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#1 User is offline   pepperonikkid 

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  Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:05 AM

AOC Versus Adam Smith

by David R. Henderson
Tuesday, February 5, 2019


In a recent interview, author Ta-Nehisi Coates asked newly elected Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whether we "live in a moral world that allows for billionaires." He clarified, "Is that a moral outcome, in and of itself?" Representative Ocasio-Cortez (henceforth AOC) answered that it is not moral and went on to say, "I do think a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don't have access to public health is wrong."

Her statement made it sound as if she thinks there's a strong connection between the two. The uncharitable interpretation of her statement is that she thinks the people making billions are preventing poor people from getting good health care, as if the rich people took it from the poor people. Although AOC didn't make clear whether this is what she meant, she did say that she doesn't believe that multi-billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are immoral. So the uncharitable interpretation is probably too extreme. The charitable interpretation is that failing to impose the high tax rates she would like on billionaires means there is less money for public health. But what if the connection between allowing billionaires to exist and making poor people better off is the opposite of what she contends? What if allowing people to keep a large percentage of what they earn is one of the factors that makes poor people better off? AOC doesn't consider that possibility. But she should, because it's true.

If you watched the Super Bowl, not just for the game but also for ads, you probably saw the Microsoft ad. In it, young boys and girls who are missing hands or fingers talked about what a difference the Xbox adaptive controller made in their lives. It dramatically reduced the disadvantage they had in playing games with their friends. If you're an adult reading this—and you probably are—you might think that's no big deal. But to those kids it was life-enhancing. Not only did it reduce their disadvantage but also it connected them more to other kids.

Microsoft put engineers to work on the adaptive controller in 2015 and introduced it in September 2018. Why? Was it just a public relations move rather than a business proposition to make money? Possibly. If so, notice that Microsoft had the wherewithal to do that. In that case, the same company that made billions for some of its executives also used some of its money for that cool technology. More likely, though, Microsoft saw a chance to make money. It's possible that not only disabled people, but also others, will find the new technology attractive. So the incentive to make money led Microsoft to develop a cool technology that will probably help hundreds of thousands of people.

The point about Microsoft's adaptive controller just scratches the surface. More generally, the incentive to make money has led to people becoming billionaires by serving others in countless ways.

Consider AOC's direct example, ringworm. According to the website healthline.com, most cases of ringworm "can be treated at home." How? Healthline.com recommends over-the-counter antifungal creams, lotions, and powders and also recommends that you visit your local drugstore or Amazon.com to get them. Some of the recommended items on Amazon are priced as low as $9.44.

But why does Amazon sell those items. And why did the various manufacturers of the over-the-counter treatments produce those items? To make money. I'm guessing that some of the stockholders in those companies are billionaires. And I know that one of the stockholders in Amazon, founder, chairman, CEO, and president Jeff Bezos, is a mega-billionaire. He and his wife started small, with an on-line book store, and then just expanded and expanded their business. They got rich by serving us. If you doubt that they're producing something of high value, then try dropping Amazon Prime for a year.

This reasoning is not new. Over 240 years ago, in The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith identified the positive role of incentives in helping people:

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

Remember that AOC took economics in college and not only took it, but also majored in it. I'm sure she knows that quote. Does she understand its importance? I suspect not.

It's not just in inventing and producing game consoles and treatments for ringworm that free markets shine. It's in pretty much everything.

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#2 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:29 AM

So much incredible stupid in that woman. :no:

#3 User is offline   islandboy88 

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:21 AM

AOC is the product of the PC culture. This is new generation we've created, and it will only get worse unless we get rid of all the leftist progressives who've infiltrated our schools and government.

#4 User is offline   grimreefer 

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:25 AM

View Postislandboy88, on 09 February 2019 - 10:21 AM, said:

AOC is the product of the PC culture. This is new generation we've created, and it will only get worse unless we get rid of all the leftist progressives who've infiltrated our schools and government.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is America's Child

Kira Davis
Feb 08, 2019 12:54 PM

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.


I once had my 5-year-old niece and my son of the same age out with me shopping when my son asked if we could go spend the night at “a hotel with a pool”. This was something we did from time to time when we wanted to enjoy a treat and some swim time during the long Midwestern winters. I told them that we couldn’t do it that weekend because I didn’t have the money to pay for a room at that time. My niece looked at me quite earnestly and said, “But can’t you just take one of those card things and go get money from the machine?”

Bless her sweet little heart. At that age she naturally could not understand the concept of earning money, saving money and spending money. For her it was just something that came out of a machine whenever adults wanted some.

I am reminded about that cute encounter years ago every time I see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speak publicly about all of the programs she hopes to magic into existence during her tenure as a member of Congress. Like my niece, she has no concept of where money comes from, how it is earned and how it is spent. She has an idea that when she (government) wants money, all the adults have to do is hit up a machine and get some.

America has all kinds of celebrity cultural representatives. Julia Roberts has often been described as America’s Sweetheart. The Kennedys were America’s Royalty. Oprah Winfrey is sometimes considered America’s Favorite Auntie.

Ocasio-Cortez is America’s Child.

She’s been thrust onto the national stage, but hasn’t lived long enough or had enough experience yet to shape her into a mature thinker. Life hasn’t yet imposed its cold, brutal reality. She still has hopes and dreams.

Like every other child in the nation, she thinks history began the day she was born. She’s pretty sure the grown-ups in the room are too old to know much about anything cool or worthwhile. She’s like a 5-year-old when it comes to money, but like a sullen teenager when it comes to learning. My niece and son are now teenagers, and like Ocasio-Cortez they think every adult around them is clueless and out-of-touch. We’re all just sucking up air and taking up space while denying people like her the opportunity to Change the World™.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is simply the manifestation of a juvenile wish list - the same utopian fantasy that resides inside the bubble of every wide-eyed, curious, well-intentioned child. And make no mistake, just because she’s a far-left progressive doesn’t mean she’s not well-intentioned. Maybe she doesn’t mean well for you or even for me, but (again) like a little child she means well for the people who spin around in her orbit; and like a child she thinks that is the only orbit that exists. All that exists outside of her immediate experience doesn’t exist at all.




#5 User is online   gravelrash 

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:19 PM


Like every other child in the nation, she thinks history began the day she was born.

* And not left on a table to die.

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