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Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
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The Truth About the U.S. Postal Service

Comment

What does 50 cents buy these days? Not a cuppa joe, a pack of gum or a newspaper. But you can get a steal of deal for a 50-cent piece: a first-class stamp. Plus a nickel in change.

Each day, six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles toting an average of 563 million pieces of mail, reaching the very doorsteps of our individual homes and workplaces in every single community in America. From the gated enclaves and penthouses of the uber-wealthy to the inner-city ghettos and rural colonias of America's poorest families, the U.S. Postal Service literally delivers. All for 45 cents. The USPS is an unmatched bargain, a civic treasure, a genuine public good that links all people and communities into one nation.

So, naturally, it must be destroyed.

For the past several months, the laissez-fairyland blogosphere, assorted corporate front groups, a howling pack of congressional right-wingers and a bunch of lazy mass media sources have been pounding out a steadily rising drumbeat to warn that our postal service faces impending doom. It's "broke," they exclaim; USPS "nears collapse"; it's "a full-blown financial crisis!"

These gloomsayers claim the national mail agency is bogged down with too many overpaid workers and costly brick-and-mortar facilities, so it can't keep up with the instant messaging of Internet services and such nimble corporate competitors as FedEx. Thus, say these contrivers of their own conventional wisdom, the Postal Service is unprofitable and is costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year in losses. Wrong.

Since 1971, the postal service has not taken a dime from taxpayers. All of its operations — including the remarkable convenience of 32,000 local post offices — are paid for by peddling stamps and other products.

The privatizers squawk that USPS has gone some $13 billion in the hole during the past four years — a private corporation would go broke with that record! (Actually, private corporations tend to go to Washington rather than go broke, getting taxpayer bailouts to cover their losses.) The Postal Service is NOT broke. Indeed, in those four years of loudly deplored "losses," the service actually produced a $700 million operational profit (despite the worst economy since the Great Depression).

What's going on here? Right-wing sabotage of USPS financing, that's what.

In 2006, the Bush White House and Congress whacked the post office with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act — an incredible piece of ugliness requiring the agency to PRE-PAY the health care benefits not only of current employees, but also of all employees who'll retire during the next 75 years. Yes, that includes employees who're not yet born!

No other agency and no corporation has to do this. Worse, this ridiculous law demands that USPS fully fund this seven-decade burden by 2016. Imagine the shrieks of outrage if Congress tried to slap FedEx or other private firms with such an onerous requirement.

This politically motivated mandate is costing the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year — money taken right out of postage revenue that could be going to services. That's the real source of the "financial crisis" squeezing America's post offices.

In addition, due to a 40-year-old accounting error, the federal Office of Personnel Management has overcharged the post office by as much as $80 billion for payments into the Civil Service Retirement System. This means that USPS has had billions of its sales dollars erroneously diverted into the treasury. Restore the agency's access to its own postage money, and the impending "collapse" goes away.

The post office is more than a bunch of buildings — it's a community center and, for many towns, an essential part of the local identity, as well as a tangible link to the rest of the nation. As former Sen. Jennings Randolph poignantly observed, "When the local post office is closed, the flag comes down." The corporatizer crowd doesn't grasp that going after this particular government program is messing with the human connection and genuine affection that it engenders.

America's postal service is a true public service, a grassroots people's asset that has even more potential than we're presently tapping to serve the democratic ideal of the common good. Why the hell would we let an elite of small-minded profiteers, ranting ideologues and their political hirelings drop-kick this jewel through the goal posts of corporate greed? This is not a fight merely to save 32,000 post offices and the middle-class jobs they provide — but to advance the BIG IDEA of America itself, the bold, historic notion that "yes, we can" create a society in which we're all in it together.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

36 Comments | Post Comment
This is all very intersting and news to me. I've heard none of what you say from any news media including Fox and CNN. It seems fair and just that retirment benefit costs are incurred during to time the employee works so that future payments aren't drawn against future income. It just doesn't seem to work any other way public or private. What you are saying is that they incure the cost of retirement for employees who have yet to be born. Where did you get this information? Please post a link to it so that I can see it for myself.
Thanks,
CM
Comment: #1
Posted by: C Moellers
Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:29 PM
Also, these privateers say that FedEx, UPS, etc. can do the job more efficiently. What they forget to tell you is that the delivery services are based on the existence of the UPS to carry all the low-rent junk that they don't want to deal with, mail that people won't pay 10 or 15 dollars a letter to send.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Sean Plunkett
Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:15 AM
@C Moellers: You're surprised the media hasn't told you any of this? Guess they didn't have time after talking about "Dancing with the Stars."

