Elon Musk is the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of over $200 billion. Bernie Sanders, a long-time United States Senator from Vermont, isn’t too pleased about it.
Sanders, a Progressive Independent politician who has run for President on multiple occasions, has been vocal regarding the “issue” of billionaires and having the wealthy business people of the world pay their fair share. With Musk gaining a considerable amount of money in 2020 thanks to Tesla’s unbelievable stock run, he became the subject of a Bernie Sanders rant on Facebook, where the Senator highlighted the growth in the Tesla CEO’s net worth while the U.S. minimum wage has stayed the same.
“Wealth of Elon Musk on March 18, 2020: $24.5 billion
Wealth of Elon Musk on January 9, 2021: $209 billion,” the Senator wrote.
“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.”
Musk’s net worth has been attacked by Sanders in the past. In August, Sanders proposed that Musk pay a one-time $27.5 billion tax, which would eliminate 60% of the Tesla CEO’s net worth gain during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was apart of Bernie’s “Americans for Tax Fairness and Institute for Policy,” and Musk wasn’t a fan of it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2020
Musk, who gained the “World’s Richest Person” title last week, does not collect a salary from Tesla and his net worth comes from his 20.8% holding in the electric automaker, which makes him the majority shareholder. The company has gained over 700% in its valuation since last year, mostly because of increased sales figures and its ability to scale production while combating demand, which is as high as its ever been. While many CEOs with a massive net worth spend their dollars on big houses, fast cars, and ritzy vacations, Musk has spent the last year trying to figure out how to make EVs reach price parity with gas cars, while figuring out manufacturing bottlenecks and trying to build a new battery in-house, which will increase energy and range of Tesla’s cars.
In fact, the work rarely stops for Musk. After finding out that he was the world’s richest person, he was relatively unphased. “Back to work,” he said to @TeslaOwnersSV, who notified Musk of his new title.
Musk also doesn’t own any houses in his company’s home state of California. He sold them all after stating that his possessions weigh him down and his full focus would be turned toward getting humans to Mars.
Despite Musk’s desire to combat climate issues and cut dependence on fossil fuels, he is still the subject of attack from American socialists who are looking for economic equality for all Americans. The question is, where does that money come from? Sanders believes the rich should pay their fair share. But Musk’s net worth is tied up in his massive holdings of TSLA stock, which would force him to dilute his shares and would likely cost him his title as majority stakeholder.
Sanders’ plan to increase the minimum wage has arguments both ways. However, Musk has been a repeated target of Bernie’s because of his net worth. This is just the most recent example.