Corporatizing the Post Office

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

The United States Postal Service Board of Governors is dominated by corporate executives, lawyers, and lobbyists. And according to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, that’s a key reason why the Postal Service is in trouble.

“Historically, ever since it was transformed from a cabinet level department to a government corporation, it’s been controlled by corporate executives, lawyers or lobbyists,” Nader said. “And that’s the case today. That explains the desire to keep the Postal service under restrictions that reduce its revenues and limit its expansion into other areas of service that would generate more revenue and more fully utilize the post offices. This strategy has benefitted UPS and Federal Express.”

Five out of the nine members of the board are currently corporate executives, lawyers or lobbyists. There are currently two vacancies.

Louis Giuliano, the chairman or the board, is currently a senior advisor to The Carlyle Group and is a former president and CEO of ITT and former execute at Allied Signal.

Thurgood Marshall Jr is a corporate lawyer at Bingham McCutchen in Washington, D.C.

James Bilbray is a corporate lawyer at Kaempfer Crowell in Las Vegas, Nevada.

James Miller III is a corporate lawyer at Husch Blackwell.

And Ellen Williams is a corporate lobbyist at Capital Network.

“For three decades we have been proposing a postal residential users action group with hundreds of thousands of dues paying members responding to delivery of invitation cards by postal carriers three times a year at over 100 million residences,” Nader said. “All postmasters and their boards of governors turned this voluntarily joined self-funded idea down. They don’t want the residential users to be organized with a seat at the table.”

Nader says that the current crisis at the Postal Service is “manufactured.”

“The deep hole of debt that is currently facing the U.S. Postal Service is entirely due to the burdensome prepayments for future retiree health care benefits imposed by Congress in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006,” Nader wrote last week in a letter to Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-California.)

“By June 2011, the USPS saw a total net deficit of $19.5 billion … [this] deficit almost exactly matches the $20.95 billion the USPS made in prepayments to the fund for future retiree health care benefits by June 2011. If the prepayments required under PAEA were never enacted into law, the USPS would not have a net deficiency of nearly $20 billion, but instead be in the black by at least $1.5 billion.”

Nader said that in terms of retirees’ health benefits, the Postal Service is required to do things that “no other government or private corporation is required to do and is an incredibly unreasonable burden.”

Nader wrote the forward to the book Preserving the People’s Post Office by Chris Shaw.

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman
Peter Lee
Making Sense of China’s Stock Market Meltdown
Paul Craig Roberts
Wall Street and the Matrix: Where is Neo When We Need Him?
Kerry Emanuel
The Real Lesson of Katrina: the Worst is Yet to Come
Dave Lindorff
Why Wall Street Reporting is a Joke
Pepe Escobar
Brave (Miserable) New Normal World
Ramzy Baroud
‘Islamic State’ Pretence and the Upcoming Wars in Libya
Paul Edwards
Capitalism Delenda Est
Norman Pollack
The Political Culture of Rape in America: Further Thoughts on the St. Paul’s School Case
Stephen Lendman
The Monied Interests That Run America
Pedro Aibéo
Democratizing Finance (With Bitcoin?)
Alfredo Acedo
Climate Change and Capitalism: Challenges of the COP21 Paris and Climate Movements
August 26, 2015
Paul Street
Overworked and Out of Time: a Democracy Issue
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Behind the Market Crash: the Smoke and Mirrors of Corporate Buybacks
David Mihalyfy
Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers
Ruth Hopkins
Police Shootings in Indian Country: Justice or Else!
Gary Leupp
ISIL Advances While Its Foes Cannot Unite
Fred Gardner
The Psychiatrist’s Bible: Defining ‘Marijuana Use Disorder’
Yorgos Mitralias
The Catastrophic International Consequences of the Capitulation of Syriza and the Criminal Responsibility of Mr. Tsipras
Walter Brasch
Katrina: a 10-Year Review
Jim Connolly
Seven Questions and Seven Answers: a Sandernista Makes Reasonable Predictions About the 2016 Contest for the Democratic Presidential Nomination
Pedro Aibéo
Selling Austerity to Finland
Franklin Lamb
Heritage Destruction in Syria is a War Crime
Binoy Kampmark
Tourism’s Disaster Temptation: the Case of Nepal
Jeffrey D. Pugh
Trial by Fire for Ecuador’s President Correa
Vacy Vlanza
A Palestinian Novel Par Excellence
Alvaro Huerta
Confessions of an ‘Anchor Baby’: Open Letter to President Donald Trump
August 25, 2015
Gary Leupp
Why Donald Trump is So Scary
Jonathan Cook
Israel’s Thug at the UN
Steve Early
How “Brother” Bernie is Making Labor’s Day
Carl Finamore
An Affordable Housing Victory: High-End San Francisco Development Implodes
Henry Giroux – Chuck Mertz
The Spectacle of American Violence and the Cure for Donald Trump
Robert Eisinger
Trivializing Anti-Semitism
Brian Platt
It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police
Alexander Reid Ross
Trump the Fascist
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Mohammed Allan at the Door of the Israeli Supreme Court
Ted Rall
The United States of Stupidity
Heather Gray
A Message to American Mothers About Sex in the Military
Jo Leinen – Andreas Bummel
How to Democratize the UN
Lawrence Davidson
The Iran Agreement and Israel’s Claim to Speak for the Jews
Mark Hand
A Well Pad Next to Every 3-Car Garage: Suburban Sprawl Collides with Texas Frack Jobs
John Laforge
U.S. Bows Out After Plowshares Conviction is Vacated: Appeals Court Ill-Informed on Nuclear Overkill
Norman Pollack
Gender Freedom and Sexual Liberation: The St. Paul’s School Case
Kathy Kelly
Let It Shine