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“Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately” (twitter.com)
149 points by edward 28 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 272 comments



This is being couched as a spat over the lockdown versus Tesla production, but I wonder if it's not part of a larger picture, which is that the Bay Area has become a harder and harder place to do business, because of economic realities.

It'd be nice to see technical work spread away from the hotspots and across America. Concentrating it in a few places makes for a surprisingly miserable existence.


The reason Tesla is in Fremont is not for proximity to Silicon Valley, which has not benefited Tesla in any way. They are in Fremont because they could move into an already-built Toyota assembly plant and hire abundant local autoworkers.


For those not aware, the plant used to be called NUMMI which was a joint venture between Toyota and GM (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NUMMI). There had been an GM plant there since the 60s, many Corollas were built there for the CA market. Many things about NUMMI were very interesting but eventually GM went bankrupt and Toyota moved Corolla production elsewhere.


There was a good This American Life episode about the NUMMI plant https://www.thisamericanlife.org/561/nummi-2015


Close proximity to a large volume of people with $100k salaries and who strongly signal that they value reducing their carbon footprint was not factored in when he first started selling premium electric vehicles nearby? That's an interesting hypothesis.


There’s no reason to have a factory there. It’s not as if Apple manufacturers iPhone in California, or anywhere near it.


Hm, I can’t claim to be an expert, but my first thought is that the logistics of transporting thousands of iPhones is very, very different from transporting thousands of cars.


Likewise no expert, but at the price point cars sell at, I doubt the cost of shipping vehicles was a primary concern. Consider that Australian vehicles are made everywhere except Australia, even commodity cars, and Australia is notoriously expensive to ship to.

We even had factories here, but they were too expensive to run. It's cheaper to ship them from overseas.


It is. You can build parts of a car anywhere in the world. But because the cost of shipment will be so high you have to build the car in the same part of your continent if not the same country or state.


There was no significant shipping/logistics advantage to manufacturing cars in Australia.

After 30 years of increasing imports when government subsidies ended so did local manufacturing. Most cars sold in the country are now built in Thailand, South Africa, Japan, Europe and increasingly the USA - without any kind of huge price jump over locally produced vehicles.


Do people buying the cars really care where it was made? I'm sure Tesla would have sold just as many if they were made in say, North Carolina.


California is still the best place to start a startup, because the ecosystem and early adopters are so important.

But Tesla is not at that stage: it was able to create a new factory in China in half a year, and already has a strong brand recognition, so California has its pros and cons.


Overhyped. California, particularly SV may be the best place to start a company if your "early adopters" are other SV people, tech industry, etc.. Cities like Atlanta represent a much more realistic, general-purpose market. In the social media age, I don't think there is much special benefit in SV early adoption mindset. Most consumers are savvy enough today.


It also enables free moving of talent between companies that only further allows great companies to be built. It’s very hard to build a high-tech company in Tulsa, say, if the total numbers of available superstars are low.

Tesla building HQ in Silicon Valley enabled it to get types of people he never would have otherwise. Few are leaving Google to go to GM, for example.


It's hard to build a plant in areas without a competent workforce. Look at the Tesla Gigafactory debacle in Nevada. Years late, problems with Panasonic, huge thefts, large scale drug dealing in the plant.[1][2]

[1] https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/why-tesla-panasoni...

[2] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-tesla-employee-says-gigafact...


A lot of those superstars would love to get out of California if they would get the same salary in absolute amount. Usually companies make the mistake of ,,adjusting for cost of living'', and then of course they will find most talent in the most expensive cities.


After seeing how other states, and populations, have been handling and reacting to the shelter in home policies, I doubt I'll be moving out of CA anytime soon.

I just hope the folks I know for example in Texas are able to stay safe.


... because they've been too aggressive, or too passive? I'm still in the "there shouldn't be a lockdown for healthy people under 50" camp (since IFR is so low for that demographic), but I could see people being mad at states for the opposite reason, too.


Texas is already opening up. Not sure about other states.

People under 50, including kids, may not die in high numbers but they can still make others sick.


As far as I'm aware, there's three ways that a lockdown can save lives - one is to reduce deaths caused by an overwhelmed health care system, another is to delay things until a paradigm shift occurs (for instance, a vaccine or miracle cure), and the third is to stomp out the disease entirely.

The first has been achieved - with a small margin in NYC, but far larger margins elsewhere.

The second will take another year at the most optimistic.

The third would also take a year+ at current lockdown effectiveness levels - but I'd expect mass disobedience before then.

* * *

And that is why I'd prefer to have lockdowns lifted for lower-risk populations. Yes, people in contact with the old or at-risk should stay in lockdown - but that does not mean that college students, or young families, or a variety of other groups should not return to normal. The more people that are infected, the lower effective r_0 drops (this is how herd immunity works) and the sooner the world can be made safe for at-risk populations.

The fact that this might also let the US avoid an economic downturn that makes the Great Depression look merciful is also a major plus. (Current US unemployment is estimated at around 20% - the Great Depression peaked around 25%)


There is the alternative that many countries are attempting, which is to reduce the number of cases and increase testing capability until it is tractable to do case tracking and quarantine only the infected.


The trouble is, this isn't even remotely close to feasible. In order to find a useful proportion of cases via testing, you need to test pretty much everybody with cold-like or disease-like symptoms or maybe even just pretty much everybody, and contact tracing only helps if you have some other way to find most of the active cases in order to trace their contacts. That's why experts in publications like the New York Times keep insisting that the US needs to test people on a scale orders of magnitude larger than any other country has managed, including the ones that are starting to reopen.

(Readers don't realize what a big ask this is because the articles carefully don't mention this - most people are left with the false impression that it's just doing what other countries have already managed, and that the only reason the US isn't doing this is because the leadership is incompetent or even deliberately covering up the number of cases.)


> The trouble is, this isn't even remotely close to feasible. In order to find a useful proportion of cases via testing, you need to test pretty much everybody with cold-like or disease-like symptoms

I was surprised how at quickly my local health authority got to this point. A couple months ago, they had flat-out stated that it would be impossible for the foreseeable future, but cold/flu symptoms have decreased over a regular year by an order of magnitude, they expanded testing to everyone with any symptoms a couple weeks ago, and even with carpet bombing contacts in outbreak locations they're still only running testing at about half capacity.


I disagree, I think people underestimate the social cost of uprooting your life, leaving all of your friends and families, and moving into an area that often has beliefs counter to your own

There's already examples. Epic will pay you top tech level salaries in the middle of nowhere, where you can live like a king. Superstars seem to be staying put.


> I disagree, I think people underestimate the social cost of uprooting your life, leaving all of your friends and families, and moving into an area that often has beliefs counter to your own

You mean how a lot of people do to move to SV in the first place?


Epic will also make you work with proprietary older tools and languages that leave you lacking if you were to leave in search of another job. Ever heard of MUMPS?


Epic does use newer stuff now too, btw. .NET for instance.


It's interesting how that looks from outside the USA. The first time I went to Mountain View I got a shock. I was young and naive, fresh off the boat from Europe, and I'd been told it was the "City of Mountain View". So I didn't bother renting a car. I figured I'd just take the train.

For a lot of people living in the Bay Area is kinda like living in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive for over an hour, often much more if the highways are jammed, simply to reach the nearest actual city. It appears Epic is based in Verona, Wisconsin, which is about 2hr 20 mins from Chicago. So a bit further out for sure, but not so radically different that it'd completely change your life, I guess.

Of course if you live in SF and then commute to work, it's different, but that's a pretty miserable experience.


I can't drive, so Uber was a lifesaver in the Bay Area.


I don't know Epic, but Basecamp pays SF rates for remote workers, and their retention statistics are far above average.

,,Middle of nowhere'' is a bad place anyways, I'm sure that there are more fun places than Mountain View for young guys to live their single life or to buy their dream family house.


And yet probably 1/3 of SV engineers are immigrants, who have done some serious uprooting to be here.


Epic systems (?) because levels.fyi says otherwise.


