Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York rarely fails to mention that she studied economics at Boston University. She was able to parlay that degree into a promising career in the beverage service industry before a bizarre turn of events propelled her into elected politics as a member of Congress.
According to the Washington Examiner, the self-described “democratic socialist” demonstrated her breadth of knowledge when discussing her favorite economist.
“The New York Democrat said that the “famed economist Milton Keynes predicted that by 2030, GDP and technology would have advanced so much that it would allow everyday people to work as little as 15 hours a week and provide for their families.” Ocasio-Cortez, 30, said that Keynes was not entirely wrong because technology and GDP “have advanced wildly since the 1960s” but that wealth inequality has kept people from experiencing a shorter workweek.”
The reference to “Milton Keynes caused a lot of head-scratching among the media. There is a John Maynard Keynes, a favorite of liberals for his advocacy of government spending and running large deficits to promote economic growth. Milton Friedman was a free-market economist who supported cuts in government spending and taxation and low regulation and is thus a favorite of conservatives.
Hot Air noted the enormity of the gaffe coming from someone who likes to boast of her economics degree. “It’s like a diehard baseball fan praising legendary Yankees slugger “Baby Roth.” Or “Babe Gehrig,” maybe, since she’s thinking of Milton Friedman too. Whose own economic theories are … not normally confused for Keynes’s.”
AOC later clarified that of course she meant John Maynard Keynes but by then the damage to her threadbare reputation for intelligence. Another piece in the Washington Examiner noted that the Milton Keynes gaffe came on the heels of another in which she declared that it is “physically impossible” to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps. AOC was clueless about the definition of the terms “metaphor” and “idiom.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been entertaining the world ever since before she was elected to Congress with her alarming and off the wall statements. Her greatest contribution to policy discourse was something called the Green New Deal, designed to end every instance of carbon dioxide emissions and thus solve the problem of climate change.
The Green New Deal, as AOC originally presented it, would not only end the oil and gas industry, but also air travel, private automobiles, and the cattle industry. Cattle, from which the world derives beef and milk, emit quite a bit of methane in their flatulence and therefore have to go.
Even though the Green New Deal was widely mocked as something that had to be the result of a dorm room session after the bong pipe had been passed around too often, a version has been adopted by AOC’s fellow democratic socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. Bernie is considered a front runner in the race of the Democratic nomination for president.
Hot Air mischievously suggested that an enterprising reporter ask AOC about MMT, which is short for Modern Monetary Theory. For those who, unlike AOC, does not have an economics degree, Bloomberg defines MMT.
“MMT proposes that a country with its own currency, such as the U.S., doesn’t have to worry about accumulating too much debt because it can always print more money to pay interest. So, the only constraint on spending is inflation, which can break out if the public and private sectors spend too much at the same time. As long as there are enough workers and equipment to meet growing demand without igniting inflation, the government can spend what it needs to maintain employment and achieve goals such as halting climate change.”
One of the charming aspects of MMT is that it states that it is not necessary to soak the rich to pay for such things as the Green New Deal and Medicare for all. All one has to do is print money. AOC and her ally Bernie Sanders do know this because they favor a wealth tax, admittedly to also lower income inequality. Proponents of MMT claim that it is a logical conclusion of Keynesian economics.
Critics of MMT predict all sorts of disasters if it were ever to be implemented. Think of runaway inflation on the level of Weimer Germany and the collapse of private business as is happening in modern Venezuela. Human beings are not smart enough to perform the balancing act of expanding the money supply to pay for dubious programs, AOC may be pleased to disagree. After all, Milton Keynes said so.