Trump Donor Destroying Post Office

The President may be right on voting by mail.

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President Trump has spent months laying the groundwork to claim massive election fraud because of the untrustworthiness of voting by mail. While that argument does not comport with the historical facts, it could actually be true come November—because his own Postmaster General has managed to wreck the mail system.

WaPo (“Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November“):

The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election.

As President Trump ramps up his unfounded attacks on mail balloting as being susceptible to widespread fraud, postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.

The backlog comes as the president, who is trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls, has escalated his efforts to cast doubt about the integrity of the November vote, which is expected to yield record numbers of mail ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 general election, a notion that was widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. He has repeatedly gone after the Postal Service, recently suggesting that the agency cannot be trusted to deliver ballots.

DeJoy, a North Carolina logistics executive who donated more than $2 million to GOP political committees in the past four years, approved changes that took effect July 13 that the agency said were aimed at cutting costs for the debt-laden mail service. They included prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail behind when necessary to avoid extra trips or late delivery on routes.

The new policies have resulted in at least a two-day delay in scattered parts of the country, even for express mail, according to multiple postal workers and union leaders. Letter carriers are manually sorting more mail, adding to the delivery time. Bins of mail ready for delivery are sitting in post offices because of scheduling and route changes. And without the ability to work overtime, workers say the logjam is worsening without an end in sight.

As states look to dramatically expand the use of mail-in ballots this fall, postal workers across the country said the changes could lead to chaos in November.

“I’m actually terrified to see election season under the new procedure,” said Lori Cash, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 183 in Western New York.

David Partenheimer, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said the recent changes aim to stabilize the agency after decades of financial woes. The procedures are not meant to slow the delivery of ballots or any other mail, he said, also asserting that any problems will be short-lived.

“Of course we acknowledge that temporary service impacts can occur . . . but any such impacts will be monitored and temporary,” Partenheimer said.

Partenheimer said that claims that DeJoy takes directions from Trump are “wholly misplaced and off-base,” noting that the postmaster general is appointed by a bipartisan board of governors.

Granting that much of the complaining is coming from the postal workers’ union, this is obviously highly problematic.

As the announcement of his appointment notes, “As Chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics, DeJoy spent decades in collaboration with the U.S. Postal Service, Boeing, Verizon, Disney, United Technologies and other public and private companies to provide supply chain logistics, program management and transportation support.” He’s qualified to run the Postal Service.

And there’s no evidence of nefarious intent to interfere with the election on his part. Rather, he’s bringing a businessman’s mindset to running a quasi-private government entity.

Which is a problem. While it has been an independent agency running as a quasi-business enterprise for half a century now (pursuant to the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970) it’s one of the few federal functions specified in the Constitution. Since literally our founding, it has been understood that the mails are a national priority.

To be sure, many of the traditional functions of the post office have been obviated. FedEx and UPS (the latter of which DeJoy owns considerable stock interests in) have largely taken over the package delivery business, with the USPS essentially the carrier of last resort in that department. And electronic mail and the Internet more broadly (and the fax machine in an earlier era) make sending letters much more unusual than even in my adult memory.

We’re almost certainly not going to be able to vote in the old-fashioned way this November. It would be criminal malfeasance to ask people to line up to go inside shuttered schools to have elderly volunteers hand them a ballot collected by other elderly volunteers in the midst of a global pandemic that we’re managing worse than just about any other country. Nobody with any technical chops believes we can conduct an election over the Internet. So, that leaves the mail as the only viable alternative.

We simply can’t have massive delays or fears that whole troves of ballots aren’t making it to where they need to.

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FILED UNDER: Government, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    Add in that the “debt” and staffing shortages is an artificial creation of Congress requiring the USPS to prefund 75 years of health costs whenever they hire a new employee (something no actual business has to do or would consider ever doing) and you have “pro-business” effort to destroy a public service.

    Editing to add link explaining above: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/financials/annual-reports/fy2010/ar2010_4_002.htm

    23
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Granting that much of the complaining is coming from the postal workers’ union, this is obviously highly problematic.

    Alright, STOP. Just stop it.

    OF COURSE it’s coming from the union. You want to know why? Because the union represents the very people who best know how these things work. And do you know who those people take their complaints to? Not their bosses, because at best their bosses just don’t want to hear it and at worst will take retaliatory actions. (and there are many retaliatory actions that don’t break any rules, trust me on that if you trust me on nothing else). They call their rep, because that is the one guy who is not only paid to listen, but is also paid to do something about it if s/he can, and if s/he can’t to squawk about it as loudly as they can. They also get paid to protect their members, meaning any complainers don’t get identified in situations like this.