There are probably few other single cities that would be as competitive, even if most people would rather be elsewhere (they’d all be different places).


BTW, I'd love if Tesla moved to Tulsa, just for name similarity.

I mean, if you're going for "excentric billionaire", then GO for it!


And, of course, hire Tulsi Gabbard to run the place!


The "free movement of talent" sword cuts in multiple directions. The Bay Area is so expensive that a lot of people who didn't start out there simply cannot move there. At least without seriously down-grading their quality of life.

In theory, companies there would offer enough compensation to make it at least a wash with candidates' current situation, but in my experience, they don't.


Assuming remote work doesn’t become the new normal.


The new HQ will likely be in Austin. There is already a lot of engineering talent there.


Admin & production would move to Texas, but I would imagine Tesla would keep an office in CA for electronics.


Said HQ in the tweet, guess we’ll see how serious he is.


I live in the Bay area - I cannot find a single thing appealing about this place except 1 - weather. But that can be had at many cities in California.

Things that suck in Bay Area:

1) People. I don't like to hang with AI engineers and arrogant people. Humbleness is hard to come by here. This is usually brought up as a positive, I couldn't disagree more.

2) Homelessness - Some areas feel like it's Somalia

3) Unkept, unmaintained infrastructure - Pretty much pot holes everywhere, roads ruin tyres and rip apart suspension systems, even if a road is recently built, it has major quality issues. Infrastructure in Bay area is below par that of places like China, Korea, Japan, EU, Switzerland, England, and pretty much any developed country and many parts of the US. Texas has the best roads IMO. I've been to all these places and infrastructure (Alameda county) just reeks of awful people running this place, lack of care for quality and attention to detail, and perhaps mismanagement of funds.

3) Housing - self explanatory

4) Bang for the buck - Cost of living does not match the standard of living. People automatically assume that cost living is proportional to the quality of living. Not even close in the bay area.

5) Micro-analysis of Food culture: I cannot go out and hang with people without someone trying to analyze between 4.8 and 4.9 stars on Yelp. You forgot the purpose of us getting together. This probably exists everywhere in major cities, not just the Bay area.

6) Transit - sucks, expensive and unmaintained. Rampant theft on BART, you generally feel unsafe.

7) Traffic - before this pandemic, it was difficult to go anywhere without taking 3 hours off.

8) Crime - I've had my car broken into 4 times (the city) in the course of 8 months.

9) Way too many laws - Regulation in California will cut you by thousand cuts. Wanna grab a lot and build your own house? Good luck with 18,000 pages of law that govern what you can and cannot do with your land. This is the same in Oregon and Washington state.

10) Wanna form an LLC? $800/year. Why!? What costs are involved in providing a registration for a company? It is $50 in some states, free in many other states.

11) Taxes - I am a centrist and IMO california has way too many taxes (count) and way too much (amount) of your income, property, tolls, estate, utilities, etc. I am fine with high taxes if that results in a better quality of life, but I feel like I am robbed off.

12) Extreme sensitivity towards race, gender, minorities, etc. Shops like this should not exist: https://www.shopwomenmade.com/ - Yep, this is in Berkeley. This is a hot topic but IMO ultra liberalism is playing into their own agenda.

13) Intolerence to anything but extreme left in politics. Oh god, you're doing exactly what extreme right is doing - not listening to other views.

Why the hell am I here? I am looking to get out of the bay area and never return, even for pleasure. SF Bay Area is one of the worst places to live IMO having lived in half a dozen cities in the US and expat in Asia.

Advice to entrepreneurs in the bay area: Find a place in other parts of California, it's a gorgeous state with many cheap cities - perhaps you can help build those small cities into better communities. If Magic Leap can form a 3000 people tech HQ in Ft. Lauderdale in Florida, I am sure you can attract talent in Monterrey, Redding, Bakersfield, etc.


I've lived around California my whole life and overall I like the state but these criticisms are pretty much spot on. Californians, especially the ones from San Fransisco, are wildly egotistical (though San Fran is famous for it). I think a lot of our people view the state's wealth as some kind of affirmation of their ideals, they don't have any concept of how much of our wealth is due to markets that are mostly just geographic luck. In the same spirit, we constantly talk about living wages while making little effort to ensure that businesses which interface with illegal immigrants are held to the same payment standards we claim are a moral imperative for everyone else.

I do love the state, I think that outside of San Fransisco most Californians are pretty laid back. But it bothers new how often we seem to high road the other states for the sake of spite these days.


I agree with so much of what you say, but the people aspect is more nuanced than that.

Yes, there's a staggering number of people in the Bay Area who think they're gods gift yet have essentially average intelligence, they confuse understanding code with understanding the world.

At the same time there are many humble people, ambitious yet realistic people and extremely skilled people in the Valley. It's the centre of the tech world for a good reason.

For some years I worked for Google out of Switzerland. For me and many other people this was the perfect balance. Working for Americans, especially the sort that make companies in SV, was an inspiring experience. The can-do, "what hard thing shall we tackle next" attitude is one that's frankly difficult to find elsewhere. They'd just throw themselves into a challenge without even stopping to think about what could go wrong; the sunshine of the state was like the sunshine in their minds. Not surprisingly there are a lot of failed and zombie startups in the Valley as a result, but that's still better than in most places where there just aren't any at all.

On the other hand, I was quite satisfied with the much higher quality of life in the Swiss office. You could walk out of the door at the end of the day and stroll in a few minutes to a beautiful lake with an actual mountain view, go for a swim, barbecue with friends in a well maintained public park, dry off, utilise the spotlessly clean and free public toilets, and within a few minutes walk be in the city centre in bars and restaurants. Crime was virtually non-existent thanks to the fast response times of the police, who were nonetheless invariably friendly and hands off, so people would routinely just leave all their stuff on the shore when going for a swim without worrying about it. I once forgot my coat in a bar and then failed to pick it up for a week, when I went back it was still there, hanging right where I left it.

I wouldn't want to live in the Valley but I'm always happy to work with people who do.


>The can-do, "what hard thing shall we tackle next" attitude is one that's frankly difficult to find elsewhere. They'd just throw themselves into a challenge without even stopping to think about what could go wrong; the sunshine of the state was like the sunshine in their minds.

Amazingly good insight. I originally started working for a Bay Area company exactly because companies elsewhere have a tendency to shrug their shoulders and give up without trying, when faced with difficult problems. It's maddening. Half the battle is thinking you can beat a problem - if you give up before trying, you've already lost.

I'm also not exactly smitten with the area, but the attitude is unbeatable and in part why SV will continue to lead the world.


A lot of your points about the roads and housing etc are true, but about how you don’t like the people? Maybe you just have lame friends


A friend is someone that I enjoy being around, share ideas and interests, and be a good companion. By definition, my friends cannot be lame, can they?


I doubt any of the engineering team at Tesla - the part of Tesla that is actually in Silicon Valley, rather than just Silicon Valley adjacent - are going anywhere.


Intel moved their sizable R&D operations to Oregon in the 80s and 90s. It is a well-trodden path to move manufacturing-heavy companies out of the Bay Area.


Huge layoffs in those offices, though.


Huge layoffs are happening everywhere, especially in industries that depends on consumers doing well.


I agree with Elon here, many California policies are over the top and it seems more laws, taxes, and other restrictions are constantly popping up.

The bay area has always been a hotspot for radical activism.

I lived in CA for awhile and couldn’t take it, so I left.


California regulation and taxes promotes innovation. Electric car incentives helped Tesla. Ban on non-competes allows employees to start competing businesses. Taxes allow the funding of the best higher education system in the nation.


Yes, just imagine Tesla if there were zero government grants, the regulatory credits vanished, and they removed all incentives.

Tesla would have gone bankrupt like 10 years ago. I mean just last quarter Tesla barely made a "profit" and it was due to selling credits to other auto-makers and posting incredibly suspicious financials (e.g. doubling the number of factories while posting no change in their OpEx).

