In Welfare Queens:
The biggest critics of the government are, oddly, some of its biggest beneficiaries. Tech billionaires are often the first to shitpost America, even as they continue to harvest wealth from the investments taxpayers make via the U.S. government.
In fact, the biggest bitch(er) may be the biggest (financial) beneficiary. Elon Musk says we should “get rid of all” government subsidies, that “the government is the biggest corporation with a monopoly on violence,” and last week mocked Washington for hiring more employees at the IRS. Let’s be clear: Elon didn’t build an EV company in South Africa or start a rocket company in Canada. He built Tesla and SpaceX in the United States. And both continue to be heavily dependent on U.S. government support.
There would be no SpaceX without NASA, its largest customer. Tesla built its Fremont factory with a $465 million DoE loan in 2010, and its first 200,000 cars benefited from tax credit subsidies of up to $7,500. For years the company was able to report profits thanks to the “sale” of emissions credits to other carmakers. All told, the company has accepted an estimated $2.5 billion in government support.