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Last night on MSNBC Ed Schultz went bat-shit crazy on all the stupid proposals about downsizing the USPS. This isn't the first time he has done it and I hope it isn't the last. If you don't know the situation it isn't complex really.

The Post Office might be forced to close up to 3,000 rural Post Offices and through early retirement and layouts get rid of 200,000 employees (and this is the better of the two plans out there).

The reason is they can't met their financial obligations.

Problem is, in 2011 ZERO TAX dollars went to support the USPS.

The catch is that in 2006 the Republican controlled Congress passed a law saying that the USPS had to fund their retirement program out 75 YEARS IN A TEN YEAR PERIOD. That means in ten years they have to put away about $42B. They simply can't make those payments (they have to this point) and in the not do distant future will be in violation of the law.

But frankly as Ed pointed out, no private organization in the world, much less government organization could either. Basically they are being forced to pay for the retirement of somebody that isn't even born yet that eventually works for the USPS until they are 60. That is just crazy.

So below the fold a few idle musings and more ranting ..... join me if you wish!

I live in small rural town. Personally I can't recall the last time I went into my local Post Office. But I drive and/or walk by it all the time and the parking lot is always full. In the circle drive where you can drop off mail from your car there is often a line.

So just because I don't use the Post Office, clearly a lot of people around me do.

Ed also mentioned for many small towns the Post Office kind of functions like the "Anchor" store in a large strip mall. It sure does in my town. Either next door, across the street, or behind it you have:

1. City Hall
2. Our only hardware/feed store
3. Only restaurant in town that isn't a chain
4. The only locally owned bank
5. Our only drug store
6. The only place with wireless Internet access (that isn't McDonalds)

So pretty much standing next to my Post Office I can hit just about every place I go to in town that isn't the grocery store (on the outskirts of town) with a baseball.

Another thing Ed talked about is the quality of service. I know a lot of people that bitch about every government agency close to 24/7. Honestly, I can't recall a single one bitching about the USPS. My parents live 187 miles from me. If on a Thursday my dad mails me a letter by 9 AM (the early pick-up) I get it 4 out of 5 times the next day. It is hand delivered to my house in like under 30 hours for .45 cents.  

If you get nothing else from this Diary I ask you to ponder just for a few minutes how freaking cool that is!

The final thing I will note Ed mentioned and I already knew, but only after talking to other people here and from Europe. By law the USPS is not allowed from expanding to offer more services. If a Post Office serves as an "Anchor" for a community it would make sense they might sell fishing licenses, pre-paid cell phone minutes, endorse the signature on a legal document, sell money orders (heck Western Union), just to name a few things. They can't.

In fact they can't even charge to fax something. I had to fax something the other day. I didn't know where my fax machine was from like 1993 and I couldn't find the power cord to my "all in one" printer/scanner/fax machine that I've not used in years. I went to my local drug store (next door to my Post Office of course) and they charged me $2.99 for the first page and .99 cents for each additional page for a 10 page fax sent locally.

I joke to the lady at those rates they must have paid for their fax machine a long, long time ago. She said they sure did cause they send 8-12 a day.


I could go on and on, but that is kind of all that I got to say. Just the same thoughts that have been running through my head almost non-stop since Ed's show last night.

Originally posted to webranding on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM PDT.

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