For someone who has built all of his companies thanks to government funding, Elon sure has been biting at the hand that feeds him.


To be fair, California doesn't have the highest tax burden in the nation, although it is up there. It also taxes consumption more than assets, which I'm a fan of.

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-bur...


Looks like there's a decent overlap between state tax burden and whether they're 'donor' states in terms of federal dollars. Those that have higher tax burden tend to be sending more $ to the federal government than they receive back. CA historically has been this way, though recently it is about breakeven.

https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/donor-states/


The absurd income and sales taxes definitely do not promote innovation. Correlation is not causation.


I've lived in the Bay area for the past 5 years and am leaving in a week. But one reason for leaving is because business is so wildly successful here that it's very crowded, stressful, and income disparity is massive. Which seems like the opposite of what you're implying.


Other areas with such wildly successful businesses grow into world class metropolises.

But since the Bay Area practically bans new construction of housing and infrastructure, you get the overcrowding, stress, and income disparity instead.


From what I've seen - income disparity and burdensome regulations go hand in hand.

Being rich, I can afford the regulations. A new immigrant? Not so much. And if my poorer immigrant competition starts climbing up the ladder by ignoring the regulations, I can report them and have them shut down.


Can you bring that around to the topic? We're discussing a billionaire, born into great wealth, who is whining that the jurisdiction representing his workforce won't permit him to expose ten thousand people to an infectious disease. Who is burdened here, and why?


> won't permit him to expose ten thousand people to an infectious disease.

How low of an IFR would it take before you accepted that exposure? Would incidentally exposing them to the common cold be ok?

It's not the infections that matter - it's the deaths. And, with Tesla's 10k factory workers and the assumption that they're heathy people between 20 and 60, you'd see somewhere between 1 and 50 deaths. (Assuming that Italy's health care worker CFR is representative) Is this worth it? I don't know. But there's a point where it would be.


Take a moment to consider what you seem to be saying here. You’re essentially pondering if it should be okay for a billionaire industrialist to willingly sacrifice the lives of between 1-50 people.

> How low of an IFR would it take before you accepted that exposure?

If we lived in a sane world that valued EVERY individual human life above the self-serving dreams of an egotistical, arrogant sociopath, the answer would be zero.

> Would incidentally exposing them to the common cold be ok?

Such a question screams for a sarcastic answer: in case you haven’t noticed, Covid-19 is not the common cold.


> You’re essentially pondering if it should be okay for a billionaire industrialist to willingly sacrifice the lives of between 1-50 people.

I was unaware that Tesla workers were slaves. Unless they aren't - in which case they would have the option to not return yet.

> If we lived in a sane world that valued EVERY individual human life above the self-serving dreams of an egotistical, arrogant sociopath, the answer would be zero.

Well, factories kill people in accidents. Not often, but it happens. Does that mean we can never reopen factories, even without disease?

> Such a question screams for a sarcastic answer: in case you haven’t noticed, Covid-19 is not the common cold.

No, it isn't. But this is a thought experiment - and an example of orgs willingly exposing masses of people to a disease.


In all the internal emails that have been leaked with regards to this they always say "don't come in if you don't feel safe doing so".


Every workplace exposes people to infectious diseases, covid19 or not. Don't companies do risk management all the time? What's the acceptable level of risk?


Also the poor are the ones who would seriously consider morally unusual choices such as burning your life for money. The middle and upper classes find such ways repugnant and stressful and seek to ensure that such moral trade-offs are not possible.

Is it really bad to have unregulated food? Is it really bad to have regulated legal service? Unregulated medicine? The poor might have a difference of opinion on the flexible trade between money and life.


The rich make "morally unusual" choices, too. Like fraud, both legal and illegal. Also, receiving massive bailouts instead of living with bad gambles. Many people seek regulatory moats or corrupt relationships to avoid competition. Also morally questionable.


Businesses that only require a desk and internet connection are successful. Most others would have a hard time surviving.

Frankly, it's hard to fathom how any auto production line would want to make it's home in the Bay. Halfway to Sacramento, sure. But Freemont? I don't understand.


Let’s be frank, he’s moving to TX/NV for more lax workers regulations. They were caught suppressing their workers injury reports.


*less overbearing worker regulations.


They were never caught, they were alleged to have been caught. There's never been any legal action for such media reports. People forget that almost any media you hear about Tesla is backed by people with a lot of money to make by either seeing Tesla fail or seeing Tesla succeed.


Sure, if you're having trouble taking the worker's word for it. They had 3x the OSHA violations of the top 10 auto manufacturers combined in 2019. https://www.thedrive.com/news/26727/tesla-had-3-times-as-man...

Occam's Razor, is there a giant media conspiracy against a single company (whose continued existence creates content for their company) or workers rights are being infringed upon for profit.


CALOSHA is not OSHA. You can't compare apples and oranges.

> Occam's Razor, is there a giant media conspiracy against a single company (whose continued existence creates content for their company) or workers rights are being infringed upon for profit.

I'd say Occam's Razor says that a company making headlines makes more money for those companies so any kind of dirt that can be found will be found no matter how insignificant.


Not sure why you're being downvoted, you have a point.

California's OSHA is definitely more strict and inclined to slap fines than other OSHAs.


I live in Massachusetts, and we actually have fairly low taxes given the level of progressive politics, plus a Republican governor. There are active and organized groups that oppose the wacky "tax and regulate everything to death" types. Maybe California will become so unworkable and impossible to business in that it is forced to reform.


California had republican governors for a long time as well as a strong republican minority in the state legislature.

But now the Dems have a supermajority in the legislature and a democratic governor so there is no longer a check on the wackiest policies.

Plus the fact that we’ve always had state propositions that come direct from the people, a system now being efficiently abused by special interests. The number of ridiculous propositions has gone way up, and most people vote just based on the title.

It’ll be interesting to see if there is a course correction in the next few elections.


You are right, taxes in MA are not terrible.

I'm not exactly sure I'd call Baker a Republican -- he's further left than many Democrats. He is apparently what they call a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

Like CA, Mass. also has a super-majority of Democrats at the state level, in fact there are many state & local offices that don't even have more than 1 candidate running for them.


And still, most of the successful tech companies are headquartered there, and people keep fighting to start up companies and open offices there.

Though I agree, the best thing to do if you disagree with the policies is to walk out, and it will probably help with the craziness (and not only with the governmental craziness)


[flagged]


Please keep nationalistic flamebait off HN. We have enough problems with thread quality without that.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Agree and apologies. Thank you.


Musk has said repeatedly that the reason he’s doing Tesla is to help move the country off fossil fuels for transportation, because of global warming.

Well, no state has been stronger on this issue than California, who sets fuel efficiency goals that are the most stringent. The same cannot be said of Texas and Nevada; if anything the opposite is true. These are states where people take pride in driving big gas guzzling trucks and the government supports them in that.

Everyone loves to complain about how restrictive CA is, but what about when the substance lines up with what one supposedly believes? Why would Musk want Tesla to support Texas over CA? That seems backward unless his goal is the success of Tesla as a business, rather than progress against global warming.


> Well, no state has been stronger on this issue than California, who sets fuel efficiency goals that are the most stringent. The same cannot be said of Texas and Nevada; if anything the opposite is true. These are states where people take pride in driving big gas guzzling trucks and the government supports them in that.

How is this anything but a non-sequitor? CA law only covers cars sold in the state, not produced. How does moving to a state that may be more favorable to the business for other reasons (tax purposes, operating during the pandemic, etc) change anything in that regard?


Indeed. And if building Teslas in Texas helps to move Texan opinion toward being pro-Tesla and pro-EV... that's a net win. Texans have strong state pride [1] - could do well to key into it.

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Mess_with_Texas


California often sets standards that get adopted elsewhere/nationally not because it's some magical state but because of the sheer size of its economy. It used to be quite common that auto manufacturers would build a CA-approved version for their vehicles until it became too costly to maintain two versions. Some manufacturers still do this for vehicles that have a higher portion of their sales outside CA (mostly large trucks). Regardless of whether or not you approve, CA definitely sets the nation standard on fuel efficiency for general consumer vehicles.

