “While the average income is roughly $56,000 in the United States, the average income of a Tesla owner is $320,000, according to the Los Angeles Times.” – This information is not indicative of favouritism or preferential sales for a product.

    As an analyst, I read the statement as an indicator that higher-income households may be more interested in electric vehicles than lower income (especially considering the launch price of Teslas was <$60k for both Model-S and Model-X).

    To substantiate the claim of "benefits for the rich" you'd need to compare average income of other electric vehicles, other non-electrics in the Tesla price range, and analyse how incomes cluster (or don't) according to those vehicles. As-is, this is ~almost~ a click-bait quote.

    I don't have time to chase the data, but could assist with analysis if someone can help me get my hands on it.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Below is proposed text to add under Claim 1. If the authors agree that this represents good fact checking, feel free to add it word for word or edit as you like:

    Claim 1: Other automakers in the United States receive more taxpayer money than Tesla.

    According to data from “Good Jobs First”, this claim appears to true by a wide margin, when all grants, tax credits, loan guarantees, loans, and bailouts from both state and federal sources are taken into account.

    Good Jobs First is a US non-profit organization that describes itself as “The nation’s leading resource for grass roots groups and public officials seeking to make economic development subsidies more accountable and effective.”

    Current total subsidies from US carmakers are below. Sums include all available years of data, which are 2000-present for federal awards and variable for state awards (most are since 2010, but some as early as 1992). They also include future tax credits promised over the next 20 years by the state of Nevada at Tesla’s battery factory.

    In total, Tesla has received or been promised fewer grants and tax credits than Ford and GM, but more than Fiat Chrysler. However, when loans, loan guarantees, and bailouts are considered, all three other US carmakers have received vastly more government money than Tesla.

    Tesla: https://subsidytracker.goodjobsfirst.org/prog.php?parent=tesla-motors
    Total grants and tax credits: $3.5 billion
    Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $0.5 billion

    Fiat Chrysler: https://subsidytracker.goodjobsfirst.org/prog.php?parent=fiat-chrysler-automobiles
    Total grants and tax credits: $2.2 billion
    Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $17.6 billion

    General Motors: https://subsidytracker.goodjobsfirst.org/prog.php?parent=general-motors
    Total grants and tax credits: $6.0 billion
    Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $50.3 billion

    Ford Motor: https://subsidytracker.goodjobsfirst.org/prog.php?parent=ford-motor
    Total grants and tax credits: $4.0 billion
    Total loans, loan guarantees, and bailout assistance: $27.6 billion

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Very interesting indeed! I think you can add it directly to the original report, Is good job first the only non-govermnal organization that track these issues? I will spend time today to investigate that.

  6. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Claim 1: Other automakers in the United States receive more taxpayer money than Tesla.

    This is money going from government to automaker, wouldn’t it be better to also look at money going from automaker to government?

    Maybe one automaker pays taxes and gets subsidized while the other doesn’t pay taxes through some construction but is also not subsidized.

    My suggestion would be:

    Claim 1: The sum of value flowing between other automakers and the government results in the other automakers having more benefit thanTesla.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      I think the original claim is probably worded correctly but your point about net subsidy (money received – money paid in taxes) is definitely an important point to make since subsidy could be money given directly or tax breaks. Probably worth stating figures in absolute terms and relative to company revenues, market caps and maybe number of employees to get a good picture.

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Do we want to include the government bailout of General Motors in that calculation? I don’t have a hard number for the net cost to tax payers, but different sources are putting the cost around 10 or 11 billion dollars. That’s net cost, not the total value of the benefit to GM.

      I think this paints a fair counter-point to the $4.9 billion in government aid that Tesla is claimed to have benefited from, as this total includes the total value of incentives that are to be received over the course of a decade. This total is inflated (in my opinion) as it includes a government benefit for solar installations to citizens. Government money ultimately goes to SolarCity, but the benefit is to the consumer who receives the solar installation at a lower cost.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        The focus is on the availability to economic incentives. But I think the bailouts are an interesting piece to this. That should be included considering the sum.

        Can you link to the figures you provided?

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          This cites the $11.2B number for GM that is pretty common in searches: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-gm-treasury-idUSBREA3T0MR20140430

          This puts the number at $11.3B for GM, but includes more companies in the bailout total, putting the number at $10.2B rolled up: https://www.thebalance.com/auto-industry-bailout-gm-ford-chrysler-3305670

          You could argue that the government was an investor in the company, so the money isn’t government aid, as the government had a majority ownership stake (60% at the peak). I disagree with this argument – at the end of the day, government money went to the company

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            This is great, Creighton. I encourage you to add this info into the story. I can do it, but it will take me a couple of days.

          2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            Very interesting argument and important sources, I encourage you to add the links you provided to the main report, so they will appear to anyone reading it, and we can all discuss and reach to final argument.

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