Trump has dismantled the Post Office; let’s have the government run all health care

My Facebook feed has been alive lately with Post Office Panic supplementing the usual Coronapanic:

Trump acknowledged he is starving the USPS because he thinks it will hurt the Dems. His selfish nature in full display. He doesn’t care how many businesses and seniors of his own base he will hurt by doing this. His lunatic rationale will backfire. It will reduce his own voter base and motivate the Dem voters to go vote even in the rain and with long lines just like it did in Michigan for their Supreme court position.

Trump is refusing to sign any bill that provides additional financial support to the USPS, where new cost-cutting policies are leading to delays in the delivery of every kind of mail, including checks, bills, and medications.

Maybe if people aren’t alarmed by the USPS being dismantled before the election, what about a month and a half later when it’s time to send Xmas presents?

If you’re concerned about the United States Postal Service, you might want to file a complaint with the Inspector General for the Post Office.

Shared from Hillary Clinton (she is still alive?): Call your Republican senators and let them know: We won’t let them dismantle the USPS–and disenfranchise millions of Americans—without a fight.

I am alarmed by recent actions by the Trump administration to sabotage the 2020 election. It is very clear that their strategy is to suppress voting by slowing down the post office, telling lies about so-called danger of mail-in voting and endorsing voter-ID. All this during a pandemic when many of us are worried about the safety of grocery stores or banks, let alone polling places.

In response to one of these, I wrote

People who think the post office has collapsed and can’t deliver a few ballots also want a similar agency to take over their health care.

This was labeled “trolling” of course! But it is still interesting that people simultaneously believe that any government function can be destroyed by a wrongly-selected Great Father in Washington AND if that it would be smart to give the Great Father/Mother/Other control over health care. I asked

If the Post Office can be destroyed by Donald Trump acting alone, what stops whoever takes over from President Kamala Harris in 2028 from acting alone to destroy whatever government-run health system that President Harris and a Democrat-controlled Congress set up in 2021?

One response to this is that Medicare and Medicaid have been running for decades, much to the satisfaction of providers (who are pocketing 18 percent of GDP now, up from 5 percent prior to Medicare/Medicaid being introduced in 1966). But maybe they are running only because Trump, for whatever idiosyncratic reason known only to him, did not decide to terminate these programs as well. If he can kill off the postal service, running in various forms for at least 2000 years, why couldn’t Trump kill Medicare as well?

From the Azores, 2017… what a Post Office truck should look like (Portugal’s postal service was fully privatized by 2014):

Related:

20 thoughts on “Trump has dismantled the Post Office; let’s have the government run all health care

  1. I think until the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (2006) things were not so bad… “Privatization” would probably be fine for those living in densely populated areas but if you’re in those areas where broadband isn’t available you may then be out of snail mail as well.

    Of course the private health insurance market has been working sooooooo much better than Medicare! It seems that people on government run medical pans in the US want to keep them (Medicare and VA).

    • LinePilot: So Europeans and the British who live in rural areas within countries that have privatized postal services don’t have access to snail mail anymore? That’s how it works?

    • The law requires the delivery to all addresses at the same price so they still do. No sure an American privatization would put those stipulations on a private company.

    • LinePilot: So a privatized U.S. postal service would be an unregulated monopoly? It would be like our telephone, cable, electricity, and water supply monopolies that (a) have the exclusive right to service a particular area, (b) also get to pick and choose to serve only the most profitable customers within those areas (which is why Americans in poor or hard-to-reach neighborhoods can’t get phone service or electricity, for example), and (c) can charge whatever rates they want without any supervision from a regulator.

    • You’re the one that seems to like the idea so you tell me! But as you have so astutely pointed out: When we privatize in the US we do basically hand out monopolies so that the customers can be taken to the cleaners. We call it free markets!

    • LinePilot: I’m not an advocate for USPS privatization. That Europeans are able to do this competently does not mean that the U.S. would be able to do so. See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/nyregion/new-york-subway-construction-costs.html for example.

      The original post is about the apparent logical contradiction between people saying that a government function can be destroyed by a president AND that they want a function on which their lives may depend (though, statistically, probably not!) to be taken over by the government and thus put at ever-present risk from whoever happens to be the president.

  2. A privatized USPS would cancel mail delivery to the unwoke(that’s most everyone here, by the standards of the day.) I’ll take the gov’t version, just print more money if they need it.

    • @Alex – I agree. Seems pretty stupid to do this, maybe stirring up a hornet’s nest. My hunch is that a lot of Red state Senators (as well as Representatives) have quite a few rural constituents that rely on USPS. The fact that even a Senate committee (even when the Senate is in recess) is talking to Louis next week to me is eye-opening.

    • @Paul B.: I really don’t understand what Trump’s motivation here might be. I don’t think he understands just how interfering with the postal service cuts very deeply both ways. He could wind up hurting a lot of Republicans.

