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AOC sells merchandise for a profit, gets called out for 'using capitalism to push socialism.' She claims it's not capitalism.

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Photo by J Pat Carter for the Washington Post

Far-left Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a plan to promote her socialist message and fund her campaign: Get people to buy and don merchandise touting her and her agenda.

But no one should dare call it "capitalism."

Reuters reported Monday that the socialism-touting lawmaker is now "investing heavily in her online store," where she's hawking merchandise capitalizing on her "AOC" brand and some of her favorite slogans.

According to the news agency, the lawmaker's campaign paid more than $1.4 million to Financial Innovations, which runs and supplies AOC's online store, in the first six months of 2021 — nearly twice what she paid the firm over the last two years combined. And it's more than many congressional members spent on their entire re-election efforts over the same six-month period.

The left-wing New Yorker is using her star power to likely rake in a lot of cash through her store. Andrew Frawley, who ran the merchandise portion of Andrew Yang's failed 2020 presidential campaign, told Reuters that the Ocasio-Cortez campaign could be making a 50% profit or more on much of its sales.

But when Sean Spicer, former President Donald Trump's onetime press secretary, dared to point out that AOC was benefiting from the capitalist system she loves to decry, the leftist congresswoman was not pleased — and attempted to argue that she was not engaging in capitalism.

In tweet linking to the Reuters report, Spicer wrote, "using capitalism to push socialism."

AOC responded to Spicer's tweet by trying to claim that spending money to buy merchandise and then capitalizing on her fans' love of her personal brand by re-selling said merchandise at a higher price (aka profit) is not actually capitalism.

"Not sure if you know this Sean, but transactions aren't capitalism," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "Capitalism is a system that prioritizes profit at any & all human/enviro cost."

"But fwiw our shop is unionized, doesn't operate for profit,& funds projects like free tutoring, food programs,& local organizing," she added.

HotAir's Ed Morrissey offered a quick tutorial for the lawmaker, who graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in economics:

Is this capitalism? Let us consider. Ocasio-Cortez had to invest some money — capital, if you will — into this venture to get it started, right? She made a free-will choice to risk some capital into a venture that produces goods, merchandising that she hopes will fetch a price in the market that will at least cover the manufacturing costs and produce enough over that baseline to fund her political campaigns. That amount over the baseline of overhead is profit in its basic economic sense, no matter what use Ocasio-Cortez makes of it.

In fact, the entire purpose of merchandizing is to capitalize on a popular concept, or in other words, to draw out its value in cash. That's true whether the merchandise is Star Wars figurines, Brady Bunch lunchboxes, Barack Obama Si se puede T-shirts, or AOC's products. AOC is monetizing her fame by literally selling it.

AOC has yet so explain how, exactly, what she is doing is not capitalism.

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