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What we can learn from Elon Musk’s housing decisions



Sarah Robsdottir - published on 07/24/21

The housing choice of the CEO of Tesla Cars and SpaceX can inspire us to think about how we are living.

The famous entrepreneur and reported multi-billionaire Elon Musk announced last month: “My primary home is literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica / Starbase that I rent from SpaceX. It’s kinda awesome though …”

The June 9th tweet came after the 50-year-old CEO of Tesla Cars and SpaceX made headlines for unloading most of his luxurious real estate portfolio in order to give more attention to “solving problems on Earth and colonizing Mars,” as reported by Marketwatch. 

According to Tesla’s fan blog site Teslarati, Musk is living in a roughly 400 square foot, prefabricated modular home designed by Boxabl, a father/son start-up company based in Las Vegas with a simple but profound mission — “to significantly lower the cost of homeownership for everyone.”  Boxabl’s website shows a video of the type of home in which Musk currently resides being constructed in about a day. It also displays models of hospitals and homes specifically designed for times of disaster — clearly a worthwhile company/cause for Musk to support, especially as he has so obviously captivated the public eye.  

Musk’s decision to shed his homes in order to accomplish his intergalactic goals and to promote affordable housing brings to mind the classical Catholic concept of voluntary poverty — the choice to live more simply with less material goods. It also reminds us of two key principles in Catholic Social Teaching — the Universal Destination of Goods, and the importance of working together for the common good.

Even though Musk is still very far from being “poor” (at least as far as money goes), at a time when many folks chase wealth in order to find happiness, the idea of a billionaire living in a box is certain to turn heads and can invite each of us to consider how we should live.

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