US Postal Service Gone Within One Year?

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Is the US Postal Service close to the end?

Postal Service is on its last legs, with little help in sight - latimes.com
#postal #service #year
  • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
    Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

    Let's flood the system with EDDM and save it! lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    The postal service is in better shape than the numbers make it seem. The problem with the postal service is the US Gov acting as their board. This does not allow them to raise prices and it forces them to pre-fund retirement accounts in a way no other company or goverment does.

    Let the postal service be ran like a true business and they would be in the black in 12 months or less.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Let them close down. Weed out thousands of unproductive workers bogging the system down. Let a private company take over and build a truly sustainable business model.

    FedEx and UPS make it work well. I have no doubt they could streamline the mail system and we would likely pay less for postage.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Let them close down. Weed out thousands of unproductive workers bogging the system down. Let a private company take over and build a truly sustainable business model.

      FedEx and UPS make it work well. I have no doubt they could streamline the mail system and we would likely pay less for postage.
      There's room for tech to make an impact. Check out post mates... Amazon Locker can play a role, etc... Someone will innovate.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shuffle
      One of the comments on the article page was 99% of their mail goes straight to the trash. I'm sure he's not the only one.
      They need to let go of control. There is a post office in my area that has a separate zip code for about 600 customers. That's completely ridiculous.
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      • Profile picture of the author GeorgeO7
        Originally Posted by Shuffle View Post

        One of the comments on the article page was 99% of their mail goes straight to the trash.
        I hope they stick around... 25% of my mail gets deposited in the bank.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Let them close down. Weed out thousands of unproductive workers bogging the system down. Let a private company take over and build a truly sustainable business model.

      FedEx and UPS make it work well. I have no doubt they could streamline the mail system and we would likely pay less for postage.
      UPS and FedEx don't do anything near what USPS does. They grab the low
      hanging fruit and do a good job with it but they don't come close to comparing
      to USPS in terms of service area coverage and different types of mail delivered.
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      • Profile picture of the author DJL
        You overlook the fact that other services are FORBIDDEN BY LAW to deliver first class mail.
        Free market competition is the only cure for what ails the USPS.
        Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

        UPS and FedEx don't do anything near what USPS does. They grab the low
        hanging fruit and do a good job with it but they don't come close to comparing
        to USPS in terms of service area coverage and different types of mail delivered.
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        • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
          Originally Posted by DJL View Post

          You overlook the fact that other services are FORBIDDEN BY LAW to deliver first class mail.
          Free market competition is the only cure for what ails the USPS.
          It was done on purpose. At first, competition is great and helps to bring costs down. However, it also eliminates less profitable outfits and as a result, the industry consolidates and prices go up.... Because of the national importance of mail delivery, USPS was never meant to be for-profit organization, but rather as service to the people...

          I don't even want to get into discussion on why it's not profitable due to excessive "funding" payments mandated by the congress. No corp in the country would be profitable with congress being their boss...:p
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

        UPS and FedEx don't do anything near what USPS does. They grab the low
        hanging fruit and do a good job with it but they don't come close to comparing
        to USPS in terms of service area coverage and different types of mail delivered.
        I think you missed my point. FedEx and UPS have found a sustainable business model for moving parcels. If they don't do it in a cost effective way, they cease to exist.

        USPS has no such pressure and therefore, have not figured out how to create a sustainable business model. FedEx and UPS (or another company) would figure it out, make money on it, and have a sustainable operation.
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        • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
          Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

          I think you missed my point. FedEx and UPS have found a sustainable business model for moving parcels. If they don't do it in a cost effective way, they cease to exist.

          USPS has no such pressure and therefore, have not figured out how to create a sustainable business model. FedEx and UPS (or another company) would figure it out, make money on it, and have a sustainable operation.
          I am sure FedEx would figure it out, but it wouldn't be USPS delivering to remote locations at rock bottom prices. USPS was never meant to be run like a for-profit corporation, so comparing its culture and activities is pointless. I wonder how FedEx would look like if congress was the one who makes decisions...

          We should very happy to have USPS system as is, even when it's "up-profitable"...

          Thomas
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    • Profile picture of the author bawls
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Let them close down. Weed out thousands of unproductive workers bogging the system down. Let a private company take over and build a truly sustainable business model.

