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The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse (USPS)
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The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse (USPS)

  #21 (permalink)
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I still don't get why government run entities need a union? It makes no sense to me? If someone could show me why then I get it, but considering all the choices one has to find employment, then why is one forced into union laborship?

I think no government entities should have a union. If they don't like pay, or work conditions (both of which are often VERY good), then they should simply go COMPETE in the private sector for employment like the rest of us do.

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  #22 (permalink)
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There's a huge amount of hypocrisy with pro-union politicians.

Federal politicians don't want unions at the Federal level, because they know that unions are best kept at the state level. That way, they can still get the benefits of union kickbacks, votes and campaign funds, but don't have to deal with unions practically setting up shop in their office and running things like you have with state government unions.

Obama and his staff run their mouth and get involved in the debate about scaling back collective bargaining, but then he turns around and freezes government worker's pay at the Federal level.

We need to feature amendments to constitutions with respect to government unions.

Government unions "negotiate" and "bargain" with the same politicians that they contribute campaign funds toward and the politician negotiates and bargains in bad faith with the taxpayer.

So what you end up with, is a system where the union members, union reps and the politician win and the taxpayer loses.

Similarly, at the Federal level, what you end up with is the entitlement recipient, the government bureacrat, the lobbyist and the politician wins, and the few who actually pay taxes and bear the burden lose.

Brilliant.

Unfortunately, the tax paying, non-union citizens are losing ground (in numbers).

"A dumb man never learns. A smart man learns from his own failure and success. But a wise man learns from the failure and success of others."
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  #23 (permalink)
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outsource to China...we cant seem to do anything right anymore!
USPS is a relic as mentioned above,needs to have been streamlined long time agoooo!

You think these clowns can run a Healthcare system? forget about it bro

Watched Ron Paul tonight...I like that guy.

Audit the Fed...step 1 of his presidency.
Stay out of other countries affairs etc.

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  #24 (permalink)
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RM99 View Post
There's a huge amount of hypocrisy with pro-union politicians.

Federal politicians don't want unions at the Federal level, because they know that unions are best kept at the state level. That way, they can still get the benefits of union kickbacks, votes and campaign funds, but don't have to deal with unions practically setting up shop in their office and running things like you have with state government unions.

Obama and his staff run their mouth and get involved in the debate about scaling back collective bargaining, but then he turns around and freezes government worker's pay at the Federal level.

We need to feature amendments to constitutions with respect to government unions.

Government unions "negotiate" and "bargain" with the same politicians that they contribute campaign funds toward and the politician negotiates and bargains in bad faith with the taxpayer.

So what you end up with, is a system where the union members, union reps and the politician win and the taxpayer loses.

Similarly, at the Federal level, what you end up with is the entitlement recipient, the government bureacrat, the lobbyist and the politician wins, and the few who actually pay taxes and bear the burden lose.

Brilliant.

Unfortunately, the tax paying, non-union citizens are losing ground (in numbers).

I agree on most counts, the challenge to me is how in the world do you then deal with big corporate money to offset? It is almost as scary or worse in my opinion. At least w/ Unions you do end up with the little guys getting paid instead of just a few guys in the boardroom wreaking havoc and making billions while they do it.

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  #25 (permalink)
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A NYT article today:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/05/business/in-internet-age-postal-service-struggles-to-stay-solvent-and-relevant.html?_r=1&hp

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  #26 (permalink)
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Postal Service faces grim 'new reality'

The current mail system of the United States is "no longer financially sustainable," and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is looking for billions of dollars in cuts to its services.
The postal service announced Thursday it was considering closing nearly 250 processing facilities, cutting equipment by 50 percent and slowing mail delivery in an extreme cost-cutting effort. It is looking for $3 billion in annual savings.
And as the president and Congress search high and low for ways to boost job creation, up to 35,000 people could be laid off as part of that effort.
"We are forced to face a new reality today,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “With the dramatic decline in mail volume and the resulting excess capacity, maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic."
Since the advent of email and other electronic communication, the postal service has seen a steady decline in its use. More than 43 billion fewer pieces of mail are sent now than they were five years ago. First-class mail has dropped 25 percent, and the transmission of stamped letters is down 36 percent over that time frame. The postage purchased to send first-class mail is a primary source of revenue for the USPS.

