(Clinton KY) Below are some of my fears for what may happen if President Trump is successful in "auctioning off" the assets and operations of the Postal System into very private corporate hands. Many of these points have already been discussed within the past five years.
Reflect for a moment on what one Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, would think about the mess we are in. Franklin was the true spirit and thinking behind the planning for the direct postal service to each and everyone in this new American Experiment, given birth in 1776.
- Burn it all down to the ground - President Trump is allowing his hate toward Amazon (Jeff Bezos-owner of Washington Post) to cloud his judgment of the financial crisis facing the Postal System. Recently the head of the US Postal Commission declared that if no new money can be found that the total system would be broke by October, 2020. Corporations and capitalist see a great opportunity to buy at a massive "fire sale" the assets and rights to delivering the mail to the nation for pennies on the dollar.
- Start over with totally new set of postal service - Under a realignment of the postal system, existing worker pensions would cease to exist, most workers would become part time or reduced hours for pay, and limited benefits. This would become the gig economy staffing model for mail delivery.(Editor's Note: That's already happening to some extent)
- First class stamp go from $0.55 cents to $5.00 - Without the burden of heavy staffing costs, the US Postal System becomes a CASH COW. Without the Congressional mandate of pre funding each year about 5 to 7 billion dollars toward postal workers retirement funds, great revenue stream for very large profits would be realized by the new owners.
- Close all small post offices in every county - Many rural and even some urban counties have multi zip code post office locations. New strategy would be to totally reorganize the zip code model down to the bare minimum for command and control of the physical plant of buildings and assets that are now present. In this approach, size of office will become the driving factor for survival.
- No rural county will be allowed to have more than one Post Office -In the postal geography of the Jackson Purchase counties of far western Kentucky, there now exist a total of 24 individual Post Offices, each with a separate stand alone zip code. These 24 zip codes are populated with 83 city and rural routes. Instead of the existing 24 zip codes, there would be only 8 zip codes. The new system would be only the county seats.
- Keep Rural Route Carriers. Add personal arm protection - Rural route carriers would become contract only employees with limited work hours so as to keep them as "part time employment." Some may be required to carry personal weapons to protect their mail on route. There's an NRA contract in there somewhere.
- Close all walking routes in city zones - All city walking routes would be converted to mail box collection stations at the end of urban streets. No longer need to deliver to individual houses.
- Business Mail Transformation - Central Business Districts (CBDs) mail to be delivered by special courier service for simplicity, speed, and security. Separate contracts with Amazon/UPS/ FedX or other corporation would be in charge. Security and delivery fees would be charged.
- Days of Mail Delivery - City and rural mail would be converted to delivery on odd days, no longer each day. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday would become the new "normal" for mail.
- Stamps - The printing of physical stamps will be transferred to corporate control. Volume and design for any new stamps would become solely a corporate function for profits. New monies could become available from the "highest bidders" in stamp design message auctions.
- Stamps Images -Placement of designs and images within the physical frame of any new stamp could become new platforms to promote either corporate messages or government propaganda. Again, highest bidder for limited space would own printing rights for new issues.
- Stamp Collectors -The 16 million stamp collectors in America would be given special privileges and money discounts for being "soft supporters" of this new order.
With other ways to squeeze profit out of the postal system, including selling off post offices and firing worker, the future doesn't look bright for the USPS if there is a second term for the incumbent. Hurting Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post and Amazon, decimating postal worker unions and taking revenge on the areas that do not vote for him and controlling the flow of information out through the US mails will be a goal of a second Trump term.
Ben Franklin will be spinning in his grave.