      Not voters – candidates. Many Republican candidates use direct mail – all around the country. Direct mail is almost always “standard mail” – presorted, with the postage paid in advance. Standard Mail is ** not guaranteed to be delivered **. There are no refunds, even if it never gets there. You drop the mail and hope it arrives. Basically you rely on the USPS to do its job. Since it is not guaranteed to be delivered, sometimes it just…ISN’T…and it can be delayed for weeks or even months. If you’re a candidate and your mailing doesn’t show up until after election day, guess what happens to you? You lose.

      I don’t think he realizes that, but it’s happened before.

  3. Kaiser is an alternate, bureaucratic model for health care. Here’s Kaiser on COVID-19 and kids:

    “Can children get COVID-19?

    Yes. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms. While serious COVID-19 cases are rare among young people, it’s still a possibility — and children can spread the coronavirus to others even if they have no symptoms themselves. If your child exhibits symptoms or you’re worried your child has come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, call us to schedule a phone, video, or e-visit.

    Are infants and young children at high risk for serious complications from
    COVID-19?

    We’re still learning about how COVID-19 affects infants and children. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, most serious illnesses have been among adults. However, some research suggests that infants under 1 year old and those who have underlying medical conditions could be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 compared to other children. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your child’s pediatrician.”

    Does my child need to wear a mask?

    Children 2 and up should wear a mask whenever they go out in public. Even though kids are less likely than adults to become seriously ill with COVID-19, they can still get sick — and spread the coronavirus to other people. Watch this video for tips on helping your child get comfortable and confident wearing their mask. Children under 2 should not wear masks, but they do need to stay at least 6 feet away from others when outside the home.”

    Source:
    https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/coronavirus-information/prevention-treatment-caregiving#children

    I understand that science is never settled, except for the simple and obvious predictions of global warming / climate change. Based on my evaluation of current scientific / objective knowledge about the coronavirus situation, better answers to those three questions are:

    “Can children get COVID-19? Possible, but a relatively small risk to young children.

    Are infants and young children at high risk for serious complications from
    COVID-19? No.

    Does my child need to wear a mask? Only in specific circumstances that should be minimized as much as possible. Have your child wear a mask only when indoors around a large number of non-family persons.”

    Thoughts on the best answers, from a health care provider to the general public, to those three questions?

  4. Honestly, my experiences with private health insurance are no better than my dealings the USPS.

    At least the (pre-Trump) USPS wasn’t looking for every opportunity to deny service.

    • I believe the reason for somewhat competent service from the USPS is the presence of UPS and FedEx. Without those I believe it would take 4-7 days to get a letter delivered as it did in my youth.

      I worked with a fellow from South Africa who related the story of being introduced to his American in-laws. Upon finding that his brother-in-law worked for the USPS he asked some discreet questions about the nature of his mental deficiency only to find that unlike South Africa, the USPS wasn’t a used as an employer of last resort.

  5. Come on, the government will do great at running healthcare, same as they do at high speed rail:

    “It isn’t getting any better,” said an executive at one firm working on the project, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the news media. “It is such a pillage of the taxpayers.”

  6. All over the world postage stamps cost a lot more than here. Canada rate is $1.05, France rate is about $1.30. So all those PRIVATE post services are expensive. THE big issue with our post service profitability is email and texting have eliminated most first class mail. So that income stream is going away.

  7. The reason for the paradox you describe (“Our government is being run by a destructive madman” and “We should have our government handle all the most important things going forward”) is that progressives believe that we are always one election away from a transformative, permanent golden age (Think FDR on steroids) and no bad man will ever be elected again.

  8. Sorry Phil like many of your comparisons this one is wrong and misleading. Overnight or same day delivery by USPS mail is common within states in the US. In Arizona and California I routinely get Netflix mail or medicine the next day after ordering from regional warehouses. And many US states are similar in size to European countries. Germany is the size of Arizona. France size is like Texas. SO describing same mail day service within a small European country vs US postal service is misleading and wrong.

  9. From: The Mainstream Media and the Democratic National Committee
    To: Useful Idiots Everywhere
    Subject: Today’s Scheduled Hysteria

    Dear Useful Idiots,

    Here are your daily marching orders.

    As you know from all our media brainwashing outlets (excluding Faux News of course), the Trump Administration is in the process of crippling the US Postal Service, so that it will be unable to deliver mailed ballots for the November Presidential Election.

    Shrieking points:

    – The USPS successfully delivers 500 million items per day (and a lot more at Christmas)
    – There could be 100 million ballots mailed over a period of 8 weeks
    – Therefore the Trump Administration is in the process of crippling the USPS to reduce its capacity to deliver mail by over 99.6%

    In case some deplorable asks how that number is derived, and as you are probably a student in woke grievance studies who doesn’t understand grade school arithmetic:

    500 million items per day * 7 days per week * 8 weeks = 28 billion items.
    100 million divided by 28 billion = 0.0036
    You remember how percent works right? That is 0.36% of 28 billion.
    There for the required reduction is 100 – 0.36 = 99.64%

    You are hereby ordered to scream and howl this in as frenzied a fashion as you can on all your social media outlets.
    Then this evening go outside and bark at the moon.

    Our future utopia relies on you!

    Don’t let the Bad Orange Man succeed in his evil plans to destroy the United States of America!

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