Thursday, March 26, 2009

USPS Problems


The USPS showed up hat in hand before Congress to beg for more money. They had a 2.8 billion dollar shortfall last year and are going to have bigger problems this year if drastic measures are not taken (i.e. bailout money, lay-offs, reduced work days, etc...).

Once again proving why government should not run a business. The government is not efficient. Many Republicans are current and former business owners, which is why they understand that in a Capitalistic Democracy, businesses need to have the freedom to succeed or fail on their own and that government needs to keep its hands out of it. Most Democrats are career politicians, lawyers, or 'community organizers' and they do not understand how to run a business. They fundamentally do not understand. Government's only role in business and the marketplace should be to prevent fraud and market manipulation (which they have failed to do).

This is a preview of what President Giggles and the Democratic Congress want for health care. They are pushing for socialized medicine that would be under government control. This is insane. We have the best quality of health care in the world. Sure, it's not perfect, but its a hell of a lot better than every other country out there. Socialized free health care for all does not work. Quality of care is reduced and wait times for operations are insane. Just ask any Brit. So why are we letting them try to revamp the entire system, when what we have already works? If they succeed, health care, just like the USPS will turn into a bottomless money pit, except this time, instead of the consequence being your letter not getting to its intended destination, the consequence will be waiting to long for an operation and dying!!!!

For clarification purposes; prior to 1970 the USPS was a completely government-dependent agency, but has since become a semi-independent government agency. They receive federal tax dollars for some things and do not have to pay taxes, but are suppose to operate revenue-neutral, meaning that the products they sell (i.e. stamps) are suppose to cover their operating expenses. Although they are in some ways like a business, they operate very much like a government agency: ridiculous pay for really simple jobs, taking off every holiday possible even if they have to make new ones up, inefficient communication, and wasteful spending.

31 comments:

  1. No more bailouts! Not even for the US Postal Service. I agree that the postal service is run similarly to a business…let it be a business and if it can’t be run properly than let it go under just like a business. As far as I am concerned close the postal service down altogether and use the money that is there for something else. I know what some of you are thinking, “what about all the people that will be out of a job?” Let them get a job that pays them what they deserve. There I said it. Besides, 99% of the mail I get is junk or duplicates of e-mailed bills and statements anyways. What a waste of time and paper. I would like to request a poll on the blog:
    How often do you mail anything through the US Postal Service?
    - 2-3 times a week at least
    - Once a week maybe
    - Once a month
    - Never, I have the internet

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  2. I don't see any logic in your argument in Republican business owners vs. Democratic lawyers. First off, assuming what you say is accurate (which I have my doubts), just because you are born into a wealthy family who owns and runs businesses doesn't mean you are any more qualified to be a politician. George Bush ran lots of businesses...into the ground.

    You say the governments only role in business is to prevent fraud and market manipulation. It seems to me that republican business owners are and have been the least qualified politicians to do that. Not only are they in bed with the very businesses that they are supposed to be looking over, the republican members of congress have impeded the stopping of corporate tax loopholes that allow executives to not pay billions in taxes every year. Something that I would bet 95 percent of the population of this country is against, yet we can't get it fixed. Execs out their making 10 freakin million dollars a year yet they are paying a smaller percentage in taxes than mid-level managers.

    For the past twenty five years (with a republican dominant government) we have seen corporate executives go from making 30 to 40 times the average workers pay to 300 to 400 times the average workers pay. Why? I'm sure there are lots of reasons but one is that with the system in place it is actually beneficiary for corporations to pay a select few a lot of money as opposed to spreading it out a little more.

    I agree with a lot you have to say about the government. If I had to put my political beliefs into a category I would be labeled as a libertarian, who also believes in a small, efficient government. But to say that democrats are the problem and republicans are the solution to me is ludicrous. Corporate greed and politicians in lobbyists pockets are both very bi-partisan.

