U.S. Postal Service: salvageable or doomed?

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I think you should write a textbook called 'basic economics' where you teach people how the government paying money to send trash around the country is just 'basic economics'

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

Don't make me use the gavel and call the previous question or w/e.

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee, you realize that you arent actually fooling anyone here right

Rachel Profiling (jjjusten), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

no you convinced me w/ basic economics, I'm on your side now

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

what i heard was USPS actually earns money from junk mailers paying them to send crap everywhere but this was from a pamphlet i received sponsored by awesome patriot junk mailers for america or some such group.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:12 (1 year ago) Permalink

um, you should probably double-check what 'basic economics' refers to, iatee

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee if you had bothered to read the first post in the thread you'd know that the turn to increased junk mail is in large part a result of absurd pension-funding requirements designed to kill the postal service

i don't believe in zimmerman (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

1. postal service exists, 2. prices set by (?)(no idea what bulk rates are tbh), 3. business that want to cram your box with coupons use it.

again this seems like a minor problem. solving 3. by getting rid of 1. doesn't make much sense to me.

goole, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

prior to the passage of the union-busing bush law discussed upthread, the USPS actually managed to break even year after year. the postal service paid for itself. i.e., there is was no subsidy to mail paper around the country.

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

ppl who think post office ppl are 'cocks obv need to move out of the city

Silky Slim (dan m), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

most people in cities are cocks btw

Silky Slim (dan m), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee if you had bothered to read the first post in the thread you'd know that the turn to increased junk mail is in large part a result of absurd pension-funding requirements designed to kill the postal service

its obligations have nothing to do w/ its revenue sources - the revenue from traditional mail is going to continue to decline regardless. does anyone believe they will be paying their bills by mail in 2030?

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

best way to reduce the amount of useless bulk mail would be to slightly increase the cost of sending it. would weed out a few who can't afford or don't really depend on it, while generating more income off the remaining users. i suspect that the post office has already pushed this as far as they can. what's probably required is a subsidy to offset the cost of making bulk mail prohibitively expensive to all but a few users.

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

i'd say the fundamental problem with the USPS isn't that it sends paper around -- how is the core function of a thing a 'liability'? -- it's that its service (to everywhere the same) and price (the same everwhere, and low) are highly constrained by politics.

the education and blowing-shit-up functions of the public sector don't have to worry about this kind of strict return; the mail is more like that, no matter what a great job UPS and fedex are doing picking and choosing what they send and how, which the mail can't and shouldn't do.

goole, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

does anyone believe they will be paying their bills by mail in 2030?

― iatee, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:19 AM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

not if the gov't succeeds in destroying the USPS

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

i kind of like junk mail when it's awesome, like cereal samples, coupons for free burgers, $1 bills, fancy CD cases...

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

well and wrt the current discussion, the junk mail thing is really a red herring, like i said upthread - it makes no sense to talk about junk mail percentage in a conversation about the sustainability of the post office. xposts

Rachel Profiling (jjjusten), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

i'd say the fundamental problem with the USPS isn't that it sends paper around -- how is the core function of a thing a 'liability'? -- it's that its service (to everywhere the same) and price (the same everwhere, and low) are highly constrained by politics.

well, I agree w/ the second part but w/r/t the first part, it's a business that's in an inevitable decline.

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

see but it is not a business per se

Rachel Profiling (jjjusten), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

'the necessity to send pieces of paper across the country is quickly becoming less of a necessity'

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

yes i don't think it's a business, it's a public service. therefore if it's expensive you do what you can to manage it but ultimately say "huh interesting, here's the check"

goole, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

they send other stuff, too! not just slips of paper. cheaper than fedex/ups sometimes also!

