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Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’

Rent Control Is Nuts – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2020

And according to Assar Lindbeck, a Swedish economist, “In many cases, rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city except for bombing.” Almost as a follow up, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach averred: “The Americans couldn’t destroy Hanoi, but we have destroyed our city by the very low rents.”


Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY, 14th District) has called for nation-wide rent control. AOC’s plan is to not allow rent increases larger than 3% per year. This is somewhat surprising, given that she majored in economics at prestigious Boston University. I – along with virtually every other economics professor in the country — am always at great pains to present in my introductory to micro-economics courses the familiar supply and demand diagram. It demonstrates that rents below equilibrium levels create shortages. I suppose she missed that lecture. If so, she really should have obtained the class notes from someone else, and/or perused her introductory textbook.

Senator Bernie Sanders has, if anything, done her one better: he is calling for a national rent control policy. California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law a policy along similar lines: rent increases shall be limited to 5% annually, in addition to any inflationary increases; this is coupled with making it more difficult to evict tenants.

Present New York City policy is very much in keeping with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan. It has recently worsened its previous rather Draconian rent control legislation. The presumed aim is to help tenants. But, there is something in economics called “unintended consequences.” Translation: “the plans of mice and men often go astray.”

Suppose, instead of exacerbating its rent control regulations, that the city council of this great city had tried this sort of thing with a different consumer good. Suppose the Big Apple had passed a law placing a ceiling of $1 on a fast food meal.The obvious result would be that McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and their ilk would pretty much vacate the entire city. Posit that the city council mandated that gas stations charge no more than $1 per gallon. A similar result would ensue. Denizens of the New York City would be greatly inconvenienced.

Mr. DeBlasio would never institute any such ridiculous initiative. He would be laughed out of office if he did. Why, then, does the mayor think he can get away with inculcating analogous rules for residential real estate? This is because while burger and gas emporiums can easily locate elsewhere, the same is not true for buildings. If the owners had their ‘druthers, and this were economically and legally possible, they would hoist their real estate holdings upon onto giant wheeled vehicles, and roll them out of the city as soon as possible. New York City would then have no more accommodation for tenants than it would have fast food outlets or gas stations, under our hypothetical contrary to fact scenarios.

Of course, landlords can do no such thing, much as they would like to; heck, they would give their eye teeth to be able to cock a snook at the politicians in this manner.

But this inability of landlords does not mean that rent controls have no adverse effects upon local residents. They can certainly build less new capacity than would otherwise be the case. They may be legally compelled to upkeep and maintain presently existing apartments, but they will do so only reluctantly. “The customer is always right” which prevails in most industries, and will continue to do so for commercial and industrial real estate, which lack such unwise price controls, but will not apply to residential units. They will fight like the dickens to convert their holdings to condominiums and cooperatives. They will have incentives to – how can I put this delicately – not to be too unhappy if their buildings accidentally catch fire. Do we really want to promote such incentives, whether or not they actually become implemented?

Vacancy rates will plummet even further, with these new dispensations. This will have negative repercussions on labor mobility, when occupants fear to give up their rent controlled units. There will be a tendency to convert apartments to stores, to industrial and commercial uses. New laws will have to be enacted to prevent this, and will not be totally successful. Landlord – tenant relations will plummet even further (not of course for non-controlled, non-residential units.) New York City already has special courts charged with solving these confrontations. This is something not at all needed in any other industry. These costs are substantial, and the money misallocated in this direction could have been far more wisely spent.

The economics profession is not unified on too many issues, but this one is an exception. Opposition to rent control stretches all the way from Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek on one stretch of the political spectrum, to several scholars on the very opposite side. For example, in the view of Nobel Prize winner in economics Gunner Myrdal, “Rent control has in certain western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by governments lacking courage and vision.” And according to Assar Lindbeck, a Swedish economist, “In many cases, rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city except for bombing.” Almost as a follow up, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach averred: “The Americans couldn’t destroy Hanoi, but we have destroyed our city by the very low rents.”

It is urged in favor of this policy that tenants are poorer than property owners, and, often, are compelled to spend an inordinate percentage of their salaries on rent. But, with fewer buildings being constructed, and more of them falling into disarray due to reduced maintenance, upward pressure on rent levels, paradoxically, will tend to be the result. It is an economic truism that the less supply, other things equal, the higher the price. There are no exceptions for housing, or based on the fact that this expenditure plays a large role in the budgets of poor and middle class householders.

