Skip to comments.Postal Service Eyes Closing Thousands of Post Offices .
Posted on 01/24/2011 12:28:06 PM PST by Justaham
The U.S. Postal Service plays two roles in America: an agency that keeps rural areas linked to the rest of the nation, and one that loses a lot of money.
Now, with the red ink showing no sign of stopping, the postal service is hoping to ramp up a cost-cutting program that is already eliciting yelps of pain around the country. Beginning in March, the agency will start the process of closing as many as 2,000 post offices, on top of the 491 it said it would close starting at the end of last year. In addition, it is reviewing another 16,000half of the nation's existing post officesthat are operating at a deficit, and lobbying Congress to allow it to change the law so it can close the most unprofitable among them. The law currently allows the postal service to close post offices only for maintenance problems, lease expirations or other reasons that don't include profitability.
The news is crushing in many remote communities where the post office is often the heart of the town and the closest link to the rest of the country. Shuttering them, critics say, also puts an enormous burden on people, particularly on the elderly, who find it difficult to travel out of town.
The postal service argues that its network of some 32,000 brick-and-mortar post offices, many built in the horse-and-buggy days, is outmoded in an era when people are more mobile, often pay bills online and text or email rather than put pen to paper. It also wants post offices to be profitable to help it overcome record $8.5 billion in losses in fiscal year 2010.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
What with internet banking and bill paying I’m kind of surprised they’ve waited this long. I feel for any impacted postal employees, however.
Name these communities.
1) Cut vacations to only 2 weeks a year. They already get two weeks for federal holidays. End personal holiday days.
2) Provide only basic emergency medical coverage, let employees purchase any extra coverage on their own dime.
3) Reduce pension programs to match Social Security, let employees contribute whatever extra they want.
There. Eleven billion saved, without closing a post office.
Wow, what a tear-jerker from the WSJ. Where is this theoretical remote community? Barrows, Alaska?
There’s always SOME excuse, no matter how trivial, to keep wasting money is sums the human mind can scarcely even comprehend. Some old guys need a place to drink coffee in the morning and wonder if they’ve caught that Dillinger guy whose face is on the poster. That’s worth a few hundred million for sure.
...so, it wasn't just my imagination, they really were sleeping on the job.
Kinda explains why they are losing so much money.
Probably no union layoffs.
Also end Saturday delivery. Maybe make deliveries M-T and Th-F. On Wednesday they can work on sorting the mail.
I worked as a casual clerk, then later as a post master relief at small post office in small town, AZ. The post master was the laziest person I think I’ve ever met. She worked at doing as little as possible. She was also a nut. One day, there was a bunch of stuff going on and she was very angry. She was on the phone for a while, then just disappeared. My self and another clerk were working our butts off. I get a call from the post master’s boss who informed me that if the post master came back we are to evacuate the building and call 911. The post master wasn’t around for a couple of weeks (sick leave), then she comes back as if nothing had ever happened.
I have no idea what she said that prompted her boss to tell me to call 911. I eventually quit because the woman was a flipping nut. The post office can save several thousands of dollars a year by sacking her.
I loved that job. But it got to the point where the post master was actually putting my life, as well as her own, in danger by not following security regulations. I also sent confidential information to one of her bosses about her behavior - who sent it right back to the post master. So much for protecting their employees.
remote communities? How about shutting down some big union city post offices that already have too many?
Like any govt agency the USPS has something like 6 administrators for every employee who actually handles mail particles. Reducing that number to 1 administrator for every 6 working employees would put the USPS nicely into the black.
Are you invested in identity theft companies? It’s for gamblers only. That’s my opinion of internet banking and bill paying.
I don’t care how secure your PC system is. Professional hackers will defeat it if they choose to do so.
I’d like to see a list - while I think this has to be done I do understand the comment.
When you live in Podunk, Ohio but your post office requires people to put “East Boofoo” when they mail to you, your actual town gets lost in the shuffle.
Just great. Now where will I get those pre-approved bank card offers??
Mine for sure
>>I also sent confidential information to one of her bosses about her behavior - who sent it right back to the post master. <<
And you then learned how the system operates....cover my butt and I’ll cover yours.
You can have your mail read “Podunk East” and still have the post office in “Bigburg”. They sort and bag the mail in Bigburg and drive to Podunk East to do the route. A little more in terms of gas money, and you still have the same number of route workers, but you lose the facility and management cost.
