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Thread: Please, Call Congress

  1. #16
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    S.B. 1789 which outlines a lot of changes to the USPS, is to come up for a vote soon. I believe our Sen. Kirk is still recovering from his stroke and brain surgery so I 'll contact Sen. Durbin.
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  2. #17
    S. 1789 is, as it currently stands, a disaster for the post office.

    THere's nothing in it to protect mailing standards, which means that you might get your letter to the court, IRS, or other agency in a couple days, or in a couple weeks. With that kind of service, why not just hire a courier?

    it's pandering to the mailers, but at the same time it will force the bulk mailers to go elsewhere, as who wants to mail an ad through the postal service if you can't guarantee it's going to get there before the sale? As of a months ago, residents in MD were still receiving Black Friday mailers. The postal service consolidated plants to save money, and destroyed service standards.

    Coming soon to your mailbox nationwide!
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassiesmom View Post
    S.B. 1789 which outlines a lot of changes to the USPS, is to come up for a vote soon. I believe our Sen. Kirk is still recovering from his stroke and brain surgery so I 'll contact Sen. Durbin.
    LH, I would like to revise my post because the way I typed it is not very clear. I heard on the news yesterday that there was a small demonstration downtown at Federal Plaza. It was USPS employees trying to get the word out about the financial problems the USPS is having, and that they are opposed to post office closings and lay-offs. The reporter talked about S.B. 1789 which is to come up for a vote soon. The people at the demonstration feel it is not a well-worded bill and hope it will not be successful. The way the reporter explained the bill, it did not sound very clear to me as a postal service user. One of our two senators (Mark Kirk) had a stroke about two or three months ago. He needed brain surgery after that and he is still recovering from the stroke and the surgery. I am not sure how his Senate responsibilities are covered, but I don't guess he is able to vote on bills at this time. So I will contact our other senator who is Dick Durbin. I'd like him to not vote for a poorly prepared bill, and I would not like to see post offices closed or people losing their jobs.
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  4. #19
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    I thought the postal service started losing money years ago, when e-mail took off, and automatic bill pay, purchasing online (in which often times a private carrier is utilized rather than the USPS) became all the rage. I try my best to use email whenever I can, to save money, sure, but to protect the environment, too. No paper, no fuel to get stuff from point A to point B.

    I never understood why we needed Saturday mail delivery. Just drop it, and that - yes- eliminates jobs, but every industry has had this happen to them. Layoffs- all the major auto manufacturers, our local Jobs and Family Services just laid off some huge amount of employees, as so much is automated anymore, people aren't necessary. Do I like those facts? Not really, but, I dislike spending money on needless things more.

    I have nothing against the US mail, acknowledge that it is a great, and reasonable service(every day, on time, etc., ), but the price of postage does go up and up and up, and if I can avoid that cost, I do it.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cataholic View Post
    I never understood why we needed Saturday mail delivery. Just drop it, and that - yes- eliminates jobs, but every industry has had this happen to them. Layoffs- all the major auto manufacturers, our local Jobs and Family Services just laid off some huge amount of employees, as so much is automated anymore, people aren't necessary. Do I like those facts? Not really, but, I dislike spending money on needless things more.
    Saturday delivery is far more important to some people than others, Johanna. Folks who rely on getting their medications, and social security checks often are living so close to the bone that waiting an extra two days can be detrimental. Mail service is rural areas is often a lifeline. It's not to say it would impossible to adjust without it, but it would be a hardship on some folks. Maybe they could stop Saturday delivery in certain areas, like big industrial areas, or something, but it seems the rural folks tend to be hit hardest with some things, let's keep Saturday for them!
    I've Been Frosted

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Cataholic View Post
    I thought the postal service started losing money years ago, when e-mail took off, and automatic bill pay, purchasing online (in which often times a private carrier is utilized rather than the USPS) became all the rage. I try my best to use email whenever I can, to save money, sure, but to protect the environment, too. No paper, no fuel to get stuff from point A to point B.

