Yolanda Díaz, second vice president and minister of Labor and Social Economy, dedicated a good part of the speech she gave at the delivery of the Forbes award for the best CEO of the year 2021 to María Dolores DancausaCEO of Bankinter, to review the figure of billionaire businessman Elon Musk.
The second vice-president of the Government began her speech precisely by mentioning the Twitter buyout. But he also referred to his enormous fortune, equivalent to the planned social spending in Spain in 2022, their “mantras” for business success or the fact that nine of the ten richest people are white American men.
Regarding the purchase of the social network by Elon Musk for 44,000 million dollars (about 41,700 million euros at the current exchange rate), Díaz pointed out that It is not “one more controversial move” of the CEO of Tesla.
“The acquisition of Twitter, beyond its business profitability, gives Musk a very influential social tool, generator of public opinionin which, to this day, capital debates on freedom of expression, fake-newspost-truth and digital control of our lives,” he said.
Díaz pointed out that, in the future, analysts will say how much this social network is worth in the hands of Musk and if he has gained or lost capital and influence. However, he referred to a opinion piece published this week in ‘The New York Times’ under the title ‘Ellon Musk’s Twitter will be a scary place’.
a scary place
The article, signed by Greg Bensinger, one of the members of the editorial committee of the American newspaper, points out that when Musk says that his idea is for the platform to be an “inclusive field for freedom of expression” its users must understand that this means “free speech for people like Musk, a billionaire and the richest man in the world.”
Bensinger reviews in his column some of the conflicts in which Musk’s companies have been involved, such as accusations of racial discrimination, sexual harassment or Violation of local health regulations during Covid-19. It also addresses the different controversies of the businessman within the social network itselfas well as those of other personalities such as the former president of the United States, Donald Trump.
In this sense, the article warns that hsteel less strict on content moderation, something Musk seems determined to achieve, “It won’t make Twitter a better place: it will make it a lot more toxic”. “On the grounds that more speech is the best antidote to harmful speech, serious users are likely to be targeted more frequently by trolls and bots,” she remarks.
Lastly, he points out that Musk’s reasons for taking control of Twitter have nothing to do with freedom of expression, but to “control a megaphone”. “With his legion of followers, Musk will command a gigantic megaphone and will have no limits to promote their own investments, disregard sound health standards, and silence their critics. Freely speaking: does it sound like a better place?
Elon Musk’s fortune
The vice president’s mentions of Elon Musk were not limited to the Twitter operation. Thus, she remarked that his fortune, estimated at 219,000 million dollars (207,855 million euros), exceeds Ukraine’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is close to that of other countries such as Greece and Portugal.
He also stressed that this figure also means that the fortune of a single person equivalent, almost exactly, to the social spending consigned in the Budgets General Government (PGE) of Spain for 2022.
“And that one-man fortune, now perched on the bastion of Twitter, could, by itself, eliminate the multi-billion dollar global cost of the pay gap in the Spanish economy,” said Diaz. Although he admitted that they are “virtual calculations,” he stressed that they help to clearly reveal “the core of that global problem that is inequality.”
Along the same lines, he also highlighted that, on the Forbes list, after the CEO of Tesla, there are “seven other white American men.” “A significant fact, which should make us reflect: nine white men and not a single woman in the top ten from this list,” he said.
The “mantras” of Musk’s business success
On the other hand, Díaz also referred to the “mantras” used by Musk to explain the keys to his excellent business results. Thus, he recalled that the billionaire businessman has spoken that, in reality, money does not matter so much to him, that he likes to take risks, that he is faithful to his passions, that he ignores criticism and is not afraid to think big.
“I am convinced that many of those mantras, which both are lavished in leadership and business entrepreneurship manuals successful, they are not always a guarantee,” said the second vice president.
In fact, he appealed to the knowledge of those attending the award of “cases of courage, risk and enthusiasm that have ended up in a shadow areathat have failed or that, simply, have not achieved the desired objectives in the demanding market standards”.
“Even many CEOs, many CEOs, you have had to work twice as hard, show twice as much and get paid less than a colleague with your same job category, to reach the place that, with so much merit and dedication, you have reached”, she added in reference to the difficulties that women face in the workplace.
In this regard, he noted that there an “endless series of factors, tangible and intangible”, that can tip the balance of a business initiative and place it, or not, in the right direction. Among them, he mentioned labor rights and corporate responsibility, equality between men and women or the challenges and technological and climatic transformations that societies face.
“In the middle of 2022 already it is not possible to conceive business projects that are only guided by profit or that evaluate their profitability or their supposed competitiveness based, above all, on labor costs”, stressed the second vice president before going on to review the great agreements reached in recent times in Spain between companies, unions and the Government.
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Yolanda Díaz’s surprising speech about Musk: “His fortune would be enough to close the wage gap in Spain”