The American Postal Workers Union blasted the move.
“The Postal Service should be urging Congress to address the cause of its problems – not slashing service and demolishing its network," union president Cliff Guffey said.
And lawmakers responded to the announcement by repeating their calls for legislative action to help shore up those ailing finances.
"Congress and the administration must act quickly to help the Postal Service save itself," Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said. "Failure to act will result in the Postal Service being insolvent within a year, if not sooner, bringing more pain to communities across the country and wreaking havoc on our already fragile economy."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said it was time for Congress to allow the USPS to act "more like a true business."
"Congress must enact decisive and comprehensive postal reform," he said.
The USPS is expected to hit its $15 billion borrowing limit by the end of September and has indicated it would not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due at that time. As the USPS seeks to delay that payment until the end of the year, those struggles are driving concerns that the agency could default.

Postal Service faces grim 'new reality' - The Hill's On The Money

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  #27 (permalink)
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Personally I like the idea of delivering mail every other day, instead of every day.

Does anyone actually check their mailbox every single day? For reasons other than boredom? Like something useful is actually in there??

For people that for some reason need daily mail retrieval (like corporations receiving checks into accounting), they could simply use a PO Box, and all PO Boxes would continue to receive mail daily (they are 1000x more efficient).

I'm also all for the idea of significantly raising the cost of a stamp. Let's just make it 1.50 or something and get it over with.

The real trouble is the bulk mail. The junk mail. I don't know anyone that isn't retired and over the age of 50 that actually looks through that crap anyway. Everyone else just wads it up as the junk is flying everywhere on your walk from the mailbox to your house, and tosses it in the trash.

So those bulk mailer guys will likely go away when the price triples. But that is fine, they need to modernize.

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  #28 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Personally I like the idea of delivering mail every other day, instead of every day.

Does anyone actually check their mailbox every single day? For reasons other than boredom? Like something useful is actually in there??

For people that for some reason need daily mail retrieval (like corporations receiving checks into accounting), they could simply use a PO Box, and all PO Boxes would continue to receive mail daily (they are 1000x more efficient).

I'm also all for the idea of significantly raising the cost of a stamp. Let's just make it 1.50 or something and get it over with.

The real trouble is the bulk mail. The junk mail. I don't know anyone that isn't retired and over the age of 50 that actually looks through that crap anyway. Everyone else just wads it up as the junk is flying everywhere on your walk from the mailbox to your house, and tosses it in the trash.

So those bulk mailer guys will likely go away when the price triples. But that is fine, they need to modernize.

Mike


I still check everyday and do get more than junk mail (and still read a daily newspaper). I want daily delivery but could live with every other day as you suggest. Ultimately they will have to increase the price as you say but it's just unfortunate.....I guess what bothers me is that while I don't advocate bailouts it would be nice if the post office was helped out instead of the just banks when they where throwing money around.
Remember that 13 billion dollar handout to the banks....they could have given that to the post office instead.
I think you know what I mean...
By the way that junk mail is an important source of revenue for them....a necessary evil that helps keep the cost down for the rest of us.
I of course realize that it is inevitable that the postal service must change.....I just don't like it...

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  #29 (permalink)
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Everything 'should' be digital. We are using the Pony Express still when we have a nice brand new Jeep to run the mail...

Why can't all things be digital? Let Fedex and UPS etc. fight over physical document shipping etc..

I wonder then if fedex and ups would come down in their pricing model then...

USPS sure is a lot cheaper than the others when shipping to/fro Hawaii.

Imagine a world without junk mailings, envelopes, stamps, etc...

As far as I am concerned the only thing that bothers me about the USPS going under is the people it will impact which obviously will resonate.

