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    Thread: What can be done about the Post Office?

    1. Member
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      10-02-2012 10:22 PM #26
      Not everything on the planet is required to make a profit. The USPS is a service that reaches every single town, every single address in the country. We pay for the USPS for the same reason we pay for public roads: Because it's infrastructure. And quaint as it might sound, it's part of the social fabric that unites us as a people.

      Those of you pointing to FedEx and UPS as models would do well to remember that those businesses are in no way interested in doing what the USPS does.

      And as others have said, the USPS was recently set up to fail: The same political faction who crows, "See, the government just can't do anything right!" have set out to prove it, in this case, by hamstringing the Post Office. There's a lesson to be learned from that, but it has nothing to do with the Post Office.

    2. 10-02-2012 10:46 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by MotownSVT View Post
      But there's a lot of businesses that rely on that Saturday mail which is why I don't think they'll ever eliminate it. And the labor costs wouldn't go down as much as you think, because that mail is still moving, so you need to pay the transport costs, the sorting costs, and then you'll have 2 days of backlog on Monday (which will spill over into Tuesday and possibly Wednesday), which will require potentially more employees to cover the slack.
      I thought Saturday deliveries only apply to residential addresses, and not business locations. I work in a large company, from time to time, I'd work on weekends, and there are no Saturday mail deliveries.

    3. Member MotownSVT's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:52 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by joe97 View Post
      I thought Saturday deliveries only apply to residential addresses, and not business locations. I work in a large company, from time to time, I'd work on weekends, and there are no Saturday mail deliveries.
      Nope... mail still gets delivered to businesses on Saturday (as long as they're open). I worked in my parents' bar more Saturdays than I can count back in the day and the mailman always popped in with stuff.
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      10-02-2012 10:54 PM #29
      The pension thing doesn't make sense.
      What was the reason for doing that in 2006?
      Is the fund ran by some private company that lobbied hard to get more pension money?
      Part of the old "intentionally bankrupt everything government so it has to be disbanded" GOP plan?
      That just doesn't make sense.

      And I have had some USPS issues over the years- but they are VASTLY better than FedUPS.


      One thing- all my local post offices removed their stamp vending machines.
      If I want to buy A stamp, I have to wait in line.... sigh.
      What was the reasoning for removing all the stamp vending machines?
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      10-03-2012 12:49 AM #30
      I really like USPS priority mail, and particularly flat rate and regional rate. I'll do my part to save the postal service by applying for more spam mail.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

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      10-03-2012 12:55 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post
      Not everything on the planet is required to make a profit. The USPS is a service that reaches every single town, every single address in the country. We pay for the USPS for the same reason we pay for public roads: Because it's infrastructure. And quaint as it might sound, it's part of the social fabric that unites us as a people.
      Exactly. The USPS allows me to send packages to myself before and while I travel. Often times I don't have an arrangement with a business where I want to send a package, but it still work because there's a post office. If I happen to skip over a town or my schedule doesn't jive with the post office, I can have flat rate priority mail packages forwarded or returned home without additional charges.

      Then there's the matter of mail that doesn't require a package or express shipping. That is, an envelope with little more than a sheet of paper of some sort. The cost would be prohibitive and a hassle without the post office, especially in small towns.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

    7. Banned roadtripper's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 01:16 AM #32
      you're talking about the very fabric of our people here. i've always thought that deep down, it's the postal service above all else that binds us, so to speak. of course, you have the pony express legend. and then there was the postman movie (the one with kevin costner and tom petty, not to be confused with il postino). everyone knows that only through the grit of well-seasoned, resolute messengers can we defeat faceless tyranny. right??!!

      but if you want to really dig deep into the mystique and importance of the post office, you read Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. we're talking about some seriously subversive stuff here. people speaking glibly about the prospective death of the post office? look out, man. we don't want to live in that world.

      the car industry bailout is such an apt analogy. the similarities are endless -- ironically so -- but the stakes are much, much higher. save the usps. it is the only way. in a world of the fetishized death of all that is sacred, i implore you: do all that you humanly can to save the usps.

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      10-03-2012 01:45 AM #33
      Post offices work great in Europe, lessons could be learned if only they would be left alone by congress (or just privatized and deregulated).

