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lousygolfer said:   elektronic said:   

-they are the only nationwide shipper who delivers on Sunday.


USPS delivers on Sunday? Since when? Or does their Next Day Express Mail work on Sundays? I can't recall ever seeing a USPS vehicle out on a Sunday.

Two solutions:

1) Quit screwing around with these damn 1 and 2 cent increases every year or two - make it a 5 or 10 cent increase once every several years and be able to keep daily delivery including on Saturdays. I just saw gas go up in price from $3.22 a gallon to $3.49 a gallon in the past week. I can deal with a 5 cent per stamp increase in price and I suspect that as long as they aren't coming at us more than once every 2 years or so, 99% of the population can deal with that postal increase without the slightest bit of annoyance.

2) Stop wasting so much time and money on packages from China. I'm not up on international postal treaties, particularly with respect to China, but how can thousands of Chinese sellers charge so little to send packages from China to their American eBay buyers, without stiffing the USPS for virtually nothing at all on delivering those packages all over the US? The PRC government subsidizes the shipping costs, but do any of those subsidies go to the USPS or is it working on a general reciprocity system? If the latter, I'm guessing the rate of packages coming from China to the US has to be hundreds, even thousands of times the number of packages coming from the US to China, which is hardly a reciprocal relationship.

Just leave my mail from India alone, or else I'd have to charge more for Tadalafil.

USPS is doing plenty fine compared to the TSA.

Something tells me that Mr. Gailey wouldn't have so easy a time freeing Santa, based solely on the reputation of the US Postal Service, these days...

beatme said:   Maybe some employee quality metrics would help. Before we bring on the Newman references, let me just say that I see UPS guys busting their butts all the time, and I regularly see USPS carriers napping in their cars.

I completely agree. I feel like I'm alone sometimes bashing USPS. I think it is a really big problem that is pushed under the rug, because they our United States Postal Service.. and they'll keep propping it up until someone uncovers their metrics.

Yankees said:   Laker312 said:   The average salary for a mailman in my zip code is $95,346. I wonder if that is part of the problem???

a random sampling shows salaries capped @ ~$57k, with the exceptions being supervisors, managers, and postmasters.


Mailmen making $57K a year? That is ridiculous for the level of education/experience/expertise required for the job.

jnheinz said:   Yankees said:   Laker312 said:   The average salary for a mailman in my zip code is $95,346. I wonder if that is part of the problem???

a random sampling shows salaries capped @ ~$57k, with the exceptions being supervisors, managers, and postmasters.


Mailmen making $57K a year? That is ridiculous for the level of education/experience/expertise required for the job.

Then again, they deliver to me a lot of checks, credit cards, and statements, and work largely on the road unsupervised, so....

beatme said:   Maybe some employee quality metrics would help. Before we bring on the Newman references, let me just say that I see UPS guys busting their butts all the time, and I regularly see USPS carriers napping in their cars.


I can go on and on how USPS has cost me a few extra $$'s and wasted a whole lot of my time this year. FedEx, has caused me 0 issues this year. I ship about 30 packages a week.

USPS needs to be restructured.....

Well, I have only one word to say to a bashing crowd: "Netflix"

I say get rid of Friday and saturday delivery. who checks the mail on these 2 days anyway?

Glitch99 said:   jnheinz said:   Yankees said:   Laker312 said:   The average salary for a mailman in my zip code is $95,346. I wonder if that is part of the problem???

a random sampling shows salaries capped @ ~$57k, with the exceptions being supervisors, managers, and postmasters.


Mailmen making $57K a year? That is ridiculous for the level of education/experience/expertise required for the job.

Then again, they deliver to me a lot of checks, credit cards, and statements, and work largely on the road unsupervised, so....


yeah, and they are likely subjected to punitive criminal charges if they screw that up. That's the reason somebody justified paying them 57K and not 45K.

Isn't this whole "we're gonna cancel Saturday delivery" just a pr stunt so Congress doesn't look bad throwing more money into the bottomless pit?

magika said:   ahallfatwallett said:   

It SHOULD NOT be required to pre-fund its pension plan for the next 75 years. Are UPS and FedEx doing that? Why not?


