Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Fate of the USPS

"The head of the U.S. Postal Service said in an interview that the organization will default -- perhaps as early as this winter -- unless Congress intervenes.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's comments reflect a well-known reality that the Postal Service is in dire financial straits. The rise of email and online bill-paying has steadily eroded its profits over the years while labor costs soar. Donahoe is calling for a host of changes, including the elimination of Saturday delivery, to close a deficit projected to top $9 billion this year.

But he said Congress needs to step in to help keep the service alive.

"Our situation is extremely serious," he told The New York Times. "If Congress doesn't act, we will default."

According to The New York Times, the service will be unable to make a $5.5 billion retiree health care payment later this month and is expected to run out of money to pay workers and other expenses early next year. This could force a shutdown in delivery." (source)


I like the Postal Service. I consistently choose it over UPS and FedEx.

That being said, I don't understand how they could possibly be this broke. Yes, people stopped sending letters when email took over --but at the same time online shopping and Ebay took off. The letter was replaced by the package and they didn't take advantage. They should have partnered with Ebay from the get go... True, no one sends letters anymore, but who cares about losing the stamp sales when no one goes shopping anymore either. I spend WAY more on shipping costs than I ever did mailing letters and bills... Why doesn't the Post Master capitalize on that?! I wish I could buy it --I'd turn that business model around...

And if we're going to subsidize something, I'd much rather it be the Post Office -which I use everyday - than Amtrak -which I've NEVER used...

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