In a strange turn of events, Post Offices are feeling the pressure from the transition toward a paperless society. Here at EnergyRebels.com/blog, we’ve done some research into the dire seriousness of the problem. According to the 2010 United States Postal Service (USPS) Annual Report, the USPS is experiencing a more than Eight Billion Dollar shortfall of funds. The bottom line: They aren’t making the revenue that they used to.
What are some of the causes for this? One that clearly sticks out as the culprit would be E-Mail and internet communication trumping Snail Mail. More people are using E-Mail for business. This is part of the new style of Synaptic Communication in the business-world. People and businesses expect and rightfully demand instantaneous information and communication.
This rapid form of communication is actually a good thing. The reason why is because the fast pace of communication is the only thing that is keeping the economy afloat right now. The movement of ideas and currency is what fuels our economy. So by transitioning to a more rapid form of communication like E-Mail and Social Media, the United States Economy is transitioning to greater efficiency.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that the United States Postal Service usually operates in the red. It very rarely generates more revenue than its operating and other expenses. This is the case for 2008, 2009 and 2010. We actually should expect this because the Postal Service is an agency that gets money from the government to operate. We give them money, because we like the convenience of mail being distributed six days a week.
So what’s going to happen next?
According to page 10 of the USPS Annual Report, there was a poll taken on the subject of USPS frequency of service. The question was about if people would be supportive or against the USPS switching from six days of service per week, to five days of service per week.
The results were startling. 66 percent of the people surveyed said that they were in favor of having the Post Office reduce the number of working days to 5.
An interesting aspect of this situation is that on page 15 of the report, USPS mentioned that the amount of oversight from government agencies makes it challenging for them to reshape themselves to cope with the current market. The reason why this is of such interest is because the USPS is a quasi-government agency that is also a corporate entity. And this arm of the government is complaining that it is under the thumb of too much bureaucracy to be of maximum efficiency.
Is this pass the buck…or something else? At first glance, I thought that the USPS might be just passing the buck onto its overseers for the causes of its shortfalls. But after looking at how 2009 wasn’t as bad of a year for the USPS as 2010 was…I’m guessing that the market simply got too rough for the Post Office in its current setup.
The beauty and time-honored tradition of the handwritten letter and the official seal are without question worth keeping alive. The only real question is: Is it worth billions of dollars for Saturday service?
SOURCES: USPS: About USPS and News – http://www.usps.com/financials/_pdf/usps2010annual-report.pdf