Mailing industry groups are finally trying to light a fire under the collective hindquarters of the Senate to up and approve new members of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors.
The Board is supposed to make sure that the public’s interests are properly taken into account in USPS decision making.
In a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, a group of nine mailing industry trade groups urged the Senate go quickly vote on all of President Obama’s nominees for the BOG as soon as possible.
Right now the board has only one member.
“One Governor alone, no matter how competent, may be unable to perform the responsibilities of the Board,” said the group in a statement.
The lack of a fully staffed board could possibly lead toward further degradation of the USPS and force marketers to seek other channels, warned the group, which is made up of such entities as EPICOMM, the
Association for Postal Commerce, Major Mailers Association, the National Newspaper Association, the Direct Marketing Association and others.
Some other people in high places think they might like this as they await a fully privatized postal service. That is until they begin suffering its effects. How will they react once generally expected USPS services really further go downhill?
It’s refreshing to see representatives of business groups that depend directly on a healthy postal system finally step up to the plate and make their voices heard.
The Senate should remember the mailing industry accounts for more than $9 billion a year and employs thousands of people around the country.
But one BOG nominee, Mickey Barnett, a lobbyist for the shadowy payday loan industry, which opposes recent efforts to establish a postal banking system that would aim at poorer people shunned by commercial banks.
His approval has been held up for that very reason.
Yes these mailing industry lobbyists are justified in demanding a restored BOG. But they must also recognize that the USPS represents to everybody in the country and not just their parochial interests. A solid banking system would raise at least $1 billion in annual revenue for the USPS, according to the Office of the USPS Inspector General https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library-files/2014/rarc-wp-14-007.pdf.
Don’t commercial mailers see how banking operations could strengthen the USPS in the long run?
By the way, the idea of postal banking may be spreading beyond our borders.
In Canada, for instance, the same types of operations exist and prey not only on low income people but those in rural and far-flung areas as well., according to the some readers of the Halifax Chronicle Herald http://thechronicleherald.ca/letters/1332902-postal-banking-would-dent-payday-loan-business.
Canada, with its large area and small population, has lots of remote places that tend to be unprofitable to the country’s chartered banks.
It may be an uphill battle to prevent Barnett’s approval to the board of governors and establish postal banking services for the poor. But mailers could help their cause if they got behind the proposal.