Congress Brings 'Atlas Shrugged' To America With This New Bill

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

It was known as Directive 10-289, and it was the government’s last-ditch, desperate effort to control the collapsing economy.

The President, along with some of his senior advisors at the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources, all widely agreed that the only way out of the crisis was expand government power.

The directive was passed quickly, and among its key provisions:

“Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment. . ."

 

“Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business. . .”

If you’re searching through your favorite news feed right now wondering why you haven’t heard of Directive 10-289, it’s because the law is fictitious. It’s part of the story from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

At that part in the book, the economy was in a full blown crisis.

The government had engineered one emergency after another, and their only idea to ‘fix’ things was to award themsleves even more power and control over the economy… specifically to freeze everything in place.

No one could be fired or quit his/her job. And no business could stop working. It didn’t matter how much money they were losing.

Crazy idea, right? This could never happen in reality… at least not in the West. It sounds like something straight out of the Soviet Union– forcing unprofitable companies to stay in business.

*  *  *

Enter H.R. 5445, the “Postal Jobs Protection Act of 2014″.

I was utterly stunned when I read this. The meat of the bill consists of just 26 words:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no mail processing facility operating as of September 1, 2014, may be closed or consolidated prior to December 31, 2015.”

Let that sink in a minute: they want to pass a law to ensure that NO US postal center can be shut down through the end of next year.

For the sake of context, let’s walk through the numbers.

In its most recent quarter, the US Postal Service lost a massive $1.9 BILLION. That’s far worse than the $699 million loss they rack up over the same quarter last year.

And so far this fiscal year, USPS has lost over $4 billion.

What’s more– the post office has maxed out its $15 billion credit line. They have almost no liquidity left to continue financing operations, they’re not profitable, and they have no capacity left to borrow more money in order to plug the shortfall.

Perhaps most alarming is that, according to the US Postal Service’s own financial statements, its NET worth (i.e. assets minus liabilities) is NEGATIVE $44 billion.

This doesn’t happen by accident. And it’s not the result of some temporary downturn. It takes years… decades of mismanagement and structural issues to reach this point.

Just for kicks, I compared 2-day shipping rates among major carriers in the US for a simple envelope package.

FedEx: $25.12
UPS: $24.16

And the US Postal Service? $5.05 if I order online.

Duh. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the problem here.

Bear in mind that FedEx and UPS are, you know, profitable, earning $3.3 billion and $6.7 billion in pretax income, respectively. (And they each paid an effective tax rate of more than 35%.)

Curiously, when I was in Ethiopia a few weeks ago, there was an article in the local paper there about how profitable the Ethiopian postal service had become.

I mean– postal services around the world have the same problems. A place like Ethiopia has a massive rural population, and it costs a lot to maintain those small offices. Everyone face rising fuel costs and declining volume.

Yet even in Ethiopia they’ve figured it out. They know they can’t continuously run an unprofitable operation, so they reinvent the business model. That’s life.

In fairness, the Postal Service knows what to do. They’re at the end of their rope. And if they’re going to survive, they need to raise revenue and cut costs dramatically.

This includes the uncomfortable prospect of laying off employees and closing down unprofitable processing centers.

But Congress doesn’t want that. And they’re lifting legislation directly from the pages of Atlas Shrugged to ensure the post office keeps operating at a loss.

This is yet another example of incredibly dangerous central planning being planned, proposed, or in progress in the Land of the Free.

Can you see where this trend is going?

*  *  *

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spinone's picture

Congress wants to bankrupt the post office and outsouce mail delivery to Fed Ex, who will promptly raise prices to $2 a stamp.

WayBehind's picture

FedEx, UPS or USPS? Phew, I will go with Amazon same day free drone delivery for my purchases 

Slave's picture

Post Office bailouts incoming.

NemoDeNovo's picture

Hey what's a bailout here a bailout there, ya know its da 'meriKa way.....Got EBT?

The9thDoctor's picture

If American Mail Letter Company were in still in business, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

RafterManFMJ's picture

...lost a massive $1.9 BILLION.

 

A rounding error to this Keynesian Freakshow.

Osmium's picture

Exactly.  How many hours of QE is 1.9 billion?

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Running a postal service is one of the few powers specifically enumerated to the federal government by the constitution.

