Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Forced Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Final

Trey Smith

Yesterday we looked at the 5 chief bullet points from the article, The Postal Service Outrage, by Dave Johnson of The Campaign for America's Future. In this post, I'll share his summary of this portion of the article. (Note: The entire article is much longer.)
The Postal Service is a public service for We, the People, not a business. The Service is hamstrung by people who pretend it is supposed to compete and then won’t let it. They won’t help with taxpayer dollars and say it has to compete in the marketplace (again: the Department of Defense is not required to break even.) Then they give it rules that no private company could survive. Then when it gets into trouble, say that government doesn’t work, start laying people off, selling off the public assets, and saying it has to be “privatized” (so all the gains will go to a few already-wealthy people instead of to the public).

So Republicans have hamstrung the Postal Service, forcing it into “crisis” and are now “solving” the crisis by working towards dismantling and privatizing it. Here is how it works:
  1. Require the Postal Service to “break even.” (Again: the Department of Defense is not required to break even.)
  2. Require them to serve all areas of the country. (Which is a service to democracy and should continue.)
  3. Keep them from raising or lowering rates as needed.
  4. Keep them from using their competitive advantages to compete with private businesses.
  5. Require them to pre-fund 75 years of health benefits.
  6. When the Postal Service has the inevitable resulting financial “crisis” complain about government and unions and demand their buildings be sold, employees laid off and the service be dismantled and given to private companies.
If you don’t see the pattern yet, try this:
  1. Cut taxes,
  2. Double military spending,
  3. Obstruct all efforts to fix things,
  4. Wait a few years, then scream loudly about a “deficit crisis” and say we have to severely cut back on government — the things we do to make our lives better.
This is not the way an informed democracy is supposed to operate.
As I stated before, as an ardent Democrat, Johnson lays the total blame at the feet of Republicans. He  neglects to mention that few Democrats have stood up to fight FOR the USPS. Realistically, this hatchet job is the brainchild of both political parties.

This blueprint is being utilized all over the country.  It is used not only by the federal government but in states, counties, cities and special districts.  You cut back the funding for basic services and create a slew of unreasonable mandates and, when those services start to falter, you say that government is the problem and you outsource the service to one or more private companies.

In more cases than not, the private firms cost us taxpayers more money (not less as promised) and the services we receive are degraded or, sometimes, non-existent.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.