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In praise of the United States Postal Service

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posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 05:57 PM
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Ralph Nader has long been a supporter of the USPS as a low cost efficient mail service but also for the simple banking services that it provided until the early 1960s.

The USPS’ troubles can be traced to:



In reality, most of the post’s wounds are politically inflicted.

In the early 1970s, Congress passed legislation that shoehorned the agency into a convoluted half-public, half-corporate governing structure to make it operate more as a business.

And in 2006, Congress required that the Postal Service pre-fund its health benefit obligations at least fifty years into the future . This rule has accounted for nearly 90 percent of the post’s red ink since.


washingtonmonthly.com...

No other entity, either public or private, has this sort of pre-funding requirement.

The above author goes on to humbly admit:



For the most part, these harmful “reforms” have originated on the political right.

To argue that the Postal Service needs to be privatized, conservatives need to show that it is dysfunctional, and there’s no better way to do that than by weighing the agency down with impossible financial obligations.

It continues a generation-long pattern of institutional vandalism by Republicans across government.

But ultimately, both parties bear responsibility. I should know: I was in Congress when we passed the 2006 bill. And, along with all my colleagues, I made the mistake of voting for it.


President #45 continues the demonization of the USPS service by calling the post office stupid proposing ‘solutions’ that would hurt not help the struggling Public Service. Not to mention helping the Union busting agenda of the Business Libertarians (those who have drunk the Ayn Rand Koolaid).

But there is a small growing movement on behalf of citizens in the US. Ideas that would increase revenues, provide more services and be of universal benefit to communities across the country regardless of ‘their ability to pay’.

Back to Ralph Nader, from 2015



Despite setbacks and unnecessary fiscal burdens, however,

the USPS still reliably delivers over 150 billion pieces of mail a year, at uniform rates, regardless of whether or not the area is deemed profitable for deliveries.

The corporate mailers cannot make the same claim. The USPS has impressively not taken any taxpayer money since 1971, a feat not achieved by many subsidized or bailed-out big corporations.


www.huffpost.com...


Some of his suggestions from the above article:



…reinstating the successful Postal Savings System (which bank lobbyists forced into cessation in 1968) for simple savings accounts? There are tens of millions of unbanked Americans, whom the banks do not want, who could use postal banking.

Establishing an honest notary service, cashing most checks, selling fishing and hunting licenses…

What of improving the USPS’s use of the Internet, even so far as providing affordable broadband and email services?


And others….


And todays, good news:



Democratic representatives Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts recently introduced an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act authorizing

post offices to provide small loans, savings accounts, and other financial services.

The amendment sets aside $1 million to cover any overhead. It passed the House of Representatives on June 25.


That’s 1 million not 1 billion, btw.

Their intent is to fight payday loan (read legal loan sharking) lenders.



Typical payday lenders charge interest rates of 390 percent per year, a figure so high that one out of five recipients default.

A recent move by the Trump administration to slash regulation around payday loans risks making this problem even worse.




Pascrell’s solution is not wholly new. Several large countries—including China, India, Italy, and France—currently offer loans and savings accounts at post offices.

American post offices offered loan and deposit services from 1911 to 1966, when millions of low-income individuals relied on them.

In 1947, the post office managed $3.4 billion, the equivalent of $35 billion today, making it one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.


www.alternet.org...


The Post Office is a Public Service and a Public Trust. It doesn’t answer to or have to pay Shareholders. It is a Public Good and needs to stay a Public Good.




posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd
I love the Post office and believe many of these proposals to keep it viable are excellent strategies! Let's make it happen!



posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 06:31 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

For the record, I work for the USPS.
In my opinion, it’s a near disaster that anyone will be hard pressed to attempt to fix, let alone fix for good.
Chronically understaffed, disturbingly mismanaged at the individual office level, a sickening reliance on seniority instead of actual work ethic where busting your ass to get the job done doesn’t get you anything but more work piled on you.
I seen enough horror stories to fill an encyclopedia sized book.
Once or twice every week, you see a day that resembles complete and chaotic dysfunction almost as if it was the first time they have ever tried to deliver mail.
It’s mind boggling.



posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

As for the pre paying the pension plan.
How many cities, states and school systems are multiple millions of dollars underfunded?



posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 07:22 PM
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This is crazy. The US postal system is rigged. Did you know that you use to mail oversea packages by surface. You can't do that anymore. Why? And if you do, have you seen or experienced the cost of Air shipping. Congress once again sold out the American public, yet no one cries about it. Politicians suck big time and that's a fact.
President Trump, if you are reading this, why can't Americans use surface/ship mail to mail packages these days. Run on this in your campaign and it will increase your voter votes. At least mine anyway.



posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 07:48 PM
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People,

Unless you are in prison, the USPS is the LAST means of private communication.

Think about that.

I know of very few people that correspond via letter writing. Aside from the holiday and birthday cards, its extremely rare.

Its definitely not going away anytime soon, but appreciate its usefulness and confidentiality.

Once that's gone, along with the implementation of a cashless society, we are truly screwed.

Change My Mind.
edit on E30America/ChicagoSun, 30 Jun 2019 19:51:29 -05006pmSundayth07pm by EternalShadow because: ETA



posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 08:17 PM
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Thanks for posting this. I never knew any of these things about the USPS. I agree it would be a good idea to reinstate the simple banking for the USPS. There are so many low income people out there with nowhere to put their money.

