HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The End of the Post Offic...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:32 PM

The End of the Post Office as a Public Institution?


from OnTheCommons.org:


The End of the Post Office as a Public Institution?
The Post Office will close half its processing centers this year and end Saturday delivery

| by David Morris


For the post office the end game is on. This year the Post Office will close half its processing centers. By late spring a first class letter will take 1-3 days longer to arrive at its destination. By the end of this summer Saturday delivery is scheduled to end. Over the next year the Post Office plans to close over 3000 local post offices while slashing some 220,000 of the its 650,000 employees.

How did we come to this place? In retrospect, it is easy to distinguish three discrete stages in the 221-year life of the Post Office.

Stage 1: The Post Office Has a Broad Public Mandate

The first stage began in 1792 when President George Washington signed legislation making the United States Post Office a Cabinet level Department. It was a public institution with a clear mandate: to enable universal low cost access to information. In its early years this led it to initiate free and low cost delivery of newspapers and eventually, to offer a special rate for periodicals and books.

The post office helped tie the country together physically as well as intellectually. Post roads were essential to the early development of the country. Rural free delivery established in the late 19th century, spurred improvements in roads and bridges since the post office would not offer service where roads were bad. In the 20th century mail contracts underwrote the embryonic aviation industry. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/end-post-office-public-institution



25 replies, 1277 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply The End of the Post Office as a Public Institution? (Original post)
marmar Feb 2013 OP
Warpy Feb 2013 #1
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #6
NightWatcher Feb 2013 #2
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #4
onehandle Feb 2013 #3
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #5
marmar Feb 2013 #7
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #10
onehandle Feb 2013 #11
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #12
badtoworse Feb 2013 #17
zbdent Feb 2013 #8
Laura PourMeADrink Feb 2013 #9
KharmaTrain Feb 2013 #13
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #14
Sheldon Cooper Feb 2013 #16
badtoworse Feb 2013 #19
Brickbat Feb 2013 #20
badtoworse Feb 2013 #21
Brickbat Feb 2013 #22
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #24
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #23
Sheldon Cooper Feb 2013 #25
datasuspect Feb 2013 #15
xchrom Feb 2013 #18

Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:34 PM

1. That's what the Republicans think they want

but we'll see what happens when their franking privileges (free mail) goes away with the USPS.

They haven't thought this one through, either, just like they are never capable of thinking anything through.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:39 PM

6. i doubt congress will suffer. it's the ordinary people who think this is great who haven't thought

 

it through.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:35 PM

2. How much will Fedex charge to deliver a letter after USPS is closed?

I'm guessing a shitload more than .47$

Has anyone tied UPS or FEDEX to the effort to kill the USPS?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NightWatcher (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:37 PM

4. i read it's $8-something currently.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:36 PM

3. The Constitution matters until it interferes with privatization plans. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onehandle (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:38 PM

5. +1.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onehandle (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:39 PM

7. Tragicomically true.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onehandle (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:56 PM

10. How would this violate the Constitution?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:24 PM

11. The Post Office is a Constitutional requirement.

The GOP uses the Constitution as toilet paper except when them misinterpret it for gun nuts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postal_Clause

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onehandle (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:40 AM

12. The Constitution says that Congress has the power to establish post offices

Nowhere does it say that Congress must establish post offices. And it certainly doesn't mandate Saturday delivery.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:11 AM

17. It also doesn't say that Congress can't delegate the power.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:40 PM

8. I wonder how many businesses could withstand

having to guarantee 75 years of profits before they could open their doors? (Probably only drug dealers ...)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:54 PM

9. very sad.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:51 AM

13. Cause "De-Regulation" and Privitization Works So Well...

In the 80s the airlines were deregulated...the unions busted and our air transportation system has "never been better" . Numerous sales and mergers that drove the buyers into huge debts along with top heavy management has led to the stripped down and barely functional air system. It's also meant that many smaller towns that once had service no longer did cause they just weren't "profitable enough".

In the 90s it was the "public airwaves" that got the treatment. Once again large corporates bought everything in sight to dominate the industry and proceded to bankrupt themselves in the process. Small and now medium and major markets have lost local service...replaced by satellited clap trap. Many times when there's bad weather or a serious news story the local media is non-existent and whatever is available is unreliable.

Now the sites are set on the USPS...a long time target of the rushpublicans. They see the service as "loafers"...a bloated government welfare program that hires lots of minorities and are "infected" with unions. Unfortunately they're well on their way of "regulating" the USPS into bankruptcy...then to set up another "privatization" failure...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:58 AM

14. The times they are a changin'

The post office needs to change with the times. It has done it before and it can do it again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:08 AM

16. Freddie Stubbs, you seem to be somewhat hostile toward the USPS.

Would you be willing to explain why? Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:17 AM

19. He is correct. Paper, as a means of communicating information, is becoming obsolete.

We are not going to need the huge letter handling capacity that we had prior to digital / wireless technology. Given that, the Post Office will need to change. In my opinion, its role will be pretty much limited to delivering packages.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to badtoworse (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:19 AM

20. The year the USPS handled its largest volume of mail was 2006.

The same year Congress said it had to fund the health-care of employees who hadn't been born yet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brickbat (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:26 AM

21. What difference does that make?

The point is that digital / wireless technology is the way of the future. Vinyl records, film and broadcast analog TV became obsolete because of it. Do you think paper will be an exception?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to badtoworse (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:15 AM

22. The digital and wireless technologies were humming along quite well in 2006, and still the USPS was

thriving. Not only was it thriving, it was booming. Technologies change, I understand that. But not as quickly as people seem to think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brickbat (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:05 PM

24. So, despite increasing population, mail volume last year was less than it was in 2006?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:38 AM

23. Your inference is incorrect

I want it to change so that it stays viable. It seems that there are a lot of people who seem to equate change with doom. The USPS has changed in the past (going from twice-a-day delivery to once-a-day) and it must continue to do so in order to survive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:10 PM

25. I'm sorry I misunderstood.

Thanks for the clarification. I agree that the postal service has to change with the times to stay viable - no disagreement there. I think perhaps I'm a little oversensitive to criticism of the USPS, which is odd because I have no direct connection to it. In fact, I don't even use it all that much. I guess I'm just defensive because I see how badly the Republicans want to destroy it so they can privatize mail delivery and to me that is despicable. Thanks again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:02 AM

15. it's the destruction of the commons, silly

 

plus i truly believe that rw'ers think the local post office can be converted to a FEMA processing center overnight when the FEMA concetration camps go live.

i don't believe that, but i can see a paranoid rw mind being incensed at having a federal government office right there in their VERY MIDST!!!!111111

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:11 AM

18. du rec. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread