If we understand that far-right authoritarianism was STALIN----was Mao------was Hitler-----is China, Malaysia, Singapore and all other Foreign Economic Zones then we can stop allowing these global Wall Street players to pretend to be left leaning PRETENDING to be working for labor and justice. Poland has a long history of being authoritarian with or without Stalin and its citizens have simply tried to have a little freedom, liberty, and ability to earn a decent wage. Whether Hitler's SS----Stalin's SS----China's SS-----far-right authoritarianism as with CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA NOW TRUMP always censors or curtails its citizens' ability to COMMUNICATE. This has happened through Bush and Obama under the guise of HOMELAND SECURITY AND NSA. Global Wall Street bombs the heck out of African and Middle-East nations and then tell us they have to become authoritarian to protect us from TERRORISTS.
THE AMERICAN POSTAL SYSTEM HAS SECURITY AND PRIVACY BUILT INTO PROTECTING EACH LETTER IT CARRIES. BUSH/OBAMA HAVE NOW BROKEN ALL THAT SECURITY FOR WE THE PEOPLE WHILE INSTALLING SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT TO MONITOR OUR SNAIL MAIL JUST AS THEY DO OUR INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS.
'The topic of mail privacy was debated as recently as 2006. During his tenure in office, President Bush attached a signing statement to a reform bill that allowed federal authorities to ask for all mail cover data and even to open your mail without approval'.
Below is a great article that educates on the history of privacy in the US comparing our snail mail and today's email. Both right wing Republican and left wing Democrats HATE THIS LOSS OF PRIVACY and we all know the excuses are FABRICATED TO INVADE OUR RIGHTS. As a society becomes more far-right and authoritarian citizens always feel afraid to communicate ----they are concerned with whom they communicate ----about what they communicate. Today we know our online telecomm and phone conversations are tracked and now with BUSH/OBAMA we have lost what was a strong privacy protection for our snail mail.
Is a POST MASTER GENERAL BRENNAN moving forward NSA surveillance of snail mail as global Wall Street dismantles our USPS with the goal of not having a public letter carrier for WE THE PEOPLE?
Please take time to get a big picture of our rights as citizens---freedoms that came from this one issue of public communication---our USPS. People who say---if you are worried about NSA surveillance then don't do anything wrong are missing the point of FAR-RIGHT AUTHORITARIAN DICTATORSHIPS----like ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE global corporate tribunal rule.
Send Letters, Not Emails
Why it’s so much harder for the government to spy on your snail mail than your email.
By Amy Webb
A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service delivers mail on Nov. 15, 2012, in Miami.
On an average day, the United States Postal Service delivers 22 items to my home. I know this, because for the past three years I’ve been tracking delivery times, volume, addressees, types (letters, magazines, boxes) and categories of mail (letters, bills, catalogs).
This past weekend, while staring at our usual pile of Saturday mail, I noticed a Phantom Fireworks solicitation addressed to our home’s former owner. (Direct solicitations to my house have increased 37 percent in the past year.) During a typical week, the USPS delivers three pieces of misdirected mail and five items intended for previous owners. Our usual course of action is to write “delivered to wrong address” or “no longer at this address” on the envelope and drop it back in a mailbox. But the Phantom Fireworks flier? I threw it straight into the trash.
That action—handling someone else’s mail, reading the contents and then destroying it—directly violates 18 U.S.C. § 1703. It’s a federal crime punishable by a fine and up to a year in prison.
To be sure, the feds aren’t going to break down my door when I throw away a Lululemon or Athletica catalog addressed to my neighbor. Still, I know—and you know, too—that touching someone else’s mail is a big no-no. I can’t open a letter with someone else’s name on it. Your boss can’t open a package delivered to her office and intended solely for you. The IRS can’t intercept hard copies of your paycheck. Homeland Security can’t surveil you for subscribing to Guns & Ammo. By law, what the USPS delivers can only be opened by the person whose name is written on the item.
In the wake of revelations that the NSA has been filling databases with information about our emailing habits, I’ve been curious about the discrepancies between the laws that govern our physical and electronic mail. If the government isn’t supposed to be looking at our physical mail without justifiable cause, why can it watch our email messages without legal approval or, at the very least, our informed consent?
I brought Saturday’s pile of USPS mail over to my desk and compared it to what was currently in my computer’s inbox. I receive an average of 377 email messages every weekday. On the weekends, I get fewer, unless there’s been a family event with lots of photos. About 41 percent are spam or junk mail, but the rest are messages intended for me or for a group I belong to.
Looking back and forth between the pile of physical mail and my screen, I suddenly realized that the content delivered to my electronic inboxes is essentially the same as what the USPS slides through the mail slot. Both sets include bills, photos, reminders to schedule appointments, neighborhood newsletters, messages from my sister, and the like. In fact, the Staples catalog was the same in print and in electronic form: One was just a PDF of the other.
In the eyes of the government, what makes the mail on my desk so different from what’s on my computer?
