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

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:31 pm
@Butrflynet,
I live in moderate fear of losing important mail stuck somehow in with the junk. It was easier to work through the crap when I had a mailman (who became a pal, as have others over the years) stuff the mail into the porch mail slot at my house. Now I have one of those multi mailbox contraptions down the street - a real piece of s.t - and I am paying for all those years I specified them for housing tracks, back in my design days.

If I understand correctly, our local post office does not deliver - it is some contracted firm doing the delivery in post office vehicles. I suppose that's cheaper..
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:34 pm
@hawkeye10,
I agree with that idea.

When I moved into my last house in california, I was surprised to be inundated with ever so cutsie catalogs for exceedingly cheapo and ugly ornamental stuff for every possible holiday. I ended up calling all the catalog places, luckily 800 numbers, to get them stopped. Enraging... there were many dozens. Took about a year to get rid of all of them.
A simple no junk mail request sounds good, or at least that bulk stuff.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 08:38 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
US Postal Service: no more Saturday delivery?

This is a silly suggestion on at least two levels:

1) The economy is currently limited by a lack of demand, not of supply. Therefore, cutting government spending -- like in this proposal -- will only make the recession worse.

2) It's a trivial level of government spending. Even if this did any good in principle, it's too little to make a difference in practice.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 04:27 am
If your #2 is correct, than your #1 is beggared into insignificance.
tsarstepan
 
  0  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:36 am
@Setanta,
Why are you talking bowel movements in my thread on governmental/fiscal responsibility Set?!

0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:45 am
@Setanta,
It's trivial to the government's deficit but it's not trivial to the economy because the USPS is the #2 employer in America after Walmart. The type of spending it is makes it particularly bad to cut in this economy.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:52 am
@Thomas,
We haven't had Saturday postal service in Canada for at least 30 years. It hasn't seemed to make any difference in anyone's life or business to not have Saturday service.

Re flyers etc. That's a significant source of income for the postal service here, so cutting that out would cause huge cost increases to individual consumers.

Keeping a service because it reflects a trivial cost seems silly. We wouldn't do that in a personal budget, would we? Why do it at a governmental level?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 11:48 am
@Thomas,
I agree with you in the short term, but I'd like to see USPS reform for the long term. Here is what I want them to do:

1) I want the Post Office to raise prices. Sending data through snail mail is stupid most of the time. Sure, there are some items like cards where it is as much a "package" or physical item as data but the overwhelming majority of mail is just data that can be delivered much more efficiently than printing it on dead trees and flying it (using a lot of energy) across the country.

It's stupid, and it doesn't matter if dumb businesses currently depend on it, they are getting their lunch slowly eaten by people who understand just how dumb this is.

I've done bulk mail, it performs thousands of times worse than internet marketing in most cases but marketing folk still like it because it's traditional and more artsy than the internet, they get to play with designers more and they feel like they are doing branding and all but it's just a huge waste of marketing money and by calling it branding marketing they get to not bother tracking it if they don't want to.

So I took my spend to the web and ate the old-world marketer's lunch. I ran the glossy magazine ads, I did the fancy mailers and I measured it all and it was orders and orders of magnitude worse of a spend than digital advertising where I could target better and cheaper and actually convert the lead on the spot.

Google's CEO called branding "The last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America" and while that is a slight exaggeration (some companies like Coca Cola are obvious candidates for branding campaigns over ROI campaigns) it is true that advertising with his company is far more effective for the overwhelming majority of businesses.

So let's accelerate this already, one reason snail mail advertising is not economical is because it's more expensive to print and send a message to someone on dead trees using oil to get it to them than it is to send an electrical current along a wire. Let's make this fast already $1 minimum cost is reasonable. I would pay that if I needed to send a Christmas card and if it's important enough to send across the country on dead trees it's worth a dollar.

2) The price hike may piss people off, but let's bring the USPS into the new century while we are at it and offset this with some technology. I never touch my mail. I use earthclassmail.com to have US addresses around the country and they scan my mail for me and I read it online.

The USPS should offer this as a free service directly. Some companies are offering paperless statements and all but they still send crap by mail. Bank of America tells me there is no way for them to stop sending me a snail mail confirmation of every wire transfer I receive.

Fine, send it but instead of shipping it across the country to a guy like me who will opt for the digital mailbox just scan it at the place you get it and send it over the internet. It's cheaper for you and this is a service I currently actually pay for.

3) Yes! Kill Saturday delivery. But just to start, I'd eventually want to go 3 days a week only.

