There is a longstanding and ongoing effort by various members of congress to take the U.S. postal service private because it is "losing money." Were that to happen, there are enormous profits that could be reaped by the new owners because of the near-monopolistic status of the mail (just as the Russian oligarchs became billionaires by privatizing Soviet industry).
I'll defer ranting on this subject for now. There is some salient commentary at the MurderedByWords subreddit where I found the embedded exchange, including opinions that healthcare, education, and public utilities might also be viewed as public services rather than profit centers.
Same for transit, please.ReplyDelete
Yeah, how much have we "lost" on paving roads and parking lots for cars? But every public transit initiative must be self-sustaining because mumble mumble free market.Delete
A friend retired from the post office 25 years ago and has been collecting 80% of his then-pay ever since. I don't mind paying higher postal rates for a public institution, but this sort of benefits program seems unsustainable.ReplyDelete
Currently they're enrolled in the same Federal Employment Retirees System that the rest of Federal workers are. It's a pretty generous pension, but not 80% of final salary generous these days.Delete
Would you prefer your friend to have died earlier or had less to retire on? Of the money sloshing around US Government I don't think pensions are a major problem. Unlike the money sequestered away by billionaires, pension money is circulated within the economy, generating GDP and raising taxes.
I would just like to see QUICKER mail delivery by the existing USPS. They are way too slow.ReplyDelete
The military does indeed 'lose' that much money a year, because our military hasn't actually won a single military conflict, with one exception, since the end of WWII. That single exception being Desert Storm, in which our help was requested by an ally, we delivered enough help to drive back an invading force, and then pulled back out.ReplyDelete
IMO, the US Military is able and ready to win any military conflict that confronts it, with the possible exception of a conflict with China (and that has more to do with geography and manpower than military readiness). For good or bad, our military is controlled by politicians rather than Generals and Admirals. We either lack the political will to win, or have the common sense to know when enough is enough.Delete
Of course, I speak of a 'conventional' war. There would be no winners in a nuclear conflict.
the US Military is able and ready to win any military conflict that confronts itDelete
Then why don't they?
"Then why don't they?"Delete
"For good or bad, our military is controlled by politicians rather than Generals and Admirals. We either lack the political will to win, or have the common sense to know when enough is enough."
Japan paid for most of Desert Storm, nearly $13 Billion.Delete
Here's the definitive answer to "why don't they?" -Delete
""The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor... The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects, and its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact."
That is as cogent of an argument as I have ever seen--especially in regard to government services.ReplyDelete
Here is another insightful comment about another benefit, Social Security. It is from none other than Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan would be booed of the stage of any republican gathering these days.ReplyDelete
This could be used to kick off another entire thread about the public's knowledge or lack thereof about how their government works and is funded.
the comparison is not entirely apt. the USPS sells postage stamps to cover costs while the military does not. to borrow the old saying, the airforce should host a bake sale to cover their bomber costs and then the comparison would work.ReplyDelete
USPS is such a weird situation. They are asked to make money while being hogtied. Any business decision has to approved by someone else, but they are wanted to balance their own books anyways.ReplyDelete
Just to compare, the basic stamp in the Netherlands for postcard sent around the country is €1.01. The Netherlands is about the size of Maryland, or twice New Jersey. An international stamp for a postcard that goes to Belgium or Germany is €1.65.Delete
Meanwhile, USPS will send a card from Maine to Hawaii for $0.48. USPS does international cards for $1.45.
When Reagan made that speech it may have been true, (of course he gave us trickle down, too) But that was before the huge surge of boomers hitting retirement..ReplyDelete
You have to work at a job paying into SS for 10 years in order to collect.
I was surprised when I retied on the 1st of march and my 65th birthday was September 27th. I contacted SS to get my ducks in a row to start collecting in October as I feared it might be complicated.
The woman said you've retired? Yes.
Your 65th is this year? Yes, September.
Well we'll start you from January 1st.
I have to wait from September to January?
No last January.
As I suspected it took a couple months to get things rolling but sure enough in June I got my first check which included the back 6 months.
I live in a country with no public postal delivery. Please, ask me questions about how this system actually works. It's a bit more complicated than "the private sector will just take over mail delivery."ReplyDelete
May I point out that the US military generates immense wealth for the investor class? Not merely it's own purchases, it is the direct sales and indirect marketing of weapons. I realize this is going to be discounted due to word-choice but the concept of transferring public money to private wealth is in every bullet, medal, and brain in the US defense business. That we, the electorate, have fallen for such an overwhelmingly expensive bauble is the result of very hard and subtle work making sure we're afraid all the time.ReplyDelete
The pithy reply is completely inaccurate, the DoD makes a lot of money for the right people. The USPS barely bumps the dial when it replaces every vehicle in its fleet. (And I agree with the reply's basic premise: it IS a service, one I'm happy to pay and pay more for. DoD, not so much.)
Smedley Butler, is that you??Delete
UAE. I believe that EmPost delivers letters in Dubai now, but not in Abu Dhabi. I do not have a mailbox and do not receive mail other than parcel deliveries made by courier services.ReplyDelete
If you click through the EmPost site you linked, you'll see that the only option for non-parcel mail delivery is via paid subscription to a PO box. Few people have this.Delete
Consider the types of mailings you receive from businesses, healthcare & insurance providers, schools, government agencies, NPOs, etc. How would those organizations have to change if mass mail communications were no longer viable? If only a small percentage of their constituents received mail?