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Don’t Shut Post Offices—Reinvent Them


#1

Don’t Shut Post Offices—Reinvent Them

Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein delivered the following remarks in Ottawa on February 29, at the Leap Day launch of Delivering Community Power, a proposal to turn postal offices into green community hubs to power Canada’s next economy. Leap Day is the official kickoff date for dozens of climate action and events already planned in Canada and around the world, which will take place throughout February and beyond.


#2

Love it.

Hope you have Trudeau's ear, Naomi.

Bernie, are you listening? :O) GOTV time.


#3

Ground zero message:

"What we are saying is that every new public dollar we spend has to do more than simply spur random economic activity."

Fiat usurious money is eating society alive while the bankers thrive.


#4

What a fantastic moment that gathering must have been. I wish I had been there.

Ms. Klein, you are one of the true heroes of today's progressivism. Thank you.

Six months ago we launched The Leap Manifesto, a bold proposal for how we can transition Canada off fossil fuels in a way that battles systemic inequalities. We called for a transition grounded in “caring for the planet and one another”—and this proposal from Canada’s postal workers turns that principle into a concrete vision for how to boldly retrofit one of our most ubiquitous and beloved brick-and-mortar institutions. (emphasis added)

A positive, "brick and mortar" solution for several of today's problems - that's just downright refreshing! If only somebody were advocating for it here in the U.S... Oh, right: Bernie is!

Sanders Promises to Break Up Big Banks, Tax Speculation, and Establish Postal Banking


#5

It is not about shutting the post office or privatizing it, it is about shutting down unions. People this is neoliberalism.


#6

Exactly. In the US, the political push was to build a retirement fund so big it includes employees that haven't even been born yet. Which has been done.

Okay, huge retirement fund. Now sell post office to oligarchs. Retirement fund relocated to Cayman Islands. Slash back employees. Gut the facilities. Outsource the job to Mexico.


#7

The first concern here should be environmental impact of using paper.

Very simple to get at 90% of this particular problem — Eliminate the subsidies on junk mail. Yes, reorganizing the post office will come next. First, lower the environmental harms. Now look at reducing the level of economic intensity per capita, which eliminating junk mail does by reducing artificial wants.

Dream big. Actually do something. Remove advertising from the business expense category. Money is free speech. Any corporatista who wants to compete with local business and word of mouth can put their money where their mouth is.

There is a long list of such steps waiting for seven branch real democracy. Enough to create huge numbers of good paying jobs that make money by saving it and Earth at the same time.


#8

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#9

I don't understand this comment. How does it intersect with "I’m delighted to be here today with my colleagues from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers,...?"


#10

How about the Post Office having a department to co-manage municipal broadband and email server with municipal government?


#11

I don't know... Do you think local services could possibly be as responsive as AT&T or Charter? :wink:

Kidding aside, that's a great idea - and Delivering Community Power is looking into it. Page eleven of their proposal, under the heading "Proven Models, Adapted for Our Needs," includes this listing: "POST ITALIANE provides e-commerce services for businesses.


#12

As opposed to what gold coins?


#13

That would be difficult to do for the post office since you need people in one physical location to store and deliver the mail. You can use automation to a certain extent but you still need facilities in america to ship mail and packages.


#14

Ralph Nader has been advocating for this transformation of post offices for several years now.


#15

The point about advertising is very interesting. It goes hand in hand with the domination model of constant expansion that is brittle and lacking agility to adapt to evolution. Most of my mail is junk promotion and it galls me to think of what the level of expected return is on the very expensive campaigns behind all of it.
The entire system is, ironically enough, glued together by voids of "externalized costs" - the term I hope most to see consigned to the dustbin of history.
Just in terms of paper - the Guarani in Brazil have had their lands in one state, like many many others, invaded by thousands of hectares of eucalyptus plantations that suck up ground water like a sponge, I saw a video years ago where one man took his machete and chopped one branch and said 'watch'... in a matter of seconds it began to drip water at a rate that was stunning.And the plantations are trying to get classified as "forests" to get in the Carbon market - its nuts. Another externalized cost like the devastation of biodiversity, poisoning with agrochemicals, the impoverishment of the local communities, for tons of ... toilet paper and such. It really is mad.
By the same token each problem is a window onto an entire universe of possible changes - thats what gives me hope. And many youngsters I've met are already turning their imaginations to completely rethinking ways of life - in positive creative directions.

Yes eliminate subsidies on junk mail. In the mean time I have a small box of wallpaper paste and am thinking about turning all the junk mail back into shelves, bowls, sculpture ....


#16

I didn't know Ralph supported it. Good to know. Thanks. (I pretty much lost touch with him after my GP chapter succumbed to internecine warfare, post-Campaign 2000.)

Senator Warren is a promoter, too. It's a new issue for me, but the potential benefits for under-served people sound enormous. When I was looking it up, I found a Nation article that gives a good "picture" of how helpful it could be.


#17

100% agreement here, with this proviso: Before that deserved and desired consignment occurs, I expect that a lot of exposure is going to be necessary. So much successful externalization happens, I fear, because the deed so easily "falls through the cracks." I, for one, will be grateful if you are willing to point it out any time you perceive it. I'll try to help...


#19

Because "it" in 1950s comment refers to the privatization and elimination that's been going on. Not to the Union proposal that Klein is talking about.


#20

China Miéville analyzes this point in "Un Lun Dun" and summarized it with the formula; E = A. I have put several years into this innocent little equation and have found it also holds for both the first and second derivatives (mathematically and on wall street).

E = A , Effluence = Affluence; this is the most profound economic law ever discovered.

Corporations do not actually earn a profit, that is why they are so difficult to compete with. Corporations own all the governments and have written E = A into laws and international treaties.

Mere mortals spread a little trash and they are quickly dealt with by the corporate government. Corporations spew tons of cancer causing chemicals into air and water and are given financial credits plus the money they slyly refer to as profit — though it is actually the money saved by avoiding cleanliness and poisoning humans.

E = A is the fundamental underpinning of modern wealth and enforcement of austerity on every living cell on Earth.


#21

I do love coherence of discourse - and the sum of coherent synchronicity being greater than its parts. Thank you for introducing that equation here. Hope you do so again, early and often. I had never heard about it, though I think most if not all of us intuit it to some degree. Good to have sound grist for the mill.