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From CNN:

The U.S. Postal Service plans to stop delivering letters and other first-class mail on Saturdays beginning Aug. 1, although packages will continue to be delivered.

It will mark the an end of an era for the agency, which started Saturday delivery in 1863.

So you're thinking, "naw, I don't care, no one has sent me a letter since the 1980s." Well you should care. What this means is that the Postal Service will no longer need 15% of the membership of the National Association of Letter Carriers (214,000 urban mail carriers) and National Rural Letter Carriers' Association (100,000 rural mail carriers). That suits a Republican dream of defunding the Democratic Party by strangling the public sector unions, all because in 2006 we were too short-sighted to put up a fight when the GOP passed a law requiring the Postal Service to fund its employees retirements for 75 years instead of the customary 13 years (avg. lifespan minus age of retirement).

10:30 AM PT: Also on this topic, I strongly recommend RuralRoute's diary Axing Saturday Delivery Won't Save USPS for a first hand account from inside the Postal Service by a rural carrier.

10:31 AM PT: Rec list? Wow. Thanks.

11:14 AM PT: Background: The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006

11:32 AM PT: As jan4insight posted below:

11:57 AM PT: For those of you who are unclear on the importance of mail delivery, I point you to this article in Esquire. (Thanks BenderRodriguez)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Postal Service Must Die Because Constitution. (18+ / 0-)

    It's clearly against the original intentions the framers should have had.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:23:08 AM PST

  •  Good job, Republicans (19+ / 0-)

    Continuing the complete destruction of American infrastructure and what made the country great, in order to further their anti-union and anti-government agenda. I for one welcome our corporate overlords and our future as a feudal corporatacracy.

    New Arizona State Motto; "Yeah, but it's a dry hate!"

    by Fordmandalay on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:23:27 AM PST

    •  I hate to point out (5+ / 0-)

      but its a Democratic administration making this change.

      I know repubs in congress are blocking support for the USPS. However, times do change. The amount of important mail I get, especially on a Saturday, is infinitesimally small.

      Getting the pension issue fixed sounds like a good idea. However, it still does not mean I need mail on Saturday.

      •  It is the USPS asking for this change. (8+ / 0-)

        So far that is all it is.

        Impeach Norquist!

        by kitebro on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:12:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a Post Master General who knows nothing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Munchkn, kitebro, Tweedledee5

          about the system actually works.

          OR is well aware that the things they have done so far are just the right things to do to destroy it.

          If you know how the mail flows this becomes obvious.

          Right now they are balancing the budget on the backs of salaried mail carriers who will have to work more hours probably for free. The are eliminating the regular part time people that are the safety net to make sure the mail always gets out no matter what crisis may arise.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:23:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Postmaster General has ONLY… (0+ / 0-)

            …worked at the Postal Service. Patrick Donohue has never worked anywhere else. The problem is that he's an HR guy, not an operations guy and certainly not an idea guy.

            Worse, he has lost faith in his business. He is making the (bad manager's) assumption that because certain kinds of mail are dying off that the postal service must also die off instead of imagining different ways that he can grow and expand his business, leveraging a massive infrastructure, into new and profitable areas.

            Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

            by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:57:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  There is a law, somewhere, I think... (17+ / 0-)

        ...that USPS can not go more than two days in a row without postal deliveries.  So if they eliminate Saturdays, now on federal holidays, they would be going at least three days in a row without deliveries.

        You may not need that kind of service, but there are many, many who depend on it.  And why would you be less likely to receive important mail on a Saturday than any other day of the week?

        "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

        by Richard Cranium on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:13:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The point is I almost never get anything (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JFactor

          in the mail that is urgent. Bills and advertising can wait until Monday (or Tuesday is a holiday). This will make no impact in my life and if it saves $2 Billion.

          I have not seen any evidence in this diary or comments about what is so important about Saturday delivery, and why more so in rural areas. Saving jobs is nice, but I would think mail carriers have seen the writing on the wall here for a long time.

          One comment mentioned some people get medications by mail, but hopefully they will plan ahead enough so as not to run out. Otherwise, packages will still be delivered on Saturday, so still might not be a problem.

          •  Why would anyone have thought concerns other (14+ / 0-)

            than your might matter?

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:54:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not just me (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Swig Mcjigger, JFactor, DB55

              the majority of comments in this diary seem to have no problem without Saturday delivery. Apparently, all of Canada gets by without mail on weekends as well, and we know what kind of ice cold hellhole it is north of the boarder.

              Other then saving jobs, I have not heard or read one good reason why Saturday delivery is needed.

              •  100% of the comments in this diary (12+ / 0-)

                Come from people with internet access.  

              •  Convenience is irrelevant. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZenTrainer, JesseCW, jfromga, Chi

                The USPS is doing this only because stupid people and the congress will not recognize that the pension funding law passed in 2006 is completely unnecessary and is killing the USPS because the Republicans want to kill it.

                "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

                by caseynm on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:11:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Why is Wednesday delivery needed? (0+ / 0-)

                How about Monday?

                Why not once a week?  Once a month?

                Shit, you don't need it - why do you even care?

                "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:32:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Could I just get my bills delivered… (0+ / 0-)

                  …on the second Tuesday of never?

                  Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

                  by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:35:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  a horrible point (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mndan, mattc129

                  So instead of defending the rationale for Saturday mail delivery, you use hyperbole and don't actually defend your position.

                  Dozens of countries in Europe do not have Saturday mail delivery and I think most of us would agree that the countries are still doing just fine (at least when it comes to the efficiency and quality of public services). I should know, I've lived there for twenty years and not once were people unhappy that they didn't get their mail on Saturday. Even though they have old people without internet access, they have exactly the same needs as Americans.

                  If the argument for keeping the Saturday mail delivery is only "jobs, jobs, unions, jobs, why not" - well, maybe we should deliver mail on Sunday as well? Hell, let's air freight all the mail!

                  I completely agree that the Postal Service budget mess is ridiculous, and that there is a need for strong labor unions etc., but sometimes smart policy is just smart policy. As hard it is for some people here to understand, sometimes there is room for streamlining public services in a smart way. Just because people here feel like they are under siege from austerity hawks and conservative loons shouldn't mean that every public expenditure should be defended just because of what it represents in their minds without actually evaluating the need for that said service.

