Tuesday, February 19, 2013


As we drove out of  Chenier we came to the corner of Muria and Chenier Roads and flushed a flock of 30 egrets. It was fantastic to see them all in flight. It makes me envy Audubon who saw birds by the millions, so thick they would block out the sun. Oh, what a country this was and still is. I’m  grateful we have wildlife refuges. We pulled into the next one hoping for a signal to play catch up on our blog. The refuge was closed for Presidents Day, we hung out in the parking lot, blogged late, and got a weather alert for high winds and a thunder storm. Very soon the Motor Home was doing a rock and roll;  We decided to stay off the road and wait it out. The rains hit later in the day and off and on through the night. We stayed cozy, reading our books.
I’ve got a card to send and finding a place to mail can sometimes be difficult while on the road. Then in my email this morning, I got some information about the problems of the Post Office. I’ve been hearing they are  broke and I honestly thought it is because of the use of so much email, private mail centers and package delivery services. I got a big eye opener so I’m going to reprint a shortened version for you.
  • The Postal Service is the second largest employer in the United States after Walmart. But unlike Walmart, which gets away with paying so little that employees qualify for government assistance, the Postal Services is unionized, pays reasonable wages and benefits and receives no government subsidies. (Good for them!)
  • Republicans have been pushing schemes to privatize the Postal Service since at least 1996. In 2006, Republicans in the Congress pushed through a requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund 75 years of retiree costs. The Postal Service has to pay now for employees who are not even born yet. No other government agency—and certainly no company—has to do this.
  • Unlike other government agencies (like the military) since 1970 the Postal Service is required to break even.
  • While required to break even, the Postal Service has to deliver mail to areas that are unprofitable for private companies to operate in. A letter sent from a small town in Alaska is picked up and transported across the country to a farm in Maine for 46 cents. While the Internet and recession have eaten into some of the Postal Service’s letter business, magazines, books, newsletters, prescriptions, advertising, DVD services like Netflix and many other services still depend on the Postal Service for delivery. And many people for one reason or another still send letters. In a democracy, these people are supposed to count, too.
  • But along with requiring the Postal Service to break even, Congress has restricted the Service’s ability to raise rates, enter new lines of business or take other steps to help it raise revenue. In fact, while detractors complain that the Postal Service is antiquated, inefficient and burdened by bureaucracy, the rules block the Postal Service from entering new lines of business do so because the Postal Service would have advantages over private companies.
  • For example, Republicans in Congress forced the Postal Service to remove public-use copiers from Post Offices and even blocked the Postal Service from setting up a secure online system that allowed Americans to make monthly bill payments.

This is an excerpt of You Should Be Outraged by What Is Being Done to Our Postal Service that appeared on Our Future, a blog by Dave Johnson
The Koch brothers’ Cato Institute has been pushing to privatize the Postal Service (and the rest of government) for many years. (Note: Frederick W. Smith, Chairman & CEO, FedEx Corporation was on the Board of Directors of Cato Institute. FedEx is also a funder of the Cato Institute.) In 1996, for example, Cato’s Edward L. Hudgins testified before Congress on Postal Service privatization. It didn’t fly then.
Today Cato employees write about “freeing the mail from the government’s grip” and ” getting the government out of the mail business.” (from Cato’s Stamp Out The Postal Service.
While part of Cato’s motivation for privatizing the Postal Service is their efforts to transfer all public assets to private hands. You can check out their website,  Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service.
So, does the US Postal Service get  fair shake?  NO!  About a decade ago, the Postal Service had an extremely effective ad campaign highlighting the fact that its express mail service was just a fraction of the price charged for overnight delivery by UPS and FedEx.
The two companies actually went to court to try to stop the ad campaign. When the court told them to get lost, they went to Congress. Their friends in Congress then leaned on the Postal Service and got it to end the ads.
There you have it folks. The Post Office is gradually being hamstrung to suit the needs of Corporations who want the business to themselves. Don’t believe the crap you are hearing about how the Post Office can’t manage itself. It was doing very well and should be in the future if we don’t buy into the forces deliberatly trying to dismantle one of the biggest unions in the United States, and a viable necessary service to we the people.
Rant over.

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