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Rain? Snow? Try $5.5b in debt [US POSTAL SERVICE]

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Posts

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2011
    Listen, I don't hate rural people

    You certainly come off as you do hate them.

    You know someone is off the fucking deep end when TheNomadicCircle says something rational in response.


    Vanguard on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    Maybe I'm a naive elite, but I think the first step could be to raise rates like never before. $1.00 or so for a letter, to start, and go up more from there. Would that be so awful? I mean, door-to-door delivery anywhere in the country? $0.44? That has always seemed a silly value proposition to me. Email is a basically free alternative, but if you need to send a physical letter, you should pay more than essentially free. If there are impoverished people who send a ton of mail and will starve if it goes from $0.44 to $1.00, well ok, but I don't think that is the case. I think we could double or triple the rates and it will just give companies even more incentive to go online/paperless, while the average user can still easily afford a few pieces of mail now and then.

    Keep government involved insofar as they are needed to ensure the "last mile" to remote citizenry, cause I think that's a valuable government function and wouldn't exist if profit were the only motive. Let it operate at a loss under certain caps and condidtions if necessary, but open it up to competition and, unfortunately, allow more prudent decisions on finances like employment, benefits, and prices.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I agree. Kick the postage up. There's no reason we can't have a postal service, aside from the silly regulations keeping it in place.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    But you don't need to double the postage and them some, which is, quite frankly, amazing.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    USPS probably would raise postage rates, but they are bound by law to not raise them more than the rate of inflation.

    It's really the typical GOP strategy with regards to a lot of government services - burden them with rules no private business would follow, then demand they operate "like a business," and complain when they "fail."

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Yar wrote:
    I mean, door-to-door delivery anywhere in the country? $0.44? That has always seemed a silly value proposition to me.

    Except it actually is. Over the course of the next few decades the post office will likely need to shed jobs, shutter offices, and raise postage gradually in order to meet with changing demographics and the impact of declining mail volume, but that's more an issue of reality not being static and not a commentary on the idea of a postal service. Which is why this whole bloody argument is so insane. The post office works. Stop Congress from fucking with them in order to make them fail and they'll continue to work. Maybe not perfectly, but then what does? It isn't an issue of lavishing rural residents with such unparalleled luxuries as universal postal service or the internet apparently making physical objects gauche. They're all red herrings. It really does just come down to letting the post office run itself like the business it is legally supposed to be.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    It would be great if the postage raised enough to maintain jobs, keep delivering mail, and cut down the volume of junk mail. I support raising postage to whatever allows that to happen.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    rockrnger wrote:
    moniker wrote:
    rockrnger wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Magus` wrote:
    Couldn't the people in rural America just use PO boxes and we'd have a tag system so they'd know if something they wanted came in (so they wouldn't come to town just to get junk mail)?

    Delivery of the "tags" wouldn't be all that much cheaper, really. You'd still have to drive the entire route.

    And it's my understanding that that junk mail subsidizes universal delivery much more so than those oh-so-expensive stamps us cityfolk are forced to buy at outlandish rates.

    The way I had in mind was that individual offices would be able to change the way that they work on a local level after getting a fixed budget from DC.

    Example: town A has a vote where they decide to cut services down to 3 days a week while town B decides to pay extra property taxes to keep service as it is.

    o_O
    You honestly think the administrative overhead and needless complexity implied by such a situation would actually save money? And even if that were the case, you honestly believe it would be better than, you know, paying an extra few cents on a stamp? Which is, again, the absolute worst possible scenario. The far easier route would just be to stop requiring insane levels of pension/health funding and overall Congress telling them how to run their business without paying them for the privilege.

    Where are you getting the increased Administration cost?

    As far as money, I would be advicating for this if the post office was gushing cash.

