Re "Cash crunch gives USPS a good chance to reform," Column, Feb. 7
I am surprised by the zeal with which David Lazarus advocates for massive changes at the U.S. Postal Service.
Talk to the individuals who deliver your mail and you'll find that many letter carriers are military veterans. Massive job cuts will push many of them into a terrible economic situation. Forcing them to start over at FedEx or UPS is callous.
Lazarus' idea of USPS Internet coffee houses makes me cringe. I don't want to sit cheek to cheek with my neighbors as I pay my bills. I may be a dinosaur, but I still like to sit at my kitchen table while I read my mail. I even read a real, printed newspaper.
The world is not universally wired, and it shouldn't be. We still need a reasonably priced, government-operated postal system.
The USPS charges customers for the privilege of having a P.O. box. It would make more sense to issue people a P.O. box for free and then have them sign up for home delivery service at an additional monthly charge.
If the P.O. boxes were located near grocery stores, banks and other high-trafficked areas, people would combine stops at their post office boxes with regular errands. Yes, this would probably result in layoffs, but the current situation is not sustainable, even with the Saturday service cut.
Lazarus' heart is in the right place, but he should ask why Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Vista) House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees the Postal Service, is pursuing this line of destruction.
As Lazarus notes, the USPS has to pay about $5.5 billion into a health benefit fund for retirees, a requirement no other government agency faces. Not only that, but Congress won't allow the USPS to expand its service along the lines Lazarus suggests, such as providing copy services and Internet kiosks.
One gets the impression that Congress is deliberately driving the Postal Service into bankruptcy. I have to ask: Why?
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