TED Conversations

Robert Winner


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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

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    Nov 16 2012: Paying for retirement health benefits 75 years into the future is not that stupid when you consider the rising cost of health care caused by political cronyism between Congress and the insurance/pharmaceutical industries. To understand, look at the auto industry with its unfunded pension plans. Had there been no bail out, it would have been disastrous. I don't like bail-outs, but OUR government set up the system and too few object.

    The way to end that is to have limited free health care for all so that congress can negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for the best deal, like the vets have been doing.

    Closing rural postal routes is not just stupid, it's cruel. Look who it will hurt the most. It will hurt Republicans.

    The USPO has been making its own problems. It offers subsidies to mass mailings that fill our mailboxes. It says that the mass mailings are the profit center, and perhaps they are, but they force mail carriers to each have their own mail truck which comes with its own expenses. What if it refused to deliver anything but simple, first class mail, and allow the rest of the crap to go to private companies. I bet they won't deliver a catalog for pennies after that, and the cost of vehicles (purchase, fuel, maintenance, and insurance) will tumble.

    The USPO has become a big-business subsidy.

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