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

Do they give away $1 bills in junk mail???

how's life, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

they

how's life, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

'cheaper than fedex/ups' is not actually a good thing if we want to live in a world where the total environmental cost of sending a package across the country gets paid

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

why on earth would you ask it to 'pay for itself'? does, idk, a district court do that?

per recent foreign affairs article, this gov't is currently spending the GDP of spain to put worthless planes in the air for a few hours a year so the $$ of what's 'worth it' need to be considered in toto

goole, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

we should start an ilx penpal group, to support the post office and show our support

dayo, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

i remember getting $1 bills as junk mail, once from some local office politician trying to literally buy a vote (the top of the letter read something like "HERE'S A DOLLAR! Now that I've got your attention...") i love this kind of junk mail.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee, you should drop the code about "total environmental cost" and just own up to a desire to make rural/semi-rural living less attractive in order to push people out of living that way

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

UK - Royal Mail

From 60p for mail up to 100g

France - La Poste

1,45 € for 100g

Germany - Deutsche Post

0.90 € for 50 g

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

'cheaper than fedex/ups' is not actually a good thing
there's no contradiction in raising prices across the board to reflect environmental costs (maybe by taxing fuel?) while still preserving a price advantage. i'm just sayin USPS rocks. I want them to administer health care.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

the code about "total environmental cost"

What if it's not code? I can see why the govmt subsidized rural living in the 19th century to secure our new lands and win the frontier from the Indians but why do we have to subsidize it now? I can totally see the benefits of rural electrification and rural delivery on country living but I don't see why everyone shouldn't now be paying their real market costs regardless of what I think of rural living.

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

voila

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

like how awesome would it be if your doctor came door to door, did a checkup, then "oh btw, here's an envelope with a dollar in it. no you keep it, it's yours. also here's a coupon for a burger."

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

From iatee, it's code.

The government subsidizes all kinds of living - rural, suburban, urban. Let's not pretend that the relatively small percentage of rural and semi-rural Americans are getting something no one else does.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

uh, you don't have to pretend?

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

what if we charged people who lived in poorer zip codes more for the cost of police calls into them

goole, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

If you think we're ever going to get urban and suburban SUV owners to pay $17/gallon for gas just so we can get Mayberry RFD to pay more for first class mail I have some bad news for you.

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

urban taxpayers pay for "total environmental cost" in ways other than postage ... that's why my highly urbanized state pays more in federal tax dollars than it gets back from Washington.

Nu Metal is the best music there is, the rest is pussy shit. (Eisbaer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

the subsidy argument only applies if you are willing to say that govt entities should be held to a break even standard which is straight up insane and leads basically to arguments of privitization. i mean unless you want to talk about libraries pulling their own weight then picking and choosing the USPS just because they were dumb enough to actually make some of the money back seems ultraweird to me.

Rachel Profiling (jjjusten), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:44 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee does have a point: even without the bush law, the demand for mail service (outside the bulk-rate business stuff) is declining and likely will continue to decline. this in turn will make the maintenance of non-urban post offices and mail delivery routes increasingly expensive on a per customer basis, with less "service" delivered per dollar spent. some sort of break point will inevitably be reached. figuring out how to manage the transition in the here and now makes more sense than just pretending we can maintain the current delivery model forever.

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah libraries are institutions where lots of people share resources, the postal service is an institution where millions of pounds of paper gets flown around the country to be thrown away immediately, can you find a difference here

iatee, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

I don't know what's worse, getting mailed a check for 3¢ or getting a nickel stickied to some cardboard flyer.

pplains, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee does have a point: even without the bush law, the demand for mail service (outside the bulk-rate business stuff) is declining and likely will continue to decline. this in turn will make the maintenance of non-urban post offices and mail delivery routes increasingly expensive on a per customer basis, with less "service" delivered per dollar spent. some sort of break point will inevitably be reached. figuring out how to manage the transition in the here and now makes more sense than just pretending we can maintain the current delivery model forever.

― Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:46 PM (34 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

smart people could have figured this transition out except the other bush law abt non-mail revenue sources kind of fucked that up

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

doesn't it make more sense to think of the post office as a utility rather than a business

the late great, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

In the coming era of big data, market function may get more and more exact. Inasmuch as that leads to efficiency, I'm for it. In as much as both efficiency and the health and beauty of our environment is concerned, I'm all for it.

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

anyway i just heard the mailman, gonna go see what came today

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

iatee how do you feel about rural libraries

Rachel Profiling (jjjusten), Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

You mean like how electric companies are now run by Edison or Entergy?

pplains, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

- alumni magazine
- urban outfitters catalog
- greeting card

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 17:49 (1 year ago) Permalink


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