Kudos to the United States Postal Service. Ending Saturday delivery is a step in the right direction for the ever-failing quasi-governmental organization. But is this too little, too late? With an estimated loss of 15 billion a year, due mainly to prepaid pensions, the Saturday delivery cut will take care of only 2 to 3 billion of that deficit, leaving the USPS in a hole 12 to 13 billion deep. Union leaders, Congress, and the American public face some hard choices. Do we allow the USPS to increase postage to rates that UPS and FedEx have survived on? Should Congress revise its 2006 law requiring that the pensions be prepaid, or do we let the USPS fail? How important to you is every door, every day service? Isn’t five days enough? I, for one, would enjoy five-day service. I mean, who wants a bill in the mail on a Saturday to ruin the rest of your weekend anyway?
The announcement to cancel Saturday mail was a milestone in USPS history. The USPS made this announcement during a press conference even before consulting Congress or union leaders. Since union leaders influence the members of Congress who actually determine the fate of the USPS, I would think they wound be in the know. But they weren’t, and I’m happy about that. This means that the USPS is taking charge and making decisions no matter who it upsets in the process.
Here’s to hoping that the USPS can make the necessary decisions to stay afloat for another 50 years! But if it can’t, we’ll just have to use the interweb. That is, of course, what you’re reading this on!