There is an old adage in baseball that says, sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make. With the annual trading deadline rapidly approaching and considering the political news of last week along with just a tad of poetic license that I used, I selected my biggest story of the week just ended. Donald Trump is a crook. Rudy Giuliani is a liar. Neither of those is exactly a surprise. The UPS strike being averted has the potential to have a huge impact on America’s future.
On Tuesday news broke that UPS and the Teamsters had agreed on a contract pending rank and file approval. For all their faults – and even a pro-union progressive like me will admit that they have some – labor unions are still among the most democratic institutions we have in America. Not coincidentally they largely benefit the average guy and gal.
To me the real impact here stems from what was avoided. If you would, the trade that wasn’t made.
Had a strike, even a short one, occurred the supply chain would have been severely disrupted. Yes, UPS has competitors but, short term at least, they do not have enough capacity to pick up all of UPS’s business. You getting something you ordered online a few days later isn’t a big deal but businesses not getting their deliveries on time is. Supply chain issues were one of the big factors in the post peak of pandemic economic slump. Despite right wing mythology to the contrary, the economy is recovering nicely. Sans a major labor disruption, as this strike would have been, or the Fed raising interest rates to the point of causing a recession – which is my biggest economic concern of late -America’s economy will be just fine, in the near future anyway.
Had the economy taken a nosedive and inflation rose in the process the Republicans would have been quick to lay the blame at the doorstep of Joe Biden and the Democrats.
Had the strike gone on for an extended period of time the economy would have suffered and Biden would have been pressured to intercede. Harry Truman faced a situation similar to that. Biden, like Truman, is a pro-union guy. He always was and I have to assume always will be. Biden basically takes the side of Americans who work for a paycheck regardless of gender, race, or the color of their collar. If Biden had been forced to interceded in many corners it would have been perceived as an anti-labor move. The Democratic party has changed since the time of Harry Truman but it is still the pro-labor party and depends on the labor vote to win.
Third party candidate(s) may or may not materialize to the point they can make a difference in one or more states but the basic fact remains that the winner of the 2024 presidential contest will either be the Democrat (certain to be Joe Biden) or the Republican (looking like Donald Trump). That is huge!
The strike that didn’t happen may just have saved America as we know it. Now the Fed is another issue. As in baseball, win ‘em one at a time.
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