Daily Column – 18th February 2022

They try to be nice to the government to get better treatment for their business. Elon Musk isn’t the only one who’s been getting more angry at the US government.

Tesla said yesterday that the SEC, the top cop on Wall Street, was harassing CEO Elon Musk in order to “chill” his right to free speech.

There was an agreement in 2018 about Musk’s tweet that he had the “funding” to make Tesla private. This complaint comes from that agreement and comes from that agreement.

The SEC said that Musk broke the law because he didn’t tell the truth.

Musk had to step down as chairman for three years, pay $40 million in fines, and have some of his tweets and other public statements checked by lawyers as part of the deal.

In the years since, the fight between Musk and the SEC has gotten worse. The SEC told Tesla that some of Musk’s tweets broke the agreement, and Musk threw schoolyard insults back at them.

There is now a fever pitch.

There was a letter that Tesla sent to the SEC yesterday. Let’s go back and look at it. “Worst of all,” it says, “the SEC seems to be focusing on Mr. Musk and Tesla because Mr. Musk is still an outspoken critic of the government.”

It’s very likely that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made fun of his own government in a way we haven’t seen from a big-name CEO before…maybe ever? There are a few:

Musk has made fun of President Biden for not mentioning his company when he talked about electric vehicles in the US.

In addition, he blamed the “fun police” for a recent recall of 500,000+ cars with a feature that makes fart noises.

When you cross into the United States, you don’t have to stop having beef with other countries. Yesterday, Musk put up a meme that said Justin Trudeau was like Adolf Hitler. Musk has been a big critic of Trudeau (which he later deleted).

A lot of people aren’t happy with what Musk said, because his companies have received billions of dollars in government subsidies.

Looking at the next few years…

Authorities don’t seem to be scared off by a few mean tweets. Using Tesla’s Autopilot system, some cars have been reported to brake unexpectedly. Safety regulators are now looking into this. It’s the third time the federal government has looked into Tesla’s safety in the last six months.

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