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The Post Office, Toyota and a Tale of Two Earthquakes

March 12, 2010 by  

*Solving the problems with the Post Office. I see that once again, someone has suggested that the Post Office solve its chronic budget deficits by closing shop on Saturdays. I’ve got a much better idea. It’s one I first offered on my radio show about 30 years ago: Let’s just give the whole dang operation to Federal Express. Would delivery improve? You betcha. And instead of subsidizing thousands of buildings, tens of thousands of employees, and a zillion or so vehicles, governments at every level would start making money from property and vehicle taxes. I think it’s a win-win-win for everyone.

*Why Toyota is such a juicy target. If you’ve been wondering why Toyota has suddenly been getting a million tons of negative publicity, I’ve got an idea you may wish to consider. It’s not because misplaced floor mats or electronic problems have killed a slew of people. It’s because Toyota is sitting with 40 billion bucks in the bank. The company is the richest target trial lawyers have found in years. No wonder the legal wolves are salivating.

*Why Haiti suffered so much more than Chile. Did you know that the earthquake that hit Chile two weeks ago was several hundred times stronger than the one that devastated Haiti? Why then did Haiti suffer a hundred times more damage and deaths? I suggest it’s because most Haitians lived in ramshackle shacks, with virtually no services or protections, under one of the most dysfunctional governments in the world. Chile, on the other hand, once it was freed of its Marxist rulers, built modern buildings and developed superb services and infrastructure. To ask it another way, why was one country so rich and the other so poor? Because one respected private property, encouraged free enterprise and rewarded thrift and industry. Guess which one.

—Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • william tucker

    re post office. I worked and retired after 30 years, and back around 1980 or so I remember that we were told thUSPS had made a 5 billion profit. Within a month, everything changed The government felt that they could run each office by micro=managing instead of letting each office run themselves . The response Hire more high price supervisors to ensure that each carrier didn’t turn his/her 30 min lunch into a 31 minute lunch. The year we made all the money, they gave us badges stating “Happy People move mail. Now the ride and deride everyone . Constant harassing. Also taking away all incentives to do extra. Use to be you get route done 20 minutes early, you could start putting in the next days mail and goof of a bit with others back in. Now they add 20 minutes to your route. So pushing back and protecting yourself, We take no shortcuts and walk slowly as possible. Check your carrier out .

  • william tucker

    A person will only try to make their employer money, by extra effort, if reward or appreciation is the response. Not additional responsibilities. Put me in charge of P.O. and We would be in black again So help me God!

  • william tucker

    One last comment. When they went from 1 supervisor per 30 carriers , to 1 per 10, they had to buy vehicles and gas for these new people to drive around all day to spy on us. Do the math! Unhappy people ‘ipso facto, don’t move the mail. Quit micromanaging. losses ever since you realized how much more clever you were than the people doing the job.One winter in Illinois about 25 years ago the temp was 40 below zero with windchill 65 below 0 which makes it about 100 below freezing,We, our office had to ask Washington if we were to go out or postpone delivery of course they said go out. Several carriers were hurt by cold.

  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Janice Boone

    To Chip Wood:

    Re: Post Office – Why let Federal Express take over USPS. Why not UPS? Or better yet, let FedEX and UPS compete.

    Re: Toyota – did it occur to anyone else that this “sudden” problem with Toyota vehicles could be sabotage? Call me crazy, but this is too convenient to be a coincidence!

    Re: Haiti – why are we giving billions in foreign aid to this corrupt government, with no accountability? Best way to “fix” this problem is to have U.S. companies go there to rebuild that hell hole, take some of our workers to teach Haitians and hire locals at minimum wage until they learn how to build their own country!

  • libertytrain

    Janice – please no UPS taking over the Post Office. In all my years, I have never ever had good service with UPS. They leave my stuff at neighbors I don’t even know, they have left packages in cardboard boxes on the ground by my mail box 2 blocks away, in the rain. Christmas was my favorite, they took 11 days to deliver a box of meat that had a 2 day delivery paid for – needless to say it had to be replaced and the company that used their services were mad as hell. I boycott them whenever I can. I have more bad UPS stories than anyone I know -

  • Charlotte McTigue

    In RE to Toyota….I too think there is something supiciously conveinent about all these recalls, especially when Gm, (Government Motors) is starting over and wants a piece of the pie. Where were the US officials when they heard of the memo telling of a flaw? Why did they let it pass by? Something fishy here….. I am rooting for Toyota who I think makes a great great car, truck or van.

  • Christy Petty

    FED EX is not Union. Toyota is not Union.
    UPS is Union, GM (Ford too) is Union, Government is PRO Union.
    Nuff said.

  • John

    Chile’s modern seismic building code, drafted to resist earthquakes, was adopted in 1972. That year is enormously significant because it was one year before Pinochet seized power in a bloody U.S-backed coup. That means that if one person deserves credit for the law, it is not Friedman, or Pinochet, but Salvador Allende, Chile’s democratically elected socialist President. (In truth many Chileans deserve credit, since the laws were a response to a history of quakes, and the first law was adopted in the 1930s).

    It does seem significant, however, that the law was enacted even in the midst of a crippling economic embargo (“make the economy scream” Richard Nixon famously growled after Allende won the 1970 elections). The code was later updated in the nineties, well after Pinochet and the Chicago Boys were finally out of power and democracy was restored. Little wonder: As Paul Krugman points out, Friedman was ambivalent about building codes, seeing them as yet another infringement on capitalist freedom.

    As for the argument that Friedmanite policies are the reason Chileans live in “houses of brick” instead of “straw,” it’s clear that Stephens knows nothing of pre-coup Chile. The Chile of the 1960s had the best health and education systems on the continent, as well as a vibrant industrial sector and rapidly expanding middle class. Chileans believed in their state, which is why they elected Allende to take the project even further.

    After the coup and the death of Allende, Pinochet and his Chicago Boys did their best to dismantle Chile’s public sphere, auctioning off state enterprises and slashing financial and trade regulations. Enormous wealth was created in this period but at a terrible cost: by the early eighties, Pinochet’s Friedman-prescribed policies had caused rapid de-industrialization, a ten-fold increase in unemployment and an explosion of distinctly unstable shantytowns. They also led to a crisis of corruption and debt so severe that, in 1982, Pinochet was forced to fire his key Chicago Boy advisors and nationalize several of the large deregulated financial institutions. (Sound familiar?)

    Fortunately, the Chicago Boys did not manage to undo everything Allende accomplished. The national copper company, Codelco, remained in state hands, pumping wealth into public coffers and preventing the Chicago Boys from tanking Chile’s economy completely. They also never got around to trashing Allende’s tough building code, an ideological oversight for which we should all be grateful.

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