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USPS: Is the next step privatizing the postal service?

Letter by Sharon L. Hodgins, Lake Tapps on Feb. 24, 2012 at 11:41 am with 36 Comments »
February 24, 2012 11:41 am

Several months ago, I read and disagreed adamantly with Robert J. Samuelson’s column on the U.S. Postal Service. I interpreted Samuelson’s views to be calling for the privatization of our mail system.

Our postal system is probably the best in the world, and compared to almost every other nation I know of, the least costly. I remember sending a package to Italy and then reading someplace where its delivery was not guaranteed; if the postal sacks are too heavy, mail is thrown away! I once sent a book to someone in Spain, and it took more than two months to be delivered.

I have nothing but praise for our mail service, but cannot help but wonder if closing the Tacoma mail processing center (TNT, 2-24), as well as many others nationwide, will not ultimately lead to less timely mail delivery.

I have heard it stated that the main reason the USPS is in the red is because Congress is making it fund the retirees’ medical plans for 75 years into the future. No other government agency nor any private business would require this. Could it just be that it is on someone’s agenda to wreck postal service so that justifying its privatization will be accepted by the public?

Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. natomony says:

    The volume of mail is nowhere it used to be. Nor will it ever go back again.

    The main reasons are because people pay their bills online and companies send the bills to customers online as well. Advertising is going door to door as well such as fliers from restaurants. I remember during the housing bubble getting dozens of letters each week for 0% mortgages or cash out refinancing. Those days are over.

    The internet has caused dynamic changes that the postal service can’t possibly overcome.

    The best thing to do is cut rural services which cost the most to operate.

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Privatize the Post Office???

    Can’t happen fast enough for me.

    If a service is listed in the yellow pages governments have no business competing against them. Private everything you can and as soon as we can. Want to fix America? End the public sector unions that have become our overloards.

    By the way, has anyone heard when the state liquor stores are having their “going out of business” sales?

    Good job WA State voters on ending this scam.

  3. The Postal Service in under attack by the right wing because it is the largest Unionized work force in the US. Once the consevacons bankrupt it expect it to reorganizes along the wal-mart system of minimum wage no benefits job.

    Natomony – in rural areas even UPS and FedEx use the Postal service to deliver their packages.

    Taxed – You got your wish. The Postal Service is listed in the Yellow Pages because it is a PRIVATE company. It is NOT a government agency and receives no government funds.

  4. alindasue says:

    The important thing about USPS is that they are the one delivery system that will deliver to ALL addresses (even out in the boonies) and in all weather conditions, even when UPS and FedEx will not.

  5. Repukeicans hate the USPS…all those union employees and all of that cash that they can funnel to corporations!

  6. Xring,if the post office receives no government funds,How is it the Post Office will run out of operating money in October.How many business can continue to exist when they continue to lose money year after year?Does anyone remember how UPS and FED EX was created?I have read those two companies were the result of the government willing to part with that part of the package delivery system that wasn’t first class and first class was deemed to be the cream of the crop.Now look at how well the USPS is doing versus the bottom line of UPS and FED EX.Maybe those two companies would take over operation of the Post Office.On second I feel the operators of those companies would hesitate to take over a company that is losing 3 Billion Dollars every three months.

  7. “Privatize the Post Office??? Can’t happen fast enough for me.”

    Guess you aren’t familiar with Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, which empowers Congress “To establish Post Offices and post Roads”.

  8. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Empowers, not requires.

    Yes, the fact that they are union employees does not help them in the eyes of a conservative. They have been overpaid for unskilled labor for decades. Internet makes 95% mail worthless to an individual. The 5% can and would get picked up by another, more efficient service.

    End of the day taxpayers would save money. Oh, most libs on this board are part of the 49.5% that pay no taxes.

  9. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7,

    With all the various employees that I’ve seen you deem “overpaid for unskilled labor” (bus drivers, postal workers, and so forth), what does it take for you to consider a job to be “skilled labor” worthy of a decent wage?

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Skill requiring specific education or apprenticeship.

  11. Sincere – Since 2006 the USPS has been required to fully fund retirement and medical benefits for the next 75 years as well as paying billions more into the general fund. So what we have here is an example of federal regulations actually bankrupting a profitable business.

    UPS and FedEx would either fail or drastically raise their rates without the Postal Service who delivers over 25% of their packages.

    FYI – The Constitution empowers the Federal Government to provide mail and postal service.

    CT7 – Section 8 confers on Congress the exclusive power to deal with the 20 listed subjects which were considered to properly fall within the sphere of National Authority.

