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US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the rain-shine-or-weekend dept.

Businesses 258

guttentag writes "The New York Times is reporting The USPS has struck a deal to deliver Amazon's packages on Sundays — a first for both. The Postal Service, which lost nearly $16 billion last year, often loses money on first-class mail delivery, but package delivery is profitable. The Postal Service said it expected to make more such deals with other merchants, seeking a larger role in the $186 billion e-commerce market. For this holiday shopping season, Sunday delivery of Amazon products will be limited to the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas. In 2014 it is expected to expand to other cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix."

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what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390561)

privatize those fuckers!

Re:what? (0, Troll)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390577)

Because, of course, a private service is always cheaper and more reliable.

And is never too big to fail.

Let's privatise the air you breathe. NOBODY IS MAKING MONEY FROM YOUR BREATHING and it is an ideological tragedy.

Re:what? (1)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about a year ago | (#45390623)

To continue your thought...

It actually makes sense for an entity like the postal service to be losing money. While not a guarantee, it does at least help to make sure that the money coming in is going to the right places and is not spent on extraneous expenditures. Remember, the management folks are really good at finding uses for any excess money in the budget.

Re:what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391055)

"It actually makes sense for an entity like the postal service to be losing money."

Socialism is truly a mental disorder. Do you realize what you just said? Do you have to be reminded to breathe?

All you need to incentivize spending money wisely is privatization; if you waste money you suffer consequences (get fired),

The state is the only organization where you would find people saying 'it is better to waste money', because the money they waste is not theirs, and the supply is unlimited - they can always tax more or print more.

But you are advocating pissing away MY MONEY. I just wish you would have the balls to tell that to me to my face. But we all know you are nothing but a pathetic lying statist thief and a coward.

God I fucking hate socialists.

Re:what? (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45391099)

It makes sense because it's part of basic infrastructure, that enables other services and businesses to function more efficiently.

You don't need to pull profits from basic infrastructure, if you can instead collect taxes from companies attracted by superior infrastructure that enables them to do business much more efficiently, and often do business where it would be otherwise impossible to do. It's called "synergy" - infrastructure enables more business, and pays for itself with taxes collected from them.

Re:what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391253)

WTF are you even talking about?

"It actually makes sense for an entity like the postal service to be losing money."

He is not talking about basic infrastructure, he is talking about the FUCKING ENTIRE ORGANIZATION.

WTF even is basic infrastructure? You are speaking in statist code words that don't even mean anything.

You stupid fuckface socialists would fuck up an anvil. I mean really, put one of you dumrb fuck socialists in a room with an anvil and nothing else, two hours later the anvil would be fucked up.

STOP WASTING MY FUCKING MONEY YOU ASSHOLES

Re:what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391315)

I think you should call him a few more names, I don't think you got your point across.

Re:what? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391337)

These socialist douchebags piss our and our childrens money away to the tune of 17BILLION fucking dollars and you want me to fucking be nice about it.

FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCKS

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391485)

Reduce spending for the military, the jails and the subsidies to oil companies and I'm sure that it will be possible to reach a compromise.

Oh, you like government spending as long as it is to the right goons?

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391603)

60% cut ACROSS THE BOARD.

Then make everyone that remains justify their position; which is automatically deemed non-essential until proven otherwise.

That sounds like a good start to me.

Re:what? (4, Insightful)

iamgnat (1015755) | about a year ago | (#45391277)

All you need to incentivize spending money wisely is privatization; if you waste money you suffer consequences (get fired),

I'm not saying the other guy is right, but you've never held a real corporate job have you? Waste is rampant in all major companies and the executives responsible for it don't get fired (they may leave for "family reasons", but they take their bonuses and parachutes with them).

The problem with Michael's argument is that just because a company is in the red doesn't automatically stop waste. In fact in some cases it makes it worse as all the little fiefdoms within continue to fight for their piece regardless of how it impacts the rest of the company or if they really need it.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391307)

"but you've never held a real corporate job have you? Waste is rampant in all major companies"

Yea? So the fuck what. Did I say private organizations waste nothing? No I did not.

But they have incentive to not waste and the state has NO INCENTIVE TO NOT WASTE. 17 FUCKING TRILLION DOLLARS IN SOCIALIST DEBT and do any of them lose their jobs? No they fucking get promoted.

So fuck you.

Re:what? (2)

JDevers (83155) | about a year ago | (#45391415)

They do have an incentive to not waste, just not the same one as companies. The people working AT the company often have the exact same mindset as government employees, only shareholders have the "spend my money wisely" mindset.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391499)

Private/public corporations do not equal free market.

Crony capitalism and statism are the same thing. Neither of them equal private ownership.

