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Old 04-25-2020, 10:26 AM
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Trump going after Amazon yet again


He will only bail out the post office if they increase rates for Amazon.

https://slate.com/technology/2020/04...sh-amazon.html
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:34 AM
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I heard that and thought... wouldn’t it just hurt rural Amazon customers? Amazon delivery in big cities is increasingly handled by Amazon itself. No USPS involved. More rural customers depend on USPS for last mile delivery more often than not.

I suppose Amazon could send an email to its rural customers that the Trump Tax will increase their order prices by $10 (or whatever). What does Amazon have to lose?
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:53 PM
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I heard that and thought... wouldn’t it just hurt rural Amazon customers? Amazon delivery in big cities is increasingly handled by Amazon itself. No USPS involved. More rural customers depend on USPS for last mile delivery more often than not.

I suppose Amazon could send an email to its rural customers that the Trump Tax will increase their order prices by $10 (or whatever). What does Amazon have to lose?
A local rural P.O. gained notoriety by having pallet-loads of Amazon packages stolen when delivered on Sundays (P.O. unstaffed) so now the premises are enclosed by chain-link fencing not topped with razor-sharp concertina coils. What's to stop another heist? Donny's moves support the CT that he's secretly working to destroy the GOP base. Nice job, Donny! If you can't slaughter your supporters then impoverish and isolate them.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:02 PM
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Trump isn't known for thoughtful planning. He's not capable. His jealousy of Bezos is childish. I'm feeling obvious today.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:04 PM
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I heard that and thought... wouldn’t it just hurt rural Amazon customers? Amazon delivery in big cities is increasingly handled by Amazon itself. No USPS involved. More rural customers depend on USPS for last mile delivery more often than not.
Or FedEx or UPS will get the business. I assume the USPS made a rational decision about what to charge Amazon for delivering packages, and they decided that it was profitable for them, or at the very least not a money loser. He should not interfere.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:18 PM
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FedEx and UPS already use the USPS for last mile delivery because it's just not economical for them to send a truck out to the boonies. People don't understand it--FedEx would charge you about fifteen bucks to get a delivery that the USPS charges 55 cents for, and if you live out in bumfuck Egypt the USPS will STILL be the ones that give you that FedEX package you paid through the nose to send.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:28 PM
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In other dumbshit ideas....

It'll just cost the USPS in lost revenue when Amazon switches fully to their own delivery system and the US government when Amazon engages in a protracted legal battle. It's dumbassery of the highest sort that'll cost the US much more than it costs Jeff Bezos.
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:20 PM
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Aren't the Republican party all about capitalism and free markets without government interference?

Trump has as much understanding on logistics as he does on covid, or not
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:04 PM
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FedEx and UPS already use the USPS for last mile delivery because it's just not economical for them to send a truck out to the boonies. People don't understand it--FedEx would charge you about fifteen bucks to get a delivery that the USPS charges 55 cents for, and if you live out in bumfuck Egypt the USPS will STILL be the ones that give you that FedEX package you paid through the nose to send.
This is one of those things that makes me wonder if Trump has a point on this one, like he sometimes winds up getting something a little bit right in his flailing. How can it be so non-economical for UPS and FedEx, but economical for USPS? Seems like if UPS and FedEx lose money on these deliveries, USPS probably does too.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:08 PM
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Isn't Trump demanding that the USPS abrogate a legal contract? How's that supposed to work?
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:13 PM
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This is one of those things that makes me wonder if Trump has a point on this one, like he sometimes winds up getting something a little bit right in his flailing. How can it be so non-economical for UPS and FedEx, but economical for USPS? Seems like if UPS and FedEx lose money on these deliveries, USPS probably does too.
FedEx/UPS likely wouldn't be making deliveries to every house along a remote route while the USPS likely would be.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:14 PM
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This is one of those things that makes me wonder if Trump has a point on this one, like he sometimes winds up getting something a little bit right in his flailing. How can it be so non-economical for UPS and FedEx, but economical for USPS? Seems like if UPS and FedEx lose money on these deliveries, USPS probably does too.
The Postal Service already is required to deliver things to those remote rural locations. Even if they don't have letters, there's still various advertisements. Since they're already going there, it doesn't cost as much to add small packages. So it actually may make it profitable for them to go where it was a loser before.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:05 PM
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https://www.serviceobjects.com/blog/...ted-may-think/


For new houses the USPS requires cluster mailboxes where the box has slots for 10 or so houses. I see those a lot around here since we have a lot of new construction.

