Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has achieved a great deal of prominence with her claim that it is immoral to have a world that allows for billionaires.
From Amanda Marcotte at Salon:
… Ocasio-Cortez attended a symposium where author Ta-Nehisi Coates asked her if it was moral to have “a world that allows for billionaires.” Ocasio-Cortez swiftly said it was not. She hastened to note that individual billionaires, such as Bill Gates, may well be good people. But “a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong.”
AOC continued to hammer this point home later the same night on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert, explaining (yet again) that her proposed 70 percent marginal income tax rate would only be on money made above the first $10 million a year — and that a similar marginal tax rate reached 90% when Dwight Eisenhower was president.
“Do we want to live in a city where billionaires have their own personal Uber helipads,” she asked, “in the same city and same society as people who are working 80-hour weeks and can’t feed their kids?”
And her call for a top marginal tax rate is getting traction and support.
Of course there is another reason that such obscene amounts of wealth should not be allowed to be accumulated. It incentivises the worst sort of consumption which is trashing our planet. Having 1500 private jets fly into Davos so that the obscenely wealthy can jawbone about sustainability is a particularly jarring example of this and shows the sort of behaviour that occurs from some when there is no effective limit on the amount of wealth that is available.
Ocasio-Cortez is a breath of fresh air in the staleness that is American politics. She is also the perfect foil to Donald Trump. It is refreshing to see such bravery in raising such supposedly contentious issues, tax increases, without fear, and seeing the debate start about how our current system is so broken.
And taking on a core theme of laissez faire capitalism, that greed is good, in the United States of America is such a brave thing to do. Let alone successfully.