He's right, but he shouldn't say it.
Let Them Have Toilet Paper
In the world's best example of "two wrongs don't make a right," Elon Musk says he took his kids to Walmart to watch the plebeians of the world panic-buy toilet paper.
Musk made a quip about customers springing to buy paper products during Tesla's Q4 earnings call this week, in which he compared the the global chip shortage to the toilet paper shortages that hit during the early pandemic and still plague certain areas.
"You know, there was a toilet paper shortage during COVID, and like, obviously, it wasn't really certainly a tremendous enhanced need for ass wiping," Musk said, according to a transcript of the call. "People... got every paper you could possibly wipe your ass with. I was like, 'Is this like a real thing or not?' I actually took my kids to the H-E-B and Walmart in Texas. Indeed, it was."
Musk went on to mock people for stocking up on toilet paper, saying that if the end of the world was truly coming, it wasn't exactly the kind of thing that would help anyone survive.
"Toilet paper is the least of your problems," Musk quipped.
Was Musk being being totally insensitive to all of us non-rich people who have to worry about the real consequences of a real pandemic?
Is it pretty pointless to stock up on toilet paper?
But as mentioned, two wrongs don't make a right. It's true that according to WebMD, TP demand grew to $1.45 billion in sales in the 4-week period ending in March of 2020, up 112 percent from the year before. It's also true that if everyone bought just what they needed, there would be enough to go around and stores wouldn't have to limit how many packages a customer could buy.
Additionally, panic-buying only exacerbates supply chain shortages, and all that toilet paper is made from wood pulp, a resource we should trying to use less of, not more.
Grudgingly, yes, Musk is right — but that doesn't mean he needs to sound so smug.
More on Musk monologues: Elon Musk Goes on Paranoid Rant About Vaccines