U.S. MAIL is NOT FOR SALE
Do you like getting your mail and parcels delivered at or close to your address, and in a timely fashion six days per week? Well, if your answer is “Yes,” than you need to read on.
Back in 2006, President George W. Bush and his cohorts manufactured a one-of-a-kind debt for the Postal Service. They, with the help of a Republican Congress, required that the USPS pre-fund the healthcare and pensions for all post office retirees 75 years in advance. This requirement burdened the postal service with a yearly cost of $6.9 billion!
Faced with that insane expense, the post office appears to be continually broke, which is a false conclusion. Actually, without that provision, the USPS would be turning a substantial profit of about $900 million per year. However, with that pre-funding burden still in place, the false narrative shouts that the post office is inefficient, bleeding money, and may require a taxpayers’ bailout. (By the way, the USPS is completely self funded. It has never relied on taxpayers’ money).
So, once again, the US Postal Service is being targeted for privatization. The Trump administration wants to put your mail delivery into the hands of private corporations. The presidential task force has crafted this conclusion-
A private postal operator that delivers mail fewer days per week and to more central locations (not door delivery) would operate at substantially lower costs (and could) adjust product pricing. Freeing USPS to more fully negotiate pay and benefits…and allowing it to follow private sector practices in compensation and labor relations could reduce costs…and make it more insulated from politics.
In other words, they’re saying-
- Reduce six day delivery, you’d get your mail a few days a week, travel miles to collect it, and pay an ever-rising fee for the privilege.
- Delivery to “more central locations” also means abandoning the P.O. historic principal of universal service, in favor of “profitable service,’ which excludes wide swaths of rural and inner-city America. in other words, not everyone would get mail.
- The “ability to adjust product pricing” means the cost of stamps and other postal services would rise on corporate whims (like today’s prescription medicines).
- Freeing a private operator to “more fully negotiate” employee’ pay, benefits, working conditions, and rights would mean Walmart/McDonald’s race-to-the-bottom standard, rather than a civil-service scale of solid, middle-class livelihoods.
- A corporate mail service “insulated” from politics means shutting out customers, workers, communities, and, you and me- The Public. (bullet-point excerpts from The Hightower LOWDOWN, Sept. 2018)
The USPS as it presently exists is the most trusted agency in the government. It has existed since 1775, with Benjamin Franklin as the 1st postmaster general. The Post Office is a national treasure with an 88% approval rating. And that’s no small matter considering the state of things today.
As an industry whose ultimate service is connecting people and businesses, it unifies us. Essentially, the post office connected America before the USA was formed. It is the only government agency guaranteed by the US Constitution. With 31,585 branches spread across the country, the USPS belongs to all of us. It is NOT FOR SALE.
The Hightower LOWDOWN. Volume 20,Number 9, September 2018. Written by Jim Hightower.
The Postal Record. Vol.131, Number 9 October 2018. pages 4-8.