Like a Nuclear Turbine Propeller, Ben Franklin rotates within his grave!
U.S. History 101
More food for thought?
State Bills introduced by Ted Gaines since he arrived in the Assembly.
Placer County Libertarian
CA Libertarian Party
Libertarian Party (National)
Memorial Day is a time set aside to honor those (ONLY IN THE MILITARY) lost to the waste of war. Out of respect to those working for the government, who are apparently more important than the civilians who may have also lost their lives to that same waste of war, I will not dwell upon the insanity of our commander and chief and the "Fouled Up Beyond All recognition (FUBAR)" situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, I will deal with the United States Post Office (USPS). Look closely and you will see the soil well churned somewhere near the Christ Church grave of our first US Postmaster, Ben Franklin.
The United States Postal Service® is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the United States Government. That means that the President, (whose name I shall not say in respect to the previously mentioned) is in charge. His oversight might explain why we continue to have the insanity, chaos and destruction at what was originally supposed to have been an illustrious founding enterprise of the United States government (USG). Today, the Postal Service™ delivers hundreds of millions of messages each day to more than 141 million homes and businesses, much of it damaged, misdelivered, overpriced and some of it invaded by prying and snooping hands. Sorry, workers in the Service, but I've seen the films that prove my story. I have even done business with you personally and have heard about the insanity from many of your brethren. Now I will attempt to identify some of the problems and offer up some positive, constructive solutions.
Dear Mr. President, as long as your Service is removing the price on stamps, a very good idea indeed, why don't you remove the words United States from the name. It further tarnishes an already tarnished enterprise. Everybody knows or should know that anything connected with the United States government is bound to be wasteful and grossly inefficient. Since it is supposed to be a private institution now anyway, why not get the name straight? If the logo is deceptive, surely it doesn't bode well, especially internationally, for the rest of the functions the USPS provides to its unfortunate customers. Today, misrepresentation is the hallmark of the Post Office, the cure starts with a name change.
Junk mail, which is illegal on the Internet, is legal where it concerns the U.S. Post Office. The truth be known, the United States Post Office is drug dependent upon junk! Surely, that can't be a good thing in any way except that it may give the USPS the economies of scale needed to keep its prices down.
The USPS on the Internet
Wonderful USPS services are now available on the Internet. I wonder at them all the time. Since you will undoubtedly get different totals than you will when you actually figure out and fill out the forms and give the package to the watchful post-person, you're best to not bother with the Internet at all. I have almost never got the same results from the Internet as I did with the Post Office. The actual postage is usually higher than that which I painstakingly charged my customer. This is just one area of gross complexity and inconsistency that plagues the USPS and further diminishes free trade and commerce.
Bureaucracy and Red Tape
Nowhere can one find more forms, bureaucracy and red tape than in the USPS. A form for this, a form for that, confusing wording, a multitude of manuals–all to assist us in delivering something from one place to another, both of which have relatively plain and simple addresses. Even postal workers are confused as evidenced by my last visit on Saturday evening to the Rocklin CA Post Office that inspired this article. Which customs form? They weren't sure. Therefore, I waited until I got to the counter before writing in the address on what they thought might be the correct form. I could hear the toe tapping going on behind me. To my own present amazement, I actually felt guilty of taking too much time!
To make matters worse, they are now requiring "We the Customers" to measure and weigh all packages while their own supplied priority boxes don't have the measurements written on them. Privately supplied boxes do. This wastes our precious time and frazzles our minds. The Post Office is designed to diminish our productivity. Meanwhile, the USPS lines get longer and the prices go up, up, up while we get less, less, less. Osama jumps for joy!
How the USPS is killing the United States Economy
Perhaps Osama Bin Laden, through some financial magic, actually owns the USPS. We know that our president currently helps his cause to end America as we knew it, and we understand that he is the one ultimately in charge of the Post Office. That would make sense of it all and even explain the anthrax in the mail. That anthrax was the excuse the USPS gave as to why at least one third party main office couldn't receive its funding and membership money through the mail. I'm sure it had nothing to do with that party's positions against both the President, the War in Iraq and against Osama Bin Laden.
