- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Every official study of why it is so difficult for the U.S. Postal Service to remain solvent notes the obvious: the decline in use of the system because of the advent of e-mail. While this challenge cannot be denied, my unofficial observations as one who has been a sender and recipient of a high volume of postal mail for decades cause me to conclude that poor service, a lack of accountability, tenured and untouchable workers and an archaic model are prominent explanations for a system that continually comes to the public for more money.

If I had kept a record of every instance in which I have endured home and work misdelivery, delayed delivery, general incompetence and rudeness, I could share encyclopedic volumes. Complaints to the Postal Service are of limited value, as problems recur, and it is obvious that no employee is required to answer for his or her actions.

The credo “The mail must go through” is not accurate in reference to the U.S. Postal Service. It would be accurate for the United Parcel Service and FedEx, both of which always find a means to deliver their packages. Unlike postal workers, workers engaged by private firms know their jobs depend upon accurate and timely delivery and that the carrier must be courteous when encountering customers.

Might the U.S. Postal Service ever be privatized? It is unlikely. This is America, where the poor soul who funds the system is not a valued customer, but a sap.


Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

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