Can we privatize the Post Office?

Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 4 months ago to Government
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I know it is an enumerated duty of the Federal Government according to the Constitution, but seriously...
SOURCE URL: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/us-postal-service-loses-51b-fy2015-ends-9th-year-red


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  • Posted by Esceptico 3 years, 4 months ago
    We don't need to privatize the post office. What is needed is to repeal the laws prohibiting private mail services. With private mail, the post office will shrivel and die like the banded hemorrhoid it is. There is history to prove this.

    The American Letter Mail Company was started by Lysander Spooner in 1844, competing with the legal monopoly of the United States Post Office in violation of the Private Express Statutes. It succeeded in delivering mail for lower prices, but the U.S. Government challenged Spooner with legal measures, eventually forcing him to cease operations in 1851. So much for the "good old days" and more evidence that government must be contained.
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    • Posted by pureabsolute 3 years, 4 months ago
      Unfortunately, you just posted within the same post the reason it won't work. The post office is not a private entity that will do the right thing and die. It is a public lich, and will ask for more and more of the budget the less it is able to make ends meet with 'customer' fees.

      Not saying having a private full service 'answer' won't help -- more that the elimination of the post office by statute or constitutional change, should be the actual goal.
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      • Posted by Esceptico 3 years, 4 months ago
        I do not see that as an important problem. To me, the problem is making delivering mail a criminal activity. As mail decreases from the government "company" in favor of the private operators, it can exist only in name, but it will shrink and become, eventually, if not the dead hemorrhoid, then a smaller one. Either way, we consumers will have a choice we do not have now and UPS or FedEx will not be paying millions in "fines" each year, thus lowering our costs.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 years, 4 months ago
    Shocking, the retirees' ridiculous 20-yr and out like the military is killing them as much as their inefficiencies are.

    I like FreedomForAll's idea, but think it is not executable. I'd like to see government programs have to stand up to competition in a fair fight, with all the accounting on the table. Allow private companies to compete for the same services, and take on market share based on consumer choice. When the government program subsidy reaches a threshold or <30% market share, it is shut down.

    I would REALLY, REALLY like to take on some of the armed services acquisitions, maintenance and logistics. There is no way real warfighters are making some of the decisions here.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 years, 3 months ago
    In rural Arizona UPS is handing off small packages to USPS for delivery. The idea I have is since this is this let the major carriers UPS, FedEX, DHL buy out the USPS. Each having shares in it so not only the USPS will be a separte entity. But could be run more efficiently while deliverying the mail and small parcels in rural area's of the USA.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 3 years, 4 months ago
    The Post Office was a good idea...originally.
    Unions were a "good" idea...originally (okay, maybe not).
    Even the Dept. of Education was a "good" idea...originally.

    In each case, these groups/agencies did their job, but refused to leave when they were no longer necessary or cost effective, as they had simply grown "too big to fail".

    Maybe, what we need, is a "Sunset" clause for things like this...much like term limits. At least, then, there would be some possibility of ending undesirable programs (like the Clinton Gun Ban).

    Okay, unions were a bad example as they really aren't government programs (or, maybe they are...).
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 3 months ago
      I would propose that ALL government entities be instituted with sunset clauses that must then be individually re-authorized by Congress. And by individually I mean that a separate bill for each entity to be re-authorized must be introduced and passed by the Legislature and signed by the President. If nothing else it would really make it so that each entity would have to have a sponsor and broad support for its continuation. It would also guarantee that the sheer weight of re-authorization would slow down what government could do once it reached critical mass.
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  • Posted by wmiranda 3 years, 4 months ago
    The Postal Service is the only service in the world that delivers a letter from the Virgin Islands to Alaska for the price of a stamp. They're a semi-private corporation that is prohibited from competing with private industry or to run operations in a manner to specifically to make a profit. It is being choked by union contracts with some unions more militant than others at a huge administrative cost just to deal with union grievances.
    They hire everyone from custodians to doctors and pilots. They have more employees than we have soldiers. To privatize would mean to lose half the employees and lose the service given at a low price. There are many things that can be done help the situation and increase revenue. Cost cutting would have to start with restructuring the cumbersome grievance procedure. Currently, grievances can be filed on the most frivolous non-issues. While they may have no merit, there is still a cost involved to process. If a frivolous grievance is filed and the union doesn't process it because it's frivolous, they are subject to law suits for non-representation and sanctions from the National Labor Relations Board. Ironically, the NLRB was solely created to protect the interest of the unions.
    Additionally, employees filing a grievance can also file an EEO complaint on some issues if they alleged one of the EEO purviews as the reason for an action. For example, if an employee receives a Letter of Warning for deficiency in attendance, they can file a grievance and an EEO simply by alleging color, race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, etc. Even if the complaint is dismissed, it still has to be processed at great expense.
    Pay premiums is a great expense. For example, any hours worked from 6pm to 6am are paid at a premium. The same with working any part of a Sunday 24 hours period. I think night shift should be eliminated except for maintenance personnel. That would be a great labor expense saved and reduction of absenteeism, which is a major expense and grievance generator. However, some people think that the mail would be delayed. I argue, only on the first day it's changed. All mail processing and delivery should be performed during day and evening until 6pm. Then distribution and delivery personnel should be released and maintenance personnel should start the daily maintenance of the equipment until done. After that, turn off the lights (another savings) and lock the doors.
    There are many other common things that can be done to become more cost efficient but the unions, NLRB and politicians seeking re-elections obstruct the way. The alternative of privatizing would mean no one would deliver a letter for the price of a stamp from one part of the country to the other and large areas would not have service at all.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 3 years, 4 months ago
    seizing the postal offices around the union was the deal Ben Franklin insisted upon as his condition for supporting the revolution AND he being installed as the first head of the govt postal system...way past time to dissolve the deal...privatize it...
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  • Posted by JoleneMartens1982 3 years, 3 months ago
    How much money would we save if junk mail was not delivered??? Hello if we are interested we will call you, don't call us! Junk mail is such a waste of resources and usually a scam to boot.
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 4 months ago
    Is this even moot? Email has increasingly taken over the function of communication. Packages can be sent any-which-way.