    I never understood why we needed Saturday mail delivery. Just drop it, and that - yes- eliminates jobs, but every industry has had this happen to them. Layoffs- all the major auto manufacturers, our local Jobs and Family Services just laid off some huge amount of employees, as so much is automated anymore, people aren't necessary. Do I like those facts? Not really, but, I dislike spending money on needless things more.

    I have nothing against the US mail, acknowledge that it is a great, and reasonable service(every day, on time, etc., ), but the price of postage does go up and up and up, and if I can avoid that cost, I do it.
    The Postal Service started "losing money" when Congress decided that the USPS would have to pay 75 years worth of retiree health care expenses in 10 years.

    Online shopping has actually dramatically increased USPS parcel service business.

    As far as needless things, define needless? As Karen stated, Saturday mail delivery is essential for some. Veterans and retirees frequently get their meds via USPS, and UPS and FEDEX both rely on the Postal Service for last mile delivery in rural areas. They drop off the parcels at the local post office, and they are delivered by the mail carrier, and the USPS delivers, saving money for UPS and FEDEX. If I order online, regardless who the actual paid carrier is, it's a crapshoot whether UPS, FEDEX or the postal service will actually deliver the item.

    If you like the every day on time service, then Congress has to act. If nothing is done, that's all out the window.

    For less than $.50, you can, at present, put a letter in the mail and have it delivered fairly reliably anywhere in the US within 3 days. UPS or FEDEX would charge $10 for the same service.

    USPS pricing also holds down UPS and FEDEX parcel shipping prices.

    Without that competition, rates go up.

    Congress needs to act, and soon, on something other than HR 2309 and S 1789, as those bills would be disasters for customer service and the employees. Rural post offices are essential for small communities, and it is a Constitutional duty of Congress to ensure that that service remains.

    The Republicans made a big stunt of reading the Constitution at the start of this house session. Maybe they need to read it again?
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Saturday delivery is far more important to some people than others, Johanna. Folks who rely on getting their medications, and social security checks often are living so close to the bone that waiting an extra two days can be detrimental. Mail service is rural areas is often a lifeline. It's not to say it would impossible to adjust without it, but it would be a hardship on some folks. Maybe they could stop Saturday delivery in certain areas, like big industrial areas, or something, but it seems the rural folks tend to be hit hardest with some things, let's keep Saturday for them!
    They would adjust by having the meds ordered a day or two earlier, have their SS checks deposited electronically (which saves more money). And, unless the rural people have some 'in' with the banking system, they can't draw on their check until it clears anyhow. Probably Tuesday am, best.

    Change is super hard for people, I get that. Losing one's job is heart wrenchingly scary- I totally get that. But, losing money- government "owned" business or not- needs to be examined from a cost perspective. Cuts need to be made, offices/plants/distribution centers need to be closed. I think Saturday service is a redundancy.

    I never gave postage much thought before I started my own practice. I have electronically paid all my household expenses for a couple of years now (and LOVE it), and two other expenses are electronically deposited. Now? Ten letters costs me near $5.00. That seems inconsequential until you realize ten letters is probably 3 days of 'work' for me. Do the math (cause I can't). It adds up.

    I strive to email as much as I can as it saves ME money. Me, the consumer. So, I see it differently, as I don't depend on the USPS to support me. Heck, I don't even go to my mail box every day. That is just a convenience we all have taken as a necessity.

    There isn't any doubt in my mind the frequent use of the internet and email has reduced the money coming into the USPS. Sure, other things may affect it, but, the bread and butter business- selling of postal services- has made a big difference.

    I can still remember the USPS "two day mail"....LOL, it should have read, "the two day- maybe cause we don't guarantee it-mail". You PAID for two day mail...but you just might not get it. That, to me, is part of the problem. When there are no other competitors...service can lag. And, of course, the USPS has made great strides in the mailing service. Great strides. They had to, to stay competitive with the other major giants.

    I can't remember the last time I purchased something online and it came to me by the US Mail. Maybe it is the area I live in, but my packages come FedEx or UPS. My medications come to me FedEx, now that I think of it.

