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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sardonicky: Barry Loves Him Some Privatization

Sardonicky: Barry Loves Him Some Privatization

Inquiring minds want to know how President Obama feels about the ongoing assault on postal union employees by House Republicans who want to "improve" the USPS by privatizing it. The Postal Service is on the verge of going broke, as explained in the previous post, because Congress has required it to fund medical pension benefits pretty much into perpetuity, making it appear bankrupt when it isn't. It's in the best tradition of the "Shock Doctrine" school of crisis creation. Make something up and then cash in on it.

Reader Pat Reynolds (a postal employee) has discovered a video shot in 2009, at the height of the health care reform debates, in which Obama talks about the wonders of privatization, and how a public option in health care would not necessarily hurt the for-profit insurance industry. To prove his point, he compared the post office unfavorably with FedEx and UPS. "I mean, if you think about it," he says, "UPS and FedEx are doin' just fine. It's the post office that's always havin' problems." (Yeah, he was at one of those folksy, g-droppin' town halls).

Bear in mind that during this August 2009 appearance, Obama had already taken the public option off the table even as he continued to pretend it was still viable, and that he was actually for it. Of course, in retrospect, his praise of those fine folks at WellPoint and Aetna and UnitedHealth was painfully prescient. Thanks to what Jon Stewart recently called a "2,000-page clusterf**k", the insurance companies are still "doin' just fine" (especially with no Public Option to compete and make them behave). They are raking in record profits after sometimes doubling the premiums of policy holders. The net effect is that people are so broke after paying the bills they have nothing left over to see an actual doctor or dentist. The insurance companies are in a win-win situation. They collect the money, impoverish the patients, and don't have to pay out nearly as much to the health care providers. It gives a whole new meaning to hoarding. It makes normal every-day capitalistic greed look beneficent.

So this is what we can expect if the post office is privatized. FedEx (which treats its employees abysmally and has been known to fire drivers when they have accidents in their crappy trucks so they won't have to pay medical costs) will raise the price of a 44-cent stamp to four or five bucks, fire the union postal employees who haven't already been laid off, hire a bunch of people out of the millions who are desperate for a job, pay them maybe $10 a hour, put them in poorly maintained vehicles and pay no benefits as they sleepily careen down the interstates in 12-hour marathons, and probably lose a large portion of the letters and packages entrusted to their care. It's the new normal. To use Obama's two favorite words when he talks about jobs, it's "innovative" and "competitive."

"FedEx is Doin' Just Fine" -- Barack Obama

Oh, and speaking of that Jobs Bill -- you know, the one where Barry whips the crowds into a frenzy with his jeremiad-like "PASS THIS BILL! PASS THIS BILL!" PASS THIS BILL RIGHT NOW!!!" harangue -- well, not so fast. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in no hurry to take it up, because a sudden new urgency has developed about punishing China for its currency manipulation. That, according to Reid, is more important than JOBS RIGHT NOW.

The Washington Post quoted Reid as saying: “We understand that there’s conversations going on about the president’s jobs bill — which I support, I’m in agreement with. We’ll get to that. But let’s get some of these things done that we have to get done first.”

You can't even make this stuff up. No wonder Barry finally chose to go to Hollywood to spin his fantastical yarns.

P.S.: For a cogent analysis of the craven machinations of those who want to destroy the post office, read this New York Daily News editorial by Juan Gonzalez.


Anne Lavoie said...

Thanks to Karen and Pat for the proof that our President is, without a shadow of a doubt, the Privatizer-in-Chief. I hope every Postal Employee has seen that video and shares it with everyone they know. I wonder how Obama voted in 2006 on that outrageous bill making USPS sock away 75 years of funds for future health care all in 10 years. Did he abstain/vote present?

Re: Obama's Jobs Bill. There are no co-sponsors!

Re: UPS/Fed Ex. I heard somewhere several years ago that UPS or FedEx actually consider their drivers subcontractors or franchises, or something along that line, where drivers have to rent their trucks and cover their own expenses. Anyone know if this is true?

Re: Obamacare. If Obamacare is ruled constitutional by the Supremes, I believe that will be the final straw, the tipping point. Even Tea Partiers will be on the street by then.

Finally, I wish to offer my since and heartfelt apology to everyone in America for voting for, and contributing money to, the biggest Con Man this country has ever elected. I grieve over that vote and have mourned for our country more in the past 3 years than I even did from 2000-2008, all due to Obama's serial betrayals.

I think we should hold massive mock funerals for our country and carry coffins reading Post Office, Medicare, Social Security, Public Schools, etc. and gravestones for laws, rights, and people they've already killed and buried, including representations for all the troops and civilians killed by wars. We need some visuals. Halloween would be the perfect time.

Will (formerly William and still Radical Leftist) said...

Add the slow-motion destruction of the USPS (It was nice knowing you, our very own "public option") to the ever-growing list of cold-hearted assaults by the ruling class against the rest of us. Just remember to be good little peons and don't make too much of a fuss about it; you might get in some serious trouble, you know. Here's Glenn Greenwald's latest column about the "vast and growing apparatus of intimidation designed to deter and control citizen protests."

VLT said...

Great! Obama has the bully pulpit – and won’t use it to name the people who are in collusion with the corporations trying to wreck our country - but he is willing to use it to spread misinformation. The Post Office and the union need to make it perfectly clear to the public - as Pat says - that Fed Ex and UPS are doing "fine" because they dump all the unprofitable mail service back on to the post office.

VLT said...

It amazes me that Obama hangs the Post Office employees out to dry, insuls the Congressional Black Caucus (and black voters) insults his base (the sanctimonious purist – pink dogs) and still expects to get elected! His arrogance (and the arrogance of his advisors) knows no bounds! What? Doesn't he think we vote?
@Will – thanks for the great link
@Ross – read @Will’s link. It addresses all your issues with the New York protest.

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