A while back our power company did a test where they delivered bills on their own but it did not save any money.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:33 PM
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Aren't the Republican party all about capitalism and free markets without government interference?
No. That is just bullshit they mouth like “Compassionate Conservatism” out of the glossary created for them by Newt Gingrich. Republicans like actual competition in business about as much as Mitch McConnell likes universal voter registration.

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Old 04-25-2020, 06:37 PM
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Just like state's rights does not apply to things like abortion, drugs, elections, and so on.
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Old 04-25-2020, 08:14 PM
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Let Trump try. I'd love to see what happens after Congress passes a $2 trillion relief bill and Trump vetoes it because he hates Amazon.

Amazon Prime has 105 million users. They would form an army and march on the White House.

IOW, please, Donald, please.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:05 PM
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FedEx/UPS likely wouldn't be making deliveries to every house along a remote route while the USPS likely would be.
This is basically it--USPS has had a good long time to set up routes and they go to every damned address in the US every day. Every address. Every day. Six days a week. Economics of scale--they have to go there anyway so they just charge what they need to to make it worthwhile to take up space for whatever the package is and to cover any delivery time commitments. And for fifty five cents you can send a letter anywhere in the US and it will get there within a couple days. Try THAT with FedEx or UPS! The post office is a national treasure and anyone trying to privatize it is going to have the usual outcome of privatization--shitty service for a fuckload o'money. Nature of the beast.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:28 PM
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Not a big deal but here in NC when we get some snows they don't deliver the mail. Usually it has to be around 5 inches or so for them to not deliver. Local governments are much better now at clearing snow so it's rare that we don't get mail for more than 1 day. 20 years ago we got 20 inches of snow and it stayed cold and it took a while to clear roads . I think we missed 3 days of mail. I assume in areas that get a lot of snow every year the post office is better at delivering in snow.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:46 PM
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The post office is a national treasure and anyone trying to privatize it is going to have the usual outcome of privatization--shitty service for a fuckload o'money. Nature of the beast.
Not only that, but we could actually be using the post office for much more including coordinating the decadal census and providing basic banking and currency exchange services for a small fee rather than forcing people who can’t afford to keep enough money to maintain a personal checking account from having to use predatory check cashing services.

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Old 04-25-2020, 09:46 PM
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Isn't Trump demanding that the USPS abrogate a legal contract? How's that supposed to work?
Some time after posting this I realized that, by all reports, this is Trump's standard business modus operandi. He's so used to breaking contracts that he doesn't even think about the consequences.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:49 PM
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Not only that, but we could actually be using the post office for much more including coordinating the decadal census and providing basic banking and currency exchange services for a small fee rather than forcing people who can’t afford to keep enough money to maintain a personal checking account from having to use predatory check cashing services.

Stranger
Bernie actually advocated for postal banking because every zip code MUST have a post office but quite a lot of the more remote ones do NOT have any sort of banking available. He pissed off the bankers and now they want Biden to be in charge instead. Says a lot about this country and who runs it.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:53 PM
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Bernie actually advocated for postal banking because every zip code MUST have a post office but quite a lot of the more remote ones do NOT have any sort of banking available. He pissed off the bankers and now they want Biden to be in charge instead. Says a lot about this country and who runs it.
That was actually a Postal Service proposal that was backed by Elizabeth Warren before Bernie Sanders jumped on that bandwagon, but it it’s hardly a unique idea; many European countries have or do provide basic banking services as did Canada prior to 1968 and even the US Postal Service offered a savings account system where it managed money through private banks for clients which survived up through 1966, although the usage of it declined precipitously after WWII.

In an era where electronic transactions have become the norm (and are likely to become essentially mandatory due to the current pandemic) providing essential banking services to all is a very sensible move to ensure that people are able to access their own earnings in a useful fashion without predatory check cashing. Of course banks object to this because it reduces their ability to charge fees and manipulate holdings (my cite is Wells Fargo) but this has less to do with repressing Bernie per se (who has no actual plan to regulate finance other than “break up the banks”) than just maintaining the status quo of check cashing companies who are a powerful lobby in their own right.

