Will critics of Obamacare demand a shutdown of UPS, FedEx and Target stores?


Charles Pierce NAILS IT:

My goodness, it’s been a terrible holiday season for those people who trumpet the flexibility and abiding genius of the Free Market over the clammy deadweight of Government. First of all, Target gets itself hacked to the point where just about everybody who’s shopped there since the day after Thanksgiving knows that all of their personal information is in the wind… 

Given what has happened to Target, and following the rhetorical precedents set by opponents of the Affordable Care Act,  I don’t believe we have any choice but to close every big box retailer in America, starting with Target, until every one of these systems is made error-free and impregnable, which of course the private sector can do because it does everything better than the public sector…until you discover that somebody in Kiev has bought $70,000 worth of herring and kutia on your MasterCard. Then it’s the government’s fault because freedom.

Then, just as we’re all waiting on our porches for the last of our Christmas packages to arrive, we recall that the people who have worked for two decades to chloroform the U.S. Postal Service always have assured us that the Private Sector, as personified by FedEx and UPS, would more than make up the slack when the clearly obsolete USPS goes out of business…

Again following the rhetorical precedents set in the debate over the Affordable Care Act, I think both FedEx and UPS should be shut down immediately because their systems were overwhelmed by a sudden demand. This was due to inexplicable “bad weather” in a season we like to call “winter” and due to an “extraordinary event.”

Called “Christmas.”

Which is so extraordinary that it has occurred on the very same day since at least 336 A.D.

I’m sure that, next year, FedEx and UPS will solve the mysteries that are winter and Christmas in time to demonstrate once again that the Private Sector does everything better than the public sector, or else will find a way that it is all the government’s fault because freedom.

And snow.



  1. Shut ’em down?

    No, I just won’t shop at Target anymore and I won’t use UPS and FedEx in critical shipping situations.

    Now, what is my alternative to the Federal government again?

  2. Is UPS Just as Bad as Healthcare.gov?

    (1) People were able to log in and place their orders with Amazon. The complaint is that some of the packages showed up later than promised. In contrast, people couldn’t even sign in to Healthcare.gov. So let’s wait to see if, say, a promised MRI is only a day or two late; that would be the analog to what happened with UPS/Amazon.

    (2) I imagine there are some more egregious individual cases, but judging from the news stories it appears that some packages were promised (or “guaranteed”) delivery before Christmas, and yet they didn’t show up until a day or two after. Yes, that is annoying, but it’s not in the same ZIP code as healthcare.gov taking literally months before Krugman felt comfortable enough coming back to defend it. (And to repeat the first point–nobody had trouble placing orders on Amazon. So comparing the delay in final completion with UPS, versus the delay in just being able to sign up with ObamaCare, is already being generous.)

    (3) According to the Washington Post, Amazon and UPS are offering refunds and $20 gift cards to customers whose packages were not delivered in time. That’s what happens when private-sector companies screw up; they try to make things right with their customers because they have to. In contrast, even though I got a letter from my insurance company saying I was going to lose my plan, I don’t think the Obama Administration is sending me any compensation for Obama’s repeated lies that this would not happen.

    (4) Krugman wonders why people draw the lesson that the U.S. federal government isn’t good at running at business from the failure of healthcare.gov, when we have this evidence of how UPS performed. Well OK, if we want a closer apples-to-apples comparison, we can compare the US Postal Service with private shippers such as UPS and FedEx. Would even Krugman be so silly as to argue that the former was just as efficient as the latter? That would blow up in his face like the time he thought Canadians would publicly endorse their healthcare system. (A note for purists: The US Postal Service has generally not relied on taxpayer funds since the 1980s, though it is an official arm of the federal government and it enjoys a monopoly on first-class letter delivery.)

    (5) Finally, the most important difference between ObamaCare and UPS/Amazon: If I don’t want to patronize the latter, nobody is forcing me to. Indeed, I personally don’t use online retailers for Christmas shopping, for precisely this reason; I procrastinate to the last day or two, at which point I have no choice but to buy gifts in person. After burning some of their customers this year, UPS/Amazon may lose business next year. Either way, you can be sure they will hire extra staff and be much more careful about offering their “guarantee” next season. This isn’t because UPS or Amazon employees are inherently nice people, but because they face the market test and have to constantly earn their customer loyalty

  3. thehereandnow1

    UPS, FedEx, and Target will refund charges if you complain. Tell me, will Big Barry and his Health Scam Bonanza do the same? I doubt it.

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