The United States Postal Service (USPS) is likely to announce today they will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays, in what can only be viewed as the latest sign of an agency that is well past prime time.
While such a change to their operating practices will require congressional approval, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe claims widespread public support for the move:
… the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.
Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.
Quite honestly, if these numbers are correct, they are not surprising. They also most likely can’t be traced back to the public wanting a weekend break from receiving junk mail and bills either. While the Post Office claims their package deliveries have increased 14% since 2010, the private sector and efficiencies that come with it have created competition that is difficult for the heavily-unionized USPS to overcome.
More importantly, despite urban legends that “email stamps” are just around the corner, email is free. It also is faster, has a more dependable delivery track record (unless you happen to put the wrong address in the “To” line), and there is no additional postage if you send lengthy emails or large attachments. And while people are still getting many of their bills by USPS, they are paying them online more and more everyday.
The Post Office is a dying model, and Congress needs to take a serious look at privatizing it. And like Amtrak, it is more proof the government has no business running businesses.