I remember when the "cry baby" postmaster general was complaining about how email is replacing snail mail. Poor baby! He didn't remind us that thanks to the good folks at Amazon and Ebay, they were shipping record numbers of packages worth billions of dollars in postage. Half truths is the bane of any business. Unfortunately, the Post Office represents that rule and is not the exception. It's inefficient monopoly binds and restricts the US economy like a giant boa constrictor around every consumer's throat. As USPS prices and damage claims go up, so does the American reluctance to use the service they must already subsidize. (Ebay sales are down last year and I would venture to say that it is almost solely due to the USPS which lost that particular chunk of postal business). When my customer sees me selling a three dollar item that costs $10 to ship, they balk at the price and go ahead and instead buy from a local retail, brick and mortar location despite the gas, the smog and the time to get there. That makes us less likely to buy things and support an already failing economy. If you doubt me, remember all the debt we've incurred to maintain our style of living despite price increases. How else can you explain our maintaining our driving habits despite increasing gas price hikes. The average American family of four owes $500,000 to the USG alone. Have you paid off that debt yet??? You may not be feeling the pain yet, but as Yoda might say, "You will be!"
As you eventually and inevitably ratchet down your budget, little unbudgeted things, that cost a fortune to have delivered, will be the first to go.
The USPS "Insured Mail" Joke
I always love the word insurance. Take life insurance for example. Why is it we buy life insurance while everyone continues to die? Not one of us was really insured against death or insured that they would live. Not that you could take it with you, but why don't they call it "death compensation." What's with that? I suppose postal insurance is similarly named.
First, the USPS is well aware that some of its staff literally "drop kick" packages and that they have a high rate of damage and destruction. Anyone having had a Blockbuster account for any length of time has dealt with broken DVDs. One time I even got a little tape with the address to me attached that was all that was left of a 12x14x14 package. They charge you for insurance and make you jump through $40 worth of time to make the claim. So forget insuring anything under $40 with the USPS unless you have far more time than money.(Only those with extra time on their hands should consider making claims for such items.) Perhaps it's a rigged deal. The postal worker may get in trouble for damaging an insured package that might cost the Post Office money. On the other hand, in order to sell more insurance, they might actually be encouraged to "drop kick" uninsured packages. You can see the potential for Mafia abuse here. Insurance is a protection racket and vice versa.
Consider my three dollar item with the $10 postage. If the item I shipped gets broken (due to being drop kicked, after I spend the $40 worth of time), the USPS may reimburse me (at their own discretion, and after my having bought the insurance), a whopping three dollars! The USPS gets to keep the $10 postage and the cost of insurance as a reward for their own gross ineptness!
This may be why some people are giving up on small internet purchases. They either don't use the Internet and its efficiencies or they get in the car and again, waste the gas, time and expense to go to a brick and mortar store. As states try to collect taxes on Internet out-of-state sales (breaking the US Constitution in the process), they will further add to the decimation of the US economy, the waste of time, the increase in smog and pollution, etc.
Let's dispense with the insurance OR at least reimburse us for the full cost of the item AND the failed services. While you're at it, let's speed up and simplify claims.
First, and best for the U.S. Economy, fire the current executive branch of government and get rid of the Postal Rate Commission. Produce a form that applies to all shipping. I will offer my assistance (at .001 per mailed item). I'm sure the public won't mind the added cost if it will mean saving gas, time and money while protecting the environment from their subsequent smog production. Fire Postal workers that go postal. You bust it, you pay for it! Sure, buy your own insurance! You come to us to dicker. Better yet, we bring you the stuff and you wrap it! That way you don't have to open it to make sure its not a bomb and then have to re wrap it. It's called taking responsibility. By the way, just so you know, the forests have voted against junk mail and I feel they should have a say in all this since the trees actually have to give up their lives for our junk and all the boxes and tape that goes into re-wrapping them or replacing boxes with unmarked ones so that you can actually read the correct addresses. We just throw the old boxes out, adding to environmental waste. (See Getem.Net)
Oh, and on a more positive note before this Memorial Day passes, you can keep selling the un priced stamps. Most folks have no idea what the actual cost of postage is anyway until they send the package or buy more stamps!
are needed to Run Against Rocklin City Council
and Placer County Supervisor Incumbents. Let's
bring social and economic freedom back to Placer
Mike's views do not necessarily represent
the views of the Placer County Libertarian Party Mike
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org