Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 'No One Ever Makes a Billion Dollars. You Take a Billion Dollars.'

What is the correct reward for the person who creates something that millions of people want badly enough to pay for it?


On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) spoke to author Ta-Nehisi Coates about billionaires and wealth inequality at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event at Riverside Church in Harlem, New York.

When Coates pressed Ocasio-Cortez on whether billionaire entrepreneurs deserve to keep their money, she responded, "Well you didn't make those widgets, did you?…You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages—and in some cases, real modern-day slavery, depending on where you are in terms of food production."

"You made that money off of the backs of undocumented people, you made that money off of the backs of black and brown people being paid under a living wage, you made that money off of the backs of single mothers," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars."

Later, she turned her attention to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, suggesting that "if Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he'd turn Amazon into a worker cooperative."

Suggestions like that are more interesting than her philosophical insistence that no one deserves to be rich because anyone, anywhere has to work in order to eat. But it's unlikely to work for a company of Amazon's size. As John McClaughry wrote in a 1985 issue of Reason

An unstructured participatory workplace can cause problems of severe emotional intensity. Jane Mansbridge reports the prevalence of rage, tears, splitting headaches, and other real stress afflictions when workers or citizens are suddenly cast into an unstructured decisionmaking forum. The appearance of one or more tyrants, bent on dominating the group, also seems almost inevitable. Implementing workplace democracy is hard enough when everyone involved comes from a common cultural, ethnic, racial, or political background. Where the membership is heterogeneous, success can be close to impossible.

Speaking of Amazon: As of 2015, the company claimed to have more than 300 million active user accounts. Amazon Prime ended 2019 with more than 112 million users worldwide, an estimated 90 to 95 million of them based in the U.S., which tells us that nearly a third of American residents find Amazon Prime valuable enough to shell out roughly $100 annually for the service.

A vast pool of people are willing to pay for Prime memberships for the convenience of having Amazon products delivered to their door in two days flat; a massive library of on-demand music, TV, and movies; and other conveniences.

What is the correct reward (to borrow Ocasio-Cortez's framing) for the person who creates something that millions of people want badly enough to pay for it? Does that reward scale up based on the number of paying users? Should it be decided democratically (and who should we trust to make such a call)? Would the reward scale for entrepreneurial success be adjustable for inflation? What about the entrepreneur who invests his allotted reward? What about the entrepreneurs who lose money?

The process of determining by fiat who gets what sounds like it might be more difficult than Ocasio-Cortez implies. Luckily, markets do that for us.

Profit is a tremendous part of what inspires people to innovate. Why build new tech products or household appliances or lab-grown meat substitutes if you're not going to be rewarded for your endeavor? "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner," goes the old Adam Smith quote, "but from their regard to their own self-interest."

The development of new vaccines, the aforementioned pursuit of meat substitutes which will prevent animal slaughter and all kinds of environmental havoc, aren't motivated solely by altruism. The technologies that will make those innovations possible were also not developed for free. Markets play matchmaker between people with ideas, people with resources, and people who can use the latter to realize the former. Central planners like Ocasio-Cortez toying with the levers to determine who makes what amount of profit might even prevent future Amazons from existing at all.

Ocasio-Cortez is right to be concerned with working conditions for those at the bottom of the income distribution latter, and for would-be competitors who are sabotaged by the union of big business and big government. Undocumented immigrants do have to settle for less because they can't work here legally. Then again, the fact that they can work in the U.S. at all—making less than native-born workers but more than they would in their country of origin—is possible thanks to markets. 

She's also correct that Amazon succeeds at rent-seeking and cozying up to politicians in order to be the beneficiary of all kinds of political favors. When Amazon announced it was seeking a location for its second headquarters, governments engaged in a subsidy bidding war at taxpayers' expense. Shame on Amazon, as well as the many politicians who think it permissible to dole out money to companies like Amazon. But does Ocasio-Cortez honestly believe we'd see less of that if the government had even more power to choose which companies win and lose?

Amazon, at its best, despite its many flaws, is the product of what's best about capitalism: It enables millions of people to have access to consumer goods more cheaply than before, and it provides consensual work opportunities for people who want them. The company could be better, but Ocasio-Cortez and bigger government are unlikely to beat the market. 

NEXT: A 'Danger to Liberty': Adam Schiff Invokes Alexander Hamilton as Democrats Take the Impeachment Stage

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  1. What is the correct reward for the person who creates something that millions of people want badly enough to pay for it?

    AOC: A noose.

    1. “What is the correct reward for the person who creates something that millions of people want badly enough to pay for it?”

      Rest of The Squad: The business end of a Mosin-Nagant.

      1. I highly doubt any of the squad, let alone a Progressive Democrat, know about Mosin-Nagant. I personally have a sweet Mosin-Nagant M-44 (carbine.) Now if you told them an AK then they would agree with you as that is common in most Communist, Socialist, and dictatorship countries across the world.

    2. She should be in prison for the practice of Marxism. One of the worst crimes imaginable.

      1. Faeces Jesus missed his calling in the NSDAP.

    3. Who gives a rat’s ass about the quacks of this communist duck?

      OK: Jack Dorsey (whose gang already has thrown me off his platform twice, including for calling AOC the sticky-fingered Puerto Rican she is).

      Oh, I’m sorry: I can’t say that (it’s “racist”).

      So, let me revise it: AOC is a Puerto Rican who has sticky fingers.

  2. I cannot wait until this woman is either primaried or gerrymandered out of her district. On the other hand, she’s a great canary in the coal mine for showing how divisive, petty, and grasping a good chunk of the electorate’s political views are.

    In other news, the Chinese have decided to lock down a city of 11 million (Wuhan) because of this bug. Per the twitter account of the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Daily:

    This is going to be unpleasant.

    1. She certainly has tapped into the way young, minimally educated adults think.

      1. Think is kind of the wrong word.

    2. Her politics are pure, distilled northeast progressivism. You’re exactly right, she’s a great harbinger of how the Participation Trophy Generation will be practicing politics.

    3. She was elected by people religious conservatives want the police to bully, beat, arrest, shoot and rob via asset forfeiture. Probably 90% who vote Dem are out to get even with girl-bullying Gee Oh Pee prohibitionists, but lack the sense to vote Libertarian.

  3. Look, AOC is just doing that thing Democrats sometimes do, where they pretend to have a problem with enormous wealth. For anyone paying attention, it’s clear they don’t really mean it.

    Need proof? One of the main things billionaires (like’s benefactor Charles Koch) want is open borders. And in what direction are Democrats like AOC taking the party on immigration? You guessed it — open borders!


    1. All libertarians want open borders. The difference is we want ones like in 1900 if you don’t have some contagious disease you get in but you’re on your own, no welfare, no food stamps, no medicaid, no nothing. You live or die on your own wits.

        1. Not racist by any stretch of sensible imagination. True equal opportunity.

          1. It’s totally racist to not expect native born people, ESPECIALLY those evil and oppressive white males, to subsidize all of the needs of our amazing new brown skinned low skilled immigrants. Pure racism.

      1. “All libertarians want open borders”

        Nope. Not even close.

      2. WTF? Actual Libertarians DO NOT want open borders you moronic soyboy Leftist stain.

        1. Plenty libertarians want open borders, but it’s definitely not a requirement to be a libertarian.

        2. Seems “open” and “closed” are subjective.

          But I’d have to agree with the OP. Most Libertarians desire a “more open” boarder. I know I do.

          If you must have boarders, they should provide the following:
          Protect property rights
          Provide Defense (Both militarily and criminal)

          Anything much more than that, and we’re back to the status quo.

          If I want to visit Mexico on vacation and/or purchase goods or services, that’s none of the governments business. If someone from Canada wants to visit the U.S. on vacation and/or purchase goods or services, have at it. In the same token, if the Canadian provides a good or service that the market wants, he/she/they should be able to provide it.

          1. If I’m gonna have a boarder, they better pay rent.

            1. Ha! beat me to it…

          2. You seem to speak mostly of “visit(s)”. That clearly is not the issue with open borders.

      3. We had that in the 2016 platform. That plank got us a 328% increase in vote share, and therefore was amended to allow uninspected entry of suicide vest models, ebola carriers and herds infected with hoof & mouth disease, thanks to Thomas Knapp and useful idiots on the platform committee. Donate locally, the way you vote.

