Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #41
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Before this gets out of hand and porky shows up... I want to make it clear that I didn't express any opinion regarding the 'fairness' of the pensions.

I was only commenting that they are a relatively fixed cost and that downsizing doesn't change it - That stream is already committed. I was under the impression that it represented a sizable portion of the budget. I'll look at your link and research that a bit later...

-ERD50
And my point was they've lost money by their own admission for 4 years straight if they'd had ZERO retirement prefunding, you need only view the graphs (theirs) attached. Reading the pdf is optional.
Actually, I had to step away from the computer and didn't even have time to look at the graphs - I just wanted to get some pig repellent out there before it was too late.

So now I've looked the graphs. The first does not address the issue of how significant the retirement costs are - it just says they are losing money even before looking at that cost. So the cost could be big or small, right? I haven't figured out if this term 'pre-funding' in the second represents the whole of their retirement costs, or is some short term catch-up payments to the fund. But I did find this:

$15.9 billion loss highlights need for postal legislative reform

Quote:
The $15.9 billion loss was driven by $13.4 billion in expenses that were outside the control of the Postal Service in the short-term. These expenses include the $11.1 billion retiree health benefits prefunding expenses and the expenses related to the long-term portion of workers’ compensation. When these expenses are deducted the net loss would have been $2.5 billion.

....

Operating expenses of $81.0 billion (including the $11.1 billion expense associated with prefunding retiree health benefits) compared to $70.6 billion the year before
OK, I guess that $11.1B is the same as shown in beige in graph 2, but that graph doesn't show total expenses. So $11.1B of $81.0B is 13.7% of expenses, and makes up ~ 70% of the loss. I'll say (and said) that is a 'big expense' that is independent of reduced delivery days.

Actually, I will say that the graph 2 is really slanted. They are showing all of that 'pre-funding' as part of the loss, when the loss is made up of ALL revenue minus ALL expense.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
You brought up "their big expenses paying the pension/benefits for all the retired and soon to be retired employees" - and many have claimed their unfair, common refrain. After 4 years it's time to stop beating that drum, that was the central point...
Who is beating what drum?? I certainly did not interject 'unfair' into this discussion, I was merely pointing out it is a big expense unaffected by reduced delivery days (the subject of this thread). In fact, I go out of my way to avoid that sort of subjective language. I do point out that when discussing pensions, factors such as COLA and when you can take it are important for an apples-apples discussion (COLA being worth ~ 2x, and taking at 55 versus 65 another 2x) - those are factual, not judgmental.

Anyhow, my general point about these types of pensions (public and private) is that they are promises that are hard to keep. And that's not good for anyone. If instead of promising future $, they funded an employee's account, similar to a 401K, then if the business has to downsize and cut employees, that expense would be reduced in kind. And each employee would have what they earned to date, with no concerns about the future viability of the business affecting their retirement stash. And personally, I feel a lot more secure in my 401K/rollover/IRA, which has nearly doubled in value since the end of 2003, than in my pension, which is whittled away by inflation each year.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #42
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
What would happen if the USPS decided to eliminate mail delivery of any kind, ever again? I'm sure this has been discussed by the current package delivery giants. Could UPS, FEDEX, etc. come up with a plan to take over all the USPS offices and the corresponding service in short order? I think they probably could and would do it in a profitable manner.
__________________

__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #43
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
What would happen if the USPS decided to eliminate mail delivery of any kind, ever again? I'm sure this has been discussed by the current package delivery giants. Could UPS, FEDEX, etc. come up with a plan to take over all the USPS offices and the corresponding service in short order? I think they probably could and would do it in a profitable manner.
I'm sure they'd open dinky local offices in every town in every congressman's district and run them at a loss, too. And deliver to every house everyday, no matter how rural or remote.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #44
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover
I'm sure they'd open dinky local offices in every town in every congressman's district and run them at a loss, too. And deliver to every house everyday, no matter how rural or remote.
If that did happen, it certainly would force me to start paying my bills online. As I am sure I wouldn't want to pay for the delivery cost.
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 09:01 PM   #45
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 489
They're still going to deliver parcels on Saturday. The mail carriers on my route (I'm a UPS driver) and the scuttlebutt on our employee forum is that the plan is to change the mail carriers routes into M-F routes. They are going to terminate all the "casual" mail carriers @$22/hr. and re-hire them with a different job classification (CBA is what I think they call it - no idea what it stands for) @$16/hr to work on Saturdays delivering packages.

The USPS has shared delivery arrangements with both FedEx and UPS - SmartPost and SurePost, respectively. I believe this is the cheapest shipping option currently available from online retailers. The arrangement is that FedEx and UPS transport the package to its destination zip code (because the USPS is not equipped to handles so much freight) and then transfer the package to the USPS and they deliver "the final mile" (because they are going to every house anyway). The USPS receives $1 per box from FedEx and UPS.

They bit off more than they could chew however and underestimated how many people receive packages. Recently UPS starting holding back the SurePost deliveries if there were 2 or more for the same address or if another package (ground, 2nd day, next day) was being delivered that day, and we deliver them. I'm not sure if FedEx is doing the same.

