Sandwich shop monopoly? Too much government

Published 6:10 am Wednesday, December 6, 2023

By Thomas L. Knapp

When it comes to bizarre demands for government intervention in trivial matters, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the gift that keeps on giving. Try as I may to tear myself away from watching the slow-motion train wrecks of her ideas and cast my gaze on similar weirdness from other politicians, she just tops everyone else on a regular basis and I can’t resist the temptation to talk about her again.

This time, it’s sandwiches.

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Yes, really.

And not in the vein of the misogynous “make me a sandwich” meme. In fact, she just might be the last person on the planet I’d delegate sandwich-making duty to. Not because I assume she wouldn’t be good at it — she contributed several supposedly Cherokee-related family recipes to a cookbook in the 1990s, after all! — but because I know that no matter what I asked for, I’d end up with whatever Elizabeth Warren thought I should eat.

“We don’t need another private equity deal that could lead to higher food prices for consumers,” Warren tweeted (or whatever) on Nov. 26. “The @FTC is right to investigate whether the purchase of @SUBWAY by the same firm that owns @jimmyjohns and @McAlistersDeli creates a sandwich shop monopoly.”

Such an FTC investigation would presumably take about half a minute to discover the existence of Jersey Mike’s, Firehouse Subs, Quiznos, Blimpie and a gazillion other sandwich shops of both the chain and small business variety. 

Not to mention the existence of stores where bread, meat, cheese, etc. can be purchased, and homes with refrigerators, counters, etc. where the ingredients can be stored and assembled at the diner’s leisure.

It’s not so much that Warren seeks solutions to non-problems as that she considers it a problem — or at least an oversight — whenever she happens across something, anything, anywhere, that she’s not been put in charge of supervising.

And it’s not that she’s different from other politicians in that respect. Generally speaking, all politicians have a lot in common with the rest of us — we want to run our own lives, and they want to run our lives too.

But the areas she picks to address make one wonder just what the hell she’s doing to earn her $174,000 U.S. Senate salary. She clearly has plenty of spare time and energy to spend worrying about American sandwich consumption, and no time or energy at all to spend on actually looking into whether that worry is warranted.

There is no “sandwich shop monopoly.” There’s not GOING to be any “sandwich shop monopoly” even if Roark Capital adds Subway to its portfolio.

In fact, the only truly dangerous monopoly in America is the one Elizabeth Warren affiliates herself with: Government.