Showdown at the Post Office

The New York Times reported on September 4, 2011 ("Postal Service Is Nearing Default as Losses Mount") that the Post Office is close to default and may have to shut down this winter, unless, of course, Congress "intervenes."  The report cites that 80% of the postal service's cost is labor, as compared with only 53% at UPS and 32% at FedEx.  It also cites that postal workers get more generous health benefits than even most other federal employees.  The Postmaster said they may need to lay off 120,000 workers, among other cost cutting measures like closing 3,700 post offices, but there's one major problem: the American Postal Workers Union.  The union has vowed that layoffs are illegal under their contract, and they will fight hard against layoffs. This brings up an interesting dilemma.  Providing postal services is one of the very few things the federal government is required to do under the U.S. Constitution.  The government, it seems, should be required...(Read Full Post)