Friday, April 20, 2012

Death of a Mailman (as a Career)

Recently, the United States Postal Service has begun to air commercials calling for us (and by us I mean government) to save the Postal Service!  We have to save the jobs! We have to save this company because it's useful and all that!

Actually, friends, there are lots of industries that have gone the wayside in history.  The classic example is the buggy whip industry. In the early 1900s when Henry Ford began to mass produce the Model T and that vehicle became widely used and owned, hundreds of thousands of Americans if not millions of Americans stopped using the horse and buggy as their means of transportation.  The buggy whip was the preffered way to let one's horse(s) know it was time to go.  It was essentially the gas pedal equivalent of the horse and buggy. 

When the Model T became prevalent, the buggy whip industry eventually died, simply because it was an obsolete industry. Other industries have also died or become much, much smaller. For example, the candle making industry exists, but it is a fraction of it's size prior to the widespread availability of electricity.  This is the way of the Free Market and of progress.

The United States Postal Service (henceforth noted as USPS) is quickly becoming similarly obsolete. There are better choices for shipping packages (namely the United Parcel Service aka UPS and Federal Express aka FedEx). As far as bills, the majority of bills can be paid online. (I personally have to mail only one bill each month of all my bills.  The rest have automated bill pay setup or I can pay them online.) Sending letters as a means of communication is essentially dead with the advent of email, not to mention the fact that telephones of both the cellular and traditional land line variety offer long distance calling at a very reasonable rate so it is easy to call your friends and loved ones rather than writing a letter.

All that is really required is for FedEx and/or UPS to step up and offer letter delivery for the USPS to die quietly as the Buggy Whip industry did. At the very least, the USPS is about to drop off, similarly to the candle making industry as primarily a letter delivering service.

Yes, this does mean the USPS will move slower, but honestly, that just means I need to remember to mail birthday cards a little bit earlier to family and friends out of town. This is not a crisis. This is not the end of the world. Many of those who work in the USPS are going to have to find new employment (may I suggest applying to UPS or FedEx?) but my friends, this is the way of the world! Products and services become obsolete regularly throughout history!

The fact is no amount of government subsidy is going to keep the USPS in demand. It is simply has become barely needed in our modern world. Eventually it won't be needed at all. Actually, if the ability to teleport objects ever becomes possible, FedEx and UPS will become obsolete. If the ability to teleport living beings becomes possible, the auto industry will also be obsolete.  That's what ALWAYS happens.

This is called progress, friends. Free Market progress to be exact. Time to live in the real world. The U.S. Postal Service going the way of the buggy whip industry isn't the end of the world. It's simply a continuation of industrial progress.


  1. You have little knowledge of the United States Postal Serivce , that much is apparent, so I think you need some information reguarding the situtaion in the USPS that makes it not an industry but rather a Constitutional Madated Service that Congress is suppose to build not destroy. Up untl 2006, the USPS was based since 1970 on a break even profit, loss and raising stamps every 3 years. And it worked well that way from 1970 until 2006. It also had a pay as you go retirment system for its Postal Employees that worked well for over 300 some years in our county. In 2000, 2001, the Postal Employees were made to pay in 15 percent more to their retirement funds , knows as Civil Service Retirment System and Federal Employee Retirement System. This was merely to balance the deficit of the coutnry, in other words as the 2nd largest Employer and a Federal Agency, it was though that the workers checks could be raided to balance the money spent by Congress. It was not going towards retirement but merely to balance the deficit, this was approved and acknowldeged both by the President and legislators from both sides of the aisle. Then in 2003, Congress was informed of overpayments made to the retiremnt systems, some 103 billion to CSRS ( since the postal service had fully funded it by 55 billion and was being charged another 85 billion) then 15 billion is estimated to the FERS

  2. So then congress was informed that an overpayment had been made to the 2 retirmeent funds, and could of legislated that back, but instead made a 3rd retirment not required of any other business in the USA, by law. legislating away since 2006 was a banner year of profits from the USPS, about 5 billion a year from 2006 to 2016, Tell me what other industry can afford that? This in fact was caleld the Postal Accountiblity and Enhancement law, which also gave bonues to the top execof the USPS , knows as Post Master General to short staff, and cut it to the bone due to the 3rd payment. A dirrect attack on middle class working Americans who had been forced to pay in more to balance the deficit. I dont thin there is any other ocmpany , doing this including fedex and Ups, since they have reaped the beinfits and made more and have also lobbied senators to do this to the USPS which is under the constitution. So this all started in 2006, which you can read about at /joygoldberguspsstress.pdf or AWPU 3800 libarry online under stress in the workplace or ongoing violition of the usps guidelines is creating a toxic work environment, copywritten 2008.