    I saw a lot of rule breaking in my 35 years. Most of it was penny ante stuff that one just learns to expect and to roll with it. But when it was life and death? Like working without fall protection because they didn’t want to spend a couple hundred extra? You damn right I called my rep. And he brought hell and damnation down on their heads.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    FedEx and UPS (the latter of which DeJoy owns considerable stock interests in) have largely taken over the package delivery business, with the USPS essentially the carrier of last resort in that department.

    And who do FED EX and UPS turn to when they don’t want to go the final miles?

    21
  4. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not criticizing the union, just caveating that they have every incentive to maximize the complaint.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yup.

    It’s rather weird. Mailing packages by USPS is absurdly expensive for a private citizen and, especially since they won’t actually guarantee a delivery date, it’s almost always better for me to use UPS when I need to mail something. But Amazon, FedEx, and UPS have managed to leverage the fact that USPS is going to every address six days a week to their advantage.

    I don’t understand the delivery business. We get tons of stuff from Amazon, sometimes with three and four deliveries a day. While I’m sure it’s highly orchestrated, it’s seemingly random which packages will come from UPS, FedEx, USPS, an Amazon-marked truck, or some random private vehicle.

    2
  5. Scott says:

    I find it fascinating that the Trump and the Republicans get much of their support from rural areas but assault the very people who support them. Rural America is greatly subsidized. Mail is just one area. Internet is another. Pretty sure electricity is also. In the meantime, huge farm subsidies are handed out while farm and ranch bankruptcies are at an all time high.

    11
  6. James Joyner says:

    @Scott:

    I find it fascinating that the Trump and the Republicans get much of their support from rural areas but assault the very people who support them. Rural America is greatly subsidized. Mail is just one area. Internet is another. Pretty sure electricity is also.

    It’s really fascinating all around. Rural whites are also much more likely to be on various assistance programs—Medicaid, Food Stamps, Social Security disability, etc.—and yet tend to vehemently oppose said programs because they’re seen as disproportionately benefitting undesirables.

    If the Post Office went out of business, I’d hardly notice. Someone else would deliver my Amazon packages. My checks are all direct deposited. I’d have to read a couple more magazines online.

    1
  7. Lounsbury says:

    And there’s no evidence of nefarious intent to interfere with the election on his part. Rather, he’s bringing a businessman’s mindset to running a quasi-private government entity.

    no, I don’t believe this is the problem, this is your American myopia speaking. In Continental Europe we’ve seen business oriented reforms or changes to postal services that have not wrecked the public service side, and they have drawn on “business mindset”

    The problem you have is the ideological PoV on the Right in the USA which has gone well beyond a reasonable skepticism towards excessive size of public sector etc. to a blind, Communist style ideological position. A kind of inverted Communism (which frankly is what Ayn Rand peddled in my opinion).

    A business person coming from a non-ideological PoV (that is not from the current Right-Bolshevik Republican Party) could well be useful in a business or market oriented restructure, but one not contaminated by a rigid and overriding ideological hostility and rigidity.

    There are models of business/market oriented Post reforms led by business people, but one has to look to mixed models, have intellectual flexibility (entirely absent on the Right in the USA now), and have strategic thinkers, not Quarter-to-Quarter managers (a subtlety that perhaps escapes, as people labeled Trump a “businessman” when he was never really an operational strategic manager – not successfully at least – but a marketeer. And when short-termist Marketing drives product or management, well… failure ensuses)

    Rather like your failed train system and failing / increasingly 3rd worldesque infrastructure – it’s your inverted Communism on the Right that is driving you to failure, not per se a Businessman’s approach.

    16
  8. mattbernius says:

    To be sure, many of the traditional functions of the post office have been obviated. FedEx and UPS (the latter of which DeJoy owns considerable stock interests in) have largely taken over the package delivery business, with the USPS essentially the carrier of last resort in that department.

    While that is true for packages, UPSP had been extremely competitive in express mail (envolope sized shipping)… until a month or two ago (corresponding with the shift in leadership). For Code for America, I have had to send out a number of gift cards to research participants. And for that, priority mail was, shipping from the East Coast, a reliable 2 day option (even during the pandemic)… until about a month ago.

    My last two priority shipments took 4 to 5 days to get from Rochester NY to various, non-remote portions of Illinois (Chicagoland and Rock Island). Which sucked for my research participants and created significant headaches for me.

