January 13th, 2021 by Johnna Crider
I fully agree with Bernie Sanders that the minimum wage needs to be raised. I can’t agree enough. But he brought Elon Musk into this topic and I wanted to point out that Elon isn’t responsible for raising the minimum wage. Elon doesn’t work for the government and I really think going after him instead of coming down on the companies that are paying just enough to get by legally isn’t the right focus here.
Wealth of Elon Musk on March 18, 2020: $24.5 billion
Wealth of Elon Musk on January 9, 2021: $209 billion
U.S. minimum wage in 2009: $7.25 an hour
U.S. minimum wage in 2021: $7.25 an hour
Our job: Raise the minimum wage to at least $15, tax the rich & create an economy for all.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 10, 2021
Elon Musk may be the world’s wealthiest individual, but he is already actively using that wealth to benefit humanity. The idea that he owes us money because he is rich because stock in the companies he founded and largely owns has gone up so much is ludicrous.
And *by all means* tax the rich. But your approach of taxing paper gains (e.g. “money” that can’t actually be spent on one’s self) is a nonsensical absurdity. Long-term capital gains (e.g. what hits you with when you turn paper gains into actual money) are way too low. Fix them.
— Nafnlaus (@enn_nafnlaus) January 10, 2021
Nafnlaus on Twitter also reminds us that Elon’s dramatic wealth growth was due 100% to the increase in the value of Tesla’s stock. Tesla’s employees have stock options, unlike the workers at other automakers, because Elon wanted them to be able to share in his success. And in the tweets below, James Stephenson reminded Bernie that Elon Musk is not his enemy. Elon has advanced green energy more than any politician has by making EVs mainstream. This wealth is because of Elon’s work at Tesla, his work and investment founding it and making a product that is cool, fun, and affordable enough for mass-market sales — more affordable now than it has ever been before.
Environmentalists have many enemies, but @elonmusk is not among them.
Elon has more successfully advanced green energy than any politician by making EVs cool, fun, & affordable.
His “wealth” is because he founded $TSLA and people want to own part of it.
What’s wrong with that? pic.twitter.com/lQdqHeMizm
— James Stephenson (@ICannot_Enough) January 10, 2021
The Real Problem That Needs To Be Solved
Unfortunately, it’s much easier to blame Elon Musk for being wealthy than it is to solve the real problem: which is a combination of inflation and stagnant wages. Josue replied to one of my tweets and he’s right. What if even with a $15 minimum wage it is still is not enough? This is already a reality for some Amazon workers who make $15 an hour but are on food stamps because they can’t afford to buy food.
Wealth inequality is a real issue, and so is poverty, but pointing at Elon Musk and saying “you’re a billionaire, so you’re bad,” particularly when his growth in wealth is entirely on paper (in stock growth), isn’t going to help those working 2–3 jobs to make ends meet.
I’ve worked in retail and foodservice most of my life. I’ve worked in retail jobs where the corporations did not want you to work past 20 hours because they knew they would have to pay the insurance and other benefits if you went full time. I’ve also worked at retail jobs where they promised to hire you full time after the 90 day probationary period but instead “lay you off” or pressure you to quit.
And many of those jobs are highly demanding — no set off days and you work crazy hours for very little pay. This is the real issue Bernie should be addressing — the fact that corporations get away with so much, including not paying their workers enough to survive while overworking them.
Elon Musk isn’t oppressing people by being successful. Corporations that use and abuse the system and lobby the politicians to look the other way are.
2) he put all of his money in #tesla and #SpaceX being on the verge of losing everything for the benefit of all humanity. Your points make absolutely no sense. You lost all the credibility with these non-sense attacks on the only person who is working tirelessly to bring change.
— alb≡na trand≡va (@albenatrandeva) January 11, 2021
Again, it’s easier to attack Elon Musk for likes, clicks, and Twitter validation than it is to solve these problems that really affect working class Americans.
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