Tag Archives: Genral Motors

Doug Smith: The Electric Mine and GM

29 Nov


General Motors’ Chevy Volt


Doug Smith is associate editor of Free State Patriot

November 29, 2018


I note with wry amusement the news out of GM this week. They are finding that the cheap, aluminum foil cars, built for the Obama era 4-dollar gasoline, and the novelty electric cars, that seem to have had a market of about 200 people, are not sufficient to make the money of a Ford F 150. (Sorry Chevy lovers.) So, the inevitable is working its way through the economy.  In the proud tradition of Solyndra, Obama companies, not built by him, but propped up by him, (I wonder if I’m supposed to Capitalize Him when speaking of the One who stopped the rise of the oceans) using your money, by the way, GM is spiraling downward toward the drain.

Now, just to be clear, I was, and still am, against the government (Obama) propping up GM when it was facing bankruptcy. We have a system of laws and economics, both of which he disdains, and ignores. So, he basically took control of GM, gave a huge chunk of it to the UAW, robbed the shareholders who put their money into GM just as certainly as the Sherriff of Nottingham collecting taxes for Prince John. In so doing, he bypassed the legal system, and basic economics and market forces. What should have happened, was that a bankruptcy judge makes decisions about restructuring the debt and company, and all the debt holders are heard, and then the company reorganizes, having faced the market correction of its bad decisions in production and contract agreements with the union, and gets a chance to correct course and turn into a profitable company and keep some people working and some products, the ones people will actually buy, going out the door.

None of that happened. Obama gave the shareholders pennies on the dollar and called them greedy for resisting, then stole their shares. He gave in totally to the ridiculous, unsustainable contracts they had written with the UAW, and handed them billions, along with a commitment to build cars that fit his pipe dreams, but that no one else wanted. He even promised to buy a Chevy Volt when he left office. (By the time he left office, even with his subsidies, the Chevy Volt died. It no longer exists, so he was off the hook.)

What Obama, and the Green Brained on the Left, and perhaps, Mary Barra, CEO of GM, seem to think, is that there are big electric mines out there, with, perhaps, Willy Wonka Oompa Loompas bring out carts of Lectrics to pour into the big Battery in the sky to recharge the little batteries on their Volts.

Having worked my entire adult life in electronics, I have a bit of insight on electrical energy. There are 2 naturally occurring sources of electricity. Lightning and electric eels. Since I’m sure PETA would object to the Greeny Brothers harvesting the eels, the only way their thinking works is for the Lefties to all buy a Volt, put a big lightening rod on it, and sit out in a thunderstorm. Now, this approach does have certain advantages and a certain appeal, but those do not include keeping the car running.

So, where does energy come from? It comes from the exothermic reaction of various substances which contain a great deal of energy, (Oil, coal, wood, Uranium, gas, peat, cow dung,) when they burn or decay radioactively. By exothermic, for the social scientists among you, I mean they make heat. Oh, they make other things, by products, like smoke, ash, isotopes, but essentially: the produce heat.

So, we have heat. But we do not have Lectrics. So how do we get Lectrics?

 One way, and one way only. We move a coil of wire through a magnetic field. In your car, the alternator does that. You can do it yourself and make a light bulb come on. It’s really cool. But that is the ONLY way to produce Lectrics, to light a bulb, charge a battery, run a train, or car, or drone, or iPad. Now, there are a few ways we can get the big coils of wire to move very fast past a big magnet and break the field, inducing counter electromagnetic force, which is induced into the wire and flows to a load such as a battery, or your refrigerator. (and that is as technical as I’m going to get, so get down off the ledge)

We can use a water wheel to turn the coils. That can be as simple as the old wheel at the McCormick Farm, also useful to turn a stone and grind corn, or as complex and big as the Grand Coulee dam. And we do this already and have basically all the usable flows of water to produce electricity already hooked up and wired up. You are welcome Las Vegas. (Hoover Dam)

Choice 2: we can produce a lot of steam and turn the impellers in a generator, which will move the big coils through the magnetic field, and, just as above, make a bunch of Lectrics. How do we make steam? Why, by getting water really hot. So, (see above about the things we have that produce a lot of heat), the way we get electricity is by making heat. Certain substances store energy, which we can release as heat, and have varying degrees of efficiency in doing so, to make the steam which makes the Lectrics.

In roughly descending order of how much stored energy they have to offer:




Methane Gas



Cow Poop


So, sadly, you see, there are no Lectrics trees, from which we can gently pick the Lectrics fruits, and put them in the top of the Mr. Fusion and turn them into clean, soft, quiet Lectrics.

Producing energy, from the time we began burning sticks and cow poop, is dirty, dangerous, and rather violent. It also lets us not freeze to death in the winter, or eat our meat raw (sorry vegans, to warm up our squash soup) or scratch pictures on rocks instead of our Kindles or iPad. The ability to store and use energy, and food, has been an essential block in building our civilizations. The Greenies would hate the world they propose. Because a smooth, natural, undeveloped world, would consist of freezing tribes, huddled around the stinking fires of animal dung, trying not to freeze, and failing, and totally innocent of smoke and ash, but also of books, and music, and indoor plumbing.

Fortunately for us, and them, we do live in a civilized, market driven world in which we have long lives, and the goods which let us live, even the poorest among us, at a higher level than Henry II, First Plantagenet King, could ever have dreamed of. So, let us permit that civilization and free market to do its rather excellent job. No bail out for GM this time. No more subsidizing them to produce products which nobody wants, except Obama, in his fantasies, but of course in practice he is still chauffeured around in big, dirty, SUV s.

Let them go through what they should have 10 years ago, and will eventually, regardless. They will either adapt to the market and economy as it is, and produce a reliable, desirable product that people will buy, or they will go to the mat, and Ford, or Mercedes, or Toyota, will smile and swoop in and take over and do just that, and thrive. And people will work for them instead.

Let s let the government get out of the business of business. Do you really want to drive a car designed by the folks who brought you Obamacare?

There is one ray of sunshine in all this. It seems that everyone to whom Obama gave billions of our dollars ended up failing and going under. And he also sent billions to the Iranians.

For solar panels, no doubt.


%d bloggers like this: