August 21, 2012 |
The U.S. Postal Service didn't do itself any favors with Homer and the rest of the Simpsons -- less than a third of the 1 billion stamps created to commemorate the cartoon family have been sold. The USPS wasted $1.2 million in printing costs overproducing 682 million stamps, according to an audit from the agency's inspector general. Just 318 million Simpsons stamps, which were created to mark the characters' two-decade stint on television, were sold in 2009 and 2010. ( Hat tip to Bloomberg )
August 8, 2012 |
The U.S. Postal Serviceis in trouble, and there's no telling whether it will survive. It's been battered by the Internet and a dragging economy, besieged by commercial competitors and stymied in its efforts to trim a costly web of post offices and delivery routes. On Aug. 1, it defaulted on a $5.5-billion payment to the U.S. Treasury for future retiree health benefits. Some think that it's time to privatize the service, bringing an end to one of our oldest federal institutions. The outlook is grim, though the crisis is not unprecedented.
August 7, 2012
Few members of Congress want to take away your Saturday mail delivery or close your underused local post office - or at least, not shortly before election day, when such actions might come back to haunt them. That explains a lot about why Congress has cravenly failed to take the necessary action to put the U.S. Postal Service on a path to solvency, instead forcing it to default last week on a required $5.5-billion payment toward the health benefits of future retirees. The irony is that one of the best and boldest routes Congress could take is also the one that largely absolves it of responsibility: It should let the post office solve more of its own problems.
August 7, 2012 |
While thumbing through the household mail one recent day - a bill from the vet, a statement from the bank, 47 come-ons for low-interest credit cards and a birthday card from Grandma - I pondered the following riddle: Why is it that the same conservatives who harped on how an obscure provision of the U.S. Constitution should have invalidated the healthcare reform act never talk about the provision that gives the federal government responsibility for...
June 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Ron Paul, a staunch opponent of federal welfare programs, acknowledged Wednesday that he receives Social Security checks, shortly after advocating that younger generations opt out of the program. Appearing on MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” Paul was asked by Huffington Post's Sam Stein whether he should set an example for younger Americans and opt out of the program entirely. Paul, refusing the notion, compared the program to other common goods such as the post office.
May 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The United States Postal Service stayed the sword hanging over thousands of rural post offices, opting instead to cut opening hours in a bid to stem devastating financial losses. The USPS estimates that the plan will save $500 million a year once it is fully implemented in 2014. A previous proposal to close down more than 3,000 rural post offices completely would have saved $200 million a year. Under the proposal outlined Wednesday, 13,167 post offices will open for between two and six hours a day. A spokeswoman for the USPS said no post offices will be forced to close, although communities could choose closure and switch to home delivery.
January 3, 2012 |
Pop star Rihanna has sold her Beverly Hills Post Office-area home for $5.03 million. The house had been listed at $4.5 million in November, substantially less than the $6.9 million she paid two years earlier. The listing describes the house as a "major fixer" with "extensive damage from moisture and water intrusion" at the roof, windows, doors and balconies. Despite the condition, there were four offers on the property. The 8,520-square-foot, three-story contemporary contains a den, media room, breakfast area, three fireplaces, eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.
December 14, 2011 |
Ringing like a Salvation Army bell, more Christmas-themed outrage is in the air. This time, it's a kerfuffle over some holiday carolers being ejected from a post office in a Maryland suburb outside Washington. It seems that the carolers, dressed like something out of Dickens, ran afoul of a federal law that prohibits organized groups from assembling on post office property. It's likely no one would have heard about it, except that J.P. Duffy, a spokesman for the influential conservative advocacy group the Family Research Council, was among the dozens of patrons at the post office in Aspen Hill, Md, on Saturday.
December 7, 2011
The U.S. Postal Service could hardly have come up with a worse solution to its financial problems than its proposal to slow first-class delivery to the point of irrelevance. Instead of delivering mail in a day or so, it would take two to three — at least. In other words, unless people who still pay bills by mail sent off their checks a week in advance, they wouldn't be guaranteed delivery by the due date. The new delivery times could prove lethal to the DVD-by-mail portion of Netflix operations, though that company has been managing to damage its business on its own. If more than a week is needed to receive a DVD and get it back to the video-rental company (this doesn't count viewing time)