That said, if you're going to build a company in the American capitalism model where you inevitably interface with different layers of government, you probably would want to do it where those governments align best with your industry. If your goal is to build a car, MI is probably your best bet. If your goal is to solve fuel efficiency or an environmental problem, CA is one of the better places to be in; though maybe not the best. If your goal is to get people back to work ASAP, you'd want to go to a state with few(er) worker protections.

I think it's clear where Musk's motivations lie, but I'm sure others are unconvinced.


> If your goal is to get people back to work ASAP, you'd want to go to a state with few(er) worker protections.

Ha ha. Yes it's due to "worker protections" that workers at Amazon/Whole Foods can sell flowers but workers at a local florist can't.


> These are states where people take pride in driving big gas guzzling trucks and the government supports them in that.

Stereotypes like this are ridiculous.

Do these people exist in those states? Absolutely.

Do they also exist in California too? Definitely.

This type of blindness is so prevalent in California it's staggering. I had a friend who was (rightly) furious about North Carolina's homophobic legislation and declared "That kind of thing would never happen in California."

We stood there blankly looking at each other for a moment until I mentioned "But California passed Prop 8."

Of course he had a rationale. But how quickly we are to see the exception or nuance for "us" but never for "them."

We need to remember the plural of annedoate is not data.


After reading your post, the point practically makes itself:

If he can get Texas enlisted on the team to fight global climate change, that is a huge win. Clearly that's not assured, but a gigafactory and an HQ would not hurt.

With California, he's already mostly preaching to the choir.


> Why would Musk want Tesla to support Texas over CA? That seems backward unless his goal is the success of Tesla as a business, rather than progress against global warming.

Is Tesla can continues to increase sales like they did for almost a decade, then we have a good chance to completely switch the transportation industry from fossil fuel to renewable energy. If Tesla believe they would achieve this faster from TX than CA, then the move is justified because it better serves the mission of the company ("accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy"), not for business success. CA can perfectly continue to push for the energy transition, with or without Tesla.


That's contrary to all available evidence. In fact California's policies are ahead of planned CO2 reductions, due _entirely_ to reductions outside the transportation sector. Transport electrification is running far behind what many people predict. The number of cars Tesla has sold hasn't amounted to an iota of change in fleet CO2 output.


Musk likely believes that Tesla's successful production of cars (and success as a company) is a priority to achieving his long-term environmental goal, regardless of what state benefits from Tesla's employment and tax revenue.


The success of Tesla as a business will have far more impact on our progress against global warming than CA’s regulatory goals will. Maybe some don’t see it that way, but I’m quite certain Musk does, and frankly I agree with him.


Larry Ellison is on the board of Tesla and holds multi million dollar fundraising events for Trump.

Tesla doesn’t care about CA, Tesla wants to win and will strategize to do so.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-02-15/larry-elli...

https://ir.tesla.com/board-directors/larry-ellison

The company is no longer a rogue CA carmaker, it’s a mainstream brand.


If Tesla can execute the plan for getting the country off fossil fuels in Texas, it makes sense to move it to Texas.

"Supporting" one state or another is irrelevant to that goal.


This is a great point. Putting your money where your mouth is.


It is getting harder and harder to be a fan of Tesla when Musk is out here routinely saying ridiculous shit. I genuinely like their cars and their mission, but this guy is just unhinged.


Did you hear about how many Tesla employees in China died of the virus after they resumed production? Insane, right?


Zero is the answer, as busymom0 said. Zero employees died of the virus. This is not a number coming from state run media channels, this is straight from their employer.


For those wondering - I would recommend Elon's recent podcast on Joe Rogan. They have 8000 employees in China and 0 deaths. He knows what he's doing.


Why do you believe him? Look at his history.


Like I said in my comment, listen to what he actually says in the podcast before making judgement. He specifically says he knows a lot of people who got infected but Tesla had 0 deaths in China from 8000 employees and he knows it because he does payroll.

I believe him because he's been right a ton of times and Dr. Fauci has been wrong from the beginning:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/02/17/nih-di...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/douggollan/2020/03/09/fauci-say...


China has almost no new cases - what did Musk have to do with that?


You are putting words in my mouth. I nor he ever talked about China reporting no new cases.

Like I said in my comment, listen to what he actually says in the podcast before making judgement. He specifically says he knows a lot of people who got infected but Tesla had 0 deaths in China from 8000 employees and he knows it because he does payroll.

I believe him because he's been right a ton of times and Dr. Fauci has been wrong from the beginning:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/02/17/nih-di...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/douggollan/2020/03/09/fauci-say...


China reports almost no new cases.


Either way, Musk can report no deaths.


China also claimed they had only 5k deaths


Like I said in my comment, listen to what he actually says in the podcast before making judgement. He specifically says he knows a lot of people who got infected but Tesla had 0 deaths in China from 8000 employees and he knows it because he does payroll.


State run media has no bearing whatsoever on what an employer knows about its employees.


Same here. Their cars look great but he’s so volatile and out of touch that it’s off putting and makes me wonder whether buying a vehicle of theirs for him to run things into the ground one day out of nowhere is a good idea.


Full text:

> Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!

> Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.

I love how he says "immediately" and "Texas/Nevada" right next to each other. So he's moving right now... except that he didn't decide where?


They have a facility in Nevada and rumored to already have a location in Texas picked for the next factory so it makes sense to me.


> Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April - Also Musk

The chutzpah to call that highly credentialed health official ignorant after making such a claim that was counter to what essentially every epidemiologist in the world was predicting for the USA at the time. I'm seeing some pretty interesting similarities between how Musk is communicating and treating people, and a certain other individual..

We shouldn't be cutting people slack for behaving like this; whoever they are.


Apparently freedom-loving Elon likes the Chinese government much better than Alameda County's.

Exactly! Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259169882513367040

But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-posts-third-consecutive-q...


China is freer economically: its economic freedom trajectory is trending up while Bay Area's is trending down. You can also see the growth numbers in both places.


> China is freer economically

Freer economically as long as the Party wants you to be free. Otherwise they'll bankrupt you overnight.

I am incredibly curious to see how the Tesla Shanghai project plays out, given some of the extremely favourable clauses that China got out of Musk. I would bet that the factory is not really Tesla's any more within 5 years, and that Tesla Shanghai begins cannibalizing Tesla Proper's sales this year.

For reference: money earned by Tesla Shanghai cannot leave China, so every sale they make abroad is money that will be in China for a long while.


I would recommend Elon's recent podcast on Joe Rogan. They have 8000 employees in China and 0 deaths. He knows what he's doing.


The podcast was boring nonsense. Elon or China claiming things don't make them true.


Making literal what I suspected: Elon’s ‘Free America’ posturing was about keeping his factory running.

All the polls I’ve seen show that less than 20% of people believe everything is safe. The only ‘open up now’ constituency in America (besides political cranks) is people who wouldn’t have to expose themselves to the virus if they had to go back to work or send their kids to school tomorrow.


I'm sure his employees appreciate being able to work and make salary while their furloughed friends are worried about making ends meet.

I know I do. Not everyone believes the overreaction is justified.


This Elon tweet adds context:

> San Joaquin County, right next door to Alameda, has been sensible & reasonable, whereas Alameda has been irrational & detached from reality. Our castings foundry and other faculties in San Joaquin have been working 24/7 this entire time with no ill effects. Same with Giga Nevada.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259163638142660618?s=20


I honestly don't know what to think of this. Can Elon even make unilateral and rash decisions like this? I know Tesla is hurting right now due to the forced shutdowns of manufacturing, but so are all the other OEMs - why is Elon trying to hard to sidestep restrictions?



May 18th, the exact date Alameda County was going to allow Tesla to open until Musk had another hissy fit.