    2. Agreeing with someone on one issue doesn’t mean agreeing on all issues. Consider that the recent march in Virginia in support of the Second Amendment was supported by the local Antifa chapter. Not exactly general allies of the organizers. As for AOC, many New Yorkers who are generally conservative are supporting her opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for an AirTrain that would get people to LaGuardia Airport via a very roundabout route.

  4. Later, she turned her attention to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, suggesting that “if Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he’d turn Amazon into a worker cooperative.”

    As the robots replace human workers, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

    1. Why doesn’t AOC start one of her own and put Bezos out of business? /jk

      1. Progtards don’t create. They attach themselves to a healthy host and mutate and feast upon it until it dies.

        1. ^^ PERFECTLY PUT.

      2. I don’t think starting pay of $100K a year with a Cadillac healthcare plan at warehouses could possibly be an impediment to them competing… Unionized of course. I’m sure they’d do great!

    2. If AOC wanted to be a good person, she’d run herself through a wood chipper.

  5. Oh, the text of the tweet:

    “No people in #Wuhan, C China’s Hubei will be allowed to leave the city starting 10 a.m. of Jan. 23. Train stations and airport will shut down; the city bus, subway, ferry and long-distance shuttle bus will also be temporarily closed.”

    ‘Temporarily closed’. Huh.

    1. No people in #Wuhan, C China’s Hubei will be allowed to leave the city starting 10 a.m. of Jan. 23.
      Will it be like the days where people tried to get out of the I-95 express lanes before the HOV restrictions started? Woot, I made it out of the city at 0959!

      1. Like that, but with machine guns if you slip.

        City of 11 million locked down /= not a big deal, only a few hundred cases and 2-3 percent deaths. Photos circulating also of patients in fully sealed cocoons and helpers in Racal suits.

        Supposedly, this thing is fairly easy to catch, even in a communicable disease ward from patient to caregiver.

        I guess we’ll see if this is another Ebola scare or something worse.

        1. In further plague news, North Korea has banned foreign tourism for the time being, including tourists from the PRC. This is surprising for two reasons. First, I thought tourists were a big source of the North’s legal ways to obtain foreign currency. Second, I can’t see NK committing the assault against Chinese face without a really good reason.

          In hilarious news, 20 schoolkids from Wuhan are visiting DC on a cultural exchange tour. The efforts to quarantine but not quarantine these kids is going to be fun to watch. Give em Impeachment Trial tickets, I say.

          We’ll find out soon, I guess.

        2. SARS and MERS were both coronaviri, and the common cold is also often a coronavirus, although they are all different from each other.

          1. True. Per genetic sequencing research, it looks like 2019 nCov is a bat coronavirus with a mutation, as was the virus responsible for SARS. A lot of discussion, and some case tracking information, in this thread at flutrackers:

            Two more cities under quarantine today in China, one a city of 6 million. I don’t remember reading about measures like these for SARS. Looks like, from the case histories in that linked thread, that incubation is 4-6 days before illness requiring hospitalization. A lot of the newer cases being mentioned are of younger, healthier people than the 75 year old comorbid with pulmonary disease patients that marked the earlier cases.

          2. Keep in mind that no one died of SARS in the US except people who were infected in another country and were already dying when the jet landed here. Nearly all of the first world did nearly as well – except for Canada, where the government has a monopoly on health services, and some bureaucrat decided to send the sick people home to see if they’d get better.

        3. You mean the “Ebola scare” that was pushed by media super-hard right up until the second week of November, whereupon the media collectively forgot about it?

          That “scare”?

          1. Ebola is a frightening disease, but it’s only a risk for epidemics where either most people think illness is caused by witchcraft rather than germs, or basic medical supplies like rubber gloves, breathing masks, and disinfectants are in short supply. (And these are often the same countries.) The virus does not survive going airborne for farther than the range of a sneeze. It does leak out of every pore (along with lots of body fluids) in an untreated victim’s last hours, but what turns that into an epidemic is when the victim’s family washes his corpse (and never even heard of gloves), then invite the village in to eat a funeral dinner out of a common bowl.

            In the USA, the worst moment was when an under-educated hospital clerk did not realize that when a guy said he’d just flown in from Liberia, that was in Africa. They sent him home. He lived with his family for a few days, and nobody caught it. At this point, the precautions most people take against spreading a cold were sufficient.

            When he got sicker, he went to the hospital again, and this time was interviewed by someone who didn’t flunk 5th grade geography. It was too late to save him, but they could put him in isolation with airlocks to keep the virus contained, rubber suits for the medical personnel attending him, etc. And then they fouled up in getting out of those isolation suits and exposed a couple of nurses, plus a couple of other hospital employees went on vacation and were traveling before it was realized that they might have been exposed before he was quarantined. And still nobody died. It’s a dangerous disease to the careless, but it can be contained, and it can be treated if identified soon enough.

  6. If AOC or anybody else wants to form a workers cooperative that does what Amazon does, there’s nothing stopping them.

    1. Jeff Bezos is hoarding histheir money.

    2. Nor is Bezos. Amazon workers, and those who support them, are permitted to buy up all the Amazon stock they want on the open market and take control of the board.

      1. That sounds hard. Can they just vote to have government buy up all the shares with Bezos’s money, and then give them to the workers?

        1. As long as [WE] elect Uncle Sam to break-in and threaten Bezo’s with guns & steal bars then [WE] can pretend we’re not filthy criminals and the scum of society and [WE] might even get away with painting a narrative of having halos above our heads so long as we can make enough people HATE Bezo’s or anyone’s success to begin with.

  7. “You made that money off of the backs of undocumented people, you made that money off of the backs of black and brown people being paid under a living wage, you made that money off of the backs of single mothers,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.”

    Congratulations, asians. You’ve managed to get off of The List Of The Oppressed. You’ll be White Oppressors in no time.

    1. Can’t believe she forgot about the trans community being victimized!


      Haha. What an idiot.

    2. Pshhh. Asians have been honorary white people since we first ran into them. Well, some of them anyway, not southeast Asians. The very earliest white explorers that made it to China, Japan, and Korea all had nothing but good things to say about Asian culture. And they were also some of the only people on earth that were able to resist being conquered to boot.

      So they’ve always been “white,” the lefties just tricked them into thinking they were on their side for awhile. I keep waiting for Asians to start voting right wing again like they did in the 1990s and earlier…

    3. Except the single mothers are happy to have a good job with good benefits at Amazon, and to be able to have stuff delivered the next day (even the same day) at much lower cost than if there were no Amazon.

  8. Later, she turned her attention to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, suggesting that “if Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he’d turn Amazon into a worker cooperative.”

    If AOC wants to be a good person, she’d learn that a “double bourbon, neat” doesn’t have ice in it.

  9. Where the membership is heterogeneous, success can be close to impossible.

    So back in NineteenHundredandEightyFive Reason made the case that, to be successful, cooperatives must be segregated and that diversity is not our strength. I hope your commie cocktail buddies read this and run with it. They can add it to your list of up-against-the-wall-worthy thought crimes along with that “Holocaust denial” issue from 44 years ago.

    1. Perhaps a workers’ cooperative with a diverse membership might work better. The membership would stay focused on the group’s purpose, and wouldn’t try to make it also be a social club.

      1. Don’t be retarded.

        The diversity is a strength thing is nothing but an outright lie. You’ve bought into propaganda my friend. Diversity mainly just creates infighting and disharmony. It lowers social trust.

        The most successful nations of all time were all more or less homogenous. Diversity adds nothing but trouble. See all the nightmarish shit we have to deal with in the USA and Europe compared to Japan. Even the USA when we were Americanizing all the European immigrants was a powder keg! It only got less cluster fuckey once everybody had been Americanized.

        We could have virtually ZERO racial/ethnic/religious issues in this country right now if we’d kept saner immigration polices.

        1. Personally, I like diversity.

          “”The most successful nations of all time were all more or less homogenous””

          I’ve noted that when we get compared to lilly white counties like Denmark. I like saying “your comparison lacks diversity” when liberals point out how well things work in those countries.

          1. True enough.

            Funny how all the “best” countries on earth are nations that are either virtually 100% ethnically Northern European or East Asian… I wonder why that is?

  10. What is the correct reward (to borrow Ocasio-Cortez’s framing) for the person who creates something that millions of people want badly enough to pay for it?

    Government-mandated price controls, a 130% tax rate, and a firing squad?

    1. But not necessarily in that order.

    2. oh, the progs don’t want to shoot the productive, they just want to bring back 95 percent tax rates.