Google "post office pension" and the answers will come up.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Bruce Strickland
Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:22 AM
True the postal service could use some renovations, but we can't get rid of it because its required by the constitution. It was pretty awesome when he said private companies go to washington for taxpayer bailouts. That needs to stop.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:50 AM
This info is available and known. Use a search engine.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Mike
Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:49 AM
@C. Moellers "What you are saying is that they incure the cost of retirement for employees who have yet to be born. " Absolutely true! All this pre-funding is so the Treasury can use the USPS money for their own uses. If the USPS takes back all the overpayments of the pre-funding, the Treasury will be broke. Thats why they won't give the USPS back the money that they were overcharged! If the Postal Service is privatized, the integrity of the mail would suffer. You will have hundreds of different companies carrying the mail. Mail standards will fail miserably. FedEX & UPS cannot handle the USPS's mail volume just like the USPS cannot take over their packaging business.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Catherine
Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:14 AM
Re: Catherine
Just as a point of interest - had the U.S.P.S. in their infinite wisdom decided they didn't need the package business, there would be no UPS.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Stephen J. Labert
Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:19 AM
@C. Moellers "What you are saying is that they incure the cost of retirement for employees who have yet to be born. " Absolutely true! All this pre-funding is so the Treasury can use the USPS money for their own uses. If the USPS takes back all the overpayments of the pre-funding, the Treasury will be broke. Thats why they won't give the USPS back the money that they were overcharged! If the Postal Service is privatized, the integrity of the mail would suffer. You will have hundreds of different companies carrying the mail. Mail standards will fail miserably. FedEX & UPS cannot handle the USPS's mail volume just like the USPS cannot take over their packaging business.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Catherine
Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:19 AM
Re: Stephen J. Labert
Absolutely!
Comment: #9
Posted by: Catherine
Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:32 AM
As a safety inspector, I have been inside USPS sorting facilities, as well as UPS and Fedex terminals for the same towns. Neither delivery service handles anything like the sheer volume of mail that the USPS handles. They are chronically shortstaffed and have maintenance problems due to age and parts shortages. Yet, they manage to get the mail delivered every day, at a minimal cost to us.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Tom
Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:00 AM
Thanks for this great post...
It is extremely sad how the post office is slowly being destroyed. With the latest round of processing plant closures, the loss of Saturday delivery, and extended mail times, the Post Office is being pushed down the hill to its end.
The processing plant in my hometown that is being closed was completely paid for, and all the union employees will likely be reallocated to another plant which is being leased. Plus the cost of relocating these employees, etc. None of these decisions make sense to me.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Nicole
Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:23 PM
Give em Hell Jim Hightower!! America needs more voices like you!
Comment: #12
Posted by: Joe Gilman
Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:45 PM
Any area where the post office serves as a "community center" probably shouldn't exist. People need to move to the cities and find real ways to improve society, Republicans and Democrats alike. The only reason why the USPS still exists is because its regulated monopoly status allows it to send out junk mail for artificially low rates. I would hardly call that a public service.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Tyler Black
Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:21 PM
As much as I'm sure you'd love to lambaste Republicans for this bill, let's not forget that every Democrat voted for it. Every. Single. One.

It passed unanimously in the Senate, and with only 20 Nay votes in the House. And guess what? All the nays were Republicans.

