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Author Topic: SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!  (Read 248 times)

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Offline AlecWest

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SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:49:26 am »
Well, the Postmaster General threw up his hands in defeat (grin) - declaring that 6-day mail delivery will continue.  All this time, he thought switching to 5-day delivery was an "option" he could just mandate.  But the GAO discovered a sneaky little provision that was added to an appropriation bill in 1984 that said:

"... 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue at not less than the 1983 level."

In short, 6-day delivery is mandated by "law."  At first, USPS challenged that notion.  But after GAO's General Counsel, Susan Poling (a lawyer) sent a 5-page letter to the House Subcommittee on Government Operations explaining (in legalese) their position, the Postmaster General simply refused to dispute it.  Here's the letter:

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653188.pdf

BTW, if you're wondering how a semi-private entity like the US Postal Service can be controlled by GAO/Congressional dictates, it's because 1% of their budget comes from a Federal subsidy.  That subsidy pays for:

1)  Free mail for the blind and handicapped.
2)  Free mail for Senators, Congress, the President, and other government entities with franking privilege.
3)  Free mail for military people in a combat zone.

I'm so glad this is how things turned out.

Regards,
J. Alec West
"When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say."
-- Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers

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Offline Lost Shuttle 2

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Re: SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 01:10:05 am »
Since we are talking about this on another site do you mind if i borrow your post so they can see what is going on.... esp the part  about the subsidy ...

Since I don't think they are getting the info from a source that gives much real information.

To be honest I know a few seniors who will be happy to hear this.

Am awaiting that wonderful   :hbang: storm coming in I think I have all I can done now just waiting for it to come and get out fast.

Offline barbreader

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Re: SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 01:49:50 pm »
Congress will block all measures to par the service down to a point it can function with some financial balance, then the right will declare it obsolete and a waste of taxpayer dollars and eliminate it altogether.  If you think this is a victory for the Postal Service, I think you are sadly mistaken.

I hope I'm wrong, though.

Offline AlecWest

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Re: SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 05:18:35 pm »

Since we are talking about this on another site do you mind if i borrow your post so they can see what is going on.... esp the part  about the subsidy ...


No problem.  Be my guest (grin).  Here's some other stuff you might want to pass on.

Many people believe that 5-day delivery will save USPS lots of money ... that it's more cost-effective than 6-day delivery.  And the reason why they believe it is simply because Postmaster General Donahoe "said so."  But when this idea first came up, some people weren't so sure.  This included people at the General Accounting Office and Ruth Goldway (chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission).  Goldway told Donahoe, "Days don't cost money, people do."  She was trying to tell Donahoe that businesses don't succeed by "distancing" themselves from their customer-base (ie., decreasing service levels).  They succeed by cutting costs from within.  If mail volume goes down, less "people" are needed to deliver it ... meaning that routes should be combined while excess personnel are let go.

Anyhow, the GAO and Goldway (and certain members of Congress) started pressuring Donahoe to "prove" that 5-day delivery was the "magic bullet" he claimed it was.  And finally, last year, he commissioned an independent study to prove once and for all that he was right.  The study was completed in March 2012, Donahoe was given the results, and he promptly "sat" on those results - refusing to release them for public scrutiny:

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2012/03/does-usps-want-you-see-results-revenue-study/41467/

Since before I retired from USPS in 2011, I believed that Donahoe was an incompetent Postmaster General.  His earlier math didn't convince the GAO, Goldway, or Congress that Donahoe knew what he was talking about.  And his burial of this independent study sealed the deal.

USPS's future?  Putting on my soothsayer hat, I envision a two-tier postal scenario:

Tier #1 -- Processing and delivery of mail in metropolitan districts will be outsourced to the private sector because, in theory, the private sector can do the service cheaper and faster while making a profit.

Tier #2 -- The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 will be repealed.  USPS will go back to being the U.S. Post Office (a government agency).  But USPO will be a subsidized agency whose sole purpose will be to maintain the universal delivery mandate in rural areas (places private-sector carriers would consider "money-losing").

True story.  When I was first hired at USPS, I was a member of two online services - accessed through my Commodore 64 (grin).  One was called GEnie.  The other was called Quantum Link (now known as America Online).  I was sending messages to people all over the globe and sometimes getting instant replies.  My first day on the job consisted of "speeches/lectures" given by department heads.  When the marketing honcho finished his lecture, he called for questions.  I raised my hand and asked, "Does USPS plan on getting into the electronic mail business?"  Back then, before the "web" became popular, that was a reasonable question to ask.  The marketing honcho belly-laughed and replied, "We don't see a future in it."

