Various Re-post-ions: Murder by Death

Our friends at Murder by Death recently pulled the curtain back on just how important the USPS to independent bands, and we felt it was important enough to share. Check it out.

Hello friends. I’m sure you are aware of the subject but I wanted to shine a light of how this administrations’ destabilization of the USPS has affected us, a band you like, directly, and to ask for your help telling our government what it’s people need. It is a subject I am passionate about because I am so grateful for the service the USPS has provided for our band and the folks who support us.

When we started this band and thus our relationship with the postal service, I never dreamed that a party would politicize and weaponize a public service such as the USPS to further divide our country at such a difficult time in our history. It’s the worst. I had hoped something as essential as the United States Postal Service would be spared, but the climate and the timing of the election proved me wrong on that.

This band owes our livelihood and career to the USPS. In 2005 I started doing our own mail order, and a few years later brought on my buddy J Busch to help me. Over the last 15 years, we have personally packed over 70,000 orders and mailed them through the US Postal service. When we drop off a huge album sale or Kickstarter, the folks I work with at the post office always thank me for choosing them, and I feel like we’re paying into the system and participating in the history of our country.

The truth is that without putting out our records on vinyl and mailing them through the USPS Media Mail system, we would not have made enough money as a band to continue to put out records. Our career would have ended a long time ago. (Think about that for a second, they have a program that reduces the price if you ship an album or book! A price break to promote knowledge!)

Because of my great respect for the people I have met at both the Bloomington, Indiana Post Office and now multiple locations in Louisville, KY I beg you to write your governors and senators to ask them to stop the attack on the post office.

The argument that the Postal service should be for profit is a purely political and false narrative. It originated with dubious GOP legislation that requires the postal service to pre-pay its pensions 75 years in advance, in an effort to make the books of USPS look bad to the public, regardless of how well things were going. This is by design to mislead the public, and ultimately to strip away your ability to communicate, vote, and to push spending towards corporate, privatized mail services, or privitize the postal service itself.

Over the years, they have also intentionally blocked upgrades and modernizations like Facebook services and postal banking that could help the bottom line because they are invested in privatization and seeing the current institution fail.

The USPS is a SERVICE, not a BUSINESS provided for Americans, as a means of supporting communication and small businesses. It is not supposed to operate at a profit. The military, for example, is not expected to operate at a profit. In fact there were recently “accounting errors” at the Pentagon that amount to more than the entire amount of money needed proposed to “save” the USPS.

USPS, because it is a service for every American, is required to ship to EVERY address, and is therefore used by the govt to mail important documents, veterans’ medicine, even to the most remote of places, to guarantee that those people are represented, in communication and counted. The USPS predates the constitution!

The Postmaster General, Louis Dejoy, appointed by President Trump, along with the entire board of governors, has committed a crime, by willfully obstructing the delivery of the mail. But they’ll never remove Postmaster DeJoy unless the public demands it, because this was the plan from the get-go. He, along with the board of governors, was appointed to sabotage and privatize the USPS, and that’s exactly what he has done.

To strip down the USPS is to take away your voice- and the collateral damage will hit thousands upon thousands of American small business owners.

If President Trump’s plan to diminish the effectiveness and ultimately close down or privitize the post office occurs, not only will absentee mailing be affected, but our options to continue doing what is the cornerstone of our business will be limited to only two much more expensive options.

And what happens when the most affordable option, in a competitive market, goes away? Prices of the competition will go up, because there’s no lower option driving prices down.

UPS and FedEx have their strengths but mailing items such as t-shirts, posters and vinyl are what USPS excels at. USPS is currently 1/3 of the price of Ups/FedEx for the items we mail.

That increases our bottom line, causing us to either lose money, raise prices, or to charge you three times the amount on shipping. You are the lifeblood of our band, supporting us through our mail order, and combined with the efforts made by USPS employees, we have found a way to make being artists work for us. I would hate to lose that.

If these facts ruffle your feathers, I ask you to understand that I only bring this up because it directly affects the way that our band stays afloat. I don’t want to be spending my time writing and asking our government to do the right thing, and having to ask for your help. If politicization of an essential part of our country’s business operations doesn’t affect you, I’m happy that you are so fortunate. But myself and many others are not.

Please call and write your congresspeople and senators and ask them to stand down on the assault on the USPS. Please tell them you do not support President Trump using the post office as a political prop, diminishing it and rendering it less effective for his own gain.

If you’re a postal employee, thank you so much- we wish you the best.

-MBD

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