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Should the US Post Office Cut Saturday Service to Cut its Budget Deficit?

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:55 pm
Quote:
THE MONITOR'S VIEW
US Postal Service: no more Saturday delivery?
Dropping Saturday delivery is just one idea from a cash-strapped US Postal Service that deserves support from Congress and unions.

By the Monitor's Editorial Board / March 2, 2010

Should the US Postal Service stop Saturday delivery? Most Americans say they can accept this, according to a Gallup poll last year. If only Congress would do the same.

The USPS is in desperate financial straits. It expects a $7 billion shortfall this fiscal year, and, if it does nothing to change its business model, it will see a cumulative deficit of $238 billion over the next decade, according to a postal service projection. It’s been losing money every year since 2007.

That’s why Postmaster General John Potter has outlined several substantial changes to the way the nation’s largest civilian federal agency does business. In the past, Congress has balked at some of these proposals, such as five-day-a-week delivery. But the agency that handles nearly half of the world’s mail needs a freer hand to right itself " not just from lawmakers, but from its union workforce.
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:04 pm
@tsarstepan,
I gotta coupla thoughts here.

first, why does congress care about Saturday delivery? they aren't there on the weekends anyway...

second, I know a lot of post peeps, and as a group, they are not gonna hold a motivational clinic...

but, that said, I know why they don't do it.



everyone is afraid to piss them off...(a mass going postal demonstration Shocked )
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
Cutting Sat will happen, must happen.

What really needs to happen is that we admit that the move to try to make the post office into a for profit business was a mistake. The postal service must be a government agency again, and must be supported with taxes.

we are no where near being ready to admit the truth, to fix the post office.
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Butrflynet
 
  4  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:56 pm
They, and we, would benefit by eliminating or drastically reducing the amount of bulk junk mail that gets stuffed daily into our mailboxes.

Imagine the fuel costs, wear and tear on vehicles and sorting equipment that they'd be able to save and how much more efficient their delivery of the mail could be.
hawkeye10
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 12:12 am
@Butrflynet,
YEP. How about something like the "do not call list" where the senders of "junk" must put on a bar code with the address, the accepting post office computer reads the address and rejects the mail if it is addressed to a "do not junk mail" address, but still charges the sender to full fee plus a fine?

The volume of mail goes way down, and the post office can collect some pure profit fees just like banks do....it is win/win/win (me/post office/environment).

Now I collect it once a week, fan through it, sometimes pull something out, and deposit the stack directly in the garbage can.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 12:19 am
@hawkeye10,
Curtail the bulk postal rates they enjoy, if we need a starting point.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 12:34 am
@roger,
Quote:

Curtail the bulk postal rates they enjoy, if we need a starting point.

That would effectively eliminate mass marketing by mail. I have a problem with that because I think that this is an activity that is valued by both businesses and individuals. If it turned out that most citizens believe as I do that this mail is unwanted, if this was the majority opinion, then I would agree that ending bulk rates is reasonable.

0 Replies
 
mm25075
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 12:38 am
I would have no problem if they cut Saturday service.

As Butrflynet pointed out they could make gains by cutting out the junk mail that they deliver as well. For me, the junk stuff goes right into the recycle bin anyway.
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Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:22 am
We have never had a saturday delivery in Oz. As near as I can tell it has only resulted in the end of the world, nothing you cant work around.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:38 am
@Ionus,
For any urgent business communiques, and plans etc, we use Fed Ex and UPS. Our USPS is notoriously unreliable in rural areas where my business is. I have mail boxes for bulk crap and magazines , but anything important never sees our USPS buildings.
Much, in the qay of "deliverables" in projects are done electronically anymore so the USPS will, like Conestoga wagon qwheelwright shops, be gradually pahsed out unless they too adapt
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:44 am
If the USPS fails to adapt, tough ****. As for mail services in general, that's been changing dramatically for a long time. A century ago, or thereabouts, several mail deliveries a day were common, and telephones were not. In London in the 1880s and -90s, there were 13 mail deliveries each day, and people relied on that, as well as telegrams through the post office, to communicate quickly with one another. Two hundred years ago, the news and communications often moved at the pace of a ship or a man on horseback. The telegraph and the telephone (very slowly) changed all of that, and postal services have had to adjust. The options have expanded and the pace has picked up. As FM points out, the USPS will have to adapt or die. It wouldn't be such a terrible thing if they cut back drastically, and stopped trying to compete with Fed Ex and UPS.
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Philis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:30 am
@tsarstepan,
sure, why not. I feel bad for the overworked US postal men and women on my route.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 08:31 am
I have a couple of thoughts.

