@#275 Well, Bubb, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Du sprichst mir aus der Seele! Echt.
The political right has long wanted to privatize the postal service,
Yes, or course. That's the backdrop to all of this. They have wanted to privatize or even dismantle the post office and amtrak for decades (just to mention two items). Train service is almost non-existent in the U.S. except for on the east coast where a lot of it is in private hands, and sadly, it looks like the post office is going the same route.
Yes, the post office is a service, and I would add it's a public service. The postmaster general and all those "high" officials there (most of whom DeJoy has recently replaced with loyalists) are public servants. They, along with the Post Office are there to serve the public and that is their only function. They are not supposed to turn a profit. That is just a choice the current pres. has made. Instead, DeJoy is acting like a CEO or some other kind of corporate executive that he has been all his life. I, for one, am tired of hearing comparisons of the government - federal, state or local - to running a business. They may have certain things in common such as finances coming in/revenue and expenditures, but the similarity ends there as far as I'm concerned. Government is not just big business with a state seal. Anyone who thinks that doesn't understand what the U.S. Constitution is all about IMHO.
Food stamps also do not turn a profit, obviously, so should we cut those out? Privatize the program? Hardly. The military, too, does not turn any profit. Instead it devours obscene amounts of taxpayers' dollars. It gets regularly nearly blank checks from Congress and the President. There is so much fraud, waste and abuse there that it would make anyone's head spin if even one branch of the military and its finances were examined in detail. Why doesn't someone from the corporate world come in to clean up that mess? The savings by investigating the finances and financing of the U.S. military and actually cutting out some of that fraud, waste and abuse, could probably fund the U.S. Post Office for decades, if not longer.
As press reports have been pointing out, many simple Americans depend on the Post Office to deliver their prescription drugs and social security checks and a range of other important things. This is a public service and a vital one at that. It's not only about the election. (Although that must be a priority for the post office. The vast expansion of mail-in voting has been under public discussion now for months.) If Trump and DeJoy want to make the USPS more efficient, fine. But wait until after election to implement any measures that will slow down mail service. Money is the problem? Ha! Trump has squeezed money out of - guess where? - the U.S. military to build a wall on the Mexican border. With similar "ingenuity", money could be found in the federal budget for the Post Office until the election. Where there's a will, there's a way.
But of course, wealthy Americans probably couldn't care less about this. To them it's a trifling matter. They can just FedEx their ballots to their election clerk a few days before the election if they want. No worries. Someone who lives from paycheck to paycheck doesn't have that option.
The unions are a particular sore point, because the workers have almost absolute job protection, like civil servants, and very generous overtime and pension funding that are now seen as a total luxury compared to the private sector.
I see that the other way around. The "private sector" has been expoiting its labor force since, well, forever. Especially manual labor. Making them work under inhumane conditions and giving them little or no benefits. Ever work for McDonald's, hm--us? I did. Thank god it was only in college to earn a little extra money. I can't imagine what it would be like if that were my sole source of income. But I met and worked with people that do. The unions are the only way to protect against this IMO. Congress is too slow or reluctant to act. And even then, ie. when Congress acts, companies are notorious at skirting labor laws whenever and wherever they can. Just look at the meat-packing plants' treatment of its workers during the current corona crisis. And it's not unique to that industry. Coal miners, steelworkers, auto workers. The list is long. Even logistics companies...
Here's a link to a past NYT article on Mr. DeJoy's (the new Postmaster General's) logistics company and what goes on there. How it treats its workers, in particular, its female workers. In case you missed it:
Here's a quote. I'm going to leave out the most graphic details. They're not for the faint of heart.
She was 23 and in the second trimester of her first pregnancy. She had spent much of the week hoisting the warehouse’s largest boxes from one conveyor belt to the next. Ever since she learned she was pregnant, she had been begging her supervisor to let her work with lighter boxes, she said in an interview. She said her boss repeatedly said no.
She fainted on her way out of the bathroom that day. The baby growing inside of her, the one she had secretly hoped was a girl, was gone.
“It was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life,” Ms. Hayes said.
Three other women in the warehouse also had miscarriages in 2014, when it was owned by a contractor called New Breed Logistics. Later that year, a larger company, XPO Logistics, bought New Breed and the warehouse. The problems continued. Another woman miscarried there this summer. Then, in August, Ceeadria Walker did, too.
The women had all asked for light duty. Three said they brought in doctors’ notes recommending less taxing workloads and shorter shifts. They said supervisors disregarded the letters.
New Breed Logistics. Yup. That's the logistics company that Mr. DeJoy took over from his father and turned it into "profitability". He was very successful at running the business, many people say. Made lots of money.