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Postal Service too vital to lose
September 13, 2011 - Jim Smith
There is much talk about the financial plight of the U.S. Postal Service, but can anyone imagine the postal system ceasing to exist?
After all, there was a postal system before there was a United States and always has been considered one of the absolute necessities for communications and commerce.
But, there is little doubt there must be some fundamental change in the U.S. Postal Service, which went $8.5 billion in the red in 2010 and is expected to go even deeper this year.
For several years, the postal system has advocated the elimination of Saturday home delivery, as well as closing some of its less-used, rural post offices that do not generate revenue to match expenses. Both proposals have met stiff opposition.
Smaller communities, including some in the Mid-Ohio Valley, have rallied behind their post office, feeling the post office is a vital part of their community's identity and a social gathering point. The communities have contacted their congressional delegations to fight for their local post offices, which makes it even more difficult for the postal service to take steps it believes are necessary to ensure its future.
There also have been proposals to reduce the postal services workforce and/or benefits package, which also has meet stiff opposition from unions and those who see it leading to still higher unemployment numbers and health care issues.
With the Internet taking more and more away from the postal service via email, paying bills and doing banking online, the post office is left with its bread-and-butter a $1.1 trillion industry that employs more than 8 million people in direct mail, periodicals, catalogs, financial services, charities and other postal-dependent businesses.
"The Postal Service is not going out of business," postal spokesman David Partenheimer said. "We will continue to deliver the mail as we have for more than 200 years. The postmaster general has developed a plan that will return the Postal Service to financial stability. We continue to do what we can on our own to achieve this plan and we need Congress to do its part to get us there."
He acknowledged if Congress doesn't act, the post office could reach a point next summer where it doesn't have the money to keep operating.
If that happens, then what? Will the home delivery of mail go the way of the milk man, family doctor making house calls, the egg and bread man? Will the magazines we get in the mail be limited to only online versions? Will we be forced to pay all our bills online? Will Christmas cards, birthday cards, anniversary cards be only online congratulations?
Please, NO! The U.S. Postal Service must continue. Congress and the Postal Service must do whatever is necessary to guarantee its continuation!
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