Why U.S. Growers Are Betting The Farm On Soybeans Amid China Trade War

(edited)

21 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

That's nothing!  Up here in the North Woods we have moose, which are huge lumbering animals well over 1,000 lbs, on long legs, and if you whack one you clip the legs off and that massive body comes through the windshield and decapitates the motorist and everyone else inside, just like if a chainsaw took your head off.  Ugh. 

Then remember that the North Country is also rural and farmland, complete with cows and bulls.  When that big old bull starts looking for a woman in the middle of the night, he breaks through the fencing and goes wandering around. There are cases of "flatlander" motorists who speed on unlit country roads and then whack a bull, which is death to both the bull and the motorist.  You really gotta be careful out there. And that brings focus on a basic rural truth: everyone assumes that nothing will ever go wrong - until it finally does. 

Jan, I would never compare our little whitetail deer to the moose in the north! I have seen pics/video of those things and all the above are impressively scary to me, the uninitiated! You all can keep those beasts. Don't ever tell the moose we have air conditioning in Texas! They might decide to deny the Greenies' global warming stance and come down here and wreak havoc on our fair state. I would much rather travel north to view one from afar than to have to dodge the darn things down here.

 

R2020

 

Edited by MUI
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2 minutes ago, MUI said:

Jan, I would never compare our little whitetail deer to the moose in the north! I have seen pics/video of those things and all the above are impressively scary to me, the uninitiated! You all can keep those beasts. Don't ever tell the moose we have air conditioning in Texas! They might decide to deny the Greenies' global warming stance and come down here and wreak havoc on our fair state. I would much rather travel north to view one from afar than to have to dodge the darn things down here.

I once came over the crest of a hill in the dark on an Interstate in New England and came upon a huge buck deer, complete with antlers, rolling down the left lane on its longitudinal axis on that downgrade, just rolling and rolling.  The motorist was nowhere in sight, probably in the ditch.  I called it in and the State Police sent two cruisers to go find the motorist and to deal with that big buck.  Now that fellow was impressive, he was in the hundreds and hundreds of pounds.  Obviously the car clipped him and sent him flying  (probably was running across the road and burst into the field of vision of the motorist), but I suspect that motorist was likely cruising 75, which you just cannot do at night, far too dangerous, and this was Fall, when those deer go hunting for women. That car was likely heavily damaged. If it was a moose the car would be scrap and the motorist dead.  

Unfortunately when the weather stays above freezing into late Fall the deer and moose get riddled with ticks.  A moose calf can easily be infected with 20,000 ticks, which burrow in and suck blood, causing the calves to become anemic from loss of blood.   There are cases reported by the Game Wardens of moose infected with 100,000 ticks!   That kills the moose, by loss of blood, the ticks literally drink off the moose blood to the point the moose cannot sustain life.  How to get rid of the ticks is a huge issue. Ticks, like mosquitoes, are vile disgusting life forms from the primitive times of 50 million years ago, a life form that richly deserves to become extinct. Along with the plague bacterium.  And syphilis, while we are at it. Lots of those disgusting life forms need to go.

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25 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I once came over the crest of a hill in the dark on an Interstate in New England and came upon a huge buck deer, complete with antlers, rolling down the left lane on its longitudinal axis on that downgrade, just rolling and rolling.  The motorist was nowhere in sight, probably in the ditch.  I called it in and the State Police sent two cruisers to go find the motorist and to deal with that big buck.  Now that fellow was impressive, he was in the hundreds and hundreds of pounds.  Obviously the car clipped him and sent him flying  (probably was running across the road and burst into the field of vision of the motorist), but I suspect that motorist was likely cruising 75, which you just cannot do at night, far too dangerous, and this was Fall, when those deer go hunting for women. That car was likely heavily damaged. If it was a moose the car would be scrap and the motorist dead.  

