Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reeling Toward Privatization

If the United States Postal Service is "reeling toward default," it's not for any of the reasons stated in yesterday's editorial in the New York Times. It infuriates me that the NYT editorial staff would just repeat the USPS's lies verbatim, when the truth isn't at all difficult to uncover. Repeating a lie over and over again won't make it fact. Congress must not acquiesce to the USPS's "imminent disaster" demand to break contracts with the postal unions and lay off more than a third of its workforce.

According to the National Association of Letter Carriers, the mandate forcing the USPS to prefund future retiree health benefits 75 years in the future, costing $5.5 billion per year, accounts for all of the USPS's losses in the last four years. A la Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine, this is part of a deliberate strategy to bankrupt the USPS, with a view to breaking the postal unions and ultimately to dismantling and privatizing the very lucrative U.S. postal service.

At a time when we're supposed to be adding jobs, we can't afford to be losing them, especially not more than a third of the jobs at the country's second-largest nonmilitary employer. If Congress acquiesces, we will all be losers—people living in rural areas, former postal employees adding to the legions of the country's unemployed, and the U.S. economy.

Please, sign and share the petition at Change.org. And challenge the lies, no matter how often they're repeated.

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