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Vermont Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu are trying to slow down the rush to effectively kill the Postal Service. Currently, the House and Senate are considering measures that would, respectively, kill the Postal Service really fast and somewhat more slowly:
A bill offered by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-D-Conn.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would block the Postal Service from ending Saturday delivery for two years, but Sanders said it doesn't save the processing centers planned for closure. Landrieu, Sanders and Leahy are pushing to extend the ban for four years.

A House GOP bill would allow the Postal Service to act quickly to end Saturday mail delivery and close post offices and processing centers while establishing a commission that could override union agreements, reduce salaries and benefits, and lay off thousands of employees.

Cutting Saturday delivery, closing processing facilities and slowing delivery times would, Sanders argues, produce a "death spiral," responding to the challenges the Postal Service faces by giving people reasons to abandon it. Additionally, he has repeatedly pointed out, cutting 220,000 jobs would hurt not just the Postal Service and those 220,000 people, but an economy in need of more, not less, jobs. He, Leahy, and Landrieu are trying to get the Senate bill changed to delay the end of Saturday delivery for at least four years, remove pension prefunding obligations not faced by either the federal government or corporations, and keep rural post offices open.

Those measures only buy time, though, and to address the challenges posed by the internet, they're calling for a blue-ribbon panel to find ways for the post office to find new revenue sources. Landrieu suggests, for instance, that post offices could offer services like notary publics, copying and handling hunting and fishing license sales. (And fax services, I'd add.) But if that's not enough?

Landrieu said Congress may need to revise a statutory requirement that the service be self-sufficient.

“I’m not sure that that is a goal that can be met,” she said. “That is what the law says. Maybe that law needs to be revisited.”

No kidding. Here's an absolute public good, a vital link between rural areas and needed medicine and services, an entity that can deliver into apartment buildings while the Fed Ex guy is left futilely banging on the outer door hoping to be let in, something that's actually in the Constitution. Modernizing it and giving it new functions to increase its relevance in the age of email is a great idea. Cutting it until it dies and then calling it a natural death is a Republican idea.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:35 AM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  60 yr ago, many places had twice-a-day delivery (26+ / 0-)

      My mother talked of sending out invitations in the morning to a party that evening and getting RSVPs back in the afternoon mail.

      Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

      by Clem Yeobright on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:01:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Public services do not have to make money (11+ / 0-)

      What is it with the expectation that a public service (i.e. the USPS, mass transit, rail etc), has to make money or break even?

      It's a service!

      We don't ask that the police and fire departments make money to pay for themselves.

      Also, I can kill you with my brain.

      by Puffin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:36:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        in the Trees

        but we do expect them to provide an essential service that the private market cannot.

        The contention is that for increasing portions of the population, the postal service does not render any.

        Changing its mission may be the way forward.

        •  Eh, I favor Landrieu's suggestions (0+ / 0-)

          I have no problem with stopping Saturday delivery (this is NOT the 1950's) and allowing the USPS to charge for other services provided by most postal-stores. There's no reason at all for not allowing it. That, along with the Senate bill to delay the end of Saturday delivery for at least four years, remove pension prefunding obligations not faced by either the federal government or corporations, and keep rural post offices open should save the USPS.

          "Stupid fucker."- Erica Zwick (FB poster referring to Newt Gingrich).

          by rainmanjr on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:46:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Doesn't USPS finish 25% of FedEx deliveries? (0+ / 0-)

          Because it's too expensive or something for FedEx? So they use the public service to help them balance their private books.

          And I'm thinking of all of the rural GOP who will be SOL if they are left to the mercy of the "job creators".

          •  it's true... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that most, if not all, of the private delivery services use the USPS to complete some portion of certain deliveries. These tend to be in isolated rural communities where there is no money to be made in completing the delivery in a private vehicle.

            The 25 percent for FedEx seems high, but I'm not aware of the exact figure.

      •  Exactly. Government is there to fulfill the needs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranton

        of the people. The Post Office is a public service. A great equalizer. Or should be.

      •  Minimizing USPS is just so wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        I happen to like the mail. I send letters and cards and I am more than happy to spend four bits to see that a letter to an old friend or a relative gets in their hands. That is something one can't put a price on.

        Meanwhile, it's been reported that Fedex and UPS will use the Postal Service and "mail" packages its customers ship through them...to remote places...because USPS goes there, and these supershippers can't be bothered.

        As for their lavish salaries and benefits, I'm not aware of any USPS workers who own their own yachts and islands. Perhaps you do. If so, please let me know.

        For the Rethug Congress, this is an all-in-one hat trick...a combined attack on unions, workers, and the middle class.

        And this thought. Postal Service facilities are crapt. Post offices are disfunctional and haven't been updated or tended to in years. We can only surmise what the mail and sorting facilities are like, and I don't think they are state of the art. Sometime you gotta spend money to make money. Not that that theory applies to government, apparently.

        Meanwhile, Senator Sanders is my hero. Though I'd like him to talk to my letter carrier over here. The guy didn't thank me for my gift of cookies (and hooch) at Xmas time!

         

        Sign seen in Zucotti Park: I'll believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one.

        by Rube Goldberg on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:43:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Public services shouldn't be a waste (0+ / 0-)

        I get paperless statements from all my accounts to save paper and hassle.

        I get probably, literally, a pound of paper a week in junk mail.  How much money is wasted in printing, shipping, all this shit around?  Multiply my house by hundreds of thousands and it's tons of fossil fuels used to ship crap that nobody wants.

        There's got to be a compromise in there somewhere, to keep the service to those that NEED it, and get rid of it for those that DO NOT.  

