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Amtrak lost $800M on cheeseburgers and soda
Washington Examiner ^

Posted on 08/02/2012 1:35:12 PM PDT by TigerClaws

Taxpayers lost $833 million over the last decade on the food and beverages supplied by Amtrak, which managed to spend $1.70 for every dollar that received in revenue.

“Over the last ten years, these losses have amounted to a staggering $833.8 million,” said Rep.John Mica, R-Fla., in a statement previewing a House hearing today. “It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15. Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40.”

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: amtrak
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Healthcare here we come!
1 posted on 08/02/2012 1:35:18 PM PDT by TigerClaws
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To: TigerClaws

I’ll bet that one of Fomney’s kids could run Amtrak & get it into the black!!!


2 posted on 08/02/2012 1:37:40 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: TigerClaws

Willie needs to eat more cheeseburgers!


3 posted on 08/02/2012 1:41:11 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: TigerClaws

Just to see what it was like, I took Amtrak from Oakland, Ca to Los Angeles a couple of months back. Really no complaints other than it takes ELEVEN HOURS to get there! The cheeseburgers are in plastic bags and the clerk microwaves them for you. If Amtrak is claiming these turds in a bag cost them more than $16 apiece, someone is taking a huge payoff. You can buy a box of eight of them at Costco for less than $10! Amtrak, USPS, all the same deal. Cradle to grave workforce that’s overpaid and underworked.


4 posted on 08/02/2012 1:41:30 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: TigerClaws

Only Amtrak could lose money selling food on a train.


5 posted on 08/02/2012 1:42:47 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: TigerClaws

And Chevy Volt costs what? somethign like $140,000 and sells for $40K

And Welfare spends $100,000 to give away $30,000 in ‘benefits’ (or the equivalent of one full-time government worker making $70K for every family on welfare getting $30K)

now THAT’s good government!


6 posted on 08/02/2012 1:42:54 PM PDT by Mr. K ("The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum [of good]")
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To: TigerClaws

Thanks for posting this article.

“...$9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15. Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40. “

I see the problem. And solution.

AMTRAK meet CHICK-FIL-A. Their food is better and much cheaper.


7 posted on 08/02/2012 1:43:16 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Help. How do I put something in my tagline.)
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To: TigerClaws

If you know the author MM is million (thousand thousand). He needs to change the headline.


8 posted on 08/02/2012 1:43:59 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: TigerClaws
Give the concession to Chick-Fil-A. They'll come in at ¼ the price, and still make a profit.

Anything the US Gov't touches turns to crap. (They're actively hollowing-out and destroying the US Military, now.)

9 posted on 08/02/2012 1:44:04 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Harry Reid [CADAVER-NV] has a goat in lingerie and stiletto heels, tied-up in his office.)
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To: TigerClaws

Maybe they should subcontract to Chick-fil-A...


10 posted on 08/02/2012 1:45:13 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1290 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: vette6387
You can buy a box of eight of them at Costco for less than $10!

Amtrak probably gets them for a buck a piece.

The other $15 goes to Union dues and salary and bribes and kickbacks and political donations.

11 posted on 08/02/2012 1:46:39 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Help. How do I put something in my tagline.)
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To: TigerClaws

The Moochelle and Bloomey should be happy!..........


12 posted on 08/02/2012 1:46:59 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: TigerClaws

Amtrak's new Logo

13 posted on 08/02/2012 1:48:09 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: Mr. K

“somewhere it seems, there is some overhead.”

Ronald Reagan in “the Speech” - “A Time for Choosing” about welfare circa 1964.


14 posted on 08/02/2012 1:50:51 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Mr. K

Oh heck! The entire context....

“We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they’re going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer—and they’ve had almost 30 years of it—shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn’t they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?

But the reverse is true. Each year the need grows greater; the program grows greater. We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well that was probably true. They were all on a diet. But now we’re told that 9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than 3,000 dollars a year. Welfare spending [is] 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We’re spending 45 billion dollars on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you’ll find that if we divided the 45 billion dollars up equally among those 9 million poor families, we’d be able to give each family 4,600 dollars a year. And this added to their present income should eliminate poverty. Direct aid to the poor, however, is only running only about 600 dollars per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.”