    BTW, you say we have the best quality of healthcare in the world. I wonder if someone who works 39 hours a week at Wal-Mart who doesn't qualify for health insurance feels the same way. I know what you are saying and I don't agree with what Obama is doing either, but for some people in this country, their quality of health care could almost not be any worse.

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  3. Brett-
    I don't think business owners are any more qualified to be politicians, I think politicians should be from all walks of life. But I agree more with the Republican stance of government's role in the economy, which is let businesses do what they do and stop interferring. It's the area where I think Republicans and Libertarians are the most similar. I think Republicans take that position because more of them come from a business background than the Democrats.

    I agree with you about the lobbyist problem as I have previously mentioned on this blog multiple times, but its a separate problem that should be addressed and does not justify government interference into our economic system. Yes you are correct that both parties are corrupt in many ways and too influenced by lobbyist dollars. I completely agree.

    Regarding health care, as I said, our system is not perfect, but it is the best in the world and I challenge you to make a case otherwise. Someone who works at walmart for 1 hour short of being full time is an idiot, but I get your point. But any person without money can walk into any county hospital and get free care. If it's a life threatening emergency they can walk in and get care anywhere. My problem with socialized health care is the same as with company health care: why should healthy people have to share the additional health care expense of all the overweight Type II diabetic smoker's of the world? If most company's didn't pay for part of your insurance bill you couldn't afford it. If you're healthy it's much cheaper to buy insurance on your own rather than get on a group policy. On a group policy everyone shares the extra cost and burden of the msot expensive people. Which is exactly how nationalized health care would work. If someone has a medical condition or chooses to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle shouldn't they pay more for health costs? Should I have to pay for their medical problems?

    I'm not trying to be insensitive, but this all goes back to fundamental principles. I depend on me. It's called personal responsiblity. And I don't expect you, other taxpayers, or my government to take care of me. I'm surprised that as a Libertarian you don't see the logic in that.

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  4. Ok, so first off I have to ask the question...is this a blog about Health care or a blog about the Post office? I am going to ignore the health care part as I don't have time for that...that should be another blog. I will say our Health care system is sick, very sick and...no...Obama's plan will not make it healthy.

    Issue one...the post office is not a business, nor should it ever be one. It is a public agency. Yes, it looks like a business sense it suppose to try to balance its budget through sales, but just like the court system...that does not always work.

    Issue two...mail like Eric stated has been decreasing, hence part of the reason for the budget fall short. Every year less people buy stamps due to several factors...the main being online banking.

    Issue three...basic employees don't make very much as Jake thinks. I have a family member who worked for the Post office and only got 40K after 20 years of service. However, just like every typical government and corporation...the high ups get why to much cash. A post master can make over 120K.

    You can't close down the post office like Eric suggests, not everyone has the internet to pay their bills. Also there is no other company that will mail your letter, unless you take it to FedEX and send it for $10. The post office is not the only one suffering in the shipping industry...after all DHL has shut down all its domestic shipping and both FedEX and UPS have lost profits.

    My personal propals to help fix the system.
    1. Jump stamps to 75 cents...stop this once cent crap every year.
    2. Combine some excess post offices...make a post office two zip codes, not one.
    3. Close down on weekends...no one needs their mail on Sat. and Sunday...they can wait til Monday.
    4. Remove some of their enormous amount of holidays
    5. Cut the top salary and place a cap.
    6. Stream line the mail options, example: post cards vs mail are different rates
    7. Cut back on supply waste. Currently you can get a lot of free crap from the postal service, like envelopes
    8. Give Casey a Zanax for making it through this post and my grammar.

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  5. moonbeam3000-
    You're right, I'll do a separate blog about healthcare. I didn't say they made a lot, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to sort mail. Much like unionized labor putting the same nut on every car that goes by, those people are overpaid. Bottom line, with the continual evolution of the internet, people just don't need to mail as much and the USPS should downsize accordingly.

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  6. Well, I agree on downsizing. Mail is like the newspaper, its getting smaller and smaller every year. That is why I proposed, having a post office per every two zip codes instead of one per zip code.

