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Billionaire Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page told Charlie Rose at TED this week that when he dies, he'd rather leave his savings to capitalists like inventor Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City, than to a charity. Hey Now. Strong words…

We wanted to know how many people agreed with Larry Page in our Poll of the Day: Would you rather leave your money to charity or Elon Musk?


At the time of this post, 57.1% of respondents picked ELON with 42.9% picking CHARITY.

Hedgeye Managing Director Moshe Silver put his money on ELON arguing, “the charity model is broken. The biggest problem is lack of transparency over use of funds, and secret agendas. Musk is a creative genius dedicated to making the world better through humanity-changing technology, and he's got audited financials. It ain't perfect, but worth a shot.”

Other voters who picked ELON said he can do more good for the whole, maybe by even creating a new, revolutionary charity.  One commenter said, “It's short term vs. long term view. Feed a thousand now or save a million later. Musk secures the long term and thinks big picture.”

Another said, “Elon takes big leaps to explore and solve problems, while most leaders at charities don't have the mind-set to turn something on its head and re-think the way things can be done... furthermore, various aspects of capitalistic ventures can solve some of humanities problems.”

Though the poll leaned toward ELON, there were plenty of comments on why CHARITY was a better bet:

  • “No doubt that Elon will change the world as we know it. He's a visionary and a winner. And he wants us to win too. But I can think of so many amazing charitable organizations that can succeed with a single donation, and are at risk of failing without it. Elon will have us driving electric cars and traveling through space with our without my money.”
     
  • “If Elon Musk created a charity, my bet is it would be extremely effective and there's a good chance he'd receive some of my money. But we're debating two different things.”
     
  • “When you pick the right charity all kinds of good can happen. Elon has no problem raising cash.”
     
  • “Musk is a rentier. He is thriving because of government loans, contracts, and subsidies.”
     
  • “Elon's too focused on delusions of grandeur (like going to Mars).  Tesla's great, but he has peaked already.  Bill Gates wants to help people on this planet.”

In the end, the real question may be: Why does Larry Page think he will die before Elon Musk?

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