    Having 3,143 separate service schedules (at a minimum) that you need to keep track of for everything rather than, you know, one, doesn't strike me as reducing administrative overhead. Particularly if those schedules, and therefore employees, are subject to change every year or every election depending on the whims of voters that you would have to manage to track as well.

    tea-1.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Saammiel wrote:
    I don't see why everyone has such a love of supporting rural subsidy and holds the view that any effort to maybe revisit parts of it are some sort of assault on America. People paying for their lifestyle choices doesn't seem fundamentally unfair, whether that be living in an extremely rural area, or living in the heart of Manhattan. If you are truly concerned about poverty traps or the like, it would be more effective to offer relocation assistance and job training than to simply throw them a bone with patchwork subsidies.

    It isn't an issue of poverty it's an issue of ensuring minimum standards of living, infrastructure, and access to economic opportunities for the citizens of a developed nation. We're talking about a basic service. If you want to inveigh against agricultural subsidies I'll be right there with you, but ensuring that people in the hinterland can communicate, access information, or otherwise improve themselves in spite of the physical distance to the intelligentsia...that's just simply something that government should provide.

    tea-1.jpg
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    So the Post Office is going to close 250 facilities, jeopardizing netflix and other businesses.

    Congress slammed the cost cutting move insisting the Post Office should "modernize". Fact-immune individuals everywhere agree.

    Yes it's the Post Office's fault
    Agency officials are looking for help from Congress. They said their balance sheet was harmed by a 2006 bill that requires the service to pre-fund health benefits of future retirees, which adds an annual cost of about $5.5 billion.

    Yep, sure shows why "government can't run a business", especially when the government deliberately sabotages said business to prove government can't run a business.

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  • NoughtNought Registered User regular
    So the Post Office is going to close 250 facilities, jeopardizing netflix and other businesses.

    Congress slammed the cost cutting move insisting the Post Office should "modernize". Fact-immune individuals everywhere agree.

    Yes it's the Post Office's fault
    Agency officials are looking for help from Congress. They said their balance sheet was harmed by a 2006 bill that requires the service to pre-fund health benefits of future retirees, which adds an annual cost of about $5.5 billion.

    Yep, sure shows why "government can't run a business", especially when the government deliberately sabotages said business to prove government can't run a business.

    Hmm, you know. Those $5.5 billion are almost the same they are in debt. Isn't that weird.

    Island. Being on fire.
  • Brian KrakowBrian Krakow Registered User regular
    28,000 jobs lost. Thanks, Congress! You fucking scapegoating shitheel sons of bitches.

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    "Well Obama looks less bad with these job numbers, what can we do about that? Of course, WE JUST DO NOTHING!"

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    The next drum beat in the "Do nothing Congress".

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  • king awesomeking awesome Registered User regular
    I am a fan of small, lean government. But the frustrating part with the USPS is that they don't receive taxpayer money. There is some small subsidies they get to cover costs of getting and collecting absentee vote cards to overseas people, but that's kind of understandable.

    So they don't receive tax money AND they are actually profitable and able to maintain themselves in a market where they have legitimate and competent competitors. The reason they are in the "red" is because (as others have stated) the mandate that they have to pre-fund health care funds for retired individuals. Anyone can look at that and see "well... that's... just going to grow at an unmanageable exponential rate".

    I, as a small business owner, look at things like pensions and guaranteed retirement benefits that are paid fully by the employer and have to say "this stuff is just unmanageable". So the fact that the USPS is fairly free of government oversite and tax dollars, yet at the same time is being hamstrung by the government is really frustrating.

    The only other qualm I have is the guaranteed monopoly of first-class mail they have. But at the end of the day I think they would still be competitive with UPS/FedEx/DHL even if you removed that. And the instances of that monopoly actually being "enforced" are extremely rare currently.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime "We're ready to believe you..." FireSideWizardRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

    Expensive in general? Or relatively expensive?

    How much would it have cost to get the same package to its destination by going with UPS, FedEx or hiring a private courier? Or driving there yourself?

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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

    No the problem is that the government is forcing them to prefund pensions

    That's the entirety of the problem

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Registered User regular
    The only other qualm I have is the guaranteed monopoly of first-class mail they have. But at the end of the day I think they would still be competitive with UPS/FedEx/DHL even if you removed that. And the instances of that monopoly actually being "enforced" are extremely rare currently.

