#1 Desperate Postal Service tries to find its "cool" factor02-21-2013, 02:19 AM
(Reuters) - The U.S. Postal Service, desperate and almost broke, is looking to the wallets of younger Americans for some relief.
The federal government's mail transport and delivery agency this week said it will roll out a line of apparel and accessories it plans to sell in department and specialty stores.
The "Rain Heat & Snow" brand of clothing, named after the Postal Service's motto trumpeting its carriers' determination to overcome whatever Mother Nature can throw at them, would put USPS in the "cutting edge of functional fashion," it said.
"The idea is to blend in with the younger audiences as well as the more educated consumer," said Roy Betts, a spokesman for the Postal Service.
There is nothing wrong with targeting new advertising to young people and nothing wrong with the clothing line but that is not where their problem lies.
If I want something in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable price for shipping with accurate tracking and delivery estimates I order or ship with UPS or FEDX.
If I don't care how long it takes or it is a cheap item , ordered from a foreign country, or no other shipping is available i use US Post.
The post office doesn't seem capable of providing accurate tracking for one thing, more times than not their tracking has told me a package was 1000 miles away and it was in my mailbox or it is delivered 1 week to 2 weeks late or a week earlier than the proposed delivery date, if something has much value you don't want to take that chance with a half hazard system.
They need to learn how to use today's technology like other shippers have.
that is just a part of the problem from a customer standpoint.
Other problems involve their bureaucracy, public unions, a pension program that is apparently unmanageable in today's economy and also far more employees than necessary.
I don't know if the government is even capable of running a business that could compete with the private sector.
I know that having a service that will deliver to anyone anywhere in the country is a fantastic convenience but I seriously doubt it can be self supporting for very much longer.
The question really is with the financial condition we are in can we support it, is it more important or less important than everything else our government has decided to take on.
I have a feeling that before long the question will be answered when the camel refuses to get up under the weight and convenient or not many programs and services will have to fall by the wayside.
02-21-2013, 02:42 AM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
One more time:
Well if you were to listen to how the corporate media - and how our lawmakers - explain it - it's because the Post Office is going bankrupt - and it can't compete any more in today's digital age.
But that's not true.
The real reason why the Post Office is going down the tubes - is because of poison pill legislation passed 5 years ago by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bush.
It was called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act - and it required the post office to prefund its retiree health benefits plan for the next 75 years - in essence make sure that health benefits are paid for future mail carriers who today have not even yet been born.
No other company - or government agency - has to do anything remotely like this - but Republicans forced the Post Office to do it.
That meant suddenly the Post Office had to divert $5.5 billion of its revenue every year to the U.S. Treasury to prefund these benefits.
And when you suck $5.5 billion out - you end up in a lot of financial trouble.
Consider that in the first 3 years after the poison pill was passed - the Post Office immediately began losing money.
In 2007 - it lost $5.1 billion.
In 2008 - it lost $2.8 billion.
And in 2009 - it lost $3.8 billion.
But if you subtract the $5.5 billion poison pill requirement to prefund health benefits - the Post Office would have been profitable each of those years.
Not only that - recent audits show that the Post Office is owed more than $50 billion by the U.S. Treasury after decades of overpaying its employees retirement fund.
Getting that money back - and dropping the requirement to prefund health benefits - would immediately fix all the Post Office's problems - and ensure the survivability of an institution created by Ben Franklin more than 200 years ago.
02-21-2013, 02:45 AM
Last edited by Rockntractor; 02-21-2013 at 02:53 AM.
02-21-2013, 03:29 PM
I'm not saying that we need to get rid of the Post Office, but it is far less efficient than it could be, and the unionized workforce is one of the reasons for that.
02-21-2013, 04:15 PM
We can't lose the post office-if we do, the term "going postal" will have no meaning.
02-21-2013, 08:37 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
02-22-2013, 12:22 PM
Also, some of the arguments, such as restoring a Postal Service bank, are dangerously wrong-headed, given the federal complicity in the banking crisis. The Postal Service has a serious problem, in that it is a regulated monopoly which cannot compete with nimbler private sector companies. A true privatization would solve some, but not all of these problems (union contracts would be a huge impediment), while a full nationalization would also result in greater difficulties. The real problem is that the Postal Service attempts to fill two distinct functions, which are not necessarily linked. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes congress:
"To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;"
I've included the previous two clauses because it is important to remember that stamps are a form of currency, and the coining of money is a congressional power. Thus, any postal powers enumerated to congress must include the right to establish the value of stamps (in this case, the value is determined by the service, which is the delivery of mail).
The establishment of Post Offices and Roads meant that congressionally authorized mail would have a right of way in order to ensure delivery of mail throughout the states, and establish places of operation within the states to facilitate that delivery. It does not demand that congress provide home delivery, employ letter carriers or otherwise do any operations beyond getting the mail to a post office. However, these are important issues. Congress cannot simply delegate the coining of money, in this case, postage stamps, to a third party such as FEDEX. It also cannot demand that the states provide ground to establish Post Offices, or right of way, for private carriers, without getting involved in a massive issues of contracting and potential conflicts of interest. The federal obligation is delivery of mail to a Post Office within a state or county, and the regulation of rates for that service. Anything beyond that is open to discussion, and that discussion could prove beneficial to everyone involved.
There is no reason why an individual cannot contract with FEDEX or some other carrier (or even a local company) to pick up mail on his/her behalf from the Post Office and delivery it to their home. Competition between local carriers would ensure that local delivery, which is the most expensive piece of the Post Office operations, would be subject to price pressures and carriers would have an incentive to find ways to provide the most service for the least cost, making delivery schedules much more flexible for customers. For example, a flat rate could be charged for seven days of delivery, or five, or even three, with the days off subject to the contract (so that if I wanted mail delivery on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I could save money by contracting for consolidated delivery, and the carrier wouldn't have to make the trip to my house every day, even if there were nothing to carry). In addition, junk mail senders could be charged a premium to deliver their advertising, or the recipient could specify which vendors' mail they would be willing to receive. This is just one solution, off the cuff, with about five minutes of thought behind it. Imagine what experts in the field could accomplish.
02-22-2013, 12:26 PMWe're from Philadelphia, We Fight- Chip Kelly
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