April 24, 2012
The USPS is facing big problems. They can’t afford to meet their pension obligations, a problem which is the result of poor management (nobody can do poor management quite like the government), union manipulation (the root of the pension problem in the first place) and a really poor business model. So, what to do, what to do.
I have a few suggestions.
Charge a premium for home delivery. The farther out you are, the more it costs and the cost is per mail delivery. You have to pick how many times a week you want it delivered and on what day(s). That would offset the cost of manpower and fuel to get the mail out to those of us who truly live in the sticks and reduce the man-hours of the people doing the delivery. The postage charges would be for getting the mail from the sender’s local post office to the post office of the receiver, not for home or business pick up and delivery.
With this you have to have a way for people to get and send their mail at no additional charge, so offer a free drive through service for mail collection and dropoff. Have it open from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. This would be good for people who work. Postal customers could collect their mail before or after work or at lunch. This would also greatly reduce rural mail theft.
Then add volunteers to the postal service like they’ve done at the libraries which have gone private. Volunteers and a pickup window will have the benefit of rebuilding some of our sense of community. Seniors and stay-at-home parents can work shifts. Turn this into a community effort. The unions will scream loudly, but I like that noise . . . yeah, I get sadistic glee when the unions scream.
To cut down on junk mail, which is a total waste, charge much more for bulk mail. MUCH more. With the internet, there’s less and less need for this type of mail and most people would be happy to see it go away.
Or, we could just privatize the USPS. That would solve all the problems in one decisive action. The government does nothing well, so let the private sector take over the task of handling our mail.