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Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Baby She Sent Me A Letter...

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I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

My Baby She Wrote Me A Letter...

Before we get into exploring how to fix this mess, I want to look at some numbers...

According to the article, the USPS had an income of $67.1-billion. Also, they handled 170.6-billion pieces of mail. If you do the simple math, that comes out to an average of $0.39 per item.

We're going to come back to this. Trust me.

OK, the USPS is going bankrupt and taking us with it. So, now what?

The US Post Office is one of the few things that the Constitution itself creates. See Article 1, Section 8. This means that any really radical changes to the way the mail is handled could very well require a Constitutional amendment. We're going to ignore that, at least for now.

The problem is a simple one: The USPS is spending more than they take in. While income was $67.1-billion, expenses came to $70-billion.

Similarly, the solution is equally simple: (1) Increase income, or (2) Decrease Expenses.

The USPS has done a fair job—and I'm being generous—in reducing expenses. There is still room for improvement, though. Frankly, getting mail six days a week is crazy. Even five days a week is pushing it. In fact, why do we get mail delivery at all? For most of this country's history, when you wanted your mail, most people went to the Post Office to get it. Go back to that. Have Post Office Boxes in neighborhoods where your mail is left and you go there to get it. No need for a carrier to go door-to-door to deliver your Wal-Mart ads. Many rural areas already do this. Why not urban and suburban as well? And businesses can go get their own mail, too. They are nothing special.

This would eliminate a huge chunk of costs to the USPS.

But the biggest thing here is to increase income.

Would someone explain to me why the average income per piece of mail handled is $0.39 when the cost to mail a 1st class letter is $0.44? Are there enough post cards sent at $0.28 each to pull the average down that much?

No, don't be stupid.

The problem is that if you or I mail a letter, it costs us $0.44. If Billy-Bob's Hillbilly Emporium mails out 2000 letters, he pays a lot less.


And don't give me the crap about supporting business. I couldn't find any reliable figures, but I would bet that 80% of all pieces handled by the USPS are business items. If we make all letters pay the normal 1st class postage, the income of the USPS goes from $67.1-billion to $75.1-billion. Instead of a loss of $3-billion, we have a profit of $5-billion.

No muss, no fuss.

But, these are short term solutions. We need a more permanent solution to out problem...

Basically, the US government needs to get out of the mail business.

Imagine this...

A consortium of carriers takes over 1st class mail. They offer almost all of the things that the USPS does, maybe plus a few others. I can see something formed by, say, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and a few others who can do this. They are already set up to handle huge amounts of packages with great efficiency and to turn a profit.

Now here's an unpopular word among the Ruling Elite today...


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Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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