    Just FYI, UPS, FedEx, DHL and so on generally contract out the Post Office for the last mile because it isn't profitable.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • king awesomeking awesome Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote:
    The only other qualm I have is the guaranteed monopoly of first-class mail they have. But at the end of the day I think they would still be competitive with UPS/FedEx/DHL even if you removed that. And the instances of that monopoly actually being "enforced" are extremely rare currently.

    Just FYI, UPS, FedEx, DHL and so on generally contract out the Post Office for the last mile because it isn't profitable.

    That's usually for residential though right? Driving in to neighborhoods is where the line on the graph dips pretty severely.

    But in more dense urban areas they do it themselves? Unless the USPS is driving in FedEx and UPS trucks (not sarcastic, I actually don't know if this is the case).

    But hey, guess what. Delivering things is not trivial and is not cheap. That's just the reality of it :/

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    MagicPrime wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

    Expensive in general? Or relatively expensive?

    How much would it have cost to get the same package to its destination by going with UPS, FedEx or hiring a private courier? Or driving there yourself?

    1 way? Probably $10. $20 round trip in a fuel efficient car.

    bowen on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    MagicPrime wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

    Expensive in general? Or relatively expensive?

    How much would it have cost to get the same package to its destination by going with UPS, FedEx or hiring a private courier? Or driving there yourself?

    1 way? Probably $10. $20 round trip in a fuel efficient car.

    4.5 gallons, times 30, 135 is two hours of drive time, if it's all highway. At what rate do you value your time? A courier will make you bleed if you saw the cost.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Raw mileage I mean, anyways. But still that's direct to house and still, if it were a more efficient system we could probably cut down even more. UPS Works like a web style system, and almost guaranteed to be 3 day within the 48 states.

  • LorekLorek Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    MagicPrime wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

    Expensive in general? Or relatively expensive?

    How much would it have cost to get the same package to its destination by going with UPS, FedEx or hiring a private courier? Or driving there yourself?

    1 way? Probably $10. $20 round trip in a fuel efficient car.

    Does that not seem like a deal to you? For the same price as the trip in a fuel efficient car, you saved yourself all the time the trip to take it there and come home would take. Instead you get to play some Skyrim now instead of driving all that way to drop off 2 lbs of stuff.

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  • king awesomeking awesome Registered User regular
    Lorek wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    MagicPrime wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    The post office is expensive as it is. $20 to send a 2 lb package because I needed it there by the end of the week. In state.

    It seems like the problem isn't so much the cost or the whatever, is that the system is inefficient. It seems from a lay-observer that they deliver to major hubs along the way and then to minor hubs. Where this is okay it's got a long wait time.

    It seems like the best way is from every major city you delivery to hubs along your path to other major hubs. So this way I could've paid $5 and my package could've been there in 5 days.

    Expensive in general? Or relatively expensive?

    How much would it have cost to get the same package to its destination by going with UPS, FedEx or hiring a private courier? Or driving there yourself?

    1 way? Probably $10. $20 round trip in a fuel efficient car.

    Does that not seem like a deal to you? For the same price as the trip in a fuel efficient car, you saved yourself all the time the trip to take it there and come home would take. Instead you get to play some Skyrim now instead of driving all that way to drop off 2 lbs of stuff.

    Not the same price. That's just the price of gas. Additional "costs"

    - Time you waste
    - Wear and tear on car
    - Increased chance of injury from driving
    - Buying food from gas station or restaurant instead of eating at home for cheaper (bit of a stretch, but lots of little things like this are possible)

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Time is money friend!
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

    Apparently it is according to the GOP, and to prove that they can't congress put an anchor around their neck, it still took a few years to slow them down though. Seriously right now in 2011 we need the post office, and congress is fucking them.

