She is a well-connected Democrat who runs a consulting company that services "private clients on the development and execution of public and private strategies for their business needs.”, Mrs. Kennedy’s selection at least looks good in comparison to the nomination of James C. Miller III, a former governor who has testified before Congress in favor of postal privatization. There’s no clear definition of what the public’s interest is, which leaves it somewhat up to the individual filling the PR position in a particular case to decide what their role will be. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The changes — … We know the Constitution instructs — or more accurately, permits — Congress to make arrangements for post offices and post roads. She might seem like a good choice to some Progressives, but the fact is that Mrs. Kennedy’s resume offers little comfort. The American people built and paid for our postal system. Quick View Delivering Cheer Holiday Gift Catalog. "Trump's Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and his wife have between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in U.S. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. Currently there are only three out of nine appointed members serving, and two of them are in their grace year, meaning they are serving beyond their regular appointed term. The Act transformed the POD into the semi-autonomous United States Postal Service. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has drawn stinging criticism for the changes he has made at the United States Postal Service since assuming the position on June 15.. Sadly, the Postal Advisory Council was never constituted, and no appointments were ever made. It pays federal corporate income taxes on its earnings from competitive products, … Although it is owned entirely by the United States Government, the USPS functions as if it were a private corporation. As much as I respect Ms. Goldway, I find her faith in this flawed system misplaced. In the Friestatt, MO closure case, the PR assigned to the case did a yeoman’s job, but she was undermined by her office, which interfered with the filings from the folks in Friestatt and removed documents without notice. It's that time of year again. They seemed to see an opportunity to advance their cause without seeing the broader picture. There was one interesting element of the PRA that gave at least some recognition to the idea that the postal system and network were broadly owned by and designed to service the American public. There have been CEOs of large corporations, but there have been virtually no consumer advocates. This thread is archived. U.S. Code Title 39 establishing the U.S. Yet beginning with the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act (PRA) and the reorganization of the system into a corporate-like structure, there has been an ongoing attempt by relatively narrow interests to co-opt, control, and ultimately dictate the direction of our postal system. But Congress has abdicated its responsibilities. Close. Given our current political and social environment, it is possible and even likely that the PAC would have been ineffective. The Postal Service is the third-largest employer in the United States, behind the Department of Defense and Wal-Mart. More importantly, it might have been able to focus on the broad public policy and consumer issues that the current leadership of the Postal Service has intentionally ignored in their unrelenting effort to outsource and degrade postal infrastructure. 18. That is a good indication that the Founders saw postal services and the infrastructure that supported them as broadly essential to the nation — nation in their reckoning being the sum of the people. In the ensuing years we’ve seen our elections devolve into an unending quest for contributions, a system that more and more resembles “pay for play.”  We’ve seen a transition from a market economy to what political philosopher Michael Sandel calls a Market Society, a world where moral choices are squeezed out in favor of an ethic that puts a price on everything and makes everything for sale: consumerism not as a means to raise living standards but as a religion unto itself. Even though corporations benefit from public systems like the rule of law, which uses the power of the state to enforce contracts, patents, and intellectual property protections, and even though they take advantage of public goods and infrastructure like the postal network or the interstate highway system, their only obligation, according to the Friedman dogma, was to their shareholders. The service owns 228,940 vehicles and who knows how much in equipment, fixtures, storage, tools, computers, service counters, inventory, and so … I recently participated in a conference call of those interested in postal banking. USPS agreement regarding election mail in Georgia runoff (Dec. 23, 2020), USPS Election M)ail Fact Sheet (Oct. 21, 2020), USPS Fact Sheet on Election Mail Preparedness Efforts, USPS memo re: Clarifying Operational Instructions (Sept. 21, 2020), Mandatory Standup Talk: Ready to deliver Election Mail for the nation (Sept. 24, 2020), USPS Memo: Additional Resources for Election Mail Beginning October 1 (Sept. 25, 2020), Steps USPS is taking to improve service performance for election mail (Oct. 1, 2020), Supplemental Guidance Memorandum (October, 2020), A former postmaster’s view: Articles by Mark Jamison, Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service, OIG: The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services, OIG: Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved, It’s Time for Postal Banking by Mehrsa Baradaran, OIG: Preservation and Disposal of Historic Properties, OIG: What Postal Services Do People Value Most, History of Post Office Construction 1900-1940, Postal Facilities Constructed or Occupied 1940-1971, USPS Facilities Reports State-by-State (as of Dec. 2019), USPS Leased Facilities State Reports (2018), USPS Owned Facilities State Reports (2018), Post Office Suspensions & Discontinuances 2008-2017, Historic Post Offices sold or for sale 2009-2018, Post Offices on or eligible for the National Register, How the pandemic could lead to a big USPS price hike. Postal Service Owned Boxes. It's worth quoting yet again the stirring words of Title 39: "The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. Congress confers on the USPS monopolies over the delivery of first-class mail and access to mailboxes, the latter of which is a unique protection among the world's postal systems. (More on the BOG in a future post.). In this important general service case that looked at service reductions in thousands of post offices, the PR put up virtually no defense, and he refused assistance and information that might have helped in better exploring the Postal Service’s proposals. The BOG was something akin to a corporate board, although in reality it lacked the accountability a corporate board has to stockholders. An economy that ignores public goods like infrastructure is a prescription for special interest, limited advantage, and civic isolation.

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