What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Service?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Ro_Laren, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Keep in mind that both UPS and FedEx rely on the US Postal Service to supplement their own services because things can often be shipped more cost-effectively that way - especially in rural areas with less infrastructure. If the post office went away, those companies would start to suffer too because they would have difficulty picking up the slack
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Like this?

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZN28PNPP7A[/yt]
     
  3. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Pretty much, except in that case the whole property is fenced in, so he might not have had a choice. In my case I was sitting on my couch when all of a sudden I see a box come flying over my back fence and bounce off the concrete. If he or she had just come around and knocked on the front door I would have answered, since I had tracked the package and was expecting the delivery within the time window. I guess they must have been delivering something to another condo behind mine and just decided to kill two birds with one stone, because otherwise it wouldn't have made any sense to go around back when the street is closer to my front door.
     
  4. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Yes... I lived in a pretty rural area in Virginia-- only about a mile from the Post Office. Yet a couple of times I got a message that a package was waiting for me at the Post Office because FedEx had attempted delivery, but no one was home. This is pure crap, because I work at home and my office was in the room closest to the driveway-- no way would I have missed the truck. Also, I get annoyed when UPS delivers something valuable and the driver slows the truck down just enough so he can lob the package onto the porch (OK, that is a joke, BUT the UPS drivers do seem to just run up and drop the package on the steps and run. Never mind if it is bad weather. "Neither rain nor show nor dark of night shall prevent UPS from leaving your package out where it may get ruined or stolen.")

    Once again, the Postal Service's financial situation would be much better if Congress hadn't put the requirement on them to pay for 70 years of employee benefits in 10 years. Those in COngress who think everything should be privatized are doing their best to make the Postal Service look bad and kill it off. I also suspect that -like in other situations where a business goes under- all the money going into this fund would get raided and the current employees would lose out on what they had paid in.
     
  5. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    If you ever saw the way the stores get them you'd know that the fall did nothing to that tv.
     
  6. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    IIRC there was a big scandal that blew open a couple years back over how the USPS conducts business. One of the biggest problems was that they apparently bought multi-million dollar mansions and other extravagant properties to cover "employee relocation" from one region to another. The employees were basically renting the properties that were owned by the USPS. Around the time that story blew up, the Postmaster General (who, at the time, was earning around $500K annually) was in the process of selling off all those properties to A) get some money back into the USPS and b) get rid of the properties before some nosy investigative reporter blew the lid off the practice. Too late! Thing blew wide open, but I don't think much of anything really came of it. Quietly went away. All before, during and after this time, they continued to raise postage prices on a yearly basis, claiming lack of funds.
     
  7. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Reminds me of all those banks (Fannie May/Freddie Mac and especially AIG) in 2008 which did the same thing. Personally, if they go under, it's their fault.

    As for what would happen if the USPS does go under, I think it would go to Fed-Ex or UPS for just common mail service. I do think the USPS won't go under, but we will see cutbacks to when the mail is delivered, probably to the weekdays or even 4 days a week.
     
  8. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Sad thing is, the rank-and-file postal workers are the ones who will suffer the most if financial reductions occur. The leadership elite will continue to exist as it had before, which was the source of all the problems and corruption in the first place, just like like corporations you mentioned, tomalak. They'll just have more money to play with and pass around between themselves and their cronies, only to be placed in similar financial jeopardy probably 10 years further down the line. Problem is, the next time that rolls around, there won't be anyone left to cut and then it WILL be fully replaced by other private entities.
     
  9. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    When we discussed the US Post Office nearly a year ago I suggested that the management should look at Australia Post which is running at a profit. In that post I mentioned the figures for the 2010/2011 financial year

    I have just looked at the 2011/2012 figures

    SOURCE

    In the previous thread I pointed out some of the difference in how Australia Post works when compared to US Post Services

    and here are two photos of Australian Post Shops which I have previously posted

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    Australia has a smaller population than the state of Texas and doesn't have to provide identical services/prices six days a week (mandated by law) to 313 million people in states and territories halfway around the globe. It's not exactly a comparable situation.

    Reducing deliveries to five days a week is one of many considerations for cost-cutting, but it's not preferable for businesses that depend on the postal service.

    The US mail truck fleet is vast (the largest vehicle fleet in the world), relatively fuel efficient (most are light vehicles), carries larger loads for delivery to large rural areas and heavily populated urban areas alike, and provides protection in a wide variety of climate while using common parts. I don't see how replacing it with a bunch of motorcycles (which aren't as safe or efficient in terms of how much they can carry/how wide their range is before having to return to the distributor) would be of much benefit.

    Picking up mail is often a necessary service for the poor, disabled, and rural who can't always easily reach a post office.

    Our post offices can also found in shopping centers, malls, grocery stores, department stores, mail stores, office supply stores, etc.

    Many post offices do sell stationary, gifts, and unrelated items in internal shops.

    The reason for the post office's financial troubles is not the services they offer or their infrastructure, which was self-sufficient and profitable until the recession and the following budget requirements imposed by Congress:

    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.

    Even with all that, they still don't take taxpayer funds, with the exception of small subsidies and a loan they need to repay just like any other business would.
     
  11. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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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.

    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: Nov 20, 2012
  12. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    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.
     
  13. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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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.
     
  14. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    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.

    Jan
     
  15. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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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.
     
  16. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: What if the U.S. govn't permanently got rid of the U.S. Post Servi

    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.
     
  17. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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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.
     
  18. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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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.