Have you ever wondered how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) could be a socialist when she went to Boston University, one of the most expensive private universities in the world? It doesn't seem consistent with her messaging about fighting for the middle-class and poor at all.
Let's explore who AOC is and whether she really is a socialist or not.
At 28, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district, defeating the incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, in what has been described as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm-election season.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has been endorsed by various politically progressive organizations and individuals. AOC is refreshing as her presence breaks down the majority with her race, her sex, and her age.
Why Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez A Socialist?
How Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez was able to run as a Democratic Socialist while attending Boston University, one of the most expensive, and most privileged university in the United States.
See the tuition for Boston University below for the 2023/2024 academic year.
I don't know about you, but paying $86,363 a year to attend Boston University seems like a lot. It is highly unaffordable for most Americans. After all, the median household income in America is closer to $75,000 pre-tax.
Paying $86,363 a year in tuition is with after-tax dollars. Therefore, if you pay a 25% effective tax rate, you need $115,150 just to pay one year of tuition for one person! Then there's all the other costs in life to pay for.
Nobody but the rich or those on scholarship can afford to pay such tuition. That's $345,000 in after-tax dollars over four years of college. Forget about it. Who has the luxury to pay that much?
Therefore, it doesn't seem like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Socialist at all. Instead, AOC is at least part of the mass affluent class, if not the rich.
Beware Of Politics And Messaging
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is either extremely smart, which meant she got plenty of grants. Or, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comes from a wealthy family to be able to afford such huge tuition.
Given we've never heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talk about her getting scholarships to Boston University, then it's clear her family had the money to pay its tuition.
We do know the private universities tend to have a disproportionate amount of students who come from wealthier backgrounds. We know that she attending a $80,000+ a year school is only some of the very elite can afford to do.
If she was really so smart as to get scholarships to Boston University, wouldn’t it have been better to go to Harvard, MIT, or Boston College? All of these schools are ranked higher than cost the same or less?
After all, Harvard University's tuition is roughly $7,800 less than Boston University's tuition, yet Harvard is ranked much higher. Then again, you can still go to Harvard and end up a nobody, or at least be someone much less successful than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was Able To Convince People She Was Not Privileged?
My main question is: how do politicians consistently say they represent the people and are representing the people when their backgrounds show tremendous privilege?
It is confusing to me, and I'd love for people to shed some more light on this situation. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clearly comes from an upper-middle-class background. I have encountered many rich people who have successfully convinced the masses they are poor. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a whole other level.
After much reflection, I've come to realize that AOC's rise from struggle, to private school, to congress is truly an American success story. AOC's ascendency has helped me get rid of my own guilt of wanting to send my son to private school.
The key is to position yourself as part of the middle-class or poor to garner as many votes as possible. Once you do, you not only have wealth but power. AOC is going to make millions of dollars while in office and after office.
There's lots of love for people, no matter their socioeconomic background if they do good. I don't think there's as much demonization against the rich, powerful, and elite as I once thought.
Please read, Democratic Socialist AOC Gives Rich Private Graduates Hope And Pride, on some deeper thoughts on the subject. Here's another post on AOC's net worth.
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For more nuanced personal finance content, join 100,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. Everything is written based off firsthand experience. AOC really isn't a socialist. Let's be real now!