TIME NAMES ELON MUSK PERSON OF THE YEAR 2021
Elon Musk has been named Time's Person of the Year for 2021. The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla happens to be the richest person on the planet at the moment.
Time awards the distinction to "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse", according to its website.
"Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too," Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.
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"In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world's richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society."
Musk has been the leading of technology and engineering for nearly two decades. His mom, Maye Musk, told the magazine, "He was always different. He was my little genius boy," referring to Musk's eccentric intelligence.
Musk's SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and Neuralink have all made incredible advances in energy, health, and travel, both on Earth and in space, after making his wealth with PayPal.
His rocket business, SpaceX, has jumped ahead of Boeing and others to claim control of America's space future. And Tesla, the automotive firm he founded, on the other hand, now owns two-thirds of the multibillion-dollar electric-vehicle market and is worth an astounding $1 trillion. Musk's net worth is presently more than $250 billion, at least on paper.
He is currently involved in robotics and solar energy, bitcoin and climate change, brain-computer implants to combat artificial intelligence, and underground tunnels to move people and goods at breakneck speeds.
In contrast to prior years, Time did not publish a shortlist of nominees for this year's Person of the Year. Time also unveiled the decision on its own YouTube channel, developed by its own video subsidiary, Times Studios. This is in sharp comparison to prior years when Time would do the big reveal on broadcast television in collaboration with NBC.
Time will conduct an event in New York on Monday evening to honor Time's Person of the Year and its TIME100 community, signaling a return to normalcy for publishers who had to postpone in-person events due to the pandemic and instead held virtual ones.
As Time compliments him for his attempts to transform the electric vehicle industry, to Musk, his enormous wealth might merely be a byproduct of his capacity to not only perceive but also to accomplish things that others cannot, in areas where the stakes are life and death.
However, the decision received strong criticism in the U.S., where Musk is a controversial person due to his anti-tax stance, which includes rejecting a "billionaires tax" proposed by U.S. progressives.
Critics took to Twitter to question the decision, suggesting that there are other people who were more deserving of acknowledgment this year and citing a ProPublica investigation this year.
The ProPublica report revealed that Musk, like other renowned super-wealthy individuals, paid only a tiny tax compared to the enormous growth in his overall income between 2014 and 2018, with Musk paying a "real" rate of 3.27 percent.
While the rates are lawful, they highlight the inability of America's tax rules to tax growth in wealth obtained from assets in the same way that salaries most Americans' primary source of income is taxed.
In 2020, Musk sparked another controversy by downplaying the risks of COVID-19 in a series of tweets and keeping Tesla's northern California manufacturing plant active despite a local "shelter-in-place" order before eventually shutting it down.
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