Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WSJ Wednesday - Fate of the USPS

The Wall Street Journal, and many others, published articles on the now confirmed default of the United States Post Office to make a required annual $5.5 billion payment to a health-benefits fund managed by the Treasury.

According to a NetBase Solutions, Inc. poll that was printed in the Saturday/Sunday, July 28 - 29, 2012 issue of The Wall Street Journal, 54% of those surveyed are Anti-Post Office. A person is quoted as saying he can't wait for the USPS to close. Others complain about the personalities of the workers. The 44% of those who defend the USPS state the Post Office isn't too bad. The workers are personable considering what they have to deal with. One person is quoted as saying the USPS delivers for FedEx and UPS in more rural areas. The remaining 2% are making jokes about the whole thing.

My own experience with the USPS has been mostly pleasant. I ship all my prize giveaways through them, and I have never had anyone come back to me and complain about a lost or damaged item. In addition, the workers in our mail facility are great: always helpful and always pleasant.

Why is the USPS in such financial trouble? The increased usage of electronic mail and online bill payments are definitely part of the problem, but what business could remain solvent when forced to pre-fund a health-benefits fund for so many workers? It certainly seems, too, that Congress isn't making life easy in other ways. Check out this article from Economy Watch on NBC News.

I happen to like the Post Office. Even if the cost of  a first-class stamp went up 50 cents I would use it. Could they be more efficient? Perhaps. I don't know enough about it to say one way or the other. I just feel it's important for it to be available for those who still use it.


Patty Woodland said...

I don't know how I would ship my soap without it. UPS is more expensive and charges and additional $10 to come out here to the middle of nowhere for a pickup. That would make buying soap ridiculously expensive. The mail is easy, fast and I've had very few problems considering the volume I ship.

If they could follow the business model of UPS they wouldn't be in the problem they are in...

Cheryl said...

I agree. You would be forced to pass at least some of that cost onto the customer, so it doesn't help anyone.