“Transactions aren’t capitalism,” Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) responded when former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer chided her for profiting from capitalism in order to promote socialism.
“Using capitalism to push socialism,” Spicer tweeted Monday, linking to a Reuters article titled, “Branding the U.S. left: AOC makes a push into political merchandise,” reporting that the congresswoman’s campaign has paid $1.4 million to the political merchandise firm operating her online store:
“Now she is investing heavily in her online store, selling T-shirts, sweatshirts and other merchandise with her name, "AOC" initials or slogans including "Tax the Rich" and "Fight for our Future," efforts aimed at both fundraising and building the second-term lawmaker's profile nationally.
“Her campaign paid political merchandise firm Financial Innovations, which operates her online store and supplies merchandise, more than $1.4 million in the first six months of 2021, according to campaign disclosures to the Federal Election Commission late last week.”
Ocasio-Cortez replied by defining capitalism as a ruthless, destructive system and declaring that “transactions aren’t capitalism”:
“Not sure if you know this Sean, but transactions aren’t capitalism.
“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.”
The actual foundation of capitalism is private, instead of government, ownership of business, Spicer replied, before inviting her to appear on his Newsmax program to debate the issue:
“Thanks 4 the reply: 1. actually the definition of capitalism is based in private (not gov) ownership 2. I think u have commented more about this than #Cuba PS - can you come on #spicerandco @newsmax at 6pm to discuss? PSS -pls tag me in the future so I can respond quicker Thanks”
Spicer’s description of capitalism is correct, according to Merriam-Webster’s definition:
“an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”