If you haven't yet seen "every single car because they were attracting too much favorable attention, and put them through a crusher. It bought up the rights to the car's promising lithium-ion battery technology and put it on a shelf so it wouldn't fall into the hands of a competitor. And so it was that the electric car became extinct and largely forgotten -- much as the electric streetcar had 40 or 50 years earlier, with a heavy-handed lobbying nudge from the auto industry.
Now that new CAFE mileage standards have forced their hand, voilà! Behold what the innovators at GM have discovered -- a battery that makes feasible! to the rescue!
So much for relying on competition and the profit motive to spur innovation, weed out inefficiency and drive productivity growth. The losers in this sorry tale, as always, are consumers, the environment, and our children's prospects for a safe and prosperous future. The winners are GM 's shareholders. If you still have a few shares in your , you and yours are along for the ride. Just don't expect anyone to pay attention to your vote on corporate policies of any consequence.
Another film worth seeing, if you haven't already, is "There WIll Be Blood." It casts a harsh light on the genesis of America's oil hunger, showing the dark side of the "will to innovate" to which we owe all the complex benefits, costs and karmic baggage of the American Age of Prosperity.
There's a polemical drift in the film's storytelling that gets in the way: entrepreneurs as a class aren't the greedy, power-hungry monsters the film makes them out to be,
Meanwhile, Dubya has a pocketful of auto-industry IOUs to repay and the regulatory powers of the federal government under his fist, and so it came to pass that the EPA prohibited states from implementing stricter emission standards than federal law requires.
This is what passes for states' rights and free-market economics under the enlightened rule of today's Republican Party. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.