Poll

2 votes (8.33%)
6 votes (25%)
No votes (0%)
No votes (0%)
2 votes (8.33%)
No votes (0%)
11 votes (45.83%)
3 votes (12.5%)

24 members have voted

reno
reno
Joined: Jan 20, 2010
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September 10th, 2011 at 2:16:50 PM permalink
As of 1971, American taxpayers covered 23 percent of the U.S. Postal Service's expenses, but this subsidy was phased out by 1982. Nevertheless, they still enjoy special tax-free privileges and a government-sanctioned monopoly on delivering 1st class letters. In 2006, Congress mandated that the USPS pay $5.5 billion annually to cover pension and health benefits for the agency 480,000 retired workers and 600,000 active workers. Due to falling revenue (partly because of email) the USPS doesn't have the $5.5 billion.

Elsewhere in the world, (especially in Europe) postal services are being de-monopolized. For example, the Netherlands has 4 major companies which deliver daily mail. Privatization has its benefits, but first class mail delivery is a low margin business: none of the 4 Dutch companies are prospering. (Might having 4 daily mail carriers make it more complicated for the consumer to track down an important lost letter?)

I don't relish the idea of the old pre-1971 model of taxpayer subsidization. On the other hand, it's surreal to consider that we're willing to spend $1 trillion on Iraq and $750 billion bailing out Wall Street, but we hesitate to spend $5.5 billion to rescue an American icon created by George Washington and originally headed by Benjamin Franklin himself.

What do you think?
matilda
matilda
Joined: Feb 4, 2010
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September 10th, 2011 at 2:26:48 PM permalink
Add to the poll-- stop giving reduced rates to mass mailings and junk mail.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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September 10th, 2011 at 2:46:54 PM permalink
I think the government closed its pigeon breeding facility after the signal corps switched from pigeons to radio and teletype.

I see nothing wrong with closing the post office. FedEx and UPS will be happy to take over. No need to subsidize buggy whip manufacturers. Most service levels are low and who really wants all that junk mail anyway.

The post office has some Star Routes wherein the postage is double. Perhaps keep those but face it, its simply archaic. Think of all those private mailbox places. Would they even exist if the post office was any good?

Sell the real estate???
Most post offices are privately owned and leased to the post office, often by movie stars or movie star estates.
It was always easier to get leases through a budget process than purchases. Which is why Bob Hope and Bing Crosby owned so many post offices.
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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September 10th, 2011 at 2:55:23 PM permalink
Here's the perfect government solution:

1) Ban email
2) Ban electronic delivery of financial statements of all sorts, including by fax, web, email and even by phone
3) Ban the delivery of bills by all sorts of electronic bills, including by fax, web, email and even by phone
4) Raise postal rates
5) Institute a tax on overnight parcel shipments

We can call it Obamapost :P
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
boymimbo
boymimbo
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 5994
September 10th, 2011 at 2:58:20 PM permalink
Sigh. Run the post office like a business and raise postage rates. Build supermailboxes to eliminate long delivery runs. Lay off a bunch of unskilled workers who will inevitably become unemployed or underemployed. Then they can collect welfare. Either way they're being paid by the government. Cut off their benefits as well. No free ride for them. Then they can live homeless on the streets of.... Portland!
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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September 10th, 2011 at 3:42:11 PM permalink
The PO is failing because the employees are massively
overpaid. 80% of PO income goes to pay employees and
their benefits. About 55% of of UPS goes to this and I
think about 40% of FedEx. The PO will never get solvent
with those numbers, its a mathematical impossibility.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
rxwine
rxwine
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
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September 10th, 2011 at 3:46:55 PM permalink
People in rural areas may be affected the most where private companies would likely charge higher rates for less volume. That's my guess.
The Hall of Unverified Claims is a vast place with many shelves.
matilda
matilda
Joined: Feb 4, 2010
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September 10th, 2011 at 3:49:18 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

People in rural areas may be affected the most where private companies would likely charge higher rates for less volume. That's my guess.



They wouldn't even try to serve many areas. I am in north Florida and I have no cable nor cell phone provider.
buzzpaff
buzzpaff
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
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September 10th, 2011 at 3:55:52 PM permalink
Let UPS or Fed Ex try charging a flat rate for anywhere in USA and territories, deliver to every house and apartment everyday before comparing those percentages. Not so much as the workers as the bureaucracy I mail a lot of stuff I sell at Amazon and the local PO now has to put 2 stickers on each package. The first has postage stamp and bar code for address. Second one is just to be scanned at the final local PO. Slows me and the clerk at this end and slows sorting at distant end. But the high level bureaucrat who came up with that idea will keep his jib. And probably get a bonus too.
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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September 10th, 2011 at 4:00:39 PM permalink
Quote: buzzpaff

Let UPS or Fed Ex try charging a flat rate for anywhere in USA and territories, deliver to every house and apartment everyday before comparing those percentages.



They could do and do it profitably. They have a good
business model, the PO does not. Ever notice that PO
workers are in those jobs forever? They can't be fired,
they have to steal or kill somebody to lose their jobs.
There's a woman in my local PO who's been there for
30 years and is so fat she can barely walk. Everything
she does is in slow motion. The PO is full of incompetent
people like her.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal

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