O, Really?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

O, Really?

Remember that popular Internet rumor/hoax that started making the rounds more than a decade ago about "Congressional Bill 602P" which would impose a 5¢ tax on every E-mail?

"The U.S. Postal Service is claiming that lost revenue due to the proliferation of email is costing nearly $230,000,000 in revenue per year."

Right! It was bogus when it first hit the 'Net in Spring 1999, and it's no less bogus now, but that's not stopping United States Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe from using it as one of the reasons why U.S.P.S. is going broke.

From a national news headline:

Postal Service Facing Default, Shutdown Without Congressional Intervention

"The rise of email and online bill-paying has steadily eroded profits over the years...."

Don't trust Fox News? How 'bout The New York Times?

"Mail volume has plummeted with the rise of e-mail, electronic bill-paying and a Web that makes everything from fashion cata­logs to news instantly available."

Nowhere in any of the statements made by Donahoe have I read anything about the quality of service provided by U.S.P.S., only that as a cost-cutting measure, there's going to be less of it.

I'm probably not the only one around who remembers when First Class mail was 3¢, it was delivered to our front porch twice-a-day, and U.S.P.S. would never have dreamed of forcing me to move my street-side mailbox from one side of my driveway to the other.

Is there any wonder at the rise in popularity of electronic bill-paying and digital delivery of E-mails and links to on-line statements and invoices?

Institutionally, U.S.P.S., aside from its other short-comings, has lacked foresight and vision, confident that it could always go back to Con­gress for an increase in tariffs.

And now with Postmaster General Donahoe conjuring the spectre of default, and the over­all state of our economy, how soon might something like the bogus "602P" be given serious consideration?

Hysterical historical sidebar...

In the October 8, 2000 New York Senatorial Debate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rick Lazio, WCBS' airhead political reporter, Marcia Kramer, posed the issue as an actual issue, and both candidates, although obviously uninformed on the subject, came out against "the plan."


1. Mrs Genetics said...

A few thoughts...

  1. I would hate to be in the check printing business.
  2. I'm surprised the Post Office didn't move more aggressively into online bill paying, like CheckFree. Everyone has to move money from point A to B.
  3. Quality of service seems to vary widely, with some post offices run well and others chronically behind the eight ball. My local Post Office was recently closed, which is a headache on the occasions I need to mail a package, so...
  4. Post Office should think Redbox. Would be convenient if I could "go postal" at an automated kiosk.
  5. Do I really need mail 6 days a week?
  1. As already noted, U.S.P.S. has lacked foresight and vision.
  1. (see above.)
  2. Not the point... it was an illustration of how they used to do a great deal more for a whole lot less.
– Dean

2. Jim Cordo said...

You hit one of my buttons, Dean.

The postal service should shut down and the job of delivering the mail should go private. UPS, FEDEX, etc.

They should stop hiring and phase out over time so people don't lose their jobs. They are bloated, mismanaged and very expensive especially when you factor in all the employee salaries/benefits the tax payer must pay for the ability to mail a letter for 44 cents. I avoid the postal service as much as possible. The last thing that I sent overnight didn't get there for two days. It caused me some problems and some credibility. They can give me a refund, big deal. I needed good service and they failed.

You're a little sketchy with your transition plan, but yeah....

With two notable exceptions, I've never had any issues with the rank 'n' file "letter carriers" or window clerks; the biggest problems I've observed start at the managerial level.

3. Jeanne Speir said...

Yeah. We truly love and appreciate our carriers and service at 11978. And it's still less expensive and reliable than, say, Italy....

Well, there is that matter of the mis-delivered commercial mail that no 11978 Post Master has been able to resolve for the past six years now!

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