Geoff Manne, one of my colleagues at Truth On The Market, spearheaded an open letter explaining why New Jersey’s ban on direct distribution of automobiles (specifically, in this case, Tesla Motors) is bad public policy. The letter is signed by over 70 economists and law professors, including yours truly.
I’m no fan of the industrial favoritism Tesla has received via it’s government bailout or consumer subsidies (like so many other alternate-energy car makers). But two wrongs don’t make a right. And while Tesla Motors is the immediate target of this ban, the ban is really on a business model that threatens traditional auto dealership networks. As we explain in the letter, shutting down consumer access to innovative automotive products as a protectionist measure for brick-and-mortar dealerships is simply bad policy.
Head over to TOTM to see Geoff’s post and to read the full letter.