Shortly after the President’s daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump said Americans don’t want to be guaranteed a minimum wage but rather work for it, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired back, saying that “a living wage isn’t a gift, it’s a right.”
In a Fox News interview aired Monday, Trump commented on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposal and the job guarantees it offers, saying that the majority of people don’t “want to be given something.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get, so I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job. They want the ability to live in a country where there’s the potential for upward mobility,” she noted during the interview.
Ocasio-Cortez was quick to fire back at Ivanka’s remarks saying that as a person who has actually worked for a living wage, she could say first-hand that people want to be paid what they deserve and be guaranteed a decent wage.
“As a person who actually worked for tips & hourly wages in my life, instead of having to learn about it 2nd-hand, I can tell you that most people want to be paid enough to live,” she noted, adding that “workers are often paid far less than the value they create.”
The Green New Deal proposal, introduced by the New York lawmaker along with Senator Ed Markey and other congressional Democrats, aims at overhauling the U.S. climate change policies as well as “guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage.”
Raising the minimum wage has been a hot issue for years now, with initiatives in Florida, Nevada and North Dakota to increase the state minimum wage already in the works for the presidential ballot in 2020. The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009, when it was set at $7.25 an hour.
Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet Tuesday that “in fact, wages are so low today compared to actual worker productivity that they are no longer the reflections of worker value as they used to be. Productivity has grown 6.2x more than pay.”
Trump, who came under fire as a result of the comments, said later that she supported a minimum wage, but not “a minimum guarantee for people ‘unwilling to work’.”