      FedEx and UPS make it work well. I have no doubt they could streamline the mail system and we would likely pay less for postage.
      by "streamlining" you mean pay less than livable wage, but I think you are naive to think that those saving would be passed on to the consumer.
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    • Profile picture of the author DawnMarie
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Let them close down. Weed out thousands of unproductive workers bogging the system down. Let a private company take over and build a truly sustainable business model.

      FedEx and UPS make it work well. I have no doubt they could streamline the mail system and we would likely pay less for postage.
      FedEx and UPS are going to drive 20 miles into the boonies to deliver a 45 cent letter to Grandma? I don't think so.

      There is a reason FedEx and UPS use the USPS to actually deliver many of their parcels. The money is in getting a LOT of mail from one major destination to another, not in servicing the outlining areas. UPS and FedEx take the profitable stuff and leave the scraps to the Post Office.
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    • Profile picture of the author elmo033057
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Let them close down. Weed out thousands of unproductive workers bogging the system down. Let a private company take over and build a truly sustainable business model.

      FedEx and UPS make it work well. I have no doubt they could streamline the mail system and we would likely pay less for postage.
      Uhhh, just how long are you willing to wait for this? Currently, FedEX will charge you the better part of $7.00 to send a letter from KY to TX. Since those two will then have a bi-opoli they could raise their rates even more. Ask the average marketer/business person on here what they would do if they were one of two companies that could send mail as a business. I very seriously doubt if they would drop their prices.

      And while we are at it, why hasn't Fed Ex and UPS dropped their rates already????
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew J
    I agree the post office is in trouble. My bulk mail guy tells me about what's going on and it's scary.

    I hope they don't shut down. Direct mail is a legitimate marketing tactic that works wonders for many of us...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    This is exactly why government needs to stay the hell out of and away from business. As Aaron above said, the post office if left the hell alone would easily be in the black. Freaking bureaucrats.

    I talk to our postman every day, and he even admits one of the problems with the system is the pension and retirement funds, again what Aaron pointed out.

    This kind of stuff is what really raises my blood pressure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      This is exactly why government needs to stay the hell out of and away from business. As Aaron above said, the post office if left the hell alone would easily be in the black. Freaking bureaucrats.

      I talk to our postman every day, and he even admits one of the problems with the system is the pension and retirement funds, again what Aaron pointed out.

      This kind of stuff is what really raises my blood pressure.

      It's really sad because the USPS provides great service at great prices. Even Fedex and UPS subcontract them. I just wish the government would get out of their way. I would hate to see the USPS destroyed by the government as I am not sure UPS or Fedex would want to get into that business of truly national mail.
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      • Profile picture of the author rodtyler
        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

        It's really sad because the USPS provides great service at great prices. Even Fedex and UPS subcontract them. I just wish the government would get out of their way. I would hate to see the USPS destroyed by the government as I am not sure UPS or Fedex would want to get into that business of truly national mail.
        You are right that UPS and Fedex wouldn't touch this company as long as the government is running things. The bureaucracy is out of control.

        I used to work for the post office and can tell you first hand that management is more concerned with padding their resume and showing everyone who's boss than providing a quality service at an affordable price. I hear people complain about the unions, but if it weren't for the union, they would have collapsed years ago. The workers get the job done in spite of management, but they can only do so much.
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      • Profile picture of the author RRG
        Those companies would already be in the mail business if the USPS didn't have a monopoly by force.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    The US Postal Service is the poster child of mismanaged Gov. spending.

    UPS would have that straightened out in less than a year.
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    • Profile picture of the author aidacopy
      Aaron - agreed on all your points.
      cshilling22 - same in my neighborhood.

      it's highly doubtful that they'll be gone though. they've been talking about cutting the saturday service for a couple of years now, and not even that is in effect yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
    In that working closely with the post office has been a primary element of my own business...I'm mostly convinced that having it replaced and operated by competitive businesses would be the best thing for all of us.

    Direct Mail, by its very nature, should be far and away superior to all other forms of marketing. There is no other medium which can cover 100% of any/every market simultaneously.

    Problem is, the post office never marketed itself well....and marketers didn't do a good job of teaching businesses how to use direct mail properly....or failing to USE it period.

