Well, now the US post office is drowning in red ink-so our stamps are going up again! Guess what NOBODY NEEDS YOU ANYMORE! You are a relic of the 19th century, with your stupid offices that are only open when normal people are at work! You make it so easy to hate you-lousy service, short hours, slow service-it’ll be a relief when you go under! Every day I get junk mail-which I (through my taxes) have to subsidize-it all gets tossed into the trash! So, you are a model of efficiency-using energy, polluting the air, to deliver crap that just goes into the garbage! What a freakin waste! I communicate via email now-I haven’t written a letter in ages, I pay my bills electronically, so who needs you? Just die!!
But magazines are cool, though. I like magazines.
If you haven’t written a letter in ages, why do you care how much a stamp is?
I wasn’t aware junk mail was tax-subsidized. Can we blame this on Bill Clinton, too?
Well, now the Federal Gas Reserve is drowning in red ink-so our petrol taxes are going up again! Guess what NOBODY NEEDS YOU ANYMORE! You are a relic of the 19th century, with your stupid stations that are only open when normal people are at work! You make it so easy to hate you-lousy service, short hours, slow service-it’ll be a relief when you go under! Every day I get pollution-which I (through my taxes) have to subsidize-it all gets thrown in the atmosphere! So, you are a model of efficiency-using energy, polluting the air, to deliver crappy people that just go into the garbage! What a freakin waste! I commute via Segway Motor Scooter-I haven’t driven a car in ages, I charge it electronically, so who needs you? Just die!!
I like USPS. They have consistently lower prices and better customer service for individuals. UPS and FedEx are really aimed at businesses. Don’t like USPS? Try mailing your letters and packages by the latter. You’ll pay a lot more.
Sure there are lines and headaches, and they don’t provide as many services. I don’t care – I’d rather not pay for the frills and for pick-up delivery.
The USPS has put up with a lot of shit in the past year – I wonder if you’d be happier if they had instead gone “We don’t have the money to test for anthrax in mail so we can keep the price of stamps down”.
Just for the record, our taxes do not subsidize junk mail. The Post Office is self-sufficient…that’s why they’re raising the price of stamps!
Also…if I’m not mistaken, the United States has one of the lowest first-class mail rates in the world! Think about it–for only 34 cent, your letter will be delivered–in just a few days–to any location in the country! That’s a damn good deal, if ya ask me! And if you think about it, in some 200 years, the price of a stamp has only gone up at total of 33 cents! Not too bad if you think of it that way…
My one nitpick: Why raise the rates so often? Why not just give us a ten cent increase, and then bank the surplus? It would spare us from dealing with constant increases–saving the USPS a lot of bad publicity.
When is this raise going through? I buy my stamps in rolls of 100 and hate having to remember the extra penny stamp when the rate increases.
And I’m with you, Mr. Frink, I wish they’d do one bigger hike and let that go for the next 5 years.
This fairly recent thread, complete with a link to Cecil’s column Is it true US postage rates are among the lowest in the developed world might be of some interest.
Being an Australian postal worker, I can only speak for the situation in my country, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were similar in the US:
Over the 1990’s (the decade in which usage of email increased exponentially), mail volumes actually rose. Only in the last twelve to twenty-four months has there been a slight drop-off, but this may be due to temporary economic factors. It is expected that, over the next ten or so years, volumes of standard-sized letters posted will decrease slightly, but volumes of parcels will increase (all that stuff people are buying online has to get to them somehow).
You need to remember that the writing of personal letters was in decline many, many years before email was widely available. Email tends to replace telephone calls, not letters. The biggest users of the world’s postal systems are utilities and big business, and have been for years. The likes of Readers’ Digest and National Geographic lodge their mail literally by the TON. If Joe Bloggs from New Jersey chooses to send his elderly mother her twice-yearly letter by email rather than by post, it won’t even show up in the post office’s stats. The majority of personal, hadwritten mail is postcards and greeting cards -has been for years. That is the sort of correspondence which people tend to like to receive as a hard copy, and volumes of mail of this type have been increasing slowly but steadily over the years, in line with population growth.
I think mail and email can co-exist (for a decade or so more, at very least). In the very long term, it may be a different story. Just as TV didn’t (really) kill cinema, the telephone didn’t kill the post office. Having had telephony for a century, I think it’s jumping the gun to declare email a positive threat at this stage. We are living in the Information Age, and have come to expect having more information at our fingertips than ever before; new technologies tend to be taken up supplementary to, not in favour of, existing ones.
With mail being processed by the latest OCR technology, and flown clear across continents within hours of being posted, the USPS (and other postal administrations) is not a relic of the 19th century. IMHO, the price of a stamp is a pretty good deal.
Yeah, but at least half of that increase has occurred during my lifetime, and I’m not even 30.
The USPS does do a good job of some things, but they do a rotten job at others, and seem to have no desire to improve in their weak areas.