The federal government is an incompetent piece of shit.

BlindMonkey's picture

"The federal government is an incompetent piece of shit."

Really? Come on man. You know they do something right. There is always.....damn. I got nothing.

The Doofus's picture

I believe in government handouts.  Why the hell not?  Uncle Sam is giving the richest men in the world access to free money? What?  He can't cover my medical bills, too?

sleigher's picture

Finally made it back 'eh?  Didn't see you for a few days there.  Were you busy with the children of the rice or whatever you call them?  Should I go read to find out or has every day been the same since I read 1 year ago?  

Croesus's picture

@ Simon Black: 

The only reasons the USPS is ANY financial trouble at all: 

1. They are the only government organization that needs to pre-fund their pension program. 

2. They have 207 VP's. 

Consolidating mail centers is basically a cost-cutting measure, and the real point of the law is about appeasing the postal worker's union, THAT'S IT. 

 

 

giggler321's picture

...

3. The Fountainhead was better than Alas Shrugged

 

Wonder what's gonna happen before 31st of Dec./2015 and after that date it does not matter?

Tunga's picture

Return receipts via Certified US Mail are the mainstay of Tunga's attack on the private collection service known as the IRS.

Court documents prove the IRS is not a department or Angency of the US Goverment.

The Secretary of Internal Revenue is officed in the Treasury Department of the State of Puerto Rico. Her name is Melba Acosta Febo and Tunga has her by the short hairs due to the judicious use of those little green chits delivered only by the US Postal service.

Congress can't ditch the PO nor should they. The future of the free world depends on them.

surf0766's picture

What is the federal Financing Bank for $600?

SamuelMaverick's picture

The Post Office is not losing money. They are being forced to pre fund their retirement funds to the tune of a few billion. Fucking FEDEX gets some of their deliveries contracted out to the Postal Service.

       Get your facts straight Simon.

 

            Maverick

ThroxxOfVron's picture

"Fucking FEDEX gets some of their deliveries contracted out to the Postal Service."

Fascism takes many guises.

CrazyCooter's picture

For fucks sake, all I want from my government is to deliver my mail and defend my borders and leave me the hell alone. I am getting EVERYTHING BUT THAT!

<wanders_off_mumbling/>

Regards,

Cooter

conscious being's picture

Deliver the mail, Defend the border and Leave me alone. DDL.

Rican's picture

FedEx already has "Federal" right there in the name. Like Federal Reserve!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Actually, Federal Express changed their name to FedEx many years ago.

surf0766's picture

Get your facts straight. The post office is tax payer money Piss off.  They should not have any pensions.

TheABaum's picture

Everybody "prefunds" their pensions. If they don't they go to prison for breach of fiduciary duty. Idiot.

WillyGroper's picture

Like Corzine.

eye dee ten tee

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

You made a funny joke! Nobody goes to prison for breach of fiduciary duty, haven't you heard?

TheABaum's picture

Hey do you morons know why there are NO defined benefit plans anymore? ERISA. Morons.

WillyGroper's picture

@Maverick,

UPS does the same. They are overloaded w/AMZN packages. 

Who gets the difference from the ass raping UPS/FDX charges when it's contracted to USPS? I have a friend who just got a "temp" rural route. I'm going to share what it's like to work in that gulag as a temp.

 


My first day responsible for the entire route lasted from getting up at 5:30 a.m. to finishing at the P.O. at 11 p.m. It was unreal. They had double the normal amount of mail for my route and according to the office manager wouldn't allow me to ask for help. 715 mailboxes, 61 miles, 8 long trays packed with regular mail plus about 20 boxes for which I had to get out of my vehicle. My Jeep was full. I would say up to a quarter of the mailboxes are mislabeled or not labeled at all which slowed me down. Also, the marking procedures for the box deliveries put them out of order (someone else did this for me). Next time, I'll be matching all markers with an address to look for on the box to speed up things a lot. I got a late start from the post office because I am so new to the sorting, 11:00 a.m., two hours behind everyone else. I did have some help with sorting at the end, but we are talking thousands of pieces of mail here for my route alone.