Apparently Alameda County was already working/planning on having Tesla resume operations on May 18th as well. But Musk had a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that they had different rules in place than the State(which listed manufacturing as resuming on the 18th prior) and, as he often does, made the situation worse by his rash instincts.

It's clear his current instincts, or at least under certain mental states prone to shifting, is that Tesla knows better than Alameda County. Who are they to doubt Tesla's amazing back-to-work plan that worked in China?! Except Musk and Tesla are not in charge of public health. They are not elected officials that are on the line for ensuring a Tesla outbreak doesn't spread to the rest of the county/public.

It takes time to for the government to vet plans and coordinate this stuff. The tweet was unnecessary.


The problem here is that the restrictions have been broadly lifted by California and many other states, but Bay Area counties have stricter rules that still forbid manufacturing.


And keep in mind that the State added a "Psychopath CEO wants to endanger workers to pump the stock price" clause after Musk's refusal to comply back in March when he tried to claim this same argument:

> Nothing in this Order shall be construed to limit the existing authority of local health officers to establish and implement public health measures within their respective jurisdictions that are more restrictive than, or that otherwise exist in addition to, the public health measures imposed on a statewide basis pursuant to the statewide directives of the State Public Health Officer.

From: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.4.20-EO-...

There is literally no problem other than Musk is clearly lying about Tesla's liquidity and is desperate enough that he needs to produce cars this week. I mean he claims there was $8 BB in cash but is getting loans from China and refusing to pay rents. Something doesn't add up.

I'm super curious how this unfolds, especially if he thinks California is up and is now opening a factory in Germany. The meltdown's we'll get from his efforts in Germany are going to be just pure insanity.


Seems like is is trying to get same restrictions as other places in California. And elsewhere.


Can Elon even make unilateral and rash decisions like this?

Probably not. He's not chairman of the board. Robyn M. Denholm is. The board has some strong figures on it, including Larry Ellison and James Murdoch.


1) His factory cannot get moving, due to restrictions, he's using a populist platform to make sure people know it's not his fault, and to put pressure on the county.

2) He's using Twitter a little bit like Trump - saying somewhat inflammatory things, tapping into an emotional vein, possibly garnering support from fanboys, making noise.

Twitter it seems, is a place where statements don't have to be fully true or real. It's like an 'emotional landscape' where people can push the buttons of the masses and get away with it.

A lot of people in the investor class right now are upset their stocks are falling, they see the pandemic is not as bad as predicted and they want everyone back to work. Many working people feel similarly. But a larger group of people, especially those in difficult conditions, are rightly afraid; the 'meatpacking plants' in various places have had huge covid outbreaks and some deaths, in Canada it's been a serious source of outbreak. There's no reason to believe it won't be the same anywhere else.

But Elon is missing something in his rants: if and when the factory does startup, there will be a COVID outbreak on some level and there is a very high chance that a Tesla employee somewhere, somehow will die from COVID. Now it may not be 'his fault' but it won't matter.

If Elon is seeing as being unsympathetic and not concerned about his staff - and - someone dies from Covid (one way or another, possibly not even really related to his policy) - then it could blow up and backfire on him in an existential way.

CNN: "Elon Musk forces people back to work; 2 dead from Covid" - is the kind of stain that does not come off.

Elon needs to spend a lot more time publicly demonstrating empathy and showing materially how he is working protecting his workers.


> A lot of people in the investor class right now are upset their stocks are falling

I'm not sure this is entirely true - stocks are worth more than they were last June, way before this crisis started and have trended up over the past month. Maybe this will still be true in 6 months or a year, maybe not - its far too early to say. If anything, it seems the "investor class" thinks there are bargains to be had right now.


Almost everyone lost out, and so they are down from the peak, so the bargains are neutral, or rather, they don't have the excess cash for them. Very few had the wherewithal to time it right.

But culturally, the business world has an innate paternalistic industriousness. They want to 'get things moving' on a much deeper level.

Musk is saying what most business leaders are thinking, right or wrong.


The Nasdaq is up for the year. Everybody panicked around March 13th, and the market bottom appears to have been within a week of that. It's been nearly straight up from there.

I don't know if Wall Street was right yet, but that was its verdict.

Now, it's true that my IRA is down a little, but I'm not really "the investor class".

You say "very few had the wherewithal to time it right", but I'd question that, because all it took, in principle, was doing nothing. Not possible for everyone who's unemployed, for instance, but not something that takes large amounts of brains or capital.


> Almost everyone lost out

Yeah, this just isnt true. Every dollar put into the market a year ago has increased in value (broadly speaking, individual investments obviously vary). Being "down from the peak" doesnt matter, what matters is where you are compared to cash (aka, not investing).


I’m shocked you’re downvoted as you have a level headed opinion that doesn’t polarise and pick objectives. It’s the problem not seen


>Can Elon even make unilateral and rash decisions like this?

Investors almost certainly knew what they were signing up for, so, "yes" would be the answer.

How Tesla ends is not yet written, but even enterprises with steady, conservative hands on the reins have sputtered.


Normally you'd assume he's anchored this with his Board before announcing this.

Thought with Elon, who knows :)


Ummm, money?


Ambien.

  after being asked whether he writes his own tweets: "I'm the only
  author, so, love or hate it, that's me. I've learned some lessons
  though, such as tweeting on Ambien isn't wise." [0]

[0] https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/794578375415238656


That's no excuse. This is just another event where Tesla's uninsured Board is demonstrating they did not comply with the SEC's requirement to have a Twitter nanny on Musk.

This also should have been released in an 8-K.

At this point the SEC may as well cease to exist because it has shown itself to be utterly spineless.


> That's no excuse.

Didn't mean it as one, I'm no Musk apologizer. His erratic behavior is terrible for the company and certainly discourages me from holding TSLA stock much longer than a few hours at a time during positive earnings calls. Presumably I'm not the only one who feels that way.


Not matter the reasons why he does this, it will be good for the country as a whole if industry spreads out and doesn't concentrate in a few places. It may even be better for the Bay Area in the long run. I hope more companies will do so.


> doesn't concentrate in a few places.

It'd be better too if power didn't concentrate in a few individuals who can't control their twitter accounts.


1. I wonder if he'll actually do this, or if this is brinkmanship to extract some concessions from Cali.

2. If he really does do this, I would assume that he would move into the Reno/Carson City area because that's where the factory is. If this is the case, then he really needs to throw his weight around to loosen restrictions on building new residential housing in the area, whether than takes the form of fewer parking spaces per building, reducing the amount of setbacks, or both. Both rent and housing are very expensive there.


#1 seemed to work for Amazon didn't it? Sure it put some of the way they do business under a micro scope, or unneeded attention. But musk seems to not care too much about the attention.


Glad to hear this. California has been in a thorn in Tesla's side for quite some time with their repeated slowdowns of factory expansion, various legal disputes for laws that only exist in California, and also the very high salaries and wages that are needed to run in California. This will help make Tesla vehicles cheaper as well by reducing labor costs.

Also every time I hear about a company leaving California, it makes me happy, and I work in California.


If Tesla should move manufacturing anywhere, it should be to its idle factory in Buffalo, New York.

That won’t happen, though. I expect that more and more Tesla manufacturing will go offshore to China. Especially battery manufacturing.


Im from buffalo, and I have a feeling it would have a lot of trouble getting tech talent there. also, no one wants to move to buffalo, as im sitting in my living room on may 9th, im looking at a blizzard.


Is it not possible this will be a cover as he moves more work offshore?


I remember a long time ago, the Hollywood moguls threatened to pick up and move out when California was getting more socially liberal, look who’s still here 100 years later


The socially liberal Hollywood moguls? So in a hundred years, it will be Tesla that's still in California, only then they will advocate to shut down their factories indefinitely?


I wouldn't be surprised if freshly negotiated financial incentives for Tesla are announced by Texas shortly. Tesla relies pretty heavily on the public purse, and perhaps strings have been tightened too far in California.


Side note: How does this go from front page to Page 5 (Rank 120+) within an hour while having 100+ points and 150+ comments?

