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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 so rarely use the postal service it's hard for me to understand the value of operating that agency at a loss to begin with. I'm familiar with some of it's historical value, the pony express, and so on. I don't mean to disparage the postal service - I'm really asking if we could have some discussion of the value of the postal service today, because I think that discussion could spark ideas to save it. At least from me.
    • Nov 28 2012: I have to agree here. I think we should start not with the question of how we can save the USPS, but WHETHER we should save the USPS. Demographic, geographic, political, economic, and technological conditions now are dramatically different than they were at the time the USPS was designed in the manner it still exists today.

      Do we even NEED a publicly funded postal service anymore? If so, WHAT do we need from it? Let's re-design it around those needs.

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