Politics & Policy

Boston University’s Fake-o-Nomics Darling

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a pride parade in the Bronx, New York, June 17, 2018. (David Dee Delgado/Reuters)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez majored in economics, but she doesn’t seem to have learned much.

It costs a pretty penny to earn a diploma in stupid.

The annual list price to attend Boston University — including tuition, fees, room, and board — currently rounds out to $70,000. To acquire a degree in economics from this tony institution of higher learning, an undergrad must complete courses in calculus, microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis, empirical economics, statistics, and assorted electives.

Four years, 52 credits and nearly $300,000 later, the school promises that BU economics majors will depart “with a firm understanding of core microeconomic and macroeconomic theory” and the “empirical skills that are essential to applying economic reasoning in our increasingly data-driven world.”

How, then, to explain the abject economic illiteracy of meteoric media darling and democratic socialist “political rock star” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? The 28-year-old BU alumna graduated with an economics and international relations degree in 2011. She calls herself a “nerd” and bragged about her academic credentials, tweeting earlier this month:

“How many other House Democrats have a degree in Economics like I do? Trying to find who out here is going to be in the Gini Coefficient Appreciation Squad.”

The upstart New York congressional candidate has been hailed by pundits, newspapers, and pols as “sharp,” “smart” and “extraordinary.” BU’s associate provost and dean of students Kenneth Elmore gushed that Ocasio-Cortez is “brilliant — she is boldly curious and always present. She makes me think and could always see multiple sides of any issue. . . . I can’t wait to see what happens when her time truly comes.”

But when the time came to put her BU economics education to work, Ocasio-Cortez flunked. On PBS last week, she asserted that “unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs.” Moreover, the erudite B.A. holder in economics posited, “unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their kids.”

Egad. This nonsense needs more unpacking than a cross-country Mayflower moving truck.

This nonsense needs more unpacking than a cross-country Mayflower moving truck.

The unemployment rate, which stands at a historically low 4 percent, is calculated by extrapolating and dividing the number of people out of work by the total number of individuals in the American work force.

If you have one job, two jobs, three jobs or more, you don’t count as unemployed. Whether you are working 40 hours or 80 hours or 120 hours a week, if you’re working, that has no effect on the unemployment rate, either. The number of workers moonlighting and the number of hours they moonlight have zero, zip, and nada effect on the unemployment rate.

Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that “everyone has two jobs” is more fake-o-nomics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of Americans holding down multiple jobs is less than 5 percent and has been declining for nearly 30 years. Pew Research adds that both “in terms of raw numbers and as a share of all employed people, fewer Americans are working more than one job than in the mid-1990s.”

As for starving children, government statistics show that hunger has dropped to its lowest levels in a decade as unemployment and food inflation have declined. Federal food-stamp usage has also plunged to historic lows.

Instead of hitting the books, Ocasio-Cortez appears to have spent most of her college days pounding the social-justice pavement. The Boston Globe reports approvingly that she “was active at BU in organizations that empower minorities,” including a stint as president of Alianza Latina, BU’s largest Latin American student organization, and as a student ambassador at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, “which aims to foster inclusiveness among students of all backgrounds.”

Ms. Diversity-ConArtista may be able to blow hot air about Gini coefficients while tweeting anti-capitalist platitudes. But the numbers don’t lie. She’s everything that’s wrong with overpriced liberal ivory towers, radical identity politics, and left-wing media ideologues pining for their next savior.

Copyright © 2018 Creators.com

NOW WATCH: ‘Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Can’t Answer Questions About Israel’

Most Popular

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More

The Didactic Plague

There are two Christian concepts on my mind on this Palm Sunday. One is theodicy, the other is the sin of presumption. “Theodicy” means “the vindication of God,” referring to a seeming conundrum that has vexed Christian thinkers since the beginning: How can evil coexist with an all-good, all-loving, ... Read More

The Didactic Plague

There are two Christian concepts on my mind on this Palm Sunday. One is theodicy, the other is the sin of presumption. “Theodicy” means “the vindication of God,” referring to a seeming conundrum that has vexed Christian thinkers since the beginning: How can evil coexist with an all-good, all-loving, ... Read More