More political spin from a man who pumps out nothing but.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Phil
Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:18 PM
There is PLENTY of work for the USPS!! My husband just retired from the PO, a 28 year career employee; and may still be working IF not for a black woman who came from the Columbus District..She DEMANDED everything to be changed around, clerks doing carrier work and vice versa. She did not talk to anyone just DEMANDED things to be done her way; and, singled out my husband who was at his desk completing FIRST Class mail. She demanded he do work he was not physically able to do and which was a younger clerks responsibility. THE NEXT week my husband's job was abolished..ABOLISHED....????? HOWEVER, the mail my husband worked is STILL to this day STACKED up at the post office with NO ONE getting the mail OUT! Which is a No-NO! He is at the point in his life where he cannot physically walk and do all the stuff other than his assigned job. My husband has had a 3 way by-pass, major stomach surgery; and, cannot handle the added stress that this woman added that day...So, he just retired!! From the beginning of his employment there was total harassment; and, they talk about employees going POSTAL ~ THINK again!!! IT got so bad at one point that we, as a couple; and then, his union members went with him to our State Representative's office for help. Our SR helped but NONE Of it was finally resolved UNTIL our SR had to talk to someone the SECOND TIME. He asked my husband, "IF this time doesn't work ARE YOU WILLING to go to Washington to sit in front of a panel and answer questions b/c we in Washington have come to the conclusion it is NOT just people going postal. We believe it has to be something worse b/c too many people have gone postal in such a short time".. My husband was headed to Washington; ONLY b/c of harassment by management! It's not just the employee going POSTAL! IF one checks back they will find that postal employees are badgered by management to the point they can hardly work and keep a normal life going at home! Management aggravates constantly and demands employees to cross crafts thus causing grievances to be filed by the Union.. THANK GOD for the UNIONS!!! IF that person in management would maintain their own job and allow postal workers to complete their jobs everything would run smoothly!! Also, if YOU go to the larger post offices and check out the office workers, those who are SUPPOSED to be keeping things running smoothly, YOU WILL FIND 9 out of 10 workers with their feet propped up on their desk and spending time taking advantage of his/her position THUS COSTING the USPS MORE MONEY!!! Then when grievances are won by the Union it is MONTHS to YEARS before it is completely settled EVEN WITH FEDERAL judges setting down the mandate! It's all a GAME! Management is out to PLAY BROKE so the government will GIVE them MONEY to continue to operate! They have money OR they wouldn't be refinishing floors, purchasing new delivery trucks, replacing lighting and heating, spending EXTRA monies on sorting machines of WHICH one out of two are NOT EVEN BEING OPERATED! Therefore, I see mis-management in purchasing too many machines to help make the inventor wealthier. Also, BIG money making STAMP MACHINES were REMOVED from the PO for WHAT REASON ~ to PRIVITIZE!! The machines made MONEY b/c my husband's co-worker maintained them and KNOWS the kind of MONEY they took in..REMOVAL of such even upset customers! Also, INSTEAD of opening up more windows the workers are MADE to allow their customer lines to be soooo long that it's ridiculous!! Let's see the USPS CONTINUE to OPERATE smoothly for the AMERICAN People!!!
Comment: #15
Posted by: Brenda
Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:47 PM
Re: Tyler Black Sounds like someone's got an axe to grind with rural America.
Comment: #16
Posted by: y31b
Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:52 PM
Also good to mention that USPS handles 42% of the Worlds mail as well !!!
Comment: #17
Posted by: ben
Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:33 AM
They tried to say this about the Rail Road retirement fund lol Saying it was broke and the government did an audit and come to find out the treasury stole the money or borrowed as they put it for ww2 then never stopped lol that was when the railroads wanted to lower the retirment to 55 from 65 now its 62. Set up origginally the age to retire was 55 and retire on 2 million dollars , you pay as you work rr matched it and social security to ''double dip'' now they passed that law no double dipping and you are taxed as it comes out too LOL taxed twice i love it lol
Comment: #18
Posted by: ben
Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:41 AM
Re: Brenda
sorry to hear of the mistreatment of your spouse, I too have lived through much of the postal insanity as a postal wife, at first slowly I understood some things like colletive bargaining due to my spouse needing to fight for the riight to be promoted after 10 years in a small office, and he had been trained in the crosssing of crafts, clerk/carrier but at the same time had arbitration in 1994 tht made it illigal to cross crafts, at the same time I found out recnetly in 2000 , 2001 , in his union legislative fact sheet that I did not know about back then, he was informed that the President and congress thanked him for his sacrifice of putting in more money into retirment funds in order to balance the deficit at the same time when tax cuts were being given to other Americans. Then he was fighting for the right for his own route as a letter carrier, after being on call for 10 years and doing all the routes, and that involved a major battle thru his union so I became involved as an unpaid paralegal to do research in the jcam of the joint contract admistration manual, and you have to understand how postal unions came about was because of