What The Fuck, America?


[Editor's Note: Sorry about going dark last week. If you want to believe it was in protest of something, go ahead, but it was really just...I was blank. Couldn't get my fingernail under any stickers to peel them back. It happens.]

Here we are in Day 72654 of the Very Reasonable and Normal Trump Administration where we find level-headed Don on the tweet machine attacking online retail behemoth Amazon for no reason at all. I mean, I guess there's a reason, but it mainly boils down to Trump is cranky and he doesn't like Jeff Bezos, and who can blame him? Amazon is evil. They're also really hard to avoid, which is presumably why the Trump campaign spent $150,000 there.

Are these White House attacks on private companies and individuals unprecedented? Let's ask Kimberley Strassel, who had strong opinions on this when Obama sort of did it. I wonder what she has to say when Trump does it?

This thing about Amazon and the Post Office is nonsense, of course. The United States Postal Service would be profitable if not for the fact that, back in 2006, the Republican-controlled Congress, led by now-retiring Congrasshole Darrell Issa, passed a law requiring the Post Office to fund future pensions in an insane way in a transparent attempt to make the USPS look bad. This is SOP for the GOP: Get elected on the platform that government cannot operate properly, underfund and undermine everything you possibly can, point to the resulting SNAFUs as proof of your original assertion, repeat. Gerrymander as necessary.

Trump is vaguely right about one thing: The fact is the Post Office does subsidize a lot of corporations, starting with FedEx and UPS, both of which rely on the USPS to deliver to addresses they'd rather not bother with. USPS also subsidizes magazine circulation and book shipping (book rate is generally lower than it would be based on weight), but this is entirely by design: It's considered a worthwhile trade-off to encourage the dissemination of ideas at the cost of making less money from transporting them. See also: THE FUCKING INTERNET, which started life as a government project.

Ultimately that's one of the things government is for: Supporting things we collectively think would help society and which cannot be supplied reliably by the free market. Back in 1792 we decided every person resident in the United States, no matter how remote, should get mail, regardless of how profitable that would be. That it happens to be profitable (apart from Republican fuckery) is beside the point: Society is better served by robust mail service not based on market concerns.

And not, one would hope, subject to the whims of the Executive Branch and whatever asshole happens to be tweeting from it.

November 2016
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30