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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:47 PM   #126
snberk103
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post





Then they just wouldn't have it I guess. Just because you choose to live in a remote location doesn't entitle you to anything.
Um.... you may not quite realize it, but this line of thought actually leads to the government telling you where you can and not live. True "freedom" means you get to live where you want - with a few reasonable limits that are always in contention between the government and the citizens (governments want to limit, and citizens want few limits on where they can live). The current balance is in favour of the citizens.

However - having areas that are "too remote to service" means that somebody now gets to define what that means... and that is going to be the government and you know they are going to start moving people if they ever got that power. And they ain't gonna stop with what you personally consider remote either. And you will then be competing with those internally displaced people for jobs, food and housing.

No...in a free society we are allowed to live where we want, and the government needs to make reasonable efforts to provide a reasonable level of service. They also mandate some private companies (internet, cell, etc) to extend their infrastructure to those remote areas to attempt to provide a minimum level of service. To write off areas that the government considers to be remote smacks of a 3rd world nation, not one that portrays itself as a leading light.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 11:37 PM   #127
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Well those aren't hand written letters are they
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If someone written a note inside, yes they are.
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Splitting haris
Soooo.....


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The primary use of anything is what you actually use it for.
Splitting hairs. Or haris.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 02:18 AM   #128
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Correction and not trying to be smart a$$. Letter Post is $0.63 for Canada and $1.10 to send to US. Mail is very quick within Canada. Anything coming in from outside of Canada is a crap shoot. And that is Canada & US Customs fault. Not any postal service. Since 911 Customs has been very slow to process mail of any kind. We are fortunate here in Canada to have a corporation run by the government that is profitable.
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Gradually privatize the commons like our Post Office? No thanks.

How is UPS and FedEx any more efficient than USPS? 46 cents to send a letter is hardly inefficient.

Netflix is all ready going in the direction of streaming only, gradually. I doubt they would get a better deal with UPS or FedEx because they'll only look to rape as much as they can from Netflix.
I find these prices absolutely unbelievable. It cost twice the amount here, in a country is the size of Maryland, and gone are the days of next day delivery.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 02:51 AM   #129
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I find these prices absolutely unbelievable. It cost twice the amount here, in a country is the size of Maryland, and gone are the days of next day delivery.


I just realized that it's been so long since I've been able to say that I'm actually proud of something in my country, that something being the price of postage of all things! Now if we can only make much more needed change like universal healthcare, stronger civil rights, an end to the wars a guy who thought he was a cowboy started, an end to voter suppression, an end to drone strikes, an end to the corruption in our politics, and a bunch of other progressive things that I'm too tired to name...... I can dream right?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 05:03 AM   #130
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Soooo.....





Splitting hairs. Or haris.
It's obviously a typo, why be so pedantic?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:09 AM   #131
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Your argument that people in remote areas have to drive long distances to PO Boxes is completely invalid, as proven by the great lengths the USPS goes through to deliver mail.
It wasn't an argument. It was a statement. I didn't say "because people drive long distances to PO boxes, XYZ".


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You said we should shut the postal service down
Right. And?


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Without the infrastructure there (paid for by the government) how the hell else do you expect people in rural areas to get broadband?
By the infrastructure being built of course. Or satellite. Or maybe they just won't ever have it.


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Yes. In fact, you move there, give me your address and I'll mail you a post card since it doesn't seem like you have any friends or family who do.
Yeah, I'm heartbroken I don't get post cards from my family


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While that may be true, and even some more rural towns have broadband, plenty of them don't.
Sure. Notice how you keep saying "broadband"? because if they have a phone line, they have Internet.


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Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
Yeah, the farmers can live in the city and commute a couple hundred miles each way to their farm every day. Brilliant idea.
Where did i say that?

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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
Um.... you may not quite realize it, but this line of thought actually leads to the government telling you where you can and not live. True "freedom" means you get to live where you want - with a few reasonable limits that are always in contention between the government and the citizens (governments want to limit, and citizens want few limits on where they can live). The current balance is in favour of the citizens.
No. My "line of reasoning" doesn't lead to the government telling you where you can or cannot live.