    I'd write my congressman again about it, but it's Paul Ryan, a congressman who loves the people so much that he a had a private meeting with hand selected students at my college in a locked room (with cameras present, to prove college students love him), and when it ended everyone was cleared from the hallway to make a clean path for him to the parking lot

    Goddamnit

    override367 on
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  • LorekLorek Registered User regular
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

    Beyond some tiny funding for handling overseas voters, the Postal office doesn't get any tax money. So in essence, yes, they need to at least bring in their operating costs in revenue so as to continue paying their expenses.

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  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    Raw mileage I mean, anyways. But still that's direct to house and still, if it were a more efficient system we could probably cut down even more. UPS Works like a web style system, and almost guaranteed to be 3 day within the 48 states.

    WOW BOWEN! YOU SHOULD GET ON THE HORN IMMEDIATELY AND TELL EVERYONE THAT WE COULD BE EVEN MORE EFFICIENT! OBVIOUSLY NO ONE AT USPS HAS EVER CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY AND THEY STILL USE PIGEONS TO CARRY MAIL!

    Do I need to even begin to tell you that the logistics between the USPS and UPS is fundamentally different based on what they carry?

  • king awesomeking awesome Registered User regular
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

    Well it's the fact that they CAN be. And their competitors also can be.

    If at the end of the day we say "ok. this is required for the nation. AND it's impossible for it to even break even". Then, ok.

    But it's not. It's something that can pay for itself, and generate profit to put back in to research to make things more efficient or offer new services to consumers.

    imo anyway ;)

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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

    Well it's the fact that they CAN be. And their competitors also can be.

    If at the end of the day we say "ok. this is required for the nation. AND it's impossible for it to even break even". Then, ok.

    But it's not. It's something that can pay for itself, and generate profit to put back in to research to make things more efficient or offer new services to consumers.

    imo anyway ;)

    Nah it's pretty much math, let them raise their prices slightly and eliminate their pension requirement and they could see profit margins that make most private businesses weep (if that was their goal)

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

    Well it's the fact that they CAN be. And their competitors also can be.

    If at the end of the day we say "ok. this is required for the nation. AND it's impossible for it to even break even". Then, ok.

    But it's not. It's something that can pay for itself, and generate profit to put back in to research to make things more efficient or offer new services to consumers.

    imo anyway ;)

    Okay, that and the lack of funding thing make this make more sense. But the solutions I've heard are all based around cutting it down to the bone or shutting it down.

    As though suddenly being the only country in the world with no postal service is just you know whatever.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Raw mileage I mean, anyways. But still that's direct to house and still, if it were a more efficient system we could probably cut down even more. UPS Works like a web style system, and almost guaranteed to be 3 day within the 48 states.

    WOW BOWEN! YOU SHOULD GET ON THE HORN IMMEDIATELY AND TELL EVERYONE THAT WE COULD BE EVEN MORE EFFICIENT! OBVIOUSLY NO ONE AT USPS HAS EVER CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY AND THEY STILL USE PIGEONS TO CARRY MAIL!

    Do I need to even begin to tell you that the logistics between the USPS and UPS is fundamentally different based on what they carry?

    CRAZY MOTHERFUCKING IDEA THAT MAYBE THEIR LOGISTICS WORK BETTER THAN THE USPS BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT THE ONES GOING IN DEBT. LOOK I CAN PUT THINGS IN CAPS TOO.

  • king awesomeking awesome Registered User regular
    I don't understand why being in debt is an issue.

    Is the purpose of the USPS to generate revenue?

    Well it's the fact that they CAN be. And their competitors also can be.

    If at the end of the day we say "ok. this is required for the nation. AND it's impossible for it to even break even". Then, ok.

    But it's not. It's something that can pay for itself, and generate profit to put back in to research to make things more efficient or offer new services to consumers.

    imo anyway ;)

    Okay, that and the lack of funding thing make this make more sense. But the solutions I've heard are all based around cutting it down to the bone or shutting it down.

    As though suddenly being the only country in the world with no postal service is just you know whatever.