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Old 04-26-2020, 06:17 AM
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Bernie actually advocated for postal banking because every zip code MUST have a post office but quite a lot of the more remote ones do NOT have any sort of banking available. He pissed off the bankers and now they want Biden to be in charge instead. Says a lot about this country and who runs it.
Oh yeah, like the issue the brought Bernie down was the friggin’ post office.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:40 AM
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I know that Trump hates Jeff because the WaPo speaks the truth about him. Also because Jeff is an actual billionaire that can think his way out of a wet paper bag.

But. Why not just have the PO raise prices a little on all package deliveries?. Bailing them out makes no sense. We are going to pay for it one way or another.

Is anyone going to be overly burdened because the delivery of a package costs an extra dime?
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Last edited by enipla; 04-26-2020 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:17 AM
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FedEx has a big contract to move mail for the USPS, they hand it to the PO for the final delivery. I'm sure FedEx won't mind getting paid extra for what they do.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:03 AM
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FedEx has a big contract to move mail for the USPS, they hand it to the PO for the final delivery. I'm sure FedEx won't mind getting paid extra for what they do.

Um, no. Other way around. The USPS delivers things for FedEx and UPS, as noted above. The USPS is an incredible logistical operation that has few peers worldwide. FedEx and UPS can't do what the USPS does, or they would be delivering rural mail themselves. The USPS is taken for granted because it's (a) always been here and (b) it's cheap. But the one time postal workers went on strike, in 1970, Nixon had to call out the National Guard. They are now forbidden by law to strike.

There's also a universal pricing regulation. Absent a contract with a specific customer, the USPS cannot charge one customer more than another for the same service. They cannot just decide they are charging Amazon twice as much as, say Walmart, to deliver their packages unless they have a contract with Amazon for different services.

Also...isn't Trump's threat illegal? Isn't it illegal for the Federal Government to use their power to harass a specific individual or company? Trump has pretty much said there's nothing more to this veto threat than that he wants to punish Bezos and Amazon for...something. If I were Jeff Bezos, I'd sue the shit out of Trump for this.

I'd further note that the USPS is older than the country itself - it's been around since we were colonies. Maintenance of the Post Office is mandated by the Constitution so privatizing it would seem to be completely unconstitutional. I would expect even this Supreme Court to recognize that.

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Old 04-26-2020, 10:14 AM
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I think Bezos has more important things to do rather than sue a moron president. By the time the suit is settled or dismissed Trump will likely be out of office.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:16 AM
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Not only that, but we could actually be using the post office for much more including coordinating the decadal census and providing basic banking and currency exchange services for a small fee rather than forcing people who can’t afford to keep enough money to maintain a personal checking account from having to use predatory check cashing services.

Stranger
I suggested this in the "cash only" thread and was mocked.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:22 AM
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For a long time Germany's PO ran the phone system too. Since 1995 their PO is privatized and the phone system is private too.
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:30 AM
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I suggested this in the "cash only" thread and was mocked.
Mocked for what? This is something many nations do with a high degree of effectiveness. Japan, which is an almost cash-only exchange economy offers savings accounts through its Japan Post Bank which is part of the postal system and for most individuals the only banking they have. As a visitor to Okinawa Province I appreciated it because it allowed me to pull money directly from my US-based bank and exchange it automatically for a very small exchange fee that was cheaper than what I would have paid to pull cash from an American bank, and you can find a post office with prominent placement and signage in every village big and small.

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Old 04-26-2020, 11:58 AM
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Just like state's rights does not apply to things like abortion, drugs, elections, and so on.
If you assume that everything the gop does is in the service of plutocracy and a white Christian ethnostate then their behavior becomes much more consistent.
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:08 PM
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No. That is just bullshit they mouth like “Compassionate Conservatism” out of the glossary created for them by Newt Gingrich. Republicans like actual competition in business about as much as Mitch McConnell likes universal voter registration.

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I always loved that one. It implies that 'normal' conservatism is a rapacious, thuggish meat grinder that rolls over people not only without compassion, but with vicious glee.
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:38 PM
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Trump is so corrupt that he doesn't even recognize the impropriety of using the office of the president to carry out his petty vendettas. Does he know it isn't his money? I'm really not sure.
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:47 PM
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Not his money yet. Its a work in progress.
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Old 04-26-2020, 01:12 PM
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He is doing the same thing he did his whole life , screwing other people out of money. A leopard cannot change his spots.
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:02 PM
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This is one of those things that makes me wonder if Trump has a point on this one, like he sometimes winds up getting something a little bit right in his flailing. How can it be so non-economical for UPS and FedEx, but economical for USPS? Seems like if UPS and FedEx lose money on these deliveries, USPS probably does too.

