- American billionaire Elon Musk made a revolutionary decision of selling off around 10 percent of stocks for his company Tesla.
- The move comes after a strange Twitter poll regarding the same decision which Musk had tweeted over the weekend.
- Many critics believe that Musk’s move is a rather twisted method to pay off taxes for his own benefit rather than a humanitarian effort.
Once again American billionaire Elon Musk’s tweeting prowess has landed him at the center of controversy. This time, the world’s richest person has pledged to sell 10% which amounts to roughly 21 billion US dollars worth of stocks of his electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla. This drastic move comes after a decision formed from a not so very concrete decision-making tool – A Twitter poll!
The tweet which landed in controversy
Musk launched his peculiar tweet on Saturday afternoon. In his tweet, he expressed his distaste regarding the accumulation of unrealized gains and how in the current scenario of a post-pandemic world such gains were potentially considered as being a means of tax avoidance. In this tweet, he proposed his desire to sell off 10 percent of his Tesla stock to address his tax dues as a billionaire. In the latter part of the same tweet, he asked for the world’s opinion regarding his gesture. The results were exponential.
As of Sunday morning, just over 57 percent of 3.1 million respondents to Musk’s original tweet had voted that he should indeed sell the stock. A certain population of critics also existed among such retweeters who called Musk’s move a publicity stunt or a rather cruel joke.
Musk on the other hand pledged his absolute devotion to the results of the poll and even sent out a follow-up tweet. In a said tweet, he promised to abide by the results of the poll, whichever way it goes.
The history behind Musk’s sensational tweet
A billionaire taking a major economic decision, especially one on sensitive issues such as his stocks, after a random Twitter poll isn’t the most common sight in the world. This rings true even for Musk who has been known for his outright unpredictable attitude in the face of global outrage. However, that being said, with the recent developments in a world suffering the aftermath of a pandemic, many questions are aimed at and need to be answered by the richest men on the planet.
Many critics believe that Musk launched his eccentric poll amid rising anger about inequality. While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on working people, American billionaires reportedly grew more than 2 trillion US dollars richer during the very same pandemic that saw people losing lives, jobs, and other basic resources for survival. It seemed as if the bridge between the working class and the rich was widening at greater magnitudes than it was before. This phenomenon caused a real upheaval amongst the masses. The people claimed that billionaires should be forced to pay more taxes owing to the huge chunk of wealth which they possess.
When asked for his comment regarding the burning sentiments of the masses, Musk was quoted saying that since he does not receive a cash salary or a bonus from his various companies for which he functions as the CEO, the only way he could pay taxes personally was to sell his stocks.
The controversy surrounding Musk’s Twitter stunt
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
When questioned regarding his move to sell off Tesla stocks, Musk had quite a few explanations up his sleeves. The said reasons ranged from slightly shady to visibly egotistical covering a spectrum that was quite open and large. However, many critics believe that Musk simply covered up his tracks using the Twitter poll trope.
Critics have analyzed Musk’s move to sell off his stocks which they have referred to as a “ticking tax time bomb”. According to reports, the estimated 21 billion dollar stock which the Tesla CEO is getting rid of was set to expire itself anyways. If Musk chose to retain said stock, he would be looking at a much higher and heftier tax. The amount could be up to around 10 billion dollars. But to get around this particular tax structure, the American billionaire used the clever cover of a Twitter poll and made an eccentric show of giving away 10 percent of the stocks. In return for selling the shares, he is set to earn around 20 billion dollars, a sum which is nearly double the amount he would need to foot the tax bill.
So ultimately it appears as if Musk played a sly move and presented his decision of getting rid of expired stock to aid the public. This has caused a major uproar among the masses already suffering the effects of the pandemic. Many have called out the billionaire for his hypocrisy.