My letter got lost again?! My post office blues



Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. So long as those rounds aren’t on a Saturday.

Such was the news last week from the U.S. Postal Service – Saturday mail might just go the way of the... well, mail.

I heard a comedian once note, it used to be we would pick up our mail from the mail box and then get excited when the AOL guy said, “You’ve got mail.” Today, it’s the opposite – we’re drowning in email and only expect bills or fliers in the post. A letter is exciting.

This is the crux of the post office’s problems. So much of today’s business revolves around email or the Internet in some way. Physical mail is almost redundant – it’s the product of a bygone age, and it’s dragging the Post Office down into extinction.

For a company that lost $16 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) last year alone, something has to change in the Post Office. Taking the weekend off would save about $2 billion (also with a “b”) a year.

Despite common sense or even common thought, the Post Office receives no money from the government, yet is wholly governed by them. Only acts of Congress can change their operating procedures, which is why only Congress can cut Saturday delivery. The postmaster general says he is confident Congress will let him cut Saturdays, but we all know “Congress” is the opposite of “progress” these days.

If cutting one day can save $2 billion, maybe it’s time to reconsider the need for daily postal service. While shipping packages is actually very profitable and will stay on, letter delivery is largely redundant. The last letter I received that wasn’t a bill was a formal invitation to an event. I for one would support the Post Office going to every other day – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – delivery. That’s another $4 billion saved!

If only money was this easy to save with the government.

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