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Tags post office , privatization , usps

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Old 13th April 2020, 05:46 AM   #1
SuburbanTurkey
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Impending financial collapse of the USPS

The long struggling US postal service is in danger of financial collapse.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/u...-the-mail.html

The USPS has long been suffering from the absurd funding requirements of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, a poison pill that requires the USPS to pre-fund future pension payments. No other business or government agency is required to do this, and pre-funding these retirement benefits has put intense financial strain on the agency.

https://theweek.com/articles/767184/...ke-post-office

This financial instability has been exasperated by the Covid-19 pandemic, seeing mail volume and revenue drop as the economy grinds to a halt.

As of yet, the Trump administration is opposing efforts to include the USPS in any covid-19 bailout legislation.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...source=twitter

Republicans may finally achieve their dream of fully privatizing the mail.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:06 AM   #2
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This is painful for me. Many small businesses depend on USPS for deliveries and this may kill us. I’d like to see some of the GOP fans defend this crap.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:10 AM   #3
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When it's replaced by private corporations only the urban routes will be profitable. The rural areas will either pay through the nose or not have mail at all.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
When it's replaced by private corporations only the urban routes will be profitable. The rural areas will either pay through the nose or not have mail at all.
Sometimes the Invisible HandTM gives you the finger.

Edit: According to a Pew poll, the USPS is the most popular federal agency in the country, even beating out the national park service and NASA. Losing the post office would be intensely demoralizing for our nation.

https://www.people-press.org/2019/10...eral-agencies/
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:31 AM   #5
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I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that this is big news at the same time as Republicans are speaking out against postal voting?
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that this is big news at the same time as Republicans are speaking out against postal voting?
I'm sure it plays some part, but privatizing the post office is a Republican effort that goes back to at least the W. Bush era.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:59 AM   #7
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Again that's their deep "The government can't do anything right and to prove it we'll run it badly" thing that the Right has been on about for a while.

Now I'm a little, just a little, less gung hung for the Post Office in its current form since right now the open secret is junk mail is the only thing keeping it financially going and I don't think that makes for a viable system.

But I still certainly think it's a system worth maintaining.
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm sure it plays some part, but privatizing the post office is a Republican effort that goes back to at least the W. Bush era.
Incidently also the same time the poison pill was planted. By a lame duck 109th Congress no less, since it passed in the period between the 2006 midterm elections, when the Republicans lost their majority in both chambers, and the seating of the 110th Congress.
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:24 AM   #9
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This sounds pretty echo chamber-y. I'll wait for the resident Trump supporters/Republicans to join the thread and add nuances before forming an opinion.



Any minute now...
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:29 AM   #10
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They are putting together Grover Norquist sound bites and anecdotes about slow service. Give them some time.
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
This sounds pretty echo chamber-y. I'll wait for the resident Trump supporters/Republicans to join the thread and add nuances before forming an opinion.



Any minute now...
Its especially fun when they declare themselves 'Constitutional Conservatives' and ignore the part about a Postal Service in the Constitution.

The USPS has needed reform for ages, and they have pulled some good moves that take advantage of their strengths. But the GOP keeps trying to put a pillow over their face.
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Its especially fun when they declare themselves 'Constitutional Conservatives' and ignore the part about a Postal Service in the Constitution.
Ya, that always fascinated about folks like Ron Paul.

Its like the Christians who claim to follow a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible, except for things like that "eye of the needle/help the poor" stuff. Suddenly, we have to understand the nuances of the translations as well as the local culture.

Quote:
The USPS has needed reform for ages, and they have pulled some good moves that take advantage of their strengths. But the GOP keeps trying to put a pillow over their face.
Just point out that accepting a huge federal bailout is running the post office "like a business".
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again that's their deep "The government can't do anything right and to prove it we'll run it badly" thing that the Right has been on about for a while.

