Elon Musk said he would sell Tesla stock 'right now' if UN could show how $6B could solve...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,769   +141
Staff member
Bottom line: Tesla founder Elon Musk said in a recent Twitter post that if the World Food Programme, a food-assistance branch of the United Nations, can explain exactly how $6 billion would solve world hunger, he will sell his Tesla stock to make it happen. Musk in a follow-up tweet said the proposed plan must follow open source accounting, so the public could see precisely how the money would be spent.

Musk’s messages are in response to recent comments made by David Beasley, the executive director for the UN World Food Programme. In an interview with CNN’s Connect the World with Becky Anderson that aired last week, Beasley said $6 billion could help 42 million people “that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them.”

An earlier version of CNN's headline incorrectly stated that Beasley believed two percent of Musk's wealth could solve world hunger. "He believes it could help solve world hunger," CNN said in its correction.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Elon Musk is currently the wealthiest person in the world with a total net worth of $311 billion. $6 billion would represent less than two percent of his total net worth.

The Institute for Policy Studies said that since the beginning of the pandemic, US billionaires’ wealth has surged by 70 percent, or $2.1 trillion. The top five US billionaires – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Larry Page (as of October 15, 2021) – have seen their fortunes expand during this period faster than the US billionaire class as a whole, the institute added.

Tesla's stock is up more than five percent in early morning trading although it's unclear if it is a direct result of Musk's statements.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,574   +3,102
Clever: he realizes the UN is not actually interested in actually solving "world hunger" at least not if it means ending the capitalist hegemony that exploits most of the "global south" for resources and cheap labor.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,027   +4,878
It doesnt matter if the UN wants to solve anything. The problem is the locatiosn themselves, unless you fix the non existent infastructure, education, and broken politicians, the areas of the world that struggle with hunger will continue to do so for generations to come.

Its not a money issue,
It's not a food issue
It's a poltiical issue
 

3volv3d

Posts: 421   +217
Famines are caused by politics. Musk's entire $300+ billion won't solve that.

Neither will the UN.

If he himself used his money to solve the issue, then maybe, but with the UN, you have to give half the money to governments to allow you to even attempt it, then the rest is spent on costs, staff, fuel, and 5% of the money makes it as food.
However that gets stolen by some warlord who restocks his corner shop.
The problem is humans are and dumb.

 

McMurdeR

Posts: 412   +473
The UN might be a talking shop, it might not, but hunger is an actual problem for millions. I don't think this is a suitable subject for anyone to flaunt neither their platitudes nor their egos.

I wish Elon Musk could demonstrate to us how much actually can be done with 6 bills, not on Twitter, but in actual real life.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,889   +3,212
Looking forward to the answer. I mean if they make the claims they at least did some napkin math first.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 595   +974
The UN might be a talking shop, it might not, but hunger is an actual problem for millions. I don't think this is a suitable subject for anyone to flaunt neither their platitudes nor their egos.

I wish Elon Musk could demonstrate to us how much actually can be done with 6 bills, not on Twitter, but in actual real life.
Based on their most recent 10-Q filing, Elon Musk showed us he can take $8B and build 238k fully electric vehicles, as well as sell those vehicles for $11.5B. Of course he didn't do it single-handedly, but he did build and does direct the company that is pulling that off. And obviously that's not the only thing he's doing, but yes along with millions of others he spends some time on Twitter. Not sure what the problem with that is 😂

In regards to talking about world hunger, all he said is he doesn't know how to solve the problem with that money but he would be willing to devote some of his wealth to that if someone could provide him a good answer how it would be spent. It was a response to the executive director of the UN World Food Programme asking Elon Musk for $6.6B who prompted this:
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,009   +5,535
Another Musk attention getting promotion .... God I wish he would just shut up and do something that was actually beneficial without charging a dime ..... yeah, riiiigggghhhhttttttt
I have to agree with you. IMO, this is Musky blowing yet another batch of hot air out his orifices in service to his self-aggrandization.

