Postal workers and their allies are demanding that the country’s mail service stay in the hands of the public. This comes amid increasing threats to privatize the postal service, including a proposal from President Trump this summer to examine selling U.S. Mail off to the highest bidder.
Many may think that in the internet age, the Postal Service has outlived its usefulness, and that the decline of letter mail is the cause of the Postal Service’s financial troubles. But the Postal Service actually turns a profit on its deliveries.
The USPS’s problems were largely created by Congress which passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which forced the USPS to pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years into the future! That means it had to fund retirement benefits for postal employees who haven’t even been born yet, a crushing burden that no other agency or company — public or private — is required to meet, or could even survive.
The mandate drained $5.5 billion a year out of Postal Service funds and accounts for more than 90 percent of its losses. In fact, if it weren’t for this manufactured pre-funding crisis, the USPS would have reported profits in four of the last five years — all without receiving a dime of taxpayer money. The reason is that package volumes have exploded with the e-commerce boom. Companies of all sizes, including Amazon, rely on the Postal Service. USPS delivers 30 percent of FedEx Ground packages and 40 percent of all of Amazon’s many shipments. Vitally, the USPS is at the heart of a $1.7 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 7.5 million people. 88 percent of Americans view the USPS favorably.
What could the public expect if the Postal Service were sold to off to private interests? Higher prices, slower delivery, and an end to universal, uniform, and affordable service to every corner of the country. In the UK, postage costs are up nearly 80 percent since 2007. The privatized Portuguese post has closed nearly a third of their post offices.
The US postal system postal system is older than the country itself. It was a vital component of our country’s public good then, and still is today. It never belonged to any president, any political party, or any company. It has belonged to the people of the country.
My comment: Here they are, at it again – spot a public organisation and the far right money-grubbers realise they have another source of private profit. Privatise it, raise prices, fire a third of the staff, reduce the level of service, and, of course, skim the profits off into offshore bank accounts that can be used to bribe congressmen to deliver yet more public operations into private hands. They call it “shrinking government”. Clever, isn’t it? Some would call it legalised theft. How can they live with themselves? Oh, by the way, do look at what has happened to the once terrific British postal service. Half the mail delivered is wrongly delivered – at inflated prices. Epicurean situation? No!