Elon Musk

Needless to say I don’t know Elon Musk, he may be a nice guy or obnoxious to work for. I don’t care. He once Tweeted four key traits he looks for:

A super hardcore work ethic, talent for building things, common sense [and] trustworthiness are required, the rest we can train.”

What concepts; a good work ethic, common sense, trustworthiness! No wonder the elite thinkers of the day and extreme politicians don’t like him.

Musk organizations employ about 110,000 and who knows how many more indirectly through suppliers. All those folks pay taxes, contribute toward Social Security, buy goods and services … and generally contribute to the economy through jobs Musk created. Through entire industries Musk created, through efforts that have a growing positive impact on the environment.

And yet none of that matters to the likes of Sen Saunders, a man whose greatest accomplishments may be naming a few post offices . . . Or perhaps holding the record for disingenuous Tweets.

Sanders and others sit in judgement of those who really make a difference. Their power comes from creating envy among others, envy they promise to relieve.

Worse they produce rhetoric – greedy, rigged system, fair share, inequality – intended to divide Americans and lure them into thinking the wealth the stock market created for Musk and others somehow has taken from them and that they deserve more.

Don’t you love it when Musk and his companies are criticized for accepting government loans, subsidies and contracts as if they were all the same thing and relate to his wealth? In fact, all that was given to him and others as public policy to support and encourage positive environmental changes. And his Space company was given a government contract presumably because government administrators determined it was in the best interest of the country.

Sen Warren too has a thing for Musk and others who have changed the world and become billionaires in the process. She wants their money to go into the morass of the federal government to be redistributed without criteria as if government is the best way to help those in need over the long term.

Who knows, maybe those folks earning $300,000 who received stimulus checks really did need the cash. Perhaps forgiving student loans regardless of how incurred or how used by a small percentage of the population is an efficient way of using other peoples money. Oh, yeah, on average, car loans have a higher monthly payment than student loans. I think it would be a good idea to give every college student a Ford F-150 as a graduation present. Statistically, that’s what they will buy anyway. 😎

Most of us are not as intellectually blessed as Musk, or Gates or Bezos. Most of us do not have any of the personal qualities that drive them to create. That does not give us the right to play gotcha after the fact and claim entitlement to their creations. We all have benefited greatly from their accomplishments and continue to do so as we wait for the next great innovator to come along.

We all have the opportunity to use our talents and skills to make our lives better, to invest and profit using the rules and laws applicable to all. Common sense may be the key and that includes not making dumb decisions that affect our lives and not wasting our time envying what others have accomplished.

The larger risk for us all is not the Musks of the world, but the Saunders and Warrens who want us all to be victims, to think the economic pie is finite so our share is limited. Who downplay work ethic and common sense in favor of entitlement.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

5 comments

  1. Very well said RD Quinn. At one of my first jobs when I was very young and nieve, my boss enlightened me with the phrase, “We all work to the best of our ability”. I had not considered that some are stronger in some elements of life than others. That was almost 60 years ago. I still believe ‘most’ people still do the best they are able.

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  2. “The larger risk for us all is not the Musks of the world, but the Saunders and Warrens who want us all to be victims, to think the economic pie is finite so our share is limited. Who downplay work ethic and common sense in favor of entitlement.”

    I could not disagree more. Kudos and thanks to Musk, for sure.

    But…

    It sounds as if you are implying that millions of those (us?) in the lower income groups are there because they are lacking in work ethic or common sense. Some are, for sure*, but in my humble unscientific opinion most, by far, are hard working, sensible, ethical citizens. I would not call them victims, per se; many that I know are perhaps not ecstatic, but comfortable about their lot in life. Sure, there is economic mobility for some (either up or down), but not most. It’s endemic.

    Income inequality in the U.S. is greater than most OECD countries, even after taxes and transfers. (FWIW, income inequality within the states is greatest in the South and Midwest.) It is not because these people lack a work ethic or common sense.

    Addressing this inequality is not just a matter of “fairness” or sympathy for the poor. It is common sense itself. You need these people, perhaps more than you realize. Bend the income/wealth distribution too far and it will break.

    https://image.slidesharecdn.com/150120119019-160902051227/95/think-in-enlightened-selfinterest-3-638.jpg?cb=1472793348

    *Likewise, some in the highest income group come up short in the ethical and common sense department.

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    1. I imply no such thing, but was using the us to compare with the outstanding people among us. Also, my comments were not related to the poor, but the very average Americans and based on spending patterns, saving and investing rates and those who claim to be living paycheck to paycheck, I believe the vast majority could do better financially by making better decisions of all types.

      I hate that word “inequality” because it’s used as a substitute for poor and low income. Inequality is irrelevant except in the political arena and if it is used to intentionally hold large segments of a society down. The fact we have a Musk and people living on $15,000 a year is unequal but not the cause of those living on the $15,000 which seems to be implied in such discussions.

      The problem is how do we make sure everyone has the ability to use their talents and achieve to the maximum of their abilities. At the same time assuring those in need for whatever reason receive the help necessary.

      The inequality of a few having billions has nothing to do with that except in the thinking of the far left. Inequality always existed and always will. If you adjust for inflation Rockefeller was worth about the same as Musk today.

      Fairness is fair opportunity, chances, the absence of structured barriers, not equality. There is nothing unfair in a society that legally allows even encourages the Musks of the world. In fact where would we be without them?

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      1. “…Saunders and Warrens who want us all to be victims,…”

        I could care less about Musk. He may be a straw man argument. Perhaps Warren, Sanders et al. could find a better argument politically speaking*. I am more concerned with the concept of income distribution, or redistribution, particularly at the lower end. It’s not socialism. It’s not pity, or victimization so much as common sense. For the most part, these are good people, with “work ethics and common sense”, Elon Musk, and others, need them as much as they need him.

        “Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?”

        For enlightened self interest, I am merely proposing that we should ensure “the least among us” are well cared for; not unduly handicapped by the stress of poverty. The best example I can give is the cooling and lubrication of even the smallest, least significant moving parts of an engine. Don’t maintain them properly, and your engine becomes useless.

        I don’t know about Sanders/ Warren specific proposals, but the basic concept is valid.

        One example of income disparity is the difference in longevity. Men in the top one percent of income can expect to live 14 years longer than those on the bottom.

        * Or maybe they have a better idea of what “works” politically than we do.

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