Billionaires become wealthy not because they have made that money, but because they have taken it from others through capitalism, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., claimed Monday during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day discussion.
“No one ever makes a billion dollars; you take a billion dollars,” Ocasio-Cortez said while talking with author Ta-Nehisi Coates, reports Fox Business. “I’m not here to villainize and to say billionaires are inherently morally corrupt.
“It’s to say that this system that we live in, life in capitalism always ends in billionaires,” she added.
She also accused billionaires of making their money off the backs of people like single mothers, “black and brown people being paid under a living wage,” and “undocumented people.”
Billionaires also did not make the “widgets” that made them so rich, the congresswoman, who advocates for democratic socialism, remarked.
“You employed thousands of people and paid them less than a living wage to make those widgets for you,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “You didn’t make those widgets. You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages and in some cases real modern-day slavery.”
Her comments were the first about billionaires. Back in November, she joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in criticizing JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and accusing him and other billionaires of asking for a “safe space.”
In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez linked a news article about Dimon, where he responded to Warren’s criticism with claims that the presidential candidate “vilifies successful people.”
Warren often sounds off against extremely wealthy Americans and has proposed a wealth tax that would fund her sweeping agenda items, including universal child care, Medicare for all, and canceling student loan debt.
Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet included a link to a news article about Dimon responding to Warren’s criticism by claiming she “vilifies successful people.”
The Massachusetts senator frequently rails against the ultra-wealthy and has proposed a wealth tax to fund a number of sweeping plans, including Medicare for All, canceling student loan debt for the majority of Americans, and providing universal child care, that she has introduced.