It appears the far left is poised to take their efforts against the wealthy to the next level. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was interviewed by journalist and author Ta Nehisi-Coates on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. During the conversation, the lawmaker expressed a sentiment that many on the far left have embraced, and touted her plan to increase taxes on the rich.
…according to the left, anyone who buys a yacht is guilty of murder.
She argued that a culture that allows billionaires to coexist with people who are suffering is immoral. “Are we comfortable with a society where someone can have a helipad while [New York City] is experiencing the highest rates of people experiencing homelessness since the Great Depression?”
AOC’s Anti-Helicopter Rant?
Later, in an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, she repeated her statement about the immorality of a society in which an individual can become extremely wealthy. The young legislator used an interesting example to illustrate her point:
“At what level are we really just living in excess? And what kind of society do we want to live in? And do we want to live in a city where billionaires have their own personal Uber helipads when people are working 80-hour weeks and can’t feed their kids?”
Predictably, many other prominent leftists were quick to express their agreement with Ocasio-Cortez’s assertion. Peter Daou, an old adviser to former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, tweeted: “I just LOVE how @AOC is reversing decades of the Overton window shifting to the far right. And yes, the idea that there is such a thing as a BILLIONAIRE when kids are starving is obscene.”
The Daily Beast’s Thor Benson agreed. “Gotta agree with @AOC. This is not a just or moral society as long as we have this level of income inequality,” he posted on Twitter.
Last, but most certainly not least, Kate Aronoff, a writer for The Intercept expressed her agreement in dramatic fashion: “Lots of ink spilled trying to figure out why Bernie and AOC are so popular but maybe people just like being told they shouldn’t have to literally die so that a billionaire can buy another yacht?”
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, according to the left, anyone who buys a yacht is guilty of murder. But does the representative’s complaint about helipads add credibility to her claim? Perhaps the existence of personal helicopters provides more of an argument in favor of allowing billionaires to keep their money than it does for greater government confiscation of wealth. In fact, having a market for helicopters would do more to combat homelessness than the progressive’s strategy of swiping money from the wealthy.
The Value of Helicopters
Sikorsky Aircraft is one of the largest manufacturers of civilian and military helicopters in the world. Established in 1923, it was among the first companies of its kind, and its growth has provided tremendous economic benefits to Connecticut, where the business is headquartered.
As one of the state’s largest manufacturers, Sikorsky employs over 15,000 workers nationwide and has made significant contributions to the economy. In a 2014 interview with The Connecticut Post, Bridgeport Regional Business Council CEO Paul Timpanelli said: “There’s no question it has probably greater economic impact on our region than any other employer because it employs the most people.”
According to Timpanelli, “Every 100 jobs in a region creates $5.5 million in personal income,” and in 2013, Sikorsky Aircraft spent $542 million with Connecticut-based suppliers. Of course, this isn’t the only company that sells helicopters, and when you consider the other 16 similar businesses that exist in the United States, it is not difficult to imagine the economic impact such organizations bring.
Progressives seem to believe that individuals should not be in a position to own helicopters, but the presence of this particular market provides more of a benefit to American workers and businesses than targeting billionaires out of some misguided sense of equality. The prevalence of jobs, not more government meddling, is the cure for homelessness.
What About the Homeless?
The far left would have you believe that only the state can lift people out of poverty and homelessness, but the truth is that an overwhelming number of corporations give back to the communities in which they are located.
Sikorsky Aircraft supports a number of causes, including “Building Homes for Heroes,” an organization that builds mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans and their families. But the company doesn’t just give money to the organization; employees of Sikorsky Aircraft also spend time assisting in the building of these houses.
It also raises money for “Homeruns for Heroes,” which is an annual event held by Columbus House, a Connecticut non-profit that assists the homeless. Proceeds go towards several organizations that provide legal services and housing for homeless veterans. But that’s not all.
The company’s annual Community Giving Campaign raises funds for several charities that provide assistance to the homeless. Since 1993, Sikorsky Aircraft and its employees have raised over $32 million for these groups.
Destroying Markets Kills Jobs
It is clear that progressive leaders are on the warpath against the free market and their anti-capitalist rhetoric is becoming increasingly brazen. Freshmen Democratic lawmakers are pushing an agenda that will drastically change millions of lives for the worse if it is successful. Their demands for a 70% tax rate on the wealthy is more than vacuous virtue signaling; they are brazen calls for action against those they deem to be greedy oppressors.
It’s a clever way to manipulate those who do not pay closer attention to how the United States economy works, and their plan seems to be succeeding. A recent study revealed that about 59% of voters agree with dramatic increases on the tax rates of those who earn more than $10 million per year. As it stands currently, it is unlikely that progressive leaders will achieve success in pushing their agenda while Republicans remain in control of the Senate, but this does not mean that their movement is not gaining traction.
The left is playing the long game, attempting to convince as many Americans as possible to buy into their policies, hoping that they can ride the socialist wave back into power in 2020 and beyond. If they accomplish this, there can be no doubt that they will try to make these ideas into real policies that will affect everyday Americans.
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