Is UPS “Too Big To Fail”?

    With all this talk these days about banks being too big to fail and most of us agreeing that that’s probably a bad thing, we have to ask ourselves, “Is UPS too big to fail?”
      Too big to fail at one time meant that a company was so large and so diversified, that if one branch or another went south on them, the whole operation would not go under because the rest of the company could shoulder the losses of one division. That was thought to be a good thing. A secure thing.
      But these days being too big to fail means that if bad management puts a mega-corporation in the ditch, the US Government will pull it out before the crash turns into a multi-car pile up and lots of people get hurt. And a Government bailout means taxpayer money going to save an irresponsible private enterprise. Now “too big to fail” is viewed as a bad thing and the idea is circulating that maybe corporations that large should be broken up. 
      Where does UPS fit into all this? 
Pres Obama dwarfed by a UPS plane       The strike of ’97 gave us a little glimpse into just how big UPS is. Newspapers reported that 8% of the Gross National Product was circulating through our system at any given moment and that’s a lot of product. And when shippers large and small looked around for another way to ship and receive their goods, they found there really was no other good way. The Post Office is just not up to the job and FedEx is too expensive. DHL made a run at getting into the business, but couldn’t stand up to UPS’s omnipresence.
      Now with UPS heavily involved in transporting goods worldwide, who knows how much of the world GNP is in our system. Not only would the US economy crash and burn if UPS folded its tent, but other nations would suffer too. Could the bankruptcy of UPS cause a world wide depression?  That could not be allowed to happen.
      Is UPS so big that it should be broken up like Standard Oil was at the beginning of the last century?
      Whether you think UPS is fine like it is or should be taken apart to facilitate competition in the free market economy, I think we can agree on one thing. It ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. We have the best government in Washington that money can buy and UPS has a lot of money to spend.