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On Contact: Corporate assault on US Postal Service

Chris Hedges discusses the corporate assault against the US Postal Service with author Christopher W. Shaw.

The corporate seizure of public utilities and privatization of schools is part of a broad assault to turn government assets into assets that will swell corporate profit. The post office has been a coveted target for decades. Corporations such as FedEx and UPS have used their lobbyists and campaign contributions to cripple the government postal service in an effort to destroy it and take it over. These corporations engineered a congressional mandate in 2006 that requires the post office to pre-fund the next 75 years of retiree health benefits in one decade. No other federal government agency is required to carry out a similar pre-payment plan, nor is there any actuarial justification for this measure. The requirement, which forces the post office to fund retiree health benefits for future employees who have not yet been born, is part of the broader corporate assault to dismantle the postal service. Mail service is already suffering from slower delivery, huge staff cuts, restrictions on window hours, the removing of mail processing equipment, and the uprooting of the familiar blue mailboxes. The goal is to drive the post office into utter disfunction, justifying the corporate seizure of one of America’s most beloved and iconic government institutions.

Christopher W. Shaw is the author of ‘First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat’.