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(Marketwatch)   Bad news: USPS posts $1.96 billion 3Q loss. Worse news: USPS assures customers it will still be business as usual   (marketwatch.com) divider line 153
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488 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Aug 2014 at 4:01 AM (19 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-12 12:08:16 AM  
Money in the bank.
The lucky politician that manages to steal privatize by god, turn an expensive, losing part of this great government into a non entitlement shall not perish from this Earth.
 
2014-08-12 12:08:58 AM  
Good.  Let's just let the USPS die.  Oh no, I won't get grocery store ads or jury duty notices anymore.  Woe is me.
 
2014-08-12 12:30:06 AM  
How about we do away with the idea that the USPS should have to be self sufficient?  Change the law to allow it to be subsidized by taxes and be done with it.

Does anyone want to pay FedEx or UPS rates to mail a card or pay the bills that you have to pay by check?
 
2014-08-12 12:53:45 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: How about we do away with the idea that the USPS should have to be self sufficient?  Change the law to allow it to be subsidized by taxes and be done with it.

Does anyone want to pay FedEx or UPS rates to mail a card or pay the bills that you have to pay by check?


No, but the solution to that problem is to stop mailing post cards or paying bills with obsolete slips of paper.  You can post on Facebook to let people know how your vacation is going, and your water company can figure out how to accept paypal.
 
2014-08-12 12:59:05 AM  
If only the Constitution had something to say about the postal service ...
 
2014-08-12 01:03:21 AM  

serial_crusher: TuteTibiImperes: How about we do away with the idea that the USPS should have to be self sufficient?  Change the law to allow it to be subsidized by taxes and be done with it.

Does anyone want to pay FedEx or UPS rates to mail a card or pay the bills that you have to pay by check?

No, but the solution to that problem is to stop mailing post cards or paying bills with obsolete slips of paper.  You can post on Facebook to let people know how your vacation is going, and your water company can figure out how to accept paypal.


Well, I was thinking more birthday cards and such, and sure, you could e-mail, but it doesn't have the same special feeling as real paper.

My water company thankfully does accept online payments, but my lawn service doesn't, nor do the plumbers and roofers I've used.

I don't really mail that much stuff, but it's extremely convenient when I do need to vs having to go to a UPS or FedEx store.  I'd be willing to pay more for stamps, but I don't want to lose six day curbside pickup and delivery.
 
2014-08-12 01:06:43 AM  
Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.
 
2014-08-12 01:25:43 AM  

unyon: Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.


Seriously. Anyone who thinks this is government incompetence has no clue how stupid their pension obligations are.
 
2014-08-12 01:28:40 AM  

bdub77: unyon: Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.

Seriously. Anyone who thinks this is government incompetence has no clue how stupid their pension obligations are.


75 years. They're basically paying for the pensions of employees who haven't even been born yet.
 
2014-08-12 01:44:49 AM  
"Business as usual" sounds pretty good to me. I just mailed four small packages for under $2 each. Sure they're lightweight but UPS/Fedex have minimum charges of like $8-$9, even for letters.
 
2014-08-12 01:49:35 AM  
The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.
 
2014-08-12 02:04:25 AM  

unyon: Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.


came here to say THIS
on the other hand ... there should be something in the middle ...
because the current unfunded pension mess is well a mess

/glad I dont have a pension
/glad I wont be paying to fix that problem
 
2014-08-12 02:04:59 AM  

Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.


I agree fully. The US Armed Forces (another important function of the US Government) do not have to pre-fund pensions, so why the USPS? Nor does the Federal Reserve Bank, which is technically private.
 
2014-08-12 02:12:39 AM  

Gig103: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

I agree fully. The US Armed Forces (another important function of the US Government) do not have to pre-fund pensions, so why the USPS? Nor does the Federal Reserve Bank, which is technically private.


because congress is insane ?
and they want to break the USPS, the USPS unions and help their buddies in the private delivery ...

but more seriously
when do we kill the mail?
at some point it will be completely obsolete 

they tried to save money cutting saturday delivery ... LOL

at what point do they only deliver on mondays ... and then once a month 
until we amend the constitution or congress grows a pair ? HAH
 
2014-08-12 02:19:36 AM  
I was bring rhetorical, I know it's Congress and the lobby efforts of private shipping firms.

