Despite ever-declining mail volume in this country, the use of individual post offices is rising, according to savepostoffice.com <http://www.savethepostoffice.com/were-listening-postal-service-holds-8500-postplan-meetings-why>.
But that’s not stopping the U.S Postal Service from spending a lot of money it doesn’t have by holding more than 8,000 meeting s around the nation. There, officials explain why it’s planning to shutter these still necessary facilities. The USPS basically announced these closures back in 2011 as part of a plan for more cost-cutting.
Maybe these meetings are just a lame cynical public relations exercise before the USPS closes these facilities anyway.
Maybe our dysfunctional and uninterested Congress is just letting the postal service do its dirty work for it by cutting employee numbers while it waits until the 2014 elections. At that point, some may think the GOP may regain control of the Senate and it will be better able to ram things like postal privatization down people’s throats.
That’s assuming Congress is even thinking about the deficit-ridden USPS and other serious matters of government. The recently ended government shutdown strongly suggests otherwise.
Yes it’s well-known that first class mail has been declining for many years while online commerce and bill paying have surged.
[One down side of this is that individuals have less direct control of their money and privacy but that’s a subject for another time.]
But these trends are no reasons to close down post offices that most people still need.
And it doesn’t help when some conservative, if less-than-informed commentators call for postal reform but misunderstand the complexities of the issues http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/post-office-5-billion-default/2013/10/22/id/532408.
They’re quite right to call for much-needed reform, especially after the USPS’s September default of more than $5 billion on its healthcare cost obligation to future retirees. But they fail to acknowledge that conservative members of Congress members created this artificial cost burden in the 2006 postal reform law.
What’s more, they call for such discredited measures as five-day delivery which probably would not save the USPS the $3 billion the postal service estimates. Naturally, they want to close post offices. They also call for opening competition on mail delivery so the USPS could concentrate on “core competencies” like package delivery.
First of all, mail delivery is the postal service’s core competency. Secondly, opening mail delivery to competition might require changing the Constitution since the Founding Fathers guaranteed what became the USPS a monopoly on mail delivery. You could look it up.
Some people can’t get away from being doctrinaire and detached. That’s OK but they can sound ignorant and silly if they don’t know some very basic facts about our government.