"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"'
DOES A SOCIETY HAVE THAT FREEDOM IF PEOPLE ARE TOO AFRAID TO SPEAK THAT OPINION? OF COURSE NOT.
One of the best friends of left-leaning activism is the printing press. The invention of the printing press dates to the Age of Enlightenment and the revolutions bringing information to the 99%. A campaign talking point for the left-leaning candidate would be A PRINTING PRESS IN EVERY COMMUNITY! Indeed, the costs to a local government to subsidize community newsletters and journals pales in costs of corporate subsidies. WE THE PEOPLE must take very seriously the need to rebuild a diverse, open and accessible media not worrying about whether access is being given to the right or left----just keep it local and small business.
Below we see an article written during the Clinton Administration assessing the print industry. This was the same time the internet and online media and corporations were taking hold and Clinton worked for those technology industries. We see the assessment taking an environmental stance---which is good to consider----the environmental struggle back in the 1990s was over paper taking our timber----over inking waste. As an environmentalist I agree we were using too much of our natural resources in raw paper. We speak of using hemp---we went with controlled, domestic tree farms with pine being fast and cheap to grow.
The other factor supposedly a problem for hard copy print is mailing costs/distribution. All of our hard copy newspapers disappeared/downsized because of costs. The solution to that comes with our hard copy print needing to go national rather than having strong media focusing on local or regional issues. The costs lie on sending reporters all over the world. Investigative journalism ----like the police foot-patrol is the least costly if avenues of investigation are OPEN.
THIS IS WHERE WE THE PEOPLE ARE LOSING GROUND IN OUR RACE TO REVERSE ONE WORLD CLOSED MEDIA CONTROL----OUR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE BEING ALLOWED TO BE PROPRIETARY AND OUR RIGHTS TO INVESTIGATE CORPORATE ACTIVITY CURBED.
In 1990s we see printing industry is diverse, small business, the largest industry in the US. We have seen consolidations----movement of printing to digital computer printing more and more----and today a single national newspaper like the TRIBUNE can own not only a Baltimore Sun but all of the community news journals. Actually the Tribune is spinning off these brands but in the Baltimore region the Sun controls most print media.
'Interestingly, while the industry does account for a significant share of the nation's total volume and goods, services and employment, at the same time, it is the ultimate small business. Nearly 80 percent of the printers in the US employ fewer than 20 people. While there are some printers dealing in national and international scope, most serve local or regional markets. This is an industry largely populated by small, neighborhood shops, rather than sprawling multi-acre industrial complexes. You just don't find that many printing plants employing 20,000 people'.
The U.S. Domestic Printing Industry
Who is the bigger employer in the United States, the printing or the automotive industry? If you guessed printing, take a bow—an $83+ billion bow. Yes, believe it or not, in the US, printing isn't just big business, it's the biggest. Printers employ nearly 1 million people across the country, placing the meager 780,000 in the auto industry a distant second. Sounds pretty outrageous until you stop to think about it. In a society that's constantly in search of access to information and literally obsessed with record-keeping, it stands to reason that printing is ubiquitous. From new car manuals to tabloid newspapers to t-shirts to those little tags on mattresses, nearly every product calls on the printing industry somewhere along the line. Put in that light, the numbers don't seem quite so farfetched. So the big question is, if it's such a big industry, how come we've never noticed?
The relative invisibility of the industry is due primarily to the nature of the business and the way it has evolved. To understand how the industry works and how to effectively target printing facilities for pollution prevention programs, we need to understand who they are, what they do, and perhaps most importantly, where is everybody?
According to the 6th Annual Report to Congress by the Printing Industry of America (PIA), printers are defined as: "Those firms engaged primarily in commercial printing, business forms, book printing, prepress services, quick printing and blank books and binders." This definition does not include firms mainly involved in publishing. Figure 1 (PIA, 1994) illustrates the economic breakdown of the industry into these seven major areas. Before the screaming begins, according to USEPA data, letterpress really did account for 11 percent of the economic market and screen only 3 percent. However, of all the major printing processes, screen printers are the most undocumented. So, in this case, 3 percent is the number that can be physically established.
Figure 1. From: 6th Annual Report to Congress: Printing Industry. Printing Industries of America, Inc. 1994.
For the purposes of this report, printers are defined by the Bureau of Census' Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 27. A word of warning about SIC codes might be in order at this time. Anyone who has attempted to use them has no doubt found them to be vague at best and just downright obsolete at worst. SIC 27, Printing, Publishing, and Allied Industries, is unfortunately no exception. While this definition of the printing industry is similar to the PIA's, it doesn't necessarily include firms engaged in fabric and textile printing (largely a screen process), manufacturers of products containing incidental printing or circuit board printers. But, it could. Broad headings and subjective interpretation of various industries leaves the SIC codes open to a great deal of confusion when it comes to actual statistics. It's often difficult to determine what counts under SIC 27 and what doesn't.
There is some good news on the horizon. Even as this manual is heading towards publication, efforts are underway to clarify and to expand SIC 27. In particular, screen printing will be given two separate listings. So, hopefully, two or three years down the road will see a new, improved SIC 27 that will make it much easier to get a numerical handle on printing in the United States. However, for the moment, and for this overview, the current SIC 27, confusing as it may be, is it.
