This week is all about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. First was her Met Gala dress, then her bill proposal for extended unemployment benefits, and now her line of ‘Tax the Rich’ merchandise.
On Tuesday, AOC launched an email campaign offering a policy paper and drawing attention to her ‘Tax the Rich’ collection. The collection includes sweatshirts ($58), hats ($28), T-shirts ($27), mugs or tote bags ($27), or a sticker pack ($10). The AOC team added that 100% of the proceeds help fund their grassroots organizing and campaigning for policies. AOC was under backlash in late 2020 from critics about the pricing of the sweatshirts. It was also unclear where exactly the money was going.
While capitalizing on the controversy caused by her Met Gala dress makes sense, the collection reiterates how out-of-touch politicians can be with society. Fashion is an artistic medium that can be used in various political, social, and cultural environments. That does not mean a political message needs to be on the front of a t-shirt and sold to be effective or bring more awareness. Especially when it comes to the subject of the lack of taxes the rich in America pay. Working-class and middle-class people are aware. If AOC felt strongly about the merchandise, a more robust strategy would be having some of her fellow Met Gala attendees wear the clothing.
The collection comes off as tacky and another capitalist venture yet another politician whose actions and words do not match up. Focusing on proposing and getting legislation passed that raises taxes for the rich instead of persuading millennials to wear her clothes is more beneficial for the greater community. On top of that, the merchandise doesn’t look good enough to justify the $27-$58 price tag.
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