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(Komo)   "Ending Saturday delivery doesn't save the post office - it's just the beginning of the end," said one postal worker, Garrett Scott   (komonews.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, first-class mail, postal worker, post offices, cutbacks, U.S. Postal Service  
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1359 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Mar 2013 at 8:44 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-25 08:26:55 AM  
The Bush 2006 rule is killing these guys. Death by contrived accounting. Nowhere in the world except the USA do we expect the Post Office to be quote profitable unquote the way that we are saying they do.

It was once considered a sign of a civilized nation if it had nationwide postal service.

Enjoy not having one, red staters. We big city people won't miss it - everything routes through us already anyway. But you all can forget having anything locally delivered, unless you go and get it yourselves.

But Walmart could always pick up the slack.
 
2013-03-25 08:29:05 AM  
Considering the number of paid "Monday Holidays" those guys get off anyway, discontinuing Monday delivery would have been a better idea.
 
2013-03-25 08:34:17 AM  

Friskya: Considering the number of paid "Monday Holidays" those guys get off anyway, discontinuing Monday delivery would have been a better idea.


That's not a terrible idea. I also wonder how doable an "opt in" fee would be for businesses to pay an extra amount per delivery/month/year(?) to receive mail on any given Monday.
 
2013-03-25 08:52:56 AM  
In before someone says "Good", not realizing that the USPS is a critical shprocket in our legal system, providing something which no private firm(s) would ever wish to offer.  Also a preemptive "Um, no" to the bizarre notion of having computers fulfill said role right now, as more than 20% of households don't even have computers.
 
2013-03-25 08:53:13 AM  
They only care about their bloated benefits.
 
2013-03-25 08:54:05 AM  

Generation_D: It was once considered a sign of a civilized nation if it had nationwide postal service.


It was once considered a sign of a powerful navy to have tall ships with 50 cannon.
 
2013-03-25 08:56:55 AM  

gameshowhost: providing something which no private firm(s) would ever wish to offer


What could they provide that no private firm would ever wish to offer?
 
2013-03-25 09:03:19 AM  

MugzyBrown: gameshowhost: providing something which no private firm(s) would ever wish to offer

What could they provide that no private firm would ever wish to offer?


Low prices, fast service, ubiquitous delivery, and good benefit to their workers?
 
2013-03-25 09:09:44 AM  

threadjackistan: Low prices, fast service, ubiquitous delivery, and good benefit to their workers?


The only thing they wouldn't be able to do is force the whole nation to subsidize a service a majority of people don't need.

I'd be ok paying $2 for a letter delivery to a private company because I never mail a letter.
 
2013-03-25 09:10:10 AM  

threadjackistan: MugzyBrown: gameshowhost: providing something which no private firm(s) would ever wish to offer

What could they provide that no private firm would ever wish to offer?

Low prices, fast service, ubiquitous delivery, and good benefit to their workers?


Let's see. No, no, no and no. First you must learn economics, grasshopper.

/the ability to exclude: how does that work with private firms?
//what does that mean to differential pricing?
///what does that mean to differential service?
////what does that mean to ubiquitous delivery?
///how do private entities tend to compensate employees with benefits as compared to public entities
//so, please
/no.
 
2013-03-25 09:15:13 AM  

MugzyBrown: The only thing they wouldn't be able to do is force the whole nation to subsidize a service a majority of people don't need.


How silly of me. Of course the majority of us don't need the legal system. In fact it's not even a Constitutional right to be protected equally under the law.
 
2013-03-25 09:32:15 AM  
Let's end Saturday and Monday delivery.

/I'll be in my bunker
 
2013-03-25 09:33:33 AM  
Never liked Saturday delivery anyway

\eyeopenpodcast.com
 
2013-03-25 09:33:35 AM  

MugzyBrown: Generation_D: It was once considered a sign of a civilized nation if it had nationwide postal service.

It was once considered a sign of a powerful navy to have tall ships with 50 cannon.

www.globalsecurity.org

Whew... thought we had lost our edge in naval power...
 