And statism by definition means 'stealing money', there is ZERO INCENTIVE TO NOT WASTE MONEY. In fact to a statist being in debt is actually a justification for increasing taxes.

That being said, certainly there are individual people who work for the state who will seek to spend money wisely, broken clock being right 2x per day and all. But this is at the individual level, not the organizational level.

So fuck you, that's why.

Re:what? (2)

JDevers (83155) | about a year ago | (#45391403)

It could also make it worse in other ways as well. To keep a company afloat, decisions are often made to take on tremendous debt to be "paid back when times are better" but often the debt load itself prevents the time from getting better regardless of actual revenue. Take a look at AMD if you don't believe that to be possible. Governments waste money and companies do as well, just how they do it is different.

Re:what? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#45391433)

Quoting the Anonymous Coward:

But you are advocating pissing away MY MONEY. I just wish you would have the balls to tell that to me to my face. But we all know you are nothing but a pathetic lying statist thief and a coward.

LOL -- and you even got a bite.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391175)

... and you don't see how you're contradicting yourself?

Re:what? (2)

Wycliffe (116160) | about a year ago | (#45390671)

The too big to fail mentality was invented by the government and corporations. Let them fail. I can name at least a dozen car manufacturers
that no longer exists and we are probably better for it. If you're worried about a company being too big to fail, split it apart or set a maximum
size of a company. The splitting up of the telephone company was probably one of the better moves that the government did but unfortunately
they have basically merged back together. Setting a maximum size would prevent that from happening. Something like if gross revenue
exceeds $1B then all profits are taxed at 95%. Companies would immediately split themselves up. I think one of the problems is these big
corporate or government entities lose sight of reality and the average joe can't compete with someone who has the strength of 10 million men
but more government is not the solution. The solution is to reduce the power of the government AND the power of the corporation so that a
reasonable size group of people (say 10k activists) actually have a fighting chance.

Re:what? (3, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390801)

Forcing people to compete by breaking them up is even more sadistic than simply making it hard for them to cooperate. When will this religion end?

Re:what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390939)

Forcing corporations to compete is like getting your friend's mom's vibrator, waiting until your friend is drunk and in the restroom, and turning the vibrator on and setting it into your friend's cereal bowl.

Then, when your drunken friend emerges from the restroom to find his bowl of cereal walking across the table, buzzing, flakes of corn flying every which way, look on his face the sad bewildered disappointment of a man who came home early from work to find his wife boffing two negroes; you know that corporations' anticompetitive behavior cannot continue. New federal regulations must be put into place, because nothing else will stop greed.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:what? (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about a year ago | (#45390959)

Forcing people to compete by breaking them up is even more sadistic than simply making it hard for them to cooperate. When will this religion end?

So what do you suggest? You're the one who was complaining about private industry. Private industry is
more efficient than government. Most complaints I hear about the evils of capitalism are complaints about
very large fortune 500 companies. I was trying to give one possible solution that could be the best of both
worlds. Privatizing the USPS just makes sense not so someone can make a profit but so everyone benefits
from an efficient operation.

Re:what? (1)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#45391089)

If the USPS was about efficient operation then it would not provide the benefits that it does today.. For example the "last mile" to some places would be cut in the example you mention so that someone could make a profit.

Re:what? (3, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45391249)

The last mile is cut in many instances with the USPS. I have lived in many rural places where if i wanted to recieve mail, i had to purchase a p.o. box. They wouldn't even deliver packages to the door and you had to show up to sign for them durring bankers hours. And yes, fed ex would come right to the door too.

This isn't unusual in the least. There are areas more rural then the suburbs. Cost cutting at the post office has taken the last mile from many places. Perhaps this would be different if big businesses didn't get steep discounts for first class mail. But the facts are, we as citizens pay more than double what large companies pay and i doubt a private postal service would be able to do that if they were losing money on it.

Re:what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391181)

Private industry is more efficient than government.

Yeah. It keeps healthcare costs down in the US and it worked brilliantly for UK rail services. And everyone benefits? Investors are not going to punt money in to something because they want to support the building of an efficient operation that'll benefit everyone. Most investors are looking for returns,

I'll agree that government is good at spending but haven't you seen wastage in the private sector? I don't know what kind of level you're at so maybe you haven't seen the sheer waste that gets lost in the accounting. I've seen tens of thousands pissed away in days because of dumb ass mistakes that'll be absorbed somewhere and not spotted. This shit happens everywhere and it's in no-ones interests to have themselves or an underling exposed for losing a fuckton of cash. Better to put a spin on it and absorb the cost in to something else. I've worked for some pretty large multinationals and this is what happens. If you want more efficient delivery of services then vote in candidates who'd work towards a system of accountability and realistic provision of services. i.e. not some fucknuts who thinks they can fix everything by either outsourcing, privatising or slashing budgets.

Do you think a corporation on the scale of the Department of the Treasury would be automatically more efficient? The private sector is not a silver bullet for tackling perceived governmental inefficiencies. There's no reason why a state run enterprise could not be held to higher standards than the private sector, and without the need to piss money in to the pockets of the board and its friends.

While minimum service standards can be incorporated in to the regulation that would precede privatisation, the primary goal will be to enrich the board and major shareholders. These goals are not incompatible with delivering a good service, but will take priority over trying to build a system in which everyone benefits. And would the USPS be split up in multiple concerns? Could they really compete against one another?

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390897)

Let them fail.

Or at least break them up after you bail them out because the are "too big to fail".

Re:what? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391067)

The too big to fail mentality was invented by the government and corporations.

No, "Too Big to Fail" is a natural consequence of the fact that not all aspects of business are self-regulating, as illustrated by the old adage that "Nothing Succeeds Like Success". In engineering terms, that's a positive feedback loop whose ultimate termination is extinction for the losers and monopoly for the winners.

In real life, actual mileage may vary. Capital-intensive businesses tend to be more likely to go that route because cost per unit tends to decrease the more units you buy. And because the entire reason for having a capital-based business is because other forms of business organization lack the resources needed to establish themselves and grow. Nor is it a "pure" model across the board. Even with the dominance of large pizza chains, mom-and-pop shops remain popular, but you're not going to find many steel refineries or chip foundries in that state.

Of course, once you reach a certain size, you can afford to start buying political favors, but the options available when you have lots of money to throw around expand in many different directions. That's just one of them.

"Too Big to Fail" isn't just a slogan. It's an acknowledgement that if you do fail, you'll cause major damage to the rest of the world in the process of collapsing. You will, in fact, have leveraged the cost of your own failure to the point where the collateral damage greatly exceeds the damage you yourself will receive and that therefore you have a gun to the figurative head of the economy.

The best way to ensure that Too Big To Fail doesn't occur is to put a choke on the positive feedback loop. Once a business begins to get so large that its likely to reach that point, limits should kick in. That is, in fact, what anti-trust laws were designed for.

In recent decades, though, we've been bombarded pretty much continuously with the mantras that Government Control is Always Bad and Unfettered Markets are Always Good. We de-fanged the laws that had been created as a result of the Great Depression, we did little or nothing to regulate monopolies (see, for example, Microsoft), and have even seen broken monopolies such as AT&T slowly rebuild themselves from their erstwhile breakup components like an old horror movie villain coming back for a sequel.

Then, to add icing to the cake, we've encouraged the get-rich-quick culture that says it's better to buy and sell and plunder and loot other businesses than to invest in one's own business.

Re:what? (2)

martyros (588782) | about a year ago | (#45391021)

And of course, there's the insane requirement enacted in 2006 that the USPS pre-pay healthcare benefits 50 years in advance [newsmax.com]

According to the Times, the real financial problem facing the Post Office may have been created by Congress in the first place through the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The law required the service to begin prefunding the healthcare benefits of future retirees 50 years in advance. The requirement costs about $5.6 billion a year, and it caused the Postal Service to lose $5.1 billion the first year after it was enacted.

So for the last 7 years, they've had a $5B handicap -- limiting what they can do wrt expanding into other markets, upgrading services, and so on. I'd say they're doing pretty amazing.

Re:what? (2, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | about a year ago | (#45391065)

Congress want to protect the taxpayer from having to take over the duties that the USPS said they would do,back in the 70s, the postmaster general and the postal unions want to make the taxpayers pay for their poor management and keep things as they are.
The postal accountability law,2006, requires the USPS to actually do some proper financial management and dropping it would not make them competitive again; even ignore the money they owe for this they would of lost money for the last couple of years. Without the money set aside they would not be able the meet the obligations they agreed to back in the 1970s and the people who retiring now would not have the monies that they are suppose to get. Privatization would solve nothing of this since the obligations would follow the person who purchased the company.
BTW the 75 years is number of years that is for ACCOUNTING purposes they have to figure future liabilities. It is NOT how long they have to fund benefits. That 75 years of accounting is followed by the DoD, social security, department of Housing, etc.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391363)

The air we breath is already privatized, idiot. Or are you saying we should be paying taxes on the air we breath?

Re: what? (1)

Mirlyn (634037) | about a year ago | (#45390601)

They technically are. How about we just stop stealing from their budgets?

Re:what? (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year ago | (#45390607)

No need to privatize. Just remove legislation protecting the USPS, together will any subsidies.

