SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently participated in the Wall Street Journal forum, and remarks that he made over the course of an interview at the forum have recently resurfaced in public discussion.
One comment that has drawn particularly strong attention includes Musk’s commentary on billionaires, with the ultra-wealthy entrepreneur remarking that “it does not make any sense” to levy excessive taxes upon billionaires, an approach widely promoted by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
However, Musk remarks that it is nonsensical to remove “the job of capital allocation” from individuals who have demonstrated enormous acumen in capital allocation, especially when giving said allocation “to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation, which is the government.”
Laughter arose in response to Musk’s remarks at the forum, underscoring the general consensus with his commentary amongst forum attendees.
Musk continued on to remark that the government is “essentially … a corporation in the limit,” or “simply the biggest corporation.” The ultra-powerful entity has “the monopoly on violence,” and it is also a location “where you have no recourse.”
“So,” Musk continued, “how much money do you want to give that entity?”
When pressed for further comment, Musk noted that the government “is the most corporate thing” or “a corporation in the limit,” though the government can also be described as “a monopoly,” as well as the only entity permitted “legally to do violence.”
“So, why would you want to give a corporation with no competition, that can’t even really go bankrupt, more money?” Musk mused.
The tech billionaire also argued against claims that he is an “extreme libertarian,” and he points out that the government should ultimately play the role of a “referee” rather than a “player.”
Musk also supports the estate tax, claiming that it is generally “good” in principle.
Musk has publicly quarreled with a number of politicians in recent months, including the aforementioned Warren, who claimed that Musk is “freeloading off everyone else” due to a “rigged tax code.”
However, Musk rapidly responded on Twitter, declaring that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history” if Warren deigned to “[open her] eyes for 2 seconds.”