Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Neither Rain nor Sleet . . .

About to become relics?
Are you ready for this? The dark of night is about to descend on the US Postal Service. An article in the New York Times informs that unless drastic action to avert it happens, the USPS will be dead broke and forced into default by this winter. What's required is that Congress take immediate action to provide emergency funding, stress on immediate. Well, pardon me, but what do you think the odds are that Congress will do that? While the servants of the people were out of Washington on their summer break, the air waves have been mercifully free for several weeks of their unceasing nauseating blather. They have returned now, and we can expect nothing from here to the election but vicious partisan bickering. Meanwhile Rome is burning down.

The reasons for the decline of the USPS are not difficult to understand: the electronic age has driven a stake through the heart of the USPS's "old-fashioned" way of doing things. People don't mail letters any more. They use email, and although individual addresses are getting less mail, there are more of them to deliver to. Labor costs are monstrous, and the USPS is saddled with extremely costly contracts with its unions that prevent layoffs under any conditions. This graphic, which will not fit on this page, shows the picture better than words.

Can you imagine no US Postal Service? I certainly find it the prospect unimaginable . . . or I should amend that by adding "until now." Both you and I know that there are idiots in Congress who will see the bankruptcy of the USPS as a good thing. Under the insane rubric of "the best government is no government," Tea Party types and their cowed lackeys will not lift a finger to save an institution that has been around literally since 1776. You can depend on that. The Times article cited above has details on fighting among legislators who aren't Tea Party types. Indeed, people are worried that the bitter partisanship in the capital will prevent Congress from taking any action at all.
Post a Comment