On December 12th, my daughter mailed a package to my friend in the United Kingdom for me. The postal clerk informed her that it would not likely arrive before Christmas, but that if she were willing to pay an extra $30, she could get guaranteed delivery within 10 business days. That would have put the package arriving on or before December 24th, Christmas Eve. Perfect! Except, the package did not arrive until January 20th. Such is the state of affairs at the U.S. Postal Service today, under the management of one Louis DeJoy. Only 38% of non-local first-class mail arrived on time in late December, compared with 92% in the prior year.
Trump appointed DeJoy to the position of Postmaster General to head the USPS in June for one reason only – to attempt to slow or halt mail-in ballots for the November election. DeJoy immediately cut hours, forbade extra trips to deliver excess mail, removed & dismantled hundreds of mail sorting machines, and removed many collection boxes from the streets. Again, the only goal was to interfere with our votes, to keep our ballots from reaching their destination in time during the year of the pandemic when mail-in voting would be at an all-time high.
When President Joe Biden took his oath of office on January 20th, he almost immediately fired a number of high-level Trump appointees, with more certain to go in the coming weeks, but guess what? Biden cannot fire Louis DeJoy … only the Board of Governors can do that. Unfortunately, many of the members of the Board of Governors were appointed by … Donald Trump.
DeJoy was not qualified to take on the position of Postmaster General, his previous experience being the CEO of a for-profit logistics company, but qualifications never bothered Donald Trump overly much, since he himself had zero qualifications for his own job. DeJoy also had some conflicts of interest in that he did not fully divest himself of his interests in certain companies that are considered competitive with the USPS. DeJoy, by the way, has a net worth of $110 million.
But wait, it gets even worse. DeJoy is reportedly preparing to unveil plans for another round of service cuts and operational changes as soon as this week. The new plan will include more service cuts, higher and region-specific pricing, and lower delivery expectations. Postal workers are up in arms and want President Biden to do something. According to Mark Dimondstein of the American Postal Workers Union …
“We want a Board of Governors that understands fundamentally this is not called the United States Postal Business. It’s not a profit-making business. It’s here to serve the people.”
Here to serve the people. Such a simple concept, isn’t it? But over the last four years, ‘serving the people’ has become a thing of the past. Donald Trump’s government was here to serve only one person: Donald Trump. Joe Biden is working hard to turn that around, to ensure that government does serve the people – all the people. But, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Biden’s efforts will no doubt be stymied by the ignorance of a certain party in Congress.
Yesterday, I received a phone call and an email from the Canadian pharmacy where I order my insulin. They informed me that I should order now, because deliveries to the United States are taking anywhere from 4-8 weeks! I used to order my insulin and have it within 5-7 business days, but now it could take up to two months! Bullshit!
Biden cannot fire DeJoy directly, but what he can do is fire the entire Board of Governors and replace them with men and women who care about doing the right thing, who have a conscience, who care about the people of this nation. Congressional democrats are urging President Biden to do just that …
“My solution starts at the top: firing the whole board who presided over Trump and DeJoy’s wrecking of USPS. Clean house.” – Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey
The current Board of Governors consists of one democrat and four republicans. Isn’t it a damn shame that our ability to send & receive mail, our ability to receive life-sustaining medication is controlled by partisanship? Republicans are paid out of our tax dollars the same as democrats … so why are they not attuned to the needs of We the People? Donald Trump exacerbated this, but he did not create it … it’s been building for a long time. According to The Washington Post …
“DeJoy has told mail industry officials he intends to remain in office to roll out an agency reorganization… The plan, parts of which were outlined to a Senate panel in August, includes geographic pricing and longer delivery windows. He’s entertained leasing out Postal Service properties and offering non-mailing services, such as private financial services.”
‘Private financial services’??? WHY??? It is the Postal Service, not the Banking Service! So, does Biden fire the entire damn Board of Governors and send DeJoy packing? Seems a simple solution, but this may be a case where Occam’s Razor* does not apply. There would, no doubt, be a hue and cry from the congressional republicans if he took this path. However, there are three vacant seats on the Board, and if Biden appoints people of conscience to those seats, then it is likely the Board would be willing to give DeJoy the boot. In a statement issued by the White House yesterday …
“Only the Board of Governors of the US Postal Service has the power to replace the Postmaster General. The President can, however, nominate governors to fill vacancies on the board pending Senate confirmation. President Biden’s focus is on filling these vacancies, nominating officials who reflect his commitment to the workers of the US Postal Service — who can deliver on the post office’s vital universal service obligation.”
I hope, for all our sakes, that Biden moves swiftly on this for in some cases, our very lives depend on it. Meanwhile, I recommend that if you send holiday cards or packages via the USPS, you start your shopping immediately and have them in the mail at least three months before you want them to arrive!
*Occam’s Razor states that the simplest explanation/solution is usually the right one.