Power Top Ten (Texas) #10: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

Power Top Ten (Texas) #10: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

Image: Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Austin, December 2 – Elon Musk is the Tenth Most Powerful of the Power Top Ten, the ten most powerful people in Texas. If you’re in the market for a car that doesn’t need gas or for a rocket, Musk is from whom you should likely get them.

The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, continues the tradition of listing the Power Top Ten, the ten most powerful people, but this year we’re adding the Power Top Ten of Texas. The Power Top Ten doesn’t commemorate the ten best people in Texas necessarily, but the most powerful people who are actually able to accomplish political, business, or policy goals. In other words, she or he can get things done in Texas. This year is the fifth that The Golden Hammer is publishing this list for Montgomery County. In 2016, the former Publisher of this newspaper published the list on social media before this newspaper began.

Elon Musk truly gets things done, largely because he does what he wants to do without asking permission and only seeking forgiveness later, if he offends.

Musk is a visionary leader similar in style and impact to the creativity of Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs. The difference, however, is that Musk certainly works quite well within the trappings of government largesse, even though he has managed to maintain a persona of a pro-free-markets guy.

Since 2012, Musk’s space exploration and manufacturing company, SpaceX, began buying land near Boca Chica State Park approximately twenty miles east of Brownsville in Cameron County, Texas. In March of this year, Musk announced that he intended to develop his own incorporated city, Starbase, near what has become the Boca Chica launch site for flight testing of his rocket vehicles.

Not every community welcomes something so exotic, loud, or showy as rocket launches to support the American space program. As a result, Musk has carefully conducted a public relations and community support campaign in Brownsville and surrounding areas so that the local population would not only tolerate him but welcome him, SpaceX, and SpaceX’s employees.

On the Tesla side of Musk’s business, the company which is the leading electric car manufacturer in the world just moved its corporate headquarters to the city of Austin close to its new $1.1 billion “Gigafactory” manufacturing facility in southeast Travis County. Similar to his work in south Texas, Musk has carefully sought to control his public persona in the Austin area, so that city leaders would welcome him and his business operations.

What Musk seeks to accomplish is not at all political. What he’s obviously very good at getting done, however, is what he wants to do while ensuring that local politicians and governmental entities leave him and his companies alone. There’s no question that Musk pays in the form of political contributions to politicians from both major political parties for their giving him the gift of looking the other way. He carefully shies away from overtly political issues and, in chameleon fashion, often slyly alters his political positions to comport with the prevailing views of local politicians.

Musk masterfully gets what he wants done. Most importantly, he’s succeeded largely at getting government to leave him, Tesla, SpaceX, and his other ventures alone.

What is the special skill which makes Elon Musk the tenth most powerful person in Texas? While he’s enormously creative and brilliant, Musk gets the government both to leave him alone and to give him a lot of money in subsidies, purchases of products and services, and tax breaks.

 

 

 

 

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