Sending a message to the Postal Service

Ed Lasky
The United States Postal Service has been on life support forever, losing money hand over foot every year.
Meanwhile, it has been eclipsed by the efficient service of privately-owned Federal express and UPS. Its government imposed monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail (as well as those taxpayer dollars) has helped keep it alive. The latest request for a boost in postal rates has been denied by the commission that monitors and controls rates. Similar to many governmental agencies, the payroll is bloated by high salaries and benefit packages that seem fixed in stone. Powerful unions and a vast labor force of voters have helped hold us hostage to their demands. But the practices that have helped to create this fiscal crisis are even worse than we thought.

The Boston Globe reports on other abuses that have been going on for years:

 

Dozens of former top executives and hundreds of former employees have returned to the agency in recent years as private contractors, sometimes making double the salaries they made as full-time workers, according to one of three watchdog audits.

The reports said the cash-strapped Postal Service is doing a poor job tracking its use of no-bid contracts, contributes more to worker health and life insurance benefits than other federal agencies, and should consider closing more of its regional offices to help address an expected $230 billion, 10-year budget gap.

The Postal Service has awarded more than 2,700 contracts to former employees since 1991 and awarded 17 no-bid deals to former executives between 2006 and 2009, according to one of the audits. Most of those executives earned six-figure sums, the report said.

Further revelations: the service has been cooking the books to reclassify expenses in a way redolent of an attempt to cloud the issues that might cause controversy.

The message we should be sending: many people are billed via the internet, shop on-line so don't need catalogs, send emails instead of personal letters (what are those anyway), send E-greeting cards and not Hallmark ones (environmentally-friendly to boot), read magazines on-line, and use private services that are happy to come to your home or provide numerous drop-off locations to send your packages on their way.

Some solutions: drop Saturday delivery, privatize first class mail to inject competition and free enterprise, close Post Office locations (there is one in a monastery building near me - and one just a few blocks away), end the sweetheart deals noted by the Boston Globe, and curb the power of the unions that have a stranglehold over the delivery of mail.


The United States Postal Service has been on life support forever, losing money hand over foot every year.

Meanwhile, it has been eclipsed by the efficient service of privately-owned Federal express and UPS. Its government imposed monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail (as well as those taxpayer dollars) has helped keep it alive. The latest request for a boost in postal rates has been denied by the commission that monitors and controls rates. Similar to many governmental agencies, the payroll is bloated by high salaries and benefit packages that seem fixed in stone. Powerful unions and a vast labor force of voters have helped hold us hostage to their demands. But the practices that have helped to create this fiscal crisis are even worse than we thought.

The Boston Globe reports on other abuses that have been going on for years:

 

Dozens of former top executives and hundreds of former employees have returned to the agency in recent years as private contractors, sometimes making double the salaries they made as full-time workers, according to one of three watchdog audits.

The reports said the cash-strapped Postal Service is doing a poor job tracking its use of no-bid contracts, contributes more to worker health and life insurance benefits than other federal agencies, and should consider closing more of its regional offices to help address an expected $230 billion, 10-year budget gap.

The Postal Service has awarded more than 2,700 contracts to former employees since 1991 and awarded 17 no-bid deals to former executives between 2006 and 2009, according to one of the audits. Most of those executives earned six-figure sums, the report said.

Further revelations: the service has been cooking the books to reclassify expenses in a way redolent of an attempt to cloud the issues that might cause controversy.

The message we should be sending: many people are billed via the internet, shop on-line so don't need catalogs, send emails instead of personal letters (what are those anyway), send E-greeting cards and not Hallmark ones (environmentally-friendly to boot), read magazines on-line, and use private services that are happy to come to your home or provide numerous drop-off locations to send your packages on their way.

Some solutions: drop Saturday delivery, privatize first class mail to inject competition and free enterprise, close Post Office locations (there is one in a monastery building near me - and one just a few blocks away), end the sweetheart deals noted by the Boston Globe, and curb the power of the unions that have a stranglehold over the delivery of mail.