Post Office

The U.S. Postal Service 'Unsustainable,' Says GAO. And That Was Before COVID-19 Hit.

The USPS has lost $78 billion since 2007, but could lose as much as $13 billion this year as the pandemic has crushed mail volume.

|

After losing $78 billion since 2007 amid a decline in mail volume coupled with soaring pension costs, the United States Postal Service's (USPS) business model is "not financially sustainable," a government audit has concluded.

In a scathing report set to be released later today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) calls on Congress to reevaluate all aspects of the Postal Service's operations, from how often Americans receive their mail to whether the USPS should be restructured to receive annual infusions of taxpayer dollars. "Absent congressional action on critical foundational elements of the USPS business model, USPS' mission and financial solvency are increasingly in peril," the audit concludes.

The report comes at a crucial moment. In March, Congress extended a $10 billion line of credit to the USPS as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) after rejecting an earlier draft of the stimulus bill that would have sunk $25 billion in cash into the beleaguered agency. House Democrats are now seeking a $25 billion Postal Service bailout in the so-called "phase four" stimulus bill lawmakers are currently negotiating.

Due to the sharp drop in mail volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, the USPS expects to lose as much as $13 billion this year, Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last month.

President Donald Trump has been unwilling to bail out the USPS without reforms. Asked about it at a press conference last month, Trump said the agency should "raise the prices by actually a lot, then you'd find out that the Post Office could make money or break even."

The new GAO report makes clear that neither one-time bailouts nor higher prices for mail will be sufficient.

In the 10 years since the GAO first classified the USPS as "high-risk"—a designation that means an agency or department is vulnerable to waste, mismanagement, and needs reform—the service's fiscal status has "worsened due to declining mail volume, increased employee compensation and benefit costs, and increased unfunded liabilities and debt," the GAO's new report states.

Perhaps the best indicator of the Postal Service's structural problems is the divergence between the number of employees it has and the amount of mail it delivers. Since 2006, First Class mail has declined by 44 percent, the GAO found, but the number of postal workers has grown during the same period of time.

Also of concern is the growth of debt in funds that are supposed to pay for pensions and other benefits for retired workers. At the end of 2019, the pension fund had $50 billion in unfunded liabilities—that's the long-term gap between what the fund expects to pay out to current and future beneficiaries and the amount of revenue the fund is expected to collect from workers' paychecks and investment earnings. The fund that covers health care expenses for retired postal workers is facing a $69 billion unfunded liability.

None of these problems should surprise lawmakers. After the USPS reported a $4 billion loss in 2018, Brennan warned that the agency "cannot generate revenue or cut enough costs to pay our bills." Raising prices has not staunched the flow of red ink. The cost of a stamp jumped 10 percent on January 1, 2019, and other mailing services increased by 2.5 percent on average—but expenses have been outpacing revenues by a wide margin.

"If Congress is going to be asked to get the Postal Service out of yet another fiscal jam, we owe it to the American people to make sure we aren't just setting them up for yet another bailout the next time there's an emergency," Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio), the highest-ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement about the new GAO report. "The USPS needs to be a self-sufficient, competitive enterprise, and a legislative overhaul for the long-term is the only way to make it one."

In 2018, the Trump administration outlined two plans for privatizing the USPS in whole or in part, either by handing over management of the service to a private operator under federal oversight or by selling off the postal service in its entirety.

Privatization of the USPS—something Reason has been advocating for literally over 50 years—would give the agency the ability to free itself from its current mess, which is largely the result of overlapping and sometimes unnecessary congressional mandates.

"The USPS is in a straitjacket unable to save itself during the crisis because Congress imposes restrictions on costs, pricing, labor unions, delivery, and other operational factors," writes Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "Congress should allow the USPS to implement long‐​needed reforms such as reducing delivery days, closing locations that have few customers, repealing collective bargaining, and other cost‐​saving changes."

