Mark Jamison is a retired postmaster who serves as an advisor, resident guru, and regular contributor to Save the Post Office.  He can be contacted at


Measure to Measure: Data, management, and the reliability of the mail

MARK JAMISON Reliable.  It seems like a simple and straightforward word.  It conveys, if not a very specific meaning, at least a pretty concrete sense of satisfying expectations.  In some contexts, like certain forms of statistics and technical applications, reliable ... Read More

When Titans collide: UPS petitions the PRC to change USPS costing methodologies

BY MARK JAMISON The United Parcel Service is very concerned that you might be paying too much for a postage stamp. If you’re wondering why UPS would be worried about something like that, it has to do with the way ... Read More

Epic Fail for the Postal Service: The wrong model and the wrong BOG

BY MARK JAMISON In 2001 Postmaster General Bill Henderson submitted the first blueprints for a transformation of the Postal Service into a sleeker, more efficient business entity. To justify the transformation, the rhetoric has repeated one mantra: the problem with ... Read More

Who owns the Postal Service?

BY MARK JAMISON Who owns the post office? Who is the post office designed to serve? What is the system’s ultimate function? These questions are fundamental to the future and the fate of the post office, the postal network, and ... Read More

Why Congress should not get out of the way of the Postal Service

BY MARK JAMISON News that Ron Johnson, the Tea Party favorite from Wisconsin, will be taking over as chair of the Senate committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs has caused an overwhelming sense of panic among progressives and postal ... Read More

We don’t care, we don’t have to, we’re the Postal Service

MARK JAMISON It looks like the folks in L’Enfant Plaza will be the last to acknowledge what everyone else in the country already knows — customer service at the Postal Service is going way down hill, and fast. The plant ... Read More

Giving Away the Store: The Postal Service discounts the mail

MARK JAMISON In her book Captive Audience:  The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, Susan Crawford describes how the American public has been imprisoned by monopoly arrangements in the delivery of broadband and wireless Internet services ... Read More

The masquerade continues: Playing politics with the Postal Service’s unfunded liabilities

MARK JAMISON The House subcommittee on Federal Workforce, US Postal Service, & the Census held a hearing on Thursday, March 13, to receive testimony on the Postal Service’s $100 billion “unfunded liability.”  Initially the hearing was billed as another Darrell Issa ... Read More

Under same management: Some reservations about postal banking

MARK JAMISON A recent report by the USPS Office of Inspector General on offering financial services at the post office won immediate support from Senator Elizabeth Warren, and postal banking was thrust into the limelight.  A big front-page story in Huffington Post entitled “Breaking the Banks” ... Read More

Premature motion: PRC dismisses bid to view non-public Amazon docs

MARK JAMISON Almost three months ago, I filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission seeking access to documents filed under seal in the docket that dealt with the Postal Service’s deal with Amazon to deliver its parcels on Sundays.  Last week, ... Read More

The Senate puts the PRC in the backseat — or maybe not even in the car

BY MARK JAMISON On Thursday of this past week, the Senate held the second of two hearings to mark up the postal reform bill, a.k.a. the manager’s or substitute amendment, submitted by Senators Carper and Coburn. At the first session ... Read More

Can it get much worse? The Senate tries postal reform, again

BY MARK JAMISON The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs finally took up its postal reform bill at a markup session on Wednesday, January 29.  The new S.1486 the committee took up is significantly different from the Carper-Coburn ... Read More

The disappearing postal workforce: Counting up the losses

BY MARK JAMISON On the first Friday of each month, economists, policymakers, and professionals in the finance industry wait for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to release the current jobs report.  The BLS report, which quantifies unemployment in the U.S., ... Read More

The Privatization Ruse

BY MARK JAMISON Accusations that the PMG’s ultimate goal is to privatize the Postal Service are apparently starting to make some of the folks at L’Enfant Plaza a little touchy. On January 17, the Washington Post ran a story about the new ... Read More

Thinking inside the PO Box

BY MARK JAMISON On January 26, postage rates are going up — about 6 percent across the board, which means a First Class stamp will go from 46 to 49 cents. But there's another rate increase going into effect on ... Read More

A New Year’s Resolution: Support the People’s Post Office

BY MARK JAMISON Here’s a resolution for the New Year: Support the people’s post office. That means working to preserve an essential national infrastructure and rejecting initiatives to dismantle it, like closing post offices and cutting window hours, delivering the ... Read More

What Would JFK Do? The Yale Commencement Address

INTRODUCTION BY MARK JAMISON For the past couple of weeks, the media have focused, almost obsessively, on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, November 22 being the fiftieth anniversary of his death. I found myself wandering through some of ... Read More

The path to postal nirvana: An entitlement program for the mail industry

BY MARK JAMISON The postal monopolies have been the subject of much discussion recently.  In last month’s Senate hearings, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma offered his view that the monopolies weren’t worth much anymore so the Postal Service doesn’t need ... Read More

A few modest proposals concerning the rules on post office closures and appeals

BY MARK JAMISON The Postal Regulatory Commission recently dismissed two appeals on post office closings — Freistatt, Missouri, and the Franklin Station in Somerset County, New Jersey. Both appeals were dismissed because they were filed late – in both cases, ... Read More

Shades of deception: The PMG testifies to the Senate

BY MARK JAMISON The Senate held another hearing on the Postal Service on Thursday, September 19. The hearing was titled: “Outside the Box: Reforming and Renewing the Postal Service, Part I – Maintaining Services, Reducing Costs and Increasing Revenue Through ... Read More

Print Friendly