DeJoy brings no joy to USPS
August 16, 2020 | Snail mail isn't just a mocking way of referring to the postal service, as opposed to email. Trump and his lackey, Louis DeJoy, have now made snail mail a reality. Stories about delivery slowdowns and the removal of high-speed sorting machines abound. I can attest, personally, to the slowdown.
Most of my meds are delivered by the postal service from a mail-order pharmacy in San Diego. A few that have to be shipped in ice are sent via UPS so they arrive the next day before the ice melts.
The story begins: On Friday I placed an order that was delivered to the Post Office in San Diego by late morning Saturday. About an hour and a quarter later, the parcel arrived at the distribution center in San Bernardino.
Normally I would get the package in my mailbox on Monday. But note the curious timeline.
Monday is not a holiday. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive from San Bernardino to Desert Hot Springs. But my package is going to take 3 days! WTF? Is it going by way of Timbuktu?
Louis DeJoy was appointed by the USPS Board of Governors after Donald Trump larded the Board of Governors with his supporters.
Now, although DeJoy has no experience whatsoever with the Postal Service, a successful executive with logistics companies could be a good thing for the Post Office. But he has come into the job like a bull in a china shop, purging and reassigning long-time managers and imposing "cost-cutting" measures that are leading to delivery delays, all as we are on the cusp of a presidential election in which Trump has made his displeasure with mail-in voting abundantly clear. Some of the changes DeJoy has made are irreversible: the sorting machines being removed are not just being taken out of service; they are being destroyed. The iconic blue mailboxes on many street corners are being removed.
There are always efficiencies to be gained in any large organization, including the Post Office. But the Post Office is a government service that binds everyone in the country together; nobody else will guarantee delivery to every address in the United States. You can't just apply the same ruthless bottom-line tactics you would in a company whose mission is to make profit.
Yes, the Post Office is in somewhat dire straits financially. But a large part of that is a requirement imposed on the Post Office — The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (2006) — that the USPS establish a $72 billion fund to pay for post-retirement healthcare costs 75 years into the future. No other federal agency or private corporation faces such a mandate. It's called "How to manufacture a postal crisis."
This is a crisis of immense importance. The Post Office is the one government institution that impacts literally every citizen, and it is being destroyed from within.
Ironically, the people who will be most hurt by this are rural citizens, small business owners, veterans, senior citizens. Last I checked, many of those wear red MAGA hats.
Last updated on Aug 17, 2020