    The Constitution of the United States; its sources and its applications, by Thomas James Norton, original published in 1922 by the Committee of Constitutional Government, Inc.

    Alindasue – the irony CT7 misses is that the Postal Service WAS profitable until a GOP controlled Congress and White House passed laws designed to bankrupt it.

    Concerning ‘skilled labor” CT7 left out the part where about union nand government jobs are automatically considered unskilled.

  12. “most libs on this board are part of the 49.5% that pay no taxes.”

    ROFLMAO – when you can’t refute the message, lie about the messenger.

  13. scooter6139 says:

    Thanks xring, I was worried no one was going to post that 2006 law. I would love to see other private companies try and do what the postal service is required to do and still survive. UPS and FedEx could not.

    It’s galling to witness the blind ignorance of our conservative commenter’s here. Trying to blame the union for a republican Congresses vindictiveness is ridiculous at best.

  14. “Oh, most libs on this board are part of the 49.5% that pay no taxes.”

    IS LIKE SAYING…

    Oh, most CONSERVATIVES on this board are part of the 49.5% that HAVE NO [fill-in your choice of word here].

    Word Choices:

    BRAINS
    HEARTS
    COMPASSION
    COMMON SENSE
    INTELLIGENCE
    HONESTY
    INTEGRITY
    you get the idea.

    When you want to make a completely unsupportable charge against someone you can say anything you like, throw in a made-up statistic, and put it out there like it has some validity. It’s all BS and concerned… knows that, but he does it anyway. Fact is, as you look over his comments on many topics more often than not find statements made by concerned… as if they are FACTS, but they are totally unsupported by any references whatsoever.

    Concerned states 95%, 5% and 49.5% in his comment above, but provides no source to prove those stats, so you know he’s just made all that stuff up. You can disregard it all.

  15. alindasue says:

    muckibr,

    You’ve almost got the Mad Libs thing right. The way I see it, it is more like:

    Oh, most [fill-in derogatory term for someone's political leanings] on this board are part of the [fill-in ridiculously high percent] who pay no [fill-in your choice of noun or nouns here].

    There’s a lot of fun that could be had with that one.

    Speaking of Mad Libs, I recently saw a political cartoon that would [fill-in verb] everyone here regardless of political persuasion. Enjoy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYlx7IcpqS4

    concernedtacoma7 said, “Skill requiring specific education or apprenticeship.”

    xring said, “Concerning ‘skilled labor” CT7 left out the part where about union nand government jobs are automatically considered unskilled.”

    Yes, I am quite familiar with the anti-union and “overpaid government worker” rants.

    concernedtacoma7, You are aware that all apprenticeships are through guilds – or as they are now called, unions – aren’t you? You might want to remember that during your next anti-union rant.

  16. concernedtacoma7 says:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/02/19/chart-of-the-week-nearly-half-of-all-americans-dont-pay-income-taxes/

    Source is IRS.

    Anyone who has a mailbox knows most of placed in it is junk mail. My numbers are based on first hand experience. Satire.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unskilled+labor

    My earlier posts were a rant? Glad to see you are open to opposing viewpoints.

    Pay people for their worth to the entity they are employed by. If one can be replaced by someone working for half their pay with no impact, the system is inefficient. It hurts both the consumer (who must pay directly or indirectly for the higher cost) and higher entity.

  17. concerned… No offense, but this paragraph of yours is Classic Gobbledygook in its truest sense, or actually nonsense:

    “Pay people for their worth to the entity they are employed by. If one can be replaced by someone working for half their pay with no impact, the system is inefficient. It hurts both the consumer (who must pay directly or indirectly for the higher cost) and higher entity.”

  18. concernedtacoma7 says:

    By stating my opinion in support of free market wages? Wow, crazy talk!

    Pay people more then they contribute and it hurts everybody (except for the lucky guy/gal being overpaid).

    Pay bus drivers too much and taxes are higher than necessary. Taxes go up, routes are cut, or fares are increased to make up for the inefficiency.

    49.5%. Since you don’t care about the cost of running government and the burden placed on taxpayers of the future, it was seem obvious what group you are in.

  19. “Source is IRS.”

    Original claim: “MOST LIBS ON THIS BOARD are part of the 49.5% that pay no taxes” (emphasis added)

    Really? The IRS gave you the tax returns for “most of the libs on this board”? Exaggerate much?

  20. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Given the average lib TNT poster’s understanding of economics (or any non-social issue), it is appearant they are not well educated. They cheer for handouts, praise higher pay for less performance, and are overall fiscally irresponsible. They bash business and anyone ‘rich’ if they are not hypocrites like Buffett.