Ronald Reagan


15 posted on 08/02/2012 1:52:03 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: vette6387
It has been at least 5 years since I rode Amtrak, but the food was actually pretty good. Overpriced, for sure, but decent.

I've got to wonder based on what you said if the ObaMao administration has stocked Amtrak with friendly donors and/or vendors who launder money for his campaign.

I've been in the vending business in a previous life and know that you can get brand name soda cans delivered and serviced in a cold vending machine for no more than about 2x what you can buy them on sale for in a Costco or Sam's Club type environment.

The same pricing formula would probably apply to a trackside delivery at Amtrak. Every town of 50,000 people or more is capable of supporting a vending service company fully capable of servicing these type of needs AND turning a profit. Every private transportation mode (even a cut-rate carrier like Jet Blue) is fully capable of turning a decent profit with food rates even less than what Amtrak charges.

16 posted on 08/02/2012 1:53:13 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”- Milton Friedman


17 posted on 08/02/2012 1:55:11 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: TigerClaws

“By the 1960s, the communal, automatic soda fountain was a ubiquitous presence in Soviet grocery stores and eateries. The machines dispensed carbonated tap water: one kopeck for a glass of plain, three if you took it with a shot of syrup, all served in communal glasses. “Getting free soda out of the machines became a national sport. There were many ways to do it: coin on a fishing line, the fake-coin maneuver, and the most primitive and surprisingly effective method of all—simply hitting it hard in the right spot…. All in all, it was an ethical as well as an hygienic disaster.” —from Made in Russia

http://fuckyeahsovietrussia.tumblr.com/post/21186942801/ibeching-by-the-1960s-the-communal-automatic

18 posted on 08/02/2012 1:56:09 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: UCANSEE2

A lot of airlines stumbled upon that solution ages ago, to the point where the food companies are named in the airlines’ advertising.


19 posted on 08/02/2012 1:57:52 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: ridesthemiles
I’ll bet that one of Romney’s kids could run Amtrak & get it into the black!!!

Romney's kids, hell. One of his older grandkids could do it. Does he have one older than 12?

20 posted on 08/02/2012 1:57:52 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: TigerClaws

Pepsi was a VERY early Soviet enthusiast!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do ya' like that logo???

Haha....

21 posted on 08/02/2012 1:58:21 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: TigerClaws

And yet the highway roadsides are packed to the gills with people who have figured out how to profitably sell you a cheeseburger for four bucks.


22 posted on 08/02/2012 1:58:28 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: TigerClaws

Willie Green would be proud.


23 posted on 08/02/2012 1:59:11 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (RINO season is open. No limit. Make them extinct.)
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To: TigerClaws

How in blazes do you lose money selling food to a captive audience? Jack up the price, they ain’t goin anywhere.


24 posted on 08/02/2012 2:00:51 PM PDT by discostu (Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Only Amtrak could lose money selling food on a train.

That's a classic right there. Leno's people are probably working it into tonight's show. Unfortunately it will get a bemused chuckle from the lefty audience but won't really sink in.
25 posted on 08/02/2012 2:01:46 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: TigerClaws

I know someone who does contract work for Amtrak. It’s an amazing world there. There is an ginormous amount of resistance to doing ANYTHING that differs from what they are used to doing. That makes it very difficult to implement streamlining or cost efficiency measures.

Amtrak I am afraid will never make money unless there is a free hand to fire slackers and lean out the work force until you do have people willing to accept changes that improve efficiency.


26 posted on 08/02/2012 2:02:05 PM PDT by The Working Man
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To: TigerClaws

I know someone who does contract work for Amtrak. It’s an amazing world there. There is an ginormous amount of resistance to doing ANYTHING that differs from what they are used to doing. That makes it very difficult to implement streamlining or cost efficiency measures.