Unfortunately when the weather stays above freezing into late Fall the deer and moose get riddled with ticks.  A moose calf can easily be infected with 20,000 ticks, which burrow in and suck blood, causing the calves to become anemic from loss of blood.   There are cases reported by the Game Wardens of moose infected with 100,000 ticks!   That kills the moose, by loss of blood, the ticks literally drink off the moose blood to the point the moose cannot sustain life.  How to get rid of the ticks is a huge issue. Ticks, like mosquitoes, are vile disgusting life forms from the primitive times of 50 million years ago, a life form that richly deserves to become extinct. Along with the plague bacterium.  And syphilis, while we are at it. Lots of those disgusting life forms need to go.

 

Don't worry, we are no stranger to ticks down here. Mosquitoes either. Just be glad that we can go inside to the air conditioning!(Don't tell the moose!) Or if we have to be outside in mosquito country that we have DEET. Another modern marvel of our prowess in chemistry!!!

Ticks and flies are true plagues in northern climes, I understand, We have them too. I have seen what we call "seed ticks" down here in what can only be described in biblical plague proportions with respect to "regular/typical" years. They are horrible, along with chiggers. I  only hope you all do not have chiggers too. We (down here in Texas) always hope for a cold winter so as to diminish the spring infestation of chiggers and ticks. If we can get a good cold spell of a couple of days below freezing then the following spring/summer will have fewer chiggers and be more bearable on the more sensitive areas of our anatomy for those of us that do spend time outside in the heat with the critters!

 

R2020

 

 

Edited by MUI
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6 hours ago, MUI said:

 

Don't worry, we are no stranger to ticks down here. Mosquitoes either. Just be glad that we can go inside to the air conditioning!(Don't tell the moose!) Or if we have to be outside in mosquito country that we have DEET. Another modern marvel of our prowess in chemistry!!!

Ticks and flies are true plagues in northern climes, I understand, We have them too. I have seen what we call "seed ticks" down here in what can only be described in biblical plague proportions with respect to "regular/typical" years. They are horrible, along with chiggers. I  only hope you all do not have chiggers too. We (down here in Texas) always hope for a cold winter so as to diminish the spring infestation of chiggers and ticks. If we can get a good cold spell of a couple of days below freezing then the following spring/summer will have fewer chiggers and be more bearable on the more sensitive areas of our anatomy for those of us that do spend time outside in the heat with the critters!

 

R2020

 

 

Man, I had almost forgotten all about chiggers.  We had them in Illinois when I was growing up there.  Are they still there @ronwagn ??

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On 3/14/2019 at 12:03 PM, Jan van Eck said:

You have to look at the overall state of US Bridges, currently assessed at a dismal D-  by the US Engineering Association.  That got there in large part due to the massive and pervasive use of road salt, which rots out the steel and the re-bar in concrete, widely used as bridge decking.  Road salt also has a huge individualized cost in auto damage, both tho mechanicals such as brake tubing, and to car bodies.  Pressure is mounting to eliminate use of road salt.  Indeed, Alaska no longer uses any road salt at all; sand is their substitute material for winter traction.

Unfortunately, in the Lower 48 you have these winter storms that include freezing rain and sleet, with lots of ice forming.  So the ice has to be removed somehow.  Ethanol freezes at -110C, and methanol at -96 C.  That implies that spreading ethanol, even diluted, onto road ice will dissolve it into slush, after which it either runs off or goes to slush.  Currently States and towns use salt because it is cheap, but that changes when you factor in the rust results  (most of which is in autos and trucks, and thus the costs are transferred to motorists, not State budgets).  But at some point the voters rebel, and the States go to a combination of alcohol and sand.  Ergo, vast uptick is coming for ethanol, especially considering that the Greenies, a potent political force, recognize that salt use hurts the environment, while ethanol dilutes and effectively has zero impact.  

How much longer can States afford to spend hundreds of millions doing bridge and road repairs, instead of buying alcohol? 

Yes alcohol - or any substance actually (google colligative properties) - will depress the freezing point but not much. Wine at 10% abv will freeze at just -5C... which isn't very cold.  Another downside is that alcohol is biologically active and if it runs off into a waterway it will deplete the oxygen in the stream to the point that fish die (BOD or biological oxygen demand). Urea and vinegar can be used to reduce the amount of salt used.  Sand is great but then needs to be cleaned up every spring.

