Socialists like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez love characterizing capitalists as greedy misers who take advantage of the poor for their own gain. Socialists are morally superior because they wouldn’t dream of using their personal brand to enrich themselves and expand their power.

Or would they?

Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary brilliantly took down AOC last week for exactly this hypocrisy. The congresswoman’s official campaign store is filled with overpriced merchandise that likely costs AOC almost nothing to produce. 

“Check this out: I look spectacular in this,” O’Leary said in a recent Twitter video, pointing to a sweatshirt reading, “Tax the Rich.” “Everybody wants to buy this off me. I got this from the official AOC site.”

“Now let’s talk about gross margins,” O’Leary continued. “I paid $67.22 for this. I’m gonna guess she lands this basically for, I don’t know, six bucks? … and five bucks for shipping. That’s 85% gross margin – That’s spectacular!”

“Listen: You know what this proves? Inside of every socialist there’s a capitalist screaming to get out,” he concluded.

The “Tax the Rich” sweatshirt isn’t the only expensive item on AOC’s website. This Green New Deal sweatshirt costs $65. This “Drink Water and Don’t Be Racist” sweater costs $58. A single Green New Deal poster costs $24, and an “Abolish ICE” hat costs $27.

I don’t have a problem with AOC’s prices. If her supporters are mindless enough to pay for her useless junk, she should have the freedom to charge as much as she wants. She’s worked hard to build her personal brand, and she should be able to benefit from that success.

But I do have a problem with socialists like Ocasio-Cortez who criticize the capitalist system they simultaneously use to their own advantage. AOC might not be personally pocketing the money from her store, but her campaign is using it to maintain her power in D.C. and, ultimately, enrich her and her cronies.

Here’s an idea: why don’t we all acknowledge that capitalism has done more to lift the world out of poverty than any economic system ever? Why don’t we admit that we all benefit from a free market, and that true socialist countries do nothing but enrich the political elite at the expensive of the middle class?

Under a socialist government, AOC’s supporters wouldn’t be able to afford a $65 sweatshirt. The congresswoman should keep that in mind that next time she bashes capitalism, the free market, and the millions of entrepreneurial Americans who are trying to make our country a better place.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.