The United States Post Office is in dire financial straits and may have to scale back service: Estimates also predict that letter carriers will...
The United States Post Office is in dire financial straits and may have to scale back service:
Estimates also predict that letter carriers will deliver 150 billion pieces of mail in 2020, a drop of about 26 billion pieces from last year. Postmaster General John E. Potter plans to press lawmakers and the Postal Regulatory Commission in the coming weeks to eliminate Saturday mail deliveries and allow the mail agency to raise prices beyond the rate of inflation, if necessary.I think cutting out Saturday delivery makes a lot of sense. In fact, I'd be fine if mail were only delivered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And that would save the public a lot of money. The USPS is on track to lose $238 billion over the next decade.There are other ways to help the post office adjust to the 21st century, too. It could better integrate itself with the internet. Swiss Post, for example, lets people view scans of their mail online and then decide whether they want home delivery. That also saves money.But neither of these measures saves jobs. There are more than 600,000 people employed by the USPS but that number is shrinking by about 8 percent each year. It would be nice if we had some sort of career transition options available to them as the USPS scales back. After all, they have allowed us to send letters anywhere in the country within a few days for less than a dollar for decades, and that's an incredible feat.Photo (cc) from Flickr user Carly & Art.