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  7. I agree with Jake when it comes to the healthcare issue. I am so tired of people in this country saying healthcare is so much better in countries with socialized healthcare. This was one of the top reasons I did not vote for the Savor of Change. Both of my parents have worked in the healthcare profession for their entire career. They have worked on the floors of hospitals and all the way up to higher management. They will be the first to tell you that our healthcare in this country has it issues and problems that should be resolved, but they will also say that if we change to socialized healthcare it will be a HUGE mistake. Like Jake said, why should I have to pay for the overweight type II diabetic smoker? Jake - I love your last paragraph about personal responsibility. I couldn’t agree more. Maybe the Savor could do a press conference about that, or put some bail out money towards programs to teach the meaning of personal responsibility in our country.

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  8. well apparently I struck a chord with the health care issue so maybe I'll do a separate posting for it...perhaps Nancy can provide some insight

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  9. I knew you would...considering that is one of the reoccurring issues for every election :-p. I want to hear Nancy's insight on the post office though

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  10. I have been researching health care for about an hour now and can't find one health organization that thinks the United States is anywhere close to being the best health care provider in the world. I am also finding lots of information that claims the United States spends more government money on health care (% of GNP) than many countries around the world that guarantee health care to all citizens. I obviously don't know if the information I have found is accurate...but I guess the question is...how do any of you know that our health care system is better?

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  11. really extensive research (Cindy hurt her foot in Greece and we went to a really crappy hospital. And on our Mediterranean cruise a Canadian couple and British couple both complained a lot about their country's nationalized health care systems - those two things are really all I've got).

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  12. Can we not get back to the real issue at hand...stamps people...stamps

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  13. France, for example, spends less money (per capita and % of GDP), has a lower infant mortality rate, longer life expectancy, higher approval rating by their own citizens, and is only slightly less responsive than our health care systems.

    Both Canada and the U.K. have higher approval ratings by their own citizens than the U.S., although neither are ranked very high from what I have seen (both higher than the U.S.)

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  14. Brett, the french are also not fat...which changes the life expectancy...just saying

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  15. Brett- approval ratings by their own citizens? Every knows that Americans are a bunch of whiny babies - I don't think that's a relavent study. Let's talk facts. Fact: British people have really bad teeth. Why? because they have socialized medicine.

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  16. Fact: French people are really rude. Why? because they have socialized medicine.

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  17. Fact: Canadians suck. Why? Because they have nationalized health care and for a lot of other reasons that I will probably include in a different blog posting.

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  18. My point Brett, is why do you want us to be like England, France, and Canada? Are you a communist Brett?

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  19. Ummm...Jake...China is the communists....I think you mean Socialists

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  20. It was a joke, I was being extreme. But for your information, Communism is a type of Socialism. Either way, it's the direction our country is heading if we don't learn the lessons of history. The Soviet Union began when the working class got fed up with the rich upper class, killed them all, and tried to run the country themselves. Look at how that worked out for the Soviet Union. I'm going to do a separate blog posting about this idea too, because I think a lot of people have misconceptions about terms like 'rich' and 'upper class'.

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  21. this blog is too long so I refuse to read it!

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  22. A couple of things:

    1. Postal Service -
    Regardless of if you call the Postal Service a business or govt agency, it should be treated as a business. It competes with the private sector in the shipping industry. And since it is heavily funded through by the government, rather than shipping rates, stamp sales, and those gay novelty items they sell in the lobby, it is cheating. FedEx, UPS, DHL, and whatever companies there are, have to compete with this pseudo company that is paying its operating costs with tax dollars. As a consumer, I'm ok with it, but if I was a business owner, especially in the shipping industry, I'd be livid. The government's role in our economy is to make sure the market is fair, not get into it and become market players.

