I note almost wearily that yet another Republican appointee has been bristling, essentially declaring that reports of harm befalling thousands of Americans via his department is nobody’s damn business.
This didn’t garner any significant space I’ve noticed in most of the daily press. All the more reason for reading publications like Ad Age’s online edition, which covers some hidden pockets of news while the rest of the press is snoring.
The story in today’s issue was headlined, “Postmaster General Takes Umbrage With Wachovia Ad.” The ad, he said, is “really doing a disservice to the American people."
The gist of the story: A Wachovia ad that suggested mail theft is a major cause of identity theft really gets Postmaster General Potter’s goat. That’s because mail only accounts for four percent of identity theft, he insisted.
I guess Postmaster Potter figured nobody would do the math. Well, he was wrong. Here’s the math:
According to the Gartner Group, a respected survey research firm, “Approximately 15 million Americans were victimized by some sort of identity-theft related fraud in the 12 months ending in mid-2006…”
Now, let me get out my handy-dandy pocket calculator here. Four percent of 15 million…hmmm! That comes to 600,000 people.
Six hundred thousand people! Why, that’s more than the entire poulation of Denver, CO. More than the entire popualation of Long Beach, or Sacramento CA. More than Minneapolis,MN. More than Las Vegas, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Witchita, Omaha, Atlanta, or New Orleans, to name just a few.
Imagine if the entire population of your own town woke up one morning and discovered their identities had been ripped off.
There’d be hell to pay.
Instead, Postmaster Potter has arranged for you to have higher postage rates to pay. But what can you expect? When you have an idiot at the top of the Government, you’ll find idiot appointees all the way down.