        GOD! Save me from your followers.

        by adversus on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:58:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The fix is repealing Postal Accountability Act (73+ / 0-)

    I like Bernie Sanders. He was once my mayor when I lived in Burlington in the mid-80's. Met him a couple of times too, but IMO his fix is just palliative to the systemic problems the USPS faces.

    The USPS is the only government body that has to pre-fund its retirees pensions and health care. If you removed that impediment, the USPS would be profitable and at worse, break even.

    This is from Think Progress from last Sept.:

    It is true that USPS is facing fiscal challenges — it lost nearly $20 billion over the last four years and is at risk of not being able to meet a $5.5 billion mandated payment to the Treasury at the end of this month (which has been put off six weeks thanks to the last continuing resolution in Congress).

    But what has been lost in the political debate over the Post Office is why it is losing this money. Major media coverage points to the rise of email or Internet services and the inefficiency of the post model as the major culprits. While these factors may cause some fiscal pain, almost all of the postal service’s losses over the last four years can be traced back to a single, artificial restriction forced onto the Post Office by the Republican-led Congress in 2006.

    At the very end of that year, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”

  •  We could write one of these headlines... (34+ / 0-)

    ...every week at least:

    Bernie Sanders leads the fight to ...

    I wish we had a few Democrats who are as prolific. But, of course, solutions (or, in this case, BandAids) only can do their job if they get passed. And too much of Sanders's proposed legislation doesn't.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:58:49 AM PST

  •  Cutting out Saturdays is just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sd4david

    common sense. We don't need 6-day a week home delivery of snail mail. By claiming that cutting 6 days to 5 days is akin to destroying the USPS is obvious hyperbole. As liberals, we are supposed to be better custodians of the public funds. So let's take the amount spent on Saturday delivery and invest it in stuff that counts, like support for the poor, health care, or paying down the debt our children will inherit.

    •  I Believe I'm a Member of "We" and I Do. (22+ / 0-)

      The post office is not what's depriving the poor. Any more than NASA is.

      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 Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:38:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  USPS not taxpayer supported (25+ / 0-)

      Isn't the USPS self-funded? Any money saved by ending Saturday delivery is going to stay in the USPS, not end up in the U.S. budget.

      •  USPS Definitely Not Taxpayer Funded (8+ / 0-)

        The problem is that Cogressional Republicans under Bush decided to pick USPS's pocket with the pension prefunding requirement. Fix that and a few other things and we are good to go.

        LeftOfYou, USPS Employee

        Bumpersticker: GOP. Cheering Death. Booing Soldiers. Join Us.

        by LeftOfYou on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:49:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  USPS is $15 billion in the hole- blame Congress (4+ / 0-)

          and that is directly due to the congressionally imposed requirement that USPS prefund its pensions. As Senator Sanders points out, no government entity and no corporation is required to do this. The prefunding requirement is recent history. Reverse that 2006 law and the $15 billion deficit goes away. How can anyone justify singling the USPS out for special pension prefunding requirements when that law applies to absolutely no other entity?

          The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) (HR 6407), enacted on December 20, 2006, obligates the USPS to prefund 75-years' worth of future health care benefit payments to retirees within a ten-year time span — a requirement to which no other government organization is subject.

          The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. Revenue in the 2000s has been dropping sharply due to declining mail volume,[5] prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit.[6]

          source:
          USPS at Wikipedia

    •  It wont work. (42+ / 0-)

      The thing that makes the post office efficient is that it handles a certain amount of volume. If you eliminate Saturday delivery, volume will decline even more. Which will mean more cutbacks will be called for. And then you'll need to cut it down to 4-day delivery. And so and so on.

      Once again, if you eliminate the ridiculous pension provision written by the GOP, which was specifically designed to kill the post office (mainly because its a source of minority employment), the post office is profitable. 50 cent stamps would make it one of the most profitable businesses in the nation. And it is one of the few jobs that provides a decent living for regular people and a great deal of veterans.

      And by the way, the post office does not use public funds.

      •  No, u have it backwards (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dannyinla, mmacdDE, doc2

        really, most people don't need Saturday delivery. I'm sure there is a way for those that need it to get it. Perhaps priority, overnight, and medical supplies could all be allowed to be delivered on Saturday. Putting the volume into 5 days rather than 6 makes it more efficient.

        I do a very small amount of business by mail and use usps. They offer the best value. But I was upset when I weighed and printed my postage, took my package to the PO, waited in line, asked for a paper receipt to prove I mailed it (yes, I use delivery confirmation, and once it is scanned in, if it is lost in the mail I can at least recover my postage cost.) Whats really funny is the post office has current tv ads talking about the benefits of paper receipts.

        The post office also does "last mile" deliver for some rural addresses for UPS, and I think Fed Ex. This makes those businesses more profitable. USPS has to deliver to every address every day, sometimes for pennies. Fed Ex and UPS couldn't do it as cheap. They cherry pick their business.

        I agree about fixing the pension funding. Also, change the services offered by the postal services. How about a copying center, internet service, or some other revenue enhancements? One of our local USPS locations rents out parking spaces during off hours. The post office needs to get creative, and if cutting Saturday delivery will buy some time to save it, I'm all for that.

        Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

        by sd4david on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:30:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But IT WONT save it. (21+ / 0-)

          Here's the thing. The thing with the mail is that it has a cycle. If you mail something on Thursday, it can arrive on Saturday. Now, if you are certain that it wont arrive on Saturday, you might not mail it at all if Monday is too late. Or, you will move to a more expensive option like Fed Ex or UPS. Which will mean that using the post office as a low cost alternative will become less and less desirable.

