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.