Letters to the Editor

Unfair analysis

December 1, 2011


To the editor:

Again and again, the Journal-World chooses to highlight George Will’s ultraconservative views at the top of the opinion page. On Sunday, he called for the U.S. Postal Service to be privatized. In typical fashion Will skips over the chief reason the USPS is under financial pressure. Will fails to mention that, in 2006, Congress forced the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits, an outrageous demand not made on any other business, government or private. Without this prefunding requirement the USPS would have NO debt. Meanwhile Congress uses the influx of these new USPS retirement funds to artificially reduce the deficit.

Then Will trivializes the devastating impact on the middle class and American communities if the USPS were to  disappear. Shutting down the Postal Service wouldn’t just keep our grandkids from writing us letters in longhand, as Will suggests. No, closing the Postal Service would isolate hundreds of thousands of people in small rural communities who depend on the USPS for delivery of a host of necessities, including medicines. Furthermore, the loss of tens of thousands of middle-class jobs in the current economy could further undercut the already weakened middle class. Why does the Journal-World so disrespect the values of the citizens of Lawrence by continuing to highlight these ultraconservative views with no balance from more progressive writers on the opinion page?


Jimo 3 years, 10 months ago

Meanwhile, Bachmann insists that if she were President, the US wouldn't have an embassy in Iran!



Not that I'm holding my breath for the Will column on how clueless each of these GOP clowns are on foreign affairs. Except Huntsman. And Paul (in his quasi crazy Ron Paul way).

Jayhawk1958 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh yeah. Who got Bin Laden? Wasn't the Republicans who are suppose to be the king when it comes to foreign affairs.

esteshawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Obama also signed a pact with Russia to reduce nuclear arms by about 1/3. Oh wait, Conservatives view this as bad?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

Not like Bush II who got us into a foreign war based on lies. Oops, excuse me, "bad intel".

windjammer 3 years, 10 months ago

You best stick to math as you don't know squat about foreign affairs.

Brock Masters 3 years, 10 months ago

And no doubt the cost for mailing letters would rise.

pace 3 years, 10 months ago

I would accept the cost for mailing letters to rise, if they also raised the cost of junk mail. The more the merrier is not always the answer. A smaller system, we should design for that, not artificailly bloat the boat with mega plans, super cheaping the bulk mail rates. More first class and less junk mail would actually bring a more efficient system, one to serve everyone rather than focusing on the commercial costumer. Full disclosure, I hate all the junk mail I have to take to the recycling bin. I hate the cheap rates they get. They get cheap rates because first class is more expensive. Shipping to every American home is one of the things going up. We should design for shipping packages and letters, not junk in our boxes.

ljwhirled 3 years, 10 months ago

Ending the postal service would effectively end reasonably priced mail delivery for rural areas. It may also end it for inner city communities.

These same communities are isolated from Internet access and access to grocery stores.

Private industry would do what private industry does best, focus on people who have money and on the most lucrative markets.

The reason we have public utilities, public mail delivery and public schools is so that everyone can have a reasonably equal shot at being successful.

This is yet another case of conservatives messing with the funding of a program, then a few years later declaring it insolvent and demanding it be cut or dramatically defunded.

Watch, the same thing is going to happen in Kansas with public education, higher education and social programs. Gov. Brownback is laying the groundwork now. Four years from now we will have a funding "crisis" and then all of these programs will be drastically scaled back.

Dan Eyler 3 years, 10 months ago

The post office is a mess. The stamp is already approaching 50 cents a letter. The customer service in a post office is about as bad as any business can be. I have a friend who works in the post office and describes how badly the place is managed. The majority of the mail received in our mailbox is junk. The taxpayer is subsidizing the deliver of junk mail not postal service for small town America. I would go as far to say that most everyone reading this hasn't dropped a letter in the mailbox more than a couple of times a month or even less often. Bills can be dropped at your grocery store where you shop every week, email is being used by most to communicate, etc. I agree that we need to assure some mail service for certain small downs but not very many. Lawrence could close the whole postal service and it wouldn't even amount to a blip on the radar for most. When I mail a package I don't even consider the United States Postal Service. The though of standing in those lines is more than I can take, when I can simply use UPS and Fedex. It doesn't take a "ultraconservative journalist to point out that the United States Postal Service is but another money pit for the taxpayer. The jobs would simply move to alternative private postal services that would run efficiently and in the black. What does ultraconservative got to do with a crappy government agency that is running on fumes. Give it time and a gallon of gas will be cheaper than a stamp.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

Take away the unsupported, and unsupportable, ideologically based assertions, and fact-free mis and disinformation, and your post would consist of nothing but a few punctuation marks.

deec 3 years, 10 months ago

Many small towns don't have utility drop off at the grocery stores. Sending packages and documents by private carriers is a lot more expensive. Private carriers use the post office to do their deliveries and keep their costs down. I've nearly always received friendly, efficient service at post offices in Lawrence, Kansas City, Hays and the small town where I now live.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

How about Charles Krauthammer? That man is so divorced from reality I think he lives on another planet!

George Lippencott 3 years, 10 months ago

Is it that we like to rant? Do we read before we do? Do we understand freedom of speech? Is the new definition limited to what we agree with?

The post office is a hard problem. It is desirable public policy that all be served at some reasonable level. That means resource transfer from more heavily populated areas to lighter populated areas (with exceptions for very poor areas with high populations)

Seniors help pay for the education of others kids even when they have none of their own. We all pay for the court system but few of us directly use it. Just part of the dues we pay to live here.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

Rant? Seems more like a letter to me, and one with a good point regarding the 2006 congressional law that most, including myself, did not know of. Besides, people have the freedom to rant if they wish.

Freedom of speech, as in George Will's, does not mean the LJWorld is required to print someone's writings.

I wonder if Ms. Jackson sent this letter in by e-mail?

George Lippencott 3 years, 10 months ago

Why? Challenging Mr. Will to his opinion is fine. Making it an issue about political agenda is a stretch. Letter could have made the point on the perceived merits. It is a very expensive operation and there is no reason to argue that turning it into a form of UPS would not work what we need worked. Ms. Jackson’s dissent can be addressed within a private system

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 10 months ago

Great letter.

Very informative counter to George Will's attempt to force fit another issue into his narrow conservative world view.

rwwilly 3 years, 10 months ago

Like Fannie and Freddie, the USPS is actually much more like a quasi-public organization. Government regulations limit what price the USPS can charge for its services and in great detail define what sevices it must offer and to whom and how often is must provides these services. Hmmmmmmmm? Should we really expect the USPS to turn a profit when the governemnt defines the service and limits the price the provider can charge. Either fully privatize the USPS and let the chips fall where they may as far as service and cost are concerned or let the government run it as is largely the case now at a deficit with service being the primary concern.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

Privatizing postal services will save money how?

George Lippencott 3 years, 10 months ago

Good point and I do not believe that Mr. Will carried the argument. He is entitled to it however. That pasky free speech thing.

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