          Then what happens when you eliminate Saturday delivery is that you get less volume. Shrinking revenues are the natural result of shrinking volume and that leads to even more losses and more demand for shrinkage.

          It's funny because in my line of work I use the post office all the time. I print out my own postage and drop my letters at the post office using no line at all. My letters arrive the next day or day after. It is super efficient and super cheap. It is actually kind of ridiculous how cheap it is considering how well it works.

          I can send a contract from here to Philadelphia in 24 hours for less than 50 cents. 50 CENTS! I can have it signed and returned to me in another 24 hours for another 50 cents if I include a self addressed stamped envelope.

          That's well over $50 with Fed-Ex.

          •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brooklynbadboy, beefydaddy18

            it's entirely too cheap compared to the cost of using UPS or FedEx. So why not dramatically increase the cost of first class mail? Personally, I wouldn't have a problem pay $1 for first class mail. Would that help?

            Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

            by Mr Robert on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:53:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If something you mail has to arrive on Saturday (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dannyinla, mmacdDE

            then there should be an option to pay extra for it.

            As it stands right now, first class is not guaranteed. It's Thursday. I drop something in the mail right now, it might get there tomorrow. It might get there Saturday. It might not get there until Monday, depending on where it needs to go and if the last pickup of the mailbox for the day has already happened. If I mail something first class, I'm not concerned with exactly when it gets there, just that it gets there. If it takes a day, great. If it takes 4 days, that's fine too, for 45 cents I can't complain. If I need something to get there by a certain day (which is, for me, never), I would pay extra for expedited shipping.

            TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

            by yg17 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:31:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Post Office already offers that. (14+ / 0-)

              And at lower cost than UPS or Fed-Ex. If I need guaranteed Saturday delivery, I can pay for it and it will happen.

              I never use Fed-Ex or UPS. The Post Office works just as well and at dramatically lower cost. Personally, I find it far more reliable than UPS because the thing about the Post Office is that they don't ask you to hang around at home all day waiting for a delivery window of 9-7. Then, if im not home, UPS will let me go pick up my package at their facility which is way way out in a remote area of Brooklyn.

              The Post Office, however, can stuff something in my mailbox. Because our carrier is someone I know, who has been working this route for 14 years and lives in this neighborhood, I don't worry about my packages. I know when my package is going to arrive because I know when my letter carrier comes...same time, every day. Plus, on top of that, if im not home, my post office is about six blocks from here.

              This whole thing of bashing the post office and wanting destroy it is because the GOP hates anything that isn't owned by a bunch of wealthy shareholders and provides a decent living for regular people. They hate institutions like that and thats why they want to destroy it.

              •  And the USPS could offer Saturday (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doc2

                delivery for a fee if absolutely needed.

                I wouldn't miss Saturday delivery at all. I get all my bills online and only get junk in the mail, and hardly ever mail anything anyways.

                TEABAGGER: Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights

                by yg17 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:50:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, I get checks in the mail on saturday. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tobendaro, beefydaddy18, ZenTrainer

                  Mainly because I'd rather someone just pay less than a buck to pay me rather me having to pay the fees of wire transfers or some other ridiculous bank vig.

                  And again, the end of Saturday delivery will do tremendous harm to the entire postal business model. But if you are a totally digital person, more power to you. I actually like physical things. That's no reason to destroy the post office.

                •  I might pay a lot of my bills online (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Minnesota Deb, Zinman

                  but I want the actual bill to come in the mail. On paper.

                  If anything happens to me, I want people to be able to see my bills, not guess about them. If I'm in a coma or dead, I don't want my husband having to search through things trying to find usernames and passwords to see what's due when.

                  I want them to be in the mailbox, on paper, where he doesn't have to worry about getting on the computer or putting in the right name/password.

                  •  That's a very good point (0+ / 0-)

                    and one that I've considered myself. And, for that reason, I pay my phone and utility bills online, but I still insist on getting paper bills just in case I get sick or worse and someone else has to take care of them.

                    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                    by Mr Robert on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:55:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  FedEx will pitch a FIT if the USPS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MNsmartgirl

          cuts back.

          Half the stuff that's supposedly shipped FedEx winds up in the mail.

          FedEx might take it part of the way, but the USPS brings it to your door.

          Almost everything I get now that's shipped comes that way. Even when it says FedEx.

          A few things don't. But only a few.

        •  You really did the usps delivery the hard way (0+ / 0-)

          I do it on line priority mail flat rate services and get

          No weighing or calculating needed
            Delivery within 2 days in most cases
            Free Package Pickup™**
            Free Delivery Confirmation when you ship online
            Saturday delivery and residential delivery at no extra cost
            The only 2-day service that delivers to mailboxes, mail slots, and PO Boxes

          From $4.90 paid online
          From $5.15 at the Post Office™

          Oh, you get free shipping supplies too
          If it fits in the box it ships at the flat rate
          Easy
          Love it

          Even not using that particular service you can do it all on-line, print your label, get delivery confirmation, get it picked up

    •  they don't use 'public money' btw (8+ / 0-)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:40:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  spoken like a true suburbanite (17+ / 0-)

      that 6th day which you dismiss so cavalierly (simply because your suburban mailbox is already full of catalogs) is a day when local commerce in rural areas use the postal service as a hub----you really don't know what you're talking about

    •  I disagree. Totally. (8+ / 0-)

      Fedex and UPS operate on Saturdays, it's a move that is rife with anti-competition implications.

      There isn't much more spent making Saturday delivery. There certainly isn't much savings.

    •  So wrong on so many levels (18+ / 0-)

      First, who the eff are you to say that we don't need Saturday delivery? LOTS of people, including businesses, NEED Saturday delivery. You need to get out more often.

