Free Markets, Disruption, and Hypocrisy


So if you needed evidence that “free” markets, and lobbying, and the conservative right were a bad mix, your search has ended. Earlier this week Chris Christie moved to keep Tesla out of New Jersey, essentially because of lobbying by the car dealerships.

And the same thing is true in Texas as well. Here you have two Republican figureheads—Chris Christie, and, um, Texas—and they’re the ones saying no to free market competition.


Money. The car dealerships have a racket. No, they are one. It’s basically a monopoly where they get to overcharge and generally put people over barrels (mostly the customer), and they don’t want it to end.

Along comes a company that sells directly to customers, makes the experience more pleasant, removes the pressure, etc., and the old guard comes in to force (through payoffs) the law to do what they want.

That’s some seriously old-world shit right there. Straight mafia.

And isn’t that supposed to be the big government guys who are stopping innovators from progress? Aren’t the Republicans supposed to be all about open markets and innovation and such?

Yeah, guess not. Not when people also have the “freedom” to bribe the shit out of everyone who matters. That’s not freedom, that’s an oligarchy based on who has the money and access to the legislators.

Get used to it

It’s not a new story.

  • Amazon blew up the bookstores

  • Netflix is blowing up content distribution

  • iTunes took out the record stores/companies

  • Uber is taking out the cab companies

What’s the secret ingredient here? Removing the middle man. Removing the old guard who get paid too much to do too little.

What’s fascinating to me is that in most cases I can think of, it’s the Republicans who are fighting the innovation. Who’s fighting Tesla? Chris Christie, Texas, North Carolina. Lots of old people with money who use it to stifle progress.

The irony is thick here. It’s government (typically not known for innovation) that’s needed here to keep the pro-innovation Republicans from preventing progress.

I’d love to see more data on it. I’d like to see all the various situations where innovation is being prevented, find the people who are funding the lobbying to prevent the innovation, and then determine based on their other “donations” where they lean politically.

I’m guessing it’s mostly Republican. They loves them some money.


  1. Yes, yes, I know. Not every “free market” advocate is like this. Completely agreed. But it looks really bad when your figureheads (like Texas) are the ones causing the problems.

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