2013-03-25 09:35:33 AM  
They could probably get away with mail only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  The mail system is still needed, but I think that 6 days (and even 5) is probably overkill.

The mail carriers complaining about the loss of Saturday delivery nailed it in the last phrase of the article:

"and we can't afford to lose jobs"

They're protesting because they don't want to lose working hours or get laid off.  They're the workers at the typewriter factory protesting the rise of computers because they're afraid it is going to put them out of business.  They aren't concerned about if the cut is actually a good idea or not, they're concerned about their own jobs and benefits.
 
2013-03-25 09:44:30 AM  

Xetal: They could probably get away with mail only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  The mail system is still needed, but I think that 6 days (and even 5) is probably overkill.

The mail carriers complaining about the loss of Saturday delivery nailed it in the last phrase of the article:

"and we can't afford to lose jobs"

They're protesting because they don't want to lose working hours or get laid off.  They're the workers at the typewriter factory protesting the rise of computers because they're afraid it is going to put them out of business.  They aren't concerned about if the cut is actually a good idea or not, they're concerned about their own jobs and benefits.


To be fair, if your employer was looking at cutting your hours or laying you off, you'd be upset as well.  And unlike typewriters protesting the rise of computers, there really isn't anything that really can replace the USPS.  The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.  Higher stamp prices will be one thing. Cutting jobs and pay will be another.
 
2013-03-25 09:48:26 AM  
My elderly mother depends on her mail, but she doesn't depend on it showing up six days a week.  I honestly don't understand why it's so outrageous to only receive mail on five out of seven days of the week...

The additional overhead of six days of delivery vs. five is a lot since you have to pay people overtime or have additional staff just for that one extra day.

Yes, losing jobs right now is a bad thing.  But you don't keep the guy sitting at the telegraph key just to save his job.  Lots of jobs have disappeared completely over the years when the demand for that work has dried up.  It's rough initially, especially for those directly impacted, but it's better in the long run for those people to (eventually) transition to more productive/necessary roles.
 
2013-03-25 09:49:08 AM  

gameshowhost: How silly of me. Of course the majority of us don't need the legal system. In fact it's not even a Constitutional right to be protected equally under the law.


I'm sorry, how does not having a public mail system negate equal protection under the law?

And you're right, the majority of us never come in contact with the legal system beyond traffic court.  I could pay my fine in person if I wanted to, no?

Why can't the government contract with a private carrier to deliver a subpoena ?

Why can't the players in a civil trial pay for their own mailings via a private carrier?
 
2013-03-25 09:51:16 AM  
At this point the USPS is little more than a door to door advertising agency, most days whatever is in my mailbox is going straight into the recycling bin.
 
2013-03-25 09:52:55 AM  

Great Janitor: The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.


Do a little research into why.

// hint: a few years ago, Congress forced the USPS to fund the next 75 years' worth of pension obligations RIGHT FARKING NOW
// and all of a sudden, the USPS was sending all its money to the pension fund, and needed $8B to pay people, fix the trucks, etc
// IIRC, those were the first (certainly the biggest) losses USPS ever posted
 
2013-03-25 09:54:17 AM  
It's ironic that the one socialized public service the Republicans have been most successful in killing off is the one specifically set up in the Constitution.
 
2013-03-25 09:55:47 AM  

Great Janitor: To be fair, if your employer was looking at cutting your hours or laying you off, you'd be upset as well.  And unlike typewriters protesting the rise of computers, there really isn't anything that really can replace the USPS.  The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.  Higher stamp prices will be one thing. Cutting jobs and pay will be another.


But if my employer's sales were down dramatically, I would not be surprised.  USPS volume is off something like 40% from where it was ten years ago.  I suspect that staffing is not 40% less than it was back then.

In the end, if fewer and fewer people mail letters we need fewer and fewer postal workers.  Since they have to make their appointed rounds every day whether or not I put something in my mailbox, it's easier to send them round less frequently.
 
2013-03-25 09:57:22 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Great Janitor: The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.