The level of debt within the USPS makes privatization a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. It would probably require significant restructuring and service changes for the privatized service to net a profit, and the federal government would likely need to absorb the current debts. And it could net a windfall for the government to help meet its pension obligations to postal workers. Cornell economist Richard Geddes estimates that a postal IPO could raise $40 billion.

It would have been far better for Congress to have considered a comprehensive overhaul of the USPS prior to the current crisis. But waiting any longer is only going to make the mess harder to clean up.

"Comprehensive postal reform has not taken place in part because of the difficulty in obtaining compromise among various stakeholders with divergent views," the GAO report states. "Continued inaction will result in deepening financial problems—putting the USPS' mission to provide universal postal service at greater risk and minimizing the ability to make the most appropriate or sustainable policy decisions."

NEXT: She Said Anthony Fauci Sexually Assaulted Her. Now She Says Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman Paid Her to Lie.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Who wrote the software for the model?

    1. Change Your Life Right Now! Work From Comfort Of Your Home And Receive Your First Paycheck Within A Week. No Experience Needed, No Boss Over Your Shoulder… Say Goodbye To Your Old Job! Limited Number Of Spots Open…
      Find out how HERE…… See More here

  2. So like this is a business that actually loses money the more product it sells? Fascinating.

    1. It’s…INSAAAAAAAANNNNNEEEE!!!!!!!!

      1. Last month I have made $18623 by working online from home in my part time. I have made this income in my very first month of joining and that was awesome. I am a college student and doing this job in only my part time. I want you also to join this and start earning online right now by follow details on this link… Read More

    2. But they make it back on volume…

    3. Actually, its business model is completely viable, and it would even make a profit every year if it were allowed to by the US government.

      But there was a totally insane law passed some years ago regarding postal worker pensions, that would bankrupt any Fortune 50 company on the planet if they were required to do that that law requires of the USPS.

      Overnight, the USPS went from a profitable business to one running at an immense loss, that required bailouts every year.

      Even if it were privatized, unless that pension law was repealed at the same time, nobody would be able to take up the burden of running a postal service, because that law would instantly bankrupt them!

      1. “Actually, its business model is completely viable, and it would even make a profit every year if it were allowed to by the US government.”

        Either you are totally ignorant of what you claim, or you’re a pub-sec union shill.
        Either way, kindly STFU.

  3. When I was in the Navy back in the 80’s there was a whole bunch who were in just to get their Veteran’s preference, so that they could get a job with the Post Office. They used to brag about how they could screw off and their Union would protect them.

  4. There are two ways to actually rescue the Post Office, ie, not fumble along year to year as now.

    1. Pay its debts and privatize it right now, including title to all the trucks, buildings, etc. Leave it entirely alone. Let it set rates, stamp costs, service locations and hours, everything. I presume there’s some federal workers union involved; leave them alone too. Make dead sure this “leaving alone” includes allowing competitors and the ability to fail, go bankrupt, and even go out of business.

    2. Turn it into a government service — passports, ss questions, almost every thing ordinary people need at government offices. Stop this charade of it being an independent business.

    1. How does option #2 solve anything? It will still just continue to bleed money. It seems it would be akin to a regular taxpayer bailout.

      It needs to be privatized and allowed to fail.

      1. Assuming the government does do things like social security, passports, and the like, it would seem to be of more service if all the common functions were combined with post offices to better serve rural areas. I mainly don’t understand why no politician has ever thought of this. I certainly do not recommend it.

      2. “How does option #2 solve anything?”

        It may or may not, but ending their quasi-independent status would put their entire budget under congressional control.

