Postal Service of the Future

Conventional wisdom seems to be that the financial difficulties of the Post Office are due to the rise of email. The Postmaster General noted this himself as he announced the end of Saturday delivery. But to only look at competition from email is to miss the larger ideological picture — namely, that privatizing USPS has been a goal of market absolutists for decades. The real “crisis” faced by the PO is the absurd requirement, set by Republicans in Congress, that the agency fund retiree benefits for the next 75 years — paying for future employees who haven’t even been born yet! This article on Alternet provides an overview of how the service is under attack. Never mind that the Postal Service isn’t taxpayer-funded; privatizing it is still part of the Cato Institute’s agenda. It seems obvious to me that replacing USPS with a patchwork of private mail delivery companies would be an unmitigated clusterf#ck. Believe it or not, the private sector is not always the most efficient (see: health insurance).


  • Roger Felix

    As usual, you are right. The economic crisis that was started by runaway investment firms and the bursting of the bubble on their subprime mortgage scams and derivative games provided the “shock doctrine” moment for Ayn-Randian conservatives (who are still furious over the New Deal, Medicare, and Social Security) to try to bomb all government functions except for the military. How are we to stop this? Writing letters and emails doesn’t seem to help, and nobody wants to take to the streets anymore. I mean, can you imagine postal service protest marches?

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.