It’s a question fit for Benjamin Franklin. Prior to the American Revolution, Franklin had been the postmaster for the British Crown, establishing postal delivery routes throughout the colonies. In the early days, it was only official government communications that passed through the post, and it was “sealed against inspection.” Later, when the mail could be used by citizens, carriers would regularly read others’ mail along their long routes for entertainment. Franklin, eager to maintain the sanctity of the mail in a time of political upheaval, developed a set of regulations and affixed locks to postal carriers’ saddle bags. Franklin’s early regulations became part of the basis for privacy law, as did the Fourth Amendment rule about unreasonable searches, which the Framers certainly intended to cover postal mail.
Nearly 200 years later, technologist Ray Tomlinson was helping to establish a modern-day postal system, one that wouldn’t require envelopes or stamps. It was 1971, and our Internet’s predecessor—ARPANET—had just launched. Tomlinson figured out a way to help early users send short messages in near real-time, and he sent the world’s first electronic mail message to himself.
Unlike Franklin’s postal service, email itself wasn’t a government-created system. Tomlinson’s communication vehicle was used first by universities, then commercial entities like Pegasus Mail, AOL, Excite, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Because these were corporations and educational institutions, they weren’t subject to federal law in the same way the postal service was.
You could argue that enforcing any kind of regulation would be impossible because of the volume of email messages exchanged daily, or because technological advancements dramatically outpace the speed at which our federal laws are created. Mail sent the old-fashioned way uses a more direct, explicit system. I write a letter to you, I drop it in the mailbox, it remains sealed until a USPS worker delivers it to you. That letter is likely the only copy in existence. If I sent you an email, however, a copy is stored locally on my machine, then probably at Rackspace or Gmail servers, which may or may not be inside of the U.S. Then the email is forwarded to another set of servers somewhere, where a copy might again be stored, until the message hits your provider and your own inbox. It takes only seconds for my message to reach you, but along the way it’s likely been tagged, sorted, and cataloged by a half-dozen different companies.
Our modern USPS and email systems grew up in different households. The USPS became a government entity subject to a certain set of federal regulations, while email became regulated by the FCC and laws of interstate commerce. For example, while companies can legally send fliers and brochures to our homes through the USPS, it can be a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act to send the same sort of commercial messages electronically.
Still, it seemed strange to me that we have stringent laws on the books governing my letters to my husband, but not the emails he and I exchange privately.
I put the question to Fred Lane, an attorney, expert in privacy law and the author of American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right. “The very nature of email is anti-control and anti-privacy,” he said. “Even Franklin would recognize that. In practical terms, it is difficult to have privacy control throughout the entire email process. We need to adapt our core principles to the new realities of communication.”
Lane reminded me of an earlier government surveillance program of traditional mail. Beginning in 1952, a CIA program codenamed SRPOINTER and SGPOINTER and later HTLINGUAL and HGLINGUAL authorized the interception and opening of mail items at facilities in Los Angeles and Jamaica, Queens, New York. The CIA insisted that a mail-opening operation was necessary to track the Americans it suspected of feeding information to the Soviets. A list of names was maintained, and data was collected on incoming and outgoing mail, while hundreds of thousands of letters destined for other countries were open and read.
When President Nixon took office in 1969, America’s security agencies were in constant disagreement on how to track security threats. A year later, one of Nixon’s aides, Tom Huston, crafted a plan to enlist the CIA, FBI, NSA and military intelligence agencies in wide-ranging electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens. Nixon wanted ongoing domestic intelligence on his administration’s so-called “left-wing radical” watch list, so the Huston Plan called for routinely opening postal mail and using something called “mail covers.”
During the Watergate hearings in 1973, postal mail surveillance was one of the issues brought to light. The programs were stopped, but mail covers continue to this day. In a criminal case, the USPS can be authorized use mail covers: to take photos of and record the information on the outside container, envelope, or label of anything it handles, and it may record the name and address of the sender and recipient, along with the place and date of the postmark, into a database. According to a source familiar with mail covers, there are tens of thousands of mail covers performed each year.
Mail covers aren’t supposed to be exploratory, and they don’t include the contents of whatever’s inside. To obtain a mail cover, law enforcement must first submit paperwork to the Postal Inspection Service in Chicago proving that there’s a criminal investigation under way.
But the USPS is collecting similar information on almost all mail, not just mail that is subject to covers. For example, you know those barcodes on the bottoms of our envelopes? The USPS scans those using a wide field camera and takes super-high resolution photographs of the back and front of most mail pieces—again, not the stuff inside—for sorting and diagnostic purposes. It’s actually because of the USPS that we have widespread optical character recognition technology in widespread use now. Before cameras and computers, postal workers would have to sort all mail by hand, making best guesses on illegible writing and trying to keep all correspondence in the right batches. These days, multiline OCR readers let the USPS sort thousands of pieces of mail per minute.
OCR software automatically extracts the text on an envelope and imports it into a database for later sorting and analysis. After the anthrax and ricin incidents, the USPS was able to track the pieces of mail before and after the contaminated letters to narrow down the source.
The topic of mail privacy was debated as recently as 2006. During his tenure in office, President Bush attached a signing statement to a reform bill that allowed federal authorities to ask for all mail cover data and even to open your mail without approval. His administration argued that the Patriot Act enabled the government to intercept USPS deliveries in "exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence." Sen. Charles Schumer criticized Bush at the time, saying that the action was a direct contradiction of our established mail protection laws and to the Constitution. Whether or not our USPS mail is being routinely opened today under a similar program is still not clear.