  3. from there you can go to bill burras online and read misc. scroll down to the elevator section and read, then go to ALEC/Koch Cabal the Privitization of the USPS for Ups and FedEx. and gain furhter understanding of the USPS being sold down the drian, the workers being mistreatd and not having workers replaced due to retirement, and other issues, like time clock rings and sucides due to non staffing, plus deaths on the routes for delevering your mail. A manafactured crisis by congress to destroy workers lives, how chrisitan is that, or American ? Go to to read further. And as far as progress it sets our country back to 1912 before labor standards on the job existed.

  4. postal comments to the federal trade commission, august 6, 2007, federal budget treatment of the USPS, august 2009. oig report.

    read and learn befoe forming an opinion . dont be a blind person led by the blind.

  5. OK first and foremost: Learn how to spell. Seriously. Secondly, the Constitution does not mandate the Postal Service. It simply authorizes the government to do it. Thirdly, industries come and go. Get over it. I missed the day that everyone panicked that the buggy whip industry needed to be saved. The Postal Service has lost it's usefulness. Welcome to capitalism.

    PS - Don't criticize someone's research if you don't want to spell check. Just saying.

  6. captilism is not getting rid of a federal agency for the purpose of selling it off to the highest bidder, the post office predates the constituion of the united states, wthout it we would not of had a united states. My spouse was Marine who worked for the USPS for 17 year, and due to the PAEA , which is a 3rd retirement fund with 2 fully funded retirement funds fully paid up, and funded and in fact overfunded for retirement, got orders for non replacment of retirees in may of 06, he died after enduring this in May of 2007. This is not captilism, this is privite induestry coming in and destoying a federal agency, what would you like next, lobby money given by alkaida to buy the department of defense?

  7. I have spelled correctly, private industry, but it always misspells, how human of me.

  8. obviously you refuse to be educated on the USPS and have not gone to any of the links to learn, which basically means you dont care if your American Govt is sold off to the nearest bidder and your vote no longer counts since it is being bought off by the rich one percent. Dont criticise when you have not given your life for your country as my postal spouse former marine did , over fiscal policy from his own goverment selling out the usps, rather then treating the workers like human beings.

  9. at the point my postal spouse got orders he had one 40 hour a week job, with the loss of 2 retirees in his small office, he had added on another 40 hour a week route and another 15 to 25 hours, a week job, totally out to 104 hours a week, he also worked part time in our own business 30 hours a week on top of that, he fought to get staff which was not his job to do, it is fact the labor dept which oversees the usps, they have been bought off by the koch brothers as well. He won hirs through his union, but then had one last legal grievance that was supreme court memorandum, in other words decided by a supreme court judge and placed in the contract that is signed off by the labor department and the unions.It is legal law, it was denied even though the departmeent of labor had sent it in full body form one month to his office before he even filed on the grievance, denied illigally, then a retaliation of an illigal removal of his newly trained casual took effect, making him work once again short handed after a 11 month period of trying to get help in the office, and he did food drive weekend of 07 and died the next day, this is within 3 years of his retirement, and according to his legislative fact sheet of 2000, 2001, he was forced to pay in 15 percent more to his fers retirement fund in that year in order to balance the deficit. Then fers was overfunded by 15 billion dollars, CSRS or civil service retiremeent system by Postal workers as the biggest working force in the United states, for a federal agency was overfuned by 55 billion and another overcharge was given to them by the federal goverment of 85 billion that is in postal comments to the federal trade commision written in august 6, 2007 , 4 months after the passing of my Postal spouse. Then the PAEA was formed a 3rd retirment form that no other federal agency has but the POST Office, to which so far 42 billion has been paid into, with interest.THAT WAS CREATED FOR POSTAL WORKERS NOT BORN OR WORKING FOR THE USPS , from 2006, until 2016. Along with that non replacement of workers retireing was implemented.
    So for having the law force postal workers pay in more to their retiement funds, then having thir business force to pay in for another retirement fund that isnt needed, they are then shorted workers, and my spouse is not the first or the last to die. I suggest you learn to be more emotionally intelligent and read the articals that are posted to pass on what is happening in America to American Postal Workers since you sitll get mail.

  10. by the way the PAEA , gave bonuses to those at the top of the USPS, the PostMaster general at the time of passing of the PAEA, got a 72 thousand a year bonus, while my Postal Working class spouse got oders of non replacment , PostMaster Potter then made more then the President of the United States at 800,000 a year, and retired in 2010 the year my postal spouse would of if he lived, with 5. 5 millon year for life, while most postal retirees who work for 30 to 30 years in all kiinds of weather, micromanagment and being told they are not doing their jobs right, usually get $1,500 a month to supplement with social security, that is called a gravy train retirement by the republicans on the oversight commitee over the USPS.


