Owen Strachan: In Defense of the American Experiment

If I told you that a bartender born into relative poverty became a Congresswoman earning a six-figure salary, I bet you’d think it sounds like a story of the American dream.

But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said this:

“It’s a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces? It’s physically impossible. The whole thing is a joke.”

It is true that people face real difficulties in overcoming poverty in any society. We do well to pay attention to such challenges.

But the story of the firebrand Congresswoman shows us just how much one can be “lifted up” by American enterprise and traditional grit. In one life, you can go from poverty to six-figure success—not just one life, in a matter of a few years. See the “#Ibootstrapped” hashtag.

Even today: hard work and perseverance ordered by wisdom in the context of a free market can facilitate great things.