So where does that leave me and my various mailboxes? Ready for our lawmakers to have a meaningful debate on mail and privacy controls. What should the government be able to scrape and monitor from my email? Metadata alone? The fact that I’ve included Excel spreadsheets or photos? Or the content within the documents themselves? Should electronic messages, too, be “sealed against inspection?” Or should I assume that anything I send—even if it’s a self-destructing message—is not really private?
Here is the process of surveillance now in our USPS and yes all this retooling cost the USPS billions of dollars. Are our 'installed government officials' ---not elected worried about a terrorist attack through the mail or ANGRY CITIZENS? The point is this-----it is the empire-building policies of far-right global Wall Street that has both foreign 'terrorists' and angry citizens maybe thinking about sending something toxic through our snail mail. It is the same policies that make a government feel it has to surveille its own citizens to see who is zooming whom. For 300 years the US did not even think about all this surveillance because WE DID NOT HAVE LYING, CHEATING, STEALING, NO ETHICS OR MORALS, FAR-RIGHT WING EXTREME WEALTH AND EXTREME POVERTY players controlling our US government.
It starts with the need to surveille and then restrict who can communicate when, where, and for what reason----IT ALWAYS DOES in authoritarian societies. We can bet that an Obama and Congress installed a BRENNAN as Post Master General to bring surveillance to a system as it is dismantled.
By Jessica Hartogs CBS News July 4, 2013, 2:22 PM
Report: Postal Service uses "spying" programs similar to NSA
Approximately 160 billion envelopes, packages and postcards were photographed by the United States Postal Service last year, reports The New York Times.
It was done as part of the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, according to The Times, in which Postal Service computers take pictures of the exterior of every piece of mail that passes through the system.
It's one of two programs The Times says shows that postal mail is under similar surveillance to phone calls and emails by the National Security Agency.
Letters and packages cannot be opened without a warrant. The tracking program reportedly only collects images of the outsides.
"Looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with -- all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena," James J. Wedick, a former FBI agent who spent 34 years at the agency, told The Times.
It is not known how long the government saves the images.
Postal mail surveillance programs reportedly helped the FBI arrest Shannon Richardson for sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Bloomberg.
AP Photo/The Texarkana Gazette, Curt Youngblood
It appears to be a broad expansion of another postal surveillance program, called the mail covers program, which has been used for over a century.
Under the mail covers program, law enforcement officials can ask postal workers to record information from the outsides of letters or parcels before they are delivered to a particular person. The U.S.P.S. then passes this information on to the law enforcement agency that requested it.
Requests for the mail cover surveillance are granted for approximately 30 days, and can be extended for up to 120 days.
The New York Times reports that tens of thousands of pieces of mail each year are screened through the mail covers program.
Even without opening the mail, officials can obtain valuable information this way -- information that many would consider an invasion of privacy. Computer security expert Bruce Schneier tells The Times that the program can track "names, addresses, return addresses and postmark locations, which gives the government a pretty good map of your contacts, even if they aren't reading the contents."
Law enforcement officials claim these programs are essential to national security.
In one recent case, The Smoking Gun reports that by examining 60 pieces of mail from scanned images, the FBI was able to identify the suspect in the ricin letters sent to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in May of this year. A woman from Texas, Shannon Guess Richardson, was charged last month.
For these few decades global Wall Street has made clear------private global package carriers like FEDX or UPS do not want the letter business of our USPS ----it wants the package business---because there is no way to profit from delivering LETTERS----THAT IS WHY USPS IS A FEDERAL AGENCY.
There is no intention by global Wall Street to privatize LETTER DELIVERY----they are lying in making Americans think we will still have our USPS snail mail if privatized. We are already seeing the closing process occurring as our RURAL POST OFFICE ROUTES are attacked as being too costly. Close those rural routes to letter mail and then they close city routes to letter mail because the goal is ENDING LETTER MAIL BECAUSE IT IS NOT PROFITABLE.
Below we see those private package carriers conspiring to implode our USPS package delivery forcing conditions to raise delivery rates when the USPS does not need to do this to remain profitable-----it is our public services that keep prices in check ------FEDX and UPS earn billions in profit they do not need more market share or higher prices.
For FedEx and UPS, a Cheaper Route: the Post Office
Agency Stretches to Handle Business From Express Couriers; Is the Price Right?
Updated Aug. 4, 2014 6:58 p.m. ET FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. increasingly are moving their own packages through the U.S. Postal Service, putting pressure on the quasigovernmental agency and raising questions about whether the USPS is charging enough for the service.
The UK is indeed privatizing their USPS------the UK is the size of ALABAMA-----so citizens have the ability to communicate around England without a USPS----can we image a nation the size of US having citizens able to communicate with one another? Of course not---
Wed, Dec 28, 2016, 8:51AM EST - US Markets open in 39 mins
The ExchangeWhy the U.K. Can Privatize Its Postal Service, but the U.S. Can’t
By Rick Newman October 14, 2013 7:10 AM
The Exchange Britain’s postal service, the Royal Mail, has just joined the private sector as part of an effort by the U.K. government to raise cash to help pay down its debts. By selling a majority stake in the mail to investors through an initial public offering, the U.K. government has transformed a bureaucratic operation into a for-profit company overnight, one that must survive by competing in the market. It also earned at least $2.7 billion on the sale.