    Dunno. I don't dislike the PO at all, in fact the mail lady is someone I like to walk and chat with, if it happens that way. But, to say that they should somehow be exonerated from the recession or business practices that affect the rest of our world doesn't seem right.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cataholic View Post
    They would adjust by having the meds ordered a day or two earlier, have their SS checks deposited electronically (which saves more money). And, unless the rural people have some 'in' with the banking system, they can't draw on their check until it clears anyhow. Probably Tuesday am, best.
    Exactly!! ! I'm a "rural person" and you have hit the nail on the head. My SS is a direct deposit, and if it wasn't and got delivered on a Saturday, I wouldn't be able to cash/deposit it till Monday anyway. And meds by mail - yes - order a few days ahead if that is an issue.

    I do all of my bill pay and banking electronically. Not only does it save me writing a check and paying postage, but IMO it is more secure than USPS. I have also gone paperless on EVERYTHING. Not only does it cut down on the paper that I have to shred, but it also eliminates the chance of it getting delivered to the wrong address. Yes - it does happen. If I get other people's mail on occasion - then I'm positive some of mine is ending up in the wrong mailbox. I don't need my banking or credit card statements in anyone's hands but my own! If my postal carrier wants to deliver my junk mail to the wrong address, then that's fine with me.

    So I'm another that thinks eliminating Saturday delivery is a good idea. Sorry, LH...........
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by pomtzu View Post
    Exactly!! ! I'm a "rural person" and you have hit the nail on the head. My SS is a direct deposit, and if it wasn't and got delivered on a Saturday, I wouldn't be able to cash/deposit it till Monday anyway. And meds by mail - yes - order a few days ahead if that is an issue.

    I do all of my bill pay and banking electronically. Not only does it save me writing a check and paying postage, but IMO it is more secure than USPS. I have also gone paperless on EVERYTHING. Not only does it cut down on the paper that I have to shred, but it also eliminates the chance of it getting delivered to the wrong address. Yes - it does happen. If I get other people's mail on occasion - then I'm positive some of mine is ending up in the wrong mailbox. I don't need my banking or credit card statements in anyone's hands but my own! If my postal carrier wants to deliver my junk mail to the wrong address, then that's fine with me.

    So I'm another that thinks eliminating Saturday delivery is a good idea. Sorry, LH...........

    To those of you who think the USPS is losing money in the same way a business loses money, you're wrong.

    The issue is simple, as stated above, the USPS has been required by Congress to make 75 years worth of financial obligations paid in advance in 10 years.

    To put this in a manner that most people can understand, if you have a 30 year mortgage, and one year into the mortgage the company sent you a letter stating that they were unilaterally changing the terms of the mortgage and you were now required to make payments on a 5 year mortgage, would you be able to make those payments? Probably not.

    Take the same situation, and you call the bank and say "okay, I can do that, but you're going to need to move money from a different account to pay the mortgage", and the bank says "no, you can't, we need that money, it's unavailable", would you be able to survive financially?

    The USPS has between 50 to 90 billion in overpayments in various retiree accounts (GAO, 2 independent audits). Congress refuses to return that money.

    The USPS has actually turned a profit over the last 5 years, minus the prepayment requirements.

    Take a break from listening to what the media is putting out, and look at the audit results. They don't mesh.

    The propaganda doesn't meet the reality various accountants have found.

    As to the security of the mail? When was the last time a check in an envelope was hacked? There are major hacks constantly. The worst thing that might happen to a mailed check is it gets torn in the machine, and either returned to the sender or sent to the recipient with a note stating what happened.

    You may not have a bank available on Saturday, Pom, but even out here in the sticks I dont have to drive far to find a bank branch open on saturday, and the local grocery store is more than willing to cash a SS check.

    Compared to the amount of mail handled, the amount of mis-delivered mail is tiny, almost statistically insignificant, and is normally intercepted by the carrier before delivery.

    Again, take a break from reading the propoganda and read the audits.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    To those of you who think the USPS is losing money in the same way a business loses money, you're wrong.

    The issue is simple, as stated above, the USPS has been required by Congress to make 75 years worth of financial obligations paid in advance in 10 years.

