Post office loses billions

billc

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A sign of our medical care future, the post office is reporting several billion dollars in losses...here is the story:

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/postal-service-reports-billions-in-losses-1.2868429

from the article:

(AP) -- The Postal Service is continuing to hemorrhage money, reporting a loss Tuesday of more than $2 billion over the first three months of the year and warning it could be forced to default on federal payments.
Such a default would not interrupt mail service to millions of Americans, but it could further hobble an agency struggling with a sharp decline in mail because of the Internet and...
 

Carol

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My postage stamps are sitting in the same dusty drawer as my checkbook. ACH has rendered both obsolete.
 

granfire

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But can you make an email smell pretty?


But I am guilty of not writing letters...well, I do write them, I never mail them....
 

CanuckMA

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If you gave UPS the mandate of delivering every letter, anywhere in the country for the same rate as the USPS, they'd lose money too.
 

K831

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If you gave UPS the mandate of delivering every letter, anywhere in the country for the same rate as the USPS, they'd lose money too.

Well, their unionized. Fedx doesn't have the same problems. :)

And isn't that similar to a mandate that says, provide everyone with health insurance, without raising cost for anyone, or changing their plan? I.e impossible.... as the CBO put it.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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let it rot. The USPS is unnecessary.
Its just another example of a broken down worthless model.
you can send mail via ups or fedex anyways, and everyone should be doing bills online, automatically, or via the phone now anyways, saves time, money and all those poor trees being cut down.
lol
but ya I have no pity for the postal service they suck. I hate having to deal with a mailbox and the post office.
 

Sukerkin

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For me, I am saddened at the decline in the art and interaction of letter writing. Receiving letters from friends and girlfriends and writing in return was one of the joys of my teens and twenties.

The rise of the Net and the mobile phone has put an end to all that. Whilst we have gained immediacy and volume of data, we have lost thoughtfulness, tactile pleasure (from the touch and feel of paper and ink) and intimacy (by which I mean that sense of closeness and connection to a person).
 

CanuckMA

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Well, their unionized. Fedx doesn't have the same problems. :)

And isn't that similar to a mandate that says, provide everyone with health insurance, without raising cost for anyone, or changing their plan? I.e impossible.... as the CBO put it.

FedEx does not have to deliver every letter everywhere for the same price.

It's not the same as health care because healthcare providers are in place in remote locations already.
 

David43515

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For me, I am saddened at the decline in the art and interaction of letter writing. Receiving letters from friends and girlfriends and writing in return was one of the joys of my teens and twenties.

The rise of the Net and the mobile phone has put an end to all that. Whilst we have gained immediacy and volume of data, we have lost thoughtfulness, tactile pleasure (from the touch and feel of paper and ink) and intimacy (by which I mean that sense of closeness and connection to a person).

I think you`ve just hit the nail on the head. The post in the US is generally reliable and cheaper for the service provided than in most other countries. But we`ve all been spoiled by the ease and convenience of email. We`ve lost the civility and intamacy of a handwritten note or letter.People used to stop and think before they wrote down what they wanted to say. Now thay can hardly be bothered to check for typos.

I still have all the emails my wife and I wrote when courting, probably a couple hundred in all. But it`s the 8 or 9 letters from that same period that I treasure. My father passed away 3 years ago, and being 1/2 way round the world not many of his effects were practical to send on to me as a remembrance. I`ve got his watch and the fountain pen he carried all through WWII, and a little bundle of old letters in my father`s steady flowing handwriting that I take out from time to time.

Checking my email every day I`m always pleased to hear from an old friend, but I don`t hit "inbox" with anything approaching the anticipation I used to get walking to the mailbox in the afternoon. Nowadays, except for the christmas season I can safely assume the only things that will be in my mailbox are bills and the occational political advert or sales flier. Nothing to make my day in any case. I think I`ll go home and write a few letters, see if I can make someone else`s day. (I used to be able to write quite a romantic love letter in my student days. Wonder if I`ve still got the nack.)
 

RandomPhantom700

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A sign of our medical care future, the post office is reporting several billion dollars in losses...here is the story:

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/postal-service-reports-billions-in-losses-1.2868429

from the article:

(AP) -- The Postal Service is continuing to hemorrhage money, reporting a loss Tuesday of more than $2 billion over the first three months of the year and warning it could be forced to default on federal payments.
Such a default would not interrupt mail service to millions of Americans, but it could further hobble an agency struggling with a sharp decline in mail because of the Internet and...

Is this some kind of pay-for-the-full-article deal? Because following the link gave me no more than what you posted. I wanted to read the article to see if there was mismanagement alleged, or if the USPS's loss was just due to the expected competition from UPS/email/online bill-pay/etc. For now, I can only assume that "A sign of our medical care future" is just more partisan B.S.
 

