The deflationary world as we know it will come to an end if
management gives in to the
When are people in this country, particularly journalists, going to recognize that we are not Spain in the 1930s or Britain in the 1970s, or Germany now?
We are not a nation that believes in Solidarity forever. We are a capitalist nation that finds the cheapest, best way to sell and move goods. We are a nation that takes no prisoners when it comes to competing.
If UPS gives in and gives the Teamsters what it wants, either its profitability -- which is unknown because it is private -- will be cut back dramatically, or it will raise prices to pay for the new contract.
Either way, the loser is, not the U.S. economy, not corporate management, not the stock and bond markets, but UPS. Here's why: Initially the strike paralyzed a sizable portion of American business. We had all come to rely on our UPS man to move our freight. But by week two companies all over America were discovering ingenious -- and cheaper -- ways to transport their goods.
We discovered that UPS is expensive and, while convenient, there are other guys who are convenient, too.
Now in week three the nation is collectively realizing that it could live without UPS if it had to. The nation is also realizing it could live without those expensive UPS bills.
One more week and UPS could end up like
, another outfit that nobody could live without in the 1960s. Now about two-thirds of the people in the country have never heard of it.
People constantly underestimate the dynamic of late-20th-century American capitalism. It doesn't like to lose. It isn't held hostage to anybody. It rolls over any force that tries to make something too expensive to be included in its daily mien.
My advice to the UPS and Teamsters: Settle before you become irrelevant. I like Godfred, but
James is doing a darn good job and we haven't skipped a beat at 100 Wall Street. I don't think 100 Main Street will be any different.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of
. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Mr. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback, emailed to
This story was originally published Aug. 18.