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 19 2012: We need a new vision of what the postal service is and what it provides.
    When postal services were formed they were critical, but with digital communications we need a new vision.
    It is currently a government subsidized social service.
    90% of what it delivers can probably be served better by private industry.
    80 % of what I receive is junk mail and it goes straight into the recycling.
    The only people that need this subsidized service are people that live > 20 miles from the nearest population center.
    Its a social service that is nice to have but is a relic.
    The current waste of tax payers money could be minimized by:
    Initially cutting deliveries to three days a week then cut it down to one or two days a week.

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