The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has nominated Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas for a Luddite Award after the states moved to block Tesla from selling cars directly to consumers.
Similar to a Razzie, a tongue-in-cheek award for the worst movies of the year, 10 organizations or individuals that have hindered technological progress have been nominated for ITIF’s first annual Luddite award.
The nominations “highlight the worst neo-Luddite ideas of the year and the negative impacts they could cause,” said ITIF.
ITIF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports public policies to promote innovation and technology.
“The central challenge of our time is the need to rapidly increase living standards and quality of life for all of the world’s citizens,” says Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF and author of the report. “Innovation and technological development are absolutely essential to achieving this goal, but increasingly interests are uniting to thwart technology at every corner. By highlighting the most egregious examples of these efforts we hope to better educate the public and policy makers on why Luddite opposition is profoundly mistaken.”
Last October, Michigan joined Arizona, New Jersey and Texas in preventing Tesla sales after Governer Rick Snyder signed House Bill 5606. The law states that auto manufacturers can only sell vehicles through its own dealers, instead of selling directly to consumers as Tesla does.
Snyder has contended that he changed only one word to clarify a law that was already in place.
“This bill does not, as some have claimed, prevent auto manufacturers from selling automobiles directly to consumers at retail in Michigan – because this is already prohibited under Michigan law,” Snyder said in a letter to lawmakers that accompanies the signed bill.
SEE ALSO: Tesla Sales Banned In Michigan
Snyder didn’t have any comment regarding the Luddite award, but his office did say that much of the backlash over HB 5606 was based on misinformation.
“There are a couple of key things that I need to point out to you on this issue that are essential to understanding Governer Snyder’s determination on this piece of legislation,” said Sara Wurfel, a representative for the governer’s office.
“A veto from the Governor would not have changed a thing. The practice already isn’t allowed under current Michigan law. This was subject of much legal review and analysis.
“[The] Bill passed on extraordinarily bipartisan basis. 106-1 in the MI House and 38-0 in the MI Senate.
“Further, the Governor has encouraged a robust legislative review and conversation on this existing law and business model and determine if changes warranted to best serve customers.”
The winner for the Luddite award will be selected by public vote and announced on February 5. Other nominees include:
- “Stop Smart Meters” Seeking To Stop Smart Innovation in Meters and Cars
- The Media and Pundits Claiming That “Robots” Are Killing Jobs