Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and heir to the Gems, caused an uproar Monday when Twitter accepted his offer to buy the social media company for $44 billion and make it private in the name of “freedom of speech.”
Of the world’s 2,668 billionaires, he is the wealthy, with an estimated net worth of $242.4 billion as of Wednesday morning, according to Forbes magazine. the closest wealthy person lags behind him somewhat, although he still possesses an unimaginable amount that could solve at least some of the ills of mankind on a global scale; Jeff Bezos owns about $165.1 billion.
Even with that kind of outrageous wealth, not everyone believed that Musk would be able to achieve his hostile takeover. Like other billionaires, much of his money takes the form of illiquid stock. His junk show was on somewhat shaky ground just a week ago, until he revealed he had taken loans from banks including Morgan Stanley.
It seems that when he so desires, the wannabe space explorer can summon the will to spend huge sums of his money on what he sees as good for society: loosening the rules about what people can post on Twitter.
But Musk has made many offers of help, and some of them are arguably more useful. As he celebrates the deal crowning his new Twitter savior, here’s a look at some of those other promises that haven’t been fulfilled the same way.
Production of respirators during the Corona virus crisis
In the frightening early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Musk promised to ship more than 1,000 ventilators to hospitals across the country, saying Tesla would start making them.
But CNN reporters found that while many hospitals had received shipments from Musk, they had not. Instead, bi-level positive airway pressure devices have been sent to hospitals in California, usually for people with sleep apnea. The use of machines is limited in the treatment of COVID-19. (Regardless, the hospitals CNN contacted expressed their gratitude for the gifts.)
Donate half of his money to charities
A decade ago, Musk signed the Giving Pledge, joining billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in promising to donate at least 50% of his money to charity.
At 50, Musk is relatively young, and Giving Pledge doesn’t put a timetable on when and how billionaires dump their fortunes. But as of January 2021, Musk has ceded only 0.05% of his net worth, according to Vox. He allocated a large portion of Tesla’s stock, worth $5.7 billion, to unnamed charities in late 2021, according to Fortune, which noted the huge tax credit attached. But it is unclear whether he actually donated any of the money.
In November, when the United Nations responded to Musk’s challenge to devise a plan to fight world hunger, the price tag came to $6.6 billion — fairly close to the amount allotted. But it’s still not clear what Musk means to make that money.
He seems to have a bigger plan. musk chirp In 2018, it would sell smaller amounts of Tesla stock “every few years” but provide “principal payments” for 20 years, when Tesla is in a “stable state”. He will use what he has collected by then to “make life multi-planetary,” dividing his donations equally between Earth and Mars, where he has said he would like to be buried.
Critics say that while going to Mars may sound exciting, it distracts from the pressing problems facing Earth due to climate change.
Save the Thai football team
In 2018, Musk infamously offered to help rescue a team of 12 boys in Thailand who were trapped with their coach in a cave only accessible by an underwater passage. Musk’s idea was to build a miniature submarine, which he and his team built and brought to a rescue operation in Thailand.
However, he got angry when the people who tried to save the boys rejected his machine. The chief of rescue, Narongsak Osatanakorn, praised the submarine as “well-developed,” but said it was “not practical for the task.” Musk turned back by questioning Osatanakorn’s expertise. A few days later, when a British diver said Musk’s idea was nothing more than a “public relations stunt” with “no business opportunity,” Musk called the man a “Bido,” which eventually led to a defamation lawsuit. (Musk won.)
Musk wrote on Twitter that he had left the submarine in Thailand.
Flint Water City Repair
“Please take this as a commitment that I will fund water repair in any home in Flint with water pollution above FDA levels,” Musk said in a tweet in 2018 after the Thailand disaster. “No kidding,” he added.
In 2014, the nation was shocked to learn that drinking water in Michigan, which is largely inhabited by people of color, had been lead poisoned after officials switched to a new water supply in an effort to save money.
Mary Coppini, the young activist nicknamed Little Miss Flint who has drawn attention to her city’s water crisis, criticized the Musk purchase on Twitter:
(Copeni raised about $500,000 last year for a project aimed at sending water filters to homes across the country.)
Musk kept that promise—sort of. The Billionaire Foundation spent half a million dollars to install clean water fountains throughout 12 public school buildings in Flint. The fountains were revealed in February of this year, after a delay caused by the epidemic.