Let’s talk about the USPS. The Post Office. From an article in the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/13/donald-trump-usps-post-office-election-funding):
“Trump said on Thursday that congressional negotiations over stimulus aid were held up in part because of Democratic proposals to provide $3.6bn to states to run elections and $25bn in aid to the postal service. The president, who has falsely claimed that widespread mail-in voting will lead to fraud, suggested that without the funding it would be harder to vote by mail.
“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. “If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.””
While the severity of this can not be stressed enough, the absolute threat to this Republic is at an all time high… higher than I ever expected I’d see in my lifetime.
Dating back to 1775, the USPS has had it’s roots in America… before America was America. An institution that is literally in the bedrock of this country is currently under attack.
Facts: Trump has appointed Louis Dejoy as Postmaster General. This man also owns stock in companies that either support or competes with the institution he now oversees.
DeJoy still holds at least $30 million in stock in XPO Logistics, a contractor company that processes mail for USPS. (Makes sense why he has pulled 475 sorting machines). He also owned shares in another USPS competitor, United Parcel Services (UPS), worth between $265,000 and $550,000.
DeJoy ALSO changed the structure of the leadership at the USPS, centralizing power to himself.
With Trump demonizing Mail in Voting as grossly fraudulent (even though a number of states, mine included, have been doing it for years without issue), and giving DeJoy, a HEAVY donor to the Trump Campaign, unilateral control to slow/tamper with mail in ballots, you’re watching “the fix” settle into place.
But it’s not just the election we’re facing a massive crisis with. If the Post office faces layoffs due to the dismantling of the infrastructure, one of the immediate casualties will be Layoffs. Jobs & Veterans. It’s a two fer: The Postal Service employs more than 97,000 military veterans and is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country. (Receipt: https://facts.usps.com/usps-employs-more-than-105000-military-veterans/) Not only that, but the Postal Service is at the core of the $1.6 trillion U.S. mailing industry that employs more than 7.3 million people. (Receipt: https://facts.usps.com/usps-core-of-industry/)
The Postal Service processes and delivers 48 percent of the world’s mail and is constantly innovating to make customer experiences better. Take that away? And this is about more than just the US. This will be another global pandemic directly linked back to the good ole USA.
But Kenny, doesn’t the post office cost tax payers through the nose? Nope. The Post Office runs at a whopping Zero tax dollars used. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. (Receipt: https://facts.usps.com/top-facts/)
This also effects small businesses. If it everything goes bust… it’s going to kill small businesses: (Receipt: https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/24/if-we-let-the-us-postal-service-die-well-be-killing-small-businesses-with-it/)
Does Grammy rely on the Post office for Medications? She may end up without due to delays. Do you or anyone you know send checks to vendors for payments? Pay your bills? Start expecting late fees. It’s not just mail in voting. (Receipt: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/15/us/post-office-vote-by-mail.html)
So what can we do?
Fast Company has a few great suggestions:
Buy stamps: Yes, every little bit helps! The USPS gets much of its funding from those little sticky things, and you can actually buy them online now (which was news to me until a colleague pointed it out). If you really want to help, you can buy stamps and just hold onto them so the USPS doesn’t incur more delivery costs.
Contact your congressional representative: Although it’s possible your senator or congressperson already supports action to preserve the integrity of our mail system, they still need to hear from you. In July, the American Postal Workers Union said its members made almost 30,000 calls to Congress. It’s a start. Call yours and tell them to save the Post Office.
Join the activists: A coalition of progressive groups is working to spread the word about saving the post office through a number of direct actions, including petitions and awareness campaigns.
Vote early: If you do plan to vote by mail, voting early can help ensure that the USPS is not overwhelmed at the last minute. The website Vote.org has a good roundup of early-voting rules by state.
Do not let this administration mess with the Post Office any longer. Their unofficial motto has always been: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. It’s a shame that after this year, they may need to append “nor Fascism”.