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Old Feb 8, 2013, 10:29 PM   #151
snberk103
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All sorts of off topic comments


Sure ok. Satellites then.
Which only push down, not up. So you also connect with a phone line...and coordinating the traffic requires expensive infrastructure.
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Well you just won't get service. It's not them telling you that you can't live there.
All services?
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Slippery slope is a fallacy
Except when you use it apparently, since my "slippery slope" was in response to your "slippery slope" ...
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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
We live in a free society where the government mandates that some services need to be offered to as many people as possible, and not just the ones who can pay the most. This allows the citizens - who form the government - to live a freer life. You'll get it one of these days.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 09:55 AM   #152
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Which only push down, not up. So you also connect with a phone line...and coordinating the traffic requires expensive infrastructure.
?
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All services?
What other services require the government to show up and hand you something?

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Except when you use it apparently, since my "slippery slope" was in response to your "slippery slope" ...
What slippery slope did I pose?

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We live in a free society where the government mandates that some services need to be offered to as many people as possible, and not just the ones who can pay the most. This allows the citizens - who form the government - to live a freer life. You'll get it one of these days.
It's an oxymoron. You keep saying that the the government mandates we do things to be more free. How are we more free if somebody/something is forcing us to do something?
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 01:24 PM   #153
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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.
....
Nicely said. I wish more people understood this....
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What other services require the government to show up and hand you something?
Well, I was talking about government services in general, using the post office as a specific example. Generally - the government is supposed to provide services across as wide an area as possible. If the government is allowed to discontinue services in areas that it can't be bothered with - for example, the post office specifically - then we have told the government that it has the authority to pick and choose where it decides to offer its services based on whether it is convenient for the government and not the citizens.
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What slippery slope did I pose?
Why are you asking me? You used it in #131, and I responded.
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It's an oxymoron. You keep saying that the the government mandates we do things to be more free. How are we more free if somebody/something is forcing us to do something?
[Emphasis added]

No ... I am saying that the government mandates certain types of companies (for profit and not for profit) to provide services across areas that would otherwise not be serviced by these companies - for our benefit. Typically, these companies are using a public resource - like the radio spectrum - to make their profit. Unlike others - usually on the rightwing side of the political spectrum - I do not ascribe to the notion that corporations are people.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 01:31 PM   #154
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Well, I was talking about government services in general, using the post office as a specific example. Generally - the government is supposed to provide services across as wide an area as possible. If the government is allowed to discontinue services in areas that it can't be bothered with - for example, the post office specifically - then we have told the government that it has the authority to pick and choose where it decides to offer its services based on whether it is convenient for the government and not the citizens.
So besides letter mail, what other services does the government have that require them to show up to your house and hand you something or interact with you?

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Why are you asking me? You used it in #131, and I responded.
[Emphasis added]
Yeah, I stated that you were using it. Not that I was making one.

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No ... I am saying that the government mandates certain types of companies (for profit and not for profit) to provide services across areas that would otherwise not be serviced by these companies - for our benefit.
But those companies are owned, started, operated, etc... by people. They are non-government entities.

It's an oxymoron when you say that you're making somebody, or something, free by mandating or telling it that it has to do something. That's not freedom. It doesn't matter if a government is telling a company, or an individual.

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Typically, these companies are using a public resource - like the radio spectrum - to make their profit.
That doesn't matter. The government, regardless of whether or not companies asked, has built or assumed control of that infrastructure.

Example being the radio spectrum. The government just assumed control and regulation of it. So the fact that companies are using a "public resource" is irrelevant, because the government just took control of it and made it public. They don't have a choice.


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Unlike others - usually on the rightwing side of the political spectrum - I do not ascribe to the notion that corporations are people.
Just so I can nip this in the bud. I'm not a republican, don't like them, never have, never will. So there's no need for any sort of comment like this directed toward me. I won't respond to it because it doesn't apply to me.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 04:13 PM   #155
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So besides letter mail, what other services does the government have that require them to show up to your house and hand you something or interact with you?
Fire fighters, paramedics, police, water services (in many areas), sewer services (in many areas), roads (and the maintenance thereof), power (if your service is provided by a government or quasi government entity), by-law enforcement officers (though usually you want them visiting your neighbours and not you ), victim services (if you have been a victim of crime), health care support workers (if you have a temporary health condition that prevents you from leaving your home), child protection services (not implying it applies in your case), bailiffs/sheriffs to serve warrants (hopefully on your behalf and not to you), transit services for the handicapped, etc etc etc
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Yeah, I stated that you were using it. Not that I was making one.
I said: "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."

