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Congress- not email- destroyed the USPS
Salon.com ^ | Feb. 6, 2013 | John Tirney

Posted on 02/08/2013 1:22:31 PM PST by Ouchthatonehurt

You know that feeling of pleasure you get when you see someone stand up to a bullying, incompetent boss? It’s viscerally satisfying, isn’t it?

That’s the way I felt this morning when I heard Postmaster General Patrick Donahue announce that the U.S. Postal Service intended to move forward with a plan to stop Saturday delivery of mail, effective sometime in August. In doing so, Donahue stuck his thumb in the eye of the U.S. Congress, the mail agency’s ultimate boss. Bravo, Mr. Donahue.

You may think I have incorrectly identified the incompetent party here. After all, it’s a deeply ingrained part of Americans’ worldview that our postal service is the epitome of inefficiency and bad management, the perfect example of a bungling, poorly run government bureaucracy. That view gets reinforced from all kinds of sources – jaded journalists, editorial cartoonists given more to clichés than to cleverness, free-market economists, and others.

(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: postalservice; usps
An argument for why Obamacare will be such a smashing success if only Congress would get out of the way.
1 posted on 02/08/2013 1:22:39 PM PST by Ouchthatonehurt
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Congress? how about unions.


2 posted on 02/08/2013 1:25:36 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

“......That view gets reinforced from all kinds of sources – jaded journalists, editorial cartoonists given more to clichés than to cleverness, free-market economists, and others.............”

He forgot EXPERIENCE of the consumer I believe.


3 posted on 02/08/2013 1:26:20 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Gist: Eevil Congress forced the USPS to fund its unfunded liabilities. If only USPS could have followed the deficit spending model of the US Government, everything would be Okay.


4 posted on 02/08/2013 1:36:16 PM PST by Rinnwald
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Gist: Eevil Congress forced the USPS to fund its unfunded liabilities. If only USPS could have followed the deficit spending model of the US Government, everything would be Okay.


5 posted on 02/08/2013 1:36:31 PM PST by Rinnwald
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

First class mail volume is down 40%.

While congress and unions are big contributors, that decline would probably have happened even if stamps were 20 cents.

Technological change grinds on.


6 posted on 02/08/2013 1:40:51 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

BS. The decline in mail volume is forcing USPS to consolidate its operations is all. The shift of commercial mail from 3rd class to online media has been particularly damaging because that was traditionally one of the most profitable services.


7 posted on 02/08/2013 1:46:54 PM PST by bigbob
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Horse Puhtooties.

The unions have demanded keeping rural offices open and are completely against reducing the days of use or elimination of offices to pare operating expenses.

Further, the unions extort the taxpayer for their retirement package, of which, they pay little to nothing toward and will continue ue to receive lavish insurance throughout their retirement.

The post office is run life some idiot and anachronistic oligarchy whose sole premise is old age or rather, retirement patronage. Gratis from the taxpayer.


8 posted on 02/08/2013 1:52:01 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Sorry PO people...
When they knew they were in a deficit (when weren’t they?) they continued to spend millions to advertise entities like Lance Armstrong, sponsored a NASCAR car, advertised in prime time etc...
Everybody knows WHO the Post Office is, there really isn’t any need to advertise to drum up business...
If they feel the need to advertise, send EVERYONE A LETTER.
Oh, that is right, if they were to deliver a letter to everyone, many might end up being on Newman’s route.

While at it, I would ask why the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force find it necessary to advertise say during the Super Bowl.

Of course, the stock answer is “We have money set aside in OUR budget” for advertisements....
Maybe so, but YOUR budget is OUR money.

In my way of thinking, the dumber the ad the least likely I am to purchase the product. I wouldn’t buy an insurance policy from GEICO or Progressive because of their stupid advertisements.
And with MOST advertisements geared down to the 4-8 year old, if I haven’t already been buying the product I wouldn’t start now AND you may even ‘force’ me to your competitor if you stooped low enough.


