How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Misunderstands American Poverty

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Authored by Andrew Moran via LibertyNation.com,

Democratic socialism is in the news again. Following Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning victory, helping her become a darling of the mainstream media, Americans are becoming interested in democratic socialism again – a philosophy that involves voting to steal your stuff. Two key planks of democratic socialism are to rail against the rich and promise everything for free, which then leads to the next question: Who’s going to pay for all that free stuff?

Building upon her national spotlight, Ocasio-Cortez recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss her political brand and a wide array of issues important to her and socialists everywhere. But there was one moment in the interview that opened a can of worms.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

She told the alleged comedian:

“For me, democratic socialism is about - really, the value for me is that I believe that in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.

I think that no person should be homeless. If we can have public structures and public policy to allow for people to have homes and food and lead a dignified life in the United States.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who may have the right intentions, which is the most dangerous type of politician, suggested two interesting things: The poor are destitute, and poverty can be cured with even more government.

Let’s explore further.

ARE THE POOR REALLY POOR?

There are three points that the left likes to make: the poor are getting poorer, the U.S. has the highest childhood poverty rate, and 32 million Americans are impoverished – higher than when the first bullet in the War on Poverty was fired.

How dare the U.S. create such horrific conditions that are reminiscent of Charles Dickens novels.

If you’re indigent in the U.S., then you’re better off than most people in the world. A hipster sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt and drinking a Starbucks latte would scoff at this assertion, but it is the truth.

Income inequality is a myth, while income mobility is still a thing. Yes, it is true that the top 1% are getting richer, but the poor and middle-class are becoming prosperous, too. Why is this a debated fact? The problem is with how the data is compiled and analyzed.

Welfare recipients standing in line for benefits

When we study Census Bureau data or any other information emanating from the government, we simply compare rich Americans to poor Americans in one year and the next. The better route is to examine the data over an extended period. When you do, the bottom 20% witness their incomes rise, and most Americans will see their income status change throughout the years – half of the country will be in the top 10% of...

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