You said that was a "slippery slope".

And I agreed with that...

And then you said "Slippery slope is a fallacy"

Which appeared to me contradict what you were saying earlier... so when you get it sorted out, let me know.

And then you
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But those companies are owned, started, operated, etc... by people. They are non-government entities.
They are owned by some people (not The People) and they do not exist to provide services to The People - they exist to make a profit for some people, who may not even belong to The People.
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It's an oxymoron when you say that you're making somebody, or something, free by mandating or telling it that it has to do something. That's not freedom. It doesn't matter if a government is telling a company, or an individual.
I will say this again, in a different way then. A government can increase freedom for individuals by mandating that entities do or refrain from certain activities. For example, a senior level of government can mandate that public education offered at the local level be available to everyone. The people's freedom to get an education is increased, even though the local government is not free to discriminate.
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That doesn't matter. The government, regardless of whether or not companies asked, has built or assumed control of that infrastructure.

Example being the radio spectrum. The government just assumed control and regulation of it. So the fact that companies are using a "public resource" is irrelevant, because the government just took control of it and made it public. They don't have a choice.
Well, technically speaking The People took control of the public airwaves for themselves, and mandated the government to manage it for the benefit of the public. Fees paid by the private broadcasters benefit the public, and the management of the airwaves ensures that no single company can monopolize the airwaves. At least in theory.
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Just so I can nip this in the bud. I'm not a republican, don't like them, never have, never will. So there's no need for any sort of comment like this directed toward me. I won't respond to it because it doesn't apply to me.
Never said you were. We have clashed words before, and iirc you are more Libertarian [rebel]. However, your words in this thread are implying that corporations should have similar rights as individuals. I don't know if that is how you feel, but that is what your arguments are implying. And that kind of thinking tends to be held by the rightwing. And - Republicans do not hold the monopoly on rightwing political thinking.

NOTE: It seems I initially used an insulting term in the last paragraph - now replaced with 'Rebel'. I apologize for this. It was term I had grown up that meant someone who was a rebel. I should have checked to see if it still meant this before using the term. It now means something very different and insulted eric/. I apologize to eric/. I meant no disrespect.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 04:29 PM   #156
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Fire fighters, paramedics, police, water services (in many areas), sewer services (in many areas), roads (and the maintenance thereof), power (if your service is provided by a government or quasi government entity), by-law enforcement officers (though usually you want them visiting your neighbours and not you ), victim services (if you have been a victim of crime), health care support workers (if you have a temporary health condition that prevents you from leaving your home), child protection services (not implying it applies in your case), bailiffs/sheriffs to serve warrants (hopefully on your behalf and not to you), transit services for the handicapped, etc etc etc
But none of those are regular services, all are emergency. Frankly, if your house burns down and you live 150 miles away from some town or whatever, you're not getting a fire truck.

SO what you are saying, is already the case. If you live too far away, there isn't much they can do.

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I said: "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."

You said that was a "slippery slope".

And I agreed with that...

And then you said "Slippery slope is a fallacy"

Which appeared to me contradict what you were saying earlier... so when you get it sorted out, let me know.
No it doesn't. A slippery slope is a fallacy. So when I say "that's a slippery slope" it means, that you're making an informal logical mistake.

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And then you
They are owned by some people (not The People) and they do not exist to provide services to The People - they exist to make a profit for some people, who may not even belong to The People.
Ok

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I will say this again, in a different way then. A government can increase freedom for individuals by mandating that entities do or refrain from certain activities. For example, a senior level of government can mandate that public education offered at the local level be available to everyone. The people's freedom to get an education is increased, even though the local government is not free to discriminate.
Right, so it's an oxymoron.

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Well, technically speaking The People took control of the public airwaves for themselves, and mandated the government to manage it for the benefit of the public. Fees paid by the private broadcasters benefit the public, and the management of the airwaves ensures that no single company can monopolize the airwaves. At least in theory.
And how does this dispute what I said? You're making a nebulous distinction by referring to the government as "the people".
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 04:49 PM   #157
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But none of those are regular services, all are emergency.
A few on my list were emergency, but most weren't.
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Frankly, if your house burns down and you live 150 miles away from some town or whatever, you're not getting a fire truck.
Maybe or Maybe not a firetruck. But I would expect an ambulance. I'd expect the road to be maintained. Though, I agree that it would not be reasonable to expect a road to be built to me just because I chose a remote location. I would expect police services in case of an emergency. A few other services of an urgent nature as well, perhaps. Depending on where one was. That is all assuming that no one else lives within 150 miles of me. If there are a few people clustered together, then all sorts of other government services are offered.
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SO what you are saying, is already the case. If you live too far away, there isn't much they can do.
Depends on what is being done.
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No it doesn't. A slippery slope is a fallacy. So when I say "that's a slippery slope" it means, that you're making an informal logical mistake.
No... a slippery slope is not a fallacy.
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Ok



