“No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars,” chided U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., earlier this week.
“You didn’t make those widgets,” she added. “You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages … [and] are literally dying because they can’t afford to live.”
This latest rant continued her war on the entrepreneurs and the capitalist system responsible for creating the most widespread economic abundance and highest quality of life in the history of mankind.
In the United States, real income over the past 40 years has risen for all income levels to the point where a middle-class income in 1980 could qualify as lower middle today, and an upper-middle-class income in 1980 would qualify as middle class today. Life expectancy has increased nearly eight years since 1970.
Ocasio-Cortez refuses to acknowledge that in a free society, individuals become wealthy by meeting customer needs. Wealth and economic output expands—or shrinks—based on a combination of human ingenuity, labor, natural resources, and capital investment. Few wealthy people get that way from plundering others. They create wealth by bringing to market products that benefit others.