USPS honchos had zero foresight.  I knew what was coming.  They thought it was probably a passing fad.  Even when the first automated machines were installed, USPS honchos were clueless to computerized control.  Seriously (snicker).  When a manager couldn't get an automated mail-sorter to work, he called for a newly-hired ET (electronics tech) to come over and find out why.  The tech asked the manager, "What operating system are you using?"  The manager replied, "What do you mean by 'operating system'?"  The ET went home and got his own personal copy of MS-DOS 3.2.  He installed it then installed the automation software - and things started working.  Yup, for a good while, the Portland Processing & Distribution Center machines were running on a "pirated" operating system courtesy of an ET (grin).

Point is, there are USPS executives who even now think that USPS's future is bright ... that they can somehow convince people to support a system that relies on making their slide-rules faster ... when the consuming public has already moved on to calculators.  USPS is a business-model in "sunset mode."  Emails, faxes, smart phones, etc., etc., started eating away at the business model when they were first invented.  And the "eating away" continues at exponential levels as more and more people embrace the electronic future.

P.S.  Some dark (but possibly prophetic) humor.  In 2011, just before I retired, I saw my supervisor (Brent) talking to two newly-hired employees.  Brent was one of those executives who tows the company line - convinced that USPS has a bright future.  Anyhow, he was giving the new-hires his "bright future" lecture - and I walked over to them, interjecting myself into the conversation.  This is approximately what I said:

When my granddaughter is old enough to travel, I'll take her with me on a vacation to Washington, DC.  And while we're there, we'll take in the exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution.  We'll be walking by one exhibit when my granddaughter will point at it, asking, "Grandpa, what's that?"  I'll look at it and reply, "Oh, that.  Back in my day, we called those things 'mailboxes'."  I'll explain to her that, to get a message to someone across town, people would write letters, put them in envelopes, and put the envelopes in a mailbox.  Then the next day, the recipient would get the mail.  But, my explanation will be interrupted by a BEEP-BEEP-BEEP sound.  And my granddaughter will take out a smart phone and say, "Excuse me, Grandpa, but I'm getting an instant text message from my text-pal in Australia."  THAT is the future of the Postal Service.

Brent was glaring at me as I walked off, hehehe.

Regards,
J. Alec West
"When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say."
-- Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers

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Offline Lost Shuttle 2

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Re: SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 06:43:05 pm »
Thank you Alex. I have not been able to find much on this in most the places I look, and I still like to send cards and letters and what have you to people esp the pen pals over seas some I have had for over 30 yrs and many of them do not have computers for what ever reasons.and its nice to get stuff from a couple when the Queen had her Jubilee   esp the bits from a newspaper and booklets things I could not get unless I was there. I now have a wonderful picture Of Queen Elizabeth and Hubby,

So for me no matter what I can find on line some things are just nicer if from the source..The picture would not had been so nice if just copied out off line.

I just wished they would remember not every one dose business on computer or do some letters yes short things I do but I like to send a LONG letter have been known to hit the 20 page mark my mom would call these just a note LOL




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Offline AlecWest

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Re: SIX-DAY DELIVERY LIVES!
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 02:34:25 am »

I just wished they would remember not every one dose business on computer or do some letters yes short things I do but I like to send a LONG letter have been known to hit the 20 page mark my mom would call these just a note LOL


I felt that way, too ... until I discovered electronic communication (grin).  But you're correct - that there are still people out there who prefer the low-tech communication methods.  Seeing the handwriting of a friend or relative has solid aesthetic value that will never be computerized.  And (grin), you can't put perfume or cologne on an email.

FWIW, I have a solution for postal service problems.  President Obama needs to encourage Postmaster General Donahoe to retire (or just dump him), replacing him with the one person who could do the job intelligently (in my opinion) - Ruth Goldway, chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission.  She knows the business model is in sunset mode and would deal with it the right way - by downsizing personnel in an orderly and ongoing manner as mail volume declines, not downsizing service presence.  If the President did this, he'd be accomplishing two things.  First, he'd replace an incompetent executive with a competent one.  Secondly, he'd be installing the very first female Postmaster General in U.S. history.  After over two-and-a-quarter centuries of males in that position, it's probably time for a change (grin).

Regards,
J. Alec West
"When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say."
-- Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers

http://p2trek.com - http://farragut.novelhost.net - http://potemkin.novelhost.net
http://Trek-A-Lot.p2trek.com


 

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