Posts Tagged: U.S. Postal Service

Boring headline hides real crisis at Postal Service

Sean Collins Walsh probably wasn’t too pleased by the headline his editors chose for his thorough report on the crisis at the U.S. Postal Service.   “Many Seek to Revamp Post Office” is not likely to pull in a horde of readers.  But the Postal Service is in a serious mess, and since it’s the second largest government owner of real estate (after the DoD) and employs more than 600,000 Americans, problems at the Post Office matter.  Collins Walsh writes that prior to the debt ceiling crisis, “several members of Congress had another issue they wanted to focus on:  an overhaul of the Postal Service.”  The question is, will the service be cut, and employees cut, and a great American institution cut to the bone?  Or will creative approaches come to the fore?

Post Office closings show lack of creative thinking in government

Creative thinking, risk-taking, looking down the line to think why losing a post office in a small community could really hurt . . . these are all the things that should have run through the mind of someone — anyone — in the White House or Congress when the idea of closing thousands of post offices around the country came up.  It’s one of the last physical signs in your neighborhood of your government at work – and it could be a place where you do more than just write a letter.  And what would it take to save them?  A little imagination.

How Not to Lose a Hugely Valuable Resource — the USPS

Now this is thinking differently.  John Nichols of The Nation looks at the U.S. Postal Service and sees not a feeble, dying, unprofitable bureaucracy but instead a highly effective and dependable public institution that could help pave the way for a different financial and information infrastructure across the U.S.  Examples?  (more…)


This weekend the Washington Post’s Brigid Schulte tackled the hot-button political issue of the time:

In the past 20 years, 200,000 mailboxes have vanished from city streets, rural routes and suburban neighborhoods — more than the 175,000 that remain. In the Washington area alone, half the blue boxes that were on the streets nine years ago have been pulled up and taken to warehouses to molt in storage or be sold for scrap, leaving 4,071 mailboxes remaining in the District, Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs.

"It was a nice-looking box," sighed Dorothy Yankanich, 77, looking out on the empty concrete slab across the street. "That was my exercise. Going across the street with the mail every day."

The U.S. postal service is in serious trouble: the agency has a $6 billion shortfall, wants emergency relief from Congress, and may stop delivering the mail on Saturday. Whether or not you mourn the loss of hand-written correspondence and the thrill of picking up the mail each day (the only mail this internet-centric blogger has received the past three days are Subway fast food restaurant coupons), the postal service has served as a reminder that government can work. Even George Will likes it — he concluded a recent column that railed against federal cash for public transportation: "Once upon a time, government was supposed to defend the shores, deliver the mail and let people get on with their lives." So hopefully, in some revamped, 21st-century form, the postal service can continue to serve as a model for good government.-MB