There’s been a lot of talk about doing the same thing with the U.S. Postal Service to help solve financial woes that include $41 billion in losses since 2006 and a business model that’s about as current as a 22-cent stamp. It’s extremely unlikely to happen, however.
“The U.S. Postal Service is nowhere close to being ready to be privatized,” says Richard Geddes, a professor in the Cornell University Department of Policy Analysis and Management. “I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but it would be well into the future at a minimum.” That’s because America’s postal service has plunged into such a state of disrepair that it is perhaps the most troubled mail service of any developed nation.
Privatization might solve some of those problems by allowing the USPS to slash underperforming units, develop innovative new products and curtail losses that show no sign of abating. The postal service itself has even said that privatization is a viable way to reform the organization’s money-losing operations. As logical as the scheme might sound, however, there are two big barriers to privatizing the post office: Congressional meddling and near-certain public opposition to the consequences of privatization.
Members of Congress, and especially Republicans, love to chide the postal service for epic losses that may ultimately necessitate some sort of bailout. Yet Congress is the main reason the postal service is in such sorry shape in the first place. Even though the postal service is a “self-supporting government enterprise” that doesn’t get any tax dollars, Congress has retained just enough control to essentially veto big, needed changes such as closing unprofitable post offices and processing facilities and diversifying into profitable lines of business that don’t involve the mail. Politicians would lose that control if the postal service went private, which means they wouldn’t be able to prevent postal facilities in their districts from closing, or jobs associated with them from disappearing.
Even if Congress were able to get over its control issues, there would probably be an uproar once voters understood the likely consequences of privatization.
“If you go to privatization, you guarantee that either prices will go up or quality will go down,” says Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, which advocates a partial privatization. In his group's option, the postal service would still deliver mail “the last mile” to your mailbox. The government would continue to regulate postage rates under privatization, but the postal service would probably insist on higher rates in order to fully cover costs.
“American voters overreact to these kinds of things,” says Atkinson. “They don’t want any kind of pain inflicted upon them.”
There are reform bills in both the House and the Senate that would give the postal service more freedom to cut costs and innovate. But they won’t transform the business model nearly as deeply or rapidly as privatization would. Nor would they establish the structural changes that would be necessary for privatization, such as creating a real board of directors and a legal framework for ownership that would allow shares to be issued to the public. As it is, the postal service is organized the way a government agency would be -- despite its supposed self-sufficiency -- with a politically appointed “board of governors” and no ownership per se.
If not for the political hurdles, privatization might work. The postal service could still be required to offer universal mail delivery to every home in America, much as utilities and phone companies deliver electricity and phone service virtually everywhere. There might be sizable job cuts, as critics of the idea fear, but some laid-off workers might get hired by other companies suddenly free to compete with the postal service, or by contractors that might undertake parts of the mail delivery business and do it more efficiently.
Even if there are layoffs, a long history of corporate revivals, from IBM (IBM) to General Motors (GM), shows that protecting jobs while sacrificing innovation often causes more harm to ordinary workers than periodic layoffs do.
It’s more likely though that America’s postal service will remain an antiquated relic compared with what other countries offer. Malta and the Netherlands have fully privatized their mail service, while Germany, Austria and now the U.K. have partially done so. And 25 of 27 countries in the European Union allow some form of private-sector competition with the official post. (UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) are the two big U.S.-based private parcel carriers.)
Back home, we may end up nursing a money-losing postal service simply because we can.
“No other country would tolerate a state-owned enterprise losing billions of dollars per year,” says Geddes. “It’s just because we’re rich. The postal service would have been reformed a decade ago if we were any other country.”
For all those billions, at least we still have cheap stamps.
As this says----the USPS is installed into our US Constitution and that is why global Wall Street is breaking it down with a thousand cuts to make US citizens think the service is not needed. The USPS has always served more than one objective----yes, it is snail mail delivery but our Post Office has always been the center of communities-----the employees are community citizens who walk a BEAT including knowing the people, the businesses, reporting on problems----OUR MAIL MEN AND WOMEN ARE A SOCIETAL ASSET to all our communities. Sure, paying for infrastructure to have mail reach isolated places costs more. Generally the mail delivery is tied to other service deliveries so it is not really that expensive.
GLOBAL WALL STREET WANTS TO SELL THE IDEA OF COST PROBLEMS THAT DO NOT EXIST---and they will start with our rural areas because these citizens do not have the power of numbers. Rural citizens often vote REPUBLICAN or far-right global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberal ----stop voting right wing because they only work for wealth and corporate power -----
THINK THIS IS WHY FAR-RIGHT GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/OBAMA WANT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION-----TO GET RID OF POST OFFICE AS A US CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT? ABSOLUTELY.
Is rural mail delivery the real problem with the USPS budget?