        1. Because Congress is so good as budgeting…

      3. when I can drive across my small town on a Sunday afternoon and see THREE different mail trucks out delivering mail, they are NOT being smart about their costs. I am positive those cuys are raking in the overtime and sunday pay. WHY? Because Amazon insists on their sellsrs being able to promise Sunday delivery if that means the packages get there in two days, or whatever Amazon Prime is one HUGE problem. Next, as I drive down the interstate these says, intercity and interstate, the single mosts common livert on highway trucks is… you guessed it, AMAZON. Amazon Prime, a truckload more”. So they are now operating their own delivery service (along with the fleet of brand new Mercedes Srinter vans for the doorstep drops once the big dry vans are emptied out at a D Centre) Yet USPS continue to ship at insanely low lrates, I’m certain at a loss, to deliver Amazon’s stuff. Amazon postal rates are far lower than anyone else can get…. and I have to pot weight on USPS for caving and agreeing to Amazon’s insane rates. They did not have to….

        1. “…Amazon postal rates are far lower than anyone else can get…”

          Got a cite for that claim?

    2. Would your #1 be consistent with Article 1, Sec 8? Can we credibly say that outsourcing counts as “establishing”?

      1. I see you haven’t actually read Article 1 Section 8:

        The Congress shall have Power To … establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

        Nothing mandatory about it.

        1. You are wrong. ALL of those specific enumerated powers are mandatory. Those are powers that resided in the states – and that states no longer have the authority to perform.

          The Constitution was about TRANSFERRING those enumerated powers to the federal level – not about eliminating those enumerated powers.

          1. JFree
            May.7.2020 at 5:22 pm
            “You are wrong. ALL of those specific enumerated powers are mandatory.”

            As a cowardly, lying piece of lefty shit, why should be be surprised that you are once again:
            Full.
            Of.
            Shit.
            Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first, and sit on it.
            And please fuck off and die, slaver.

        2. Nothing about owning or running them either…

      2. no… I can “establish” the constructioin of my house As I do that I can either do it ALL myself, hire a contractor to do it all, or anywhere in between.. or simply decide I’m done and stop building it. Having the power to do some particular thing is NOT a mandate that I actually DO that thing, nor is it any way a limitatioin on HOW< or by what MEANS or through what ENTITY I might accomplish the goal in view/

        1. Exactly. The clause in question gives Congress the power to establish postal services, but does not require them to do it.

    3. Privatizing it is just the usual corrupt cronyist scam that libertarians seem to love. If it is actually losing money, then there is no way it could be privatized.

      Post offices and home delivery are in practice not the same thing but opposite things.

      Delivery has been the major source of corruption dating back to (and including) Ben Franklin. The spoils system was always based on appointing postmasters – and the less govt wanted to spend on paying postmaster salaries, the more money postmasters could make by leveraging the monopoly over the last mile delivery stuff. It was the earliest way ‘let’s spend less’ turned from a virtue into enabling corruption. The second they were able to get govt funding not just for the route contracting between post offices but between PO and home (first in the cities and then in rural areas via RFD), then corruption ratcheted up a notch and it was postal delivery (the Star Route scandal) that created the impetus for Civil Service Reform.

      There is no reason whatsoever why delivery is something that needs to be provided by government. Even if government wanted to ensure some level of subsidy to less populated areas, the way to do that is by creating post offices that are very well distributed geographically.

      There is no reason whatsoever why anyone should take any proposal to privatize post offices as anything other than corruption. You are absolutely right. That office is where govt should have all of its customer-facing functions and it cannot be outsourced. Nor can it be pulled back to DC and turned into some artificial technovirtual function without disadvantaging those who can’t afford K st lobbyists. Which is of course exactly why those who want that advocate privatizing/eliminating post offices and have been eliminating them for well over 100 years.

      Delivery and physical post offices work in opposite ways. The more you think delivery is the infrastructure, the fewer post offices you need. The more centralized that delivery, the less an individual can be the one negotiating the delivery. The more post offices you have, the less delivery is required and the easier it is for individuals to negotiate their own delivery stuff and also the easier it is for them to see the post office as a place for their genl ‘governance’ questions.

      1. “If it is actually losing money, then there is no way it could be privatized.”

