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In defense of Elon Musk's government subsidies

To the editor: As long as our economy runs on subsidies, I celebrate the government incentives given to Elon Musk's trailblazing corporations. ("Elon Musk's growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies," May 30)

The article on the government subsidies given to Musk's Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. doesn't mention the fact that the planet's aging fossil fuel industries benefited from — get this — $5.3 trillion in subsidies last year, according to the International Monetary Fund. True, these were not all direct tax credits, but they included the real costs to society of the industry's activities that it does not have to cover.

Don't want subsidies? Then level the playing field and price carbon via a revenue-neutral policy of fee and dividend.

Virginia Bernal, Santa Ana

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To the editor: According to the article, New York state is spending $750 million to build a factory for Musk's

SolarCity. The company will be charged an annual rent of $1 and will not have to pay property taxes for a decade.

Not to be outdone, Nevada gave Musk's Tesla Motors $1.3 billion to build a battery factory there. Other states have fallen all over themselves to lavish subsidies on Musk, hoping he'll build something within their borders.

Ain't capitalism grand? I bet Henry Ford, Donald Douglas, William Hewlett, Glenn Martin, Walter Chrysler and even Steve Jobs are rolling over in their graves in dismay and disgust.

Where's Ayn Rand when you need her?

Bill Bell, Mar Vista

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To the editor: Regarding Musk's government subsidies, this is what is meant when we pull out the cliche "we need to invest in our future."

Electric cars, solar power and advances in space travel are what the future is about. This is where I want my tax money going — not to building a better smart bomb or subsidizing oil companies so they can pollute another beach.

Martin Lebovitz, Upland

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