Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Brown Wants to Screw You

Perhaps the best explication of how rent-seeking corporations use government regulation to stifle competition.


Nicholas said...

This is wholly wrong.

UPS and Teamsters simply want FedEx brought under the same set of labor regulations -- namely the National Labor Relations Act -- as those that govern UPS-Teamsters.

That's not stifling the competition, that's evening the playing field.

streiff said...

Nonsense. Your post is ridiculous on its face.

UPS and FedEx are covered by different labor acts because they UPS is a ground transport company that has planes and FedEx is a air transport company that has trucks.

Now UPS has allowed the Teamsters to drive up their labor costs by a fairly supine bargaining strategy while FedEx has not.

UPS is not trying to "level the playing field" they are trying to use the legislative process to punish a competitor who hasn't made the same dunderheaded decisions UPS has.

Kevin Waterman said...

Furthermore, even if Streiff's point weren't in play, you're argument is still faulty.

Yes, it would be "evening the playing field," but it doesn't mean it wouldn't also be stifling competition.

If they were serious about evening the playing field, they wouldn't be seeking to get more limits put on their competition, they'd be pushing to get bad restrictions on themselves removed.

Nicholas said...

Sorry streiff but you are falling for the FedEx spin without examining the facts.

FedEx and UPS are in the same business -- providing door-to-door delivery of packages using the best available means of transport. They both do it very well and they both have been financially successful.

Granted that UPS and Teamsters are attacking FedEx's labor policies for self-serving reasons. But so what? FedEx exploits its competitive advantages for self-serving reasons as well.

Why shouldn't FedEx drivers have a chance to join a union if they want?

streiff said...

Misrepresenting the legal organization of the two companies is dishonest.

We both know how they are organized, which I stated correctly. And we both know that UPS's relationship with the Teamsters has merely proven Churchill's definition of appeasement to be correct. Now, to avoid being eaten, UPS is trying to ruin FedEx.

No. I don't support unions. They have ruined businesses across the nation without a tear shed at the jobs they've destroyed.

If you want to shill for the Teamsters and UPS, that's fine. You won't do it here.

Nicholas said...

Sorry streiff but you seem to have way too much invested in FedEx's party line to see the plain facts.

The Teamsters contract has not brought ruin down on the head of the UPS. In fact, UPS has been fantastically profitable over the years. They probably could have been more more profitable without the Teamsters, but the UPS managers show every evidence of being skillful businessmen, and have done very well indeed.

FedEx managers have an enviable record as well. If some portion of the company's work force becomes unionized it will not kill the company.

By the way, I am not shilling for anybody. I am not employed by UPS or Teamsters, or any related organization.

streiff said...

actually the "plain facts" are what you are ignoring.

UPS is doing nothing more or less than using the power of the federal government to harm a competitor.

We're going to disagree on the damage the Teamsters have done to UPS but if their influence was neutral or benign in regards to UPS's business operations there would be no reason for them the try to use Congress to kneecap FedEx.

No one said the Teamsters ruined UPS. My point was, and is, that UPS management has engaged in a long term policy of appeasement with the Teamsters in the same manner that GM/Chrysler appeased the UAW. The difference is that now UPS is beginning to see these costs come home to roost while FedEx, unencumbered by a partnership with an ongoing criminal enterprise, retains flexibility in setting work rules.

Where this leads if UPS is successful is fairly obvious. The Teamsters will no longer have any incentive to constrain the rapacious demands they are famous for and we'll see service decrease as prices go up.

Nicholas said...

Well, streiff, we seem to have a lot to disagree about.

I am not necessarily an admirer of FedEx, but I don't think unionization of some portion of its work force is going to be that destructive of its business. FedEx managers seem to be an able group, and marginally higher labor costs are not going to kill the business.