Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Privatization Is Not The Answer.


Reference: Tom Schneider's "Privatize postal operation for optimal outcome." 3-4-10 Indianapolis Star [see bottom]

The suggestion that privatization is the solution to the postal service problems is a knee-jerk reaction to any problem identified in the public sector. What private company could take on the role of delivering mail to every address in the country? None.

If you allowed privatization of delivery by geographic areas, what company will want to deliver mail to 174 addresses along a 176-mile route in North Dakota? None.

If you allowed the privatization of the system's revenue-generating portions, how would the non-revenue producing parts [plants and transportation] be funded? The only way to do so would be to put them back on the tax roles. Something that hasn't happened in decades.

The thousands of facilities that would go back on the tax roles, many are leased. Most are aged and located in neighborhoods where they are the only business structure. This means they would most likely become vacant and a liability to local taxpayers, not an asset.

Privatization wouldn't guarantee an 'optimal outcome' or stable stamp prices; it would only guarantee lower wages and the need for elevated revenues to satisfy the profit motive. Do you want a minimum wage transient workforce handling your credit cards and personal information?

No Private company could deliver the mail if burdened by the mandates placed upon the Postal Service by Congress, such as the $5 billion annual requirement to pre-fund certain obligations. Return the 75 billion dollars the Postal service has overpaid into one of those mandated funds and let the U. S. Postal Service do what it has done for 235 years better than any country or business, deliver the mail.

In response to a post on 'Keep Saturday Delivery Alive':

That's the privatizers for you, and unfortunately, when government officials buy into privatization, this is what you get. When someone floats the idea of privatization, if the public accepts the idea, it is because the public has already become dissatisfied with the service in question. If the public dismisses the idea, then the privatizers go to plan B, which is to sabotage the agency to the point that the public becomes dissatisfied enough to buy into the agency's privatization eventually. This is accomplished by burdening the agency with restrictive funding, diminished services and goals, increased obligations, busting the union, and destroying the workforce's morale. Sound familiar?

The trial balloon of five-day delivery has been floated several times since the Reagan administration, and every time the public has rejected it. Valid concerns over low volume and recession serve to distract from the manufactured problems of the privatizers. The public has been numbed by one financial crisis after another to the point they forget that the postal service has survived low volume and financial crisis for over 200 years. 

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