In any case, we do not single out textile manufacturers and insist they alone help clothe the impoverished, that only grocers and restaurants feed them, that automobile, air conditioner and television purveyors all on their own make these products available to those who cannot afford them. All of these income transfers come out of general funds. I do not at all favor any of these policies, but fair is fair. Why should housing be any different? Why should landlords, alone, have to bear the entire burden of housing the poor?

Not only should these latest violations of private property rights be rescinded, but the entire notion that rent control can alleviate housing shortages and high fees should be confined to the dust bin not only of history, but of economics too. From a legal point of view, this is a taking. Landlords should be compensated for this seizure of the (value of) their property.

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This Should Really Scare You About Joe Biden Domestic Policy

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2020

As a wise man once said-Deja vu all over again.

Fast and Furious

On Thursday, the Biden campaign revealed the members of six “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces” that will develop his policy platform for the general election run, according to a press release.

The six groups will focus on immigration, climate change, criminal justice, the economy, education, and health care. There does not appear to be a sound advisor among them.

Democratic Socialist  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will co-chair the working group on climate change.

House Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will co-chair the health care group.  He campaigned for Sanders in early primary states and supports “Medicare for All.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who was part of the Obama administration, will be part of the criminal justice reform group.

And, most concerning, the eonomics task force includes Stephanie Kelton, who promotes modern monetary theory–the idea that you can just print and print and print money out of thin air to solve all the country’s problems.

Let’s hope that these groups won’t actually have any influence over the platform that Biden and the DNC adopt and that it is just a reach out to these mad people.

If Biden’s team actually supports any of the stuff coming out of these groups and he is elected, we will be in worse trouble than we are now.


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Our Planet Is Not Fragile – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2019

Occasionally, environmentalists spill the beans and reveal their true agenda. Barry Commoner said, “Capitalism is the earth’s number one enemy.” Amherst College professor Leo Marx said, “On ecological grounds, the case for world government is beyond argument.”


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” The people at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree, saying that to avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, the world must slash carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and completely decarbonize by 2050.

Such dire warnings are not new. In 1970, Harvard University biology professor George Wald, a Nobel laureate, predicted, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist, predicted in an article for The Progressive, “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” The year before, he had warned, “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Despite such harebrained predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ highest award.

Leftists constantly preach such nonsense as “The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile.” “The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis.” “Remember that Earth needs to be saved every single day.” These and many other statements, along with apocalyptic predictions, are stock in trade for environmentalists. Worse yet, this fragile-earth indoctrination is fed to the nation’s youth from kindergarten through college. That’s why many millennials support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Let’s examine just a few cataclysmic events that exceed any destructive power of mankind and then ask how our purportedly fragile planet could survive. The 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, in present-day Indonesia, had the force of 200 megatons of TNT. That’s the equivalent of 13,300 15-kiloton atomic bombs, the kind that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II. Before that was the 1815 Tambora eruption, the largest known volcanic eruption. It spewed so much debris into the atmosphere that 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer.” It led to crop failures and livestock death in the Northern Hemisphere, producing the worst famine of the 19th century. The A.D. 535 Krakatoa eruption had such force that it blotted out much of the light and heat of the sun for 18 months and is said to have led to the Dark Ages. Geophysicists estimate that just three volcanic eruptions — Indonesia (1883), Alaska (1912) and Iceland (1947) — spewed more carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than all of mankind’s activities during our entire history.

Our so-called fragile earth survived other catastrophic events, such as the floods in China in 1887, which took an estimated 1 million to 2 million lives, followed by floods there in 1931, which took an estimated 1 million to 4 million lives. What about the impact of earthquakes on our fragile earth? Chile’s 1960 Valdivia earthquake was 9.5 on the Richter scale. It created a force equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs going off at the same time. The deadly 1556 earthquake in China’s Shaanxi province devastated an area of 520 miles.

Our so-called fragile earth faces outer space terror. Two billion years ago, an asteroid hit earth, creating the Vredefort crater in South Africa, which has a diameter of 190 miles. In Ontario, there’s the Sudbury Basin, resulting from a meteor strike 1.8 billion years ago. At 39 miles long, 19 miles wide and 9 miles deep, it’s the second-largest impact structure on earth. Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay crater is a bit smaller, about 53 miles wide. Then there’s the famous but puny Meteor Crater in Arizona, which is not even a mile wide.

My question is: Which of these powers of nature could be duplicated by mankind? For example, could mankind even come close to duplicating the polluting effects of the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption? It is the height of arrogance to think that mankind can make significant parametric changes in the earth or can match nature’s destructive forces. Our planet is not fragile.