Case in point: they are absolutely dreadful with regard to human resources, and the unions and clueless promoted-from-within management unknowingly conspire to derail any thoughts of reshaping their HR model before they get off the ground. One of the biggest HR problems they have is that they are completely overburdened with workers who are on light duty, who are doing much less work than they are being paid for. For instance, injured carriers who are a pay grade 12 are doing sorting, a pay grade 6 job, effectively earning twice what they should for the work that they’re doing. The USPS retains these workers because their twisted HR model indicates that it is better to have them there and overpaid for what they’re able to do than to let them retire with a one-time, lump sum disability payoff. In addition, because many of them are physically debilitated, they are a bottleneck in the smooth and efficient flow of work, which wastes even more money. Big mistake. But there seems to be some immunity to any injection of common sense which might make the powers that be revisit this (and other) money-wasting HR policies, and that says nothing of their ridiculous system of infractions and “discipline” which penalizes employees for taking time off to attend to medical problems which are infringing upon their ability to work, and yet makes it next to impossible to fire employees who are truly a problem.
Their entire HR system needs a complete bottom to top restructure, but because they never ever have any outside perspective, it doesn’t happen. If the USPS wants to survive in the era of faxes, e-mail, electronic bill payments and the dominance of FedEx/UPS in the business sector, they’re going to need to get some real business acumen, and that’s not going to happen until they bring in someone with real, private-sector business experience to run the ship – and who isn’t afraid of peeving the unions and the thirty year veterans when he turns the ship topsy-turvy in order to shake out all of the problems and start fresh.
It is really so very simple: If you don’t like the price of stamps, don’t buy the damn things.
If you have an idea for a superior means of distributing mail, implement it and get rich.
Why waste time and energy complaining about something you can do absolutely nothing about?
Nobody offered an analysis of this part of my rant: why on earth does the Post Office allow mass mailers to fllod the service with junk? It costs them just as much to deliver a piece of junk mail as a 1st class letter-yet unlike 1st class mail, junk mail is discarded 90% of the time! My point is, it takes a lot of energy and labor to ship a piece of mail, and if it is simply thrown away, what sense does that make? And to offer lower pricing to deliver junk mail makes no sense-the higher ratepayers are clearly subsidizing a totally worthless economic activity.
The Post Office is still making a profit on bulk mailings, even if it is discounted. That’s the way wholesale works: the more you buy, the less you pay. The USPS doesn’t care if you ever read the stuff; they’re just the medium. (the same way NBC doesn’t care if you buy whatever product is on a commercial…as long as the advertizer is paying the fee, it doesn’t care)
I’ll take a wild stab in the dark and say the Post Office allows people to send junk mail because it serves the public and the public includes people who simply must let tri-county area residents know about the burning issue that is the blowout sale at Big Bob’s Nose Clipper Warehouse.
Do you really want some postal clerk going through the mail and deciding what they will deliver on the basis that it’s junk? What people do with their mail is none of the Post Office’s business. The flier that makes 1,000 roll their eyes and drop it in the trash may be a sign from God to the guy whose nose hair frequently gets him mistaken for a walrus and makes small children run screaming in terror.
Actually, I believe that the discount is due at least partly to the fact that junk mail is presorted, and has a barcode of the ZIP+4 code included on it, making it possible to process almost entirely by machine without error until it gets to the mail carrier’s bag. Also, it’s cheaper to pick up mail by the truckful than it is to have some guy pick it up from a mailbox one bag at a time. It was my understanding that the USPS makes money off of bulk mail, and uses the profits to subsidize other services.
Not going to happen. The USPS has a guaranteed monopoly on mail delivery. It would be illegal to try to compete with them.
Wanna know why? It’s because it’s too easy to pick apart the spewings of a blowhard chump who doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.
The post office is not tax subsidized.
Repeat: The post office is not tax subsidized.
One more time, idiot: The post office is not tax subsidized.
Don’t make me smack you: The post office is not tax subsidized.
Got it? Didn’t think so. Putz.
Businesses have to spend money on marketing in order to make any money. While it is annoying to get telemarketing calls, see ads on TV, get junk mail, etc., what is the alternative? Shall we prohibit advertising?
Personally junk mail is at the bottom of my annoying list. While I do have concern for the environmental factor, it’s a lot less irritating than getting scads of e-mails clogging your inbox (average junk mailer just can’t keep up with average spammers) or people calling your house.
The only counterpoint I can offer is that their package service is still infinitely better than UPS, and cheaper than FedEx. Searching in the Pit will yield several UPS rants, I believe.
The majority of profit in the bulk mail.
There will **always ** be people who can not use a computer. The mail man can and sometimes does hand me my mail in person.
Biggest problem with bulk mail is “trees.”
Newspapers are worse than bulk mail, “trees.”
Think railroad and postal system as same and you will see why they will not be revamped.