Going Postal

Mail CarrierDon’t worry, ‘Merca. You’ll still get your mail on Saturdays. For now, anyway.

About a month ago I turned on my local news like I always do while I made dinner for my family. They were reporting on the controversy over whether or not the United States Postal Service would end Saturday delivery to save money.

You see, USPS currently bleeds about $25 million a day.

I’ll let that sink in.

Each day, the USPS LOSES 25 MILLION DOLLARS.

Last year it lost $16 BILLION.

Normally I don’t get too worked up or concerned about my mail. I don’t have much of an opinion about the USPS other than I like the postal workers at my city’s office, my mailman is super nice (we lovingly refer to him as Mr. McFeely since we don’t know his real name), and normally they don’t mess up my packages.

I was aware that the Postal Service wasn’t doing too well; although, I had gotten unfortunately used to a price hike on stamps every year or so.

But what I saw when my local station did their report made me angry.

They mentioned the money letting, but they didn’t bother to mention that thanks to a congressional action called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, the USPS operated under a pay-as-you-go model for retiree health care funding. The law requires the Postal Service to pre-fund its benefit obligations. In other words, thanks to the the actions of Congress, the USPS is required to shell out 75 years of pension liabilities UPFRONT and pay them over just 10 years.  No other government agency is required to do this, and no smart business entity in the world would do this. It couldn’t and still expect to remain alive and well.

Instead of sharing this news or showing people protesting the ridiculous laws binding the USPS to blood letting, it interviewed ignorant dummies.

There, outside government buildings, were people picketing the proposed stoppage of Saturday mail. They were VERY riled up too.

One man interviewed claimed, “It’s unAmerican to do something like this. You can just keep the mail away!”

I was confused. They were talking about going down to five days instead of six, not taking mail away completely.

Another agitated woman got right into the camera and yelled, “THIS AIN’T RWANDA!  THIS AIN’T AFGHANISTAN! THIS IS THE U. S. OF A.! AMERICA!  WE GOT RIGHTS TO OUR MAIL BEIN’ DELIVERED ON A SATURDAY!”

There were about 10-15 people picketing and all I could think was, really? REALLY? This is what you get off your couch for?  This is what you spend your time getting behind…spend your day off work protesting?  THIS?

Now don’t get me wrong, I totally get being passionate about political issues. I clearly get that.

But there are so many REAL injustices in this country.  Homelessness, hunger, an inefficient health care system that benefits insurance companies, dismal support and funding for public education, women’s rights…I mean, the list goes on and on.

Of all the issues that affect actual HUMAN life, why…WHY choose Saturday mail delivery to get yourself worked up over?

The postal service system is broken. That is clear. I mean, when a government agency is bleeding at a rate of $25 million a damn day, I’d say something drastic needs to be done to fix it. Or it will have to get ditched altogether in favor of private services (which currently subcontract the USPS for routes that are too expensive for them to make money on).

I get that ending Saturday mail would affect people’s jobs. I get that human part of it.

But the people interviewed and the protestors signs spoke nothing of that. They spoke nothing of the unfair pre-funding. All they cared about was getting their junk mail and bills on Saturday…just like every other day of the week.

If you are really passionate about fixing broken government systems, GREAT!  I encourage you to get involved and get out there!

But if all you are doing is looking for a way to get your Sports Illustrated delivered on Saturday, I am ashamed FOR you.