top of page

In Support of the United States Postal Service

My Aunt Tati is an incredibly talented artist. She makes beautiful artwork using paints and other mediums. A cosmetologist by trade, she has an eye for beauty and can see the potential in a blank canvas. She has spent months painting purses and pictures for my girls. On December 4th, 2020, she carefully packed everything up and mailed it through the United States Postal Service. A month later, it has yet to arrive.

Christmas presents that we ordered for our mothers were guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas. They both received their presents after the New Year.

A few months ago, we had a terrifying situation involving waiting for a package of medications. At the time, we would receive two of Maggie’s hard-to-find controlled-substances medications through two separate mail-order specialty pharmacies. These medications, at least in the form that she needed, was not available at local brick and mortar pharmacies, nor were they even available from the same mail-order specialty pharmacy. There was a delay in shipping, which meant we would have been out of the medication for a couple of days. For this particular seizure medication, the local pharmacy could provide it in pill form, but not a liquid suspension. Since they only had the name brand in stock, they could give us a couple of those pills to tide us over, but since the generic was released, our insurance would not cover it. I don’t remember the exact amount, but we spent a couple of hundred dollars on a handful of pills because of an avoidable mail delay. We’ve since switched her to pills and now receive that medicine in generic form from the local pharmacy, thankfully covered by insurance. If we were unable to find any sort of solution, we probably would’ve ended up in the emergency room with uncontrollable cluster seizures.

That situation in particular burns inside of me and fills me with anger and frustration. It was unnecessary and completely avoidable. It happened because of factors that are outside of my control, but certainly within the control of government officials who made decisions that led to delays and inefficiencies within the infrastructure of the post office.

A few months ago, one of my friends on FaceBook posted the following:

“The USPS is not a business, it is a service. Public health is a service. The military is a service. The FBI that investigates child trafficking and the prosecutors and judges who try perpetrators are services. No one bats an eye at the fact those things cost money. Mail is part of what makes our society and our democracy function. It is secure enough to send money, prescriptions, and tax information. Many people in the US - but especially people in rural areas - rely on the USPS for essential services and private companies won’t deliver there.

The USPS is an ESSENTIAL SERVICE, it is not a business. That doesn’t mean you can’t work to be more efficient, but it does mean that you shouldn’t cut necessary services to achieve that goal.”

I’m not a big government advocate. I don’t believe that government is responsible for my day-to-day life, but I do believe the government is responsible for key services that allow the nation to run efficiently, protects its citizen from dangers, educates its children, and yes, protects the vulnerable within our society that is incapable of self-care. It is when these government services are woefully underfunded and mismanaged that an essential service becomes dangerously unreliable.

Private companies, like FedEx and UPS, are certainly an option for shipping and mailing services. They have every right to offer what they choose and charge as they see fit, but they are not a replacement for the service that should be and has been historically provided by the government. Mail service is an essential service and should be provided by the government.

Consider another way, education is provided by the government. On the federal level, there’s the Department of Education, but education is truly a function of state governments. How each state manages its education system varies tremendously, but regardless, every single child in the United States is entitled to free and public education. Education should not be reliant on zip code, personal finances, race, intelligence, disability, or even a history of non-compliant behaviors. Every child is entitled to free and public education, period.

Parents, of course, can opt for alternative education sources. These include private schools, religious schools, charter schools, and homeschooling. If a parent decides to enroll their child at a private school, there are costs associated including tuition, books, miscellaneous fees, and so forth. If a parent opts for private, that should be at the parent’s expense, not the taxpayer.

Likewise, the postal service is provided by the government, and USPS services are not free. Consumers can choose to pay for the services offered by private companies, just as any parent can choose to enroll their child in private school, but that does not take away that public services should still be available, affordable, and functional in reliable ways.

This isn’t about missing Christmas presents, although my aunt and I are both frustrated at the missing package of homemade artwork. This isn’t about mail-in ballots. The 2020 election has come and gone, and we’ll see later today about how mail-in ballots work out in Georgia’s Senate races today. It’s not about W2s that will presumably be the first big mail wave of 2021. It’s not about paper checks in the mail, or medications being delivered across the country. The issue is about people, both the men and women out there delivering mail regardless of weather conditions or pandemic numbers, and the people waiting to receive important mail. Postal service workers have been taken for granted and are now working as hard as they can with fewer resources like the loss of sorting machines and other equipment that makes mail service efficient. On the receiving end, countless people are waiting for a check to pay bills, medications, or even live animals, to which there are many reports of animals arriving at their final destination dead because of shipping delays.

I encourage everyone to leave a note in your mailbox for your mail carrier. Leave a note of encouragement and compassion, a note that expresses gratitude for a job well done. Take a moment to listen and share Joe Troop’s music video, “A Plea to the US Government to Fully Fund the Postal Service.” At the end of his video, he shared how he reached to his North Carolina Congresspeople and asked them to fully fund the USPS. Whatever state you’re in, if you believe in this issue, send a message to your Congresspeople and let them know that you support a fully funded USPS.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page