On Friday, Kevin O’Leary, business mogul and star of the TV show “Shark Tank,” labeled Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as a job killer.
During an appearance on “CNN This Morning,” O’Leary argued that blue states in the US are unattractive to investors due to harsh regulatory policies and over-taxation.
The business magnate discussed the state of the economy and the positive signs of low jobless claims following the latest U.S. jobless claim numbers.
According to O’Leary, the combination of the recent low jobless claim numbers and the 4% unemployment rate shows that the economy is doing exceptionally well with daily hiring and competition.
O’Leary noted there is an interesting development in the post-pandemic economy, where many people do not want to work in an office anymore, either because they have become accustomed to working from home or because they entered the labor force during the pandemic and have never worked in an office.
O’Leary said the remote work trend has led to unexpected competition between states, with some states being more attractive for business than others.
He further explained that he and other investors are avoiding investing in and expanding enterprises in blue states like New York and California because of their unfavorable business environments.
“I don’t put companies here in New York anymore, or in Massachusetts, or New Jersey or California. Those states are uninvestable. The policy here is insane. The taxes are too high. We put them in Fargo, North Dakota, because 40% of the people work elsewhere, including Boston,” commented O’Leary.
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He recounted a disagreement he had with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), stating that he argued to move businesses out of states like New York and California, which punish successful companies with high taxes and regulations, “I say, ‘Look, senator, we’ve got to move the companies out of your state because you are not investable anymore. You are punishing people if they are successful, you overtax them, you hit them with a super tax. New Jersey, what a mess! New York, uninvestable.”
After telling a story about a project he started in New York and had to move to Norway due to pushback from local elected officials, O’Leary said, “That’s New York. Uninvestable.” He added, “Sorry, don’t shoot the messenger. Just telling you the way it is.”
When co-anchor Kaitlin Collins suggested that there would be opposition from elected officials in New York about O’Leary’s comments, he responded by saying, “I’ll debate them any time of the day you want, particularly AOC,” referencing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He then added, “She’s great at killing jobs. She kills jobs by the thousands.”
Later in the segment, CNN anchor Poppy Harlow tried to defend AOC saying, “There’s a little more to it, but let’s not re-litigate that.”
O’Leary stood firm, replying, “Well, you know, sorry, just telling the truth.”