Do a little research into why.

// hint: a few years ago, Congress forced the USPS to fund the next 75 years' worth of pension obligations RIGHT FARKING NOW
// and all of a sudden, the USPS was sending all its money to the pension fund, and needed $8B to pay people, fix the trucks, etc
// IIRC, those were the first (certainly the biggest) losses USPS ever posted


Then the fix looks to be rather clear, cut the pension budget, or at least find a way not to have to fund the next 75 years worth of pension obligations right now.
 
2013-03-25 09:59:53 AM  

Great Janitor: Then the fix looks to be rather clear, cut the pension budget, or at least find a way not to have to fund the next 75 years worth of pension obligations right now.


Clearly, you are not qualified to be a member of Congress.

// maybe a Democrat
 
2013-03-25 10:04:23 AM  

Great Janitor: Dr Dreidel: Great Janitor: The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.

Do a little research into why.

// hint: a few years ago, Congress forced the USPS to fund the next 75 years' worth of pension obligations RIGHT FARKING NOW
// and all of a sudden, the USPS was sending all its money to the pension fund, and needed $8B to pay people, fix the trucks, etc
// IIRC, those were the first (certainly the biggest) losses USPS ever posted

Then the fix looks to be rather clear, cut the pension budget, or at least find a way not to have to fund the next 75 years worth of pension obligations right now.


That still wouldn't have the USPS making a profit.

And the USPS does not treat its employees well, at least not the army of temps they fire and rehire every year.
 
2013-03-25 10:09:41 AM  

Great Janitor: To be fair, if your employer was looking at cutting your hours or laying you off, you'd be upset as well. And unlike typewriters protesting the rise of computers, there really isn't anything that really can replace the USPS. The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even. Higher stamp prices will be one thing. Cutting jobs and pay will be another.


How about removing the 2006 regulation that they need to make sure their pension funds are properly funded for the next 80 years?  This is a regulation that no other government agency or private business has to follow, but the GOP forced it upon the USPS.  This is costing billions of dollars in an accounting nightmare and is actually the one item killing the USPS.
 
2013-03-25 10:17:45 AM  

YixilTesiphon: Great Janitor: Dr Dreidel: Great Janitor: The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.

Do a little research into why.

// hint: a few years ago, Congress forced the USPS to fund the next 75 years' worth of pension obligations RIGHT FARKING NOW
// and all of a sudden, the USPS was sending all its money to the pension fund, and needed $8B to pay people, fix the trucks, etc
// IIRC, those were the first (certainly the biggest) losses USPS ever posted

Then the fix looks to be rather clear, cut the pension budget, or at least find a way not to have to fund the next 75 years worth of pension obligations right now.

That still wouldn't have the USPS making a profit.

And the USPS does not treat its employees well, at least not the army of temps they fire and rehire every year.


Yes, it would. Absent the Congressionally-mandated pension payments, the USPS would have an annual profit of about $1 billion.
 
2013-03-25 10:20:59 AM  

qorkfiend: Yes, it would. Absent the Congressionally-mandated pension payments, the USPS would have an annual profit of about $1 billion.


Could have sworn somebody showed a graph on here the other day showing that that wasn't true.

Besides which, what is wrong with having to fund their pensions? Just about every state is in deep shiat because they haven't been.
 
2013-03-25 10:24:46 AM  
so many retards in this thread trying to pretend the usps wasn't profitable before republicans farked it up on purpose.
 
2013-03-25 10:26:51 AM  
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41024.pdf

Page 9 of this report has a graph that shows the "If they didn't have to prefund the pension" line is untruthful.

Without the pension funding, the USPS was about $5B in the red in 2011.
 
2013-03-25 10:32:15 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Great Janitor: The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even.

Do a little research into why.

