Time Magazine announced today that the richest person in the world, Elon Musk, has been named their “Person of the Year.” Known for his outspoken public persona on social media almost as much as he’s known for his companies SpaceX and Tesla, the decision to give him the coveted cover has already proven deeply polarizing.
While his diehard fans, of which there are surprisingly many, are thrilled to see Musk chosen, many of his critics are incensed. Musk has been regularly criticized for failing to pay enough taxes, union-busting, fostering a workplace allegedly rife with sexual harassment at Tesla, and for building his sprawling empire with the help of massive government subsidies while publically advocating for the most ruthless form of cutthroat capitalism.
Recently, Musk was slammed by progressives for telling a roomful of CEOs that Biden’s Build Back Better bill should be scuttled because apparently, Musk is now worried about the deficit. The far more likely explanation for his opposition is to the legislation is that he doesn’t want his competitors receiving government assistance in developing clean energy sources and electric cars. At the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line for him.
It’s reasonable to criticize Time for celebrating a man such as Musk, but it’s also worth noting that in addition to such luminaries as Barack Obama and Gandhi, the magazine has in the past named Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin as its “Person of the Year.” Musk certainly doesn’t belong in the latter group, but you’d be very hard-pressed to find a convincing argument that he belongs in the former. History will likely record Musk as just another predatory billionaire who happened to somewhat aid space exploration and the popularization of electric vehicles as side-effects of his mercenary pursuit of capital.
Elon Musk was forced to pay $100 million to two former workers for racial discrimination, is being sued by dozens more for the same thing, is also being sued for sexual harassment at Tesla, was found guilty of union-busting by the NLRB, and donated $0 to charity. Good choice. https://t.co/4v6zoa5Qya
— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) December 13, 2021
BREAKING: Elon Musk, who built his company with billions of dollars in government subsidies before going on to slam Biden’s Build Back Better bill for increasing the deficit, is named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” RT IF YOU THINK FRONTLINE WORKERS ARE MORE DESERVING!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) December 13, 2021
Elon Musk's @TIME debut is a good time to remind you that he illegally threatened to take away stock options if employees unionized, and has had 43 workers' rights violations filed against his company since 2010.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) December 13, 2021
TIME naming a billionaire tax evader who's received billions in govt subsidies 'Person of the Year' while underpaid public school teachers crawl on their hands & knees for $1 bills to buy basic supplies pretty much sums up where we are as a country right now.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) December 13, 2021
Elon Musk doesn’t contribute to society. He takes from it. And not to mention the fact that he spread COVID-19 misinformation numerous times. World wants so badly to have a Tony Stark that they’ll settle for a low-rent Justin Hammer.
— Richard Newby (@RICHARDLNEWBY) December 13, 2021
BREAKING REPORT: Elon Musk named Time Magazine's 2021 Person of the Year, despite SLAMMING VACCINE MANDATES for 'erosion of freedom' and – Calling on Congress to THROW OUT Biden’s ‘Build Back Better Bill’ – “Don’t Pass It”..
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) December 13, 2021
Literally almost anyone else would have made a better Person of the Year for TIME magazine than Elon Musk, but imma just pretend that it was Stacey Abrams. pic.twitter.com/2TstFrA0UG
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 13, 2021
2021 TIME Person of the Year Elon Musk with child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell pic.twitter.com/l7s13loxhi
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) December 13, 2021
Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else. https://t.co/jqQxL9Run6
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 13, 2021
Whitey on the Moon, 2021 remix. https://t.co/UlKsPycMs3
— Annalisa Merelli (@missanabeem) December 13, 2021
Here’s an idea: How about we celebrate real frontline workers instead of a billionaire who increased his wealth by $228,000,000,000 during a global pandemic? https://t.co/cEzG437WE8
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) December 13, 2021
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) December 13, 2021
It’s the not paying taxes and not being vilified for it for me https://t.co/nscsqLSXZb
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) December 13, 2021
Everything is so fucking dumb https://t.co/WWiDlj9oDV
— Luke Savage (@LukewSavage) December 13, 2021
— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) December 13, 2021
— Shailja Patel (@shailjapatel) December 13, 2021
It’s fine, not necessarily a good thing, this is like when Hitler was Person of the Year in 1938 https://t.co/FxsmFrmwqg
— Mr. Chau (@Srirachachau) December 13, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.