        UPS and FedEx are profitable. I’d be willing to bet they could handle letter delivery profitably.

        1. IDK the different operating cost structures of those three but the balance sheet shows a huge difference and from what I’ve heard it is the annual prefunding of retiree liabilities that is why the USPS is ‘unprofitable’.
          The pension liabilities are: USPS – $325 billion, UPS – $54 billion, Fedex – $26 billion – all of which are roughly equally prefunded as a %
          The retiree health liab are: USPS – $114 billion, UPS – $3 billion, $1 billion – USPS is the only one prefunding any of that

          The pension plan may be more generous (or USPS has many more employees) – but any one who privatizes will, if they reduce costs, simply transfer more of that cost to Social Security. So from a bookkeeping perspective, for the govt it’s partially just a matter of which pocket pays for that.

          The retiree health OTOH is definitely a huge difference. USPS still has retiree health, the other two clearly don’t except for executives and maybe some remaining grandfathered provisions. So again bookkeeping-wise, eliminating retiree health would simply transfer much of the burden to Medicare and since Medicare itself isn’t prefunded by employers or pre-65’s whatever is left would just jack up medical inflation

          Regardless, the big issue re choosing post offices going forward – or delivery going forward – is that the two have completely different cost structures. Delivery is labor and vehicle intense. Post offices are facility intense. But the two work in completely opposite directions. Which is why you can’t focus on both. Our govtl failure has been by default preferring to emphasize delivery (which gets votes) instead of post offices (which doesn’t get votes but is actual infrastructure) – 77,000 post offices in 1900; 37,000 today (many of which have since USPS was made semi-independent been sold/re-leased in corrupt deals – see sen Feinsteins husband).

          1. The USPS pension plan isn’t any more generous than any other federal pension. They don’t have a huge number of useless workers either.

            The reason their pension liability is so enormously higher than other package carriers is there was a law passed almost two decades ago that required that they fully fund all pensions and health care plans 100%, in advance, for all current workers and all workers they might hire for the next 50 years.

            There isn’t a Fortune 50 company on the planet that could do that without going bankrupt on the spot. The author of the bill that did this had tried to defund or abolish or privatize the USPS numerous times in the past, and he finally got the votes to pretty much kill it.

            Except when it became clear that his bill had in fact killed the USPS, Congress did not repeal his law, they instead bailed out the USPS. Every year since then, the USPS has needed another bailout in order to do anything besides continue funding those insane pension and health plans.

            Prior to the law being enacted, the USPS was actually making a small profit every year.

            1. The USPS pension plan isn’t any more generous than any other federal pension.

              All federal pensions are WAY more generous than the private sector – at least the non-union part – and at this point those benefits have become a rather oppressive form of rent-seeking.

              there was a law passed almost two decades ago that required that they fully fund all pensions and health care plans 100%

              There is no difference re the three entities re their pension funding. Their liability is all about 85-90% funded. There is as I said a huge difference re retiree health funding. But the fact is retiree health plans no longer really exist in the private sector so obviously they would not require any funding in the private sector.

              Which only partially gets at my main point – get back to focusing on post offices not delivery. This would require adding back quite a few post offices that have closed over the decades (thousands) but it would mean cutting back the basic delivery to a couple times per week. This whole privatizing drive is essentially corrupt. But the USPS is in massive need of a complete overhaul and reform of its mission. Problem is both the privatizers and the unions oppose that.

          2. As a cowardly, lying piece of lefty shit, why should be be surprised that you are once again:
            Full.
            Of.
            Shit.
            Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first, and sit on it.
            And please fuck off and die, slaver.

