Elon Musk Embraces a Conservative Cause

Tesla’s billionaire boss has been warning for a few months about a crisis he deems overlooked.

When Elon Musk believes in an idea or a product, he goes all the way to defend it or make it happen. 

Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report is the very example of this determination. 

Many were betting that the manufacturer of premium electric vehicles could never find a place in an automotive market still dominated by gasoline cars and where plug-in cars were struggling to establish themselves. 

As the billionaire often likes to recall, the automotive disruptor was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2018-2019. An interview with The New York Times in the summer of 2018 Musk sums up this difficult time for both Tesla and Musk. 

During the interview, “he choked up multiple times, noting that he nearly missed his brother’s wedding this summer and spent his birthday holed up in Tesla’s offices as the company raced to meet elusive production targets on a crucial new model,” The Times wrote in August 16, 2018, referring to the mogul.

“It’s not been great, actually. I’ve had friends come by who are really concerned,” Musk told the newspaper at the time.

Musk Encourages People to Have Children

Sign of the despair in which Musk and Tesla found themselves at the time: the billionaire tweeted on August 7, 2018 that he was considering taking Tesla private. This post will cost him and the company a fine of $40 million and the loss of the chairmanship. This case has damaged relations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The wounds are still wide open in the form of a legal battle which continues at the time of this writing.

Just under four years later, Tesla has become the world’s sixth largest company by capitalization with a market cap of $780 billion. The top five companies are Apple  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report, oil giant Saudi Aramco, Microsoft  (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report, Alphabet (Google)  (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Report and Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report.

The serial entrepreneur has become the spokesperson for the family for a few months now. He practically implores people to have children to solve a crisis that he says goes unnoticed: the continued decline of the world’s population, mainly in rich countries.

Along with repeated tweets to his 100.6 million followers, Musk is taking his own advice as he tacitly confirmed on July 7 that he had two new children, twins, last November with a senior executive, Shivon Zilis, of Neuralink, his company specializing in Artificial intelligence. The arrival of the twins brings Musk’s number of children to nine. The billionaire lost his first child, Nevada, from sudden infant death syndrome at just 10 weeks old.

Musk Will Give Money Directly to Families

He wants to do more for the family. Musk wants to encourage employees at his companies and beyond to have children. And to do this, Tesla will, for example, expand the benefits granted to employee-parents and Musk plans to personally donate money to associations helping families.

“Kids are worth it if at all possible,” the mogul posted on Twitter on July 8. “I’m planning to increase childcare benefits at my companies significantly. Hopefully, other companies do same.”

Musk founded or cofounded Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink.

“Also, Musk Foundation plans to donate directly to families. Hopefully, details to be announced next month.”

Tesla, Musk’s flagship company, doesn’t publicly provide details on childcare benefits. In its business code of ethics, the firms says employees are entitled to “equal opportunities”.

“We provide equal opportunities to everyone without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, or related medical conditions), genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other protected status,” the firm wrote.

Tesla then gives two links for more details: “To find out more, please visit the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage and consult the Employee Guidebook, both available on the Intranet.”

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