// hint: a few years ago, Congress forced the USPS to fund the next 75 years' worth of pension obligations RIGHT FARKING NOW
// and all of a sudden, the USPS was sending all its money to the pension fund, and needed $8B to pay people, fix the trucks, etc
// IIRC, those were the first (certainly the biggest) losses USPS ever posted


USPS got a ton of funds from the government until the early 80s, so it's not really a fair comparison. However needing to fund 75 years of pensions is pants on head retarded.
 
2013-03-25 10:32:26 AM  

YixilTesiphon: qorkfiend: Yes, it would. Absent the Congressionally-mandated pension payments, the USPS would have an annual profit of about $1 billion.

Could have sworn somebody showed a graph on here the other day showing that that wasn't true.

Besides which, what is wrong with having to fund their pensions? Just about every state is in deep shiat because they haven't been.


They're having to fund pensions for people who aren't even employed by the postal system yet and may not even be BORN yet. That is the problem.
 
2013-03-25 10:37:18 AM  
The post office workers just sound like my Aunt who I rarely ever hear from...wished me a late happy birthday, and then apologized for being late, because she was in a funk.

\Her funk was she works a cushy overpaid government job (not post office...military/defense offices) and she may lose one day of pay each week starting next month.
\The only thing I'm doing/can find is working part-time at a grocery store. Boo Hoo.
 
2013-03-25 10:38:49 AM  

MBZ321: The post office workers just sound like my Aunt who I rarely ever hear from...wished me a late happy birthday, and then apologized for being late, because she was in a funk.

\Her funk was she works a cushy overpaid government job (not post office...military/defense offices) and she may lose one day of pay each week starting next month.
\The only thing I'm doing/can find is working part-time at a grocery store. Boo Hoo.


You wouldn't be in a funk after a 20% pay cut?
 
2013-03-25 10:43:14 AM  

MugzyBrown: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41024.pdf

Page 9 of this report has a graph that shows the "If they didn't have to prefund the pension" line is untruthful.

Without the pension funding, the USPS was about $5B in the red in 2011.


So instead of hamstringing a healthy organization, they tied an anchor around its neck? Rather than find ways to cut costs, they levied a WHOPPAH of a cost right in the trachea? Instead of doing away with Saturday delivery in 2006 (IIRC, they thought about it) as a way to cut costs, they added a $3B pension obligation, to...increase (almost double) costs?

They made a decision that no other entity - business, private, governmental, terrorist - would make, even with a robust revenue stream, called it "good", and now the USPS is in a worse state than it would have been otherwise. And now, they have to find ways to cut costs again.

// I have an idea...
 
2013-03-25 10:46:00 AM  

MugzyBrown: gameshowhost: How silly of me. Of course the majority of us don't need the legal system. In fact it's not even a Constitutional right to be protected equally under the law.

I'm sorry, how does not having a public mail system negate equal protection under the law?

And you're right, the majority of us never come in contact with the legal system beyond traffic court.  I could pay my fine in person if I wanted to, no?

Why can't the government contract with a private carrier to deliver a subpoena ?

Why can't the players in a civil trial pay for their own mailings via a private carrier?


Will someone, ANYONE give me one solid example of where privatization has worked for the benefit of the people and not just lined some already rich assholes pockets?

I won't hold my breath.
 
2013-03-25 10:47:02 AM  

Dr Dreidel: MugzyBrown: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41024.pdf

Page 9 of this report has a graph that shows the "If they didn't have to prefund the pension" line is untruthful.

Without the pension funding, the USPS was about $5B in the red in 2011.

So instead of hamstringing a healthy organization, they tied an anchor around its neck? Rather than find ways to cut costs, they levied a WHOPPAH of a cost right in the trachea? Instead of doing away with Saturday delivery in 2006 (IIRC, they thought about it) as a way to cut costs, they added a $3B pension obligation, to...increase (almost double) costs?

They made a decision that no other entity - business, private, governmental, terrorist - would make, even with a robust revenue stream, called it "good", and now the USPS is in a worse state than it would have been otherwise. And now, they have to find ways to cut costs again.

// I have an idea...


Like I said, without the pension funding (which congress allowed them to defer most of it a few years ago) they are still $5B in the red.

