Last week I wrote about the Democratic Socialist who won the U.S. Rep. primary in New York’s 14th District.

Here are a couple more observations.

It’s interesting to note that her district, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is 50 percent Hispanic. Also, 48.5 percent of the people in her district are foreign-born and around 68 percent of them speak a language other than English at home.

Her message to them was that the incumbent, Rep. Joe Crowley, was out of touch with their needs and that she would fight for those needs.

Those needs included free college, free health care, universal jobs guarantee, housing as a human right, and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among other things. She’ll pay for this by taxing corporations and high-income Americans. (I actually liked some of the things she said. Especially the stuff about getting money out of politics. More on that in a column next week.)

But the strange thing to me about this is that lots of the people who voted for her fled places that promised precisely the same things.

Heck, Ocasio-Cortez, 28,  traces her roots to Puerto Rico. How are policies like that working out there?

Here’s Alice Stewart, writing for CNN.com in May 2017:

The perils of progressive policies are on full display in Puerto Rico.? On the brink of economic collapse, bankruptcy proceedings began Wednesday after Gov. Ricardo Rossello filed for Title III Bankruptcy protection in the biggest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. This is what happens when a bloated government is left unchecked. Economic uncertainty has caused the population in the island territory to plummet from more than 5 million people to 3.4 million.

Here's an idea of the out-of-control big-government policies that have brought about financial ruin in Puerto Rico: Public employees get 30 vacation days a year, the minimum wage is 77 percent of the median wage, and bondholders suffer for the benefit of big labor.

... The scale of the crisis is staggering. Puerto Rico has a 45 percent poverty rate and unemployment more than double the U.S. average.

Here are a few other headlines:

CNBC: “Like Greece, Puerto Rican Debt Is All about Socialism.”

Europac: “How Socialism Destroyed Puerto Rico And How Capitalism Can Save It.”

Now, to be sure, socialists will tell you the problem was that the big, bad, capitalist U.S. was some sort of evil overlord that ruined Puerto Rico’s economy.

But the largest employer in Puerto Rico is the government and public corporations, tons of people live in public housing, a majority of residents are on Medicare and taxes are really high.

These are policies enacted by the Puerto Rican government, not the U.S.

So, I guess my question is, if there is evidence that policies like these are such a disaster that people tend to flee, why would we embrace and vote for them here?

I have no answer.





Also, one of the basic tenets of socialism is abolishing capitalism and turning the means of production of lots of things over to the government.

Ocasio-Cortez is a proud, avowed member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Here’s an excerpt from the DSA’s “About” page on its website:

At the root of our socialism is a profound commitment to democracy, as means and end. As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people.

But oddly, Ocasio-Cortez –  according to reporting in The Daily Caller – was quite the entrepreneur not so long ago.

Far from socking it to rich folks and corporations to fund pie-in-the-sky socialist programs, she was an advocate of tax cuts.

In 2012, she was running a small business, Brook Avenue Press. The incorporated business published children’s books.

From The Daily Caller:

As a business owner, she came out in support of a bill that would provide tax deductions for business start-up costs, arguing that taxes directly impacted her business profits.

“You don’t really make a profit in your first year,” Ocasio-Cortez told the now-defunct DNAinfo when she was 22. “To get taxed on top of that is a real whammy.”

Later, she was a member of an organization called the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator, a city-sponsored business hub that attracted dozens of entrepreneurs trying to get their businesses off the ground.

The Daily Caller:

“You see a huge return on your investment here,” Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Daily News of her involvement with the Business Incubator. “People pay $500 an hour for consulting that we get for free by the water cooler.”

During her time in the business world, the self-proclaimed socialist tweeted out multiple articles by Paul Graham, an English-born entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

She even gave entrepreneurial talks at Boston University, her alma mater, where she touted her partnership with the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator designing “entrepreneurial curricula for those interested in launching their own enterprises.” Her primary interests were in “entrepreneurship and developing innovative, healthy, enterprising communities for generations to come,” according to her speaker page on Boston University’s website.

OK, now I can fully understand a change of heart, but in the case of Ocasio-Cortez, she went from black to white – skipping all shades of gray – in a few years.

I mean, she went from hawking the merits of lower taxes, entrepreneurship and private sector profits to joining an outfit that vocally and publicly demands the abolition of capitalism.

Far from praising tax cuts, she now says they’re a sop to the wealthy and all that money would be better spent on free stuff for the masses.

Not sure what to think about all this, but it was interesting to see Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez hail Ocasio-Cortez as the “future of our party.”

So Democrats are adding an anti-capitalist plank to their platform? Nice.

What are they going to run on in November?

• Impeach Trump.

• Abolish ICE.

• Raise taxes.

• Amnesty for illegals.

And now,

• Free stuff.

• Abolish capitalism.

Good luck with all that.