        2. yes UPS and fed ex would deliver mail when you use a $4 stamp

          1. If that’s the profit point then that’s what the USPS should be charging too. Of course increasing revenue is only one way to get profitable, another would be by reducing costs

    4. Why would a postal employee do a better job of answering Social Security questions than the Social Security employees that already do that? Perhaps the USPS should also take over the job of the VA — then counter postal clerks could sell you stamps, perform brain surgery on veterans, and answer Social Security questions. Anything to save the Union jobs at USPS…

    5. Most other countries have their postal services do things other than postage. Most European postal services operate cellular services. Japan’s postal service sells insurance.

      I would love to see the Post Office drive the price of cellular down to what the rest of the world pays. The West Bank has better cellular service than most of the United States and people who live on 6 ounces of grains a day can afford it.

    6. The Post Office’s debts are imposed upon it by US statute – they are required to do something no other business or government organization is required to do – fully fund pensions in advance for all workers they currently have and for all workers they might hire 50 years into the future.

      The law didn’t ease them into the requirement when it was passed, they owed the full amount from the instant the ink was dry on the new law. They were unable to declare bankruptcy, so they instead went so far into debt that they have needed annual government bailouts ever since to pay for their ongoing mail deliveries, salaries and equipment upkeep – all money they take in goes to fund that bizarre, crippling pension fund money pit law.

      Prior to the law being enacted, they were making a small profit every year.

  5. It would take a constitutional amendment to fix this mess.
    USPS = United States Patronage System.

    Deliver first class mail M-W-F.
    Charge enough for other classes to make them at least break even.
    Get out of the package business and allow private companies to deliver to PO box “addresses”.
    Pay off the existing pension debt by a 100% tax on political campaign chests, and an ongoing 100% tax on political contributions.

    1. No it would not take an amendment. The Post Office is allowed, not mandated.

      1. So many people make that mistake.

        I point out that Congress also has the power to borrow money on the faith and credit of the United States and declare war. I then ask if that means that Congress would be required to borrow money even if there was no national debt and if Congress must be sure they have at least one outstanding war declared at every instant in time. I rarely get an answer to the question…

        1. Technically, Congress DOES have at least one outstanding war declared at every instant in time. Or at least a state of continuing emergency.

          The every-four-years military spending bill that Congress must pass Or Else is constitutionally-required. By doing so, Congress is declaring that the state of national emergency we have been in since the Vietnam war is ongoing, so therefore we need to continue funding our military at war-time levels.

          The reason that spending bill is Must Pass is if it ever fails to be passed, the state of emergency will end, 95% or more of the US military will be disbanded, and those troops will return home to become civilians again. Only a small training cadre and a limited self defense force will remain in uniform.

  6. The level of debt within the USPS makes privatization a challenge … and the federal government would likely need to absorb the current debts.

    Uh, that sounds like a bailout.

    How about “sorry postal workers, you’re going to get smaller pensions than you were expecting”?

    1. What? And break our solemn promise to these front-line heroes?

    2. Dude, USPS workers get the same size pension as all federal workers do. The reason the USPS needs constant bailouts is the same reason why we can’t reduce their pensions – it would be against the law.

      There is a federal statute that sets the minimum pension levels, and requires that the USPS fully fund all pensions for all its workers in advance for all current workers and for all workers it might hire in the next 50 years.

      Only the fact that they are not allowed to declare bankruptcy kept them from being annihilated by that law on the spot. The congresscritter who wrote it was notorious for trying to get bills passed to abolish or privatize the USPS, and he finally managed to do it.

      No private company on the planet could absorb that level of debt without ceasing to exist. Any company that attempted to privatize the postal service would be annihilated on the spot unless the law was repealed first.

      Repealing that law would return the USPS to being profitable, like it was for decades before the law was passed.

  7. >>>Comprehensive postal reform has not taken place in part because

    reforming people’s expectations of Christmas and birthday cards and coupons is easier.

    1. The only postal reform needed is the repeal of the 2006 law that requires that the USPS fully fund all pensions for all current and future workers in advance. Prior to that law, the USPS was able to provide top quality service six days a week, keep postage rates low AND make a small profit every year.

