It is still not well known but what we grew up with as the Post Office DEPARTMENT of Government is now called the “Postal Service Corporation”. The head of this Corporation is not the Postmaster General but is called a CEO. The last one “retired” with a severance package of $ 1.3 MILLION. Department heads DO NOT get Government retirements of over a MILLION DOLLARS!
Recently the Postal Corporation let it be known that Saturday service would be discontinued by August of this year. Several “pilot programs” have been initiated wherein “customers” (what we used to call citizens when we had a democracy) will be required to pick up their mail at the postal corporation stations. Within several years these pilots will be applied nationally. Of course, this won’t apply to BUSINESS customers who will continue to receive office deliveries (You know who owns the Government, don’t you).
Year by year, station by station, the postal staff and letter carriers will be laid off and “temps”, short-termers and contract workers will take their place. Meanwhile, the for-profit carriers will up their prices and takeover the market completely, as was the purpose of this little experiment in privatization.
Public schools are already under attack indeed public funds are being used to pay for-profits to takeover public schools, and discharge teachers, thoughout the country.
Public parks are being auctioned off.
Major Cities, including Chicago, have sold their parking meters to private for-profit companies.
Medicare is being nibbled into by profit companies. Twenty Percent of the Medicare market being given to private carriers and the pharmaceutical industry being guaranteed fully-paid research results AND top rates paid for out of public funds.
Publicly constructed roads are being turned into privately-operated tollways.
And the Military? The last bastion of governmental enterprise that would seem immune to privatization is gradually being shifted to mercenaries and private armies run by private corporations. There are more mercs in Afghanistan than G.I.s. Mess tents and latrines are privately owned and contracted out to the Pentagon by business interests who are paid far more than the buck privates who used to maintain these institutions.
There is a change in process. Democracy is being sold off. The idea of a Public Sphere is passe. Indeed major public buildings and facilities that in any other time would be named for a city or historical person are now subject to privately owned naming rights. Schoolbooks are being sponsored by private enterprise and approved by them before being distributed in the schools. We are branded, segmented and commercialized down to the marrow and the very concept of a Res Publica has been diminished into insignificance. It may be a New World Order, a Brave New World, or the latest version of a resuscitated Feudalism, but it is not Democracy.