walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

You Don't Have Mail


For several years now, the post office has been trying to reduce the number of days of home delivery it is required to provide, in an effort to reduce costs. There's some question (at least in the regulator's minds) about the implications of eliminating Saturday delivery (the current plan):

"“The key factor is that the Postal Service thinks it can take all the mail that it would otherwise deliver on Saturday and deliver it on Monday with no extra cost,” said regulatory commission chairman Ruth Goldway."

That's a weird sentence. I'm not exactly sure what it means. It is probably not that important however.

The current budgetary crisis is due, in part, to the USPS being required, in recent years, to make big payments towards a fund for future health costs of retired employees: "the real issue is the $5.5 billion the Postal Service has to pay every year into a fund for the health benefits of its future retirees."

Stunningly, one of Issa's staffers is arguing the payments are necessary because "the Postal Service won’t be here in two years, let alone 10".


In related news, the USPS would also like to close some of its offices, particularly in rural areas.

"Of the nearly 3,700 proposed post office closures, slightly more than 3,000 of them have annual revenue of less than $27,500, and a workload of less than two hours per day. Compared with the $100,000 or so it takes to run a post office, many of them are not even breaking even, Granholm said."

The plan is to sell stamps and take packages in retail locations. My all time favorite post office is/was on a side street off 15th Ave E on Capitol Hill in Seattle. It was in a little shop that sold all kinds of things, and would act as a post office AND do FedEx and UPS. Enormously convenient, altho obviously no passport services.

This article indicates Congressional approval is not required -- which isn't to say Congress won't necessarily involve itself anyway. Post Offices closing generates a lot of constituent unhappiness.

I expect to see a lot more changes in the number of post offices. Whether or not this effort to eliminate Saturday service succeeds, I would expect to see a reduction in the number of days of service now AND in the future (if not now then definitely in the future). Home delivery is a relatively recent phenomenon, as postal service goes. I would not be completely shocked to see limitations on home delivery some day as well (replacing it with p/u at a post office or post office lite, which is what predated home delivery).

See? Me predicting things. We'll all get to laugh at how wrong I am.

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