The United States Postal Service - The One Word that Makes all the Difference
24 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2020 Last revised: 26 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 6, 2020
In recent months, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has taken center stage on a number of intersecting issues in our society: the pandemic; the upcoming election (through mail-in voting) and the controversy surrounding the appointment of Louis DeJoy to the position of Postmaster General. President Donald Trump has frequently made derogatory remarks regarding the Postal Service, calling it a “joke,” and has made repeated statements encouraging its privatization. However, President Trump’s rhetoric (as well as the rhetoric of others before him) obfuscates the critical mission of the USPS – to provide service to every American in the country; not simply through its Universal Service Obligation but through other particularly public functions that are largely unique to this agency. This essay unmasks this rhetoric and argues that privatization is not a good fit for USPS. Through an examination of both the debates of privatization and the implications of becoming a profit-making business, we show how these goals are misaligned with the central mission of the Postal Service. Americans rely on USPS for a number of essential functions that it would be impossible to carry out on a for-profit basis. Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the key public mission of USPS to serve all Americans.
Keywords: privatization, corporate purpose, United States Postal Service, USPS, election, mail-in voting, pandemic, COVID-19, Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General, Donald Trump
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