Jazz ShawPosted at 1:01 pm on February 9, 2013
It’s Saturday, and I went out on the front porch this morning after shoveling out from Nemo and got the mail as usual. There was an advertisement trying to get me to switch homeowner’s insurance and a coupon flyer for the local grocery store. That sort of surprise waiting in the mailbox doesn’t exactly get me all up in arms over the Post Office’s idea to cancel Saturday mail delivery. Up until now, I’ve been assuming that the Post Office is simply an unprofitable enterprise and they may have to put trucks out on the road less often to reduce costs. I suppose I’ve been mostly in line with Jon Stewart’s rather cynical take on the subject.
I can’t believe the business model of transporting letters with vehicles across the country for forty cents a pop is failing. Sorry… where ya want me to take that? Hawaii? Yeah, no trouble. I’ll put it on a plane, get it there in two days. Uh… ya got a quarter?
But perhaps there’s more to the story than that. Doug Mataconis links to Matthew Yglesias who seems to feel that government subsidy of more expensive deliveries to rural areas is part of the rot at the heart of this business model. What was once a lucrative monopoly, according to this line of thinking, has been squeezed out of the profit margins.
But the monopoly has become less lucrative and that’s not going to change in the future. That’s squeezed the budget, squeezed postal workers’ compensation packages, and is now squeezing the quality of nationwide mail service. As a country, we need to ask ourselves whether providing subsidized mail delivery to low-density areas is really a key national priority. Without the monopoly/universal service obligation, it’s not as if rural dwellers wouldn’t be able to get mail, it’s just that they might need to pay more in recognition of the fact that it’s inconvenient to provide delivery services to low-density areas. Nostalgia-drenched Paul Harvey Super Bowl ads aside, it’s not the case that rural Americans are unusually hard-pressed economically or are disproportionate contributors to the economy. They are, rather, the beneficiaries of numerous explicit and implicit subsidies, of which the Postal Service’s universal service obligation is one.
Doug seems to agree:
Most of the complaints one hears about privatizing first class mail and ending the USPS monopoly on its delivery center around the issue of what is to be done about delivery to rural areas. The basic idea behind is that it shouldn’t cost rural customers, or those who want to correspond with them, more to send first-class mail than it does to send first-class mail from one major city or suburb to another. There’s no economic rationale for this kind of policy. Indeed, it exists nowhere else almost nowhere else in the delivery business right now. If you want to send a package via USPS, you are generally going to pay based on where you’re sending it to. UPS prices its delivery services in much the same manner. The only place you see “flat-rate” pricing is in things such as overnight mail, which is based on an entirely different kind of business model from regular package shipping and for which the customer is paying a premium for the convenience of next-day, or 2nd-day, delivery of something that would ordinarily take a few days longer.
I’m no package delivery expert here, but I’d always sort of assumed that the United States Post Office was pretty much designed with an untenable business model baked into the cake. It’s something which is mandated by the Constitution, thereby bringing the government into the mix, but it’s being expected to run at a profit while conforming to a business model which no sane, private business would ever consider. It costs more to drive a letter or package fifty miles out into the boonies than it does to simply get it to a commercial hub in a city or suburb with the bulk of the parcels. If you charge the same amount for all of the letters, somebody is getting more value for the same price point than everyone else, simple as that. I suppose you have to average all the deliveries together to come up with a flat price which keeps you in the black, but it’s got to be one hell of a lot more than fifty cents per letter.
With that in mind, it’s hard to see how eliminating Saturday delivery does much to address the real problem. You’re still running the same losing business model… you’re just losing money more slowly by doing it one less day per week. I’m still not entirely opposed to just having the Post Office jack up the rates far enough to make the service profitable. If it costs more to mail junk – particularly bulk advertising and such – people might think more carefully about what they are mailing, rather than flooding our boxes. Exceptions could be made for free or low cost postage for the mailing of payments to utilities or answering required government correspondence. But do you really think it’s reasonable to be able to send a letter from Virginia to Oregon in two days for four bits?
I just read an article written from Canada wanting to end their USPS by global Wall Street players stating the UK is doing it----Switzerland and Italy did it---KNOW WHAT? Those governments are captured by global Wall Street pols and their citizens protested in the millions against PRIVATIZATION.
Here we see who profits from all this privatization and we can bet SNAIL MAIL LETTER will not be maintained because it is already known NOT TO BE PROFITABLE.
'Barclay’s, UBS, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs were recently selected by the British Parliament to lead a banking syndicate overseeing privatization of the Royal Mail, valued at $4.8 billion. Goldman Sachs also supported privatization campaigns in Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria'.
The size of our USPS workforce is in the millions ----this is yet another attack on employment and jobs for the future-------think broadly on this issue-----the surveillance-----the authoritarian push to censor and limit communication-----the AUSTERITY being delibertately created to privatize all that is public.
Baltimore and Maryland pols are all on board with privatization and censoring our communications because they are all global Wall Street players.
Home » Coast to coast » Who’s pushing post office privatization?
Who’s pushing post office privatization?
By Joseph Piette posted on August 11, 2013
Postal and community activists struggling to save the U.S. Postal Service from privatization need to know who they are fighting against.