If the USPS doesn't prefund now, you won't have a USPS in the next 20 years. Also, you can't compare them to UPS and FedEx, neither of those promised the astronomical retirement healthcare benefits that the USPS did. Thus, they don't have the same problem.
OK...so how many Years Ahead should ANY agency prefund these? 75? 50? 25? I can see some prefunding, but 75 years? Prefunding for those yet to be born, let alone work at the USPS?

ahallfatwallett said:   The USPS should **NOT** be operated "like a business." If it did, it would drop out of all the unprofitable rural areas that aren't cost effective for UPS and FedEx to deliver to, either. The USPS provides a valuable service especially to rural areas, at an amazing price.

It SHOULD be subsidized to some degree, if need be.

It SHOULD NOT be required to pre-fund its pension plan for the next 75 years. Are UPS and FedEx doing that? Why not?


I don't get it, why do we need to subsidize people living in rural areas? If you choose to live in a rural area, mailing letters might be more expensive. Makes sense, right? 27 member nations of the EU have eliminated their postal monopolies, are there no rural residents of the EU? Do they not get any mail? Have their post offices imploded?

Solvency of USPS is a fairly easy problem to solve:
1) Cut unprofitable services
2) Raise postage rates until the service becomes at least break even.
3) Raise taxes to pay for the shortfall.
(Or some combination of the 3)

US has some of the lowest postage rates in the world (lettermail in Canada is $0.64USD; in UK its around $0.95USD). I don't think lettermail should be subsidized. So why haven't postage rates increased? Because congress won't let them. USPS management has tried to increase rates, but Congress has limited rate increases [[L=http://iret.org/pub/ADVS-284.PDF].]http://iret.org/pub/ADVS-284.PDF].[/L] And then they wonder why USPS isn't profitable. The math is not all that complicated.

I've seen a lot of complaining about the work ethic of post office employees. I've seen some pretty hard working people at my post office, who are more efficient than the UPS people I've dealt with. And they are likely getting paid much less.

ahallfatwallett said:   The USPS should **NOT** be operated "like a business." If it did, it would drop out of all the unprofitable rural areas that aren't cost effective for UPS and FedEx to deliver to, either. The USPS provides a valuable service especially to rural areas, at an amazing price.

It SHOULD be subsidized to some degree, if need be.

It SHOULD NOT be required to pre-fund its pension plan for the next 75 years. Are UPS and FedEx doing that? Why not?


too bad for the people who live in those areas
they should pay more.
there are advantages and disadvantages to living in a rural area just like there are for living in a big city. lot of things (ie rent) will be much cheaper in rural areas, a service that costs more to provide to someone should cost more
of course usps provides it at an amazing price- they are losing money hand over fist
i could sell 100 dollar bills for 80 dollars and that would be a great deal!

they also need to stop giving discount for bulk mail paper spam and charge different rates based on where the mail is going
charging 50 cents (or whatever a stamp cost) to mail something across the country should cost more than mailing something across the street

tolamapS said:   Excellent idea.

Who needs post office any way?

1. Sending regular letters? Who does that?
2. Packages. Ok, I can see that. Plus there is UPS, FedEx, and a slew of other services,
3. Express mail using envelopes. Ok, but FedEx and UPS also have serious game.
4. Spam? Check. USPS is your friend, Spammers.
5. Wedding invitations. Use the internet. Save paper. Save postage.

About 90% of the stuff handled and delivered by USPS can either be eliminated or is useless or adds zero value to the society.


exactly
this isnt 1900 any more

OliverQuackenbush said:   the problem with your thinking is that you have accepted, without question, the talking heads' assertion that the post office must turn a profit.
the government does important things that are not profitable. mail delivery is one of them.
i do all my postage through usps. there are pros and cons with that, but overall the pros outweigh the cons by a lot.
and if it costs us all an extra few cents or dollars each year to have usps, well i guess thats a few less cheeseburges for me over the course of a year.


it should cost a few dollars more- and the people that use it should be the ones paying for it

magika said:   ahallfatwallett said:   

It SHOULD NOT be required to pre-fund its pension plan for the next 75 years. Are UPS and FedEx doing that? Why not?