Now I'm a little, just a little, less gung hung for the Post Office in its current form since right now the open secret is junk mail is the only thing keeping it financially going and I don't think that makes for a viable system.
.....

I don't think that's true. Package delivery is a big part of their business, including "last mile" deliveries for UPS etc., and that makes money. It's the decline in first-class mail that's hurt them, and, as others note, some of the restrictions imposed by Congress. For example, in some countries the Post Office serves as a low-cost financial center, with savings accounts and other services, but our USPS isn't allowed to compete with banks. And the pension mandates are unique.

This is from 2015, but the issues haven't changed.
https://www.newsweek.com/post-office...-fix-it-397788

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Old 13th April 2020, 12:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I don't think that's true. Package delivery is a big part of their business, including "last mile" deliveries for UPS etc., and that makes money. It's the decline in first-class mail that's hurt them, and, as others note, some of the restrictions imposed by Congress. For example, in some countries the Post Office serves as a low-cost financial center, with savings accounts and other services, but our USPS isn't allowed to compete with banks. And the pension mandates are unique.

This is from 2015, but the issues haven't changed.
https://www.newsweek.com/post-office...-fix-it-397788
Yes, maybe they need to renegotiate with Bezos. Almost all of my Amazon prime packages arrive via USPS.*



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Old 13th April 2020, 01:13 PM   #15
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I'd hate to see the USPS get closed down, but perhaps they should rethink the whole pension thing ?

I work in petrochemical and while my company matches up to 4% on 401k, there's no pension to speak of coming at retirement.

I've always been confused why postal workers, sanitation workers, dmv employees and hell even congress persons and presidents expect, demand, and more importantly deserve a pension.
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Old 13th April 2020, 01:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
...perhaps they should rethink the whole pension thing ?
They have no choice. It is mandated by Congress.

And a good many of those congress people appear to have mandated that with a clear goal of making the USPS unable to compete or function. Congress set up the USPS to fail.
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Old 13th April 2020, 01:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that this is big news at the same time as Republicans are speaking out against postal voting?
No coincidence at all. It's been over ten years, but now it's big news. Do you really think the NYT, The Week, and the WaPo are all just coincidentally making it news right now?
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Old 13th April 2020, 02:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
.....
I've always been confused why postal workers, sanitation workers, dmv employees and hell even congress persons and presidents expect, demand, and more importantly deserve a pension.

One reason is that it creates a stable, low-turnover work force that can be relied on to provide specialized professional services on a continuing basis. As bad as the DMV is, would you really want it to be run like Walmart or the cable company? Another reason is that government workers usually belong to unions, and pensions have been a high priority for unions. Over time they have traded potential pay raises and other benefits for pension money.

The real scandal is that so many people don't have pensions. For many years they were a standard practice in the corporate world. Then corporations realized they could save money by making meager contributions to 401Ks instead of funding defined-benefit pension plans. If you worked for a large corporation 30 years ago, you would have been getting a pension.

From 2005:
Quote:
The decline of pensions is likely well past the tipping point already. Not so long ago, the defined benefit pension--guaranteed retirement income--was a prevalent aspect of the U.S. financial scene. But no more.
https://www.forbes.com/2005/05/11/cx...l#5c2dc8a669f9

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Old 13th April 2020, 03:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Sometimes the Invisible HandTM gives you the finger.
Which is why even Forbes magazine has said that the idea that "government should run like a business" is crap...

Quote:
Edit: According to a Pew poll, the USPS is the most popular federal agency in the country, even beating out the national park service and NASA. Losing the post office would be intensely demoralizing for our nation.
Which is another incentive for GOPpers...

Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm sure it plays some part, but privatizing the post office is a Republican effort that goes back to at least the W. Bush era.
Despite the fact that it literally is a Constitutionally mandated function of the Government.

