12/6: Can postal service be fixed?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

What do you think of the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to eliminate next-day service, as well as its plans to close mail processing centers and local post offices? And, oh yeah, the price of stamps is going up again, in January. How does it affect you? Will you continue to use the service or move more correspondence to emai? Sound off on our blog and we will run some responses in Friday’s print newspaper, too.

15 comments Add your comment

Lasharitiaviana

December 6th, 2011
7:10 pm

The Postal Service does a pretty good job when you consider the logistical challenges they’re up against, like delivering mail to everyone regardless of where they are. I’d hate to see them go under, but they really can do some things much more efficiently. Getting rid of the union would be a huge step in the right direction.

Uncommon sense

December 6th, 2011
5:54 pm

The USPS could easily be saved with just a couple of simple changes. It should be allowed to invests its $325,000,000,000 in retirement assets the way any other business does. Requiring the USPS to “invest” 100% of its retirement assets in low return federal bonds is killing the USPS. The increased returns of around 2-4% per year that a diversified portfolio would return would cut postal expenses by $6.5 to $13 Billion dollars per year.
This simple change would save multiple times the amount the consolidations and service cuts are expected to save without impacting service.
The current plan is a death spiral plan. Eliminating overnight service will ultimately cost much more in lost revenue than it will save in expenses.

Free Market

December 6th, 2011
5:48 pm

When the country was founded, the safe and consistent delivery of mail was critically important and tremendously difficult to achieve let alone guarantee. The founders made the mistake of granting a monopoly privilege of first class mail service to the postal service and that laid the foundation for the failures we see today. It may be the responsibility of the congress to insure safe and sound mail delivery, but that by no means requires a failed offshoot of the federal government to achieve.

The greatest thing the congress could do for america and freedom would be to end the monopoly privilege on first class mail delivery the USPS currently enjoys and allow anyone to begin handling these pieces of mail at competitive rates. If the USPS can survive the competition, great. If not, good riddance.

For those who would bash UPS and FedEx please remember that there is no reason they would need to be the ONLY choices available. There have been literally thousands of examples of local and regional companies that attempted to deliver the mail for far less than the USPS over the years and they were all shut down as they violated the law by delivering first class mail. There is also no reason to believe that we would all pay huge amounts for our mail delivery even if UPS or FedEx handled it. Remember, the costs they charge are based on their current volumes which do not include any first class regular delivery. Additionally, the USPS pays their employees WAY more than they are worth. Their minimum wage is approaching $20 per hour (well, the last time I had heard it was $17 and that was many years ago). Most of these folks do jobs that high school kids or college kids could do for far less and even the more complex tasks require only minimal training. It is union bullying and intimidation tactics that have driven up wages.

We are supposed to be a free country based on capitalism and the marketplace (we of course aren’t). To make a gesture to that legacy we once had, congress should open the market for first class mail to everyone and let the chips fall where they may. There has never been a better time in history to make this change. The USPS certainly won’t change with the times. They need to go.

Mary Elizabeth

December 6th, 2011
5:40 pm

My home is within the city limits of Roswell. I pay city taxes to Roswell. However, my post office is in another city in North Fulton. The Roswell Post Office is 5 minutes from my home. My “official” post office is 35 minutes from my home. I have talked with the managers in both post offices about this problem. I mentioned that homes which abut the back of my property are serviced by the Roswell Post Office. I have called the offices of both the Major of Roswell and my U.S. Congressman. Both offices have told me that my post office (and my mailing address) must be determined by the U.S. Postal Service, and that their offices have no power to intervene. Post Office personnel have told me that my situation will probably never change.

If the U. S. Postal Service demonstrates this same lack of “customer care” to other citizens, and has this kind of power, I can well understand why the U.S. Postal Service is having difficulty.

Eric

December 6th, 2011
5:37 pm

The loss of first class mail service is the beginning of the end of our great nation! I am frightened of using online bill pay, what with all the identity theft going on and computer problems. Why do so many people give into technology? Let’s find a way to restore the U.S. Postal Service! Cut Sat. mail before shutting down/laying off!