“I have a plan for that.” That’s the stock answer given by Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren whenever she’s asked a question about how to address any presumed societal ill. Supposedly the “thinking Democrat’s” candidate since the allegedly “wonky” Warren’s mind is full of policy solutions, the joke is on the former Harvard law professor along with her flock of emotional puddles who naively equate solutions with brains.
Who needs politicians and their solutions when the profit-motivated are relentlessly toiling to meet our needs? What could Warren offer us other than the inefficient delivery of what already exists? Better to leave the provision of goods and services to private actors eager to get us what doesn’t already exist. But that’s a digression.
For now, Peppa Pig mocks the Massachusett’s senator’s conceit that she can plan outcomes that result in people having more.
But first, who is Peppa Pig? She’s a charming British cartoon character, and star of her eponymous show, Peppa Pig. While Peppa’s audience largely consists of children under 5, parents of kids who can’t get enough of Peppa Pig enjoy her too.
The Peppa Pig cartoon series began in England in 2004, and is in the midst of its sixth season. So popular is the anthropomorphic Peppa that her shows are broadcast around the world, including in the U.S. on Nick Jr. There’s a Peppa Pig amusement park outside of London, plus Grapevine, TX is the location of the first stateside Peppa Pig World of Play, an indoor amusement park. Its existence calls into question the need for politicians like Warren who regularly promise voters the world.
You see, no one was demanding Peppa before 2004, and no politician was promising this most entertaining of cartoon series. The lack of demand didn’t matter. In the profit-motivated world, creative individuals backed by intrepid investors are constantly coming up with new ideas to remove unease from our lives, make us more efficient, improve our health, and in the case of Peppa, entertain us. That Peppa exists, that those associated with her continue to divine new ways to entertain us through her, is a sign that Warren is the picture definition of superfluous. Why do we need Warren when we have Peppa, along with all sorts of other living enhancements that no politician could have ever dreamed up? Politicians offer yesterday, and once again do so very inefficiently.
To which Warren partisans, and Warren herself, might respond that Warren’s surely deep mind is focused on much bigger things than cartoons and indoor amusement parks. Warren aims to make college free, erase federal student loan debt, and make affordable access to healthcare universal. She’s “got a plan” for the delivery of things much greater and weightier than a cartoon most popular with the diaper clad, and her solutions will largely help the common man. Ok, but such a response would be a non sequitur.
You see, the parents who brought their excited children to Peppa Pig World of Play in no way came off as 1 percenters. While it’s possible there were some in attendance, most gave the impression of being “middle class.” Call them fairly typical or “common” men and women.
The above designation matters in consideration of the product that was ubiquitous within “Peppa World.” Specifically, every single parent in attendance had his or her smartphone out and in constant use. Parents were taking pictures with it, videoing their perfect kids with it, sending the pictures and videos around the country and around the world, plus some were plainly conducting their own business on their smartphones while their kids played. Think about that for a second, And maybe longer.
Smartphones that take pictures, send e-mail, enable cheap calling, texting and e-mailing around the world, smartphones that would make multi-million dollar computers 40 and 50 years ago appear staggeringly primitive by comparison, and smartphones that ten years ago would have costs millions (if only the technology existed), were ubiquitous inside a shopping mall that was more “food court” than Saks Fifth Avenue.
All of this is important as a reminder that a free market that can put computers in our pockets at prices that continue to fall can surely create for us abundant access to healthcare. Going forward, more of us should simply say “but I have a smartphone” in response to all the policy solutions presented to us by liberals and conservatives. Such a response would be a way of reminding those who think deep thoughts about policy plans meant to help us that we don’t need them. If free markets can result in us having smartphones, why do we need politicians to get us other things?
Indeed, just once it would be nice to hear someone ask Warren, along with the other candidates (and to be fair, White House occupants), why we need them when we have smartphones? Surely near universal access to a supercomputer at prices that shrink daily is much more of a miracle than access to a doctor.
Some will doubtless respond that healthcare is a bigger challenge than is the creation of Peppa Pig or a smartphone, and while some will debate the previous assertion, the simple truth is that the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward for the entrepreneur who mass produces former luxuries.
Lest readers forget, computers, smartphones, and cars were viewed as wildly impossible to own before entrepreneurs like Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Henry Ford succeeded in mass producing them. After that, few can say they were routinely demanding drivers at the touch of a button (Uber) and the world’s plenty at the click of a mouse (Amazon) before Travis Kalanick and Jeff Bezos began working feverishly to deliver their amazing innovations to us. Yet Warren wants to get us healthcare? Why? What could she possibly deliver other than incredibly expensive inefficiency?
In promising so much to so many, Elizabeth Warren insults the intelligence of voters while at the same time insulting the nation that houses the most entrepreneurial minds on earth. She plans to get us cheap healthcare? Sorry Senator, we have smartphones.
John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, and Director of the Center for Economic Freedom at FreedomWorks.