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 that the U.S. Post Office has does a great job of modernizing its work force and adapting to a changing world in which electronic communications have taken over as the primary method for communication. I think that the requirement that they fund Future Retirees Health Benefits for 75 years into the future is ridiculous and designed to destroy the USPS so that these services can be privatized. If there is enough money to make privatization attractive to investors, then there should be enough money to keep the Postal Service solvent. I do not believe that they should stop serving rural areas, although Saturday service could probably be suspended without causeing undo hardship on consumers or businesses. The USPS is one of the great success stories of our country and we should commit to keeping this quasi-governmental agency operating.

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