If the USPS doesn't prefund now, you won't have a USPS in the next 20 years. Also, you can't compare them to UPS and FedEx, neither of those promised the astronomical retirement healthcare benefits that the USPS did. Thus, they don't have the same problem.


they also dont have to luxery of operating inefficiently and hemmoraging money while staying in business

bxlefty23 said:   tolamapS said:   Excellent idea.

Who needs post office any way?

1. Sending regular letters? Who does that?
2. Packages. Ok, I can see that. Plus there is UPS, FedEx, and a slew of other services,
3. Express mail using envelopes. Ok, but FedEx and UPS also have serious game.
4. Spam? Check. USPS is your friend, Spammers.
5. Wedding invitations. Use the internet. Save paper. Save postage.

About 90% of the stuff handled and delivered by USPS can either be eliminated or is useless or adds zero value to the society.


exactly
this isnt 1900 any more
Yep. Abolish USPS, stop sending cheap packages, get rid of these 1900 outlets: Amazon, eBay, Netflix - we're all going virtual - wohoo!

I used to do contract work in the big P&D Centers and you have to understand some of the basics to get the problem.

Junk Mail, it basically only costs the PO the cost of carriage - its delivered to the local PO already bundled. The carriers just carry it the last mile. Its the most profitable mail they carry, as its almost pure profit. The carriers already have to deliver to all those addresses, so the residual cost is almost nil.

FCM is literally the least profitable mail there is - even though its the largest part of the income. The service requirements are fairly steep and the cost is fixed regardless of distance.

Packages always break even - since they are metered by distance.

The PO could subsidize costs by working with local businesses and doing non perishable same day delivery services.

Pickup pre scheduled, pre paid; local business items and deliver to homes in the neighborhood that are already on the driver's route.

They are like most unionized / pension giving locations.

Realizing that its a never ending losing battle.

Once those overly generous and unnecessary costs go the way
of the do-do bird, they can kill off the union and start to
fix things.

Till then, ship sinking, everyone onboard is just interested in staying
on till they retire.

brettdoyle said:   I think I'll be getting the last laugh though... I estimated how many stamps I would use over the rest of my life and bought about $500 in forever stamps. I'm sure the USPS will be jacking up their prices significantly. Given the history of bailouts in the US there is zero chance that the USPS will go bankrupt.You bought 1000 stamps???? I'm lucky if I used 10 stamps the past 3 years. I don't know but.... given the lost opportunity cost of that money being invested well, plus the decent chance of losing / damaging the stamps 5-10 years down the road... I think the USPS will have the last laugh here.

I can't help but think that if the USPS were to go away, then Amazon would stop offering Free Super Saver Shipping and I really hate paying for shipping. (And on a side note, I really hate that Amazon charges tax on shipping charges as well; in California anyway)

neophyte said:   Well, I have only one word to say to a bashing crowd: "Netflix"

I like the postal service, but Netflix's mailing DVDs business model is going to die in a few years. If the postal service switching to less frequent home delivery hastens its demise, I don't see that as a problem. I would love to see something that increases the pressure on Hulu/Netflix/Amazon/Apple to continue to provide more and better streaming entertainment options, and Netflix's DVDs by mail approach is not long for this world.

All 'letter' type mail, business and residence, 3x a week. Mon/Wed/Fri some routes, Tues/Thurs/Sat others.

All 'packages', every day. Need a letter to get there tomorrow? Put it in a priority mail envelope.

magika said:   I am very familiar with their healthcare funding problems. Analyzing how state governments are failing to pre-fund their retirement and healthcare obligations actually funded the first year of my PhD in Public Administration (thanks, taxpayers!). The USPS is in a most peculiar situation because its considered an autonomous independent business by the government yet it still is subject to government oversight. When congress ordered USPS to pre-fund its obligations, it was actually doing the smart thing. Like most states, USPS previously funded retirement healthcare on a "pay as you go" method where the expected bill for the upcoming budget year was paid for and future unfunded obligations were ignored and not truly accounted for on the books. Thats due to the magic of public sector accounting - these unfunded liabilities (all the money they will owe their retirees in the future in healthcare expenses) is not something the USPS had to pay attention to. Congress forced their hand, which on the surface seems like a bad idea but its actually quite smart for the following reasons:

The problem with "pay as you go" is that those healthcare (and pension) obligations are near their lowest point right now in terms of yearly cost, and will only explode in the future. In the case of USPS, those liabilites had a potential to grow to become such a large portion of their budget that the cost would cripple them. It would be impossible to still run the USPS and pay off the retirees. Prepaying those liabilities saves them money in the long run, because those funds are invested and the growth and compounding of those funds will eventually be enough to sustain the ever growing amount demanded by the healthcare liabilities - but doing this requires huge upfront payments to prepay those obligations...they have been ignored for so long.

