The United States Post Office is planning on raising the cost of stamps again by at least 3 cents this year, or at least that’s what they hope will happen. The United States Post Office is expected to take a 6 billion dollar lose this year, which is a astronomical loss for any company. The rate increase is expected to generate 2 billion annually for our postal system.
By looking back at history we can gain a lot of insight, take for example the home milk delivery. At the time, in home refrigeration was unheard of. The milk man would get the milk early from local farmers and deliver it daily to all the homes in the community to ensure it did not spoil. Prior to the 1940’s most homes only had a icebox to keep foods from spoiling but in the 1940’s most home owners could finally afford refrigerators. As this happened the milk man came less frequently to people’s homes them eventually not at all. The times had changed and the need for a milk man became non existent, just like a dinosaur.
Maybe the post office needs to take a hard look at the milk man. There was a time that we all relied on the mail system. Every bill had to be paid by stamp, to mail a package you had to go to the post office and mail it from there. But the times have changed and we no longer need any of this from our postal system.
The postal system should not be abolished, there is a definite need for the service. But there are so many options to reduce cost that have not even been heard or proposed.
One option is Saturday delivery service. Ask yourself if you really need Saturday mail? The reality is, if you need to have something delivered on Saturday, its actually cheaper to use one of the companies like UPS or Fed Ex already. Somehow the USPS missed the boat of saving us money on this service.
Analysts estimate this will save 2 billion annually, which oddly sounds like same number in the proposal to raise the cost of the stamp.
Another out of the box proposal is to eliminate home delivery all together. Everyone would be expected to have a post office box with the exception of senior citizens, disabled people or live outside a 20 mile radius of a post office. Expand the current post offices to allow for boxes and eliminate all the expense that comes with home delivery. Like gas, staffing and all the overwhelming cost occurred with this service.
Lastly, if we are being completely honest, most of our mail is junk mail. Amazing that with the cost rising to a point that most Americans no longer even use stamps and pay majority of bills online, yet there is still such a huge amount of companies that still solicit us. Maybe a better solution to the whole Postal System crisis is as simple as raising the rate for 3rd party vendors. Let them absorb the cost and save the American people the extra hit on their wallet.
In conclusion, there is no obvious answer to the United States Postal Service. One thing is certain, we cannot continue to operate it in the same manner. As much as the government and USPS would like to carry on as usual, we need radical changes in order to sustain a postal delivery system. They need to accept that we no longer rely solely on stamps to pay our bills, we do not rush to the mailbox like Charlie Brown anymore and if most Americans are honest, we would probably have some fresh milk delivered on Saturday morning instead of more junk mail.
Article from USPS regarding cost of raising stamps:
EPA viewpoint on amount of junk mail sent and going to landfills:
Cost comparison for USPS vs FEDEX vs UPS:
Information on milkman delivery: