Elon Musk Is Not Responsible For Raising The Minimum Wage, & Shouldn’t Be Punished For Paper Gains


January 13th, 2021 by  

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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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Selling Teslas in 2012 vs. 2021

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About the Author

is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, member of the International Gem Society, and a Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter at all hours of the day & night.

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