Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) has generated a truckload of media attention for her recent announcement that she refuses to pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). But is this just a flash-in-the-pan, ego-driven battle of personalities, the kind of story with which the pop media typically wastes time, or is it actually a valuable, bigger-picture, long-standing lesson in hypocrisy and the threateningly presumptuous nature of collectivism? You be the judge…
As FoxNews has reported, the magnificent AOC recently took time away from being amazed by how vegetables grow and how in-sink trash disposals work to tell the world that she won’t pay her dues to the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a wonderfully upbeat group of Democrat politicians who voluntarily join as a way to “share the wealth”, get more Dems elected, and keep “sharing” other peoples’ wealth.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already topped the fundraising charts in her short time in Congress, but the liberal darling won’t donate a cent of her millions to Democrats' House campaign organization -- a position that has rankled some of her colleagues, Fox News has learned.
So this story could be seen – as media outlets such as TheFloridianPress and even National Review have framed it – as a schism between AOC’s purportedly “more progressive wing” of the Democrat party, and the so-called “mainstream” of the party represented by such “moderate” voices as Nancy Pelosi.
Not only is this a faulty description, depicting a distinction without any real substantive difference between rabid collectivists who only slightly disagree on which authoritarian policy they want to impose first, it conveniently overlooks the key point. It’s a lesson about hypocrisy and the general “what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine” attitude of AOC and, historically, political collectivism itself.
The lesson being that AOC is enthusiastic about forcing other people to pay what she tells them is their “fair share” of taxes, backed by threat of statutory action such as fines, arrests, and imprisonment, but she feels completely comfortable CHOOSING not to pay the dues of an organization she voluntarily joined.
It’s a point seemingly lost on most of the “horserace” political reporters, but it’s a profoundly important ethical note to hit, a note that was observed by FoxNews’ Schultz (and an unnamed Democrat) in her original report:
Another Democrat was less diplomatic: “Deadbeat Cortez should pay her bills,” complained the Democratic source. ‘She’s always whining about people paying their fair share and here she is leaving her friends with the bill.’
Schultz also spelled-out AOC’s financial arrears:
Their gripe is that Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t given any money to the DCCC, the party arm with the sole job of electing Democrats to the House. Records obtained by Fox News show the New York Democrat has failed to pay any of her $250,000 in “dues” to the DCCC.
All this while her PR team collected $2 million in the Fourth Quarter of 2019 and $1.42 million in the Third. But the amount she’s raised is beside the point, and any focus on that could be used by “eaters of the rich” collectivists as a turn-around argument to “justify” their class envy policy to make “wealthier” Americans pay EVEN HIGHER taxes. The point is that AOC voluntarily joined the DCCC, while American citizens cannot be said to have given any form of consent to any US government taxes simply because they were born here.
This kind of contemptuous, covetous arrogance lies at the core of all collectivist ideology, whether it’s Jean Jacques Rousseau’s 18th Century French socialism, or Karl Marx’s Communism™, predicated on a similar hatred of private property and a class-envy-based attempt to recruit so-called “workers” against those he portrayed as “exploiters”, also known as business owners who were struggling to stay open, make profits, and provide quality to consumers that could better their lives.
So, should it surprise people to know that Marx lived most of his life welching off others, cheated on his wife, died penniless and owing people cash? Strange how those purveyors of state collectivism are so willing to force others to pay what they label a “fair” amount, while they don’t fulfill their own, voluntarily adopted, financial obligations.
And, like Marx, AOC and numerous leftists appear to like demonizing productive business owners so much that they not only overlook their own double-standards, they miss – or mischaracterize – the entire nature of economics. For example, just as Barack Obama uttered that infamous line, “You didn’t build that” when discussing his daft idea that businesses owe their success to the ugly, inefficient, government-run infrastructure the business person has to navigate to function – a line Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) cribbed from a Berkeley prof months before Obama, and which completely neglects to mention that the only way the government gets cash to operate its crappy “infrastructure” is by taking it from productive civilians in the first place – AOC recently appeared at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event to claim that “billionaires don’t MAKE money” they “TAKE money” from the exploited employees.
You didn’t make those widgets, did you? Because you employed thousands of people and paid them less than a living wage to make those widgets for you. You didn’t make those widgets, you sat on a couch… No one ever ‘makes’ a billion dollars. You TAKE a billion dollars.
Which, as usual, frames things in a Marxist, class-envy, “David v Goliath” view that, for a woman who supposedly studied Economics in college, makes one wonder what she’s read. Has she read the most fundamental of all economics books, Adam Smith’s 1776 “The Wealth of Nations”? If so, she might have noticed within the first 280 pages of his massive tome that employment is an agreement. It’s a transaction, between two or more willing people.
And this transaction aspect is important to remember. One of the things Smith stresses is that both the employee and the business owner bring something to the other that the other does not have. Yes, we can tell AOC that it’s obvious that business owners DO work. They come up with ideas, invest time and capital they could otherwise invest in other things, and take on huge liabilities to try to make a profit. The myriad factors business owners handle are so vast, most start-up workers could not handle them, which is why it takes a long time to become even a fast-food manager. There’s a lot to know.
So the “owner” does a hell of a lot while sitting on his “couch”, as AOC so kindly tells us is reality.
But Smith makes another, equally important, point. Just like the “laborer” is offering a business owner sweat equity in the form of unskilled -- or lower-skilled, or differently-skilled -- labor, a “wealthy” person who invests in a business is offering the laborer something the laborer doesn’t have: a chance to apply his skills to tools and resources he might not have the margins to buy. These things include a building in which to work, heat, electricity, machine tools, raw materials, and even shipping and advertising methods that the employee might not be able to afford for many years.
It’s incredibly essential that this kind of perspective be learned, understood, and applied to any chance encounter with a collectivist like AOC who would deride and vilify business owners as exploiters. All market transactions are voluntary and offer the willing participants something they want in exchange for something they are willing to offer. It is this way and always has been this way.
Sadly, like Karl Marx, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t want to acknowledge the truth. She’s too busy telling others to fork over their cash, demonizing them, and avoiding the payments she willingly said she would give to her own Democrat pals.