This sort of uncertainty about the codes leads to some large statistical ranging, depending on the source consulted, and what the authors chose to classify under which SIC. But it should be kept in mind that these numbers, while not necessarily deadly accurate, still serve to illustrate the magnitude and the diverse nature of the industry. Also, it's good to note that, if anything, the numbers quoted here underestimate reality. So, while the 1994 SIC 27 may leave out a potentially sizable number of printing operations, it still provides plenty to keep everyone busy for some time to come.
SIC 27 is made up of firms printing by the five most common processes (lithography, screen, flexography, letterpress, and gravure) as well as newspaper, book and periodical publishers (whether or not they do their own printing). The primary focus of this manual is on the five processes mentioned above. They account for about 97 percent of the economic output in the domestic printing industry (US EPA, 1994), and by necessity, are the first step to anything else in SIC 27. (Bookbinders may have their own pollutants, but they can't do much until someone has printed their books.) Figure 2 shows the financial breakdown of the industry by process-type.
Figure 2. From: US EPA Printing Industry Cluster Profile, 1994, p. 5
At the moment, a number of alternative printing processes and technologies are in use and being further refined and developed. These include various electronic, thermographic ion-deposition, ink-jet and Mead Cycolor printing processes. While these newer methods currently account for about 3 percent of the market, their share is expected to be nearer 20 percent by 2025 (US EPA, 1994). Also afoot are numerous "paperless" publishing and recording technologies. It's not inconceivable, given the increasing popularity of the "information superhighway" and new computer imaging and transmitting equipment, that a net-reduction in printed materials could eventually impact the industry. However, that appears to be a few years down the road, at the very least, and until that comes to pass, there is every indication that old-fashioned printing will remain a very growing concern.
Companies, Presses and Employees
Various estimates place the number of printing establishments in the US somewhere between 60,000 - 70,000. However, these estimates are thought to exclude most-to-all of the 40,000+ plants with screen presses, placing the total nearer to 100,000 facilities.(US EPA, 1994). Apparently, screen printers are even more difficult to put a finger on than are the others. So, with that in mind, be warned that many of the numbers in this chapter should be considered suspect in terms of the impact of screen printers. Figure 3 illustrates plant distribution by press/process-type.
Figure 3. From: US EPA Printing Industry Cluster Profile, 1994, p. 15
Interestingly, while the industry does account for a significant share of the nation's total volume and goods, services and employment, at the same time, it is the ultimate small business. Nearly 80 percent of the printers in the US employ fewer than 20 people. While there are some printers dealing in national and international scope, most serve local or regional markets. This is an industry largely populated by small, neighborhood shops, rather than sprawling multi-acre industrial complexes. You just don't find that many printing plants employing 20,000 people.
Of the operating plants in the US, about 46 percent have fewer than five employees, 24.5 percent have between five and nine, and 14.1 percent have between ten and nineteen. Roughly 12 percent employ between 20 and 99, leaving less than 3 percent of all printers in the country employing more than 100 people. Figure 4 shows the distribution of plants by number of employees. This distribution of employment size matches fairly closely with the type of presses in operation. Gravure and flexographic plants tend to be the larger operations. Over half of the flexographic and about one-quarter of the gravure shops employ more than 20. The majority of the shops utilizing letterpress, lithographic and screen presses fall in the under-20 category (US EPA, 1994).
Figure 4. From: US EPA Printing Industry Cluster Profile, 1994, p. 18.
The conclusions, with regard to pollution prevention efforts, drawn from this section should be pretty clear. The majority of the shops that need assistance aren't going to be multi-national conglomerates with the corresponding resources. Odds are, the average
printer is running a lithographic or screen press, employing less than 20, and quite probably, working on a thin profit-margin, without vast pools of cash available for major capital improvements or process reengineering. Knowing the profile of the individual operation will help identify the psychological approach that will be most effective, as well as the technical considerations.
At this point, we have a good idea of who constitutes the US printing industry and we know that there are thousands of printers out there. However, we still don't know where they are hiding. With the majority being so small, they could turn up just about anywhere. And, in fact, that's almost exactly the case. From Alaska to Wyoming, you will not find a shortage of printers. In fact, every single state has at least one plant employing over 100 and hundreds of smaller plants. But, if you want to play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Printer at a party, ten states stand out above the rest.
California, New York, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, and Massachusetts by themselves account for more than 60 percent of the entire industry. The top three alone are home to over 1/3 of all the plants. Figure 5 shows the ten states by their percentage of the total.
Figure 5. From: US EPA Printing Industry Cluster Profile, 1994, p. 10.
The US domestic printing industry is an entity unlike almost any other. It's the largest employer-one of the largest in terms of economic output-and, if you were to judge by the response of the average person on the street, the printing industry maintains a profile so low that it just about disappears from sight. Instead of a rampaging giant of economic clout, it's a diverse, dispersed swarm of small businesses. The average printing facility is small (<20 employees), probably runs a lithographic or screen press, and has a better than average chance of finding itself in one of ten particular states. But, it could also be 120 people running gravure presses in Nome, Alaska. Probably more so than any other industry of comparable size today, printing is a quickly shifting, unpredictable business.
