Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The United States Postal Service cannot find a friend.On Tuesday, GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty laid out his “Google Test” for government programs. “If you can find a good or service on the Internet,” he told a crowd at the University of Chicago, “then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing it.”
The postal service, with rivals in the private sector like UPS and FedEx, would be one of the first to go.
In an editorial the same day, the Washington Post called the agency a “technological dinosaur,” saying small steps in proposed congressional reform bills—like cutting thousands of superfluous post offices all across the country—are important, but far from enough. The editorial called for unspecified “fundamental change,” to make the U.S. service more like its smaller, more efficient (and increasingly privatized) European counterparts.
Meanwhile, in a Monday column in the Miami Herald, Glenn Garvin all but asks America to wage total war on her mailmen and women.
Garvin objects (to put it most mildly) to the Postal Service’s request for a federal bailout roughly twice the size of the one given to General Motors in 2009. He says the agency is only seeking the funds to cover up its own increasing obsolescence and overly sweet deals it hands to its workers.
“The Postal Service can’t be blamed for the invention of email or the fax machine. But it surely is responsible for the giveaway contracts it signs with its labour unions. About 80 per cent of the service’s budget goes to salaries and benefits, compared to 61 per cent at UPS and 43 per cent at Federal Express.”
Tim Pawlenty, take note.
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