It is unfortunate that the U.S. Postal Service is in decline just like the newspaper and magazine industries ["U.S. Postal Service Fights for Survival," usnews.com]. This reality is a sign of the times and the Internet has become the most convenient, readily available, and widely used means for information and communication. E-mail and paperless bills are continuously replacing traditional mail the USPS handles and will continue to do so in succeeding generations as we rely more and more on the Web.
Comment by Julie S. of VT
There are so many ways the post office could save money, but there needs to be some leadership, which does not exist at this time. One thing that should be done is to eliminate 50 percent of management positions. The position of postmaster is so obsolete, and it is totally unnecessary. In large cities it is no more than a PR position. At smaller post offices a regular clerk could run things just fine without the postmaster salary. Also management for years has used the excuse that they cannot manage properly because of the unions, and that is exactly what that is, an excuse. Real changes will never come about from within; it must be from outside, like Congress or an oversight body. The good 'ole boy system has got to be torn down to ever have any real positive changes within the USPS.
Comment by Dave of WI
I think that the reason the Postal Service is losing so much money is for two reasons: way too much management and some rules enacted by the unions that make it hard for the postal service to manage its operations in a successful manner. There are times when overtime has to be paid out when other means are available that wouldn't cost as much money. But in a way, management's hands are tied because of the way the contract is written. And there are some people who just don't care about doing their job in the right way. I know of several letter carriers who will beg to work on their day off to make overtime and then call in sick the day after so they get the overtime, plus they get their day off which is paid due to sick leave that they have. They will laugh it off when they return and say what a coincidence it was that they happened to get sick the day after they worked overtime.
Comment by Jimmy Washington of OR
Automate the process to the maximum and implement corporate quality assurance, total quality management (TQM), and customer satisfaction. There are 18-wheel truckloads of "junk" mail being circulated around the country. All of this can run via Internet, cellphones, etc., to those who really need it and use it. Charge such "junk" mail at higher rates. How much does this trucking cost (fuel, driver, insurance, scheduling, dispatching/receiving, security, etc.)? Prioritize all hardcopy mail and charge accordingly.
Comment by George of TX
The USPS has a good product; it just isn't so necessary now as it was a decade ago. And in the future it will become even less necessary. There's no way to stop that. Any "adaptations" that impose penalties on e-communications will simply fail. Those are electronic transmissions and therefore out of the USPS's jurisdiction. So is the USPS going to be relegated to niche status? The big money is in freight and parcel deliveries, including overnight service. Can the Postal Service, in a fair fight, take on UPS and FedEx? If it can't, then it tanks.
Comment by Rob Dunbar of IL