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Postal Service Is Nearing Default as Losses Mount
The NY Times ^ | Sept. 4, 2011 | STEVEN GREENHOUSE

Posted on 09/04/2011 7:16:33 PM PDT by caper gal 1

The United States Postal Service has long lived on the financial edge, but it has never been as close to the precipice as it is today: the agency is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.

“Our situation is extremely serious,” the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, said in an interview. “If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.”

In recent weeks, Mr. Donahoe has been pushing a series of painful cost-cutting measures to erase the agency’s deficit, which will reach $9.2 billion this fiscal year. They include eliminating Saturday mail delivery, closing up to 3,700 postal locations and laying off 120,000 workers — nearly one-fifth of the agency’s work force — despite a no-layoffs clause in the unions’ contracts.

The post office’s problems stem from one hard reality: it is being squeezed on both revenue and costs.

As any computer user knows, the Internet revolution has led to people and businesses sending far less conventional mail.

At the same time, decades of contractual promises made to unionized workers, including no-layoff clauses, are increasing the post office’s costs. Labor represents 80 percent of the agency’s expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service and 32 percent at FedEx, its two biggest private competitors. Postal workers also receive more generous health benefits than most other federal employees.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: postalservice; postoffice; unions; usps
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To: Sarajevo

Removing unions from government period would be a huge improvement.


21 posted on 09/04/2011 8:06:24 PM PDT by caper gal 1 (Rubio/Ryan Ryan/Rubio 2012)
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To: caper gal 1

On Obama’s watch, no less: he’ll forever be known as the Post Turtle.


22 posted on 09/04/2011 8:08:18 PM PDT by rfp1234
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To: CapnJack
I will EVER do electronic payments. Way to easy for someone to hack you account and drain you of everything.

I agree. So true.

23 posted on 09/04/2011 8:10:18 PM PDT by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis (Want to make $$$? It's easy! Use FR as a platform to pimp your blog for hits!!!)
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To: caper gal 1

I had a friend once whose job was to sort mail into bins in the backroom of the post office. He said he could easily do 5 bins on a shift but the “union standard” was 2 bins so that’s the most he was allowed to do.


24 posted on 09/04/2011 8:10:37 PM PDT by blue state conservative
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To: blue state conservative

That’s EXACTLY the sort of waste I’m talking about when I rant how unions are destroying this country.


25 posted on 09/04/2011 8:16:06 PM PDT by caper gal 1 (Rubio/Ryan Ryan/Rubio 2012)
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To: caper gal 1

“Stabilize its finances” sounds so much nicer than “bail it out”.


26 posted on 09/04/2011 8:22:56 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Sarajevo

Seems to me it gives them the power, if they choose to exercise it, to establish a post office. I don’t see that it mandates them to do it.

“To establish Post Offices and post Roads;”

How many post roads are there?


27 posted on 09/04/2011 8:27:50 PM PDT by DManA
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To: CapnJack

Been paying bills on line for years. Take precautions and it’s a lot safer than putting things in an outside mailbox.


28 posted on 09/04/2011 9:04:48 PM PDT by Nucluside (ready)
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To: caper gal 1
Kirk: Let them die!


29 posted on 09/04/2011 10:50:05 PM PDT by conservativeimage.com
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To: DManA

How many post roads are there?
Very few so named; the most famous named one in the country is the Boston Post Road (aka US 1 nowadays, which is the "lower" post road along the shore line).

Arguably, the interstate highway system is the culmination of the "post road" edict. The notion was certainly supported by the old Commission on Post Offices and Post Roads in the early half of the century. The total cost to the public for building that system comes to about half a trillion dollars, and like every federal "trust fund" meant to support such things, there's no self-sufficiency in it.
30 posted on 09/04/2011 11:27:27 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Ciexyz
Maxine Waters agrees with you. She is calling for a trillion dollar job stimulus that will protect government employees.
31 posted on 09/05/2011 3:30:50 AM PDT by NautiNurse (Drink good coffee. You can sleep when you are dead.)
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To: CapnJack

Do you still get ice delivered to house by horsecart?


32 posted on 09/05/2011 3:35:04 AM PDT by Rome2000 (OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST CRYPTO-MUSLIM)
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To: Olog-hai
I suppose you could argue that if you like to argue but that's not the argument was made when they were built.

Arguably, the interstate highway system is the culmination of the "post road" edict.

They were built for defense, not to speed the mail.

33 posted on 09/05/2011 7:05:08 AM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

They were built for defense, not to speed the mail
Yes, I've heard that excuse before. Kinda doesn't hold up in the face of the fact that Germany's Autobahn system ended up being a liability instead of an asset, what with the Allies using them to penetrate the Fatherland far easier than without.

The current use of the interstates for transporting mail does mark them as post roads. They along with the airlines killed the railway post office system.


34 posted on 09/05/2011 11:50:35 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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