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Letters: What the postal service needs

August 12, 2012

Re "The business of mail," Editorial, Aug. 7

The Times touches only briefly on the primary reason for what many are calling a manufactured crisis in theU.S. Postal Service.

In 2006, Congress required the USPS to pre-fund 75 years' worth of worker health benefits in the next 10 years. This means funding for workers not even hired yet. No other agency or corporation is required to do this.

Congress should change this requirement to match the usual funding requirements for other agencies. This would immediately eliminate the crisis.

It is the news media's responsibility to raise this issue with the public. The Times' editorial makes it seem as if technology is the primary driver of the USPS' crisis. Technology is a major player, but it is not the reason for the USPS' financial problems.

Leda Shapiro

Sherman Oaks

Re "Let's stamp out talk about privatizing the post office," Column, Aug. 8

If we had a choice between privatizing the Postal Service, continuing with the present situation of declining volume and increasing losses, or some degree of business planning and fiscal restraint, I believe that most would opt for the last option. Unfortunately, Congress will not allow that. It is concerned with union support.

There is nothing wrong with reducing USPS employment and services as the volume of mail decreases. Most customers do not have any problem with the elimination of Saturday delivery, for example. Why won't Congress allow the USPS to do this?

Michael Hiltzik's comment regarding "unnecessary healthcare payments" is a real straw man. The only question is one of timing, not of the reality of the liability the USPS will have to cover.

Kevin Minihan

Los Angeles

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