People and maybe more importantl some politicians have begun to notice that mail deliveries are getting slower thanks to the U.S. Postal Service’s shuttering of 82 mail processing facilities in January.
In Racine County Wisconsin local residents have begun reporting delays as long as a week for first class mail, which the USPS says should run no more than three days, according to the Racine Journal Times http://journaltimes.com/news/local/mail-seem-slow-postal-service-change-is-likely-the-cause/article_a6863276-fcc9-5fb9-9927-113a20beb50d.html.
Keep in mind most people still pay their bills via first class mail and not everybody is in a position or willing to pay their bills online. It’s unlikely that credit card, electric, or phone companies will accept slower mail service as a reason not to charge exorbitant late fees.
In fact, Senator John Tester (D-MT) said as much to incoming new to incoming Postmaster General Megan Brennan late last month, stressing how these new standards will disproportionately hurt people in rural areas http://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=3766.
As a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Tester will be partly responsible for overseeing the USPS. But how much influence can he really have in the all-Republican Senate?
What’s more, it’s not likely one single face-to-face exchange between the senator and the PMG will immediately lead to changes in postal service practices.
Discontent with the USPS’s new service standards is growing among business groups as well. In Tucson, AZ, a local mail processing facility was closed down and its load was moved to a plant in Phoenix. This was causing delays of up to five days, which are bringing hardships and lost sales to local enterprises, according to the Tucson News http://tucson.com/news/business/mail-delays-detrimental-tucson-business-leaders-say/article_9b459f9d-d112-5969-aa40-e47394c2d965.html.
One other major way the USPS is downsizing itself is by closing post offices selling them to private developers, a movement that’s continuing despite growing public resistance.
In one case the postal service sold off its Stuyvesant Station post office in New York City to developers who are going to build a big luxury condominium on top of the building, according to the Town and Village newspaper http://town-village.com/2015/01/22/peter-stuyvesant-post-office-apartments/.
Whether it knows it or not, the USPS is enabling the local real estate industry in its cruel efforts to make the borough of Manhattan the province of only the very rich.
Those developers have no regard for the lives and needs of ordinary people and nobody is apparently advocating for the people either.
Eventually, this real estate boom is going to run its course and there won’t be enough rich people to come to New York and sustain it. Likely, the city if not the state governments will be forced to deal with the consequences.
But it is sometimes possible to fight entrenched interests and win.
After all, about six years ago, former insurance executive turned patient activist Wendell Potter testified before the Senate Commerce Committee that insurance companies quite frequently deny legitimate claims because they generally put profits over patients, according to Bill Moyers’ Journal on the Public Broadcasting Service http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/profile.htm.
Moyers’ expose as wqell as the efforts of Potter and many other efforts that had been building for many years helped bring about the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
But passing this law took a long time and a lot of political pressure and activism. Many people still feel the Obamacare law is inadequate. To this day many members of Congress and the Senate still want to repeal or at least water down the ACA.
Granted the postal service may not seem like the same life and death issue as reasonably priced and available medical insurance. But this gradual evisceration of the USPS will bring about many predictable and unforeseen long term consequences to the health of this country.