          •  Read this diary… (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Amber6541, sfarkash

            …it's thought provoking.

            Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

            by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:00:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It isn't just about YOU (11+ / 0-)

            When you are trying to get your 91 year old mother to stop driving all you need is just one more reason why she is afraid to give up her car.  

            We work on getting the prescriptions through the mail, get her to do her banking through the mail, etc., etc. and of course we do errands and take her to appointments etc.. but we can't replace those letters she looks forward to and for that matter the mail carrier is the highlight of her day.  She loves the guy.  

            Yeah, I know, I know we have to have money to spend on drones and pensions for Congress and vacations for the President and tax breaks for gazillionaires and everything and anything except for what ordinary Americans need.

          •  The postal service isn’t about you. (9+ / 0-)

            The postal service isn’t about you. The postal service is for everyone.

            I live in a very rural area. I know a lot of small businesses and individuals who do mail order. They depend on getting Saturday mail because the checks they get with mail orders on Saturday go into their bank that day and the money is used to buy food for their families. They also mail their orders on Saturday because they are doing their best to keep their customers happy and stay one step ahead of big businesses like Amazon.

            Small stores get their stock mailed to them and they are waiting for their orders to be delivered so they can stock their shelves.

            Many people here commute 50-70 miles to work and when you spend 2+hours on the road each day, errands don’t get done on work days. People go to the Post Office on Saturday because that is the only day they can make it. They pick up and mail their packages and letters on Saturdays.

            Unlike cities, rural areas don’t have affordable access to the Internet. Satellite Internet costs a lot and not everyone lives near enough to a cell tower to get data service. People still get all of their bills, magazines and even newspapers through the mail. People even write letters and birthday cards by hand and then mail them.

            Since much of rural America does not have an on-ramp to the “information superhighway”, losing Saturday mail delivery means that rural America will fall even farther behind the rest of the country when it comes to getting information, keeping connected and staying in business.

            "We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ~ "Fighting Bob" - Robert M. LaFollette Sr.

            by Sand Hill Crane on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:34:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Packages will still be delivered on Saturdays. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattc129

              Mail will still be delivered to P.O. boxes.  Post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.  Package deliveries through USPS have been increasing over the past few years, partly because the UPS rates went up, and also USPS started focusing more on that segment.  Almost all of my Ebay purchases are delivered through USPS, and they have been great.  (Disclaimer: my husband retired from the post office in October after 35 years.  He started off in Special Delivery but switched to being a carrier after they did away with Special Delivery.)  I'm not saying that this change is necessarily a good thing, but if it makes the Post Office more financially viable, it gives Republicans less of a reason to shut it down.

            •  Absolutely right (0+ / 0-)

              Many businesses and esp small towns and rural regions depend on Saturday delivery, so this GOP-fueled stupidity will damage our fragile economy yet again. It's an irony that many of the hardest-hit regions are in fact heavily GOP-supporting portions in Red States, disgusting evidence yet again of how the GOP has been able to dupe so many Americans into voting against their most basic economic interests.

              The GOP is now little more than a criminal cabal that serves the interests of the most corrupt and greedy of the 1%ers and the health insurance and financial sectors. And the GOP is their official propaganda arm (as is the distraction and stupidity of the corporate media), since if people knew how thoroughly they were being fleeced by the "extractive elites", to use the term from a recent book on this issue, there'd be a revolution tomorrow. The privatization is starting with the postal service, but soon it'll be our basic utilities and even roads, pushing us toward a feudal system that won't be able to stand on its feet.

          •  Many insurance companies refuse refill, even the (0+ / 0-)

            ordering and allowing for mail time, too early.  In many cases that means 1-5 days before the prescription runs out.  So, you can plan all you want, but the powers will still screw with you.

        •  Canada (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541, mndan, LynChi, wader, DB55

          We don't have Saturday mail delivery to homes and businesses. People with a PO box might get Saturday mail since the trucks make the rounds of the post offices and substations on Saturday.

          Nor is mail delivered on statutory holidays.

          It is indeed possible that we would have no home mail delivery for more than two days. Actually, if Christmas and Boxing Day fall on Monday and Tuesday, that would be four days in a row without home delivery.

          I don't want postal workers to lose their jobs.

          On the other hand, it is possible to have life without Saturday mail delivery, as some 30+ million Canadians have found.

          •  Well if they'd give us universal healthcare (7+ / 0-)

            I'd give up the Saturday delivery but they'll just spend it on the MIC and I'm not willing to make that trade.

          •  You miss the point. Completely. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zinman, Tweedledee5, True North

            Why is the USPS doing this? Because of a bad law pushed through during a lame duck session in 2006 that forces the funding of pensions NOW for years beyond what is rationally necessary.

            Whether or not Sat mail is necessary is a side issue and a distraction. Seems to me it is the USPS that should be making this choice without the pressure of a bad law intended to kill the USPS.

            "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

            by caseynm on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:15:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The required pre-funding is not for pensions (0+ / 0-)

              It is to pre-fund 75 years worth of health care benefits for future retirees, and to do so at a rate of about $5 billion dollars a year, an unnecessary and unprecedented requirement.

              The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 was indeed a prescription for the destruction of the USPS.

              Eradicate magical thinking

              by Zinman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:56:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If we had a truly "liberal" media (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denise b, Tweedledee5

              They would have made the electorate crystal clear on the fact that the USPS (due to a bad law done by voice vote not roll call) now has to submit a $5,800,000,000 check every September 30th to the U.S. Treasury over the next decade to prefund their retiree health fund.  They are being forced to prefund health care for future retirees 75 years in advance!  NO other Federal agency has been burdened with this type of a requirement.  Without it, the USPS would have probably had a rough couple of years (due to the financial crisis and the bad economy and also a changing business model) but it would have returned to being financially solvent by now.  

              This is a man made crisis.  Congress made it.

          •  Yes but (0+ / 0-)

            You have Nanaimo bars and butter tarts and Tim Horton's to fill the void.

      •  I'm glad you're home to accept packages (6+ / 0-)

        all week.

        Really.

        That's terrific for you.

