29 January, 2009

This is how it should be done.

You may or may not be aware that federal law requires the Post Office to deliver mail to all US addresses 6 days a week. It makes sense, but I just never really thought about it.

Well, as the world goes digital and as private couriers improve service, the volume of mail delivered by the USPS has declined. In 2008, the USPS saw a decline of 4.5% in the volume of mail it delivered compared to the previous year. That's over 9 billion fewer pieces of mail.

The Post Office is exploring ways to streamline its operations. One such option is to eliminate one day of delivery each week.

I want to applaud the Post Office for looking for ways to reduce cost, rather than by just raising taxes (i.e. stamp prices). This is the example that the rest of the government should follow.

Instead of raising taxes, look for ways to be more efficient. If, for example, a private entity can do a job, let them (the biggest example I can think of for this is municipal WiFi). Some things that the government does should be left to the private sector.

Instead of making people who don't use the services pay for them, how about re-examining the services in general, to see if they are something that the government should be doing in the first place.

I know that it's not uncommon for me to get nothing besides junk mail. There are several companies that I do business with that do not send me paper bills. I also, pay all of my bills online. I don't remember the last time I wrote a check to pay a bill. I couldn't even tell you what a stamp costs these days.

One more thing that the Post Office should do is to reconsider how they spend their advertising dollars. Does the USPS really need to sponsor a professional cycling team? That's not to say they shouldn't advertise, and that they shouldn't advertise on sports, but does it make sense to advertise on a sport that virtually no Americans follow except for 2 weeks in July?

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