If you look at the numbers, their margins were shrinking to almost 0 by time the act passed.  The
Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act may be an awful law, but it's not the reason the USPS is in the red.
 
2013-03-25 10:48:50 AM  
99% of the mail I get is junk mail. That is after signing up for "no junk mail". I've gone paperless with nearly all my bills. Besides the occasional holiday and birthday card I really don't see the value. And fark it, I'd be willing to give up getting greeting cards if it meant no more junk mail.
 
2013-03-25 10:49:31 AM  

Psylence: Will someone, ANYONE give me one solid example of where privatization has worked for the benefit of the people and not just lined some already rich assholes pockets?

I won't hold my breath.


http://www.airlines.org/Pages/Annual-Round-Trip-Fares-and-Fees-Domes ti c.aspx
 
2013-03-25 10:51:11 AM  

MugzyBrown: Like I said, without the pension funding (which congress allowed them to defer most of it a few years ago) they are still $5B in the red.


Right, and now they're $8B in the red. Looks like there's an easy $3B for the taking (re-distributing), don't it?

We can tackle the other $5B when our hair's not on fire.
 
2013-03-25 10:56:11 AM  
I'm all for the USPS shutting down.   It mostly hurts those rural voters most supporting its closure and its pretty much unconstitutional to do so.  A perfect fit for the teabagger crowd.
 
2013-03-25 11:23:21 AM  

MugzyBrown: Psylence: Will someone, ANYONE give me one solid example of where privatization has worked for the benefit of the people and not just lined some already rich assholes pockets?

I won't hold my breath.

http://www.airlines.org/Pages/Annual-Round-Trip-Fares-and-Fees-Domes ti c.aspx


I'm not sure that I would count the massive decline in quality of airline travel as a benefit. And now we have the privelage of being nickeled and domed so the struggling airlines can make a few billion a year in profit...

And still, not quite the same thing as privatization.
 
2013-03-25 11:57:33 AM  

Xetal: They could probably get away with mail only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  The mail system is still needed, but I think that 6 days (and even 5) is probably overkill.

The mail carriers complaining about the loss of Saturday delivery nailed it in the last phrase of the article:

"and we can't afford to lose jobs"

They're protesting because they don't want to lose working hours or get laid off.  They're the workers at the typewriter factory protesting the rise of computers because they're afraid it is going to put them out of business.  They aren't concerned about if the cut is actually a good idea or not, they're concerned about their own jobs and benefits.


At some point Democrats are just going to have to come out and say the USPS is nothing but a jobs program for union workers.
 
2013-03-25 12:47:08 PM  

Dog Welder: Great Janitor: To be fair, if your employer was looking at cutting your hours or laying you off, you'd be upset as well. And unlike typewriters protesting the rise of computers, there really isn't anything that really can replace the USPS. The problem is that the USPS is spending more money that it is making and things need to be adjusted so that they will at least break even. Higher stamp prices will be one thing. Cutting jobs and pay will be another.

How about removing the 2006 regulation that they need to make sure their pension funds are properly funded for the next 80 years?  This is a regulation that no other government agency or private business has to follow, but the GOP forced it upon the USPS.  This is costing billions of dollars in an accounting nightmare and is actually the one item killing the USPS.


This. Any time some ignorant Tea Idiot speaks up, I tell them this. And then ask who will deliver mail to their Prepper Compound/Underground BDSM Dungeon? Not FedEx, which relies on the USPS's logistical backbone. Certainly not UPS.
 
2013-03-25 12:51:03 PM  
MugzyBrown:

It was once considered a sign of a powerful navy to have tall ships with 50 cannon.

Now it is aircraft carriers, of which we have enough to almost directly equal all other nations combined.
Or give up a few F35s (or whatever the hell we are up to now.)

How about we NOT build a couple more, directly fund USPS, and save its arse.
 
2013-03-25 01:23:23 PM  

BHShaman: MugzyBrown:

It was once considered a sign of a powerful navy to have tall ships with 50 cannon.

