Bukele elected dictator-for-life; Elon gets Atlas-Shrugged; Meetup at Watergate
Bukele elected Dictator For Life
Nayib Bukele has been re-elected with 83% of the vote, mostly because he locked up anybody with a gang tattoo without due process, and El Salvador became safer than the United States overnight.
The tally so far is 72,000 detainees, in a nation of 6 million. Apparently ~1% of the population was causing more or less all of the crime, and it turns out that if you just disarm and warehouse them, things immediately get way better for everybody else.
This is a scary proposition for USG, because it illustrates the very sane and sensible reasons people choose a strongman. Under Bukele, the requirements to stay out of trouble are very reasonable and clear, so ordinary people feel no threat from him — which was not true of either the gangs or the prior government, whatever the Salvadorian constitution said.
The purpose of writing down the rules is to create exactly that kind of security — and when it no longer exists, people are (eventually) smart enough to stop worshipping the forms.
Elon’s pay plan is erased by a judge after the fact
In 2018, Elon Musk bet his shareholders $55 billion that he could increase Tesla’s market cap to $650 billion — a number that the New York Times called “laughably impossible”.
It was ambitious, but that was why the shareholders took the deal: if he hits the target, everybody gets rich — and if he fails, nobody pays a dime.
Well, he did it — and now a Delaware judge has decided that it’s “unfair” and “excessive”, and threw it out. Journalists are crowing that Musk has “met his match” in Kathaleen McCormick, and she “isn’t afraid of him” — as if stealing his money incurred any risk to her whatsoever.
A light tax and regulatory climate is basically Delaware’s only export — which is why two-thirds of the Fortune 500 and nearly all tech startups are incorporated there.
It seems odd that they would jeopardize their reputation to chase after one ideological enemy, no matter how dangerous — but the corruption of this process actually makes it more powerful, in the short run.
On our full-group call Tuesday night, we got into the nuts and bolts of building with a real estate developer. Topics included:
Staying alive during a recession
Where the smart bets are/how to assess a location
Techniques to navigate city and state bureaucracy
A breakdown of what it takes to build a 50-acre compound for the boys
02/02: DC Meetup
Last Friday night, we had a group of 13 at the Watergate in DC. Members-only conference at a suite, then a cocktail hour at the bar. AI experts, defense contractors, fintech entrepreneurs, and (most critically) podcasters in attendance.
02/08: Utah Valley Hackathon
Next Thursday, one of the guys is hosting a hackathon in Cedar Hills, UT. Our software guys are still hunkered down from last year’s hiring crash — it’s time to get together and build.
Meetup invites for Salt Lake City (03/01), Seattle (03/29), and Austin (04/26) below the fold:
Or sign up at exitgroup.us.