    I’ve never had that issue before. Even during the height of the pandemic, it was 3 days max. It’s also worth noting that in the last month, Priority Express has shifted from overnight to up to 2 days.

    4
  9. KM says:

    @Scott @James Joyner:

    tend to vehemently oppose said programs because they’re seen as disproportionately benefitting undesirables.

    It’s all about framing. They’re not undesirables, they’re Real America. Subsidies aren’t handouts to leeches; they’re deserved help for people in need. It’s not wastes of money on people not pulling their weight; it’s keeping small towns artificially alive because otherwise they’d die out. Capitalism isn’t kind to rural life but subsidizes aren’t socialism, damnit!!

    Rural residents live in a kind of denial about their lifestyle. If we were a true capitalist society, EVERYTHING about rural life would cost way more since there simply is no way to defray the costs other then passing them along to the customer. Urban customers would never tolerate higher bills to offset rural areas unless the government made them; the free market would rapidly shift pricing so that the burden would rightly fall on those who cost more to service. There’s a fostered sense of entitlement that means deliberately choosing to live far from services should come with those services at a comparable rate to where they are centralized solely because they’re Americans. That’s their “right” but should urban resident demand the same kinds of support, they’re “takers” stealing from taxpayers.

    tl;dr it’s not surprising rural areas support people who actively try to destroy their way of life. They’ve been brainwashed for decades to believe they’re special and attacks on subsidization/ services won’t affect them, just those people.

    13
  10. Michael Cain says:

    Prediction: In the states that already do vote-by-mail (either completely, or like Arizona at the 80% level) this will be a non-event. In my vote-by-mail state, the ballots could arrive a week later than usual and there would still be plenty of time to complete them. Most ballots here are not returned via the mail, but are instead deposited in one of the many drop-off boxes.

    This will increase the mess in the states who are trying to ramp up use of their existing small absentee ballot systems, particularly those where voters must request the absentee ballot. Adding a two-day mail delay three times — once for the ballot request, once for the outgoing ballot, once for the returned ballot — will be a serious problem. Particularly when it’s added to the problems we’ve already seen in the primaries with election officials simply being overwhelmed by the volume of absentee requests.

    2
  11. wr says:

    “And there’s no evidence of nefarious intent to interfere with the election on his part. Rather, he’s bringing a businessman’s mindset to running a quasi-private government entity.”

    We have all heard the Hanlon’s Razor — “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.” But it’s pretty clear watching the Trump administration that it is always both.

    Don’t know if you’ve yet read the VF story about Jared’s testing taskforce… and how they gave up their huge plan for a nationwide system of testing when they realized the virus was mostly hitting blue states, so they could just kick back, do nothing, and blame Democratic governors.

    10
  12. Thomm says:

    @James Joyner: I gotta call bs on USPS being “absurdly expensive” for a private citizen. Just checked rates to two day ship a letter envelope from Denver to my hometown of Natural bridge, VA. UPS: $28.93, FedEx: $36.83(!), USPS flat rate Priority with tracking and insurance: $7.75. All of these were figured up with pickup from origin. Oh, and both UPS and FedEx have suspended their delivery date guarantees as well. We get an IMMENSE benefit from the USPS in this country (order something off eBay from Canada if you want to see “absurdly expensive”). But, damn those union workers and their sweet, sweet pot of pension money that can send the S&P to new heights, amirite?

    17
  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: I’m not criticizing the union, just caveating that they have every incentive to maximize the complaint.

    Well, it comes across as dismissive, like “Of course the union is going to complain…” with heavy sarcasm.

    since they won’t actually guarantee a delivery date,

    What are you talking about? Express mail guarantees next day delivery, and Priority guarantees 2 day. I use them all the time and they always get there.

    Or at least they were until numbnuts took over.

    PS: back in the day I used USPS Airport to Airport to get things to who I needed as absolutely certain and quickly as possible, if the addressee could get to the airport facility. USPS had priority on air flights and they could pick which ones they flew on. The advantages were #1 fewer links in the chain to break down and #2 quite often you could know exactly which flight it was going to be on.

    I am sure that right now with so few planes flying this has put a severe strain on USPS operations in addition to everything else that is going on with them.

    6
  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    To mitigate potential problems w/the USPS, election officials need to create a system of secure ballot receptacles throughout the community. Every city hall, post office, police and fire station should have a secure container where voters can drop their ballots.

