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Destroying the Postal Service

Posted by PowerToThePeople 
Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 04:01AM
The recent attacks against the United States Postal Service (USPS) are more than signs of desperate times - a natural sunset moment for a service rendered archaic by FedEx and UPS. Rather, the Postal Service has been under constant, vicious assault for years from the right, who views this as an epic battle with the goal of finally taking down the strongest union in the country, the second largest employer in the United States (second only to Wal-Mart,) and a means to roll the country ever closer toward the abyss of privatization.

The Postal Service, which is older than the Constitution itself, stands at a precipice. If this great institution, which provides one of the oldest, most reliable services in the country, is permitted to fall and Congress kills its great union, then truly no collective bargaining rights, no worker contract, no union will be safe within the United States. [...]

Perhaps it was its booming history that first drew Congress' attention to the Postal Service in 2006 when it passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA), which mandated that the Postal Service would have to fully fund retiree health benefits for future retirees. That's right. Congress was demanding universal health care coverage.

But it even went beyond that. Congress was mandating coverage for future human beings.

"It's almost hard to comprehend what they're talking about, but basically they said that the Postal Service would have to fully fund future retirees' health benefits for the next 75 years and they would have to do it within a ten-year window," says Chuck Zlatkin, political director of the New York Metro Area Postal Union.

It was an impossible order, and strangely, a task unshared by any other government service, agency, corporation or organization within the United States. The act meant that every September 30th, the USPS had to cough up $5.5 billion to the Treasury for the pre-funding of future retirees' health benefits, meaning the Postal Service pays for employees 75 years into the future. The USPS is funding the retirement packages of people who haven't even been born yet.

The hopeless task was made even more daunting when Wall Street blew up the world's economies. It was this, and not the invention of email, that became the Postal Service's death knell. Zlatkin finds the whole "blame it on the Internet" excuse amusing. The Internet had already existed for quite a while in 2006, the USPS's busiest year, not to mention that every item purchased on Amazon and eBay - every piece of information addressed to stockholders and bank customers - still needs to be snail mailed, which is enough volume to keep the Postal Service prosperous.

"I've yet to figure out a way to mail a shirt through a computer," he chuckles.

When Wall Street's derivatives gamble blew up the country, businesses slowed their operations during the recession and, as such, the Postal Service was no longer handling historically high volumes of mail. The boom was over and the death spiral began.

At the same time, the USPS was bleeding money by overpaying into worker pension funds. An audit done by the Postal Service's Office of Inspector General came up with the figure of $75 billion in pension overpayments. Then, the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent agency that actually received more autonomous power under PAEA, commissioned its own independent audit. The commission placed the overpayment at $50 billion.

Taking these figures into consideration, the projected $9 billion deficit the USPS now faces seems like chump change that could easily be corrected with some minor accounting tweaks.

"You could actually transfer over payment from the pension funds to the healthcare retirement funds," says Zlatkin. "And it wouldn't cost taxpayers a single penny."

Entire article at [www.truth-out.org]

***

"When they say there’s not enough money, they mean there’s not enough money for YOU." - Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 05:53AM
that business is a quasi gov/private entity - much like fannie/freddie...tva, etc

it is a pork bonanza

that being said...i'm a big post office supporter

bring it out of the shadows and fully nationalize it

OR DIE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Autopsy results say slain teen had injuries to his knuckles

The case also includes Zimmerman's medical report the day after the shooting, which listed a broken nose, two black eyes and a cut in the back of the head.

A source also told CBS News an unreleased police report noted Zimmerman's sweatshirt had "grass stains, and was wet on the back."

[www.cbsnews.com]
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:21AM
Mixed emotions. I worked for the post office - the main SE hub in Jacksonville. The place was the literal personification of the top heavy organization - a two level building with the executives on the top and the people who actually handled the mail on the bottom. I could look out of my office and see the entire warehouse and shipping docks - a building probably a half mile square. Upstairs? Hundreds of execs in their offices on the phone. Downstairs in the warehouse? Maybe one or two people - seriously - ONE or TWO people - actually moving the mail around.
HHH
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:30AM
Why were those folks on the phone? They should have been sending letters!

