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government

USPS Saturday mail delivery

Last year, post office representatives pushed multiple times at hearings on Capitol Hill for the authority to end Saturday delivery, change the way the service pays out retiree health benefits and raise prices, all actions that require congressional approval. … Danny Davis, D-Ill., a member of the subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service in the House, said that the proposal was “heading in the right direction,” but that it is by no means a done deal.

Would it really be the end of the American dream if we didn’t receive mail on Saturday? Would all of our precious bodily fluids be sapped?

Mail Acceptance

Facing a projected $238 billion loss over the next decade, due in part to the rise of the Internet, the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday proposed a 10-year plan to bring it into financial health, including putting an end to Saturday mail delivery.

The Postal Service, which is regulated by Congress and the administration but operates without federal assistance, faces “a severe income gap that we absolutely have to close,” said Postmaster General John Potter.

Such cost-cutting measures have been proposed, and largely ignored, in the past. Last year, post office representatives pushed multiple times at hearings on Capitol Hill for the authority to end Saturday delivery, change the way the service pays out retiree health benefits and raise prices, all actions that require congressional approval.

The Postal Service predicted that first-class mail volume will drop 37 percent by 2020. Bob Bernstock, the agency’s president of mailing and shipping services, said that “creates an urgency that was not there before.” The post office generates about half its revenue from first-class mail.

The service has identified measures within its authority to close the shortfall by about $123 billion over 10 years. It cannot eliminate the remaining $115 billion without being granted the authority to implement additional measures, including ending Saturday delivery, estimated to save $40 billion, Bernstock said.

Other savings would come from personnel changes and price hikes, though the price for a first-class stamp will remain at 44 cents through 2010. Post offices would remain open on Saturdays.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., a member of the subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service in the House, said that the proposal was “heading in the right direction,” but that it is by no means a done deal.

[Click to continue reading Mail service: U.S. Postal Service may end Saturday mail delivery – chicagotribune.com]

We Deliver - Just not Saturdays

I wouldn’t begrudge not getting mail on Saturday, if mail delivery became more reliable on the other days of the week. From my small sample size, I get misdelivered mail every week, sometimes several pieces at a time1. If I get mail that isn’t addressed to me, then how much of my mail is delivered somewhere else?

Contrary view, USPS mail is dirt cheap, compared to sending a FedEx or UPS envelope. Last time I sent an envelope via FedEx (a signed contract, wanted to be able to track its progress), it cost me over $20. A USPS stamp is only $.44, what other business good or service do you use for less than a dollar?

Footnotes:
  1. magazines, envelopes, direct mail, etc. []

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