I’m not saying that Elizabeth Warren is the dumbest person in public life–there is a lot of competition for that title–but let’s just say she is having the worst week. First she accused Elon Musk of being a tax freeloader, just before he disclosed that he will pay $11 billion in taxes this year, more than any American in history, to
Warren’s slush fund the federal government. Next she blamed skyrocketing food prices on “Big Grocery.” Seriously:
Giant grocery store chains force high food prices onto American families while rewarding executives & investors with lavish bonuses and stock buybacks. I'm demanding they answer for putting corporate profits over consumers and workers during the pandemic. https://t.co/NvY2MKKJNP
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 20, 2021
This is almost beyond belief. The grocery store business is notoriously competitive and relatively unprofitable. David Harsanyi writes that “average margins [come] in at a little over 2 percent,” one of the lowest margins of any industry:
[T]o put the numbers in context, health-care-products companies saw 10.91 percent net profits last year; home furnishers saw 4.63; household-product makers saw 11.71; restaurants saw 5.69; home builders saw 9.04; and online retailers saw 4.95.
The idea that there is such a thing as “Big Grocery” is so laughably stupid that only a far-gone ideologue like Elizabeth Warren could take it seriously.
The broader point is that, according to the Democrats, we have suddenly been beset by a plethora of capitalist conspiracies, worthy of Chavez/Maduro Venezuela: Big Oil is responsible for exploding gasoline prices, auto companies–according to Warren–are to blame for rapidly rising vehicle prices, semiconductor companies (again, per the eternally clueless Ms. Warren) are behind the chip shortage, and so on.
It is hard to understand why all of these industries would conspire to raise prices at the same time, coinciding–by coincidence, apparently–with the Biden administration’s wild money-printing and spending spree. Hard to explain, that is, if, like Elizabeth Warren, you don’t know a damn thing about economics.
I think it would be premature to confer the Dumbest Person In Public Life award on Elizabeth Warren, but for the time being we certainly can finger her as the author of the Dumbest Attacks On a (Relatively) Free Economy of 2021.