Although Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ranks among the least effective members of Congress, she is great when it comes to public relations. The media is still debating over her Met Gala appearance where she wore the now-famous “Tax The Rich” dress. Now jumping on the same narrative with AOC is Democratic Representative and one of AOC’s BFFs, Pramila Jayapal. Recently, the Representative of Washington tried to spin a “Tax The Rich” narrative using statistics about poverty in America. The only problem – they’re false.
Using her official social media account, Jayapal tweeted on Thursday, “The U.S. has nearly ONE-THIRD of the world’s billionaires. “Meanwhile, our poverty rate is the 4th highest in the world.” She was sure to add, “Tax the rich.”
Going off of the first fact alone, Jayapal suggests that one-third of the world’s billionaires reside in America. According to a survey done by Wealth-X in June, there were around 788 billionaires in the U.S. at the end of 2019. That accounts for a little over 25 percent of the world’s billionaires, not one-third, but that isn’t that bad.
Now to the fact about poverty in America. The current poverty level in the U.S. is at 17.8 percent, which ranks 105th when compared to other countries. Those countries include the United Kingdom, whose poverty rate is at 18.6 percent, Mexico at 41.9 percent, and South Africa at 50.5 percent.
It should be noted that Jayapal could have been referencing the poverty rate when defined by the median wage in the county. According to those facts, America currently sits at the fourth worst, but again, Jayapal never mentioned this.
Since it was a tweet, people were able to comment and point out the blatant absurdity in Jayapal’s comment. Editor Jeryl Bier tweeted, “Imagine what your view of the country must be to believe that the US’s poverty rate is 4th highest in the world. No one’s common sense told them to not hit <tweet> on that one??”
Commentator Megan McArdle couldn’t help but laugh, saying, “This statistic is so bonkers wrong I cannot fathom how it could have made it past an elementary gut check, even if the gut belonged to an ardent Communist.”
Even Jayapal’s own fan base wasn’t sure what to make of her tweet.”I like Jayapal, but this is embarrassingly false. There are plenty of valid criticisms that can be made about the level of poverty in the US, but it isn’t even remotely close to having the fourth highest poverty rate in the world. These balderdash stats don’t help anything,”