Most of the roads here are numbers, and they zigzag in and out on the route, so memorizing the locations for sorting is going to take a while. My regular route carrier is so concerned I may quit that she's volunteering to come in Saturday to help me even though the office manager and postmaster refuse to schedule official hours for her to help me. My parents think the expectations are unreal and that's why they're having such a hard time hiring people. They've been trying to fill 6 positions all summer, and so far I and another guy (whose family also works for USPS so he is using one of their right-hand-drive cars) am the only ones they have hired who didn't immediately quit. Now I understand why! 

withglee's picture

My clerk at our little post office is a "temp" ... going on 9 years.

bwh1214's picture

Hold on the sort facilities are government owned, hence they can close or keep them open if they wish.  An important part of our movement is not to reach, stay with the facts. This tyler is reaching beyond all measure.  There was plenty to write about without resorting to this dribble.

moneybots's picture

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no mail processing facility operating as of September 1, 2014, may be closed or consolidated prior to December 31, 2015.”

MontgomeryScott's picture

The U.S, Government considers the 'Postal Service' a 'Semi-Governmental Agency'. It was 'Privatized' in about 1970, as I recall. it USED to be called The United States Post Office (USPO vs. USPS).

A link:

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/consumerawareness/a/uspsabout.htm

FASCISM is the perfect merger of the Corporate and the State. Il Duche Benito Mussolini stated this, and it still stands as the best description.

IN OTHER WORDS: CONGRESS just stated that the American taxpayer SHALL BE LIABLE for the losses incurred by the USPS through AT LEAST DECEMBER 31, 2015.

I really DO feel sorry for the 'rural carriers' who actually do the work at long hours with RELATIVELY little pay and no support for vehicle breakdowns and such. They must provide THEIR OWN vehicles (usually only bought used after they have had the shit run out of them by the 'Service', because buying a NEW right-hand drive vehicle that is equipped to carry shitloads of mail costs a fucking small fortune). They don't get the full benefits package (which is, of course, the reason for all the losses to begin with). They sort, they drive, they find places on dirt roads that aren't marked, they do their own maintainence on their vehicles, they contract their own insurance... What can they get to drive? An old 'postal jeep' with a 2.5 liter Pontiac 'Iron Duke' (not really an 'Iron Duke', though, because the ORIGINAL was a 4-cylinder version of the old Chevy 230 CID 6-cylinder), or a so-called 'LLV' (they say it's a 'long-life vehicle, but all the mechanics working for the USPS called it a 'LOW-LIFE vehicle, and for good reason) with the same engine, or a fucking 2WD Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0 engine...

HOW DARE TYLER BRING UP THIS SUBJECT! (SARC)

Thom_333's picture

GPS...? Maybe that would help. It´s time you realize that the Postal Service only raison d´etre is helping out keeping tabs on who lives where to help facilitate the next SWAT raid.

HughAxton's picture

So they have to pre-pay their retirement obligations, and are therefore losing money....thus they are losing money.  At least they are honest, unlike every other public, private and great society retirement ponzi

Never One Roach's picture

It’s bad, yes, I know. But……………..instead of handing several Billions to Ukraine, Billions to Israel, Estonia, Egypt, Africa and a few hundred other countries, why not subsidize the postal service but beef up the work requirements like,” if you want to be a lazy good-for-nothing POS … You’re fired!

surf0766's picture

Yes  good idea. Stop making excuse where none of them are fired for performance

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

If you implemented work rules like that, you would lose 90% of government jobs overnight. It wouldn't much matter as most .gov jobs are nothing more than glorified Turd Counter jobs anyway. These people produce absolutely nothing of value.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Here's another clue:

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE UNIONS.

Try looking at the USPS as a perfect example.

JuliaS's picture

My friend working at a postal service brags about how easy the work is. She works at a distribution depot close to the airport. On stormy days when flights are suspended the whole department gets to play computer games and browse facebook, while getting paid... well... even when deliveries happen, that's also pretty much all they do, because the handling of mail is all automated. Fucking leeches!

And what is the reaction of my other friend to whom I relay the information? They want to know where to submit the resumes! Shame on you, people! Shame on you!

Bollixed's picture

Back in the day I lived right across the street from a local tavern. On any given day you could walk in the place and see a certain postal worker sitting at the bar from 2pm until 5pm. Every workday.

