Curbside Mail Delivery Could Violate Universal Service

Proposals to end mail delivery to every address in the nation in favor of dumping mail by the curb or in other central locations could compromising the U.S. Postal Service’s Constitutional mandate to provide universal service to everybody.

They’re also just plain mean as they discriminate against the poor and disabled who may not be able to get away from their homes.

The postal service’s financial woes continue to deteriorate. The USPS reported a $740 billion net loss of for the quarter ended June 30, http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_063.htm .

So Congress is now considering proposals that further cut mail services and maybe further weaken the power of postal unions.

According to the Washington Post, proposals pending in both the House and Senate call for ending delivery to every address in the nation in favor of dumping mail in curbside boxes or  central locations like shopping malls http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/saving-the-us-postal-service/2013/08/11/53da9a96-ff8a-11e2-9711-3708310f6f4d_story.html

How much money would this really save in the long run?

Delivery to the door .while not necessarily mandated in the U.S. Constitution, has definitely helped cement the country together as the founding fathers intended and has helped reinforce the idea of universal service.

Maybe some in Congress don’t think the country should be unified in such an old-fashioned way now that most communications are supposedly digital.

The bills in Congress also call for ending Saturday mail delivery as another way to save money.

Believe it or not this was tried before in 1947and 1957 as a way to stem budget shortfalls.  Both times public outrage forced the USPS to back down http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/delivery-monday-through-saturday.pdf

How the public would react now is anybody’s guess.

Of course, there’s still the elephant in the room of the USPS’s obligation to pay more than $5.5 billion a year to cover future retiree healthcare costs for the next 75 years.

This provision was slipped into the last postal reform law in 2006 and New York Times columnist Gail Collins invoked some horrible Shakespearean imagery to describe  those members of Congress who pushed it through. It’s hard to disagree with her http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/10/opinion/collins-playing-post-office.html?ref=gailcollins.

Current bills in Congress, as written now, wouldn’t necessarily abolish this obligation.

So is this country ready to give up the one government service that has kept this country together since the 18thCentury? Stay tuned.

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