Elon Musk and Robert Reich
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Former US labor secretary claims Elon Musk owned an emerald mine; Musk responds

Elon Musk Calls US Professor ‘Idiot and Liar’ Over South Africa Emerald Mine Claims

A US professor was criticized by Elon Musk for saying that the billionaire wasn’t self-made since he hailed from a rich family. Former US Secretary of Labor and current UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich called the concept of a “self-made” billionaire a “myth” in a film titled “The Truth Behind ‘Self-Made’ Billionaires.” The concept that indicates to young Americans that they can get to the top via sheer effort was debunked by Reich, who is also a co-founder of Inequality Media.

“Like unicorns, self-made millionaires are a fiction… At the beginning of the popular video, Reich claimed, “If Kylie Jenner can become a self-made billionaire at age 21, so can you and I. The professor asserts that many self-made billionaires are not as modest as they are sometimes made out to be. Additionally, he said that their “rags-to-riches” claims are untrue.

“Even while salaries remain to stagnate and income disparity rises, it’s comforting to believe that we’re all only one cosmetics business and a little hard work away from success,” he said. Unfortunately, it’s only a lovely notion. The climb to the top of self-made billionaires is sometimes portrayed as a “rags-to-riches” story, powered by nothing more than tenacity and the bravery to take calculated risks like quitting school or starting a company in a garage.

Robert Reich
Former US Secretary Labor Robert Reich – Wikipedia

However, many billionaires really had more affluent beginnings. They resemble “riches to even richer” tales and are grounded on upper-middle-class upbringing.

Elon Musk, according to the Berkeley professor, is from an affluent family. He said that the Tesla CEO’s parents were owners of an emerald mine in South Africa under the apartheid regime. He said in the video that Elon Musk hailed from a wealthy family that had an emerald mine in South Africa during the apartheid period.


Elon Musk responded to the video by criticizing the lecturer. In his words, Reich was “an imbecile and a liar.”


Reich criticized several billionaires, including Musk. The lecturer proposed that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, both received financial assistance from their parents to launch their companies.

Elon Musk with Family
Tosca, Elon, Maye and Kimbal Musk(Photo C/O: Maye Musk)

When asked how much of a risk Bill Gates took when his mom leveraged her business contacts to get Microsoft a deal-making software for IBM, he said, “A lot.” A $500,000 contribution from Jeff Bezos’ parents helped finance his garage-based startup. Along with Musk and Bezos, he said, “Carl Icahn, Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros have all gotten away with paying zero federal income taxes some years.”

Reich claims that the major reasons these tales are incorrect are systematic inequality, inherited riches, labor exploitation, tax loopholes, and government subsidies. “By asserting that these riches are self-made,’ one feeds the idea that Americans’ daily decisions are too responsible for the wealth difference. He comes to the conclusion that “policy errors and a system that encourages riches over labor create billionaires, not tough people.

Source: News18

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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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