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https://www.serviceobjects.com/blog/...ted-may-think/


For new houses the USPS requires cluster mailboxes where the box has slots for 10 or so houses. I see those a lot around here since we have a lot of new construction.

A while back our power company did a test where they delivered bills on their own but it did not save any money.
Not only that, but the post office is the only entity allowed to use US mailboxes. Many rural customers invest in large boxes to accommodate packages, because carriers do not like to get out of the vans. A few customers may instruct carriers to leave packages next to the box if they don't fit in it, and others just resign themselves to the fact that the carrier isn't going to pull into their driveway and walk the package to the door, but rather leave one of those orange notes in the box, and make them go get it at the office-- but the nearest post office is usually less of a hassle than trying to figure out which office your UPS or FedEx the package has been taken to if the driver didn't feel like completing the route, or ran out of time.

UPS, FedEx and Amazon are not allowed to leave packages in your US maibox, so clusters of drop spots, like clusters of RR boxes is not an option for AMZ, UPS & FedEx.
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:40 PM
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Or FedEx or UPS will get the business.
FedEx won't, they purposefully ended their partnership with Amazon last year.

Reasons:
1 - Amazon is increasingly building out their own delivery capabilities and becoming a competitor.

2 - Amazon is cherry-picking routes so they get lower cost dense routes and FedEx (and others) was/are getting higher cost sparse routes.

3 - Due to growth, within 5 years, Amazon's logistics budget will exceed both FedEx and UPS entire businesses. For a company like FedEx or UPS to be able to handle that additional volume would require a significant investment in facilities and infrastructure, but all of that for one single account that is also building out their own capabilities.



Raising rates for USPS will hurt USPS more than anyone. USPS reported a drop in package volume last year (one of the qtrs at least) due to Amazon shifting to it's own delivery. I'm sure they are cherry-picking USPS routes just like they did with FedEx. Raising rates would probably just increase the pace of the transition. Even if they don't raise rates, USPS is going to continue to lose business to Amazon's internal services, and the business that remains will continue to increase in cost to support.
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:55 PM
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I can't get mail delivery. There are a number of counties in Colorado that don't. Makes no sense to try to deliver in many rural mountain communities. Hell, you can't get mail delivery in the County seat. There is NO mail delivery where I live, but can get UPS, and I suppose FedX. But I don't bother. I have a USPS box and a UPS box in town.

But, whatever. Trump is just throwing another daily tantrum. He's just a toddler not getting his way, and so he want's to hurt others. That's it. That's all of it.

It's absolutely ridiculous.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:00 PM
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I can't get mail delivery. There are a number of counties in Colorado that don't. Makes no sense to try to deliver in many rural mountain communities. Hell, you can't get mail delivery in the County seat. There is NO mail delivery where I live, but can get UPS, and I suppose FedX. But I don't bother. I have a USPS box and a UPS box in town.

But, whatever. Trump is just throwing another daily tantrum. He's just a toddler not getting his way, and so he want's to hurt others. That's it. That's all of it.

It's absolutely ridiculous.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:17 PM
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Isn't the argument that the USPS has to be subsidized exactly because they have to deliver mail to everyone regardless of whether it is cost-effective, so allowing Amazon to use the USPS is in effect subsidizing Amazon? I could swear I heard that argument floating around on the left a couple of years ago. And yes, I know the USPS isn't literally funded by Congress and is theoretically self-funding, but it often runs at a loss and everyone expects the feds to bail them out. So that's an implicit subsidy.

I think this is one of those issues that is heavily colored by who is proposing it.
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:20 PM
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I understand that through some agreement that mail from China to the US is so inexpensive that the USPS loses money delivering it. I wonder how the "From China" Ebay sellers would suffer if they had to pay more postage.
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:13 PM
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Isn't the argument that the USPS has to be subsidized exactly because they have to deliver mail to everyone regardless of whether it is cost-effective, so allowing Amazon to use the USPS is in effect subsidizing Amazon?
That may be AN argument, but it's not a great one.

The real reason the USPS is running at a loss is in 2006 Congress mandated the USPS pre-fund its pension obligations for the following 75 years. That is, it was and is expected to fund retirements for employees that have not been born yet.

