It’s our time to deliver help to the Post Office

Benjamin Franklin is probably turning over in his grave.

His beloved postal service is rapidly spiraling toward collapse thanks to embroiled politics, the Internet and coronavirus.

What this may mean to every American: Private vendors buying various parts of a financially strapped postal service, which will likely result in interrupted mail service, higher postal rates, less emphasis on deliveries to rural areas and small towns, fewer delivery days during the week, and patchy service to the 160 million homes and businesses in the United States. In essence, we all could end up saying a sorrowful farewell to the nation’s only universal delivery and communication network that connects all of us and is among the largest employers in all of the 50 states.

Benjamin Franklin—if you don’t recall this from your high school history class—was the postal service’s first postmaster. He believed the service was a vital key to the survival and success of the fledgling United States. He was correct, and the same tenet has held true since the Continental Congress created the service and Franklin was sworn in 245 years ago.

Many Americans incorrectly think the USPS—the United States Postal Service—is a part of the federal government. This is not the case and hasn’t been since 1971 when the USPS was created and began funding itself through its services and products (in other words, no taxpayer money is used to fund the postal service).

With coronavirus upon us, the mail volume has plummeted and is predicted to drop by 50 percent over the coming next year, unfortunately enough to match the steep plunge that happened during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Coupled with that devastating outlook, the USPS has been the victim of irascible politics and other complex issues.

{For more information about these issues, click on the newspaper links at the end of this article. Make sure you read the White Paper by the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers); it’s the most informative.}

While some Americans may think a USPS collapse is no big deal, just consider that the 640,000 postal workers annually deliver 1.2 billion—that’s “billion,” not million—prescription drug shipments. This is a service that has become more critical in the medical urgency of the coronavirus pandemic.

With that and other tough challenges as the backdrop, the postal service needs help from Americans in convincing congress that it should receive in this economically devastating time of coronavirus the same consideration for financial stimulus presented to airlines, hotels, banks, and other industries. So far, the postal service’s plea to congress has fallen on ears that are deaf or plugged up with the yukky wax of politics.

The way you can help is simple. It takes only a couple of minutes. Click on this link—ACTION NEEDED—and you’ll be taken to a site that provides an easy step-by-step pathway for sending an electronic letter to your congressional representatives and senators. Note: Make sure to include your two senators; the main roadblock has happened in the senate chambers.

By the numbers:

  • The Postal Service adds 4,071 addresses to our delivery network every day.
  • Each day the Postal Service processes and delivers 187.8 million pieces of First-Class Mail.
  • On average, the Postal Service processes 20.2 million mail pieces each hour, 336,649 each minute and 5,611 each second.

Source: One Day in the Life of the U.S. Postal Service

 

Learn more:

READ THIS: White Paper by NALC. April 8, 2020.

The Postal Service needs a bailout. Congress is partly to blame. July 15, 2020, Washington Post.

What’s an Essential Service in a Pandemic? The Post Office. April 14, 2020, New York Times.

White House rejects bailout for U.S. Postal Service battered by coronavirus. April 11, 2020, Washington Post.