'Inequality in a nutshell': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the Dow's record high is meaningless for many Americans

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued that a record high for the Dow Jones industrial average underlined the problem of stagnant US wages.

In a tweet on Saturday, she highlighted the widening wealth gap between investors and salaried workers.

“The Dow soars, wages don’t,” the New York congresswoman said. “Inequality in a nutshell.”

While the Dow surged about 22% in 2019, US average hourly earnings rose just 2.9%.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued in a tweet on Saturday that a record high for the Dow Jones industrial average, a benchmark index of 30 blue-chip stocks including Apple, Nike, and Disney, underlined the problem of stagnant US wages and the wealth gap between investors and salaried workers.

“The Dow soars, wages don’t,” the New York congresswoman commented on an NBC News tweet about the index passing the 29,000 mark for the first time on Friday. “Inequality in a nutshell.”

Ocasio-Cortez was likely referring to the widening gap between US stock-market gains and wage growth in recent years. The Dow surged about 22% in 2019, but average hourly earnings, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, rose just 2.9%.

Stagnant US wages have puzzled many economists, given that unemployment has plunged to its lowest levels in more than 50 years.

President Donald Trump has frequently touted the rising US stock market as evidence of a booming economy and as a boon for all Americans. However, Ocasio-Cortez has downplayed the relevance of stock-market gains to salaried workers who don’t own stocks.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says these 15 stocks are poised to explode higher as the economy thrives, based on an exclusive metric it developed

“The stock market is NOT the economy,” she tweeted in February 2018. “Stocks aren’t jobs. Stocks aren’t wages.

“That’s why stock prices can go up and normal people still won’t feel any more secure

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