  11. Apparently she doesn’t know what a stock is. Bezos doesn’t have a billion dollars he has stock worth a billion dollars. When the Big Crash comes he won’t be worth anything.

    1. She might be that ignorant. But people like Elizabeth Warren sure aren’t and they still talk about wealth taxes and such like they are both possible and not horribly destructive.
      Pretty much no one has a billion dollars sitting around to tax. And if any major stock holder in a large company were to try to liquidate their holdings, they would very quickly be worth a whole lot less. And that wealth will be gone, not redistributed to deserving workers.
      AOC may be an idiot. But are the rest liars or what’s their game?

      1. Just power hungry liars.

        1. Yeah, those that actually have an idea what the results of these policies will be don’t care. They expect that they will be in power, and won’t be effected by them.

    2. She and many like her believe billionaires keep all their money in a giant hoard beneath their mansions, usually guarded by dragon.

      1. They swim in the gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. Because there’s nothing that helps people get rich faster than senseless waste and hoarding.

      2. If I was a billionaire, I’d definitely spend a good chunk of my money having a dragon genetically engineered so it could guard my horde of gold under my castle.

        1. You could drastically increase your fortune if you corner the genetically engineered dragon market.

        2. Speaking of billionaires:
          As of the beginning of 2018, there were almost 600 billionaires in the US. And not a single one of them became Batman!!!
          I mean, WTF?!!

          1. The thing is, people sensible enough to become billionaires realize that a bunch of the things Batman does in the movies will actually kill you. And they would rather be a live billionaire who isn’t Batman, than a dead one who was Batman very briefly.

    3. They are all ignorant. They act as if rich people have Scrooge McDuck swimming pools full of cash and gold and jewels. Here’s something from a year ago:

      I added up the Forbes 400 on 30 Jan 2019. It came to $2.891T. Not even three trillion dollars, not even one year of the Federal budget, or three years’ deficit, even if you could confiscate all of it.

      And if you did confiscate all of it, it’s not Scrooge McDuck swimming pools full of gold and jewelry, or even cash, or sitting in bank accounts. It’s assets: things, property, not-cash. Investments mostly: stocks and bonds; some mansions, yachts, biz jets, Ferraris, and other toys. But all of it has to be sold to become the cash you can use to pay down the national debt or even eliminate the budget debt for a measly three years. $3T is peanuts and won’t even put a dent in all the single-payer schemes.

      You couldn’t convert it to cash anyway. You’d have to sell it, and the only people who could buy it, couldn’t, because all their wealth has been confiscated.

      You couldn’t nibble at it either with Lizzie Warren’s 2% or 5% wealth tax, or Bernie Sanders’ 77% inheritance tax. Not only does the basic problem remain, that it is not cash but assets which have to be sold, but the value isn’t even known until you sell it, so you’d just be guessing what your stolen 2% or 5% or 77% is. With so many more sellers than buyers, the values would be depressed and you’d get pennies on the dollar, if you managed to sell much at all; everyone with the wealth to afford buying it would be scrambling to sell their own assets to pay their own wealth tax.

      1. The inheritance taxes are the absolute worst. These people like Bernie Sanders talk about being for the little guy, but when Ma and Pa baker die in a car accident, their two kids get screwed. Even though the bakery pulled in a modest $150k in annual income, it will be valued north of $2 Million, once you factor in assets, and the kids will sell out to some big conglomerate in order to pay Bernie’s tax.

        1. Not unusual hypocrisy coming from them. Biden wrapped himself in the cloak of ‘protector of the little guy’ and co-sponsored the law that was the biggest rewriting of the bankruptcy laws, and the biggest fucking of anyone trying to use consumer bankruptcy to get a fresh start, of the prior 40 years.

          Bankruptcy is not a good thing. Neither is debt peonage.

        2. Don’t say “some big conglomerate”. Say, with full accuracy, “Billionaire Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway”.

          For decades, Berkshire Hathaway has made quite a bit of money by being the guys who specialized in buying illiquid-but-profitable small businesses whose cash-strapped heirs were facing a tax bill they couldn’t cover any other way but selling. It’s easy to make a good return on capital when the the price of an asset is depressed because the sellers have the taxman’s gun to their head and buyers are few.

          Which, of course, was the real reason Buffet was so opposed to abolition of the inheritance tax. He was already planning to give most of his estate to charity, so it was never going to cause any difficulty for him, and in the meantime abolition would seriously hurt his business.

          1. It’s this vulture capitalism that is fueling AOC’s popularity. It doesn’t matter that only a handful of rich people got rich this way… it’s that those are the most visible ones.

            It’s not ethical.

            Anyone see the modern and very dark Christmas Carol over the holiday season? Scrooge was essentially Berkshire and Bain.

            1. I do think a loss of ethical values in corporate America has contributed to a lot of the hatred on the left. A lot of the stuff these businesses do it shitty. In a free society they should be free to do it… But that doesn’t protect them from being criticized.

        3. People like AOC and Warren should be in prison or swinging at the end of a rope. They are an existential threat to our freedoms.

      2. “It’s assets: things, property, not-cash. Investments mostly: stocks and bonds; some mansions, yachts, biz jets, Ferraris, and other toys.”

        Yes, and some of those stocks are really only (or at least, mostly) paper valuations – consider the oft compared market cap of Ford vs. Tesla. Ford represents a significant amount of property and materials, while Tesla actually has very little. Liquidating the former would be quite different from liquidating the latter.

  12. Holy shit. How can she be this stupid?

    Let’s see some examples of successful workers’ collectives. How many people are such strange beasts supporting at any wage?

    1. Holy shit. How can she be this stupid?

      Because she’s a bartender with decent tits (great if we’re judging on the politician scale) who answered a casting call to run against the Democrat incumbent.

      Guess he really pissed off the Party orthodoxy to earn that. Also guess the orthodoxy is none too happy they released her onto the DC political scene.

      1. Actually her brother submitted her name.

        1. To get her out of the house?

          1. I’m convinced he’s a misanthrope.

        2. Well, at least she didn’t marry him.

      2. She. Issued her true calling, which would put her on her knees, on her back, and on all fours.

    2. Mondragon in Spain is successful but it’s homogeneous.

    3. Remember, this is the genius who called Nancy Pelosi a racist and accused the New York Times of being a white supremacist organization.

    4. “Holy shit. How can she be this stupid?…”

      Government schools.

      1. Yep. This bitch is a terrific argument for privatizing primary education.

    5. There are thousands of productive workers cooperatives:

      And you’re welcome to create one if that’s what floats your boat. Thing is, you shouldn’t be forced to make one.

      1. I was thinking of large companies. I’m sure it can work at the right scale, when everyone involved has an understanding of the business and what the company wants to accomplish. I have a hard time imagining that if a large, established corporation were ever made “democratic” under control of it’s employees it would survive very long.

    6. Bezos’ original plans for Amazon were interesting. I don’t think it was so much a collective, but it was originally planned to be more like Etsy, but not limited to arts and crafts and with a centralized delivery service.

      Something did go haywire recently – I think Amazon is exercising more control over their suppliers with little financial return to the smaller businesses than what existed before.

      I only hear bits here and there, so I may have an inaccurate picture.

    7. Workers cooperatives are great.

      And all you have to do is let people trade/sell their ownership of their own cooperative and you get… pretty much what we have now.

      So, is the idea that we achieve workers’ paradise by forcing people to own their own job and never sell it or buy another? That doesn’t sound helpful.

      1. I’ve actually long thought that public companies should issue a decent percentage of workers pay in stocks every year, including for low end employees, because of these types of stupid arguments.

        And also it gives them the ability to say “Bust ass and these 1,000 shares you’re getting this year will be worth more money!” thing.

        1. some invest 100% of their 401(k) in their company’s stock.
          But if the company then goes belly up your retirement savings disappear along with your job.

  13. But does Ocasio-Cortez honestly believe we’d see less of that if the government had even more power to choose which companies win and lose?

    Yes, she does, once we get the “right people” in charge.

  14. Amazon represents the worst of capitalism. They’ve deliberately sold products at a loss in order to drive smaller competitors out of business and gain market share. That’s not competition for the benefit of consumers, workers, and society. That’s anti-competitive behavior that prevents new businesses and innovation from gaining a foothold.

    1. [citation needed]

      and you need to learn some basic economics, and economic history, while you’re at it. Predatory pricing doesn’t work the way you think it does and is seldom successful, since the predator has to lose more money than the prey. It’s rubbish.

