Efforts to Block Tesla Win ITIF’s Luddite of the Year

February 6, 2015

WASHINGTON – (February 5, 2015) After a month-long public vote, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has announced the “winner” of its 2014 Luddite Awards. The victors are the states of Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas, which all took action last year to prevent Tesla from opening stores in their states to sell cars directly to consumers. Coming in second was the National Rifle Association (NRA) for its opposition to smart guns.

ITIF created the Luddite Awards to highlight the worst anti-technology ideas and/or actions of the year and the negative impacts they could cause for the economy and society as a whole. Ten finalists were announced January 5 and the general public was asked to select the worst of the worst.

The states blocking Tesla received 34 percent of the vote. The NRA’s smart gun position received 27 percent of the vote followed by Stop Smart Meters’ efforts to prevent smart innovation in meters and cars with 15 percent.

“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. “Innovation and technological development are absolutely essential to achieving this goal, but over the last decade a vast array of organizations have stepped up their efforts thwart technological innovation. By highlighting the most egregious examples of these efforts we hope to better educate the public and policymakers on why Luddite opposition is profoundly mistaken.”

The ten Luddite nominees were:

  • The National Rifle Association’s Opposition to Smart Guns

  • The Vermont Legislature Passes Law Requiring GMO Food Labeling

  • Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas Take Action to Prevent Tesla From Opening Stores to Sell Cars Directly to Consumers

  • The French Government Stops Amazon From Providing Free Shipping on Books

  • “Stop Smart Meters” Seeks To Stop Smart Innovation in Meters and Cars

  • Free Press Lobbies for Rules to Stop Innovation in Broadband Networks

  • New York State Cracks Down on Airbnb and its Hosts

  • Virginia and Nevada Take on Ride Share

  • The Media and Pundits Claiming That “Robots” Are Killing Jobs

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Opposition to Health IT

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.