When Losing 120,000 Jobs Is a Good Thing

Normally, hearing that 120,000 American jobs might be about to disappear would be a terrible thing. However, when we’re talking about government jobs that are no longer needed at the post office, it’s cause for celebration because it means billions of taxpayer dollars aren’t going to be thrown down a rathole.

The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is proposing to cut its workforce by 20 percent and to withdraw from the federal health and retirement plans because it believes it could provide benefits at a lower cost.

The layoffs would be achieved in part by breaking labor agreements, a proposal that drew swift fire from postal unions. The plan would require congressional approval but, if successful, could be precedent-setting, with possible ripple effects throughout government. It would also deliver a major blow to the nation’s labor movement.

…During the past four years, the service lost $20 billion, including $8.5 billion in fiscal 2010. Over that period, mail volume dropped by 20 percent.

If useless government jobs had any worth, we could simply hire every unemployed person in America to dig holes and fill them in at $50 an hour. Undoubtedly, if we did start a program like that, a national hole diggers union would instantly spring into existence to demand permanent job security and better benefits for everyone involved. The problem is that cash used to fund unneeded government positions has to either be borrowed or taken from people and companies that could put it to work creating productive jobs.

The less of our money that the government wastes, the more of our money that will remain in the private sector where it can be put to good use.

This was originally published at The Huffington Post — And, yes, I am now going to be doing a couple of posts per week there.

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