The United States Postal Service has long lived on the financial edge, but it has never been as close to the precipice as it is today: the agency is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.Why not close it down? Isn't it strange that it's on the brink — or really over the brink... in that Wile E. Coyote way...
... of collapsing entirely... and yet they still haven't eliminated Saturday delivery?
[D]ecades of contractual promises made to unionized workers, including no-layoff clauses, are increasing the post office’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees....My preference is always: do nothing. That's the presumption you need to overcome. It's good for government and it's good for your individual life too. (For decades, my personal motto has been: Better than nothing is a high standard.)
“The situation is dire,” said Thomas R. Carper, the Delaware Democrat who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the postal service. “If we do nothing, if we don’t react in a smart, appropriate way, the postal service could literally close later this year. That’s not the kind of development we need to inject into a weak, uneven economic recovery.”
Why not let this propped-up competitor to FedEx and UPS (and the internet) fall? There would be losers but there would also be winners.
Why are we so afraid to find out? Remember what Rahm says:
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
ADDED: My postman just delivered a 615-page catalog from Restoration Hardware. Why was that a feasible business move for Restoration Hardware? I've never mail-ordered anything from them. Why is the government subsidizing this inefficiency? If I were interested in buying something from RH, I would go to their website. Instead, I have to lug this heavy object to the garbage can/recycle bin? Think of the carbon footprint. I do! But I don't believe the government believes the climate change hype. Because they never act like they do.
IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O said:
Ann, watch out. Don't mess with the mail. I shouldn't even be talking to you, but I'm telling you as a friend. Here's how it's going to happen: you may be walking. Maybe on a crisp, autumn day just like today. When a mail truck will slow beside you, and a door will open, and a mailman you know, maybe even trust, will offer to give you a lift. And no one will ever see you again!