Ivanka Trump says AOC's jobs guarantee isn't 'something most people want'—but roughly half of Americans are in favor

Ivanka Trump attends U.S. President Donald Trump's strategy and policy forum with chief executives of major U.S. companies at the White House in Washington, February 3, 2017.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Ivanka Trump grabbed headlines on Tuesday with her comments on a jobs guarantee introduced earlier this month as part of the Green New Deal proposed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey.

"I don't think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something," Trump told Fox News. "I have spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get. So I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job. They want the ability to live in a country where there is the potential for upward mobility."

In addition to a series of large-scale proposals focused on eliminating U.S. carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, the proposed Green New Deal includes an ambitious jobs guarantee aimed at ensuring "a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security to all people of the United States."

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to respond.

"As a person who actually worked for tips & hourly wages in my life, instead of having to learn about it 2nd-hand, I can tell you that most people want to be paid enough to live," tweeted the Congresswoman on Tuesday. "A living wage isn't a gift, it's a right. Workers are often paid far less than the value they create."

She continued, "In fact, wages are so low today compared to actual worker productivity that they are no longer the reflections of worker value as they used to be. Productivity has grown 6.2 x more than pay."

Many were quick to highlight Trump's own history of employment at her father's companies. Writing for GQ, Jay Willis argued that Trump's statements actually make a powerful case in favor of a jobs guarantee.

"Most telling, though, is the rationale she provides to explain her unfounded assumptions: that Americans would reject a jobs guarantee because above all, they want 'the ability to be able to secure a job' and 'the potential for upward mobility,'" he writes. "In theory, these things are true. But what Trump apparently does not realize is that for people who do not lend their last names to condo buildings, the assurance that they could secure a job that enables them to provide for their families disappeared long ago."

Several Democratic presidential hopeful have shown their support for potential a jobs guarantee — including Senators Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker — and studies have shown that many Americans do, in fact, support a jobs guarantee like the one proposed.

A 2018 poll from Civis Analytics found that 52 percent of Americans favor such a policy. A recent poll from the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports found that 46 percent of Americans support a plan by the federal government to guarantee all Americans a job that includes health insurance benefits. The 2018 National Youth Poll from Harvard the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics found that 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 and 63 percent of likely voters from this age group support a federal jobs guarantee.

That support isn't new. In 2014, a Huffington Post poll found that 47 percent of Americans favored guaranteeing a job to every American adult who couldn't find one in the private sector.

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