Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Why won't the mainstream media tell the truth about why the US Postal Service is cash strapped?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) February 11th, 2013

Yes, the rise of the Internet has meant that what once went only by mail now often is sent by email or delivered electronically. But that is not a difficult problem to manage. Reduction in workforce by planned attrition handles that challenge. Yet this canard is the one and almost always the only reason given in Mainstream Media’s right-wing slanted coverage of the financial challenges facing the post office. They never bother to mention that the real reason the USPO is racking up billion dollar shortfalls is a law Republicans pushed through Congress when they had full control, requiring the Post Office to fully fund retirement and pension funds for all postal workers for the next 75 years in just 10 years. This is on top of Congress excluding the Post Office from competing in dozens of services that could generate significant revenues and that people walking into post offices would definitely want.

Why won’t the press do their job, and actually investigate stories instead of regurgitating political talking points handed to them by Washington press corps commentators who are actually more political operatives than reporters?

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20 Answers

bookish1's avatar

“big government” “bureaucrats” “public sector” “unions” grumble grumble

Jaxk's avatar

They are losing money whether they fully fund the retirement or not. Mail volume is declining, it’s as simple as that. The whole argument that it’s the fully funded mandate has been beat to death in the press. Where have you been?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I just asked our postal worker about it and she said their pay has not been affected or decreased at all. And trust me, that benefit package was quite good.

Linda_Owl's avatar

You have to remember, @ETpro , who it is that controls the ‘main-stream Media’. They are controlled by corporations who have decided that the public does not actually ‘need’ to be informed about what is really going on in our world. These are the same entities that will make a killing when the Post Office finally goes under & will institute the same services at vastly inflated prices.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Linda_Owl GA! You took the words right out of my mouth!

Jeruba's avatar

I read that without the ridiculous retirement-funding mandate—providing for employees who aren’t even born yet, never mind hired—they would have a $1.5 billion surplus. I don’t understand why that performance isn’t more than good enough.

ETpro's avatar

@bookish1 Apparently just as Republicans are still intent on defeating the Soviet Union, they are unaware that the US Postal Service has been self funding from sales just like FedEx and UPS for over 30 years now. Given their determination to destroy the post office, they must be equally unaware that the Constitution which they claim to uniquely value (unlike the Constitution hating Democrat [sic] Party) requires that we have a Postal Service.

@Jaxk That’s simply not true. Without the pension silliness imposed on them by congress, they would have been quite profitable last year.

@KNOWITALL So what is the goal, to make sure the Post Office is a lousy place to work where there are no benefits. Is that the Republican goal for all businesses, or are they only concerned with making sure that all who work for the post office are wage slaves?

@Linda_Owl & @Yetanotheruser Bingo. Complain and complain about how the Lame Stream Media has this far left bias, because that gives cover for the multinational corporations that now own nearly all US media outlets to get ever more like Faux “News” in an attempt to be more “balanced”.

@Jeruba Exactly. And I daresay if Congressional Republicans put the same set of restrictions on FedEx and UPS, they would be “losing” money just as they have deliberately made it appear the Post Office is losing money.

Jeruba's avatar

@ETpro: so how come this obviously false and unjust ploy is working? That’s the part I simply don’t get.

ETpro's avatar

Because the press won’t report the truth, they will report the false story @Jaxk went with.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro I merely thought the package prior to any changes seemed excessive compared to the rest of the country, and apparently the employees are not suffering from any changes.

@Linda_Owl I agree.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL According to this comparison of wage/benefit packages at the USPS, UPS and FedEx, it appears that the Post Office workers come out at the bottom of the three.

What standard are you applying to determine that Postal workers are making far too much money, part timers working at minimum wage at McDonald’s?

For those interested, Credo has a petition drive going under the title, “The post office isn’t broke—it’s being robbed.”

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

According to the Huffington Post (not exactly a right wing rag) the Post office LOST $2.4 billion without the payment for benefits. And honestly even if you reduce the mandate, do you think they should put nothing away for benefits? Get real.

ETpro's avatar

I am being as real as I know how, @Jaxk The $2.4 billion loss was less than the previous year’s loss and the USPS is restructuring to move back to profitability were it not for the ridiculous requirement that it fund pension and benefit packages 75 years in advance.

No, of course I do not think that any organization should offer benefit packages to workers then not fund them, although Republicans seem gleefully to support corporate raiders using pension funds as leverage for buyouts then dumping the companies and pocketing the raided funds as their own money. So how about YOU get real. Isn’t there some reasonable ground between finding benefits 75 years in the future and not funding them at all? Again, we see the radical right’s digital mind at work. Everything is either black or white. There is nothing in between.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ETpro I think that with your sarcasm in full bloom, I’ll refrain from adult conversation with you today. Peace.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL Is wearing blinders superior to reading the truth?

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro Take it up with our philosophy department. “Better the beguiling dream, or the harsh reality?”

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo A decision we all must face.

Nullo's avatar

There are at least four factions that I’ve heard of controlling the media. My own thoughts, following my rather journalistically-themed education, is that the people in the media control the media, and they are in turn are guided by their own values and beliefs.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo With consolidations, which appear poised to take off on another round affecting local TV stations, those values and beliefs are getting confined to an ever decreasing circle of ever richer white men.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Nullo I think it’s not so much people in the media as it is owners of the media. In earlier days, broadcasters were required to devote a certain percentage of air time to “public affairs”, and this generally included newscasts. When that requirement was abandoned (I believe in the 80’s) most news departments were considered “info-tainment”, and became revenue streams. The news was edited to what would get eyeballs on the tube, and any news that could be detrimental to the parent corporation was (is) generally edited or omitted.

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