9 posted on 02/08/2013 1:52:20 PM PST by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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To: Rinnwald
That's a knee jerk response that's totally off the mark. USPS had no unfunded liabilities ~ only federal government agency that could say so.

Olympia Snow and her crowd came up with this idea that they could tap into the USPS for several billiion dollars every year to reduce the deficit ~ and that nobody would notice!

The $5.4 billion payment each year for 10 years is to fund health care insurance for postal retirees 75 years in the future. NO ONE DOES THAT ~ not or private companies, not for government agencies.

We got rid of Olympia the RINO ~ now to remove the disasters she left behind.

10 posted on 02/08/2013 2:05:08 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Vendome

You really blew it on that one ~ it’s members of the US Senate who demand the small unneeded rural post offices be kept open. True enough the postmasters have an association which looks remarkably like a union, but it’s not really a union.


11 posted on 02/08/2013 2:07:30 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

What I find just plain unbelievably stupid is the plan to stop Saturday mail. Wednesday is the logical way to go. Of course that would mean working weekends with split days off.
Why make a business decision based on ..... business?


12 posted on 02/08/2013 2:08:25 PM PST by pnut22
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To: Vendome
Postal retirement is paid for by deductions from employee salaries AND by deposits made to the retirement fund by the Postal Service.

All postal revenues are derived from postage payment, not your precious taxpayers ~ the deal here is that the customers pay ~ a remarkably simple concept some people just can't get through their heads.

13 posted on 02/08/2013 2:09:40 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Can you show us a historical graph of number of employees vs. volume of first class mail?


14 posted on 02/08/2013 2:10:53 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: pnut22
You remind me of the crazy old guy in Kansas who got angry when we cut out Sunday delivery. He was threatening all sorts of things so they passed him along to me ~ I'd even handled Harry S. Truman.

I laughed at him ~ told him NOBODY had gotten Sunday delivery because God wouldn't allow it, and if I were him I"d stay away from thunderbolts in the future.

That made it to the chairman of the board of governors, and they all had a good laugh.

Actually the guy had been getting Sunday delivery from the old Post Ofice Department ~ but USPS didn't offer that service.

15 posted on 02/08/2013 2:14:03 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: nascarnation
i don't have it right off hand (it's in a DOS file) ~ but basically there were just under 1/2 million employees in the post office department about 1966 ~ mail volume was 25 billion pieces. There are currently just a few more than 1/2 million emplopyees in the USPS ~ mail volume was 200 billion pieces.

That's an aggregate 700% productivity improvement! The price of a first class stamp (for one ounce or less) adjusted for inflation is about the same now as it was then.

16 posted on 02/08/2013 2:17:59 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

You make it sound like the USPS is worth something. Let’s sell it off in pieces to FEDEX, UPS and whoever will bid. The real estate alone postoffices in high value locations should bring in many billions.

Obama wants more revenue. Let’s give it to him.


17 posted on 02/08/2013 2:30:44 PM PST by spintreebob
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To: muawiyah

We’ve been over this before. Even if they didn’t pay the pension obligations, the USPS still lost BILLIONS last year.

Shut ‘er down, Scotty, she’s a-pumpin’ mud!


18 posted on 02/08/2013 2:32:13 PM PST by dinodino
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To: muawiyah

Not true. The USPS borrows money from the taxpayers. Also, you keep talking about the pension payments, but I read an article a month ago that said the USPS failed to make the most recent payment. So, you are carping about a payment that they missed?


19 posted on 02/08/2013 2:34:35 PM PST by dinodino
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

So another personal example of these USPS losers, I order a $400 item, delivered by the USPS, but rather than bring it up my driveway to me, there rubber-band it to my mailbox at the end of the driveway. Brilliant.


20 posted on 02/08/2013 2:45:29 PM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: Ouchthatonehurt

Why, I think that reducing service, raising rates, begging taxpayer money and blaming everyone else is always a good way to get the public on your side.