And for those of you who remember fondly the good old days - The Post Office used to be open and deliver on Christmas day.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390667)

And for those of you who remember fondly the good old days - The Post Office used to be open and deliver on Christmas day.

I bet those who remember it from the wrong end have a memory of walking upwards in both directions through a blizzard delivering those postcards.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390691)

Aren't those subsidies compensation for their obligations of universal service?

Re:what? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#45390733)

The USPS has not received any direct taxpayer money since the 1980's, with minor exceptions for delivery overseas (APO's, etc.) and for disabled services.

USPS is still important (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45390751)

Just remove legislation protecting the USPS, together will any subsidies.

You mean remove the Constitution [wikipedia.org] ?

Despite your glib implication that subsidies are not needed, mail remains a vital service and it is important that it be available to everyone, even if this requires subsidies. There is no one else who realistically can replace the USPS including UPS and FedEx. This remains true despite falling mail volumes. Just because the postal service often seems to be mostly a paper spam delivery service doesn't mean it isn't also a vital service for communications. Remove subsidies right now and the USPS will collapse and yes that IS a Bad Thing (tm). While the USPS will need to adapt to modern times, the role it serves is a critical one and that isn't going to change.

And for those of you who remember fondly the good old days - The Post Office used to be open and deliver on Christmas day.

They also used to deliver multiple times a day. So what? We don't need that now. Times change.

Re:USPS is still important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391207)

Can you think of anything that a government does better than private industry that's actually positive like making break, shoes, etc?
You're actually saying that you know for sure that all the wisdom of human kind would not figure out a simple and cost-effective way to send letters.
All monopolies and subsidies always work against people as a whole. Always. Always holding back the development. Just like Bell monopoly, the communication world exploded with new devices and ideas when telephone device monopoly was busted!

Re:USPS is still important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391553)

Can you think of anything that a government does better than private industry that's actually positive like making break, shoes, etc?

Yes. Weather forecasting. Private entities are only interested in severe weather events after it's been forecasted by the NWS since scary weather brings in the ad revenue. Private entities are not interested in having people actively monitor all the local weather stations for severe weather since sunny day forecasts bring in very little advertising.

Re:USPS is still important (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45391303)

I'm not sure why you brought up the constittution. It says the feds have the ability not that only the feds can do it. Hell, if that wasn't the case, fed ex and ups couldn't exist.

That being said, the feds can just as easily allow the usps to be private and considering recent events with the ACA, they would be more constitutionally sound in requiring everyone to only use the USPS or face a fine without due process of law.

Re:what? (4, Interesting)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year ago | (#45390813)

How about removing the ridiculous pension requirements that congress placed on them, then they would be profitable.

Re:what? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391473)

How about giving everyone else good pension requirements? How about a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom? We should be doing this globally, rather than cheering cheaper goods all the time at the expense of faraway people and then wondering where our jobs went.

Re:what? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#45391655)

And for those of you who remember fondly the good old days - The Post Office used to be open and deliver on Christmas day.

I don't remember the post office actually being open on christmas day, but I do remember them making deliveries on Christmas day. In fact they still do for express deliveries.

Re:what? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#45390635)

What do you mean? They're already extensively privatized.

Re:what? (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#45391721)

Fuck you. Reliable mail service to 99% of addresses is the mark of an advanced Republic. I dont care how much money it loses, its a vital piece of infrastructure.

Penis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390581)

In your butt!

Re:Penis (-1, Offtopic)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390593)

What can Brown do for you?

suck it mccain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390587)

stupid old piece of shit

Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally broken (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390611)

http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2012/08/us-postal-services-forced-financial-crisis

In 2006 – Republicans in Congress passed a poison pill piece of legislation forcing the Post Office to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years out into the future – basically funding benefits for future employees who aren’t even born yet. The Postal Service has to do this by giving the Treasury $5.5 billion every single year. That’s a requirement that no business, or any government agency has ever had to comply with. And it’s the reason why the Post Office is going bankrupt today and looking into closing down post offices, laying off workers, and cutting down delivery service.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390657)

Across the Western world, it has been the Right's strategy to privatise popular public services by first deliberately ruining them. Then public perception changes toward, "Oh wow you're right state ownership doesn't work!"

Occasionally, this comes at a cost to human life, such as Thatcher's deliberate underinvestment in the railways, followed by Major's spinning off of Railtrack without any clear identification as to who is responsible for maintenance. But usually it's just a huge fucking waste of money, and the privatised industry ends up enjoying multiple subsidies and regulatory capture.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (4, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year ago | (#45390835)

let's also remember the current post office is protected from many searches by the government, private entities are not. That is also a driving force here.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391339)

One would think, in a better age, that the Right would recognize the having taxpayers pay for the creation of large-scale infrastructure, under one understanding of their relationship to that infrastructure, then selling it to a private industry in violation of that understanding... ...could be described by the term "MASSIVE THEFT".

