Fortune features an article with the rather sensational headline “USPS Could Privatize As Early As 2020”. It’s a definite eye-catcher, but most people who have been dealing with the USPS for any length of time will probably react with more of an eye-roll.
Here’s the gist of Fortune’s reasoning leading to a 2020 privatization:
The United States Postal Service shipped more than 13 billion pieces of mail and packages this holiday season. But now that gift-giving has abated, the agency, which falls under President Trump’s jurisdiction, is facing another deadline: find a new Postmaster General by January 2020.
The new leadership will be handpicked and approved by the Postal Service’s Board of Governors: a group of five men (mostly with investment banking and private banking experience), three of whom were appointed by Trump, along with the current Postmaster General and her deputy.
Once the new leadership is in place, the board will also be tasked by the Trump administration with creating a package of large, structural changes intended to help the ailing Postal Service. Those changes will likely include privatizing and selling pieces of the public service off, according to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which represents more than 200,000 current and retired postal employees.
And all of that is true.
But it glosses over some pretty significant facts:
- The USPS doesn’t belong to the Postmaster General, the Board of Governors, or even Donald Trump. Trump can “task” all he wants- but he and his underlings can’t sell what they don’t own. The USPS was established by an Act of Congress. The new PMG and BOG may very well push for privatization- but they don’t have the legal authority to make it happen.
- Bottom line- privatizing the USPS would require a new Act of Congress. That means that the same House of Representatives that just impeached Trump would have to approve the elimination of a couple hundred thousand union jobs with decent wages and benefits in every state and every House district in the country.
Read the full Fortune article: USPS Could Privatize As Early As 2020 | Fortune