    I’ve voted absentee several times here in NH and never mailed in the ballot, I simply stopped at the town hall and dropped it a container or handed it to the town clerk.

    @James Joyner:

    Typically the reason you receive multiple deliveries from Amazon for the same order is that different warehouses are shipping the product, in the case of Prime, they’ll all hit in 2 days while non-Prime deliveries may stretch out over a week.

    2
  15. Thomm says:

    Btw. To figure your shipping rate with ups, there is a 56 or so page .PDF to wade through. Efficiency of the free market, I guess. At least FedEx makes it easy to see how much they are going to smack you for. And no postal worker had ever just put a we missed you slip on my door and run off without at least attempting to knock unlike the other two.

    4
  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    This, taken with everything else…Biden and Warren have a huge fuqing mess to clean up.

    1
  17. mattbernius says:

    @Thomm:

    Just checked rates to two day ship a letter envelope from Denver to my hometown of Natural bridge, VA. UPS: $28.93, FedEx: $36.83(!), USPS flat rate Priority with tracking and insurance: $7.75.

    Exactly. Priority mail, even with add-ons was an incredible bargain. Even priority express, the old “overnight” was still cheaper.

    Which, cynically is why I think it’s being slowed down under the current administration.

    12
  18. JohnMcC says:

    “No matter how cynical you get, you can’t keep up.”

    1
  19. gVOR08 says:

    @Thomm:

    And no postal worker had ever just put a we missed you slip on my door and run off without at least attempting to knock unlike the other two.

    Many years ago I received a post card from UPS telling me they’d been unable to find my address so I needed to pick up my package at their depot. (Pre GPS, and I lived on a major street that was interrupted by a railroad line.) I couldn’t get anyone at the UPS place to see the humor in sending me a postcard to tell me they couldn’t find my address.

    7
  20. jpe45 says:

    “requiring the USPS to prefund 75 years of health costs whenever they hire a new employee”

    They have to fund the actuarial accrued cost, not “75 years of health costs.” In other words, they have to fund their retiree health plan just like it’s a pension plan. No other entity is treated that way because no other entity has a liability remotely as large as the USPS’s retiree health liability. It’s bigger than most companies’ pensions, so it’s subjected to rules that govern pensions.

  21. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    The block where I lived was misnumbered badly. The house on the corner was number 117, next came 115, then 113, then 8, then 10, 12, 14, etc. People often couldn’t find our house. When giving directions, we had to remember to say, “number 8, between number 10 and 113.”

  22. James Joyner says:

    @mattbernius: Interesting. Because, unlike FEDEX and UPS, USPS refuses to promise a delivery date, I don’t trust them for things that “absolutely, positively need to get there overnight.”

  23. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Well, it comes across as dismissive, like “Of course the union is going to complain…”

    I almost always caveat biased sources. If it’s a Cato scholar, one needs to note that there’s a libertarian bias, for example. The union is going to bitch about even positive changes that impact their members negatively.

    What are you talking about? Express mail guarantees next day delivery, and Priority guarantees 2 day. I use them all the time and they always get there.

    I hardly ever mail things anymore. When I was doing so more routinely, a few years ago, USPS offered Express and Priority but couched it that things would “usually” get there when promised but it might not. Which is useless if you’re having to meet a real deadline. Maybe they’ve caught up to the competition in that regard.

  24. Monala says:

    @James Joyner: When there was a blizzard on Christmas Eve many years ago in the PacNW, the USPS delivered packages that day (we received two). FedEx and UPS refused to, even after Christmas when the snow had melted, and I recall standing in line for over an hour at the FedEx distribution center the following weekend, along with hundreds of other people, waiting to pick up packages they didn’t deliver.

    USPS doesn’t make the promise, but they do their damnedest to fulfill it. FedEx and UPS make the promise, but often renege on it. You’ve heard the saying, “Under-promise and over-deliver”? The USPS does that.

    8
  25. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    The union is going to bitch about even positive changes that impact their members negatively.

    Is it really a positive change if it impacts the workers negatively? That would be, at best, a mixed change. The union’s goal is to protect the workers, and make sure that the impact on workers is considered in decisions. It’s not bitching.

    Also, years ago, a woman I worked with objected to the use of the word “bitch” in casual conversation, as it was degrading to women, even when used as a verb (i.e., to complain about nothing, like a woman does). She had a point, and had she stopped there it might have been fine, but she continued by saying it was as jarring to hear as “pedophile”.

