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(CNBC)   USPS hits its borrowing limit for the first time in history, blames this new fangled Internet that lets people pay bills online and even send letters to people without charge   ( cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Fail, U.S. Postal Service, internet, speed limits  
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5262 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Oct 2012 at 4:06 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-17 12:20:53 PM  
And the fact that Congress is forcing them to set aside millions upon millions of dollars in retirement money for people they haven't even hired yet.

But let's not let facts get in the way.
 
2012-10-17 12:36:40 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: And the fact that Congress is forcing them to set aside millions upon millions of dollars in retirement money for people they haven't even hired yet.

But let's not let facts get in the way.


and not allowing them to raise prices to even try and keep up with operating costs, and not allowing them to close branches and replace them with mini-locations in lower cost store fronts.

The entire mess the USPS is in can be laid at the feet of Congress.
 
2012-10-17 12:37:40 PM  
What they said^
 
2012-10-17 12:39:21 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: And the fact that Congress is forcing them to set aside millions upon millions of dollars in retirement money for people they haven't even hired yet.

But let's not let facts get in the way.

and not allowing them to raise prices to even try and keep up with operating costs, and not allowing them to close branches and replace them with mini-locations in lower cost store fronts.

The entire mess the USPS is in can be laid at the feet of Congress.


Congress dictated that it be self-sufficient, then it dictates they don't do the things that would make it so. Fark you congress.
 
2012-10-17 12:39:49 PM  
Maybe we should consider the idea that the postal service is done. I've been saying for years that they need to drop delivery to 4 days a week, and if you want Wednesday or Saturday service at your business, you have to pay a fee. No residential service on those days at all.
 
2012-10-17 12:42:33 PM  
Don't you guys still have Saturday delivery?
 
2012-10-17 12:47:04 PM  

SurfaceTension: Maybe we should consider the idea that the postal service is done. I've been saying for years that they need to drop delivery to 4 days a week, and if you want Wednesday or Saturday service at your business, you have to pay a fee. No residential service on those days at all.


I agree, but the downside that needs to be accounted for is forcing merchants, bill collectors, etc. to adjust their payment windows to allow transit time to receive payments and send bills/notices. Yes, a metric ton of us pay online, but there are still plenty of folks who still pay at least 1-2 bills manually.
 
2012-10-17 12:52:14 PM  

SurfaceTension: Maybe we should consider the idea that the postal service is done. I've been saying for years that they need to drop delivery to 4 days a week, and if you want Wednesday or Saturday service at your business, you have to pay a fee. No residential service on those days at all.


Or they should find a way to be an appealing option to UPS or FedEx for business shipping, as I cannot imagine there is less of a demand for that. I know my business ships all documents FedEx, and while I do pay bills online and e-mail people instead of sending letters, I order a lot of things online that have to be shipped to me in some way.
 
2012-10-17 12:52:50 PM  

Barfmaker: Don't you guys still have Saturday delivery?


Yep. But it's easier for us, our mailmen get to use little trucks, rather than dogsleds, to reach the rural locations.
 
2012-10-17 12:53:40 PM  

impaler: Grand_Moff_Joseph: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: And the fact that Congress is forcing them to set aside millions upon millions of dollars in retirement money for people they haven't even hired yet.

But let's not let facts get in the way.

and not allowing them to raise prices to even try and keep up with operating costs, and not allowing them to close branches and replace them with mini-locations in lower cost store fronts.

The entire mess the USPS is in can be laid at the feet of Congress.

Congress dictated that it be self-sufficient, then it dictates they don't do the things that would make it so. Fark you congress.


For the record, I think Congress should be subsidizing them anyway as it is (in spite of the words of the naysayers) a valuable public service. Same with Amtrak (which I think there should be more of).

A bit more on this:

"The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume, after which Congress passed the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act", (which mandated $5.5 billion per year to be paid into an account to pre-fund retiree health-care, 75 years into the future -- a requirement unique to this agency), revenue dropped sharply due to recession-influenced declining mail volume, prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit."