collective bargaining rights granted them in 1917, since Congress was not listening to the working conditionss back then on Postal workers, and they were going to be attacked so decided to give over after a huge protest by postal workers then, and so unions came about but in 1970 there was another strick across the naiton and I was in high school not even married, then, and paying more attention to the war, and watergate probably, how little did i know it would concern my future and outcome. So then mangment changed in 2000, basically and a new mangment style came forth called tranformation , and the old mangment style changed for a more business like productiion of efficiency within the usps, and more micromangment came across in offices. It ook about 3 months of fighting the action that my spouse who had worked 10 years on the route, to win, over someone that mangment ( us labor dept) wanted to instill via the poom ( post office oeprations manager who worke for labor dept) and who had not worked in town or on the routes, and he won, after 3 months of research, that win was not jsut for him but for all offices , reginal and national as all, for what effects one effect all union wise. He was okay until 2005 when his dad died, and he was not allowed the day off due to one worker being gone in the office, ABout that time I also had a cancer check, and found out his blood pressure was high, and got him on meds to lower it, but then in 2006 after the passing of the paea, postal accountiblity and enhancement act it got worse for my postal spouse , and you must understand what has happened, 2 retirment fund were set up and overpaid, now a 3rd was being formed not to take more from the workers checks anymore but from their profits in their business model, so that people not even born or working for the usps could be provided for , or there could be a big pile of money taken from the usps to destroy it and bankrupt it legaly by congress who is madated under the constitution to build post office. ?So then in 2006 due to over payment in to retirment funds, and having not one, not two, but now 3 retirment funds for employees must mean there is more then enough money for retirmeent right? So 2 retirment happened in my sposue office , one in march of 06, and one in may, at the same time in march one part time flex letter carrier who had been gone while my father in law was dying, so my sposue could not get the day off, with 2 staff in the office, now fell and got permt injured, This meant he legally became the only letter carrier for the whole town, about 22 hours a day of work, so you wold think that with a postal manual that is written up legally by teh labor dept of the job descrpition of a postmaster would come in to play, since it was a job for the postmaster to fill or forecast vacancies 3 months in advance notice, given so that the mail runs efficiently. That did not happen, in fact the poom over the postmaster informed the postmaster she needed to increase production in order to have a hire from the only letter carrier, my spouse. we had another business as well that he worked part time so aprox hours were over 100 a week. And it took about a year of fighting to win hires thru the union. no we did not understand why they would not replace retirees, and now with the full knowledge they had overpaid 3 retirment funds as well. So you see this is called attrition and at the same time in dc , a proffesor was speaking to the president and he thought it was a good way to save cost being so educated in economics to agree with the prc which governs the post office as board of directos, that not replaceing retirees was a great way to save the post office money . So you see this is the genius they hired to advise them on postal matters. Meanwhile president was signing the paea into effect which wold have a domino effect on all postal office and eventually get out to the poublic, well now what happened to my sposue, who was in top physical conditon to do the routes, and had worked all that time, well you see he did one last grieavance, and that was to remvoe the injured workers who had not worked in the usps for a year, so he did, for aht he was denied a supreme court mandated law in the joint admistration contract signed off by lawyers in dc by labor and union, making it legally binding for both sides not to break the law , thus grievance occure when one side, usulaly mangment is trying to push the evnelpoe on workers so to speak. But at the same time in 2006 the push to be anti union was occruing, and they had a matter of outsoucing that the union was concerned about, which was the big upper battle going on, to take jobs away from qualified personal and get workers who were not tested, or trained, and not give them benfiits or pay , but lower, and the union fought and won that, but then truned around and denied my husband case, as well as having the labor dept , and then his postmaster removed a causal they had just hired and newly trained at taxpayer expense in order sinde he had got 2 new letter carrries in finally for them to have one day off as stipulated by contract, even though he had not had a day off in over 11 months and counting and got reataliation for having a dental apppointment that was mecially required for him to have one half day off out of the ofifice. in all that time. he also got denied a family funeral to go to , again, because his duel casual who they hired so he coudl not have a day off even though they were meering contract mode of having a casual had to be called in to the other office regualrly on his day off, all the time, so she quit when the new hires came and they had hired a new casual about 2 months later after he had worked more no time off. So then evn in dec he got told he could not go to his daughters wedding he must deliver the mail even with new hires in the office, and the postmaster could attend but he could not as father of the birde since it