Right, so it's an oxymoron.
No. But for some it appears to be counter-intuitive.
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And how does this dispute what I said? You're making a nebulous distinction by referring to the government as "the people".
I was making the distinction between companies and people. The government is created by people, and is supposed to work for their benefit - not the benefit of companies. Your argument was, in my opinion, getting perilously close to claiming that companies were people.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 05:41 PM   #158
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A few on my list were emergency, but most weren't.
If you live that far away you don't get water or sewage anyway. So?

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Maybe or Maybe not a firetruck. But I would expect an ambulance. I'd expect the road to be maintained. Though, I agree that it would not be reasonable to expect a road to be built to me just because I chose a remote location. I would expect police services in case of an emergency. A few other services of an urgent nature as well, perhaps. Depending on where one was. That is all assuming that no one else lives within 150 miles of me. If there are a few people clustered together, then all sorts of other government services are offered.
But they are emergency services. That's the key difference.

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Depends on what is being done.
Anything that is an emergency will be over by the time they get there.

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No... a slippery slope is not a fallacy.
yes. yes it is.

If A, then B, then C, then D then ..... Z
Not Z.
So not A

That's what your argument is. It's a fallacy.

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No. But for some it appears to be counter-intuitive.
Ok. Define freedom then. Simple definition. Because we can't discuss this if we're not talking about the same thing.

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I was making the distinction between companies and people. The government is created by people, and is supposed to work for their benefit - not the benefit of companies. Your argument was, in my opinion, getting perilously close to claiming that companies were people.
Companies are collections of people. There are owners for private companies.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 07:07 PM   #159
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....
I'm not going to get into a 'logic' and 'semantics' argument. You don't use the Post Office, and therefore you want to do away it since you feel - to paraphrase - government services should be minimized and run efficiently as measured by the same tools used to measure the free market. I feel that the whole point of a government is to provide services that for various reasons should not be left to the free market.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 09:14 PM   #160
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I'm not going to get into a 'logic' and 'semantics' argument. You don't use the Post Office, and therefore you want to do away it since you feel - to paraphrase - government services should be minimized and run efficiently as measured by the same tools used to measure the free market. I feel that the whole point of a government is to provide services that for various reasons should not be left to the free market.
I use the post office all the time for packages.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 09:46 PM   #161
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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?
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Oh, well you shouldn't. At least for me. Sometimes I like to play devils advocate.
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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?
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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.
So, wait...we can only learn your position based on what is provided in each individual thread? We can't look at the fact that you are an anti-government super-liberty anarchist in other threads and apply that to any other discussion? Well, now a whole lot of things make a whole lot more sense. So now that I know that we have to rediscover your entire position in each individual thread and whittle down the details each time, I think I can safely say that there's no point.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 10:16 PM   #162
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I'm sad to see the Post Office, an institution older than our Constitution, get gutted the way it has mostly for the purpose of busting unions.
You should see some of the processing centers. A lot of them are in old run down warehouses, using illegal Mexicans, hired by temp agencies. No unions in these places.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:18 PM   #163
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I'm sad to see the Post Office, an institution older than our Constitution, get gutted the way it has mostly for the purpose of busting unions.

Damn Bush and all his right-wing cronies who siphoned money out of the Post Office by requiring it to pay $5 billion per year into a pension plan for people who aren't even born yet.... seriously?
That's the responsible way to run a business. Not some evil scheme to ruin the post office.

"The purpose of busting unions" ? How about: the purpose of making a humorously expensive waste of money eventually profitable
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:20 PM   #164
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That's the responsible way to run a business. Not some evil scheme to ruin the post office.

"The purpose of busting unions" ? How about: the purpose of making a humorously expensive waste of money eventually profitable


What Kool Aid did you drink?

So you think that gutting the Post Office by forcing the establishment to pay $5 billion per year for 10 years into a pension fund for people who aren't even born yet, something that no other government department or private business has ever done, is "a responsible way to run business"?

Don't you realize that this action is both illogical and contradictory? This is nothing more than a solution that's looking for a problem, it's not efficient. How is doing this "a responsible way to run a business"? Where is the responsibility if the money that's collected is just sitting into a fund that isn't being used and not stimulating the current economy?

