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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.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Pony Express fits right in with GOP's plans... (10+ / 0-)

    ...to take this country back to the 19th century.

    Buy horse futures.

    We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned and brainwashed to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:19:51 AM PST

    •  Decline and Fall of Empire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJersey, felldestroyed

      Chopping up major accomplishments and services.  What's next, abandoning routes on the Interstate Highway System?

      A really great tagline appearing here soon! Watch this space!

      by madhaus on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:19:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Double the price (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kayebee

        of postage stamps: they are ridiculously low in the first place.

        Increase bulk rates: businesses get a d-e-e-e-e-p discount for sending junk mail, and only pay for the maybe 3% of business reply envelopes that are sent back.

        Revisit the 75-years-in-advance pension funding requirement, which is absurd.

        As a consumer, I will be opening all of my junk mail from now on and mailing those postage paid envelopes back.

        "No one earns $100 million. You steal $100 million." --Fran Lebowitz

        by SNFinVA on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:08:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Consequences for changes (0+ / 0-)

          Doubling the price of postage across the board is likely to have several unfortunate consequences. I'm assuming that the USPS has done modeling of various scenarios and have determined extensive price increases would be counterproductive. Some potential consequences that come to mind:

          1. Reduction in mail usage both by individuals (for example, online bill pay would become more attractive if First Class postage was 88 cents rather than 44 cents) and businesses (the more it costs to send something, the less likely a business is to do so). This change may not reduce costs a great deal (trucks still have to pick up from mail boxes and carriers would usually still have something to deliver to each home daily) but require amortizing fixed costs over fewer mail pieces so the per piece costs increase. This could be the start of a vicious cycle that would kill the USPS.

            Bulk Rate mailings are very price sensitive so doubling the postage cost for these would likely to result in a disproportionate decrease in volume.

          2. Increased charges to consumers by businesses to cover the increased postal charges. This may take the form of a surcharge for the "snail mail option" or, if that is not palatable or is made illegal, an increase in overall account fees for everyone -- even those who do utilize online statements/payments.
          3. As the price of postage rises, those with options (bank accounts, computers, etc) will flee to online billing. This will leave those least able (generally lower income but also just older and not tech literate) to bear the cost of the increased postage due to decreased volume having to do so.
          4. Mail is a fairly cost-effective way for a small business (esp. those with a limited geographical service area) to advertise to their targeted audience. The "big guys" don't need this as much -- everyone knows where their local megamart is and will actually look up sales on their web site but they won't think to do so for an small grocery store that is only ten blocks away. Increasing the price of postage for such small businesses will probably hurt them more than the megamart.

          As far as business reply, the business pays to mail the envelope (it counts in the weight of the outgoing mailpiece), pay postage at first class rates for those that are returned, and pay a fee on top of that for the "business reply" service. What's wrong with that?

          Although your individual efforts to "mail back empty business reply envelopes" won't have any impact, if a lot of people did this one would expect to see changes. First, it might be made illegal (if it's not already). Second, businesses would tend not to send them as much (meaning even more reduction in revenue for the USPS) because the ROI would be reduced. Third, businesses would likely begin to code each envelope with who it was sent to and prune their mailing lists of those who send back empty business reply envelopes (you might like this, but it would reduce revenue yet more for the USPS).

          Unfortunately, there is just no getting around the fact that the USPS needs to downsize dramatically and needs to cut services as part of that. Fifty years from now, there will be virtually no demand for delivery of paper to homes/businesses. Ask everyone you know with a college degree and between the ages of 21 and 26 how frequently they check their USPS mailbox -- the answer might surprise you. Most younger folks I know wouldn't even think of doing paper statements/billing - it's just harder.

          To the extent that I understand it, the 75 year pension funding requirement is excessive. However, with the expectation of a continually declining workforce and revenue, a pure 'pay as you go' USPS pension system is not practical. The pension plan should be fully funded with the assumption of a decline in revenue and employment. To ignore the problem until the pension fund goes bankrupt won't help retired USPS workers.

          Get rid of Saturday residential delivery!

          •  So besides online competition (0+ / 0-)

            what realistic competition does the USPS have for ordinary first class or business class letter size mail?

            UPS?

            FEDEX?

            And packages:

            How many citizens use a PO Box for their address?

            Does UPS deliver to a P.O. Box? No.
            Does FEDEX deliver to a P.O. Box? No. Although they do charge extra for residential delivery...

            The USPS does have advantages that they are not fully exploiting.

            There is also the simple fact that while consumers do ever more purchasing of goods online, those goods must be delivered. See above reference to P.O. boxes.

            I could do without Saturday delivery, but I'd rather they do away with Tuesday residential delivery: here where I am, that is junk mail day.

            "No one earns $100 million. You steal $100 million." --Fran Lebowitz

            by SNFinVA on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:52:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Online "competition" is a big deal though. (0+ / 0-)

              Online isn't quite "competition" in the most common sense, any more than the telegraph was competition for telephones in the long term. Online is a different, and generally superior, product for transmitting information and payment which replaces First Class Mail which is becoming obsolete.

              The market for First Class Mail is still quite elastic (which explains why usage dropped almost 27% in just five years).

              Once all people with computers and internet access move to online statements and bill pay, the market for residential First Class mail will become more inelastic. By then though it will be very small -- mostly used by people who can't afford internet access and a computer or a smart phone. I doubt these people use that much First Class Mail today and don't see why that would change.