    To put this in a manner that most people can understand, if you have a 30 year mortgage, and one year into the mortgage the company sent you a letter stating that they were unilaterally changing the terms of the mortgage and you were now required to make payments on a 5 year mortgage, would you be able to make those payments? Probably not.

    Take the same situation, and you call the bank and say "okay, I can do that, but you're going to need to move money from a different account to pay the mortgage", and the bank says "no, you can't, we need that money, it's unavailable", would you be able to survive financially?

    The USPS has between 50 to 90 billion in overpayments in various retiree accounts (GAO, 2 independent audits). Congress refuses to return that money.

    The USPS has actually turned a profit over the last 5 years, minus the prepayment requirements.

    Take a break from listening to what the media is putting out, and look at the audit results. They don't mesh.

    The propaganda doesn't meet the reality various accountants have found.

    As to the security of the mail? When was the last time a check in an envelope was hacked? There are major hacks constantly. The worst thing that might happen to a mailed check is it gets torn in the machine, and either returned to the sender or sent to the recipient with a note stating what happened.

    You may not have a bank available on Saturday, Pom, but even out here in the sticks I dont have to drive far to find a bank branch open on saturday, and the local grocery store is more than willing to cash a SS check.

    Compared to the amount of mail handled, the amount of mis-delivered mail is tiny, almost statistically insignificant, and is normally intercepted by the carrier before delivery.

    Again, take a break from reading the propoganda and read the audits.


    So - wouldn't eliminating Saturday delivery save a whole pile of money? That's the point I was trying to get across - make cuts "somewhere". Isn't that a start in the right direction?
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by pomtzu View Post
    So - wouldn't eliminating Saturday delivery save a whole pile of money? That's the point I was trying to get across - make cuts "somewhere". Isn't that a start in the right direction?
    Ending Saturday delivery would save nothing. The proposed changes to the postal service would actually start a death spiral for the USPS, as there is another independent audit out that states the USPS would LOSE an additional $5 billion due to business shifted elsewhere because of the changes in service standards and delivery days.

    If Congress ends the pre-payment requirements, the USPS wouldn't be losing money.

    If the USPS stopped spending money on boondoggles such as the new Flats Sorter machinery, it would save even more money. THey've spent billions on those machines to get a system that costs more to run than the systems it replaces, and doesn't sort mail as quickly as the old machines, the new machines also damage mailpieces at a horrendous rate, all to "save" money by increasing processing capacity on a dying mail class. As an example of efficiency, the older machines would be down about an hour on a catastrophic failure, only affecting delivery for a few towns. When the new machines go down, they're down for hours to days, affecting delivery for hundreds of towns, and costing the USPS millions in overtime.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    Ending Saturday delivery would save nothing.
    That's pretty difficult to believe. I'm sure that working Saturday's for postal employees isn't done simply out of the goodness of their hearts. And gas, etc to run the trucks - is that free???.....and what about manning the post offices??? Maybe I view "would save nothing" differently tho.
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  13. #28
    Again, the loss of business to competition would more than offset any savings from ending Saturday delivery. If they end delivery, the post offices will still be open, mail will still be being processed 7 days/week, and there would be additional overtime costs due to a higher volume of mail on Mondays. Delivery, which is all they're talking about eliminating, is only the piece the public sees, the tip of the iceberg.

    Why are stores open 24/7 now? They have to have a stock staff working in the store anyway, so they might as well gain a little revenue from employees they would have to have there anyway. Cutting their hours doesn't save them money, it just shifts the customers to the competition. Same idea with the post office cutting delivery. The clerks and processing personnel still have to process mail. It really doesn't save as much as you think.

    Businesses which are in trouble don't under logical conditions cut service and raise prices and survive, but this is precisely what the postal service is proposing.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  14. #29
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    Yikes LH - with postage rates what they are in some instances, the USPS should be knee-deep in $$$$$

    I received an Express Mail flat rate envelope in my mailbox today. It shipped from Washington state to Delaware, 2 day delivery, not insured, to the tune of $18.95. I think that is somewhat pricey.
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  15. #30
    My sincere thanks to those who contacted their Senators.

    S. 1789 passed this afternoon, heavily amended. While it still isn't a long term fix, it will provide some short term relief.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

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