Welp. Not everyone was slobbering over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s conference Friday. While AOC’s fans were applauding her like a rock star and some in the media even defending her phony accent and cadence as “just knowing her audience”, at least one panelist wasn’t impressed. President and chief investment officer of Advent Capital Management, Tracy Maitland, labeled the freshman socialist representative as “financially illiterate.” Ouch.
During a panel discussion, Maitland held AOC partially responsible for the loss of Amazon jobs. He said she needs education or else to be voted out of office.
Afterward Maitland told The Post, “This was a disgrace. I partially blame AOC for the loss of Amazon. She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. That’s scary. We have to make sure she’s better educated or vote her out of office.”
Maitland said the misimpression created by Ocasio-Cortez and other Amazon critics was that the state and city were giving the company a blank $3 billion check.
The reality, he said, is that Amazon was only getting tax credits based on the number of jobs created. Amazon and New York officials estimated a new headquarters in Queens would generate up $30 billion in tax revenues as well as 25,000 jobs.
CUNY chairman Bill Thompson agreed and noted the loss of potential jobs for minority students. (NY Post)
Another panelist, CUNY chairman Bill Thompson, said that job opportunities were “snatched away” from the predominately black and Latino students of the City University.
“We were at the table talking to Amazon on how students could get jobs … those opportunities were snatched away,” said Thompson, the former city comptroller.
The young socialist came under fire for her protests leveled at the plan by Amazon to move a new headquarters into Queens that would have regenerated an economically distressed area with an estimated 25,000 jobs. AOC addressed the crowd in the main ballroom a couple of hours before the panel discussion and didn’t bring up the Amazon fiasco as she lectured on income inequality. Sharpton introduced AOC but left before the pushback, though he did say he supports capitalism as long as there’s an even playing field.
Meanwhile, conservative mega-donor Foster Friess publicly offered up a dinner invitation to AOC in an op-ed for USA Today. Her office received the invitation last week. The dinner was the occasion of The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in Washingon, D.C. Twelve new members were inducted. Friess wants AOC to be exposed to real-life stories of people who came from humble beginnings and rose to have economically successful lives, thanks to the opportunities available in America.
Over 100 students who receive Horatio Alger college scholarships will be in attendance. All of which overcame challenging life and economic adversity and worked hard to achieve remarkable success in their high school years.
Meeting these amazing students inspires us to remember our own humble starts and to celebrate all that is special about the unique opportunities that America provides to come from nothing and achieve success.
Then Friess made his point. The economic success available in America sometimes creates income inequality simply because of that success. It is inevitable. When hugely successful companies explode on the financial scene, like Google, Facebook, and yes, Amazon, it’s a good thing. Where would our economy be without the jobs created, or the services and products offered by these companies and others? Our capitalist system always creates this success. It also allows philanthropy and a bigger tax base, too. The only way to eliminate the large financial gains of those who take the risk of entrepreneurship is to squash the availability of opportunity, which is exactly what socialism does.
The economic success of capitalists allow the scholarships doled out to the Horacio Alger recipients, Friess explains in the letter. Success should be applauded not punished. Giving a hand up to others is a good way to eliminate income equality. (USA Today)
Why should we punish our most successful people, many who came from nothing? Instead, let’s close the gap by helping low incomes rise. One example that has started with a Horatio Alger member is increasing scholarships for low-income students to trade schools versus just college.
Good point. Too bad AOC wasn’t at dinner Friday night. She has much to learn, though she is a cum laude graduate of
Boston University, class of 2011, with a BA in International Relations and Economics. Now, that’s scary.