Post office system may shut down entirely this winter...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Baba gounj, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj pensioner

    Postal Service Struggles to Stay Solvent, and Relevant
    The United States Postal Service has long lived on the financial edge, but it has never been as close to the precipice as it is today: the agency is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.
    “Our situation is extremely serious,” the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, said in an interview. “If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.”
    In recent weeks, Mr. Donahoe has been pushing a series of painful cost-cutting measures to erase the agency’s deficit, which will reach $9.2 billion this fiscal year. They include eliminating Saturday mail delivery, closing up to 3,700 postal locations and laying off 120,000 workers — nearly one-fifth of the agency’s work force — despite a no-layoffs clause in the unions’
    Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees.
    “The situation is dire,” said Thomas R. Carper, the Delaware Democrat who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the postal service. “If we do nothing, if we don’t react in a smart, appropriate way, the postal service could literally close later this year. That’s not the kind of development we need to inject into a weak, uneven economic recovery.”
    Missing the $5.5 billion payment due on Sept. 30, intended to finance retirees’ future health care, won’t cause immediate disaster. But sometime early next year, the agency will run out of money to pay its employees and gas up its trucks, officials warn, forcing it to stop delivering the roughly three billion pieces of mail it handles weekly.
    In some countries, post offices double as banks or sell insurance or cellphones. In the United States, the postal service is barred from entering many areas. Still, the agency is considering ideas, like gaining the right to deliver wine and beer, allowing commercial advertisements on postal trucks and in post offices, doing more “last-mile” deliveries for FedEx and U.P.S. and offering special hand-delivery services for correspondence and transactions for which e-mail is not considered secure enough.
    But now, faced with what postal officials call “the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” the agency is asking Congress to enact legislation that would overturn the job protections and let it lay off 120,000 workers in addition to trimming 100,000 jobs through attrition.
  2. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    What are the chances the congress will not take care of the post office ??? One of their perks is the franking privilege (free mailing).
  3. HomeDelivery

    HomeDelivery Well-Known Member

    agree, the gov't won't allow them to shut down; if so, then our gov't is really idiotic

    if they (i really mean WE) can bail out banks and car dealerships, this is a no-brainer to bail out the USPS
  4. Sleeve_meet_Heart

    Sleeve_meet_Heart making the unreadable unreadabler

    P.O. is a constitutional right ( in some way or another, I forget the exact verbage) it's probably not going anywhere.
  5. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Article I, Section 8

    To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
  6. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    AND it's mandated to break dull!
  7. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't phrase it as a constitutional right but it is mandated under Art. 1 delegated powers to the Congress. But then gov't these days walk all over the constitution at will so nothing should come as a surprise either!

    I'd love for the great Lysander Spooner to be alive to see all of this happening!
  8. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

  9. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

  10. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Only old people use the US mail.

    I havent bought a stamp in at least 3 years now.


  11. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj pensioner

    Shame on you.
  12. brownrod

    brownrod Active Member

    Agree. The post office is obsolete.
  13. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    There really is no sunshine on the horizon for the post office. The push to go green with paperless contacts will be the norm in the next 10 years. Online billing and bill paying continues to destroy the post office revenues and unless people are willing to pay 1.50 a stamp to send a letter or bill payment, the post office will eventually go broke.

    Old people who refuse to transition to online bill payments need the post office and its services, but they make up a small majority of americans. The post office will have to increase its share of parcel pickups and 00deliveries and become more like UPS in order to attempt to increase revenue.

    The days of the mailman walking up to our mailboxes is long gone. That business model has seen its final days.

    The next step for the post office should be to charge a fee for mail service from every american. A monthly charge of $25 would help to keep the post office alive, but many people would not pay the fee.

    The "socialist" service known as the post office is dead for all practical purpose.


  14. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    I use the post office. I do all my bills by mail. I don't care if the P.O. lives or dies, I'll find a way to pay bills either way..

    I don't want the gov't bailing them out with $34 Billion in taxpayer's money. That's like kicking a dead horse. Proof again that the government is UNABLE to run anything!!!
  15. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    I think you made my point.



  16. beentheredonethat

    beentheredonethat Well-Known Member

    The post office should still be able to do great. It's total mismanagement that is causing the majority of their problems. First off, think of all the benefits they have. They pay no property taxes, they pay no excise taxes and they pay no taxes on any profit they make (when they ever make it). They have a monopoly granted to them by law for mail. They already go to every address for deliveries.

    Granted, 1st class mail is dwindling, also bills etc are going paperless and they are losing that. But junk mail is still a popular marketing ploy. They have recently started getting into more direct marketing. For ex a new local pizza shop that delivers pizza opens in town, they have a territory consisting of 400 streets in town they deliver to (within their time guarantee). They can send flyers to just those people on the streets. (USPS prints them and delivers). Targeted direct mailing.

