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Old November 20 2012, 09:48 AM   #31
Miss Chicken
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

In Australia one doesn't need to go to a post office to post a letter as there are post boxes all over the place (I have one about 80 meters from me). One usually does need a stamp but I assume that this is true of any letter that the a US postman picks up. If making people occasionally walk 100 meters to a post box saves the postal service a considerable amount in wages than I see no problem.

I would think that Australia having a small population spread over an area nearly as big as continental America would make it even less profitable to run a mail service.

Also I am not suggesting that the USA should only use motorbikes just that there are many places that it is more suitable to use them instead of vans. Australia also has many different climates, some of which are quite inhospitable to motorbike use and in those areas vans are used. Also the motorbike postmen do not have to return to the distribution point each time as there are much larger boxes in each suburb which only the postmen can access and which the motorbike postman returns to after delivery to several streets. These larger boxes are located next to one of the smaller posting boxes and it is filled by the van who makes the daily route of posting boxes.

Of related significance is the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which obligates the USPS to prefund 75 years' worth of future health care benefit payments to retirees within a ten-year time span – a requirement to which no other government organization is subject. Thus, in addition to the weak economy and the diversion of mail to electronic means, the mandates of PAEA have had a considerable impact on Postal Service finances. As a consequence, it has been charged that the US Postal Service budget crisis of 2011 is, in essence, an artificial one.
This I didn't know about this before this thread and I don't think it was mentioned in the two previous threads on the US Postal Service. It seems like a foolish requirement for any lawmaker to bring in. There is no need for such requirements in Australia because we have a Universal Health Scheme and therefore employers are not responsible for health care payments at all. I have never really understood why any employer should be force to provide health care to their employees especially for retired employees.

Last edited by Miss Chicken; November 20 2012 at 10:39 AM.
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Old November 20 2012, 10:49 AM   #32
Locutus of Bored
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
I have never really understood why any employer should be force to provide health care to their employees especially for retired employees.
It became a common method of providing health insurance in the US because of wage freezes put in place by the government during WWII. As a means of enticing employees to remain working there without giving them extra pay, companies began offering benefits like retirement packages and health insurance instead, since that was not prohibited by the wage freeze. It caught on and was very popular, which is why we went that route instead of something more akin to the NHS.
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Old November 20 2012, 11:06 AM   #33
Miss Chicken
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

As far as retirement funds go, employers in Australia have to pay compulsory superannuation contributions for their employees. I think that, at present, it is equivalent to 9% of the employee's wage.
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Old November 20 2012, 02:50 PM   #34
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
In Australia one doesn't need to go to a post office to post a letter as there are post boxes all over the place (I have one about 80 meters from me). One usually does need a stamp but I assume that this is true of any letter that the a US postman picks up. If making people occasionally walk 100 meters to a post box saves the postal service a considerable amount in wages than I see no problem.
The problem is that those mailboxes simply don't exist in most places here anymore. They've gone the way of the pay phone - they wore out or were vandalized and never replaced because they weren't used much any longer.

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Old November 20 2012, 03:01 PM   #35
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

Traditionalist would be outraged, but few people would actually care since few people still use it...which is the whole problem.

Hand delivering mail to every address every day is more antiquated than Western Union telegrams, which fell out of existence several years ago without much fanfare.
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Old November 20 2012, 03:07 PM   #36
teya
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

Jan wrote: View Post
Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
In Australia one doesn't need to go to a post office to post a letter as there are post boxes all over the place (I have one about 80 meters from me). One usually does need a stamp but I assume that this is true of any letter that the a US postman picks up. If making people occasionally walk 100 meters to a post box saves the postal service a considerable amount in wages than I see no problem.
The problem is that those mailboxes simply don't exist in most places here anymore. They've gone the way of the pay phone - they wore out or were vandalized and never replaced because they weren't used much any longer.
T
Jan
If they ever existed in the first place. Back home, I can't ever remember seeing a mailbox. They'd be totally impractical on the farm routes--where you have one residence every mile or so, and unnecessary in a village of 500 people where you can walk a quarter mile to the PO.

Mailboxes in cities started disappearing after 9/11 for security reasons and in response to people stealing checks from them and cashing them.
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Old November 21 2012, 12:37 AM   #37
Miss Chicken
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

There do not occur on farm routes here either, nor in small villages that have a postal agency (usually inside a newsagent or general store).

I guess Australia has far less need to worry about terrorist acts than the USA. We have only ever had two terrorist bombings in Australia - one outside the Sydney Hilton in 1978 that killed three people and one in a carpark beneath the Turkish Consulate in 1986 in which only the bomber was killed. I would be interest to know if public waste containers have also disappeared from streets in the USA (the Sydney Hilton bomb had been placed in a rubbish bin).

Personal checks aren't used Australia very much anymore so I think it would be slim pickings for anyone trying to steal from Australian mailboxes. When mail is stolen in Australia it tends to be from people's letterboxes and generally thieves are looking for banking details, credit cards etc.
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Old November 21 2012, 12:48 AM   #38
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Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

After going over this thread the other day, I got to thinking about what I get in the mail (here or at the PO Box). It's all either junk mail or doctor bills that are pay by paper check; nothing that I would be hurting to be with out the extra day or so for me to wait to get it in a PO Box if they cut door to door or (excluding packages of course) nothing I couldn't live without if they shuttered up completely.
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