Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has responded to a United Nations official who demanded a portion of his fortune in the name of saving millions from imminent starvation.
Who do you trust less: Big Tech or world government?
In an interview on CNN’s “Connect the World” last Tuesday, U.N. World Food Program director David Beasley called on ultra-wealthy Americans — namely, Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon — to “step up” and donate $6 billion “to help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them.”
The world needs to wake up. We’ve got a global humanitarian crisis on our hands that is spiraling out of control. 42M people in 43 countries face famine NOW.
All we need is $6.6B—just .36% of the top 400 US billionaires' net worth increase last year. Is that too much to ask?? pic.twitter.com/YMD7zuPwsf
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) October 27, 2021
Beasley said a “perfect storm of conflict, climate change and COVID” has created a “one-time crisis” that required intervention by the billionaires, whose fortunes have grown during the pandemic.
- “The world’s in trouble and you’re telling me you can’t give me 0.36% of your net worth increase to help the world in trouble, in times like this?” he said. “What if it was your daughter starving to death? What if it was your family starving to death? Wake up, smell the coffee, and help.”
In response to a “fact check” of Beasley’s comments by researcher Eli David, Musk tweeted Sunday that if the World Food Program could explain how it would use $6 billion to solve world hunger, he would “sell Tesla stock right now and do it.”
If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2021
Beasley jumped in to clarify that the money would not solve world hunger, “but it WILL prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation.”
- After Musk asked for “current & proposed spending in detail so people can see exactly where money goes,” Beasely suggested they meet in person so that he could “bring the plan, and open books.”
- In a since-deleted reply, Musk shared a 2015 article detailing allegations that children had been forced to give U.N, officials oral sex in exchange for food.
Many Twitter users sided with Musk.
- Some accused Beasley of failing Musk’s transparency test , while others noted the World Food Program closed out the year with more than $16 billion in assets.
Musk last month slammed a proposal by progressive Democrats that would tax billionaires’ wealth to fund a safety-net expansion, suggesting entrepreneurs could make better user of their own money.
Who is best at capital allocation – government or entrepreneurs – is indeed what it comes down to.
The tricksters will conflate capital allocation with consumption.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2021