    The reason direct mail got the "junk mail" stigma...is NOT because there is something wrong with the distribution system...its because the stuff being sent out SUCKS MAJOR CHUNKS OF COW DROPPINGS.

    Ya I know this is primarily an internet marketing forum...but the hard fact is...there isn't ANYTHING that can come close to good direct mail for local marketing.

    Cold Calling would be the nearest thing, but no one likes doing it.

    TV? nope...limited coverage, no way to target. junk ads get mentally thrown away equal to junk mail. a plus is that it gives you opportunity to educate prospects.
    Radio? nope...same attributes as tv. ...only lacking the ever important visual element.
    Google ranking?...Puh Leez...just as crippled as the yellow pages. You STILL can't do anything until a customer finally decides to take action, and no ability to educate prospects. For every 1 guy who finally goes to Google there are 500 more who still need the whatever product. Direct mail gets right in the face of those 500. consistent direct mail gives you the ability to educate and influence thinking. (shhh...and eliminating the need to even look at Google)

    Its sad, and frustrating that direct mail gets overlooked or often scoffed by business owners and the general public.

    I think if it were privatized we'd still see a great distribution system, but even more we would see an improved use of the product by individuals and businesses simply because the better marketing of the medium and "how to make it successful" would influence everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author cruisinman
    will never happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
      This conversation has been going on for quite some time now. Can't see USPS going away. As long as Obama in the office, it probably won't get privatized either. They will find a way to push the bill for their mistakes to the taxpayer.

      BTW, I don't think it's a coincidence something that is about to become a law is called "a bill"...kuz you know who they gonna make pay for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author serryjw
    Has anyone read the US Constitution? TRY Article 1, Section 8. Can't do it without a constitutional amendment....Of course, GWB called it 'a goddamn piece of paper'
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  • Profile picture of the author DJL
    Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says,
    "The Congress shall have Power ... To establish Post Offices and post Roads; ..."
    Nothing in there says it MUST do any of those things.
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    • Profile picture of the author serryjw
      I would think you need a constitutional amendment to privatize it...
      I agree with Aaron...I think the USPO does a great job...No private business would take on the job when many routes/cities are unprofitable. as Aaron points out, UPS & FEDEX use USPO for the 'last mile' because that would be unprofitable for them to do themselves. Is their waste & bureaucracy/ You bet...but not any more than a large company their size.
      IF it would ever get privatized mail would easily double cost.
      ----------------
      I have a solution that congress would have to approve: Sell corporate stamps...'Impressions' is viable in advertising. Have an APPLE iPhone 5 stamp! Consumers can collect their favorite stamps (share them on social media)and choose what stamp they want to put on their envelopes. I can see corporate JV stamps like Intel & Samsung.
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      • Profile picture of the author DJL
        I am no constitutional scholar, but the plain language of the U.S. Constitution says only that Congress shall have the power to establish post offices, etc. It says nothing about the mechanism or business model whereby it must implement that power. Moreover, how long has it been since our Constitution was respected and obeyed by our rulers?

        As for some recent experiences of my own, which I doubt are unusual:
        • Mail addressed to a neighbor was deposited in my mailbox. This happens frequently, in fact.
        • A greeting card mailed to me from Atlanta on 4/10/2013 was delivered on 4/22/2013.
        • A bill payment that I mailed to a city 30 miles away on 5/14/2013 was delivered on 5/29/2013.

        Just imagine if the U.S. Government was the only Internet Service Provider in the country... how would you like that?
        Originally Posted by serryjw View Post

        I would think you need a constitutional amendment to privatize it...
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        • Profile picture of the author serryjw
          Admittedly, I have always lived in big cities and have never had that problem with delivery EXCEPT when I live in Atlanta we had many (including mine) with the same street name in a sub-division and ST, AVE, WAY and 6 others extensions..We were always exchanging mail. NOT USPO fault
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  • Profile picture of the author Mav91890
    My post office raised prices by over 25%.
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    • Profile picture of the author serryjw
      HUH? ONLY YOUR Post office? Congress approves all increases for the ENTIRE country, NOT just YOUR Post Office.
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  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    They will charge a dollar to mail a letter before they shut down. Until they get some new blood in there to do things in a more cost effective manner, we will continue to hear doom and gloom projections, usually right before they ask for the seemingly quarterly postal rate increase.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Pensions etc., aside, you only have to watch our mailman "at work" to see why the USPS is in such dire straits.