Of course in the mean time, FedEx has no problems using the USPS for their "last mile" delivery, especially in rural areas, to save money. Just imagine what rates jump to if the usps is gone.
 
2014-08-12 02:43:39 AM  
Are people just ignorant about the USPS, stupid, or just trolling?

USPS was turning a profit..until it had to (under mandate from GOP congress) fund pensions decades in advance as 'cash on hand' accounting.

As for "oh where will get my junk mail'...be aware the 'free shipping' from amazon or whatever is cheap most of the Amazon stuff ships Fedex overnight to a central location and the last leg of that delivery stream is USPS. I've never had a problem with USPS. I've had problems with UPS and FedEx tho.
 
2014-08-12 03:18:17 AM  
If the USPS goes under, imagine the massive sell off of prime real estate and physical assets. You just know some GOP donor is waiting in the wings to snap up all those Post Office buildings at fire sale prices.
 
2014-08-12 03:22:39 AM  

Gig103: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

I agree fully. The US Armed Forces (another important function of the US Government) do not have to pre-fund pensions, so why the USPS? Nor does the Federal Reserve Bank, which is technically private.


We should require the DoD to be self-sufficient.
 
2014-08-12 04:32:07 AM  

enry: Gig103: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

I agree fully. The US Armed Forces (another important function of the US Government) do not have to pre-fund pensions, so why the USPS? Nor does the Federal Reserve Bank, which is technically private.

We should require the DoD to be self-sufficient.


fark the DoD
get rid of the standing army!!
 
2014-08-12 04:34:58 AM  
It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.
 
2014-08-12 04:52:04 AM  
FTA: "The agency is saddled with a congressional mandate that requires it to prefund more than $5.5 billion annually for health benefits for future retirees."

For 75 years.

Republican Congress with a Republican President.

/reap the whirlwind
 
2014-08-12 05:22:14 AM  
Why in fark does a branch of the Federal government need to post  earnings reports?  Why does it have them to begin with?
 
2014-08-12 05:24:43 AM  

robohobo: It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.


I know you're just playing stupid, but the USPS ships packages. Really, they do. Just like UPS and FedEx. When you can actually send a package electronically, you'll have a point.
 
2014-08-12 05:29:19 AM  
Why do tea party folks hate Benjamin Franklin?

Bambam oughta write up an Executive Order nullifying that bad 2005 law.
 
2014-08-12 05:37:36 AM  

SN1987a goes boom: Why in fark does a branch of the Federal government need to post  earnings reports?  Why does it have them to begin with?


Because the post office, like most government programs, actually performs fairly well and pays its employees fairly well.

America would be better off if we spent the same amount of money but most of it went to a few rich guys, and the workers had their pay and benefits reduced so they are forced to get food stamps and medicaid to survive (so those of us that still pay taxes can pay even more, resulting in a net increase in government spending) . Oh, and we'd get worse service.
 
2014-08-12 05:38:06 AM  

ghare: robohobo: It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.

I know you're just playing stupid, but the USPS ships packages. Really, they do. Just like UPS and FedEx. When you can actually send a package electronically, you'll have a point.


And the few times a year I ship/receive packages, I'm more than happy to use FedEx/UPS/DHL. Why is the USPS so superior, other than it being a FedGov agency? The USPS shoud be subscription based, but that would mean the 90% don't subsidize the 10%. Who needs mail 6 days a week? Cut that nonsense down to 2 days a week and get rid of the deadweight. We're going to pay for these people one way or the other, either with meaningless jobs or welfare, so we may as well be honest about it.
 
