Clueless Cortez: ‘Unemployment Only Low Because Everyone Has Two Jobs’

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez economy
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 12: Congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stands with Zephyr Teachout after endorsing her for New York City Public Advocate on July 12, 2018 in New York City. The two liberal candidates held the news conference in front of the Wall Street bull in a show of standing up to corporate money. Ocasio-Cortez shocked the Democratic political community recently after an upset win against Representative Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic primary. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In what appears to be a contradiction at face value, the new Democratic Socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has an economics degree.

On the other hand, she never did put it to use and was working as a bartender prior to her surprise campaign victory in New York last month. Perhaps that’s not all too surprising considering her own knowledge of economics.

As we reported yesterday, Cortez flubbed a basic question on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during an interview on PBS’ “The Firing Line” after simply being pressed on her sensationalist rhetoric on the issue. She admitted that she actually didn’t know enough about the conflict to give a coherent answer. (RELATED: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Admits Ignorance About Israeli-Palestinian Conflict).

In another part of the interview, she was asked about the Trump economy which is performing spectacularly, with a 3.8 percent unemployment rate. (RELATED: Unemployment Rate Reaches 18-Year-Low). Quoted differently, there are more job openings than people looking for work, so everyone who wants a job can attain one (if they have the correct skills). Cortez had her own crazy idea as to why the unemployment rate is so low – because everyone is working two jobs!

“The economy is going pretty strong … there’s roughly 4 percent, 3.9 percent unemployment,” host Margaret Hoover told Cortez. She then asked, “Do you think that capitalism has failed to deliver for working-class Americans?”

“Well, I think the numbers you just talked about is part of the problem, right?” Cortez said. “We look at these figures and we say, ‘Oh, unemployment is low, everything is fine, right?’”

“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs,” she said. “Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.”

Watch below:

While you the reader may not be aware of how the unemployment rate is calculated, as someone with a finance degree (close enough, right?), I can assure you that this is something Cortez would’ve learned during her first week of college.

The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people into the total size of the labor force (the labor force being the total number of employed people, and unemployed people looking for work). Someone having two jobs would have literally no effect on the unemployment rate. If someone is counted as “employed,” they’re “employed” whether they have one job or ten.

Left-of-center economist Noah Smith reacted to Cortez’ comments the only way an economist could.

And by the way, everyone doesn’t have two jobs. The percentage of the population working two or more jobs is the lowest its ever been (under five percent).

While Cortez’ victory was hailed as a positive sign for the so-called “Resistance,” I can’t help but see her as one of the GOP’s best campaign ads so far.

By Matt

Matt is the co-founder of Unbiased America and a freelance writer specializing in economics and politics. He’s been published... More about Matt

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