Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert in this field. My arguments are based on second hand information that I think I recall from other sources such as news articles, opinion editorials, high school courses, or college courses. Do correct me if I am wrong or if you disagree.
So I was taking a break from studying to eat dinner and I was watching the PBS NewsHour. And they were talking about how the US Postal Service is going to close down thousands of processing centers to save like $2 billion or something. Which sounds great at first right? You know, be more efficient, save money, save taxpayer money. Run like a business right? If a business has less demand, it should cut unnecessary costs right? Yeah here comes the kicker. These cuts and future cuts could affect, if not outright eliminate, 100,000 jobs. Did you see that right? Let me write it again. 100,000 jobs. 100,000 job spaces in the US economy are going to vanish into thin air. 100,000 Americans are going to have to find 100,000 jobs that don’t exist anymore.
Now I’m not saying that the USPS shouldn’t make/take cuts. I’m saying citizens, especially the GOP leadership, can’t just make simplistic and broad statements about “cutting the size of Government”. As if by cutting taxes and Government spending to the bones is a cure-all, which it is definitely not. Because it’s a lot more complex than just “cutting spending”. Because that “horrifying” Government spending actually employs millions of people, either directly or indirectly through contracting. And when GOP leaders make brazen statements about cutting out whole sections of Government, they are also proposing cutting out thousands of jobs. Yes, wasteful spending must be reigned in. Yes, efficiency should be improved. Yes, corruption must be stopped. No, you cannot generalize Government as this terrible entity that needs to be massively downsized or outright eliminated, because unless the free market can recreate those vital services and jobs, which I doubt it will or is able to, you’re sentencing thousands of people to join the other millions of unemployed Americans.
If you haven’t heard, the US Postal Service is on the edge. It could go into default this month. No matter what, huge cuts are going to be made to the good old USPS, and “Snail Mail” in the US is going to change forever. This strikes me very personally, because I am a believer in technology. But I am realizing that technology has very serious implications for the landscape of the economy and jobs.
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