But the Constitution is just so much toilet paper these days...
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Old 13th April 2020, 03:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
No coincidence at all. It's been over ten years, but now it's big news. Do you really think the NYT, The Week, and the WaPo are all just coincidentally making it news right now?
To be fair: the media talked about it back then too. It's just been brought back up now...
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Old 13th April 2020, 03:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
To be fair: the media talked about it back then too. It's just been brought back up now...
It's back in the news because the post office has reported that are in imminent danger of running out of money.

They've been limping along with the whole pension thing for years, but the covid-19 dropoff in mail volume is threatening to finally kill it.
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Old 13th April 2020, 04:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The real scandal is that so many people don't have pensions.
No. Nobody should have a pension. Pensions rely on perpetual growth which cannot be depended upon. Defined contribution retirement programs, not defined benefit programs, are what we should be doing.

Quote:
For many years they were a standard practice in the corporate world. Then corporations realized they could save money by making meager contributions to 401Ks instead of funding defined-benefit pension plans. If you worked for a large corporation 30 years ago, you would have been getting a pension.
Corporations don't have the sort of stability that they had 50 years ago. And 401K contributions don't have to be meager. It's not intrinsic to the system. But the instability that pension obligations can create IS intrinsic.

And lots of government employees have access to defined contribution plans, and these plans could easily be expanded.
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Old 13th April 2020, 05:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. Nobody should have a pension. Pensions rely on perpetual growth which cannot be depended upon. Defined contribution retirement programs, not defined benefit programs, are what we should be doing.
.....
A properly managed pension plan functions like an annuity, and insurance companies don't have any trouble selling annuities, maintaining them and making money from them. Problems with pension plans have come when companies mismanaged them, borrowed against them, failed to make required contributions, or just wanted to keep more money for stockholders. But they are part of an employee's compensation instead of cash, and there's nothing inherently wrong with the concept.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:00 PM   #24
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It's the United States Government. It was paying Civil War Pensions until 2003.

There's no such thing as "The United States Postal Service" as some single, stand along financial entity. The Republicans trying to frame it within the context of the USPS sinking or swimming as that makes any sense because it's just one part of the Federal Government's massive budget is dishonest.

Sure maybe the USPS doesn't make a profit. Neither does the Army or the IRS or indeed the government itself as an entity.

Sure it absolutely should be run efficiently, without bloat or unnecessary overhead, but this whole "You're basically a business" thing seems rather arbitrary.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's the United States Government. It was paying Civil War Pensions until 2003.

There's no such thing as "The United States Postal Service" as some single, stand along financial entity. The Republicans trying to frame it within the context of the USPS sinking or swimming as that makes any sense because it's just one part of the Federal Government's massive budget is dishonest.
....

I'm not sure what you mean here. The USPS is an independent agency that functions as a corporation. It receives no federal money. But the Congress still tells it what to do. That's where the problem lies.
Quote:
A self-supporting, independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 155 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
https://about.usps.com/who/profile/
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:33 PM   #26
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I’m not sure I understand Republican’s issue with the postal service.

Aren’t the people who get the most use out it (the elderly and rural communities) overwhelming their constituents?
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:37 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean here. The USPS is an independent agency that functions as a corporation. It receives no federal money.
And that can easily change. The USPS's self sufficiency is just an arbitrary rule that traditionally worked, it's not a requirement.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
Iím not sure I understand Republicanís issue with the postal service.

Arenít the people who get the most use out it (the elderly and rural communities) overwhelming their constituents?
There's a dollar to be made. Republican politicians would run a mile over broken glass to screw over their entire constituency if they could make a dollar out of it.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:53 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
There's a dollar to be made. Republican politicians would run a mile over broken glass to screw over their entire constituency if they could make a dollar out of it.
Well, I wish them luck with that.

I doubt most city dwellers and people under 40 (read: not Republicans) care about the postal service.
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Old 13th April 2020, 07:32 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
This sounds pretty echo chamber-y. I'll wait for the resident Trump supporters/Republicans to join the thread and add nuances before forming an opinion.



Any minute now...