The US printing industry is nothing else, if not proof of strength in numbers. They don't take up lots of real estate. They aren't generally the major employers in a given area. Individually, they are usually not a major environmental concern. But, when you examine the industry as a whole, you face an entirely different animal. Comprised of thousands of small, independent units, the printing industry employs nearly 1 million in some 60,000-100,000 plants and accounts for somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 billion dollars in business every single year, while at the same time, contributing to toxic air emissions and solid and chemical waste problems on an ever-growing scale. It's too big to be ignored on all fronts, economic, social and environmental.
Looking at each plant individually, it might not seem like the average printer is responsible for all that much pollution. However, whether that assumption is grounded or not, 100,000 individual sources of VOC emissions, petroleum ink wastes, and various types of waste chemicals can add up to a very considerable problem in a very short time.
Unfortunately, the diversity and wide-spread dispersion of the printing industry contributes to its economic survival and viability, and creates a number of sticky logistical problems in bringing wholesale pollution prevention and waste management to the entire industry. With some 100,000 shops operating in nearly every corner of the country, there is, at present, no "short-cut" access to the industry as a whole. Simply reaching these plants presents an enormous challenge, to say nothing of the other factors, such as size, financial situation and location that will also have considerable influence on any pollution prevention strategies that might be suggested.
Facing that and knowing that the printing industry is projected to grow by 3.8-5.3 percent annually during this decade (US EPA, 1994), the environmental problems created by the printing industry aren't going to disappear on their own and without action, will simply become that much more unmanageable each year.
IF WE RECOGNIZE THAT IN 1994 COMPUTER PRINTING WAS JUST GETTING STARTED AND OF COURSE COMPUTER HARDWARE AND INK IS WORSE ENVIRONMENTALLY THAN HARD COPY PRINTING.
Regulatory and legislative actions may come about, but the size and distribution of the industry again will insulate it from much of this. It's simply not possible to effectively regulate and monitor this many institutions. Printers are going to have to decide on their own that pollution prevention and waste management can be an environmentally and economically productive innovation. Like any other industry, the most effective policing method isn't a regulatory agency, but the bottom line. Nothing motivates like the prospect of increased profits. Skilled technical assistance with a feel for the requirements and conditions of the printing industry is one of the most promising routes to this re-education process.
This is still no quick fix. There is no such thing, at least not to be found under SIC 27. Faced with such overwhelming numbers, even directed technical assistance efforts targeting the industry will initially be a shotgun approach. But, with personnel armed with a little background about the printing industry and some practical knowledge of the various major processes,
It's not possible to overstate the value of understanding the printing industry as a whole--what are each individual printers' characteristics, how do they do business and what are their limitations. Going into a technical assistance visit with only an understanding of how the press works, you can make suggestions that will be quite effective in theory, but only by understanding how the printer works, can you make suggestions that are going to be practiced.
Know what our US cities need as small business manufacturing? Nothing fancy------but lots of printing presses. Not the images kind----the news print kind. All emphasis on printing today is digital, social media, and we need old-fashion news/book print.
It seems a high school shop class could build each community its own printing press with education subsidies for our shop classes.
OH, WELL THAT IS SO NOT 21 CENTURY ECONOMY-----CITIZENS WILL BE LEFT BEHIND IF THEY RETURN TO WHAT WORKED.
Craft and Concept
makes art and machines that make art.
So you think you can build a press?
Date:March 2, 2012
Making custom printing presses is an industry and skill that has dwindled in response to fine art schools and print shops being the only ones who needed such machines anymore. Of course things like etching presses and Lithography presses are not needed in a economical since these days, but they are still used to make fine art more accessible. There are still people all across the globe that build handmade printing presses. Anyone that really wants to can make a printing press. Experienced makers can build more complex designs of a press, and even fewer can design the parts and assemble them to make a machine on their own. Building your own printing press takes a variety of skills and a good plan. It takes a little bit of space and time, and most likely some problem solving. But once you have your press put together, you will always know how to take it apart if you made a press that has to be dismantled to move. A press gives you the ability to make fine art prints, hand made zenes, or album covers for your band. It also gives you a sense of empowerment when you are done making the machine and use it to reproduce art. When done right, wood can be used just as effectively as metal and can be made with tools that are easier to access. There are many types of presses, and many different skill levels depending on the materials and process your printing press would require. The Print Factory designs and builds all of the printing equipment used for our projects and has been making printing presses for five years. We have made many presses, including presses that we commissioned, and presses done as collaborations. Both metal and wood have different pros and cons when it comes time to build in the shop and potentially transport your press.
You will find a variety of opinions on how precise a press should be made. Printing presses are machines that we invented to distribute information more fairly and efficiently. Now we have many other avenues to get information of course, but the machine that could reproduce an image or decree is the precursor for all of those other avenues of information. Making a printing press today is part homage to the invention, part shop project, and also makes you think about the history of the printed image in a different way. There are a number of ways to go about actually constructing the press, and a lot of it depends on what you need in a press and how much money you have. It can all be made from scratch if you have the skills and the access to a shop. If you are not an experienced maker, and have no access to a shop, there are other options.
If you design a press right, you can get all the parts you need from a metal supplier (have them cut the parts), a hardware store and maybe a lumber yard. From there, you could finish the press with a drill or drill press, and various hand tools. Other ways involve everything from using a CNC router or plasma cutter, a lathe for the drums, making gears and so forth. Some fabricators will tell you that you have to make an etching press within such a tolerance or it won’t work properly. Others point out that Vermeer was printing etchings long before the kind of shop technologies that can offer accuracy like presses today. In other words, a perfect press is great, but the masters made some of their art on machines that were just making do as it turns out. Craft & Concept has made everything from personal printing kits, electric printing presses, to things like our backpack printing press called the S.C.O.P.E.
