TED Conversations

Robert Winner


This conversation is closed.

Debate: US Postal Service.

The US Post Office is a independent operating agency of the US government that is subject to Congressional Control.The PO lost 15.9 Billion in 2012 and 5.1 Billion in 2011. The major reason the PO is going south is a requirement of Congress called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 which requires the agency to pay 5.1 Billion a year into Future Retirees Health Benefits for 75 years into the future. This is the only federal agency to have this requirement.

The PO has 574,000 workers and the largest vehicle fleet in the world (218,000 vehicles). Just put put this into perspective.

The question is can the PO continue to operate under continuing losses. Since the major problem is the Congressional Act why not have Congress repeal a 5.1 Billion dollar requirement of a agency that only showed a profit of 1 Billion the year before the requirement went into effect.

The PO says they can come closer if they eliminate Saturday deliveries and close rural postal routes and small town post offices.

I am sure that there are other areas of concern I am missing here.

Can TED members collectively suggest a means of saving the Postal Service.

Topics: economics society

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 16 2012: Privatize the Postal Service, as some of us have been demanding for over 30 years. Or just allow private businesses to offer service to postal mail boxes, and see who offers the cheaper, more efficient service.
    • thumb
      Nov 19 2012: we already have private competition of delivery and mail boxes and USPS fees hurt much less specially to small business. if you eliminate government in the competition, no one will be able to afford FedEx and UPS hikes.
      • thumb
        Nov 28 2012: Taxpayers should not be forced to help pay the mailing costs of small, or big. business, especially if the money is used to distribute unsolicited, unwanted, unproductive and wasteful junk, oops sorry, bulk rate mailings. Besides, business passes the cost along to the consumer.
    • Nov 19 2012: There's no way private businesses will be able to operate for lower prices since the US Postal Service is already running huge losses with the current prices. You also have to factor in that the mail business is a natural monopoly business since people will never get used to putting their letter in the mailbox of one specific company only (especially when the mailboxes of other companies are closer) and there are many small towns and rural areas where there's only room for one postal office and/or mailbox.
      • thumb
        Nov 19 2012: USPS is running huge losses because it's inefficient and its employees are grossly overcompensated. The phone company used to be a 'natural' monopoly too until the federal court decided more wisely, to the benefit of us all.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.