This past week, the US Postal Regulatory Commission notified the public of their desire to raise the cost of a first class stamp by 2 cents. These are the same folks who also want to remove Saturday delivery. Once again, we would pay more for less service.
From my grassroots perspective, the issue of removing a delivery day is simply “bad business”. Amazon products, Netflix, various weekly periodicals, medications for the elderly and the infirm- all use the postal system AND require timely delivery. Also important are our bill payments and handwritten letters which need to reach their destinations ASAP. It boggles my mind. Ever since last spring, when the Postmaster General introduced the idea of a ”5 day delivery”, I have heard people say “the post office is going extinct”! Then I find myself doing damage control to calm the public fears.
I have spent many hours this past week making connections with “letter enthusiasts”across the country, in Canada, Australia, Singapore, and London. I am amazed to discover the energy that exists within these groups. By encouraging letter writing, the postal services around the globe will benefit from increased revenues. We are doing our part, we need the USPS to back us up and keep delivering the mail 6 days per week.
I spoke with my Congresswoman, Rosa DeLauro last week, and she supports: “No change” in delivery. Remember, any change would have to be voted on in Congress. Another point that the general public may not be aware of is the financial troubles of the USPS are due to 2 factors- 1. an annual requirement to prepay the health care benefits of future retirees to a tune of $6 billion per year; and 2. there’s an overpayment of $75 billion for pension benefits which occurred during the transition from the Post Office Department to the USPS. The solution is to ask Congress to pass legislation to repay the $75 billion, and to revise the requirement for pre-funding the retirees’ health care benefits to pay like other agencies on a yearly basis as needed.
Yes, technology has depleted mail volumes. However, the overpayment issue is the major hole in the boat. If that were addressed and repayed the Postal Service would not be threatened.
2 cents more -seems like another idea with poor timing. With mail volumes dwindling why punish the customers who are still using the service? It will be difficult for some small businesses. For the rest of us, who easily give over a few cents weekly, even daily at the gas pumps, 2 cents more will only make our handwritten letters even more valuable. Yet we must insist that our letters get every opportunity to be delivered and that includes Saturdays! Think of the joy of receiving a note from a friend on a weekend when you can indulge in the reading and savor the connection at a slower pace. That option must be kept available.
Contact your congressperson http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and voice your opinion. Your opinion matters. Keep the mailman/woman in the neighborhood every day possible.
”As long as there are postmen, life will have zest”! -William James