What I find most interesting about the discussion of this in the media is that this is a harbinger of whats going to happen to state governments across the country very soon. Most states use pay go, and most of them face the same problem of basically ignoring their unfunded liability of retiree healthcare. The unfunded liabilities owed by most states are enormous and dwarf the USPS. And when it comes to states, they will have to be paid - lawyers for most state retirement systems already seem to agree that any cut in promised benefits would be an entitlement cut that would get slapped down by the courts. States who use pay as you go are trapped with a ticking time bomb that will go off in the next 10-15 years - and the majority of state governments have done nothing to stop it. In many ways the USPS is more fortunate, if they can prepay now they will be in much better shape in the future, which presumably will be good as use of normal mail continues to decline.


While I agree that prefunding is a good plan in general, please explain to me why it's necessary to fund it to this extreme. Once we have a satisfactory explanation for that, we'll move on to why this already onerous requirement needs to be done in ten years. Slice it however you want, it's a ridiculous requirement. As someone said, they are pre-funding the retirements of people who aren't even born.

novocane said:   Solvency of USPS is a fairly easy problem to solve:
1) Cut unprofitable services
2) Raise postage rates until the service becomes at least break even.
3) Raise taxes to pay for the shortfall.
(Or some combination of the 3)

US has some of the lowest postage rates in the world (lettermail in Canada is $0.64USD; in UK its around $0.95USD). I don't think lettermail should be subsidized. So why haven't postage rates increased? Because congress won't let them. USPS management has tried to increase rates, but Congress has limited rate increases [[L=http://iret.org/pub/ADVS-284.PDF].]http://iret.org/pub/ADVS-284.PDF].[/L] And then they wonder why USPS isn't profitable. The math is not all that complicated.

I've seen a lot of complaining about the work ethic of post office employees. I've seen some pretty hard working people at my post office, who are more efficient than the UPS people I've dealt with. And they are likely getting paid much less.


Sorry, number 3 is totally wrong. The USPS receives no contributions from the Treasury. It is entirely self-funded.

JohnGalt69 said:   I don't get it, why do we need to subsidize people living in rural areas? If you choose to live in a rural area, mailing letters might be more expensive. Makes sense, right?I don't really have a problem with it but think about the implementation. Flat rates save USPS a lot of money since without them, you'd be way more likely to have to go to the post office to determine the correct postage, which would cost USPS quite a bit of money.

Distance based pricing that is used by the USPS and by UPS and FedEx works way better for products with higher profit margins because hard processing costs amount to a relatively small percentage of the total cost of this more expensive product. For first class postage, it'd be difficult to make a business case that distance and location based pricing makes a lot of sense given the greatly increased costs associated with such a system.

PhrugalPhan said:   brettdoyle said:   I think I'll be getting the last laugh though... I estimated how many stamps I would use over the rest of my life and bought about $500 in forever stamps. I'm sure the USPS will be jacking up their prices significantly. Given the history of bailouts in the US there is zero chance that the USPS will go bankrupt.You bought 1000 stamps???? I'm lucky if I used 10 stamps the past 3 years. I don't know but.... given the lost opportunity cost of that money being invested well, plus the decent chance of losing / damaging the stamps 5-10 years down the road... I think the USPS will have the last laugh here.

The USPS can't win on the deal because their costs to deliver those letters over my lifetime will be many, many times greater than the amount they received. Even at today's prices they are losing money for every letter they deliver. And I will be immune to any price increases as they go to raise their prices to more accurately reflect their costs of delivering mail. They will be stuck providing me a service in the future at the price when I bought the stamps much lower than their costs.

