Screenshot from TED’s YouTube account
Elon Musk has decided to finally address the ongoing issue about his billionaire status in a new interview with the head of TED, Chris Anderson.
As most people would know, Elon was recently declared by Forbes magazine the richest person on the planet, with an estimated net worth of more than $200 billion. He’s the CEO of Tesla and the founder of the rocket company SpaceX. Elon is also the founder of an infrastructure and tunnel construction services company called the Boring Company and co-founder of a neurotechnology company called Neuralink.
In the interview, Chris pointed out the criticisms surrounding Elon’s massive wealth. Many people seem to believe that billionaires are “unethical” given the fact that a massive chunk of the global population are living paycheck to paycheck, and homelessness is still a major issue across the globe.
“There are many other people out there who can’t stand this world of billionaires,” Chris stated. “They are hugely offended by the notion that an individual can have the same wealth as, say, a billion or more of the world’s poorest people.”
To which Elon responded, “I think there are some axiomatic flaws that are leading them to that conclusion.”
“For sure, it would be very problematic if I was consuming billions of dollars a year in personal consumption. But that is not the case.
“In fact, I don’t even own a home right now,” he surprisingly revealed. “I’m literally staying at friends’ places — if I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms.”
Elon further revealed that he doesn’t even make any massive luxurious expenses. “I don’t have a yacht, I really don’t take vacations, so it’s not as though my personal consumption is high,” he added. “I mean, the one exception is a plane, but if I don’t use the plane, then I have less hours to work.”
Chris further asked how Elon feels about criticism of his and other billionaires’ status in this day and age. “How upsetting is it to you to hear this constant drumbeat of, ‘Billionaires, my god. Elon Musk, oh my god.’ Do you just shrug that off, or does it actually hurt?”
Elon simply responded, “I mean, at this point, it’s water off a duck’s back.”