        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:53:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Did you know? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tweedledee5

        The  Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (HR 6407) that created the prefunded pension boondoggle passed on a voice vote, without any debate or roll call vote in 2006?  These are handy when no one in DC ever wants to be held directly accountable for a misguided vote.  And lots of those who voted 'yea' got nice checks from UPS/FedEx.

    •  When the Post Office is sold (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, wader, Chi

      to FedEx or UPS for pennies on the dollar, and we have to drive to a local office to pick up our mail twice a week, and a first class stamp costs four dollars... we can blame Obama!

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:10:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sad (20+ / 0-)

    I worked as a "casual" mail carrier through 3 college summers. I always worked Saturdays, so the regulars could have that day off occasionally.

    This will hurt non-union members too.

  •  Well (5+ / 0-)

    I suppose that this might make people who go away for the weekend and have non-locking mailboxes outside their homes breath a sigh of relief.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:33:25 AM PST

  •  Any way to fight this? (8+ / 0-)

    I WANT to get (some) of my mail!

  •  Really! (10+ / 0-)

    Although I agree the post office problem is more or less caused by congress to try to privatize de-unionize the USPS totally, the Saturday delivery is a relic.

    I am not ancient, and I remember when mail was delivered at least twice a day! The mass spread of telephones in the fifties killed that.  We all thought it would be the end of the world as we knew it.   It wasn't.

    BTW, I still get lots of mail.  I can wait until Monday, albeit with bated breath,

  •  We don't rely on post the way we did (5+ / 0-)

    up until 2000. I think some adjustments are in order.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:41:31 AM PST

  •  My take on this depends on the result. (5+ / 0-)

    If it's the first step down a slippery slope, that really sucks. If it's a recognition of the changing times and email, then I'm good with it.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:42:40 AM PST

  •  Saturday mail must end so that the rich can pay (15+ / 0-)

    a lower tax rate on their capital gains.

    www.buonoforgovernor.com

    by Paleo on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:53:21 AM PST

  •  This is a bad idea. (13+ / 0-)

    Here's a terrific, in-depth article about the current USPS situation from this month's Esquire magazine:

    http://www.esquire.com/...

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:54:01 AM PST

  •  Hate to say this (11+ / 0-)

    but this is the right decision. Many other countries, like Finland, for instance, have virtually eliminated all of their postal delivery services. As much as I hate to see letter carriers lose their jobs, or more likely, the jobs will just be reduced through attrition, the Post Office has largely become one big subsidy for direct mail advertisers. I lived in Mexico for a time recently, and the idea of sending a bill or statement through the mail was virtually extinct. It was all done online. I don't think the postal service should be eliminated, but it must change with the times.

    •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)

      The appeal of the diarist and others to keep jobs is reminiscent of appeals to keep the jobs of horse buggy cart manufacturers or typewriter repair people.  It's a well intentioned but misplaced desire.

      In fact, I would go further, it kinda proves the conservatives point of view.  It seems some people are arguing that we should keep 6 days a week service because it helps keep union jobs and helps the Democratic party.

      Those may be admirable goals supported by nearly 100% of the kossacks but it is hardly a reason why it is an efficient use of our limited resources.  There are so many other things in society that I would prefer that we create jobs for than having largely needless extra delivery days for the mail.

      Solar panel installer, recycling worker, compost worker, installation installer, energy efficient expert, teachers, sanitation workers, job coaches, etc.  I would much rather see postal workers (or others) go into those careers than carry mail that can wait an extra day or two.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:47:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Home mail delivery is like horse and buggy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbob, bleeding blue, Chi

        manufacture.

        Yeah.

        That makes sense.

        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:57:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure if you are intentionally being obtuse (0+ / 0-)

          or not.  Any remotely fair assessment of my point was that the, in my view, extra, unnecessary Saturday delivery was comparable to the horse and buggy manufacture and not that home delivery in general was comparable to the horse and buggy.

          If your point is so weak that you have to exaggerate my point to then mock it perhaps your time would be better spent on developing a better argument.

          Of course, if you simply misread my point and therefore didn't understand it and then made your comment, then there is no shame in a common human failure which we are all guilty of from time to time.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:08:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'll be sure to mention (11+ / 0-)

        your career plans for her to my middle-aged mail carrier. I'm sure she'll be delighted.

        •  As far as I can see (0+ / 0-)

          Layoffs are not part of this plan

          •  That must be why the diary says loss of 15% (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi

            from the union. Because no layoffs. Hey we all know Mexico is the home of of good and fair labor standards. They don't need no stinking postal service. WTF?

            •  here in Portland, OR (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftywright, Chi

              The USPS hasn't hired anyone for a longgggg time.  I talk to my carrier, who works 6 days a week, because there are so many open routes that the remaining workforce is spread thin.

              They have already been holding off on replacing retirees for quite some time in preparation for this move.  Eliminating Saturday will cut down on overtime, and allow the remaining carriers to enjoy a regular weekend...you know, two days off.  In a row.

              My regukar carrier transferred to a different route 11 months ago due to knee problems, and we've had replacement carriers ever since.  They won't assign a permanent carrier to the route.

              Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

              by Keith930 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:21:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You can use attrition… (0+ / 0-)

              …instead of layoffs to achieve the same effect, especially in an organization that large.

              Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

              by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:02:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  My advice to some mail carriers would be (0+ / 0-)

          the same advice to workers that made horse and buggies.  Times are changing.  Prepare for the future mindful of the environment you are operating in.  There will be good hearted people that will try to get the government involved to save the jobs but it will likely prove to be short lived since, like I said, times are changing.

          I would go on to encourage the horse and buggy worker to perhaps look into the oil industry or the rubber industry or the automobile manufacturing industry for decent jobs.  For us, now, I would suggest we look for better ways to occupy the time of our postal workers than delivering mail on an artificially high number of days per week when the need for such a service is declining and does not necessitate that amount of service.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:16:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  yeah ok (0+ / 0-)

          So if a profession becomes more and more obsolete (or at least not as needed in such numbers), we should just keep to have those jobs around because some people have done that profession for years? You're such a conservative.

          Times change and people have to change with them. Instead of paying for the unnecessary mail carriers, why not invest that money in job training and have those mail carriers learn something else? Why don't you have faith in the mail carriers to actually be able to perform any other kind of job that is actually needed? You're such an elitist.

