As published in The Huffington Post:
On September 1st, SpaceX’s inefficient Falcon 9 rocket crashed and burned for the second time. On the same day of the failed launch, an unidentified flying object appeared to have flown overhead the Cape Canaveral launch pad. CEO Elon Musk recently said that he has not ruled out the possibility that this object was a UFO and that it may have been responsible for the SpaceX explosion.
In response, conspiracy theorists across the globe have put on their tinfoil hats and started to “investigate” the explosion that rocked the Florida coast. Feeding the public’s insatiable desire for mystery, Elon Musk has asked the world to work together to figure out what went wrong with his rocket — a failure that destroyed a $205 million dollar Facebook Satellite, a $62-million-dollar contract, and delayed NASA commercial flights to 2018.
Is Elon Musk insane, or is he just a thoughtless and compulsive liar? News flash, Elon: a UFO was not responsible for your rocket failure. Your inefficient company and product was.
The Falcon 9 crashed and burned last year as well, blowing up $112 million worth of government cargo. Was that one caused by an angry martian in the driver’s seat of a UFO too?
SpaceX argues that it should continue receiving government contracts despite these massive failures because they are the cheapest rocket launcher around. True, but when accounting for opportunity costs, does cheaper necessarily mean better?
A SpaceX rocket might be cheaper than its competitors, but how many SpaceX rockets does it take to actually get the job done? How many blow up out of thin air before a successful launch is finally put in the books? When accounting for the number of rockets and trial runs that are needed, as well as the wildly expensive clean-up costs of each one, it is clear that SpaceX is not saving the taxpayers anything.
The worst part is that the taxpayers don’t know that they are being cheated. Musk’s companies — SpaceX, SolarCity and Tesla — stay afloat merely because of how intimately tied they are to one another. It’s a ponzi scheme propped up by your tax dollars.
In a SolarCity disclosure, it was revealed that SpaceX has about $900 million tied to SolarCity, while SolarCity and Tesla likewise have millions invested in each other. In any other business, this would be seen as normal. The difference here is that SpaceX is using $5.5 billion in federal grants, while Tesla and SolarCity are using $4.9 billion in subsidies and tax credits to back up each company.
In a nutshell, this means that the public is backing up all of Musk’s failed companies, while Elon Musk profits from them instead of paying the price for his failed output.
Elon Musk is seen as Steve Job’s incarnate and a man who will “save the world.” In reality, he is not even close to either — he is far from both of them.
Steve Jobs was castigated by stockholders when he failed and was pushed by his bond owners to make a profit. Elon Musk does not need to worry about any of that. The majority of Musk’s investors aren’t even in the private sector — they are the American taxpayers, and Washington coerces them to fund his failed products. Musk does not have to worry about the value of his output because he doesn’t have to please his “investors.” He knows that his buddies in Congress like Senator John McCain will continue to give him taxpayer funds no matter how ineffective his products turn out to be.
Elon Musk is not philanthropic, nor will he save the world. Musk has no intention of saving you from yourself. He isn’t interested in helping anyone — he is only interested in fame and fortune. Musk is very much like a child who wants to fly to Mars on a spaceship while fighting off aliens and saving princesses. He has all these dreams with no viable plan to put them into practice.
Unlike your run-of-the-mill child, Musk has not grown out of pursuing these unrealistic dreams, and the American taxpayers are getting tired of it. Every time Musk fails, he loses more of our money — and yet Capitol Hill continues to let him have it.
Elon Musk will continue to fail and dream of aliens in space above until the politicians in Washington wake up. Until then, American families will continue to pick up his scraps.