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This is directly from Quora:

How much does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know about economics in the real world? What is her experience in?

written by John Gallagher, Democratic Party activist.

"This is an interesting question for many reasons, some of which are worth talking about before answering the question. We have a young, inspiring, telegenic and articulate politician that’s probably one of the most talented people to enter the field in a lifetime. I can’t imagine anyone who wasn’t named Roosevelt, Kennedy or Reagan getting this much attention so early in their career and that she comes from very humble circumstances and actually got where she got through a combination of outstanding organization, chutzpah and hard work with absolutely no family wealth or connections is something quite special and extraordinary. Like her or not, agree or disagree with her she’s someone who clearly deserves our respect and attention, especially if you disagree with her. Politics isn’t about agreement after all. It’s about discussion and debate, and for those of you on the right you have a worthy opponent at last who can help improve your own ideas instead of just capitulating like Clinton did or standing aloof like Mr. Obama . She’s good for the country as we’ll finally have some real discussions. May the best ideas win.

Now, what does Ms. Ocasio-Cortez know about economics in the real world? More than most freshman members of Congress. Her life experience and a kid from the Bronx who relocated to the suburbs to get away from failing schools might just give her a real visceral understanding of the winner take all nature of the modern economy and the nature of how we create inequities and poorly distribute public goods. As the daughter of a widow who had to clean houses and a father who struggled as an architect who died young she has the kind of understandings that have much more relevance to most of our struggling population who have similar hardships. She also had to deal with the complexity of the probate process with her father’s estate. In a Congress full of clueless millionaires from both parties this is very refreshing. She knows, unfortunately due to circumstances, more about “real world” economics than most political leaders who think the real world is a corner office at a Goldman Sachs.

But then there’s the things you don’t know. The congresswoman studied International Relations and Economics at Boston University and graduated with honors. Not bad for a kid dealing with the early death of her father and a mother cleaning toilets for a living. As Aretha would say: Respect.

While at Boston University she worked for Ted Kennedy as an intern on immigration issues. Yes. That Ted Kennedy. She focused on dealing with immigration issues, especially with the undocumented and particularly with ICE. She wasn’t writing speeches or holding coats. She was in the trenches.

We all know that a year ago she was tending bar. If any job prepares you for dealing with obtuse, clueless white males with a sense of entitlement (ie: Congress) that will do it, especially if you are young and attractive. I can only think that she has a hard carapace of bulletproof armor after all that. If you can tend bar in Manhattan as a young woman you could probably defeat the Taliban, end global warming and create a self-sufficient universal health care system before you end your political career. You can probably also make a mean negroni while calculating sales tax in your head and politely rebutting the advances of the drunken NYU frat boys with fake ID while calling the bouncer without being noticed. I don’t think Mitch McConnell or anyone named Trump can do that. Heck, I don’t think the President can do times tables.

What you don’t know is that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was also the founder of the startup Brook Avenue Press, the Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series and an organizer for Bernie Sanders. Yeah, she’s a small business owner, entrepreneur and community organizer. All in one.

She’s also fearless, something that is quite refreshing when the typical politician lives and dies by polling. When she decided to run for Congress she could have done something easy and might be sitting in City Council right now, or, like another admirable young politician, Allesandra Biaggi, opted to go for a more reasonable state office. Instead she went after the entrenched, powerful and thought to be impregnable friend of Wall Street, Queens Party Leader and assumed future Speaker of the House Joe Crowley. If you asked anyone active in New York politics if this was a smart thing to do, well, needless as it is to say New York is littered with progressive activists who never even got enough traction to be on a county committee. New York is full of these walking dead and it would have been reasonable to assume that at the very best she would end up being an annoying presence at community board meetings a decade from now. She won because she had some things very few people have in politics all in one package, the key things being a solid work ethic, an outstanding sense of organization, incredible discipline, empathy, a sound intellect and character. She is the real deal.

So, like her or not she’s probably more qualified and capable than most people in Congress, including on matters like economics, and more so than frauds like Paul Ryan who gave us tax and fiscal policies that we’ll be regretting for some time forward.

HippieChick58 9 Mar 17

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Thank you for that informative post.


Thank you for the background information on AOC from what I have seen of her in videos in Congress she appears and act substantially more intelligent then say representative Jim Jordan of Ohio or a number of other Congressional may I say idiots who are more concerned with advancing their careers instead of the needs of the American people.