Bob Hubbard

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I ship 1-2 items a week. Mostly CD's with photos on them to models, along with paper copies of their releases and usage terms. Costs me about $4 (including the cost of the mailer, and cd) to do so, with confirmation of delivery. UPS is double that, and the reliability of their confirmation is crap. FexEx even more so (they once left 2 computers in a cardboard box, behind my house in a mud puddle, in the rain. While I was home.)

Since I got out of web hosting, I'm not mailing as many invoices as I used to, and have switched most of my clients over to emailed invoices and electronic payments. But, some folks still want hardcopy, and still send checks. Plus, I love my Netflix subscription. :)

Sending a letter USPS costs 44c. Same letter UPS is $3. Fed Ex $5.
I'll stick to USPS.
 

cdunn

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It's a government owned corporation that's being outcompeted. It's sad to see happen to such a large and publically visible company, but it happens. They need to be having serious high level discussions about their basic business model. The USPS is getting its *** kicked by e-mail. UPS would get its *** kicked in the same way if anyone ever built Star Trek style transporters.
 

Bob Hubbard

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Part of the USPS's problem is they are hard-coded in what they can and can't do. UPS, FEXEx can innovate, USPS can't unless they get the government to ok it. They've had several rate hikes to cover increased costs nixed.

So stifled innovation + locked income streams + rising costs + decreased usage = disaster.
 

Steve

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I know some things about how the post office is run that I wish I didn't. Particularly the kind of shenanigans and such that happen at night. It's appalling.

But, the entire premise of this article is grounded in deliberate misinformation. Like most things, the finances involved are a giant shell game. The USPS is the only federal agency that does not receive an operating budget from congress. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

Simply put, the USPS starts every year off $5.5 billion in the hole in order to prefund their retirement health benefits program. No private industry and no other government entity has to even come close to.

I agree that something should be done, but we need to be realistic about the situation and no oversimplify it. The finances for the USPS are complicated, including many factors that are unique to that organization. This would include the 100% prefunding mandate, as well as the legal quaqmire that is involved in prohibiting reimbursement to the USPS for overpaying these funds (because the government takes these funds and spends them).
 

yorkshirelad

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For me, I am saddened at the decline in the art and interaction of letter writing. Receiving letters from friends and girlfriends and writing in return was one of the joys of my teens and twenties.

The rise of the Net and the mobile phone has put an end to all that. Whilst we have gained immediacy and volume of data, we have lost thoughtfulness, tactile pleasure (from the touch and feel of paper and ink) and intimacy (by which I mean that sense of closeness and connection to a person).

I'm with you there mate. When I was in OSUT at Fort Benning they didn't allow email, so we had to wait for mail call in the evenings. Just opening mail from my wife and friends was a cherished treat. I have them all in a box.

My wife leaves me Post It notes all over the house. She'll leave me brownies in the cupboard with a cute note attached or a note in a book that I'm reading with something sweet written on it that always makes my day. She doesn't know this but I keep them in a box in the bottom of my bedside cabinet. She often wonders why I keep all the Birthday/Christmas cards I recieve, but they're important to me. They are some of my most valuable possessions.
 

Steve

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I'm with you there mate. When I was in OSUT at Fort Benning they didn't allow email, so we had to wait for mail call in the evenings. Just opening mail from my wife and friends was a cherished treat. I have them all in a box.

My wife leaves me Post It notes all over the house. She'll leave me brownies in the cupboard with a cute note attached or a note in a book that I'm reading with something sweet written on it that always makes my day. She doesn't know this but I keep them in a box in the bottom of my bedside cabinet. She often wonders why I keep all the Birthday/Christmas cards I recieve, but they're important to me. They are some of my most valuable possessions.
That's pretty damned cool!
 

K831

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For me, I am saddened at the decline in the art and interaction of letter writing. Receiving letters from friends and girlfriends and writing in return was one of the joys of my teens and twenties.

The rise of the Net and the mobile phone has put an end to all that. Whilst we have gained immediacy and volume of data, we have lost thoughtfulness, tactile pleasure (from the touch and feel of paper and ink) and intimacy (by which I mean that sense of closeness and connection to a person).

Video killed the radio star....
 

bushidomartialarts

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I'm with you there mate. When I was in OSUT at Fort Benning they didn't allow email, so we had to wait for mail call in the evenings. Just opening mail from my wife and friends was a cherished treat. I have them all in a box.

My wife leaves me Post It notes all over the house. She'll leave me brownies in the cupboard with a cute note attached or a note in a book that I'm reading with something sweet written on it that always makes my day. She doesn't know this but I keep them in a box in the bottom of my bedside cabinet. She often wonders why I keep all the Birthday/Christmas cards I recieve, but they're important to me. They are some of my most valuable possessions.

My brother and I carried on a four year mail exchange while he was in the Peace Corps, followed by my two years in Japan. I still have them all and reread them. There's nothing quite like a physical letter.
 

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