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February 28 2019

Ivanka V. AOC: Who Has it Right on Government-Guaranteed Jobs and Checks

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Ivanka Trump has a new foe, the freshman Congresswoman from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Cortez launched a series of tweets attacking the White House advisor and First Daughter after Trump dared to say that Americans want to work for a living rather than depend on a government check for survival. Ivanka was right and many Americans agree.

In a Fox News interview, Trump was asked about the job guarantee in the Green New Deal proposed by AOC and supported by Democratic leaders.

She replied:

“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. People want to work for what they get.

“I think that 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.”

The Green New Deal includes a guaranteed green job with a “livable wage” for anyone who wants one and - from an infamous now-deleted FAQ on AOC’s website - guaranteed “economic security” for anyone who is unable or unwilling to work.

Let’s take a look at each of these green “solutions.”

The idea of a job for everyone is unnecessary in an economy like this current economy with 7 million unfilled jobs. It’s hard to make a compelling case for why taxpayers should be shelling out higher taxes to add even more jobs.

The problem for AOC is that half of America does not support guaranteed “economic security” or a check with no strings attached. According to polling from last summer, 48 percent of adults opposed a pilot program, like one in a California city that gives some residents $500 with no work requirements, coming to their own community. Only 34 percent favored establishing a so-called universal basic income program.

Support does rise when the UBI is proposed as a solution for workers displaced by automation and AI. That is far off and that is not how the left is positioning UBI.

And when we look at whether UBI programs work, we find that they do little if anything to encourage people to work, but come at a hefty cost. Just look at Finland.

The left is dumping on Ivanka over this. A particularly snarky Glamour opinion piece rips into her for being clueless about the plight of regular people who don’t grow up in wealth.

AOC and the left are the ones who are out of touch with public sentiment though. They are out of touch with half of the country including many Independents who don’t want government doling out checks with no strings attached. They are probably also out of step with the 82 percent of voters who believe that work should be a critical part of receiving public assistance like food stamps.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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