She's on the young side, and learning, and finding her place in the cutthroat world of politics, and she might make mistakes sometimes. But she's smart, a quick study and confident, and most of all she driven by idealism, not idealism in a vacuum, but idealism that needs to be translated into real outcomes. She, and others like her, terrify your puppet corporate politicians. Seekers of the truth, and idealists, terrify the corrupt elites. Can you see her bought off by big pharma, the corporate elite, the military and the rest? I can't. And she'll inspire others of her age. I worry about what dirty tricks, false flags and off-book Ops your elite power players might wage against her. This happens far too often in the US. This is my worry.

You're right. Look what the TPTB have done to Ralph Nader over the years. First, they try to discredit or ridicule you, as they did with Ralph, if they can't buy you off. Nader couldn't be bought, but the establishment successfully labelled him as a kook who opposed American prosperity and most Americans bought it. It that doesn't work, they will threaten you or kill you, as they did with MLK. My fear is that if AOC lasts until she is 35 and runs for prez, they will resort to the last option because I don't see the earlier tactics working with her.


It’s quite entertaining to watch the elites panic. It’s either attack her with empty platitudes or straight up lie about her. They’re afraid and they should be. It is kinda sad when people parrot the establishment as if they’re not being completely vacuous.

Marz Level 7 Mar 18, 2019

I wish she was old enough to run for prez, because even tho she is new to politics she is clearly a hell of a lot more real and honest than Obama ever was. And he was not that experienced in politics when he ran either. If she was old enough to run now I would support her even over Bernie. If she's still in politics by the time she's 35 and her opponents, in both the major parties haven't been able to discredit her, look for her to be assassinated if she runs for prez. Her ideas are just too dangerous to the status quo.


I'm a member of Quora and I think John Gallagher did a wonderful write up here. AOC is new to politics and is like a breath of fresh air. She is well educated. I also listen to conservative talk radio and a recent take they had on her was that she knows nothing at all and went to a meeting thinking she was going to get an acting job. The GOP bends over backwards to make her look dumb but I think it backfires on them.


Surprised that her most potent qualification isn't listed- manipulating your emotions to support her dangerous ideas. No one supports her because she is right, you support her because it feels right. That's been the disturbing trend in politics. No thought, all emotion. That is how we got our current president. It will likely be a major factor in future elections. AOC is wrong for all the right reasons.

I believe you are speaking of trump fans.

@CommonHuman I am talking about Trump AND AOC fans. As someone who sways people's emotions for a living, I am baffled at how few people recognise they are being played like a violin. It is happening on both sides! No politician actually wants to help you. They are moving their own agenda and using you to get what they want.

@ToolGuy Your profile says you are Canadian. What gives you the right to have a say in American economic politics? Do you support AOC because her policies would have a benefit for Americans or Canadians? The way I see it you are fighting a minimum risk war here.

@ToolGuy Seems you have confirmed both of my theories. Now let me give you a hard look at reality. The strong take what they want. If you don't think you are getting a fair deal, then get stronger. stop trying to tear us down!

If we aren't giving you a fair price for lumber you wouldn't be selling it to us. In fact, you couldn't sell it to us for that price.

You think supporting a young politician is going to stop dark ? How naïve!
That is probably the best way to aggravate the situation! Black markets and shady deals are the bread and butter of centrally planed economies! In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that all the economic undermining by the Koch brothers was strongly enabled by Canadian socialistic policy.

As far as environmental damage goes, I can't argue that it is 100% safe, but we can't just spend $2.5 trilion to go full renualble. That's ludicrous. I'm sure you understand the economic impact of doing so would be disastourous if done on such a short timescale. I mean, there are several wind farms that are not producing enough electricity to break even, and are only viable thanks to government grants! that means that in order to get power from them I actual have to pay a higher price through taxes!

Thank you for the critical insight. You might want to do some serious introspection about not being emotionally swayed, I didn't even try that hard.


Ummmm, have you noticed the "expertise" of our current "leader"? And the Fact that there are plenty of advisors to assist? Betcha She would actually listen & think.
Why are you posting things to tear this person down, with damn little substance?


She’s young, sharp and educated. I admire her ability to stand up for herself. I believe that comes from making her own way and humble beginnings. It’s fascinating how quickly faux news has become absolutely obsessed with her.


Well, I'm a mean, old, white, Rethuglican. And I think she's GREAT!


I love AOC.

However, to anyone who doubts her credentials in economics, it doesn't matter.
A dimwit can tell you the government spends trillions of dollars on wars; some of which are illegal.

Put that money toward the needs of America and there will still be enough leftover to buy donuts for everyone!

How do you define an illegal war? Or a legal one?


Illegal: breaking international law
Legal: not breaking international law

@Athena Sure. But it is always relative. Dictatorships have the same vote as democratic countries.


