I’m sure all of you are familiar with our friend Elon Musk. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is famously grounded in reality. He’s a man that never bullshits consumers. He also just so happens to be the richest man to ever walk the earth who actually doesn’t know shit about fuck when it comes to what normal people can afford.
Case in point: Musk believes that a $US100,000 ($138,820) hypothetical price point for a SpaceX ticket to Mars would be affordable for “almost anyone.” I don’t know about y’all, but that probably is not the case.
Business Insider reports SpaceX is planning to build a self-sustaining city on Mars in the next few decades. I mean, they won’t, but they at least plan to.
In a conversation with the head of TED conferences Chris Anderson published Monday, Musk was asked about the price of a journey. Anderson asked if it could get as low as a few hundred thousand dollars.
Musk said the price point would be determined partly by economics but also a need to make Mars travel affordable enough to attract around a million of the kinds of people needed to build a city on Mars.
“If moving to Mars costs, for argument’s sake, $US100,000 ($138,820), then I think almost anyone can work and save up and eventually have $US100,000 ($138,820) and be able to go to Mars if they want,” Musk said around minute 46.
“We want to make it available to anyone who wants to go,” he said.
The scenario Musk described seemed predicated on people selling homes and other assets to go.
In the interview Musk mentioned other possible funding sources, like being sponsored by governments or taking out a loan.
So like… this is really dumb right? I mean, it’s going to be at least $US100,000 ($138,820). How could the average person or “almost anyone” actually be able to do this? If that’s what it costs, then that’s what it costs. I’m fine with that hypothetical.
My real issues lie with the idea this is something anyone can afford, and to me it show Musk’s true colours: a man who really has no idea what it’s like to be the average person (mostly because he never has been).
It’s a lie to say almost anyone can afford this, because the fact of the matter is that they cannot. Median household income in 2020 was $US67,521 ($93,733), according to the U.S. Census Bureau while mean single-person income was $US53,996 ($74,957) that same year. To say “ almost anyone” can afford a $US100,000 ($138,820) ticket to a different planet is a gross misunderstanding of the economic situation of most people.
However, none of that really matters since this whole plan won’t shake out anyway.