      •  Sorry your wrong (6+ / 0-)

        this creates lots of jobs through providing an inexpensive way to mail packages for small businesses.

        The lack of Saturday delivery will only slow down the mail stream and makeit more susceptable to being disrupted by weather or the illness of a carrier or ay number of other things. The people they are going to eliminate are the part time folks who cover these routes and help out when things like snow make the going slow.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:57:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Compost worker. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemSign, Chi

        So, that's what they are calling it when you get laid off from a pretty good union job and have to take 3 part time jobs with no benefits? Composting the workers?

        Yeah, I think the modern GOP would approve of composting union workers, alright.

        We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term. --Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

        by uffdalib on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:00:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not even close (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        My appeal, as the diarist, is for you to see how the GOP long game to destroy unions in this country is playing out. As someone who was doing stuff on the internet a decade before the average American and who lives inside a (small, but wired) city, I personally have no need Saturday mail delivery (I used to depend on getting The Economist on Saturdays, but then I started reading it on my iPad). But as someone whose livelihood depends on delivering stuff to people, Saturday delivery is critical to me for optimal customer satisfaction.

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

        by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:01:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Given the current economy (6+ / 0-)

      We should be doing NOTHING in the short term to increase unemployment.

      Really.  I'm all for having folks dig holes and then fill them in, if that's what it takes to give folks jobs.

      Without the onerous pension accounting, the USPS runs in the black, I think.

    •  I completely agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattc129

      I've lived in Finland for twenty years and not once were people complaining that they weren't getting their mail on Saturdays. I've tried to make the same point as you in a couple of replies here (before seeing yours) but it seems some people just have this knee-jerk reaction to defend every public service automatically without question and without considering the rationale behind the said service.

    •  That's strange (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tweedledee5

      since according to Wikipedia only 36% of Mexicans were online as of 2011. Only 78% of us. That's a lot of people left out - and I think will continue to be as long as our internet service is as expensive as it is.

      Finland - 89%.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:09:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a mainframe programmer - I want my bills on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tweedledee5

      hard copy, period.  I will not trust the companies to maintain proper backups for their data.  Nor will I trust them to not play around with the data to their convenience.  And no, I won't just do a screen print of the bill for my files as I'm paying them enough to cover the costs of printing and mailing to begin with.  Why should they get the added profit at my expense??

      Then having personal internet access is extremely expensive in some areas and many a working poor would rather have food over 'net access.

    •  What about online bill security and key services? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not saying you're wrong, as I'm not well-versed in the systems that Finland et al. have set up, but have several concerns with this trend of "going online' and am honestly curious how other places do it.

      One is the security of financial information. I've had several friends have their critical data get hacked when they were entering their data online, despite having all the latest antivirus and anti-Malware software installed. Sometimes it's simply safer to do financial transactions the old-fashioned way. Also, the US lacks the kind of widespread Wi-Fi and broadband service that I know other countries have (not sure about Finland) which basically makes online access a sort of public utility. What about people who simply can't afford a computer or monthly Internet service? This is why some people must have a PO Box.

      And also what about physical things that have to be delivered? I don't know how Finland or Mexico do this, but there has to be some service to make business and personal deliveries of goods. As someone else wrote, business for the USPS has actually gone way up, not down, since the Internet became so popular as a tool for doing business, so I don't see how online systems could in any way serve as a full substitute for postal services and post offices.

  •  This is inevitable (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, Red Sox, peregrinus, mattc129

    Because of technology.  And it probably isn't the end of it either.  At some point I think they won't even bother sending billing statements on paper.  Already you can "paperless" on lots of bills.  Eventually it will be the only way it's done.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:07:27 AM PST

  •   I get a kick out of just how many here on this... (23+ / 0-)

    site take this Saturday delivery issue so casually and have no idea of the larger picture of it's effects not only on those who work for the USPS, but for those of us who rely on the USPS and live in the rural parts of this country.  

    It affects our rural businesses, our elderly who rely on medications through the mail, our neighbors who are employed by the USPS, and doesn't begin to remedy the real issue of just why this situation is now upon us.  A quick reminder:  In 2006 and lame duck Republican House rammed this draconian pension payment plan through without knowing full well that the USPS would not be able to accomplish this outrageous prepayment pension joke.  No other private company has to have this pension program in place, and yes, the USPS is not a sole government agency as it's revenues come from the sales of stamps and services offered.  They are better than UPS and FED Ex as those private companies without the pension demands are more expensive and do not deliver to many rural parts of this country, and never will.  Our rural business relies on the USPS and we always patronize our local post office as it really does employ our neighbors and friends.  This Saturday no delivery will effectively have a large impact just on our business alone.

    I could go on, but I think many who take this lightly and agree that it's time for the USPS to "suck it up" should just take a chill, research this problem and realize that the only solution is to just repeal this disgusting, last minute Republican legislation that was meant to disable the USPS and it's Union base.

    Where the heck are the Democrats on this issue?  Where are their voices?  Why are they sitting on their hands allowing this to happen?  

    Pathetic.

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:17:02 AM PST

    •  Agreed. However this kick I get out of those (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemSign

      comments is the swift one I'd to deliver to their behinds ...

      pre-Valentine's Day sale at my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet: 15%off scarves, jewelry, journals, artwork & more! <3

      by jan4insight on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:24:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't have the rural perspective you do, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, mndan, theotherside

      couldn't the elderly arrange for their scrips to be delivered on weekdays? And how does it affect rural businesses any more than it does urban and suburban businesses? We might have an easier time getting to a FedEx or UPS, but even Loving County, Texas--the most sparsely populated county in America--has next day delivery from UPS.

      Unapologetic Obama supporter.

      by Red Sox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:37:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the problem is UPS (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munchkn, nchristine, Tweedledee5

        is a LOT more expensive that two-day flat rate packaging from USPS. UPS back in the day was cheap, but with the rise of FedEx UPS upped their rates accordingly. I sent a 40 lb. package to myself in 1985 and it cost about $7 via UPS. Now I can't even imagine how much that would cost. If there was a comparable service and price rate for UPS or FedEx that would be one thing. Bulk shippers get a huge discount with UPS and FedEx, so places like Amazon pay very little per package, but ordinary citizens pay full retail rate. It's much more than the $6 or so USPS charges for a flat rate box.