The Postal Service was established in 1775. It needed government administration as it was so important for communication.
Even in today’s age of Internet communication, 20 percent of the U.S. population lack Internet access and depend on the post office for bills, bank statements and letters. (Gallup World, Aug. 4) The Postal Service is still essential for the $1.3-trillion mailing industry.
The campaign to privatize and de-unionize the USPS threatens the livelihood of every affected worker and neighborhood. Hardest hit will be communities of color that suffer depression-level unemployment.
While the post office clearly provides a vital service, can it withstand attacks from privatizers set on eliminating universal delivery in their search for profits?
Who are the privatizers?
The USPS has 522,144 workers and 31,272 retail stores. Its 2012 revenue was $65 billion. Mandated to deliver mail at affordable prices to over 150 million U.S. addresses, it holds a statutory monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail.
Under congressional control, the USPS is prohibited from lobbying Congress or contributing to political campaigns.
Corporate executives consistently resist workers’ demands for even nickel wage increases yet spend millions to influence politicians. The penny-pinching owners of capital and exploiters of workers demand favorable results from their “investments” in politicians. With $3.31 billion spent on congressional lobbying and $6 billion contributed to election campaigns in 2012 alone, the U.S. holds the title of the most corrupt political system in the world. (Center for Responsive Politics – OpenSecrets.org)
United Parcel Service has 322,100 employees and 5,722 retail locations. Its 2012 revenue was $54 billion. It delivers only when and where it can make a profit. UPS pays the USPS to deliver 100 million to 300 million parcels annually to less profitable locations, according to the industry watchdog group, Courier Express and Postal Observer. Clearly it has a stake in eliminating its main U.S. competitor — the Postal Service. In 2012, UPS spent $5 million lobbying Congress and another $3.1 million on candidates.
FedEx employs 300,000 workers worldwide and logged $45 billion in revenue in 2012. It also delivers when and where it is profitable and uses the USPS for 30.4 percent of its ground mail delivery. The USPS pays $1.4 billion annually to move letters and parcels via FedEx air cargo planes. FedEx spent almost $12 million in 2012 lobbying and another $2.5 million in campaign contributions.
Pitney Bowes has 27,000 workers worldwide. Its 2012 revenue was $5 billion. It paid for a “White Paper” in 2013 that recommends the privatization of postal trucking, retail and mail processing. Operating 36 processing plants — the largest U.S. pre-sorted mail network — PB would vastly increase its profits if those recommendations bore fruit. PB contributed half a million dollars to campaigns and spent another $1.25 million lobbying Congress. (savethepostoffice.com, March 15)
These aren’t the only companies that would benefit from postal privatization.
Boston Consulting Group, the world’s largest management consulting firm, plays a major role preparing companies for deregulation and privatization. BCG was behind the dismantling of public school systems and the establishment of charter schools in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans. It is involved in the restructuring of postal institutions globally, including in Switzerland, Canada, Norway and England, whose government just announced its intent to privatize Royal Mail.
BCG, Accenture and McKinley & Company produced a 2010 study entitled “Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for America – an Action Plan for the Future.” The study recommended increased use of part-time workers, as in the Netherlands and Germany, where 40 percent of postal workers work part time. The privatized Dutch post office, PostNL, fired older letter carriers and replaced them with workers paid per item or part time, many earning less than minimum wage. (ernstseconomyforyou.blogspot.com, March 28)
Both UPS and FedEx belong to the powerful American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, an ultra-conservative organization of the well-to-do, the corporations and the politicians that promotes right-wing legislation on local, state and federal levels. (Sourcewatch.org)
Two of the richest men in the U.S. — Charles and David Koch — with combined assets of $40 billion, are ALEC’s largest funders. They also fund the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Freedom Works, the Heritage Foundation, the Tea Party and other right-wing organizations.
ALEC bills undermine environmental regulations, deny climate change, support school privatization, undercut health care reform and limit the political influence of unions. They mandate laws to disenfranchise voters and increase incarceration rates to benefit the private-prison industry. In over 20 states, ALEC helped pass “stand your ground” legislation, which right-wingers used to justify George Zimmerman’s racist killing of Trayvon Martin.
For years, ALEC worked to influence Congress to pass the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, requiring the USPS to pay $5.5 billion annually for pension health care benefits 75 years in advance. No other agency carries that burden. In 2006, before the PAEA, the USPS profit was $0.9 billion.
Under pressure of this substantial red ink, postal management in the last year closed 30 percent of its processing and distribution plants; reduced hours up to 75 percent in half of the post offices; put 10 percent of buildings up for sale; subcontracted trucking and mail handling; cut thousands of mail routes; and eliminated 60,000 living-wage postal jobs. These cuts all slow down the mail system.
Tea Party House Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the richest man in Congress with a net worth of $448 million, heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (KSBW.com, Dec. 27, 2011)
Issa is the congressional pitbull most insistent on passing postal privatization. Issa’s HR2748 bill would end Saturday delivery, replace door-to-door delivery for 40 million homes with neighborhood cluster boxes and eliminate 100,000 postal jobs.
