12/28: Why postal services are important

Moderated by Rick Badie

From Atlanta to South Georgia, post offices may be closed as the U.S. Postal Service tries to reduce costs and turn a profit.

Today, a New York University professor explains the importance of postal services.

I interview residents in the rural town of Perkins about the potential loss of a community anchor.

74 comments Add your comment


December 30th, 2011
7:59 pm

The postal service has NO problem paying its retirement funds. It has been saddled with a requirement to prepay retiree HEALTH CARE for 75 years. This must be accomplished in the 10 year period that began in 2006. This required an additional payment of 5.5 BILLION dollars per year for 10 years. No other company or government agency has ever had to prefund HEALTH CARE for people that have not been born. If not for this requirement for the past 5 years, the USPS would have shown a net profit.
When the postal service recognized the unions in the 1970’s, the retirement pensions were refigured. The problem was that the USPS was charged more for retirement pensions then the other government agencies. This has resulted in a surplus in the postal workers retirement fund run by the budget office. There is more then 55 BILLION dollars in the retirement fund that the USPS was overcharged. The USPS has requested some of these funds to help with operational shortfalls caused by the poor economy.
The USPS can not raise rates without the concent of postal regulatory commission. When the price of gas went from $1.75 a ga. to more then $3 a gal., Fedex and UPS were charging surcharges on all deliveries. This was to cover the cost of fuel. The USPS could not charge surcharges or raise rates but was still paying the increased cost. This is the real reason the USPS will never run like a for profit company. The for profit companies do not want the competition.

Oscar Meyer

December 29th, 2011
12:06 pm

No John, you read me totally wrong I do believe. I cannot see any need remaining that could possibly justify the least amount of government involvement in delivering to what is left of the snail-mail market. The USPS should die a very speedy death (like many other government department and agency should die a quick death which can’t justify the expense or need to exist) and all the government employees laid-off. The private sector can take over snail mail delivery now that postal roads have been firmly established in compliance with article one section eight of the U.S. Constitution.

Your idea of RFD or mail delivered to say a general store type facility with a private sector mail handler under government contract only being the only difference from the way it was done before in many rural areas of this country is a very good suggestion.

So with equally respectful regards my friend, I’d honestly say, none of the present USPS facilities as we now know them should survive. However the government should continue to collect revenue by means of collecting a percentage of postage charged by the private sector contractors government chooses to act as our mail agents.

I sincerely hope you a great day.


December 29th, 2011
11:41 am

We need Saturday mail delivery because the U.S. is no longer a 5-workday a week nation. The weekend is now business as usual. In fact a case could be made for Sunday mail service.

This push for total reliance on the internet concerns me because the net still isn’t all that dependable. Any number of things can go wrong to shut down your internet access – computer failure, problem with ISP, problem with phone line, hackers, viruses etc. – but good ole snail mail is nearly 100% reliable.


December 29th, 2011
8:30 am

Gee, Oscar. You really cut me there. Hoo, boy.

Now, answer the question. Does the Post Office REALLY need two facilities within 8 miles?

If they can’t close any facilities, how will they survive?