      1. If the predatory price guy is much much larger he can withstand some local losses that the small shop cannot. But it only works where there is a huge imbalance.

        See: Oil, Standard

        1. See also, flat panel displays. They were invented here in the USA. Taiwan subsidized their production and they sold them at a loss until all US production ceased. There are tons of other examples. Protectionism wasn’t invented by Trump, and there are times when it can actually work.

          1. They aren’t doing it right. TV’s are cheaper than ever.

            1. And made… not here.

              So they did do it right. They ran the US companies out of business.

              Their goal isn’t to make stuff more expensive. It is to reap the profit for themselves.

    2. Hey idiot – your local supermarket also sells some products at a loss to gain market share.

      That’s not competition for the benefit of consumers, workers, and society.

      And get up off of your knees.

    3. So how is me being able to buy goods at below market price not a benefit to me?

    4. Nobody buys Amazon because it’s cheaper.

      They buy it because they don’t want to drive their ass to the mall for 1 to 2 hours just to pick up one thing.

      Don’t use the same recycled Walmart vs. Mom and Pop brick-and-mortar arguments when a company comes along and actually avoids all of that.

      1. Soooo……. free shipping is something people like? People are lazy?

        How is this amazons fault?

      2. Uh, yeah they do. I buy stuff from amazon because it is both cheaper and more convenient. The same reason I buy stuff from Walmart.

        1. I buy from amazon because no one local sells what i need and refuse to order it and one the rare occasion they will order it never arrives so amazon it is

    5. “Amazon represents the worst of capitalism…”


    6. What smaller competitors were delivering whatever the fuck I want to my door in a day or two? Amazon is successful because they came up with an idea that had no competitors.

      Now run along to whatever proggie rag comment section you came from.

    7. Do you know any small businesses? They love Amazon because now their products can be seen everywhere. They didn’t sell their products for a loss, they took business losses for years to get their model running. I’m sure you are typing this on an Apple. What small phone companies did they put out of business?

      You are a hack but nice AOC/Warren talking meme


    9. Buying products below cost is a great deal for consumers though. It’s not like Amazon will be able to jack up prices later. Someone else would crush them.

  15. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars…If you don’t do it, someone else will. It’s who decides to make that choice…”

    She… she thinks that the reason people aren’t billionaires are because they didn’t choose to hire black and brown people to make widgets while they sat on the couch… it’s just amazing.

    1. And here we all thought pure unadulterated, labor theory of value died with the Warsaw Pact.

      1. The Labor Theory of Value should have died with the 100 million Corpses of Communism.

        But for some people, 100 million murders is not nearly enough.

    2. If it was that easy we would have more billionaires.

      1. Well, eventually you run out of black and brown people to exploit… not sure what happens then.

        1. Trannies and single moms. Everything is so terrible and unfair.

          1. It eventually comes full circle and we’re back to pollocks and the Irish.

    3. Fvck the Commie Cvnt.
      That’s all the article and comments need say

    4. Yes, she apparently thinks that. And somehow she passed enough classes to get a economics degree. Amazing.

      I’m so glad she does not have any real power to do anything meaningful as a freshman rep in Congress.

  16. Also AOC from this talk (I do not have the exact quote): “We do not want the billionaires money, we want the billionaires power”.

    Ayn Rand would dismiss her too much of a caricature of a leftist looter.

      1. Ellsworth Toohey represents an ugly ideology, but was not as dumb as this chick.

        1. Liawatha is Toohey.

    1. The scary thing is democracy let’s these people gain power much more quickly then they can never learn to wield it properly.

      It’s like Venezuela: they were so obsessed w how wrong it was for someone else to own an oil company, they didn’t stop to think that they don’t know the first thing about running an oil company.

      Be careful what you wish for. If there’s one thing Venezuelans have: they own an oil company.

      1. It’s like Zimbabwe. They were so obsessed with how wrong it was for white people to own and operate farms, but they didn’t stop to think that the rest of the people didn’t know the first thing about running a farm. So ran off some of the farmers and murdered some others, then they all starved.


        “Zimbabwe’s peak month of inflation is estimated at 79.6 billion percent month-on-month, 89.7 sextillion percent year-on-year in mid-November 2008.

        “In the late 1990s, the government instituted land reforms intended to evict white landowners and place their holdings in the hands of black farmers. However, many of these “farmers” had no experience or training in farming.[9] From 1999 to 2009, the country experienced a sharp drop in food production and in all other sectors. The banking sector also collapsed, with farmers unable to obtain loans for capital development. Food output capacity fell 45%, manufacturing output 29% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 28% in 2007, and unemployment rose to 80%.[10] Life expectancy dropped.”

    2. There was an episode a couple of years ago ago in Seattle where a progresso-communist group had a proposal that Amazon be compelled to build and operate 30,000 units of housing for all the homeless in the greater Seattle area, and fund all the needed services and expenses in perpetuaty too.

      Amazingly one of the local antifa leaders was a voice of common sense. He said that would make Bezos the feudal Baron of Seattle and all the homeless his serfs, and he was probably right, churlish ruffian or not.

      Of course his proposed alternative solution quickly ended any pretense of sanity saying they should just take what they want and build their shelter’s together from the booty.

      But maybe that isn’t so far fetched, judging from the massive drifts of discarded items surrounding them it seems that at least 25% of what Amazon sells ends up in a homeless encampment anyway, either recycled from the trash, Goodwill, lifted from a porch or a leftover from before they hit the streets.

  17. ‘ she responded, “Well you didn’t make those widgets, did you?…You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages—and in some cases, real modern-day slavery, depending on where you are in terms of food production.”’

    This is the part where progressives denounce AOC’s insensitive disregard for the human tragedy that was actual slavery in this country.


    1. This is the point where she demonstrates she has never held a productive, non-service-industry job in her life. No entrepreneur in history has ‘sat on the couch while others worked.’ Strategic leadership, supply and distribution logistics, personnel management, financial planning, sales and marketing, etc. all have a qualitative value in making a company successful that is greater than and can’t be compared one-to-one with the quantitative value of turning out X widgets per day.

    2. Don’t hold your breath waiting for progressives to denounce slavery. They _like_ slavery, but want government agencies to be the masters rather than individuals – and they foolishly imagine that they’d be running the agencies.

      Not to mention that they failed to learn that individuals may or may not be moral, but large organizations are always amoral.

  18. Here’s how you get AOC: take a dimwitted college drop out, give her a Marx for Dummies book, and tell her to start tweeting her deep thoughts.

    1. She needs a real man to fuck her. That will keep her exhausted, and her mouth full.

    2. Sadly, not so. You get her by going to Boston College/University and getting (not earning) TWO degrees.
      Enough said about the actual value of a college degree these days.

      1. Boston College != Boston University.

        At Boston College, the Jesuits are in charge.

        Boston University is a not-quite-a-liberal-arts school, which AOC attended.

  19. If your sole work experience is tending bar, it’s kinda hard to imagine getting $1B in tips.

    1. I dunno, they’re pretty nice tits.

      1. I don’t know there are any that are $1B nice.

      2. Wouldn’t mind putting something between them. On. Exchange for giving her some……jewelry when I’m finished.

        1. A pearl necklace perhaps?

          She’d probably hate it, because it’s white, and white is the color of racism.

  20. No one ever takes a shit. You make a shit.

  21. On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) spoke to author Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Oh jeez…

    1. Prediction: In 15 years, everyone will wonder why anyone thought Ta-Nehisi Coates was a good writer.

      1. Not now? Who’s missing the boat?

        1. People hoping reparations become a thing?

  22. “if Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he’d turn Amazon into a worker cooperative.”

    If I were Jeff Bezos, I’d cash out enough stock to live fabulously for the rest of my life, then turn Amazon into a worker cooperative and laugh my ass off.

    1. It would shut down in a month.

      1. The first all hands meeting would look like the church scene in the Kingsmen.

      2. No, it wouldn’t. It runs 3/4s of the Internet, including an increasing share of federal data systems. It’s too big to fail, so the government would bail it out. And then speech on the internet WOULD become a First Amendment issue.

    2. If AOC wanted to be a good person she’d stop passing judgement on people.

      1. That sounds like some Judeo-Christian nonsense. That has no place in a civilized secular society.

  23. The correct reward is to listen to your betters and stop being clingers. The new order will determine what you are worth.

    1. Haha nice parody

      1. Meta-parody.

    2. Billionaire clingers are my favorite kind of bitter, disaffected, irrelevant something or other……. blah blah blah.

  24. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.”

