‘Too many smart people go into finance and law’

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Elon Musk on Joe Rogan Experience radio show.

Source: Joe Rogan Experience | YouTube

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that fewer people should start careers in finance and law and instead focus on innovation.

“In the United States especially, there’s an over allocation of talent in finance and law. Basically too many smart people go into finance and law,” Musk said in an interview with the comedian Joe Rogan that aired Thursday. 

When asked by Rogan if being a billionaire makes people see him in a different light, Musk said yes. 

“In recent years, billionaire has become a pejorative, like that’s become a bad thing, which I don’t think makes a lot of sense in most cases,” Musk said.

But he distinguished people who became rich by founding a company that builds things, versus those who earned their wealth through financial engineering or other means. “If you organize people in a better way, to produce products and services that are better than what existed before and you have some ownership in that company, that essentially gives you the right to allocate more capital.” 

“So this is both a compliment and a criticism,” Musk added. “We should have fewer people doing law and fewer people doing finance and more people making stuff.” 

Musk said that manufacturing shifted from being a highly valued job to one that’s “looked down upon,” though the value is there.

“Making a car is an honest day’s living, that’s for sure,” Musk said. 

The CEO also addressed his recent vow on Twitter to sell the majority of his physical possessions, which he said weigh him down.

“I have a bunch of houses, but I don’t spend a lot of time in most of them. That doesn’t seem like a good use of assets. Somebody could probably be enjoying those houses and get better use of them than me.” 

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