Such consistency in thought process seems long gone nowadays, though.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390661)

Well, based on your assessment I would say that 75 years in the future there will not be a Post Office, so the amount that is required to pre-fund retiree health benefits is exactly $0. Problem solved.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45390759)

That's not so far off. If the USPS must pay $5 billion per year, then it shows continual losses, and the whole program can be cut. The Treasury then has a surplus of cash that's no longer earmarked for future employees, so it's a simple bit of labeling magic to release it into general funds.

That means that whatever party does eventually kill the USPS gets to claim responsibility for a few tens of billions of dollars additional revenue for the Treasury. With the right spin, the public at large will be aghast at how the irresponsible other party could have let the Postal Service survive so long when it was so obviously financially beneficial to shut it down.

The way it ought to be...except (4, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year ago | (#45390693)

This, of course, it pretty much the way it ought to be, at least for current employees: Retirement benefits fully funded, instead of vague promises.

Of course, since this money is paid to the government, instead of being put in an independent fund, the government will just steal it and replace it with IOUs

Re:The way it ought to be...except (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390749)

Except that its not really possible considering inflation.

Like everything else, in 75 years retirement will cost 10X or even 100X as much.

Imagine trying to retire today with your savings from 1938

Re:The way it ought to be...except (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#45391189)

Money is an IOU. All that matters is who stands behind it.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390743)

They are losing $16 billion a year because they pay out $5.5 billion a year for future pensions?

Bad math is bad math. If they didn't fund pensions at all, I guess you should expect future tax payers to just pay that, they are STILL behind $10.5 billion a year. Is that a success for your?

Also note, this bill was passed with STRONG bipartisan support as a way to show private business that pensions should be fully funded and how to do it. Revisionist history is revisionist history.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#45390753)

Originally, the USPS was a government service, subsidized where necessary. It wasn't designed to operate as a private business or to make money. It was OK if it lost money because it was an overall boon to the economy. It worked fine that way for 200 years before it was privatized.

Now it's expected to operate as a private business and turn a profit in the existence of a competive marketplace while bound by rules and financial burdens its competitors do not have to bear. FedEx and UPS do not have to deliver anywhere they don't want to, to deliver on any days they don't want to; they have unregulated rates, don't subsidize anything and don't have to pre-fund retirement benefits.

It's a recipe for destruction. It might be saved by completely removing all regulations OR by giving it real subsidies in exchange for the regulations it bears that its competitors do not. It can't go on the way it is.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#45390789)

I see this posted over and over again but nobody can explain why it was passed or why the Democrats never tried to stop it.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390851)

The Democrats strongly supported it. He is pretending that didn't happen. They also never tried to repeal it when they had the chance.

He is attempting to deceive you and hopes you won't go around asking questions.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (5, Informative)

Vermifax (3687) | about a year ago | (#45390815)

Well, while it was signed by a republican president and sponsored by a republican, it was cosponsored by 2 dems and a republican. It also passed house with a voice vote, and the senate with a unanimous vote.

This was a completely bipartisan bill that our whole government went in on.

Even the postal unions were for this (Why I have no idea).

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (5, Informative)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about a year ago | (#45391101)

Because it actually forces the pensions to be funded - it's obvious why the union would like it.

Look at the cities going bankrupt in California, as an example. It's unfunded pension liabilities that are dragging them down. The USPS is being forced to actually make good on their promises, otherwise we'll have to bail out their pension fund in the future. The gripe (somewhat legit) is that they're being singled out for this treatment while every other government agency with promises that are going to be broken aren't given this treatment.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391383)

The other gripe is that they are funding pensions too far into the future.

The requirement should be, that money is put away for a person's pension the day they are hired, as the pension grows, the appropriate funds should be put into the fund. This way when the person retires the fund has the money and the employer isn't suddenly on the hook for anything (all the funds already having been put into the account).

What it should not be, is funding pensions for employees that have yet to be conceived much less born.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (3)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45391305)

Well, while it was signed by a republican president and sponsored by a republican, it was cosponsored by 2 dems and a republican. It also passed house with a voice vote, and the senate with a unanimous vote.

