Burrus: Part 3 – Will the Post Office Survive?


While focus has been applied to the effect of technology on hard copy mail and the residual effect on the volume to be delivered by the Postal Service in future years, few have concentrated on the impact of the internet and other means of communications on postal rates. Mail services that are unaffordable will guarantee the demise of the Postal Service so assuming that my analysis is correct that there is a base of hard copy communications sufficient to require a universal system, focus must be applied to the structure of postal rates; who pays and how much?

Postal rates have evolved from early times when rates were determined by individual piece cost of service to the issuance of universal government postage in 1847. This first stamp cost five cents which was unilaterally determined with excess costs of service subsidized by the government.

For over 200 years, the annual subsidies were appropriated by Congress supplementing revenue collected, but effective in 1981, as required by the Reform Act of 1970, such subsidies were discontinued and the USPS became a totally separate and independent entity, financed exclusively from revenue generated from sales and services.

This elimination of annual appropriations ushered in a new financial model to finance the largest corporation in the country (since surpassed by Wal-Mart) with responsibility to make door to door delivery, six (6) days a week to every address in the country. This door to door mail service has been used by the Direct Mailing industry that exists solely as a user of mails. They recognized that with the elimination of a government subsidy, rates would be adjusted to reflect cost and embarked on a campaign to change the regulations to ensure that costs would not be spread proportionally among all users. The large mailers found allies in conservative legislators and after many failed attempts they influenced the drafting of reform legislation, passed in 2006, ensuring that postage rates would be applied unevenly between individual users and corporate mailers. And to preserve this unequal payment, the legislation tied all postage rate increases to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) guaranteeing that Standard rates could not be adjusted to reflect actual cost.

This effort will be recorded among the darkest periods of union activity in postal history when all of the postal unions, with the exception of APWU, joined with the large mailers in passage of the 2006 PAEA which required the payment of future health care liability in annual amounts and on a schedule that has been instrumental in the destruction of the financial stability of the Postal Service. These unions drank the “kool aid” of annual expedited rate adjustments tied to inflation and a promised relaxation of restrictions on the use of the postal network.

In concert with their temporary allies representing the interest of the Direct Mail industry, the coalition succeeded in passing legislation that has contributed to current conditions. Let history record that but for the reform partnership responsible for the PAEA, the economic recession and technological substitution alone would not have put postal finances in such a precarious position.

Upon the elimination of the government subsidy for postal services, the 1970 model to finance the Postal Service was that postage rates were set with the objective that rates would equal cost “over time.” The application of the 1970 standard by the Postal Service was the establishment of a three year rate cycle during which the USPS would generate a profit in year one, break even in year two and experience a loss in year three. The result was that expenses would equal revenue over time with the flexibility to respond to unexpected circumstances. The recent severe recession would have qualified for rate adjustments prior to passage of the PAEA.

From 1971 to 2006, this cycle resulted in postage adjustments equal to inflation over that period but the Direct Mail industry and cooperating unions were unhappy with the large increasers associated with the three year cycle. They testified in Congressional hearings that smaller and more predictable increases were more compatible with their business plan and succeeded in including in the 2006 legislation the annual rate adjustments. In addition to the suffocating restriction limiting rate increases to the CPI, the coalition of large mailers and postal unions succeeded in applying the restriction to individual classes of mail. This application of the CPI restriction to each class of mail limits the authority of the Postal Service to adjust specific rates based on costs and expenses. A specific class that is set improperly cannot be increased beyond the annual CPI adjustment.

This distortion of the rate schedule is magnified by the logic that exists with postal decision makers who believe that “rates drive volume.” Despite clear evidence to the contrary, they cling to the belief that the next discount will lead to additional volume. The record is clear that the decision to mail or not to mail is not directly associated with postage costs. For the single piece mailer, costs that are less than one half the price of a pack of chewing gum or a bottle of water do not influence the decision to mail and bulk mailers have costs that exceed postage to consider including: paper; ink; envelopes; computer programs, and other associated costs. A connection between rates and volume is non-existent in those circumstances that rate adjustments do not exceed CPI. But despite the clear evidence, postal decision makers cling to the belief that volume can be influenced through rate manipulation. Rate discounts, NSAs and special seasonal mailing programs have not resulted in volume increases equal to revenue losses, nevertheless they keep trying.

Current mail volume is Exhibit 1 in debunking the theory that rates dictate volume. At a time that US postal rates are the lowest in the world and after factoring in rate discounts that are the highest in the history of the United States Postal Service, volume has declined by 30%. One would think that the Postal Service would abandon this mistaken connection but the relationship between large mailers and postal officials is unhealthy and contributes to the continuation of this nonsequitur. The large mailers receive special privileges of access, private briefings and the opportunity to influence decisions.

When discussions of future mail services ensue, these very mailers whose rates are subsidized threaten privatization as the cure for the USPS’ precarious financial position, despite the fact that the US postal rates are the lowest in the world including those countries that have privatized postal services, debunking the theory that lasse fair economic principles will generate increased efficiencies and lower costs The United States postal system delivers 40% of all mail deliveries in the world with efficiencies and dedicated employees not equaled among civilized societies, and the costs of service has not been a factor in the recent decline of volume. But this restriction on rate adjustments and the efforts to influence volume through rate adjustments serves to handicap an essential service for our society.

APWU was successful in achieving an amendment to the PAEA that was submitted by Senator Lieberman to restrict discounts to the postal cost avoided but despite this legal restriction, the Postal Rate Commission has ruled that a minimum of seven discounts presently exceed postal costs, but correction is curtailed by the restrictions limiting adjustments to the CPI. If the examined discount exceeds the postal avoided cost in the amount of 10% and the CPI increase is in the amount of 4%, the immediate adjustment is limited to 4% and even that adjustment may be challenged on the basis that it will present a hardship on the beneficiary of the inflated discount.

This abuse of the revenue distribution will be tested in the implementation of the recently ratified APWU contract that postal management has testified on the record that it will reduce postal cost in the amount of $3.8 billion over the life of the agreement. By law, this reduction in postal cost must result in a corresponding reduction in rate discounts but this exposes the danger in a union’s objective of saving money for the Postal Service, if the union cannot dictate its use. The Postal Service has refused to adjust rates consistent with current labor costs so there is no reason to believe that an additional $3.8 billion will generate a change in behavior. The persistent rationale that rates drive volume will result in the $3.8 billion in employees’ costs being transferred to reduced postage for large mailers and if volume is not increased, the basic financial problem will not be addressed.

Reduced postage through the rate classification system was intended to increase volume through the introduction of mail that was not time sensitive. Second and Third class mail, since converted to Standard mail was designed to fill the gaps of the postal system required to process, transport and deliver First Class Mail. The Standard class was established at a time when mail was processed by hand and transported by ground and computers had yet to be invented. At the time there were periods within the processing and transportation cycle that First Class volume was not sufficient or consistently received to employ the number of employees required to provide consistent and universal service. Standard mail was intended to fill the gaps. The classification of Standard Mail is an anomaly in most postal systems that limit mail of certain dimensions to a single class and it has run its course in the United States.

Conversion to automation and air transportation have eliminated the distinction between First Class and Standard Mail but the contribution to institutional cost is a ratio of 3 to 1 with first class mail equaling three pieces of Standard Mail. Both are pieces of paper of similar dimension and weight that require duplicate use of postal resources. The Optical Character Readers, the trucks, airplanes and the letter carriers involved in the processing, transporting and delivery of mail do not make a distinction between Standard and First Class Mail. They consume the same space and weight and the same effort is required in their transmission. There is no longer justification for the wide disparity in their cost.

Any long term review of future postal services must begin with a visit to this rate setting manipulation; however, the field of political influence is not level because single piece First Class postage is that applied to individual users who have no political lobby on their behalf and with the CPI restrictions are guaranteed to have postage rates at a fixed level. This distorted division of postal costs has burdened the single user with the obligation to disproportionally fund the postal system. As technology impacts volume generated from these single piece users who are more directly impacted by technological options, the subsidy generated to be used by direct mail should be reduced and a restructuring will be necessary for survival.

