Readers write in about Sarah Palin, the US Postal Service, Ayn Rand, and patent reform.
Yes, we can get along
I read with appreciation your recent commentary “Palin’s populism may sell books, but it won’t rebuild GOP.” What is noteworthy about my confession is that I am a liberal. It is not an exaggeration to say that I was overjoyed with the election of Barack Obama.
My community in Minnesota is more or less evenly divided politically. Yet we manage to live peaceably enough and sometimes even cross party lines and become friends.
Patrick N. Allit’s commentary helped me to believe, if just for a moment, that the Republicans he was speaking of might be men and women who could find common ground to solve the problems of the day with liberals like me.
My ardent wish is that a leader will emerge who will do this for us. In fact, I believe he already has.
Marine on Saint Croix, Minn.
US mail and jobs
In regard to the editorial “Best wishes for the postal service”: The US Postal Service does have the problems indicated in the editorial, but as many people do, the editorial attempts to compare the postal service to the private delivery companies, which is misleading.
The work of delivering mail to every address in the US six days per week has been refused by private carriers who can choose what areas they wish to serve, and deliver to far fewer addresses.
There is a big difference in delivering packages from a truck to a few addresses and delivering letter mail by foot to every address. Also there are many postal regulations that must be followed for different classes of mail.
The US Postal Service is a service industry, not a manufacture industry, so the labor costs are high.
There is truth that the unions are inflexible, but management has been as well.
In the 17 years I delivered mail, I cannot recall any concerted action by management to find out from their line workers where they were losing money and running into overtime.
Often the management directives caused more overtime, and even failed to take into account that mail carriers work outdoors exposed to weather.
Blaming one party for all the financial costs is not going to solve the problems.
I find it ironic, at a time when the media quote statistics on the gap between rich and poor growing and the loss of jobs, that the unions are blamed and a five-day delivery week is proposed.
That means some letter carriers would lose their jobs.
Shouldn’t the question be, why aren’t all laboring Americans enjoying fair pay and benefits such as exist in other nations?
Retired US Postal worker