Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Five Dollar Love Letter

The story began sensibly enough, explaining how the U.S. Postal Service is going bankrupt.  Stop gap measures weren't going to help, said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in his Congressional testimony, as salaries and benefits comprise 80% of the organization's annual budget.  The rise of electronic mail has caused a dramatic decrease in revenue, he explained.  Ya think? 

Mr. Donahoe is the second highest paid government employee, second only to President Obama and one step ahead of Vice President Biden.  If first class mail volume has plunged, why hasn't the USPS behemoth shrunken accordingly?  Most of us communicate and pay bills via email and phone, using the mail service for things we can't handle in that manner.  The U.S. taxpayer would probably save money if the U.S. government offered free internet service and public computer stations instead.  Times have changed, but bureaucracy crawls, unable to adjust quickly enough.

He warned of the end of Saturday mail delivery.  I don't know about you, but I'm quaking in my boots at the thought of having to wait until Monday for my junk mail.  Cutbacks to three days a week delivery?  Bring it on.

The most bizarre part of the hearing came courtesy of Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill who lamented the absence of handwritten letters from her children.  She groused that she had to impose a rule, forbidding her college-attending progeny to send her text message requests for money.  "I was getting this gibberish spelling 'need money 2day'.  It's ridiculous!"  Is this woman in the early stages of dementia?  Do you have any idea how much we just paid to have her parenting rant entered into the Congressional Record?  Even worse, is she representative of who is in charge of running our country's affairs?  Gather closer, dear readers, to hear her idea to save the U.S. Postal Service.  She wants someone to come up with a marketing campaign to promote the "value of the written someone you love".  She prosthelytizes that we would all be surprised how far it would go to stabilize the Postal Service's budget.  Senator McCaskill has simultaneously made me embarrassed to be both female and a boomer.  I'm surprised that she isn't a member of the Tea Party, spouting that kind of idiocy.

Can someone please force Jon Stewart to become Dictator Emeritus of the United States of America?" width="512" height="288" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" base="." flashVars="">


Gary Hoover said...

*Stands up and applauds*

With e-mail, electronic bill-pay, direct deposit and a UPS store on every other corner (and Fed-Ex on the others) do we really need a post office anymore? And if they need to reduce their hours, why not shut down Tuesdays and Thursdays but stay open on Saturdays for those of us who have to work?

People used to get nervous and give the post-office whatever they wanted when they said they were in trouble, but the big yawn this time around is somewhat telling.

Jenny Milchman said...

Go green(er), baby. On FB I left a comment about all my daughter's summer homework went missing at the post office's hands. Still, it's a tough job I can't imagine doing. How many pieces per day to WHERE??