____________________________________________
What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a year?
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 07:28AM
Well - pardon the pun - but this certainly is a red letter day here on Selectsmart. I do believe this is the only time in history you "got it" on the first post. Congrats, Triple H.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 07:46AM
What do you mean it's a "pork bonanza", tx? If you read the article, you would have remembered reading this:

As the USPS spirals toward default, the historically uncontroversial mail service system has suddenly become a hot-button issue. It's an unlikely organization to inspire such hysteria. The Postal Service isn't paid for by taxpayer dollars, but rather fully funded by the sale of stamps. It's easy to forget what a marvel this is - that today, in 2011, one can still mail a letter clear across the country for less than 50 cents. And if the impressiveness of that feat still hasn't sunk in, attempt this brain exercise: consider what else you can buy for $0.44.

*

The USPS was doing fine until the corporatists in Congress gave it a poison pill in 2006.

Jesus, read the article, guys.
Anonymous User
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 09:00AM
"But there are political opponents that have no desire to see the USPS survive what is, for all intents and purposes, a stupid accounting maneuver. Namely, the GOP and moderate Democrats were the players behind the PAEA, and are now the same forces peddling the narrative that the Postal Service is broke, the union too demanding and the only solution is cuts, cuts and, oh yes, more cuts."
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 12:09PM
I worked in the Philadelphia Post Office (as a mail clerk; sorting mail) before I went into the USAF and for several years after I got out. (At the GPO, 30th & Market Streets and at the Air Mail Facility at the Philly Airport.)
I also worked as a rural mail carrier in Eugene.
I don't know what "management" did, but almost all the "workers" I worked with more than earned their pay.
(Yes, there were a few "slugs", but they happen in every business; including Fed Ex and UPS)

If they succeed in destroying the USPS and go to privatization, people will rue the day they did so.
Without the USPS for competition; prices at Fed Ex and UPS will skyrocket.
And delivery service will become non-existent.
People who live in rural areas will have to "go to town" to get their mail.


Mac
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 02:40PM
PowerToThePeople Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What do you mean it's a "pork bonanza", tx? If
> you read the article, you would have remembered
> reading this:
>
> As the USPS spirals toward default, the
> historically uncontroversial mail service system
> has suddenly become a hot-button issue. It's an
> unlikely organization to inspire such hysteria.
> The Postal Service isn't paid for by taxpayer
> dollars, but rather fully funded by the sale of
> stamps. It's easy to forget what a marvel this is
> - that today, in 2011, one can still mail a letter
> clear across the country for less than 50 cents.
> And if the impressiveness of that feat still
> hasn't sunk in, attempt this brain exercise:
> consider what else you can buy for $0.44.
>
> *
>
> The USPS was doing fine until the corporatists in
> Congress gave it a poison pill in 2006.
>
> Jesus, read the article, guys.



i meant what i said. here, learn something: [usgovinfo.about.com]

also forward that link to the idiot author of the article

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Autopsy results say slain teen had injuries to his knuckles

The case also includes Zimmerman's medical report the day after the shooting, which listed a broken nose, two black eyes and a cut in the back of the head.

A source also told CBS News an unreleased police report noted Zimmerman's sweatshirt had "grass stains, and was wet on the back."

[www.cbsnews.com]
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 04:15PM
Good article, tx.

So how is the post office a "pork bonanza"? And how did anything in that link negate anything in PTTP's initial post about what is going on now thereby making the author an idiot?

Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 05:12PM
From tx's link:

According to the laws under which it now operates, the U.S. Postal Service is a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral. That is, it is supposed to break even, not make a profit.

