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

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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 and reliability refer to the overall consistency of a measurement or the accuracy of the data being measured. But when … Read More

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

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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 the Postal Service is its outmoded and defective business model.   A great deal of our speech with public policy … Read More

Who owns the Postal Service?

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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 postal services in this country. How we answer them will have a significant impact on businesses, workers, and communities. We … Read More

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

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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 workers.  Johnson will control oversight of the Postal Service in the Senate. There may be good reason to think this … Read More

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

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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 consolidations have resulted in delayed mail, late delivery, and countless other service problems.  Under POStPlan, service has declined due to reducing … Read More

Giving Away the Store: The Postal Service discounts the mail

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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. Using pricing and discount strategies, communications corporations have colluded to circumvent competition and make private fiefdoms out of what should … Read More

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

SteveBlog, Jamison Articles

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 special.  Issa is chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, under which this subcommittee serves, and the hearings he … Read More

Under same management: Some reservations about postal banking

SteveBlog, Jamison Articles

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” by Elizabeth Swanson offers polling data (and a poll of its own) that shows 44% of Americans favor letting the … Read More

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

SteveBlog, Jamison Articles

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, the PRC finally responded to the request. The Commission ruled that my motion was “dismissed without prejudice” as being “premature,” meaning I … Read More