      Since that law passed, they’ve been hundreds of billions of dollars in the hole, and needed constant government handouts to do their job AND meet that crushing pension burden. No other organization, public or private, has that requirement. No organization, public or private, could survive having that burden without government bailouts.

      The House tried to pass a bill repealing that law back in February. The Senate keeps refusing to vote on it. The Senate version, put forward at the same time, looks to be being killed in committee.

  8. Why are taxpayers on the hook for postal worker’s post-retirement healthcare costs while having to pay for our own as well? Why do postal workers, with a job a 70 year old could do, get to retire at 50 with a full pension?

    1. They are on the hook because the Constitution requires that the US government have a postal service, and in 2006 Congress passed a law that completely bankrupted the postal service on the spot – but refused to let them declare bankruptcy.

      Privatizing won’t do anything but bankrupt whatever company tries to take over the role, thanks to that 2006 law.

      1. “They are on the hook because the Constitution requires that the US government have a postal service”

        Technically, the constitution allows Congress to establish a postal service, it doesn’t require it. The language used is permissive, not commanding.

      2. California Representative Nancy Pelosi and Nevada Senator Harry Reid lead the Democratic Party in taking control of both the House and the Senate in the 2006 congressional elections, the first time in 12 years the Democrats secure control of both houses of Congress simultaneously.

  9. Raise the price of a stamp to $1. No other service offers physical delivery of an item at that price.

    Cut service to MWF as described for letters. Most of that is bulk mail that can wait a day.

    Someone needs to seriously revamp their prices.

    1. It won’t help. Even raising the price of stamps to $20 each wouldn’t help. The USPS is bankrupted every year by a 2006 law that put an INSANE requirement on them, that no other organization has, public or private.

      Prior to that law they were keeping prices low, providing service 6 days a week, paying into their pension fund without difficulty and even making a small profit every year. The day after the law went into effect, they needed billions in government handouts just to keep the lights on!

  10. Government is always the worst and most costly way to do anything.

    The Post Office should be, should have been a century and a half ago, privatized. It should be doing nothing beyond letting contracts for postal booths in grocery stores and to private carriers. Yes, the union(s) will squeal like a thousand stuck pigs; but when it is so greedy and anti-consumer that they went so far as to get stamp vending machines banned, it deserves to be stuck.

    1. Any company that tried to take over for them would go out of business, and owe billions in pension plan payments. That’s due to the 2006 law that turned them from a well-run profitable business to a money pit. All that would be needed to make them a profitable business again is a bill that passed the House on February 5th of this year, and is currently being ignored by the Senate.

      1. The contractors taking over portions, this is already widely done in the mountain west, would / do not take over postal employees but replace them. The postal union(s) and the extravagant pensions and such are gone as a future concern.

        Even just banning the union(s) and scaling extravagant benefits and pay down to parity with the private sector would mostly cure the PO’s woes, but why enact a partial cure when the known vaccine of privatization is readily available.

  11. The only way we can find out if the Post Office is “sustainable” is to let the Post (not Congress) it’s own rates for letters and parcels. Also to let the Post Office (not Congress) set it’s own pension policies. Then the Post Office can see if it is sustainable on it’s own or not. To understand what is going on, realize Fed Ex and UPS ship a lot of stuff through the Post Office, because the Post Offices rates are set so artificially low, set by CON-gress, that has wanted to kill the Post Office for years. We need to see if the Post Office is sustainable or unsustainable on it’s own. Then if it fails, it is it’s own, not Congresses fault.

    1. Nope, that’s not what needs to be done. Setting its own rates won’t matter because they are required by a 2006 law to do something bugfuck insane with their pension plan as their highest financial obligation – even beyond delivering mail.

      While that law exists, they cannot function without constant bailouts. Without those bailouts, it will fail instantly no matter what it does, because that law makes it unavoidable.

