The Federal Trade Commission on Monday strongly urged the Michigan state legislature to reconsider its ban on Tesla Motors Inc. and other automakers from directly selling vehicles to owners.
In a 10-page letter to Michigan State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, three senior FTC staff members urged the state to drop its long-standing bar to automakers selling vehicles directly to consumers, saying “Michigan’s consumers would more fully benefit from a complete repeal of the prohibition on direct sales by all automakers.” The commission voted 5-0 in favor of the comments.
The letter came after Booher asked the FTC about a pending Michigan Senate bill that would create a limited exception to state law that would allow manufacturers of “autocycles” — enclosed three-wheelers that are more like cars than motorcycles — to sell vehicles in some circumstances. But the FTC said the Senate bill “does not go far enough,” and would “largely perpetuate the current law’s protectionism for independent franchised dealers, to the detriment of Michigan car buyers.”
Booher’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The bill was introduced April 15 and referred to the state Senate economic development committee, which has taken no action.
But, I don’t want everyone to get too down on our Lansingcritter’s moronic displays of legislative prowess. Remember, they went to public schools.
Perhaps it takes a rent seeker to know a rent seeker?
I have spoken to a couple of representatives about the passage of HB5606, disappointed with the way that they voted.
One says “It was not at all presented to us in this way,” remarking that he would have voted differently if he had only fully understood it. This of course revealing that sleight of hand, obfuscation, and maybe a little laziness by representatives is easily exploited in Lansing. Should there be any wonder why a certain amount of time must pass before bills are voted on in their finality?
This competition limiting act is perhaps a little rent seeking at its best, and flat out corruption by those who designed the changes.
Two folks whom I regard as rent seekers in their own right are correct in this video; Dan Gilbert in particular. But when he says “Man up and compete” with regard to the automakers?
Oh, and thank you Representative Tom McMillin for actually paying attention.