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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
More proof that unions are destroying this country.
1 posted on 09/04/2011 7:16:37 PM PDT by caper gal 1
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To: caper gal 1

Yes, unions can screw up even a decent business model. When business looses the ability to define what it can offer to employees in pay and benefits as a take or leave it proposition, the business is doomed to fail. The employees, for the large part, haven’t a clue about the simple concepts of overhead, cash flow, margin, or capital expenses. It is like letting the inmates run the prison or the lunatics run the asylum.


2 posted on 09/04/2011 7:22:07 PM PDT by RobertClark (People sleep peaceably in their beds at night b'cse good men are rdy to do violence on their behalf)
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To: caper gal 1

Yep, and proof that government entities cannot change with the times.


3 posted on 09/04/2011 7:22:11 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: caper gal 1

Weird how bad “spreadin’ the wealth around” has really screwed up the country. No money left!!! Looks like we’re going to need to print some more.


4 posted on 09/04/2011 7:22:28 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Coming November 2012 - The End of an Error.)
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To: caper gal 1
now what do I do with all my "forever" stamps?.....

you know it can't be shouted loud enough....its the PENSIONS stupid....

5 posted on 09/04/2011 7:26:56 PM PDT by cherry
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To: caper gal 1

This stinks. How will I pay my bills?

Is there a chance that 1st Class mail will go privet?

Ain’t no way, no how I will EVER do electronic payments. Way to easy for someone to hack you account and drain you of everything.


6 posted on 09/04/2011 7:27:41 PM PDT by CapnJack
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To: caper gal 1

shut er down and sell off its offices
bills and junk crappola,
shut it down


7 posted on 09/04/2011 7:27:54 PM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) Obammy is little more than a quota boy with a teleprompter)
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To: RobertClark

Totally agree - the financial turn-around of Wisconsin’s school systems in the past several months should be all people need to know.


8 posted on 09/04/2011 7:29:43 PM PDT by caper gal 1 (Rubio/Ryan Ryan/Rubio 2012)
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To: caper gal 1

deja vu.....why does it seem we get a “oh poor government worker job needs a bail out” every month.

It seems to me this is a push to raise the stock price of UPS and Fed Ex to help the stock market.


9 posted on 09/04/2011 7:31:31 PM PDT by proudtobeanamerican1 (A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
No money left!!!

My guess is that there is a LOT of money "left," but it has disappeared into the accounts, numbered or otherwise, of a relatively small number of people.

10 posted on 09/04/2011 7:31:36 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Lay off all those postal workers and close all those post offices and then see how even more middle class workers have no money to spread around to buy the services of people who are currently screaming, greedy postal workers lay em off let em suffer. JMO.


11 posted on 09/04/2011 7:31:57 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: caper gal 1

80 percent of the monthly recurring bills I used to send via USPS I now send electronically over the internet.


12 posted on 09/04/2011 7:33:25 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: caper gal 1
Silver lining to election of Obama: maybe NOW we will cut the bloated Federal government. We will have to cut it.

First privatize the Post Office. Shut the whole thing down on day two Sarah's presidency.

Then eliminate the department of education and the department of energy.

Take what is needed to run the EPA, cut it down to the bone, then turn it into block grants to the states to watch out for their own environmental standards.

We need a radical reduction of the centralization and maybe the Obama economic collapse is what it will take to wake up the clowns in Washington to the reality that we don't need half of the bureaucrats or their agencies.

13 posted on 09/04/2011 7:34:34 PM PDT by garjog
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To: caper gal 1

In some ways I feel really bad for the Post Office. They’re suppose to be an “independent government business” that is self supportive. Yet they can’t do anything without the permission of congress. They can’t raise fees. They can’t close offices. They can’t really do anything, they’re hands are tied.

The Post Office simply needs to be sold for parts.


14 posted on 09/04/2011 7:36:45 PM PDT by Artemis Webb (Perry 2012! A Conservative who can win!)
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To: caper gal 1

I say shut it down and let the private sector do the job more efficiently. Same with AMTRAK.


15 posted on 09/04/2011 7:41:26 PM PDT by caper gal 1 (Rubio/Ryan Ryan/Rubio 2012)
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To: Signalman
Why are we paying high priced pensions for a practically useless agency like the US Post Office? About 90 percent of the mail I get is junk that is tossed out immediately. We get a few bills that are important, but could pay our bills electronically without much effort.

The Constitution could be interpreted to mean that Congress must establish a mail service, but could do so via a private agency.

Let advertisers pay for the junk mail.

Dump the Post Office.

Postal Worker uses citizen's garbage can as bathroom.

16 posted on 09/04/2011 7:44:39 PM PDT by garjog
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To: caper gal 1

The Soviet Union collapsed because it could not pay employees.


17 posted on 09/04/2011 7:46:37 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Artemis Webb

I asked once just why is the post office losing money. Hardly anyone sends letters anymore, and think of all the transactions done by computers. And much if not all of the sorting is done by computers, too. The work load HAS to be less than it was 15 years ago. Less volume of work should lead to fewer humans “needing” to work for the postal service.


18 posted on 09/04/2011 7:47:28 PM PDT by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: Artemis Webb
Yet they can’t do anything without the permission of congress.

Sometimes, they can't do anything at all. The last two letters I mailed to my youngest son via USPS have been returned to me as "undeliverable." Each time I've had to go to my local post office where the postmaster sent the letter directly to the postmaster at his zip code city. The letters WERE then delivered as they should have been in the first place. If the USPS can't get a regular letter to a legitimate address, perhaps it's already failed or postal workers should have gotten training other than "diversity."

19 posted on 09/04/2011 7:49:38 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: caper gal 1
"Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress "To establish Post Offices and post Roads".

If anyone thinks the USPS will fall under, think again.

20 posted on 09/04/2011 7:54:30 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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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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