    The stupid cunt is right, as far as government funding.

    1. We should fix the quote for her. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars. And I, I take a few hundred trillion dollars, because I’m in Congress.”

  25. “if Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he’d turn Amazon into a worker cooperative.”

    If Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he’d fire most of the staff of the Washington Post and replace them with libertarians.

    1. And hire all the libertarians away from Reason???

      I keed.

      1. There are no libertarians at Reason!

      2. I think someone already did.

  26. ‘No One Ever Makes a Billion Dollars. You Take a Billion Dollars.’

    Witness the spectacle of a person who lives off of tax dollars stolen (a.k.a taken) from others accusing billionaires like Bezos, who people voluntarily pay for products and services of taking it.

    Truly, hypocrisy is the central pillar of the modern left.

    Just nauseating.

    1. With guilt, grievance and victim pimping as supporting pillars.

  27. The fact that she’s an ignorant cunt isn’t nearly as galling as the fact that reason for existing is to covet what others have. The most horrible kind of human being on the planet; absolutely no sense of prospering through self-reliance.

    1. Ugly resentment is sooooo much easier than self reliance.

    2. Few years back I had a conversation with my teenaged son who voicing similar redistributionist dreck, and we did a thought experiment. Say you did take all the billionaires stock and cash and redistrbuted around the world or gave it to the government or the UN.

      How did he imagine it would change how what he consumes is produced? The deli worker making his sandwich is still going to need to be making his sandwich if he’s gonna get lunch, and he’s still going to have to spend the same relative percentage of his assets or his labor to get the sandwich. Truck drivers are going to still have to drive trucks.

      The truth is redistributing the billionaires assets doesn’t produce any more of what people consume, and despite all their wealth in proportion to us like say Bezos is worth 300,000 times what I am, he doesn’t consume 300,000 times what I consume, not even close.

      The real key to making us all richer can’t be redistributing the pie, which isn’t money but what we consume, because it would just make the pie smaller. The only solution is more billionaires that make things more efficient, making more things for us to consume, and hiring us to do the work.

      AOC seems to think we can all sit on the couch with Bezos nobody will be needed to make our sandwich or deliver the pizza.

  28. ‘No One Ever Makes a Billion Dollars. You Take a Billion Dollars.’

    This is what she intends to do, if she can.

    We gotta rope, we gotta tree, all we need is AOC!

    1. The practice of Marxism should be criminalized.

    2. I’d like to see someone go through all the Panama Papers, Swiss Bank accounts Caymen islands and Foreign owned luxury condos around the world and figure out just what percentage came from government graft Marxist looting, or UN patronage, compared to honest capitalism and black market criminal enterprise and quantify just who are the biggest crooks.

      1. She and her ilk criticize billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, but god forbid they ever criticize billionaires like the Castro brothers.

  29. Why not take advantage of the silver lining in AOC’s silly views? Introduce a bill (maybe a constitutional amendment) to forbid state and local governments from giving any company the kind of favors that Amazon wants. I’ll bet she could be shamed into supporting it.

    1. Me likey.
      Interstate Commerce Clause.

  30. Opposite beliefs are no problem if one belief rules, i.e., the right to belief anything as long as you don’t use the initiation of force, threats thereof, or fraud. Since the present world political paradigm is based on a moral sanction of force, i.e., a faith in force as moral or at least necessary (practical), then freedom of belief is not allowed, e.g., democracy is forced on all. It is generally accepted as unquestionable, not by a reasoned argument, but by indoctrination since early childhood. World politics denies reason, rights, and choice, but not war, oppression, genocide. This is denied but no reasoned argument is presented, which is logically consistent. Authoritarians don’t ultimately rely on reason, it is only tool to defraud the masses into accepting them and their politics. And this strategy has worked for millennia. The public is easily duped.

  31. A congress critter lambasting CEOs and investors as layabouts who don’t work for their wealth and power? Quelle surprise.

    1. There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.

      Mark Twain

  32. How can I edit my comment? I clicked the only icon I could find and I flagged myself.

    1. Oh the irony

    2. I flagged you too so it’ll cancel out

      1. I made it a trifecta.

  33. Careful there; if AOC and TNC get too close they’ll form a black-hole of pretentiousness.

  34. she’s a moron. why give her words credence by reacting to them?

    1. She has hundreds of thousands of weak minded followers. Some leftist comic book creatives even made a comic book about her like she’s some kind of hero.

    2. You can tell she’s an idiot by just looking at her. There’s no light behind those eyes, only crazy.

  35. Ma’s head is straight up swiss cheese.

  36. Wow, a good article at Reason. Refreshing.

    I know we all hope AOC gets voted out..but these..whatever you want to call them – Shelia Jackson Lee, Waters, Pelosi, Sanders, etc stay forever..

    1. She may well get primaries, or her district gerrymandered out of existence in the next few years. She made a powerful enemy in Pelosi. Who is an idiot cunt herself, but is aces at destroying opponents.

  37. It’s easy enough for a sociopath to convince himself that his attack is merely self-defense, AOC simply believes billionaires stole their wealth and there’s nothing wrong with stealing from thieves. “You didn’t build that” is all it takes, but you can use the labor theory of value if you want to put in a little work.

    1. The funny ting is that many if those Amazon jobs pay pretty well. My city is getting a retail Amazon center. Which is already having a positive economic effect on the area,

      And I say this as someone who dislikes Bezos. I also don’t give a fuck how much money he has.

      1. The Amazon distribution center here starts at 16 an hour. Which was just over the minmum wage target, and the profs happy place, until they started paying it voluntarily. Now they whine for 22

      2. The only reason I hate Amazon is because he is such a stupid commie. If he was libertarian or right wing I’d order a TON more shit from Amazon. Heck even if he was a true centrist. But he’s a dirty commie, so fuck him. I basically black balled them a few years ago except for shit that is just too damn hard to get elsewhere.

        I hope his company crashes and burns because he is a piece of shit, but not because of the general principle that he has too much money.

  38. hopefully get better soon

  39. You know, I wonder when these businesses who are routinely vilified by AOC and that brain-dead crowd will decide to ‘primary’ AOC. It is only a matter of time. AMZN had substantial investment in trying to open a new HQ in AOC’s district. AOC killed that, much to the ire of NYC Mayor Putz and NY Governor Meathead.

    1. “”AOC killed that,””

      Amazon did decide to do a little something and she claimed victory. I think it will a little over 1,000 jobs. The original Amazon deal would have added about 25,000 jobs. The 1,000 jobs isn’t victory, it’s a consolation prize. She doesn’t know the difference.

      1. 25,000, 1,000, what’s the difference? She can’t count that high even if she takes her shoes off.

  40. Dear Alexandria,

    No one in your profession (which has far less dignity than the world’s oldest) ever “serves the public.” They steal from them, put them on the hook for trillions, and boss them around like the nobility of old, simply because they think they know what’s “good” for them better than the public does.

    Please just fuck off.

  41. So Paul McCartney became a billionaire by taking our money? Yeah, he and his three friends seduced us with their enchanting music into handing over gobs of our money. There can be no other reason how he got so rich.

    ‘Ringo, Paul, George and John
    Played a trick and put us on
    Dropped hints that Paul was dead as nails
    And rocketed their records sales’

    1. Oprah made her money off the backs of brown people and women while paying slave wages too.

      1. Is that before or after she was introducing women to Weinstein?

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  43. Someone quite literally fucked this bitch’s brains out.

  44. There is so much in those statements, I wouldn’t know where to start.

    So I’ll just ask her this: Where did you get this perspective about billionaires from? It’s not mainstream at all. Was it in college when you were getting your econ degree? When you were working in the bar? Somewhere else? How did you arrive ad such a radical opinion?

    1. Really? I came by a certain animosity naturally. Not through college. I think it’s a bit natural to have some animosity for it, especially if you have family or close relations that have been shafted through things like Bernie Madoff, or huge layoffs when a plant moves overseas as a CEO pockets billions of dollars. The stories aren’t common… like white man kills black man. But they get enough press that people who haven’t seen much of the world get riled by the injustice of it and extrapolate that all things are like these few things.

  45. When AOC turns her attention to the regulatory capture that these most public and vilified billionaires overwhelmingly support, I’ll know she’s serious about helping the little people build competitive businesses from the ground up.

  46. ‘No One Ever Makes a Billion Dollars. You Take a Billion Dollars.’

