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A New Post Office Study

CBS announced a new study on partial privatization of the Post Office that put the most important fact in the last paragraph:

The study is being underwritten by Connecticut-based firm Pitney Bowes, which already contracts with the Postal Service for portions of its operations and could stand to benefit from the agency’s further privatization.

The study exempts the ‘final mile’ service of the Post Office, the delivery of the mail to people, for a bogus reason, not wanting to admit that that is the most expensive and most resistant to change of the entire system, that no one wants to do it. UPS and FedEx both use the Post Office for small packages in mailers. I have seen their postal permits on several things I have ordered. They bulk transport, and then drop the small parcels off at the regional bulk mail centers for final delivery.

It isn’t hard to make money on bulk transport, the expensive part is the final delivery, so this study is about stealing the profitable activities of the Post Office and leaving it with the most expensive service it provides. That is not a plan to save the Post Office.

January 5, 2013   Comments Off

Where’s The Jobs Program

I knew things were bad but this Digby post shows how bad:

The December jobs figures out today indicate that there were 725,000 more jobs in the private sector than at the end of 2008 — and 697,000 fewer government jobs. That works into a private-sector gain of 0.6 percent, and a government sector decline of 3.1 percent.

In total, the number of people with jobs is up by 28,000, or 0.02 percent.

There are around 150,000 people per month added to the work force, and we have been adding an average of less that 600 jobs per month.

I knew governments were laying people off, but I didn’t really appreciate the size of the lay offs. The standard economic reporting on jobs is always limited to the numbers for non-farm jobs, and never addresses the changes in the public sector.

January 5, 2013   2 Comments

A Question

After decades of doing it for some reason it occurred to me today that the standard American response to “Thank you” is actually fairly odd.

What does “You’re welcome” have to do with it?

January 5, 2013   8 Comments