Totems of Waste

  • February 23, 2024

Have you ever seen a gas station in a populated area that’s bereft of customers? Maybe for a couple of minutes, during off-peak times. But if you were to sit and watch, within 30 minutes, you will always see customers coming and going.

If not, the gas station would be gone.

In fact, it probably would never have been built in the first place, as demand precedes supply – when the free market is free to operate.

Contrast this with the unfree market. The top-down economics of the Left. Its putative leader, Joe Biden, thinks supply determines demand – on the Soviet model. Behold! The EV “station” – a whole row of places to plug in the battery powered devices for which there is no natural market. But there is no one plugged in at the EV “station” adjacent to the trendy food store in my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia.

I happen to drive by this place almost every day. Every once in awhile, there’s a device or two plugged in. Not once have I ever seen more than two plugged in. Most of the time, there is no device plugged in. If you’re wondering why that is, you have probably never wasted time idling for the half-hour or longer it takes to instill the electricity equivalent of about 3-4 gallons of gas into a battery powered device.

After awhile it gets old – like wearing a Face Diaper to “stop the spread.”

It’s why devices aren’t selling. The fact that they don’t go very far having very little to do with it. Most motorcycles don’t go very far, either – because motorcycles have small tanks and so can’t carry very much gas. They typically go about 150 miles before you have to stop to get more gas. But it’s no deterrent to motorcycle ownership because the tank can be refilled in about the same time it took to read this paragraph. Motorcycles are practical. Devices are not.

Not unless you have the time to wait the minimum of 15-30 minutes it takes to recover the charge-equivalent of a motorcycle tankful of gas. Which might take a device about as far as a motorcycle can go on a full tank.

Most people who aren’t retired – or unemployed – do not have 15-30 minutes of spare time available to spend on such waits. They need to get to work or home because they are not either of those places when they are out driving around. The ultimate point of being out driving around being to get somewhere. And then get back to work or home or to wherever you were going. Spending 15-30 minutes in a parking lot just waiting while everyone else is coming and going must feel a lot like wearing a Face Diaper when almost everyone else isn’t anymore.

After awhile, it gets old.

Especially for those who aren’t unemployed who can afford a device.

One of the main reasons people spend more on a vehicle than they need to spend to get a vehicle is to have a vehicle that offers something more than other vehicles. Devices offer more downtime. How many affluent people would freely choose to fly in an electric plane cross-country – one that had to stop for a several hours’ charge after every 30 minutes of flying time – rather than fly nonstop across the country in a fuel-burning jet-powered aircraft?

Ask John Kerry about that.

Waiting for things is what the poor – and those lacking pull – are obliged to do. As at a fancy and very popular restaurant. Your table is not ready, sir. But here comes Kerry, waltzing to the front of the line. His is. People who fly first class do not wait in the same lines as those who fly coach. Is it astounding that people with the means to buy a $50,000-plus device seem to have lost interest in waiting while the guy who cuts their grass is going?

How much money has gone along with all this waiting?

How about $75,000 for a single 480 volt, 250  amp “level 3” charger? It costs that much because it’s not just the charger – the sleek-looking totem pole thing the device plugs into. There must also be the cabling, transformers and related close-by commercial-grade infrastructure necessary to conduit that kind of voltage (and amperage) into the sleek-looking totem pole.

The cost to erect a dozen totem poles will run into the millions. How many billions to erect them all over the country? Ask a Soviet. Many rubles were spent on vast-scale building projects where cost was no object  – because those paying the cost could not object. Ugly, useless things were built that often just stood there, unused, as monuments to the arrogant wastefulness of those with the power to waste other people’s resources on their grand delusions.

It’s been 35 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. And now it’s America’s turn, probably – and for essentially the same reasons. 

. . .

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