        "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

        by zaynabou on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:12:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand that, but how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattc129

          does that impact rural American any more than it does everyone else? USPS is cheaper for me too, and I live in a major city.

          Unapologetic Obama supporter.

          by Red Sox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:34:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  USPS picks up packages at our homes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, Tweedledee5

            You can run a home based business and know the post office will pick up your packages every day. You don’t have to go into town to mail your packages. Your mail carrier will pick them up and tell you then next day how much you owe on postage.
            A lot of people sell things on Ebay to make a little extra money and pay their bills.

            If you have a 20 mile drive to the Post Office, shipping packages this way is the most economical way to do it.

            "We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ~ "Fighting Bob" - Robert M. LaFollette Sr.

            by Sand Hill Crane on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:15:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Many deliveries cannot be altered to fit the needs (0+ / 0-)

        of those that rely on their deliveries.  Secondly, do you run a business from your home?  If you do, then you would understand the issues of logistics and how they can affect a home base business.  As for Loving County, TX, I can't comment on that country, as I do not know where it is located as I type this, but all I can tell you is that "Next Day via Fed Ex or UPS doesn't happen that way here in Western North Carolina.  The joke around here is that it takes two days but you still pay the premium rate for that "Next Day' promise.  We have informed our vendors to save their monies as it just doesn't happen, and they can save a good deal of money if they didn't send it next day.

        It doesn't take a "rural perspective" to understand the real nefarious reason for this back door gutless lame duck 2006 Republican session move:  It was to break the postal Union.  Trouble is, it also causes a great of inconvenience for many of us who do choose to live outside of the two coasts but live "somewhere else" in the vast middle.

        The Democratic Party has "skin' in this game, and is going to lose far more than if they tried and failed to get this overturned.  Why are they so silent?

        “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

        by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:23:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Medications would still be delivered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mndan, Tweedledee5

      on Saturdays by the USPS.

      Impeach Norquist!

      by kitebro on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:52:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For now (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, Munchkn, Tweedledee5

        How long would that last?  Not very.

      •  And if USPS delivers packages on Saturdays (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tinfoil Hat, Tweedledee5

        that gives them a real advantage over FedEX and UPS, who DON'T, at least not for a whole lot more money.

      •  Maybe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, DemSign

        Most prescriptions come 1st class mail like a letter in a small bubble envelope. They are mailed according to whatever schedule the pharmacy is on and can arrive at different places on different days depending on distance.

        For the perscriptions to get there they would have to be seperated from the regular mail stream. Parcel travel on a space available basis where as first class has priority in short it goes in the truck first. Parcels are the last load which is why they are cheaper. I may take a day or three days toget somewhere depending on availability.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:44:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You know that for a fact? UPS doesn't deliver (0+ / 0-)

        around here on Saturdays just to let you know.  If they did, then it would be expensive as all heck for both parties, and the elderly and rural poor just can't pay that expense.  Like I stated before, we run a home based business of over 18 years, and have a good "handle" on the logistics of getting our goods to market, and our supplies sent to us as well.

        “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

        by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:28:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  But because technology and because change is (5+ / 0-)

      always good and....fuck rural people too!

      So far, those are the arguments I've seen in favor of this move toward privatization.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:00:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't understand your concerns and so (0+ / 0-)

      perhaps you could explain it to me.

      It affects rural business....is it because rural business products are more likely to be perishable?  

      Medications would typically come in packages and would not be affected, correct?  Also, we should not be doing JIT delivery with medications, correct?  Do not medications get delivered well in advance of when the last set of medications is set to run out?

      Employing your rural neighbors is not a valid justification for subsidizing the rural delivery when it appears not to be a vital necessity.

      How does no Saturday delivery have a large impact on your business?  I don't see how it would impact the overhwelming number of business but I am open to hearing a real life example.

      And lastly, if it is vital for rural post offices to be open on Saturdays shouldn't the people that need that service pay for it?  If not, why not?

      I'm open for hearing your side but I am skeptical.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:11:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To long to explain as you have to be in our .... (0+ / 0-)

        situation to understand all of your questions, and all of my concerns.

        Why not just agree that it would be easier on all if our representatives just simply repealed this back door lame duck 2006 Republican session move to break another  Union, and try to privatize our delivery of goods in this country in an inefficient manor?

        By the way, why do you think it's so bad to have your neighbors and friends employed?  You don't pay for it outside of buying a stamp or requesting a fee for service provided by the USPS:  That's how the USPS generates it's revenue.  It isn't a government agency paid for by tax dollars.

        You have much to learn about your USPS, this legislated pension pay out nefarious scheme which no other company has to do, and how others live in this country.  

        “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

        by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:40:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would rec this 1000 times if I could (0+ / 0-)

      Thank for saying this!

  •  Here's a good link... (15+ / 0-)

    The pre-funding mandate: bringing down the American Postal Workers Union
    By Michael Monk | firedoglake.com
    August 19, 2011

    At the heart of the matter is a 2006 Congressional mandate put on the US Postal Service contained in the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006” to pre-fund healthcare benefits of future retirees, a 75 year liability over a 10 year period. No other agency or corporation is required to do this. This provision costs the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year. When you add in an adjustment that was made in how workers’ compensation costs were calculated based on interest rate assumptions and long term predictions concerning health care and compensation of $2.5 billion (a non cash accounting adjustment), you come up with $8 billion in cost. Actual loss was $500 million and when added, comes to the $8.5 billion reported for 2010. While $500 million is a lot, it doesn’t compare with $8.5 billion and is down from the previous year loss of $1 billion. If you took out the onerous pre-funding mandate, the Postal Service actually shows a $700 million profit over the last four years instead of the $20 billion loss. The Postal Union has been trying to get Congress to authorize the transfer of the Postal Service’s money estimated to be between $50 billion and $75 billion overpaid in the Civil Service Retirement System transferred into the PSRHBF.

    http://my.firedoglake.com/...

