Friday, October 21, 2011

Reason #50: They're Electric Cars, For Christ's Sake

In what some are already saying (hoping?) is Solyndra 2.0, the Fisker car company has announced that they will be building their new government-endorsed 100% electric cars at a factory in Finland, because they were unable to locate a suitable facility in the United States.

The problem, aside from the fact that this is normally business as usual, is that the aforementioned government endorsement came in the form of a $529 million federal loan - specifically designed to spur green manufacturing jobs in the US.

While yes, it would be nice if the cars were being made here, and yes, it makes Joe Biden look dumb for having touted Fisker as the potential source of thousands of new jobs, what bugs me about this is the implication that if an electric car company can't promise thousands of new American jobs, well - fuck 'em.

The bigger picture here (disregarding entirely the issue of climate change and electric cars' potential benefit thereto) is that manufacturing as a whole is moving inexorably to other parts of the world. Maybe if Congress didn't quake with existential horror at the thought of even discussing new infrastructure spending, we could get some more appealing factories up in this bitch, but as it is, you can't really blame companies for building their crap elsewhere.

Well, you can blame them, I suppose, but you certainly can't seem to stop them.

The dirty unspoken truth of the whole outsourcing argument, as I see it, is that sometimes other countries actually deserve to take our jobs. Gen-u-wine electric (pronounced eeee-lectric) cars are something that seemed like a pipe dream not too long ago, and the more people are making them, the cheaper and more prevalent they'll get, and the cheaper they get, the easier they'll be to make, and eventually the huge car companies that still do manufacture here (there are still some, right?) will get the message and make the switch to electrics themselves, at which point everybody will have won.

Well, except maybe Obama.

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