Occasionally, environmentalists spill the beans and reveal their true agenda. Barry Commoner said, “Capitalism is the earth’s number one enemy.” Amherst College professor Leo Marx said, “On ecological grounds, the case for world government is beyond argument.”

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The Definitive Smash of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2019


Tom Woods Show

Sensible people have watched in horror as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has risen to an unlikely prominence over the past year. Her supporters say critics are “obsessed” with her.

A more charitable interpretation is that they’re flabbergasted that a set of ideas virtually designed to impoverish society has gained so much traction.

To people who haven’t given the matter much thought, there could be a certain plausibility to AOC’s ideas. After all, what could be the harm in providing “free college” or more “affordable housing,” or fighting “climate change,” and having the rich – who have plenty of money lying around – pay for it?

That’s the major barrier here. Most people who support AOC genuinely cannot comprehend how any well-intentioned person could oppose any of those things. Aren’t they self-evidently desirable, and can’t they be provided costlessly – or at least at cost nobody should really care about (the rich can afford it, after all)?

Now like AOC, I believe my positions are correct. But unlike her, I can correctly describe my opponents’ point of view. I may not agree with it, but I at least know what it is, and I can explain it in a way that they themselves would recognize their views in my description.

AOC, by contrast, genuinely cannot conceive of what the arguments against her might be. As far as she can see, she is on the side of “distributive justice,” and anyone who opposes her is a lackey of the wealthy who is merely defending the immediate self-interest of avaricious people.

Not once does AOC appear to consider that what she proposes might have undesirable side effects. There is no acknowledgment of any trade-offs involved. Her program is a juvenile list of demands, and that’s it.

Want higher wages? Why, mandate them! Want everyone to have benefit X? Why, seize the funds to provide it!

AOC further claims that we can painlessly tax the rich at much higher rates because she thinks we’ve done it before without ill effects. As usual, she has not seen the numbers: the effective tax rate on “the rich” was much lower than the high top marginal rates we’ve all heard about, thanks to various loopholes and deductions that no longer exist. Were we to reintroduce those rates under current conditions, we would be in uncharted territory.

Beyond that, she has no conception of what “the rich” do for the economy. She thinks they just roll around naked until their money sticks to their sweaty bodies. She has no conception of capital maintenance and capital investment, which maintain and expand the structure of production – in the absence of which we would revert to barbarism.

I spell all this out much more thoroughly in my new (and free) eBook AOC Is Wrong: The Upside Down World of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Well, I’ve done the work for you in this book, and it costs you nothing.

There are no personal attacks or name-calling in the book. Instead, it is – if I may say so – a relentless demolition of the entire AOC program.

Download your copy of AOC Is Wrong here:

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More Proof That Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Clueless as to What Happens When You Give Away Money

Posted by M. C. on July 29, 2019

Duh! A run on free money, something a socialist would never spot.

On Monday, Equifax settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over its 2017 data breach, which affected 147 million Americans.

The settlement of up to $700 million includes as much as $425 million for individual compensation including $30 million for “Alternative Reimbursement Compensation.”

So naturally, AOC sent out this absurd tweet:


 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Everyone: go get your check from Equifax!
$125 is a nice chunk of change.

Get that money and pay off a bill, sock it away, take a day off, treat yourself, whatever you’d like – but cash 👏🏿 that 👏🏽 check! 👏🏻

💸 It takes one minute. Do it here 💸: (link: …

Of course, anyone whose brain isn’t made out of fried coprolite would realize that Eqifax isn’t going to send out $125 to 147 million people. That would be $18.4 billion. The net worth of the company is only $7 billion.

Try squeezing $18.4 billion out of $7 billion and call me when you are done.

Here is what the settlement really says:

 [Y]ou may file a claim for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation for up to $125. To claim Alternative Reimbursement Compensation you must certify that you have some form of credit monitoring or protection services on the date you submit your claim form and that you will keep those services for a minimum of six (6) months…If there are more than $31 million claims for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation, all payments for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation will be lowered and distributed on a proportional basis.

The Alternative Reimbursement Compensation is an alternative to 10 years of free credit monitoring services from Equifax.

But the real key to the alternative reimbursement is that the cash payments are capped at $31 million and dispersed on a proportional basis. Thus, if all 147 million people file for their portion of the settlement via this alternative, they each get a check for 21 cents.

So much for the financial acumen of the socialist genius and her nutty thinking that there is a $125 give away to 147 million Americans.

