Capitalism can’t seem to catch a break.
Upstart socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took advantage of her appearance at this year’s South by Southwest festival to trash capitalism.
This was a rather ironic incident given that SXSW has been host to some of the hottest tech start-ups—ventures that epitomize capitalist innovation.
These facts notwithstanding, Ocasio-Cortez proceeded to go on an anti-capitalist rant during an interview with The Intercept’s political editor Briahna Gray.
Ocasio-Cortez declared that capitalism is “irredeemable” and that the U.S. is reaping the consequences of putting “profits over everything else in our society.”
The congresswoman segwayed her capitalism critique into a critique of the original New Deal. Ocasio-Cortez contended that Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal cast minorities to the side:
“The New Deal was an extremely economically racist policy that drew little red lines around black and brown communities and it invested in white America.”
Ocasio-Cortez then expanded upon the inequalities the New Deal created:
“It allowed white Americans access to home loans that black Americans didn’t have access to, giving them access to the greatest source of intergenerational wealth.”
Indeed, these observations are correct. The New Deal was laden with interventionist policies, above all in housing that disproportionately benefited whites. However, the “solutions” that Ocasio-Cortez promotes only create more unintended consequences and stifles capital accumulation, which minority communities desperately need.
The Great Society programs of the Civil Rights era were the textbook example of government trying to correct past injustices, ironically created by the government. The result has been intergenerational government dependency and a total breakdown of the African American family unit.
More government intervention is not going to “do the trick.”
Ocasio-Cortez can casually talk about socialism from the comforts of the First World, as countries like Venezuela are imploding due to their decades of adhering to these policies, but regularly dismissing capitalism does the minority constituents she supposedly “represents” a disservice.
Capitalism is the most ethical and effective way for people of all ethnicities and social backgrounds to thrive. Having such a virulent anti-capitalist as Ocasio-Cortez speak at SXSW – an event where some of the sharpest entrepreneurial minds gather – is farcical.
Politicians like Ocasio-Cortez are replaceable in the long-term, but their ideas live on. The fact that the ideas of socialism are in vogue should worry all advocates of free markets.