      Post offices overseas sell non-postal related goods, cell phone service, setup branches in banks (kind of like how Starbucks opens inside of Target or grocerys), sells internet service, sells office supplies... since they're pretty much all privatized they can do what makes sense in their communities. And they make money. IIRC Deusche Post actually bought DHL because they were doing so well.
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      10-03-2012 05:53 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Robstr View Post
      They could just do away with the bull**** retirement issue. That rule was essentially designed to create this crisis. Just like one of the reasons for the Bush tax cuts an attempt to "starve the beast" and force budget cuts down the road.

      We require them to deliver to all addresses. The USPS fills an important public service: Why do we treat the Postal service as something that should be revenue neutral or turn a profit?
      They are certainly not required to deliver to all addresses. There are several places that have 'storefront' PO's that have no delivery service. I happen to live in an area like this. I haven't had postal delivery service in 20 years. Everyone in our area has a PO Box at the PO, and goes there to get / send their mail.

      And honestly, I thought they privatized the PO years ago.

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      10-03-2012 06:10 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by theevilshiftkey View Post
      Post offices work great in Europe, lessons could be learned if only they would be left alone by congress (or just privatized and deregulated).

      Post offices overseas sell non-postal related goods, cell phone service, setup branches in banks (kind of like how Starbucks opens inside of Target or grocerys), sells internet service, sells office supplies... since they're pretty much all privatized they can do what makes sense in their communities. And they make money. IIRC Deusche Post actually bought DHL because they were doing so well.

      Deutsche Post along with DHL can shove it up their ass. My anecdotal evidence points to them being just as inefficient and negligent as the USPS. I've paid 20€ for overnight service only to have the damn envelope show up two weeks later. I also had a set of license plates sent from an office only 50 miles away take ten days to make it to my house. They also consistently lose letter mail....

      They SUCK.
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      10-03-2012 06:50 AM #36
      There is a gas station/post office near my house, i think they need to do more of that type of service rather than stand alone post offices. If you are rural, you get a PO box, no more delivery (exceptions for disabled), sorry. Also, the gas/PO is worked by the gas station people, not actual post office employees. So there is no union or anything. I'm not sure how it works financially, but the place is always busy with people buying beer, getting gas, and mailing stuff.
      Last edited by A.Wilder; 10-03-2012 at 06:53 AM.
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      10-03-2012 06:55 AM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by A.Wilder View Post
      There is a gas station/post office near my house, i think they need to do more of that type of service rather than stand alone post offices. If you are rural, you get a PO box, no more delivery (exceptions for disabled), sorry.
      That's already how it's done. Fyi, other services you city folk take for granted are different in rural small towns too.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

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      10-03-2012 08:59 AM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by A.Wilder View Post
      ...If you are rural, you get a PO box, no more delivery (exceptions for disabled), sorry...
      I'm surprised to hear an "every man for himself" argument of gov't services coming from you.

      It costs more money to get mail to a rural address. So what? Providing infrastructure for ALL of our citizens is what a government SHOULD do. Let's, once and for all, drop this stupid and insulting notion that government services should be run on a strict profit model.

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      10-03-2012 09:36 AM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post
      Let's, once and for all, drop this stupid and insulting notion that government services should be run on a strict profit model.
      Hell, the USPS is the government function that fits into the profit model. The Post Office has run at a profit in the past and might still without the retirement funding.

      The USPS is actually a model in the rest of the world for postal efficiency and quality of service. Nobody realizes just how good it is to get your stamped envelope and everyone else's across the country in a couple of days for less than a dollar. And get it back to you if the address doesn't exist.
      Put stamps and an address on a rose and it'll get where you want it.

      This crisis is manufactured by people won don't want government to work, and have sabotaged it to prove a point.
      Last edited by Robstr; 10-03-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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      10-03-2012 09:49 AM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by Robstr View Post
      Hell, the USPS is the government function that fits into the profit model. The Post Office has run at a profit in the past and might still without the retirement funding.

      The USPS is actually a model in the rest of the world for postal efficiency and quality of service. Nobody realizes just how good it is to get your stamped envelope and everyone else's across the country in a couple of days for less than a dollar. And get it back to you if the address doesn't exist.
      Put stamps and an address on a rose and it'll get where you want it.

      This crisis is manufactured by people won don't want government to work, and have sabotaged it to prove a point.


      USPS works fine. I used to ship rare/vintage vinyl all over the globe, and my success rate with the Postal Service was no different than with FedEx or UPS, and they were more convenient and offered more options.

      Frankly, anyone who says USPS needs to close doesn't deserve to live in a civilized country.

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      10-03-2012 09:53 AM #41
      Frankly, anyone who says USPS needs to close doesn't deserve to live in a civilized country.
      troof.

