The Battle for the Post Office and Democracy
By Clint Burelson
(a) The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamentalservice provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. ThePostal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postalservices to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary,and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to allcommunities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shallnot be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.
(USCode, Title 39, Part 1)
The United States Postal Service is widely recognized as the most secure, efficient, andaffordable Postal Service in the world. The Postal Service is self-sustaining with all costsborn by those who mail items or otherwise utilize the services of the Post Office. Notaxpayer money is used to run the Post Office. A person can send a secure letter from theNew York islands across the country to a friend living near the Redwood forests of California for just 45 cents.
2011 First Class Mail Letter Equivalent Prices in US Dollars
Year USA Canada Great Britain Germany France Japan Norway2011 .44 .61 .74 .77 .81 1.06 1.63
Source – 2011 Annual Report to Congress
“An independent assessment by Oxford Strategic Consulting named the U.S.Postal Service the best postal service among the 20 largest economies in theworld. Criteria included the average number of citizens served, the number of letters and parcels delivered, service reliability and public trust.”
Source – USPS Postal Facts 2012
In spite of this obvious success, there is currently an alleged financial “crisis” threateningthis long esteemed institution and Congress’s “solution” is to dismantle the Postal Servicein order to cut costs. As a result, the Postal Service is in the process of implementing a“transformation” plan to: close or reduce the hours at small and rural post offices, delaythe mail by closing or consolidating mail processing centers, eliminate living wage jobsand/or reduce the wages and benefits of postal workers, eliminate Saturday delivery, andrequire cluster boxes instead of home delivery. These are dramatic and damaging servicechanges that are simply unfounded, unnecessary, and against the law.The damaging changes underway at the Post Office are a direct result of the lobbyingefforts of large corporate mailers who do not want to lose their deep discounts and pay