Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Ivanka Trump: ‘A living wage isn’t a gift, it’s a right’

Posted at 10:12 PM, Feb 26, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Ivanka Trump on Tuesday after the senior White House adviser said she doesn’t think most people believe in the freshman lawmaker’s proposal for guaranteed jobs for all Americans.

In an interview released by Fox News on Monday, Trump was asked about Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposal and what she would say to people who are enticed by the proposal’s job guarantee. In response, Trump said, “I don’t think most Americans in their heart want to be given something.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years,” Trump continued. “People want to work for what they get, so I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job. They want the ability to live in a country where there’s the potential for upward mobility.”

On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez responded with chagrin at Trump’s dismissal of a guaranteed living wage.

“As a person who actually worked for tips & hourly wages in my life, instead of having to learn about it 2nd-hand, I can tell you that most people want to be paid enough to live,” Ocasio-Cortez posted on Twitter. “A living wage isn’t a gift, it’s a right. Workers are often paid far less than the value they create.”

The freshman New York lawmaker added, “Imagine attacking a Jobs Guarantee by saying ‘people prefer to earn money.’ ”

Ocasio-Cortez — along with Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, and other congressional Democrats — unveiled the Green New Deal proposal earlier this month. The plan, cosponsored by several Democrats running for president in 2020, is designed to overhaul the country’s climate change policies and also contains several major economic proposals. Among them is a portion about “guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage.”

Raising the minimum wage has been hotly debated around the country for years. Minimum wage ballot initiatives have won handily in red and purple states, such as South Dakota, Nebraska and Arizona, in the past two election cycles. Initiatives in Florida, Nevada and North Dakota to increase the state minimum wage are already in the works for the presidential ballot in 2020.

Congress hasn’t raised the federal minimum wage since 2009, when it went to $7.25 an hour.

Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a separate tweet, “In fact, wages are so low today compared to actual worker productivity that they are no longer the reflections of worker value as they used to be. Productivity has grown 6.2x more than pay,” and linked to an August 2018 report by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

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