I agree with her that government should take strong actions to start draining wealth out of the top 1 % and back into the middle class. However, this statement in particular isn't really accurate. Again I find myself agreeing with AOC in principle but wishing her specifics were different.
Imagine I start some company out of my garage, and it does really well, so I hire a bunch of people who I pay really well. Eventually I take the country public, but I retain some large portion of the shares so I still have control over the company I started. The company continues to succeed and becomes worth hundreds of billions of dollars, so my ownership stake is itself worth billions. I don't really see anything immoral about this story, which is sadly hypothetical for me but basically what happened with the like of Bill Gates and the cofounders of Google. It's how a lot of billionaires get their net worth that high.
I think that anytime one of these billionaires sells stock for a profit, they should be taxed at 90% on most of it, just like income in what should be an extremely high tax bracket. And there should be obstacles in place to ensure that companies play fairly with respect to their competition, which would make it harder for some of them to be worth so much so quickly. There should also be rules tying executive pay to average worker pay, and a change in the ethics of corporate America from serving shareholders to serving employees and customers. There's a lot to be done to reduce the wealth gap, and I'm not endorsing every specific thing today's billionaires did along the way to get an advantage over their competitors. But I don't see anything wrong in principle with the process of somebody becoming absurdly rich because the thing they created becomes absurdly valuable.
> should people be paid based on how much work they do or how much value they create?
Certainly some of both. However, what I'm talking about in the case of billionaires isn't even a matter of people being paid. It's just a matter of people owning something that becomes more valuable over time. Bill Gates owned a big chunk of Microsoft back when it wasn't worth enough to sell for a month's rent, and he certainly deserved that ownership stake in the thing he created. Now he owns a similar chunk, but it's worth a lot more. There was no decision to pay him tens of billions of dollars... being part-owner of the company just became worth that much. It's hard to imagine an ethical system in which people are progressively stripped of their shares in a company as it grows more valuable. (I'm using Bill Gates here to simply illustrate the general case, ignoring for this example whatever unethical/anticompetitive practices he used to grow the company, which should have been penalized in their own way.)
Other examples of fairly ethical wealth creation are in the arts and sports. J.K. Rowling became a billionaire from Harry Potter. Who deserves all that money more than her, the creator of the content that made so much money? Likewise for musicians, etc. And who deserves the millions of dollars made by sports teams more than the athletes who put their bodies on the line for our entertainment?
I think the relevant question in general is: for any given unit of wealth, who most deserves to have it? Now, I do believe we should tax the hell out of extremely high salaries and realized capital gains to account for the fact that those people didn't do as much work as everyone else per dollar. A higher tax rate is completely fair, even above and beyond what AOC has proposed. But even with such a progressive tax structure, there are still going to be millionaires and billionaires. It's hard to imagine a fair system in which it's impossible to become a billionaire... only one where that happens less often.
Yeah that whole profit motive thing. Let's abolish that. Turned out real great for the Soviet Union.
This is so incredibly stupid. Like way left of Scandinavia stupid. The people these days that go "I want socialism like Sweden. Let's abolish profits and eliminate the extremely wealthy. Wealth is immoral" don't actually understand Sweden, socialism, or human behavior.
She isn't that stupid and it would be wise to not treat her like a dummy. She is savvy with social media and knows what she is doing when she says something ridiculous. Even if it sounds stupid, the intended purpose is to cause people to pay attention to her and it keep her in the news and on people's minds.
(Most) People work to become billionaires, and a lot of them start out in life with very little. Look at Elon Musk for example. He was born in South Africa, it’s not like he grew up in the most loving family, but his net worth is 11.5 billion. The man gets stuff done! He works hard and uses his intelligence to keep on moving through life, no matter what challenges are thrown at him. He started PayPal, Tesla, and Space X. Last year, Tesla almost went belly-up, but he saved it. He sets up a TENT where he hired a ton of people to build the Tesla Model 3, which became the highest selling luxury car of 2018 and saved Tesla. There’s nothing immoral about someone’s hard work paying off.
Stop letting this idiot have air time. There are lots of people who work hard on both side of the aisle to make a better country. Stop with this BS. JUST STOP! Start covering the doers and the people who are trying to move the country in a positive direction. She is a nut.