              Social uses of First Class mail also are in decline - replaced by text messages, email, etc. How many people under 30 who have easy computer and internet access send, through First Class Mail, greeting cards to other people under 30? Not many in my experience and I don't see that changing except that "30" will become "90" and the percentage of people w/o internet access will drop to nearly 0%. We may be left with just Wedding Invitations and Thank You notes for wedding gifts soon!

              Twenty five years ago, some companies mailed paychecks to employee's homes. Then they began to do direct deposit, but still sent a pay stub. More recently, it's common that the pay stub isn't mailed if employees have access to corporate computers - it's either sent by corporate email or you go online to download a copy. Only the first paycheck or two before direct deposit is set up and the final check on termination end up seeing First Class Mail.

              Business use of First Class Mail is also declining and there's no reason to believe that it won't practically disappear in the next twenty years. Virtually all businesses have email, computers, and a FAX number). Email and FAX is just faster and easier than printing out and mailing something.

              The vast majority of people don't have PO boxes. UPS and FedEx can easily solve the package delivery problem (and already have in some cases) for "Private Mail Boxes" rented from commercial mail receiving agencies. There are other opportunities that I have wished for years that FedEx and UPS would exploit (and I expect they eventually will) that will make them MORE convenient for most package delivery for many people than front door delivery. These changes to service would also likely reduce costs for UPS and FedEx so they are attractive for that reason as well.

              I would agree that USPS is not exploiting all of their strengths. But, I think that ship sailed decades ago and there's little hope for them. They continue to act like a monopoly that doesn't have to provide great customer service and competitive features. They would have to replace all employees and management that can't get the idea that customers come first and, for example, that taking their break "at the appointed time" may not always be as important as serving the long line of customers on particularly busy days. They would have to leapfrog on features and service over FedEx and UPS. Could happen, but they've had decades to do so yet have failed to so I wouldn't put much money on it happening.

      •  I don't know about that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caipirinha

        With the way many Interstate highways are poorly maintained (particularly I-880 through Oakland and Hayward), you'd think that had already happened.

        "The philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." -- Karl Marx

        by felldestroyed on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 04:29:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Better hope Newt's not listening! (0+ / 0-)

      He'll bring back the Pony Express, alright, and the riders will be eight-year-old schoolchildren!

      "The philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." -- Karl Marx

      by felldestroyed on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 04:28:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't the postal service also know for hiring vets (8+ / 0-)

    in great numbers?

  •  This will serve to get people's attention. (11+ / 0-)

    Not only will things get slower and more expensive, look for your creditors to take advantage of this and somehow make your payments not show up on time and you will be charged late fees.

    •  count on it. Why hasn't some congresscritter (10+ / 0-)

      (one of the NOT already bought and paid for--if there are any) tried to reverse the legislation that requires the P. O. to fund its pensions 80 years in advance?  Why hasn't someone found a way to fix that poison pill???  They need to fund pensions of people not even born yet, who MAY work for some vestige of the U. S. Postal Service one day??

      Enraging.  Yet another enraging event taking place right in front of our eyes.

      "Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed." --J. Steinbeck

      by livjack on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:47:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect it wouldn't pass... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Polly Syllabic

        ...the House of Representatives, as currently (de)composed, wouldn't pass it, and/or it would need 60 votes in the Senate.

        We need more Democrats in Washington, STAT!

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:11:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pitiful (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Polly Syllabic

        that your suggestion isn't even mentioned in 95% of the stories about the USPS' fiscal problems. They love to volunteer all the other difficulties they are facing but never seem to mention that they were forced to pay decades and decades worth of pensions upfront. The media today is soooo lazy.

        Occupy Your Rights: Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Dissent IS patriotic!

        by beefydaddy18 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:14:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wish it were lazy. Seems more sinister intention (0+ / 0-)

          to me these days.

          "Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed." --J. Steinbeck

          by livjack on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 11:32:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  yeah. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greeseyparrot, kayebee, schnecke21

          I had an argument (and the postmaster there thanked me for pointing this out) with some guy  in the post office last week about just this.  He was blaming the USPS' problems on generational differences (kids don't use the mail), or the bad economy...I said nope.  The Post Office is making money.  But they have to pre-fund their retirement...the guy was absolutely clueless about this and the poor postmaster looked so glad to see someone taking their side.

      •  Congressman Steve Lynch (D-MA) (0+ / 0-)

        Is sponsoring a bill which does exactly that.  Not sure of the bill's status, though.  Guessing no way the Republican leadership will allow it to be voted on.

    •  They already take advantage. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, ladybug53

      I send my mortgage via USPS return receipt requested. Otherwise it seems to take over 2 weeks to get there. (Or so the mortgage company says.)

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:06:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why don't you use an electronic payment instead? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't blame USPS. You had it right the second time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo
        Or so the mortgage company says
        Credit card companies do this all the time too. For years here in the Chicago burbs everything first-class mailed got across the country in a couple days max, except credit card payments. You could bank on it... or rather you never could. That's why we pay online now... the only way to keep the card companies honest.

        The winner of every Republican debate is Barack Obama. - plf515, DKos 2011

        by CoyoteMarti on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:08:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Trying to say credit card companies = sleazy? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CoyoteMarti

          My previous credit card company late-charged me for a payment I mailed one week in advance.  When I called them they informed me I had to mail it ten days ahead for it to get there on time.  I didn't even GET the damned thing ten days in advance.

          I went to my local credit union, opened a credit card there and now can hand deliver the bill on the day it's due.   Besides that it's due on the same day every month, so I know when I have to pay; the previous company switched the days around with no reason I could discern.  And, the credit union sends the bill about three weeks before the due date instead of about one week.

