In the effort to save America’s Postal Service, one very important factor is the economic impact of the Postal Service. A retired letter carrier from Maine, John Curtis, highlighted this in an op-ed published by the Bangor Daily News. He pointed out that the Postal Service still delivers 170 billion pieces of mail each year despite the recession. Furthermore, “(h)alf of the country’s monthly bills are still paid through the mail,” and the USPS still delivers “trillions of dollars per year in financial transactions. Rural communities, the elderly and a huge percentage of Americans who do not use computers still rely on mail delivery and pickup.” Proposals such as eliminating Saturday mail delivery service or changing delivery standards would harm not just the Postal Service but the large sectors of the economy that still depend on the reliable service of the mail.
The op-ed also addresses the harm that failing to save the Postal Service would have on jobs in both the public and private sectors. The Postal Service is an important part of a $1.3 trillion mailing industry. This means that the Postal Service is central to the economy, not just in providing jobs to nearly 600,000 employees at the USPS but also to the 7.5 million private-sector jobs supported by the industry. These employees inject money into communities across the country.
Finally, the author addresses some of the postal proposals in the Senate. Several have serious flaws, such as S. 1789, which would stop door-to-door delivery and authorize moving from six-day to five-day mail delivery while failing to significantly address the pre-funding payments that have caused most of the Postal Service’s financial problems. However, one proposal, S. 1853, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would repeal the pre-funding mandate and give the Postal Service access to the over-payments it made into its pension accounts. Curtis notes that S. 1853 also “protects six-day mail delivery and encourages innovation such as allowing the Postal Service to generate revenue through non-postal channels–for example, providing notary services or issuing licenses.” I addresses the Postal Service’s problems while protecting service and delivery standards.
Service cuts and large jobs cuts at the Postal Service would have a significant impact on the economy as a whole. Having a strong and viable Postal Service simply makes economic sense.
To read the full op-ed click here.
(Picture credit: Missive Maven)