In her 2009 self-help book The Trump Card: Playing to Win In Work and Life, Ivanka Trump (or, her ghostwriter) recalls her first entrepreneurial venture: a lemonade stand with her brothers. She makes sure to point out that their parents didn’t help them at all, and that their stand’s location "at the end of a cul-de-sac in an affluent community of spacious homes on sprawling properties" put them at a disadvantage. You almost begin to think that she understands what structural disadvantages are!
But then, Ivanka’s hired help stepped in to boost the business (heiresses, they’re just like us). "As good fortune would have it, we had a bodyguard that summer, and it fell to him to watch us in an unobtrusive way whenever we left our front yard. That cast him as our target market, and by the end of the afternoon we got this poor guy to drink so much lemonade it’s a wonder his bladder didn’t burst. Just to keep us in business." Ah, good old-fashioned worker exploitation to maximize profits.
This childhood anecdote can help us understand Ivanka’s recent interview with Fox News host Steve Hilton, in which she criticized the jobs guarantee in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal program.
"You’ve got people who will see that offer from the Democrats, from the progressive Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Here’s the Green New Deal, here’s the guarantee of a job,’ and think, ‘yeah, that’s what I want, it’s that simple.’ What do you say to those people?" Hilton asked Ivanka in the interview, which will air in full on Sunday.
"I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something," Ivanka responded. "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 that 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’s there’s the potential for upward mobility."
Hilton then asked her whether she thinks the 2020 will be framed as a standoff between Trump’s capitalism and the socialist ideas popular in the left wing of the Democratic party. She answered in a typically Trumpian way: "I think fundamentally if you ask yourself the question, ‘are we better today than we were yesterday or we were 2 years ago?’ The answer is, undoubtedly, yes. So, as an American, families sitting down and thinking about their financial situation relative to a month ago or a year ago, America is doing very well and it stands in quite sharp contrast to the rest of the world. So, not only are we doing well, much of the world has slowed down in terms of the pace of their growth."
The Green New Deal, which AOC has helped bring out of the fringes and into the mainstream American conversation, is an ambitious reform that seeks to tackle climate change and income inequality in the next decade. Some of its goals include achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the next 10 years, creating millions of green jobs, and upgrading to energy-efficient infrastructure. In an effort not seen since Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal in the 1930s, which transformed the country’s infrastructure, it includes a sweeping federal jobs guarantee, which ensures "a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States." All the Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, enthusiastically support the plan.
Meanwhile Ivanka’s solution for jobs in America seems to be traveling around the country and participating in photo ops on fork lifts, wearing hardhats, and various other blue-collar cosplay. President Trump recently boasted that she had created "millions of jobs," referring to the White House’s Pledge to America’s Workers initiative, when what the program really does is provide training opportunities to 6.5 million people over the next five years. Which is fine! But not exactly the large-scale plan we need as time is running out to address climate change.
And contrary to what Ivanka believes is in Americans’ "hearts," the majority of voters support the Green New Deal, too. According to a recent poll of nearly 1,000 registered voters by the Yale Program on Climate Communication, 81% of voters said they supported some the general policies discussed by Green New Deal proponents, including transitioning the U.S. to using 100% clean energy and providing training for green jobs. The survey showed that 92% Democrats, 88% Independents, and 64% Republicans supported the proposal.
The 2018 National Youth Poll from Harvard the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics found that 56% of young Americans ages of 18 to 29 and 63% of likely voters from this age range support a federal jobs guarantee.
Sorry, Ms. Turn Lemons Into Lemonade, the people have spoken.
It’s not just that Ivanka is staggeringly, obviously out of touch, considering she accrues millions just by sitting around. It’s that with statements like this, she’s not just showing us her ignorance — she’s fanning the flames of a culture war to win easy points with her father’s base. She’s knowingly joining the right’s mission to smear Ocasio-Cortez for literally anything she does and playing into the narrative that the "evil socialists" want to give everyone handouts for not working. Well, it’s not working for us.
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) February 26, 2019
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Source: Refinery29 – Natalie Gontcharova