Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‏Calls Out ‘Systemic’ Problems In United States

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends the "Knock Down The House" Premiere 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals.
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

For years, Democrats have consistently denied that they are for socialism.

However, a new wave of Democratic influence spearheaded by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders has begun embracing the idea that American capitalism is failing. This may present a sharp ideological change, and one that many newly minted Democratic congresspeople appear to be embracing.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter today to discuss what she calls a failure of capitalism. The representative retweeted a November of 2018 CNBC quote from hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio, who said that capitalism does not work for the majority. The newly installed representative from New York expanded on that thought in her tweet.

“Even billionaires are acknowledging it, folks. When 40% of Americans can’t afford basic needs, or a $400 emergency, the problem isn’t unique. It’s systemic. That’s not good for anyone. Even billionaires know they can’t shield themselves from this kind of perilous instability.”

According to Dalio, the last time the wealth gap in the United States was as great as it is today, it was the 1930s — a period described as The Great Depression. Such an extreme gap between the haves and the have-nots can destabilize the economy. Interestingly, in that speech, the billionaire actually called on the President of the United States to declare the income gap a national emergency, which is not what happened. Instead, President Donald Trump declared a lack of security at the U.S.-Mexico border to be a national emergency.

The representative went on to promise to advocate for a variety of things, including “Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, and investing in dignified jobs that build our nation plus get us to 100% renewables before it’s too late.”

She pointed out that these things represent investments in people instead of in profits. Of course, many of her detractors commented that socialism is largely a failure around the world. Others added the qualification that “unbridled capitalism” is the problem, as opposed to capitalism in general. For many, the idea of “social-capitalism” is ideal, and could bring the two ideas together somewhere in the middle — a compromise that many developed countries around the world appear to have adopted. Many people do not believe that the U.S. should become a completely socialist country.

Recently, Ocasio-Cortez also made headlines for appearing to embrace robotic automation of jobs, according to a report from Business Insider. The representative believes that corporations who make use of artificial intelligence to replace human jobs should be taxed at a high rate, and the subsequent reimagining of the work-life balance across the labor force could help humans to pursue more creative ventures.