I'm assuming downvotes and users not interested in the topic but still seems extreme to me.


I think more comments than points is a negative rank factor on HN. Probably because it unmasks the submission as argument fuel for HNers.


Interesting, thank you. I know it's "faux pas" to discuss the algorithm but I was just looking for the submission again and noticed this.


How feasible/practical would it be for Tesla to move its manufacturing "and future programs" out of California, while keeping its software/AI team in the Bay Area?



After recent statements, I am surprised that the board has not decided to remove him, immediately.


On what grounds? You don't like how he tweets?

He has built a $150 billion company from the ground up, is 5-7 years ahead of his competitors, in a sector where it is nearly impossible to survive.

The company has dramatically accelerated the shift to electric vehicles.

You don't like him? Don't follow him on twitter or buy the stock or products. Otherwise, he seems not to dissimilar from most neuro-atypical founders I know


> He has built a $150 billion company from the ground up

That's a bit of a stretch.

The company was founded by other folks (Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning) in 2003, he invested in 2004, joined the board of directors, ousted the CEO in 2007, and was then only able to refer to himself as a cofounder after settling a lawsuit.

Musk didn't build anything "from the ground up," he took control of a company that already existed and grew it into something larger - still admirable, but let's not rewrite history. Musk didn't create Tesla and he wasn't one of the original cofounders.


The Tesla of 2007 was a barely existing company on the edge of death having built and delivered literally 0 cars.

The first roadster shipped in 2008. The first Model S in 2012.

If you're saying Tesla would exist let alone be where it is without Elon, we're living in different realities. They would have never shipped a single vehicle without him.


Completely agree - I'm confused by all the elon hate on HN. If he died today, he would accomplish more by 48 than most people could in 10 lifetimes. He's obviously a bit crazy but you would have to be to take on the projects he takes on.


A lot of the "Elon hate" is dull, generic, and irritating to read, from my point of view. It's clear he's accomplished a lot, regardless of what happens in the future. I don't think it would be too grandiose to say he's substantially changed the course of history with Tesla and SpaceX.

However, I would experience a great deal of schadenfreude at his downfall at this point, because he's become one of those larger-than-life people who think they are entitled to destroy anyone who gets in his way. It could be that the local official that he's fighting with has some faults, has made some mistakes. But she represents functioning civil society to me and he represents all the powerful people that are heedlessly trying to destroy it.


Because people are sick and tired of rich people bitching and moaning about everything that doesn't go exactly how they want it to, that are entitled to everything they deem, and the idea that, because they had success in one area, that they are successful in all areas and are infallible.

Yes, Elon Musk did all this, not the 48000 some employees at Tesla, not the chemical engineers, not the mechanical engineers, not the assembly line workers, not the software engineers. It was all Elon. I mean, come on, when does the absurdity end? Tesla will be fine without Elon, and probably better off as he becomes more unhinged.


The issue is that Elon has broken SEC laws multiple times on twitter.

That is a real problem, and it could risk him being sent to jail, fined billions, or removed from the executive position.


> He has built a $150 billion company from the ground up, is 5-7 years ahead of his competitors, in a sector where it is nearly impossible to survive.

Yeah, but what has he done lately? Also, his tweets.


> but what has he done lately

Um... He won a contract to carry astronauts to the moon?


I'm curious to know if anyone has died to ensure that the Commercial Crew launch happens on time. SpaceX didn't comment about numbers after they had the initial outbreak in Hawthorne.


NASA has continued work on Commercial Crew as well. If NASA wanted to delay the mission they could. SpaceX doesn't have control of that decision.


> He has built a $150 billion company from the ground up

Are we talking about Tesla? Because Elon didn't fund Telsa.


They can't, he has enough equity to veto all and any board decisions.


He doesn't. He only owns 20% or so of the company.


Yes, but the voting is set up to need a super majority. Basically, nothing can pass without his votes.


I don't get the obsession with Musk on HN and elsewhere.

The man is a certified loon. From falsely claiming the rescue diver that helped free the people from the cave in Thailand a "child rapist" to saying he was taking Tesla private as some insane joke because, well, $420 everyone! Get it? Marijuana! 420! Do you get it? SEC wasn't laughing. I'm sure they aren't amused by his recent tweet that TSLA is overpriced. The guy has firsthand knowledge and is as insider as can possibly be and is carelessly tweeting that the investment is too high. If this isn't ringing some major alarm bells, nothing will. And I'll believe Tesla leaves California when I see it.

Call me old fashioned, but I still believe the CEO of a public company has a fiduciary responsibility to the company's investors. Crazy, right?


I'm an investor and I've made quite a bit off of said loon. I'd say he's following his fiduciary duty. When he goes out of his way to cause short squeezes it helps quite a bit as well.


With the pedo thing he seems to have believed it for better or worse, and there's no law against a CEO commenting on their stock price if it's not misinformation and they aren't trading on it. The 420 bit was obviously a joke.


What "recent statements" do you deem worrying?


He already has operations in Nevada. He should just ramp up there, leave California (despite whatever attracted him to be there in the first place), and STFU about it.

Who cares?


Elon had generally had a flair for the dramatic. I feel like being mostly housebound might be wearing in him too. It reminds me a little of the Simpsons take on Howard Hughes.

https://youtu.be/FQN8UTLLU0M


I was thinking the role played by Jimmy Dean in Diamonds Are Forever but I guess that was the same vein


The funny thing is, Tesla still isn't legally allowed to sell vehicles in Texas. All sales to Texans are legally structured as out-of-state transactions. Although Texas is generally more business friendly than California it still has some weird restrictions.


Never underestimate the power/money/lobbying of legacy auto dealers.


Elon, enjoy Texas (or Nevada...) Hope it goes well for you. Tip: Don't tell them you are a California transplant.

I'd personally consider Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, or Ontario; they're much more supportive of the auto industry - and ample manufacturing and tooling expertise resides there.

With lots of soon to be idled property next to Warm Springs BART & near the Dumbarton, 237, 580, 680; time to build more housing.


An article with more context than a one sided tweet:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/09/business/coronavirus-elon...


This is just postering, as he's been known to do all the time.

I'll believe it when I see it happen.


Can anyone explain to me what are the arguments as to why would CA state govt. keep companies like Tesla or others from reopening? What does the govt. has to gain from this lockdown of industries?


Tesla isn't allowed to directly sell cars from their showrooms in Texas.


I'm sure they'll have a hard time finding talent in the 2nd most populous state with a large engineering industry.


In other Musk news, apparently human language will be obsolete in about five years.

How anyone take this guy seriously? Look at the things his followers on twitter write. It sounds like a cult.


It seems like many formely respectable leaders turn into a mouthpiece for a "certain" side of the political spectrum.


From the tweets manipulating stock prices to the name of his kid, claims of forsaking possessions, false claims about constitutional guarantees of limitless freedom, to the flagrant disregard for the health and safety of his employees, I can't help but wonder if Musk has had some medical event that is imparing his cognition.

He once seemed to be the savoir of humanity but these days he just seems like the typical angry CEO looking to manipulate things to his advantage.


He seems pretty much the same to me, honestly. Everything he is doing seems either to the benefit of the companies he is building, or personally weird but ultimately harmless.

Moving out of a state that won't let you run your business seems like a very savvy move for a person whose job is running a business and growing it as quickly as possible (which he would say is in order to accelerate the shift to a sustainable energy future, which you can agree with or not)

I'm genuinely confused by the animosity


> I'm genuinely confused by the animosity

To me, it's because this stinks in the same way as Bezos playing cities off each other to extract concessions. He's even asking fans and shareholders to sue the county[1] and reach out to politicians[2]. A county has made a decision, presumably in good faith, in the interest of public health. You don't have to agree with their decision, but throwing your weight around as a billionaire to spite them for it is a bad look.

1: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259165058426232832

2: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259174414865719296

Edit: fixed reference link (thanks mft_).


