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postal service logo
The Senate is turning its attention back to the Postal Service, which "everyone" agrees is in crisis. That is to say, the Postal Service is a victim both of legitimate shifts in how we live our lives and communicate with our loved ones and of a manufactured crisis resulting from simultaneous congressional demands that it "run like a business" and congressional restrictions preventing it from running like a business in ways that would help.

The policy world debate over what to do about the Postal Service centers around cuts cuts cuts: Should post offices and processing centers be closed or just downsized? Should Saturday delivery be cut now or in a couple years? And so on. There are other possibilities that would bring the possibility of the Postal Service adapting more fully to the rise of the internet; for instance, a report conducted for the National Association of Letter Carriers by Ron Bloom, who headed up President Obama's auto rescue, finds that leading proposals for cuts would worsen the situation (manufacture more crisis, in other words), and suggests that:

[...] the agency should raise its stamp prices, which are among the lowest in the world, and find new ways to profit more from its built-in advantage as the only entity to reach every American home every day. It should also replace its multilayered governance system with a corporate- style board of directors whose members have entrepreneurial experience.
Running government like a business is always a terrible idea. Saying that the Postal Service should be like a business in being profitable while not having the ability to raise prices or expand its offerings says you want it to fail. The Senate's postal bill has improved slightly in recent weeks, but stays in the established policy debate in which the question is not how to adapt but what to cut.

8:55 AM PT:

The Senate has voted 74-22 to force a start to debate on a Postal Reform bill

@jamiedupree via TweetDeck
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Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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