That doesn't mean as much as you think it does. Perhaps to the surprise of nobody, our lawmakers rarely read the full text of the bill they vote on, instead trusting their underlings to summarize it. Sometimes hundred page documents get about as much space as a Twitter post in the mindspace of these guys before they vote on it. And you might have noticed... the names are less and less related to the thing they're about with every new session. At this point, I fully expect to see a Strengthing America's Freedom Act authorizing labor camps and bringing back debtor's prisons in the not too distant future. :/

So there is that. And the argument can be made that whether it was the Republicans or the Democrats... the result rather speaks for itself. Also, questionable what difference there really is between the two parties... since right now over 93% of candidates who win elections are better financed than their opponent. It's clear there really is only one political party: The Richy McRich Club. What colors you wanna wear they leave up to you, but ultimately, both parties are just part of one organization that's only really distinct in the minds of the poor and the uneducated.

But the OP is right: It was fine before it was shot in the head by our government.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391541)

Even the postal unions were for this (Why I have no idea).

These days, many pension funds (including govt pension funds) are extremely underfunded - they don't have the cash on hand to pay out the promised retirement benefits.

There are a few possibilities:

1. The employer coughs up more cash to the pension fund.
2. Pension fund investment returns increase dramatically.
3. Promised pension benefits get cut dramatically.

I suspect that the postal workers feel safer having real money earmarked & set aside for them instead of just a promise to pay.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390823)

And this because the United States Post Office, a privately owned company, got its friends in Congress to pass a law prohibiting competition, when Lysander Spooner drove stamps down to 3 cents. If you invite the government into your business, you deserve what happens.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#45390921)

Whatever their cost, they should charge appropriately. First class mail should not be losing money. Bulk mail should cost more but instead they neglect the delivery cost, claiming the mail person will be making the stop anyway. If USPS is losing money it's because it's used to subsidize marketing for business. If the low cost mail wasn't there I think I'd only get actual first class about 2-3 days a week, so those other 3-4 stops are really for mail that they charge next to nothing for.

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (3, Informative)

will_die (586523) | about a year ago | (#45390977)

Please stop repeating this lie, granted it is repeated enough on alot of hate sites. For you it was probably a mistake since you did not know the truth.
Congress want to protect the taxpayer from having to take over the duties that the USPS said they would do,back in the 70s, the postmaster general and the postal unions want to make the taxpayers pay for their poor management and keep things as they are.
The postal accountability law,2006, requires the USPS to actually do some proper financial management and dropping it would not make them competitive again; even ignore the money they owe for this they would of lost money for the last couple of years. Without the money set aside they would not be able the meet the obligations they agreed to back in the 1970s and the people who retiring now would not have the monies that they are suppose to get. Privatization would solve nothing of this since the obligations would follow the person who purchased the company.
BTW the 75 years is number of years that is for ACCOUNTING purposes they have to figure future liabilities. It is NOT how long they have to fund benefits. That 75 years of accounting is followed by the DoD, social security, department of Housing, etc.

Signs you are dealing with a mouthbreathing moron (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391505)

would of

the people who retiring now would not have the monies that they are suppose to get

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45391419)

Add that to the fact they have to go to congress whenever they want to make changes to their business structure (stop letter delivery on Saturday, change price of stamps, etc).

They might not be funded by congress but they ultimately are controlled by congress. With congress as dysfunctional as it is, is it any wonder USPS is having issues?

Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#45391519)

$5.5 billion is a lot of money... however the USPS lost about $15.9 billion last year.

http://todaynewsgazette.com/usps-losses-2012/ [todaynewsgazette.com]

USPS from a foreigner (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390637)

I always found that USPS was the way to go when buying things on Ebay and having the shipped from the US to Europe. I never had a problem with them, but the other players always ended up botching things up. I just cannot fathom how they can have such a bad reputation in the USA.

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390687)

USPS are quite brilliant. When I ran some e-commerce thing in the US, most of our stuff was shipped by USPS. Yeah, they had the "government operative" mindset, which means they're quite officious, but you know what? that's bloody nice, as it means providing you do what you're supposed to do, you'll get exactly what you've been promised in return. Value system based on duty rather than profit.

(That was nearly a decade ago. Maybe things have changed radically since?)

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45390731)

I wonder how brilliant they would be without competition?

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390819)

IDK. Royal Mail have got worse and worse as competition has increased in the UK.

Although that's partly because much of the postal service in the UK has already been privatised, and RM have been required to perform the unprofitable parts of mail delvery for other providers.

The coup de grace was suddenly allowing prices to shoot up earlier this year, then selling off the remainder in the last few weeks.

The UK will no have no postal service. Which is weird.

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45391005)

Question: Has the postal service in the UK been largely supported by the "junk mail" advertisement sector? This has been a trend in the US for the last decade, although it appears to be waning in recent years, probably due to internet solutions. Just curious.

