GOOD

Mail Fail: Time to Overhaul the USPS?

The United States Postal Service is, unfortunately, in an abysmal financial state. The USPS is on track to post $6 to $12 billion in losses...

The United States Postal Service is, unfortunately, in an abysmal financial state. The USPS is on track to post $6 to $12 billion in losses this year-it's approaching its $15 billion credit limit with the government-and mail volume is plummeting. Business will only get worse as more people start paying their bills, sending personal missives, and filing their taxes online.So how can the postal service survive? An editorial in the Washington Post today suggests it become a real business and start innovating, like Swiss Post:


"Europe's increasingly privatized mail services offer exciting examples of postal possibilities in the 21st century. They are leaner and greener than the U.S. service because they work with, not against, the Internet. Switzerland's Swiss Post, for example, employs green technology, providing customers with secure, address-linked online mailboxes where they can view scanned images of their mail and decide whether to virtually ‘open' it, discard it or have it physically mailed to them. This system has greatly increased efficiency, promoted recycling and decreased junk mail.

Such are the steps the U.S. Postal Service might take if it were a real company and not a hybrid hamstrung by a large and heavily unionized workforce, congressional management, and an antiquated business model."

Providing an online mailbox, like Swiss Post, would lower costs and waste and would be much more pleasant for customers. The USPS might also want to focus on those shipping services that are likely to see an increase thanks to the internet: parcels! Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, and all the other online purveyors of retail stuff will still have to send you their goods for the foreseeable future.

But there's no hope that volumes of First-Class Mail-the biggest revenue source for the USPS-will ever rebound. And the USPS is a monster by every measure when compared with FedEx and other delivery services (see our Transparency on the comparison). There's probably a pretty big scaling down that should happen as well.

Articles

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less
Health