    Other companies like electric\gas send drivers out to drive around town to gather electronically the meter readings. The USPS could outfit the vehicles with the same sensors and charge a fee to these utilities that would be far cheaper then it currently costs them and very little cost to USPS.

    They are delivering final mile for UPS and FDX currently, this volume can easily grown. The biggest problem is consistency, each USPS DDU is run by it's postmaster how he\she wants to and very little consistency. If they improve quality and performance metrics they can easily improve quality and seriously challenge our ability since they have a better cost structure for final mile delivery.

    They give (in many areas) drivers a set route, no matter how much mail they have. They don't dispatch differently based on volume levels like UPS does.

    If they got there act in gear they could be a force. If they stay the way they are going.. Yes, they will be in trouble.
  17. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll


    I think your a bit off in your understanding of the postal service woes. First, FIRST CLASS revenue is their ONLY revenue that turned a profit for years. EVERYTHING else they offer has been LOSING money every year for decades.

    The first class stamp "subsidized" the losses of every other service at the post office. They lose money on parcels, they lose money on junk mail, they lose money on overnight and express, they lose money on transportation... the story gets uglier at every turn.

    Wages and benefits were negotiated at times when revenue from first class was at its highest profit levels.

    They could cut everyones wages in HALF and eliminate ALL benefits, and they would still GO BANKRUPT.

    They have antiquated equiptment, poorly maintained vehicles, shabby post offices and lazy employees. They will NOT be able to retrain the current employees to do more or move faster. Eliminating all the current employees will be the only way to change the business model of the post office.

    As for junk mail, that is the CHEAPEST priced service they offer and they would have to raise the price of 3rd class to 1st class levels and NO BUSINESS will EVER pay that.

    The post office is a dead man walking. Bailouts will only keep them open for a few years (less than 5 yrs) and without a profit generating service to make up for all they other services, then they have NO future.

    The whole mail delivery concept is too old to survive. In order to cut expenses and increase productivity, they would have to turn ALL ROUTES into MBU's and eliminate walking routes. They would have to eliminate postal carriers from sorting their own mail and transition that work to part time employees. Postal carriers waste about 3 hours every morning sorting their own mail, and thats 3 hours they cant be on the street.

    In order to increase production, they would have to spend more time delivering and less time hanging around the post office sorting.

    The post office is the perfect model of in-efficiency. No number of corrections can fix the service.


  18. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Your point WAS that old people refuse to transition........I said I didn't care if the Post Office is dead or alive and I would find another way to pay bills...........That DOES NOT make your point!!! Where do you get off with your delusion?
    The government run stuff sucks!!
  19. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj pensioner

    [h=1]USPS to Cut Hours, Not Close Post Offices[/h]USPS plans to reduce the hours of operation at 13,000 rural post offices from a full eight-hour day to between two and six open hours per day.
    Under the new plan, about 9,000 current full-time postal employees will be reduced to part time and lose their benefits after the offices they work at are put got to two to four open hours per day.
    Another 4,000 full-time employees will see their hours reduced to part-time, but will retain their benefits. These workers will be at post offices whose hours are reduced to six hours per day.
    Even though many post offices will have vastly reduced operating hours, people will still be able to access their P.O. boxes all day.
  20. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Again, another FAIL. How many times do we have to have this conversation about the goverment running the post office? Hopefully for the last time: THE GOVERMENT DOES NOT RUN THE POST OFFICE. It has a board of directors and THEY make decisions and take those decisions to CONGRESS for approval.

    The GOVERMENT does not make any daily decisions for the post office nor is there any office of the post office in the goverment.

    My point is that people wont transition unless they are forced to transition and thats what you said.

    I rarely write a check anymore, i havent bought a stamp in 3 years, I havent purchased a box of envelopes in years. I pay everything online. Now multiply this by tens of millions of people and that loss of revenue is DEVASTATING for the post office.

    I dont think Ive even been to a post office since at least 2007.

    There is no delusion to my thinking, its a fact. The older generation is the toughest generation to get to make transitions. They are set in their ways and they are ALWAYS the last to come around.

    NO level of change in operations at the post office can make up for the loss of revenue. Losing 18 billion dollars a year is a recipe for disaster. The postal board has already shut down post offices and hubs across the country, they have condensed hubs, cut routes and even has decided to make NEW routes "RURAL" routes no matter where they are just to be able to hired part time carriers.

    Losing saturday service will save money, but not save the post office. If this was done, the Post office would be able to shed 150 thousand employees. I realize that most of you dont understand how this could be the case by ending saturday service, and if anyone needs an explanation ill do so.

    Online bill paying is the present and moreover, the future.