Ross: Elon Musk shows us the true power of immense wealth

Apr 6, 2022, 7:17 AM | Updated: 12:47 pm
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I’ve always wondered what it really means to have immense wealth.

It can’t be just about buying stuff, because once you’ve got all the cars, boats, houses, planes, tropical islands, can you really use them? You can only be in one place at a time, so basically, you’re just overpaying for your vacations. You’re spending all that money on leg room and not having to undress in front of a government official.

Yes, you can employ a well-groomed chauffeur who greets you by name and always knows where you want to go. But my Uber driver can do that.

Elon Musk, however, has shown us the true power of wealth.

On January 31, he started buying Twitter shares, buying a block of shares every day, until by this week he had accumulated 73,486,938 shares, which at yesterday’s closing price were worth $3,746,364,099.

With that 3.7 billion dollars worth of stock, he joined Twitter’s Board of Directors, shares jumped, making him even wealthier, and he posted a Twitter Poll asking if Twitter should install an edit button.

Twitter has been working for a while on the edit button, but clearly Elon Musk has the power to finally make it happen. When it does, perhaps you will finally be able to edit an odious Tweet and maybe save your job.

This is what $3.7 billion dollars can buy that a lesser fortune cannot: The power to force a social media company to do something constructive.

In fact, I hope he does the same with email.

For whatever reason human beings too often hit “send” when they are angry, high, drunk, or just full of themselves. But imagine if you could edit emails right up until the moment they’re opened? Or even while they’re being read? In fact, I think delivery of all written communications should be electronically delayed by at least five minutes.

How many people have been fired, flamed, cancelled, ostracized, humiliated, traumatized in the past decade, all because of online intemperance?

But with the power to edit, we might prevent all that. How many careers could be saved? How many relationships? And if it takes $3.7 billion, I can’t think of a better way for Elon to spend his money.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Elon Musk shows us the true power of immense wealth