Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's socialist fanaticism come from bitter failure in business?
Far from being the tough, scrappy, woikin' class Bronx girl tending bar in New York, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was portrayed in her adoring press, the socialist sensation, who toppled the Democratic establishment's Rep. Joseph Crowley in a surprise primary result, is actually pretty different. Far from being Sandy from the block, she seems to be a ragged remnant of state planning and failed venture capital projects. It raises the question that maybe that's why she turned to socialism.
Disappointment can be that kind of motivator.
She's already been outed as someone who's actually from a pretty upper middle class background, who grew up in leafy Yorktown up in Westchester County. She's college-educated, she's young, glamorous, and attractive - somebody gave her a makeover with that famous red lipstick. What's more, as someone with training in graphic design, I can tell you her campaign material was exceptionally smart, cutting-edge, hip and professional. She's since altered her bio to wriggle out from the previous impression suggesting she was underprivileged.
But now some other stuff has come up that's even stranger.
Daily Caller had a field day pointing out that she called for tax cuts on small business while she now supports the Democratic Socialists of America position, which is for tax hikes on evil business across the board and an end to private corporate property. Bad, bad, wicked business!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the upstart Democratic Socialist who shocked the political world in the June primary when she defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, once advocated for tax cuts when she was running a business of her own, uncovered news reports from 2012 reveal.
Ocasio-Cortez, 28, is a dues-paying member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), an organization that calls for the abolishment of capitalism and argues that “private corporate property is not only wrong, but also nonsensical.” Her campaign platform calls for instituting a single-payer health care system, a federal jobs guarantee and housing as a human right, radical and expensive policies she says will be funded through raising taxes on corporations and high-income Americans.
But Ocasio-Cortez appeared to have a different outlook on capitalism and taxes in 2012 when she was running a business of her own, Brook Avenue Press, an incorporated publishing firm for children’s books set in the Bronx. 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.”
They played it as a hypocrisy story. Actually, it looks to me like a disappointment story.
She founded a publishing business at age 22, straight out of Boston University, called Brook Avenue Press, to promote the Bronx as a nice place in children's books, something that has already been amply done by Sesame Street which came up with the concept in the 1960s. She didn't found it out of nowhere, either, she was part of a hipster collective, of the kind I've seen in Chile in 2012, where startups with supposedly great ideas and youthful owners, get together in one building financed by the state (it's significant that in both New York and Santiago, this was a pet project of billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Sebastian Pinera, who ran those places) and learn from each other as their businesses presumably grow. Hers was called the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator.
Of course it's a great way to get lots of flattery for great ideas, since not just anyone can secure such a place, you apparently have to be chosen before a panel, as this guy's LinkedIn page shows, and then you become part of the showcase. And for Ocasio-Cortez, even get speaking engagements from it.
But there's not much evidence much came of this state-planning, or that this collective still exists now, and it was out there only a few years ago. The website is defunct, and the manager whose LinkedIn page is linked seems to have departed for greener pastures in 2015. There's a lot of evidence that neither the collective, nor the publishing business established by Ocasio-Cortez, lasted. It seems to have changed its name and is operating with a more business-services focus.
It would have to have been a disappointment to fail in such a much-touted bright-star business. No wonder she was complaining about taxes. She probably ran head-first into regulations, monopoly practices from established publishing houses and other obstacles all businesses endure, too. And this being New York, possibly some mob shakedowns.
Even Ocasio-Cortez's tweets, done years ago, in 2011, suggest disappointment in business. A O-C's tweets, cited by the Daily Caller, are these:
What did happen to that children's book publishing company Ocasio-Cortez had such high hopes for at age 22, and why did she find herself tending bar instead at 28, apparently stealing tips?
Look how different she looks in her video promoting her business: pure hipster, with wonky horn-rim glasses, perfectly at home in a Bloomberg hipster startup center.
Something seems to have happened to make her want to foist socialism on all of us. Could envy of others' success be her core motivator?