If you want to talk about irresponsible spending, how about running up huge debts on the country's credit card by starting two endless wars and refusing to pay for it when the bill comes? This of course coming from the Republican side of the isle!
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:55 AM   #165
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That's the responsible way to run a business. Not some evil scheme to ruin the post office.

"The purpose of busting unions" ? How about: the purpose of making a humorously expensive waste of money eventually profitable
What loses money for the post office are all the small post offices and rural delivery in rural America. Yes, the post office could shut all those offices and so on-- after all, Starbucks doesn't waste money delivering hot coffee to people who live 30 miles from the nearest big town or large commercial center.

But, in many of these locations, that Post Office is the only Federal Government presence for miles around. It isn't necessarily a bad thing for people in rural areas to be reminded every day or two that they are part of the United States. Maybe that is why the Post Office was written into the Constitution (before the Bill of Rights was added), no doubt at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, and it was understood then as now that rural mail delivery was a money-loser.

IF the Post Office is no longer useful, THEN, let's get rid of it. But, IF the Post Office is still useful, but, rural customers have to be subsidized, THEN so be it. That is a social service that the Framers intended the Federal Government to provide-- it wasn't assumed to be a profitable business in 1787 either.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:02 PM   #166
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What loses money for the post office are all the small post offices and rural delivery in rural America. Yes, the post office could shut all those offices and so on-- after all, Starbucks doesn't waste money delivering hot coffee to people who live 30 miles from the nearest big town or large commercial center.

But, in many of these locations, that Post Office is the only Federal Government presence for miles around. It isn't necessarily a bad thing for people in rural areas to be reminded every day or two that they are part of the United States. Maybe that is why the Post Office was written into the Constitution (before the Bill of Rights was added), no doubt at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, and it was understood then as now that rural mail delivery was a money-loser.

IF the Post Office is no longer useful, THEN, let's get rid of it. But, IF the Post Office is still useful, but, rural customers have to be subsidized, THEN so be it. That is a social service that the Framers intended the Federal Government to provide-- it wasn't assumed to be a profitable business in 1787 either.
if the concern is providing federal government services, that could be provided without the need for a post office
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:42 PM   #167
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if the concern is providing federal government services, that could be provided without the need for a post office
Why not? The office and the employees are already there. I wonder if the USPS is getting reimbursed by the other Federal departments for the shelf space? For instance is the State Department paying the USPS to display passport applications? Is the IRS paying for the tax forms?

A model we've adopted up here in the GWN... mostly at the Provincial level there is also a Federal presence. In my community there is a Service BC office. And if you need something from the Province or Federal government, besides a driver's license, this is where you go. Name changes, Vital stats, Property tax issues, Federal forms, Pensions, Sales taxes, Fishing licenses (provincial or federal), Hunting licenses, Corporate applications, etc etc ... a hundred or so services. Often you can apply in person, at the counter, instead of having to fill in a form and send it off.

So, if the USPS office is already there, and there are already staff... why not train 'em up have them become a single source for all government services? Oh, and they can also deliver the mail too. At that point the delivery portion of the expenses should be pretty minimal. I think that model goes a long way to fulfilling the original intent of the USPS - a federal government presence - created when there was very little US federal government. Now that there is lot more of it (for better or for worse) the USPS could adapt and continue it's original function of being a federal presence. Maybe. Look north... sometime we do actually get some things right.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 02:04 PM   #168
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Doesn't the USPS already not deliver mail one day during the week? It seems that way in our area - one day during the week the postal worker is not around (and that day may vary). Now they're adding Saturdays for no mail? So it's mail only four days a week? Am I mistaken?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 02:22 PM   #169
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Doesn't the USPS already not deliver mail one day during the week? It seems that way in our area - one day during the week the postal worker is not around (and that day may vary). Now they're adding Saturdays for no mail? So it's mail only four days a week? Am I mistaken?
They currently deliver every day but Sunday
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:05 AM   #170
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So, if the USPS office is already there, and there are already staff... why not train 'em up have them become a single source for all government services? Oh, and they can also deliver the mail too. At that point the delivery portion of the expenses should be pretty minimal. I think that model goes a long way to fulfilling the original intent of the USPS - a federal government presence - created when there was very little US federal government. Now that there is lot more of it (for better or for worse) the USPS could adapt and continue it's original function of being a federal presence. Maybe. Look north... sometime we do actually get some things right.
Actually, that is a great idea. For some of the examples that you give, in the U.S. these are done at the state level. But, one thing that is not that has small offices all over -- Social Security. Excellent idea to combine them-- the first tier of Social Security service is pretty basic-- the hard stuff gets sent back to a regional center. Social Security and Post Office would be a good fit.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 11:51 AM   #171
iMikeT
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Why not? The office and the employees are already there. I wonder if the USPS is getting reimbursed by the other Federal departments for the shelf space? For instance is the State Department paying the USPS to display passport applications? Is the IRS paying for the tax forms?

