Throughout history, America has always deemed work to be essential and an important part of everyday living. But according to some, work shouldn’t be essential and should, in fact, be boycotted. This is the belief of New York U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In recent news, AOC came out and spoke against the need to work and encouraged low-income families to boycott going back to work after America reopens due to the Coronavirus crisis that has taken place throughout the country and the world.
In a recent interview with Vice TV, she encouraged protests and boycotts, as if capitalism is the enemy of the people. “When we talk about this idea of reopening society, you know, only in America does the president, when the president tweets about liberation, does he mean, ‘Go back to work,’” Ocasio-Cortez said. “When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot people should just say, ‘No — we’re not going back to that.’”
“We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives,” she concluded.
She even celebrated when the oil industry hit their lowest of lows in American history. It’s a shame that someone who represents America is consistently rooting for it to fail.
A quick fact check is in order here. Did you know only 6.6% of Americans work more than 60 hours a week? An even smaller portion work more than 70 hours a week. So, despite Cortez’s claims, most Americans will not be returning to that life. Also, what she doesn’t realize is how essential work is for the average person. She has no basis for her claims when she says, “not feel any semblance of security in our lives,” because it has been proven time and time again work does provide security in everyday life. Not only that, but it has been scientifically proven that work has health and psychological benefits.
For many people, work is what gives them dignity and a purpose. It provides a sense of happiness and security in their lives. Our physical and mental heath is improved through work. When we work, we recover from sickness and illnesses quicker and are at less risk of a long-term illness incapacity. Those who don’t work have higher rents of physical and mental illnesses, take more medication, and have a shorter life expectancy overall. Those who are protesting to get back to work, aren’t doing it because they are selfish. They are doing it because the miss contributing to society, and for most, it has been proven to have had a mental toll on them.
Whether she likes it or not, the economic implications in America right now are risking more lives than just a virus, and more lives will eventually be lost if we don’t get back to work as soon as possible. Did you know that more than 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment since mid-March? Did you know that most small businesses will never recover from this economic downturn? When the economy is shut down, more lives are lost.
Some who are jobless will end up committing suicide, and those who are getting poorer, will end up having more health complications in the long run due to not being able to provide for their families, or have any kind of livelihood. Mentally, living in a poor economy can cause anxiety, depression, and a lack of purpose. When they say the cure must not be more deadly than the disease, they are right. The more we delay reopening America, the more lives we endanger. Suicide and domestic violence have drastically increased since the economic shutdown. Those who want America to open up are often blamed for devaluing life and being selfish, but that couldn’t be furthest from the truth. On April 16, the United Nations warned that the economic downturn could cause tens of millions to fall into extreme poverty, and thousands of children could die.
While Cortez wants to boycott work and root for America’s failure, she needs to realize that we cannot stay home until there is a cure. That is impossible and fundamentally dangerous for every life in America. Every life is precious, and we can not continue to endanger millions by keeping the economy shut down. We can’t continue to force people to give up on their businesses they have spent years building, and it’s not reasonable to make people shelter in place just to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed. So, no, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, we cannot and should not boycott work when American reopens. In fact, we must get back to work as soon as possible for the sake of not only saving millions of lives, but livelihoods. Millions of Americans who have lost everything and had their dreams shattered do not want to celebrate socialist values; they want to get back to work.