      Second, loss of Saturday delivery means loss of a service that sets the USPS additionally apart from FEDEX, UPS, and other expensive delivery companies. Do you see the problem with that? If not, you need to get out more often.

      If you want to be a better custodian of public funds, how about petitioning your representatives to get rid of the idiotic law that says that the USPS has to fund the pensions of workers 75 years into the future, and oh by the way, do that within the next 10 years. What other entity on the planet has EVER done that?!

      As for the rest of the pablum, the USPS is supposed to revenue neutral, and would be except for the law put into place in 2006 specifically designed to kill the USPS. See the problem here?

      •  You know what would happen without (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dannyinla

        Saturday delivery? The shit would get there Monday. In 99% of cases, that won't even matter. To the extent it does, people will use Fedex. Does the fact that tens of thousands of gas-burning trucks drive around all day each delivery day even matter to you? Or is global warming a hoax?

        •  How do you know it won't matter? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aquarius40, ZenTrainer

          Just because it wouldn't matter in your personal universe, doesn't mean that it's not important to other people for reasons you aren't aware of/don't understand. Sometimes a day difference in delivery can be very significant for businesses, for example. If you're on a fixed income and waiting for that Social Security check so you can afford to pay for your medication, a day can make a big difference. And so on.

          I could also see companies abuse this. Sending out bills with deadlines designed to make timely delivery more difficult, for example. I could see credit card companies and mortgage companies having a field day with this initially, for example, taking advantage of the fact that not everyone will take that slower delivery into account at first and getting that payment in postmarked a day late because they forgot there was no mail pickup on Saturdays anymore. Whoops, there's a late fee.

          Jeff is right, just get rid of the albatross Congress put around the USPS's neck and the problem is 99% solved as soon as the vote is recorded. How is it fair to make them fund the pensions of employees that haven't even been born yet?

        •  No, it's worse that that in many rural areas. (0+ / 0-)

          There are already serious delays due to weekends, holidays, stuff being routed through main hubs and then just sitting there.

          As it is, we frequently do not get our credit card bills in time to pay them on time--even when paying them the day they arrive.

          Try to see the picture outside of your own urban box.

          •  So how about if they continue (0+ / 0-)

            delivery to all you rural people and stop it to the cities and suburbs. That's fine with me. I don't quite follow the logic, since everything is supposed to move at a slower pace in the boondocks. By the way, are you aware that your credit card company has a website that you can access and know at all times what your balance is? You don't need to wait until you get a paper bill. And then you don't have to mail a check snailmail. If you have a bank account you can electronically pay the bill. People like you won't exist in a generation. We're going online man.

  •  I can handle cutting Saturday delivery, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeconwell, elwior

    please don't kill my USPS !

  •  Thank god. (16+ / 0-)

    I love my local postal workers (and the WPA art). Too bad Republicans hate Ben Franklin.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:37:29 AM PST

  •  It's like fighting to save newspapers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd

    "Your old road is rapidly aging"

  •  Thanks my Sen. Sherrod Brown is on board (6+ / 0-)

    I think.

    This is another way that the evil R's take/wreck the stuff that I like that works for me. I hate FedEx and UPS.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:22:16 AM PST

  •  This is an attack on public services... (11+ / 0-)

    and a neoliberal push to privatize those public services. Should be defeated loudly and clearly. Good for Sanders, but we gotta get on board with him.

  •  A Proud Institution Being Cannibalized (14+ / 0-)

    We are witnessing the continuing demolition of governments services under the rational that these are inefficient and can be better performed by private business which are controlled by the oligarchy. The 1% continues to accrue assets to the impairment of rural and modestly earning Americans.

    The real danger of this trend is complete control of all government services by private parties motivated by profit. UPS and FedEx have been allowed to grow and prosper because the Post Office has not developed in the same way and in some cases has been hamstrung (the pension issue, for example) in trying to so grow. Truly we should nationalize FedEx and UPS services that duplicate the PO.

    If the USPS spirals down we lose a public institution not specifically motivated by profit. The Post Office was designed to serve the public good and insure that private greed would not disrupt or interfere with the vital flow of information or commerce. As citizens we should be willing to pay and fight for this public service. We should demand the modernization of this service to provide both for electronic and rapid delivery of communications and small packages. We should also be willing to support efforts to scale back the interference with the PO's business by the private companies. We've allowed/encouraged these entities to grab the PO's business. And now we see the end result.

  •  Save the USPS! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Mr Robert, happymisanthropy, akmk

    The USPS could be saved if they'd just charge $1.00 for every piece of junk mail that gets stuffed into my mailbox alone! How much fuel and labor is wasted delivering garbage no one even wants?
    It already sucks that my Netflix DVDs don't show up on Sunday. I don't want to have to wait through Saturday too!
    When the content mafia ordains that Netflix can stream all of their movies over the 'net then, and only then, will I support the end of Saturday delivery.

    Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

    by cybersaur on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 11:56:41 AM PST

    •  An unpopular response (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb, ZenTrainer

      I know this won't be popular but it's true. At $1 a piece there would be no business mail and the mail carrier will only have birthday cards to deliver. How much postage would each of those cards need to pay the carrier to walk her route? If you want to keep the USPS, volume will need to be kept up and junk mail provides that volume.

      •  No. I'll take my birthday cards and a subsidized (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur

        service if necessary. Junk mail goes directly into the recycle bin that is always overflowing at our post office. Terrible business model. Does not serve the needs of the people.