The use of cluster boxes not only inconveniences mail recipients but would de-skill jobs that require stamina and a good memory, allowing the USPS to follow the anti-labor example of the Netherlands in hiring part-time, low-paid workers.
The Koch brothers contributed $107,000 to 13 Republican members of the HOGRC — $12,500 just to Issa, who sent staff members to a Koch brothers’ think tank. (Press Enterprise, Feb. 27, 2011)
Issa appointed staffers to the HOGRC who are linked to lobbying firms that accepted $1.2 million from Pitney Bowes and $240,000 from FedEx.(opensecrets.org)
On Aug. 2, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released Senate postal reform bill S1486. American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey said: “This bill is fatally flawed. It betrays the working men and women of the USPS; it slashes service to the American people; and it fails to protect the USPS from the impending financial disaster Congress set in motion in 2006 with the passage of the PAEA.” (APWU Web News, Aug. 2)
Over the last two years, Carper accepted contributions from UPS ($59,000) and FedEx ($72,500). (opensecrets.org)
Barclay’s, UBS, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs were recently selected by the British Parliament to lead a banking syndicate overseeing privatization of the Royal Mail, valued at $4.8 billion. Goldman Sachs also supported privatization campaigns in Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.
Not coincidentally, Issa hired former Goldman Sachs vice president, Peter Haller, to serve on the HOGRC. Bank of America was Issa’s fifth highest campaign contributor at $21,850 (2012). Carper received $56,740 from Bank of America.
These millionaires and billionaires may look powerful, and they’re certainly rich, but postal workers can still win against them if they’re united with the great global working class.
I like this lady----FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT IS IRISH----what we are seeing in Europe, Canada, Australia, UK, and US are captured politics-----global Wall Street neo-liberals and neo-cons have used election rigging to capture all our national political parties. France's President moved to privatize its rail and Post Office and he was elected as a SOCIALIST. Again, each nation in Europe is tiny compared with a Canada, Australia, or US. We cannot have our only public method of communication privatized and dismantled---THEY WILL NOT CONTINUE WHAT THEY KNOW IS NOT A PROFITABLE SNAIL LETTER MAIL DELIVERY.
Shake these global Wall Street players out of all government offices-----our mayors, governors, Presidents appoint these agency heads so if we allow these elections be rigged for only global Wall Street WE THE PEOPLE will be human capital and not citizens!
As an Irish American I am outing my 5% to the 1%----we have too many Irish mafia in as global Wall Street pols-----SHOW THEM THE MONEY AND THEY WILL DO ANYTHING THEY ARE TOLD!
Remember, the goal of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE is to move all population to cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones----so rural communities today will not exist in a decade or two as all citizens are pushed into this global labor pool ----think taking away rural mail delivery will push people to a Foreign Economic Zone anywhere in the world?
Irish Postmasters Union protest to save local post offices at Dail Eireann, Dublin 26th February 20
Published on Feb 26, 2014 https://youtu.be/giTiSp6wjog
The Irish Postmasters Union held a protest at the Dail tonight, 26th February 2014, to co-incide with a Dail motion for the Government to take action to support local post Offices. This press release was issued following the Governments defeat of the motion.
Irish Postmasters Chief says Minister's response to Dail motion is a "recipe for doing nothing"
The Irish Postmasters Union has expressed it's "deep disappointment" at the rejection by the Government of its Dail motion calling for a Government plan to secure the future of the Post Office network.
Commenting on the announcement by Minister Rabbitte that he was proposing a review of a whole Government approach through the Cabinet sub-committee on social policy, IPU General Secretary Brian McGann told a major rally of Postmasters at Leinster House last night that the Ministers proposal "amounts to little more than a recipe for doing nothing. It is another example of a Government Minister under pressure kicking the can down the road."Mr. McGann said: "the IPU, backed up by two Grant Thornton reports and a Joint Oireachtas Committee report, has demonstrated clearly what can and should be done in terms of bringing new business to Post Offices.
"How can the Government sit there and promise yet another review when the Grant Thornton report showed that Government could achieve €60m in savings on motor tax renewals?" he asked. "What has happened since the findings of the first Grant Thornton report was issued two years ago? Local Government studies and no action or outcome."
Mr McGann told the meeting that the Union understands and accepts that tendering and competition law has to be observed. However he questioned why social policy criteria could not be included in tenders. The French and Spanish appear to do it successfully, Mr McGann stated. "You don't see French police driving Fiats," he said.
Mr McGann said that the Minister is asking the IPU and its members to sleepwalk into a situation where the welfare payments business disappears by stealth and failure to act. "The Minister's speech demonstrated clearly that the Government has no plan to sustain the Post Office network and suggests that they are not interested in developing one."
IPU President, Ciaran McEntee also told the meeting that the Union is astounded that the Minister appeared to lend his support to taking business out of the heart of towns throughout the country and moving it to shopping centres and the like. "Is this a personal view of the Minister or is it Government policy," asked Mr McEntee.
"If it is Government policy then there is a clear need for a national campaign to save communities around the country," he stated. "The IPU campaign will continue if that's the case".
