FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 11, 2021
Share a quote from Postal Service coverage or commentary, including reader reactions.
Find a mention of another communication method, digital or old school, and tell why it's in the news.
Now look for coverage of a public service or technology that we may take for granted until problems arise.
Yes, snail mail seems so last century – but U.S. Postal Service changes that began this month affect your family and many others. Revisions by the financially pinched agency involve slower deliver times for letters, cards, bills and magazines. In addition, a temporary holiday season surcharge through Dec. 26 means Amazon, smaller stores and catalog companies pay more to ship packages – a move likely to boost some consumer costs.
Long-distance mail -- especially items going coast-to-coast, now by truck instead of on planes -- will take longer to arrive. Items sent within a region still have a two-day delivery time (yes, theoretically). So if you've got a birthday card or gift for Grandma across the country, mail it sooner. Congress members voice about rural residents being able to get prescriptions in a timely way. (Customers can still pay extra for Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail to assure delivery within one to three days.)
Next July, the price of letter stamps goes from 55 to 58 cents. All this reflects a reality that the Postal Service is in trouble financially and has been for years. It has struggled with losses due to declining mail use. The coronavirus pandemic exposed more issues as it scrambled to cope with an avalanche of e-commerce purchases, worker availability problems and a disorganized processing network. The latest moves are designed to cut costs and raise new money. They're part of a 10-year "Delivering for America" plan announced last spring by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who's trying to reverse a projected $160 billion in losses over the next 10 years.
Postal Service says: "The Postal Service Plan will spur cash flow and savings to make $40 billion in capital investments over the next 10 years, many of which have been long-delayed due to the organization's financial challenges of the past decade." – Kim Frum, senior public relations representative
Congresswoman say: "Your decision to further slow the delivery of mail poses yet another threat to this vital institution. . . . It's going to harm seniors, small biz owners and all who depend on prompt mail service." – Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., in recent letter to the postmaster general
Columnist writes: "Perhaps it's time to figure out a replacement for the U.S. Postal Service and let it become a completely private business." – Cal Thomas, townhall.com