Elon Musk Says “Almost Anyone” Can Afford a $100,000 Ticket to Mars

The world's most relatable billionaire strikes again

Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022.
Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

Not to be outdone by his on-again, off-again girlfriend Grimes, who recently insisted that he lives “below the poverty line,” the richest man alive is back with an embarrassingly out-of-touch comment about wealth of his own. In a recent interview, Elon Musk insisted that “almost anyone” can afford a hypothetical $100,000 ticket to Mars.

Back in 2020, Musk said he hoped to build a city on Mars, which he would populate by sending 1 million people to the red planet via 1,000 of SpaceX’s Starships by the year 2050. And in a conversation with the head of TED conferences Chris Anderson published Monday, Musk was asked about how much the journey to Mars might cost passengers looking to relocate from Earth.

Musk said the price point would be determined partly by economics but also pointed out it’d need to be low enough that at least a million people would be able to afford the trip in order to populate his new city on the planet. Apparently, in his mind, $100,000 is “affordable” enough to be to make the journey accessible to anyone.

“If moving to Mars costs, for argument’s sake, $100,000, then I think almost anyone can work and save up and eventually have $100,000 and be able to go to Mars if they want,” Musk said. “We want to make it available to anyone who wants to go.”

It should go without saying, but $100,000 is not a sum of money that “almost anyone” can save up with relative ease. (The assertion that it is feels very “I mean, it’s one banana, Michael, what could it cost? $10?“) For one, according to a 2021 survey, one in four Americans have no savings at all, and 51% of Americans have only saved enough money to cover three months’ worth of expenses or less. There are far more people than Musk realizes who are living paycheck to paycheck — and, of course, that doesn’t include people who have no paycheck at all and are struggling to scrape together enough money to find food or shelter.

Musk also pointed out that people could sell their homes on Earth and then use the money from that sale to fund their ticket to Mars — but even that is based on the erroneous assumption that the average person owns their own home.

Is it actually possible that Musk truly believes the average person has access to a six-figure nest egg that they can use to move to a new planet rather than work to heal the one we’re actively destroying? Could that be why despite having enough money to single-handedly end world hunger, he has chosen not to? Wait’ll this guy finds out poverty exists; he’s gonna be so embarrassed he spent so much time working on hypothetical Martian cities instead of using some of his incomprehensibly vast wealth to help people here on Earth.

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