U.S.P.S. is Flat Broke

From the New York Times:

“the [Postal Service] is so low on cash that it will not be able to make a $5.5 billion payment due this month and may have to shut down entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.”

The Post Office’s financial troubles aren’t new, and most of us can reflect for a couple seconds and list one big reason for the problem — the Internet has caused the demand for their services to drop like a rock — but there are other factors involved that make solving the problem difficult: the Post Office is mandated to deliver to every address in the US (FedEx and USPS can pick and choose) and they have very high labor costs (80% of total costs compared to 53% for UPS, which is also unionized), to give two obvious ones.

Congress, to solve the problem, postures and threatens to hold out mail hostage to ideology, a tactic now standard, I’m afraid.


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