News & Politics

With Millions Unemployed, AOC Calls for a Strike: 'Just Say No' to Returning to Work

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., sits in apparent boredom when required to attend her congressional committee hearings. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs amid the lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Grow Yucca in NYC) called on Americans to refuse to return to work when the lockdowns end and America reopens.

“When we talk about this idea of reopening society you know, only in America does the president — when the president tweets about liberation — does he mean ‘go back to work.’ When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot of people should just say no — we’re not going back to that,” AOC told Anand Giridharadas in the first episode of his upcoming Vice show.

“We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives,” she argued.

Yes, in the middle of a pandemic that has seen more than 22 million Americans lose their jobs, AOC called on Americans to refuse to return to work. Worse, she put forth this utterly tone-deaf suggestion as a way to empower struggling Americans.

Workers who live paycheck to paycheck do feel insecure when they have a job, but the pandemic has created a brand new kind of insecurity that is arguably far worse. Americans aren’t just having trouble making ends meet — they’re struggling to understand what kind of work is “essential” enough to be permitted during this downturn and what kind of work will be available when things reopen.

As Americans are struggling, Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and AOC’s “Squad” have worked overtime to jam their radical proposals into vital coronavirus relief bills. On Friday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) filed a bill to temporarily cancel rent — and upend the entire housing market in the process.

When oil futures went negative, threatening to destroy more than a hundred thousand American jobs, AOC tweeted, “You absolutely love to see it.” She seized on workers’ insecurity as an excuse to push her radical Green New Deal, an impossibly costly big-government boondoggle which would restructure the entire economy. Now she’s pretending to be on the side of workers — by encouraging them to strike when they don’t even have jobs.

The millions of Americans who are now out of work thanks to the lockdowns don’t have the luxury of thinking up grand plans to remake society. They’re anxious to put food on the table, and they’re left without the dignity that work brings. Sure, it might be convenient for AOC if they continued to stay home as America reopens, but most of them can’t afford any such high-minded nonsense.

Perhaps Ocasio-Cortez should “check her privilege.”

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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