was on work day. And he ahd been only carrier but had help in the office so micromangment is so much fun dont you think especially if your a formerly trained marine...who has been tested to withstand enemy torture but not from his own govemtnt so its a bit of a quandry of oxymoron operations in the usps. And then you see they removed his casual and he worked short haned for food drive, may of 07, and died the next day of a massive and it wasnt until I looked it up 6 weeks later that I found out the casaul had been removed illigally, there was no reason to remove , other then retalitiation. pure spite to msitreat a worker who was legally falling the contract signed off by union and labor. It taken me about 5 years to slowly learn of thigns, and yes they even did a cover up report coercing the union man he wanted his retirment so he would lie in the report on my spouse if he did, since the poom came down on the day my sposue was being buried to contain the matter. But since they had lied, and prevented me from legal action, I decided to go politcal, and open the report to my senator since they stated my spouse had never called his union, never had much overtime and never been understaffed in the usps. And I proved them wrong by handing over his phone records when the labor dept said they stood by the false report on my spouse. So you see brenda, how bad it can really get in the usps, count yourself lucky if you get a retired husband out of the usps, mine was not allowed to, and he was only 3 years away when this all happened, If you want to know more on how far up it goes, go to awpu tricounty first area local, 3800 in pa and look in the libray under stress in the workplace, joy goldbert articals. You can learn of how the postmster general was giiven a 72 thousand bonus with the enactment of the paea, and paid off later on with a 5,5 million retirmeent , and the current pmg has gotten more money also, meanwhile the average middle class worker is told they dont deserve retirment from the usps due to overpaying them. So becaue they have,, they deserve for their business model to be legislatied away from due to the fact it made a profit in 2006, and that had to be stored away in case the workers wanted more in their pay, etc... you can read more online as well , first go to oig report , federal budget treatment of the united states post office, , then you can also go to postal comments to the federal trade commision, by the way the leading republican are funded by the koch brohters who are rich and want to basicaly buy off the govt to do their bidding of not having union and taking the country back to 1917 basically. I used to be repuclican until i found out and had to live thru the abuse and death of my spouse. And you must understand we gone from a republic, to a democrzy to an empire, which dicturates and does not represent we the people, and wants to break the constitution so we not only become privitized in the running of the usps, but we have globalization, a one world goverment.
Comment: #19
Posted by: postal widow
Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:50 AM
one more thng brenda and others if you want to keep updated go to www.savethepostoffiice.com
Comment: #20
Posted by: postal widow
Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:27 AM
Thank you, Jim! I wish that the media were as fair to the USPS' situation . I am a mail handler who has worked for many years in a 24-hour processing & distribution facility on the west coast. We do not meet the public, but they would be amazed at the sheer volume of mail that does come through our facility. It is processed and dispatched very early in the morning to the local post offices. These morons are talking about 5-day delivery. That will hurt the public more than people realize. Do you know how many prescription meds come through the mail? An amazing amount! People depend on the mail for their medications, especially the elderly and the disabled. Oops! Silly me! Congress doesn't care about regular folks. They want to privatize the USPS so that mail and packages will cost the public more, a lot more! Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for getting the true message out there. Thanks again, Jim. You rock!!
Comment: #21
Posted by: reeny
Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:50 AM
Mr. Hightower describes the current situational problems with the post office correctly. The information that was left out was who are the people in congress leading the way to the destruction of the postal service. His name is Rep. Darrell Issa of California. The clerk craft finally came to an agreement in the recent contract negotiations. The craft received a whopping 1% pay increase a year. This was too much for Mr Issa. He thought there should have been give backs in wages and the employees taking on more responsibility for health care costs. He insists the post office close down offices across the country. But not in his voting district. He wants to make sure he gets his votes from his SoCal conservative base. Just don't ask him to give back any of his own overinflated wages and free health care benefits. Serve one term in congress and get full retirement benefits for life after one term served. He serves the one master of big business which would be sure to jump on the demise of the post office. How would you feel paying $2 to mail a letter and someone with a Donald Trump logo on the van delivering it.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Mark Bourret
Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:44 PM
You may be interested to know that there has long been a deal between the US Post Office & UPS & FEDEX that allows them to drop off their packages at rural post offices, especially around Christmas for the rural carriers to deliver. Obviously the Post Office has given them a deal, read subsidy!
Now since fuel has gone up, UPS & FEDEX are dropping off more and more packages.

