It was surprising when Donald Trump said he would make repairing the U.S. Postal Service one of the top personal priorities of his four-year White House adventure. However, it quickly became apparent that he was using the word “fix” the same way your vet uses it when you bring your dog.
Yes, Trump was saying, “Let’s fix this puppy,” and he wasted an excessive amount of his presidential power and prestige in an unsuccessful attempt to incapacitate an agency that literally delivers for the people. Think about it: for a 55-cent stamp, the amazing American postmen and letter carriers will pick up your mail and deliver it by truck, car, plane, boat, motorcycle, mule – and, of course, on foot – to any address. . across town or across the country. The post is a functioning public system; it is both essential and effective. Indeed, the U.S. Postal Service ranks at the top of federal agencies in popularity, with 91% of the public approving its work. So an uproar of protests (including from Republicans) spread across the country, killing Trump’s attempt to gut the agency.
However, when it comes to bad public policy, failure is just one way of saying, “Let’s try the back door.” Trump was defeated, but he left behind an indiscriminate Postmaster General named Louis DeJoy, who only had two qualifications for the post: he was a Trump megadonator, and he was a peer of corporate powers who wanted to privatize the postal service for a long time. In March, before Joe Biden’s new presidency took over the postal system, DeJoy went through the back door with his own “ten-year plan” to fix the agency.
Rhetorically, his plan promised to “achieve service excellence” by making mail delivery more “consistent” and “reliable”. How? ‘Or’ What? By constantly reducing service and reliably defrauding customers. Specifically, DeJoy’s plan was to shut down numerous mail processing facilities, cut jobs, cut post office hours of service, and reduce the standard of delivery of first-class mail from three to five days. . Oh, and potentially raise the price of stamps.
Offering lousy service at higher prices aims to destroy public support for the agency, opening the postal service to take over by private profiteers. This is the real DeJoy plan. And who derives joy from it?
Business ideologues keep saying that government programs should be run like a business.
Is that so? Which companies would they choose as an ethical model to govern our democracy? Pharmaceutical profits? Big oil? Wall Street money manipulators? High-tech billionaires? Airline prize thieves?
The good news is that the vast majority of people don’t buy this corporate gossip but instead value institutions that put the common good first. So, by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans stunned smug right-wing privatizers like DeJoy by specifically saying in a recent poll that our US Postal Service should not be “run like a business.” Indeed, an overwhelming majority, including 49% Republicans, believe that mail delivery should be managed as a “public service”, even if it costs more in taxes.
In fact, after proving that this 246-year-old federal agency can consistently and efficiently deliver to 161 million homes and businesses – day after day, year after year – it’s time to let the workforce The agency’s trusted, decentralized and well-trained agency provide even more services for our communities. One service that it is particularly capable of providing is what is known as postal banking. Yes, the existing network of some 31,000 post offices in metropolitan areas and small towns across America is perfectly located and capable of providing basic banking services to the one in four of us who don’t. or can’t afford bank accounts. The giant banking chains ignore these millions, leaving them at the mercy of check-cashing exploiters and payday loan sharks who extract sky-high profits for their Wall Street lenders.
The post office can offer simple and honest banking services, including checking and savings accounts for small dollars, very low interest consumer loans, low cost debit cards, and more. The goal of postal banking is not to maximize corporate profits but to serve the public. Plus, there’s nothing new about it: our post offices served as banks for millions of us until 1967, when the Wall Street profiteers got their enablers in Congress to kill the competition.
We the people own this phenomenal public good. To make it work even better for we , rather than for the forces of corporate greed, head over to AGrandAlliance.org.
To learn more about Jim Hightower and read articles from other Creators Syndicate authors and designers, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
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