Someone must have eventually clued her in. She later tweeted:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Okay everyone UPDATE on Equifax: for most people the better deal is 10 years of free credit monitoring.
There’s apparently a run on settlements so there’s anxiety people are going to get 16 cent checks. But if you choose 10 years of credit monitoring, Equifax *must* cover it.

Duh! A run on free money, something a socialist would never spot.


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Eight year old Mini AOC doxxed and threatened by leftists – The Daily Sheeple

Posted by M. C. on July 6, 2019

Death threats! Where is the tolerance?

An Antifa sense of humor.


The 8-year-old child actor who went viral for impersonating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, is no longer going to make videos due to death threats and harassment she and her family have received.

Earlier this year, Ava Martinez, known as “Mini AOC,” brought joy to her fans with several videos poking fun at the socialist darling, collecting millions of views on social media.

However, the harassment, doxxing and death threats by progressive supports of AOC grew to the point the family no longer felt it was safe them.

Salvatore Schachter said he was forced to shut down all social media accounts associated with Martinez “for our safety and for our child’s safety,” in a July 3 announcement.

“Ava will not being doing any more MINI AOC content,” he said on Twitter. “The Left’s Harassment and death threats have gone too far for our family. We have been getting calls on our personal phone numbers.”

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Amazon Hits Back Against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Posted by M. C. on June 18, 2019

by Robert Wenzell

During an interview on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday, the socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez charged that Amazon was paying its workers “starvation wages.”

“I spend less time thinking about [Amazon CEO and founder] Jeff Bezos and more time thinking about Amazon warehouse workers,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think about the outcomes I want for those folks. Whether Jeff Bezos is a billionaire or not is less of my concern than if your average Amazon worker is making a living wage, if they have guaranteed health care and if they can send their kids to college tuition-free.”

“And if that’s the case,” she added, “and Jeff Bezos is still a billionaire — that’s one thing. But if his being a billionaire is predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of their ability to access health care, and also if his ability to be a billionaire is predicated on the fact that his workers take food stamps so I’m paying for him to be a billionaire… I think it’s certainly a part of the equation when you have a very large workforce and you underpay every single person.”

In other words, AOC continues her hate of capitalism and promotion of the Marxist theme of the exploitation of workers, even though present-day workers in the capitalist United States have a standard of living that is among the highest in the history of man.

Amazon responded with a weak statement:

These allegations are absurd. Amazon associates receive industry-leading pay starting at $15 an hour — in fact, hourly associates at our Staten Island facility earn between $17.30 and $23 an hour, plus benefits which include comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance. On top of these benefits, Amazon pre-pays 95% of continuing education tuition costs through its Career Choice program for associates who want to pursue in-demand careers.

The company should have added:

What we pay workers is extremely competitive in every region where we employ workers, otherwise, workers wouldn’t work for us.

It is simply the height of illogic for AOC to promote the idea that the 657,000 employees of Amazon are not aware of what their alternatives are and it is an insult for AOC to promote the idea that the marginal revenue product of American workers is so low that they are “starving.” This type of perspective is nothing but capitalist hate fueled by a fundamental lack of understanding of basic economics and how an economy functions. If she really wanted to help low-level workers she should call for the immediate end of income taxes and payroll taxes for amnyone earning under $51, 999 per year. Those taxes are coercion enforced by the gun, something we would never practice at Amazon.

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Ocasio-Cortez: Avoid ‘Colonial’ Produce Like Cauliflower in Communities

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2019

How bad can this get?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) declared on Sunday that the Green New Deal will reverse purported “colonial” attitudes associated with growing vegetables in community gardens.

“What I love too is growing plants that are culturally familiar to the community. It’s so important,” the 29-year-old freshman congresswoman said while filming herself strolling through a community garden in the Bronx.

“That’s really how you do it right,” the self-described Democratic- socialist continued in a follow-up video. That is such a core component of the Green New Deal is having all of these projects make sense in a cultural context, and it’s an area that we get the most pushback on because people say, ‘Why do you need to do that? That’s too hard.’”

Ocasio-Cortez then said that growing cauliflower in community gardens represents a “colonial approach,” turning off people of color from embracing environmentalism.

“But when you really think about it — when someone says that it’s ‘too hard’ to do a green space that grows Yucca instead of, I don’t know, cauliflower or something — what you’re doing is that you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism, and that is why a lot of communities of color get resistant to certain environmentalist movements because they come with the colonial lens on them,” she argued…

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An Ocasio-Cortex sampler | Catallaxy Files

Cauliflower is Racist.