I'd wager the best use for extra soybeans is to use it as animal feed.

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14 hours ago, MUI said:

Jan, I would never compare our little whitetail deer to the moose in the north! I have seen pics/video of those things and all the above are impressively scary to me, the uninitiated! You all can keep those beasts.

 

Only a fool isn't afraid of a moose.  They will charge you.

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Damn chiggers and mosquitos in Texas are the 👿.

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14 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Man, I had almost forgotten all about chiggers.  We had them in Illinois when I was growing up there.  Are they still there @ronwagn ??

Not in my area, and we have few ticks. There was one year where I was afraid to go out on my acre because of something that looks like a compact mosquito but bites just as bad. I actually bought a net top and mask for protection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midge Fortunately that was only one year out of thirty. 

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22 hours ago, MUI said:

I understand what chlorides do to steel. I paint every fastener I deal with here in the west Texas oilfield with never-seize to prevent aggravations should I come across them again. Surface and intermediate holes here are drilled with brine and it is a killer for steel bolts!

As for deer in Texas, I read a statistic quite a few years ago that said that half a million deer/year are killed by motorists in this state and about the same are killed by hunters. I live in the central part of Texas when I am not working and I know first hand that part of the state is completely overrun with deer. I drive through "deer country" as I travel to and from work and am ever vigilant for them trying to intercept my pickup as I travel. Not fun! At least our deer are not nearly as big as those where you live!

 

R2020

1

When I had a twenty mile commute through the country I would put whistles on my car. That was after my first deer kill. Killed by big station wagon too!

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11 hours ago, ronwagn said:
On 3/15/2019 at 6:33 AM, Dan Warnick said:

Man, I had almost forgotten all about chiggers.  We had them in Illinois when I was growing up there.  Are they still there @ronwagn ??

Not in my area, and we have few ticks. There was one year where I was afraid to go out on my acre because of something that looks like a compact mosquito but bites just as bad. I actually bought a net top and mask for protection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midge Fortunately that was only one year out of thirty. 

The chiggers are murder down here for people that work outside. I know a guy who slips canine flea collars over the outside of his boots so they rest on the ankle area of the boot. He claims they help! Your best bet is to keep away from tall grass where they lurk or keep the tall stuff mowed if you can.

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On 3/14/2019 at 7:18 PM, rainman said:

According to Reuters, U.S. farmers are gearing up to plant what could be their third-largest soybean crop ever despite failing to sell a mountain of beans from their last harvest due to a U.S.-China trade war that remains unresolved. Soybeans were the single most valuable U.S. agricultural export crop and until the trade war, China bought $12 billion-worth a year from American farmers. But Chinese tariffs have almost halted the trade, taking the biggest buyer out of the market and leaving farmers with crops they cannot sell. The U.S. government estimates farmers will have 900 million bushels, or approximately $8 billion, of last year’s soybeans in storage silos around the country when they start harvesting the next crop. The U.S. government rolled out a $12 billion farm aid package last year to soften the impact of falling revenue on farmers, an important source of votes for U.S. President Donald Trump. As winter ends and farmers begin planting, they will continue to plant soy despite uncertainty over whether they will be able to sell beans to China later this year. There are simply no better options, farmers say. That means farmers will plant soybeans in the hope that the trade war ends, or that they will be compensated by another bailout or crop insurance schemes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts farmers will sow 85 million acres of the oilseed this spring. That is down just 4.6 percent from last year and would be the third largest U.S. area planted with soybeans.