          •  Ha! Glad you are enjoying the change. (0+ / 0-)

            My credit union sends me a reminder email a few days before due. But better yet, as soon as my statement is available I can go online and schedule the payment right then for any day in the future up to the due date. No muss no fuss no need to remember.

            The winner of every Republican debate is Barack Obama. - plf515, DKos 2011

            by CoyoteMarti on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 03:13:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Uh, this is a bad idea that will have direct (9+ / 0-)

    impacts on different parts of the economy.

    The main issue I hear over and over again as Laura points out, is that people refer to bills / correspondence as the focal point of what the USPS is losing out to.  But that's a reasonably small issue as far as I can see.

    For ex., Cyber Monday has become a staple that retailers depend upon to reach any sort of year-end profit.  If you can't be certain when your package gets to you (maybe not at all), will that reduce people's overall online spending?  If you have a relative or friend who's serving overseas, how do you get a sorely needed package to them  within any realistic time frame?  And, lastly, if you're living in rural "east jibbip" where the only PO is a good 10 miles or more away from you, what do you do?  Get twice a year delivery??

    This is crazy!  The USPS was never meant to make a profit but provide a service.  Now, it won't do either.

    •  Benjamin Franklin is spinning in his grave n/t (8+ / 0-)

      We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned and brainwashed to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:41:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If people are really concerned... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Polly Syllabic

      ...about when the packages they ordered will get to their house, they're probably not going to be asking the company to send it through regular first class mail.

      This service reduction seems aimed at first-class mail alone; I don't see any indication that these reductions are going to make the next-day or second-day package services, where you pay for packages to be delivered specifically within that time frame, any less reliable. Not to mention that many online retailers use UPS and FedEx, not USPS.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:51:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mentioned this in another post, but (0+ / 0-)

        UPS (and probably FedEx) often use the post office for the last few miles.  I received a package today that was sent out UPS and arrived in my mailbox via USPS.  The guy at the post office said they received 100 packages today from UPS they they (the post office) would be delivering to homes.

  •  Conservatives Hate the Constitution. (10+ / 0-)

    They only support the intent the framers should have had originally.

    The pension-funding disaster they dumped on the Post Office is nothing but a wrecking ball.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:47:03 AM PST

    •  As it was intended to be n/t (4+ / 0-)

      We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned and brainwashed to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:59:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Framers did intend a working federal mail (0+ / 0-)

      system.

      And while we laugh at the post office naming bills that seemingly occupy so much of Congress's time, that is in fact one of the explicit responsibilities of the Congress.

      "what did surprise me was their supposition that nobody would notice they were lying"

      by harrije on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:11:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  However... (0+ / 0-)

        ...they didn't envision an Internet. Basically the Internet is replacing the USPS for all information transmittal purposes.

        Also, the Framers apparently were quite happy with what we would consider outrageous (after inflation) postage rates as in 1913 postage on a letter consisting of a single sheet sent over 450 miles was 25 cents (what that would be in today's dollars I don't know, but in 1913 25 cents was worth about the same as $5.72 today).

        •  Correction... (0+ / 0-)
          in 1913 postage on a letter consisting of a single sheet sent over 450 miles was 25 cents

          s.b.

          in 1792 postage on a letter consisting of a single sheet sent over 450 miles was 25 cents

          ^C/^V is not always your friend when used recklessly.

  •  I heard this yesterday and it pissed me off then. (9+ / 0-)

    Despite the fact of a decrease in mail the USPS still manages to make a profit every year. A big profit.

    If they didn't have to fund their pensions for 75 years in advance there would be no problem.

    And I tell you I don't want to hear any conversation about trouble with the USPS without that fact being mentioned.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:55:38 AM PST

    •  It seems like such a simple fix too! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer, Polly Syllabic

      It reminds me of the simple fix for Social Security - raising or eliminating the income cap from the current $106,800. Of course, I don't even like to say "fix" as that implies it is broken or not working, but I trust you know what I mean...

      Occupy Your Rights: Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Dissent IS patriotic!

      by beefydaddy18 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:19:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  simple v simpleton (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrJersey, beefydaddy18

        I have yet to hear ANY news organization or outlet say ANYTHING abut the pension issue. Just more "yep, the post office sux cuz it's run by the gubmint" BS from journalists who should have their degrees revoked.

        NPR too. There is no rival equivalent to Fox at any other major news outlet, because there are no major news outlets at all...just modeling gigs for paid spokespeople.

        Everyone I mention the pension thing to looks at me and says "Really? Well that's stupid. Change that so we can have a postal service." Everyone except congress.

        I remember during the healthcare fight hearing someone say "you don't want healthcare run like the post office!" and the reply was "you mean the org that gets a letter from my hand in texas all the way to the correct person in california in one day for under 50 cents? I'd LOVE them to run a hospital."

        We keep electing whores to congress, and we wonder why we get screwed while the money flows to their pimps.

        by papa monzano on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:24:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's easy to claim a profit if you don't count all (0+ / 0-)

      of your expenses.  Pension obligations are a cost of doing business when you offer pensions to your workers.

      There is a legitimate question of how big the contribution needs to be to ensure that the pension fund is actuarially sound, but people work years to get those pensions and they are entitled to receive the benefit they have worked for.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:36:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well sure but no other company or (0+ / 0-)

        organization has to fund their pensions for 75 years in advance. I think the norm is 7 years in advance.

