Post Office Blues

uspsThis seems like a very American thing to do.

Your business is failing so what do you do. You start looking for way to cut costs. You look for ways to reduce payroll. You let people retire without replacing them. You look for operations that aren’t turning a profit and you cut them out like a cancer, forgetting what it might do to the patient.

It’s a challenge facing our Postal Service and the Postmaster has laid out his plan for survival. For the customer it will mean worse service for a higher cost.

In a plan right out of the General Motors playbook, the Postmaster General announced his five-year plan to rescue the Post Office. With red ink approaching 18 billion within three years nobody denies that something has to be done. But when you are talking about an institution as old as the USPS that is the glue that binds together rural America you can’t solve the problem with an ax. Delicate surgery is the name of the game.

The postmaster’s plan includes the following:

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  • Reduce payroll through attrition, leaving jobs unfilled when postal workers quit or retire.
  • Halt the prefunding of its pension fund, which is obligated to pay these retirees, and tap the funds already contributed to cover current operating costs.
  • Remove older employees from the Post Office’s own health plan, and dump them into the taxpayer-funded Medicare system instead.
  • Shutter as many as 3,800 rural post offices and mail processing facilities.
  • Eliminate Saturday mail delivery.

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It’s a tactic seemingly learned from the U.S. Airline industries. Cut services and charge more for it. That hasn’t worked out all the great for the sky jockeys flown right into bankruptcy court.

I believe reducing services is not the way to go. If you reduce services you will have less peole using the them. I’m no math genius but I look at it like this.

The post office brings in around $67 billion right now which equates to about a 27% ($18 billion) operating loss. Seems like taking the cost of a stamp from $0.45 to $0.60 would go a long way to solving the problem. I’d kick in my $0.15 to save the American institution Ben Franklin put in place.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Budget deficits… now that’s an entirely different matter all together.

For more information regarding this government plan, visit – Save the Post Office.

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