The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin may have been a bit presumptive with his recent article titled: “Want to Bring Back Jobs, Mr. President-Elect? Call Elon Musk”
Trumpeting Musk’s “vision for the re-emergence of manufacturing in the United States,” Sorkin went so far as to call Musk “the real-life Tony Stark.”
Facts tell a much different story, though. Musk’s Tesla Motors has failed to deliver jobs it had promised Nevada lawmakers:
The 331 total employees noted in an audit are just a fraction of those anticipated by this time when lawmakers approved the incentive package in September 2014. An analysis by Applied Economics and presented as testimony during the special session projected 1,700 workers at the plant by the end of this year.
While Musk’s businesses have struggled to show a profit, Musk has not had to worry as his growing empire, which enjoys billions in taxpayer subsidies:
Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.
Musk’s movement to the Environmentalist Left has earned him praise from radical activist Bill McKibben, who called him the “Henry Ford of this era.”
As Musk faces a cash crunch and billions in debt on his companies’ “shaky balance sheets,” the pressure is on to keep the taxpayer money coming in.