The technophobic will balk initially, but snail mail is logistically retarded, and the so0ner it starts to die off the better. I don't want it ever to die, we still need to deliver those packages and cards somehow but let's get the transition going to a package and card service and not a junk mail and bills service. I don't want to prop up a dead end technology and snail mail for data delivery is astronomically retarded.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 11:53 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

We haven't had Saturday postal service in Canada for at least 30 years. It hasn't seemed to make any difference in anyone's life or business to not have Saturday service.

Oh God!! I just had a terrible terrible epiphany!

What if there is a scientific correlation between lack of Saturday mail delivery and the love of curling!!

So that's why Canada is such a dorky country!! Explains everything!

Please keep Saturday mail service if that's the case!
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:01 pm
@Thomas,
Their purpose is not to spend money. Their purpose is to deliver mail. Anybody can spend money.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:04 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
The price hike may piss people off, but let's bring the USPS into the new century while we are at it and offset this with some technology. I never touch my mail. I use earthclassmail.com to have US addresses around the country and they scan my mail for me and I read it online


I was reading that the PS is seriously considering this, though it seems to me that there is a fair about of labor involved. It also does little for the environmental problems of paper mail, as it is still created and presumably transported to the post office.

If netflix thinks they can almost eliminate mail I don't see why we cant continue to eliminate correspondence and billing mail. If we could also get junk mail ended we would have almost no need for a post office......shrink it down to about nothing but parcel service, raise first class mail to about $1.50, and then pay for it with taxes.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:11 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
I was reading that the PS is seriously considering this, though it seems to me that there is a fair about of labor involved.


Unless you standardize it in a way you can automate the scanning it might require lots of labor for the scanning.

Quote:
It also does little for the environmental problems of paper mail, as it is still created and presumably transported to the post office.


The energy to move the paper across the country is the biggest waste and it saves that, but yes still a dead tree. In any case it is a big step towards digital delivery to let the user decide to get it digitally even if the sender doesn't decide to send it that way.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:18 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
The energy to move the paper across the country is the biggest waste and it saves that, but yes still a dead tree. In any case it is a big step towards digital delivery to let the user decide to get it digitally even if the sender doesn't decide to send it that way


kinda my point, we dont need the post office for much. There is no reason we could not shrink it to 10% of what it was at the peak....it is already shrinking fast....the only things standing in the way it taking over the pension costs of all those who have worked for the PS, and taking its debt. I think I read this years cost is $5 billion, the debt is about $14 billion.

We could then agree to keep the PS afloat with taxes, after raising first class mail prices a bunch, I dont figure it would take a lot year to year.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:44 pm
I think Saturday and Wednesday delivery should be cut out.

Deliver mail on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:57 pm
@chai2,
Isn't that a tad arbitrary? No Wednesday deliveries?!

Remember these guys still need to keep their full time jobs. So they're going to have to shift from 8 hour shifts to 10 hour days. Post office work (especially delivery positions are pretty strenuous enough.

I'd think they'd be losing more money if they lose the middle of the week business.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 01:11 pm
@tsarstepan,
My postal delivery people seem to be working more than 10 hour days anyway.

I work in the medical industry, and nurses and techs all prefer working 10 or 12 hour shifts. Their work is strenuous too. In fact they get pissed off when they have to work just 8 hour days. Of course this is different in let's say a doctors office. 10 - 12 hour days are the norm in hospital and clinical settings.
I'd sure rather work 4 days and get 3 off, especially a day off in the middle of the week to get personal business done.

I say Wednesday because that gives people the opportunity to get mail 2 full days, or missing a delivery then, would get it at the end of the week, Thurs, Friday.

I didn't pick that day at random.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 01:15 pm
@chai2,
Well then! How do you like the thumbs up for your well reasoned response! HUH! <<<<grumble grumble>>>> <<<how dare she use rational thinking and thoughtful reasoning>>> <<<<mumble grumble>>>>
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 01:38 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
Remember these guys still need to keep their full time jobs.


the experience in the last couple of offices I've worked in is that (at least until the technology gets much better) most mail rooms need more staff to scan and direct mail than they did to sort and forward mail. Posties could, in the short term, take over some of the scanning function instead of doing hand deliveries.

I suspect the overall North American work force is going to continue to go through some difficult adjustments. This is just one example.
Setanta
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 03:28 pm
@Robert Gentel,
You and Thomas have in common that you like to argue for argument's sake. Once again, if Thomas' second point is true, then his first point is beggared into insignificance. If your claim is true, Thomas' second point is false.
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 04:29 pm
@Setanta,
Yeah, Thomas and I are the argumentative ones here. Enjoy your delusional self-image.
0 Replies
 
 

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