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Recently the BDN noted that Maine has joined 19 other states to protest the current slow-down of mail delivery. This is long overdue.
An efficient and honest national postal service is an important mark of a modern nation-state. Benjamin Franklin was our first postmaster general and was a member of the president’s Cabinet, as were the secretary of war (now defense), secretary of state, etc. The Postal Service was expected to be honest and efficient, but was no more expected to make a profit than was the Navy.
Some years ago the Postal Service was downgraded from Cabinet level and was, in my opinion, deliberately constrained by Congress with profit and pension requirements so as to enable profit-making corporations such as FedEx, Amazon and UPS to take over much of its function for their private profit. The Postal Service has suffered ever since, with rate increases, lower service, and budget crises.
The Postal Service should be restored to its original Cabinet-level status. We should recognize how it represents us abroad and how it serves us in every corner of the United States. Just as we ask the Navy to serve us efficiently but not for profit, so should we demand a postal service that is efficient and whose properly paid and equipped personnel represent the United States at its best.
John Ashby Morton
Little Deer Isle
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