'In other words, it was illegal to build a printing press in the Colonies. It wasn't until The United States separated from England that Americans had the freedom to not only print what they wanted, but to build the presses to print them on...'
The American people are losing their sense of history when they do not remember what life in America was as COLONISTS. Since this is to where CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are taking the US we need to revisit what our founding fathers thought important as a new nation. When someone argues for a private global militia as part of US history they are looking at what America as a colony was not allowed----its own national armed forces or navy. This is why our revolution was fought by foreign nations and their naval ships for the most part.
This was true of media and printing. As colonists our global corporate rule included control of what we read or said----
We want to return to what our founding fathers found important and that is building structures we can access and control and right now that is not moving all communications to the internet and online---
WE THE PEOPLE CANNOT CONTROL THAT VENUE.
Ben Franklin's Horizontal Platen Press aka "The Common Press"
The Standard - 1600
Ben Franklin, like nearly every American printer of his era, printed using a wooden "Common Press" which was the standard printing press used throughout the world until the advent of the steel toggle presses which became available - and quickly popular - around 1780.
"Ben Franklin's" Hand Press was of a standard design, an essentially all-wood, floor-standing press, much like those used in both America and in Europe from Gutenberg's time until the end of the 18th century.
This press, sometimes known as the "American Common Press", is actually the "English Common Press.
In fact, until Independence, when American Press Makers were legally allowed to build presses here, most presses used in the world came from Europe - specifically, England. In this case, Ben Franklin's press was very much like the press that would have been found in a 1750's Printing Office whether in London or Philadelphia.
When we queried press historian Bob Oldham about why these presses were shipped to the Colonies from England, instead of being made here, he explained that "For the first 150 years of the American colonies almost all goods had to be purchased in England, by English law -- the colonists were forbidden to make their own."
In other words, it was illegal to build a printing press in the Colonies. It wasn't until The United States separated from England that Americans had the freedom to not only print what they wanted, but to build the presses to print them on...
The photo below shows a colonial printer operating the Common Press in use at The Printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston see: http://bostongazette.org/
The press in the photo below is the press that Ben Franklin is reputed to have used as a young printer in England in the 1730s. It is now in the collection of The Smithsonian Institution.
A complete report on this press can be found in The Common Press by Elizabeth Harris and Clinton Sisson - which includes the drawings used to reproduce a Common Press for a special display at the Smithsonian Institution.
Here are those right-wing Wall Street corporate types blaming yet another industry manufacturing on workers earning a decent living. Know what? They do this because global monopolies and manufacturing overseas has killed market in the US. What if we rebuild our local printing press economy and these local paper mills are reopened as labor co-ops and WE THE PEOPLE buy only from those local paper mills?
We simply need to change two economic prospectives------the local print industry needs to accept costs of paper a little higher and paper mill owners need to look for lower profit-margins.
THIS IS WHAT REBUILDING OUR LOCAL ECONOMIES LOOKS LIKE AND WE DO NOT NEED WALL STREET LOANS----
'He continued by placing blame on the workers themselves. “This community has been dependent on one industry for such a long time,” he said. “As we look back several years down the road, I believe this could be a positive'.
Watching the old Westerns on TV where settlers building new towns brought that blacksmith, general store, cafe---these small business owners knew they had to curb profit-making to what people could afford. Would a labor co-op paper mill need to press to maximize profits or simply maintain jobs and sustainable income?
Our timber is now exported for higher profits---raw wood that we should be using for our US economy.
Alabama paper mill to be closed in 2014
By Matthew MacEgan
25 September 2013
Last week, International Paper (IP), one of the leading paper producers in the United States, announced that it will close its mill in Courtland, Alabama, leaving 1,100 workers jobless. The shuttering of the plant, one of the firm’s largest, will be done in stages, reaching completion in March 2014.
The announcement that the plant will be closed comes in spite of increasing profits. The day before the plant closure announcement, IP showed that it had boosted its dividend 17 percent and stated that it would buy back $1.5 billion of stock. IP’s net earnings for the first six months of the year rose 79 percent from a year earlier to $577 million, or $1.29 a share. Sales increased 5 percent to $14.4 billion. The company anticipates recording even greater profits during the remainder of 2013 and 2014 due to the closing of the mill.
Closing the Courtland plant will cut the company’s paper making capacity by about one third, or 950,000 tons a year.
Most of the product produced is uncoated paper, used in copy machines, while the rest consists of shinier, coated paper used for magazines and catalogs. The market for copy paper and envelopes has been decreasing for a decade as result of increased use of email, on-line bill payment, and electronic data storage.
IP accounts for about 25 percent of the North American production capacity for uncoated paper. The closing of the Courtland mill will lower the industry’s overall capacity by 8 percent.
The cost of upgraded production lines to keep the plant profitable in a shrinking market is an investment that “doesn’t make sense,” IP executives say.
Tim Nicholls, senior vice president for IP’s printing and communications business, stated, “We explored numerous business and repurposing options for the Courtland mill, but concluded that permanently closing the mill best positions us for the future.”
