The call of a budgie

Yes, that is almost the foundation of a new cartoon, the story of Sylvester the cat and his sunny side show, Tweety. A show that was funny when we were younger than 13, but now? That is the stage we face (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59182278) with ‘Twitter poll calls on Elon Musk to sell 10% stake in Tesla’. What is this? It is like the BBC has lost its senses. Just like the Dutch government who claimed that they gave in to Twitter pressure when they made a deal with Sywert van Lieden, and no one is asking questions that matters. 

In the first Twitter is no valid source of information, none of the vote can be verified. It could will be three politicians each wielding a troll army of 235,000, we cannot tell. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter, it updates me from sources that give me information. Newspapers that have a good reputation, movie productions that give me time lines and optionally a trailer or two, new games. And sometimes a link to something that matters, but polls? A shouting app that allows the rude and the loud to set policy? Never! Its like giving the power of policy on meat to the vegetable store down the road. Or perhaps it lets the NBA make NHL rulings. The proverbial ‘fuck that!’ comes to mind. 

So in this case it is about a poll that allegedly (because a Twitter account can always be hacked) Elon Musk put in the field and the BBC turn it into a lie. They give you “Voters in a Twitter poll have urged Elon Musk to sell 10% of his stake in Tesla in order to pay tax.” That is not what happened. Elon Musk (allegedly) put a question to an audience where he stated “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?” The response was that 57.9% said yes. We see no numbers, but it could be that 579 out of 1000 said yes. And it is a mere question he aired. And the setting is more. Tax avoidance, or black letter law is legally allowed, it merely means that he would pay what he is due, not what we THINK he is due and the larger stage is that it is again about tax laws, a setting both democrats and republicans have never ever adjusted, not in 2 decades. 

Then we see a part that matters, the BBC gives us “In an earlier tweet on Saturday, Mr Musk said he took no salary or bonuses from any of his companies – meaning he has no earnings on which to pay income tax. But he has made billions of dollars through a compensation package, which gives him power to exercise large amounts of stock options when the company meets performance targets and its shares hit certain prices.” He is legally allowed to do this and certain stupid players need to stop baiting the hook, the law is there, he can do this and he does. It is not good, it is not bad, it is allowed. To be honest, it a certain Randy Lennox takes the steps I could (hopefully) end up with 10% of $400M-$600M. Do you think I will not take these steps? You have got to be joking. The tax laws allow me to do this and I will, it is the law. 

And I am not alone, more and more take this step, because the law allows me to do this. The tax overhaul,. The one step that stops this is avoided by politicians, why is that? Why are these (stupid) people relying on Twitter to try to pressure people? We know it is not a valid source, it can be an informative source, but cannot be verified (so you need to take care on what to believe) and the list goes on (and on and on and on). So there we have a setting and the BBC justly adds to this with “Mr Musk has an option, which expires in August next year, to buy 22.86 million Tesla shares at $6.24 each – a fraction of Tesla’s closing share price on Friday of $1,222.

Under plans proposed by the Democratic Party in the Senate, billionaires could be taxed on “unrealised gains” when the price of their shares goes up – even if they do not sell any of their stock.” This would add another $23,000,000,000 non taxable funds (at the moment). The law allows him to do this, I saw some of my bosses (in the past) do this with much smaller numbers and it has been legal for at least 30 years. If it was such a taboo why didn’t they stop it them. In that time the US had Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and now President Biden, and so far none have done anything. Well the proposition is from the current president, but I reckon that the votes will fail. And even if it holds up, I feel 99.335% certain that there will be a hiatus and there will be ways around it. Thousands of tax lawyers ill be ready to take that proposition apart and drive wedges through its X, Y and Z axis. 

And as some players claim, the value does not always go up. Elon Musk is one man but hundreds of others do the same, if one gets taxed up to these hundreds can use that setting to make it all tax deductible a side the people are eager to avoid staring at, because they see this one Elongatedly uberly rich Musk and they forget that the one winner comes with 999 losers. Do you really wanna give a tax cut to the 999 that follow?

And credit to the BBC to add the comment by Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman who gives us “Looking forward to the day when the richest person in the world paying some tax does not depend on a Twitter poll” the one sane view in the article. Especially as one of the other Musk polls or statements got ‘altered’ to attain the flaming audience. I too would have questions for Elon Musk, but it would be on his new mobile and other settings that accompany this. I wonder if there is a side that is the danger of a much larger dangerous issue in the works. I am not claiming it is, I am merely wondering on the chances of this, and not from him or his endeavour, but on the dangers of third parties doing something stupid (as they tend to do when their pupils turn to dollar signs). For now I merely wonder, perhaps I will see an opposing view when the clear facts are presented to the world. 

I know, it is merely the view of little (and seemingly old) me, and that does not constitute evidence, but it calls for all kinds of questions, does it not? The call of a budgie is nice when you are drinking tea (or coffee) yet the stage of Twitter remains that we can switch it off when we do something that is important to us, did you consider that? And I get that the BBC saw this as an opening, but I reckon they could have written it differently, but that is my personal view on the matter. Have a fun day!

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Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

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