‘A System That Allows Billionaires’ is Immoral, Says Ocasio-Cortez

Media sensation Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. says billionaires are not a “moral outcome” in society.

Far-left author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates interviewed Ocasio-Cortez on Jan. 21, and asked, “Do we live in a moral world that allows for billionaires? Is that a moral outcome in and of itself?”

“No, it’s not. It’s not,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. Her denouncement of billionaires was part of remarks she made at the MLK Now 2019 event held at historic Riverside Church in Harlem. She qualified by saying she didn’t mean that all billionaires are “immoral people” — rather a system that allows people to become that wealthy is “wrong.”

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic-socialist, added: “I do think a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong.” She later clarified on Twitter she meant hookworm, but did not amend her statements about people having billions of dollars.

The question came after she promoted her previous calls for higher marginal tax rates of 70 percent for the wealthiest, which liberal media outlets defended. She claimed that marginal tax rates are not just an “economic question,” but also a “moral question.”

Playing a class-warfare card, she asked "Are we comfortable with a society where someone can have a personal helipad while [New York City] is experiencing the highest rates of people experiencing homelessness since the Great Depression?" CNBC reported that was a reference to a proposed helipad for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the future New York headquarters.

“Should those things coexist at the same time?” she asked before saying that “a 70 percent marginal tax rate” is about answering “where do we draw the line in excess.”

During the same interview, Ocasio-Cortez also offered her perspective of the role of journalists in public policy. (Hint. It was not that they should remain objective and neutral.) Instead, she lumped them in with activists as one of the groups that helps move “public will” so that policymakers can change laws.

She described the role of elected officials as translating “public will into the actual law of the land.”

“But who shapes and who directs and who moves that public will are writers, journalists, activists and artists. And they shape the public will and bring it to a point where we can take it and translate it into policy,” Ocasio-Cortez declared.


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Economy Ta-Nehisi Coates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Julia A. Seymour's picture