The Bigger Picture, Part XVIII

Here are a few of the better on-line articles that I read this week related to topics we have discussed in the recent past.  Yes, I’ve done 18 of these weekly linkfests now.

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5 responses

  1. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    I can’t say I’m shedding many tears over the demise of Sat. delivery. In fact, I would be pleased if they went out of business altogether.
    I do not call him the “postman” any more. I call him the garbageman. That is what he brings, generally dumped on the floor for me to find when I return home late at night.
    I faithfully pick it up, with some difficulty, and put it in the garbage. I have never even looked at the junk. I regard it as an insult to bring it to people’s homes.
    Even the first-class mail is mostly junk; and what is not could surely be sent by email. As for checks, anyone ever hear of electronic transfers?

    1. I share your pain, Jim. But the USPS still plays a vital public function, although no one knows it. It delivers a lot of business-to-business correspondence and business to consumer correspondence that is not just spam. In fact, 90% of letters delivered by the PO is sent by companies.
      The irony of conservatives’ efforts to eliminate the USPS is that: (1) the places that would suffer the most are red-state rural areas that only the PO would ever serve at a reasonable cost. And, (2) the Service’s “competitors” like UPS and DHL, are not competitors at all. They profit greatly from the USPS, in two ways: The public does not pressure them to create unprofitable routes to rural places, and UPS/et al make a ton of money by actually sending the packages they have to send to unprofitable places via the post office.
      Why the GOP insists on gutting the USPS by manipulating their pension contributions shows how mindless and indiscriminating their anti-government crusade has become..

  2. Moreover, there are still many Americans, mainly elderly and low-income citizens who cannot afford the high costs of monopoly-priced cable internet access, who need the post office.

  3. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    I understand your points, David. However my own personal experience at this point is so uniformly ghastly that I have trouble appreciating why they shouldn’t go out of business.

    Congress subsidizes the mailing of junk mail (I think). Surely that could be eliminated–if they want to send out their ads they should pay full rate, which some do now.

    What about subsidies to people in rural areas to get Internet access?

  4. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    Happened to see a piece by George Will in the Washington Post today. Apparently this sort of rhetoric is considered objective criticism by Republicans:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-break-up-the-big-banks/2013/02/08/2379498a-714e-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html

    For the record, I’ve met Sherrod Brown, several times. His voice is not gravelly, nor does he sing revolutionary songs.

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