Officially, the New York Met Gala is an annual ball with the main purpose of raising money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

In reality, it is one of the most exclusive social events in the world with a density of rich and beautiful that can only be achieved by the Oscar award ceremony.

Winand von Petersdorff-Campen

Business correspondent in Washington.

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Prominent women and a few men dress up lavishly for this event. This occasionally turns out to be extravagant with the transparent intention of directing the spotlight on your own celebrities, your own message and the fashion designer behind it. The left-progressive star politician Alexandria Octavio-Cortez AOC used her invitation to make a particularly effective appearance: She wore a dress with the clearly legible inscription "Tax the Rich". The effect of the aesthetically successful provocation was evident in the usual merciless comments, but also in thoroughly sober statements.

As usual, AOC commented on their appearance eloquently with the statement: The medium is the message.

To appease her own base in the Bronx, which has no heart for luxurious galas, she added that her fashion designer Aurora James is a black immigrant who has worked her way up from flea markets and focuses on sustainable fashion.

The depiction easily loses its radiance when you consider that the fashion designer does not come from Eritrea or Burkina Faso, but from the Canadian metropolis of Toronto.

After self-portrayal, your company focuses on luxury accessories that celebrate cultural history and timeless design.

Elite event for officials

AOC also pointed out that MPs are regularly invited to this gala because of their oversight function over state-sponsored institutions. So she did not have to pay the entrance fee of $ 35,000, but taxation of the monetary benefit is possible, as avid Twitter users noted.

The political statement in red and white is in and of itself not surprising, as AOC has long heard voices calling for a tax increase for millionaires and companies in order to finance kindergartens, general health care and a determined climate policy. Your request comes at a time when moderate Democrats are trying to water down tax hike plans in Congress. The White House proposed a $ 3.5 trillion spending package over ten years for which funding sources are still being sought.  

The rather unknown critics overturn each other on Twitter. Fox News has found at least one actor named Michael Rapaport who thinks that attending this elite event is simply not for officials whose job it is to serve the people. The well-known conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg thinks her appearance is not brave, but rather serves to annoy those with whom she celebrates. She also spreads pure propaganda with her slogan, after all, the rich are already taxed.

The economist Jeremy Horpedal supports the finding by pointing out that even the economists Thomas Piketty and Emanuel Saez state in their studies that the top 1 percent contribute between 30 and 36 percent of tax revenue in the United States.

The tax system is undoubtedly progressive.

Finally, Goldberg finds that her criticism of wealth is threadbare if she also benefits from it.

Their defense attorneys register, not without glee, that white Trumpists in particular are no longer fighting on Twitter.

The Met Gala has often been used for provocative appearances.

Part of their function is to provide a forum for daring appearances: celebrities get the attention they want, their fashion designers the press they need to move up in society.

In the series of targeted scandals, there is an appearance by the singer Madonna, who wore a costume that allowed a fairly unobstructed view of bare breasts and buttocks. Madonna countered the outcry by pointing out that her dress was a political statement with which she supported the liberation of women. The singer Rihanna wanted to delight the audience in 2020 with a bishop's robe including a miter. Some Catholics thought on Twitter that it was no wonder that the ball was called off because of Covid.