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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
However - having areas that are "too remote to service" means that somebody now gets to define what that means... and that is going to be the government and you know they are going to start moving people if they ever got that power. And they ain't gonna stop with what you personally consider remote either. And you will then be competing with those internally displaced people for jobs, food and housing.
Slippery slope

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No...in a free society we are allowed to live where we want, and the government needs to make reasonable efforts to provide a reasonable level of service. They also mandate some private companies (internet, cell, etc) to extend their infrastructure to those remote areas to attempt to provide a minimum level of service.
Yeah. In a free society government tells us what to do but doesn't.

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To write off areas that the government considers to be remote smacks of a 3rd world nation, not one that portrays itself as a leading light.
No it doesn't
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:43 AM   #132
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Another interesting article on the Post Office:

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The volume of mail has plummeted over the past five years, and the service is deep in the red. Taking Saturdays off will save it about $2 billion a year. It's a smart move. But the way it came about is a portent of doom.

The Postal Service has been asking to move to five-day delivery for some time. They've been supported in this effort by a large majority of Americans. One need only look at the examples of Canada, Sweden, Australia or Germany (where Saturday delivery is charged extra) to see the non-disastrous effects of such a policy. Few reforms to major institutions are so popular and obvious.

Unfortunately for the Postal Service, this is but a baby step in the right direction. The whole concept behind the service is broken. Over three-quarters of America's post offices do not turn a profit. The requirement to deliver anywhere and everywhere in America, at a set price, is a noose around its neck. Congress, meanwhile, is pulling on its feet, requiring the service to pre-pay health-care obligations for retirees well into the future. But this is not why we are doomed.
Hmmmmm

How selfish of these people to think they can just live out in the middle of nowhere and have the rest of us foot the bill for them to receive mail at such a high cost. They should start paying their fair share of the cost of receiving their mail.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:49 AM   #133
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Another interesting article on the Post Office:



Hmmmmm

How selfish of these people to think they can just live out in the middle of nowhere and have the rest of us foot the bill for them to receive mail at such a high cost. They should start paying their fair share of the cost of receiving their mail.

Sigh. The PO isn't supposed to turn a profit. In fact, it's mandate is to operate at revenue neutral. If not for the mandate to pre-fund their retirement obligations, they would be profitable. Without Congressional interference, they would already be on a path to downsizing.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:56 AM   #134
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Sigh. The PO isn't supposed to turn a profit. In fact, it's mandate is to operate at revenue neutral. If not for the mandate to pre-fund their retirement obligations, they would be profitable. Without Congressional interference, they would already be on a path to downsizing.
Couple that with the Amazon article

Seems like physical mail is rightfully on it's way out. Now we're sitting here with a post office system that will primarily be shipping packages, jeez, couldn't we just let UPS and FedEx do that? Especially since the argument here in this forum has been "We have to keep the USPS! how else will somebody from Canada get their postcards???"

*insert argument about price*

Yeah but the reason it's cheaper is simply because the post office exists now, not because those companies couldn't do it cheaper and more effectively.

Not to mention, as this article points out, the USPS can't react quick enough to cut costs and save money, because it relies on our ever slow Congress to make changes like cutting Saturday mail.

The PO is supposed to be revenue neutral. Cool. Great. We all get it. Thanks for repeating that.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 08:09 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by CalWizrd View Post
Every company (other than non-profits) is in business to make money, if they want to stay in business.

Perhaps you have some difficulty understanding the profit motive, and are being a little dramatic in your characterization of "raping customers for more money".
Yes, but there is a significant distinction between companies (which do subscribe to the profit motive) and Governments, which have a number of different roles and functions, one of which is to serve the people, and supply services that those who are governed by the profit motive cannot and will not supply. A Government is not a company and should not be expected to answer to notions of shareholder value solely defined by economic, or financial, criteria. Governments - at least in Europe - are considered appropriate actors to supply public goods, and services, which cannot be supplied otherwise. It is nice if they turn a profit, but this is not the key determinant of why they exist, or ought to.


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It seems utterly obvious to anyone who has lived ortraveled in rural America, but the city dwellers just feel they can rot away because its not their problem.