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Why the Elites Look Down on Manual Labor | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on May 20, 2019

Nevertheless, we should always remind the working class that their “undignified” work should be celebrated. Often times, many of the economic struggles they face can be blamed on government intrusions in the marketplace.

Since the $15 minimum wage has become a major policy proposal in America, many politicians feel that certain forms of work are undignified.

This became a controversial talking point when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared that New Yorkers deserve “dignified jobs” after a deal to build a second Amazon headquarters in Queens fell through. In another incident, the congresswoman was aghast at how several people, some which were homeless, were paid to wait in line for lobbyists who wanted spots to get in first at a hearing. She expressed her astonishment that this was “a normal practice and people don’t bat an eye.”

For an elected official who claims to be fighting for the common person, this kind of outlook reeks of elitism. It completely ignores that people must find ways to make ends meet. That sometimes means taking on “undignified” jobs. In fact, these “undignified” jobs are often beneficial when considering the alternatives. For the homeless, this could mean the difference between holding a steady job or starving in the cold.

Work is a Stepping Stone for Many Success Stories

When we think about it, “undignified” work is American as apple pie. Industrial magnates like Andrew Carnegie started out working in a textile mill making $1.20 a week. Such working conditions would elicit responses of shock and horror from intellectual elites these days. Back then, when there was actual labor freedom, this was how people got their feet wet in the workforce.

During the Gilded Age, social mobility was almost a given thanks to the government’s relatively hands-off approach in the economy. There was no income taxation, no federal regulatory maze, and no central banking apparatus to create distortions in the economy and impede people’s ability to work.

Like the Carnegie case, a good portion of American success stories were wrapped in modesty. Some of America’s most successful entrepreneurs started out working in many so-called “dead-end” jobs. What we forget is that these jobs provided a solid foundation for these entrepreneurs to move forward.

Many forms of basic jobs lie in the small business sector, which to be fair, has been largely downplayed by commentators across the political spectrum. As Ryan McMaken illustrates, small businesses give workers valuable labor experience while also providing social benefits. Sadly, the same culprit—government—gets in the way of small business development… Read the rest of this entry »

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Doug Casey: The Democratic Party Is a “Freak Show” – Casey Research

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2019

No, to come up with ideas like hers means that you’re purposefully trying to create a disaster; that’s the definition of an evil person.

You only have to look at John Bolton to know progressives don’t have a on lock on freaks.

Justin’s note: Elizabeth Warren could cost America trillions of dollars.

Warren is, of course, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. She’s also running for president.

And like many fellow Democrats, she’s full of wacky ideas. Most recently, she made waves by saying she wants to forgive more than $1 trillion worth of student loans if she becomes president. She also wants to issue reparations to African Americans, which could also cost trillions.

These sorts of ideas used to be considered extreme. A candidate would get laughed out of the race for suggesting them. But those days are over.

A recent poll found that just 27% of Americans oppose Warren’s debt forgiveness plan. As for reparations? Well, fellow Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris both support the idea.

Of course, not everyone’s a fan of these ideas. Doug Casey is one of those people. Below, Doug tells me why these ideas are not only ridiculous but destructive. He also tells me why he thinks Warren is part of a much bigger problem.

Justin: Doug, what do you make of Elizabeth Warren’s plan to forgive student loans? Surely, student loans are a major problem.

But I’m not sure this is the best solution. What do you think?

Doug: Well, it makes perverse sense that she’d suggest something like this. After all, a new Democratic presidential candidate enters the race every day now. I think we’re up to 22 candidates now. But who’s counting?

They seem to be competing with each other in an actual freak show. The Evil Party is trotting out its most bizarre nomenklatura, each trying to outdo the other in being socialist, black, queer, transgender friendly, or a professional female. By which I mean a female who parades as a female for a living. They’re vying over who has the most outlandish, rabid and nonsensical ideas about how they’re going to transform the very nature of what’s left of the United States.

Meanwhile, the Stupid Party, the right wing of the Demopublicans, populated by neocons, has-beens, and assorted non-entities, seems mainly interested in hyping the stock market with phony money, and looking for a major war somewhere in the world.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) kind of set the tone for all this. It amazes me that a 29-year-old Puerto Rican bartender comes from out of nowhere, apparently as a result of an actual casting call, and now everybody in the country takes her ideas seriously.

Perhaps the most stupid of her ideas is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). This basically amounts to unlimited printing of dollars.

All these other candidates have to call her bet, raise it, and wait for the next player to reraise. They all have some signature goofball idea at this point… Read the rest of this entry »

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