2014-08-12 05:51:00 AM  
Oh, the poor USPS is like going the way of the dinosaur and thinking that nobody loves me anymore. Well, that is what happens when they are forced to fund their pensions for 75 years, continue to sell those forever stamps, and that whole electronic world thing, also. I don't see a way out for them, unless they start to deliver 3 times a week, or the US Congress surprisingly changes the pension rule. I like having the US postal system, though......my 95 year old grandmother doesn't use e-mail!

/ oh....and robohobo.....I do use services such as lawn maintenance that do not use any fancy iPad or phone credit card swiper thingy. You have to mail a check for that one still.
 
2014-08-12 06:05:07 AM  

robohobo: ghare: robohobo: It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.

I know you're just playing stupid, but the USPS ships packages. Really, they do. Just like UPS and FedEx. When you can actually send a package electronically, you'll have a point.

And the few times a year I ship/receive packages, I'm more than happy to use FedEx/UPS/DHL. Why is the USPS so superior, other than it being a FedGov agency? The USPS shoud be subscription based, but that would mean the 90% don't subsidize the 10%. Who needs mail 6 days a week? Cut that nonsense down to 2 days a week and get rid of the deadweight. We're going to pay for these people one way or the other, either with meaningless jobs or welfare, so we may as well be honest about it.

 As has been painstakingly explained in earlier comments, those services use the USPS for last mile delivery, AND the post office would be turning a profit if Congress would stop messing with them. A profitable business. Profitable.
In other words, your arguments are not based in reality.
 
2014-08-12 06:17:15 AM  

ghare: robohobo: ghare: robohobo: It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.

I know you're just playing stupid, but the USPS ships packages. Really, they do. Just like UPS and FedEx. When you can actually send a package electronically, you'll have a point.

And the few times a year I ship/receive packages, I'm more than happy to use FedEx/UPS/DHL. Why is the USPS so superior, other than it being a FedGov agency? The USPS shoud be subscription based, but that would mean the 90% don't subsidize the 10%. Who needs mail 6 days a week? Cut that nonsense down to 2 days a week and get rid of the deadweight. We're going to pay for these people one way or the other, either with meaningless jobs or welfare, so we may as well be honest about it.
 As has been painstakingly explained in earlier comments, those services use the USPS for last mile delivery, AND the post office would be turning a profit if Congress would stop messing with them. A profitable business. Profitable.
In other words, your arguments are not based in reality.


Like we are really going to scrap a robust sustem that serves everyone for a technologically fragile and vulnerable one that only provides service where it's profitable. Just an incredibly dumb idea.
 
2014-08-12 06:34:37 AM  

robohobo: It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.


Every time you get your car fixed, have a repair person come over, or need to get a spare part or new part for anything, you should ask your service person to only use services other than the USPS to ship the parts and to pass the full cost of that shipping on to you when they do.

Just because you don't use the USPS to receive personal packages doesn't mean that the other services you use don't benefit from it.  You benefit from it every single day.
 
2014-08-12 06:48:36 AM  

bdub77: unyon: Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.

Seriously. Anyone who thinks this is government incompetence has no clue how stupid their pension obligations are.


Well, technically they have to do that BECAUSE OF government incompetence.  It's more of the GOP trying to break government to prove government doesn't work.  And this way they can also have hearing to grandstand and berate the directors of the USPS to make it look like they're governing.
 
2014-08-12 06:51:09 AM  

robohobo: ghare: robohobo: It'll have to be killed off eventually. It just will. Eventually it will get to the point where it's just make work for otherwise unemployable people. It's damn near there as it is. Once the boomers are dead, damn near everything will be electronic, cause it's mostly so now, Who the fark has a plumber/electrician//whatever who doesn't have an iPad with a credit card swiper? How long before all utilities are payable electronically? It's only in their favor. This is basically the buggy whips deal. except a fair amount of folk who mock buggy whips are all about funding a service with a dwindling userbase.

I know you're just playing stupid, but the USPS ships packages. Really, they do. Just like UPS and FedEx. When you can actually send a package electronically, you'll have a point.

