Another day, another story of stupid protectionist regulations getting in the way of anyone trying to be innovative. This time, it's about Tesla, the well known electric car company based out here in California. Apparently, various states have set up ridiculous protectionist laws that say it's illegal for automakers to sell cars directly to consumers in retail settings. The various car dealer lobbyists who pushed to get those laws passed are now complaining that Tesla and its high end "stores" violate that law
-- despite the fact that you can't actually buy a Tesla car in a Tesla store. In order to stay on the correct side of these idiotic laws, you can go into the stores and learn
all about the Tesla... but if you want to buy, you have to go online and put money down via Tesla's website. The dealers are arguing that "anything that gets you to the executed contract is part of the sale," but that's ridiculous. A magazine ad. A TV commercial. Plenty of other things can "get you to the executed contract" and are perfectly reasonable.
What's really going on here is that states have passed these protectionist laws to help out independent dealerships who worried that car companies might decide to cut out one of the more annoying middlemen in the world and go direct to consumers. So they passed these laws which serve no purpose, whatsoever, other than to encourage greater annoyance and overhead for car buyers. Just the fact that you can't actually buy a Tesla at a store should highlight how silly this -- but the fact that these dealers are still complaining
and arguing that the company violates the law shows just how petty they can be.