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.