Now it is aircraft carriers, of which we have enough to almost directly equal all other nations combined.
Or give up a few F35s (or whatever the hell we are up to now.)

How about we NOT build a couple more, directly fund USPS, and save its arse.


Shouldn't we consider the cost vs. benefit before we make a decision like that?  The postal service is $5 Billion in the red before you consider the pension nonsense (which I agree, does not seem to make sense).  Is mail pickup and delivery to every residence in the US six days a week worth the $5 Billion/yr (plus something for pensions, because even if you don't have to fund them out to infinity and beyond, they'll still cost something...) it would cost to adequately subsidize?

In my opinion it is not.  I would be perfectly content with banking the savings that comes with reducing delivery to five days/wk.  Other people obviously feel differently.

However, mail volume is highly unlikely to increase in the future, so revenues will continue to fall and because of the nature of the business, reductions in volume don't have a big impact on expenses, so the gap is likely to grow as time goes on.  So if we decide to spend $6-7 Billion/yr. to subsidize the postal service, understand that it could easily be $15 Billion/yr in a decade.

Yes, we could save a lot of money by ordering one less aircraft carrier, or a dozen fewer planes.  But once that money is saved, we should think about what the best way to spend it (or not spend it) would be, not just waste it somewhere else.
 
2013-03-25 01:30:57 PM  

Psylence: MugzyBrown: gameshowhost: How silly of me. Of course the majority of us don't need the legal system. In fact it's not even a Constitutional right to be protected equally under the law.

I'm sorry, how does not having a public mail system negate equal protection under the law?

And you're right, the majority of us never come in contact with the legal system beyond traffic court.  I could pay my fine in person if I wanted to, no?

Why can't the government contract with a private carrier to deliver a subpoena ?

Why can't the players in a civil trial pay for their own mailings via a private carrier?

Will someone, ANYONE give me one solid example of where privatization has worked for the benefit of the people and not just lined some already rich assholes pockets?

I won't hold my breath.


You do realize that you are posting this on the internet, which was started by the government (the military, to be precise) and exploded when a bunch of private soon to be rich assholes created the web you use today?
 
2013-03-25 01:37:40 PM  

Otto_E_Rodika: Psylence: MugzyBrown: gameshowhost: How silly of me. Of course the majority of us don't need the legal system. In fact it's not even a Constitutional right to be protected equally under the law.

I'm sorry, how does not having a public mail system negate equal protection under the law?

And you're right, the majority of us never come in contact with the legal system beyond traffic court.  I could pay my fine in person if I wanted to, no?

Why can't the government contract with a private carrier to deliver a subpoena ?

Why can't the players in a civil trial pay for their own mailings via a private carrier?

Will someone, ANYONE give me one solid example of where privatization has worked for the benefit of the people and not just lined some already rich assholes pockets?

I won't hold my breath.

You do realize that you are posting this on the internet, which was started by the government (the military, to be precise) and exploded when a bunch of private soon to be rich assholes created the web you use today?


I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that the internet was now privately owned. Wait, you mean its not? You say you are intentionally trying to misconstrue my point? Carry on then.
 
2013-03-25 01:51:12 PM  
Canada ended Saturday mail service in 1970. The post office did not die, nobody's business went under. The sky did not fall. Some postal employees probably lost their jobs.
 
2013-03-25 02:00:42 PM  

bingethinker: Canada ended Saturday mail service in 1970. The post office did not die, nobody's business went under. The sky did not fall. Some postal employees probably lost their jobs.


Yeah, but it costs about $1.10 (including HST) to mail a letter across the country.  And it takes about a week, sometimes longer, to get to its destination.

If I dropped something in the mail today from New York, it would get to California by Thursday, maybe even Wednesday.

45 cents to go cross-country in a couple of days is still a hell of a deal.

Frankly, I wouldn't mind if the cost of a first-class letter went up to 75 cents.   It's still a great deal.

But Congress controls the purse strings of the USPS, so we're pretty much farked when it comes to forward-thinking.
 
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