      1. “Nope, that’s not what needs to be done. Setting its own rates won’t matter because they are required by a 2006 law to do something bugfuck insane with their pension plan as their highest financial obligation – even beyond delivering mail.”

        Bullshit.

  12. How is the country under lockdown not helping the post office? I haven’t been to a store in weeks. Amazon delivers to my house three times a day.

    1. How has the volume of junk mail you’ve been getting changed under lockdown? All the same delivery routes are being run, and the volume is much lower.

  13. The US Constitution states, “The Congress shall have Power To establish Post Offices and post Roads”.

    Now I am not sure how bad the US Supreme Court has screwed that up but regardless, there is nothing in there about rates, how often its delivered, etc.

    Start by charging $1.00 minimum to deliver anything. No discounts because its sorted by zip code or a cut rate for newspapers and magazines. Charge boxes by size and weight and it doesn’t matter if you ship one or fifty of them, that is what it cost. Or don’t even take packages, make them use UPS, Fedex, or whoever else is out there.

    Do we really need delivery 6-7 days a week? Doubtful. Why not M, W, F. I am pretty sure that in 99.9% of cases that would be enough. Postal employees could be part time.

    We are delivering mail the same way we did 100 years ago before internet, text, most phone service, email, etc. This needs to change.

    1. Your plan would have zero effect. Why? Because it’s not a bad business model or too low rates or too much service that is the problem.

      The problem is a 2006 law that requires that the postal service fund all employee pensions in full in advance before the potential employee is even born, for the next 50-75 years.

      No other business in the world has a requirement like that. Any business that acquired one like that would go out of business on the spot.

      1. “The problem is a 2006 law that requires that the postal service fund all employee pensions in full in advance before the potential employee is even born, for the next 50-75 years.”

        Are you a pub sec union shill, or just a fucking ignoramus.
        Either way, you are full of shit.

    2. Not exactly.
      The mail used to be delivered to your door into a container of your own choosing, likely under a sheltering porch, twice a day by a human being. Now it is crumpled into a tiny cube in a big flock of other tiny cubes once a day where you get to pull it out into the rain or whatever. Whatever is inside that bunker may or may not be human, but we can never know because it a violation of federal law to try to find out.

  14. First class mail has decreased 44% while the number of employees has increased. Mr. Boehm, do you really think that’s a fair comparison? What’s happened to all other classes during that period? It’s probably a dismal story, but do you have to stoop to MSNBC-level reporting standards to make a point?

  15. Sell it? Who’d want it? Lysander Spooner argued correctly the thing should not be a monopoly. Bought judges ruined his business. The Comstock laws followed by prohibition laws made the postal monopoly into a criminal conspiracy to violate individual rights. And the Constitution does not demand one even as a non-monopoly. If memory serves it simply empowers the political state to establish post offices and roads without prohibiting competition.

  16. scaling back delivery from daily to 2-3 times a week seems like low hanging fruit to me.

    considering at least 3 days i week i take the entire contents of the days mail straight to the recycling bin, i think id be alright.

    1. Half the time I don’t even bother to bring in the mail until a few days have built up, or I’m expecting something important

  17. I hope the USPS is not privatized. I can’t stand the thought of going to one not named after a heroic representative of the district.

  18. Did any of you read (or reread, perhaps) the linked 52-year-old article “Why Not a Laissez Faire Postal System”? It described potential technologies to modernize/replace the post office, such as what became faxes, and also a sort of voice-controlled e-mail system by “touch-tone” videophones, I suppose. It’s kind of funny, but not really that far removed from what we are already doing now.

    Separately, as an aside, I wonder what could happen if the post office is fully privatized. By federal law, postal workers are not allowed to go on strike. So if the government sells off the postal service to a private company or (more likely) several, will that law be repealed or will postal workers still be prevented from striking? I suppose that assumes that the postal unions will remain intact. And maybe they won’t. But if they do….?

Please to post comments