    Those "solutions" come from crazy-town then :)

    Like I said earlier, I like smaller government. But the USPS is pretty inoffensive even to the most conservative. It doesn't use taxpayer money for pete's sake. It has some mandates by the gvmnt and has a monopoly on first-class mail. Aside from that it does it's thing, and does a decent job at it. And UPS/FedEx/etc. do their thing and do a decent job at it.

    Heavy opinion time. I absolutely hate pension/post-employment health benefits provided by an employer. Anyone who's ever had to look at the "books" or do any type of business planning immediately goes "oh fuck that shit". There are some rare cases where you want to slap the golden handcuffs on some high-value employee or potential employee. But at the end of the day you just can't offer pay and health benefits to people who you aren't even employing anymore. Investments with matching (401k etc..), stock options, and things like that are great ways to offer things to help your employees out.

    And that is the sticking point here, not only is that stuff provided by USPS they have to PRE-FUND all of it. Which is balls.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Even more argument that healthcare should not be tied with employment. Well not more, but same argument rehashed.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Raw mileage I mean, anyways. But still that's direct to house and still, if it were a more efficient system we could probably cut down even more. UPS Works like a web style system, and almost guaranteed to be 3 day within the 48 states.

    WOW BOWEN! YOU SHOULD GET ON THE HORN IMMEDIATELY AND TELL EVERYONE THAT WE COULD BE EVEN MORE EFFICIENT! OBVIOUSLY NO ONE AT USPS HAS EVER CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY AND THEY STILL USE PIGEONS TO CARRY MAIL!

    Do I need to even begin to tell you that the logistics between the USPS and UPS is fundamentally different based on what they carry?

    CRAZY MOTHERFUCKING IDEA THAT MAYBE THEIR LOGISTICS WORK BETTER THAN THE USPS BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT THE ONES GOING IN DEBT. LOOK I CAN PUT THINGS IN CAPS TOO.

    The issue in the private business of the USPS is that it has government mandated prices and government mandated accounting practices.

    It is clearly a failure of private business.

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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    What is the pension requirement?

    They have to fully fund the pensions of all existing workers. Like, they don't have to put aside an amount that will accrue enough to fund those future pensions. They have to have it all in an account now, all of it.

    The mafia couldn't come up with a better way to kill a business.

  • king awesomeking awesome Registered User regular
    What is the pension requirement?

    From le-wikipedia. You can go to the USPS and do a ctrl+f and type in 'pension' to find it. It has links to other things to further outline specifics.

    "The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 required the Postal Service to fund, within 10 years, the pensions for all employees for 75 years. "

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  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    bowen wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Raw mileage I mean, anyways. But still that's direct to house and still, if it were a more efficient system we could probably cut down even more. UPS Works like a web style system, and almost guaranteed to be 3 day within the 48 states.

    WOW BOWEN! YOU SHOULD GET ON THE HORN IMMEDIATELY AND TELL EVERYONE THAT WE COULD BE EVEN MORE EFFICIENT! OBVIOUSLY NO ONE AT USPS HAS EVER CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY AND THEY STILL USE PIGEONS TO CARRY MAIL!

    Do I need to even begin to tell you that the logistics between the USPS and UPS is fundamentally different based on what they carry?

    CRAZY MOTHERFUCKING IDEA THAT MAYBE THEIR LOGISTICS WORK BETTER THAN THE USPS BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT THE ONES GOING IN DEBT. LOOK I CAN PUT THINGS IN CAPS TOO.

    Nope. You're being an ignorant goose.

    1. They're in debt almost the exact same amount that congress forced them to prefund their future liabilities.
    2. They handle way more volume than UPS and FedEx combined. This volume doesn't lead to reaping benefits of economy to scale because you're adding more complexity with each delivery vector. You don't even acknowledge that there is a fundamental difference in the line of business that USPS and UPS engage in. It makes you look like an idiot.

    Consider this
    The USPS delivers more items in one day than Federal Express does in a year and more items in one week than United Parcel Service does in a year.

    mrt144 on
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