  12. First and foremost, my anonymous friend, I want to say thank you to your late spouse for his service to our country. I appreciate it more than you know. I am also sorry to hear of your loss.

    Now to answer your criticisms:

    1 - I read the website the first time you commented. I was not convinced. Contrary to what every liberal seems to believe, disagreement with you does not equal being uniformed. People disagree with liberalism because they disagree, not because they just haven't read whatever source you've cited.

    2 - The attitude that we absolutely must keep any agency around beyond it's need is the reason this country is out of money. You can throw in lines about the 1% or the Koch brothers (who have absolutely zero connection to the Postal Service by the way) because they make cute bumper sticker slogans, but the math does not bear out. Fact is if you flat out confiscated every cent of income in this nation over $250k a year, you could run the government for about a month. (Darn those facts I keep bringing up!) And that will work precisely one time. Because once that becomes law, nobody is going to work an ounce harder than $250k a year worth. Why would they? They don't get to keep it!

    3 - For someone who is lecturing me to be more informed of the USPS, you should know that the Post Office ceased to be a branch of the government many years ago.

    4 - As far as unions "negotiating benefits" you fail to realize that the employers of public sector unions (you know, taxpayers) are not consulted in these negotiations. In most cases the employers (again, taxpayers) make less money than the people they employ.

    I'm sorry that public sector unions are now being forced to catch up to what the rest of us had to deal with twenty and thirty years ago, but honestly, you've had those benefits twenty to thirty years longer than those of us who work in the private sector. I for one have never had any pension as a benefit in my career.

  13. 5 - I respect the fact that the Post Office was instrumental in the founding of the nation. You know what else was? The musket making industry. Should we keep making muskets too? By your logic we should!

    We do not keep industries around because they employ people. To argue that point is to absolutely miss the purpose of business. Businesses do not exist to give people jobs. I'm sorry. That is simply not their purpose. The purpose of a business is to provide a service or product that people want or need that can be sold for more than it costs to create or provide. Once the demand for that product or service disappears, that product necessarily ceases.

    If this was not the case, we would still have a musket-making industry in America, and also a buggy-whip industry. By your logic, we should have propped them up with government money (regardless of availability of said money to spend)because we can't let those people go without jobs. Of course, as new industries come up to take their place, they will need workers, too. (I'm pretty sure the people working in the buggy whip factories found work making cars or tires or something.)

    The bottom line is this: No matter how much you try to insist that your pet agency of the government is really, super duper important, that emotional reaction does not make money grow on trees.

    If the Post Office wishes to continue to exist and compete, that is just fine. Frankly, I believe the restriction that disallows FedEx and UPS from delivering standard letters should be removed. Also, the Post Office should be granted for profit status. You show me an industry that wasn't helped by competition. You cannot.

    Competition leads businesses to strive to be better to win the customer's hard earned dollar. They become innovative, not to mention it keeps prices down. (Regardless of what you Occupy types want to believe, the CEOs of McDonalds and Burger King do not sit in a room and conspire to take more money by keeping prices high. They instead try to win your dining dollar away from the other.)

  14. 6 - This next part is a little delicate, so I do hope you recognize that I genuinely do understand your sorrow in the loss of your husband and you have my condolences, as well as my deepest appreciation for his service to our country and for keeping us free.

    However, people in businesses across the country have had to work harder to make the same money for a few years now. That is life. When the recession hit, I worked in an office of nearly fifteen people. A year later, we were down to five. The company was losing money. They could not print money or grow it off their money tree to continue to employ fifteen people. I was one of the fortunate ones...and one of the hardest workers...I kept my job. But we were doing three times the work. That is simply life, my friend.

    I had the choice, of course, as a free man, to seek other employment. I chose not to...I stuck it out and did the hard work. I was grateful to have that job. That is a choice people have to make all the time.

    The fact is there was not enough money to employ more people at the Post Office. Why? Well contrary to the Occupy mantra, it was not because the rich are greedy or some other trite remark. It is because the demand for the Post Office was reduced. People are paying fewer bills through the mail and they are sending more packages through other services. The act of writing a letter has dropped off significantly as email is so prevalent not to mention phone plans with unlimited national calling have provided better options for long distance communication. In short, precisely what I said when I wrote this post is true: The Post Office is losing demand for it's services. Before long it will be gone completely. No amount of propping it up with phantom money will make it needed. It is not the fault of the Koch brothers or the 1% or whatever other boogey man you want to blame. It's a result of technological progress. Like the buggy whip industry, the post office is becoming obsolete. This is the hard, cold truth.


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