The mill’s closure is a disaster for its workers. “We never dreamed it would be us,” said Johnny Phillips, who has been working in the mill for over three decades. “The hardest part for me is looking at the youngest members. There aren’t many private employers in the area that pay what we get paid.”
With an annual payroll of $86 million, the mill was the largest employer in Lawrence County. Most workers at the mill averaged between $20 and $32 per hour in wages. Now over 40 years old, the mill also played a strong role in the local community, providing free copy paper to schools.
“It’s hard for us to understand how a mill that has put as much money in their coffers as ours could close,” Phillips said.
While the Courtland mill is being closed, other IP mills which produce containerboard for cardboard boxes and packaging products are thriving.
The state of Alabama has made no serious effort to keep the mill open. “We have absolutely nothing at present time that would help a company like this if they were going to close,” remarked Governor Robert Bentley.
State Representative Ken Johnson has told county residents that they should be encouraged by other prospective jobs which may come to the area, including a Jack Daniel’s cooperage which will purportedly create 200 jobs. “I’m glad to have these jobs that we didn’t have two or three years ago,” he told a press conference.
Regarding new jobs coming to the area, Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard told reporters, “I’m not able to discuss that right now, but there are a number of prospects that are interested in coming to Alabama because of the good, positive, pro-business climate we have created in this state that has already yielded results.”
He continued by placing blame on the workers themselves. “This community has been dependent on one industry for such a long time,” he said. “As we look back several years down the road, I believe this could be a positive.
IMAGINE THAT! A prologue to a FARCE.
'Rate Legislation to 1863
A popular Government, without popular information, or
the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a
Farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both
. James Madison, 1822'
Nothing is more vital to rebuilding our hard copy print media than protecting our USPS from being outsourced, privatized, and dismantled as is happening now. These two issues go hand in hand as the USPS was thriving under expanding print industry. We do not have to march into this 21st century internet-only media as is happening today. We protect and save our USPS by rebuilding one of their major revenue sources----and we demand prices that are lower as this article shows.
We all know the USPS is being forced to raise rates more and more and it will price itself right out of viability. We have Presidential appointed POSTMASTER GENERALS tied to Wall Street more than the viability of a critical public postal service so we fight this by being those businesses the USPS wants and needs as local print newsletters, journals.
If American citizens do not act now in rebuilding our small business local economies and stop waiting for Federal or corporate grants directing small business to only 21st century technology----we will lose all our middle-class next decade and there will literally be no personal revenue to invest.
USPS Responds to Newspaper Group’s Concerns and Walks Back Steep Rate Increase
Posted on May 12, 2015 by postal
USPS Responds to NAA’s Concerns and Walks Back Steep Rate Increase
On May 7, 2015, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the U.S. Postal Service’s proposed rate increases for Standard Mail and Periodicals. The new rates take effect on May 31. (The PRC had previously approved new First Class rates, which also take effect on May 31).
The PRC’s approval of the rates comes after it denied previous USPS proposals that were filed on January 15 and March 12, respectively. The regulatory agency sent those proposal back to the Postal Service because discounts for commercial and non-profit mail were not “equal” as required by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2005, and the rates contained numerous other errors.
When the USPS responded on March 12 to the first remand of its January 15 rate proposals, newspapers were surprised that the new proposal would have significantly increased the rates for Total Market Coverage products that are mailed at High Density Plus rates. Specifically, USPS proposed a 5.75 percent increase in the per-piece charge for flats packages weighing over 3.3 ounces. Depending upon the carrier route, newspapers’ TMC packages typically weigh above 3.3 ounces. In addition, there has been a movement within the industry in recent years to increase the number of advertisers (thus, increasing the weight) in TMCs to increase margins for non-subscriber programs.
In response to this dramatic and surprising increase on heavier weight TMCs, NAA contacted Postal Service officials to express concerns and remind them that, in 2014, USPS lowered rates for High Density Plus mail by 11 percent in an effort to encourage newspapers to keep TMCs in the nation’s postal system and not shift this mail to private delivery. To its credit, the Postal Service recognized that the 5.75 percent per-piece increase would have had the effect of reversing the “stay-in-the-mail” incentive USPS had implemented in the previous year. On April 16, USPS submitted revised rates to the Postal Regulatory Commission that replaced the 5.75 percent per piece increase with a below rate-of-inflation 1.2 percent increase.
Attached is a chart with the new rates that go into effect later this month, including rates for “Within County” Periodicals used by community newspapers. This chart includes the 4.3 percent “exigent” surcharge – imposed in 2014 – which will remain in effect until later this summer. The PRC has directed the Postal Service to eliminate the surcharge when the agency has collected $2.8 billion in revenue that was lost due to the Great Recession. The Postal Service has filed an appeal of this decision to “sunset” the surcharge. NAA joined other mailer organizations to oppose the Postal Service’s appeal which currently sits before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
This issue of rebuilding a diverse media economy cannot happen without saving our USPS. If 1% Wall Street global pols succeed in dismantling it---and both CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are working hard to do this----we will be removed from growing local and regional hard copy print media.
Trans Pacific Trade Pact targets our USPS as attacking profits that should be earned by global corporations. Around the world developing nations are privatizing their public postal services----the UK is attacking theirs----and Europeans are fighting as hard as they can against this ONE WORLD goal of captured communications and information.