Comparing the stamps to investments doesn't make a lot of sense... the stamps are alternatives to cash. They can be bartered or sold on the market for their present value. By the time I use the final stamps 55 years from now I bet it will cost around $7-$10 to deliver a letter, which will be a good inflation hedge.

The problems of the USPS is complex, so most discussions of one or two "solutions" tend to be overly one-dimensional.

The USPS's relationship with the federal government is a drag on its business. No other entity is subject to so much demands by the federal government yet have so little autonomy to conduct business in a competitive manner. I would argue that the USPS operates more like a utility than a government agency in terms of its relationship to the government and marketplace. The reason that USPS did not get any relief from the pension contribution is because of all the media hot air surrounding the 2012 budget deal. As expected, the budget issue amounted to a hill of beans but distracted everyone from doing any actual real work such as the USPS pension issue. It's not dead, so there's hope that the 113th congress will finally do their job and give this issue its due consideration.

Organizationally speaking, there is nothing inherently wrong with the USPS even though it heavily relies on a unionized and contracted workforce. Union power has been weakening as people begin to realize that things are not the same as before. You only need to peruse the USPS worker forums to see their attitudes. It used to be that they would ridicule performance metrics such as correct delivery percentage. But now the conversation is shifted more towards questioning the leadership how they are going to achieve them. They are still bitching and moaning about it, to be certain, but not the flat out refusal and ridicule that you see before. The USPS is pushing to retire older employees, replacing them with younger less experienced and less expensive workers. This process will cause transitional pains, but it's essential to take place since personnel cost remains the highest chunk of the pie and savings here can literally make or break the USPS, which is why we see the proposed move to 5-day delivery.

As important as the personnel issue is, that's still only the cost/expense side of the equation, balanced by the equally important revenue side. Here the USPS has been slow, too slow as many would argue, to react to a shift in market demands as their entire product offering very convoluted and poorly aligned to what the market is looking for.

As everyone knows, mail volume is decreasing significantly and will continue to decrease. This is USPS's core business and I would venture to say that USPS is fairly good at conduction this aspect of their business, with the only downside being that it's shrinking. The cause for the decrease, the Internet, is also the cause for the increase in package volume as people shop online. Therefore the USPS's only salvation is to properly market their products to capture package business. However, USPS's efforts at capturing package business to date has been very poorly planned. First of all, USPS spent an in ordinate amount of resources trying to capture individual shipper business, with their very visible priority mail and flat rate program. No doubt these are very popular products, but the cost for handling these packages are much higher than commercial packages since USPS has to deal on a one-to-one basis for the induction of these packages into their system. On the other hand, they spend almost no resources trying to capture business package business like UPS and FedEx does. If you ship 100 packages a day, for example, the only chance you get for any discount is by buying postage through someone like Stamps.com. And unlike UPS or FedEx, there is no after business hours pickup of packages at the end of the day, or small business account reps that you can call to ask questions. USPS gives free priority mail shipping boxes, but no free 4x6 shipping labels like UPS and FedEx does, again illustrating that their marketing focus of the USPS is concentrated on individual and very little thought is given to volume customers.

For large shippers, their product offering is even more frustrating. Anyone ever take a look at the commercial mail guide? Their motto for a discount here is "we'll give you a discount for doing some of the work", which is a clear admission to inefficiency. What this is saying is that a business whose core competency isn't logistics and package handling is *more* efficient than the USPS at handling the induction, sorting, and transportation of these packages. There is so much truth in this that companies with efficient package handling capabilities like USP, FedEx and DHL makes good money as package consolidators for the USPS. Let that sink in - these companies can accept packages from a wide range of varied businesses and locations, consolidate them, hand them over to the USPS, and not only be able to offer the overall service at a lower price than USPS, but make money doing it. That's a slap on the face.

The USPS's inefficiencies is due to their slow reaction to the shift from letter to packages. Their entire logistics infrastructure is geared towards the induction and sorting of mail, not packages. This is true from their mail trays, to sorting machines, to their delivery trucks. Even when USPS has put in package handling sorters, variations in packages acceptable for mailing through USPS makes such machinery unreliable. What is the common theme for all modern package services: a pre-printed shipping label with a barcode. A package shipped through the USPS does not require either of these things. In fact, you can scribble a barely legible address with ball point pen on a brown box with actual postage stamps, and this package will get processed and delivered no less efficiently than a pretty 4x6 thermal label. Even when you have a label, the dimensions, layout, and content varies greatly depending on how you generated the label. This variation in packages flowing through the USPS means that their equipment can't be improved to optimize efficiency.

