If politicians were better at science, tech companies could probably innovate better, according to Elon Musk.
"You know, I wish politicians were better at science. That would help a lot," Musk said when Rogan asked him about bottlenecks at the companies he runs and the things that were holding back innovation.
Musk agreed with Rogan that there are not incentives for American politicians to be good at science.
"Actually, they're pretty good at science in China, I have to say," Musk said, adding, "The mayor of Beijing has, I believe, an environmental engineering degree, and the deputy mayor has a physics degree. I met them."
Beijing's mayor, Chen Jining, is a "doctor of engineering" and a professor, and obtained a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Imperial College, London. Beijing has multiple vice mayors and it wasn't immediately clear whom Musk was talking about.
"And the mayor of Shanghai is really smart," Musk said about Ying Yong, who holds a masters degree in law, according to the government's website.
The role of government in the technology sector is a frequently debated topic around the world. Many argue that if governments come up with heavy-handed regulations against tech companies, or push for unfavorable policies, it could potentially stifle innovation.
Recently, U.S. lawmakers grilled Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey over what the tech giants are doing to fight abuse on social platforms and online election meddling. Other American tech names are worried about the impact of a potential new round of U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise reportedly sent a last minute letter to the U.S. Trade Representative's office asking for an exemption, worried that it could increase their costs and potentially lead to job losses.
For his part, Musk is facing a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission on whether he violated securities laws after he claimed in a tweet that he had the funds to take Tesla private. Musk has since posted that, based on the feedback he received, it was apparent that most of Tesla's existing shareholders believed it was better off as a public company.