Billionaire Former Walmart Exec Lays Out Idea for America’s First Woke City

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Marco BULGARELLI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The wealth gap and affordable living problems in the United States are ones that are constantly discussed, yet remain unsolved. Former Walmart executive and e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore has his own solution, which involves building America’s first woke city from scratch.

Called Telosa, from the ancient Greek word Telos, meaning “highest purpose,” the city aims for “Equitism.” Lore provided details about his plans and goals for the new city in a promotional video. “The mission of Telosa is to create a more equitable, sustainable future. That’s our North Star. We are going to be the most open, the most fair and the most inclusive city in the world.”

Lore’s “Equitism” is a way of living in which the land the city is built upon will be donated to a community endowment. The city’s residents own their homes on that land and are enriched as home values increase. After a time of “hyper-growth,” these residents can buy land from the previously-mentioned community endowment. Lore states this method will tackle the wealth gap, America’s biggest challenge.

Using desert land as a foundation since it’s worth little to nothing, Marc Lore sees potential. A good foundation could be worth a “trillion dollars,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek. Additionally, that foundation could create a high quality of life for inhabitants. “And if the foundation’s mission was to take the appreciation of the land and give it back to the citizens in the form of medicine, education, affordable housing, social services: Wow, that’s it!”

The project’s initial phase targets completion in 2030. The city could accommodate 50,000 people across its roughly 1,500 acres. The total cost equals $25 billion. Citing areas in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and the Appalachian regions as possible sites, the project is ambitious, to say the least.

Telosa Gets Mixed Reaction on Social Media

Telosa seems like an interesting idea on paper and reception to the announcement is understandably mixed. Lore’s tweet stirred quite a bit of discussion on Twitter.

Many users seem concerned the area of land won’t be near water, while others bring up good points about disturbing ecosystems. “This sounds really horrific,” one follower replied. “You might see just a desert, a blank slate of sorts, but these areas are delicate ecosystems that supports thousands (maybe millions) of non-humans who are far more important to this planet than you or I.”

Meanwhile, some users support the idea. “This planet needs more people like you,” one user writes. “Absolutely love the boldness. To create without boundaries is the purest form of what it is to be human,” writes another.

Others bring up that though it seems like a good idea, it isn’t as inclusive as one might think. Another good point is how vague the announcement is. Though Marc Lore is clearly a savvy businessman, it’s still early with little details to back it up.

Overall, general consensus seems to be skeptical curiosity. With the initial phase still being nearly a decade away, time will tell if Lore’s idea pays off.