Kevin O'Leary Thinks AOC's 'Tax the Rich' Shirts Prove There's a Capitalist in Every Socialist

Shark Tank judge Kevin O'Leary (better known as "Mr. Wonderful" to fans of the show) released a video on Twitter on Thursday, calling out Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for selling a pricey sweatshirt on her campaign website that bears the message "Tax the Rich." In the clip, O'Leary argues that the presumably marked-up merchandise is proof that "inside of every socialist, there's a capitalist screaming to get out."

Ocasio-Cortez has sold the "Tax the Rich" sweatshirt on her campaign site since December. Currently, it's only available in a small size, and it costs $58 plus shipping. The website indicates that the sweatshirt is made in the United States, is "Union-printed" and is designed by Jordan Rosenberg, who was once a design leader for the New York Rangers. When the New York representative first announced the sweatshirt and its cost, she faced criticism—mainly from conservatives who felt it was hypocritical to charge nearly $60 for a sweatshirt while calling for taxes on the rich. (The same message is also available on a t-shirt that's priced at $27, plus shipping.)

This proves it. Inside of every socialist there is a capitalist screaming to get out! @AOC #Fashionista pic.twitter.com/Tv3csr0jDu

— Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful (@kevinolearytv) January 28, 2021

In his minute-long video, O'Leary shows off his "Tax the Rich" sweatshirt, says that he's received a number of compliments about it from people on the beach, and notes that he paid $67 for the shirt, including shipping.

Mr. Wonderful then goes on to speculate about how much money he thinks it costs to make the sweatshirts, and how much of a profit Ocasio-Cortez is earning from sales. "I'm gonna guess she lands this basically for—I don't know—six bucks? It's fleece-wear, and five bucks for shipping. That's 85 percent gross margin. That's spectacular," he says.

After theorizing that the congresswoman is secretly a capitalist despite her being a self-described democratic socialist, O'Leary then offers to work with Ocasio-Cortez and make a substantial profit. "AOC, call me. We could blow this thing up together. We could make a fortune. I only want 7 percent royalty—that's being reasonable. Call me," he says before the video ends.

While it's not clear how much it actually costs Ocasio-Cortez's camp to produce the sweatshirts, some people have indicated that using unions to make them in the United States is likely more expensive than what it costs to make other sorts of fleece-wear. In December, writer Stephen Punwasi tweeted that the price sounds fair, because, "That's what it costs to pay everyone a decent wage along the way." He also discussed the ways that pricing in the U.S. works when labor is outsourced, estimating that a sweatshirt made in a Vietnamese factory with fair wages could end up retailing for $35, while a sweatshirt made in a sweatshop could cost consumers $12.

Everyone: @AOC is selling a "tax the rich" sweatshirt for $58! That's way too expensive.

Me, a former mass market apparel designer: Made in America. Union printed. Sounds about right. That's what it costs to pay everyone a decent wage along the way. #TaxTheRich pic.twitter.com/afPZ6quQmZ

— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) December 3, 2020

Make it in a foreign sweatshop, at MOQ 100,000, with factories cramped so tight they sometimes burn down and take the whole workforce with it?

You can sell it at a local mega grocery store for $12.

— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) December 3, 2020

Ocasio-Cortez quote-tweeted Punwasi when responding to critics in December. "Republicans are freaking out bc we don't use slave-wage labor for merch that funds grassroots organizing," she wrote.

She also noted that volunteers get free campaign swag.

Republicans are freaking out bc we don’t use slave-wage labor for merch that funds grassroots organizing.

But what’s the difference between Trump’s merch and ours?

Ours is made in the US. 🇺🇸

(& for GOP who joke that we shld give 👕 for free, we actually do - just volunteer 😉) https://t.co/35DnbFYQyC

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 3, 2020

Newsweek reached out to O'Leary for comment, but did not hear back in time for publication. Ocasio-Cortez's campaign declined to comment.

AOC Tax the Rich Sweater
A screenshot shows the "Tax the Rich" sweatshirt that Ocasio-Cortez's campaign sells in their online store. Screenshot/OcasioCortez.com Store