Columns, Money Matters, Opinion

Elon Musk’s Twitter deal and the problem with billionaires | Money Matters

It’s been six months since Elon Musk first announced he would submit a bid to buy Twitter. In July, he declared he would no longer be going through with the acquisition because he believed that Twitter’s user base was overrun with bots. Twitter sued soon after. 

On the third of this month, Musk announced that he would be moving forward with the deal under the conditions previously agreed upon. Twitter is moving slowly and will most likely be looking to add conditions to the re-proposed deal to avoid Musk attempting to pull out of the deal again. 

If Musk does decide to not move forward with the deal, that means the banks could be left holding $13 billion in debt. This would make it the biggest stalled deal in history, far eclipsing any individual deal gone wrong that led to the 2008 financial crisis. 

This is the problem I have with billionaires. A subsect of our culture deifies billionaires like Musk, Jeff Bezos, or the other tens of people that hold around 30% of America’s wealth — and they certainly act like they are gods.

There have been countless times since 2019 that Musk has single-handedly raised and lowered the values of stocks and cryptocurrencies that he was deeply invested in with a tweet. He’s currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for this. 

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | Graphic Artist

With his position of power in the media and the amount of money that he can just throw around, Musk has been given the cheat key to stock trading. He can never lose. 

Billionaires should not have this much power. Billionaires should not be receiving billions of dollars of taxpayer money to do their business. Billionaires should not be able to direct the flow of economic progress.

We can talk all we want about whether or not Musk “deserves” his riches. Although there have been numerous reports that Musk’s father, Errol Musk, was vastly wealthy from his emerald mine, and that Elon has walked the streets of New York with emeralds in his pocket to “learn about how retail works” — Elon has denied all of these claims, saying that his family was not of wealth and that he had actually gone into debt for his higher education. 

But the truth of it is that billionaires should not exist, period. Even if he had earned his way to the top through pure pulling of his bootstraps, no one person should have enough wealth to be able to sway entire markets and possibly even start an economic recession. 

Whether or not Musk goes through with his Twitter deal does not matter to me. If he really does move forward with his plan to bring the conservative GOP trolls back onto Twitter, I’ll simply leave the platform. 

What bothers me is that Elon Musk has the jobs of the thousands of people at Twitter in his hands as well as billions of dollars of our country’s wealth, and he toys with it like it’s nothing. 

Elon Musk paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2018, despite Tesla growing around 120% in the final quarter of the year-over-year. Jeff Bezos paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011, despite Amazon’s incredible growth throughout the period. 

It just doesn’t make sense. Tax the rich. Billionaires should not exist, and Elon Musk demonstrates why on a daily basis.

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