Amtrak I am afraid will never make money unless there is a free hand to fire slackers and lean out the work force until you do have people willing to accept changes that improve efficiency.


27 posted on 08/02/2012 2:03:14 PM PDT by The Working Man
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To: TigerClaws

But if we only had a bigger subsidy, we could finally have the resources to run a profitable service.


28 posted on 08/02/2012 2:03:37 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: TigerClaws

Three forty for a can of pop?
Relatives of the political elite must own that concession.
They buy soda cans by the hundreds of thousands at about 10 cents a can. Stroke of the pen law of the land and the middleman does not have to do anything but spend the money


29 posted on 08/02/2012 2:04:37 PM PDT by winodog
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To: The Working Man

I read somewhere that Amtrak has 20K miles of routes/track and 20K employees.


30 posted on 08/02/2012 2:04:53 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: 1010RD
If you know the author MM is million (thousand thousand). He needs to change the headline.

Huh. Where's that picture of the bunny with a pancake on his head when you need it?

31 posted on 08/02/2012 2:05:36 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: vette6387

Rush quoted Milton Friedman yesterday saying that if the government was in charge of the Sahara Desert, they would have a shortage of sand inside of two year. I will give you another one. In New York State, we have (government) Off Track Betting. Now, bookies have been making money hand over fist booking bets from time immemmorial. New York’s OTB routinely loses money. Go figure.


32 posted on 08/02/2012 2:09:54 PM PDT by fhayek
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To: TigerClaws
In case I'm the only one to figure this out, Choo-choo trains are reparations to Eric Holder's people.
33 posted on 08/02/2012 2:16:11 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the collectivists.)
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To: fishtank
Do ya' like that logo???

It does remind me of something...


34 posted on 08/02/2012 2:17:46 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1290 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: vette6387
Used to be the Post Office Department subsidized the passenger rail service by placing mail and express cars on trains.

Currently USPS subsidizes your income taxes by paying the government $5.3 billion per year taken from the hot and sweaty hands of hard working commercial mailers.

So, your point is what? Somebody left your mail where the dog ate it or something?

35 posted on 08/02/2012 2:25:57 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: vette6387
Used to be the Post Office Department subsidized the passenger rail service by placing mail and express cars on trains.

Currently USPS subsidizes your income taxes by paying the government $5.3 billion per year taken from the hot and sweaty hands of hard working commercial mailers.

So, your point is what? Somebody left your mail where the dog ate it or something?

36 posted on 08/02/2012 2:26:16 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: TigerClaws

Amtrak’s food service is too inefficient and too well paid. The waiters and cooks may be paid OK considering they travel and interact with the passengers, but the behind the scenes and buying must be broke. Fix it as we taxpayers can’t subsidize this.


37 posted on 08/02/2012 2:30:07 PM PDT by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: Mr. K
When you can sell goods of any kind to the federal government on a no compete, unaudited basis, you can charge $3.60 for a Pepsi, $9,000 for a toilet seat and $24,000 for a 30 minute clown show in Vegas for a GSA 'retreat.'

Years ago, I spent time at the Pentagon documenting a multi-million dollar procurement deal (munitions fraud) involving armaments bought by the US Navy. Some of the players were major defense contractors listed on the NYSE. Before we got into it, the FBI had reported to the Congress that the deal in question was padded at least double, 100%, with ficticious costs, etc. We were retained to review the FBI report and dig deeper into what transpired. We reported to the same Congressional subcommittee, six months later. The deal was not padded 100%, but nearly 5000% i.e., for every dollar of real cost, the Navy was charged nearly $500.

When the subcommittee eventually reported on the fraud to the Congress, they used the FBI's dramatically lower figure of 100%, understating by hundreds of millions of dollars the waste and criminality on just this one contract in dollar terms. Apparently, someone took a call from the parties involved and our report was left on a desk in the anteroom.

38 posted on 08/02/2012 2:32:48 PM PDT by masadaman
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To: UCANSEE2
Talk about magical thinking, when you put hamburgers on rail, or on a plane, they end up costing an incredible amount of money.