And the few times a year I ship/receive packages, I'm more than happy to use FedEx/UPS/DHL. Why is the USPS so superior, other than it being a FedGov agency? The USPS shoud be subscription based, but that would mean the 90% don't subsidize the 10%. Who needs mail 6 days a week? Cut that nonsense down to 2 days a week and get rid of the deadweight. We're going to pay for these people one way or the other, either with meaningless jobs or welfare, so we may as well be honest about it.


You should ask UPS and FedEx why the USPS should be around -- because UPS and FedEx rely heavily upon the USPS infrastructure for their businesses to operate.  If the USPS went away, prices at UPS and FedEx (and any other delivery service) would skyrocket.
 
2014-08-12 06:53:39 AM  
Without USPS people who don't live in cities and their immediate suburbs will lose all available shipping options.

Considering that rural areas are predominately conservative, maybe it's a good idea to further remove these parasites from society.
 
2014-08-12 06:55:15 AM  
Compared to money wasted on things like the military industrial complex, $2 billion spent to allow every citizen to send letters anywhere is a small cost.
 
2014-08-12 07:16:18 AM  

fusillade762: bdub77: unyon: Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.

Seriously. Anyone who thinks this is government incompetence has no clue how stupid their pension obligations are.

75 years. They're basically paying for the pensions of employees who haven't even been born yet.


That's all false. Stop believing left wing bullshiat. Congress rightfully required the USPSto start funding their retirement benefit obligations because they see it is a dying business and there is a need to fund these overly generous benefits now before taxpayers have to step in.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432

http://washingtonexaminer.com/postal- unions-still-peddling-pension-fu n ding-myth/article/2524138
 
2014-08-12 07:18:50 AM  

Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.


As a postal service employee I always like to remind people how much government paperwork we move from one place to another.  Think your government wastes money now?  Let every government document be shipped by UPS.  Your costs would skyrocket.
 
2014-08-12 07:20:46 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: fusillade762: bdub77: unyon: Does it surprise anyone that when you're legislated to fund your pension liabilities in advance that you lose money?  No other business entity on earth does that.

Seriously. Anyone who thinks this is government incompetence has no clue how stupid their pension obligations are.

75 years. They're basically paying for the pensions of employees who haven't even been born yet.

That's all false. Stop believing left wing bullshiat. Congress rightfully required the USPSto start funding their retirement benefit obligations because they see it is a dying business and there is a need to fund these overly generous benefits now before taxpayers have to step in.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432

http://washingtonexaminer.com/postal- unions-still-peddling-pension-fu n ding-myth/article/2524138


It's weird to read an article with Issa in it and not see Benghazi be every other word.
 
2014-08-12 07:21:19 AM  

Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.


So you are admitting that it is unable to fund its operations and the benefits it has promised it's workers, and needs taxpayer funds? Is that what you are saying?

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.
 
2014-08-12 07:21:38 AM  

doomjesse: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

As a postal service employee I always like to remind people how much government paperwork we move from one place to another.  Think your government wastes money now?  Let every government document be shipped by UPS.  Your costs would skyrocket.


Plus every business in existence.
 
2014-08-12 07:22:09 AM  
I once read a report that said if we (USPS) were allowed to raise rates to 64 cents(I think that was the amount) for a first class letter all their financial woes would be over.
 
2014-08-12 07:27:36 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

So you are admitting that it is unable to fund its operations and the benefits it has promised it's workers, and needs taxpayer funds? Is that what you are saying?

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.


Could you imagine private corporations being forced to fully fund their portion of all their employees' retirements and healthcare, assuming every employee will work there for life?
 
2014-08-12 07:44:11 AM  
Debeo Summa Credo:

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.

This assumes that as a society we don't want to provide the USPS as a low cost service to those that need this as a low cost service to do business and simply to live and communicate. That assumption is not shared by all.

