Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) received an unrequested economics lesson after she took to Twitter to complain about high croissant prices and low minimum wages.
The congresswoman claimed a croissant costs $7 in a shop at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Instead of questioning the factors that contributed to the price tag, Ocasio-Cortez somehow tied it to the national efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15.
Croissants at LaGuardia are going for SEVEN DOLLARS A PIECE 😱
Yet some people think getting a whole hour of personal, dedicated human labor for $15 is too expensive??
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 1, 2019
It didn’t take long for Twitter users to offer the congresswoman some corrections to her tweet. While there was a flurry of responses, most people dug out the basics of supply and demand to explain why Ocasio-Cortez may have been confused when she tied the two issues together.
Several people suggested that the congresswoman — who holds a degree in economics from Boston University — should brush up on the basics of supply and demand. They argued that prices are high in places like airports and movie theaters because the owners — or, in the case of the airport, the government — can restrict the supply of other options, forcing consumers to pay above-market rates.
You’ve supposedly been exposed to microeconomic theory so I would venture that you have an idea as to why croissants could sell at such an exorbitant price. Some ideas: New York City’s draconian tax codes; the excessive licensing fees to maintain business; or rental fees at LGA. https://t.co/ncWqI2Yx5F
— Elliott Hamilton (@ElliottRHams) April 1, 2019
FWIW, Croissant prices at LGA are so high because the gov’t imposes scarcity of competition by granting special licenses to sell food inside airports. This regime is enforced by armed guards at the entrances. It’s similar to why 10 cents of popcorn costs so much at the movies. pic.twitter.com/6cTv0hfKwo
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) April 1, 2019
The funny thing is that airport restaurants and coffee shops are the perfect example of a centrally planned, highly regulated economy with a lot of political interference and little competition. https://t.co/Qoq2Si4SyW
— Robert Tracinski (@Tracinski) April 1, 2019
Wait till she discovers how expensive a beer is at an NFL game https://t.co/c90KCj6zAY
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 1, 2019
Others noted that her connection to the minimum wage used faulty economic logic as well. An increased minimum wage often leads to higher prices to make up for the additional wage expenses. If companies want to avoid raising prices after a minimum wage hike, they can cut workers and turn to automation.
AOC: Why does this croissant cost $7? We should pay the workers who sell it $15 per hour!
::Price of croissants rise to $9::
AOC: Why does this croissant cost $9? We should pay the workers who sell it $17 per hour!https://t.co/wCUYkKpjFb
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 1, 2019
Know what happens next? Hint, machines don’t have a minimum wage requirement. https://t.co/imj0cgwI21
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 1, 2019
Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) mocked Ocasio-Cortez, using her tweet to celebrate April Fools’ Day by joking about embracing government controls on airport croissant prices.
Oh the humanity! Here’s the answer: government-mandated FREE CROISSANTS FOR ALL. And we’ll just force the bakers to give all of their time for free. #SocialistLogic #AprilFools https://t.co/1mx00FegwS
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 1, 2019
In typical fashion, Ocasio-Cortez issued a follow-up tweet in which she claimed that those criticizing her don’t care about human beings.
GOP taking every tweet so earnestly, making my point for me. It’s not an argument against the price of a croissant – it’s about the value of human worth.
But I guess that idea is foreign to them since their policies treat people as disposable anyway 🤷🏽♀️
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 1, 2019
Several Twitter users took issue with the congresswoman’s response, noting that she never admitted that her economic logic was inaccurate or misleading. Other questioned if this meant that she had a price tag for “the value of human worth” since she seemed pretty content with $15 per hour — even though the minimum wage at LaGuardia is actually $19, not $15.
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) April 1, 2019
“My point wasn’t about croissants, it was about how my political opponents are inhumane and cruel.”
Way to steer into the skid. https://t.co/FJvIkaIAGs
— neontaster (@neontaster) April 1, 2019
If this is true, why do you think human lives are only worth $15 an hour?
— Ashley Rae Goldenberg (@Communism_Kills) April 1, 2019
This, of course, is not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has gotten a lesson from her peers on Twitter. As IJR reported earlier, she slipped up this weekend when she claimed that Republicans pushed the 22nd Amendment — the amendment that placed term limits for the presidency — to get rid of President Franklin Rosevelt despite it passing years after he died in office.