Home / Opinion / The Postal Service is on fire, and UPS and FedEx are not the firehose

The Postal Service is on fire, and UPS and FedEx are not the firehose

If you look up Louis DeJoy with Google, his title does not read “Postmaster General of the United States.” It reads “American businessman,” and if that’s not a problem, I don’t know what is.  

The Postal Service has been slowing down since DeJoy’s appointment to the office of Postmaster General in May 2020 and that has created significant issues, even barring the potential voting disaster come November. What most people don’t consider is that the United States Postal Service (USPS) does so much more than deliver letters from grandma. In fact, one of the Post Office’s package services include the mail delivery of life saving prescriptions and other medications to the elderly. 

The USPS has been under attack for quite some time, starting in the late 20th century with intense calls to defund the service in favor of a completely for-profit postal service. This is usually called for by corporate lobbyists who don’t have much experience with not having enough money to send a letter or package thanks to the very service they are trying to get rid of. This call for the dismantling of the USPS is aimed at helping the two largest private mail services, UPS and FedEx. There are a couple of issues with this move. The first: the USPS often subsidizes package delivery from UPS and FedEx and without the USPS, the two mailing giants would have to take on all that new delivery weight, causing an even larger slow down than we are already experiencing which would spell disaster. Important information that must be delivered by letter would be slowed down further as well as mail-in ballots come October and November. 

Here’s the second issue: the USPS is a service. It is not a business and turning it into one would basically disrupt any communication to rural America other than digital means which would put nearly 25 percent of rural Americans out of two-way contact with people by mail, according to the FCC. This creates an obvious problem of disenfranchisement to people based on their economic class which is a capitalist heaven but a nightmare to anyone who can’t afford the exorbitant prices that UPS and FedEx would have to begin charging to remain profitable. 

In a hearing with the Senate, DeJoy stated he would do no more changes to the USPS but not reverse any of the changes he made. The damage unfortunately had already been done. DeJoy fired top executives in the USPS, ordered the dismantling of mail-sorting machines, and ordered the removal of postal boxes all across the country, especially in areas that tend to vote blue, such as Chicago and Portland, raising an obvious red flag. President Donald Trump is on the record as saying that he A. Believes the USPS should go because it isn’t profitable (as stated before, it isn’t a business. It’s a service so profitability is not really a factor) and B. He would rather defund the USPS than allow more money to be injected into the service because that would help mail-in voting. One might call that “saying the quiet part out loud.” 

So, what can we do? What can we do to stop the dismantling of a key facet of our country’s mission (even that mission isn’t fully realized)? Contact your representatives in every facet of government, starting at the local level and going all the way up to Congress. The USPS must survive if the United States of America is to survive because without it, the idea that every person should have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will die. 

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