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  #30 (permalink)
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Maybe the Fed can spare a few trillion for a Post Office bailout


from former U S Representative Alan Grayson regarding the audit of the Fed that he and Ron Paul demanded:


Quoting 
Feel free to take a look at it yourself, it’s right here.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11696.pdf

It documents Wall Street bailouts by the Fed that dwarf the $700 billion TARP, and everything else you’ve heard about.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I’m dramatizing or amplifying what this GAO report says, so I’m just going to list some of my favorite parts, by page number.

Page 131 – The total lending for the Fed’s “broad-based emergency programs” was $16,115,000,000,000. That’s right, more than $16 trillion. The four largest recipients, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, received more than a trillion dollars each. The 5th largest recipient was Barclays PLC. The 8th was the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, PLC. The 9th was Deutsche Bank AG. The 10th was UBS AG. These four institutions each got between a quarter of a trillion and a trillion dollars. None of them is an American bank.

Pages 133 & 137 – Some of these “broad-based emergency program” loans were long-term, and some were short-term. But the “term-adjusted borrowing” was equivalent to a total of $1,139,000,000,000 more than one year. That’s more than $1 trillion out the door. Lending for these programs in fact peaked at more than $1 trillion.

Pages 135 & 196 – Sixty percent of the $738 billion “Commercial Paper Funding Facility” went to the subsidiaries of foreign banks. 36% of the $71 billion Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility also went to subsidiaries of foreign banks.

Page 205 – Separate and apart from these “broad-based emergency program” loans were another $10,057,000,000,000 in “currency swaps.” In the “currency swaps,” the Fed handed dollars to foreign central banks, no strings attached, to fund bailouts in other countries. The Fed’s only “collateral” was a corresponding amount of foreign currency, which never left the Fed’s books (even to be deposited to earn interest), plus a promise to repay. But the Fed agreed to give back the foreign currency at the original exchange rate, even if the foreign currency appreciated in value during the period of the swap. These currency swaps and the “broad-based emergency program” loans, together, totaled more than $26 trillion. That’s almost $100,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. That’s an amount equal to more than seven years of federal spending -- on the military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the debt, and everything else. And around twice American’s total GNP.

Page 201 – Here again, these “swaps” were of varying length, but on Dec. 4, 2008, there were $588,000,000,000 outstanding. That’s almost $2,000 for every American. All sent to foreign countries. That’s more than twenty times as much as our foreign aid budget.

Page 129 – In October 2008, the Fed gave $60,000,000,000 to the Swiss National Bank with the specific understanding that the money would be used to bail out UBS, a Swiss bank. Not an American bank. A Swiss bank.

Pages 3 & 4 – In addition to the “broad-based programs,” and in addition to the “currency swaps,” there have been hundreds of billions of dollars in Fed loans called “assistance to individual institutions.” This has included Bear Stearns, AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, and “some primary dealers.” The Fed decided unilaterally who received this “assistance,” and who didn’t.

Pages 101 & 173 – You may have heard somewhere that these were riskless transactions, where the Fed always had enough collateral to avoid losses. Not true. The “Maiden Lane I” bailout fund was in the hole for almost two years.

Page 4 – You also may have heard somewhere that all this money was paid back. Not true. The GAO lists five Fed bailout programs that still have amounts outstanding, including $909,000,000,000 (just under a trillion dollars) for the Fed’s Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program alone. That’s almost $3,000 for every American.

Page 126 – In contemporaneous documents, the Fed apparently did not even take a stab at explaining why it helped some banks (like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) and not others. After the fact, the Fed referred vaguely to “strains in the financial markets,” “transitional credit,” and the Fed’s all-time favorite rationale for everything it does, “increasing liquidity.”

81 different places in the GAO report – The Fed applied nothing even resembling a consistent policy toward valuing the assets that it acquired. Sometimes it asked its counterparty to take a “haircut” (discount), sometimes it didn’t. Having read the whole report, I see no rhyme or reason to those decisions, with billions upon billions of dollars at stake.

Page 2 – As massive as these enumerated Fed bailouts were, there were yet more. The GAO did not even endeavor to analyze the Fed’s discount window lending, or its single-tranche term repurchase agreements.


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