The powers-that-be in the U.S. Postal Service have come up with a genius plan to keep the system afloat: Bury us in junk mail. Facing a decline in normal mail volume, post offices are looking to convince businesses to flood our mailboxes. The New York Times reports:
Faced with multibillion-dollar losses and significant declines in first-class mail, the post office is cutting deals with businesses and direct mail marketers to increase the number of sales pitches they send by standard mail, the official term the agency uses for what is less kindly referred to as junk mail.“Standard mail is the best way to reach your customer,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, during a presentation last month on the future of the post office. “You can advertise on Facebook, but I don’t see how you can trace the number of ‘likes’ to return on investment.”
If successful, this may actually end up costing struggling cities more in landfill and waste costs—as much as $1 billion, according to the Times estimate.Many had hoped that the current crisis would be just the jolt Congress and the USPS needed to finally modernize the organization and keep it relevant in the 21st century. There may still be time for this to happen. But if this the solution they come up with, we would be just as happy to see it shut down entirely.