I worked out of my house back then and saw his postal jeep there everyday. So I asked him once 'what's up with that?' His reply was, 'he was finished with his route by 2pm and if he showed back up at the post office before 5pm they would know he was under-worked and would then add to his route'.

So three hours daily at the bar on company time took care of that...

MontgomeryScott's picture

A little too skinny, and the gap's a little to wide, in my personal opinion. Looking at the money tucked in, she also likes to show it to a few too many people. Not that I wouldn't look at it and other things... and enjoy it... but she needs to eat just a LITTLE more, and pick the one she shows it to.

Freddie's picture

There will be FREE delivery to all FEMA reducation camps plus free "meds."

MontgomeryScott's picture

AND, they FEDEX will subcontract the deliveries via USPS!

Going long on Glaxo-Smith-Kline... and expanding the portfolio to include FedEx and 'XE'...

tvdog's picture

Will I still be able to order medicine from India in FEMA camp?

surf0766's picture

Maybe they should not be wasting tax payer money funding their own fucking clothing line to sell to the masses.

Buck Johnson's picture

Yep, and Fed Ex is waiting in the shadows for the money to come.

 

 

Grumbleduke's picture

As far as I understand this story, your Postal Service has some constitutional protections and rights? Am I right?

So, get rid of an institution your founding fathers thought to be crucial. Postal fraud, anyone? And blackmailing corporations like FedEx or UPS should be a cakewalk (see: yahoo blackmailed with fines), it is not that easy with your postal service.

But maybe I'm wrong.

The9thDoctor's picture

Article 1 Section 8 gave the Congress way too much power.

Now they tax to death and use that revenue to provide welfare programs like EBT, WIC, Section 8, student loans, an all sorts of "general welfare"; they regulate commerce such as the stupid NFA laws; they setup a monopoly postal corporation which is highly inefficient. When someone like Lysander Spooner comes in with a more efficient model, he gets shut down.

The founding fathers weren't all in agreement, and most of them were displeased with the Constitution that is so idolized today.

I highly recommend the "Constitution Con" an essay by Michael Tsarion.

I butt heads with the "Constitutionalists" all of the time, because their "G.D. piece of paper" is just that. Congress, the President, and the 9 judges treat the Constitution the same way you guys followed underage drinking laws in college, and follow speed limits today.

Article 1 Section 8 was put in there to leave the gates wide open so the City of London could take over by stealth, because redcoats kept getting their officers taken out by riflemen. The pocket book is a much more effective method, to point where Americans think their monthly "mortgage" payment is an asset!

MontgomeryScott's picture

You might be correct on this one; HOWEVER:

Article One Section Eight charges Congress with the power 'To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;'. The 'Federal Reserve Act Of 1913' tried to usurp the Constitution (illegally, because changing the Constitution requires a Constitutional Convention). The SHEOPLE don't even fucking CARE, however.

You state that 'Article 1 Section 8 was put in there to leave the gates wide open so the City of London could take over by stealth, because redcoats kept getting their officers taken out by riflemen. The pocket book is a much more effective method, to point where Americans think their monthly "mortgage" payment is an asset!"

NO. You do NOT UNDERSTAND this matter at all. The FEDERAL RESERVE ACT is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and not REQUIRED TO BE OBEYED BY THE PEOPLE. This 'CONGRESS' has been breaking the SUPREME LAW since 1913. The FUCKING FEDERAL RESERVE ACT is what made the CITY the master; NOT Article 1 section 8!

Article 1, section 10, lays the gauntlet. "No State shall... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;". EVERY STATE GOVERNMENT has also been corrupted by Rothschild as well.

It's NOT the CONSTITUTION that's the problem. It's the CORRUPTION and LIES that surround and manipulate the uneducated MASSES perpetrated by the monied interests that bought politicians and the media; in order for the furtherance of the 'END-GAME' goal of obfuscating the TRUTH of the matter that is the TRUE CAUSE of the issue.

I didn't know that the Ninth Doctor was a JOEY ('Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo' was supposed to be a MALE!).

WHO TOLD YOU THE SHIT YOU POSTED, ANYWAY? Was it John Boehner?

 

Leraconteur's picture

So what? Who the hell uses stamps in 2015? Old ladies?\

If you want you can pay FedEx to deliver your Christmas Cards.