As the postal crisis unfolded recently, I kept reminding Democrats that they, too, have contributed to this problem via their bizarre eagerness to accept the gutting of public services.
Oh no, they replied.
Oh yes. Sorry to bug you,but it’s true. This can be fixed. First, Democrats must stop agreeing with Republicans on voodoo economics. They might begin by listening to their own left wing.
It’s Not Just Trump: The Neoliberal Roots of the Postal Service Crisis, by Max B. Sawicky (In These Times)
We should defend the Post Office, both from Trump and the ideology of austerity that treats the agency “like a business.”
We’re currently getting a vivid, painful reminder of why we need a public sector. The collapse of public services, in particular the provision of public health, has torpedoed the entire economy as a deadly pandemic ravages the country. The end of the road in our current devolution may be the assault on one of our oldest public institutions — the venerable and very popular U.S. Postal Service.
From an economic standpoint, there is no reason a postal service must run a profit. As many commentators have pointed out, this constraint is applied selectively, out of ideological prejudices. Nobody requires the Department of Defense to turn a profit. (For this we should probably be grateful.)
The point here is that the spurious notion that the U.S. Postal Service should be financially self-sufficient — which goes back decades — helped give rise to the ability of Trump’s crony in charge of the Post Office, the conflict-of-interest-ridden Louis DeJoy, to cut services in the name of accounting solvency. For his part, Trump has acknowledged openly that his refusal to provide necessary supplementary funds to ensure effective delivery of the mail is founded on his determination to frustrate the vote-by-mail system.
In the wake of the uproar over mail sabotage, public pressure has apparently forced DeJoy to defer some service cuts until after the election. To make sure this pledge is honored, we will have to keep a clear eye on the actual progress, on the ground, in preparing for the election. Fortunately, unionized postal workers will be essential allies in monitoring the integrity of Postal Service management. Pending the successful removal of the current administration, a forthright rejuvenation of the U.S. Postal Service can commence, in which we finally cast off the unfounded accounting imperatives that cripple its operations.