Video © Paula Geraghty
All Rights Reserved
Moral Righta asserted
This is exactly what will happen if USPS snail mail disappears---it is another attack on small businesses as rates will soar if USPS is dismantled becoming only the realm of corporations. Forget free market---this is one more step towards only a global 1% and their 2% economy.
As Post Offices close in underserved communities making it already harder for low-income to use snail mail----closings of USPS offices is a development tool as is closing our public schools-----black, white, and brown citizens and businesses will be harmed.
The Ultimate Small-Business Resource Guide
U.S. Postal Service closings make small businesses nervous
By Parija Kavilanz @CNNMoney April 18, 2012: 10:48 AM ET
This Tulsa mail-sorting center could go away soon. If it does, some small business owners say that will hurt them.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The potential of 250 U.S. postal offices and distribution centers closing next month is spreading jitters among the nation's small business hubs.
On May 15, unless Congress steps in, the Postal Service will proceed on its plans to make these cuts in a bid to consolidate and save money.
Owners of small companies in cities like Tulsa, Okla., fear that their businesses will suffer if their local mail-processing and distribution centers are shut down.
Some areas have already faced closures in the past year, and small firms there are going through a difficult adjustment.
The more than 100-year-old post office in the beach town of Pass-a-Grille, Fla., closed last June.
As a popular tourist destination, Pass-a-Grille has a bustling small business community, with many stores lining either side of its 8th Avenue main street, designated as the shortest main street in America.
But when its post office closed, it caused problems for some of its small businesses. That's because the next closest post office in the area is about four miles away.
"The other post office is always crowded," said Barbara Calicotte, an employee at a boutique called Bamboozle, which was right next door to the now closed post office. "I've had to wait on line for 30 minutes."
Congress ready to tackle postal reform
Another problem is that sometimes packages have to sit in the store a day or two longer, because the boutique does not have an extra employee to run to the post office, Calicotte explained. She said she can't do it because she would have to close the store, which could mean lost sales.
Heather Preston, who manages her father's high-end jewelry store Evander Preston, has the same problem. Losing the post office has been "extremely inconvenient," she said.
Preston is the primary salesperson, and also does the mail runs. She now has to find someone to watch the store while she goes to the "overcrowded" post office. Since Preston is the only one who works the register, this means a potential customer could be waiting an hour or so until she returns. "I may possibly lose a sale because of it," she said.
In Huntsville, Ala., small business owners are nervous about their local USPS mail-processing and distribution center shutting down completely next month. USPS had already decided last year to phase out operations at that facility, separate from the 250 currently under evaluation, as part of its ongoing effort to shrink costs.
As a result, all outgoing mail generated in Huntsville for delivery to local zip codes is already going more than 100 miles away to a mail-processing center in Birmingham and then returning to Huntsville, said Sue Brennan, a USPS spokeswoman.
"Time is money for small businesses, especially in this economy," said Mayor Tommy Battle, a former businessman.
"A mail delay of three or four days could mean lost sales," he said. "So many small businesses today still aren't tech savvy and depend on direct mail to market their products and services."
Brennan said there could be changes in mail delivery, but couldn't say definitively what they could be.
Tulsa, Okla., is in a similar predicament as Huntsville. Business owners and city officials are fighting to prevent their local USPS mail-sorting center from relocating 100 miles away to Oklahoma City.
Tulsa is a buzzing hub, boasting 41,000 small businesses, half of which employ fewer than 10 workers.
One of those businesses belongs to Forrester Cameron, CEO & publisher of Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers, who is worried that the closure of the local mail-processing plant will hurt his company.
Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers prints and distributes 37,500 papers monthly in the Tulsa metro area. If the local center closes, subscribers who get their papers in the mail will get them a day or two late, said Cameron. Payments to the business will be delayed as well, he added.
The problem is that all mail coming from Tulsa for delivery to local Tulsa zip codes will go first to Oklahoma City for sorting and then back to Tulsa for delivery, according to USPS.
"It doesn't make sense," said Cameron. "Why is my mail going to a rival city only to then come back?
Challenges that almost ruined my business
The potential closure could not come at a worse time. Tulsa is experiencing a surge in economic growth, with $350 million in capital investment planned for new area development this year in the downtown region, said Chris Benge, senior vice president of government affairs, with Tulsa Metro Chamber.
Small businesses will benefit from new projects coming to the area, which include a new geothermal system that will provide heat and cooling in downtown Tulsa, said Benge. "With such heavy momentum on our side right now, we need to have our postal centers to support businesses," he said.
Brennan said it's too soon to speculate on the impact on mail delivery since the agency won't take any action on Tulsa's processing center until May 15.
Meanwhile, the USPS is expected to consolidate a few mail-sorting centers in West Virginia as well.
But not all small business owners are anxious about that.
"Consolidation is necessary," said Tom Crouser, president of Crouser & Associates, Inc., a small business consultancy in Charleston, W.Va.
"I am all for post offices," said Crouser, who also owns a successful 100-location national printing franchise. "I obviously use it for business purposes and to market my business."
But some of the post offices slated to go in the state are near others, he explained. "If you keep the ones with higher traffic open, it really won't make much of a difference."
Better to close some post offices so others can survive, he added. If the USPS goes bankrupt, that will be more "devastating to small businesses."