The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez School of Economics


On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., sat for a discussion with author Ta-Nehisi Coates. She dropped a number of shocking statements — statements that elicited nothing but murmurs of agreement from Coates. AOC claimed: “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.” How, pray tell, are American billionaires responsible for such massive theft? According to AOC, the very mechanisms of capitalism mandate such theft. In her view, successful businesspeople simply exploit their workers while maximizing their profits. Hypothetically speaking about billionaires making widgets, she said: “You didn’t make those widgets! You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages and, in some cases, real modern-day slavery … You made that money off the backs of undocumented people.”

This, of course, is nonsense. Voluntary exchange of labor for wages is, as stated, voluntary, and the fact that there are many people willing and able to labor in the manufacture of widgets is presumably responsible for lower wages. Companies that refuse to pay their workers market wages will soon watch those workers migrate to other businesses or other industries. It is a patent violation of free market principles to utilize force in order to compel someone to work for you; blaming the free market for coercion is like blaming free speech for censorship. Exploitation in labor markets is typically accompanied by government subsidies, regulation and interventionism.

So, how does AOC magically turn economic freedom into economic tyranny? By suggesting that true  freedom lies in collective control of the means of production: “If you’re a billionaire, that means that you control a massive system. … It means that you have a massive labor force under your control, and to be ethical if you’re a billionaire today, the thing that you need to do is give up control and power.” But to whom would such power and control be given? AOC suggests that major companies be turned into worker cooperatives — companies whose workers own and control the business.

But, of course, that doesn't solve her problem: If workers own and control the business, they are properly classified as capitalists. They will have to make decisions to make the business competitive, which means keeping wages competitive, for example. This is precisely what has happened with one of the world's biggest worker collectives, the Spanish Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, whose worker-owners have "learned to think like the shareholders of any other global business," according to The Guardian. In fact, most companies begin with a few workers who pool their capital and labor: Facebook, for example, handed out stock options to employees, resulting in a $23 billion valuation for their initial employees when the company went public. Does that make those workers evil capitalists?

In the end, what AOC truly  wants is government control. Worker collectives won't do the trick. Only top-down government redefinition of the value of labor will. When AOC claims that capitalists merely leech off the true  value of labor, she suggests that labor can be measured without reference to the market. How would AOC measure the value of such labor? Presumably through appeals to "fairness." There is only one problem with this method: It simply doesn't work.

Consumers determine the value of products; producers do not. The diffuse informational system of the free market, which rewards the power of entrepreneurship, rather than punishing it, creates prosperity; top-down control creates poverty. In fact, the greatest guarantee of the sort of poverty AOC decries is the destruction of the same system she decries.

But according to AOC, we have nothing to fear from government, and "the government is us." The fact that Coates, one of the most prominent writers on the evils of Jim Crow, nodded along should demonstrate that those on the left do not understand the consequences of their own philosophy. The government is not "us," because we  are not a collective. We are individuals with rights. But in AOC's world, we have no rights -- we have only our role as members of a collective controlled by those who agree with her. And that is exploitation and tyranny.

Ben Shapiro, 36, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller "The Right Side of History." He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles. 

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25 thoughts on “The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez School of Economics”

  1. How can she be so closed minded and even stupid to ask people to follow her lead? She is praising slavery under dictatorship with losing our fundamental human rights of Freedom, wellness and hope for choosing our kids future.

  2. She’s just another ignorant Leftist trying to shove Socialism down our throats but she will NOT succeed!

  3. This ignorant scuz does not realize that WE pay her salary. So we need to fire her stupid ass and then maybe she will realize that her beliefs of her positionin Government is sponsored by US and she is not doing a darn thing to help this country. So….let’s terminate this idiot and get her out of Washington and back behind a wet bar where she can spread her beliefs to a bunch of drunks who will not remember anything she tries to push off on the public. What an embarrassing idiot she is!!!!

  4. “Shock and Awe” comes to mind. “Shock” is that this totalitarian-speak sickens the soul, and hits us with no rebuttal from her audiences. “Awe” is the effect of the “cute” bar-tender girl with the big make-up and clothing regime. The objective of this is to eliminate the outrage if her outrage happens every day. We also are being taught that outrage is useless at the actions of the Clintonistas and the Bidenistas that have no legal consequence in Washington and is displayed daily before our eyes. The idea is to create an American population of Patty Hearst “Stockholm Syndrome” victims. The victims are brainwashed into loving those who attack and kidnap everything dear to them that goes without punish. All of a sudden Americans become fond of Atheistic Communism.

  5. When Big mouth talks, it reminds me of a ten year old? or maybe 6 years old? She may be full grown physically, but mentally a retard. her mathematics are terrifying.
    I often wonder, is this coming from her pea brain, or is she the actress that she auditioned for and some one is feeding her this tripe?

  6. Alexandria obviously has never been a small bidness (lol) owner. Let me muse…….she has worked? as a waitress (server) in a restaurant??? and this is all she can derive from her job history?

  7. Isn’t this system the “Russian/communist styled government system the criminal Democrat Party Mob leadership is using to impeach President Trump today”?????? It sure as hell looks like it, doesn’t it??????????

  8. Miss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
    You should make a contribution to USA in the form of emigrate to a socialist country as Cuba, Venezuela so get a sense of what is socialism. Your experience as bar tender is not enough education to give advice to a big country as USA. We still are a free country so you have the right to be a moron. I wander if you were born like this or you have deep studies in this matter. As Hispanic I am very ashamed of people like you.
    I lived in a socialist country and I know what I talking about.

  9. The biggest problem we have in this country is that, up until now, the Communists in this country have been older leftists and radicals from the 60’s. AOC is young contra Bernie the Commie Sanders; she has a vast following if sycophant ignorant followers that will look to give this brainless moron electable power when she becomes of age. Thanks Boston University and the rest of the indoctrinaires in academia! They created this mess!

    1. Her district is made up of a lot of illegals btw, of course she’s eagerly handing out “free stuff”. Demcraps…… the party for freeloaders.

  10. She is one of the most ignorant people on the earth. But the sad thing is she has a vast following of equally ignorant deadheads that think like she does. Very dangerous to know that we have someone like her and the other zipperheads like her in our Government. Sad

  11. She’s as stupid as they come.And slid somehow into Congress.She doesn’t think becoming a millionaire herself is problem on her salary.THIEF!!!!!

  12. AOC. Has to go. She ran for an office where the majority of the constituents were Hispanic. She didn’t win on her educational or political background. She is a laughing stock and she should step down until she embarrassed herself to the point of no return. The world looks at us through her. And they laugh. They laugh

  13. I really hope people that voted for this piece of “crap” are pleased with their elected official! she needs to have her mouth washed out with soap for all the crap she keeps spewing out of her hateful mouth! has she ever had a job that supported her & she didn’t depend on other people’s money to survive? she hates America! maybe there’s a clean room for her at Gitmo Prison!

  14. Well…my goodness OAC has finally “popped” her cork! What a sad state to be in…I don’t think there’s any hope for her.

  15. How did this illogical, not very bright, leftist person get where she is. Did the people who voted for her ever read any of her theories. She even contradicts herself in many instances. God save us from people like her!!!

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