Workers' rights advocates were among those who expressed a mix of amusement, anger, and shock—but not surprise—when Ivanka Trump waded into the national conversation on whether Americans should have the right to a living wage, despite her lack of experience in working to afford necessities.
In an interview with Steve Hilton on Fox News, President Donald Trump's adviser and eldest daughter attacked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal resolution, asserting that provisions in the climate action legislation including a $15 minimum wage and a guaranteed jobs program would be unpopular with the American people.
Americans, she claimed, "want to work for what they get" instead of "being given something."
Ivanka debuts as admin spokesperson for rugged individualism: "I don't think most Americans want to be given something. People want to work for what they get." pic.twitter.com/RerMUQ7aIj
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 26, 2019
In fact, polls show that a majority of voters support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour from the current rate of $7.25—which has been in place since 2009, even as Republicans have pushed through giveaways to the wealthiest Americans like the $1.5 trillion corporate tax cut which passed in 2017.
A guaranteed jobs program has found support among a large swath of the public as well, with the right-leaning Rasmussen poll finding that 46 percent of Americans support the proposal in 2018.
Trump did not elaborate on specific examples of people she has met in her travels around the U.S. who expressed that they'd prefer to live in a country with no "guaranteed minimum" benefits afforded to working people.
"Trump's clothing line was manufactured at a factory where workers were paid as low as $255 a month," tweeted the New York State Department of Labor. "Perhaps it's best if she sits this one out."
Others noted that Trump became an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, her father's business, at the age of 24 and acquired her wealth from the fortune her father had inherited from his own parents.
In a major reversal, Ivanka Trump comes out in favor of working for what you get. https://t.co/NOaTYPmtSn
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) February 26, 2019
Ivanka Trump gets lucrative annual streams of income, rents and capital gains -- $1 million here, $5 million there -- from her biz, her husband's biz, and her father's biz that she largely gets for just sitting there. Her public disclosure form: https://t.co/9V53mqN6eS https://t.co/toTByQ3udc
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) February 26, 2019
Ivanka Trump is of course the very first name that comes to mind when you try and think of prominent people who have ‘worked for what they got’ in life. https://t.co/AF3R54PwQy
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 26, 2019
Has Ivanka Trump ever had a job that her father did not give her? https://t.co/J3ST0eAix1
— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) February 26, 2019
"I think most people would prefer knowing with absolute certainty that they'll have food on the table and a roof over their head over spending their lives living paycheck to paycheck," wrote Rafi Schwartz at Splinter. "But hey, what do I know? I'm not the uber-wealthy failed fashion designer with the government job handed to me by my (allegedly) billionaire father."