Poor Grandma


Fix the post office! They keep losing the letters from my grandkids, who promised me they would write after I warned them they would go to hell if they didn’t.

I like that she wants us to fix Medicare and Medicaid before we fix health care. Because those are, you know, unrelated.

Funny, but Obama seems to think the post office needs fixing too.

Not unreasonable considering that they lost $2.4 Billion last quarter.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5irzC2kcTNhcoBX5lcC52Yw6BigmwD99SRM884

Maybe Grandma is just pointing out that if the government can’t fix the “little” things, like the post office, how are they going to fix the big ones, like health care. Oh, but of course since she’s not agreeing with you that by definition makes her some kind of moron that needs to be ridiculed.

I’m waiting for the authority figure in the SUV to hop out and taser her in the face, only to watch her die untreated because the post office never delivered some important paperwork to Medicaid and Medicare allowing her to afford proper medical care.

The article:

A major burden, Potter added, is a requirement for the post office to make advance payments of between $5.4 billion and $5.8 billion annually to a retiree health-benefit fund.

Why, I think I know of a way to help “fix” the post office!

Of course, nothing can actually fix the post office in a palatable way, since the internet makes it less necessary at its current headcount every day. This lady might as well be demanding government fix the Pony Express.

Yes, delivering millions of pieces of paper (and some boxes) by hand to every American household 6 days a week is certainly a little thing.

Yes, delivering millions of letters by hand to every American household 6 days a week is certainly a little thing.

Let’s be honest. They deliver spam and bills every day and once, every 6 months or so, a letter or postcard.

Touche. Fixed.

Interesting… so it seems healthcare costs bankrupted GM and is threatening to do so to the USPS?

They are to her. She’s enjoying her Medicare, health care is what other people get.

The Post Office is socialism!

fucking abolish the USPS already.

All snark aside, the post office is in need of fixing, and as a service that has long been held as the model of government efficacy, it’s worth looking at before we dive into constructing what will have to be a massive bureaucracy to support a public option. Sometimes we adhere to the initial charter of an agency like gospel to the point of decreasing the services provided to the majority of beneficiaries. In the case of the post office, why do we need daily delivery to remote areas? Why not two days a week? And yet these suggestions are made in congress and it’s like you suggested throwing babies into the oven.

So it’s an interesting thought because we’re basing the “public option” ideas on assumptions we’re making today which may not be true in twenty years.

The post office needs constant “fixing” because unlike the private carriers, part of its charter is to provide inherently unprofitable deliveries to the middle of nowhere for cheap. Up until now they’ve managed it by marketing direct mail subsidizing all that, but the volume on that is dropping, so who knows how they’re going to make it back. Personally I have no idea why it’s partially privatized.

You mean like, people not getting sick or injured anymore?

Please no. I use it just about every day.

I’m pretty sure FedEx will deliver your DVDs!

My mail is 99% trash. Either abolish the postal service or eliminate bulk mail rates. I’m sick of having a trash can I have to empty daily.

Direct Mail and How to Eliminate It

Edit: this was a project I was going to work on, but now that we’re moving I am going to just do it at our new place.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I said. Saying “I have no idea why…” is a good indication of just how well we can expect other government programs to be run. My point isn’t that we need to fix the post office before we fix healthcare, nor that we should assume healthcare is unfixable because we lack the wherewithal to fix the post office. My point is that critics of government-run programs have reason to be concerned, as we don’t have a great history in this country of adapting programs once they’re instated.

I mean, like, significant population age shifts. I mean, like, significant tax base fluctuations. I mean, like, the ability to manage a program once it’s instated and we see the true fallout from it. When we assign a mandate to a charter (“derliver mail to every American, every day,” “insure all Americans’ health”), we do so at the risk of constricting that program’s ability to change and therefore continue to be useful.

Huh? The goals of the post office are fundamentally designed where it’ll be difficult to make a profit. That isn’t a problem; it’s not fundamentally badly run; it’s baked into the system.

When we assign a mandate to a charter (“derliver mail to every American, every day,” “insure all Americans’ health”), we do so at the risk of constricting that program’s ability to change and therefore continue to be useful.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to go crazy and actually do something about those things. It might cost money!