I know, I know. I said I'm done here but after reading comments by another confused foreigner, I can't help myself.

No, no, no. Collapsing and privatizing the USPS is not the least bit popular among "Republickers," "GOPers," "Trumpistas" or whatever stupid names you guys use. In fact, it's massively unpopular. Republican voters, middle class people ('middle class' is USAian for "white people") vote republican because they look at Republican candidates and ask, "can you do something about my country turning into a third world hellhole?" Republican candidates will nod and wink and even dog whistle at times, but when they get into office they do dumb **** like this, and do nothing their voters wanted them to do.

So no, if you think this is in anyway popular among "Trump supporters" (aside from the usual astroturfers), you are as usual mistaken. All this is so obvious I don't know why I have to explain it. Just throw out everything you think you know about US politics and you'll have a lot better understanding.

Last edited by Baylor; 13th April 2020 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:02 PM   #31
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USPS ain't going anywhere
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Old 13th April 2020, 08:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And that can easily change. The USPS's self sufficiency is just an arbitrary rule that traditionally worked, it's not a requirement.
It's a requirement of the current laws. Congress can certainly change them, and probably should, but it's not like they can just do something else because they feel like it.
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Old 13th April 2020, 10:19 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
Republican voters, middle class people ('middle class' is USAian for "white people") vote republican because they look at Republican candidates and ask, "can you do something about my country turning into a third world hellhole?" Republican candidates will nod and wink and even dog whistle at times, but when they get into office they do dumb **** like this, and do nothing their voters wanted them to do.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, so good for you.
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Old 13th April 2020, 10:58 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by johnny karate View Post
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, so good for you.
I have no idea what your point is.
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Old 13th April 2020, 11:43 PM   #35
PhantomWolf
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
I have no idea what your point is.
I think it was this part....

Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
Republican candidates will nod and wink and even dog whistle at times, but when they get into office they do dumb **** like this, and do nothing their voters wanted them to do.
And yet you still keep on voting them in to screw you over.
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Old 13th April 2020, 11:49 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I think it was this part....



And yet you still keep on voting them in to screw you over.
If by "you" you mean "me" you're out of touch. I've never voted for any Republican in my life. Never registered as Republican. I never stated as such, or suggested or indicated otherwise. If you think I did I question your ability to discern fantasy from reality.
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Old 14th April 2020, 12:02 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
If by "you" you mean "me" you're out of touch. I've never voted for any Republican in my life. Never registered as Republican. I never stated as such, or suggested or indicated otherwise. If you think I did I question your ability to discern fantasy from reality.
Well I din't know what johnny karate's "you" meant, but mine meant....

Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
Republican voters, middle class people ('middle class' is USAian for "white people") [who] vote republican
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Old 14th April 2020, 12:03 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Well I din't know what johnny karate's "you" meant, but mine meant....
Why are you using the second person to refer to Republican voters? That's extremely bizarre and horrible wording to get a message across.
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Old 14th April 2020, 12:10 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Baylor View Post
Why are you using the second person to refer to Republican voters? That's extremely bizarre and horrible wording to get a message across.
Because the quote was referencing "their [Republican's] voters."

The "You" I used was Americans, or rather since not all Americans vote for Republicans, it defines more to be "Those Americans that vote for Republicans" or, simply "their [Republican's] voters."

To take it in the singular then you'd have to assume that I believed that one vote was capable of voting in all the Republicans that keep screwing over the US and its people, and that's kinda silly don't you think?
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Old 14th April 2020, 12:22 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
The "You" I used was Americans, or rather since not all Americans vote for Republicans, it defines more to be "Those Americans that vote for Republicans" or, simply "their [Republican's] voters."
But "you" is second person singular or plural. I am part of the singular "you" but not the plural "republican voters." So "Republican voters" is third person plural. So your message clearly indicated second person singular. But you are now saying you were speaking in third person plural, which makes no sense. And after all this neither you nor I still know what his point was.
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