Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk issued a warning on Monday about the rising economic power of China — and how the United States can remain competitive.
During an interview with the “All In” podcast, the world’s richest man said that Americans must “stop the infighting” amid the growing hegemony of China.
“What we’re going to see with China, for the first time that anyone can remember who is alive, is an economy that is twice the size of the U.S., possibly three times the size of the U.S., and it’s going to be very weird living in that world,” Musk explained, as reported by Fox Business. “So, we better stop the infighting in the U.S. and stop punching ourselves in the face. There’s way too much of America punching itself in the damn face, it’s just dumb, and think about, hey, ‘We gotta be competitive here.’”
With $23 trillion in economic output last year, the United States presently boasts the world’s largest economy. However, China — which boasts a $17.7 trillion economy and has averaged 10% annual GDP growth since 1978 — continues to expand its consumer sector and draw attention from businesses in the Western world.
“There’s a new kid on the block that’s going to be two to three times our size,” Musk warned. “We better step up our game and stop infighting.”
Amid the rise of China, Musk urged American businesses to stand down from political controversies. “The point of a company is to produce useful products and services for your fellow human beings,” Musk said. “It is not some political gathering place.”
Indeed, Musk has formerly condemned American companies’ efforts to make businesses more “socially conscious” — including Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), an investment and management philosophy that seeks to promote progressive causes in addition to maximizing shareholder returns.
Earlier this year, when software entrepreneur Marc Andreessen criticized ESG funds’ willingness to “make the weapons required to fight wars with hostile regimes we buy energy from” and simultaneous refusal to invest in energy companies, Musk pointed out that “ESG rules have been twisted into insanity.”
Musk, an independent voter, also revealed that he will begin to branch out and support Republican candidates. “I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, historically,” Musk acknowledged. “Like I’m not sure, I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear. Now this election I will.”
The billionaire has also been highly critical of President Joe Biden. After the commander-in-chief’s State of the Union address in March, for instance, Musk called attention to Biden’s decision to ignore Tesla in favor of Ford and GM’s new electric vehicle ventures.
“Ford is investing $11B to build electric vehicles — creating 11,000 jobs across the country,” read a post from Biden’s Twitter account as the State of the Union speech concluded. “GM is making the largest investment in its history — $7B to build electric vehicles, creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan.”
“Tesla has created over 50,000 US jobs building electric vehicles & is investing more than double GM + Ford combined,” the billionaire entrepreneur responded as an “fyi to person controlling this twitter.”