Dec 6, 2011 Political
The United States Postal Service is a bloated government agency that is charged with delivering our mail efficiently. It charges for the service so the money it gets to operate is not supposed to come from the taxpayer. The establishment of the Post Office is a Constitutional requirement but there is no Constitutional requirement for that service to be run by the government.
Government does NOTHING efficiently and money is never a concern because government begs, borrows, or steals the money it gets and since it makes the laws, it can beg, borrow, or steal as much as it wants without the fear of being jailed.
The Post Office is a prime example of government inefficiency. It has grown, and grown, and grown, over the years while offering extravagant benefits to the people who work for it. The Postal Service has tens of thousands more employees than it needs but can’t seem to downsize appropriately.
In addition, those tens of thousands of employees retire and receive very generous benefits. Those benefits are a huge part of the Postal Service’s fiscal problems because the Service is required to pay into the benefit fund up front and the cost has risen to more than the Service can afford.
This has not stopped the Service from keeping employees on or from closing facilities over the years regardless of the dire circumstances. It seems to live in a vacuum ignoring the reality of its fiscal circumstances in hopes that some Congressman will bail it out.
The Postal Service claims it is finally doing something because it is facing bankruptcy. Some sorting facilities will be closed and the cost of a First Class letter will rise to 45 cents (up one cent) starting January. I doubt the increase will have an immediate impact because the Postal Service sells what it calls forever stamps. Purchase them at the current price and you can use them forever regardless of what the actual rate is. People will be buying a lot of forever stamps this month. In addition, the Service will have reduced service in that letters will take longer to arrive. Yes, we will pay more for decreased service.
There are several problems with what the Postal Service is doing. The biggest is that it is retaining its employees. No one who works at the closing facilities will be released, they will just be reassigned. The amount of mail has decreased year after year but they can’t seem to downsize the workforce.
Another problem is that the Postal Service is a branch of government. It is, by its very nature, inefficient. There is little regard given for costs or to fiscal responsibility (until they start talking about reducing pensions) and there is no concern for efficiency. One only needs to go to a Post Office this time of the year to see one clerk at the counter with a line around the block. It is not like they don’t have enough people to man the place, they just don’t do so. It is almost as if they do it on purpose to fool the public into believing they need more help (or to punish us)…
The government is responsible for the Post Office. This cannot change as it is a Constitutional requirement. However, serious consideration should be given to making the Postal Service a private entity that can work efficiently and for profit. The government would still have legal and oversight authority but a private company would work to deliver our mail. It could earn a certain profit and all other money would go to the federal coffers. If several companies were allowed to carry out postal functions they could compete for our business and provide better service.
Don’t look for this to happen any time soon (if at all).
Perhaps it is time to go postal on the Postal Service…
Never surrender, never submit.