        If all business had to play by the arbitrary rules the PO does they would all be broke.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:33:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some sobering stats (6+ / 0-)

    Total employment in the USPS

    FY 2000 787,538
    FY 2010 583,908

    Drop in USPS employees from March 2010 to Feb 11

    Maine  3,718 2,841 -23.6%
    West Virginia  4,220 3,107 -26.4%
    Nevada  4,474 4,023 -10.1%
    Nebraska  4,916 3,899 -20.7%
    Mississippi  5,161 3,731 -27.7%
    District of Columbia 5,374 4,728 -12.0%
    Utah  5,595 3,762 -32.8%
    Arkansas  5,609 4,432 -21.0%
    Oregon  7,229 6,308 -12.7%
    Oklahoma  7,567 5,858 -22.6%
    South Carolina  7,751 6,128 -20.9%
    Kansas  8,120 5,635 -30.6%

    http://www.postalconsumers.org/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:09:14 AM PST

    •  So over 10 years they've lost about (0+ / 0-)

      20,000 employees per year. Which is about the number (28,000) we're talking about here. The posts here consider this a major event, yet with some perspective it seems like this is simply a continuation of a very long term trend. I personally use the mails probably 25-35% as much as I did in the 1990s, with the advent of electronic communication taking the rest. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who uses physical mail delivery a lot less.

      •  not really (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Throw The Bums Out

        the 20K losses per year you mentioned were pretty much handled by retirements and not filling positions or transfers.

        USPS is now talking of Slashing 50%-70% of their service centers (from about 600 to less than 250) and eliminating almost all rural post offices.  Within the year.

        That Makes it a major event.   Far in excess of the trend.

         

        ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

        by NevDem on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:24:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Post service is more efficient (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, beefydaddy18, Polly Syllabic

    And enviromental friendly than UPS or FedX most package are process within less than 30 miles and not flown across the country to be processed,it cost on average 7 dollar too deliver a first class next day with  the private mail carrier

    •  Are any of the physical delivery services (0+ / 0-)

      as environmentally sensitive as electronic communications are? I see USPS, UPS, and Fedex trucks everywhere; that's a lot (not to mention all of the planes involved with moving the mail) of hydrocarbon burning that doesn't occur with email.

  •  Is it so difficult (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Polly Syllabic, ladybug53

    for the deciders to understand that layoffs cause economic contraction?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:33:10 AM PST

  •  I heard the news yesterday say that the (0+ / 0-)

    collective bargaining agreement prevents layoffs.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:54:38 AM PST

  •  Damn Netflix... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicating, oopsaDaisy

    This is ALL their fault.  Instead of using UPS or another good private company, they had to go and use the postal service, thus raising costs, thus ensuring that we will have to shut it down...

    so, uhm... blame them!  Not conservatives!  Or Obama.  Yeah, blame him, because this is all his fault, with his blackberry and refusal to support the postal service... except that would have also raised.... NEVER MIND!

    /snark

    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass. Reviewtopia.net

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:03:52 AM PST

    •  The post office is Required by the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

      Let's make it a full government agency again!

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:27:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NBC news last night and this morning had this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    story and did not say a word about the terrible financial  burden Congress laid on the USPS  with the pension mandate. I guess that means who ever owns NBC this week is set to take over the privatized delivery of mail as soon as they can shit-can all those  Union employees.

    Republicans aren't so bad as long as they don't move next door, try to marry my child, or run for public office.

    by OHdog on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:24:46 AM PST

  •  Any word on the continuance of Saturday delivery? (0+ / 0-)

    This was discussed a few months back.

    "I'd like to thank spiritplumber and LieparDestin for fixing oopsaDaisy's computer who can tip, recc, and hotlist now. I tried but couldn't do it despite her constantly foulmouthing me, so thanks U two." -God

    by oopsaDaisy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:53:16 AM PST

  •  Long long overdue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    It is like propping up the wooden wheel industry after the automobile.   Maybe we could bring back switch board operators.

    “The bottom line is that in the last three years, we’ve lost almost 27 percent of our first-class volume,” Patrick Donahoe, the postmaster general, said in a phone interview. “In 2000, 5 percent of people paid bills online. Now it’s 60 percent. The problem is we’ve lost so much volume in blue-box mail, we can’t hold out for next-day service anymore.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

  •  Anybody remember where the term "Going Postal" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    came from?

    In the late 80's and 90's overworked, stressed  employees went on selected rampages killing their supervisors and others due to the unrelenting pressure from unceasing mail and a dwindling workforce.

    Are those days returning?   #1 most thankless job, IMO.

    "I'd like to thank spiritplumber and LieparDestin for fixing oopsaDaisy's computer who can tip, recc, and hotlist now. I tried but couldn't do it despite her constantly foulmouthing me, so thanks U two." -God

    by oopsaDaisy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:55:22 AM PST

  •  why isn't the Postmaster General...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    ...partnering with the National Association of Letter Carriers in their analysis of the reasons for the USPS's financial woes?  That is, the imposition of 75-year pension pre-funding (putting cash aside for the retirement of employees-to-be who haven't yet been born), blocking access to nearly $7 billion of USPS funds unnecessarily tied up in a different pension plan, legally-questionable assumptions in OMB's review of the USPS, and much more.

    NALC document (note: PDF)

    He should be screaming bloody murder and trying to protect/maintain the agency he leads, instead of twisting the knife of Dubya-era slashing attacks.

    grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

    by N in Seattle on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 12:21:10 PM PST

  •  that'll be great for the economy (0+ / 0-)

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:00:34 PM PST

  •  Funding pensions 75 years in advance, thanks (9+ / 0-)

    to GOP legislation, is why the USPS is broke.  Period.  Just another GOP outrage.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:03:21 PM PST

    •  yeah, and I don't get why that is not mentioned. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago

      If this were Red State or Free Republic I could understand why that key piece of info would be omitted. But here? WTF?

