This bullshit with the post office has got to go

In the news today (Feb. 24): Biden nominates three people to fill vacancies on the Board. If confirmed by the Senate, this will give Democrats the majority on the Board. (But some of those Democrats (two?) were put there by Trump, and they may not be so eager to dump DeJoy.)

ETA: Okay, an even sourcier source: The above article cites WaPo:

OK, help me out here. What is is the rationalization? What reason is given for trying to raise prices AND slow down service??

I know the reason will be a lie, but at some point he has to give one, right? Does he give legit sounding bullshit? Or can Republicans not even keep a straight face?

“Efficiency”, i.e. lower operating costs. Bad service is apparently ok if they’re being penny wise and pound foolish.

Follow the money. Who has a financial interest in competitors for delivery? Who would benefit from the destruction of the USPS?

I say fire him anyway and let him sue to get his job back. If he gets his job back, fire him again. Keep putting the pressure on him until de Joy either agrees to stay out of everyone’s way or gets tired of being there. Let Fox News cry all they want about it; he’s a political hack who has no fucking business being there and set out to destroy the post office for political purposes.

Everyone mails stuff, even Republicans. I think DeJoy’s days as a government-destroyer are numbered. I’d be surprised if he lasts another two months. Of course he is not the P.O.'s only problem, just the fatberg in the way of solving the others. As soon as the board has enough votes to can him they will.

  1. There has been a substantial decline in demand for postal services (except for parcels) due to the internet and it is continuing. For example pre-internet you got your regular monthly bills and statements in the mail and usually paid them by check. Nowadays people get a large chunk of these by email and pay them by online bill pay or automatic funds withdrawal via bank debit or credit cards.

  2. The Postal Service is running at a substantial deficit.

So what are the alternatives all of you are thinking about (other than raising prices and cutting costs)?

One oft-cited boat-anchor around the financial neck of the Post Office is that unique requirement to pre-fund all employees’ retirement funds for the next ten thousand years. Maybe they can start by scrapping that.

Also, owing to the unique status of the Post Office as the nearly sole government agency that nearly everyone appreciates, perhaps Congress could fund it with some subsidies.

A lot of prescription meds go via USPS. Seniors take a lot of meds, and seniors vote.

Strangely, my mail-order meds have been arriving in record-fast time in recent months. Go figure.

The first is, as others stated, remove the ludicrous requirement that all retirement be pre-funded for every employee (even ones who may not make it to retirement, or wouldn’t qualify for full retirement since they only worked part time). That gets a lot more money in circulation.

Rather than removing automation that makes everything cheaper and faster, add more.

Next, look for other funding opportunities. Sell things (as they already do to some extent, but should do more of.) Consider adding services that other postal services provide, like how Japan’s postal service includes a postal saving system–essentially a bank.

And, finally, it’s a government institution. It’s one of the few that is Constitutionally mandated. So it should be funded in the way most other government institutions are, via the government’s budget, which comes from taxes. If it hits on hard times, and nothing else works, just fund it directly. Or at least give government loans and such.

It’s ridiculous how utterly hobbled the USPS is right now. The point of dealing with it the way DeJoy is doing is to hobble it even more, then pointing out how ineffective it is, thus justifying defunding it even more.

Even in its hobbled state, it functions better than most package delivery services. It actually delivers nearly every package I receive where I live. The USPS has the infrastructure to do so even out here, unlike the commercial package carriers. They hand over their packages to the USPS to do the actual delivery.

And in a world where ecommerce is booming, there’s no reason it should be having so many problems. Traditional mail (letters and envelopes) may be down, but everyone buys things online nowadays.

I am genuinely hoping Biden/Sanders’ first reconciliation bill will include things to help the post office. It’s money related, so they should be able to.

Was it ever supposed to turn a profit?

There’s also the problem that they can’t really set their own rates. Postage rate increases are limited by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

So, several conservatives keep beating the drum that the USPS should be run like a business, then turn around and not let it run like one, sabotaging it so that it can get turned over to private industry. We live in a bizarre country where a popular, largely well run organization is hated and vilified by a political party because it shows a government agency isn’t necessarily doomed to failure or poor performance and that contradiction between their core beliefs and reality cannot be allowed to stand.

This. We’re probably talking just a few billion dollars in a nearly 5 trillion dollar budget. Sack DeJoy, put someone competent in charge, get rid of any unusual requirements with respect to the retirement fund, and subsidize as necessary.

I’ve heard that some postal workers are identifying medication packages and giving them priority. Looking out for their clients. Concept!

Put aside the ideological aspect. We should be focusing on how we have government officials telling us that government agencies are doomed to failure while not acknowledging that they have any responsibility for those failures. We need to ask what kind of results we can expect from people who declare all politicians are incompetent and corrupt - while seeking a career in politics.

And probably an insta-firing offense too, if they get caught at it!

I agree fully. It is a tough message to get across, though: we can say ‘they are lying to you for their own benefit’ and that truth just wafts away without gaining any purchase inside their heads.

Hypocrisy is easy to see if you’re open to seeing it, but invisible if you’ve been primed with a Fox News-type worldview: 'don’t listen to those people saying we’re hypocrites because THEY are the hypocrites and also they are evil and kill babies!’ etc.

IIUC, there was a law passed by Republicans some while back that made it illegal for the Post Office to own real property. They are only allowed to lease. Real estate developers genuinely hate that the Post Office resides in prime centrally-located areas that could otherwise generate lots of revenue. Of course, if the PO is boonied, one might suspect that downtown property value would decline at least slightly.

The point is that the leases are an ongoing expense. If the USPS could own its own land free-and-clear, that could help them operate at a lower cost.

While that does seem pretty on-brand for fucking Republicans, I wonder if you could dig up a cite?