Elon Musk recently just became the second richest person on the planet and in light of that and the attacks on him by Robert Reich for being a billionaire along with some false claims, I wanted to point out what Elon is actually doing with his money and how it impacts you — yes you.
“I always invest my own money in the companies that I create. I don’t believe in the whole thing of just using other people’s money. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to ask other people to invest in something if I’m not prepared to do so myself.”
— Elon Musk
How It Began
Elon’s first company was Zip2 and he received $22 million for his part of the company when it sold back in 1999. With that, he started X.com which at the time was an online financial service and payment company with $10 million from the sale of Zip2.
A year after that, it merged with another company, Confinity, which had a money transfer service that is now a household name: PayPal which was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion. Elon received $165 million from that.
SpaceX and Tesla
Elon’s dream is to make humans a multi-planetary species and he is often mocked for this — even after the successes SpaceX has had with recently sending NASA astronauts to the ISS twice.
Tesla is another story of the struggle to success and this is where Elon’s net worth really began to take off. There were a few times where Elon almost lost everything, but Reich doesn’t mention that.
The Boring Company.
Another one of Elon’s companies is The Boring Company which was borne out of the frustration of sitting in traffic. “I am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging,” Elon tweeted.
Neuralink is a neurotechnology startup that is working toward integrating the human brain with A.I. This sounds really sci-fi, but so does building rockets from scratch because you couldn’t find an engineer who wanted to work with you — -as in the story of SpaceX. The goal of Neuralink is to help humans merge with software in order to keep up with the advancement of A.I.
If you think Neuralink is sci-fi, then what do you think about the fact that you can store data on a quartz crystal? I’m not talking metaphysics, but science. Researchers at Southampton University were able to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Newton's Opticks, the Magna Carta, and the Kings James Bible on a quartz disk that could store up to 360 terabytes of data.
The point I’m making is that you can pretty much do anything if you put your mind to it.
Elon’s wealth, as he has said in that quote above, is often poured back into his companies. He started his companies as ways to solve various problems that affect not just him, but all of us. One issue is that what if we faced an extinction event and had to evacuate to another planet? This is why he founded SpaceX.
Not all of his wealth goes into his companies — probably a good 98% of it, but the guy has to live. Food, housing, and existing are not free in our society. And let’s not forget Elon's own charity.
The Musk Foundation gives primarily to renewable energy research and advocacy, human space exploration research and advocacy, pediatric research, science, and engineering education.
Helping People In Need.
Hurricane Laura Aftermath.
Living in Louisiana has its perks but also its risks — however, this is home for me. During Laura, I was high and dry in Baton Rouge but the storm-ravaged our state. Many were left homeless and without basic food, water, and communication for a month. In the heat.
Those of us online took to Twitter to express our shock and outrage over the fact that the mainstream media refused to cover the humanitarian crisis in Louisiana.
A few days later, two of the charities I’d been promoting tweeted that The Musk Foundation, which is Elon’s charity, donated substantial amounts to help with hurricane relief. He donated to four that I know of and you can read more about that here.
L.A. Fire Department Firefighting Robot
Back in October, the L.A. Fire Department unveiled its RS3 firefighting robot that can be used in fighting large-scale scenarios such as commercial fires, hazmat incidents, and even oil refinery fires. This isn’t the only time Elon has helped the LAFD Foundation either.
Flint Water Crisis
Although the government dropped the ball on this one — -it’s not Elon’s responsibility to provide Americans with clean water — Elon picked up that ball and came through for Flint. Elon’s donation helped Flint Schools replace all of its water fountains with new water stations and water filtration at all of the city’s schools. That’s not all he did.
Elon personally went to the school to encourage the students there and gave them all computers. The donation of over a thousand computers was to help students with their education. He spoke to the students and encouraged them to dream big.
“I had a really strong sense of curiosity, which I think is a powerful thing and I really encourage you to, if you are curious about, really allow your curiosity to flourish,” he said while announcing another donation of $400,000 that was put in the hands and imagination of all of the Flint 7th and 8th-grade students.
Last year, Elon donated $1 million to plant trees for $1 per tree to MrBeast’s campaign. MrBeast was raising $20 million to help fight climate change by planting more trees on every continent. I’m not sure if the money for this came from his foundation or not — but the point is that Elon is using his money to make an impact on humanity as a whole.
Elon Musk Is A Top Donor Of The ACLU
In 2018, Elon responded to someone on Twitter who asked him about donating to the ACLU to help the organization in its work with helping migrant children separated from their parents. Elon pointed out that he was one of their top donors and the ACLU backed him up.
There are other instances where he’s helped when asked to do so. He’s helped provided ventilators during the pandemic when the nation was running out, he even told me he’d try to get them here to Louisiana — before our state began to succeed at flattening the curve to the point we didn’t need them.
What Is Elon Doing With His Wealth?
Elon has often used this phrase, “preserve the light of consciousness.” I believe this is what he is doing with his wealth. And by creating SpaceX, Tesla, Boring, Neuralink, his foundation — he is solving problems that impact humanity on a level that many don’t even think about.
Each person often sees the world from their own perspective. Elon Musk sees the world in its entirety, including the potential problems that would affect us as a whole, and realizes that without humans, that light of consciousness could fizzle out.
The fact that he is using his wealth to solve problems, help others in need, and encourage them when they're down as he did with me back in 2018 — these and more are not just preserving that light, but making it glow brighter. So bright that 150 years from now, people will still see his light long after we are all gone.
It should be noted that many often choose to keep their charitable donations private. I’m sure Elon’s donated to more than we know — and Reich probably has, also. I assume this is the case as I do want to believe in the best of people. Maybe I’m a fool, probably.
However, my goal here was to point out that the idea of Elon Musk as some evil billionaire hoarding wealth while everyone is starving is wrong. Yet this is what Reich is doing. Reich knows his fan base rather well — just like Trump knows his.
It should be stressed, though, that Reich is also in that 1% that he seems to abhor. No, he’s not a billionaire, but his net worth is $4 million according to this website. And this website pointed out that Reich made 36% more than the average CEO and charges $40K an hour for speeches.
I’m not attacking Reich, here — everyone has their hustle. Some make more money than others, even. But Reich, who is a millionaire, in my opinion, isn’t as poor as his base is — his base who cheer him on as he bashes billionaires and the one percent. And according to this website, Reich could very well be in the top one percent that he hates so much.
Always research things and don’t take what people say as the truth. Even this article — feel free to do your own research.
“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great and that’s what being a space-faring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”
— Elon Musk