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: I think the internet is a big competition against traditional ways of mailing and that could be a good thing. People waste less paper, time and resources using emails and websites rather than paper mail and catalogs. The postal service needs to get into a Yahoo type of full service portal of other products beyond paper and boxes if they want to avoid becoming obsolete once the last generation of people avoiding computers are gone. After all, government and universities invented the internet, the right minds together could get something going. One thing I am not interested in though, is paying the FedEx and UPS international freight fees. I am not rich yet. So I hope USPS reinvents itself.

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