This is not a requirement held by any other public or private institution and blew a big hole in the budget. The USPS would be running at a profit in the absence of additional Congressional requirements (well, maybe not so much in 2020, but this has been a strange year). There are reasons why Congress did this. It is worth noting that many of the people in favor of privatization of the postal service also decided that a government agency (well, sort of, the USPS is quasi-independent now) that has been run efficiently for decades has to have onerous requirements added that somehow prove public agencies can't be run efficiently at all.

To the extent Amazon is involved, the USPS makes a bit of a profit delivering those packages. It is a "subsidy" in the sense that it would cost Amazon more in the short term if this was not an option, but they aren't getting any deals that any other large company would not also get.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 04-26-2020 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:34 PM
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To the extent Amazon is involved, the USPS makes a bit of a profit delivering those packages. It is a "subsidy" in the sense that it would cost Amazon more in the short term if this was not an option, but they aren't getting any deals that any other large company would not also get.
That was a question I came to post. Amazon ships a massive amount of packages via USPS. Wouldn't any company that large doing business with another company get a quantity discount? And to the extent you want to call that a "subsidy" doesn't every rural customer (or a sender to a rural customer) get a similar subsidy?

If Grandma sends you a handwritten letter, she pays the same 55 cents whether you live in the middle of town, or outside of town up a mountain road. Whether that is a good idea or not, it was one made many years ago to allow rural people to have the same access to the outside world as people in town, and we see a lot of the same thing with subsidized broadband internet, or rural electrification.

Why is Amazon suddenly the bad guy for using the same infrastructure as everyone else?
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:06 PM
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Why is Amazon suddenly the bad guy for using the same infrastructure as everyone else?
Because Trump is doing the same thing he has done his whole career , screw people out of money if he does not like them. One reason that he is sued so often was he refused to pay contractors who did work for him.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:10 PM
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FedEx and UPS already use the USPS for last mile delivery because it's just not economical for them to send a truck out to the boonies.
This isn't my experience: UPS and FedEx delivered to my door when I lived in the boonies, whereas the USPS wouldn't go there and forced me to go to a P.O. Box in town.

I wonder how many of the people who think the USPS has a mandate to deliver to every address have actually lived outside of a big town.
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If you don't stop to analyze the snot spray, you are missing that which is best in life. - Miller
I'm not sure why this is, but I actually find this idea grosser than cannibalism. - Excalibre, after reading one of my surefire million-seller business plans.
  #46  
Old 04-26-2020, 05:11 PM
Derleth is offline
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Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
This is basically it--USPS has had a good long time to set up routes and they go to every damned address in the US every day. Every address. Every day. Six days a week.
I can give you addresses the USPS does not serve. Where does this meme come from?
  #47  
Old 04-26-2020, 05:52 PM
UltraVires is online now
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
I wonder how many of the people who think the USPS has a mandate to deliver to every address have actually lived outside of a big town.
I know this from experience as well. I think I even posted on here about it. I had to drive a mile to a cluster of mailboxes to get my stuff, not put a mailbox next to my house. I thought that Rural Free Delivery meant that they deliver to anyone's house. I was told on this board that is not true.

Whereas UPS would drop off, of all things, Amazon packages right at the door.
  #48  
Old 04-26-2020, 06:05 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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Are UPS or FedEx set up to make six-day-a-week deliveries to the addresses that USPS delivers to? I doubt it.
  #49  
Old 04-26-2020, 06:11 PM
Derleth is offline
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Are UPS or FedEx set up to make six-day-a-week deliveries to the addresses that USPS delivers to? I doubt it.
And the USPS isn't set up to deliver to some of the addresses UPS and FedEx deliver to. I don't see your point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I thought that Rural Free Delivery meant that they deliver to anyone's house. I was told on this board that is not true
Some people apparently want it to be true badly enough they'll insist it is.

BTW, my place didn't even have the gang box. I rented a P.O. Box in town or I didn't get USPS mail.
  #50  
Old 04-26-2020, 06:21 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Are UPS or FedEx set up to make six-day-a-week deliveries to the addresses that USPS delivers to? I doubt it.
And the USPS isn't set up to deliver to some of the addresses UPS and FedEx deliver to. I don't see your point.
OK. I thought it was obvious but I'll be explicit. If the USPS were shut down tomorrow, neither UPS nor FedEx could replace its functions, not without expanding and reorganizing their business.
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