Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said that "no one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars" during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day discussion with author Ta-Nehisi Coates on Monday.
Continue Reading Below
"No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars," Ocasio-Cortez said, receiving applause. "I'm not here to villainize and to say billionaires are inherently morally corrupt. ... It's to say that this system that we live in, life in capitalism always ends in billionaires."
She addressed a hypothetical "widget" billionaire in her remarks.
"You didn't make those widgets, did you? Because you employed thousands of people and paid them less than a living wage to make those widgets for you," Ocasio-Cortez said. "You didn't make those widgets. You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages, and in some cases real modern-day slavery."
Ocasio-Cortez, who advocates for democratic socialism, is not the only Democrat in Washington, D.C., honing in on billionaires these days.
Ocasio-Cortez joined in on presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren's criticism of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in November by saying he's a billionaire "asking for a safe space" amid Democrats' desire for economic disruption.
"Y'all, the billionaires are asking for a safe space — you know, in addition to the entire US economy and political lobbying industry," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.
Ocasio-Cortez's tweet included a link to a news article about Dimon responding to Warren's criticism by claiming she "vilifies successful people."
The Massachusetts senator frequently rails against the ultra-wealthy and has proposed a wealth tax to fund a number of sweeping plans, including Medicare-for-all, canceling student loan debt for the majority of Americans and providing universal child care, that she’s introduced.
FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.