Never one to miss an opportunity to talk about overhauling the tax system, Senator Bernie Sanders has laid the smackdown on Elon Musk for claiming his vast wealth will only benefit humanity if it creates interplanetary travel. Instead of using his billions for literal moonshots, Sanders would prefer if Musk “focus[ed] on Earth” and paid more taxes so the system had the money it needs to look after all of its citizens.
See, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn’t really like it when people criticize his level of wealth. We probably shouldn’t mention that with his net worth he could buy every human on Earth 5.3 Big Macs. Either way, that wouldn’t fix the systemic inequalities in our tax system, which is kind of Bernie’s point.
Musk did tweet about feeling bullied about his wealth, saying “I am accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary and extend the light of consciousness to the stars.” That tweet gave Senator Sanders an in, who didn’t discount how exciting space travel is, while saying that it won’t fix the issues here on Earth. You could also say that running away from your problems won’t fix them, although that may depend on the distance you can travel…
Let’s not forget that early last year, Musk was tweeting about (probably well-intentioned) loans to pay for the passage to Mars, with jobs on the Red Planet to work off those loans. Sounds a lot like indentured servitude to me.