  •  most european countries (15+ / 0-)

    who flirted with privatizing their postal services in the past 15 years have reversed course

    those who jumped into the deep end of the private-post pool now bitterly regret having done so

  •  What's Plan B if the internet gets hacked or (14+ / 0-)
    hijacked by corporations?

    It is a matter of national security that our commerce isn't without a Plan B.

    Also, talk about ABSOLUTE POWER of the corporations when they close down the means of communication that is not easily mediated (eavesdropped) and easily hijacked.

    Small business relies on the Post Office.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:02:49 PM PST

  •  Saturday delivery vs pickup (11+ / 0-)

    So are they talking no Saturday USPS office hours or just eliminating Saturday delivery? I'm not in favor of either but especially not the office hours on Saturday as anyone who has a Mon-Fri 9-5 job -- ie a lot of people -- find it tough with commuting. etc to get to the PO on any other day than Saturday. My PO is positively mobbed on Saturdays for this reason and also because Saturday is one of the days they issue passports. Without that access, a lot of folks will find it extremely difficult to get to the PO without being late to work. But I also think Saturday delivery is important to preserve -- there are other ways to solve this "crisis" without degrading service. Overturn the stupid GOP law about USPS pensions already!

    "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." ~ Bruce Springsteen

    by abs0628 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:27:31 PM PST

  •  The GOP despise public entities that work well. (8+ / 0-)

    They want to dump on the Post Office, Social Security, Medicare, even public education because they're about improving quality of life for people and not profit.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:43:57 PM PST

  •  Thanks to Bernie Sanders for doing this! (8+ / 0-)

    I live in a small town where there's no mail delivery! Yet they are talking of closing this post office! With gas so costly, having to drive farther to mail something is just wrong for older people living on SS.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 12:53:58 PM PST

  •  This whole USPS thing is scary (13+ / 0-)

    Here in San Diego, they have closed the two branches nearest to me. What's weird is that the government didn't even own the buildings; apparently they rented them. So now curiosity abounds in what restaurant or shop is going to go into the old Post Office.

    What. The. Fuck. The United Freaking States of America can't even afford to own the buildings the post offices are in? And to pile on more disgrace, the local architecture school just had a student project in the paper that redeveloped the main office downtown into a condo tower.

    It used to be that public buildings were designed to inspire our respect for civic institutions. The Post Office downtown is a run-down diamond in the rough, built in the 30's in the art-deco/steamship aesthetic. Today, our city government only owns about 17% of the space it occupies. Interesting practices for a right-wing government that preaches ownership as the be all, end all to economic security.

    Is it smarter for a government to purchase the property it uses, building equity in assets, or is it better to dump tens of millions of dollars down the drain for rent that will never be recuperated??? Unbelievable.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:06:08 PM PST

  •  Make it work. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foresterbob, dhcallahan

    The USPS is vital. Bring postal rates up to where they need to be. And if you need another day off, how about Wednesday?

    "I am my brothers keeper"

    by 2d on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:29:58 PM PST

  •  USPS should be talking about expanding service (6+ / 0-)

    The USPS should be thinking about expanding service to include Sunday's and as mentioned upthread going back to twice a day or even multiple times a day delivery. Adding additional services to help make the USPS more relevant to the modern times.

    Reducing services would just result in killing off the post office as everyone left to private services that would actually deliver.

    Government is not a business and I certainly would be willing to help subsidise cheap mail delivery for everyone.

  •  Wait... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE

    Senator Lieberman is sponsoring a bill that would prevent a business from closing on Saturday? Isn't that the Sabbath? Why is Lieberman attacking religion?

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

    by RichM on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:38:10 PM PST

  •  Cliff Claven recommends this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, akmk

    1,000 times over.

    Or at least he would if his mother would let him out of the basement.

  •  Oy (0+ / 0-)

    When some liberal Senate icon "leads a fight" to save something, you know that the endgame is already written, and the institution is finished. In DC liberalese, "leading the fight" always always ALWAYS means "losing the fight." Without exception.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:41:50 PM PST

  •  Finally! (0+ / 0-)

    The public will benefit once the lazy system of mail delivery is erradicated. I advocate walking items personally to their destination, no matter the distance or mountainous terrain, oceans, land masses, ect.

    U.S. citizens have been spoiled!

  •  What is really needed is removal of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, dhcallahan, ZenTrainer

    handcuffs that prevent the USPS from being commercially successful. If I told you that my Company has representatives, and often quite substantial buildings, in every city, town and even village in the country, you'd be thinking that I had the makings of a fantastically successful retail and distribution business. Free the USPS to leverage that amazing asset and you could convert the USPS into a highly profitable organization in just a few years. Republicans often talk about reducing regulations and just getting out of the way of business. Well, they can start with the USPS. Take the damned handcuffs off!

    Fructose is a liver poison. Stop eating it today.

    by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:44:45 PM PST

  •  My brother in rural NE relies on USPS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, ZenTrainer

    He didn't have a computer until a couple of days ago, and is trying to figure out how to use it. He telephones me for advice when he runs into a problem.

    I wrote him a letter recently, using Word, as my poor ole fingers find it hard to grasp a pen for a three page or more exercise in writing. He actually called me today, saying he would like to respond, but "Do I accept handwritten letters?"

    We have only just been able to connect via telephone after 30 some years without communication between us. He is not an idiot, but he lives off the grid, in a very rural part of NE.

    How would we be able to repair the remnants (he and I) of our highly disfunctional family without the services of USPS?

    Although, aside from his letter, I only receive junk mail in my box, I think it would be a disgrace if this country didn't have a Postal Service. I say, change the gov't requirements to pay front up retirement and health costs, and let it expand what kind of services it can offer. And let it continue to deliver letters from friends and family.