There are several reasons for this ~ (1) Maintenance of the supply chain is a whole 'nuther game when the store moves on rails and the supply delivery point is a building ~ rather than the other way around, the store sits there and the trucks pull up.

Oh, did i mention the other reasons ~ customer reluctance to pay more than $10 for a $16 hamburger ~ you did see what the airlines did ~ they cut out those meals!

The best solution is to simply let local vendors sell at railstops ~ third world style. I noticed that the Russians have gone to that entirely, and they have some vast distances to be covered ~ no effort by their rail services to feed anybody. ,P>You drive one of those California roach coaches up on the platform and he'll sell stuff you never dreamed of at a much lower price. Then, he can drive away and there you are.

39 posted on 08/02/2012 2:33:27 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: TigerClaws

Amtrak could be profitable if they were allowed to reduce labor costs and stop servicing rural routes with only a couple passengers per day. Also, some of their higher volume routes were planned out based on going through powerful Congressmens’ districts rather than profit or need. There is a profitable market for rail travel in this country but Congress has completely screwed up Amtrak.


40 posted on 08/02/2012 2:34:17 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: UCANSEE2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrRex42rJzI Doing it Indian style ~ this guy is making omlets ~ on the station platform.


41 posted on 08/02/2012 2:39:11 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Opinionated Blowhard
Roughly Miami to Boston ~ it is feasible to carve out profitable rail in that corridor ~ but no where else.

Americans built roads and drive cars for a reason ~ to make personal transportation much cheaper than could be delivered by the rail system.

42 posted on 08/02/2012 2:41:25 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

“So, your point is what? Somebody left your mail where the dog ate it or something?”

Seems like I recall from past communications that you are a USPS employee. But no matter. The USPS is a disgrace! and it’s a “joint venture” between voracious PE unions and stupid management. I read recently that at it’s zenith, the USPS employed 900,000 people; that it’s now down to something around 400k, and it needs to be half that based on the workload ( mail isn’t as popular as it once was). There are strong parallels between Amtrak and the USPS. They both, from all outward appearances, are run for the benefit of their employees and not their customers. We have a cadre of self-important postal workers where I live that make a trip to the PO worse than going to the proctologist. Because the know there is no discipline, they get away with being assholes to all who enter. And equally problematic are the “postal service rules.” Example: We have a PO Box for our business. My wife was out of town and had the only key. She called and talked to a supervisor who told her that they would give me the mail if I just went in and identified myself to one of the clerks. Not so fast. The clerk I engaged informed me that it was “against the rules” for them to get me the mail, but they would “sell” me a new key for ten bucks!. It was only when I told her the name of the supervisor and the commitment that had been made that I was able to get the mail without being blackmailed into buying another key. The USPS could shut down tomorrow and we would all get by with e-mail, and the private carriers like UPS and FedEx. Sorry, but that’s how I see it. Just wondering about how long you will keep your chair there and how much of a pension you will receive.


43 posted on 08/02/2012 3:24:02 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: UCANSEE2

“Amtrak probably gets them for a buck a piece.

The other $15 goes to Union dues and salary and bribes and kickbacks and political donations.”

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!

You just have to wonder how much longer these drones at government agencies are going to believe the BS they have been told with respect to their employment and retirement benefits. We are just like the USSR when Communism folded and the everyone was left without any retirement.
They should be glad to have a job and work at it like their life depended on it, not be a bunch of self-important jerks trying their best to piss off their employers.


44 posted on 08/02/2012 3:30:54 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: vette6387
900,000?

Don't let your imagination run away with you.

Peak was barely over 600,000 ~ but thanks to modern mechanization, automation, computerization, improved work methods and robotics USPS was able to achieve advanced productivity rates.

When I first worked there they had about 500,000 employees and 35 billion pieces of mail. When I left just a few years back they had about 600,000 employees and over 200 billion pieces of mail.

Their geographic coverage area (for delivery) had doubled.

