I’ve just completed a thorough update of the shop contents, primarily to adjust postage amounts to match the recent rate increases. The results are pretty grim: I’m sure the U.S. Postal Service has effectively killed off my overseas business. The enormous jump in international rates is completely ridiculous. No doubt small, independent businesses all over the country are being hurt by this. I can’t put the entire blame on the USPS, however: it’s run by morons, but the real problem comes from interference by private business interests like Pitney Bowes, who have been working to force the Postal Service into bankruptcy so it can be privatised and made into a substantial source of income for their executives — to the detriment of the rest of us, as usual. For those of you who are interested, here are a few articles that explain the issue:
LA Times – Be Wary of Talk About Privatizing the Post Office
People’s World – Pitney Bowes Pays Lawmakers to Push Privatizing Post Office
Truthout – Postal Workers: The Last Union
The Brad Blog – U.S. Postal Service Victimized by GOP Privatization Scheme
It frustrates and angers me beyond expression to have to watch yet another essential public service be destroyed, just so a load of degraded sociopaths that already have more money than they can use will be able to line their pockets with even more. Health care and most public transit systems are already down the toilet, and the postal system is lined up to follow. It’s perfectly clear how much harm to the public with be inflicted as a result, but nothing is being done to remedy it; yet more proof (in any were needed) that this country has hardly anything to do with any real notion of a democratic system.
I’m not yet sure how I should handle this problem. I certainly can’t blame UK & European customers for not wanting to pay double the cost for everything (I wouldn’t be able to afford it, myself).