“The news is crushing in many remote communities where the post office is often the heart of the town and the closest link to the rest of the country. Shuttering them, critics say, also puts an enormous burden on people, particularly on the elderly, who find it difficult to travel out of town. “
Ok? Why is this reason enough to keep pissing away money?
These areas can get mail delivered twice a week, and the USPS can contract with a local store to set up a postal booth where you can go and get your mail or mail something.
Or they can adapt to modern times and use the internet?
I’ve worked in a bank for 3 years.
In that time I have processed a LOT of fraudulent charge claims for clients.
20% are when check are stolen or counterfeit - nothing to do with internet banking
70% is debit card fraud. This CAN be online but isn’t due to banking online, rather, making purchases and entering your card number
Exactly ONE case involved someone’s online banking account being compromised and it turned out it was her boyfriend who had gotten her password.
It’s safer than writing a check, in other words.
Actually, you could make that same argument about a large share of American corporations. The USPS has managed to capture the worst aspects of both public and private corporations.
Name these communities.
Just thinking out loud here...and hoping to get the the thoughts of those conversant with law and the "Postal Clause":
What would it take to just completely do away with the USPS? It's a relic of the era long before electronic communications and prior to private enterprise performing the same services more effectively.
It is my understanding that Thomas Jefferson opposed the creation of a government-run mail service. Is that correct or have I misinterpreted his writings?
The postoffice is the heart of your town? What’s the population?
In other words, because they can’t handle their taxpayer paid finances the taxpayers have to now have less service. We’re taking away your post office, raising stamp prices and maybe cutting delivery days. Not that this will influence mailing or shipping costs in any way.
I think the author of this piece must be at least 60 years old. The post office hasn't been the center of anything since maybe Douglas, Alabama in 1953. These days in small towns, people meet in coffee shops, diners and maybe the Wal-Mart.
So what exactly is it that we get in the U.S. Mail these days that can't be obtained online, sent through email or in the rare instance, sent UPS or FedEx?
The US Postal Service has been rendered obsolete by the internet and by private enterprise (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.). It's only apparent purpose is to allow mass marketers to send billions of pieces of bulk junk mails cheaply.
Shut down the US Mail entirely. Then I can remove my mailbox from the front of my house (the one that occasionally gets whacked by kids driving by with baseball bats).
“remote communities? How about shutting down some big union city post offices that already have too many?”
My experience is there is a huge discrepancy in the distribution of PO’s. In the Northeast one on every corner but in the south even in major cities there are few PO’s.
How about closing down the union shops and opening up more of these “contract” PO’s inside private businesses?
Yep. Learned the hard way. My self and another clerk approached another post master about all of the accounting issues we found and he said we needed to report it because we had a higher obligation to the postal service, not to the post master. That’s what we did and it went right back to the post master - like the day after it was reported. So much corruption.
lol! from the nothing is ever enough club.
Thanks to Tip O’Neill, my small town of 20,000 has three post offices. It’s a waste.
Odd you should ask
http://www.city-data.com/city/Alaska3.html has a list of small villages that without mail service could - maybe not starve - but become unlivable.
Not everyone has a Rite-Aid or Safeway on the corner.....
What about the small towns in rural Amerca? We have any number of those in the midwest-far from Alaska. My town of just under 6000 is the biggest one in several countries as you go north, west and south of me.
I would like to know what to do about those?
Cutting back on vacation hours, or at least combining into a central area those in small towns seems better than wiping them out.
I always thought they should end Wed. delivery.
Or go to alternating day deliveries. Two sets: MWF or TTS.
Ironicly, in today’s world of instand emails, faxes, etc... the need to have physical paper documents delivered quickly just isn’t there anymore. And anything that is important enough that requires it to be delivered overnight is delivered by FedEx.
Prepared by the Internet Crime
Complaint Center (IC3)
November 3, 2009
Compromise Of User’s Online Banking Credentials Targets Commercial Bank Accounts
Within the last several months, the FBI has seen a significant increase in fraud involving the exploitation of valid online banking credentials belonging to small and medium sized businesses. In a typical scenario, the attack vector is a “spear phishing” e-mail which contains either an infected file or a link to an infectious Web site. The e-mail recipient is generally a person within a company who can initiate funds transfers on behalf of the business, or a credential account holder (treasury management platforms typically support both wires and Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers). Once the user opens the attachment, or navigates to the Web site, malware is installed on the user’s computer. The malware contains a key logger, which harvests the users corporate online banking credentials. Shortly thereafter, the subject either creates another user account from the stolen credentials or directly initiates a funds transfer masquerading as a legitimate user. These transfers have occurred through both the wire system and the ACH Network; however, this bulletin specifically addresses incidents that have occurred through the ACH Network. In one case, the subjects used a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against a compromised ACH third-party provider to prevent the provider and the bank from recalling the fraudulent ACH transfers before money mules could cash them out. These ACH transfers ranged from thousands to millions of dollars.
