What do the billionaire Koch brothers, whose money fueled the war against public workers in Wisconsin, have to do with postal reform? Why does the consulting firm of McKinsey & Co—in the news recently because of its controversial study on Obama’s health care plan—play a part in the Postal Service’s plans to close post offices? How have conservative think tanks contributed to the yammer to privatize the Postal Service? Where do opponents of the post office, like the Tea Party and Congressmen Darrel Issa and Dennis Ross, get their support?
You can’t tell the players without a scorecard, so we’ve prepared a “Who’s Who in the Great Postal Service Debate” to help keep track of what’s going on.
But this is not a game being played for fun. The livelihood of postal workers is threatened, and there are hundreds of small towns and neighborhoods suffering the loss of their post offices. A legacy of brick-and-mortar post offices that took two centuries to build may be dismantled in a matter of two or three years. Historic buildings that belong to the American public are being auctioned off—in the middle of a real estate slump. And humble little post offices, which cost next to nothing to maintain or lease, are being closed down to save a few dollars.
Click here to go the Who’s Who page. The list is just a beginning. We’ll add more names as the days and weeks go by. The debate over the future of the Postal Service has been going on for years, but with thousands of post offices potentially on the chopping block, it’s really just getting started.