 

On 3/14/2019 at 7:43 PM, Pavel said:

We like to complicate things........... trade of war is very similar to this latest century class room conundrum"

image.png.44932557bc5fb37dacd0e1cda00afccf.png

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On 3/14/2019 at 2:03 PM, Jan van Eck said:

You have to look at the overall state of US Bridges, currently assessed at a dismal D-  by the US Engineering Association.  That got there in large part due to the massive and pervasive use of road salt, which rots out the steel and the re-bar in concrete, widely used as bridge decking.  Road salt also has a huge individualized cost in auto damage, both tho mechanicals such as brake tubing, and to car bodies.  Pressure is mounting to eliminate use of road salt.  Indeed, Alaska no longer uses any road salt at all; sand is their substitute material for winter traction.

Unfortunately, in the Lower 48 you have these winter storms that include freezing rain and sleet, with lots of ice forming.  So the ice has to be removed somehow.  Ethanol freezes at -110C, and methanol at -96 C.  That implies that spreading ethanol, even diluted, onto road ice will dissolve it into slush, after which it either runs off or goes to slush.  Currently States and towns use salt because it is cheap, but that changes when you factor in the rust results  (most of which is in autos and trucks, and thus the costs are transferred to motorists, not State budgets).  But at some point the voters rebel, and the States go to a combination of alcohol and sand.  Ergo, vast uptick is coming for ethanol, especially considering that the Greenies, a potent political force, recognize that salt use hurts the environment, while ethanol dilutes and effectively has zero impact.  

How much longer can States afford to spend hundreds of millions doing bridge and road repairs, instead of buying alcohol? 

So you are saying we should keep growing soybeans in order to ferment them into ethanol to be used as a replacement for winter road salt...

cool........

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On 3/15/2019 at 10:15 PM, ronwagn said:

When I had a twenty mile commute through the country I would put whistles on my car. That was after my first deer kill. Killed by big station wagon too!

I collided with a deer once........

Long ago back in early 1970's.......

I was a Monorail Pilot for Disney World during the day,  and also drove Shuttle Buses to Fort Wilderness as a second-shift at night...

I was driving tourists back from Fort Wilderness one night when a doe ran out in front of me and bounced off my bumper...

It lived,   and ran off into the woods.......

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Salt and roads, bridges, docks, etc has been addressed.  No one uses standard rebar or epoxy coated anymore.  They have switched the steel rebar to thick galvanized, not the epoxy coated stuff which does not work(epoxy cracks), or are using Fiberglass or basalt.  IN extremeis they use stainless steel. 

The rebar itself does not rust and disappear, rather what happens is that the rebar rusts and this rust scale, creates PRESSURE inside the composite and blows the concrete off the rebar making VERY poor adhesion of the concrete to the rebar.  Once this happens the tensile forces get placed on the concrete which is "only" good in compression and it fails. 

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15 hours ago, Wastral said:

They have switched the steel rebar to thick galvanized, not the epoxy coated stuff which does not work(epoxy cracks), or are using Fiberglass or basalt.  IN extremeis they use stainless steel. 

Basalt? I don't understand this. I know basalt to be lava/magma that has cooled into a very hard igneous rock at the end of a volcanic event. How is basalt used to coat rebar? Are they crushing it and powder coating the rebar?

 

R2020

Edited by MUI

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18 minutes ago, MUI said:

Basalt? I don't understand this. I know basalt to be lava/magma that has cooled into a very hard igneous rock at the end of a volcanic event. How is basalt used to coat rebar? Are they crushing it and powder coating the rebar

Not coated.  IT IS the rebar.  Same as Fiberglass.  Basalt is essentially a cheaper solution to fiberglass.  If mass produced it would be MUCH cheaper.  It could effectively be made from the tailings from steel production operations.  So, same companies who create rebar would also now be producing the basalt rebar.

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(edited)

Interesting. I did not know about basalt rebar until now. Wiki has an informative page on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basalt_fiber

Pretty high temps used in producing the stuff along with being expensive to operate a crusher capable of powdering such a hard material. I hope these barriers can be overcome with economies of scale as it does sound like a superior product for use in construction projects (especially in northern climes) where chlorides are eating up the steel rebar.

 

R2020

Edited by MUI

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1 hour ago, MUI said:

Pretty high temps used in producing the stuff along with being expensive to operate a crusher capable of powdering such a hard material. I hope these barriers can be overcome with economies of scale as it does sound like a superior product for use in construction projects (especially in northern climes) where chlorides are eating up the steel rebar.

