Say goodbye to one-day first-class mail delivery from the Postal Service—and say hello to further economic devastation:
The agency said the slower delivery would result from its decision to shut about half of its 487 mail processing centers nationwide. The move is expected to eliminate about 28,000 jobs and increase the distance that mail must travel between post offices and processing centers. It would be the first reduction in delivery standards for first-class mail in 40 years.
Patrick Donahoe, the postmaster general, told Steven Greenhouse, "In 2000, 5 percent of people paid bills online. Now it’s 60 percent." But despite that shift online and away from mail for some functions, other things we now do online end up in our mailboxes, from Netflix to Amazon, so it's worth asking what impact this move will have on online business models.
But the primary issue is that we're told again and again that the present is no time to raise taxes even on the people who can afford it best, that something like that needs to wait until the economy is stronger. Cutting 28,000 jobs, though—well, apparently there's no time like the present. Those layoffs won't just devastate the (disproportionately African-American) homes they hit, they'll hurt the businesses where those now-employed people spend money. With around 250 processing centers closing and 28,000 jobs being lost, that means around 110 jobs lost per location—a significant hit for a local economy to take.