Just who is this businessman cum Republican Party hack now running (or ruining) the United States Postal Service? Louis DeJoy is the retired CEO of New Breed Logistics. New Breed was sold to XPO Logistics, which now does business with the Postal Service. A lot of business: $57 million alone in 2017. DeJoy remains a multi-million dollar stockholder of XPO. The USPS ethics panel didn’t seem to have a problem with his obvious conflict.
New Breed describes itself as follows:
New Breed Logistics transforms the way organizations do business by building intelligent supply chains and providing comprehensive solutions. New Breed manages millions of square feet of ISO-quality warehouse space across more than 70 distribution centers and employs more than 7,000 people worldwide. Services range from distribution center operations and transportation management to highly sophisticated, technology-enabled solutions for product assembly, reverse logistics and repair, lean manufacturing support, materials management, procurement, and aftermarket services.
It is said that DeJoy has no USPS experience, but that’s baloney. For more than 25 years, New Breed was a contractor to the Postal Service, “supplying the organization with logistics support.” XPO succeeded New Breed in going postal. In other words, DeJoy knows where the mail carriers are and how to bury them.
Besides, DeJoy being a Fox-in-the-Henhouse Postmaster is only part of the problem. Shortly after his appointment, DeJoy asked for $25 billion to modernize the Postal Service. What New Breed, XPO, and now, the Postal Service call modernization mean robotics and layoffs. DeJoy is a 21st-century version of Larry the Liquidator, the fictional corporate takeover king in “Other People’s Money,” who bought traditional companies, then gutted them of employees and in many cases dismantled them.
Never mind that the USPS is a major employer whose workers are part of the steadily diminished working class. The Postal Service is mandated by the Constitution. This has not stopped fiscal conservatives from gaggling over the cost of operations and making previous attempts to break it. During Bush II’s Compassionate Conservativism, Congress passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, requiring the Postal Service to fund 75 years of retirement benefits in a ten-year period. The PAEA is one of the reasons that the Postal Service is always in the red. The Postal Service is supposedly non-profit – a service – but then it is judged as if it were a business and excoriated for “losing money.” One has to wonder how many businesses would be pushed into collapse if the same funding rules applied to them.
Enter Louis the Liquidator to downsize the post office, make it look “profitable,” and then push the government to privatize it; sell it to some appropriate company – XPO Logistics – at a bargain price. DeJoy’s removal of mail sorting machines and mailboxes meshes with Trump’s plan to make voting by mail more difficult and unreliable. Due to public outcry, DeJoy was forced to stop the dismantling until Election Day. Now, that’s a neatly delivered package.
Trump isn’t doing this just to save the government money. He is trying to kill postal services ahead of the 2020 election The USPS became one of his bargaining chips in the Covid-19 relief funding battle. He said that he will extend USPS funding (although it’s not certain that a Senate majority would) if the Democrats take some of their other relief demands off the table. Put another way, the Democrats can have mail-in voting but only on the backs of the unemployed and underemployed being deprived of needed relief during the pandemic. Put yet another way, we can choose to vote or to eat, but maybe we can’t choose to do both.