    Thinking about this statement, it occurs to me that it may be a simple case of “Capitalism is a method of creating wealth, socialism is a method of distributing wealth”. AOC simply subscribes to the belief that there’s a fixed amount of wealth in the world and whatever you’ve got you must have taken from someone else.

    Unless you work at the US Mint or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, none of us literally makes any money. When we speak of making money, we’re actually speaking of earning money whereas I think AOC doesn’t see it that way. She can’t comprehend that somebody can create something that didn’t exist before and thereby increase the total amount of wealth in the world, when she says Bezos didn’t make the money but instead simply took the money, well, he’s got a vast amount of wealth and that wealth came from somewhere, didn’t it? Jeff Bezos didn’t just create that wealth out of thin air, did he? No, he used resources that rightfully belong to all of us collectively so therefore anything he created rightfully belongs to all of us. That’s what “you didn’t build that” is all about.

    It’s as if we’re all just sitting around a vast common supply of resources waiting for one of us to use some of those resources to create something useful so that the rest of us can seize it and claim that it’s just as much ours as his since it was created from the common resource supply. Who the hell has any incentive to create anything useful if they know it’s just going to be seized by their neighbors as soon as they make it?

    1. She is describing the labor theory of value which is a central tenet of Marxist economic analysis. It is also grossly primitive thinking as mere labor input does not necessarily add any value to a product or service.

    2. “It’s as if we’re all just sitting around a vast common supply of resources waiting for one of us to use some of those resources to create something useful …”
      That vast supply of resources is Mother Earth, and by taking them to produce something you are destroying the planet. How dare you?

  47. In Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s defense, she doesn’t seem to have ever done anything of value, except for a brief stint working as a waitress. It’s typical of people to assume that everyone else is just like they are, and from working for different politicians to being a politician herself, since her work has no market value, it’s probably natural for her to assume that other people’s work is worthless just like hers.

    All of this, of course, ultimately derives from her failure to understand the most basic fact of markets, which is that markets are essentially people making choices. If billionaires amass fortunes by contributing something to the lives of average people in such a legitimate way that those people willingly choose to give those billionaires their money, then that is the legitimate value of their work to the people who value them. AoC’s work was never so valuable as it was when she was working as a waitress.

    Again, because Ocasio-Cortez has spent most of her professional life working for politicians or working as a politician herself, the only money she receives for that work was derived from money that people gave the government for fear of criminal prosecution. She’s a parasite, and like all parasites, she imagines that she’s entitled to the blood she sucks out of our backs. Occasio-Cortez doesn’t see any difference between her stealing the fruit of our labor and our freely giving billionaires our money because we value their contribution to society.

    If Ocasio-Cortez had to rely on the willing contributions of average people who value her work as a politician, she might starve to death, or, at the very worst, she might have to rely on the willing contributions of strangers to charitable organizations, whose work also has a quantitative value that can be derived from the amount of money people give to them willingly.

    1. Excellent comment.

    2. Her lack of work experience shows in her comments as she equates value only to quantitative measurements (worker A produced N widgets in H hours so should earn Y). Strategic work is defined by her as ‘sitting on a couch.’

      My question to those buying into the labor theory of value – so what IS the appropriate level of recompense for a guy whose labor didn’t produce a single widget but did create a supply chain and distribution network capable of delivering nearly any product to any point in t he US within 48 hours?

      1. Ultimately, we’re talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez inflicting her own qualitative preferences on other people.

        Average Americans value what this billionaire is doing for them so much that they willingly give him or her their money by way of purchasing his product or service in a market.

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants the ability to overrule their qualitative preferences. No matter what the average American values or how much they value it, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to impose her own qualitative preferences on average Americans–because they don’t share her preferences.

      2. My question to those buying into the labor theory of value – so what IS the appropriate level of recompense for a guy whose labor didn’t produce a single widget but did create a supply chain and distribution network capable of delivering nearly any product to any point in t he US within 48 hours?

        You kidding? He didn’t build that! Government made the roads! Government educated the workers! Government created the supply chain and distribution network, or at least enabled it through roads and schools! That guy’s getting a free ride off of government! That money belongs to The People! Tax him 100%!!!


    3. If billionaires amass fortunes by contributing something to the lives of average people in such a legitimate way that those people willingly choose to give those billionaires their money, then that is the legitimate value of their work to the people who value them.

      She doesn’t understand that someone had to come up with and figure out how to implement an idea before anything else happens. All she sees is a factory filled with people doing “real” work while the rich sit around and make money because they’re rich. Same thing with Wall Street. She and her ilk see people making all this money for nothing while workers toil for pennies. She doesn’t understand that financial services allocate capital where it will be more efficiently used, which is the basis for creating wealth.

      1. Underneath it all, I get blown away by how people like AoC undervalue the contribution of entrepreneurs to the quality of life of average people.

        It’s so obvious it shouldn’t need to be said: The average person who uses a smartphone would not have a smartphone if they needed to invent it themselves. They wouldn’t have a smartphone if they needed to finance its design, development, and the network to support it themselves.

        And average people benefit from all of that every time they willingly choose to use a smart phone. They never took any financial risks. They just benefit from the risks of entrepreneurs and the people who finance them.

        Every day, I pass by a thousand poor people waiting for the bus, almost all of them staring into their smartphones while they wait. They buy them and use them because they add value to those people’s lives. They didn’t contribute anything to their development, and yet they benefit–and AoC wants to kill the goose that keeps laying those golden eggs for poor people waiting for the bus?

        1. Seen and unseen. They see the smartphones, the factories, and the workers. They don’t see all the decisions made and risks taken by those who supposedly sit on the couch and wait for a check. They don’t see it because most of them simply can’t imagine it. “You mean the fat cats in the smoke-filled room do something beneficial to me? Don’t you understand that you’re licking the corporate boot on your neck?”

  48. So may we assume that she will avoid any use of the WaPo in furthering her career?

  49. AOC is a communist parasite just like the dispicable Coates, pure-and-simple.

  50. “Well you didn’t make those widgets, did you?”

    So how many widgets does AOC make to earn her money?

    1. She makes her money because the government takes money by force. Amazon makes money because people willingly give them money. Yet Amazon is the bad guy.

  51. Can we agree that this woman, and anyone who makes common cause with her is an admitted totalitarian, an enemy of all free people, and should be treated as such?

    Scorn and ridicule at the very least.

    1. Republican National Socialists got her elected. This has been going on since 1873. There was a crash and depression that year, BTW.

  52. Where does AOC draw the line? She’s making more than most in her district. All she does is say “yea” or “nay” while receiving money poached from her constituents.

    1. “Where does AOC draw the line?”

      Where all dimbulb lefties do: Make more than them? You’re “the rich”.

  53. Amazon “took” the money because people gave them the money. Amazon is big because they are successful. I wonder if she has a Amazon Prime account?

    I could say Amazon has too much money, but the way to resolve that is to quit buying shit from them. I do think they have more than enough. I have never bought anything from them, nor do I plan to.

  54. AOC: “Like, when you accept a job and agree to voluntarily exchange your time and labor for an agreed-upon wage, that’s like, modern slavery. But like, when I steal half your paycheck and spend it on the frivolous luxuries that I will throw literal temper tantrums if I’m forces to live without, that’s like, the Price you Serfs pay for Civilization, or something.”

    1. author Ta-Nehisi Coates*

      *racist, failed comic book writer

    2. The logic goes like this.

      You’ve gotta eat and food ain’t free.

      You need a place to live and that ain’t free.

      You need an education and that ain’t free.

      That means you must work for someone in order to supply yourself with basic necessities. This gives enormous power to the employer. They can dictate whatever unfair terms they want because you need the job. This means you have no choice but to work. That makes you a slave. They own you. Do what they say and buy their stuff or die. Corporations are modern plantations. The only thing that stands between us and corporate slavery is government!

  55. People have a real problem understanding the value of work.

    Example: A guy making widgets can produce $100K a year in value for his company, and gets paid $50K a year for his work, $40K goes to materials cost and overhead, the rest is profit.

    That’s pretty straight forward.

    A programmer might introduce improvements to a computer system that generates savings or increased profits of $300K a year to his company. They have overhead, make whatever profit as well.

    Yet people somehow can’t understand how the programmer is objective WORTH more money. It’s because he can produce more revenue or cost savings by his work! It’s that simple. If you were a guy that could guarantee making/saving a company $10 million a year by your thoughts/actions, you could probably command a salary of a couple mil a year or more.

