Self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is currently selling tickets for his upcoming tour this month for his new anti-capitalist manifesto, with some tickets priced as high as $95.
Sanders is scheduled for five events across the country where he will promote his new book, “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism”, published by Penguin Random House. Some venues, like the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, have sold out, while others like The Anthem theatre in Washington, D.C. are still selling tickets priced between $35-$95. Sanders’ book is available for preorder at Penguin Random House for $28.
The publishing company hailed the book as “a progressive takedown of the uber-capitalist status quo that has enriched millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the working class, and a blueprint for what transformational change would actually look like.”
Sanders is a multi-millionaire who owns three houses.
“Sanders argues that unfettered capitalism is to blame for an unprecedented level of income and wealth inequality, is undermining our democracy, and is destroying our planet,” the book description continues. “How can we accept an economic order that allows three billionaires to control more wealth than the bottom half of our society? How can we accept a political system that allows the super rich to buy elections and politicians? How can we accept an energy system that rewards the fossil fuel corporations causing the climate crisis?”
But Sanders is not the only Marxist lawmaker in Congress to make convenient use of capitalism while condemning it.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who calls herself a “democratic socialist,” famously wore a ballgown with “Tax the rich” drawn bawdily across the backside when she attended the Met Gala, an invite-only soiree with a $30,000 entrance fee.
Ocasio-Cortez also sells high-priced merchandise with the slogan, “Tax the rich”. Sweatshirts with the mantra are sold for $58 and mugs, t-shirts and tote bags for $27, among other items.
In a spat with billionaire Elon Musk last year in which she criticized the new Twitter owner for charging $8 for account verification, she claimed she donates the proceeds from her merchandise to charity.
“My workers are union, have full healthcare + benefits like childcare help, and every one is paid a living wage,” she tweeted at Musk. “Proceeds go to community acts like tutoring underserved kids. You’re a union buster with an ego problem who pockets the change from underpaying and mistreating people.”
However, AOC’s merchandise website plainly notifies customers prior to checkout that “Purchases are campaign contributions.”
As for her campaign, records show little philanthropic disbursements. AOC last donated to “underserved kids” in May, when she spent over $12,000 for a program she created in 2020 called “Homework Helpers”. The initiative, which claims to be a volunteer program "to help address the inequities in the educational system,” earned AOC a couple of promotional articles.
But the website does not appear to have been updated since 2020.
“With the new school closures, Team AOC has set a goal of serving 1,000 students for the 2020-2021 school year,” says the site.
More recently, AOC’s campaign spent nearly $2,000 in August on Mets tickets.