Postal Service

John Ratzenberger, the mailman on 'Cheers,' records plea for USPS ...

I’m still kinda mad at Twila, the former postmistress in Dumont. She knew Dawn lived right around the corner and didn’t tell me about her, for a year. I thought she was my friend. Anyway, I found my true love on my own without Twila’s help.

The post office has been in the news lately. Trump supposedly wants to limit funding. He thinks mail-in ballots can lead to corruption. The Democrats oppose defunding the Postal Service because, well because. There are some bigger issues here.

In the quarter ended June 30 the Postal Service lost $2.2 billion. Does anyone ask, “Why don’t they raise their rates?” The Postal Service is embedded as an example of the misinterpreted “general welfare clause.” That phrase at the beginning of the Constitution is used to negate any part of the Constitution that gets in the way of special interests who want your involuntary charity.

We recently had a tire go bad on the rear of our big tractor. Both tires were 35 years old so they both needed to be replaced. I made some calls and saved a thousand dollars by choosing one supplier over another. Compare that to the Postal Service that is protected by law from competition in the letter business. Did you ever need to get some paperwork moved securely and quickly? You call it a package and send it by FedEx.

While two sides argue over whether an election can be influenced by minor changes in the post office, the obvious benefits of competition in mail delivery are ignored. If I can save 30% in a short time on the phone because I’m free to choose, just think of how mail delivery could be improved.

It is interesting to see how two sides, the Democrats and Republicans, pretend to represent extremely different views yet they both support socialized mail delivery.

Once we get through this election charade, it would be nice to see our elected representatives look at the facts and act to sell the Postal Service. The business plan scrutinized by investors would have to show sustainability. Since people will still have to send mail, the opportunity for a successful business is obvious. And without mommy taxpayer there to cover all the inefficiencies that an organization with seven unions can produce, the post office will survive and thrive.

Spee-Dee delivery was founded in 1978 with a pickup truck. They now have 1,800 employees working in nine states. Any farmer needing a part shipped, knows the next question to ask is, “Can you ship it Spee-Dee?”

My son, when the government hasn’t shut down the world, works for a company that issues permits to organize on-location filming. I’m proud to say Film L.A. was privatized from a public agency. It can be done. The cost of the permits reflect a necessity for profit.

The Postal Service lost $69 billion dollars over the last 11 years. They have $160 billion in unfunded liabilities. Ben Franklin owned two household slaves at one time, then gave them their freedom and became a staunch advocate for abolition. He started the post office and I bet he wouldn’t stand for the travesty that it has become.

The people who deliver our mail, watch over our neighborhoods, and are our friends deserve a better employer.

One response to “Postal Service

  1. I agree that the U.S. Postal Service is poorly managed. This is largely because the postal hierarchy isn’t allowed to make the significant managerial decisions, like days of mail delivery and number of post offices and cost of a stamp. Congress manages the USPS — need I write any other commentary? The losses of the USPS pale in significance to the money wasted, for no return, on “Offense spending,” entitlement provisions, foreign “bribes” (oops, I mean “aid”), etc., etc. Money and weapons provided to Israel alone exceeds by many multiples the USPS annual losses. There are significantly bigger fish to fry at this point. Moreover, FedEx and UPS (with the latter’s many mailing stores) exist now. Why would you not use there systems to mail bill payments and correspondence? Too expensive? Maybe that’s what a privatized USPS would look like vis-a-vis costs.

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