  •  Saving the Postal Service (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywriter, dhcallahan, akmk

    The most important thing to do is to repeal the prefunding of retirements. It is ridiculous that they are having to prefund the retirement of people who aren't even working there yet. First remove or at least modify that requirement. At the very minimum if the votes aren't there to remove it at least get the time period doubled. After having to come up with 5.5 billion a year for a few years coming up with 2.75 would have to at least be easier. Secondly, they should keep Saturday delivery. They need to stay as competitive as they can, not go in the other direction. They need to keep those processing centers open. Only a Republican could think that laying off that many people in this economy would help the economy. They need to allow the Post Office to raise rates to make themselves profitable. If they need to go to 50 cents or even 75 or a dollar then do that rather than curtailing services. Expand the services they offer to bring in new revenue streams. They have had ideas for expanding services but Congress denies everything and is intent on destroying the institution. That is the whole reason for the prefunded retirements in the first place. They are trying, successfully it seems, to destroy the Posts Office. This is a service that was mandated in the Constitution. We need to keep it. The Postal Service is required to deliver to all the citizens of our country and not just the ones that are profitable for it like FedEx or UPS.
      If they could repeal the prefunded retirements, let them raise rates to ensure a reasonable profit (to subsidize the unprofitable portion of the routes ensuring all are served), allow them to add new services to bring in new revenue streams then we would see a Post Office that was revitalized and probably hiring instead of laying off vast numbers of people and spraling down the toilet. This is just another instance of the necessity of stopping and reversing Republican plans to destroy parts of our government. The Post Office provides a useful service and in many cases is the only option for people in rural and remote areas besides the fact that it is provided for in the Constitution. The Constitution calls for the formation of the Post Office and mail delivery to our citizens. Making it fail is actually unconstitutional. I use the mail quite often and if it meant paying 50 cents or even a dollar a stamp I would be quite prepared to pay that to save the current level of service rather than see the services cut. It makes no sense for them to close processing centers and cut the quality and time constraints of their services. Let them charge accordingly, remove the onerous retirement prefunding, and watch them hire rather than fire people. Cutting jobs in this economy is obviously not a good move. On top of that the artificiality of the problems the Post Office is facing is insane. This has all been engineered to produce the demise of the Post Office. Our officials should be working on strengthening and helping our constitutionally mandated Post Office instead of concentrating on how to destroy it. Once again the anti-social nature and anti-government inclination of our modern consertives shows up in their war on the Post Office. We have a lot of work to do this is one of the areas we need to work on.
     

    As long as I wake up breathing everything else is a bonus. Sometimes not much of a bonus but still a bonus.

    by pirate1 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:48:50 PM PST

  •  Isn't the U S Mail one of the most popular (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, Minnesota Deb, ZenTrainer, akmk

    government services? Why don't the ads on TV mention that pre-funding requirement? Why do Republicans hate America and Americans? That Norman Rockwell illustration of the mail carrier should be flooded into the American consciousness. Even baggers are nostalgic enough about 'real America' to want to stop this from happening.

  •  I'm very happy with my local USPS. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, ZenTrainer, akmk

    I appreciate home delivery, in their office they are efficient and courteous, and when shipments of live baby chicks come in, they phone us at dawn to come in for early pickup!

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:50:37 PM PST

  •  Oh, the irony (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    papa monzano, ZenTrainer

    The GOP continually talks up the Constitution (as they imperfectly understand it) and tries to stir up people against Federal agencies; then they do everything they can to kill an agency that is mentioned in the Constitution and that people love and rely on, especially in rural communities that are supposedly so dear to our Republican brethren. Feh.

    My karma ran over your dogma.

    by rkthomas on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:53:39 PM PST

  •  speaking from... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the "belly of the beast" i can make the case for either 5 day or 6 day delivery. but if the post office goes to 5 days you must understand that 1 of every 6 letter carriers is out of a job. that will add up to thousands with nothing to do. i am a 24 year carrier. the real problem with the "service" is the mean spirited management that borders on the pathalogical. the organization is being destroyed from within with a helping hand from congress. once it's gone there will no bringing it back. everybody talks about the money and forgets about the people who work there and move the mail. i have the sinking feeling a lot of lives are going to ruined at the end of all this.

  •  cognitive dissonance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    they hate the post office.

    they hate the census.

    they LOVE the founding fathers and swear the holy sanctity of the constitution....excepting the post office and census mandated therein.

    did i miss the part where Obama proposed internal consistancy? that's all I can think would cause this level of cognitive dissonance in the GOP.

    When life gives you lemons, don't elect them to Congress.

    by papa monzano on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 01:59:05 PM PST

  •  We need to kill the poison accounting pill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Intellectually Curious

    NOT just band-aid the patient. The Republicans are waging an all-out war on the US Postal Service, in an attempt to kill the Postal Workers Union and bankrupt USPS in favor of 100% privatization of mail services.

    In 2006 the Republican Congress passed the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act” that included a poison pill requirement that the Post Office pre-pay health benefits for their employees for the next 75 years during a 10-year stretch. In the past four years, those prepayments have totaled $21 billion in unnecessary, but legally required costs!

    If they didn’t have this insane accounting requirement, which by the way NO other business public or private is subject to, they would be operating totally in the black. So if you love your mail service we need to take back the House and get a real 60% majority in the Senate this year so that provision of the Postal Accountability Act can be repealed.

    I love Senator Sanders, but band-aids are the wrong approach.