In 1982, U.S. postage stamps became "postal products," rather than a form of taxation. Since then, The bulk of the cost of operating the postal system has been paid for by customers through the sale of "postal products" and services rather than taxes.

*

Which is just what I said.

Unless tx is talking about this:

Still, the US Postal Service has averaged a profit of over $1 billion per year in each of the last five years. Yet, Postal Service officials argue that they must continue to raise postage at regular intervals in order make up for the increased use of email.

*

I have no idea what that's about, but I'm not bothered by it because a billion dollar profit per year for a company that large isn't really that much. I mean how much profit a year does Wal-Mart make? Plus, 44 cents to mail a letter is a bargain.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2011 05:20PM by PowerToThePeople.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 05:38PM
They're playing the victim role so that their sugar daddy will bail them out.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 05:55PM
They are a victim - of privatization proponents. The USPS was doing just fine until the corporatists in Congress forced it to swallow their poison pill in 2006. Read the article in my lead post.

***

"When they say there’s not enough money, they mean there’s not enough money for YOU." - Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2011 05:56PM by PowerToThePeople.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 05:58PM
Oh! let me get one from a Neo Nazi site! that should also tell the "truth!"
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 05:59PM
Whatever.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:02PM
That's really how much sense you make to me. Your dogma exceeds your rationality.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:03PM
What part of the article in my lead post is false?
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:04PM
There's a bill in Congress that will make the USPS solvent again without costing anyone a dime. Did you read that part?
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:06PM
It is extremely slanted, just like ALL articles. YOU find an article that suits you and claim it to be "the truth." I claim that if you can get 3 or 4 SEPARATE sources (ones that did not originate from the same source) you MAY be closer to PART of "the truth."
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:08PM
So are you saying that the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 didn't force the USPS to pay the next 75 years worth of health care benefits in the next 10 years?
HHH
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 06:24PM
"Well - pardon the pun - but this certainly is a red letter day here on Selectsmart. I do believe this is the only time in history you "got it" on the first post. Congrats, Triple H."

Thanks, Indy. Sorry about moving the goal posts. You forgot to mention that for the first time.

____________________________________________
What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a year?
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 08:46PM
USPS is killing itself. It cannot adapt itself with the business environment because it's a bloated government run agency that cannot shed it's dead weight and be competitive. There is no reason they cannot make money if FEDEX and UPS can.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 09:03PM
Umm... Whatsy? According to TX's post - they're making a billion dollars a year. eye rolling smiley
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 09:27PM
USPS is killing itself. - whats

That's patently false. Sheesh, did you read the article? The USPS was doing just fine until the corporatists in Congress targeted it for privatization like they're trying to do to everything under the sun that isn't privatized. And the mechanism of choice was the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 which forced the USPS to pay the next 75 years worth of health care benefits in the next 10 years.

There's a bill in Congress that would make the USPS solvent again w/o costing anyone a penny.
Anonymous User
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 09:34PM
How can anyone hate on the Post Office?

It's one of the best ideas ever.

It requires no tax money to operate, it makes a profit even though it's not designed to and it employs hundreds of thousands of Americans.

I'd rather see a mailman walking up to my house than a cop, a politician, a soldier, or anyone else on the government payrole.

What would happen without the US Mail? We'd be stuck with FedEx and UPS... I've dealt with them more than enough to not want to rely on them to deliver even my Christmas cards.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 09:48PM
AND they are MILLIONS of dollars in the red and ready to default... good call slick.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 09:54PM
because in 2006, Congress saddled the USPS with having to pay for 75 years worth of health care bennies over the next 10 years.

You left out that part.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:08PM
I did, along with a bunch of other issues. So you agree with my point, It's billions in debt and ready to go under. I could give a sht why, not really interested in sitting in the past blaming everyone else. We don't have the ability to fix it without breaking that union which is too strong and O doesn't have the spine to do it.
Anonymous User
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:08PM
Add in their over-payments to the pensions and the USPS is actually BILLIONS of dollars in the BLACK.
Anonymous User
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:11PM
You're a stupid biatch OD.

