Why The Decision to Cut Saturday Mail Is Not Only Stupid, But Also Makes No Sense
If you haven’t heard, the US Postal Service will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays. This is a stupid idea, but not for the reasons you might think. The cause is also a bit more complex than what your “friends” in Congress and on TV would have you believe.
First: why this is stupid. For many years I worked with the US Postal Service producing large direct mail projects for candidates and organizations around the country. During that time I got to learn a lot about how the USPS actually works, and learned a lot from executives at the USPS whose job was to work with high volume mail producers to expedite their projects as efficiently as possible.
One thing that was made abundantly clear was that the one day of the week that the USPS had the least to do was Tuesday. This was for a number of unrelated reasons, owing mostly to how people pay their bills (especially credit cards) and when businesses would mail out fliers and other such things for weekly sales specials. The point is, if the USPS must cut service, cutting Tuesday makes more sense for them, and for you, the customer.
Removing Saturday mail causes more problems than it solves. Many people are busy during the week and use Saturday to get caught up on chores and the like. Not everyone can, or will, pay all their bills online, and getting rid of Saturday service is just going to make things more miserable during the week than they need to be. If you have a US Post Office box, you may or may no longer have access to it on weekends like you do now.
Worse, when you consider that many jurisdictions are openly encouraging “vote-by-mail,” and some states voting by mail only it doesn’t take a genius to see how killing mail on Saturdays could be worse than killing it on Tuesday. (I know that doesn’t seem to make sense, but if you spend enough time at huge mail facilities, trust me, it does).
There’s more, however. In addition to competition from online services and the ongoing Great
Depression “Recession,” the USPS has been prohibited from providing additional services in your neighborhood, the USPS has an unprecedented mandate to fund a huge pension fund. They’ve been ordered to fund 75 years worth of pensions RIGHT NOW, something no other pension fund is required to do .
Needless to say, if you want to know where all the money is going , it isn’t going to postal service – it’s going to fund a pension fund in a way no other fund has to comply with. So far, few in Congress have spoken out, with the notable exception of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). have tried to speak out, but of course the chorus of the Know Nothing Party, and the Spineless Corporate Party tend to drown him out on the tv.
For those who sing the siren song of “privatize it,” I’ll simply leave you with how well that’s worked overseas. If you’ve ever had the stalwart efficiency of private monopolized internet service and cable tv providers in the US, or their esteemed counterparts in the health care industry, then you already can guess how well that would work here.
For decades our postal service has served us fairly well. Yes, it’s frustrating when there’s a long line, and a service that has to serve everyone, regardless of where they live, isn’t going to run perfectly. To see it get destroyed by the morons in Congress for the sake of a quasi-religious devotion to doctrine, however, is not only stupid, it makes no sense.
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