    Can't never did nothin'; Can Do did!

    by susanWAstate on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:03:07 PM PST

    •  but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb

      ...we had the white house, house and senate filled with nalc and apwu supported candidates and the post office has gotten worse. on "our" watch no less! i know President Obama had bigger things to worry about than the post office but this is just a total letdown. for what it's worth i DREAD going to work every day. there is going to be trouble.

      •  I'm sorry you're being subjected to this! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        postalblue

        I'm a state employee and really is disheartening to hear the rabid rants against public employees lately. The Koch brothers & company don't care how many lives they have to trample in their fight to destroy public unions and government institutions.

        I'm sure that if more people knew what the Republicans have done to try and kill the USPS with such an underhanded accounting trick, they would come to its defense en mass. I've received great service from USPS over my lifetime; It is an American tradition that is worth saving!

        I just sent an email to President Obama asking him to lead the fight to save USPS. Hopefully, enough others will also take action.

        Can't never did nothin'; Can Do did!

        by susanWAstate on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:37:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dannyinla, susanWAstate

          ...i sometimes tell people that i like my job, it's my employer that i have problems with. i remember 24 years ago when i put my letter carrier uniform on for the first time i was proud of it. i could not believe i was part of the federal goverment. the first few years were like heaven for me. but the last 10 years or so they have ground that pride right out of me. i know a lot of good carriers that took much pride in their work that have just quit mentally the job. they show up and do what they have to but thats it. now we are waiting on a new contract and of course management is crying poverty. sad to say but the USPS has become a soul crushing place to work. the really sad thing is it DID NOT have to be like this.

  •  I am starting to think the Republicans (4+ / 0-)

    want the U.S. to be a third world country.

    Never in my life did I dream the U.S. postal service would be under attack, but here we are. In the same week where the use of basic contraceptive measures is being debated.

    Two economies indeed. More like two different levels of existence. People who can afford their own private army, hospitals, ect, and the rest of us. What is next? A return of slavery? Seriously, I am having a mental breakdown trying to wrap my mind around this.

  •  All they need to do to fix the USPS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer

    is to remove that whole they-have-to-fund-pensions-for-employees-seventy-five-years-in-the-future thing.

  •  How about a new service... (0+ / 0-)

    That turns e-mails into written letters and mailed with or without a confirmation as requested?

    A faxed letter received and mailed to a resident...

    Mail to fax service or mail to scan and e-mail for older customers with no computer...

    Electronic virtual post office boxes turning hard copies of mail received into electronic copies...

    Ideas are out there... We need to think growth rather than diminish...

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:22:28 PM PST

  •  Hey, let's take something that works really well (0+ / 0-)

    and turn it into a turkey! We haven't quite killed Amtrak yet, but we're working on it.

    Next, Social Security and Medicare. After that, civilization itself!

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

    by Leo in NJ on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:23:00 PM PST

  •  Not to be a Bringdown, but (0+ / 0-)

    My employer uses the USPS to deliver many of its products.

    So Saving The Postal service would be a subsidy, at least in one case, to Mormon Republican millionaires.

  •  I'd be a lot more sympathetic (0+ / 0-)

    ...if the USPS hadn't just LOST an important package of mine.

    I don't know what I was thinking. FedEx is much more reliable. Last time I ever mail anything I care about via USPS.

    Bradley Manning 2012

    by chase on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:33:06 PM PST

  •  They should provide internet service (0+ / 0-)

    to rural areas. I realize this would cause Republican heads to explode, but I'll bet if it was "sold" properly to the public it would have massive support. Or for that matter, rural areas and urban areas with socio-economic difficulties. Subsidized. I know it's socialist, but like all truly social programs, it would ultimately create jobs, strengthen local economies, and provide a major boost in quality of life for everyone involved. Hell, if the Postal Service could deliver high speed at a lower rate, it would drive down costs for everyone using private connections. Oops, socialism again.

    Who is more natural to do this? They ARE the Postal Service, and email is the current system. They could even buy the rights to AOL's "You've got MAIL!" and annoy the hell out of everyone by running TV ads to illustrate the transition.

    We are the Lorax. We are the Once-ler.

    by TheIsleOfMan on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:47:20 PM PST

    •  That would have been the genius thing to do (0+ / 0-)

      twenty years ago. I never understood why the weren't forward thinking enough to do exactly who you suggest with an AOL-type service. Hell, just setting up an Internet bill pay service through the USPS would have been frikking revolutionary.

  •  disposables, vs. enduring (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer

    Remember when 8-track cassettes were "the future" and we were to toss our vinyl? Remember when video tapes were the way to go and we wasted hundreds/thousands buying copies of all our favorite movies/television shows and then had to replace all of them later with CDs?

    What's to guarantee that the Internet will not be replaced by some other technology? What's to be our back-up plan if some hacker steals everyone's online identity (and everyone's bank and brokerage balances) in one fell swoop?

    The Post Office is in place and has proved efficient and invaluable time and again for over two centuries; other systems, such as telegrams and pony express companies, have come and gone. Once the Post Office is closed, it will be hard to re-establish, when people once again realize its necessity.

    Save the Post Office. End the mean-spirited decision to force it to pre-fund benefits for 75 years.

    Or have the "job creators" actually create some jobs, hiring people who can present us with a service as efficient and sure as the Post Office, one that's also backed by the U.S. government. Or make sure companies, especially those that pay no taxes, pre-pay benefit obligations and the 1% pre-fund their current and prospective tax obligations (and refund the taxes they've already cheated us out of) before they can buy one more fur coat, yacht, expensive dinner, vacation home, etc.