S&F



posted on Jun, 30 2019 @ 09:39 PM
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How about we give them one extra item and see how they do, and go from there. I also like the surface idea from music, but we should test the waters, and get some better management in there as Sav would seem to suggest...



posted on Jul, 1 2019 @ 03:13 AM
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I like that the US is withdrawing from the UPU so that the USPS will stop being abused by China at US taxpayer expense to further make Chinese goods artificially cheaper that goods produced, sold and shipped in the US.



posted on Jul, 1 2019 @ 03:38 AM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd
www.huffpost.com...


Some of his suggestions from the above article:



…reinstating the successful Postal Savings System (which bank lobbyists forced into cessation in 1968) for simple savings accounts? There are tens of millions of unbanked Americans, whom the banks do not want, who could use postal banking.

Establishing an honest notary service, cashing most checks, selling fishing and hunting licenses…

What of improving the USPS’s use of the Internet, even so far as providing affordable broadband and email services?



Millions of so called "unbanked" Americans are not the fault of the banks. I opened a checking/savings account with my local credit union for the astoundingly low cost of $5. Every bank I have ever been to contains notaries so I fail to see that need, and I always just buy my fishing licenses from the local gas station. I fail to see why the USPS should be providing broadband internet as well. If the US Congress would just get off their collective asses and make the internet a public utility it would be available to all for a reasonable price instead of regional monopolies price fixing. And what exactly are email services? 99% of everybody gets their email through the major providers already, Gmail, Apple, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. Are they going to set up millions of @usps.com email addresses?




And todays, good news:



Democratic representatives Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts recently introduced an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act authorizing

post offices to provide small loans, savings accounts, and other financial services.

The amendment sets aside $1 million to cover any overhead. It passed the House of Representatives on June 25.


That’s 1 million not 1 billion, btw.

Their intent is to fight payday loan (read legal loan sharking) lenders.



Typical payday lenders charge interest rates of 390 percent per year, a figure so high that one out of five recipients default.

A recent move by the Trump administration to slash regulation around payday loans risks making this problem even worse.




Pascrell’s solution is not wholly new. Several large countries—including China, India, Italy, and France—currently offer loans and savings accounts at post offices.

American post offices offered loan and deposit services from 1911 to 1966, when millions of low-income individuals relied on them.

In 1947, the post office managed $3.4 billion, the equivalent of $35 billion today, making it one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.


www.alternet.org...


The Post Office is a Public Service and a Public Trust. It doesn’t answer to or have to pay Shareholders. It is a Public Good and needs to stay a Public Good.


I absolutely love the USPS and the service they provide. It's one of the few services actually spelled out in the Constitution. Getting people off predatory payday loans I can get behind, although far too many people would rather use payday loans than actually control their spending to begin with.



posted on Jul, 1 2019 @ 03:45 AM
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a reply to: ChiefD

Opening a bank account isn't hard or expensive to begin with. Most people who are "unbanked" do so by choice. It costs what $3 or %3 to cash a check at Walmart the last time I checked?
Almost every bank around me it costs nothing to cash checks and most don't even require a minimum balance anymore. Assuming you get paid every week, that's a minimum of $12/month to cash paychecks at Wallyworld, or free if you actually take the time to fill out the paperwork to open an actual bank account.



posted on Jul, 1 2019 @ 08:47 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Go postal today!




posted on Jul, 1 2019 @ 08:50 PM
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originally posted by: worldstarcountry
a reply to: FyreByrd
I love the Post office and believe many of these proposals to keep it viable are excellent strategies! Let's make it happen!


Me too. It's my favorite way to send s**t. The gal behind the counter even greets me by name. Wonderful lady.

PS: I agree it's a great way to communicate privately. I'm a letter writer. Email is nice, but there's nothing like trudging to the box every morning and finding someone has written you back!

In my neighborhood, when I mail a letter to my best friend, she gets it the next day, which is stunning. She's on the other side of the state.
edit on 7/1/2019 by Creep Thumper because: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MAILMAN.



posted on Jul, 1 2019 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

Thanks for this.

I honestly do not understand the hate given to the USPS. I have found them consistently efficient and timely.

For what they do, what they deal with volume-wise, I consistently have packages and letters delivered or sent within 2-3 days without a problem, whether they be sent locally of nationally. Rarely have they screwed up or lost anything.

The USPS is one of the most important and efficient services we have.



posted on Jul, 2 2019 @ 07:08 AM
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originally posted by: musicismagic
This is crazy. The US postal system is rigged. Did you know that you use to mail oversea packages by surface. You can't do that anymore. Why?


You know we used to deliver our mail by horsies? You can't do that anymore. Why?



posted on Jul, 2 2019 @ 07:18 AM
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Does the US Postal sytem vary state to state? My relatives in California can't stand it as it takes so long to get any post and that has also been my experience sending things to the States - it can literally take months to get there (4 is the record so far).

Just curious as quite a few of you sem to be singing its' praises.



posted on Jul, 2 2019 @ 08:07 AM
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originally posted by: Strate8
I like that the US is withdrawing from the UPU so that the USPS will stop being abused by China at US taxpayer expense to further make Chinese goods artificially cheaper that goods produced, sold and shipped in the US.

I can stand by this.

My biggest issue and concern ia china. Anything that'll make them hurt, lets do it.



posted on Jul, 3 2019 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: Flavian
I really only have USPS experience locally, but they for sure don't do things the most efficient way. Sending a letter from and to my tiny home town often involves it getting picked up by the local post office, getting sent to the regional distribution center, and then back to the
local post office for delivery. Something that could have been next day turns into a 2 day delivery for no logical reason.

That said, they still do an amazing job of delivering millions of piece of mail 6 days a week with very few lost.



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