Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fixing The US Post Office

Unless there is radical change in US Post Office business practices, the Post will lose $21 Billion this year.  And of course, the American taxpayer will foot the bill.   The Post Office faces declining first class mail as most people use email and now pay their bills on line.   This trend has been accelerated by rising postal rates and stamps that may soon cost 50 cents to mail a first class letter.  This Blogger finally reached the tipping point as a result of rising stamp prices as we have automated most of our bill paying.  The Post Office, literally conceived by our Founding Fathers, is in many way obsolete as currently configured.

As a businessman, if I was in charge of the Post Office and if this whole discussion was not mired in politics, I would do the following to save a much smaller US Post Office:

Bring compensation and benefits for postal employees in line with employees in the private sector doing similar work.   That probably would mean a 30 - 40% cut in total compensation, if postal workers are paid similarly to other government employees.  This also means ending collective bargaining for postal workers, which should happen for all government employees. 

Close many, if not all, of the 13,000 rural small post offices entirely by setting up PO Boxes in grocery stores and automated machinery to sell stamps etc.   Mail would no longer be delivered in rural areas; but rather people living in those areas would be able to pick up their mail when they come to town to do shopping.  These centers would also be a drop off point for self service stamped packages.   No doubt, this would result in laying off thousands of postal employees; but the fact is that these rural post offices are not sustainable.  Closing these rural locations,  would still leave about 18,000 Post Office locations throughout the country.

Eliminate express mail entirely.  FedEX, UPS and perhaps other companies that would spring up can handle all the express mail in the country.   Again, this would result in postal employee lay off's; but the reality is that the private sector is better able to handle express mail than the US Post Office.   These employees can find jobs in the private sector. 

All of these cuts would allow the Post Office to lower the cost of stamps and first class mail so that perhaps the decline in activity will be slowed.  But if not, the Post Office needs to shrink to operate in accordance with its revenue streams. 

Let's face it.   With the exception of the military, which also wastes a lot of money, government rarely operates efficiently.  The Post Office is a poster child of inefficiency.  If the Post Office was privately owned, it would be bankrupt and or, many of the changes listed by this Blogger would have happened long ago to insure the survival of the organization.  Unfortunately,  instead of implementing solid business practices, Dinosaur Members of both political parties are likely to vote to bail out the Post Office with our money.  It makes no sense, by they will do it anyway.  

The US Post Office is just one more out dated example of government waste that is bankrupting our country.   It is another reason we need to elect real Conservatives that support bold ideas to roll back 100 years of Socialist creep.  The Post Office can be fixed; but not with business as usual solutions.   The US Post Office is symthomatic of big government waste.   It is just one more reason, we must take back our country to prevent the bankruptcy of the United States.   We can do it.   We must do it to preserve our freedom, our nation and way of life.  

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