Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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Wrong AOC Doesn’t Understand Inflation

Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review Online highlights the latest miscue from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The socialist congresswoman said last week that if we had “an overall inflationary issue, we would see prices going up in relatively equal amounts across the board no matter what the good is.” She notes that we have instead seen “very sector specific” price increases, “which means that these are due to supply chain issues.”

This is wrong. Uneven price increases are consistent with overall inflation both theoretically and as a matter of historical fact (as in the 1970s). On the most charitable interpretation of Ocasio-Cortez’s remark that I have been able to make, she seems to have in mind the reasonable idea that an excessively loose monetary policy will eventually cause prices to rise in roughly equal proportions. But she also seems to be assuming, falsely, that we can’t have that kind of inflation at the same time that we have supply-chain weaknesses that cause some specific prices to rise especially fast.

The extent to which each of these phenomena is happening is something economists are currently debating. It would certainly be easier to resolve the debate if the presence of one of them implied the absence of the other. The world does not arrange itself so neatly.

Should we be surprised that the wrong AOC — as opposed to the Right AOC — knows little to nothing about economics? Of course not. Her general ignorance about public policy helps explain her mystifying beliefs. Take the Green New Deal, for example.

Democrats are increasingly lining up behind New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a “Green New Deal,” but few, if any, have talked about its actual impact on global warming.

Even if all the Green New Deal’s goals were achieved, it would have a negligible, and likely immeasurable, impact on projected global warming, according to climate model simulation provided by a libertarian think tank.

“I seriously think the effect would — at best — be barely detectable in the climate record,” Patrick Michaels, a climatologist with the Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...