Citing cybercrime, FBI director doesn’t bank online
By Robert McMillan
October 7, 2009 06:15 PM ET
IDG News Service - The head of the FBI has stopped banking online after nearly falling for a phishing attempt.
FBI Director Robert Mueller said he recently came “just a few clicks away from falling into a classic Internet phishing scam” after receiving an e-mail that appeared to be from his bank.
THE GLOBAL SMALL BUSINESS BLOG
January 14th, 2011
Avoiding Cyber Crime on Online Banking
Our banking world has given improved service time to time. Since internet banking gives us facility to get connected with our account for free, we can precede transaction at anytime. Mobile banking even gives us more convenient service for we can do any banking activities via cell phones. Emergency situation with banking activity and finance can be completed with online banking facilities. However, can people rely on the system without worrying about the cyber crime and identity theft? There is nothing too safe in this cybernetic world. We should thus be very careful with all of the online facilities. There are several things that we can do to make sure that we are making a secure access that will not endanger our account.
As I said, “Its for gamblers only.”
Name these communities.<<<
How about every Alaskan community with a population under about 3,000?
It is a sad moment when the government decides that it is going to ignore its Constitutional obligations - the post office is mentioned by name - while piling on huge amounts of crap not mentioned at all in Article 1, Section 8.
Just pointing it out.
True. The difference being that private corporations occasionally purge themselves of the excess or go bankrupt.
wow, your internet will deliver packages? mine is only good for text and pictures.
I dont care how secure your PC system is. Professional hackers will defeat it if they choose to do so.
It's a warehouse where talentless psychopaths mature into unionized serial killers.
Unions run amok! No wonder the USPS is going broke. Post office employees make $32.50 an hour to stand behind a counter and sell stamps and ask you 14 questions. It doesn’t take a Masters’ Degree to put something on a scale and weigh it or place the letter in the correct PO Box. Pay the going rate for a cashier at a convenience store ($10.50) who does the same thing and add up the savings. A maintenance man who sweeps the floors and mows the grass for the Post Office once told me he made $18.50 an hour. But the unions will continue to fill their pockets until the Post Office goes tits up and then whine because the Government won’t give them more money to operate in the red.
I like my local PO, but would be delighted if they shuttered it in favor of providing us home delivery (and we live 3 miles from the post office and 1000 other residents, 5 miles from the big box stores, and 10 miles from the state capitol building, so we’re not exactly in the sticks.)
They might be able to work a deal with UPS and FedEx for rural delivery, that would save billions, by allowing the rural PO’s to go. There are thousands of them, in small buildings in towns that literally do not exist except for the PO, Wyoming has lots of them, and so does SD.
With apologies to those who will lose their jobs. The PO cannot run in the red, on our dime, nor any other business that desires to keep the doors open.
I’m just telling you my own experiences. That yes, it CAN happen, but it’s many times MORE likely to happen with the other methods I described.
In my not-so-remote town, 50 miles north of NYC, there are at least three P.O.’s within a 3 mile radius of my home. And this is typical in the area.
Mine is one.
Look at the zip code maps (as usually there is one P.O. per zip code).
EVERY little podunk town in New England has one, but there are areas in places in the Midwest and South where 5 townships all share the post office of one little village in the middle.
“The news is crushing in many remote communities where the post office is often the heart of the town and the closest link to the rest of the country.”
I think, in reality, many of the rural offices (sometimes employing no more one or two people) cannot be where cost cutting will achieve the most results.
I think the biggest problem is the postal workers union and their influence, including the influence of their crony political friends in Congress. The largest excess expense is most likely not where there are few employees, but where there are many and where there are more than needed post offices in a particular urban or suburban area. Those interests, not rural postal service, is where the biggest lobbying against the cuts will come from. Its also where the biggest cost savings could be made.
I can drive within less than five minutes to four different post offices. But, I imagine my entire are could be served by one, with maybe 2/3 the staff of the four we have now.
Watch, the actual closings will shut-out some entire rural towns, while all four in my area remain open.
But ya know what, I'd take the PO closed if they did the same with every other fed agency. About time for the Tar & Feathers.