    Also, Moonbeam. Postmaster's are paid so much because they focused their efforts on things needed for advancement. They went to college and graduate school. They put in the required work to advance. Just like executives of corporate America. I'm so tired of people bashing the higher ups because they make a lot of money. Yeah, there was quite a bit of good fortune that put them where they are, but they put in the work and did what was necessary to put them in the position to be eligible for such positions. Sure, their pay is often ridiculously high, but if shareholders and boards of directors want the best business men for their companies, they have to compete with other companies that want the best. So these guys end up being the prize of extremely costly bidding wars. And I'm sure that this is about to come off gruff and insensitive, but if the people who put in 20 years at the postal service or on the assembly line were unhappy with their pay or circumstance, they should have done something to change it. Go back to school, learn a trade, invent something etc. The sense (not since or cents) of entitlement is disgusting.
    For your reading pleasure:
    http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa072602a.htm

    Healthcare:
    I have no doubt Nancy will have a thing or two to say about this, but...oh well.

    The way the majority of insured Americans receive their coverage through their (or a family member's) job. The workers are given the choice between 2 - 5 plans that a human resources manager decided were good. Then employee pays a percentage of the premiums and the company pays the rest. Because this is the system, Insurance companies cater to the businesses, NOT the actual consumer. What kind of ridiculous system is that? The person using the coverage is NOT the one that the health insurance company is designing the plan to satisfy. HR picks the plans that are best for the company, the workers have to trust that they will pick plans that will be good for them.

    This is precisely the reason I voted for McCain. His plan, in a nutshell, was to give every American an $8,000 tax break if they bought their own health insurance (with the average health insurance costs being between $600 and $700, this is basically a wash). With massive numbers of individuals in the market, health insurance companies would be forced to cater their plans to the individual, rather than the company. This would improve the quality of coverage and force health insurance companies to be more accountable. If someone someone has had a heart condition and now needs a procedure, for instance a mitral valve replacement surgery, and a health insurance carrier classified it as "experimental", they wouldn't pay for it. In the system we have now, there are very few places to turn, mostly charities and non-profits. Under a system like John McCain's, a person with heart disease could choose a plan by a company who caters to people with heart disease. Would it be more expensive? Probably, but at least he has the option to pick a plan that meets his medical needs.

    Also, calling our system the best health care is pretty subjective and a difficult phrase to back up. But so is calling any system. Ital was ranked as the top health care system by the World Health Organization, but the factors considered and the weight given to each factor is fairly arbitrary. For instance, I am most interested in having a health care system that detects illness early, provides the most accurate and adequate treatment and is actively involved in preventing future illness. A study called by the Common Wealth Fund, ranked the U.S. as first in those categories. They were ranked extremely low in areas like fairness and access, but that was basically because we have a system of private health insurance and there are 40 million people without it. So for me, the US does have the best health care system, because if I'm sick, I want my doctor to know what's wrong with me, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again.

    Lastly. Nothing personal Moonbeam, but your grammar is atrocious. I don't need a Xanax (not Zanax). I need you to Netflix the entire box set of School House Rock.

    damn and hell....sorry had to include those or it wouldn't be a proper CCC post.

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  23. You people voting on the poll disgust me! You use the 2-3 times a month or more!!!??? You should be ashamed of yourself (unless you work there and then I sincerely apologize for my above comments)

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  24. Casey you freakin idio! I have nothing else to say on the matter.

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  25. It's a sad day for someone when they misspell 2 out of the 3 words, while calling someone an idiot. What I think you wanted to say was "you freakin' idiot!"

    My response: Takes one to know one idio!

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  26. Apparently Jake is not the only one that censors this blog! I tried to post a message telling Casey I was going to kick his a__. However, I got a warning from google :)

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  27. ..and futher more, who died and left you the spelling bee queen?

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  28. Before Casey has a cow, I meant to type furthermore.

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  29. I was just saying, when you call someone an idiot, try to correctly spell three consecutive words. It's like how Dr. Phil, being a fat a** himself, writes a book on how to lose weight.

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  30. Okay I get your point!

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