LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – In a move he describes as a no brainer, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has purchased the South American country of Bolivia for $40.5 billion and renamed it ß-Œ 54-e-A (pronounced bəˈlɪviə).
“When it became clear that the little democratic hiccup [coup] didn’t go our way, I’d stay up at night wondering how I’d get my hands on Bolivia’s vast lithium reserves,” explained Musk from his sprawling Lake Titicaca estate. “Then it dawned on me – I’m the richest man on the planet. I can just buy Bolivia, and still have $160 billion left over. Problem solved!”
The purchase came shortly after Musk spent 35 minutes perusing Bolivia’s Wikipedia page and discovered that the Gross Domestic Product of the landlocked nation is around $40 billion, and that the country is also rich with zinc, gold, tin, and iron – metals that Musk can exploit to benefit his SpaceX and Tesla programs.
According to Musk, he now has access to 60 – 70% of the world’s lithium – a heavy metal crucial to electric vehicle battery technology. As an added bonus, Musk also controls the second largest natural gas reserves in South America, and over 6 million laborers willing to work for a fraction of American wages.
“Did you know that ß-Œ 54-e-A has 90 miles of uninterrupted salt flats,” asked an increasingly more excited Musk. “Imagine the Hyperloop speed tests I can conduct. I can run my SpaceX business without the burden of American regulators, and set up a mock Martian colony in ß-Œ 54-e-A’s western deserts. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?”
While it’s uncommon for one individual to own a country outright, it isn’t unprecedented. King Leopold of Belgium was the de facto owner of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908. During his 23-year ownership, he was directly responsible for the mutilation and deaths of over 20 million indigenous people.
Although some might be weary of one individual owning a country, Musk issued a statement of reassurance. “What happened in the Congo was terrible, but that’s not how I roll. That’s more Jeff Bezos‘s style. I’ll ensure all citizens of ß-Œ 54-e-A are provided up to sixteen hours of work daily and a full 30-minute unpaid lunch break,” explained the billionaire. “No one’s getting their hands cut off under my watch. Blasted into space? Maybe.”
As of press time, BeetPress has confirmed that Musk has already crashed three SpaceX prototype Mars rockets within ß-Œ 54-e-A’s borders.