Nothing says PRESS FREEDOM more than SAVE OUR USPS.
Oregon Occupies the Post Office
December 31, 2011
From the Rural Organizing Project:On Monday, December 19, the Rural Organizing Project coordinated rallies across the state of Oregon to protest the Postal Service’s plan to close rural post offices. Over twenty-three communities fought back against Congress' move to privatize the Postal Service for corporate profit. Monday proved just how much rural Oregon cares about core community infrastructure that supports EVERYONE, not just the 1%. We sent a clear message: we USE and OCCUPY our Post Offices!
You can help save rural post offices!
Sign our petition to Congress demanding that they FIX the USPS' financial crisis that they created in 2006 and that they save rural post offices!
Be sure to check your email on January 2: Our January Kitchen Table Activism will be out to collect signatures across Oregon so we can hand-deliver 3,000 signatures to Congress this February! If you want to get started early, download the petition and signature sheet!
Read about the amazing work of each community — from the tiny town of Deadwood (population less than 200!) with its own Pony Express to signature collection of half of the population in Fort Klamath. Check out the slideshow featuring pictures from across the state!
Here’s a rundown of what happened on December 19:
Deadwood: The parking lot of Deadwood's Post Office and General Store has never been as full as it was on Monday! The Deadwood Pony Express — a pair of giant draft horses — pulled into the parking lot from 10 am to noon while 80 locals rallied to save their Post Office! Everyone in town came, even the local loggers and construction workers. One local construction worker parked his backhoe in the parking lot and put an "Occupied" sign in the bucket! Families shared how important the post office is, ate cookies, signed the petition, and gave the Postmaster gifts of appreciation. At the end of the day, the petition had 164 signatures — an impressive feat for a community with a population less than 200!
"The parking lot was full of folks chatting and meeting for the first time," said Leslie Benscoter, retired schoolteacher and Occupy the Post Office organizer in Deadwood. "Despite our differences, every single member of the community came out to rally around the one thing that brings us together: our post office. I have lived in this community more than fifty years and I still managed to meet new people."
Swisshome: Swisshome rallied outside of their Post Office with a fiddle, signs, and a lot of holiday cheer! Cheering every time a passing car honked, they happily chatted and collected over 70 signatures. Swisshome resident and Occupy the Post Office organizer Otan Logi wrote, "A few times, 4-7 neighbors would show up with posters. Cars and trucks passing by honked and the area was alive with people's enthusiasm! People were talking about concerns with hope and expectation about making a difference."
Walton:The Walton General Store, which shares a storefront with the Walton Post Office, was decorated with signs that read, "OCCUPY THE POST OFFICE — NOT OTHER COUNTRIES" and "Don't Stamp Out the Stamp!" Walton residents gathered around a bon-fire to hold signs facing Highway 126. A local pharmacist and concerned Walton resident was there because he isn't physically able to make the drive to the next closest post office. "This is wrong," he said. "I need to get my medications and they are temperature-sensitive. This is really a matter of life-or-death."
Fort Klamath: Fort Klamath locals and Klamath Falls activists worked together to collect signatures from over half of the population of Fort Klamath! Klamath Falls activist Kirk Oakes wrote, "Fort Klamath was inspirational. Everyone we spoke with was open and concerned and generally supportive. They KNOW what it would mean to them if that post office closed. In the space of time we were there we saw probably half of the population. It was totally worth freezing for."
Drewsey: Drewsey Occupied their Post Office even though it was only 11º outside! They collected signatures and discussed the importance of the Post Office when it comes to the delivery of prescription medications. With a population of less than 18, most folks who use the Drewsey Post Office live outside of town and already drive a treacherous road to get there.
Eddyville: Activists from Occupy Newport traveled to Eddyville to support the community which may be losing its post office. ROP Board member Rennie Ferries wrote, "Just about everybody that drove by showed support in one way or another. Not a single negative. All of us left feeling very good about our participation!" They delivered a plate of cookies to the Postmaster, who was happy to chat with them and share information!
Corvallis: Corvallis had a fun day at Occupy the Post Office. Joined by Santa, Corvallis rallied and gathered over 200 signatures on a petition to save rural and small town post offices. Everyone reported that the entire event was invigorating, fun, and positive! Watch the YouTube video, and read the media coverage.
By Heather Stombaugh, JustWrite Solutions
Updated April 21, 2016
The New Landscape of Corporate Grant Making
Social media may not seem like the first place nonprofits look to win grants, but this 21st-century innovation has changed the landscape of grant funding, especially among corporate giving programs.
When we allow the 5% to the 1% to become our 'populist leaders' bringing 1% Wall Street talking points as our left-leaning goals---we get this 21st century economy filled with nothing but social media and online businesses while all the hard copy print industry shrivels on the vine. That is the goal---they are consolidating not only our media outlets but the ways we can access media or participate in media.
All grants coming now from government grants, corporate non-profit grants is aimed at this 'innovation' economy bringing everyone to online media only.
WE THE PEOPLE know when we are being led down the wrong path and this is it. There is nothing wrong with online media----Citizens' Oversight Maryland is largely online.
'What We Fund
We are open to change and support the adoption of evolving technology to advance our core beliefs. Knight Foundation identifies, explores and invests in innovative technology approaches and applications with the greatest potential to advance the fields in which we work.