It's also a little known fact that the Postal Service is basically implied by the Constitution as a required service. While originally the wording was "empowered" legal tradition seems to have made it a Constitutionally required service.
 
2012-10-17 01:06:39 PM  

serpent_sky: Or they should find a way to be an appealing option to UPS or FedEx for business shipping, as I cannot imagine there is less of a demand for that. I know my business ships all documents FedEx, and while I do pay bills online and e-mail people instead of sending letters, I order a lot of things online that have to be shipped to me in some way.


FedEx kicks ass on USPS for overnight delivery, and that's not the USPS's target market. But for non-overnight delivery of smaller packages--say stuff in the range of around 6 pounds and under--USPS kicks ass on UPS and FedEx, so I don't understand why more people don't use it.

I sell a decent amount of stuff on eBay, and at least 90% of the stuff I sell, I ship by USPS Priority Mail. It's almost always significantly cheaper than using UPS Ground, and it takes no more than 2 days to ship a package coast-to-coast, which generally takes around a week using UPS Ground. You can pay for the shipping label on line (either through PayPal/eBay or directly from the USPS website) and print it out and stick it on the package, then all you have to do is hand it to a mail carrier, or toss it in a mailbox, or walk into any post office, skip the line and just toss it on the desk, and turn around and walk out. The Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are a real bargain--if it fits in the box, you can ship it anywhere in the U.S. in two days for about $11, regardless of weight (up to 60 or 70 pounds).

UPS Ground or FedEx Ground is generally cheaper for big parcels that weigh a lot, but I don't understand why people use them instead of USPS for smaller parcels--shipping those by USPS is cheaper, faster, and at least as convenient.
 
2012-10-17 01:07:05 PM  
And yet the PostOffice is still the best deal around.

I mean .45 to send a sheet of acid... the best drug couriers charge at least 200 times that.
 
2012-10-17 01:16:10 PM  
CSB: I have a buddy who is a mail carrier for the USPS - he votes straight ticket republican too - can't wait to hear the derp when he gets a paycut/laid off...
 
2012-10-17 01:22:27 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: SurfaceTension: Maybe we should consider the idea that the postal service is done. I've been saying for years that they need to drop delivery to 4 days a week, and if you want Wednesday or Saturday service at your business, you have to pay a fee. No residential service on those days at all.

I agree, but the downside that needs to be accounted for is forcing merchants, bill collectors, etc. to adjust their payment windows to allow transit time to receive payments and send bills/notices. Yes, a metric ton of us pay online, but there are still plenty of folks who still pay at least 1-2 bills manually.



But when you pay via mail, even first class, there's no guarantee when its going to show up.  You can assume a 1-3 day window, but it could be longer.  That's the point of guaranteed 3-day, overnight, etc. mail.
 
2012-10-17 01:31:30 PM  
The USPS is an important part of doing business in America.  I think reducing service is bullshiate.
 
2012-10-17 01:36:08 PM  

downstairs: Grand_Moff_Joseph: SurfaceTension: Maybe we should consider the idea that the postal service is done. I've been saying for years that they need to drop delivery to 4 days a week, and if you want Wednesday or Saturday service at your business, you have to pay a fee. No residential service on those days at all.

I agree, but the downside that needs to be accounted for is forcing merchants, bill collectors, etc. to adjust their payment windows to allow transit time to receive payments and send bills/notices. Yes, a metric ton of us pay online, but there are still plenty of folks who still pay at least 1-2 bills manually.


But when you pay via mail, even first class, there's no guarantee when its going to show up.  You can assume a 1-3 day window, but it could be longer.  That's the point of guaranteed 3-day, overnight, etc. mail.


Yep, that is indeed true. I'm just saying that if you extend the delivery windows even further out, the merchants have to extend their windows as well. In other words, if delivery times could get that much longer, credit card companies could maintain a fixed "due date", but allow a "postal service grace period" of +/- 1 business day to account for the longer delivery time. Conversely, they'd have to adjust their billing cycles to allow them to send out bills and maintain proper "notice time" to the customer.
 
