ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ’S EMBARRASSINGLY INCORRECT CLAIM
By Kevin Ryan
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made several bizarre claims in an interview with Firing Line’s Margaret Hoover last week that has a lot of people scratching their heads. Ocasio-Cortez, the left’s new darling and self-described socialist, was asked about the strong economy and low unemployment rate. She offered a bizarre explanation.
“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs,” she explained. “Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their kids.”
Ok, first of all, that’s not even how the unemployment rate works. It’s a measure of how many people are looking for a job but can’t find one. Neither holding multiple jobs, nor working overtime affects the calculation at all.
Secondly, “everyone has two jobs” couldn’t be further than the truth. The percent of workers with more than one just is near its all-time low, under 5%.
And people aren’t working longer and longer hours to make ends meet. In fact, people are working fewer hours, not more, meaning it’s actually easier than ever to feed your family.
Ocasio-Cortez then goes on to blame capitalism for the above-mentioned made-up problems. Ironically, her dire description of the economy is a more apt description of what life was like BEFORE capitalism, when everyone worked extremely long hours, including children, just to avoid starvation. She seems to long for those days.
“Capitalism has not always existed in the world and it will not always exist in the world,” she said.
NOTE ON METHODOLOGY: Weekly work hours is based on the BLS “Business Sector: Average Weekly Hours” index, which I’ve converted from an index to actual hours. There are many different measures of “weekly work hours,” but all show a long downward trend in hours worked, not an upward trend as Ocasio-Cortez contends.