Americans need to be told why the U.S. Post Office is in danger of going out of business
Ben Franklin and George Washington — First postage stamps issued in 1847
The millionaire plutocrats who run our Congress are trying to destroy the U.S. Postal Service. In 2006 they passed a bill that required the US Post office to pre-fund 80% of its retiree benefits–a burden that no other federal agency OR Wall Street corporation must shoulder. This costs the Post Office $5 billion a year.
The plutocrats in Congress are trying to destroy the US postal service and put us at the mercy of private Wall Street corporations like Federal Express and UPS. In fact, if these people have their way, they will use their Congressional influence to destroy all public institutions–including education.
The plutocrats in Congress–both Corporate Centrist Democrats as well as Tea Bag Republicans are trying to dismantle our government of the people by the people and for the people. If we continue to accept their myths, lies and propaganda, they will succeed in dismantling our government and replacing it with Corporate serfdom that the rich control. The most pathetic thing of all is that many Americans who can least afford it will be assisting them.
Unlike Wall Street Corporations for the rich like General Electric or Exxon Mobil, the US Postal Service is Self-Supporting. It does not take a dime from the U.S. taxpayer.
Though the USPS is self-supporting, its finances are tied to the federal budget because postal employees participate in federal retirement plans. In 2006, Congress required that the USPS prefund 80 percent of future postal retiree health benefits. This will cost more than $5 billion a year through 2016. No other federal agency or private company carries such a heavy burden. [a story that I read two years ago in July of 2009 that woke me up to this problem and prompted me to write a post on the topic back then.]
Headlines yesterday in HuffPost announced the possible shutdown of the USPO. Many of the comments on this article reflected the American ignorance on the US Post Office and its no wonder considering the disinformation regarding the Post office that is pumped 24/7 by the mainstream corporate media. For years they have been perpetuating the myth of the Post Office as an inefficient bureaucracy. Their “news” along with corporate paid comedians and their jokes about the U.S. Postal Service have helped to maintain the myth of the Post Office as an inefficient bureaucratic entity that need to be shut down. They could not be further from the truth.
Replace the Wall Street Corporate Disinformation about the US Post Office with a few facts.
The truth is that sending things via the post office is cheaper, more reliable, and more efficient than sending them either by Federal Express or UPS. That is a verifiable fact as any one who has priced the services of these three organizations (and I have) can tell you.
-The Post office operates as an independent agency of the executive branch. A small annual appropriation from Congress reimburses the USPS for free mail for the blind and absentee-ballot mailing for overseas military personnel. Otherwise, they have not received taxpayer funds to support postal operations since 1982.
-The U.S. postal service is not inefficient. Ten years ago, it took 70 employees one hour to sort 35,000 letters. Today, in that same hour, two employees process that same volume of mail. Though the number of addresses in the nation has grown by nearly 18 million in the past decade, the number of employees who handle the increased delivery load has decreased by more than 200,000.
-U.S. Mail is reliable. According to the Federal Trade Commission, as little as 2 percent of identity crimes occur through the mail. Theft of a wallet or purse is responsible for 5 percent — meaning your documents are safer in the mail then they are in your pocket.
-The Postal Service can and does compete. Their closest competitors, UPS and FedEx, don’t threaten our business; as two of our biggest customers, they help build it. Their competition pays the U.S. postal service to deliver more than 400 million of their ground packages every year in residential areas and on Saturdays. In turn, the USPS contracts with UPS and FedEx for air transportation to take advantage of their comprehensive air networks.
Regarding the Readership of the Huffington Post
I don’t know if the readership have been dumbed down since Arianna Huffington sold out for $300 million to AOL, a Wall Street corporation with a long and checkered history of ripping off their customers or if I am just now noticing, but while many of the comments were intelligent and thoughtful, almost as many of the comments to the article about the U.S. Postal Service reflected a shallow understanding of the US economy. I would have expected more intelligence from more readers of Huff Post.
For example, although some of the comments were intelligent and thoughtful, many of the comments said things like this:
Good, let them close. As long as private enterprise is left to fill the gap (WITHOUT government interference), it’s a win win for everyone.
Most would move on and use the internet. We cannot stay in the pass!
Well, We wouldn’t have so much junk mail to throw away!!
The USPS employs over 574,000 workers and operates over 218,000 vehicles. It is the second-largest employer in the United States after Wal-Mart, and the operator of the largest vehicle fleet in the world.[WIKI]
Are there really Americans out there who are too damn stupid to realize the impact on their lives if the US second largest employer goes out of business? I guess so judging from some of the comments to the article in the Huff Post. Frankly, I don’t know if our nation can be saved and some might even be able to make the case that it is not worth saving.
ADDENDUM added after publication of this post:
I guess whether or not the majority of us
or are S.O.L. depends upon how many of our millionaire elected officials in Congress own stock in UPS and Fed EX. Maybe someday the majority of Americans will wake up to the connection between stock ownership and Congressional corruption.