> He's even asking fans and shareholders to sue the county[1]

Um, the tweet you referenced reads "Please voice your disagreement as strongly as possible with @AlamedaCounty".

Isn't this just asking people to, you know, contact their local politicians and voice their opinion? Like, how individual citizens with an opinion can do? There's nothing about suing anyone?


Sorry, I pasted the wrong link. This is the one I meant to link to: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259165058426232832

Shareholder: [...] can shareholders file a class action lawsuit? [...]

Elon: Absolutely, please do! You should be allowed to recoup damages from the county.


Then let's be clear here too. He's not asking anyone to do anything, and he's not asking fans to sue anyone. He's agreeing with a shareholder's suggestion about a class action suit.


Not just agreeing, emphatically encouraging.

I guess it's a matter of semantics. If you ask if I want a coffee and I say "yes please", did I ask for coffee? I would say the answer is "yes", but I could understand a hyperliteral argument for "no".


>A county has made a decision, presumably in good faith, in the interest of public health.

This can be debated, right? I'm not sure what's the problem with the management of a company saying they're moving a headquarter because they believe they can better operate elsewhere, or asking other people who feel negatively impacted to consider a legal actions (unless you don't trust the legal system, but that's another matter I guess).


When your company’s centered around moving faster and faster then you have to stop it can create all sorts of issues. He may see greater financial upside or even the only way to continue to be solvent to pivot to other manufacturing projects. Ie it’s easier to say you need funding for a new “Terrafactory” (or GF) than to say you need funding to keep the books out of the red for this month/quarter/etc.

As someone who genuinely appreciates what Elon is striving for and wants all of his projects to succeed, I hope he’ll succeed in building a new project soon in addition to keeping the California factory for reopening later on.


Of course it can. Is there evidence of bad faith on the county's part? I'm open to updating my beliefs.


It's not required. He's making a decision that business is best conducted elsewhere, as is his right.

Personally, I don't want to live in a country where unelected officials can unilaterally make decisions that shut down the economy and kill my business and life's work. I'd certainly have a lot to say about it


> Personally, I don't want to live in a country where unelected officials can unilaterally make decisions that shut down the economy and kill my business and life's work.

Same, but I also wouldn't want to live in a county whose officials are afraid to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people's health out of fear of the wrath of a billionaire and his followers.

If he wants to move the plant I have no problem with that, it's the way he's trying to use his position for outsized political pressure that I dislike.


On the one hand, I’m grateful as Nevada sorely needs new industry outside of hospitality. Probably some benefit similar holds for Texas. Meanwhile LA and Cali have plenty of industry and corporations local to hardly notice Tesla leaving.

On the other hand I think society should have some safeguards and safety nets in place for once per century events such as a pandemic that shutters the economy. Surely if we had kept a preparation in place since 1918 we would have a much easier time weathering this storm. But instead society forgot all about these things. It wouldn’t have been easy of course given the shortsighted nature of politics.


I think it's dangerous and toxic in general for billionaires to threaten economic retribution when the government doesn't enact their preferred policies. I continue to think that here, even though I generally like this particular billionaire and agree with the policy position he's fighting for.


You do what must be done. If the government provided more support to businesses due to COVID shutdown, this wouldn’t have been necessary. This is a Federal government failure manifestation. Elon is trying to save his business he’s worked two decades on. I can’t fault him.

Airlines and Ford (pinnacles of responsible business operations /s) getting bailed out by the Fed through junk bond liquidity operations? Why not Tesla too?


It's even worse for billionaires to threaten economic retribution because the government didn't give them enough money.


I agree with Elon (from his latest interview with Joe Rogan) that billionaires get a lot of shit (which is why he’s going minimalist nomad supposedly, to deflect criticism by eliminating anything ostentatious in his life). Almost all of them deserve it, but Musk, Gates, and Buffett don’t (all for various yet obvious reasons). They are in a different class.

Arguably, we still want those billionaires to succeed, but we also want taxes paid and workers protected across the board. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, but complex problems and their solutions are hard to discuss at scale because of entrenched interests, sound bites, the twenty four hour news cycle, and people acting in bad faith.


> we still want those billionaires to succeed, but we also want taxes paid and workers protected across the board

We want taxes paid and workers protected, so we want tax-evading and union-busting billionaires to succeed.


No, we want better lives for ourselves and the people around us and coming after us.

Taxes and worker welfare are two tools we can deploy towards that goal. A company is a voluntary organizational tool, and when run as well as Tesla is, an extremely effective one at accomplishing a goal.


That's the federal government? Or is it all "The Government".


The United States Federal government by way of the CARES stimulus act, funded using Federal Reserve lending operations.

States don’t control the currency, nor have the budgets to backstop large cap firms in economic distress.


Look, he's clearly having a hissy fit, which isn't the best look for any CEO. But you saying "billionaire" here is pejorative and unnecessary.

How about "...for CEOs to threaten moving their economic operations to places where governments are more hospitable". Still dangerous and toxic?


The problem I see here really is that he has a lot of money. If billionaires get their way by threatening dire consequences, it creates the perception that rules and regulations are for sale to sufficiently high bidders, or even worse that billionaires can create company towns which must pass whatever regulations they want.

If the CEO of some 100 person company tweets out "screw you guys I'm moving to Texas", I think that's fine. Even if the state makes changes in response, nobody's going to think that his money alone was the deciding factor.


The reason his threat is credible is because he runs a large business which brings jobs and prosperity to the states that it operates in.

In this case, him being rich is irrelevant, as he’s not threatening to use his personal wealth.


[flagged]


> Is it dangerous and toxic when the state government threatens/acts to confiscate more of your earnings?

If you're talking about taxes, that's an awfully entitled phrasing.


And it is equally "entitled" to think that the government owns those businesses, and something is being taken away from the government, when those businesses decide to voluntarily move somewhere else.


It's the county government he's mad at here, but yes, that's also bad. Alameda County should let him run the factory unless they have some reason to believe they're in more danger than the rest of the state.


For one, this isn't the state government. This is a local government choosing to enact things of its own volition. If you believe in small government, then obviously this is the ideal scenario for delegation of authority is it not?

And second, the people voted in said local government. So isn't it going against the spirit of America (and Democracy in general) to threaten elected officials for doing what the people elected them to do?


The "threat" is to not play in their sandbox after they change the rules. People can of course vote to take more of your earnings. But it's fair to leave when the rules change, it's a broken contract.


> ultimately harmless

Like calling an innocent person a pedophile?


Yes, it was in response to that person telling Musk to shove his minisub up his ass.


When a public figure and billionaire publicly calls you a peodphile, that has a much greater negative impact on your life than if you hurt that billionaires feelings.


>that has a much greater negative impact on your life than if you hurt that billionaires feelings.

The said quote was given to CNN, not something that was said in private.


A court ruled that Elon did not defame the individual, and no damages were awarded. Sounds harmless despite being in extremely poor taste.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/06/unsworth-vs-musk-pedo-guy-de...


A court ruling in his favor doesn't make his behavior any less repugnant. I'm both a fan and a critic of Musk. If he had insulted me that way, I would break his nose. It's unacceptable.


I have found it helpful to not judge people on their worst days. We all make mistakes. I hope Elon finds humility with time, but if not, will still appreciate his contributions.


Did Musk apologize to that man when he was done having a bad day?


I don’t think that man apologized to Elon for telling him to shove his sub up his ass either (which is what kicked off the spat).


He's seems pretty much the same to me too, but that's only because I have personal experience with high-functioning narcissists, and I can spot a tiger king from a mile away.


Not to mention that California is in quite the financial pickle. Taxes in the near future are headed up for groups that politicians love to badmouth, e.g. corporations and the wealthy.


Things started to turn against him when he began to appear sympathetic to the American political Right and Trump in particular.


I find this almost funny to read if it weren't so sad.

> He once seemed to be the savoir of humanity but these days he just seems like the typical angry CEO looking to manipulate things to his advantage.

> I can't help but wonder if Musk has had some medical event that is imparing his cognition.