2012-10-17 01:54:32 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: downstairs: Grand_Moff_Joseph: SurfaceTension: Maybe we should consider the idea that the postal service is done. I've been saying for years that they need to drop delivery to 4 days a week, and if you want Wednesday or Saturday service at your business, you have to pay a fee. No residential service on those days at all.

I agree, but the downside that needs to be accounted for is forcing merchants, bill collectors, etc. to adjust their payment windows to allow transit time to receive payments and send bills/notices. Yes, a metric ton of us pay online, but there are still plenty of folks who still pay at least 1-2 bills manually.


But when you pay via mail, even first class, there's no guarantee when its going to show up.  You can assume a 1-3 day window, but it could be longer.  That's the point of guaranteed 3-day, overnight, etc. mail.

Yep, that is indeed true. I'm just saying that if you extend the delivery windows even further out, the merchants have to extend their windows as well. In other words, if delivery times could get that much longer, credit card companies could maintain a fixed "due date", but allow a "postal service grace period" of +/- 1 business day to account for the longer delivery time. Conversely, they'd have to adjust their billing cycles to allow them to send out bills and maintain proper "notice time" to the customer.



I haven't paid a bill via mail in years, but I never noticed a "postal service extension" in any account I've ever had.  Though when I did pay via mail, I was generally sending the payment well before it was actually due.
 
2012-10-17 02:04:08 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: And the fact that Congress is forcing them to set aside millions upon millions of dollars in retirement money for people they haven't even hired yet.


I've spotted the conservative...

But you have a point. How can the USPS ever succeed if we don't let them operate like a real business and eventually screw everybody out of their pensions in bankruptcy court like every other company?

/Do any conservatives NOT use those stupid talking points anymore?
 
2012-10-17 02:25:25 PM  

edmo: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: And the fact that Congress is forcing them to set aside millions upon millions of dollars in retirement money for people they haven't even hired yet.

I've spotted the conservative...

But you have a point. How can the USPS ever succeed if we don't let them operate like a real business and eventually screw everybody out of their pensions in bankruptcy court like every other company?

/Do any conservatives NOT use those stupid talking points anymore?


You only typed 4 sentences and yet I managed to get lost on the way to your point...
 
2012-10-17 02:42:12 PM  
Can we just hire FedEx already?
 
2012-10-17 03:06:32 PM  
I suggested to a local postmaster that they raise cost on bulk mail.

"Then people will stop sending bulk mail"


... TA DAAAA!
 
2012-10-17 03:28:47 PM  
Kramer figured this out like 15 years ago.
 
2012-10-17 03:38:54 PM  
Without the post office, who will force grocery store ads upon me even despite the fact that I explicitly unsubscribed from the grocery store's mailing list?
 
2012-10-17 04:07:37 PM  
www.thedailyrash.com
 
2012-10-17 04:09:19 PM  
$0.005 per email tax, USPS is saved (and you could start to pay down some debt as well)
 
2012-10-17 04:09:37 PM  
you mean i might not get junk mail? ......
 
2012-10-17 04:14:04 PM  

unlikely: I suggested to a local postmaster that they raise cost on bulk mail.

"Then people will stop sending bulk mail"


... TA DAAAA!


How about raising the cost of Non-profit mail and not treating "political" mail as first class when they pay for standard? Also, at $42/thousand discount for taking the mail to the SCF is outrageous. I can put 30,000 pieces of mail on a pallet and get a $1260 discount from the USPS for an hour long round trip.
 
2012-10-17 04:14:16 PM  
You can blame Congress all you want. I blame USPS employees who are entitled, lazy, and don't care if your package gets to you in one piece or not...if it gets to you at all.

/loyal FedEx user since 2004
//fark the Post Office
 
2012-10-17 04:14:16 PM  
Well I'm doing my part (reluctantly)

Minol is the company who handles my building's sewer and water. To pay online, they charge a $3 "convenience" fee. That's $36 annually to pay a farking utility bill. Fark that.

