During a Tuesday appearance on Fox Business Network, Ben Stein, a former speechwriter to President Richard M. Nixon claimed that policies advocated by freshman lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) “invariably lead to bad things,” including genocide and even made comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
Ocasio-Cortez has drawn criticism, particularly from conservatives, for her progressive proposals including advocating for higher marginal tax rates of up to 70 percent on earnings past $10 million in income as well as a “Green New Deal” to get 100 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources.
Stein warned Fox viewers that her rhetoric could lead to dictatorship and genocide:
“I mean, we have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is promising. And it led to mass murder, it led to dictatorship, it led to genocide. These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things.”
Stein, an economist, continued that capitalism “works extremely well” and “allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people” as they try to earn money.
“Making money is one of the most of harmless things there is to do in the whole world,” he said. “And that’s what our society is about.”
“It’s not about ordering people around, putting them concentration camps,” Stein said. “What do you do if a person is a richer or poorer person? What do you do? Do you take him away? Do you shoot him? Well, that’s what the Communists tried, it didn’t work out very well for them.”
Stein said the result was the rise of Communist Russia and corrupt Vietnam and Venezuela.
“We don’t wind up with the promises that people made,” Stein said, referring to dictators.
— Media Matters (@mmfa) January 23, 2019