Recently, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren leveled some heavy criticisms against Silicon Valley. “Google, Apple, and Amazon have created disruptive technologies that changed the world, and … they deserve to be highly profitable and successful,” Warren said. “But the opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again.” These comments coupled with her remarks about regulating Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit, and the rest of the emerging “gig” economy struck a chord in Washington. Meetings were called; agendas were written. Though the intent to protect employees and consumers was noble, Senator Warren’s subsequent press conference, summarized below, lacked credible comprehension.
March 15, 2017
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren today outlined a plan to combat rising concerns that Silicon Valley makes it too difficult for competitors to emerge in a market already dominated by major companies. She called on the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon to provide better access for competitors to use platforms they didn’t create in order to sell products that directly compete with services already offered by the people that created the platforms.
“The revised approach could help small tech companies across the country more easily become the digital giants of tomorrow,” Senator Warren said. “I urge unrestricted access to all the computer platforms in all the emerging markets. Sharing, as we all know, is the very essence of caring.”
Although passionate, the plan, which was intended to outline many initiatives to restore fairness to the digital marketplace, seemed to collapse under its own confusion almost immediately. “I don’t understand why I can’t just have one thing that does everything. Like on my Apple TV, you know. Why can’t I watch my Amazon Prime stuff? That doesn’t seem fair. Also it should show Eurovision.”
The senator’s initiative, vague and almost entirely lacking in understanding of APIs, SDKs, VC culture, digital stores, and the practice of building a startup with the intent of having it purchased by a preexisting tech company, quickly devolved into a list of user complaints about apps.
“And another thing,” she yelled. “It’s way too hard to find cool Pokémons in that Pokémon game. Once I found a Regigigas but I couldn’t catch it and it got away.” Senator Warren’s long and somewhat rambling list of grievances also displayed a troubling naïveté regarding copyright law. “You should be able to catch stuff other than Pokémon too, like Lilo, Stitch, that snowman from Frozen, or some of the cooler X-Men. All characters, even the more obscure ones like Popeye or this dinosaur my nephew drew should have access to and be represented in Nintendo’s app.”
The screed, which touched on many topics Senator Warren did not fully grasp but about which she still felt passionate, went on to criticize the “gig” economy. “We’re going to increase protections for Uber drivers and Task Rabbit “Taskers” before we repeat mistakes made in the Industrial Revolution,” said Warren, likening taxi drivers operating without union protections to helpless laborers falling into machinery and being mixed into meat products.
Warren, who makes $174,000 a year, not including numerous perks and complimentary travel, continued: “We need to make sure the profits made by these new jobs are shared with all the employees of the company,” she said. Warren was confident that legislating a monumental change in compensation wouldn’t destabilize the entire industry in a continually stagnant job market.
“I’m looking out for the worker,” she concluded.
Feature image courtesy of BusinessInsider.com
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