One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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Conventional wisdom is that Elon Musk is a genius. That he’s an avant-garde innovator – taking entrepreneurial risks way out on the edge. Here is but a sample of the paean news coverage – media members genuflecting so much that their pants are now baggy.
Elon Musk’s Genius: Understanding The Cost Of A Screw And The Value Of A Photo: “Behind the desire to listen to great men like Musk speak about their perspectives is a hope to receive some insight, some pearl of wisdom.”
Elon Musk: A Genius’s Life Story, in His Own Words: “I had the pleasure of sitting down with Elon Musk for an in-depth exploration of his extraordinary life….”
8 Perfectly Genius Elon Musk Quotes: “The Tesla and SpaceX founder is single-handedly transforming industries through a mixture of genius ideas and new innovations….”
Of course, Bobby Heenan said “If you’re poor and you do something stupid, you’re nuts. If you’re rich and do something stupid, you’re eccentric.” The fine line between stupid and genius – is often a fat bank account.
But what if the fat bank account – isn’t your coin? Or a dramatically huge amount of it isn’t your coin?
Musk’s net worth is $11.5 billion. Meaning almost half of his total tally – has been handed to him by government.
I’m fairly sure just about anyone on our little planet can look and sound like a genius – with $5 billion in government coin as a backstop. Your insanities effortlessly melting into eccentricities. People taking whatever fool thing you say seriously. Hailing any bizarre idea you sputter forth as genius-on-the-come.
Of course, all of this only happens if you’re a Leftist.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is routinely excoriated by our ridiculous media as a silver-spoon, unaccomplished businessman for having received a $1 million loan from his father – with which he launched his multi-billion-dollar global business.
This same ridiculous media incessantly hails five-billion-government-dollars Musk as an entrepreneurial genius.
Of course, Musk did have one huge, un-government-funded success. He was a co-founder of PayPal, the monster online payment company. A fellow co-founder is Peter Thiel – the now-Silicon Valley pariah because he has endorsed the aforementioned Trump.
Since they sold PayPal, Musk and Thiel have traveled different paths.
Thiel continued to gamble with his own money. He was the first outside investor in a little social media website known as Facebook. He started another, business-focused social site – LinkedIn. He has demonstrated a remarkable nose for what businesses will work in the private sector – and has bet a lot of his own money on said proboscis. And he’s done really amazingly well.
Elon Musk largely eschewed the private sector that so enriched him – and went the crony, government money route. He’s a big fan of launching “green energy” companies – two of which are Tesla Motors (electric cars) and Solar City (obviously, solar power).
But it can not be said enough: most “green energy” is neither green nor energy. Electric, wind, solar and biofuels are actually awful for the environment – not at all green. And they are so prohibitively expensive – they make zero sense as energy.
So, of course, all of these faux energy sources require scads and scads of government money. And they have for decades – because that’s how long our government has stupidly been trying to prop them up.
Musk taking his place at the government money trough, digging in his nose and extracting $5 billion – hardly counts as entrepreneurial and innovative. What it is – is classic huge government stupidity, paying off handsomely for yet another one of government’s cronies.
I guess this is what passes for “genius” these days.
But I’m not at all impressed. How about you?
[Originally Published at Red State]