The inefficiencies of the post office all come from the top where the secret deals get made and you and I are going to pay for the deals by not getting Saturday delivery
Comment: #23
Posted by: Mark Bishton
Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:18 PM
Go to link below to sign the stop senate bill 1789 petition.
Http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-senate-bill-1789/.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Stop senate bill 1789
Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:20 AM
you wrote about the postal service? you said rightwing- if you were writting about the 2006 postal accountability and enhancement act-if was co sponsored by 2 democrats and 1 republican! it passed dec 2006! google it. NOV. 2006 THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER CONTROL OF CONGRESS! AMERICA how was your life before nov. 2006! it probably was pretty darn great compared to everything they blame bush for!! REMEMBER DEMOCRATS CONTROLLED CONGRESS NOV. 2006! stop blaming republicans!
Comment: #25
Posted by: ann p
Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:45 PM
ann p, you are mistaken. The 109th Congress had REPUBLICAN majority House and Senate Jan 2005-Nov.2006. The bill HR 6407 was first submitted as HR 22 in Jan 2005 by Republican John McHugh with 163 co-sponsors. November 2006 the Democrats took over both houses, but the REPUBLICAN majority had already done their damage. the bill, drafted and passed by a REPUBLICAN house and Senate was signed by Bush.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Steve
Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:47 PM
ann p, you are mistaken. The 109th Congress had REPUBLICAN majority House and Senate Jan 2005-Nov.2006. The bill HR 6407 was first submitted as HR 22 in Jan 2005 by Republican John McHugh with 163 co-sponsors. November 2006 the Democrats took over both houses, but the REPUBLICAN majority had already done their damage. the bill, drafted and passed by a REPUBLICAN house and Senate was signed by Bush.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Steve
Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:49 PM
Why do they want to distroy the Postal Service and privatize it? Name me a company that made 70 Billion dollars last year. yep,the good old Postal service( Now quick,name 5 companies that came close to making that amount).If congress were to give back the 80 billion in overpayment and stop that absure prefunding of the retirement health care.The Postal service would be finacially stable for years to come and provide a service which would be beneficial to everyone.
Comment: #28
Posted by: john
Mon Apr 2, 2012 1:24 PM
Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas opposed the transformation of the US Post Office, predicting spiraling prices, deteriorating service. Ralph Nader's investigators published a lengthy study about the decimation of the Postal Service. But you'd have to been paying attention back in the late 60' and early 70's. Let's not forget the Reagan appointee's to the Postal Board of Governors who engaged in a criminal conspiracy to sole source contracts, recruit their own people directly to USPS HQ, and fired the Postmaster General for objecting, The PMG's case went to the Supreme Court. Even USPS attorneys agreed the PMG was fired as a result of a criminal conspiracy on the BOG, but the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 allowed no recourse through the courts; only through the Executive Branch, where you may remember Facts and Memories were often confused. The legal problems of the BOG delayed major automation improvements for over two years, costing the USPS an additional half a billion dollars. The former head of American Airlines was temporary PMG. After he left the PO, American began carrying a lot more mail, though they were more expensive and tended to be late with delivery windows. Six months later, delivery standards nation-wide were reduced.

