The two hottest commodities in the Democratic Party are Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Earlier this week, Omar exhibited stunning ignorance in her hostile questioning of Elliott
Adams Abrams. Similarly, Ocasio-Cortez has often displayed a surprising lack of knowledge for someone who apparently is a college graduate. Don’t get me started on the “Green New Socialism.” But she outdid herself yesterday.
The context was Amazon’s announcement that it would not, after all, build a second corporate headquarters in Long Island City, which I understand is close to, but not within, Ocasio-Cortez’s district. The project reportedly would have entailed 25,000 new jobs–normally considered a good thing by Congressmen. But Ocasio-Cortez thought it was wonderful that her constituents would not have the option to compete for those jobs:
Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world. https://t.co/nyvm5vtH9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
I suppose if AOC’s constituents thought they would be “exploited” by Amazon they wouldn’t have to apply for jobs there. Now, they don’t have the choice.
Whether New York should have given Amazon incentives necessary to cement the Long Island City deal is debatable. As a conservative, I might say No. So, putting aside the idiotic Marxist rhetoric, there is nothing wrong with saying adios to Amazon. This is where Ocasio-Cortez went off the rails and took a deep dive into stupidity:
You know, I think it’s really important that we understand that we need to invest in our economy, but we need to invest in our people, and to give away $3 billion to a company that has a history of worker exploitation that’s paying below what the cost of New York City is not acceptable for us.
Of course, New York wasn’t going to “give” Amazon anything, let alone $3 billion. The $3 billion is an estimate of foregone tax revenues. In other words, money that Amazon won’t pay New York, not money that New York will pay Amazon. This is childishly simple, but apparently too much for AOC:
What’s great is that our economy, our local economy, is already growing. So I firmly believe that if we want to take that $3 billion dollars that we were willing to give to Amazon and invest it in our local community, we can do that. We can make those jobs. We can make 25,000 jobs. But we don’t have to give away and allow our subway system to crumble so that Amazon essentially owns a part of New York City. We can create 25,000 jobs with Mom-and-Pops; we can create 25,000 jobs with companies that are willing to come to the table, but we should not be giving away our infrastructure, our subway system, our schools, our teachers’ salaries, our firefighters’ budgets, to a company that has not shown good faith to New Yorkers.
This is almost unbelievably stupid. Obviously, there is no “$3 billion dollars that we were willing to give to Amazon.” No one ever proposed to give money to Amazon. Those were dollars that “we” hypothetically would have refrained from collecting from Amazon. Those dollars do not exist. They are not in the possession of New York State or any other public entity. They cannot be “invest[ed] in our local community.” The absence of those funds will not “allow our subway system to crumble.” No one has ever proposed “giving away our infrastructure, our schools, our teachers’ salaries, our firefighters’ budgets,” to Amazon or anyone else.
This isn’t complicated stuff. If Ocasio-Cortez is really this stupid, she shouldn’t have graduated from high school. She certainly shouldn’t be representing many thousands of constituents, who must assume that she is of at least average intelligence, in Congress.