Sometimes it takes a foreigner to make us appreciate what we’ve got and why we shouldn’t squander it.
Zeynep Tufekci, a Turkish immigrant and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, recounts how amazed she was when she came to this country and found something as powerful and efficient as the U.S. Postal Service and how she might benefit from it and what a unique national treasure it remains
Where she comes from mail service is probably nowhere nearly as reliable or regular.
Quite rightly she points out that we would not have the likes of Amazon.com or eBay without a sturdy and far-reaching postal service to deliver the goods to the customers in the end.
We agree wholeheartedly with you, Zeynip.
Trouble is, not everybody in powerful positions in this country shares her views. That includes some members of Congress—and even the USPS itself.
One of the larger issues last year was that of delayed mail. After the USPS began closing post offices and distribution centers a few years ago it purposely enacted lower delivery standards because, quite frankly, postal workers physically could no longer handle the workload.
This has angered postal customers, especially rural and smaller, local businesses that are heavily dependent on the USPS for their survival. Many of them have repeatedly complained to their Congressional Representatives and Senators.
These conditions prompted Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) last summer to introduce a bill to stop the USPS from closing anymore postal facilities, give local authorities a say in such decisions and permanently preserve six-day-a-week delivery http://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=4043
He was joined by at least three other Senators on this bill.
But Congress in its infinite wisdom and chronic lassitude failed to even address this tardiness issue in its recent appropriations bill, according to Government Executive http://cdn.govexec.com/interstitial.html?v=2.1.1&rf=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.govexec.com%2Foversight%2F2015%2F06%2Fhouse-panel-backs-faster-mail-more-usps-facilities%2F115738%2F.
For its part, the postal service also seems intent on whittling itself down. Just over a year ago, it proposed ending door-to-door delivery in favor of dumping all a neighborhood’s mail in centralized boxes.
At least in some new suburban developments in Pennsylvania, reports have circulated that the USPS wants to stop delivery to the door and drop all correspondence in centralized cluster boxes, according to Lehighvalleylive.com http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/10/us_postal_service_wants_new_de.html.
This is the way mail is delivered in countries like Pakistan where whole villages have to rifle through all their neighbors’ mail in hopes of maybe finding their own. So much for the privacy of mail.
Have postal standards in this country, in place even before we were a nation, deteriorated so badly? Should they be allowed to get worse?
Most postal systems throughout the world can’t hold a candle to the USPS in terms of reliability, trustworthiness and the capacity to spawn and maintain a host of other businesses.
Just like the song says: you don‘t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.