When I heard that the United States Postal Service had decided to pull the plug on Saturday mail delivery I barely raised an eyebrow. Anyone who has been paying attention knew that this was bound to happen sooner or later. Ostensibly, this action will save the taxpayers 2 billion dollars annually. And why not…think about it!
Nobody writes letters anymore. Even my own mother, who is well into her eighties, sends me email instead of letters. And those credit card offers that I used to get three or four of every day — the ones that offered me a MasterCard or Visa with a limit five times my annual salary — those aren’t nearly as plentiful in this post-housing-market-crash era (due to the fact that consumers have lost the ability to pay off large balances by taking equity out of their homes, but that is the fodder for another blog). Then my Newsweek magazine went into steady decline, soon to be eclipsed in content by my local Pennysaver. Finally, last October it breathed its last and was laid to rest, replaced by its online counterpart, Newsweek Global, an online magazine perhaps soon to be rivaled in readership by Ed’s end of the planet books. Of course everyone pays their bills online these days, and when was the last time you received a postcard from a vacationing relative — why mail a card from the Grand Canyon when you can just take a digital picture and plant it on Facebook.
And that my friend, is why the United States Post Office is stopping Saturday delivery — there is not enough mail to keep them busy. And it only follows, that if there is no work, why pay to keep those shiftless postal workers loafing around the mail rooms and napping in their mini-vans on the taxpayer’s dime, right…
I am not so sure. Like the right to bear arms, which we hear so much about these days, the Post Office is a Constitutionally mandated institution. But that may be where the similarities end. Don’t forget, the Post Office is staffed by those villainous American Postal Workers Union members, and we all know about the evils of unions don’t we.
“Oh come on,” you may say to me. “It’s only one day. These guys have five other days to deliver the mail. Go ahead and give them Saturdays off and save a buck or two.” To this I would answer — first, you are obviously someone who does not receive checks regularly in the mail as do many small business people, and second, that there is far more behind this than meets the eye. I believe that the death knell of the Post Office may well begin on August 5, 2013, when Saturday delivery ceases, and its death will not be due to natural causes.
I think that there is a well orchestrated plot to shut down the USPS, a plot that began back in 2006. In that year, the Republican controlled Congress passed a law requiring the USPS to fund the retirement of future retirees for the next 75 years. And it required the funding to be completed within ten years. This is the first and only time that a Federal Agency has ever been issued such an unreasonable requirement. The USPS is actually funding retirement accounts for employees that haven’t been hired! So I must ask myself: Could this requirement (enacted by a lame-duck Congress), be in any way tied to a movement to privatize mail service in the United States? Like most other privatization movements, like the current ones to privatize schools and prisons, and even the military, begin with dismantling organized labor.
So if you are thinking that you can live without mail on Saturdays, you are probably right. But if you see something more sinister afoot, I suggest you do as I plan to do and make your feelings known to your Congressman.