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      10-03-2012 11:11 AM #42
      1 - Close all of the small town post offices and only have a few big ones for each county. There's 3 one man post offices within 6 miles of my house - the only thing they do is open the doors for all the old weirdos who have post office boxes and come in to chit chat the morning away.

      2 - Stop delivering on saturday or monday - we don't need to get our mail 6 days a week.

      3 - They need to get serious about customer service for commercial customers. My company tried to give them about 100 small packages a day a few years ago and it was a total disaster. There were a few days they forgot to make the pickup.
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      10-03-2012 11:14 AM #43
      I do generally have good results shipping all my ebay crap with usps priority. They've only lost 1 thing in 11 years and it did turn up after a few weeks. And it was my fault for using a stupid packing method.
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    19. 10-03-2012 05:46 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post


      USPS works fine. I used to ship rare/vintage vinyl all over the globe, and my success rate with the Postal Service was no different than with FedEx or UPS, and they were more convenient and offered more options.

      Frankly, anyone who says USPS needs to close doesn't deserve to live in a civilized country.

      It's not, not even close. They are terrible compared to UPS and FEDEX. I've shipped around 30 packages a day for 8 years now.

    20. Member MidnightSpecial's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 05:55 PM #45
      The USPS is one of the things about the US that I actually miss.
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      10-03-2012 06:08 PM #46
      Burn it to the ****ing ground.
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    22. Moderator SOAR's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 06:37 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by The Ninja View Post
      This is the beauty of free market capitalism. Adapt or fail. FedEx and UPS will pick up the slack and I am okay with that.
      What free market capitalism? Do you know anything about how the USPS operates? They don't get to just do whatever they want. They are bound by all kinds of legislation that tells them what they can and can't do, and also things they must do.

      On the topic of Fedex or UPS picking up the slack... Don't bet on it. Neither of them are interested in getting into that mess, and if they were, you better prepare for $5 stamps. May not be a big deal for you... But for companies who send a lot of mail, that is quite damaging to business.

      My company spends about $15k a month on letter postage as it sits right now. We also can't get around sending mail, we are a health insurance admin, and mail is just one of those things that is not going away anytime soon in our industry. You want UPS/Fedex to pick up letter delivery for $5 a pop? Cool, hope you're ready for a major increase in your health insurance premiums... and that's just one example.

      The USPS, and the services they provide are a lot more important to our society than junk mail.
      Last edited by SOAR; 10-03-2012 at 06:48 PM.

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      10-03-2012 07:47 PM #48
      [quote} Originally Posted by A.Wilder
      There is a gas station/post office near my house, i think they need to do more of that type of service rather than stand alone post offices. If you are rural, you get a PO box, no more delivery (exceptions for disabled), sorry.That's already how it's done. Fyi, other services you city folk take for granted are different in rural small towns too. [/quote]

      Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
      That's already how it's done. Fyi, other services you city folk take for granted are different in rural small towns too.
      Not really. I used to live on a dirt road so remote that it didn't even have a NAME. Guy still delivered to my door 6 days a week.
      I always plug in USBs right the first time.

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      10-03-2012 07:51 PM #49
      I look at USPS a lot like I look at Amtrak. Basically, they end up with the worst of both public and private enterprise. We expect them to provide utility to everyone but don't back them up and expect them to turn a profit. They're both also often cited as sources of government waste, but let them take steps to become more effective and there's uproar.

      Anyway, I'm less upset about the postal service than I am about the complete lack of government support of rail infrastructure. Or how a train ride from New York to DC costs as much as a flight even though I'm sure the true cost is vastly different.

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      10-03-2012 08:10 PM #50
      Rail infrastructure is an interesting topic. Working in an industry (think third party logistics, but...not really) that grew side by side with the growth of freight rail, I keep tabs on the rail industry as it's a solid indicator of economic health.

      The private freight rail industry funds a large portion of infrastructure improvement on its own and has done so for decades; they've dumped half a trillion into the rails since '80. Rail and intermodal transportation grows consistently month over month and eats away at trucking's admittedly large share of the freight pie.

      Modern rail is largely the modern day bastion of purely capitalist industry while passenger is the subsidized redheaded stepchild. IMO if passenger rail were economically viable in the U.S., it would have a sustainable level of private investment by now. The government doesn't have much incentive to subsidize rail any more than it already is. Doesn't mean I think they shouldn't, though.

      Also, the rail lobby can kiss my ass.
      Last edited by FBMphil; 10-03-2012 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Double negatives

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