AMTRAK, in contrast, has gotten smaller and smaller ~ it's a hollow shell of the rail passenger system that preceded it. It's annual costs and income aren't in the same league as USPS, and it does not pay for itself out of fares but requires a substantial government subsidy. USPS pays for itself out of postage for mail service.

The USPS Is hardly a disgrace.

BTW, next time they're going to toss your mail to your neighbors dog. Same result, but you won't know it for a while. Making that call now eh!

45 posted on 08/02/2012 3:47:00 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: vette6387; muawiyah
I have worked for companies that do a LOT of shipping, and got familiar with the personalities of the various carriers. The USPS has its foibles, but UPS and FedEx are not exactly angels. Just TRY to get UPS to honor a warranty for a package damaged in transit that had insurance. You might be able to do it, just like the kids who scored the free Christmas tree in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Customer friendly they were NOT. UPS also managed to misdirect a $1,500 hard drive from E.Hartford, CT to Milpitas, California. They later tried to claim we signed for it, pointing to the signing for a smaller package received BEFORE the drive was sent.

An overnight letter I sent to a residence in Poughkeepsie, NY wound up in a shopping mall.

UPS and FedEx treat you better depending on how close you are to their hubs.

USPS provides a good value in both their Media Mail and Priority Mail.

USPS' biggest failure is not slowness, but paperwork for business customers. The Manifest Mail application is an ordeal straight from the Byzantine Empire. Tracking features are not what they should be. Even when available and paid for, huge gaps are often found even when the item is "in the system".

All told, all are imperfect... all are mostly good. If you don't like unions, then stay away from UPS.

I like the idea of ensuring that there is a USPS, because I want at least one service where the employees can't outright go on strike (like UPS did), and the carrier won't simply file Chapter 7. The post office predates the Declaration of Independence, and postal roads are included in the U.S. Constitution.

There are some parts of the system that are definitely money losers: 45 cent stamps to North Pole, Alaska, Death Valley, Giam, and APOs in Afghanistan for starters. I'd hate to see what other carrier would even send a post card to those locations.
46 posted on 08/02/2012 3:52:50 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I love to hear you talk talk talk, but I hate what I hear you say."-Del Shannon)
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To: vette6387
Key Fee; I wrote the rules on that one. Copied them from the model regulations Canada had pioneered. The basic idea was that key replacements should pay for themselves.

In Stage I we raised the price from 30 cents to $1.00 ~ in those days we had our own lock and key facility ~ but now they are provided commercially so the price has gone up to $3.00. it's not exactly a fee ~ more like a deposit ~ to be returned to you when the key is given back to USPS at the end of your rental. See; http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf

47 posted on 08/02/2012 3:53:44 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Dr. Sivana
Manifest Mail is one of those cases where it does look like UPS managed to get an old AMGeneral manager infiltrated into the Office of Mail Classification.

Although USPS was already testing out a Manifest Mailing system that was simple, easy to use, and effective, this doppelganger managed to screw it up. He even accused the guy who was in charge of that project of taking a bribe from Illinois Bell.

Both of them are long dead now ~ but UPS has always been a problem. Anything that might improve a parallel service they'll figure out how to get someone to screw it up ~ and that takes management intrigue. They probably have their payoff artists at work while we speak.

48 posted on 08/02/2012 3:59:44 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: vette6387
If Amtrak is claiming these turds in a bag cost them more than $16 apiece, someone is taking a huge payoff. You can buy a box of eight of them at Costco for less than $10! Amtrak, USPS, all the same deal. Cradle to grave workforce that’s overpaid and underworked.

Yet, these same people are presumed competent to run the healthcare apparatus for a nation of 300 million people.

49 posted on 08/02/2012 4:05:37 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: masadaman
The deal was not padded 100%, but nearly 5000% i.e., for every dollar of real cost, the Navy was charged nearly $500.

5000% = 5000 per 100 = X50, i.e. $50 for each $1, so ... not that bad!

50 posted on 08/02/2012 5:09:03 PM PDT by dr_lew
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