Cash For Clunkers 2.0?

It seems that United States Postal Service (USPS) is about to collapse into what is effectively bankruptcy unless Congress votes them a bail-out to the tune of $5.5 billion in taxpayers’ dollars.

USPS - Broke-Down and Stripped
USPS Bail-Out? Another Cash For Clunkers Stimulus?

I’d ask how the USPS, which holds a federally mandated monopoly in many message delivery markets could be such a clunker but the answer to that is readily apparent. The combination of federal bureaucracy and union labor rendered the USPS unable to adapt to the changes in their market.

Please remember, even though it’s too late, that Obama joked joked about the USPS’ problems before while shilling ObamaCare. Think about that and what it bodes for our future.

So the questions are: will Congress give $5.5 billion in cash to this clunker so that they can their bills and meet their legally required union pension obligations, and if they don’t and the USPS doesn’t pay their retirees will the Liberals rant and rail about the “Evil Mail Giant” like they would if this was a private corporation?


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7 Responses to “Cash For Clunkers 2.0?”

  1. Alan Scott Says:


    Of course Congress will bail them out. The Postal Service is an even more quasi government animal than Fannie and Freddie, or even Obama Motors.

  2. jonolan Says:

    Normally I’d agree with you but things are a little different in Congress these days. They might not grant them the money.

    Of course that means that the USPS won’t pay the $5.5 Billion it owes to its pensioners, which would violate the 2006 Postal Reform Act – but it not as if Obama would have is boy, Holder file charges or anything.

  3. Alan Scott Says:


    You cannot shut down the the mail. My junk mail must show up. I’ve worked for a monopoly so I have a more sympathetic view than you. They have profitable parts of the business that cover the unprofitable parts. UPS and Fedx and the others have skimmed off a lot of the profitable parts. Add in the competition from electronic services and you have the current state .

    As part of their old monopoly business plan they are mandated to provide services that a private company would drop.That will get changed because it has to.

    The other part is their legacy costs to pensioners . That will also get resolved, but it will be extremely painful. I am kind of glad our current President gets to deal with this . This will be one of those messes that will not make anyone who touches it look good .

  4. jonolan Says:

    True; it’s generally believed that you just can’t shutdown the mail and, hence, it would be damaging to do so since people believe that this would be such a national failure.

    The USPS is in no danger of shutdown though. At worst, they just break federal law and not pay that $5.5 billion in pension obligation – and they’ll do it with complete impunity, knowing that Obama won’t do shit about it just like he and Holder have always picked and chosen just what laws they would “faithfully execute.”

    As for monopolies – I’m not necessarily sympathetic or unsympathetic to them; it depends upon how they came to be monopolies and how they maintain themselves as such. I am, however, totally unsympathetic to any monopoly that fails.

  5. Alan Scott Says:


    I know people who work in the postal service and I do not blame them at all. People higher up in both management and the union have failed to anticipate the changed universe and come up with strategies to meet it.

    It is very similar to the steel companies in the 80s and 90s. In Pa. where I live, Bethlehem Steel shut down their Bethlehem plant in the mid 90s. Working conditions were tough there but everybody made way above average wages. They had a union leader who spent 30 years working in the plant, on our state public TV channel speaking about a book he wrote about the people in the plant.

    Having worked for 11 years in a similar but smaller industry I understood the atmosphere. At the plant level you cannot see the death of your way of life coming. You like the people, hate the plant, and are trapped by the good money. There again I blame the leadership of both the company and the union.

    At the Postal service, the union leadership focuses on gaining economic advantages that doom the business. I am guessing that politically appointed management is not capable of navigating the new reality.

  6. jonolan Says:

    Yeah. my grandfather worked for the USPS for most of his adult working years and was a postman in the Navy for the rest of that time (WW2), so I have something of a soft spot for them too.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t blame the workers and the management both though. They failed to agree upon a working solution that would have provided the best benefit to the most people, preferring to stick with a model that they knew was doomed.

    I assume this is because they believed an still probably believe that they’re too big and too important to fail.

  7. Alan Scott Says:


    I actually misstated the fact when I said you cannot see the death of your way of life coming. You don’t see it in the boom times. By the time you see it you are locked in.

    I think I understand the psychology because I been through more than one declining industry. If you are in your late 40s or older and the handwriting is on the wall, whether you are management or union, you focus on keeping the operation going for your working time. You want to make it to pension. If you make the changes that are necessary for the long term, they may not work, they may only benefit those coming after you, and they probably will cause you some suffering.

    Same psychology of senior citizens on SS.

    The only time I see a difference is where a founder or the son of a founder wants to leave a legacy, and will do what is necessary to turn things around. The obvious example is Steve Jobs returning to an Apple mired in mediocrity. That turnaround is a shining example of what is possible.

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