    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by number six on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:19:00 AM PST

  •  This breaks my heart :( /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Munchkn

    pre-Valentine's Day sale at my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet: 15%off scarves, jewelry, journals, artwork & more! <3

    by jan4insight on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:25:13 AM PST

  •  Take the savings and apply it to service education (0+ / 0-)

    While the loss of Saturday delivery will certainly affect rural and/or elderly patrons, the USPS really needs to take some of the savings and apply it to service education.

    I can't imagine how many millions are wasted on incorrectly filled out forms because there's no education nor proper signage explaining the USPS's services.

    Case in point: 2 weeks ago I had to mail something to Canada but I filled out the wrong customs form. Both forms were in the same plastic caddy labeled "Customs Forms", so how was I supposed to discern their differences when they're printed in 8 point type.

    If there was an educational outreach program to inform the general public on the different USPS services and how to properly fill stuff out, then it wouldn't be as dreadful to use them. For letters and small packages they are sufficient, but for anything larger I'm a UPS guy all the way.

    As much as the rural defenders protest here, try using a post office in any dense city. It's an absolutely understaffed dreadful experience.

    •  Dense city here... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, mattc129
      It's an absolutely understaffed dreadful experience.
      I take a number. Walk across the street, purchase my coffee. Walk back across the street. Sit on the bricks. Watch life walking in all directions. Look back to the "number being served" walk to the window (6 inch thick glass of course, second amendment and all). Take care of my business.

      Dreadful is as dreadful does.

      •  Never encountered numbers in NYC (0+ / 0-)

        I've only been to 3 post offices in NYC (2 in Manhattan, 1 in Brooklyn), so admittedly a small sample size, but I've never once seen a numbering system. That includes the flagship next to Penn Station on 8th and 34th St.

        If we had that, it would be great. But when you take time to fill out a form, wait in line 10 minutes, then you're told you filled out the wrong form and wait in line again, it's a pain.

    •  Then use another service to get your package (0+ / 0-)

      to where you want to send it.  Nobody is forcing you to use the USPS.  It sounds to me like you at least have options of shipment close by with the choices you can make.

      “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

      by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:44:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Won't miss it much (0+ / 0-)

    Think this will halt the stamp price increases?

    •  Won't save a cent! (5+ / 0-)

      The whole Postal infrastructure still has to be paid for, mail between Post Offices still has to be transported on saturdays, and the trucks and carriers will still be out delivering parcels on saturdays. How is this going to save money now?

      •  Fewer Saturday deliveries (0+ / 0-)

        It saves money by cutting jobs. End of story.

      •  Ummm, they are doing it to save money. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JFactor

        So, yes, it will save money.  In fact, likely it will save billions of dollars every year.

        There are a lot of other places that we as a society could be spending those billions of dollars and having an "extra" day of postal service is really, really, really, low on my personal list.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:14:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only way it will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tweedledee5

          is if they make people work for free. The work will still be there. The mail will still have to be delivered.

          And they will be doing it with their higher paid fulltime people insteadof their less expensive part time staff.

          If they are delivering packages they will still have to run the Saturday routes anyway.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:36:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or they deliver the few extra pieces (0+ / 0-)

            of mail on Monday that they would have delivered on Saturday.  A PhD is not exactly needed to be able to figure out an efficient delivery schedule that incorporates a 5 day a week service.

            Or is it your position that the Postal Service is incapable of analyzing it's staffing needs and routing schedules based upon a 5 day a week schedule plus parcel delivery on Saturdays?

            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

            by theotherside on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:01:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The routes are (0+ / 0-)

              very efficent. The managers know zero about how it works.

              That few pieces is around 9 feet that would be 9 feet of letters stacked flat.

              Regular carriers are on salary the idea here is the same as it always was make people work 12 hours and pay them for 8.

              It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

              by PSWaterspirit on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:03:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  You think the USPS is another government agency? (0+ / 0-)

          Think again.

          “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

          by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:46:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There are 4 separate groups within the USPS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine

        1. Customer Service reps. The folks you see at the counters and who man your local post office. They will not be affected by this change.
        2. Mail Sorters. The folks who sort the mail and ensure it gets sent to the proper location. They will not be affected by this change (except by dealing with mail backed-up from mail not delivered on Saturday).
        3. Pilots and Truck Drivers. The folks who get your mail from one Post Office to another.
        4. Mail Carriers. About 300,000 workers they represent 55% of the USPS' total workforce. Cut out Saturdays and you can reduce this portion of the workforce by 15% (or 8% of the total USPS workforce). It is unlikely that there would be layoffs, just a hiring freeze and attrition until the unnecessary 45,000 workers just went away.

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

        by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:26:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  5. Maintenance technicians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DemSign

          You know, the people that repair the Long Life Vehicles, and the buildings and the mail sorting machines. Many Processing and Distribution Centers are being shut down, and the mail now has to travel all the way there and back. And many of those workers are screwed too, unless they can transfer to the new P&DC which might be 100 miles away from home. And lets not forget the added workload for those centers, the end result will be an increase in delivery times.

          Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length. -- Natalie Grant

          by BusyinCA on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:44:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  OMG! 2 entire cents per stamp? (5+ / 0-)

      Oh the humanity! Think of all the other things 46 cents can buy!

      Impeach Norquist!

      by kitebro on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:51:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  compared to postal rates in most (9+ / 0-)

      other countries, the US cost to send a letter is really, really cheap. And as much as people bitch about the USPS, they are a model of efficiency compared to a lot of other places in which you never get your mail, it's opened, missing stuff, or, in one incident I heard of in Peace Corps, a guy walked into post office in Honduras to get his package from home and the post office guy was wearing his tie.

      "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

      by zaynabou on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:14:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you know what drives postal stamp increases? (0+ / 0-)

      “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

      by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:59:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eh, I only get bills and junk mail in the box (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JFactor

    And the occassional christmas / birthday cards of course.  But never anything that if it doesn't come on Friday it can't wait till Saturday.  It sounds like the biggest impact is to procrastinators.  If you need it to get there on time, mail it two days earlier.

    And I always felt sorry for the postal workers having to work on Saturday.  Having weekends off is a huge mental health stress break for me.  I would hate to have to work Saturdays.  Plus, I don't think our 24/7 culture is necessarily healthy.  Let people have days off to unwind, no we don't need everything this very second.

