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The strangely sensible economics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been absorbed by the head-spinning political rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former bartender who, just this year, won a primary in her home district over senior Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley. Impressive as that feat is, I was particularly interested in her self-identification of democratic socialist, despite having an economics degree from Boston University. (As it happens, I almost attended Boston University majoring in economics—I took an offer for a guaranteed transfer but then declined it after my first semester at AU.)

My go-to rationale against Bernie Sanders-brand policies is based on economics, so it confuses me when Ocasio-Cortez — trained in economics — comes out, guns blazing, in support of policies that I believe to be economically infeasible. Her academic success has led me to question my own personal conceptions about what democratic socialism and its implications really mean for America’s working class and small businesses.

Of course, having only recently been exposed to the political scene, Ocasio-Cortez has had her share of televised gaffes — all of which, including and especially her recent dialogue on unemploymen