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:15:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  one-day first class delivery, isn't that as common (0+ / 0-)

    as an honest politician?

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:03:51 PM PST

  •  Why not raise rates? It's not like they're (0+ / 0-)

    in a price war with Fed-Ex or UPS for regular old letters, are they? I can't imagine Fed-Ex being able to push a letter around the country for .49, or even bothering to try...

    Make it .75 or whatever, it's still a bargain...

    •  yup. even though current rates are not the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      if raising rates is more doable than getting congress to undo their heinous mistake of requiring prefunding of penions then by all means do it.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:13:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Instead of raising the first class rates (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJersey, sombra

      I don't understand why they don't raise junk mail rates. It would do two things: raise $$ to help keep the USPS solvent AND possibly cut down the flood of catalogs and ads that land in my mailbox and go straight to the recycle bin.

      Direct mailers pay almost nothing to mail a flyer, why can't they pay a teeny bit more? Oh, wait, I forgot - they have lobbyists.

      •  I get a letter from Capital One Bank about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        el dorado gal

        every other day asking me if I want to open up one of their stupid credit cards.  You can't tell me that they are paying 0.44 for each of them.  Make those stupid business mailers pay their fair share.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:07:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Congress has to approve this right? (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if they will.

  •  USPS, being an empire, creates its own facts. (0+ / 0-)

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:05:23 PM PST

  •  Does Amazon use USPS? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DJ Rix

    The box I've got here says FedEx.

    •  Sometimes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phenry, sneakers563

      I've gotten Amazon packages shipped USPS, FedEX, and UPS.

      They normally come UPS, though.

      •  Or that weird OnTrac service (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leo in NJ, phenry, WillR

        I bought a Kindle Fire last week and they just left it sitting outside the gate by the road.  They didn't even bother to ring the doorbell.

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:39:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OnTrac... grrr. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sneakers563

          OnTrac seems to operate under a different definition of "two-day shipping" than that with which I am familiar.

          So many stupid people in the world, and me with only two fists.

          by phenry on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:12:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's actually one area (0+ / 0-)

            where I don't have a problem with them.  Maybe I've just been lucky.

            In fact, the rapidity with which the package arrived what part of what made the Kindle experience so alarming.  I chose "Super Saver Shipping" and the estimate was 5 days.  2 days later I just happened to check and see if it had shipped yet, and I saw the note saying that the package had already been delivered and "left outside the gate".  Had I not checked, I'm sure it would have been stolen.

            On the other hand, I suppose it could have been worse.  Our gate is in an 8 foot wall.  I've seen the UPS guy just toss stuff over the wall onto the rocks / paved walkway on the other side.

            The only shipping companies I've never had any problem with are USPS and FedEx.

            To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

            by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:04:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      My Amazon orders always arrive by USPS. Maybe it depends where you are located.  I'm in rural Mo.

      I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell. Harry S. Truman Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/harry_s_truman_2.html#ixzz1e7NhxAOv

      by A and the Js Grandma on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:08:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It depends on what you order (0+ / 0-)

        If you choose faster shipping or order a larger item, it will come UPS.

        If it's small and you're doing the free shipping, it's likely going to come via USPS. But there's a catch. Most of the stuff delivered by USPS was actually delivered by FedEx from Amazon's facility to your local post office, who then delivers it to your house. It adds an extra day or two to shipping, and when an item gets lost or damaged, FedEx will blame USPS and USPS will blame FedEx.

        TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

        by yg17 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:56:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also a some arrangement (0+ / 0-)

      where the business sends out UPS & UPS drops the package in USPS.

      "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

      by DJ Rix on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:57:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amazon ships different ways (0+ / 0-)

      Received a package from Amazon today that was shipped UPS.  However, it was delivered to my mailbox via UPSP.

  •  Cost savings (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, MrJersey

    Where I live- the estimated cost savings of closing the local sorting facility (which enables a letter to get sent across town overnight) is about a million dollars a year. Instead, the mail will get driven from Missoula to Spokane, sorted, then driven back to Missoula. And guess how much the estimated cost per year of fuel that will be....

    No mention of what happens if the cost of fuel, say, doubles.

    We are governed by Vogons.

    We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

    by aztecraingod on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:07:42 PM PST

    •  That's nothing compared to what happens... (0+ / 0-)

      ...to a package you send overnight, via FedEx, to your next door neighbor. And yet they have decided this is the most economical way to operate.

      Local optimization often does not result in a globally optimal result.

      Almost certainly the vast majority of the mail sent from [to] Missoula is not sent to [from] Missoula. Thus, the trucks (or planes) are already running to carry most of the mail that is sent from or delivered to Missoula. The economic question is, what is the incremental cost of "unnecessarily" carrying those few mailpieces sent directly to Missoula from Missoula back and forth 200 miles each way to Spokane? The answer is probably: "tiny". There will be slightly more weight which will increase the fuel cost for the trip by a very small amount and, occasionally, a slightly bigger truck will be required (which would increase fuel costs even more than just the increased weight alone would cause).

  •  The Post Office is still profitable. (5+ / 0-)

    They make an operational profit every single year. The problem isn't the basic business model. It is the ridiculous 75 year pension requirement passed in 2006.

    Republicans just want to kill off one of America's great institutions.

    •  and put more hurt on the economy. a twofer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:11:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AND blow a hole right through the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

        Article 1, Section 8:
        Section. 8.

        The Congress shall have Power ...

