Elizabeth Warren’s War on Big Tech
The Senator from Massachusetts is threatening to break up Silicon Valley. It could be the best thing that ever happened.
By Jeff Cunningham
You can tell the silly season has started when politicians who spend most evenings sipping champagne at $1,000 a plate fundraisers begin to sound like college protesters.
In that vein, Elizabeth Warren, the outspoken US Senator from Massachusetts, tried on some tough talk at a campaign rally recently: “We have these giant corporations — do I have to tell that to people in Long Island City? — that think they can roll over everyone. I’m sick of freeloading billionaires.”
According to The New York Times, Warren threatened total dismemberment for the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos, of the companies they founded, to be sure. She published her tech busting manifesto on Medium, the same blog which gave us the Uber and Google women rebellions.
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Warren overlooks one inconvenient fact. The billionaire freeloaders of Silicon Valley are the staunchest supporters of the Democratic Party. Either this is poetic justice for tycoons who cozy up to crusaders or Warren’s rage against the ten-figure class is a simple ruse to propel her past slow-moving septuagenarians like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, and ultimately, her arch opponent, Kamala Harris.
Whichever strategy one accepts, her tactics against the algorithm gang leave her with only three likely outcomes. If she prevails, she will have to slice and dice these formidable companies without igniting a war against the Democratic Party’s most prominent stalwarts. There is also the chance that the bright minds of Facebook and Google will move into survival mode and defect to her opponents in the primaries or, as bankers did under Obama, to the other side of the aisle. Or a third possibility is that this is nothing more than a political moment, see what clicks and sticks, then act?