    It’s that simple.

    What about a theoretical lone genius who on an annual basis can invent things worth $100 million? If he’s so smart nobody else can achieve that, then he’s worth a hell of a lot of money.

    Well, business executives are basically that. Try putting almost anybody in charge of 10s of thousands of employees and the 1000s of moving parts that entail a business enterprise and see how well they do. Most of them would run a successful business into the ground quick. But SOME people can not only maintain them, but expand them. It’s a rare quality. Those guys are worth a ton of cash.

    Even when a top level exec fails, they’re still usually 1 million times more competent than your average person, and often just failed due to stuff outside of their control, or perhaps a bad call that seemed sound at the time. Shit happens.

    1. So much this. I have a prog friend who literally thinks CEO’s literally sit around making paper airplanes all day.

      I stopped talking to him because he lost his fricken mind.

      The scary thing is, deep down in some twisted and foul way, they know they’re fucken retarded when they think that.

      AOC wouldn’t even be able to run a simple fruit stand judging by her public comments about finance and business.

      But when people like her fail it’s not because she’s a fool or incompetent. Nope. It’s because of something else. Blame whatever. The world is your oyster in progressive land. Blame whatever or whomever you choose. As long as it’s not true.

      I heard that if you put a mirror in front of an illiberal they die.

      Is that true?

      1. Last week I had lunch at a restaurant I worked for twenty years ago. The owner was there. Did a double-take when I called hum by his first name, and then recognized me. We talked for a while and at some point he said “I made twenty thousand dollars last year. My accountant asked how I can do what with one point eight million dollars in sales. I said it’s easy!” He’s in the black, which is more than many restaurants can say, but he definitely needs help increasing his margin.

        1. No kidding he sounds like he needs some help.

          But I can sympathize with the line ‘it’s easy’. If you’re not paying attention combined with factors and forces outside your control, you can easily blow your margins.

          Restaurants are notoriously tough gigs for employers and employees. Quite the culture.

          1. I was in it for a decade. Quite the culture indeed.

    2. “Those guys are worth a ton of cash.”

      The ex-CEO of Boeing took a ton of cash and still managed to run his company into the ground. I wouldn’t say he’s a million times more competent than the typical Boeing employee. The truly wealthy do not need market forces to increase their riches. They can get by leveraging their position and gaming the system.

      1. Sure, there are bad CEO’s out there. Just like there are bad teachers, politicians and sock makers.

        Point is, a competent CEO doesn’t sit around on his (or her) ass all day winking at pointing and doing air pistols with their fingers.

        1. That is not my point. I don’t think the market determined that the ex-CEO was worth all the millions he took from the company. And I don’t think the ex-CEO was millions of times more competent than other Boeing employees.

          1. “I don’t think the market determined that the ex-CEO was worth all the millions he took from the company.”

            “And I don’t think the ex-CEO was millions of times more competent than other Boeing employees.”
            Who cares what you think?

            1. Are you angling for a spam flag? I’ll give you one if you keep this up.

          2. But he is. Even having made a fuckup or two, he IS far more competent than the average Boeing employee.

            If they had selected some random engineer or manufacturing worker to be in charge of the whole company, do you know what damage THEY would have done in a couple years time? The whole company could be BK already.

            From what I know the guy made some mistakes, but nothing super out of line, and mostly his engineers fucked up and he had to take the fall for it.

            You’re just a retard dude. You can’t accept that running a company with 10s of thousands of employees is a REALLY hard thing to pull off… But it is. 99% of people would fail spectacularly if they tried… And indeed some of that 1% that theoretically can pull it off fucks up too. Such is life!

      2. “”The ex-CEO of Boeing took a ton of cash”‘

        Are you sure it was cash and not some combination of cash and stock?

        1. Cash was taken, but probably not a ton of it.

      3. “The ex-CEO of Boeing took a ton of cash and still managed to run his company into the ground.”

      4. Boeing is anything but ‘run into the ground.’ Its stock has remained remarkably steady even in the fact of the MAX debacle.

    1. Heh heh heh… It sho ’nuff do look like chalk to you, White Lamb.

  56. I stopped here:

    When Coates pressed Ocasio-Cortez on whether billionaire entrepreneurs deserve to keep their money, she responded, “Well you didn’t make those widgets, did you?…You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages—and in some cases, real modern-day slavery, depending on where you are in terms of food production.”

    “You made that money off of the backs of undocumented people, you made that money off of the backs of black and brown people being paid under a living wage, you made that money off of the backs of single mothers,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.”

    JFC, these cunts. These dangerous, illiberal, envious cocksuckers.

    And this idiot AOC has the gall to claim the DNC is ‘centrist-conservative’?

    This bitch would personally decorate the gulags.

    Pure poison.

  57. If I’m a billionaire and was a Democrat, I’d be a tad concerned about who walks among them in the ranks.

    People like Bloomberg and Steyer may *think* they can keep the far-left under control but I don’t think they understand what they’re up against.

    Unless, of course, they agree which would be too bizarre to understand and hopelessly contradictory to the point they deserve whatever they get.

    The left hate wealth and wealthy people. Simple as that.

    Bezos and Gates are also two other useful idiots who need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    1. “If I’m a billionaire and was a Democrat”

      If I were a billionaire and a Democrat.

      1. It’s a THREAD. Grammar miStAKes Wills hapenz.

        People who do this are the worst.

        1. Look, folks like you and me should be setting an example for the youngsters. If you are going to comment, use correct English. If it takes an extra minute or so, fine, there is no rush.

          1. It should be “…folks like you and I.” If you are going to comment, use correct English.

            1. I sounds too faggy. I prefer me.

              1. “I” should be in quotes. Also, here’s how your sentence reads if you remove the conjunction: “Me should be setting an example for youngsters.” That sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it. I guess you’d rather sound stupid than faggy. If you’re going to be a grammar NAZI, it behooves you to get these things right.

                1. *[D]oesn’t it?

                2. ” If you’re going to be a grammar NAZI”

                  I prefer the term grammar Maoist. And you’ve convinced me that I’m due for a struggle session of grammatical self criticism.

  58. Ok, as twisted as it is that’s her case against Bezos, and his twisted carnage of Indy bookstores left in his wake. And she could say the same about Howard Schultz and the horror of losing the neighborhood coffee house although it seems there are just as many as there ever were.

    But she should apply that same critique to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Elon Musk, none of whom have ever paid even a small fraction of their workers less than triple the minimum wage, and have made enough millionaires to populate a small state. Even their outsourced workers in India are getting paid 10x local wage rates and are lifting litterly hundreds of millions out of poverty with new industries and God forbid trickle down economics. I suppose keeping them all in poverty ripe for being swept away by the next great pandemic (which might finally be here) would be the lowest carbon solution, so that’s probably part of the indictment too.

  59. Other than some ‘rad’ dance moves on a rooftop what, exactly, has AOC contributed to society? She seems off her feed — someone send her some extra bales of hay and a salt lick – STAT!

  60. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.”

    Like you used to take the money from the tip jar, Sandy?

  61. A capitalist takes nothing. He is given things for value received by others. There is not taking, no violence involved. Government takes, it gives the taxed no choice on whether they want the services or not. The taker is the government, not the capitalist. AOC is right no one makes a billion, they are given the billion for things people value.

  62. “Implementing workplace democracy is hard enough when everyone involved comes from a common cultural, ethnic, racial, or political background. Where the membership is heterogeneous, success can be close to impossible.”

    Funny how Libertarians used to realize this but left-Libertarians today support open borders.

    1. Being and openborders sort, but a hard core freemarket capitalist who believes in a right to property that one has created, you’re missing an important point in this case: I’m assuming that whoever comes in wants to work hard and act like an American. It’s the old melting pot concept, but I see it as part of the deal for anyone coming here, officially or otherwise. Now, if said person wants to behave like in old country (only men work, women shut up, kill gays, speak only oldcountry language, etc. etc. etc.), then said person should go back where he came from.

  63. Socialism: the system in which un-elected bureaucrats decide what the smart people are allowed to do.

  64. “You made that money off of the backs of undocumented people, you made that money off of the backs of black and brown people being paid under a living wage, you made that money off of the backs of single mothers.”

    Either all those people are penniless oppressed victims ground under the boot of the wealthy, or they’re the source of all wealth. They can’t be both impoverished and gold mines of lucre.

