Sunday, January 4, 2015

The High Cost of Written Communication

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The U.S. Postal Service whines, and whines, and whines some more.  It whines, in fact, far better than it delivers mail.

The price of a first class stamp is now forty-nine cents.   That means a dollar will buy just two - with two pennies left over in change.  When I was a lad, admittedly several years ago, the nation went into collective shock when the government raised the price of a first class stamp from three to four cents.  And now it is forty-nine cents to mail a single letter!

That is one reason the USPS went to the concept of "forever" stamps.  There is no price printed on those stamps, and few consumers actually know exactly how much they are paying to use the archaic snail mail system.

The postal service whines that people are abandoning the national mail system in favor of email and commercial package services.  People whine back that the postal service is expensive, hard to access, slow, and did I mention expensive?

I'm sure that the postal service is under-staffed and overworked.   I live on a rural route and have my mail delivered six-days-a-week to a mailbox that sits along the edge of my front yard.  The poor dear who brings the mail arrives anywhere between three p.m. and dark.  Saturday appears to be her hardest day, and if she gets much slower I will be enjoying the rare treat of Sunday mail delivery.

Why can't something as important as the country's mail system be adequately funded and run in an efficient manner?  Why can't it be completely government funded - like war, or funded through advertisements (junk mail) like commercial radio and television?

Of course the postal service customer base is shrinking.  Some people have to eat, after all.


Xobekim said...
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Xobekim said...

Of course the problems with the USPS were created by a Republican Congress which passed a bill requiring them to prepay the future pension benefits of employees. George W. Bush signed that bill into law. This puts a $5 billion lug on their operating accounts each year, and they get no credit for that money on their books. Looks like the Republicans are looking for one more big pile of pension cash to loot.

The USPS does not operate out of funds from the Treasury, so this is private money the Vulture Capitalists plan on stealing. Making America think that the USPS is outmoded and incapable of competing in an age of cyber communication is merely an exercise in deception. Did you notice how many of the USPS's competitors delivered Christmas presents using the USPS? That irony is not lost on me.

The worst part of all is that today's GOP which loudly expresses faux rage at a radicalized view of the Second Amendment stands mute while the Constitutionally mandated USPS is prepped for slaughter. This of course makes my bullshit-o-meter exceed capacity.