The first is that we may have been lied to by everyone re: the state of the economy for as long as 40 years. I remember that the real number of unemployed people during the later years of the Vietnam War was an enormous topic of conversation. The Baby Boom his the job market big time in 1969-1970 and people looked for work for a long time. I remember all the money saving things people did then . . . when you could still rent an apt in Detroit for under $125/month!

According to the Congressional Office of the Budget, real wages of American's bottom four quintiles (read 80% of earners) has remained flat since 1979.

The second is that we have no idea how bad the P.O.'s situation really is.

The third: Anyone remember that person on Abuzz who complained about the P.O. constantly? Well, I once went to my P.O., which was a tiny branch, just before Christmas. People were lined up out the door and down the street but I was through in 15 minutes.

However, since I moved in 2007, I have lost more mail including my new driver's license and at least one W-2.

The State of Massachusetts was angry with me, claiming they sent the license.
(My question is why does Mass mail licenses? When I was in college (65-69), my laminated ID was given to me every year immediately. I walked in the door of my small woman's college, had my picture taken and it was handed to me immediately. Somehow, Mass can't duplicate that sort of service?)
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JPB
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 08:37 am
I have no objection to curtailing Saturday, or Tuesday/Thursday either. Twice or thrice weekly mail delivery would take some getting used to but we'd adjust. As FM said, most businesses already use services other than the USPS for time critical mail. Putting half a community on T/TH/Sat and the other half on M/W/F would suit me, but then I'm not carrying the delivery bag.

I was listening to this topic being debated on the radio a few months back. A USPS official called in and made the point that the USPS is still the only service available where you can mail a letter to anyone anywhere in the country for the same cost. It's the only service in America where you can send gramma a birthday card for the cost of a first class stamp no matter where gramma lives. It's apparently also the only service that services every town, regardless of size. I don't know that that's true -- can you FedEx a package anywhere in the country? It doesn't really cost the same for them to process/deliver a within community piece as it does a cross-country piece of mail, but we've historically charged a price that allows gramma to send you a birthday card for the same $$$, even if she lives in the middle of nowhere.
MontereyJack
 
  4  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 08:42 am
Try sending ANYTHING by FedEx or UPS for 44 cents.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:38 pm
@MontereyJack,
That's hardly the point. Overnight letters and packages are what Fed Ex and UPS do best, and the USPS tries to compete with them. The only advantage the USPS has is that can operate at a loss--thanks to the taxpayers.
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:41 pm
@JPB,
that sounds Socialist to me...
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:46 pm
@MontereyJack,
Every year, I sent a Christmas card to the manager of the Phantom Ranch. Never met him or her, but I just love the idea of the mail man on a mule delivering my card to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
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MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:59 pm
Setanta,
"" According to the laws under which it now operates, the U.S. Postal Service is a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral. That is, it is supposed to break even, not make a profit.

In 1982, U.S. postage stamps became "postal products," rather than a form of taxation. Since then, The bulk of the cost of operating the postal system has been paid for by customers through the sale of "postal products" and services rather than taxes.

Each class of mail is also expected to cover its share of the costs, a requirement that causes the percentage rate adjustments to vary in different classes of mail, according the costs associated with the processing and delivery characteristics of each class."

Taxpayers don't support it.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:10 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
Try sending ANYTHING by FedEx or UPS for 44 cents.


Try getting anything from USPS there next day. (around the world)
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