Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, August 21, 2020

Live in a Rural Area and Support Trump? He's Going to Fuck You, Hard.

Now, with delays raising fears that the United States Postal Service is being hobbled by a combination of financial problems, politicization and pandemic, farmers and other rural residents say they are particularly vulnerable to the crisis roiling the postal system. And while President Trump’s own words have raised alarms that the problems are part of an effort to keep Democrats from voting by mail, many of those being hurt the most live in rural areas that overwhelmingly support the president.

“This is an attack on a tried-and-true service that rural America depends on,” said Chris Gibbs, a farmer in western Ohio who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, but this year started an advocacy group arguing that the president has failed rural America. “It pulls one more piece of stability, predictability and reliability from rural America. People don’t like that.”
...
Amid the uproar, some rural residents worried that the damage to their livelihoods and the credibility of the Postal Service had already been done. They wondered whether they could still trust the mail to handle their packages, animals and ballots.

“I’ve always counted on the post office,” said Carrie Sparrevohn, 64, who raises merino sheep and sells wool and yarn from her ranch outside Auburn, Calif. “Now, I don’t know if I should be mailing anything.”
...
In Fort Benton, Mont., Leone Cloepfil, 75, started worrying about her mail in July, when her Visa payment was not delivered and she was charged a $35.04 late fee. She had to stop driving recently after the numbness in her foot got so bad that she could no longer feel the pedals, so she said she had no choice but to trust her ballot to the mail.
...
But in places already isolated because of spotty internet access, people said the post office was the only institution mandated to serve them at a flat cost, no matter the weather or how remote they were. Like a hospital, school or grocery store — all of which have closed across rural America — they said a post office anchored a town’s survival.

“If these small rural towns lose their post offices they lose their identity,” said Gaylene Christensen, who relies on the post office to ship orders of home décor from her shop in Arlington, S.D., now that foot traffic has been slowed by the pandemic. “We’re the ones who are going to get hit.”
You'd think that a guy like Trump, who views the presidency as being transactional, and who demanded that places that didn't vote for him get punished, would want to look out for those who did.

But you'd be so wrong.

Do you live in Alaska, where people depend on the post office for all manner of things? Welll, Trump and DeJoy are going to fuck you up.
DeJoy’s potential plans, the people said, also include eliminating the Alaska Bypass program, a federal program exclusive to the state in which the Postal Service subsidizes the cost of freight shipping of groceries and other goods for remote areas to keep its commitment to universal service. The program costs the USPS about $100 million a year.
If you live outside of the "lower 48", DeJoy is going to ensure that your mail costs a lot more.

The post office isn't a business and it hasn't been for over two hundred years. But the Republicans, for decades, have harbored a dream of breaking up the post office, of privatizing it.

Anyone in rural America who thinks that is a good idea probably needs some serious professional help.

3 comments:

dinthebeast said...

That's what the whole prefunding thing was about: making USPS more attractive to privatization.
You know what else doesn't make a profit but is widely approved of? The roads.
It's the postal service, not the postal business, and still without prefunding, they were profitable.
This is sabotage, plain and simple, and the damn fool has already said he has no intention of undoing the damage he's already done.
And if you believe the private sector can perform as well, just price shipping a letter to the boonies via UPS or FedEx.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

DTWND said...

Back in the late 80's and early 90's the Heritage Foundation proposed privatization of a boatload of Federal services. The Post Office and Air Traffic Control, among others, was targeted. Using the trope of "private companies can do the job cheaper", they advocated using private companies to do the work, thereby 'cutting' federal spending. This would be done at the expense of the people actually doing the work by drastically cutting salaries by as much as 70%. And as a worker, if you didn't like it, you could always quit. These 'savings' would go into the pockets of the company owners. Meanwhile, the quality of 'service' would degrade.

As an example, refer to the privatization of Flight Service Stations and personnel. Anyone who flew prior to 1990 knows how much the service has declined. Most everything has been automated to the point of having three service centers where many of the employees have no idea of the local airports, facilities, and terrain in remote places of the US. The expertise of the briefers has been lost, never to be recovered, under the guise of savings at the expense of safety.

Thank you, President Reagan.

Dale

CenterPuke88 said...

Dale, speaking to anyone who works at those FSS these days is revealing. All the smart ones carry private liability insurance, because with privatization the liability shield went away. Add to that the thousands who lost their retirement plan, including a few as little as a month short of 25 years and vesting for retirement, and it was quite the shit move...very Trumpian. They recently moved phone clearance to ARTCC Flight Data positions, away from the AFSS, which slows down distribution of PIREPs and such to secondary facilities, but....shrug, we can fix that by mandating controllers call underlying facilities with heads ups on stuff like that.

The plus to this happening to the USPS, and so publicly, is that people might finally decide that they like the government doing certain task, like the U.S. mail and we may see 40 years of chipping away at it reversed promptly.