21 posted on 02/08/2013 2:57:51 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SgtHooper

Rubber band? You got lucky! I’ve had two boxes in the last two months jammed into the mailbox to the extent that I thought I was going to have get the Jaws of Life to pry the mailbox apart enough to extract the boxes. Fortunately, the items in the boxes were well packed and despite the damage to the boxes from semi-extreme extraction menthods, what was inside was ok. The mail carriers will do just about anything not to get out of their trucks and come to the door with anything.


22 posted on 02/08/2013 2:57:51 PM PST by MissMagnolia (You see, truth always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition. I pick truth. (John Ransom))
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To: MissMagnolia

Haha, you are right, I recall that happening here, too.


23 posted on 02/08/2013 3:51:49 PM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: driftdiver

Yep, USPS is another one of their hosts and soon to be among their casualties.


24 posted on 02/08/2013 3:54:51 PM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: dinodino
you missed a lot of things ~ the USPS borrowing system is arcane to say the least, but no, they don't borrow from the US government BUT the US government has currently borrowed the retirement funds deposited with OPM or their employees.

The $5.4 billion payment is one of a number. They finally ran out of money.

I am tired of subsidizing the taxpayers!

25 posted on 02/08/2013 4:08:48 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Really? Thought they were paid like my local union employees.

A cop starting out in San Jose has a base salary and the tax payer contributes 100%. Or $38k + per year towand their retirement. same with fire fighters, librarians earning $200k in base salary and IT guys earning $80k base per year.

Si it’s completely different fir USPS?


26 posted on 02/08/2013 4:19:54 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: muawiyah

Really ??? You seem passed at me for some reason. I’ve got two friends who are USPS. They are members of my lodge. I don’t have contact with them until next week but, I will ask them.

It’s my understanding they do belong to a union. It’s called something or other


27 posted on 02/08/2013 4:24:29 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome

The small rural post offices are nothing the big city APWU/NALC (bargaining unit) want to have kept in business ~ you are looking for NAPUS and National League of Postmasters. They have a right to consult with management, but are not unions ~


28 posted on 02/08/2013 4:35:40 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Vendome

http://www.postmasters.org/ ~ you’ll find that the International Socialists are in league with this group to keep open useless small post offices ~ (note Bernie Sanders in the text). We want to close these guys down ~ 28,000 of them haven’t served a purpose since the 1920s.


29 posted on 02/08/2013 4:38:28 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Vendome

http://www.postmasters.org/ ~ you’ll find that the International Socialists are in league with this group to keep open useless small post offices ~ (note Bernie Sanders in the text). We want to close these guys down ~ 28,000 of them haven’t served a purpose since the 1920s.


30 posted on 02/08/2013 4:38:48 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Who are these people?

http://www.apwu.org/index2.htm


31 posted on 02/08/2013 4:41:04 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: muawiyah

APWU has over 300k in members ...


32 posted on 02/08/2013 4:44:24 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: muawiyah

Seems like there are at least 7 national unions and more than 50 local or regional.

Gotta go. Dinner time.


33 posted on 02/08/2013 4:47:50 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome

The big dogs are NALC and APWU ~ but they don’t work at those small post offices.


34 posted on 02/08/2013 4:57:17 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Vendome
of course USPS is different. it depends on USER FEES not taxes. postage is a user fee. Plus USPS is regulated by the postal rate commission, and has its own FBI sort of police agency called the Postal Inspection Service, and on top of that there's the Postal Inspector General.

Ultimately postal retirees are paid an annuity by Office of Personnel Management (a us gub'mnt agency) but the employees and the USPS have paid funds into that system. This is done on an actuarially sound basis ~ no expectation of 8% returns like those police department local retirements assume ~

There's a HUGE fund that's built up from postal contributions ~ it's worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The US gub'mnt has borrowed it ~ to get around the debt limit!

Postal employees and retirees are currently subsidizing the US Government ~

35 posted on 02/08/2013 5:06:54 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
but basically there were just under 1/2 million employees in the post office department about 1966 ~ mail volume was 25 billion pieces. There are currently just a few more than 1/2 million emplopyees in the USPS ~ mail volume was 200 billion pieces.

