What's with the hatred some have for the US Postal Service?

Apparently the USPS is having budgetary woes right now. Looks like a $5.2 billion quarterly loss… and so, once again, we’re seeing calls to just completely dismantle it.

But as I understand it, the USPS is totally self-funded… and they’ve actually been doing a good job of it. The only reason they’re having money issues is because Congress is forcing them to pre-fund their retirees’ pensions, something that no other private company has ever been forced to do.

It seems to me that the USPS is one of the few unqualified government agency success stories… so why are some so eager to see it destroyed?

Many ideological conservatives believe that privatizing things is always more efficient. They want the post office to fall apart so they can privatize it.

Of course that’s utter drivel. The USPS is amazingly efficient.

Yeah, I don’t get the hate, either. It’s still amazing to me that for less than 50 cents, I can send a letter from where I live in New England, all the way to the southern end of California. And it will get there in just a few days, no less! Incredible!

Hell, just this week, I mailed out some items on Tuesday afternoon, a mix of first class and media mail. Things went as far away as Texas, and they got there by Thursday. Two days to go over halfway across the country, by the “slowest” method the USPS has, and it cost barely over $2. Two-day shipping from FedEx or UPS would be almost ten times as much. Even their ground shipping would be a few dollars more, and likely take another day or two.

If the post office gets privatized, that’s what we’ll look forward too. Higher rates, slower shipping times, etc… all in the name of “efficiency.”

I think the reason some conservatives hate the USPS because it’s a way for middle-class people, even minorities, to still get relatively good benefits, pay, and job security.

Many conservatives seem to desire a country/world with the greatest possible economic disparity, i.e., the 'haves" and the “have-nots” being as far apart as possible. Destroying the middle-class jobs out there seems to be the fastest way to do that, so that’s what they want.

And if those conservatives don’t hate the middle class, why do their economic policy suggestions always seem to move things in the direction of increasing the wealth/income gap, thereby damaging the middle class?

Conservative, anti-post office poster checking in.

The post office is outdated and should be abolished. We didn’t continue using the pony express once we completed the telegraph lines. So why do we continue to have several post offices in every town after the internet has been developed?

Everything that the post office does could be better done via another method.

Need to pay a bill?
Do it online.

Need to ship a package or important letter overnight?
Use FedEx/UPS.

Need to send birthday party invitations?
Do it via Facebook.

The only thing that the PO has a monopoly on is sending non urgent letters, and that’s only because everyone else is specifically banned from doing it. This isn’t a service that’s even needed anymore, and is only being propped up by the Direct Marketing industry sending junk mail.

At the very least the post office should close half its locations. Even small towns in my area all have at least two post offices, often within a mile or two of each other.

People talk about cutting Saturday delivery. Let’s try cutting everything but Saturday delivery. Seriously, when was the last time you got a letter that couldn’t wait until the end of the week? If it’s that important, send it via FedEx.

The lavish and hideously expensive pay and benefits to the public sector union workers just makes the whole thing more of a waste.

It might amaze you to know that not everybody has internet access. Nor does everyone want to do everything online that can be done online. I prefer to mail checks to pay my bills and I prefer to get them in the mail.

Direct marketers don’t prop up the USPS, it’s the other way around. They get to mail at reduced rates with presorting. Junk mail is a loser for the USPS.

Your last line reveals what you’re really pissed about- that some people that you consider to be unworthy have secure jobs with benefits.

Because people need physical objects sometimes.

Horseshit. UPS and FedEx don’t have anywhere near universal service.

Not everyone has computers and internet.

There is no universal coverage for those.

That’s just silly enough I’m not gonna bother on this one.

The post office pays for itself. The reason it is having money troubles now is that conservatives are requiring it to hold to a pension standard that no other business in America is required to.

Let me say that again, the post office is in fine financial shape, except for a specific unnecessary requirement that conservatives pushed on it.


How un-environmentally friendly of you.

If you want special treatment you should pay extra for it. Banks adapted to this as well as other industries. The only thing causing paper bills to still exist is inertia.

