Elon Musk: ‘It’s ‘dumb’ to call billionaires the bad guys’

The world’s wealthiest man, Elon Musk, stated on Twitter on Thursday that billionaires aren’t evil people. Musk stated that using the term “billionaire” as a derogatory term is “morally wrong & foolish” if the person is utilizing their riches to develop goods that make “millions of people happy.” He also said that if he had the ability, he would eliminate charity deductions as well as class-action lawsuits.

“I feel that billionaires are most benign when attempting to earn money, and most evil when trying to “do good,” stated Musk in response to a tweet. Musk polled his 95 million Twitter followers on who they trust less: politicians or billionaires. As of Friday lunchtime, three-quarters of the 2.8 million people who participated in the survey said that they trusted politicians less.

He then went after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who recently told Bloomberg that she wants to replace her Tesla with an electric vehicle produced by a union-friendly business. Musk challenged the Democratic congressman to do a similar survey among her own supporters. In the past, Musk has been a vocal opponent of Tesla’s unionization. “A union is simply another company,” Musk remarked in a Thursday Tweet that received 4,000 likes by lunchtime Friday. “It’s far better for corporations to fight for your abilities so that you have as much flexibility as possible.”

A conclusion is being reached at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at the same time that Musk tweeted his support for billionaires. As vulnerable populations around the world are expected to face surging energy prices, extreme weather, and soaring food prices this year, the annual gathering of millionaires and billionaires has been met with criticism about the world’s wealthiest people’s failure to give significant sums to solve the world’s biggest problems.

At Davos this week, Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, told CNN Business that nations should tax the world’s richest people.

Musk has spoken his mind about how billionaires should spend their money before. David Beasley, the chief of the U.N.’s Global Food Program, presented an update to the Associated Press on his dispute with the billionaire, which was ignited after he said in a 2021 CNN interview that millionaires must do more to battle world hunger. Beasley stated that $6 billion, or 2% of Musk’s current net worth, may be used to assist resolve the situation.

“Musk invested $6 billion in a charitable organization. But everyone assumed it would come to us, but we haven’t received any of it yet. So I’m optimistic,” Beasley said in Davos to the Associated Press.

Musk then responded to Beasley by tweeting that if the food program could specify how $6 billion might end global hunger, he would sell Tesla shares “right now.” Beasley responded with a 1,000-word “executive brief” outlining how the UN might use the funds to feed over 40 million people in 43 nations.

Musk has not given any money to the WFP. Despite the fact that Beasley specifically requested Musk’s assistance in an interview with the Associated Press, he expressed optimism. “I’m not sure what it’ll take,” Beasley said. “You know, we’re doing everything: Elon, we need your aid, brother.” Musk contributed about $5.7 billion in Tesla stock to an unnamed charity in November, making him the second-largest US philanthropist in 2021, after only Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates.

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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