The question over the long term is not if hard copy mail will continue to exist long term sufficient to require a universal system but the division of cost and those who support the privatization of mail services have a dilemma. Mail will continue to exist as a means of communications and no private commercial entity will assume the responsibility of universal delivery at universal cost. Private sector fees for service would drastically reduce volume and for confirmation, ask UPS or Fed Ex if they will deliver a commercial ad at postal rates.

Direct mail cannot exist without a Postal Service and advertising by mail is one of the pillars of the capitalistic economic system.

The Postal Service needs advertising as a segment of its volume and advertising needs the Postal Service to transmit commercial messages to the people. There are no volunteers to deliver mail in Idaho and Alaska.

The use of hard copy mail will continue far into the future and universal service at uniform rates can only be provided by a government monopoly. It is expected that political forces will continue to engage in the battle to design the perfect conveyor of mail services but the United States Postal Service has a proven track record and it will prevail with adjustments.

Veronica, I guess I will take your advice and go cut the Grass.

In solidarity,
Bill Burrus

source: Burrus Journal

18 thoughts on “Burrus: Part 3 – Will the Post Office Survive?

  1. You can Bash Burrus all you like. He expects it. Would he expect any better considering the way the Nation has treated Obama as President? Its ( not) ok being a Racist, but its even worse being a hypocrite and a closet racist and being a denier of the fact. The (hate) both Obama and Burrus gets is not strictly based on their lack of qualifications, policy , or intelligence,but simply skin color. White bigots just don`t like “Darkies”, PERIOD! No other explanation is necessary. Burrus knows it, Obama knows it, YOU know it. Case Closed!

  2. Let me first say, I am a fers empl. w/ 27 yrs in service, plus 3 yrs. military, that given, my comments are not selfish in thought. There are so many reasons why we as a country are in this turmoil called “recession”, alot of it could have, should have, been stopped. To name a few, elected officials, why is it that only serving a single term in office affords that person the right to full pay and benefits for the remander of there life? The opposite view to thatis, a 18 y/o goes to combat, in the face of danger and downright diplorable conditions for at least 18 months, comes home(if they are lucky), and gets a handshake and a dd214 entitling them to some benefits, but not full pay, not full benefits(most, but not all). If the political electee’s would have to endure that(probably most wouldn’t), they perhaps see who really deserves full pay and benefits. Big corporations, yes they employee millions, keep the economy solvent, but at what costs? They buy legeslation, rules, and reep countless other “perks” the average tax-paying law biding citizen can only wish they had. The politicians, who go into office with the “promise” of doing things for the people, country, and the whole enchilata, suddenly become the puppets for the lobbyists who can “rain” the most dollars all over the White House, Congress, representatives, and senators. Not all, but a very large portion of them don’t give a rats a.. about anyone other then themselves. There will be another revolution, has to be, because it will get so bad people will organize and hold the gvt. accountable for their err in judgements. The postal service is another poor example of what its like to have the gvt run any business. They are essentially committing corporate suicide, farming out work over the years that should have been used to grow and still provide good service. Instead, upper management is like the politicians, only taking care of their own and justifying it with false reports, and mumbo jumbo. There is no way they would be able to run a large corporation un-assisted by the gvt, and keep it form chapter 11, 12, 13 and any other failures there are. Unions back in the hat-day had leverage with unity, and the old strike clause, and most of all, the desirew to keep the worker employed and well represented in contract matters. Today our unions don’t have the same ammunition as our past brothers and sisters did, management doesn’t fear us, nor do they respect us. I could go on and on about numerous other reasons, but others will write it sooner or later. I for one do not have the same pride of working for the service as when I was first hired, I still have my morals and personal pride of doing my best at work, family, and friends. I just hate to see it get like this, our country, and people need change, we need someone to lead us to a fair and just land we once called The United States Of America. Until thesystem is shaken, no bad apples will fall from the tree. God Bless all of our men and women defending our country, you are never forgotten.