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#45390793)

Which of course is great until their political masters get a bee in their bonnet and want to score brownie points on some issue....then bang you can't carry tobacco, or alcohol, even in small quantities, and you have home brewers advising eachother to label their beer as biological samples for test (lol!) and debating the legality of things that could be anywhere from a felony to huge cost all for wanting to share a little beer: http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=62601 [brewboard.com]

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45390837)

Yeah stupid regulations can be (and are) imposed on private carriers too, you know.

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year ago | (#45391267)

It would be interesting to know how much business the USPS loses each year from not delivering politically incorrect items. I can order snus from Sweden on Sunday and UPS has it to me by Wednesday, but I can't even send one leaf of tobacco to my neighbor by USPS. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

This deal with USPS delivering Amazon packages on Sunday is only an experiment in limited areas of the country, and may take years to be fully operational. Amazon is planning on having their own fleet of delivery vehicles in the not too distant future for same-day delivery, so it may not long before Amazon tells them to forget it.

Until USPS gets better, more timely package tracking, I think I'll stick with UPS

Re:USPS from a foreigner (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | about a year ago | (#45391451)

As reciever of packages, I have to agree.

Both Fed-Ex and UPS failed to call on cellphone or write email or basically have any attempt at contacting sendee at all.

Case 1:

FedEx, street address. There are no nameplates on house to show who lives in flats, because there is supposed to be some amount of privacy. Fed Ex Employee sees he can not get into house nor can he ring bell and enters "undeliverable address" a continues on.

Sendee had to call them up.

Package is returned to business even if support on phone claimed it will he held on for picking it up on in person for whole month. Turns out FedEx office is 45 minutes drive away, upon arrival dead adresee was infromed that package was returned to sender with invalid address after day.

Fuck fedex. How much is a phone call?

Case 2:

UPS Failed to transcribe address properly to computer system. And misspells phone number too. They are quite happy with undeliverable address even if it contains way too obvious typo. No phonecall, not even email. Customer is obviously supposed to babysit tracker.

They attempt to return it in one week, no one with single braincell noticing anything. It took very angry phonecall to get it back. Then I learn that they only do deliveries between 9:00 and 17:00 and only in working days and cant guarantee time of arrival. How fuckign useless is that? Am I supposed to take day off to get package?

Of course, they have their facility also 45 minutes drive from city.

Fuck UPS.

Next time I ecnounter eshop that will not use standard mail, i will mail them and go do my shopping elsewhere.

---

National mail system?

Never-ever had a issue. I can pick package up pretty much anytime, 5 minutes walk away from me.

UPS and FedEx? Here, they have reputation of intentionally "loosing" packages or "delivering" them. I have defninitelly learned my lessing.

I wonder how soon people will realise (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#45390717)

I wonder how soon people will realise that there is really no need for almost all normal non-packet mail. Most could be sent by email. There are very few documents that have to be sent physically but don't require signed or tracked delivery.

Re:I wonder how soon people will realise (1)

kwrzesien (1263426) | about a year ago | (#45390889)

It is required for legal notices and the court system. Unless you are suggesting a national email system...

Re:I wonder how soon people will realise (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#45391151)

It is required for legal notices and the court system. Unless you are suggesting a national email system...

Don't these require tracked or signed-for delivery though?

Re:I wonder how soon people will realise (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45391001)

There are still people without internet access. I use snail mail to mail physical checks to pay my bills, and get those bills via snail mail.

You don't have to pay to receive snail mail, but you do to get email. When the government provides everyone with a free internet connection and email address, then you can start talking about getting rid of snail mail.

But first you'll have to pass a constitutional amendment. The Constitution demands the USPS, have you read that document?

Re:I wonder how soon people will realise (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45391185)

The one advantage of email over postal mail is that it is not location dependent. We're an increasingly mobile world, and some people have jobs that take them all over the place weekly. It's much too inefficient for snail mail to keep up with them, but email requires zero changes to do so. Sure, it's a relatively small number of people that do this now but the world population is becoming increasingly mobile and it will need to be addressed at some point so it doesn't hurt to start thinking about it.

Re:I wonder how soon people will realise (1)

sg3000 (87992) | about a year ago | (#45391287)

When the government provides everyone with a free internet connection and email address, then you can start talking about getting rid of snail mail

Plus, US mail offers greater protection than email. If you attempt to commit fraud via sending something by the US mail or intercept someone's mail, you're looking at a felony. With all the spam, I don't trust any of the email I receive from a bank, credit card, etc. So before email can completely replace regular postal mail, we'd have to see the same level of protections. Maybe the US postal service could have a service where they offer an optional digital signature that the sender can use and is legally protected from forgery.

Not everyone uses email (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45391085)

I wonder how soon people will realise that there is really no need for almost all normal non-packet mail.

