I want to ask you, at the next rally, how many of you can get one additional person? How many can get two? You get the idea? It’s got to be a momentum, growing and growing. Those of us back East, we look to Berkeley for leadership [applause].
So you saved this wonderful, majestic building, that’s got historic significance. The inheritance of Benjamin Franklin, who didn’t exactly think that after a couple centuries and a half the PO would mutate into Staples, or other big box stores where they want to have kiosks, and get rid of the local PO. There are 32,000 branches and central offices, more than Walmart and MacDonalds and a couple of other big chains combined. You’ve got 32,000 outlets, community outlets, non-profit outlets, gathering places, places where federal information about your needs and your rights can be posted, where people can talk things up, and meet, as well as get postal services. So this is not just a matter of stamps, or delivery on Saturday, important as that is. This is a fundamental institution that binds the country together. It can be updated, it can be freed from the shackles of UPS and FedEx and others who have made sure that the PO is prevented from delivering beer and wine, for example, and other things it can’t do to get revenue increases.
Now watch what happens when the myth, the propaganda of the collapsing PO, is exposed. The USPS is a public corporation. It’s the only major corporation in the US that is a creditor of Uncle Sam; a creditor of the US Treasury. Since it was established in 1970, it hasn’t received a penny in subsidy from the taxpayers. Very few people know that. In 2006, a Trojan Horse bill was passed through Congress that requires the PO to overpay – vastly overpay – for its pension benefits for which it has a $60 Billion outstanding credit to it from Uncle Sam, or the US Treasury. That’s where being a creditor. Of course, the US Treasury has already spent the money on wars, like supporting Israeli imperialism, or the military-industrial complex, and the F35, and the Trident submarines, which can blow up 200 cities per submarine, around the world in 45 minutes. They don’t have any money for the USPS, but they don’t need that money. They just need to repay the overpay on retiree benefits, and the huge overpay for health insurance. There’s no corporation in the country that is required by law to prepay 75 years in advance of health benefits. So, if you eliminate these prepays and get down to normal, crude accounting, the PO about breaks even. Can you imagine, even with the Recession, even with the internet, even with all the young people abandoning the PO, imagine if they would ever send a thank-you letter, by postage – they don’t even know what postage is – even with all that, according to the data, and Senator Bernie Sanders has put this out – go to his website – it’s about breaking even in the last 5-6 years, just about breaking even. So this is an exaggerated crisis, built in with Trojan Horses, in order to fulfill a number of purposes.
One is to deliver more business to the parasite private corporations. The second is to deliver real estate to the developers, and their brokers. This is not just a historic PO; this is a piece of valuable real estate. All over the country they want to convert, if they don’t knock them down, they’ll convert them into other commercial operations.