  3. You want to save money ?
    Salary the routes, regulars work 4 – 10 hour days on the weekend you have a PTF force in place working Fridays and Saturdays. They would fill in during the week where needed for vacations. NO MORE OVERTIME, NO MORE REDICULOUS GREEDY GRIEVANCES, Carriers could go home when done their routes if they finish before 10 hours they get paid for 10 hours. With FSS and routes due to increase in size it would give be a motivation for carriers to get done and morale would be positive. The postal service could get back our parcel business and open a parcel delivery division creating positions and using the PTF force when needed to deliver parcels as businees grows. People buy on the internet and PARCELS is a WINNING idea. Were so stupid our UNIONS could care less its all about membership and protecting the very people ruining our jobs. GREED GREED GREED eventually the well runs dry. Will they be there for you after your job is abolished ? No way they are helping destroy our jobs they need to start thinking about themillions of families this company has so proudly taken care of for so many years. You want to save this system do what is right stop lying to the membership your part of the reason this system is failing. The carriers know what is best they say it Saturdays is the easiest delivery day many places are closed and its a joke to even work in many cases. With the plan now under way if we don’t get rid of Saturday in a few years many will lose their jobs and in several years while many are in your 40’s and 50’s may not have a post office to come to and what will you do then? Joke all you want this is very serious and in the coming days you will hear about brick and morter. Its just the beginning folks joke all you want but were talking about many Families and lives this may impact. SALARY THE ROUTES ASAP , Give the carriers cash incentives to sell our services. The carriers customers trust them not someone they don’t know acting like a sales rep and has no clue how to talk to people. We need the TEAM approach and do away with all this rediculous waste of time pivoting and killing the force along the way. Its time to stop and do the right thing save this company.

  4. not only does mismanagement have a unholy alliance with the bulk mailers…..guffy has joined the mismanagement in making the union workers bear the brunt of cost savings to the tune of 3.8 billion out of their hide-while getting union dues money and health insurance payments out of the new folks…..guffy is a fool if he thinks this will stem the red ink.

    I saw first hand how Pan Am union gave mismanagement wage concessions to the tune of 30% of base wage…….mismgt just pissed all the money away and it still went bankrupt.

    Pan Am mismanagement did not give any wage concessions……….it was all gravy for them to the bitter end. history repeats itself and somethime it rymes.

    funny how Pan Am mismanagement was all college educated while the PO is all high school educated with hyper-nepotism as high octane fuel. bottom line…..failure in the future, count on it!

    guffy I want to see you on the unemployment line you fat pig!

  5. I thought it was it was an outstanding article. It gave the whole history. We’ll see if Congress will do anything???

  6. Navy/Postal veteran…………Whew! Great post minus the Saturday thing. I just don’t see Saturday as necessary anyore. The Public will adjust.

  7. The Post Office failed miserably to take advantage of countless opportunities to grow their business. It needed a kick in the pants to fully automate its plants and facilities but a lot of this work was done in house. The upgrading to the interior should have been contracted out have a more modern way to handle mail with less cost. Electronic media has its place but it can never replace a hard copy for information. Most electronic mail is read even less than mail received in the mail box. The Post Office retail is horrific at best when it takes way to long to service customers who wait in line in frustration. This company did very little to promote itself in advertising as it took it for granted that it would be around forever..well look around…mail is in steep decline for a host of reasons. It would probably be best for the Post Office to be state run so that each decision would be made by the community for service just as most public entities.