Do you think that businesses should fund and pay for the full cost of registration and inspection beyond their nominal licensing fees?  If not, why not?  After all, the business registration and inspection process have a revenue stream that can be adjusted.  They should be able to pay their own way.

There are dozens of government services with revenue streams.  That alone does not make a good argument that they should be able to pay their own way.  The USPS is a constitutionally mandated service and there are many who depend on it who could not afford it as a non-subsidized service.
 
2014-08-12 07:55:37 AM  

namatad: Gig103: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

I agree fully. The US Armed Forces (another important function of the US Government) do not have to pre-fund pensions, so why the USPS? Nor does the Federal Reserve Bank, which is technically private.

because congress is insane ?
and they want to break the USPS, the USPS unions and help their buddies in the private delivery ...


Nonsense. Funding the retirements of workers who haven't been born yet is a perfectly reasonable requirement.
 
2014-08-12 07:55:54 AM  

notto: Debeo Summa Credo:

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.

This assumes that as a society we don't want to provide the USPS as a low cost service to those that need this as a low cost service to do business and simply to live and communicate. That assumption is not shared by all.

Do you think that businesses should fund and pay for the full cost of registration and inspection beyond their nominal licensing fees?  If not, why not?  After all, the business registration and inspection process have a revenue stream that can be adjusted.  They should be able to pay their own way.

There are dozens of government services with revenue streams.  That alone does not make a good argument that they should be able to pay their own way.  The USPS is a constitutionally mandated service and there are many who depend on it who could not afford it as a non-subsidized service.


Okay, you raise some fair points. But before we get to subsidization we should recognize that:

1). The USPS woes are not due to them having to fund retirement benefits - they still have $49b in unfunded obligations even after contributing for the last 7 years or whatever.

2). There is still room to raise prices and cut services. Certainly you would agree that there is room to raise postage rates and that employee benefits and wages for postal workers can be cut (as well as Saturday delivery). We should make those moves first before considering taxpayer subsidization.

If we get to the point where we can't raise rates or cut expenses any more without adversely affecting the net deficit, then your points come into consideration.
 
2014-08-12 08:02:18 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: notto: Debeo Summa Credo:

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.

This assumes that as a society we don't want to provide the USPS as a low cost service to those that need this as a low cost service to do business and simply to live and communicate. That assumption is not shared by all.

Do you think that businesses should fund and pay for the full cost of registration and inspection beyond their nominal licensing fees?  If not, why not?  After all, the business registration and inspection process have a revenue stream that can be adjusted.  They should be able to pay their own way.

There are dozens of government services with revenue streams.  That alone does not make a good argument that they should be able to pay their own way.  The USPS is a constitutionally mandated service and there are many who depend on it who could not afford it as a non-subsidized service.

Okay, you raise some fair points. But before we get to subsidization we should recognize that:

1). The USPS woes are not due to them having to fund retirement benefits - they still have $49b in unfunded obligations even after contributing for the last 7 years or whatever.

2). There is still room to raise prices and cut services. Certainly you would agree that there is room to raise postage rates and that employee benefits and wages for postal workers can be cut (as well as Saturday delivery). We should make those moves first before considering taxpayer subsidization.

If we get to the point where we can't raise rates or cut expenses any more without adversely affecting the net deficit, then your points come into consideration.


Maybe you're not aware of how union contracts work, but wages cannot be cut while under contract. Sorry. Ohh and if you think we make too much, do my job for a month then tell me that.
 
2014-08-12 08:02:39 AM  

Shakin_Haitian: Debeo Summa Credo: Cyclometh: The Postal Service is infrastructure, not an investment. Stop acting like it should be able to pay for itself directly. It provides other benefits, along with the other infrastructure that a government provides.

So you are admitting that it is unable to fund its operations and the benefits it has promised it's workers, and needs taxpayer funds? Is that what you are saying?

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.

Could you imagine private corporations being forced to fully fund their portion of all their employees' retirements and healthcare, assuming every employee will work there for life?