Also a note that we live in an era where Trump and his merry band of neocon idiots, and war criminals; Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams, are plotting 3 coups at the same time... Venezuela, Iran, and now even Nicaragua (John Bolton tweeted about it).

America is in the process of doing regime change on multiple fronts, on top of the 8 countries it's currently bombing. There's a shadow war going in Africa right now.

Some of the most dangerous characters are in control... the US has been in Iraq for 17 years...there's no definition of victory or interest in continuing news coverage.

And there's no arguing that Syria was/is an illegal war.

I do believe some people are well intentioned and that matters, but the quest for world sovereignty is blinding and "Forgive them..they know not what they do" is likely not applicable here.

There are Americans who care and no doubt you're one of them. We all need to keep our eyes open.


She is dangerous. Has no clue what she is talking about and her proposals are mind-boggling, stupid. Green America? Trillions of dollars for what? How about India and China?

zesty Level 7 Mar 17, 2019

She is dangerous to the incumbent political and corporate class. I find her desire to create a world that works for the many not the few quite refreshing.

@OwlInASack This is precisely what Stalin said. Look how it turned out.

She's full of what might seem to be outlandish, crazy, too expensive, too hard to ever implement ideas. But that's what makes us a great nation and a great people. Sure, most of her proposals won't make it in their original scope or format. But by God, she is stirring things up. Good for her.

@zesty are you seriously comparing AOC to Stalin?

@zesty, @bigpawbullets she’s also got the interests of ordinary folks at heart. And look how far the oil, military and media corporations are prepared to go to smear her... very telling

@zesty You’re still spouting off a ton of bullshit without a single fact to support it. The Repubs really love people like you who just follow the party line without question.

@zesty yeah, his country is running the US through a proxy President and a stupid Republican party.
Comparing her to Stalin. Honestly. duh!

@OwlInASack The outcome could be the same

@zesty but there’s no reason to think so. Stalin was a huge sociopath. AOC is clearly a highly intelligent, articulate, emotional, fully functional adult.

So there is absolutely no comparison.

Her suggestions should be scrutinised but at least her agenda recognises the absolute catastrophe that trickle down economics is wreaking on the world - both environmentally and morally

@OwlInASack Well, I have a different opinions. I think that the capitalist system works very good, we live better than ever and there is no need to change anything.

@zesty ah ok. I don’t see it that way: I see the poverty, corruption, unnecessary suffering and as a human being with functioning empathy, I look for and find causes in our political and economic systems

I understand why though, if you think nothing is wrong, you might also compare AOC with Stalin.

@OwlInASack Let me clarify. I did not compare her with Stalin, I said that her suggestions may lead to a similar outcome, Socialism. As history clearly shows a socialist system leads to mass hunger, concentration camps and general disaster. In my opinion our existing system, with all its problems, is significantly superior.

@zesty ah ok.

I think you are misunderstanding socialism. There are lots of kinds. I’m a socialist. I’m not into any of that stuff. Nor would any other socialist I know.

I can see how capitalism leads to starvation, concentration camps and general disaster though. Perhaps not for you or I. But for many hundreds of millions.

While democratic socialism leads to the happiest and best run countries on the planet. That is what AOC is looking for. Like me. I live in Switzerland right now. It’s quite like this and works very well. Scandinavia likewise. When we speak of socialism that is what we mean - and so does AOC as far as I can tell

@OwlInASack As far as the ownership of the means of production Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries are not socialist. This is the classical Marxist definition of socialism. Actually worked out by Engels, lol.
These countries do have a highly developed social ner and are very homogeneous. The US is not.

@avron The US health-care for the poorest is significantly better than the West European one for the poor there.

@zesty A quick check will show that the US ranks around 31 in the world for health care provision while spending a significantly higher proportion of GDP than Western European countries (and Canada), which rank higher.

@zesty The Russian Revolution took place because there was an absence of mass hunger, concentration camps and general disaster?
One of the principal failings of post-revolutionary Russia was the failure to change the centralised system, substituting party committees to replace the Tsarist Governors and beyond.

@Andy4608 The situation became much worst after the communist thugs took over, no question about it.

@Andy4608 Why do middle class Canadians and Europeans come to the US to have medical procedures in time?


She sounds like needed medicine. A dose of laxative for a constipated old guard.

I'm going to have that image haunting me all night.


I’ve been watching her, and I see the person we need, very smart, a good questioner, and when she answers she doesn’t stumble. We need her and people like her if we are going to save the country.


Trump campaigned on a slogan of "drain the swamp" and while he has fortified it, AOC is one who is doing what she can to do just that.


♥️♥️♥️♥️ AOC ♥️♥️♥️♥️


What a powerful resume.I hope she prevails.

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