  8. Navy/Postal Veteran
    Very lengthy but I agree with you…get so tired of being “bashed” by the internet comments from people that have virtually NO CLUE. Personally I do not BASH other peoples jobs and situations that I have never done or been in. But somehow Americans think they “know it all” and DESERVE to inflict their BS on everyone….LOL

  9. PRC and Congress fail to take action to reduce debt. Financial losses continue to increase and revenue continues to decreases and nothing is done toward eliminating cost. Need to reduce employees on rolls; early out 52 yrs. old with 25 yrs. service and reduction as age. Maximize automation. Reduce number headquarters, area, and district high salaried jobs. A reduction in small non essential offices. Services are over extended in today’s advance technological age. First class volume , periodicals, magazines are a thing of the past via postal
    delivery, parcels and medicines via the mail are not time sensitive if they were steps would be taken to expedite. Sat. street address delivery is not needed in todays market. The delivery of checks on Sat. is a thing of the past as most individual checks are direct deposit or checks mailed are done so to be delivered on FRI.. Treasury and social security have set deadline for receiptents to use direct deposit. Another source of loss revenue yet cost contaiment is ignored. Sat. delivery is a total waste in true financial reality; yet the story of what customers would be missing is emotionally expressed by employees who fear their job would be affected without any credence to reality.
    USPS needs to get real and supply services in demand for products and number delivery days to operate cost effective. Reducing delivery days from 302 to 250 would be a bottomline cost reduction. Politics and headquarters STAPH creating their high salaried kingdom must be eliminated. Governing authority must deal with reality; restructing is mandatory to maintain a form of USPS existence.

  10. Mr. Burrus! This statement is right on the money! The Postal Service gave and is still giving the HOUSE away to Direct Mailers. I’ve been in Bulk Mail for 2 years and I’ve been saying the same thing.

    The Politicians are turning this whole country into a giant (Special Interest Lobbying State). They past laws and govern the people not by whats Right and Wrong but by the campaign contributions coming in!

    The only way we can change this is by Term – Limits! Vote the BAS!!!!!!t out of office! Bring in Business people who know how to run companies not Life Long Politicians!!!

  11. Thank you, Bill, for the on point explanation of our constitutionally mandated universal mail delivery system. Unfortunately, the folks that like to trot out our constitution for political gain will click off this story after the first few lines. They will ignore the very reasons for the birth of the Post Office, and how the same protections afforded citizens of the United States in transporting their personal effects is more important than ever before.
    As a nation, we have become used to, nay expectant of, instant gratification. I’ve followed the ongoing hubris of those that seek to dismantle the finest mail delivery system on the planet for some time now. Long story short, people that complain the most have no real understanding of the massive effort involved in setting up and maintaining a delivery system that has grown to handle the millions of packages and letters that are transported across our great nation on a daily basis.
    Among the more ludicrous ideas surfacing recently, is the idea of privatization of the Postal Service, based largely on the whims of detractors who visited Europe, studied the ongoing privatization issues abroad, and transferred said ideas to the U.S. They ignore the obvious when they bring up various nations that have seen fit to go this route. Comparing the delivery systems of Italy or England to the U.S. disregards the incomparable physical disparities between the nations; be they land mass, population, or our own federal mandates which provide universal delivery for a set price. This would be akin to suggesting we outfit our Navy with private yachts with bazookas because they would be so much more affordable than paying for aircraft carriers. Sometimes, size does matter.
    Another slimy tactic is to disdainfully malign the men and women who have dedicated their lives to service. Much like the bastardization of taxes, self serving folks, largely of the Republican persuasion, constantly disparage unions as THE reason for the ongoing financial distress in the Postal Service. Their “logic” is similar; taxes are bad, so anyone that wants to raise them is also bad. Unions are bad, so anyone in one should lose their job, because union workers, like taxes, are too expensive.
    Mind you, these types still want THEIR interests protected. They still want well maintained roads and bridges. They still want massive defense systems, borders armed and protected, and rights of privacy of personal effects maintained. They just don’t want to pay for it. Here’s one example; story after story declares that 80% of postal expenses goes to paying union members outrageous salaries. This is of course, a blatant lie, but these folks eat it up, because to them, it justifies their disdain for unions in general and postal unions in particular. It ignores the FACT, that 57% of that 80% figure, goes toward management payroll, NOT union pay.
    You need more? You’ve listened to pundit after pundit harp on about how the Postal Service ran over $8 billion in the red last year, yet the outgoing Postmaster General was awarded $5.5 million in bonus money, on top of his salary and perks. Does YOUR place of business reward such poor performance so lavishly? Didn’t think so. Want more? Postal supervisors on up the chain to plant managers, regional managers, area managers, vice-presidents, et al, don’t touch the mail at all. What they do get their hands on, is 60 grand at the low end of the scale, on up to a quarter million dollars plus perks, moving expenses and the like, at the high end.