  •  I, also, LOVE the USPS (0+ / 0-)

    It would be a tragedy to lose the USPS . My father in law REFUSES to be online . In his defense he dropped out of grade school. He also says there are to many white people on line (yes, he says that) and he doesn't like us. Yes, seeing him once a year is a pleasure. All his daughters marrying white guys makes that even funnier, BUT I HAVE DIGRESSED.
    To send a letter, some pictures (a couple 8x10'2 and regulars) from Philly to a suburb in Thailand via varied providers
    1-USPS-8.26 and it is there in 6 business days
    2-Fed Ex-32.50
    3-UPS-26.50
    BOTH Fed and UPS promise delivery in 14 days
    Also, sending the same letter in the same odd shaped envelope priority is 1.32 more for USPS. In 4 days.
    The USPS is so efficient and cheap and the benefits they offer their workers are so good, WHY WOULD THEY GET RID OF IT ?
    Are they trying to destroy the economy 1 hopeful job at a time or what ?

    you can't remain neutral on a moving train

    by rmfcjr on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:19:30 PM PST

  •  Even RedState agrees! (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.redstate.com/...

    They see that the burden that's been placed on the Postal Service (though placed there with 'good intentions') is crushing the life out of it, and that something needs to change.

    If the USPS dies, commercial interests HAVE to pick up the slack, now don't they? Aww.. poor private companies!

    I'm amazed.. over the last week and change I have seen several traditionally conservative groups waking up and saying "Whaaaat?" to the stances of the GOP.

    Its refreshing..because at the end of the day, we are all citizens of the same Country. We sink or swim together.

  •  To save the USPS, President Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dannyinla, ranton

    needs to:

    1. Appoint a Postmaster General who supports the mission and is willing to fight FOR the Post Office and not concede defeat before even putting up a fight.
    2. Congress should give the USPS the authority and means to create a competing internet based email service, with a pay per use, and the full right of privacy and protections afforded to regular mail users, up to and including making all mail fraud laws applicable to this service.
    3. Implement the more robust email system with federal protection as an alternative to the standard internet. Spam would not be prohibited, but it must be paid for by the sender, based on delivery to valid addresses.
    4. Offer a pre-paid service for business reply situations, with the charges paid by the receiving party, all with the approprate mail fraud protection.

    Enact legislation to prevent UPS, FedEx and their clones from competing with traditional mail services.

    Make the paying pensions for unhired workers go away, allow the return of those funds back to the USPS to pay the capital costs to implement the above. As Sanders says, the Postal Service is mandated by the Constitution, give it the means to compete, and compete effectively.

    The specific ideas above may not work, but the USPS should be given the tools to join, not fight the electronic messaging space.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:37:16 PM PST

  •  These folks couldn't be any more clueless (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, ranton, wagdog

    The Post Office was doing just fine without additional revenue until they were required to front fund their pensions.

    Period.

    Remove that requirement. Easy Peasy.

    Why in the fuck is congress dinking around with something that was working anyway?

    Well, first they had to make it not work (front fund) and then they had to blame the unions for it not working.

    Fuckheads.

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 04:03:52 PM PST

  •  Why do Republicans Hate the Constitution? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 04:18:59 PM PST

  •  I just sent a package to Europe via USPS for (0+ / 0-)

    $18 dollars. One private carrier wanted $75 and another $90!

    How does one discover the record of campaign or PAC donations for FED-EX and UPS? The move to take out the USPS has ALEC written all over it!

  •  I WANT union employees delivering our mail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    postalblue

    I read every comment, and at this time I don't think I've read this part of the discussion ...

    If we lose the USPS and their unionized employees, who are decently paid (I won't use the term "well paid") the alternative will be minimum wage employees who don't give a flying fig as to your personal information. You think identity theft is bad now???? Try it out with a former pizza delivery person now in charge of a postal route with no obligation to employer or customer (no offense to pizza delivery persons). Think it will be hard to persuade a non-unionized $9 per hour employee to "disappear" some amount of pre-authorized credit cards, or other personal items? How about embarrassing insurance bills for health care that absolutely should be as private as possible?

    The biggest short-term problem is this Republican mandate to pre-fund pensions in a way that isn't even CLOSE to anything any other organization has had to do. There are long-term problems involving email, etc. All can be solved if the ridiculous pension funding requirements were rolled back. And allowing much more flexibility in what they are allowed to sell, and how fast the USPS is allowed to change (another issue).

    There are problems, and they can be solved (as many others have written, the USPS would be in the black if not for this onerous pension issue). To me, a very important factor that is not always understood is the benefit of having postal carriers who remain dedicated (via decent pay and benefits) and in long careers where they are exposed to many private and personal items which must have great value in the black market. I don't often hear of the postal carriers being the main problem of identity theft so rampant today -- would that remain true if we nickle and dime this public service?

    The only force that can overcome an idea and a faith is another and better idea and faith, positively and fearlessly upheld. Dorothy Thompson.

    by Intellectually Curious on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 04:59:43 PM PST

  •  Let the Post Office Provide Banking (0+ / 0-)

    In many countries (Japan and Italy, as two examples), the Post Office provides basic consumer banking services: deposit accounts, money orders, debit cards, ATMs, direct deposit, savings bonds, etc. No onerous fees, no tricks, no games. (In Japan the Post Office also sells basic insurance products.)

    Why not let the U.S. Postal Service provide CFPB-approved basic deposit accounts? OK, yes, we have a government that financiers have captured, not one serving the public interest, so that's one reason. But I can't think of any other reasons.

    I'd also like to see the Post Office providing more low-cost foreign remittance services, which is a growing market that is badly served right now.

  •  Speaking as an employee of Royal Mail (0+ / 0-)

    - the UK equivalent of USPS - I hope USPS win and win big in this.

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