Sorry for the wall of text. I am a bit passionate about this topic. I've just never seen an entity with so much potential yet so unwilling to move to address the fundamental issues within their business. Some of the factors are external, I agree, but there are no shortages for opportunities to improve from within.

JTausTX said:   
While I agree that prefunding is a good plan in general, please explain to me why it's necessary to fund it to this extreme. Once we have a satisfactory explanation for that, we'll move on to why this already onerous requirement needs to be done in ten years. Slice it however you want, it's a ridiculous requirement. As someone said, they are pre-funding the retirements of people who aren't even born.

That isn't correct. They're merely funding the future retirement healthcare of current employees. Right now, they just pay the monthly premiums of whoever is receiving benefits. And those costs keep going up - it makes sense to match the expense of labor to the time period the labor was actually received. Otherwise you have an operation that employs 100 people trying to pay for healthcare for 500 people, it's simply unsustainable.

FSBox said:   Organizationally speaking, there is nothing inherently wrong with the USPS

Funniest line I've read in a while.

Their labor expenditures account for roughly 80 percent of the agency’s expenses. What business venture could possibly sustain operations like that?

gonzo67 said:   magika said:   ahallfatwallett said:   

It SHOULD NOT be required to pre-fund its pension plan for the next 75 years. Are UPS and FedEx doing that? Why not?


If the USPS doesn't prefund now, you won't have a USPS in the next 20 years. Also, you can't compare them to UPS and FedEx, neither of those promised the astronomical retirement healthcare benefits that the USPS did. Thus, they don't have the same problem.
OK...so how many Years Ahead should ANY agency prefund these? 75? 50? 25? I can see some prefunding, but 75 years? Prefunding for those yet to be born, let alone work at the USPS?

Forget the number of years, that isn't what's being "pre-funded". They're merely paying now for their current benefit commitments, instead of letting future budgets absorb the cost of today's operations (otherwise known as "kicking the can down the road", which politicians are constantily criticized for doing). It just so happens that some people estimate the dollar amount to be enough to cover the next 75 years of costs, which is little more than a guess - it's expected to cover everyone who's entitled to benefits for their estimated life expectancy.

Aside from the obvious fact the benefit cost is overly generous, the real problem right now is that they're not only paying to fund future benefits they've committed to, but they're also paying for current benefits awarded in the past that past budgets didnt account for....

Alot of governments (local and state) are appraoching this same brick wall as well, having agreed to provide benefits while deciding to figure out how to pay for them later. "Later" is fast approaching, and there's no extra money to cover it.

Many government ran ponzi schemes operate by promising benefits today and leaving future generations stuck with the bill. This game can go on for a long time as the population increases because there are more and more bag holders to absorb the costs. It can't work for the Postal Service because there will be fewer and fewer workers to take from health care premiums from as mail volume declines.

If they don't pre-fund today it will surely lead to them going broke and asking for a tax payer bailout in the future, which I am sure they will get given the history of bailouts in the US.

beatme said:   Maybe some employee quality metrics would help. Before we bring on the Newman references, let me just say that I see UPS guys busting their butts all the time, and I regularly see USPS carriers napping in their cars.
And, anecdotal evidence conforming our biases is all we need to have a meaningful conversation.

lousygolfer said:   elektronic said:   

-they are the only nationwide shipper who delivers on Sunday.


USPS delivers on Sunday? Since when? Or does their Next Day Express Mail work on Sundays? I can't recall ever seeing a USPS vehicle out on a Sunday.

Yes, express mail is delivered 365 days a year.

1) Quit screwing around with these damn 1 and 2 cent increases every year or two - make it a 5 or 10 cent increase once every several years and be able to keep daily delivery including on Saturdays. I just saw gas go up in price from $3.22 a gallon to $3.49 a gallon in the past week. I can deal with a 5 cent per stamp increase in price and I suspect that as long as they aren't coming at us more than once every 2 years or so, 99% of the population can deal with that postal increase without the slightest bit of annoyance.

