Economy & Business

How Ocasio-Cortez Makes the Case against Socialism

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at the Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in New Orleans, La., August 4, 2018. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
She may have harsh words for capitalism, but her actions highlight the system’s benefits.

On Wednesday, it was reported that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign had spent $4,000 on Uber rides — despite the fact that the self-described Democratic socialist herself had previously decried the company on Twitter:

This is, of course, nothing short of hypocrisy. If you really thought a company was so bad, you’d probably make sure your campaign didn’t use it. If you really thought something was a problem, you probably wouldn’t give that problem $4,000. What’s more, if you were really concerned about the plight of NYC taxi drivers, you might, you know, give them some business, instead of giving your business to the very company you’d criticized for ruining them.

What we have with this revelation is just another example of how Ocasio-Cortez’s time in the spotlight has made an argument against socialism, instead of for it. Her words may say that the heavily regulated taxi companies are better, but her actions say that she prefers Uber — a service that is only possible because of the thing she stands most opposed to: capitalism.

Now, this is not the first time that something like this has happened. As Investor’s Business Daily notes, Ocasio-Cortez seemed to make an argument against herself again last week when she expressed her sadness over the closing of a restaurant where she used to work. In her post about the good times that she’d had there, she failed to mention that the reason it was closing was because it could not comply with New York City’s soon-to-be-implemented $15 per hour minimum wage. Perhaps unknowingly, she had expressed regret over something that had been caused by the very sort of policy she supports.

Then there is, of course, the repeated and complete breakdown of her positions whenever they are evaluated through the lens of reality and facts. On August 7, she stated flatly that the “upper-middle class does not exist anymore in America” — undoubtedly an argument for a socialist-style redistribution of wealth — when the reality is that the upper-middle class has actually grown under our capitalist system in the last few decades. The very next day, she claimed that “Medicare for all is actually much more, is actually much cheaper than the current system that we pay right now,” when the reality is that her plan would actually “raise government expenditures by $32.6 trillion over 10 years,” according to a fact check of her comments by the Washington Post. What’s more, her recent interview with Trevor Noah proved that many of her positions come from a foundation of a complete misunderstanding of the facts. As my colleague Charles Cooke notes, that interview “revealed that she does not know the difference between a one-year and a ten-year budget; confused the recent increase in defense spending with the entire annual cost of the military; implied that the population of the United States was around 800 million strong; and, having been asked to defend her coveted $15 minimum wage, launched into a rambling and inscrutable diatribe about ‘private equity’ firms that would have been a touch too harsh as a parody on South Park.”

Many people might be tempted to see the rise of Ocasio-Cortez, and particularly her popularity in the media, to be some sort of sign that her version of socialism might actually be viable in this country. Anyone who is actually paying attention, however, would see that the opposite is true. At almost every turn, the spotlight on Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist ideals has shown how completely infeasible they are, and how often they are rooted in false information and misunderstanding.

No one should know this better than Ocasio-Cortez herself. After all, if you look at her actions instead of her words, it seems that even she herself understands the benefits of capitalism — and her campaign has the Uber bill to prove it.

IN THE NEWS: ‘[WATCH] Democrats Like Socialism More Than Capitalism’

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