.......

Eric also fails to understand that the rural mail carrier and the post office itself are vital to the health and well-being of millions of Americans. In his world though, the govt. should never care about its citizens. I find that incredibly sad.
Excellent post.

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.......


So you don't want them to have a postal service. You don't want them to have internet. You just want them to be cut off from the rest of the world? Or would you rather that everyone moves into our already overpopulated cities and we shut down all of the farms that provide us with food. Genius idea.
I agree.

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.........
However - having areas that are "too remote to service" means that somebody now gets to define what that means... and that is going to be the government and you know they are going to start moving people if they ever got that power. ...........

No...in a free society we are allowed to live where we want, and the government needs to make reasonable efforts to provide a reasonable level of service. They also mandate some private companies (internet, cell, etc) to extend their infrastructure to those remote areas to attempt to provide a minimum level of service. To write off areas that the government considers to be remote smacks of a 3rd world nation, not one that portrays itself as a leading light.
Again, I agree with you - nicely phrased.

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I just realized that it's been so long since I've been able to say that I'm actually proud of something in my country, that something being the price of postage of all things! Now if we can only make much more needed change like universal healthcare, stronger civil rights, an end to the wars a guy who thought he was a cowboy started, an end to voter suppression, an end to drone strikes, an end to the corruption in our politics, and a bunch of other progressive things that I'm too tired to name...... I can dream right?
Well said. And yes, of course you can dream.....these are civilised dreams after all, and worthy ones.

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Sigh. The PO isn't supposed to turn a profit. In fact, it's mandate is to operate at revenue neutral. If not for the mandate to pre-fund their retirement obligations, they would be profitable. Without Congressional interference, they would already be on a path to downsizing.
Exactly. It is a service, and the primary function of a public service is to provide that service and to provide it as equitably and fairly as possible. If it can do so in a revenue neutral way, or by turning a profit, well and good; if not, this is still not the main yardstick by which it should be judged.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:27 AM   #136
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....

Yeah, I'm heartbroken I don't get post cards from my family
.... you know, that just invites all sorts of comments...
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post

Sure. Notice how you keep saying "broadband"? because if they have a phone line, they have Internet.
Not useable internet. You need some serious infrastructure within certain distance limits to make even just email useable now.
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post

...
No. My "line of reasoning" doesn't lead to the government telling you where you can or cannot live.
Then who do you think defines "too remote"?
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post


Slippery slope
Yes. That is my point. As soon as somebody starts to define "too remote" you have started down the slippery slope.
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Yeah. In a free society government tells us what to do but doesn't.
It is always a balancing act. At the moment the government tells us what to do far less than it does in other 'less free' countries. There are no absolutes, there is only the spectrum and where we are on it. One day you will realize that. Or not.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 10:15 AM   #137
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You must understand this one thing when talking with eric/ about anything goverment-related: He doesn't want there to be a government.

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The places that FedEx and UPS don't deliver to are the same places that are hundreds of miles away from any type of broadband or high speed internet connection and rely on the postal service the most.

Are you advocating that the government spends the billions of dollars it would take to make broadband available to every single house in America? Because you keep yammering on about how the postal service is inefficient, but there's nothing efficient about running fiber out to a single house out in the middle of Montana.
eric/ replied:

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As I said, gradual.

And those that are "hundreds of miles away" from stuff have to drive to PO boxes anyway.

No the government wouldn't spend any money. People would just pay for it themselves.
eric/ have you ever traveled this country by car, and gone off the interstate, and seen just how GIANT this country is? What you propose is simply NOT possible for those people. You may be fine with cutting them off from the outside world, but I'd bet most of the country isn't.

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No they don't. That is simply not true. The USPS even goes so far as to use mules to deliver mail to an Indian reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
And planes to deliver in Alaska...
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 10:54 AM   #138
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.... you know, that just invites all sorts of comments...
All sorts of off topic comments
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Not useable internet. You need some serious infrastructure within certain distance limits to make even just email useable now.
Sure ok. Satellites then.
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Then who do you think defines "too remote"?
Well you just won't get service. It's not them telling you that you can't live there.

