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Since hitting the national stage this year, liberal Democrat and incoming U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has gotten plenty of attention.
Sometimes deservedly so. Sometimes not.
A viral meme mocks the new representative for New York’s 14th District for a statement about capitalism and socialism that she never made.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The graphic being shared displays an image of Ocasio-Cortez with the quote "Under capitalism, man oppresses man. Under socialism, it’s the other way around."
The only problem is – she never said it.
Let’s take a look.
We couldn’t find any instances when Ocasio-Cortez ever said that particular quote. And it would be strange if she did. Ocasio-Cortez describes herself as a democratic socialist and supports more socialist-style changes, including universal health care, tuition-free public college and establishing housing as a human right.
The quote comes in varying versions, with some words replacing others. It has been long attributed to economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who passed away in April 2006. It has also more recently been connected to another economist, Russell Roberts, who has used it during events and also in his book.
The original version of the phrase: "Under capitalism man exploits man. Under socialism it’s just the opposite." In some cases, the word socialism is swapped for communism, mostly when Galbraith is cited as the speaker.
The book was published 12 years before Ocasio-Cortez was born.
A viral graphic being spread on social media claims that Ocasio-Cortez said "under capitalism, man oppresses man. Under socialism, it’s the other way around."
The phrase itself is a version of an old quote that is meant to disparage socialism or communism. Ocasio-Cortez, who calls herself a democratic socialist, never said those words.
We rate it Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, Dec. 12, 2018
The Morning Call, "Your View: The pitfalls of socialism in America," Nov. 26, 2018
The Atlantic, "John Kenneth Galbraith, Revisited," May 2006
EconTalk.org, "Capitalism, Government, and the Good Society," Sept. 4, 2013
FactCheck.org, "Quote Falsely Tied to Ocasio-Cortez," Dec. 14, 2018
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