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Saturday, August 19, 2017

When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, America had almost no paved roads outside the cities. One of the early owners’ biggest headaches was tires punctured by horseshoe nails left on the road.

“Forget about this car thing,” Ford’s detractors might have said. “We don’t believe in government subsidies for road paving, and we’re protecting the pony cart makers. Anyhow, less than 1 percent of Americans even travel by car.”

Today’s can’t-doers must have been surprised this month when Tesla, the electric-car innovator, drove past Ford Motor Co. in market value while nipping at the heels of General Motors. Both Ford and GM have been doing well of late, but investors have flocked to Tesla stock as a growth rocket. (Days before, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s SpaceX company launched — and landed! — a real rocket.)

All this follows years of conservatives’ carping against Tesla and green energy initiatives. In 2015, the conservative Daily Caller website panned Tesla thusly:

“Liberal entrepreneur Elon Musk’s business ventures have benefited from nearly $5 billion in government subsidies in the past few years, but apparently that’s not enough taxpayer support to stop his electric car business from losing $4,000 on every vehicle it sells.”

IMAGE: Employees carry solar panels at a solar power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in this May 18, 2012 file photo.  REUTERS/Stringer/Files