SpaceX founder and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk is the Time Person of the year for 2021. The magazine described the billionaire as a man who inspires to save our planet and find a new one to live. The Editor in chief for Time Magazine, Edward Felsenthal, said Musk had a significant impact on life on earth and potentially life off earth. He added that Musk was symbolic in 2021 and became the world’s richest person and an example of a huge societal change.
Musk Success In 2021
The year 2021 saw Elon Musk surpass Jeff Bezos to become the wealthiest person in the world. Additionally, Tesla became the most valuable carmaker globally, soaring above a trillion dollars. His rocket company Space X took to space with an all-civilian crew. Elon Musk is also the founder of the Boring Company and Neuralink, which deals with brain chips. Currently, Musk is ranked the 2nd richest person on the planet on Forbes with a net worth of around $151 billion.
Person of the Year
The Person of the Year recognition, formerly known as the man/woman of the Year, was first awarded in 1927. The century-old tradition is presented by Time magazine and sets out to recognize a person or idea that has had the most impact on the events of the year. Charles Lindbergh was the first recipient of the award after he flew across the Atlantic Ocean.
Over the years, the magazine has honored presidents, freedom fighters, popes, peacekeepers, environmentalists, Queen Elizabeth II, and inanimate objects. The recipient of Person of the Year is chosen by the editors of the magazine at the end of each year. Last year, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were the recipients.
Time Magazine gives other awards in various categories, including entertainer of the year Olivia Rodrigo and Athlete of the year, which went to Simone Biles. Time Inc. is a mass media corporation based in New York. It was founded in 1922 and is currently owned by Meredith Corporation.
Creating Solutions to Existential Crisis
According to Time’s chief editor Felsenthal, Musk was awarded the title developing solutions to an existential crisis. He praised Musk for embracing the possibilities and problems of the modern world and spearheading the most disruptive and daring transformation in society. The Magazine also described Musk as a “clown, genius, industrialist, edgelord, visionary, and showman.”
Time recognized Musk’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions, including the founding SolarCity, an alternative energy company. The billionaire also received praise for influencing the shrinking of traditional institutions and the rise of individuals. Musk has also influenced a breach in wealth and opportunity and a disruption in government, giving more power and responsibility to businesses.
Musk said in an interview with Time magazine that his goal has always been to make life multiplanetary. He expressed his desire to enable humans to travel through space, establish a colony on Mars, and take animals. Musk also hinted at some long-term space missions, including sending a human to Mars and going around the moon by 2023.
This year, SpaceX successfully launched four civilians on a spaceflight called Inspiration4. The company also landed a prototype of a Starship Mars rocket safely after performing a test. Inspiration4 was the first-ever all-civilian crew to reach orbit. Musk also tweeted about a program to transform CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into rocket fuel.
On the other hand, Tesla continues to dominate the electric car sector with over two-thirds market share. After surpassing the $1 trillion market value this year, the company’s stocks have been rising steadily despite a history of volatility. Musk announced plans for Tesla to build a humanoid robot by 2022.
Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy raging from his tweets and strange interview habits. Critics have not welcomed the decision to name Musk as Person of the Year due to his views on COVID-19, taxes, and unions. Musk’s attitude to tax has come under scrutiny primarily for rejecting the proposed billionaires’ tax. He is accused of paying only a small tax despite a considerable increase in his net worth between 2014 & 2018. The American tax laws fail to impose taxes on gains in wealth gotten from assets.
Some of the most vocal critics include Senator Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted urging Musk to pay taxes and stop taking advantage of other people. Author Kurt Eichenwald termed the decision by Time magazine as the worst choice ever. Former labor secretary Robert Reich also criticized the decision due to Musk’s opposition to unions.
During the pandemic last year, Musk was faced with controversy for downplaying the severity of COVID-19. His facilities remained open against public health protocols during the pandemic before eventually stopping production. The 50-year old Billionaire has a large following on Twitter with over 66 million followers. Musk often tweets outlandish advice that influences stock markets.
Elon musk hosted Saturday Night Live earlier in May and made remarks about his Asperger’s diagnosis. He also made jokes about Dogecoin and cryptocurrency. Despite the critics, many people agree with Time’s choice due to Musk’s contribution to the Automotive and Space Exploration sectors.
Musk was born in South Africa on June 28th, 1971, as the oldest of three children. The son of an Engineer and nutritionist had a terrible upbringing after his parents’ divorce. He was bullied a lot as a child, which forced him to spend his time reading and coding from an early age. Musk moved to Canada at the age of 17 to join his mother and later joined the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
Elon Musk has founded various companies over the years, including X.com, Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, The Boring Company, and Neuralink. He married Justine Wilson in 2000 and had five sons before divorcing eight years later. He later married Canadian Singer Grimes and had one son before announcing a semi-separation. Musk now resides in Texas, where the headquarters of Tesla are also located.