  65. “Amazon succeeds at rent-seeking and cozying up to politicians in order to be the beneficiary of all kinds of political favors.” Who the fuck’s fault is that? Amazon’s playing by the rules it was given. If you don’t like it, blame the politicians and the fuckwits who don’t just vote for their promises of more intrusion into the economy, but demand it.

  66. I guess you could say that’s a key distinction between progressives and libertarians: (1) progressives believe wealthy people are thieves; (2) libertarians believe government officials are thieves. Corollary difference: (1) progressives believe state should redistribute wealth to compensate for private thievery; (2) libertarians believe state should never interfere in any honest, contractual relationship.

  67. Thing is she is not even a very good socialist. I don’t think she really understands it. Bernie at least seems to have some grasp of the principles and is open and consistent about his version of democratic socialism.

    With her it just seems like kumbaya pseudo socialism.

  68. One of the biggest problems with an entrepreneurial society is that some entrepreneurs start out small with two guys and a dog working in the garage, and they build a business that becomes large and valuable. As they started out owning a 100%, even if they take on investors or grant options to employees, they are still likely to own a lot of it when it has become valuable, and this concentrated ownership sometimes makes them billionaires.

    We really do need to stop this. For one, we could ban garages and even demolish them. Perhaps seize the dog. There is always the risk they might move to the kitchen table, but if we outlaw kitchens or at least tables, we might be able to control that.

    It’s going to take a lot of work, hyper diligence, and control of behavior to get a grip on this because it really is a problem. Just ask AOC.

  69. Every time this b*tch opens her pie hole something else comes out that tops the stupidity of her last remark! Hard to achieve but she’s a master!

    1. Doesn’t master have a feminine form in English?

      1. Yes, but no matter how good she looks, she’s unlikely to become one unless she learns to shut up.

  70. Probably should have finished disarming us all before spewing forth this totalitarian Marxist claptrap. Just an FYI.

  71. AOC – Touting the Criminalistic root theory of the lefty-mind that…

    “The [WE] mob will use the POWER of guns and STEAL someone elses wealth.”

    — instead of correctly making the association of —

    “Us [INDIVIDUALS] will CREATE VALUE to EARN wealth.

    Please tell us again WHAT LAW specifically is “stopping” all those “slaves” of Amazon from starting their co-op ( company and reaping the rewards of their “value”?

  72. When Amazon announced it
    Click for

  73. Lizzie my dear, the award for getting a billion dollars is the billion dollars. Which is subject to taxation at an appropriate level. The horrors!

    A privately held company can convert to an ESOP owned company if the shareholders want, it’s the ultimate in corporate tax shelters. The cost is that the shareholders have to give the company to the workers, but if you’ve stripped out boatloads of cash already and the next generation is already partying in Miami Beach, you might as well give it away.

  74. Money has no intrinsic value. It represents work for the purpose of trade, nothing more.

    Economic models are only fictions that we create. We have created ours to include riches, poverty, recessions and depressions.

    It’s designed to inspire greed and ignore waste and suffering. The elite are at the top.

    If we put our minds to creating an economic model that grows society recognizing everyone’s rights to the benefits of civilization, we could do it.

    Resistance would come from greedy, shortsighted people with the desire to be at the top of a corrupt pile of shit.

    1. Let’s put it to a vote.

      How do you like being part of the 1% now?

    2. Well I’m not going to willingly give away any of my “labor” for a [WE] (waist of energy) economic model that will supposedly “grow society” better than actual labor=value=wealth. So you can just keep me out of your “[WE] could do it” planning committee.

      I won’t even “Resist” your [WE] planning so long as you keep [WE] membership on a VOLUNTARY basis that doesn’t TAKE by FORCE mine or others FREE-WILL and ability to KEEP claim of their own “labor”!!!

      But I get the feeling; you want to pretend anyone who isn’t part of your [WE]-PLAN to STEAL and take away FREEDOM yet produce absolutely NOTHING club is –> “greedy, shortsighted people with the desire to be at the top of a corrupt pile of shit”..

      Byte me slaver.

      1. You’d probably come out ahead.

  75. How arrogant can a person get? How does Miss Ocasio-Cortez know how to organize a business? More importantly, How does she know what is good or bad?

    Billionaires just sit on their couches and let others do the work? Has she ever went to “Take your Congress Person to Work Day”?

  76. “No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.”

    when I run that through the democrat projection translator, it says she cheated the barbacks when splitting tips.

  77. “Ocasio-Cortez is right to be concerned … for would-be competitors who are sabotaged by the union of big business and big government.”

    Wait, when did she ever criticize that? Cite please.

  78. No one except government dictators take a billion dollars. Capitalist are given a billion for things they have invented and helped billed. Capitalism is voluntary, governments use force.

  79. No one except government dictators take a billion dollars. Capitalist are given a billion for things they have invented and helped builded. Capitalism is voluntary, governments use force.

  80. Hmm… I read Wapo every day and didn’t see AOC’s comments at all.

  81. AOC missed her party, with the planks she advocates written in 1920:
    10. It is the primary duty of every citizen to work mentally or physically. The activities of the individual may not conflict with the interests of the general public but must be carried on within the framework of the whole and for the good of all.
    11. Abolition of income unearned by labor or effort;
    The National Socialist platform has caudilla written all over it!

  82. What is the correct reward for a university that grants a degree in economics to a student that has learned nothing about economics?

  83. AOC is a clueless ideologue without any understanding of individuals. EVERYTHING revolves around exploitation of people who don’t know how this happened. Then she wants those otherwise unsuccessful people to run the companies that are supposedly exploiting them.

    The tens of thousands of hours and countless problems solved by the founders of that company count for little or nothing in her empty head. Successful businesses do not come from individuals sitting on their couch looking at the walls. They are usually build brick by brick and from time and honest sweat by the owner(s).

    Why can’t Socialists get it thru their thick heads that people are not cookie cutter copies of one another. They come in all sizes and ambition, intelligence, ability to work and create & many other factors that make us individuals. Their ideas about Socialism and income equality border on insane given the actual nature of humans. Even they themselves have achieved way beyond the average person. Did that just arrive from Amazon one day? Just a method of garnering votes to enhance their own power. Screw them!

  84. “When Amazon announced it was seeking a location for its second headquarters, governments engaged in a subsidy bidding war at taxpayers’ expense. Shame on Amazon”

    Even this is overblown. Amazon didn’t *ask* governments to give them subsidies, those places just assumed that that is what Amazon was looking for. When you look at the total amount of money that Amazon represents and then look at how much they spend on “rent-seeking”, e.g. on lobbying, it is an absolute *pittance*, so many decimal points over it is in the noise.

    I’ve said this before and I’m convinced it’s true: if there were a “make the world libertarian button”, JB would push it in a heartbeat. He has zero interest in gaining an advantage for Amazon through government. They play the game to some small amount because that’s the game and he/they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, but it’s largely just for show. Everything about Amazon internally is about *the customer*: *that* is their path to success… I won’t say “profit”, because honestly and obviously, Amazon has never been a particularly *profitable* company. They don’t need to. Jeff has become the world’s richest man without making a single nickel in profit: all of his money comes from his stock, from the valuation of Amazon going up. In all of the back and forth on Amazon, it is remarkable how little attention is paid to what is effectively the discovery of a completely different model for making money off of a corporation).

    Disclosure: I have worked for Amazon for 13 years. So yes, I do know a little about how it works and operates internally. And no, I have never cried at my desk or peed in a bottle.

  85. I think a lot of these socialist types believe that “contributing towards the betterment of mankin…. ur…. genderneutralkind” ought to be reward enough for one’s endeavors.

    When I remind them that incentives matter more than ideals…. and that people behave in predictable ways given certain inputs and conditions, they always insist that somehow… this time… it will be different!

    1. Certainly, AOC has no problem with taking a billion dollars or more from anyone!

  86. Correction: Entrepreneurs DO make a billion dollars (sometimes), if they create something of value that people are willing to pay for while consuming fewer resources to produce it. Socialists like AOC and Sanders and Warren are the ones who want to TAKE a billion dollars. (at a time, from multiple billionaires.)

  87. The “thinker” pose makes me want to coin the word “litotestical”

  88. “You wanna know what my vision is? Dollar signs, money! I didn’t build this ship to usher in a new era for humanity. … I built this ship so I could retire to some tropical island filled with naked women.” Zephram Cochrane, “Star Trek: First Contact”

    Altruism and cooperation are “nice”, but profit gets the job done.

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