Why are we the only stupid industrialized country in the world?

by Thom Hartmann

I had to pass this article by Thom Hartmann along, since it tells us a lot of how our government thinks…or doesn’t…and how decades of anti-union Labor Departments have put our concern for workers in the toilet. Pass this one on to folks you know. – Bill

clipped from www.opednews.com

The postal service this week announced it would be cutting as many as 30,000 jobs through attrition – using hiring freezes as workers retire or quit.

According to American Postal Workers Union president William Burrus, cutting the U.S. Postal Service delivery to five days a week would be the beginning of the demise of the Post office. Burrus says it’s not true that the postal service has to initiate major changes to survive a grave crisis.
Burrus says a little-known requirement by Congress for the postal service to pre-pay retiree health care obligations is the central cause of financial problems at the postal service. Absent that burden, the union president says, there would be a surplus of $3.7 billion over the last three fiscal years. In other words, if we had Medicare for All, the postal service would be profitable. Probably forever. Why are we the only stupid industrialized country in the world?
– Thom
blog it

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at www.897wshc.org) and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on March 9, 2010, in Congress, Economics, Internet, Opinion, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. That’s really, really funny. The president of a union is admitting that a union-negotiated retirement plan is the cause for the US Post Office’s financial problems, but trying to spin it into being anyone’s but the union’s own fault.

    • You should read it again… or look up the source. It’s Congress, not the Union that caused the problem and it is Congress that can get the PO out of it.

      • You might want to read: http://www.federaldaily.com/postal/overview.htm since it details the scope of the unions’ involvement in these general matters.

        They bargained collectively with Congress, their employer, for their benefits.

        Trust me in this, Congress did not volunteer to pre-pay the retirees’ health insurance plans; they must have been coerced into it through the collective bargaining process.

        Really! When has Congress ever volunteered to pay its employees as opposed to themselves?

      • After doing a bit more research, I’ve found that I was wrong. The fact that the USPS has to pre-pay retiree health care obligations because they, like many private corporations, had not been actually funding the plans! They were showing the pension financial obligations on their books, but not paying for them.

        In 2007 they “got caught,” though the practice was actually legal and consistent with accrual accounting under GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles) rules, and had to start paying up.

        So I was wrong, but I find that I can’t fault Congress too much for forcing them to actually pay their obligations.

      • Hey, nice of you to admit error… unexpected.

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