How Many People Use the Post Office? Does the Postal Service Even Know?

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There’s a new GAO report out this week by the indefatigable Phillip Herr.  It’s called “Action Needed to Maximize Cost-Saving Potential of Alternatives to Post Offices.”  In this week’s Federal Eye column for the Washington Post, Ed O’Keefe writes about the report and poses the question, “How bad is it at the post office? Here are the numbers.” Citing Herr’s … Read More

Out of Thin Air: New Numbers on Declining Mail Volumes

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Someone please give Phil Herr at the GAO a Xanax.  The guy has been focused on USPS doomsday scenarios for so long, it’s apparently making him depressed and clouding his vision.  His new GAO report paints a dire picture of the Postal Service’s future, but it’s based on numbers that seem to be pulled out of thin air. A few … Read More

The OIG tells the post office to get a divorce

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The retail and delivery operations of the post office have been “coupled” for 150 years, ever since the post office started delivering the mail.   Now the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is telling us that these operations should be “decoupled.”  It’s not that the two aren’t getting along — it’s just that the Postal Service could save some … Read More

Who gets hurt when the post office closes?

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One of the main problems with closing thousands of post offices is that the cost and pain are not evenly distributed among the population of the country.  Some people get hurt more than others.  As with most government cutbacks, it’s the poor who get hurt the most.  They’re the ones who live in low-income urban neighborhoods and hardscrabble rural areas … Read More

The Social and Economic Value of Postal Services

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In February of 2010, the Urban Institute completed a study entitled “A Framework for Considering the Social Value of Postal Services” that had been commissioned by the Postal Regulatory Commission.”  When it presented its findings, the Urban Institute recommended additional research to quantify the benefits it had identified, and the PRC proceeded to commission three contractors to do six studies … Read More

Post Office for Dummies

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It’s going to be a busy week in our nation’s capital.  On Tuesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Joseph Lieberman, will hold an emergency hearing to prevent a USPS shutdown.  NAPUS says “this is the first time in recent memory that the full Committee, rather than its Postal Subcommittee, will convene a postal hearing.”  Then … Read More