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Alas, Poor USPS. I Knew You Well.

A friend emailed me a moment ago with this note he received from his neighborhood association:

July 11, 2012

Our Mailman, Wayne, came by today with a plea to save the US Post Office
from HR 2309.

He spoke of:

No Saturday service. By eliminating Saturday delivery, the Post Office
would have to lay off 60,000+ workers (Wayne’s alternate for Saturday would
lose his job).

No door to door service – they would install cluster boxes which you would
have to walk to.

No one day service – (Example: mail to Alexandria would take 2 to 3 days as
opposed to next day delivery).

Postal workers would have to pay more for their health insurance.

Please call 1-888-863-6103. They will ask for your zip code, and will ask
if you Oppose or want HR2309 to be passed.

I suggested he send back the following reply:

While Saturday service, door-to-door service, and the ability to send mail to Alexandria next day seems great….

  • I rarely get anything on Saturday that’s critical, and if I do, I get it from Amazon – via UPS
  • I could stand to lose a few pounds.  I’ve seen my neighbors.  They could to.  The walk to a cluster box would do us good.
  • If something needs to get to Alexandria that fast, I should introduce you to something called email.  Or a car.

All of which is a pleasant way of saying none of that is worth the $14 billion the US Postal Service will lose this year.

Door to door service for mail is an antiquity we just don’t need.  While they have worked to improve the Postal Service fleet, it still contributes a staggering amount of carbon to the atmosphere.  Cluster boxes would reduce the amount of driving required, as would getting rid of Saturday service.  And if Saturday service is so critical, why don’t we have Sunday delivery?

If you consider the fact that the overwhelming majority of stuff you get by mail is direct marketing junk, magazines that will be thrown out, and paper bills, the sheer volume of useless mail the USPS hauls is unreal.

They acknowledge as much on the USPS website, noting that email and paperless billing by large institutions has contributed greatly to the loss of revenue.

So let’s see… The postal service is a relic, it’s main revenue source now is bringing you all the crap you don’t want anyway, and it clogs up the air with CO2.  Why do we need to keep this, again?


Written by Michael Turk