The U.S. Postal Service’s decision to eliminate Saturday delivery could disproportionally hurt minority groups, according to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee.
“You’re talking about just this reduction … from six days to five days will cut anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000 employees. And with regard to Asian, African-Americans, and Hispanics, they comprise about 40 percent of the Postal Service employees,” Cummings told Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC Friday night. “So it’s logical to believe if they were to lose that 30,000 jobs, easily 40 percent of them would be African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans.”
So is it racist to cut jobs in an organization that disproportionately employs minorities or is it racist to even have an organization that disproportionately supports minorities?
Should we continue maintaining a massive organization that has a diminishing function in the age of the internet simply because it disproportionately employs minorities?
If telegraph operators were primarily minorities then should the United States have kept the telegraph going indefinitely? What about the Pony Express? Are we headed toward some strange Sung Dynasty setup where completely outmoded organizations are maintained forever because of custom?
Maybe we can racially transition the Post Office by insuring that email providers are forced to hire 40 percent minorities?
“The Postal Service’s declining mail volume poses a significant challenge, and the enactment of comprehensive postal reform legislation must be an urgent priority for the current Congress,” Cummings said. “However, the issue of service delivery frequency should be addressed in that legislation rather than through arbitrary action by the Postal Service.”
It’s not a challenge, it’s a reality. Cummings, like most Democrats doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t change the world with legislation.
Cummings also pointed out that 40 percent of postal employees are female and warned that many are single mothers.
“So you have a lot of women, many of whom are single women — head of household, and they depend upon that decent wage, decent working conditions and benefits to take care of their families,” he said. “So, yes, it would have a devastating effect in an economy that is already very, very fragile.”
So what exactly are we supposed to do about that?
Tax single mothers who are in the private workforce to subsidize a government workforce for other single mothers?
Cummings admitted the service was struggling because more and more people were using the internet, and said “some downsizing” was necessary to match reality but that “there are all kinds of ways to achieve this without necessarily going through drastic measures.”
In an amazing moment, Cummings has actually conceded the existence of a thing known as REALITY and even acknowledged the existence of the internet. And his plan for staying ahead of Reality?
“Basically, what the Congress needs to do is do a comprehensive bill whereby we have what we call an innovation officer, which is my idea. And that person would keep the Post Office as cutting edge of innovation and bringing in new ways to of making money,” he said.
Right. The solution to an agency whose model is outmoded is to hire an “innovation officer” who will innovate. Perhaps this Innovation Officer will call up Al Gore and together they’ll invent the internet, patent it and make everyone pay money to use it and that money will go to subsidize the Post Office’s workforce of Eskimo single mothers.
“The other thing we`re going to have to do is we are going to have to do some downsizing. But when we downsize, we have to downsize with compassion. Keep in mind we have more than 100,000 people that are right now eligible to retire. And what we have to do now is make sure that they have a decent parachute to land. In other words, to give them some incentive money so they can go ahead and retire, and so that we can right-size the Post Office.”
Compassion is nice. Compassion sounds good. But do people in the private sector also get this compassion and why should they be on the hook to pay for the Cummings compassion toward an outmoded organization whose employees benefit from ridiculously generous benefits?