It's the average Joe or Jane, getting to work everyday working long hours and six days a week who' make the Post Office work. Too many managers. In 30 years I served under only one postmaster I respected, and maybe a dozen supervisors. The majority would spend all their time pushing buttons to shock their employees. Bellicose bullies best-suited for brown shirts and jackboots, without any of that legendary German efficiency. One of the first things the current PMG did was stop the up-selling sales pitchs that window clerks were required to spew at every customer, Clerks were disciplined for suggesting the best service instead of the most expensive.

For almost 200 years our Congress subsidized emerging technologies through the Post Office. The deciding factor was not profit or loss, but what was best for the American people. Now it's customers and stake-holders (how appropriate Van Helsing), and to hell with the American People.

If Karl Rove didn't have treasonous FBI friends; Hightower might well be Texas governor today, instead of that pompous lizard who's become a millionaire after 25 years as a public servant. How do you earn a "D" in "Meat"? Rick Perry showed the world what a Texas education is. As Dubya said, even C students can grow up to be President.
Comment: #29
Posted by: gpwebster
Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:02 AM
Re: Stephen J. Labert
You're almost right with your comment, except that the decision to forego the parcel business and focus on mail was made by the Post Office Department way before the Postal Service was created in 1971. The USPS has actually worked hard to regain parcels and it has done well with its successful Priority Mail product.
Comment: #30
Posted by: RKHengst
Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:08 AM
Looks like you were wrong. The postal service is broke and set to default tomorrow
Comment: #31
Posted by: Curtis Fleshman
Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:18 PM
The same scam is being used to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. These are insurance policies workers fund through the payroll taxes they pay. They are not giveaways like the bank bailouts! Neither program HAS EVER been in the red and Social Security is sound for several more decades when small adjustments will be necessary. To hear politicians and the mass media tell it, these programs are bankrupting the country. The truth is just the opposite. The Social Security Trust is actually the largest holder of US government debt! Politicians have been looting it to pay for illegal wars, bank bailouts and tax cuts for the rich. Medical costs can be contained once we have a single payer system.
Wake up and smell the Kaffee, Amerika!
Comment: #32
Posted by: Mary Bess
Tue Aug 7, 2012 11:08 PM
Re: ann p
ann here are links you missed, www.postalmag.com/joygoldberguspsstress.pdf, or AWPU 3800, first area tricounty local, library , stress in the workplace articals
www.billburrasjournal.org-misc
or look up search for bill burras jounral online , misc underneath, scroll and read phoney excuses for taking from usps revenu's
Alec/koch the privitization of usps for ups and fedex
examiner .com Tim MCCown, 2012, the truth behind the schemes and lies of privitization of USPS
if your read bill burras jounral you will find statement of paea passing in there,
and who iniated it and why. www.savethepostoffice.com
Comment: #33
Posted by: postal widow
Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:56 AM
Re: C Moellers

Could not help but reply. I have worked for the Postal Service for over twelve years. What this gentleman has written is true. Your Postal Service is there for you, staffed by some of the most dedicated people on the face of this earth. We work 24/7 and not sitting on our hind ends sorting letters. The Postal Service is being destroyed slowly, bit by bit and some of the greatest damage is being done by false information being fed to the public. How can we compete with that? People will pay gas that goes up at the rate of ten or twenty cents IN A DAY but complain about the stamp going up a penny. Can you drive it even across town for 45 cents? No offense everyone, just think about it. How can we be profitable when Congress controls so much, our own Postmaster General enjoyed a salary of $271,871 in 2011. Don't think that is all he gets I am sure. Check it out. Google it. Check CNN Money. The information is out there. You have to look past the tv screen to find real news.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Milli Kay
Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:07 AM
the problem with the post office can be summed up with one word.overtime my job required me to work directly wilh the letter carriers for years.some were doubling and even tripling their salaries.i know carries that were making 6 figures while takng naps in my office. remember their starting salary is under 20.00 an hour .make the job salaried and the post office is saved.people the keep mention fed ex .Their starting salary is only about 14.00 an hour with almost no overtime .think about it how many people make 100000 a year to take naps.
Comment: #35
Posted by: ian cate
Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:46 AM
Re: ian cate Over-time is EXACTLY the reason the USPS has been trying to bring in new CCA's for $15.00/hr, to eliminate the high overtime needed to get the mail delivered. But......problem is.......MANAGEMENT and current carriers DO NOT want to see it succeed and do EVERYTHING possible to make a new CCA such as me as miserable as they can. The unrealistic demands placed on a new city carrier make it impossible to succeed, not to mention the outright meanness of both management and co-workers. We are brought into a virtual snakepit of hatred and expected to be completely trained in-days (set up to fail). They got what they wanted, very few people subject themselves to the abuse.....I QUIT!!
Comment: #36
Posted by: Salcott
Sat May 18, 2013 9:59 AM
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