Why The Post Office Deserves Saving
In an age where the United States Postal Service is $160 billion in debt and is turning to Congress for an $89 billion bailout and in an age where many, or rather most Americans don’t write letters or place the importance on the post office they once did I think it’s a government agency worth saving. Now I’m no financial expert and I won’t pretend to understand what measures should be taken to help save our post office. But, I know that I think it’s worth saving.
With the fifty-five cent forever stamp and all of the benefits that their employees receive, it really isn’t too hard to understand how our post office struggles financially. But don’t their financial struggles in part stem from the things that are really great about the agency, to begin with?
Each year at least half of the people reading this likely send out or receive Christmas cards saying Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, or maybe it’s a Hannakuh card. It really doesn’t matter. You put that stamp up in the right-hand corner and I would be willing to guess it’s likely a forever stamp. Have you ever stopped to think about what that even means? No matter how much the price of first-class mail inflates that stamp works-forever. I just don’t see that being an Amazon policy. And by the way, Amazon relies on the postal service to deliver about a third of packages after a 2018 deal. Mail carriers work Sundays to deliver those packages in their commitment to getting the American people their packages. If more people knew that, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to get rid of it. A third of your packages would be getting their slower because Amazon doesn’t have the same capacity for delivery, which is why they use the post office.
And after Congress received the USPS’s request for a bailout, they might consider the 600,000 people employed by the United States across the nation. In some states, they rank as one of the top employers. But more than that, workers for the USPS get excellent benefits and the postal service makes a point of giving hiring preference to veterans. And after men and women come back from serving in our military, don’t they deserve a good steady job that provides great benefits like USPS?
And for rural America, the post office is an important lifeline. Unlike other mail services like Fed-Ex or Amazon, the USPS by law must deliver mail to every single region of the country, and do it at a flat rate. And in the digital age, maybe many haven’t considered that 14.5 million Americans lack access to broadband internet. You think they’d like to get that newspaper or mail-in that ballot, and not have it cost an arm and a leg to do it. President Trump really campaigned towards the rural, average American. To me, the move not to help the USPS would be a slap in the face. Congressional members that have more rural constituents should consider that when thinking about the USPS’ bailout request.
The United States Postal Service is an agency older than the United States itself. Through the hardest of conditions, even the current Covid-19 pandemic, they continue to deliver. They’ve got a lot of economic red ink but for a federal agency formed in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as its postmaster, it deserves to stick around some more. So buy stamps, during the pandemic have your kids send grandma an old-fashioned letter. And hey, while you’re at it send one to your local representative asking them to save an agency that ought to be given a lot of love.