Letter: Call to save the Postal Service

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Republicans and Democrats alike rely on the post office to send mail or cards to our families at an affordable price. Many of us receive critical services such as medical supplies through the mail.

Did you know the Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer money but relies completely on revenue created by postage and postal services? That they have to provide mail service to all households in rural and urban areas? Would a private institution do that at the reasonable cost everyday working people have come to expect?

Trump has refused to include the Postal Service in its bailout of big corporations unless it sharply raises its prices. As with any public institution the Republicans want to dismantle, they have thrown roadblocks to make sure it cannot survive by mandating the Postal Service to prefund its health benefits at least 50 years into the future. What private institutions could do this and stay solvent?

If you like to use your local post office,  please call Rep. Patrick T. McHenry at 202-225-2576, Sen. Richard Burr at 202-224-3154 and Sen. Thom Tillis at 202-224-6342. Say the next stimulus bill must save the U.S Postal Service from financial collapse and provide funds for every American to safely cast their ballots.

— Valerie Hoh


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13 thoughts on “Letter: Call to save the Postal Service

  1. indy499

    There are a range of outcomes between closing the USPS and doing nothing.

    A couple simple comparisons and stats show crazy inefficiencies in the current system:

    1. the Canadians have the post office serving the largest geographical area in the world. They have 6800 post offices.

    2. The US has 32000 post offices and 10000 of them take in less than $100 of revenue PER DAY.

    3. In a 5 day a work week world, we delivery 6 days per week. Much simpler business to run at 5 days a week. Canada does just fine with mon-fri service.

    The USPS has become a horribly inefficient organization that could achieve its primary mission at substantially lower cost.

    • bsummers

      No, the solution is to repeal the law that requires USPS to fully fund their employee benefits way out into the future. No other public or private entity has to do this. It was put in place by people who want to strangle USPS out of existence, and oh by the way, create a huge pot of money for the future privateers to split up. That law will go away after the Post Office dies. It should go away now, so we can keep one of the few things in the public sector that works well for everyone.

      • Lulz

        UPS has gone downhill. The longest delivery times of all the carriers. USPS beats them by a mile. They need to move into other retailers besides Amazon for Sunday delivery. Ebay, Rockauto, etc could see plenty of upside by doing what Amazon is.

        What killed their revenue is simple though. Physical letters are becoming a thing of the past. Online bills and emails, Facebook have all taken away from people needing to actually show up to the post office to buy stamps. So the Sunday delivery is a step in the right direction. They just need to expand it.

        • Phillip C Williams

          Saturday closures of PO locations did not make much sense to me. Many, if not most working people work Monday thru Friday, 8 or 9 to 5 or 6. Sometimes distance from a PO and traffic considerations make it impossible or inconvenient to go during lunch – and if you are close to one and go during lunch, everyone else has had the same idea – and it is impossible during the Christmas Rush.

          Just about any PO that is open on Saturday in Asheville or most parts of Buncombe County will be backed out the door – from the time it opens to the time it closes – the counter is only open for a few hours on Saturdays and that seems to be when everyone tries to go. I cannot remember NOT encountering a line at Arden, Skyland or Fletcher POs on a Saturday morning – or just about any other time.

          Why doesn’t the PO adjust their hours to either start before 8pm or close after 6pm? Or do “barber’s hours” and be open Tuesday thru Saturday and close on Sunday and Monday? Probably the complex bureaucracy and the Postal Workers Union stifle creative thought or initiative, and make any good changes difficult to impossible?

          • Lulz

            Even open on Sunday. Lots of options out there.

            Like I wrote, Sunday deliver is a major plus for them. They need to expand it to more retailers. Paper mail is obsolete. Brick and mortar retail s also obsolete unless you can adapt like Walmart and offer one stop shopping for most things. So either change with the times or suffer the consequences. USPS service and delivery is outstanding. They need to capitalize on it.

        • bsummers

          What killed their revenue is having to divert a ridiculous amount of it into trust funds for future employee benefits, like every competitor doesn’t have to do, thanks to GOPers who want to strangle it for one more thing to privatize. See above.

          • indy499

            I’m surprised you don’t understand the basics of business. How does a an imposed cost obligation make revenue go down?

  2. Lulz

    I actually like the Sunday delivery. Partnering with Amazon is a good thing. They should expand it to serve more than just Amazon though. And I find USPS delivery times on par or even quicker than either UPS or Fed Ex.

  3. luther blissett

    Whenever I’m out on road trips around WNC I try to visit and take photos of local post offices. Often the ones in the smallest communities are the most notable: a lot of them were created during the New Deal and are still in pristine condition. A few to check out: Bat Cave; Hazelwood (nr Waynesville); Edneyville; Balsam (just off Rt 74); Canton; Maggie Valley, Dillsboro. (I wish the downtown Asheville post office was still in the building that houses the federal courthouse.)

    The most direct connection that any American has with the federal government is the United States Postal Service, whether it’s at your mailbox or at the local post office. The average federal employee is a mail carrier. And yes, there are parts of the federal government that we dislike — different parts depending upon our politics — but USPS is the part that touches our lives the most, the part lets you send a medium-sized package anywhere in the US for $13, no matter who you are or who you’re sending it to.

    I honestly don’t get the argument about inefficiency. Universal public services are allowed inefficiency to make sure that they’re truly universal. Delivering mail to the remotest parts of Alaska — sometimes on small planes, sometimes on dogsleds — isn’t efficient. Sending a mule train six days a week down into the Grand Canyon to deliver mail to the Havasupai people who’ve lived there for centuries isn’t efficient. I’ll never meet those people, but I want them to be able to send and receive those packages for $13.

    • Lulz

      The building that Rebecca Sandoval is in is the old north Asheville post office. The windows on the side were once loading docks. Pretty sure that building was erected in the 30’s or 40’s if not earlier.

      • luther blissett

        I didn’t know that, so thank you for sharing. Now that I look at photos of that building, it makes perfect sense.

        • Lulz

          I vaguely remember it in the mid 1970’s. I think it relocated in 1979 or ’80.

    • indy499

      I’m sure other taxpayers are thrilled we have 10,000 offices that do less than $100 of revenue a day but are there for your photography.


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