The problem with government regulating every facet of the US economy is that invariably, politicians are swayed by the electoral or campaign-donation-making power of the various interests at play, not the merits of the arguments on either side. This scenario is currently being played out in a struggle between shipping giants FedEx and UPS.
George Will had an excellent piece about the situation several weeks ago. Basically, UPS wants to hamstring its main competitor FedEx by forcing it to adhere to stricter labor laws that give more power to the labor unions. This despite the fact that in the early 1990s, Fedex actually attempted to convince Congress to give UPS the ability to operate under the same rules under which FedEx operates.
Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has already passed the “bailout” of Big Brown. It is up to the Senate to stop this unwise and unnecessary legislation. In fact, rather than forcing more labor regulations on UPS, Congress would be providing the US economy a real stimulus if it reduced the ability of labor unions to tie up not only these, but other businesses attempting to get by in today’s economy.
Oh, and while we’re on the issue of shipping companies, as my friend Paul Jacob writes, now is the time to privatize the US Post Office as well!