As you may or may not know, I left America August 2006. I’ve returned to the U.S. on three occasions for brief visits, but basically I’ve been living as an expat in 21 countries, including five in Europe, three in Africa, and thirteen in Asia.
This has given me the rewards of seeing how a variety of other people live, as well as how their respective governments treat them as citizens and human beings.
Now I live in on the outskirts of a rural town in Japan situated a little over an hour northwest of Osaka, also near Kobe and Kyoto.
In my previous blog I listed the amazing array of services provided by Japan Post, Japan’s equivalent of the U.S. Postal Service.
- Regular Mail
- Letter Packs
- International Express Mail
- Cash Transfers
- Money Orders
- International Remittances
- Government Bonds
- Investment Trusts
- Life Insurance
- Local Government Services
- Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance
I reiterate, Japan Post does all of this with care, courtesy, efficiency, incredible attention to detail and a dedication to providing good service. It is among the most loved and respected service institutions in this country. All of these services are available in the main lobby for 57 hours every week, Monday thru Saturday. Mail only services are available for 67 hours each week via a special service window in the foyer, also open on Sunday. Moreover, mail is delivered to each and every home in Japan, regardless of how off the beaten path they might be, Monday thru Saturday, with special parcel deliveries also made on Sunday.
Contrast this with America.
It was recently announced that Saturday mail service for the entire country was being eliminated, effective sometime in the fall.
So . . .
We can deliver lethal explosives via unmanned drones to kill innocent people 1000s of miles away in faraway countries which have no aggressive intentions toward America.
We can deliver enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world 25 times over with 12,000 active ICBMs, and fleets of nuclear submarines and long range bombers.
We can deliver billions of dollars of freshly printed $100 bills to buy the toxic assets of corrupt, blundering, too-big-to-fail investment banks across the economic landscape.
We can deliver weapons of every shape, size and destructive power to buyers throughout the world, often ruthless despots and criminal governments oppressing decent people.
We can deliver trillions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees to incompetent and deceptive banks to allow them to continue impoverishing the many to enrich the few.
We can deliver through the corporate media, empty platitudes, unfulfilled promises, and patriotic blather to a populous craving some order from the chaos we’re submerged in.
We can deliver bilious and vapid television dramas, vulgar reality shows, celebrity gossip, mindless sitcoms, and orgies of violence and salacious sex on DVDs and cinema screens.
We can even deliver hugely expensive and exotic space weapons systems, spy satellites, and futuristic laser guns into orbits around our planet.
BUT WE CAN’T DELIVER THE MAIL ON SATURDAY!
With changes in technology, and the growth and proliferation new businesses and services, Japan Post understandably has had to adjust. But rather than succumb purely to the often anti-social forces of a completely unregulated free market, the government offers responsible countervailing guidance, responsive to the needs of its citizens.
As private companies, like FedEx and UPS, have introduced their own assortments of delivery services __ and yes, Japan has a thriving private sector in this respect __ Japan Post has kept itself viable and solvent by offering the many other services listed above, making itself a one-stop-place-to-shop when people are running their errands.
While the U.S. Postal Service keeps announcing more and more layoffs, Japan Post makes an important contribution to keeping Japan’s unemployment rate down by staying fully staffed with competent, well-trained, unionized workers. Unemployment was last reported at only 4.2%.
Japan Post, as with every other service agency in Japan, not only keeps itself fully staffed, but keeps its staff efficient and knowledgeable with new and ongoing training programs. These assure that whether you are making financial transactions, securing life or auto insurance, setting up an investment trust, planning your vacation, or just selecting and shipping a gift to a friend or relative, you are being assisted by a courteous, competent, eager-to-please individual, intent on providing the best possible service.
And America can’t even deliver the mail on Saturday?
What is going on?
Like it or not, here the simple straightforward truth . . .
Our country is being stolen. It is being painstakingly dissembled piece by piece. Our jobs are disappearing. Our freedoms are disappearing. Opportunity is shrinking. The American Dream is dissolving like a ghostly puff of smoke that hinted at better times. Our political and policy decisions are now made by the highest bidder. Our once-amazing country is falling apart. Frankly, America is viewed as in decline by most of the rest of the world.
“Oh! But you’re so wrong. America is #1!”
Oh, excuse me. I forgot. I must be some unpatriotic America-hater to even consider such offensive allegations. I do apologize.
But the question still remains . . .
If America is #1, then why can’t it deliver the mail on Saturday?
Why can’t it maintain and even improve on a service so fundamental and necessary to an organized, functioning society, one that already has a long history of success and approval in our own country, and somehow works just fine in every other country in the world?
The answer is no secret and is appalling: The U.S. Postal Service is being sabotaged by play-for-pay politicians who at the bidding of private corporations intend to take it apart and privatize it, turning it into another money-maker for interested parties.
The destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is just another in a long list. The corporate vampires will not rest until they’ve sucked the last blood out of every institution in our once-great nation. They’re destroying the educational system, they are bleeding the treasury, they are after Social Security and Medicare, they are already bankrupting the nation leaving people sick and dying while delivering second-rate medical services. They are after every government program, every initiative, every community service agency, to divert tax dollars exclusively to enterprises which improve the bottom line of multinational corporations, bloodsucking institutions which have no loyalty to America, to its citizens, to its families, to its communities, or to actual human beings. With these corporations, the only concern about any of us, our lives, our communities, our country, is what can be extracted in terms of profit.
The tragic disembowelment of the nation’s postal system is just the latest round in their long, calculated crusade to dominate and control every aspect of our lives, to disempower us, and leave us at their mercy, beck and call.
With all that seems to be going wrong with America’s economy, its democracy, its foreign policy, its media monopoly, human rights and privacy abuses, fiscal plunder and national bankruptcy, rampant corruption in all branches and at all levels of government, it certainly makes it difficult, if not impossible, to know where to begin. They always tell you to choose your battles carefully, ones that you have some hope of winning. Maybe this is a place to start. Maybe not.
I know one thing for sure.
We need to take a stand and take it now.
We need to tell the corporate oligarchs . . .
“Enough! Stop destroying our country or we will destroy you!”
Perhaps we can start by trying to saving the U.S. Postal Service.
Or is it too late?