Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is shocked, she says, that lobbyists pay homeless people to wait in line for Congressional hearings. Well, of course AOC is shocked. This is voluntary exchange, this is how markets work – it’s also rationing by that most efficient method, price. Given that she’s either unaware of or disagrees with each of these parts of reality she’s shocked that this is how people operate.
Note that this is just what people do – this isn’t to say that this is operators manipulating or anything, this is just part of the operations manual for a collection of humans.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Wednesday that she was shocked to discover that people are paid to hold spots in line before congressional hearings. The freshman lawmaker from the Bronx said it was wrong that people with the means could pay people in order to secure the best seating at an open-to-the-public hearing. “Shock doesn’t begin to cover it. Today I left a hearing on homelessness & saw tons of people camped outside committee,” she tweeted. “I turned to my staff and asked if it was a demonstration. ‘No,’ they said. ‘Lobbyists pay the homeless + others to hold their place so they can get in 1st.’ [/perfectpullquote]
Well, yes, this is indeed what people do:
Shock doesn’t begin to cover it.
Today I left a hearing on homelessness & saw tons of people camped outside committee.
I turned to my staff and asked if it was a demonstration.
“No,” they said. “Lobbyists pay the homeless + others to hold their place so they can get in 1st.” pic.twitter.com/mXbgqkKp4P
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) 13 February 2019
This is voluntary exchange – no one is being forced to do anything. Some people find waiting in line for a politician to be a valuable use of their time. Others don’t. Therefore one group pays the other in that entirely voluntary manner. As with all such voluntary exchanges – the supermarket selling me food, the college educating you, the hospital treating her, – both parties are made better off.
This is how markets work.
And we’ve also that rationing point. We’ve a limited supply of something, who gets it has to be decided. That’s rationing. So, what’s the best manner of doing this? By price, as it always is.
Given that AOC is now in Congress aren’t we lucky? That someone who knows so little about humans is making the law?
No, think through it. She’s shocked that there are lines, queues, for something as dreary as free congressional hearings. She’s also shouting that health care should be free. The lines for that are going to be….?