Technology is a part of all our grant-making and social investment programs. This requires collaboration among programs to examine core technology issues that cut across the foundation’s work, and to discover and implement program solutions.
Knight Foundation also supports innovative experiments in the use of digital media and technology to inform. We then reinvest in the most promising projects that emerge from early-stage grants'.
Citizens must get serious about supporting financially venues of media not tied to internet and our basic hard copy print press was a wonder of the world in opening the 99% to information and the power to create information and share opinions.
1% WALL STREET IS LEADING AMERICANS LIKE SHEEP TO THE MEDIA CONSOLIDATION AND MONOPOLY OF ONE WORLD INFORMATION CAPTURE.
Social Media and Charity Contests Equal More Grants for Nonprofits
Grant Writers Get Savvy About Social Media and Competitions
By Heather Stombaugh, JustWrite Solutions
Updated April 21, 2016
The New Landscape of Corporate Grant Making
Social media may not seem like the first place nonprofits look to win grants, but this 21st-century innovation has changed the landscape of grant funding, especially among corporate giving programs.
For instance, companies such as Kohl’s, Chase Bank, and Tom's of Maine have moved some of their corporate social responsibility programs to social media, leading to well-publicized Facebook battles for “likes.”
Rather than these companies deciding who should get what, they use "crowd sourcing" techniques to make the decisions.
These charity contests as they are sometimes called, usually invite nonprofits to apply for inclusion, then a smaller number, that meets the basic requirements of participation, compete for the grants.
Even though some of the earliest charity contests, such as Pepsi Refresh, have quietly died away, many companies continue to convert or supplement their grants programs with social media. It is less expensive, easier to manage and requires fewer resources.
It is also phenomenal “free” advertising, in a space where millions of current and potential consumers gather daily, with the potential to go viral.
Competition for these social media-driven funds can become fierce, even in small communities. Ultimately, corporations distribute millions of dollars a year in grants through social media.
However, a paper by Maya T. Prabhu, Assistant Editor at "eSchool News" suggests “the best applicants might not always win.” Why? Nonprofits with more resources and greater access to social media users often top the leader boards. Nonprofits that do not already have a social media capacity commonly fail.
Note that I did not say a lack of grant writing capacity. Indeed, few professional grant writing skills are needed for these competitions. Your communications and social media engagement skills are more important.
While participating in corporate charity contests to win grants can sometimes be disappointing, a little know-how can go a long way. So, how do you win these grants? Here are some tips:
- Tell a clear, concise, and compelling story. Convey why we should care. Why is your need greater than the needs of hundreds of other nonprofits also competing for funds?
- Implement a coordinated communications plan (including traditional media, ads, and other means) to “get out the vote” for your effort. This effort must be strategic, and your organization must invest time in getting votes every day to win.
- Engage volunteers to manage the “get out the vote” effort. Regularly engage through social media, and drive people to vote for your organization.
If you have access to hundreds of young people who use Facebook and Twitter regularly and are willing to help push their friends and followers to vote, you are in an excellent position.
This element is critical. According to a Pew Charitable Trust study, people ages 18-29 are more likely to use social media than any other age group. Use that to your advantage.
How Social Media Influences Traditional Grant Seeking
The value of social media is not confined to non-traditional grant making such as charity contests, however. Even for traditional grant seeking, visibility on social media networks can benefit any nonprofit, even small ones.
According to a study by Kivi Leroux, the 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, “Nonprofits rely most on Facebook (94%), Twitter (62%), and YouTube (42%).”
There are strengths to each of these networks. For instance, more than a billion people use Facebook. It is the elephant in the social media room, so you'll likely want to have a presence there.
Twitter is much smaller, but you'll find lots of nonprofits, foundations, and other grant-making organizations present.
YouTube is just too good to pass up since the viewership is huge. There is even a YouTube program just for nonprofits. Plus, the cost and ease of making video have improved dramatically over the past few years. Almost any nonprofit can establish a YouTube presence.
LinkedIn for nonprofits can lead you to professional connections, but also to potential board members and volunteers.
Here are some simple ways that you can position your nonprofit for success in the world of grant making using social media.
- Make a Facebook page for your nonprofit IF you will use it. Do not make a page just to have one. The purpose of social media is to engage, so someone needs to invest time every week to posting about your impact, stories from the people who use your services, photos of volunteers and from events, and news about new grants or major gifts. Create a conversation and keep it going.
- Put your organization on Twitter. Your executive director (minimally) should have a Twitter account and should tweet regularly about what is happening at your nonprofit. It's easy to have multiple people tweeting from your nonprofit. It's ok for them to use their real names too. If you have multiple accounts, just make sure that one of them is the "official" one. Alternatively, one official account could be maintained by more than one person.
- Explore the potential of LinkedIn. All the professionals in your organization should have a personal LinkedIn page. They should connect with other practitioners in the field, collaborators at other nonprofits, and with grant program officers. LinkedIn is a fabulous resource for professional development, and can even serve as a prospecting tool to locate donors and possible grantors.
- “Like” the Facebook pages of your current and targeted future funders. According to research from the Center on Effective Philanthropy, only 16% of nonprofits follow their foundations on Facebook or Twitter.
- Create videos about your work and post them on YouTube. Then promote your videos through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Just remember to get signed permission from anyone appearing in pictures or videos.