Not even remotely true. Delivery of physical documents remains a vital service for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that many people do not have computers. Furthermore there is no other organization, public or private (including FedEx and UPS), that has the infrastructure to deliver envelopes to virtually any mailing address in the US like the USPS can and certainly not for the price point the USPS charges.

Most could be sent by email. There are very few documents that have to be sent physically but don't require signed or tracked delivery.

Which helps people who cannot afford computers how exactly? Paper mail has a least common denominator quality to it. Pretty much everyone with an address can and does utilize it. Not everyone has a computer or can afford an internet connection nor should they be expected to do so. Perhaps many years down the line electronic delivery of documents will become ubiquitous and computers will become sufficiently cheap but that time will probably require another generation or two to die off before it happens.

So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (0)

khb (266593) | about a year ago | (#45390765)

The last word from the USPS was that ending Saturday delivery was the key to staying solvent. Now opening on Sunday is the key to survival?

While I personally would appreciate their taking Saturday off and bringing me just goodies on Sunday, the underlying cognitive dissonance seems awfully loud this morning.

Re:So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (1)

Vermifax (3687) | about a year ago | (#45390831)

The senate refused them the ability to suspend saturday delivery.

And there is probably going to be a sunday delivery premium, either charged to the customer or absorbed by amazon.

Re:So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (2)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about a year ago | (#45390877)

The last word from the USPS was that ending Saturday delivery was the key to staying solvent. Now opening on Sunday is the key to survival?

No one was paying them extra to deliver on Saturdays. Now, Amazon is footing (a part?) of the bill, and USPS can make money off it. Cognitive dissonance or comprehension-fail?

Also, the proposal to end Saturday delivery failed (first line of the article). And they already (apparently) deliver a some packages on Sundays and holidays for a fee. This just helps them make get a bigger piece of the e-commerce pie.

Re:So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (5, Insightful)

kwrzesien (1263426) | about a year ago | (#45390905)

Delivering packages every day = good. Only stop at the the places you need to.

Delivering letters and junk mail to every single mailbox on Saturday = bad. No extra revenue, and those letters can wait until Monday.

Re:So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (2, Informative)

will_die (586523) | about a year ago | (#45391019)

It was dropping of delivery of personal mail only, package delivery would still continue.

Re:So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (1)

notanalien_justgreen (2596219) | about a year ago | (#45391193)

They were going to end Saturday deliver or letters, but not packages. Letters and such are a net loss while delivering packages is profitable.

Re:So Saturday Bad, Sunday Good? (4, Informative)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | about a year ago | (#45391265)

Read the summary? loses money on first-class mail delivery, but package delivery is profitable. Saturday MAIL delivery loses them money. While Sunday PACKAGE delivery is profitable.

This is good... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390781)

Finally, the USPS is starting to 'get it'. They have to compete to survive and remain relevant in an increasingly digital delivery world.

They need to enhance customer service in their Post Offices - instead of having sloooooooowwwwww moving slugs behind the counters, those people need to get it in gear and move it... They need to open all the counters they can when people are standing in line - take your damn break some other time. Be open AFTER 6PM so people who work can actually take advantage of the services they offer.

Stop worrying about delivery of junk mail - focus on stuff that's going to make you real money and not piss off the planet at the same time.

Give me real time tracking of my package vis a vis UPS and FedEx - not this bullshit that it's been sorted, and ...... oh, it was delivered 3 days ago to XYZZY at the Front Desk...

Finally, being forced to pay into their retirement fund and how bad it's fucking them financially just goes to show how much Pensions really cost a company when they're forced to fund the damn things. No one should get a pension any more - everyone should save their own damn money or starve in old age.

They're catching up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390785)

With cities in China.

In Shanghai, same day delivery or delivery in 2 hours is often the norm.

Yes, really.

Fuck you, other duck (+5 Insightful) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45390849)

Fuck you, other duck
http://imgur.com/gallery/Zl836nj [imgur.com]

Driving on the lawn ? (-1, Offtopic)

loustic (1577303) | about a year ago | (#45390931)

It might be dangerous if they keep driving on the lawn while the family is having a barbecue ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs_9s31Je7Y [youtube.com]

Sunday delivery is not news... (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a year ago | (#45391537)

I remember the USPS advertising Sunday delivery for Express Mail quite a long time ago -- ten years or more, I think.

Still advertised today: http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/express.htm [usps.com] . A bit more digging indicates that there's a $12.50 surcharge for Sunday/holiday delivery.

So, since USPS was already offering Sunday delivery, the news here must be some favorable pricing terms for Amazon. Which, of course, they're not going to specify in detail.

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