    I am proud to say that we took the bait and used the word “pedophile” in countless contexts just to tweak her, culminating in the day when our boss came in and asked “Wassup, pedophiles?” within earshot of HR. Good times.

    6
  26. Monala says:

    @James Joyner: Check out how many people missed or received late FedEx deliveries at this link: FedEx Sucks

  27. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: furthermore, the workers are mostly complaining, not that this will affect them negatively (apart from maybe not receiving overtime pay), but that it will affect customers negatively. The postal workers want to do more to prevent logjams and delivery delays, and they’re not being allowed to.

    When I shared my story above about the Christmas Eve USPS deliveries during a blizzard with a friend whose dad was a postal worker, she told me that they really do take pride in living up to their motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

    9
  28. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: ” I’m not criticizing the union, just caveating that they have every incentive to maximize the complaint.”

    And Trump appointees have both the incentive and history to destroy things.

    6
  29. CSK says:

    Over at Lucianne.com they’re high-fiving each other over Trump’s brilliance in screwing up the mail delivery so as to prove his point that there will be problems with vote-by-mail. They really think the man is a genius unmatched at playing 64-dimension chess.

    2
  30. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “unlike FEDEX and UPS, USPS refuses to promise a delivery date, I don’t trust them for things that “absolutely, positively need to get there overnight.””

    Sure they do — if you pay for Priority Express. They’ll even give you a delivery time.

    7
  31. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “USPS offered Express and Priority but couched it that things would “usually” get there when promised but it might not. Which is useless if you’re having to meet a real deadline. Maybe they’ve caught up to the competition in that regard.”

    Oh, is this what you meant? Because it strikes me as being more honest than the competition than anything else. FedEx may “guarantee” your delivery, but if the truck is t-boned by an eighteen wheeler, you’re not getting your package today…

    5
  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: Worked in shipping for most of my early adulthood. Shipping is waaaaayyyyyyyyy more complicated than most people imagine and the reason that you get so many separate deliveries has to do with the reality that requiring that shipments be consolidated adds at least 24 hours to delivery time (which is why Amazon avoids doing it). Additionally, transferring as much delivery to individual “unmarked trucks” brings the gig economy into play–lowering shipping costs (because the *self-employed* driver gets paid by the task at a much lower equivalent hourly rate) but not shipping charges because of the magic of the *free* market.

    ETA: While I taught in Korea, some of my students were majoring in Railroad Shipping Logistics. I always thought that was interesting and had wished that I could visit some of their classes to see what the major was about.

    2
  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08:

    they’d been unable to find my address so I needed to pick up my package at their depot

    Your story with UPS is much nicer than mine. In my case, the package was deemed undeliverable, so the shipment–a 90-day supply of asthma medicine–had to be returned to the sender. 🙁

    @Kathy: I lived in a similar neighborhood in one area of Daegu. It turned out that the buildings were numbered according to the order in which they had been built. The building lots had not been subdivided and numbered.

    1
  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: “absolutely, positively need to get there overnight.”**

    **Subject to the condition that you live in [edit:] and are shipping to a major city with an airport and a FedEx/UPS transfer station. Some restrictions may apply.

    2
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: The union is going to bitch about even positive changes that impact their members negatively.

    Again, that’s their job.

    As to “maybe it will get there on time” I never heard that from any USPS employee. The only thing I can think is there was something up with the specific location at that particular time. In my early 20s I was in the freight forwarding biz. USPS was almost always dead on the money for us. UPS were pretty good. Fed Ex was the worst (I forget how DHL measured up, iirc we only used them for overseas). That was 40 years ago and a lot can change in that time, but I still wouldn’t trust FedEx.

    1
  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: I remember one year a blizzard came thru. STL got hit hard but Memphis got shut down. All of our stuff got where it was going, FedEx? None, the whole damn country didn’t get their packages because Memphis was FedEx’s hub and they couldn’t move shit.

    Maybe they learned something since then.

    2
  37. Monala says:

    I wonder it this thread is an example of James’ Republican thinking holdovers. He’s logical and compassionate, so he sees the need for the postal service, but he also seems to think that nevertheless, “business is always better/more efficient than government.”

    It’s important to note that while efficiency is generally good, government shouldn’t always have to be more efficient than business, since it exists to serve its citizens, not pull a profit. Even so, many of the points James has made in this thread are flat-out wrong: USPS is more expensive for package delivery (it’s not, it’s a lot less expensive); USPS doesn’t deliver overnight (it does); USPS is less likely to deliver in a timely fashion (not the case). It seems to come from an unverified belief that business always does it better.

