More and more one is hearing talk of privatizing the U.S. Postal Service. For many years, this has been an aspiration of rabidly conservative members of Congress like Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), http://issa.house.gov/ Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
With the recent defeat of the reactionary House Tea Party caucus in the just-ended government shutdown over the budget “crisis,” debt ceiling and assorted issues, maybe they’ll now focus on trying to privatize the USPS. After all, this group has the utmost contempt for any public or government program that can help people—even when those programs also help business, which the postal service does in spades.
It’s too soon to tell right now a few days after the federal government reopened. And who knows if the Tea Party faction will continue to wield the same degree of power as it has so far?
It just might.
There are many powerful forces that fuel the ultraconservatives’ fire. According to Businessweek, com, organizations such as the Heritage Foundation say it’s impossible for the USPS to continue in its current form, given the decline in letter-writing, the mailing of greeting cards and the like http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-16/why-the-u-dot-s-dot-postal-service-is-in-even-worse-shape-than-you-think
Similarly, the same publication also says a USPS initial public stock offering is plausible right now and points to the IPO if Royal Mail, Great Britain’s postal corporation just floated as an example of how this might look.
Indeed a week after Royal Mail’s shares went public, its stock price soared by 50%, according to Sky.com http://news.sky.com/story/1156474/royal-mail-shares-hit-500p-a-week-after-sale.
Markets usually calm down and irrational exuberance dissipates.
And you can’t underestimate what effect opposition from organized labor groups like the Communications Workers Union www.cwu.org might have on this. That union is set to strike Nov. 4.
Right now, it’s unclear if the American Postal Workers Union and other organizations could launch an effective strike stateside. But luckily it hasn’t come to that yet.
Just like with the U.S. government shutdown, conservative forces not limited to the Tea Party underestimate the amount of public opposition trying to privatize the USPS might bring about.
After all, the GOP’s popularity dropped to just 24% of the American people after the shutdown, it was widely reported.
What might happen if they try to monkey with the one government institution everybody trusts?
Could be there’s something else going on here.
Perhaps the Tea Party’s actions were either a ham-handed attempt at, or a trial run for trying to impose something like the Shock Doctrine on the American people http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/the-book
Simply put, in her the 2007 book Canadian journalist Naomi Klein exposed how the forces of global capitalism gradually got their way in many countries by creating economic shocks which generally made ordinary people pliant and submissive even if they were more impoverished and desperate than before.
The Tea Party or a similar group will probably try something drastic like this government shutdown again or something even worse.
But as Klein noted in her book, shock always wears off.