Your mail-piece count is correct, but in 1969 there were almost 1 million employees. It's about 350,000 now.

36 posted on 02/08/2013 5:31:16 PM PST by BfloGuy (Money, like chocolate on a hot oven, was melting in the pockets of the people.)
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To: Rinnwald
Gist: Eevil Congress forced the USPS to fund its unfunded liabilities.

Nonsense -- even posted twice, it's nonsense.

The USPS wasn't "forced to fund its unfunded liabilities", it was forced to fund nonexistent, potential, future liabilities. I'm sorry to say it was a Republican Congress that ordered it.

No other government branch was required to do the same. Why was that?

37 posted on 02/08/2013 5:35:03 PM PST by BfloGuy (Money, like chocolate on a hot oven, was melting in the pockets of the people.)
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To: BfloGuy
1966 ~ not 1969 ~ one of the major reasons behind setting up USPS was productivity ~ Congress wouldn't even appropriate funds or spare parts to fix existing equipment ~ obviously they weren't going to appropriate funds for modern automation equipment, or even mechanization.

Folks regularly sat around drawing up enormously impressive charts showing the date when the POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT would employ every man, woman and child in the country!

There was a strike in 1969. The Postal Reorganization Act was passed in 1970. The USPS began in 1971.

It's really important to keep these dates straight. The first date I gave you was in 1966. It came from a major management presentation made available for review on June 11, 1966.

Mail began taking off as an advertising vehicle and using the old manual distribution systems and antiquated rules the POD was hiring people right and left to get it handled and delivered.

Along the way in that period the old national hub office at Chicago literally broke down and they couldn't even get the mail into the building. Tractor trailers were lined up for miles all over the Chicago region waiting for dock time at the main post office. Then there was the strike. Congress reeled under the weight of the customer complaints ~ many of them complained that they had no time or anything else ~ they begged Richard M. Nixon to save them!

38 posted on 02/08/2013 5:44:57 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
It's really important to keep these dates straight. The first date I gave you was in 1966. It came from a major management presentation made available for review on June 11, 1966.

I truly do -- and did -- understand the difference between 1966 and 1969. The fact remains that the Post Office employed some 960,000 in 1969.

My point was that the Post Office has severly reduced its workforce.

39 posted on 02/08/2013 5:55:54 PM PST by BfloGuy (Money, like chocolate on a hot oven, was melting in the pockets of the people.)
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To: muawiyah

“Severly” is often spelled “severely”. Cheers.


40 posted on 02/08/2013 5:56:49 PM PST by BfloGuy (Money, like chocolate on a hot oven, was melting in the pockets of the people.)
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To: BfloGuy
I simply made the point that we now have just about as many as we had nearly half a century ago but process 7 times as much mail.

Yes, the workforce is down ~ i had something to do with that. put me in charge of USPS for 2 years ~ on a special consulting contract ~ they don't pay enough for me to show up otherwise ~ and i'd top off a 1000% productivity improvement while speeding up average origin to destination times.

41 posted on 02/08/2013 6:00:26 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Seems a lot of my perceptions are from my childhood and 40 years outdated.

Found a good report that details their funded(self) is from revenues.

I’ll read this later. stepping into a movie.


42 posted on 02/08/2013 6:32:27 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: muawiyah

No, it seems like YOU missed a lot of things.

The USPS does borrow money from the taxpayers: http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/06/news/economy/postal-service-cuts/index.html

They also lost $16B last year. The last time you claimed that the USPS was solvent, I did the math for you and posted the loss in 2012, EXCLUDING pension payments. You may go look it up in that thread if you are still hazy on these points.

As a taxpayer, I am tired of subsidizing a bunch of lazy union USPS employees who enjoy an anticompetitive monopoly on First Class mail. Break up the USPS for scrap and sell it off, or failing that, terminate the taxpayer loan facilities and eliminate the monopoly and let’s see if the USPS can stand up on its own two feet or if it collapses under the weight of all of the fat union morons.


43 posted on 02/08/2013 6:37:49 PM PST by dinodino
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