Q: Why does UPS need a bailout?
A:They don't, and they're not seeking one.
Q: Then why does Brownbailout dot com make it sound like they are?
A: Well! Therein lies a tale:
I realize most of you have already browsed through the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009(which, apparently, is still pending in '10.). But if you are a dunderheaded sort like me and haven't heard, Fedex discusses it at their site, brownbailout.com.
If you go there and give it a cursory once-over, you'll come away with the idea that UPS is lobbying for a government bailout. (see below)
But if you poke around a bit, you'll get to a page on the site, "buried bailout" in which they (sort of) admit that what they're calling a bailout is actually legislation that would make the regulations governing Fedex and UPS more uniform, although this is expressed in deliberately deceptive verbiage that suggests that UPS is less-efficient, suffering the presumptive ill-effects of being "a 100 year old trucking company"(this phrase, along with "bailout," is used several times throughout the site.):
The bailout bottom-line is this: What’s the difference between a 100-year-old trucking company and a modern airline that flies packages around the world every night? Answer: everything. Yes, both carry parcels and packages, but how they do it is obviously and vastly different.
UPS’ bailout would shoehorn FedEx Express – an airline created in 1971 focused on next-day delivery of essential goods and documents around the world – into the same operating rules as a 100-year-old trucking company. FedEx Express and other airlines operate just fine under airline regulations, but UPS doesn’t like competition. Keep in mind, UPS chose to form as a separate trucking company for its pickup and delivery operations.
So “Big Brown” is throwing around its political weight and seeking a bailout from Congress, so that it can saddle its only remaining U.S. competitor with the effects of its own decisions. And at the end of the day, all of us who rely on overnight-deliveries – medicines, paychecks, critical replacement parts, essential inventory, and the like – pay the cost.
According to Business Week, which isn't generally regarded as a hotbed of radicalism, Fedex objects to the legislation in question because it would make it easier for their employees to unionize. They also note that Obama has gone out of his way to praise Fedex's CEO, Frederick "Winkie" Smith for bold, innovative, blah blah blah. Actually, I don't remember what Obama praised him for, because after a certain point, even in print, Obama's I-never-met-a-Reaganite-I-didn't-like blather gets to be too much for me. But then again, maybe I just don't fully appreciate how bold and forward-thinking our president and his jet-setting friends are.