    Those that pay taxes do not want to see their money wasted or re-distributed. The left praises inefficiencies and handouts, where the right supports individual freedom and opportunity.

  21. ” it is appearant they are not well educated” — Here’s a clue: when you denigrate some else’s education level, it only undercuts your point when you can’t spell “apparent.”

    “[they] praise higher pay for less performance” — unless you cant provide a direct quote of anyone saying that, you’re lying. Got a quote?

    “[They] are overall fiscally irresponsible. They bash business and anyone ‘rich’” — see my previous comment.

  22. Interesting that CT7 is concerned about paying wage earners to much but ignores the CEO’s that make more than 300 times what their average workers make, or the multimillion dollar entertainers and athletics.

    CT7 – statistics show that the better educated a person is the more likely they are to be a liberal rather than a conservative. And these statistics are backed up by no less an authority than Ricky Santorum.

    To all – notice how we are suppose to accept CT7 pontifications because he made them, but the rest of us must prove our positions with suitable references?

  23. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Xring, you are right about one thing. I do not care how much CEOs get paid, unless they are public and I own shares in the corporation.

    Why do you care if you are not a stakeholder? Don’t buy their products and move on.

  24. SwordofPerseus says:

    Right taxed enough, let’s privatize everything then sell off all the commons, sell off the National parks to the highest bidder. Sell off all the public parks the state and cities own too. Privatize the water company, make it illegal to collect rain water. Hell let’s sell off the rights to air, make people by air, why should that be free? Exxon can claim the sun and sell the right to sit in the light of day, how does that sound. To you perhaps you think it is just fine, I think it is the most moronic idea since the first time I heard about selling off the common that the humans on this planet have no right to own or sell. You and your kind are ruining this planet. It was once a good and decent place to live and raise a family. That is now becoming the exception, rather than the rule.

  25. So….the correct rhetorical response when someone points out some fallacies in your logic is to come back with another claim that has no demonstrable evidence other than it contains a statistic on the IRS website in order to demonize an entire class of people based upon their political leanings…..

    I’m guessing ct7 never took a 101 Rhetoric, Argumentation or Philosophy course.

  26. scooter6139 says:

    concerned, you should read your own links a bit more before making absurd assumptions.

    “source is IRS” No, it is not. The “source” is the Heritage Foundation. The source of the blog post from your link is “Heritage Foundation calculations based on data from the Internal Revenue Service”

    Nice try.

  27. xring “To all – notice how we are suppose to accept CT7 pontifications because he made them, but the rest of us must prove our positions with suitable references?”

    I have also made that same observation and comment from time to time. It is routine for concerned to demand proof but not provide it himself.

    sccoter6139, “concerned, you should read your own links a bit more before making absurd assumptions.”

    Good catch! Kind of disappointing that the rare time he does provide a ref, it turns out to be false.

  28. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The data cited is from the IRS. I was trying to prevent the usual whining about a link’s political bias.

    You libs keep attacking me and my methods while ignoring any actual substance.

    Bb- you took that class in run-on sentences 201?

    I have now linked to every percentage I quoted. What is wrong with you people? You have successful driven off most conservative posters with you whining and double standard. Sorry ladies, I will not let the public only hear your inefficient, hate-filled, anti-American side of the story.

  29. Still waiting for those quotes, ct7.

  30. Anyone who has a mailbox knows most of placed in it is junk mail. My numbers are based on first hand experience. Satire.

    But…small business owners keep paying to send that junk to us. It obviously works enough for them to keep spending on the advertising. Not Satire.

  31. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Keep waiting ehill. And I will not wait for you to add something useful to the dialog, since we both know that is not going to happen.

    BB- the demonization of the left is more than about paying taxes. It is the support of dems for abuse, waste, and inefficiency.

    No logical taxpayer wants to see their money wasted. Taxes are not charity. Taxes should only go toward services that benefit us all.

  32. ct7,

    I see. So you think you can just make stuff up about people. I’m sure your sister wife thinks that’s a great idea. As do your fourteen illegitimate, illiterate kids living in your single wide. See? I can play that game too.

    Now, you want to try to converse like an adult or do you want to continue to play the “let’s make stuff up” game?

  33. “I will not wait for you to add something useful to the dialog, since we both know that is not going to happen.”

    ROFLMAO – that’s hysterical coming from the author of “Sorry ladies, I will not let the public only hear your inefficient, hate-filled, anti-American side of the story.”

    Thanks for such a great laugh!

  34. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ehill- you once again add nothing. Get back in your tent. Shower up before your SOTA classes.

  35. You mean the tent that you and your camel already share.

  36. Posting in here can be great fun when you aren’t constrained by reality!

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