The USPS still has a $49 unfunded obligation (benefits that the employees already earned). Per the CBO:

The Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund (PSRHBF) covered about 49 percent of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) $94 billion retiree health benefit liability at fiscal year-end 2012. USPS's deteriorating financial outlook, however, will make it difficult to continue the current prefunding schedule in the short term, and possibly to fully fund the remaining $48 billion unfunded liability over the remaining 44 years of the schedule on which the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was based. The liability covers the projected benefits for about 471,000 current postal retirees and a portion of the projected benefits for about 528,000 current employees; it does not cover employees not yet hired

Private employers do have to fund pension benefits over a mandated schedule, however they do not have to fund health benefits, because the PBGC doesn't have to cover such benefits. So the benefit obligation is a contract between the employer and employee/beneficiary. If the company defaults, the retiree loses. If the USPS can't fund it's obligations, then it is likely the taxpayer will have to step in to cover it.

The myth about funding benefit obligations causing USPS woes is a lie put forth by the postal workers union. You guys are buying those lies.
 
2014-08-12 08:03:23 AM  
"The agency is saddled with a congressional mandate that requires it to prefund more than $5.5 billion annually for health benefits for future retirees."

I get that. This comes up a lot in USPS money losing threads. So I can see where $5.5B of that went to...

Oh wait.


"The service said Monday that it won't be able to make its required $5.7 billion payment by Sept. 30."

So they aren't even making the payments. So how did this contribute to the "loss" again? Or are we talking over the fact that they have a liability and not an actual expense, so it's not a god damn loss?
 
2014-08-12 08:05:29 AM  

doomjesse: Debeo Summa Credo: notto: Debeo Summa Credo:

The USPS should be able to pay its own way.. They have a revenue stream that can be adjusted. They should raise postage rates and cut costs (lower pay and benefits for employees would help). Then, if they still can't pay their way we can discuss whether taxpayer subsidies are appropriate, or whether it should be shut down.

This assumes that as a society we don't want to provide the USPS as a low cost service to those that need this as a low cost service to do business and simply to live and communicate. That assumption is not shared by all.

Do you think that businesses should fund and pay for the full cost of registration and inspection beyond their nominal licensing fees?  If not, why not?  After all, the business registration and inspection process have a revenue stream that can be adjusted.  They should be able to pay their own way.

There are dozens of government services with revenue streams.  That alone does not make a good argument that they should be able to pay their own way.  The USPS is a constitutionally mandated service and there are many who depend on it who could not afford it as a non-subsidized service.

Okay, you raise some fair points. But before we get to subsidization we should recognize that:

1). The USPS woes are not due to them having to fund retirement benefits - they still have $49b in unfunded obligations even after contributing for the last 7 years or whatever.

2). There is still room to raise prices and cut services. Certainly you would agree that there is room to raise postage rates and that employee benefits and wages for postal workers can be cut (as well as Saturday delivery). We should make those moves first before considering taxpayer subsidization.

If we get to the point where we can't raise rates or cut expenses any more without adversely affecting the net deficit, then your points come into consideration.

Maybe you're not aware of how union contracts work, but wages cannot be cut while under contract. Sorry. Ohh and if you think we make too much, do my job for a month then tell me that.


Well, we can cut them the next time the contract comes up for renewal. Your union is putting forth this "benefit funding is causing our fiscal woes" lie to reduce the pressure to cut your wages and benefits.

If funding your retirement and retirement health obligations is so difficult, maybe your retirement benefits are too high.
 
2014-08-12 08:06:04 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: 2). There is still room to raise prices and cut services. Certainly you would agree that there is room to raise postage rates and that employee benefits and wages for postal workers can be cut (as well as Saturday delivery). We should make those moves first before considering taxpayer subsidization.


Increases in rates have to be approved by congress, cutting or reducing delivery days requires approval as well.  The same congress who is actively trying to gut the USPS by forcing the overfunding of the retirement fund.   But you knew that already.
 
2014-08-12 08:07:22 AM  
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