        To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

        Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

        by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:27:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it doesn't mean that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WillR

          Congress has to keep something going beyond it's technological expiration date. It's quite possible that the snail mail will go the way of the dinosaurs in the next few decades if not faster.

          To say that not keeping USPS on life support is blowing a hole right through the constitution is overly dramatic hyperbole.

          •  So do you want to abandon the hinterlands (4+ / 0-)

            and allow ONLY city and suburban people to have mail deliveries?

            That's what WILL happen if the Post Office goes away.

            There are parts of this country - some of them not very far from me - where not even dial-up access to the Internet is available.

            There are many more parts where it isn't profitable for FedEx and UPS and DHL and etc. to go - so they don't.

            Make it all about profit, and you are abandoning the people in East Overshoe.

            That's so NOT what our country was supposed to be about.

            Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

            by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:58:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yet most of those people in the rural areas keep (0+ / 0-)

              clinging to their religion and their guns and vote reflexively for the Republicans who are destroying their way of life.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:10:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Irrelevant and immaterial (0+ / 0-)

                Cutting them off won't help the situation ONE BIT - it will just make them madder.

                Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

                by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:17:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was not suggesting that cutting their service (0+ / 0-)

                  was a good thing, I was pointing out the irony of the fact that the people who are most dependent on the USPS for communications and commerce in and out of rural America are consistently voting for the very politicians who are destroying the infrastructure on which they depend, however, they hate the black man in the White House so much that they would rather cut off their noses to spite their faces.

                  And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

                  by MrJersey on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 04:22:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I am just saying (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WillR

              that it's a natural technological progression that the Post Office will eventually not be needed. It is still needed right now, but as they themselves indicate the volume of mail is dropping off a cliff. Eventually 10-15 years from now you can't spend 5 billion or whatever dollars to support a thousand people still without any computer access to the world.

              It's going to happen and USPS is a losing battle of attrition.

              •  So you think we will soon be living in Star Trek? (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not nearly so confident. And if you start isolating and abandoning people, you create far more social problems than if you made sure they were kept in touch.

                Benjamin Franklin knew that. We have plugged our ears to his words and are going "LALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU AND WE CAN'T AFFORD IT ANYWAY!"

                We WILL regret it. Soon.

                Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

                by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:27:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Read it again, carefully. (0+ / 0-)

          It says (emphasis added):

          The Congress shall have Power [...] To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
          Having the "Power" to do something is not the same as having an "Obligation" to do that thing.

          Note that this same section grants Congress the power "To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;". Surely it does not require Congress to borrow money even though the Treasury has a surplus.

  •  I keep seeing these wonderful ads that explain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, movie buff

    the fact that "congress created this problem, congress can fix it".

    Why is the real cause of the problem  (required funding of future pensions of postal workers who haven't even been born yet) not mentioned in this post? That's a ginormous oversight.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:09:20 PM PST

  •  1 day? I sent a priority mail package (0+ / 0-)

    the monday before last that was supposed to arrive 8 days ago, and still hasn't arrived as far as I know.

  •  damned republicans (0+ / 0-)

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:11:47 PM PST

  •  are stats publically available? (0+ / 0-)

    Yes first class mail has obviously declined quite a bit, but conversely the rise of e-commerce undoubtedly has also increased with the spread of the internet. And since shipping a box is several times more expensive than 44 cent stamped envelope I would assume than a lot of revenue would have been generated thanks to that. Unless I'm missing something it would seem that the more we order online, the better the USPS would be financially--and yes I understand that FedEx and UPS compete for that business but from my own anecdotal evidence USPS almost always offers cheaper shipping rates than the couriers.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

    by michael1104 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:12:50 PM PST

  •  Raising taxes won't help the USPS... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norm in Chicago, oldhousepoor

    They are a quasi-goverenmental agency the operates without public money....

    We still need to raise taxes though...

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:14:49 PM PST

  •  Repubicons want to privatize the postal service. (4+ / 0-)

    The worthless fucking republicons want to privatize the postal service, so they can bust unions, and pay poverty wages to the workers.  In the meantime the low life bastards will slow mail to a crawl, so everyone can incur late charges and have their credit ratings screwed up.  How anyone could vote for one of these miserable bastards is beyond me.

  •  "Economic devastation" ?? (0+ / 0-)

    Hyperbole much ??

    Sheesh ...

  •  Ah, but remember, they will have fully-funded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    the health benefits for postal workers who are not even pre-conceived yet!  Now there's some serious forward thinking on the part of our brain-dead republicans. /snark off

    Who in the fuck ever thought that was good policy or even an idea that should have made it off a cocktail napkin deserves a lifetime of searching for a post office mid-winter with just enough gas in the tank to not make it to their destination.

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:25:00 PM PST

  •  The annoying thing about this (0+ / 0-)

    is how the USPS has been hobbled by Congress in so many ways. How many Companies in America have an office in just about every town and hamlet in the country. Any other Company would have leveraged that presence enormously over last decade or so. Any other Company would have expanded the range of products it offered and been able to do pretty lucrative deals just in the basis of its real estate alone. Not the USPS; it is exhibit A in why the government can't do anything right.

    •  republicans forced the US postal service (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sombra

      to submit $500 million dollars a year to fund their postal worker pension. a pension plan they required to paid in full for 75 years. something no other agency or private company is required to do. absent this requirement, the postal service would be running at profit!

      govt can't do anything right? it is republicans who are sabotaging government.

      The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

      by stolen water on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:01:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now is not the time to cut service (0+ / 0-)

    you streamline and improve service.