A model we've adopted up here in the GWN... mostly at the Provincial level there is also a Federal presence. In my community there is a Service BC office. And if you need something from the Province or Federal government, besides a driver's license, this is where you go. Name changes, Vital stats, Property tax issues, Federal forms, Pensions, Sales taxes, Fishing licenses (provincial or federal), Hunting licenses, Corporate applications, etc etc ... a hundred or so services. Often you can apply in person, at the counter, instead of having to fill in a form and send it off.

So, if the USPS office is already there, and there are already staff... why not train 'em up have them become a single source for all government services? Oh, and they can also deliver the mail too. At that point the delivery portion of the expenses should be pretty minimal. I think that model goes a long way to fulfilling the original intent of the USPS - a federal government presence - created when there was very little US federal government. Now that there is lot more of it (for better or for worse) the USPS could adapt and continue it's original function of being a federal presence. Maybe. Look north... sometime we do actually get some things right.
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Actually, that is a great idea. For some of the examples that you give, in the U.S. these are done at the state level. But, one thing that is not that has small offices all over -- Social Security. Excellent idea to combine them-- the first tier of Social Security service is pretty basic-- the hard stuff gets sent back to a regional center. Social Security and Post Office would be a good fit.


I've been advocating adding federal level services like these to the Post Office earlier in this thread. What many people don't realize is that the Post Office is an arm of the Federal Government that all ready exists in many places throughout the country, even in the most hard to reach places very few people live in and even travel to.

Just a heads up, the person you replied to throws out blurbs that have no substance promoting a shutdown of the Post Office based off his libertarian idiotology. I've asked him several times as to why the Post Office should be shut down and he has never replied. So just be careful with him baiting you into answering him because I've found the circular arguments to be nothing more than a waste of time.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:21 PM   #172
snberk103
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I've been advocating adding federal level services like these to the Post Office earlier in this thread.
Yep, I agree. They could even go further and the USPS could contract to offer state level services as well, in the same office. The USPS gets revenue for providing a service and the state saves money by not having to run and staff an office in a remote location.
Canada had to deal with its runaway deficits a number of years ago, and we came up with some innovative solutions... like creating these combo offices that combine two levels of government services into one office. Saves a huge amount of money, and actually improves government services. Once there is an office in place, the cost to have the staff act as a portal to other services is minimal.
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...

Just a heads up, the person you replied to throws out blurbs that have no substance promoting a shutdown of the Post Office based off his libertarian idiotology.....
Who? eric/? Oh eric/ and I go way back.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 12:28 PM   #173
FreemanW
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Congress, in all of their infinite wisdom, forced USPS to fund their pensions 70 years ahead. So right now, they're paying for the pensions of employees who haven't been born yet. That's why they're struggling.
Q F T & J

The wife and I are self-employed. We receive client cheques in the mail.

The population of the United States is so utterly programmed and conditioned so as to be willfully ignorant.

Cows on their way to the slaughter house are smarter than the American voter.

Unlike any of the competing delivery services (UPS, FedEx, etc.) the USPS is required to deliver to any and all addresses in the US.

The USPS should begin charging fair market value to all of the corporations and junk-mail-marketing instead of providing taxpayer funded welfare in the form of "Bulk Rate" junk-mail.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:27 PM   #174
iMikeT
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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
Yep, I agree. They could even go further and the USPS could contract to offer state level services as well, in the same office. The USPS gets revenue for providing a service and the state saves money by not having to run and staff an office in a remote location.
Canada had to deal with its runaway deficits a number of years ago, and we came up with some innovative solutions... like creating these combo offices that combine two levels of government services into one office. Saves a huge amount of money, and actually improves government services. Once there is an office in place, the cost to have the staff act as a portal to other services is minimal.

That's exactly it. The infrastructure is all ready there so the cost of reorganization is very minimal. And consolidating government services by expanding the amount of locations will both save money and make money in the long term.


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Who? eric/? Oh eric/ and I go way back.

I won't say any names due to it being reported to the mods and resulting in me getting a warning. I'll just leave you with this,
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:00 PM   #175
haxrnick
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Completely mind boggling that a Government run entity is going belly-up. Thank God they are handling our healthcare now to fix that.
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