Food waste is, perhaps, the biggest problem. https://www.rts.com/resources/guides/food-waste-america/ In the US, alone, it is estimated to be 30 to 40 percent of the food supply. If people figured out how to stop food waste, that would go a long way, IMO, to ending the "world hunger" problem. I have to wonder how much food Musky, himself, wastes.
 

waclark

Posts: 204   +110
Another Musk attention getting promotion .... God I wish he would just shut up and do something that was actually beneficial without charging a dime ..... yeah, riiiigggghhhhttttttt
He gave $150M in Q1 2021 to charity and has pledged to give half his worth to charity when he dies. How 'bout you? Yeah, rigggghhhtttt.
 

seeprime

Posts: 646   +841
I thought the chinese were communist.
Only in name, aka Communist Party. China now is more of a pure capitalist country than most. They have blown past everyone else by using lower cost labor, which still brought hundreds of millions out of poverty, and selling at lower margins. Too bad the CCP needs to have a stake in just about every business. That's as close as communism they get. They own majority shares in most companies, but let them be run like Western concerns.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 412   +473
He gave $150M in Q1 2021 to charity and has pledged to give half his worth to charity when he dies. How 'bout you? Yeah, rigggghhhtttt.

On the other hand, poor Uncle AI here doesn't live alive in splendor while the millions around the globe are living in poverty. Indeed if he gave $200 to charity it might be a comparatively bigger donation relative to his wealth and comfort, than that $150 mill..
I'm not criticising Elon Musk here specifically, but a lot of wealthy people donate money to charity that they'll never miss. It's surely welcome, but it doesn't make them better people.
 

FF222

Posts: 284   +248
He gave $150M in Q1 2021 to charity and has pledged to give half his worth to charity when he dies. How 'bout you? Yeah, rigggghhhtttt.
So he gave <0.005% of what he made last week to charities. Well, I think a lot of us gave like at least 100x times that much to charities. And his pledge: at best it's literally worth nothing, right now anyway. At worst it means he plans to take >$100 billions (or possibly even more) with himself into the grave, or leave it to his kin (which is just as worse).
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 748   +544
Famines are caused by politics. Musk's entire $300+ billion won't solve that.

Neither will the UN.

This . Obviously exacerbated by drought, floods, blights, insects, storms, tide surges etc .
When there's civil war or any other type of war , burning of crops - it ramps it up 100 fold .
Countries like Ethiopia have some very fertile land , yes on the east near Somalia and some in areas in the south not very .
Even planning for maintenance, infrastructure and power .
Saying that I spend 18 months travelling in Africa in the late 80s and 90s on 3 occasions .
I was surprised at the lack of food preservation techniques. India is say famous for it's chutneys etc .
You would see lots of dried fish - in the north dates etc .
I understand insects like weavil .
That's why European companies sending toxic wastes to Africa was a tragedy - those heavy duty plastic barrels were so tempting- whether they understood semi-permeable membranes - who knows .
So lack of glass jars , containers, vinegars ( acid ) , salt , sugar etc.
Yes lots of alcoholic beverages - not so kid friendly
Also in higher humidity places like the Congo - there will always be something in season- and storing vs humidity is hard

Like say the USSR , the lack of effective distribution can mean abundance in one place and not in another - or rots on the road .
So food like Plantains ( green bananas ) are good .
I mean it's only recently I see ripe papayas , ripe mangoes in NZ ( last 10 years ) - as traditionally hard to transport ripe
 

brucek

Posts: 984   +1,453
Another issue (adding to the many already raised) is there's a difference between theoretical paper wealth and actual real world resources like food and the infrastructure to move and store it.

Musk's large paper wealth largely did not come from taking food off anyone's plate, nor would it readily translate towards putting food on far away plates either.
 

BuckarooBonzai

Posts: 43   +24
Don't forget it also means a huge tax deduction as rich people have good tax lawyers. I would think if Elon is projecting his earnings in the future, he will do something now to lower his liabilities.