    They're doomed with that mentality.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:28:24 PM PST

  •  Technological change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sombra

    has certainly impacted the postal service.  Some of the losses incurred are structural based on the volume of mail that has effectively been removed due to primarily to email and also the drive to move to electronic documetnation instead of paper statements.  These trends are going to continue.

    That said, I think keeping a fully functional postal service is very important for our society. Government does not need to run a profit.  It is not a business.  These are essential services which impact the lives of millions of people and create tremendous economic value for the entire society.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:33:12 PM PST

  •  Current mail volume is where it was in 1992 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WillR

    and declining by about 5% each year.  In the face of trends like that, what is the USPS supposed to do?  Employees will have to be let go, and efficiencies sought in the distribution system.  I don't see any way around it.  Mail is not a growth industry.  Much like the country as a whole, sadly.

    "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes her laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild

    by Keith930 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:36:34 PM PST

  •  Feel bad for the people losing jobs (0+ / 0-)

    But I have never seen an organization more antagonistic towards customers than the USPS.

    The disdain and belligerence they display in every transaction cannot be helping their financial situation.

  •  obama dissed the postal service (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics

    back when he was doing townhalls discussing healthcare.

    "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems."

    The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

    by stolen water on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:47:31 PM PST

  •  Once again, they 'prove' gov't is broken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics

    by throwing a monkey wrench into the gears.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:48:45 PM PST

  •  GOP wants TOTAL control over information (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    Let's look at our chessboard:

    Republicans have:
    the mainstream media
    the most corporate ownership of vote tallying
    the benefited most on redistricting efforts
    the benefited most from disenfranchising voters
    the money from the 1%

    Democrats have:

    Obama as President
    most of the 99%

    What pieces are still on the board ready to be taken by the GOP:

    the Post Office
    the free internet

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:50:11 PM PST

  •  Deal with it.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splintersawry

    The internet is a very distructive force

    Anyone see any record stores around recently?

    What about going to the nearest Blockbuster store to rent a move?

    Anyone book their last vacation with a travel agent?

    I don't think so

    Just like technology forced the recording industry to re-invent inself, the Post Office now needs to re-invent itself

  •  this will cause layoffs in retail shops as well. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water, magnetics

    This is bad for the economy in so many ways.  For instance, I send birthday and Christmas presents by U.S. mail.  I take advantage of sales throughout the year, then mail my packages early, allowing more than adequate time for delivery.  But if I can't depend on having the Post Office to deliver my packages, I may stop buying and sending presents, thus reducing revenues to the various retail establishments, museum shops and so on that I frequent.  In turn, closing down the Post Office will also give retailers and museums less need to hire sales people to ring up the gifts I would have purchased, causing more layoffs.  

  •  Patrick Donahoe is the Scott Walker of the USPS. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water, magnetics

    I think he should be fired!

  •  It's all fake, too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water, movie buff, magnetics

    This was caused by the Republican congress in 2006 putting onerous burdens on the USPS.  It's fake.  If not for the mandated overpayment of pension and health care, the USPS would be in the black, making money.

    "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:57:43 PM PST

  •  has obama filled these vacancies? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics

    from a postal worker union statement:

    Although we are somewhat encouraged by the proposed short-term cash relief provided to the Postal Service in the president’s package, NALC is bitterly disappointed that that the Obama administration has given in to postal management’s relentless two-year campaign in favor of five-day delivery. The administration has proposed giving the USPS the authority to eliminate Saturday mail delivery service, although it called for a delay in its implementation until January 2013. In doing so, the administration has embraced the downsizing strategy demanded by the majority on the USPS Board of Governors who were appointed by President George W. Bush. We will fight this proposal in Congress and renew our demands that the administration fill the two vacancies on the Board with people who believe in the mission of the Postal Service and who will seek to balance a sensible cost-cutting agenda with a revenue-growth strategy.

    the DOJ is full of bush people. now we find out the board governing the post office is filled with bush people!

    what's the point of having elections if apparatchiks put in place by the previous administration are allowed to remain in place!

    The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

    by stolen water on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 01:59:33 PM PST

  •  Major Reasons Post Office is in Trouble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Throw The Bums Out, sombra

    1) 2006: Lame duck session in Republican Controlled Congress passes a bill forcing the USPS to accelerate its funding for pensions for 75 years in the future.  

    This is like the Bank demanding your 30year fixed mortgage be paid in three years (with all interest for the 30 years) at year 2 of the mortgage.

    2) When Vets are hired by the USPS, their retirement benefits are transfered off the DOD books and onto the USPS books.  This moves benefits off the Government obligations and onto the USPS for work done for the Government, not the USPS.

    3) Projected loss of service slopes down a about a 15 degree angle through at least 2020, the projected cuts in service slope down at a 60 degree angle within the two years to the same level as 2020.  Can you say radical over-reaction.  

    4) Don't kid yourself: This layoff will end up being over 100K people by the time you count the secondary layoffs and the small businesses that are put out of business because their products can no longer show up in a timely manner.  Or dependant mailing business is suddenly three or more hours away from a USPS facility, so most will close down, some may move.   We should be settling into the 100K new unemployed number just in time for the elections.  This is a Really BIG Rock that is getting tossed into the Unemployment pool, it's not just the Post Office's unemployed, it's the ripples tsunami that ensues from that rock hitting the pond.

    Since this Administration allows it to happen, despite being a Republican construct, it's a big gift to the Republicans, Democrats and Obama will be blamed.  

    Damm, those Republicans got some smart people working for them to come up with this stuff just to increase their power and destroy workers and their Unions.

