11/24 The Campaigns Against the Post Office and American Democracy w/ Christopher W. Shaw

November 24, 2021

Sam sits down with historian Christopher W. Shaw, to discuss his recent book First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat, on the rise of one of the most popular public services, and its precarious state in an era of privatization. They begin in the 18th century, with the beginnings of the postal system as a tool for patriot communication and military strategy, before it was picked up by the US government under George Washington, pivoting to the duty of transporting mail and, more importantly, news and newspapers, seen as a key element in linking and informing the population. The service spent the next century continuing to ingrain itself in the daily lives of Americans, regardless of economic success, with an 1851 law officially stating that deficit should not come into play with postal expansion, and following policies to continue to drive down the price of postage, including reduced pricing on paperback literature and the Rural Free Delivery (RFD) service. Working through the early-20th century, the postal service was seen as the role of the American government, until FDR’s social policy expanded on that greatly, and then two world wars saw the US take on an international-military role, greatly expanding the role of its legislative and executive branches. This brings Shaw and Sam to the mid-1900s, and a pivot towards privatization with neoconservatism and neoliberalism taking hold of US politics – they explore how the impact of a shift from railway to highway infrastructure and the 1971 shift to self-funding through postage that created the USPS as we know it, before they look at the influence of Reaganomics and how the postal service was seen as a key arena in the goals of privatization. After touching on the developments in the service over the last couple of decades, Christopher and Sam dive into the current state of the USPS in the wake of the Trump administration and a massive shift in the importance of mail-in voting. They wrap up the interview by looking at the development of postal banking, and discussing what types of expansion the postal service could and should employ moving forwards.

Purchase tickets for the live show in Boston on January 16th HERE!

Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com

Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here.

Join the Majority Report Discord!

Get all your MR merch at our store https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/

(Merch issues and concerns can be addressed here: majorityreportstore@mirrorimage.com)

You can now watch the livestream on Twitch

Check out today’s sponsors:

sunsetlakecbd: Sunset Lake CBD & Majority Report are teaming up to turn America’s most consumerist holiday into a fundraising opportunity for a great organization. Here’s how it works: Visit SunsetLakeCBD.com starting November 22nd and all CBD Products will be between 30-60% OFF! Orders over $100 will receive a free jar of delicious CBD gummies – A $40 value, for free! NO PROMO CODE NEEDED PRODUCTS ARE ALREADY DISCOUNTED ON THE WEBSITE.

Support the St. Vincent Nurses today as they continue to strike for a fair contract! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein’s podcast News from Nowhere, at https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere

Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon!

Subscribe to Matt’s other show Literary Hangover on Patreon!

Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles

Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel!

Subscribe to Brandon’s show The Discourse on Patreon!

Check out The Nomiki Show live at 3 pm ET on YouTube at patreon.com/thenomikishow

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at twitch.tv/theantifada (streaming every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm ET!)

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:







Past Episodes

It's Casual Friday! Emma and the MR Crew break down the biggest headlines of the day. Then, they're joined by comedian Matt Lieb, co-host of the Bad Hasbara podcast! First, Emma runs through updates on the Supreme Court’s upholding of the right to seize arms from domestic abusers, the continued ...
It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Joanna Wuest, assistant professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College and author of the book Born This Way: Science, Citizenship, and Inequality in the American LGBTQ+ Movement, to discuss her recent piece in Jacobin entitled "The Best Way to ...
It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with Dr. Robert Greene, assistant professor of history at Claflin University in South Carolina & president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) , to discuss his writing on Juneteenth. Then, they speak with Jaz Brisack, co-founder of ...