    Who am I, you might ask? I am your neighbor. I am a veteran, as are a lot of my co-workers. My Granddad was a Postmaster over 60 years ago. My Dad was a rural carrier over 30 years ago. I’ve been in the Postal Service over 30 years myself. All of us served in the military, and we’ve all dedicated our lives to continued public service. I work most holidays, nights, and weekends. Read that last sentence over and over and compare it to your own work schedule. Have you dedicated your life to serving others, while working ungodly hours in all sorts of weather, all the while being disparaged by the clueless masses?
    The vast majority of you non-postal workers have no idea how hard a job transporting, sorting, processing, and delivering mail really is. And most of you don’t really care, or the many postal related stories online wouldn’t be filled with page after page of detrimental comments, completely dismissive of our sacrifice. To you, 8 bucks an hour seems more than enough.
    Here’s what I don’t understand. You can send most anything you want, anywhere you want in this huge nation of some 300 million addresses, for a pittance; 44 cents for a letter from Maine to Hawaii, from Florida to Alaska, and everywhere in between. You can send packages bread box sized under 70 pounds for 10 bucks, and we’ll even provide the box free of charge. Dollar for dollar, this is among the best values you will find on the planet. You can drop it off by 5 PM, go home and live your life, get your sleep, and start your new day. Your package will already be on a mail truck or a plane, headed for its destination before you wake up.
    It will be processed and delivered usually in a week’s time for the longest distances, but you will still complain, and begrudge us our labor. You will ignore the likelihood that your shipping costs will increase 10 fold w/o a post office. You will ignore the sanctity of the mail you will lose w/o a federal workforce. You will tell one story of the time it took 3 weeks for Grandma to get her package, and summarily dismiss our entire body of work in one fell swoop.
    Do we lose or damage mail? Of course. Again, we handle millions of packages and letters every day. We have automated machines, combined with odd shaped packages. We take certain pieces that private delivery firms won’t accept. We also deliver your mail to every address in the nation; something no other delivery company can claim. In fact, we take THEIR packages to places THEY won’t go, so that YOU can get your package regardless.
    We also deliver the exact same mail on Saturday that we deliver Monday thru Friday. Think about THAT the next time you wish to opine on ending Saturday delivery. Waiting for prescription medication? End Saturday delivery, and on a holiday weekend, you won’t see your pills until Tuesday, nor your checks, birthday cards or packages, nor any other mailable item. But don’t worry, you can send an email, or a virtual present online, and it will mean just as much to your grandma, your nephew, or your friend, right??? You can take a placebo, and just ignore your heart palpitations.
    At the risk of repeating myself, people that trash the Postal Service, really don’t understand how much they value the Service, and likely won’t until it’s too late. We’re well over 200 years old and going strong. We’ve been serving our nation since before we were a nation. And the Postal Service is just fine, thank you. All that money lost? May I suggest you educate yourself?? I’m not talking about clicking a story and forming a final opinion. I’m talking about really educating yourself.
    You might be surprised to know that the Postal Service paid for itself with our products and services ever since the postal “reform” act back in 2006. We actually finished over $500 million in the black during that time. Yet, we’ve “lost” billions and billions if you just look at the bottom line. If you ignore that Congress stuck us with a mandate to pre-pay future retirement costs 75 years into the future, that is. This affects our bottom line by over $5 billion annually. It also essentially pre-funds retirement for postal workers who haven’t even been born yet. Think about THAT for a moment. Changes in worker’s comp formulas cost us over a billion more dollars annually. When you understand this, you begin to understand motives.
    Congress has forever shifted postal surpluses to the general fund, because we are not allowed to make a profit. The Postal Service itself has overpaid certain obligations by over $50 billion(some estimates put this figure over $75 billion). The independent Office of the Inspector General determined this, not some “union flack” as some would have you believe. As the old saying goes; follow the money.
    Now I’ll tell you why this is happening. Business mailers & private delivery companies have long sought to privatize the Postal Service. In order to do so, many funding obligations must first be met, as anyone in a business headed to bankruptcy can attest. You cannot by law just shut the doors and send everyone home. By sticking us with such an untenable debt load,(again, over $7 BILLION in new financial obligations), Congress at the behest of private interests effectively killed two birds with one stone. They are rapidly bankrupting us while ALSO meeting much of the legally required costs to declare bankruptcy. The postal act passed by Congress, which was supposedly designed to save the Postal Service, is actually sinking us.
    Now couple the bastardization i spoke of earlier of maligning unions while pushing news briefs imploring a change in law to require arbitrators to “consider the financial health of the Postal Service” during contract hearings and a clear picture begins to emerge. First off, arbitrators have ALWAYS considered the financial impact on ALL PARTIES in any hearing. Secondly, the recently negotiated APWU contract furthers privatization efforts profoundly.
    In agreeing to take on new workers at low wages, while doing away with the 40 hour work week, some cost of living adjustments, and deferred raises, the union has aided management in pitting worker against worker, while attrition finds older workers, myself included, doing the work of 3 positions. While this sounds like union whining on the surface, again, look deeper and follow the money. As the workforce shifts to inexperienced low paid help that, believe me, will not perform the drudgery portion of the job anywhere near the same level, service will suffer, which will only hasten privatization. Do you honestly think someone will work nights, weekends, and holidays (which are typical hours at processing plants–being that the mail gets accepted until 5 pm) for 8 bucks an hour? Do you think they won’t be more likely to steal from you?

