I do a lot of shipping for my business, therefore, I must interact with the post office on a daily basis. Over the past year or so, many of the items I ship come back stamped, "return to sender" falsely claiming there is no such address, amongst other equally irritating reasons. This had never happened before, so I asked one of the postal workers, "What's going on, here?" He told me ever since they've had to lay off their top tier employees, errors abound. So I decided to do some research and here's what I found.
Firstly, if you depend upon the mainstream media for news about the post office, the second largest employer after Walmart, you're led to believe the post office is on its last legs. Politicians claim it's in crisis and therefore USPS must layoff thousands of workers and reduce services, right down to taking the courtesy scotch tape off the counter. However, the truth of the matter is the self-supporting post office has been doing very well over the last couple of years despite email, due mostly to the booming e-commerce sector and the ever increasing number of people shopping online...all of those items must be shipped!
Second, since 1981--under the Reagan administration--the postal service has been required by law to be entirely self-sufficient. In other words, the post office receives NO taxpayer funding, while having to adhere to caps on the rates they can charge.
Third, if that wasn't enough, under the Bush administration, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) forcing USPS to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars [$5.5 billion per year] to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.” As of now, they have set aside $50 billion to pay for future retiree health benefits. How many corporations can claim the same?
Although, President Obama had nothing to do with this outrageous burden put upon the post office, he hasn't done anything to remedy the situation. In fact, Obama pushed for the end of Saturday delivery in his budget proposal even though the institution receives NO funding from the government. Meanwhile, another attempt is being made to put profit ahead of public interest: H.R. 2748: Postal Reform Act of 2013 by Rep. Darrell Issa and S. 1486: Postal Reform Act of 2013 by Sen Thomas Carper.
Most of us take the Post Office for granted because it's always been there. However, aside from the great number of people it employs and the convenience it provides, when you consider that the cost of mailing a letter to any area in the country cost only .46 cents versus mailing that same letter to any area in the country through let's say, UPS or Fedex--which cost at the very least costs $9, it becomes clear just how important this institution is. In addition, few realize that the post office actually delivers packages for UPS and Fed Ex (25% of all packages) to places they refuses to go, for instance, rural and other non-profitable areas. The USPS has always been and will continue to be a VITAL connection for those who live in rural areas.
Also, keep in mind, the post office is the only government bureaucracy mentioned in the Constitution.
“In June 1788, the ninth state ratified the Constitution, which gave Congress the power “To establish Post Offices and post Roads” in Article I, Section 8. A year later, the Act of September 22, 1789 (1 Stat. 70), continued the Post Office and made the Postmaster General subject to the direction of the President. Four days later, President Washington appointed Samuel Osgood as the first Postmaster General under the Constitution. A population of almost four million was served by 75 Post Offices and about 2,400 miles of post roads.The last three decades have proved that the world’s most efficient mail system not only does quite well on its own, but even in the face of Machiavellian forces trying its absolute best to destroy the well-established fundamental part of our society.
The Post Office received two one-year extensions by the Acts of August 4, 1790 (1 Stat. 178), and March 3, 1791 (1 Stat. 218). The Act of February 20, 1792 (1 Stat. 232), continued the Post Office for another two years and formally admitted newspapers to the mails, gave Congress the power to establish post routes, and prohibited postal officials from opening letters. Later legislation enlarged the duties of the Post Office, strengthened and unified its organization, and provided rules for its development. The Act of May 8, 1794 (1 Stat. 354), continued the Post Office indefinitely.
The Post Office moved from Philadelphia in 1800 when Washington, D.C., became the seat of government. Two horse-drawn wagons carried all postal records, furniture, and supplies.
Don't Shrink the US Post Office; Expand It!
Community and Postal Workers United
Delivering for America
Delivering the Truth: Postal Service Myths and Facts