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Postal Blues

Here at Via Meadia and TAI, we’ve been watching as the US postal system struggles to keep its head above water. After announcing last month that thousands of post offices would be closed in an effort to save money, the USPS will warn Congress today that things are even worse than expected. From the Washington Post:

The U.S. Postal Service could lose up to $10 billion and have little more than a week’s worth of money left in the bank when its fiscal year ends Sept. 30, the nation’s top postmaster will tell Congress Tuesday.

Postal officials are hoping the latest numbers will finally compel lawmakers to grant them new legal authority to alter delivery schedules, close post offices and lay off hundreds of thousands of workers.

Given its immense health care expenditures, the absurd amount of waste it generates, and the declining public interest in using the expensive snail mail system, the USPS’s fiscal problems come as no surprise.

Advice for postal system users: make sure your email account works.  For postal workers: brush up on your skills.  The financial crisis of the USPS isn’t going away anytime soon, and a lot of jobs are going to disappear.

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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Monopolies suck, waste, corruption, feather bedding, empire building. And a monopoly (Labor Gang) within a monopoly (Government Monopoly) is suck squared. Anti Trust the Labor Gangs, why should they have special extortion privileges?

  • Corlyss

    I wish the PO’s masters luck with this one. Closing thousands of post offices is going to be like trying to close military bases: they are too important to individual congressmen for many of them to go willingly into that underfunded dark lacuna. Congress will do it slowly, with lots of favoritism charges, with cuts mostly in Red states, and with little to show for a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Curious factoid: home delivery was started during the Civil War by an Ohio Postmaster whose tender heart couldn’t bear the emotional displays that attended families coming to the post offices every day to check the Killed and Missing lists posted in the reception area.

  • Theo

    No gas station attendants (except in NJ), no milkmen, no newspaper boys/girls, no doctor visits to the home, once a week garbage service, once a week mail service? — why?
    I know well the economics, but I am still perplexed.

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