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Saturday, May 28, 2011
Is The Postal Service Heading Off A Cliff?
Facebook friend Nancy Pope, historian and curator of postal history at the National Postal Museum, recommends taking a look at the cover story in Businessweek magazine titled"The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse" by Devin Leonard.
Nancy says, "An interesting piece on the postal service's future. Some good points and a few that aren't quite on the mark, but worth reading."
According to the article, Phillip Herr with the U.S. Government Accountability Office has been diagnosing what ails the U.S. Postal Service for the past three years.
Referring to U.S. Postal Service, Herr is quoted as saying, ""It's one of those things that the public just takes for granted. The mailman shows up, drops off the mail, and that's it."
He also finds it's "headed off a cliff."
"He [Herr] is struck by how many USPS executives started out as letter carriers or clerks. He finds them so consumed with delivering mail that they have been slow to grasp how swiftly the service's financial condition is deteriorating," pens Leonard.
Leonard, who looks at some other postal systems around the world, comments, "This should be a moment for the country to ask some basic questions about its mail delivery system. Does it make sense for the postal service to charge the same amount to take a letter to Alaska that it does to carry it three city blocks? Should the USPS operate the world's largest network of post offices when 80 percent of them lose money? And is there a way for the country to have a mail system that addresses the needs of consumers who use the Internet to correspond?"
On a philatelic note, Leonard discovered, "The 73rd Postmaster General [Patrick Donahoe] sits comfortably in a blue leather chair in his wood-paneled Washington office, surrounded by postal artifacts. There's a portrait of original Postmaster Benjamin Franklin on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and a bronze statue of a Pony Express rider. Donahoe, a car buff, has also decorated the room with sports car stamps."