      He pulls up alongside our mailbox and you can watch him assemble the pile of junk mail - one from this pile, one from that pile, one from another pile.

      Eventually he continues down the street to repeat the performance, but we haven't seen the last of him. After a few minutes back comes his van - he's found an actual letter he should have delivered. It's not unusual to see him driving past three times.

      And god help us if he has a parcel to deliver. He's not an old man, but he ambles up our path as if he needs to think about every stride he takes.

      There are plenty of good mailman, but "workers" like ours and drowning their endeavors. That and the useless, rubbish junk mail they deliver. It all goes straight into the trash and our tax dollars have paid for it to be delivered to us.

      The post office needs to return to its roots and deliver nothing but genuine, addressed mail.
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      • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
        Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

        Pensions etc., aside, you only have to watch our mailman "at work" to see why the USPS is in such dire straits.

        He pulls up alongside our mailbox and you can watch him assemble the pile of junk mail - one from this pile, one from that pile, one from another pile.

        Eventually he continues down the street to repeat the performance, but we haven't seen the last of him. After a few minutes back comes his van - he's found an actual letter he should have delivered. It's not unusual to see him driving past three times.

        And god help us if he has a parcel to deliver. He's not an old man, but he ambles up our path as if he needs to think about every stride he takes.

        There are plenty of good mailman, but "workers" like ours and drowning their endeavors. That and the useless, rubbish junk mail they deliver. It all goes straight into the trash and our tax dollars have paid for it to be delivered to us.

        The post office needs to return to its roots and deliver nothing but genuine, addressed mail.
        I'm kind of shocked this came out of the brain of a professional marketing person.

        There is a very good marketing reason that the USPS provides "business mail" ...or as you refer to it..."junk mail". It provides a cost effective way for a business to reach a large amount of targets.

        I would suggest that the reason most of yours gets thrown away is because businesses don't know how to make good direct mail that has value to people. I sense from your tone that you somehow think that the medium itself is to blame, when really the medium did not decide what graphics and text to put on itself.

        ...and there are a couple of places we can point the finger of blame...one being, so called marketing professionals....that either don't know diddly squat about direct mail, and don't ever bother to learn, or that do know something about it but never bother to use it, or teach a business how to use it.

        ...thus the result....stupid offers that no one gives a rat about.

        I've been doing direct mail for a long long time. I've been able to compare it to an abundance of other competitive marketing...and want to know what?

        Well done direct mail is superior to everything. No exceptions.

        There isn't anything...ESPECIALLY anything internet related...that can cause a business to capture the lions share of a local market faster than direct mail.

        Good marketing practices are an orchestration of several advertising mediums...but absent direct mail in your arsenal, you leave yourself vulnerable.

        I would like to challenge you to look at the merits of direct mail, and embrace them. Thank You.
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        • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
          Sorry, but I stand by every word I said. The USPS was created to deliver ADDRESSED MAIL. It should not be a flyer delivery service.

          I trash all flyers in my mailbox without even bothering to read them; on the other hand, hand delivered flyers from local businesses via door hangers etc., I read and very often act upon.
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          • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
            Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

            Sorry, but I stand by every word I said. The USPS was created to deliver ADDRESSED MAIL. It should not be a flyer delivery service.

            I trash all flyers in my mailbox without even bothering to read them; on the other hand, hand delivered flyers from local businesses via door hangers etc., I read and very often act upon.
            ...and that's fine.

            I do wonder though, how much you could have saved on just food related purchases alone over the last year.

            ...from a marketing standpoint. Every piece of mail you get is a potential client for yourself. Every piece of mail you get offers a chance to learn something positive or negative, either about marketing, copyrighting, imagery, or about local businesses, or hot products. As a marketer I take great pains to observe as much of other peoples marketing that I can. This is an essential habit for any marketer in my opinion. Every advertising medium has something useful about it. There is something useful to be taken away, every time a business makes an attempt to advertise.

            As far as the Post Office is concerned...saying that they are only designed to do mail one specific way is kind of like saying that McD's should only sell hamburgers individually, and not in combo meals. or that Google should only be about searching, and not email, web hosting, and phones.

            All businesses by their very nature, diversify their services, or package their pricing and options. To NOT do so is business suicide.

            The Post Office itself is a good case in point...they have developed an incredible physical delivery system to reach every household and business. Had they been smart...they would have continued to develop products that take advantage of that system, to increase their streams of profit. Things such as business directories, advertising circulars, even web related content,...which would have constant massive public exposure because of the direct daily contact they would have with every set of "buyers" eyeballs across the whole country.

            There's nothing wrong with preferring personalized mail, or a hand delivered advertisement...but you should recognize that its your personal preference....and not that the Post office is somehow wrong for doing it any other way.
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          • Profile picture of the author cruisinman
            Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

            Sorry, but I stand by every word I said. The USPS was created to deliver ADDRESSED MAIL. It should not be a flyer delivery service.
            Without bulk or permit mail - they would be dead already . . .
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      • Profile picture of the author rodtyler
        Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

        Pensions etc., aside, you only have to watch our mailman "at work" to see why the USPS is in such dire straits.

        He pulls up alongside our mailbox and you can watch him assemble the pile of junk mail - one from this pile, one from that pile, one from another pile.

        Eventually he continues down the street to repeat the performance, but we haven't seen the last of him. After a few minutes back comes his van - he's found an actual letter he should have delivered. It's not unusual to see him driving past three times.

        And god help us if he has a parcel to deliver. He's not an old man, but he ambles up our path as if he needs to think about every stride he takes.

        There are plenty of good mailman, but "workers" like ours and drowning their endeavors. That and the useless, rubbish junk mail they deliver. It all goes straight into the trash and our tax dollars have paid for it to be delivered to us.

        The post office needs to return to its roots and deliver nothing but genuine, addressed mail.
        I couldn't let this one slide. First of all, I agree that there are some carriers that have no business being there. They milk the company for everything they can and do as little work as they can get away with. But the vast majority of employees are dedicated and hard working.

        Second, you can blame all the "piles" of male on automation. The PO doesn't replace manual sorting with automation, they just add to it. I would like see you or anyone else have to sort through 5 or 6 piles of mail at every stop, 450 to 500 times a day, which is he average number of deliveries for a route, and do it quickly without making a mistake occasionally.

        To make matters worse, management insists that the carriers do it THEIR way, even though most have never carried a piece of mail in their life. The carrier is not allowed to improvise.

        As for the junk mail, the PO loses money on first class mail. They make it up with parcels and advertising. Without the "junk mail", they wouldn't last a year.

        The post office just needs someone managing the place that has some business sense.

        And as bawls said, the PO is not subsidized by the government. Not a penny of your tax dollars goes the USPS, yet the government controls every aspect. And we all know how efficient the government is.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Local mail in my small town now has to go to Denver to get counted and sorted and then back here to be distributed. It's all PO Box delivery here because we are too small
    to have home or business delivery. This is a very recent change. Wasteful. Has something to do with wanting to make sure the count is accurate.
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  • Profile picture of the author bawls
    I did expect to see this many "uninformed" comments, Fact the USPS is a profitable non-subsidized government function...but in 2006 lawmakers at the request of their pay masters , past a law requiring a 5 billion a year payment to pre-funded retirement ,just so they would lose money, hence eventually go out of business, so private entities would not need to compete with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author elmo033057
    My wife worked for the USPS for the better part of 15 years. They bought her out with a compromise retirement. She now makes the equivalent of a Staff Sgt. that retired from the Army for 20 years. Look, we have NO FRIENDS in Washingtoon. (Yeah, I spelled it right.)
    This time our glorious leaders from the RIGHT side of the aisle screwed us. Here is a video that explains it best: Republicans Kill USPS
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  • This author says there are three USPS Myths:

    Myth 1- their losses show they are not a viable business.
    Myth 2- snail mail is dead
    Myth 3- private companies would do better

    How the Postal Service Is Being Gutted
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  • Profile picture of the author serryjw
    POST OFFICE is REALLY a real estate deal...Good article
    Andrew Reinbach: Post Office Privatization Is Probably a Huge Real Estate Deal
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  • Profile picture of the author KMalo
    Reading through this thread it sounds like this could easily be about Royal Mail in the UK.
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  • I/m thinking that no matter how bad it gets the system will survive and the mail will get through even if it turns out to be all electronic. Seriously.
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