“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) of being “great at killing jobs” on Friday and making New York City “uninvestable.”
“She’s great at killing jobs. She kills jobs by the thousands,” O’Leary said during an interview on “CNN This Morning.”
He also blamed politicians for making New York City “uninvestable,” claiming Ocasio-Cortez actually “planned to sue” Amazon “if they created jobs.” O’Leary was referring to the company’s decision last summer to cancel its planned warehouse in Newark, N.J.
“Sorry. Don’t shoot the messenger; just telling you how it is,” he said, adding that he would “debate” New York officials “any time of the day.”
O’Leary received pushback from the hosts after those comments, with co-anchor Poppy Harlow saying that he wasn’t giving the full story.
“There’s a little more to it, but let’s not re-litigate that” Harlow said, with co-host Don Lemon chiming in after.
“He is saying what a lot of people are saying especially what happened after the Amazon thing here in New York,” Lemon added.
O’Leary also mentioned earlier in the interview that he’s no longer investing in states such as New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey or California.
“I don’t put companies here in New York anymore or in Massachusetts or in New Jersey or in California. Those states are uninvestable,” he claimed. “The policy here is insane. The taxes are too high.”
Instead, O’Leary added, “we put them in Fargo, North Dakota, because 40 percent of the people work elsewhere, including Boston.”
He said bigger cities tend to “punish” people who are successful with higher taxes.
While he blamed Ocasio-Cortez and other politicians for regulations in most cities, he insisted that remote work has made a major difference among companies and the economy after the pandemic.
O’Leary explained that there’s a new generation that has “no intention” of ever working in an office post-pandemic — and that’s an important piece to remember when trying to be competitive in the workplace market. But, he said, it hasn’t changed productivity.
“I found that it hasn’t changed anything because they don’t know anything else. Some of them just got out of college and started working out of their homes. They’ve never worked in an office,” O’Leary said. “Basically what it changes is [a company’s] project management.”
He explained that companies now have to give deadlines and worry less about their employees working 9-5.
“You say to somebody ‘Look, you’ve got gotta get this done by next Friday at noon,’ you don’t really care when they do it, and they’re not working 9-5, as long as it gets done,” O’Leary said. “So it changes the way you manage these companies … However, it’s probably less private time on weekends.”
“I call my employees 24/7. That’s the deal. If you don’t work in the office, I can call you at 2 in the morning,” he added.