Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?

Reporter Jesse Lichtenstein writes in February's Esquire magazine. "The postal service is not a federal agency. It does not cost taxpayers a dollar. It loses money only because Congress mandates that it do so. What it is is a miracle of high technology and human touch. It's what binds us together as a country."

In the article "Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?," Lichtenstein points out, "Today the postal service has a network that stretches across America: 461 distribution centers, 32,000 post offices, and 213,000 vehicles, the largest civilian fleet in the world. Trucks carrying mail log 1.2 billion miles a year. The postal service handles almost half of the entire planet's mail. It can physically connect any American to any other American in 3.7 million square miles of territory in a few days, often overnight: a vast lattice of veins and arteries and capillaries designed to circulate the American lifeblood of commerce and information and human contact."

"On October 1, the postal service defaulted on its second $5.5 billion health-care payment for the year. Around the same time, it reached its federal debt limit, meaning it can no longer borrow any money" Lichtenstein says.

He quotes USPS CFO Joseph Corbett as saying, "...if Congress does nothing, the best-case scenario is that the postal service has enough money to last until October 2013. After that, it will be unable to pay employees or purchase gas or keep the lights on in its sorting facilities. It will be no more."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 3:59 PM