New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), known to many as AOC, tweeted that out yesterday afternoon. One doesn’t have to be an economist to know her words are as true as the day is long.

Although she is not the first person to pronounce such sentiments. Back in the 1860s, Abraham Lincoln said something that echoes the same theme when he gave his 1861 inaugural address:

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

Abraham Lincoln

Both are correct.

The fact is no billionaire gets there without the labor of others. Furthermore, without billionaires, labor would still exist. Jobs would still get done. The world would still turn, as they say.

Of course, the question still exists — what does one “do about it” then? Lincoln offered some sage advice about what the working man and woman should not do or concede to the wealthy elite:

Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.

Again, this correct. The working man should never surrender what little power they have vs the billionaires and elites. Never give up their voting rights, never give up their right to protest, and never give up any right that protects the people from their government. When workers won the right to organize vs the violent and manipulative tactics of those rich bosses, the worker learned that the power of many was greater than the power of the few or one. As many have said — together we bargain, divided we beg.

Something that both AOC and Abraham Lincoln both understand.


Featured image via screen capture