How to Fix the Postal Service

Beyond closures and cutbacks, there is a host of other ways to boost the USPS bottom line.

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In Callan's opinion, even bigger growth could be the key to survival. "The postal service could do a lot less and partner a lot more with the private sector," he says.

More Ads in the Mailbox

According to its five-year plan, the USPS thinks that direct mail—in which businesses circulate advertising to selected neighborhoods—could potentially be a chief area of future revenue growth. "If I'm a pizza shop and I want a menu to everyone in my neighborhood, I can bring it to the postal service, and [the mail carrier will] drop the piece off at everybody's door," explains Gary Reblin, vice president of domestic products for the USPS. The program will mean fuller mailboxes and, the USPS hopes, fuller coffers.

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