Discover more from Culturcidal by John Hawkins
Most Americans Wouldn’t Like Being Elon Musk
Nobody in America is a failure because people like Elon Musk are successes
Elon Musk is the closest thing we have to Tony Stark in the real world. He’s worth 190 billion dollars, has almost 60 million people hanging on his every word on Twitter, and is working on some of the most exciting projects on earth. Space flight, going to Mars, driverless cars, and interfacing our brains with technology. He has a pop star girlfriend, can drive the crypto market up or down with a comment, and hosts Saturday Night Live in his spare time. He’s a 10 out of 10 on some of the things many Americans value the most these days like fame, wealth, and influence.
Yet and still, my guess is that even if you gave the average person the intellectual gifts that allow Musk to do what he does, almost all of them would hate living his life.
Elon Musk typically works 80–90-hour weeks blocked out in 5-minute increments. He sleeps 6 hours per night, often sets aside 5 minutes to gulp down his lunch, and spends “quality time” with his kids when he’s handling emails. With that schedule, it’s no surprise that he has been divorced three times, although two of those divorces were from Talulah Riley. His current girlfriend, “Grimes,” does not live with him, which is probably good news given that his primary residence is a 20x20 prefabricated house.
Musk pushes his employees hard and like Steve Jobs before him, has a reputation for being a huge @sshole at work. Yet and still, he has been forced to make some difficult decisions during his business career and has been very close to having some of his businesses go under. In fact, throughout most of his business career, knowledgeable people in his field have been predicting he’d fail at almost every endeavor.
Admittedly, Musk is a rare beast. The average business owner isn’t living that kind of life – but the successful ones typically aren’t living the same life as the average person either.
Do you want to know what owning a small business meant for someone like me? In the beginning, it meant working a day job, working 4 or 5 hours a night on my business, and getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep for a couple of years. After that, it meant working tirelessly for almost a decade, making less than a lot of assistant managers at retail stores with no healthcare and no promise of success. It meant dealing with frustrating technical problems, always being the one who had to make sure everything got done, and fronting sometimes significant amounts of money for marketing or tech projects that might not pay off. After Right Wing News took off, it meant hiring, managing, and setting the standards for roughly 30 employees. It meant dealing with a level of abusive comments and threats via Facebook, email, and Twitter that few people that aren’t celebrities or members of Congress do today. It meant firing people, sometimes for doing a bad job, and eventually, because it had to be done economically. A lot of them were friends. You ever had to fire a friend of yours who’s relying on the money they make to pay their bills? It’s not fun. Neither were the lawsuit threats. I dealt with more than a few of those and sometimes, I even had to get super lawyer Ron Coleman involved. While all of this was going on, partially because Right Wing News had been so successful, Facebook was constantly targeting us along with other successful conservative Facebook pages. Ironically after I had shuttered the web page, Facebook even cooperated with the New York Times in a hit piece on me. During the whole process, I made lots of enemies and had even more fake friends who disappeared about the time Right Wing News sank beneath the waves.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. Ten times over. But none of that was certain. It was all a big gamble that could have ended in failure. This is how it works when you run your own business.
All this is important because it has become very obvious that we, as a society, have started acting as if it’s an accident when someone succeeds. As if there were no sacrifices involved. As if people didn’t earn it. Let’s be honest, a few of them probably didn’t. They got lucky or daddy gave it all to them. Those people certainly exist, but just as certainly, they’re also a tiny minority. Starting a small business and making it successful is no joke. Doing it typically means taking big risks with no guaranteed pay-off, working harder than other people, and creating something of value not just for yourself, but for OTHER PEOPLE when you succeed. Yes, Elon Musk has become very wealthy, but he has also created 110,000 jobs and counting, along with many more that probably exist because they’re servicing the needs of his companies. He’s also helping to create some amazing new technology that has the potential to benefit all of humanity.
On a much lower level, let’s talk about landlords. A little over 70% of landlords are private individuals. Do you know all of what’s involved in say getting a house ready for people to rent? I’ve done it before, so I do. You buy a house. That involves finding the right property, giving your realtor a cut, and paying lawyers to handle the details. Typically, it takes a month or three to get possession of the house even after you have an agreement with the buyer. Then you start fixing it up. That usually costs more than you expect and it’s extremely time-consuming because you often have to organize and supervise workers helping to get the house ready. Then, you spend time sorting through potential renters, find the right one, and you start getting paid. So, your responsibilities are over then, right? Well, no. If something breaks, they call you and you’re responsible for getting it fixed. If they’re having trouble paying the rent, they call you. You also owe taxes on the property, along with insurance. If you’re lucky, all that will probably net you 7% on your money per year. If you’re not, it can be much less. Much, much less if they turn out to be a bum and don’t pay you, because the laws are structured heavily in favor of the tenants and unfortunately you’re not allowed to just toss their crap into the street and tell them to “get out” if they don’t pay you.
That’s a lot of work to get 7 cents back on the dollar. So, what do landlords get for all of that? “There’s an eviction moratorium now and we don’t care if you can pay your bills. Screw you for not spending all that money and then giving it to people to use for free.” Doesn’t anybody think there will be consequences because of that? Such as landlords asking for more money in advance in the future before they’ll let a new tenant move in. Or perhaps a rental housing shortage down the line?
How about the consequences of those insane coronavirus lockdowns last year? We had people put their lives into getting a small business off the ground who wanted to stay open, who had customers who wanted to patronize their business, being told by the government it wasn’t allowed. Has there ever been a time in recorded human history before where the people who wanted to work for a living were told by the government that they’d rather they sit at home and let their tax-paying businesses die instead? 200,000 small businesses went under last year. How many more were damaged and ultimately won’t survive because of their 2021 losses? We don’t know for sure yet, but you don’t think we’re going to feel that long-term when the sugar rush of all that stimulus money finally dies away?
What about the fact that in some liberal cities, there are literally people endorsing shoplifting and protecting the criminals involved in it from being prosecuted by the businesses they’re stealing from?
We could also talk about corporate taxes, income taxes, the capital gains tax, and death taxes – it goes on and on and it’s punitive, not just to the Elon Musks of the world, but to the small business owners who busted their @ss for a lifetime, only to pay out a painful amount of the money they earned to a government that fritters it away on everything from foreign wars, to illegal aliens, to paying lazy losers not to work. A certain amount of anger towards people like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates would go with the territory even if they were saints which they most definitely aren’t. However, it has now gotten to the point where a large portion of the population resents the guy who owns the gym, the lady who owns the nail salon, and the landlords who spent twenty years saving to be able to buy up a house to rent out to people. Those people should be treated as role models in American society, not the bad guys.
It's great to praise the workers who get up every day, go to work, and play by the rules. Those people are important and absolutely necessary for a society to function. However, so are the people who are willing to work those extra hours for themselves and take significant risks to make a business work. The only people that deserve no respect are the “sorry” ones. The people that don’t want to work. The ones that call for socialism because they’re not cutting it in a capitalist system. Of course, those same people would still fail under socialism, and they'd be poorer while they were doing it. Nobody in any economic system has ever wanted or needed more unskilled losers laying on the couch all day and demanding other people pay their bills because they’re too lazy to work. It’s not the workers or the creators that are the problem in America, it’s the parasites we cater to despite the fact that they do nothing other than drag our whole society down.