Most steel rebar is sourced from mills in China.  In turn, their supply of steel is the metal from dismantled ships from India and Bangladesh. The old ships have parts that are quite good steel; the wrecking yards will toss in all the various metals and when melted together crate a lower-grade steel, good for rebar.  The price of rebar is thus driven by the cost of obtaining quantities of steel from the wrecking yards, in turn driven by the scrapping of various fleets (largely driven by tankers and bulkers). Rebar also has an active trading market in China, causing price gyrations. 

Rebar will disappear from road and bridge projects, as will concrete.  Other materials will be displacing concrete, given the short life cycle of concrete bridges and the disappointing impact on State and County budgets. Steel will remain in gusset plates and in bolts, but that will be it.

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4 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

Most steel rebar is sourced from mills in China.  In turn, their supply of steel is the metal from dismantled ships from India and Bangladesh. The old ships have parts that are quite good steel; the wrecking yards will toss in all the various metals and when melted together crate a lower-grade steel, good for rebar.  The price of rebar is thus driven by the cost of obtaining quantities of steel from the wrecking yards, in turn driven by the scrapping of various fleets (largely driven by tankers and bulkers). Rebar also has an active trading market in China, causing price gyrations. 

Rebar will disappear from road and bridge projects, as will concrete.  Other materials will be displacing concrete, given the short life cycle of concrete bridges and the disappointing impact on State and County budgets. Steel will remain in gusset plates and in bolts, but that will be it.

Scrap metal is used to make rebar and T-posts. These products are produced all over this country by folks that buy the scrap and melt it down to form the rebar and T-posts so they can be sold to local markets. It is always about making money and the economics of this commodity dictate very close margins for all involved and that especially includes the trucking of the scrap as well as the finished product due to the density of both. I am no expert in this and I expect that you are in the same boat as me. Can the Chinese really send recycled scrap steel over here in a Conex box and sell it on the wholesale market to re-sellers at a price that will afford a profit to all the above and do so cheaper than domestic suppliers? I know the Chi-coms manipulate their currency value artificially but even that has its limits.

What about the topic of replacing concrete? What is there that could do the same/better job as concrete that is cheaper?

Curious what you know.

 

 

R2020

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2 hours ago, MUI said:

Can the Chinese really send recycled scrap steel over here in a Conex box and sell it on the wholesale market to re-sellers at a price that will afford a profit to all the above and do so cheaper than domestic suppliers? I know the Chi-coms manipulate their currency value artificially but even that has its limits.

What about the topic of replacing concrete? What is there that could do the same/better job as concrete that is cheaper?

Curious what you know.

Question #1:   Can the Chinese mills send rebar (made from shipping scrap) to the USA and sell it and make a profit?  Answer:  yes.  That said, the US is not the only market.  Asia (including China itself) is booming in construction and uses lots of rebar. Not for nothing that it got whacked with a 25% duty by Mr. Trump.    -  The Chinese can always make a profit as that is a Communist society and thus input costs and currency exchanges are all being manipulated by the Central Governmental authorities.  The motive is to move metal.   They move a lot of metal. 

Question #2:  Can I replace concrete with something that is better, faster and cheaper for building bridges and buildings?  Of course I can.  I have designed that product, and even though I am now an antique old wreck, with one foot already in the grave (OK, maybe both and just waiting for the lid to get hammered down), I fully intend to do exactly that.  What holds me back is lack of access to venture capital  (or, to be more accurate, an unwillingness to part with designs to the VCs and lose most of the equity).  I will start by building a demonstration bridge with a clearance of two feet over solid ground, then drive laden 12-yard dump trucks over it in front of the politicians.  It takes that kind of visual impact to get orders.  With the first order, I will replace a rural-road bridge rated at 10 tons  (plenty common here) with a new one rated at 90 tons, then invite more dump trucks to go roll over it.  More political theatre.  I will do that probably at a bit of a loss, but write that one off to marketing expense.  From there, I will be picking up contracts and hiring conventional construction companies to install the bridges, which I will fabricate in sections in a big manufacturing plant under controlled conditions.  I should be able to go up to a span of 300 feet and a weight loading of ninety tons per vehicle, which is a lot more than the road itself can take.  No concrete, no steel, except the gusset plates. Am I going to tell you how to do that?  Nope;  way too much money involved in this deal for me to give it away.  Sorry.  

