NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Saving the Postal Service

Innovate or die. Successful businesses know that; the United States Postal Service evidently does not. Their last major innovation was ZIP codes, introduced in 1963.

The USPS is dying a slow death, but needlessly. I am paid by very rich and brilliant people to think of new ideas, but my innovations are not limited to problems they're interested in solving; I think of solutions to all kinds of problems, including how the Postal Service could offer better services while improving efficiency and offering better pay and working conditions to USPS employees.

The Postmaster General who implemented these changes could be the one who saved the United States Postal Service instead of presiding over its gradual demise, but people in power are rarely receptive to new ideas, which is a primary reason why the United States is faltering and bound to eventually collapse, or become so economically miserable people would wish it does collapse.

The ideas we need to save the USA and put our economy on steroids already exist; Main Street Americans already know them (here's one of mine), but our leaders refuse to implement them, preferring their harebrained ideas. Our leaders sound so intelligent and all of them promise to go to Washington to solve problems, but after decades of their fixes, we have more problems than ever. What does that tell you?

The one thing our leaders fear more than our enemies is people who are better at thinking than they are. They ignore them, hoping their media lap dogs will, too (they rarely disappoint), or when that doesn't suffice, their political attack machine resorts to ad hominem attacks and character assassination to smear the thinker they can't outthink, knowing that myriad dumbbells unable to separate fact from fiction will believe their fictions.

Our top politicians are great at playing Machiavellian political games, but none of them are good at solving problems. Bureaucrats are great robots, not thinkers. Innovators are often ridiculed by simpletons so clueless they think system justification is a good idea.

The United States is no longer an intellectual meritocracy where the best people and best ideas bubble to the top. Our system is crumbling under the weight of hidebound stupidity. The faltering USPS is just one more example of this. Saving it requires fresh thinking you won't get from Washington, which is allergic to anything resembling a good idea (one notable exception is the JOBS Act signed by President Obama). In fact, our leaders are at war with good thinkers and their good ideas because implementing the ideas of others is a tacit admission that our leaders can't think for themselves. Unsolved problems gives fodder to politicians who promise to solve them in exchange for power: “Elect me and I'll go to Washington and fix things.” Who still believes that? Children who believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Adults with room-temperature IQs?

Notes:

  1. Why does Congress act like email, FedEx, and UPS don't exist?
  2. World's postal services struggle with lower demand
    A commenter said, “TYPICAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES … can't or won't adjust with the modern era.” I wrote an article explaining how roads could be plowed free, faster, and more often. That's the kind of innovation government needs to provide essential services at less cost. There are other ways to slash the size, scope, and cost of government without hurting anyone. Here's another example. Can you think of more?
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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