You won't educate yourself as to the causes of a current situation and yet you feel perfectly qualified to claim that we can't "fix" the USPS (which doesn't need to be fixed as it works perfectly well without people trying to break it) unless we destroy the postal union?

Are you an idiot?

Oh wait, yes you are.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:12PM
OK, but will the Union allow that? I know how strong it is and it's not going to let it's slush funds go (just in case). If I were them, I might agree with that though.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:13PM
Add in their over-payments to the pensions and the USPS is actually BILLIONS of dollars in the BLACK - Cascade

Exactly. I wish people would read the entire article.

From the article:

When Wall Street's derivatives gamble blew up the country, businesses slowed their operations during the recession and, as such, the Postal Service was no longer handling historically high volumes of mail. The boom was over and the death spiral began.

At the same time, the USPS was bleeding money by overpaying into worker pension funds. An audit done by the Postal Service's Office of Inspector General came up with the figure of $75 billion in pension overpayments. Then, the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent agency that actually received more autonomous power under PAEA, commissioned its own independent audit. The commission placed the overpayment at $50 billion.

Taking these figures into consideration, the projected $9 billion deficit the USPS now faces seems like chump change that could easily be corrected with some minor accounting tweaks.

"You could actually transfer over payment from the pension funds to the healthcare retirement funds," says Zlatkin. "And it wouldn't cost taxpayers a single penny."

H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, is a piece of legislation sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch. The act calls for the Office of Personal Management to do the definitive audit, come up with the actual figure of overpayment and then apply that to the ridiculous system of prepayment funding expenses. The Postal Service would then have that $5.5 billion a year to use for running its services and improving mail delivery.

This would eliminate the need to terminate Saturday mail delivery service, close down mail processing centers and there would be no need to lay off 120,000 workers (the Postal Service work force has already been reduced through attrition by over 100,000 employees over the last four years).

But there are political opponents that have no desire to see the USPS survive what is, for all intents and purposes, a stupid accounting maneuver. Namely, the GOP and moderate Democrats were the players behind the PAEA, and are now the same forces peddling the narrative that the Postal Service is broke, the union too demanding and the only solution is cuts, cuts and, oh yes, more cuts.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:13PM
Cretin- "You won't educate yourself as to the causes of a current situation and yet you feel perfectly qualified to claim that we can't "fix" the USPS (which doesn't need to be fixed as it works perfectly well without people trying to break it) unless we destroy the postal union?"

When did I say it couldn't be fixed? You're as much of a liar as indy.
Anonymous User
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:16PM
You're a stupid biatch who can't read either.

But then we already knew that your reading comprehension talents were simian at best.
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:17PM
You didn't answer and avoided the question. So you're a liar.
Anonymous User
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 09, 2011 10:20PM
'Blah blah blah, my name is olde dude, I can't read but I think I'm smart."

Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 10, 2011 12:15AM
1- Postal workers are represented by more than one Union.
2- The Unions do NOT control the health and pension funds.
(So they are NOT "slush funds" for the Unions to use.)
3- Fed Ex and UPS are profitable because they only skim the cream off the top.
If they had to deliver to every house, everyday (6 out of 7) they would soon go belly up.
4- Congress changed the rules in mid-stream by requiring the USPS to fund 75 years of health and pension benefits over the next ten years. If Congress did the same thing with Social Security and Medicare, I would be able to hear OD screaming from my back yard (at the tax increases to PAY for it).

But you idiots go ahead and do away with the USPS.
Only where are you going to get the money to pay for all the people who will suddenly be unemployed?
And I hope you ENJOY paying $2 to mail a letter at Fed Ex or UPS.
And I hope they actually DELIVER your letter sometime this year.

What a bunch of maroons!



Mac
Re: Destroying the Postal Service
September 10, 2011 02:59AM
We should save the post office - but I could care less about Saturday delivery.
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