Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) says capitalism "cannot be redeemed."
Speaking at the recent South by Southwest conference in Austin, the 29-year-old first-term member of the House of Representatives says capitalism is the root cause of income inequality in America.
She said people shouldn't fear government intrusion on business. Seeming to simultaneously contradict her statement about capitalism being irredeemable, Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't want to abolish capitalism, but make it more "democratic."
"At the end of the day, we're the ones creating wealth not a corporate CEO," she said. "It's not a CEO that's actually creating four billion dollars a year, it is the millions of workers in this country that's creating four billion dollars of economic productivity a year."
One member of the audience asked if Americans should be worried by the rise in automation which could put many workers out of a job. The Verge points out Ocasio-Cortez used it as an opportunity to blast America.
"We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work," she said. "We should be excited by that. But the reason we're not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don't have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem."
"We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in," she said. "Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage."
Gov. Mike Huckabee took a jab at Ocasio-Cortez' socialist dreams for America, tweeting: "I wonder if all those young hipsters cheering AOC at SXSW realize that in Venezuela, the power outages mean all their gadgets are dead and they can't access any social media sites to hear about how great socialism is?"
I wonder if all those young hipsters cheering AOC at SXSW realize that in Venezuela, the power outages mean all their gadgets are dead and they can’t access any social media sites to hear about how great socialism is?
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) March 11, 2019
And activist father Andrew Pollack, founder of Americans for Children's Lives and School Safety, tweeted, ".@AOC cheers for socialism while wearing $1000 suits and eating at 5 star restaurants. All provided to her by the benefits of Capitalism. She wants you to suffer under high taxes and oppression while she thrives as a privileged congresswoman. #fixit"
In her wide-ranging attack on capitalism and America, Ocasio-Cortez also criticized past presidents calling FDR's new deal "racist" and accusing Ronald Reagan of pitting white working class-people against minorities.