When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"3 days a week of mail, possibly in 15 years" - How about now?

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"3 days a week of mail, possibly in 15 years"-- How about now?
With all the angst going on in Washington about the US Post Office, I was struck a few weeks ago by the CBS News story-- Head of U.S. Postal Service says delivery could be scaled back to 3 days a week :

With Internet usage rising and mail volume steadily falling, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe warned the U.S. Postal Service is going to have to make significant cutbacks that could mean no more Saturday service and eventually lead to mail delivery just three days a week.
The Postal Service's "cashflow crisis is at a critical level," Donahoe told USA Today in an interview published Wednesday. Donahoe said eliminating Saturday mail would save around $3.1 billion a year for the cash-strapped agency, projected to lose $8.3 billion this year.
"At some point, we'll have to move to three" days a week of mail delivery, possibly in 15 years, he told the newspaper. . . .
15 years? How about now. No wonder Washington can’t get its fiscal house in order. For those in Washington who choose to continue to ignore the obvious, let me offer the following:
  • The United States Postal Service was never intended to be a “make work” program with overpaid government union workers doing unnecessary work at taxpayer’s expense.
  • Postal services worldwide are in decline because they are not needed anymore due to online banking and bill paying, email and other forms of electronic communication.
  • The USPS is a bloated, quasi-governmental service, costing billions every year in taxpayer subsidies to continue to prop up. Other than serving as a subsidy for commercial print advertising delivery, and to continue employing government union workers who in turn make political contributions to members of Congress, it serves a diminishing need—in business parlance, it’s a “dinosaur.”
  • The United States Postal Service is not a “green” industry.  The Postal Service, in order to justify its existence, now does everything it can to promote the generation of print material to be distributed by its fuel-burning vehicles.  Where are the environmentalists on this issue?—MIA. I thought they cared about the environment and the unnecessary burning of fossil fuels.

The money we're wasting on the USPS subsidies would be better spent on actual, needed infrastructure--which would provide additional employment.  In other words, it's time Washington started focusing on "money better spent" and reallocating according to priorities.

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