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Comments about ‘John Hoffmire: Why not sell the Post Office to its employees?’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13 2013 12:15 a.m. MDT

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Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

From the article:

"In 1996, I was involved with the transfer of part of the background checking service of the U.S. government to the employees."

From the Wiki folks:

"USIS was founded in 1996 after the investigative branch of the OPM was privatized."

From another article (not the DN):

"Snowden's security-clearance investigation was outsourced to USIS, a private contractor that is the biggest supplier of federal background checks."

So the author's claim to fame is that he helped found the organization that gave us Edward Snowden?
And that is a good example of govt. privatization?

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Here is an idea, how about we start by just letting the Post Office close the offices it deems unnecessary? Instead, we have Congress fighting this like they do base closures and the dropping of weapons systems after the military says they don't want them.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

The post office has a huge workforce. Obviously their largest expense.

Privatizing it would mean cutting pay to minimum wage with no retirement or healthcare for several 100,000 employees.
And in doing so, the CEO will make $millions$ in bonuses and the stockholders richer.

Yes, a corporation would turn it around and make a profit. And in doing so, it would push the workers into poverty.

And then we would scratch our heads and wonder why the numbers of people on food stamps and without healthcare keep increasing.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Too much of the conversation with the Post Office centers on its CURRENT business of sending mail. What a good business analyst would do (Mitt, could you chime in?) is look at the Post Office's current assets -- offices in virtually every town, vehicles that literally travel all of America six days a week, etc. -- and see what value could be generated from those assets.

Some entrepreneurial opportunities that come to mind are partnering with Google Maps and Google Earth where the fleet of postal vehicles could take pictures and monitor road and building changes in local neighborhoods for Google. Many businesses would buy that information for marketing purposes, and it would update Google's service more efficiently.

That vehicle fleet could also collect data/monitor for various government agencies concerned about air quality, detecting meth labs, and bomb substances in the air -- aiding national security, climate change/pollution monitoring, and the war on drugs.

And what about all those buildings in every town? For many areas, the post office is a community center in rural areas. Could those places expand access to other government services in small towns?

In short, we need creative business entrepreneurs engaged in this conversation.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Selling the Post Office is a great idea! Compare the performance, cost of operation and efficiency of the USPS with private delivery companies such as FedEx and UPS.

JoeBlow. Why is it ok that the USPS wastes billions of taxpayer dollars every year but one or two CEOs earning a six figure bonus for making a company successful and profitable is horrible? And by the way, UPS and FedEx employees earn good salaries and benefits not minimum wages.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The basic problem for America is the notion that everything should operate on the profit motive. The people who hold this notion seem to think that the only worthwhile things in life are those which garner wealth to the of others into the hands of the rich and powerful. The thought of people sharing their talents and abilities without someone making a profit is so abhorrent to them as to be viewed as a mortal sin.

The fact is that everything about our society makes a profit for somebody. So the truth comes down to being the fierce competition over who gets the most profit. They have no interest in the general good, only in the good of the powerful. Power is their only measure of a person’s worth.

Another fact is that their notion of good is not the notion of good as expressed in the American creed

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"but one or two CEOs earning a six figure bonus for making a company successful and profitable is horrible?"

If only that were the case.

Lets look at 2012 CEO compensation.

The TOP 10 ceo pay amounted to an average of over $61 million. That was 2012 only.
You need to get to 170th ranked CEO to get a pay below $10 million.

Hardly the couple of "6 figure bonuses" you mention.

And, how about the poor performing CEO's. Remember when HP forced out Carlie Fiorina for lackluster performance?
She managed to leave with a $40+ million severance.

The average worker would have just been canned.

30 years ago, CEO's made 30 times their average worker pay. Today, closer to 300.

Performance based? Or greed?

And then we wonder why the wealth is collecting at the top.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

A big problem for the post office is that many areas where they are legally required to deliver mail cost them far more than they can legally charge. All rural areas meet this criteria. It might cost the post office $20.00 to deliver a letter to a remote village in Alaska, but they can't charge them more than anyone else.

Many people don't know this but both FedEx and UPS use the postal service to deliver their packages to remote areas. If the postal service were privatized, they would stop offering service to rural America, or they would start charging the actual cost of delivery, plus a profit. These are also the areas that are likely to lack infrastructure for internet service.

To Mountanman: Go to FedEx and see if they'll mail a letter across the country for you for 42 cents.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

Re: "30 years ago, CEO's made 30 times their average worker pay. Today, closer to 300. Performance based? Or greed?"

As I learned - to my surprise - from comments on another article a few days ago, it's not the CEOs getting $40 million dollar severance packages and earning 300 times what the average worker does who are greedy, it's the unskilled worker who wants more than minimum wage! Yes, it's those people at the bottom who want a living wage, they're the greedy ones!