    What is left that needs to go through the mail?

    Jan
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 3 months ago
      While you present a realistic stance, the bigger problem is that all non-parcel mail must be sent through the Post Office, and Congress mandates that copies of many bills be sent through the mail to consumers' homes.
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      • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 3 months ago
        No, not really: Anytime at work when we want an important document to get somewhere on time, we ship it FedEx. Virtually all of my bills are now on autopay - I do not get bills in the mail any more.

        Were the Post Office to close, the only things that would need to be sent to me in the mail would be things like my med tech license (annual), drivers license (every half dozen years), new credit cards (which could be FedExed as they are private parties), car registration stickers (just got some).

        What I get in the mail is "ads". I walk directly from the mailbox to the recycle bin.

        Jan
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 years, 4 months ago
    I'm in favor of that without unions of course but let me play devils advocate here...Who's 'Crony' would get the job?

    In a 'Profoundly Honest' world that would have been no problem. Understand that it would best to operate as a monopoly and profit would be in play here; not that profit would be a problem. I question if it would work in the free market...there would have to be a code of conduct and an excepted standard mode of operation. An you know who would write those regulations. Is it possible UPS, Fedx, etc could cooperate and not snoop into our private affairs, finances and associations?
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 4 months ago
    The Postal System can and should be privatized. I'd be willing to bet, that if it did happen, The deliveries would be on time, the lines at the offices would diminish and in less than three years it would show a substantial profit. I'd make George Romney the CEO and let him do what he's done so successfully with other companies.
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  • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 4 months ago
    Now having fax, and better, the internet, pretty much eliminates the need for the USPO. The only thing keeping it in business anymore is "the law".

    But then, we are taught to worship the "rule of law"; go figger.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 4 months ago
      And Third Class Mail. UPS and FedEx may decline that and let the advertisers pay full rate for their junk.
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      • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 4 months ago
        Agree, for sure. But we also notice that the junk mail is having a hard time competing with online shoppers. Costs big money to produce and send the stuff.
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        • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 4 months ago
          True. Now we are getting junk mail creeping into the cell radio phone market and it's all over the internet if you don't get anti-span and popups. Then there are the latest programs that read your private mail and advertise according to the contents,. I make a point of not buying from any one who advertises that way.
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          • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 4 months ago
            Yes indeed, I hear that, and I feel the same.

            Another nuisance are those who email a link to a webpage with an almost endless and uncontrollable video which tells us blah blah blah for a half-hour or more before finally getting around to telling you their price for ?what! Then even when I X the tab it returns with a text version. No more of those!
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  • Posted by walkabout 3 years, 4 months ago
    We can run it like it was a private business. I suggest eliminating post offices that are only open for political reasons (there must be some minimum utilization to justify having a building, a post master, workers, equipment etc. Reduce mail delivery to twice a week You receive mail either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday (Wednesday is sorting day).
    There is nothing I ever receive via the USPS that can't wait a day or two. (Special routing with special costs can be created for businesses that require such.)
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  • Posted by  $  RobertFl 3 years, 4 months ago
    You can't privatize it and have door-to-door deliver everyday at 50cents a letter.
    I'm fine with a Saturday only delivery.
    The door-to-door service would go, we'd probably have to put up communal mail boxes, or whatever they call them. Which, apparently the PO is requiring for newer sub-divisions.
    If you're rural/remote you probably can't get delivery - it wouldn't be cost effective.

    How much would you pay for a private mailbox business to deliver your mail to your door once or twice a week, or daily if you want?
    Might be a good little side business if you can cut through the red tape.
    Private mail box that you can get UPS, FedEx, and USPS mail delivered to, and for a per-delivery fee, they'll drive it out to your house. Charge by the mile, that will keep postage fees down. If you're rural, you pay more, or you drive yourself and pick it up.
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    • Posted by slfisher 3 years, 4 months ago
      That's the real problem. If you make it for-profit, then everything that isn't profitable goes away -- which is fine in theory but makes it tough for people who happen to live in those areas.
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      • Posted by  $  RobertFl 3 years, 4 months ago
        You can still leave the USPS in place, only that they stuff PO boxes going forward.
        If you want home delivery, you arrange it through another service provider.
        OH, and they'll recycle all the bulk, resident/Occupant mail before you see.
        See, private industry can make the USPS green and save the environment, while making the system more efficient.
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  • Posted by FelixORiley 3 years, 4 months ago
    FedEx and UPS have contracts with unions now. The terms are negotiated based on real world clarity. But I would "love" to see the Postal Workers union go up against the Teamsters. What would the AFL CIO say, oh my?
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    • Posted by DeanStriker 3 years, 4 months ago
      I believe that UPS is employee-owned, thus profit/loss-sharing is automatic. No need for unions under such circumstances. I've not done further research on this, but very much doubt USP would have a union.

      Such a structure ought to be the standard for any business or corporation!
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