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Yes. That is my point. As soon as somebody starts to define "too remote" you have started down the slippery slope.
Slippery slope is a fallacy

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It is always a balancing act. At the moment the government tells us what to do far less than it does in other 'less free' countries. There are no absolutes, there is only the spectrum and where we are on it. One day you will realize that. Or not.
Your comment made no sense.

We live in a free society, but then we give people mandates

Can't have your cake and eat it too
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 11:36 AM   #139
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Seems like physical mail is rightfully on it's way out. Now we're sitting here with a post office system that will primarily be shipping packages, jeez, couldn't we just let UPS and FedEx do that? Especially since the argument here in this forum has been "We have to keep the USPS! how else will somebody from Canada get their postcards???"

*insert argument about price*

Yeah but the reason it's cheaper is simply because the post office exists now, not because those companies couldn't do it cheaper and more effectively.
I'm trying to understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that shipping a package with the USPS is cheaper because they exist? And the reason that FedEx and UPS are so much more expensive is because the USPS exists? So, they don't have to compete with that? But if they had to compete only with each other that they would drop their prices?

So, they have to currently compete with a lower-cost carrier, but they don't lower their prices. But when that lower-cost carrier is gone, they will lower their prices?

That is what I am hearing. And I must be wrong because it makes no sense.

And, price is a big thing. I can mail a letter from Atlanta on Friday afternoon, and it will generally be to my parents in Memphis the next day. That's 46 cents. The FedEx rate for the same service is $49.23, more than 100 times more expensive. It's $32.73 on a weekday. The very cheapest FedEx will do it is $13.64 over a three day period (30 times as expensive). Are you saying that if the USPS didn't exist that the private companies would come down THAT much on their price?

Personal anecdote time: All of my package delivery issues in the past several years have been with UPS and FedEx. Each of them has screwed up on several occasions. The USPS so far has not. FedEx and UPS are not necessarily better and more effective just because they are private companies. Hell, UPS, on two occasions, marked a package as "delivered" that was actually delivered some 6 hours later.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 11:44 AM   #140
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I'm trying to understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that shipping a package with the USPS is cheaper because they exist? And the reason that FedEx and UPS are so much more expensive is because the USPS exists? So, they don't have to compete with that? But if they had to compete only with each other that they would drop their prices?

So, they have to currently compete with a lower-cost carrier, but they don't lower their prices. But when that lower-cost carrier is gone, they will lower their prices?

That is what I am hearing. And I must be wrong because it makes no sense.
Sorry if that sounds confusing. You do have to consider I'm often times replying to 5-6 people at once so sometimes that happens.

USPS has built up it's infrastructure over it's entire existence, and has never had to compete for letter delivering service. UPS and FedEx, however, can't justify the cost to expand into areas where USPS is, because it's cheaper to pay USPS to deliver their packages.

It's not that FedEx and UPS couldn't do it cheaper, or even better maybe. It's just that it's cheaper right now for them to utilize USPS than to build new infrastructure to distribute packages.

USPS isn't some magical entity that is just somehow cheaper than FedEx and UPS. There are reasons for it, that are propagated by the federal government mandating USPS's existence.

So if USPS just disappeared, FedEx and UPS would essentially fill in the void left. Prices would probably be higher initially, and perhaps forever for letters (which is fine, need to get rid of that anyway), but eventually the costs would come down as efficiency in distribution networks improves.
.
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And, price is a big thing. I can mail a letter from Atlanta on Friday afternoon, and it will generally be to my parents in Memphis the next day. That's 46 cents. The FedEx rate for the same service is $49.23, more than 100 times more expensive. It's $32.73 on a weekday. The very cheapest FedEx will do it is $13.64 over a three day period (30 times as expensive). Are you saying that if the USPS didn't exist that the private companies would come down THAT much on their price?
Yes, if there is money to be made from that service. But you can no longer mail a letter on Friday afternoon to be there on Saturday. So part of the reason for that cost is the delivery day, most likely. But even if it didn't come down, too bad, stop mailing letters. Send an email.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 11:56 AM   #141
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Couple that with the Amazon article

Seems like physical mail is rightfully on it's way out. Now we're sitting here with a post office system that will primarily be shipping packages, jeez, couldn't we just let UPS and FedEx do that? Especially since the argument here in this forum has been "We have to keep the USPS! how else will somebody from Canada get their postcards???"