    •  Netflix (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemSign, nchristine

      Netflix is the main reason this pisses me off. The stupid movie companies still insist that movie rentals must be on a physical disk and refuse to make most of them available for streaming. Hollywood fuckheads don't seem to grasp that it is trivial to rip a DVD, but rather difficult to pirate streamed movies.
      So now we can just forget getting movies on weekends. Unless we use BitTorrent...
      I'm going to demand that Netflix reduce my DVD rental charges by 1/6 since I will no longer receive movies on Saturday.

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:56:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Postal workers always got days off (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer, Norm in Chicago

      Just not always Saturdays.  My mom worked for the PO for years and I never heard her complain about working on Saturday.

  •  Saturday delivery was one thing Fedex Ground (6+ / 0-)

    didn't offer.  Can't have the post office out competing beloved private corporations.

     

    "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

    by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:53:06 AM PST

    •  USPS will still deliver packages on Saturday (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tweedledee5

      which gives them an advantage over FedEx and UPS.

      •  "Packages". Just not those stinky useless (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tweedledee5

        letters.

        How about we just cut massively subsidized junk mail back to two days a week?

        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:33:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be fine with me (0+ / 0-)

          And if they'd send around a truck that would let you securely shred the stuff for a fee, hell, I'd pay good money for that.

          Charge by the pound - 5 lbs of junk mail shredded for $5.

          There are commercial shredders that handle volume. Shred my stuff, put it in a bag and let me throw it in the trash. Or take it to be recycled for a small additional fee.  

        •  How about not placing your name on all those list (0+ / 0-)

          gathering services that re-sell them to junk mail houses?  Think you'll really win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes?

          Think again.  Your name has been bought and sold over a hundred times, and will continue to do so for some time to come.

          “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

          by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:50:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bad idea (11+ / 0-)

    Raise the cost of stamps, and particularly the cost of the bulk mailers, to cover the expenses and keep the services.

    Small businesses thrive on the USPS. The local electricians, plumbers, lawn mowers, contractors, etc. etc., who go out to perform their services bill the customer through the mail. Subtracting a postal day slows down accounts receivable.

    And when the GOP gets its wish and eliminates USPS altogether, these businesses are at the mercy of UPS, Fed Ex, etc. Lots of luck there.

    Americans are going to miss the postal service a lot more than they realize, and particularly the small businesses, many of which are run by tea-party types, are going to be greatly inconvenienced.

    And all because the US has become nothing more than a scheme for people climbing all over each other trying to figure out how to separate other people from their money.

    FCC wants full public internet access? Hahaha, watch AT&T and the rest SCREAM and stop it. And teapartiers will cry "FREEDOM!" in support of the internet providers, and businesses in Japan and Europe will continue to have an advantage over US businesses, one that will disproportionately wound SMALL businesses.

    •  They don't bill through the mail anymore (0+ / 0-)

      They'll either get the add on for their phone and take credit/debit card payments at time of service, or they'll get an email address and send an email bill, or they'll write up a paper invoice at time of service.

      Guaranteed. Those are all cheaper and easier than mailing out paper bills.

      •  I love the techno-elite attitude (7+ / 0-)

        shown by so many on this thread. Because internet and cell phones exist then of course everyone has them and uses them for everything.

        I live in a moderately sized city that only recently was a "dead zone" where no cell service existed.  I still only carry a tracphone for emergency calls and even that is spotty as over half of the time I don't have any service with that, either.

        We have decent internet connection but only because my husband telecommutes one day a week and needs it for work. There are LOTS of folks in town who have no internet access and long lines at the library to use the public ones when the library is open.

        Until we have affordable ACCESSIBLE technology for everyone don't go messing with our low-tech options!

  •  America will wind up like Kazakistan and Borat (3+ / 0-)

    will be President. Because the top .01 percent want it that way.

  •  Starve the beast continues (6+ / 0-)

    I wonder how many people realize how much it costs to send a letter via Fed Ex to Alaska?  

    Maybe this society has to hit rock bottom before we start upwards again.  

  •  Junk Mail (10+ / 0-)

    Most of the mail I receive in my P.O. Box is junk.  If only the Post Office could raise the cost of mailing this junk by two to three times, they could probably be solvent.  As it is, the American public is subsidizing junk mail.  If I want a Land's End catalogue, I should pay for the postage.

    Since I live in rural America, I depend on the Post Office and prefer to receive my mail and packages through them rather than Fedex or UPS.  In fact, some of my UPS deliveries are actually completed by the USPS so I wonder why Amazon doesn't just give you an option to use USPS rather than UPS.

  •  My mother was a letter carrier (8+ / 0-)

    And secretary of her local of NALC.  This would make her so sad. Urban letter carriers did more than deliver mail.  They often noticed when something was amiss with their patrons. My mom was sometimes the first person to notice that a patron was ill.

  •  UPS and Fedex will pick up the slack (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Munchkn, DemSign, Tweedledee5

    in their famously less reliable way....just like everything else that's slated to be privatized for our pleasure.

  •  Siphon off all the pension $$$ (8+ / 0-)

    This is what I think Bush intended (in part, anyway):
    1) USPS is in such bad shape that; 2) it must then be privatized; 3) corporation that takes (buys?) it over will then discover that USPS is in terrible shape and it must "borrow" billions (all of the money) from the pension fund (which they are allowed to do because they have every intention of repaying it); 4) USPS fails and owners file for bankruptcy.

    Sound familiar (Hostess)?

    •  I've worked for both Hostess & USPS... (4+ / 0-)

      And management seems to be following the same "disaster capitalism" strategy in both corporations.

      •  Actually (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        avsp, Zinman, nchristine, Tweedledee5

        Given my experience with USPS I would say they were way ahead of the game on treating their employees like something stuck to the bottom of their boot.

        They blatently cheated on the mail counts by making backroom deals.

        They provided zero support.

        Will never forget an ice storm once. There was an inch of ice on the roads and we had everything from junk mail to heart medicine and no power. We called in the subs and went out and tried to get as much as we could deliviered. 14 hours later our office still without power we felt good.

        We did it all the next day as well. We got a call from our main office in a city. We had dlivered someones mail 2 hours later than usual, we had gone over budget on extra help and we were being penalized for it. ............glad I don't work there anymore.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:28:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  USPS sticks in the teabagger's craw (10+ / 0-)

    because it's an example of the Federal Government kicking ass and taking names.  