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

This idea would work about as well as privatizing Social Security...

In other words, not well at all.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Roland,

You're subsidizing the Post Office.

So even when you're NOT mailing a letter, they're charging you.

Unlike FedEx.

Swing and a miss for ya there bud

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

"You're subsidizing the Post Office."

False.

The Post Office hasn't been subsidized with our tax dollars since the 1980s with the exception of disabled persons and overseas voters. I would know, because I worked for the Post Office.

Swing and a miss for ya there bud.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "JoeBlow" news flash, last year the Postmaster General had a salary of $300,000. That was after getting a raise from just under $200,000

So tell us, why would the head of a failing postal system deserve a bonus or salary increase that was 6 figures?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Redshirt1701

If the USPS were to go private, there would be virtually no limit on CEO salary. Many failing companies pay their executives exorbitant sums in hopes they can turn them around.

Studies I have read show surprisingly little correlation between corporate success and key executive compensation.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"last year the Postmaster General had a salary of $300,000. That was after getting a raise from just under $200,000"

" The Wall Street Journal was able to determine the pay of executives at 21 of the 100 largest companies that recently went through bankruptcy. Together, the chief executives of those firms earned more than $350 million in salary, bonuses, stock grants and severance for the periods their companies were under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection or just afterward. " (wsk dot com)

Kind of puts it in perspective, doesn't it?

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

'So tell us, why would the head of a failing postal system deserve a bonus or salary increase that was 6 figures?"

why should heads of failing banks receive bonus money and salaries which increase 7 figures?

Hilarious the double standard on full display by the right!

If the Post Office were privatized we'd see bailouts (paid by taxpayers) and disgusting golden parachutes handed out to their incompetent leaders. We would see workers lose their salaries and pensions to prop up shareholders' stocks and pay for exorbitant bonuses to execs.

The biggest lie we have in America is that we have too much government and too little privatization. As we have seen over the past few years, we need more government and less "free market" capitalism. We desperately need to save capitalism from eating itself and throwing all the workers off a cliff (while enriching a select few).

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

re: Mountanman

"Selling the Post Office is a great idea! Compare the performance, cost of operation and efficiency of the USPS with private delivery companies such as FedEx and UPS."

I don't disagree. Though, if memory serves, The USPS is one of the services duties spelled out in the Constitution... privatizing it could be a legislative hassle.

Working in Shipping & Receiving, I speak from experience when I say USPS is not the greatest but decent. UPS is a nightmare (inconsistent & disorganized).

It wasn't FedEx they made fun of at the start of Ace Ventura.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Twin Lights" and "JoeBlow" lets go over this again. If a 6 figure salary is bad for private companies, what about when it is your tax dollars going to pay that salary?

If you gave a person a $100000 bonus, shouldn't that bonus be for improving a system and cutting costs, not for hemoraging more money?

If it is bad for private business, why is it ok for government?

redshirt007
tranquility base, 00

In a private company the CEO gets a 8 figure salary instead of 6. Then there's the board of directors that get $100,000 a year to show up to a few meetings and phone in a few more.

Then there's the couple dozen VP's that have to get high 6 figure salaries to boss around someone who is still 6 layers up from anyone that does any work. There's nothing left for the workers so they get minimum wage and only that because it's the law. If these godless money men had their way they will impoverish us enough that we'll work for much less as their counter parts do in the rest of the world.

Yes, much more efficient - way to live off the fruits of someone else's labor.

If you leave your kids home alone long enough you'll come home to find some charging the other's rent and making them do all the work. God keeps having the same problem.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"If a 6 figure salary is bad for private companies, what about when it is your tax dollars going to pay that salary?"

Comparing apples to oranges.

The USPS would rank at about 41 on the Fortune 500 list if it were a corporation (just ahead of Pepsi)

Pepsi's CEO (Indra Nooyi)made $12.6 million last year.

That is 42 times what the postmaster general makes.

Kind of hard to whine too much about a $100,000 bonus, dont ya think?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Redshirt1701

First, please reference my prior post. My comments were in the context of “If the USPS were to go private”.

Second, I have not argued (here) that CEO salaries are too high. Simply that privatizing the USPS would remove any salary cap and that such removal would be consistent with other US businesses.

Third, as to my (or your) tax dollars paying the CEO’s salary, the USPS has not used taxpayer dollars for 30 years or so.

Fourth, “if you gave a person a $100000 bonus, shouldn't that bonus be for improving a system and cutting costs, not for hemoraging (sic) more money?”. It sure should. But in many US businesses, pay and performance are often not closely tethered to each other.

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