I wrote them an email explaining that rather than getting my payments well prior to due date they will be receiving checks the old fashioned way.
 
2012-10-17 04:14:20 PM  
so local rock bands and mexicans will soon find an easy way to get one of those van-like postal trucks on the cheap instead of driving the old 70-90s child molester van types.
 
2012-10-17 04:14:38 PM  
Should put them in charge of health care.
 
2012-10-17 04:15:04 PM  

Cyberluddite: But for non-overnight delivery of smaller packages--say stuff in the range of around 6 pounds and under--USPS kicks ass on UPS and FedEx, so I don't understand why more people don't use it.


Agreed. And try mailing a single document via UPS Ground. You can't - you MUST mail documents express via UPS, making them more than FIFTEEN TIMES the cost of USPS.

edmo: How can the USPS ever succeed if we don't let them operate like a real business and eventually screw everybody out of their pensions in bankruptcy court like every other company?


Your sarcasm aside, do you think that any other business is required to set aside funds for nonexistent employees? They should be required to fund an adequate amount for their employees. Nothing more, nothing less. Your apparent assumption that they would screw all their pensioners if not forced to fund for 75 years has no basis in reality.
 
2012-10-17 04:16:19 PM  

OrygunFarker: $0.005 per email tax, USPS is saved (and you could start to pay down some debt as well)


Because every email that is sent out would normally have been sent through USPS and would not have been a phone call.
 
2012-10-17 04:16:21 PM  

w00ty: you mean i might not get junk mail? ......


There we go. I get almost nothing substantial in the mail, anyway. All of my bills are e-bills now. Also, nobody sends me anything. Not even on my birthday.
 
2012-10-17 04:16:26 PM  
"The agency still had enough cash to make a $1.4 billion payment for workers compensation claims due on Monday"

That's just a monthly payment... I'm amazed by that dollar figure. I wish I knew how many people that covers paying in that one month.
 
2012-10-17 04:16:39 PM  

unlikely: I suggested to a local postmaster that they raise cost on bulk mail.

"Then people will stop sending bulk mail"


... TA DAAAA!


"Bulk mail is the USPS' way of saying 'Here, you throw this out.'"

// apologies to Rose-Colored Heroin Glasses Hedberg
// gone to soon
// in heaven, he performs with his eyes open
 
2012-10-17 04:16:58 PM  
Yes but some of the sites I pay my bills on have "convenience fees"(2.99 for my electric), and using my psychic abilities I forsee eventually all online bill pay services to have a fee. Not only that but it's probably already in your regular bill anyway.
 
2012-10-17 04:18:34 PM  
They could also start combining and centralizing BMEUs to save a lot.
 
2012-10-17 04:18:51 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: For the record, I think Congress should be subsidizing them anyway as it is (in spite of the words of the naysayers) a valuable public service. Same with Amtrak (which I think there should be more of).


Sorry, but the notion of the public good has become tarred with the brush of SOCIALISM! We can't have any public infrastructure, anymore, otherwise the Soviet Union retroactively wins the Cold War.
 
2012-10-17 04:18:52 PM  

El Brujo: Well I'm doing my part (reluctantly)

Minol is the company who handles my building's sewer and water. To pay online, they charge a $3 "convenience" fee. That's $36 annually to pay a farking utility bill. Fark that.

I wrote them an email explaining that rather than getting my payments well prior to due date they will be receiving checks the old fashioned way.


Maybe you need a better bank. I stay away from most of the online payment sites and use the online banking from my bank to pay bills. No charges.
 
2012-10-17 04:19:04 PM  
I live in a rural area and there are 3 post offices within a 10 minute drive they were going to close the one closest to us but then didn't. I get that having rural offices and delivery is something that isn't profitable and won't ever be but no need to go full hog into unprofitability.
 
2012-10-17 04:20:12 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: For the record, I think Congress should be subsidizing them anyway as it is (in spite of the words of the naysayers) a valuable public service. Same with Amtrak (which I think there should be more of).