This is false. I worked in the DM industry for many years. Junk mail subsidizes the regular letters. Take away junk mail and there’s no way you’re sending that letter across the country for under 50 cents.

It’s reasonable to be pissed of at the excesses of public sector unions. They just had a story this morning on the news about a local cop who beat his wife. He’s been home, not working for a year. He’s still gotten paid his $130,000 salary during this time to surf the couch.

Public sector unions are completely out of control, but like I said, that’s a side issue. If the PO was worth saving we could cut the excessive pay and benefits of the workers.

But it’s not.

Fine. Then just privatize it and have it run as a business. If it’s so profitable, that shouldn’t be a problem, right?

No…that pretty much seems like your main issue.


Although it is owned entirely by the United States Government, the USPS functions as if it were a private corporation. It is run by an 11-member Board of Governors appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, with one member – the Postmaster General – acting as the Chief Executive Officer. The Postal Service is the third-largest employer in the United States, behind the Department of Defense and Wal-Mart.

The USPS is not paid for or supported by tax money. It is an independent operation that generates its own income from stamps and delivery services. Since its reorganization in 1971, the cost of a stamp has increased considerably from 8 cents, to 44 cents in 2009. Postal revenue of $75 billion in 2008 would have made it the 26th largest corporation on the Forbes 500 list if it were privately owned and operated.

I was about to say something like this. But I wouldn’t have done it as well, thanks.

My fair would be that if the Post Office were privatized, a CEO would figure it could be more profitable by cutting services to small rural area. I like the fact that there is service delivery even in a small town in Alaska.

What do you consider to be “excessive pay and benefits”? And since it’s entirely self-funded,* why do you care how much they make*? Would you be complaining about their pay salaries if those same employees were making the same amount of money at, say, FedEx?

Some people just don’t like the post office because they’ve had too many experiences with rude and/or unmotivated USPS personnel. I send a lot of stuff via U.S. Mail and have generally been satisfied by how it’s been handled (and you can’t beat the price), but I’ve also been struck by how unpleasant the counter staff can be.

Sure, they can privatize mail serve. As long as they keep the price as cheap as it is now, and as long as they ensure everyone has access to services.

The government has a vested interest in a reliable mail service. Tax forms come in the mail. Tax forms go out in the mail. And not just income taxes. Every business owner gets monthly tax forms. My city, state, and country want my money? They better make it easy for me to pay them.

I was listening to a radio talk show a few weeks back. A talking voice representing the “privatize” side was asked about rural areas, where post office service is already iffy. How would these places get served under a privatized model? His response? “We all make choices.” If you choose to live in the boonies, then no mail service for you.

So if that’s how it’s gonna be, why should anyone be excited?

That represents about a bit over a 4 percent annual inflation rate. So, its not exactly like the UPS is has been jacking up the price for decades to stick it to us common folk.

To me the UPS is a damn near miracle, much less at the prices they charge.

Thinking about it a bit, for the most part the goverment all in all did several things very well post WW2. Electricity for everyone. Highways and interstates. Reliable phone service. And the UPS. And some other basic infrastructures. These were all sorta a collaboration of private/public/government/legal monopolies. And IMO, not only were they all in all done pretty damn well, I think they were a significant factor in allowing the American economic engine to mostly kick ass for decades. And, these things helpt keep things humming along pretty damn well until the internet and computers came along to add their little boost that engine.

Also the fact the USPS is required by law to fund their retirement 70?! years out is almost batshit crazy IMO. As someone here noted, they have to fund their retirement for people that aren’t even fricking born yet (and who will probably take another 22 years give or take a few before they actually start working for them). With that kind of assinine requirement its wonder they can even function financially.

And if FedEx/UPS do not serve the address I want to send to because it is too rural or in a country they do not go to???

That’s not for funding the retirements of people not born yet. The Pubbies are anticipating the singularity within a few years, when everyone’s consciousness is uploaded into an artificial superintelligence. They’ll still need their health plans; the USPS just won’t be able to count on them ever dying and relieving the system of the economic burden they represent.