In the early months of the pandemic, I recommended that if the government stopped its worrying and made an infrastructure for mail-in voting, then with the needed funds, a better and more equal election could be possible, even in the current environment.
This was made on two assumptions: one, the government supported the U.S. Postal Service and two, the government would not want to shoot itself in the foot on two things so essential to so many Americans. I was wrong to put my trust in high officials to fix long standing problems.
The Postal Service’s “modern paradigm, dating from the 1970s, dictates that the USPS is supposed to be a self-funded, independently operating public sector entity,” according to an article by Vox.com. This began to become a problem as physical mail distribution peaked in 2001.
Then came the big blow during the Bush administration. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, Congress passed a law in 2006 that required the USPS (and no other federal agency) to create a $72 billion fund to cover its post-retirement healthcare costs for 75 years into the future.
This has left a vital part of the American infrastructure in major debt and susceptible to vultures like President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Most Americans are not aware of how crucial the infrastructure of this system is in their own lives.
Though the specter of the internet seems to promise that anything and everything is possible, 10% of U.S. adults, a large minority in the digital age, still do not use it, according to the Pew Research Center. This means that some people still rely on the USPS to receive important information, medicine and bills, especially in rural areas.
Without the postal service these deliveries will simply get more expensive and slower for all of us, which may even be life-threatening to those who are either disabled or those who need medicine delivered to their door.
The simple answer is that the American people must pick up the bill; we need a tax paid postal service that pays no mind to profit.
Though most groan at a new tax, it will ultimately save money for every American worker and businessperson, big or small.
Until goods are beamed directly into the homes of people, this service is essential for every American in every town.
No mind should be made to how far some rural community is from the nearest city, it should be delivered right on time.
As I argued before, votes can be brought under more public and official scrutiny, to ensure fairer and equal elections, where no delay or pandemic can slow down the voice of the people.
Americans have bailed out billionaires and trillionaires for being “too essential” or “too big” to fail. Why let the rich have all the public money they need when a service vital to the people is floundering away to indifferent representatives? The Postal Service is too important to let fail.