Economic Justice

Help Save the USPS From Privatization

Back in January 2012, I wrote about a town hall meeting in Rockford, Illinois on the then rumored closing of its post office sorting facility HERE  

I was appalled by the lack of respect both hosts and speakers had for the intelligence of the citizens in attendance and our entire community. It was also quite clear the people on the stage were not there to gather actual data from citizens, but merely to point to that gathering as a lame “we tried” excuse to use against folks who might later call the meeting out for the fraud it clearly was.  

The presentation was a whitewash of reality as to what ails one of our greatest American institutions; the U.S. Postal Service. A large chunk of that reality is known as HR6407: The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006

HR6407 is a purposefully horrible law and a gross miscarriage of justice that continues to this day. No other government agency at any level nor any federal contractor or private company has been mandated by law to fund retirement accounts 75 years into the future. The damage done to one of our national treasures by this law continues. The post office still struggles to find ways to generate revenue without asking Congress for a bailout. The USPS used to be considered a public good and the Postmaster-General a cabinet-level position within the Executive branch. 

Yet Republicans and some Democrats, who seem content playing defense rather than offering solutions, appear to be hell-bent on the eventual privatization of the USPS. I asked why that was in 2012, and I have yet to hear a legitimate or fact-based answer to this day. 

If you consider yourself a “strict” Constitutionalist or simply a believer in the Constitution as a living document, then you should absolutely be against any attempt to privatize the post office. Its very existence is enshrined within the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7, which arguably makes the post office’s case to exist stronger than even our first ten amendment rights. 

Beginning in 1911 localized postal banking became as American as apple pie. Post offices were an alternative to the FDIC; the USPS used to engage in full-service banking, ranging from checking/saving accounts to small loans. Well they did until the Federal Reserve stepped in at the behest of the now “too big to fail” banks in 1933 and the USPS was mandated by law to end check cashing by 1967. 

Today, there are nearly 68 million American households living in areas with inadequate banking services that collectively hand over upwards of $90 billion towards the extortionists known as payday loan shops.  

Allowing the USPS to begin to cash payroll checks would allow hardworking Americans already struggling to make ends meet be able to keep more of their hard-earned money. This is especially true for the rural areas of our nation where there are literal banking deserts, never mind inadequate banking services. 

Fast forward to 2006 with HR6407, and now today, you are hearing President Trump, the GOP, and even a few Democrats promote privatizing this Constitutional sacred cow. Again, why? Is it because the post office wields the largest public union? Or because for-profit special interest companies would certainly benefit from the demise of the USPS? Perhaps it is because the very existence of the post office disproves the notion that government is always the problem? Seriously? What other entity can pick up a letter in Maine on Monday and deliver it on Thursday in Hawaii, and do so for fifty cents? 

My hope is that you, the reader, will realize the post office is worth saving. There are forces within our government who are hell-bent on destroying the USPS and making it ripe for privatization. That simply cannot be allowed to happen. So please make Ben Franklin proud and support the USPS every chance you get. Oh, and while you’re at it, please consider signing my Change.org petition pertaining to this matter HERE 

 

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