    A partial solution;

    If Obama really wants to stop this Time Bomb that was planted in 2006, He should use his executive powers to suspend the pre-funding payments to the US treasury from the simi-private USPS on the grounds it endangers our national security by devastating the fragile economic recovery with such massive and widespread layoffs.  That gives everyone a chance to pause and review what they are doing...

    If Congress does not like it, let them agree to reinstate the payments.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 02:16:05 PM PST

    •  I have to admit, I'm lost in how (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WillR, Caipirinha

      a one or two day slowdown in service will hurt small businesses.

      If something is time-critical, it should be sent via next day air because first class isn't guaranteed (and next day first class is typically only within the metro area, something isn't getting from LA to New York the next day via first class). Otherwise, if you're just shipping out stuff people have ordered online, it's not like customers have a choice. They can either deal with the extra time, or pay extra for faster delivery.

      I know I'm not going to stop buying all of the crap I currently buy online because it may take an extra day or two. If something's so important that I need it right away, I'll pay for next day.

      TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

      by yg17 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:02:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When's the last time you sent a personal letter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WillR

    Despite having a government monopoly the USPS is still in economic decline - you can blame the gov't for requiring that they fund their pension funds, but I'm guessing a lot of Bethlehem Steel and GM salaried retirees wished their company had operated under the same rules.  With a collapse in their volume a near certainty the pension requirements start to make sense since they probably wouldn't be able to make these payouts in 2020 without  a gov't bailout.

    The bottom line is that the USPS is set up to function in a 1970's information age and that ain't never coming back.  With mail volume expected to decline even more massively a total overhaul of the system is required.   In Europe, I believe a number of nations have successfully privatized the postal service - if that is what is required here because of the decline in mail volume then so be it.

  •  I wonder how my wing-nut postal-employee... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics

    niece will manage to blame this on liberals.  None so blind as those who will not see...

    •  another poster above pointed out the original (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      magnetics

      legislation that allowed this to happen has democrats as co sponsors.

      i checked it out.

      H.R. 22 - Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

      sure enough, there are a disturbing number of dems who voted for this thing.

      we're so screwed.

      The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

      by stolen water on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:24:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh sorry (0+ / 0-)

      it was this one:

      H.R. 6407 - Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

      sponsor of the bill was republican tom davis. but co sponsor was democrats henry waxman and danny davis.

      tipped off elsewhere that this legislation passed by voice vote. (we don't know who voted for it!) you know the legislation is shady when both parties collude to provide one another cover like this.

      The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

      by stolen water on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:45:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  another thing (0+ / 0-)

    how many people in congress own stock in FEDEX and UPS? and stand to profit from allowing the post office to be weakened?

    congress should be taken to task for conflict of interest.

    (expletives edited out)

    The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

    by stolen water on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:18:11 PM PST

  •  There is no such thing as a first class nation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics, stolen water

    with a fourth rate mail service.  We're second rate now and headed down.  Mail service is a common good and the fifht columnists who have steadily undermined it over the decades are taking this country into disastrously reduced circumstances.  In all respects.

    One wonders who's going to pay for their military toys when the majority are impoverished and the one percenters are entirely tax exempt.  Of course, we have the historical examples of France and Russia, so ruinous taxation and conscription of the poor have precedent.

    Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

    by CarolinNJ on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:25:31 PM PST

  •  If someone wants to restart that service, you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    can't just find qualified people ready to go in those particular jobs.

    They have been there for years and know how to make the system work.  These cuts will destroy the institutional memory.

    The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

    by magnetics on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:28:14 PM PST

    •  It's not rocket science. (0+ / 0-)

      Any "restart" would be gradual and would not start from zero. Every post office isn't full of unique advanced expertise requiring years of formal training ro replicate.

      If additional expertise is needed, hire them from UPS, FedEx and any of the various regional delivery companies.

      If the ATCs could be replaced (which is a unique skill requiring unique personality types) without planes falling out of the sky, I'm pretty sure we can hire HS grads and train them to deliver/sort/route/drive and get the mail delivered over a multi-year rampup period.

      Anyway, there's really no need to ramp service back up nor is institutional knowledge of how to deliver junk mail going to be very important in 20 years. There's this thing called the Internet -- better to spend the money making sure everyone has a minimum level of access to that than to keep burning fossil fuel sending dead trees around.

      •  It's surprising how long it takes to get (0+ / 0-)

        seemingly simple tasks to run smoothly on a large scale.

        And this thing called the internet ain't what it's cracked up to be -- just like the digital age ain't what it's cracked up to be.

        Try reading a 5 inch floppy today-- anywhere.  Hope you don't need to.

        A friend of mine did a doctorate in Assyrian archeology; his thesis was decoding a single tablet written in Sumerian or whatever.  A few commercial records: Ali traded Shlomo some goats for some hides.  The information content wasn't high but the durability factor was impressive: the thing was readable after 4000 years or so.  Although our electronic information may be preservable in the long term, none of our current storage media has much durability.  CD's, DVD's, HD's?  No way.

        By the way, I work in R&D; I am surrounded by technology, so I do not speak as a luddite up in the hills.

        The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

        by magnetics on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:09:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely shameful. (0+ / 0-)

    But I must say that this is what happens when services that were once considered a public good are forced to compete with the profit motive in mind.

    Already I've heard a report on a local news station in Redding (where I'm currently living) that the local mail processing facility would be shuttered and its operations moved to... West Sacramento, a distance of ~160 miles. This means about forty jobs from the Redding facility would be permanently cut.

    Shameful.

    "The philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." -- Karl Marx

    by felldestroyed on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 04:27:12 PM PST

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