Tag Archives: privatization

Another GOP deception debunked

I’m on the Repugnican National Committee’s e-mail list — know thy enemy — and RNC chairweasel Michael Steele is credited with having written this in an RNC fundraising e-mail that I received this morning:

Barack Obama recently said, “I think private insurers should be able to compete…. If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”

The President is acknowledging what Republicans have been saying all along: That the private sector does a better job offering choices and delivering services to customers in a competitive and cost-effective manner than a government-run monopoly.

But Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress are pushing for a government-run health care scheme that is inefficient, limits choices and hemorrhages taxpayer money like the Post Office.

Two weeks ago, the Post Office was called a “high-risk” federal agency by the Government Accountability Office. The Post Office will have a $7 billion operating loss this year. So what makes the President, Nancy Pelosi and their left-wing allies think that government bureaucracy can run health care better than the private sector?

Robert, it’s clear Americans simply aren’t buying into the Democrats’ government-run health care experiment. They are waking up to the fact that the Democrats are trying to strip us of more of our freedoms all in the name of their “government knows best” philosophy.

Your generous support of the RNC is critical to laying the foundation Republicans need to defeat the Democrats and stop their leftward push to control every facet and detail of our lives.

Please help the RNC recruit and train the next generation of conservative Republican candidates who are committed to our core values of limited government, fiscal discipline and personal responsibility by making a secure online contribution of $1,000, $500, $100, $50, or $25 today.

No matter how the President and his liberal allies try to spin it, they cannot escape the fact that his government-run health care plan would increase costs, increase taxes, increase the deficit and reduce health care choice and quality.

Robert, we can win this fight and stop the Democrats from another government takeover. Please give as generously as you can to help defeat Barack Obama’s risky health care scheme. 

OK, first off, the most obvious: Comparing the U.S. Postal Service and private-sector delivery services like FedEx and UPS to health care is like comparing pineapples to oranges.

Secondly, the U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775 — it hardly was some “government takeover” of what the private sector already had been doing better.

Thirdly, the U.S. Postal Service is not funded primarily by the American taxpayer, as the RNC e-mail implies; it’s funded primarily by its sales of postage and other postal services and products.* In this respect it’s much like a government-owned business.

Last but not least, the main reason that the U.S. Postal Service is having a budget crisis now can be summed up in a word: the Internet.

The 200-plus-year-old USPS had quite an infrastructure in place before the Internet boomed. (Indeed, only Wal-Mart employs more civilians in the United States than does the USPS.) Now, with e-mails and online transactions and other Internet-based communications that make the USPS unnecessary, the USPS indeed is hemorrhaging money.

But again, that’s because of the Internet, which drastically reduced the need for the USPS’s services — within what, only about a decade? — not because the government can’t do things as well as can the private sector.

The private-sector United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx developed in the shadow of the U.S. Postal Service. That is, their business models and infrastructure were developed around the long-pre-existing USPS, and they are much, much younger than the USPS — and, of course, their volume is much lower than that of the USPS — so if FedEx and UPS are doing OK right now while the USPS is struggling, that’s why.

Speaking of the private sector, I hate having anything delivered by UPS. The UPS drivers stick around for maybe five seconds after ringing the doorbell before they fly back inside their trucks and zoom off. That’s what corporate greed causes: given a delivery quota, the UPS drivers don’t have time to wait even 10 seconds for you to answer the fucking door, I surmise.

And because a UPS package once went missing from my porch, UPS refuses to leave packages at my address ever again — but UPS only delivers during business hours from Monday through Friday, when I’m at work. So I have to have any UPS packages redirected to my boyfriend’s place in order to actually receive them. (UPS will leave my redirected packages at my boyfriend’s place — but they won’t leave my packages at my own home. That’s corporate logic for you.)

For me, UPS hardly has been convenient or timely or efficient — and their employees are mildly friendly at best. The U.S. Postal Service will leave packages on my front porch — and delivers on Saturdays. And their employees are much friendlier than are UPS employees, probably because USPS employees are taken much better care of than are UPS employees, who are only corporate slaves.

Better taken-care-of employees are happier employees, and happier employees do a better job. Under the corporate model, in which you extract everything that you can from your employees while giving them as little in pay and as little in benefits as you can, happiness is impossible for a sane individual.

No, the profits-over-people private sector can’t do it better than the government can do it.

Yes, the U.S. Postal Service is struggling and is downsizing due to the impact of the Internet and, let’s not forget, due to the impact of the shitty economy in general. (Newspapers and other printed media also are suffering — are downsizing or folding altogether — due to the unexpected, relatively sudden rise of the Internet and the BushCheneyCorp-induced shitty economy.)

Again, the U.S. Postal Service’s woes are not because the government can’t do anything right, and the RNC fundraising e-mail falsely implies that President Obama actually agrees with the Repugnicans’ philosophy that privatization is superior.

While Steele is at it, he even gets the “freedom” meme in there, even though his and his fellow Repugnican overlords’ central interest certainly is not Americans’ freedom, but is corporations’ ever-increasing profits. Corporate profiteering — even from basic human needs like health care — far from giving them more freedom, turns average Americans into slaves to the corporations.

Perversely Orwellianly, the Repugnican/wingnut noise machine calls continued slavery to corporations “freedom” and calls any attempt to free Americans from corporate slavery “tyranny.”   

The Repugnicans not only blatantly mislead and lie to their own supporters, whom they want to enslave to their corporate interests, but then ask their supporters to give them donations afterward.

*According to a recent CNNMoney.com article:

Contrary to what many people might guess, the USPS is not a government agency. It hasn’t received direct subsidies since the early 1980s. Aside from a miniscule fraction of its budget for free mail services for the blind and Congress’ franking privileges, the Postal Service pays its own way with postage revenues, which in fiscal year 2008 reached $75 billion.

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