Dealer or No Deal

By Bill Maher

Texas is where people who want to be freer than free go to be their freest. It's where regulations go to die. Hell, if you want to come to Texas, put up a ricin manufacturing plant and pour your waste right into the water supply, who is the government to tell you not to? Because everything is bigger in Texas. Including the tumors.

So it should have been no problem that Tesla wanted to sell cars in Texas, even though its business model doesn't use dealers and that's currently against the law in Texas. When you want to buy a Tesla, there is no middleman. You just go into a Tesla showroom, choose your features, and they order you a car from the factory. Except you can't do that in Texas because Texas has a law, or "regulation," that requires automakers to sell through independently-owned franchised dealers. Which means Tesla staffers can show you a car, but they can't sell it to you.

So Tesla tried to have the law changed, like it did in North Carolina. Because we believe in free markets and all.

And Texas let the bill die under pressure from -- yet again -- the people who own car dealerships. Because the idea that they're needless middlemen -- like travel agents quickly became once you could make all of those arrangements for yourself online -- isn't important. Because we don't have free markets. We have protection rackets for businesses with access to our government.