One of the most difficult challenges to overcome when explaining the dangers of big government and hyperregulation is trying to create a connection between the product or service being regulated, and the average voter paying for it. The USDA regulates our meat, but we don’t see the process; we just pick up a package at the store, and pay whatever the sticker says because, well, food is food.

The people at the Mercatus Center decided to get creative with the anti-regulation message by showing the connection between the long arm of government, and how long it takes to receive those gifts you ordered from Amazon at the last minute.

On paper, the explanation is pretty dry:

Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University Kenneth Button shares the story of how air cargo deregulation in the 1970s paved the way for low-cost, reliable overnight shipping, which in turn allowed for groundbreaking new e-commerce businesses like Amazon and eBay. These innovations enable everyone to get their presents on time for the holidays – almost as fast as delivery by Santa himself!

There’s no soporific like a good rundown of mid-70s regulatory reform (literally, nothing compares) but throw in a a few elves and some reindeer and you get something cute, relatable, and most importantly, shareable.

‘Twas two nights before Christmas, and all through their houses
Every creature was busy, double-clicking their mouses.
Christmas was coming, but there were still presents to buy–
Thank heavens overnight shipping allows boxes to fly.
“But how can this be?” the people asked in their haze
“With so many miles to cover, why aren’t there delays?”

What allowed this to happen is a very old rule,
That deregulated air cargo – isn’t that cool!
You see, express planes were smaller, unlike today.
Bigger is better, but the law said “No way!”

And if Fisherman Fred shipped lively lobsters from Maine
He hoped for some room in the belly of a passenger plane
But if Aunt Edna had checked in fifteen pieces of luggage
Fred’s lobsters would arrive days later, looking quite sluggish.

Freed from restrictions, more packages could flow
And arrive soon as promised, even in snow.
This allowed private carriers to grow and expand,
Unleashing innovations no one could’ve planned
With better shipping options, online shopping exploded,
And business inventories grew leaner: before they were bloated!

Thanks to rolling back rules that were surely passé,
Delivery is almost as fast as on Santa’s great sleigh.

Props to the people at Mercatus for helping make the conservative message of deregulation and free markets more accessible!