But Congress can't and won't let them do an increase larger than the CPI. Therefore, everytime they are allowed to increase prices, they must.

JohnGalt69 said:   ahallfatwallett said:   The USPS should **NOT** be operated "like a business." If it did, it would drop out of all the unprofitable rural areas that aren't cost effective for UPS and FedEx to deliver to, either. The USPS provides a valuable service especially to rural areas, at an amazing price.

It SHOULD be subsidized to some degree, if need be.

It SHOULD NOT be required to pre-fund its pension plan for the next 75 years. Are UPS and FedEx doing that? Why not?


I don't get it, why do we need to subsidize people living in rural areas? If you choose to live in a rural area, mailing letters might be more expensive. Makes sense, right? 27 member nations of the EU have eliminated their postal monopolies, are there no rural residents of the EU? Do they not get any mail? Have their post offices imploded?


Because even FedEx and UPS use USPS to reach out to rural people... like farmers. Yea, they do business out in rural areas. And they deserve to have access to communications just like everyone of us in metropolitan areas (I'm from a big city and I even realize that its not exactly fair to treat all us citizens on our potential profit generating capabilities.)

bozo007 said:   Based on my visits to many other countries, the USPS seems to be the only post system that offers just postal services. In many other countries, post offices are also offering full fledged banking services. Australia Post, for example, even sells foreign exchange in many locations. Given the reach of the USPS, I am surprised it has been not been used fully for service distribution of various types in under-served locations.

US Post Office did that during the war years, they used to sell War Bonds at the local Post Office.

brettdoyle said:   Many government ran ponzi schemes operate by promising benefits today and leaving future generations stuck with the bill. This game can go on for a long time as the population increases because there are more and more bag holders to absorb the costs. It can't work for the Postal Service because there will be fewer and fewer workers to take from health care premiums from as mail volume declines.

If they don't pre-fund today it will surely lead to them going broke and asking for a tax payer bailout in the future, which I am sure they will get given the history of bailouts in the US.
Isn't the above true of virtually every government entity? If so, then perhaps we, as a nation, could fund all the pension and benefit accounts for everyone for the next 75 years.

Why is it that Congress specifically sought to and succeeded in "correcting" only the USPS?

bxd20 said:   All 'letter' type mail, business and residence, 3x a week. Mon/Wed/Fri some routes, Tues/Thurs/Sat others.

All 'packages', every day. Need a letter to get there tomorrow? Put it in a priority mail envelope.


Except a large part of why the post office can profitably offer competitive prices on package services is because they're already delivering to that house anyways.

Change the delivery schedule and you either get slower package services (waiting till next delivery day), or higher prices (special package route). UPS and FedEx have a higher minimum cost because they need to justify adding a stop on their route for the package. The mailman is already going there.

The post office has a very impressive package service largely due to their unique last mile delivery infrastructure. So much so that UPS and FedEx even leverage it for lowest cost services. Screw with that, and the repercussions might far exceed what you think with lost shipments because one of the biggest selling points no longer exists.

It's not as simple as "hey, half the delivery days means half the costs, right?".

curtisekarr said:   brettdoyle said:   Many government ran ponzi schemes operate by promising benefits today and leaving future generations stuck with the bill. This game can go on for a long time as the population increases because there are more and more bag holders to absorb the costs. It can't work for the Postal Service because there will be fewer and fewer workers to take from health care premiums from as mail volume declines.

If they don't pre-fund today it will surely lead to them going broke and asking for a tax payer bailout in the future, which I am sure they will get given the history of bailouts in the US.
Isn't the above true of virtually every government entity? If so, then perhaps we, as a nation, could fund all the pension and benefit accounts for everyone for the next 75 years.

Why is it that Congress specifically sought to and succeeded in "correcting" only the USPS?


It would be impossible to prefund things like Social Security or Medicare... the present value of the liabilities is something crazy like 100 trillion which should make it obvious to anyone that these programs aren't sustainable. Of course that's why the USPS had to default on their health care payments.



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