Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is creating controversy by calling for coronavirus lock-downs to be eased, and America to be re-opened. But when Elon questions the effectiveness of the lock-downs, their supporters question his reasons for opposing them.
When Elon Musk tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal article with a comment:
Give people their freedom back!
He made it clear that he has enough of the national shut-downs and wants stay-home orders to be canceled. What’s not clear, however, are the reasons behind his opposition to prolonging the shut-down of our economy.
Freedom or $$$$$?
Some say that Musk is fed up with government overreach, and wants it to stop. His rant during the last Tesla earnings call appears to support that view.
I think people are going to be very angry about this, and are very angry. If somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great, they should be allowed to stay in their house, and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say they cannot leave their house, and they’ll be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic, this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.
Others point to Musk’s performance-award agreement in his compensation package as a source of outrage. If Tesla performs in line with all operational milestones outlined in the agreement, it could put over $700 million into Elon’s bank account.
(It could surprise some of you, but Elon Musk doesn’t accept any salary or bonuses from Tesla. He’s will (or will not) receive compensation in the form of stock options based on his company performance.)
(there’s always a but.)
Local authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area decided to extend shelter-in-place order, which has kept Tesla’s sole U.S. car-making plant shuttered since March, through another month. This move is not going to make the already complicated task of keeping Tesla on the right track any easier.
So, is it about freedom, or is it about money? I think it is about both. It is about the freedom to make money. We all have a right to make a living, and it shouldn’t matter if one owns a multibillion-dollar corporation or small barbershop on a street corner. I’m sure you’ve heard an expression; “size doesn’t matter,” haven’t you?
The last thought.
Elon Musk is not the only example of the coronavirus-pandemic-fatigue disorder. People in states with the most draconian lock-down regulations starting to lose their patience and take to the streets. Multiple anti-lock-down rallies are breaking out across the country, with protests in more than a dozen states. People are tired of looking at the ceiling and want to go back to work.
What bothers me the most is how easy it was to shut the biggest economy in the world down and how difficult it is even to attempt to re-open it. The panic has sunk in, and people who, after 46 days of sheltering in place, want to start moving their lives back to normal are hitting roadblocks. Roadblocks set up by people who, instead of going back to normal, want to steer us into, what they call, the new normal. Unsurprisingly new normal, ladies and gentlemen, has absolutely nothing in common with the normal, which we all got accustomed to.
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