Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk returned to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast this week. Not only did he reveal that his girlfriend Grimes was responsible for the name of their newborn son, X Æ A-12, but Musk also discussed the perception people have of billionaires and his recent declaration that he is selling nearly all of his possessions.
Musk said that in recent years, the term billionaire has become a pejorative term and people perceive him and other billionaires in a negative light, which is something that doesn’t make sense to Musk in most cases.
He explained that there is a difference between people who become wealthy by starting a company, being creative and innovative, and building things, and those who accumulate their wealth through “investing in companies or moving money around the stock market.”
For example, Musk brought up famous investor Warren Buffett and said he wasn’t his “biggest fan.” However, he does a lot of capital allocation, which is the distribution of financial resources for the long-term growth of a company. Musk says that Buffett reads a lot of annual reports and accounting, which is “pretty boring,” and his job as an investor is to try to figure out if “Coke or Pepsi deserve more capital.”
Jobs like that are important, says Musk, but he believes there is an over allocation of talent in finance and law in the United States. Basically, there are too many smart people in those professions. He explained that this was both a compliment and a criticism, and we should have fewer people in law and finance and “more people making stuff.”
“If you organize people in a better way, to produce products and services that are better than what existed before and you have some ownership in that company, that essentially gives you the right to allocate more capital,” explained Musk.
I am selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2020
Over the years, Musk said that there has been a shift from manufacturing being a highly-valued job, to one that is “looked down upon.” And, he called making a car an “honest day’s living.”
During the candid two-hour discussion, Elon Musk also talked about his recent tweet where he revealed that he was selling nearly all of his possessions.
“I have a bunch of houses, but I don’t spend a lot of time in most of them. That doesn’t seem like a good use of assets. Somebody could probably be enjoying those houses and get better use of them than me,” said Musk.
You can see Joe Rogan’s entire interview with Elon Musk in the video above.