Sorry, but the notion of the public good has become tarred with the brush of SOCIALISM! We can't have any public infrastructure, anymore, otherwise the Soviet Union retroactively wins the Cold War.


"public" infrastructure is paid for by private taxes. Never forget that, Moonbeam.
 
2012-10-17 04:20:40 PM  

Langdon Alger: so local rock bands and mexicans will soon find an easy way to get one of those van-like postal trucks on the cheap instead of driving the old 70-90s child molester van types.


Yeah but the steering wheel is on the wrong side. I'd immediately pull a Matthew Broderick.
 
2012-10-17 04:20:59 PM  
reminder that the bipartisan, several-hundred-co-sponsor bill to repeal that pension obligation on the USPS is being held up in committee by exactly one person: supreme piece of shiat Darrell Issa
 
2012-10-17 04:22:16 PM  

Mugato: Langdon Alger: so local rock bands and mexicans will soon find an easy way to get one of those van-like postal trucks on the cheap instead of driving the old 70-90s child molester van types.

Yeah but the steering wheel is on the wrong side. I'd immediately pull a Matthew Broderick.


I'm missing the reference. "Pulling a Matthew Broderick" doesn't involve saying "go-go-gadget left-hand steering wheel" and having a large umbrella pop out of your dashboard, instead of a steering wheel, does it?
 
2012-10-17 04:22:38 PM  

TNel: OrygunFarker: $0.005 per email tax, USPS is saved (and you could start to pay down some debt as well)

Because every email that is sent out would normally have been sent through USPS and would not have been a phone call.


but, the tax only attaches to emails with more than 20 recipients, after 10 forwards.

/ fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:tea party and republican party doomed!!! no more information to fuel the mighty flames of mandess!!!
 
2012-10-17 04:22:55 PM  
I run a pack and ship store in a pretty rural area and I get customers from 30+ minutes away sometimes because their post offices are closing or have terrible hours. How the heck are they supposed to get customers there when they're only open from 9-12pm? That and most of the people that I get won't even use the USPS services I offer even when they're cheaper than UPS and FedEx because they just don't trust the post office anymore.
 
2012-10-17 04:24:21 PM  

probesport: El Brujo: Well I'm doing my part (reluctantly)

Minol is the company who handles my building's sewer and water. To pay online, they charge a $3 "convenience" fee. That's $36 annually to pay a farking utility bill. Fark that.

I wrote them an email explaining that rather than getting my payments well prior to due date they will be receiving checks the old fashioned way.

Maybe you need a better bank. I stay away from most of the online payment sites and use the online banking from my bank to pay bills. No charges.


I've actually not looked into the online bill payment section of my bank's site (Chase) though I believe it is offered.

Minol contracts to another company to process online payment to the tune of $3/transaction. I don't know if a bank would cut that middleman out, but maybe.
 
2012-10-17 04:24:57 PM  
Social Security : Government forcing non-retired people to put money towards retirement : good
USPS : Government forcing non-retired people (slash agency) to put money towards retirement : bad
 
2012-10-17 04:25:19 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: It's also a little known fact that the Postal Service is basically implied by the Constitution as a required service. While originally the wording was "empowered" legal tradition seems to have made it a Constitutionally required service.


A postal service is mentioned (in passing) by the Constitution. But, the founding fathers didn't envision door-to-door service either (there was no residential delivery at all until roughly the Civil War, and most rural households didn't get delivered mail until we were into the 20th century. Since we've had rural delivery for less than half the time the Constitution has been in place, I don't see a problem from that perspective making the rural addresses go back to picking up their mail from a PO Box in town.

Let the USPS do like any unencumbered business would. Raise rates. First class letters are cheaper than domestic letters in Mexico, Uruguay, or Turkey. This would lower mail volumes further and lead to even more layoffs, yes. But if there's a natural limit to how much people want to mail anything (and I think there is), "making it up by volume" isn't necessarily the strategy that's going to work.
 
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