Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC Congresswoman for NY-14 (the Bronx & Queens). In a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no American should be too poor to live. 💯% People-Funded, no lobbyist💰. May. 11, 2019 2 min read

Going from waitressing a year ago to now carries a LOT of life-adjustments.

But 3 paychecks in has shown me how 1 of the greatest scams in US is the idea that financial struggle is due to “poor character.”

It’s a huge myth designed to keep people from empowering themselves. /1

When I was waitressing, I used to jerk awake in the middle of sleep worried that I may have forgotten if a bill cleared, or if I had enough 💰 to pay a Dr in cash.

Was that bc I was “irresponsible?” No. It’s bc I wasn’t being paid a living wage as cost of living skyrocketed. /2

Now I’m going through a huge income transition compared to living off tips (which diff pay every week, very hard).

& I have HEALTH INSURANCE, which now means I have fewer expenses.

According to banks, I’d be more “responsible,” but my character hasn’t changed. Just my math. /3

The myth that bad credit or struggling w bills = irresponsibility is a heinous myth.

Paying people less than what’s needed to live is what’s actually irresponsible.

GDP + costs are rising, wages are not. That doesn’t mean YOU’RE bad. It means working people are set up to fail.

It’s a big part of what makes this Chase tweet so bad.

It’s the idea that if you choose to have any expense beyond mere animalistic survival - an iced coffee, a cab after a 18hr shift on your feet - you deserve suffering, eviction, or skipped medicine.

You don’t. Nobody does.

US GDP is at an all-time high. As a nation, we are more prosperous than we ever have been.

But that’s simply not the lived truth. Even now, I’m paid similar to a doctor or corporate lawyer - many who‘d think they are “rich,” but it’s nowhere near what we actually mean in policy.

When we say “tax the rich,” we mean nesting-doll yacht rich. For-profit prison rich. Betsy DeVos, student-loan-shark rich.

Trick-the-country-into-war rich. Subsidizing-workforce-w-food-stamps rich.

Because THAT kind of rich is simply not good for society, & it’s like 10 people.

Ultimately, living in a moral society, a good nation, means establishing some basic standards of dignity:
- healthcare as a right
- a living wage
- public education that prepares for civil society + economy (which now shld incl college)
- all people having power in the economy

And in the meantime, as we continue fighting for Medicare for All, a living wage, & more:

Unionize your workplace.
Demand a raise.
And don’t stop until you get one. 💪🏽

You can follow @AOC.


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