*insert argument about price*

Yeah but the reason it's cheaper is simply because the post office exists now, not because those companies couldn't do it cheaper and more effectively.

Not to mention, as this article points out, the USPS can't react quick enough to cut costs and save money, because it relies on our ever slow Congress to make changes like cutting Saturday mail.

The PO is supposed to be revenue neutral. Cool. Great. We all get it. Thanks for repeating that.



You've avoided the question of why we NEED to get rid of the Post Office twice, that's fine because you obviously have no answer for it.

But what I have highlighted in bold looks like this is the closest answer you'll have. You're a libertarian and all for privatization, I get that. So let me ask you this, why should We the People allow for-profit private companies to have their way in our country when our government can provide the service without the profit motive and can do it for far less than private companies?

You need to get away from that simplistic line of thinking of since people don't sent letters or pay their bills with paper through physical mail that we need to get rid of the system entirely. Like a few of us have mentioned before, the Post Office is capable of handling more services than just letters, get that through your head!

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You must understand this one thing when talking with eric/ about anything goverment-related: He doesn't want there to be a government.


Exactly. Very hard libertarian position where you're supposed to pick yourself up by your own bootstraps. So much for the "we" society and so much more of a "me" society. The "me" society doesn't benefit anyone.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 12:02 PM   #142
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eric, you just keep digging yourself deeper and deeper on a subject on which you are ill-informed. I almost think the only reason you're here is to argue, no matter what the subject.

Trying to reduce the subject to government = evil, private business = good ignores a million issues. It's sad that you can't come to terms with that.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 12:08 PM   #143
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eric, you just keep digging yourself deeper and deeper on a subject on which you are ill-informed. I almost think the only reason you're here is to argue, no matter what the subject.

Trying to reduce the subject to government = evil, private business = good ignores a million issues. It's sad that you can't come to terms with that.
Why am I ill-informed? What statements have I made that demonstrate that? And have I had an opportunity to respond to them or explain myself better?

And where have I said government = evil business = good in this thread?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 02:16 PM   #144
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And where have I said government = evil business = good in this thread?
You do realize that most of us take a poster's entire body of work to tune his position, not just what he says in one particular thread. Right?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 05:47 PM   #145
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You do realize that most of us take a poster's entire body of work to tune his position, not just what he says in one particular thread. Right?
Oh, well you shouldn't. At least for me. Sometimes I like to play devils advocate.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 05:52 PM   #146
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Oh, well you shouldn't. At least for me. Sometimes I like to play devils advocate.


Sometimes? More like all the time buddy. You do realize that plenty of us in this thread have been in favor of saving the Post Office where you've been about demolishing it?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:00 PM   #147
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Oh, well you shouldn't. At least for me. Sometimes I like to play devils advocate.
That's fine to do but you can't complain if people label you as the no-government guy based on what you post. How do they know you were just screwing around and how do you expect to get a productive argument started if people have to second guess what everyone else is posting?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:07 PM   #148
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That's fine to do but you can't complain if people label you as the no-government guy based on what you post. How do they know you were just screwing around and how do you expect to get a productive argument started if people have to second guess what everyone else is posting?
Well I can complain about it, but I don't. You should only argue with what people say, not what you think their position is. Don't make assumptions.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:32 PM   #149
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Well I can complain about it, but I don't. You should only argue with what people say, not what you think their position is. Don't make assumptions.
Normal people think that when a person says something, that is their position. It's not an assumption at all. But to each his own, back to the topic I guess...
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 08:06 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
Why am I ill-informed? What statements have I made that demonstrate that? And have I had an opportunity to respond to them or explain myself better?

And where have I said government = evil business = good in this thread?
You have totally failed to respond with any substance to all the posts about rural access and the requirement that the USPS deliver to everyone. We should be concerned about costs but you can't just give millions of Americans the middle finger without at least providing a coherent and valid reason.
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