I May Be 'Bias': Elon Musk got Time's 2021 Person of the Year and I'm not having it
January 6, 2022
Elon Musk got Time’s 2021 Person of the Year and I’m not having it
I’m on Twitter the other night and I saw a tweet from Stephen King stating, “I admire Elon Musk, but the real People of the Year are the doctors, nurses, first responders, and scientists who have worked so gallantly — there is no other word — to fight this deadly, constantly transforming virus.”
I had to go back and reread this.
Elon Musk got Person of the Year? The space guy who named his kid a random jumble of letters and symbols? That guy?
I looked it up, just to be sure King got his facts right. Sure enough, Elon Musk did get Time Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year.
Now, I wish I knew how to explain how I feel about this. I know that if it were a different year, or under different circumstances where we weren’t still handling a deadly virus and trying to administer life-saving vaccines.I probably would only care a little bit. But after going into year three of COVID being in the United States, and having been dealing with administering vaccines for almost a year, there’s has to be someone more deserving than a rich guy who live-tweets his bowel movements.
‘Tobias, what’s your problem with Elon Musk?’ You’re probably thinking.
‘Reader, have you not heard of half the things he’s done?’ Is my retort.
If you’re looking to dis Musk, you don’t have to look far. His own brother said in the Time magazine interview, “his gift is not empathy with people.”
Not only has he been called petty, cruel, malicious and other words we probably cannot print, but his companies have faced allegations of sexual harassment and poor working conditions. Musk also made public statements downplaying the COVID-19 virus and broke health regulations to keep his factories running, all while amplifying skepticism about vaccine safety.
I do, however, have to hand it to Time. Their article did a great job of not just putting Musk on a golden pedestal, but instead discussing his faults.
Time also did name vaccine scientists as the “Heroes of the Year,” so, in a way, they were respected. But let’s be real, I didn’t even know they did heroes of the year until I was doing research for this column.
Musk is someone with a brilliant mind who we should all be able to aspire to be like. However, he also has a net worth of $266 billion. Time Magazine called him a ‘zillionaire’. I didn’t think that was a real number. According to the Elon Musk earnings calculator, he makes an average US salary in a total of two minutes and 15 seconds. It takes him 43 minutes and 48 seconds to earn $1 million. Isn’t that insane? I can’t even picture that much money.
I feel like he has too much power and not enough consequences. Musk tweeted recently he would be paying $11 billion in taxes this year. To put that in perspective, he earned $36 billion in one day in 2021.
‘Okay,’ you’re probably thinking. ‘So who DO you think should be person of the year?’
I was told if I was going to write about who doesn’t deserve the award, then I had to mention who does deserve it. In my honest opinion, a lot of people do deserve it. Heck, to some degree, maybe Musk even deserves it.
I do know that I personally believe that it should be the vaccine scientists who were up for the award, not Musk. The scientists who spent a year working on and testing the vaccine in order to save billions of lives deserve it a lot more than the man who openly breaks labor laws in his factory and fires union activists.
Maybe you’re an anti-vaxxer, or you feel like the virus isn’t something to worry about. Even then I’m sure you have someone in mind who would be better. It could be a doctor, or Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton would be an amazing choice, not just for her Imagination Library but for so much more.
As always, thank you for reading, and stay kind.