How condescending is this? Is he acting like an angry little man, selfishly concerned for his bottom line and little else? Is he behaving like the stereotypical, upper-class born, billionaire CEO which he is? No, he must be having some kind of medical condition!

Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, he is just... your average billionaire CEO? Father owned an emerald mine, had a "lavish lifestyle" growing up (his words), had enough capital to invest in companies and strike it gold. A mixture of luck and merit.

Maybe, just maybe, he is not Our lord God-Emperor Elon.


He should be careful, in this pace, he might get elected president.


I thought he was originally from South Africa, which would disqualify him from the presidency?


It depends; if at least one of your parents is american, but you are born in a foreign country, you can be president (Ted Cruz). I don't think Musk qualifies (and he would never win, anyway).


Yes, it does get rather complicated. There are edge cases but it’s safe to say Musk does not qualify.


Didn't he say that he doesn't get enough sleep [1]? That may be the "medical event"...

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-sleep-deprivation-...


Given the effects of my own stints with way too little sleep over long periods of time, I would say yes. Not getting enough sleep really does mess with your brain.


Extreme wealth and power are amplifiers; any character flaws you have are going to be magnified by it a thousand fold. Most of us would appear very strange if viewed through this prism of the unbounded ego.

Or maybe it’s just for the lolz + fat stacks of mad cheddar.


Another way to look at it is that the world has gotten crazier than Elon.

> false claims about constitutional guarantees of limitless freedom

I don't know that i saw that tweet. Was this referring to first amendment freedom of assembly?


No I think there was a time California had a leg up on the competition, but after years of adding government regulation and taxation, some people are finding that the difference is sufficient for it to be worthwhile to move. Some people move did to housing costs, some businesses will move due to business climate. Is it the start of a trend or a one off, who knows. Time will tell.


> to the name of his kid

Have you seen his girlfriend? Given her aesthetics and creative output, you should be glad the name can even be expressed in unicode. Musk probably moderated it, if anything.

> tweets manipulating stock prices

The stock price which is now... close to 2x the exaggerated $420 claim? Yeah, maybe he knew something you didn't.

> claims of forsaking possessions

This is for a good reason -- he needs cash to exercise the TSLA options he was just granted. He's stock-rich but cash-poor. The choices are either take on massive debt to exercise them, or free up cash ASAP. This is fine.

> false claims about constitutional guarantees of limitless freedom

Yeah... gonna need a cite here.

> to the flagrant disregard for the health and safety of his employees

He has different risk/reward beliefs than you. If he was working from home while his employees sweated unsafely on the factory line, that's one thing -- but he's also been in the office working beside them the whole time. He cares about what he's trying to do, and his risk/reward function is "fuck it". Did any of his employees honestly expect any less, when they joined?

> He once seemed to be the savoir of humanity

He's doing the same thing he's always done. His belief is that stopping global warming and getting humans off of earth take 100% precedence over anything else. Including, a 0-1% risk of death from disease. The same reason he's pushing to put astronauts in space -- the future is worth taking risks for.

If believed in Musk in the good times, you should have understood that he'd hold the same principles in the bad times. It's the rest of the world that blinked, not Elon.


> The stock price which is now... close to 2x the exaggerated $420 claim? Yeah, maybe he knew something you didn't.

That.. doesn't mean it wasn't stock manipulation. Its not really about the stock price, its about whether he caused people to buy or sell based on false claims or information.

> He has different risk/reward beliefs than you. If he was working from home while his employees sweated unsafely on the factory line, that's one thing -- but he's also been in the office working beside them the whole time. He cares about what he's trying to do, and his risk/reward function is "fuck it".

That doesn't make it ok, nor does it mean his employees don't feel pressured to go against their own risk/reward beliefs. There have been plenty of stories of Musk flippantly firing people for not "working hard enough". You might say well people who work there have other options and could choose to work elsewhere, but is it really a real choice if the person otherwise believes strongly in the mission, or is blinded by Musk's personal brand, or otherwise loves their job, or is worried about the economy due to pandemic. There are plenty of reasons why someone might feel pressured to work even if they do not feel its safe. The risk/reward function for a billionaire is not the same as for the average person working for him. Just because he thinks "fuck it" doesn't make it ok to put his employees at risk.


> Musk probably moderated it, if anything.

Musk's contribution to the name of his kid is "A-12", Though apparently neither parent can actually say this poor kid's name.

> Yeah, maybe he knew something you didn't

You understand that this type of stock manipulation is illegal right? As a result of prior tweets, Musk is now required (by the SEC and with agreement by Musk and his legal team in April) to have Tesla pre-approve his tweets related to it. Yet despite this, he continues to tweet his opinions about the stock price. Opinions clearly designed to and that have manipulated the price of the stock.

> he needs cash to exercise the TSLA options

Musk actually stated that he is selling his possessions and explicitly clarified that he does not need cash but because "possessions just weigh you down". Though to be fair, when pressed by the courts to potentially pay for something his response is typically that he is broke. I would love to tell my kid's college that we are "broke" as well because our stock portfolio and investments should not be considered liquid assets.

> Yeah... gonna need a cite here.

Musk has repeatedly referred to "shelter in place" requests/orders as fascist forcible imprisonment, further stating that these orders are unconstitutional.

Here is a direct quote:

"... the shelter-in-place, and frankly I would call it forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights..."

Has anyone actually been arrested in the USA for leaving their home? Not that I am aware of. These orders/requests are certainly not any kind of "forced imprisonment"!

Constitutionally, like most amendments, rights granted by the first are not limitless. Every person should reasonably understand that. If you believe (as Musk apparently does) that the Constitution grants liberties without limits, please check case law.

Further, the federal government has delegated the authority to quarantine explicitly to the states indicating that there is clearly no constitutional guarantee of "freedom from quarantine". A state by state summary can be found here: https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-quarantine-and-is...

When you talk about Musk having different risk/reward beliefs that is clear. The safety record at Tesla generally compares poorly with other manufacturers. Nissan and Toyota plants cited in a Forbes article in March 2019 combined for 9 safety violations while the Tesla plant had 54. His demands that works continue despite orders from the government to cease out of public health concerns shows that his priority is money not Americans. Abuse is abuse and never excusable under the premise that employees should have known what they were signing up for. It does not matter if Musk is passionate about the results. CEOs tend to be passionate about the results, particularly when they like to tweet about them.

I did not even bother to mention "The pedo guy fiasco", his "C-PAP respirator" solution, or his live interview while smoking weed.

These are the behaviors of a 70s era rock star, not those of the CEO of a multi-billion dollar manufacturing empire. I personally believe Musk has been acting increasingly erratic for months.


I don't want to simplify it too much, but there is a lot money on the line. And after that, there is legacy to think of. Humanity takes a back seat to those two.


Musk says whatever he needs to to stay relevant on Twitter.


I think there are as many people that would be happy with "ya know what, we should chill while we collect more data about the risks of restarting manufacturing" as there are that would be happy with "fuck the government, i'm moving". It will be in the news either way; people LOVE talking about Elon and Tesla even when he's not being weird.

I don't know what is going on, but I think he should take a break from Twitter.


Exactly, people don't seen to get that and read too much into it. He ramps it up usually around new announcements and whatnot.


He's a billionaire and doesn't give a fuck, he's living his life exactly the way he wants to - "Life is Art" - and enjoys being a kooky public figure. He just doesn't care what you or anyone thinks.


> He once seemed to be the savoir of humanity

In hindsight pretty impressive he ever pulled the wool over anyone’s eyes.


Elon and Trump behave rather similarly in many ways. Same narcisist bullshit, different asshole.


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Yes, this kind of disorder is very common in people who succeed in business, because it helps them to shut down concerns from other people. For example, Bill Gates had no qualms in plotting against Paul Allen, a guy who helped him to start his business.


I enjoy whenever someone lets their freak flag fly!

That said I wouldn't rule out a medical event :)

Also, if you piss off The Powers That Be enough, it doesn't end well for you.


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