    3
  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: The union is going to bitch about even positive changes that impact their members negatively.

    One other thing about this statement.

    Contracts are negotiated based on a number of parameters, certain tasks have to be done, they will be done by certain people, they will be done in a certain way, it will take a certain amount of time to accomplish these tasks, overtime will be construed as certain hours and will be payed at a certain rate, etc etc etc. The union is looking to maximize the number of hours and the amount of pay they can get for their members and under what conditions. The business (in this case the USPS) wants to minimize the number of hours and amount of pay and keep the restrictions on conditions to a minimum.

    They hash out a deal. Neither side gets what they really want but something they both think they can live with. The board of directors votes yes. The union members vote and they say yes.
    Nobody is completely happy but all are better off under the deal.

    Company gets bought out. New company sends in new management who want to do things in a whole new way because it will be “better” and “more efficient.”

    The union says, “Uh uh uhhhh, no you don’t mo’fos, we have a contract.”

    And time and again I hear people say things like, “the complaining is coming from the union” because unions are “always standing in the way of progress” where progress always seems to involve the working man getting a smaller slice of the pie.

    It may not be your intent but yeah, it bothers me when I hear this language because I have been hearing that BS all my life, and I am tired of contracts only being binding on the person with lesser power.

    8
  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: It also seems to come from an unverified belief that the govt always screws things up. The fact that the USPS does what they do more efficiently and for less money than any private enterprise would is exactly why the free marketeers want so badly to tear it down.

    6
  40. An Interested Party says:

    The fact that the USPS does what they do more efficiently and for less money than any private enterprise would is exactly why the free marketeers want so badly to tear it down.

    This fits in quite nicely with the other thread about stupidity…I’m sick of this antigovernment bias that causes people to believe in stupid solutions…if something works well, whether it is in the government or the private sector, stick with it and try to make it even better, don’t tear it down simply because of your own stupid ideology…

    8
  41. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It may not be your intent but yeah, it bothers me when I hear this language because I have been hearing that BS all my life, and I am tired of contracts only being binding on the person with lesser power.

    I cannot think of a single company where the majority of workers wouldn’t be better off with a union.

    I work in a very anti-union field — software — and nearly everyone is convinced that they are expert negotiators and that they are paid more than average. And we have unpaid oncall (also known as free work), crunch time (also known as more free work) and not enough bathrooms, and pack people into tiny spaces,… but we get catered lunch (so we don’t spend an hour getting lunch elsewhere) and they give us m&ms and soda so we must be doing well.

    (And compared to coal miners, we might be doing well… but we could be doing a lot better)

    2
  42. Lounsbury says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Free Marketeers” hardly wish to tear such things down.

    Now libertarian ideologues, inverted Bolsheviks of the Right in the USA do, but that’s not synonymous with “free marketeers” – although as in Continental Europe, Germany etc., it’s been demonstrated that updates to the public Post model including privatizations well-designed can be done.

    Among the most regrettable things the Right Bolsheviks in the USA are doing is giving a reasonable set of ideas a very bad name by unreasonable, mad-dog application and distortion of them.

    The tone of commentary hear illustrates the damage being done overall.

  43. Monala says:

    @Lounsbury: what are some of the changes you refer to? Do you have a link where I could read more?

  44. Thomm says:

    @Lounsbury: I’m this specific questions instance though, business based reforms are not needed. The USPS is quite possibly the crown jewel of civil services in the US. Fast, efficient, secure, and a great value for its users. They process 472 million plus items per day domestically. The next closest is UPS with 21 million (worldwide). Without the ludicrous pre funding requirement given to them by a Republican Congress, they would be fiscally fine. These moves, historically, have not been to improve service or to make them more efficient, but to shatter a large and powerful union and to disperse their large pension fund to private investment. They deliver when and where no one else will. This isn’t Canada Post or the Royal Mail we are dealing with here.

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  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: To my mind, the more revealing tell about his conservative holdovers is the statement “If the Post Office went out of business, I’d hardly notice.” which strikes me as keeping with the whole “as long as I’m not impacted…” thing that I keep seeing among conservatives/libertarians.

    But that’s only fair. The only real criterion for whether something is necessary truly is how much I (and those like me) need it.

    @Gustopher:

    I work in a very anti-union field — software — and nearly everyone is convinced that they are expert negotiators and that they are paid more than average.

    And as long as they keep believing that… 😉

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