    Do you understand how much money, jewelry, and other valuables come through the mail? Do you then understand that well paid experienced professionals would not think of touching your belongings with the risk of losing their jobs? Look at the stories on this website concerning theft. There ARE a small percentage of employees that have gone this route. I’ve seen them come and go. The vast majority of postal workers don’t bat an eye concerning theft. We simply do our jobs completely and professionally, taking great care to ensure proper handling and dispatch of your mail from our facility to an office near you.
    But if you bother to connect the dots I’ve laid out for you, you will discover that largely disinterested privateers are using a number of influences to effectively take away your right to protected mail service. They will not rest until they have destroyed the competition in the package shipping industry. Then, as business is wont to do, they will service the profitable parts of the postal business, i.e. urban delivery, and leave rural America to fend for itself. If you don’t mind driving 20 miles to send a package or letter at a much higher cost, go for it. As for me, (and most any sane person I know), I’d much rather just put it in my mail box, raise the little red flag,( I know……how ironic), and trust the most trusted federal agency to do what it has been doing for 235 years; deliver my mail under the same auspiciousness as Ben Franklin.

  12. Too bad Mr. Burrus that you didn’t impress this on those wonders in Foggy Bottom when they so easily made it a ‘corpse’ back in the 70s !

  13. Very incitefull article with a very funny closing. Now we know these posts are read by the bigguys. Take that Veronica.

  14. You want a forecast? You want the real future? Here it is. Adjustments in the post office will continue. Most likely the pre-funding thing will go away (its already in the works sort-of in the 2012 budget). We may get a bailout (doubt it will be needed). Republicans will keep up their anti-post office/anti-union rants. The public will grumble and break out pitchforks. The economy will recover. People will forget. The end.

  15. No. It won’t survive. It’s the end of the world. No more post office. No more deliveries. No more junk mail. Dogs and cats. Living together. MASS HYSTERIA! Shaddap, Burrus.

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