Going postal over postal deliveries

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    Is anyone else still experiencing seemingly endless delays in delivery of first-class mail? We heard endless warnings back in November/December about delays related to election ballots and record holiday volumes and reduced staffing due to Covid but its now mid-January and I’m still waiting for first class mail and some priority items sent in early to mid December. Are others still experiencing the same maddening delays?


    For the last few weeks I’ve been getting first class mail overnight — the day after it was mailed.

    The USPS has markedly improved.


    The Republicans have been trying to destroy the Postal Service for at least two decades. They want to replace it with private sector providers, even though the likely replacements (UPS, FedEx, Amazon) aren’t really interested in delivering first class mail, at least at anything approaching the cost of USPS mail. Before the Trump sabotage, USPS got a letter across the country in two days for 55 cents (39 cents for some business customers). FedEx will, too — for $24.30. So will UPS — for $17.70. Those who blast the government for being inefficient need to shut up. The fake accounting that the Republicans forced the USPS to adopt is like that of no government agency or private sector business and results in paper losses when the USPS is actually making money. USPS is still the most secure way to send anything, though, as none of the private carriers have their own equivalent of Registered Mail and a police force to enforce things the way the USPS does.

    This predated Trump, but he also seized upon this to try to steal the election; his political hack appointee de-funded USPS even more, actually destroyed automated sorting equipment in order to slow mail down, and caused USPS to fail to deliver hundreds of thousands of legally cast ballots in Atlanta, Detroit, and Philadelphia.

    Unfortunately I have pretty much had to stop using USPS because of the delays — service here in the Bronx has always been bad as even before the sabotage it would take longer for a letter to get across the Bronx than to California. And I too am seeing delays from out of town, although days rather than weeks.


    Charlie, the USPS was running billion dollar deficits before the PAEA was enacted in 2006. Yes, it’s cheaper than Fedex and UPS, but that’s because debt is subsidizing its service. If there were a federal Pizza Agency losing billions a year while providing pizzas for 50 cents, it would be cheaper for consumers while inefficient overall.

    Any economist will tell you that the classic case that requires public provision of a service is public goods. These are goods which cannot be consumed by one party to the exclusion of another (“non-rival”) and cannot be provided selectively to paying subscribers (“non-exclusive”), such as clean air and defence. Mail has neither characteristic, and the case for public provision of mail is no stronger than that for public provision of pizza or any other private good or service.


    UJM: Check you mail service tomorrow afternoon and going forward. I have heard from an adom gadol that you have been taken off the VIP list and from now on, all your mail will be routed through the USPS Nome, Alaska regional service center on its way to Trollsville.

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