Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the far-left New York Democrat who some say is the true House Speaker, demonstrated Thursday why she has no business in Congress: Despite her fancy Boston University economics degree, she has no conception of how capitalism works to lift the human condition and create the world's greatest economic miracle.
"This idea of a bootstrap. You know this idea, this metaphor of a bootstrap started off as a joke," she claimed.
"Because, it's a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces. It's physically impossible!" She added, "The whole thing is a joke."
As she herself said, it's a metaphor — a figure of speech. The words aren't to be taken literally. It's rather meant to symbolize something else, in this case the upward mobility that capitalism provides those willing to work.
As pretty much every person living in the United States knows, with the exception of Ocasio-Cortez, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps refers to using grit, determination, and hard work to rise above your station in life.
When she got hammered for her lack of understanding of the phrase, she doubled down.
"I see that the right is worked up that we pointed out the myth of bootstrapping when 60% of the wealth in this country is *inherited,*" she tweeted. "But hey, if you think I'm hopelessly dumb, try listening to MLK talk about 'bootstrapping' & the racial wealth gap, too."
She attached a short clip of the late civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But King didn't say bootstrapping was a myth as Ocasio-Cortez had claimed. He argued that bootstrapping for African Americans was hampered because they were left figuratively "bootless" after their emancipation.
The clip was also some 50 years old — when there were fewer opportunities for blacks.
Chicago-based entrepreneur and host of "Future File" Carol Roth saw another flaw in Ocasio-Cortez's reasoning, one based on her assertion that 60% of America’s wealth is inherited.
"There's approx $98 trillion of wealth owned by Americans currently. So 40% or $39.2 trillion-& growing-wasn't inherited," Roth said. "I'd guess those who "bootstrapped" into $39.2 trillion are feeling good. Those who passed down wealth are happy the govt didn't steal their legacy. Nice try."
She later posted the story of her own rise to the top, which is still continuing, and asked her followers to post their own bootstrapping experiences — and received hundreds of such success stories in return.
"Rags to Riches" stories were depicted in numerous Horatio Alger novels he wrote for young adults that spanned more than a half century. They described boys born to poverty who employ courage, honesty, and industry to bootstrap themselves above their station to enter middle class society and beyond.
And we see those stories in real life every day.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had an idea for an improved personal computer, and tinkered with it in a garage to eventually become Apple Computer, Inc., which recently became the first trillion dollar U.S. company.
Mark Zuckerberg had an idea for a social media platform that he developed while a college undergraduate. That became Facebook, and Zuckerberg is worth over $82 billion today.
Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person in the world, was born from a 17-year-old mother and high school student, and a father who owned a bicycle shop. Today the Amazon founder is worth more than $125 billion.
But Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t have to resort to those extremes; she can turn to her own party for examples.
She’s a frequent campaign team member for Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist who's running for president.
Sanders came from somewhat humble beginnings; today he's a multimillionaire, and he and his wife own three homes.
According to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., her father was a janitor. She’s now a U.S. senator and multimillionaire, although, like Sanders, she prefers to downplay that fact.
Michael Bloomberg's father was a bookkeeper for a dairy company; now he's a multibillionaire also running for president.
And Ocasio-Cortez can look even closer to home for examples — to her own home, in fact.
A few years back she was peddling beer at a New York saloon. Today she’s a member of Congress.
Bootstrapping is a real concept that works today. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, more people are bootstrapping their way up the ladder of success. As a result:
- Unemployment among blacks, Hispanics, youth, and women are at historically low levels
- Income among the middle class is up
- Employment participation has risen
- The welfare rolls are shrinking
But if Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez have their way, the economic engine making all this possible will come to a halt, just as it did for a once-great capitalistic society — Venezuela.
And if Ocasio-Cortez can’t understand these fundamental principles, she has no business taking up space in Congress.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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