    For any smaller packages, USPS is faster, cheaper, and gentler than any of the private solutions.  I use it all the time in my eBay selling and could not be happier.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:39:24 AM PST

  •  Won't make a difference for SS checks btw (0+ / 0-)

    They are soon going to direct deposit.

    •  Ever been to a bank the say SS checks are issued? (0+ / 0-)

      It's filled with more seniors that an AARP free food picnic and takes forever to get through the lines.  No disrespect to the seniors of this country, but many seniors still go to the bank and cash their checks along with the Medicaid recipients as well.  The technology of direct deposit is to much for many to learn and accept.  It is their habit to go to the bank on those days.

      “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

      by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:53:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  1 down, 5 to go. Republicans would LOVE to replace (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbob, jan4insight, crankypatriot, avsp, DemSign

    the post office with private companies whose CEOs would donate to their election campaigns.

  •  A simple illustration of the problem - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer

    although it should say "GOP in Congress" :

    pre-Valentine's Day sale at my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet: 15%off scarves, jewelry, journals, artwork & more! <3

    by jan4insight on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:59:43 AM PST

  •  A couple points people miss: (6+ / 0-)

    Yes it is just '1 day' but that one day adds up. Now on monday morning there is twice as much work for the employees to sort, and with few people to do it.

    Also, not all business's that rely on the mail do it just for shipping packages. I work for a company that processes medicare/medicaid claims, and other electronic medical records. Without saturday mail, we have nothing to process on the weekend, which will result in lost jobs. And it is not just lost jobs, but a lost day or two or production time, so doctors, etc will not be receiving their payments as fast, or customers would not be getting their checks for longer.

    Naturally of course the 'free-market' will fill in the gap. For much higher prices than sending a 50 cent letter. Which would make the cost of business go up, driving up the cost of... healthcare.

    The good news is, maybe this will shock people into action.

  •  I'll miss seeing the letter carrier on a bright (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mndan

    sunny Saturday.  I miss milk delivery too.  I use to work at the dairy that made milk locally and delivered.  I always thought it was cool when the TV repairman came out with all those tubes in his folding case.   The doctor that made house calls. I miss all that.  But things change.  I'm a big believer in progress.  Nice to look back but as my great grandmother said "the good old days weren't that good." In twenty years when delivery goes down to Monday, Wednesday and Friday people will reminisce about 5 day delivery and some old timer will talk about Saturday delivery.  

  •  so your argument is that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattc129

    yes, traditional mail is becoming more and more antiquated and not as essential (your rhetorical point: "no one has sent me a letter since the 1980's") but we should fight the ending of Saturday mail delivery because thousands of jobs depend on it.

    So, you're saying that even though Saturday mail delivery might be not the best use of public resources anymore, these people should still be doing these jobs because they are jobs and the people are part of labor unions.

    Seriously. I'm a fan of labor unions and a strong welfare state but arguments like these are like a parody of a progressive argument. "We should keep having people increasingly obsolete tasks because they are jobs and the workers are part of the union." Many countries in Europe haven't had Saturday mail delivery in decades if ever (my native country Finland included) but I think most would agree that labor unions are still strong there and the sky hasn't fallen etc.

    Again, I agree that the whole postal service budget mess is ridiculous but I'm not necessarily against stopping Saturday mail delivery. And if the best argument Kossacks here can state for keeping it (and it ends up being on the rec list) is that "jobs, unions", well, it's kind of a sad state of affairs.

    •  No (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anotherdemocrat

      Saturday mail delivery does not cost the USPS money. It's the 2006 pension debacle. Eliminating Saturday mail delivery will spur people to stop using the USPS even faster and seek other alternatives.

      But eliminating 45,000 union employees will suit the needs of the GOP and reduce costs for the USPS.

      Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

      by DemSign on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:36:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattc129

        Yes, I am familiar with the 2006 pension debacle and I agree that it is ridiculous. I'm all for not gutting the USPS based on the ridiculous legislation passed by the GOP that was pretty much designed to slowly kill the USPS.

        That being said, you say that "Saturday mail delivery does not cost the USPS money". Really? So it is completely free to deliver mail on Saturdays and six days a week instead of five days a week? Sometimes arguments like these just make my head spin. We don't need to be free market fundamentalists to understand something about finances.

        And yes, I do understand the Saturday mail delivery is not the biggest reason behind the USPS budget troubles. Again, it is the pension arrangement. However, my point stands - if you defend the the preservation of Saturday mail delivery by stating jobs and unions as the primary factors, that is kind of flawed. No matter what the situation with the overall budget of the USPS is right now, all public services should be evaluated on their own merit. Including Saturday mail delivery.

        And like I've said, dozens of European countries are delivering efficient and quality public services, and postal services, without Saturday mail delivery. It is not crucial anymore in today's world. The job is becoming more and more obsolete. And if there are arguments for preserving it, they have to do with old people relying on the Saturday mail for crucial services, not because of "jobs and unions". That's what I'm saying.

  •  to all of the people saying "things change" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, LamontCranston, nchristine

    You are here, so obviously you are comfortable with electronic comminications. There are still quite a few people who aren't (I talk to them every day). There are even more who can't afford a computer or home internet service; or who live so far out of town that they can't have cable/internet service. People do still rely on old-fashioned methods of communication. People still have landlines, or basic cell plans with no internet or texting included.

    Also, insurance companies are increasingly forcing people to get their medications through the mail; and there are restrictions as to when you can order your refills - they cut it mighty close sometines, and this will delay delivery of meds.

    The agency I work for has mostly elderly clients. They rely heavily on the service we provide, and we work entirely through the mail. As it is, with 6 days of mail, I already talk to 85 year olds who are in tears because they won't get anything before the weekend. This completely unnecessary move by the Post Office will serve to further isolate elderly, disabled, poor people. It sucks. Also, it is kinda nuts to be so callous about such a huge loss of jobs in such a shaky economy.

    •  From your mouth to the ears of those on this ..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anotherdemocrat

      thread that just don't "get it".

      “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

      by LamontCranston on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:55:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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