- Use apps to manage social media. Save time by using HootSuite, Buffer, or other social media applications to coordinate posts across as many social media sites as you wish, and to track how well you are doing. Metrics are just as important in social media as they are for things such as fundraising. Some of these apps can be used as "dashboards" for your information.
We cannot rebuild our hard copy printing if we don't have a public USPS to keep mailing costs down and delivery dependable. As well, we already know corporations find the letter mail unprofitable ---they want to end that with only parcel deliveries which we already have with UPS/FEDX
November 4, 2013UK's Royal Mail Privatized and Sold to Investors
John Weeks: The privatization of the Royal Mail will enrich investors but leave workers worse off.
transcriptJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
Britain's postal service, the Royal Mail, was recently privatized, as the government sold a majority stake to investors in an initial public offering. The Royal Mail and Communication Workers Union canceled a massive strike planned for Monday, with the exception of 4,000 Crown post workers.
Now joining us to discuss the issue is John Weeks. He is a professor emeritus of the University of London and author of the forthcoming book The Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy.
Thanks for joining us, John.
JOHN WEEKS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIV. OF LONDON: Well, thank you very much for inviting me. It's always a pleasure.
DESVARIEUX: So, John, let's just break down who are the winners and the likely losers of this privatization of the Royal Mail.
WEEKS: I think in order for an American audience--I think it should be obvious to everyone that I'm an American, But I've lived in Britain for a while. But I go back and forth. It took me a while to adjust to the role of the postal service.
Let me briefly explain to people the nature of it, so it--easier for you to understand who wins and loses, because it's not just a financial question. The postal service in Britain has, ever since the end of World War II, played a very major role social role. Small communities have post offices. We have a cottage in a village of 500 people. It has a post office. Another village next to us, a post office closed a few years ago because of budget cuts.
Now, to that post office elderly people can go and collect their pensions. They can actually collect it in cash, rather like collecting your Social Security in cash. They don't have to have bank accounts. If they want a bank account, they can have it through the Postal Service. They don't have to pay the fees that you would in a normal bank. And it has always been completely safe, because the government guaranteed money that was deposited in the postal service bank.
In addition, the post office would usually be in a shop, and the people that ran it would live in the community. And so they would know people coming in and out. So it played quite an important function. Several years ago, an elderly woman in a village here was ill, and the postmistress noticed that she hadn't been coming in for several days and called the emergency services. So that's not an unusual function for the post office to play.
Okay. So one of the big losers will be all the people who use the post office as a source of their, you might say, link to the wider community, because it will become more commercial. In fact, many of the local post offices will become de facto in private hands. That is, not only will they be a privatization process which has occurred in which shares are sold out, but the premises will be owned privately and the functions will be owned by a rather large company, which will then hire the postmaster, the postmistress to run the activity. So to a certain extent this privatization is an extension of what has occurred before.
So the first thing is that a very large number of people in Britain will have worse local services. And this applies to cities, too. There are--it's quite common where we lived in London. There is a post office within walking distance. And most people have a post office within walking distance. I think almost certainly with the privatization there will be fewer post offices. This will be downsized. And it's also a place, I should add--not our local post office, but in London, where you can use a computer--if you don't own the computer, you can go along and use the computer in the post office. Or you can have your photograph taken to get a passport. A whole range of things. There will be fewer of them. It will mean that either you'll have to have an automobile or you will have to travel by public transport, rather long distances, in order to access these same services.
I would say there the primary [incompr.] purely financially. Part of the shares, of course, are sold--well, are granted to the postal workers. But the controlling share has been sold off to private companies. Five percent of it is owned by a hedge fund. Then that 5 percent, usually, with a corporation, is enough to have control of it, particularly if the government is not particularly zealous about using its part, which I'm sure this government will not be. So then the big corporations that buy it out, I suspect what they will do is they will begin to run down the services in order to make less competitive with the same functions privately. As in the United States, there are many private providers (if I can use that, you know, neoliberal term) of postal services, delivery services, all of these things--American Express being--not American--Federal Express being the most obvious one. And so they will be [incompr.]
Then, in addition, there are the short-term gains. This is, you might say, the dirtiest part of the whole deal. When you privatize something well, when those who are prone to privatization--governments are prone to privatization, privatize [incompr.] they have to decide how much they're going to sell the shares for. The post--then you have to value what you're selling. And private consultants are hired, and the government on the basis of their advice valued the Postal Service at £10 billion. The shares went for about 40 percent more than that. So people were able to buy the shares at, say, a pound, and then the same day they were able to sell them at 40 percent more. Okay. This is a real scandal. Did the government do it on purpose, so that the big brokerage houses would make a killing? Well, I don't even think they have to do it on purpose. It comes so natural to them, 'cause this has been characteristic of previous privatizations under conservative governments, under Margaret Thatcher's government of valuing a public asset well below its market's price. And then the people who buy up the shares, most of whom are the wealthy, are able to resell them almost at once and make a large profit.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. John Weeks, thank you so much for joining us.
WEEKS: Well, thank you very much for having me. And I hope that next time I see you I'll be able to say that there's a strong movement against this privatization. I'm not terribly optimistic, but I hope so, because there is some opposition. It's not very strong now.
DESVARIEUX: Well, we'll certainly be tracking the story as well, John.