Moral:  never underestimate either technology, or how clever those immigrants to America are.  Americans are a clever crowd.  Where do you think they get that from?  Watching football games on TV?  Or does the place have this magnet draw on the planet's cleverest people?  (And by the way:  I don't really have to be that smart; all I have to do is hire those guys, then start counting the money.  Managers in the oil patch can put that tidbit to good use.)

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12 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

From there, I will be picking up contracts and hiring conventional construction companies to install the bridges, which I will fabricate in sections in a big manufacturing plant under controlled conditions.  I should be able to go up to a span of 300 feet and a weight loading of ninety tons per vehicle, which is a lot more than the road itself can take.  No concrete, no steel, except the gusset plates. Am I going to tell you how to do that?  Nope;  way too much money involved in this deal for me to give it away.  Sorry.  

Moral:  never underestimate either technology, or how clever those immigrants to America are.  Americans are a clever crowd.  Where do you think they get that from?  Watching football games on TV?  Or does the place have this magnet draw on the planet's cleverest people?  (And by the way:  I don't really have to be that smart; all I have to do is hire those guys, then start counting the money.  Managers in the oil patch can put that tidbit to good use.)

3D print some modular carbon fiber / graphene arches.

Immigration suppression will keep out the bright ones...

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1 minute ago, Enthalpic said:

Immigration suppression will keep out the bright ones...

Nah, we divert them to Canada.  Keeps Toronto real estate prices from collapsing. Look on the bright side.

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In all seriousness, look at Elon Musk.  OK, so he is a fruitcake.  So what?  Is he doing innovative things?  Of course he is.  He is, or more accurately was, a South African.  So he immigrates to Canada.  He sits there for five years, becomes Canadian.  With that, he applies to immigrate to the USA.  He gets accepted - as a Canadian. Now he is building these billion-dollar enterprises.  OK, so he makes huge losses with his electric cars.  Did he have the right idea?  You bet.  Did he hire smart guys to execute?  Nope  (or, to be more accurate, he did and then they quit, because of his ridiculous behavior).  Musk could not stomach Rule #1 in hiring smart guys - don't be a jerk breathing down their necks and countermanding what they do.  It all comes down to management.

Edited by Jan van Eck
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5 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

In all seriousness, look at Elon Musk.  OK, so he is a fruitcake.  So what?  Is he doing innovative things?  Of course he is.  He is, or more accurately was, a South African.  So he immigrates to Canada.  He sits there for five years, becomes Canadian.  With that, he applies to immigrate to the USA.  He gets accepted - as a Canadian. Now he is building these billion-dollar enterprises.  OK, so he makes huge losses with his electric cars.  Did he have the right idea?  You bet.  Did he hire smart guys to execute?  Nope  (or, to be more accurate, he did and then they quit, because of his ridiculous behavior).  Musk could not stomach Rule #1 in hiring smart guys - don't be a jerk breathing down their necks and countermanding what they do.  It all comes down to management.

His cars are lame compared to SpaceX.  Paypal wasn't too bad.

 

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29 minutes ago, Enthalpic said:

His cars are lame compared to SpaceX.  Paypal wasn't too bad.

 

Maybe so, but Trudeau would love it if those Tesla machines were being built in a certain to-be-empty plant in Oshawa.  Or that empty plant in Ingersoll.  Or that plant in St. Catharines.  Or the empty plants in Windsor. Or that one in Brampton.  Or the one in Laval.  Or ...... well, you get the idea.  

Canada will soon be out of the auto-building business. All gone. Now:  who to blame?

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