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More Postal Problems

     
1:14 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Saw this posted on a financial forum...

[finance.yahoo.com...]

What amazed me was all the followup posts, with people ranting about how the PO doesn't do anything anymore and should be dissolved completely. And this coming from a market investment forum. The extreme ignorance exhibited by people is sometimes shocking.

Anyway... I'm sure they'll just throw money at it, like always.
1:26 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I used to use postal service quite a bit in my business. The last time we had a union/labor-centric disruption I made a number of changes, they lost almost all of my business - business they'd have kept just because I was too lazy to change it. They're bringing about their own fate, not unlike the American auto workers.

And blaming it on email is simplistic. My neighbor is a courier driver, and they're busier than ever. Somebody has to deliver all those products people are buying online instead of from the local mall. If post offices would have innovated at all in the last 15 years they'd be busier than ever instead of struggling.
2:54 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They're struggling because they've had to pay all their pensions forward. Mandated by Congress to do it. This is not what a normal business would do.

They do very well delivering packages, IMO. I use them for my business and they beat the pants off UPS--cheaper, faster, and less damage to packages. People who rant about how the post office should be abolished are the same ones who want government hands off their medicare.
3:06 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, like most things in life, they are far from perfect. But overall... unless you're sending big stuff, they typically beat the others. And as far as foreign stuff, there is really no other option in many cases. The others want $300 to ship what the PO will do for $30. 1/4 of my business would disappear without that.

I agree... Congress asks the world of them. They denied them taking away Sat delivery more than once. It's not like they aren't trying to save money.
4:07 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Let's not forget that the postal service is, in many places, the only way people have to ship. UPS and FedEx frequently do not have drop off points in rural areas making it necessary to either a) drive far or b) use the Post Office. I know of several counties in Pennsylvania that do not have either service. Ironically, UPS has a contract with the postal service to deliver smaller packages. UPS drops them off at the post office and a letter carrier takes it the rest of the way. It also doesn't help that many Federal agencies use FedEx rather than the post office. I believe it should be mandatory that federal agencies use them. Just an opinion.
6:18 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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That's true... I've watched shows where there's remote areas in Alaska and other places, where they go through hell and high water to get stuff delivered, and the private companies don't want to be bothered. So if it was left to them, guess what you'd get. Some stuff just needs to be subsidized... There's no way around it. But it's funny... People are always for the gov putting money into stuff, as long as it benefits them. They're happy to cash any check the gov sends them, but if they think it doesn't benefit them, then all of the sudden it's a waste of money.
11:14 am on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Mandated remote delivery isn't why the post office is in trouble, nor why it needs to be subsidized.
8:12 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The USPS problems are straight forward, they just have a straight jacket put on them by Congress.

1. You cannot change rates without authority of the board.
2. You cannot eliminate employees without getting permission from the union and if you again have to go to congress to do it anyways.
3. You are mandated for benefits and cannot change any of them again - union and the congress.

Something will have to give at some point. The biggest issue is too many people (some of who are great, some of whom - especially in the big city branches, who are rude, inconsiderate, and treat you like a problem when you bring $3000 worth of business a day to them!). I think the whole Saturday delivery issue is so that they can give in on that issue and focus on the real money savers.
9:12 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In Canada we haven't had Saturday delivery for years.
12:39 pm on Sept 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've wondered what would happen if the USPS disobeyed congress, and just raised the price of a stamp to whatever it is they think would "fix it".

Would the army come and arrest the Post Office? The whole thing is just ridiculous.

I fear we will have to endure some sort of "postal shutdown crisis", (can you picture the graphic over the shoulder of the evening news anchor?) until some sort of congressional committee "steps in to save the postal system".
5:43 pm on Sept 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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[about.usps.com ]

Sweeping changes... mail now takes a minimum of 2 days.

Sorry Netflix. It's been a bad two weeks.
7:09 pm on Sept 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I really wish they would stop fixating on the "mail" part of the issue. They keep saying "mail has declined" over and over, and it makes the public think there's no point in even having a postal service. As long as that's the perception, they're going to have a hard time getting anybody to take their side on anything. The majority of the public is ignorant and basically views the PO the same way they view NASA... They think it should be abolished. They need to sell the overall economic impact of shipping, and quit focusing on grandma's mail and old people whining about stamp prices. There's a lot more riding on this than people's mail.
7:23 pm on Sept 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They need to sell the overall economic impact of shipping, and quit focusing on grandma's mail and old people whining about stamp prices. There's a lot more riding on this than people's mail.

Amen. They should be kicking butt and taking names with package delivery. All these internet purchases in the past decade means more packages being shipped instead of coming from the store by car. They should be capitalizing on that and expanding.

I've got a neighbor who's a UPS driver and they're busier than ever.
11:06 pm on Sept 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This is just another example of the system being broken. The government is in the dark ages when it comes to handling stuff like this. They're a bunch of old heads that just don't get it. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease with them, and a lot of retired people have nothing better to do than squeak all day about the most trivial things, like stamp prices. So the politicians focus on them, because they're the ones writing all the letters. Meanwhile, all the rest of us are busting our butts and don't have time to write letters to congress.
 

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