Editorial: USPS delivers blow to fair competition

  • Article
  • Updated: May 28, 2012 - 9:12 PM

Regulators should reject deal with direct marketing firm.

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goldrush1970May. 28, 12 9:51 PM

USPS couldn't manage itself out of a wet paper bag. In 2014 USPS employees will be able to retire with 100% paid out sick leave, whereas now they receive nothing. How can an organization that is losing billions provide a new benefit like that? Some employees have 1,200 - 1,600 accrued sick hours stored up.

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sarahanneMay. 28, 1210:13 PM

If newspapers went back to reporting and investigating relevant news maybe their sales would increase to compensate for this. Not really sure what USPS can do. No one can do what they do for what they charge. Since communications are going electronic between individuals it is probably the wave of the future for them.

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my4centsMay. 29, 1212:03 AM

sarahanne - Obvious to the rest of us is the fact that NOBODY KNOWS whether someone else could do what the Post Office does for what they charge. The Post Office is a governmental monopoly - and nobody is allowed to compete with or replace the function of the Post Office. Unlike you, I believe local mail delivery could be performed much more economically than is done now.

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mcjoe1May. 29, 12 2:04 AM

The mandate from Congress to pre-fund postal employee pensions would push any company offering defined benefit plans into bankruptcy. Imagine if Congress made parents pre-fund a college education when their child is born. A college education in 2030 is slated to cost $450,000. This is one of the major issues that's hurting the Postal Service, but there are many other business changes that must take place for the postal service to stay afloat. I still think it's crazy that they deliver mail on foot year round in the cities.

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mchristiMay. 29, 12 2:24 AM

If the deal somehow involved the rate for mailing newspapers and magazines, then I could see that the Star Tribune and the newspaper industry generally has a real stake in this. But this only affects a side business of newspapers. They should concentrate on their core business, reporting news and being of service to their communities. They might see circulation improve and advertising revenue increase. On the other hand, deals like this one aren't necessary the right direction. Giving better deals to some mailers but not to others who use the mail is not an appropriate direction for the United States Postal Service. Note those first two words in the name. It's not appropriate for the post office to cut deals with some rather than to change its pricing structures for all.

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mchristiMay. 29, 12 2:27 AM

What really needs to be done for the Post Office is two fold: 1) get rid of the crushing requirements to prepay all these retirement benefits now for years and years ahead (a move that could only have been designed to create a fiscal crisis in the first place); 2) return to the Post Office fully to the hands of the government, making it once again the Post Office Department, and provide some subsidy, especially to maintain rural and urban neighborhood post offices, keep postage costs down (even lower them), and maintain 6 days of delivery each week.

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rat618May. 29, 12 6:46 AM

Everyone championing killing off USPS will love sending letters (not everything can be electronically transmitted) for $10 via Fed Ex or similar companies.

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whallingMay. 29, 12 7:12 AM

The U.S. Postal Service is on the verge of financial collapse and should eliminate Saturday delivery, close thousands of local post offices, restructure its health plan and lay off 120,000 workers to survive, according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. Recently, the Senate Democrats, ordered by Obama and led by Harry Reid, passed a $34 billion spending bill to fund the United States Postal Service, including billions to fund the postal union workers pension fund. This was done after rejecting a plan put forth by the leadership of the USPS to downsize and streamline its operations to save billions of taxpayer funds each year. Thus, Obama and Reid want to give $34 billion of our money away. Oh, I forgot, we don't have any money, the nation is broke. So, Obama and Reid propose that we borrow more money from the Chinese that we and our children will have to pay back later. This is tantamount to investing in a buggy whip company after buggies have become obsolete. Why do Obama and Reid want to do this, since it seems so absurd on its face?. The answer is to gain union votes in November. What a way to run the country. This must stop in November.

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my4centsMay. 29, 12 7:36 AM

The answer to a failing business model is NOT more government involvement. We should not be adding more subsidies for the Post Office to continue something that loses money and is used less and less. If the true cost of delivering a letter would be $10 then let them charge $10. And if the cost for the USPS to deliver newspapers or other items needs to increase as well, then do it. People continue to adjust to new prices and new options - let us use the services we are willing to pay for without giving more subsidies to the businesses that we choose not to use.

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dflpartyMay. 29, 12 7:52 AM

How could this possibly unfair? The "company", as you call it but federally mandated monopoly is a better term, confiscates funds from its employees in the name of union dues and gives that money to Democrat politicians. Anything that helps this flow of cash is a good idea and very fair.

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