I honestly don't know if they can make money with this Saturday parcel delivery. I average 20-25 residential deliveries an hour (one every 2 1/2 - 3 minutes). It's a break neck pace. They will be getting $1/box and paying someone $16/hr (I'm not sure if $16/hr is incentive enough to work at a 25 stops per hour pace). Add vehicle wear and tear and the cost of gasoline....
__________________
tinlizzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 11:33 PM   #46
Recycles dryer sheets
Stanley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
As you'll note, I didn't say the postal service should leave the Dayton center open nor that they are responsible for maintain high morale in this fair city. Welcome to the board.
I've trumped your plan: I'll go into business manufacturing stamps that Daytonians Daytonas Daytonites people living in Dayton can use to add their own Dayton "cancellation" at the top of the letter. Just don't cover the stamp and it's legal.
Ahh... very good! Sort of like the old Easter Seal stamps we put on envelopes to decorate them.!! I like it! Maybe add a motto such as "Find your daylight in Dayton."
__________________
Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 11:36 PM   #47
Recycles dryer sheets
Stanley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinlizzy View Post

I honestly don't know if they can make money with this Saturday parcel delivery. I average 20-25 residential deliveries an hour (one every 2 1/2 - 3 minutes). It's a break neck pace. They will be getting $1/box and paying someone $16/hr (I'm not sure if $16/hr is incentive enough to work at a 25 stops per hour pace). Add vehicle wear and tear and the cost of gasoline....
Is it possible that Saturday delivery will be a premium service and cost more than an extra $1? We don't' usually get UPS or FedEx deliveries to homes on Saturday for no extra cost.
__________________
Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #48
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 388
I have never understood the hostility to the USPS at all. I think they have a great service at an unbelievable price. I have never lost a piece of mail. There current problems have several sources. First, e-communications have changed the pattern and volume of mail traffic.

Another problem is unfair competition from the private carriers. Some years ago USPS launched a successful overnight delivery service to compete with Fedex at half the price. This was a smart move to leverage their infrastructure that was already in place. They advertised the product on TV and in print using the stylzed eagle logo that you have all seen. However, you haven't seen it lately. The reason for that is that Fedex and DHL went to court to try to stop the USPS from competing successfully. The judge threw it out of court. Next, Fedex and DHL went to Congress where they have considerable clout since they can contribute to political campaigns and the USPS cannot. They were successful with the result that Congress passed a law to prevent the USPS from advertising their $7.99 overnight delivery service. Although they still provide the service, it has been crippled by the prohibition against advertising. So, Fedex and DHL are being subsidized by stifling legitimate.

So, what might look to the uninformed like the triumph of capitalism over government-provided services is, in fact, the opposite.
__________________
Khufu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 01:07 AM   #49
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 572
Is there a revised schedule for the Pony Express?
__________________
bondi688 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 07:01 AM   #50
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
Is it possible that Saturday delivery will be a premium service and cost more than an extra $1? We don't' usually get UPS or FedEx deliveries to homes on Saturday for no extra cost.
It doesn't cost the consumer $1 extra, rather that $1 is the USPS cut of the total shipping charge. They are currently delivering these packages along with the regular mail so a Saturday delivery would not be a premium service but more of a delayed service - until Saturday.

For most people receiving parcels on the cheap, that aren't urgent, on Saturday, will be great from the standpoint of getting signatures if required, and reducing theft. It will be easier for the USPS to hire people to only work Saturdays. But the profit margin will be so slim I'm not sure they can pull it off.

Like you said, maybe they do have something else up their sleeve in addition - like a premium Saturday delivery that is cheaper than UPS/FedEx.
__________________
tinlizzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 07:27 AM   #51
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
I have never understood the hostility to the USPS at all....... .
Me neither. But I wish they could get Congress off their back.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 07:28 AM   #52
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
I have never understood the hostility to the USPS at all. I think they have a great service at an unbelievable price. .....
+1 Where else can you drop off a letter or package locally and have it delivered anywhere in the country, typically within a few days, for less than 50 cents (or more for items larger than a letter or expedited service)?
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 07:49 AM   #53
Full time employment: Posting here.
Redbugdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 959
I don't understand the hostility, either. It is the best deal going. I have taken packages to UPS, and walked out of that place with my packages in hand. The good old Postal Service was just over half the price. Just because it's government doesn't mean it is always bad.

With no Saturday mail delivery...maybe my postman will get the weekend off...like normal people.
__________________
"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it." Ashleigh Brilliant
Redbugdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #54
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,038
I have had mail lost and items stolen from inside envelopes. But this is very rare. I think the Post Office does a great job.
__________________
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.
Lazarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 08:59 AM   #55
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I'm sure they'd open dinky local offices in every town in every congressman's district and run them at a loss, too. And deliver to every house everyday, no matter how rural or remote.
Actually its not quite to every house. In newer developments there is the cluster mail box concept, where a whole bunch of houses share a common location. Of course this also provides a locked mailbox so there is a benefit. I am surprised that the USPS does not propose to back fill older neighborhoods with this system.
Further in truly rural areas, its no longer to a mail box in front of the house, but rather to a mailbox where your dirt road meets a paved road, look on farm roads in Tx or in NM and you see clusters of mailboxes at such corners. Door to door stopped in the 70s and between then and the 1980s it was rural style mailboxes in cities, then the cluster mailbox.
__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 09:10 AM   #56
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Actually, I had to step away from the computer and didn't even have time to look at the graphs - I just wanted to get some pig repellent out there before it was too late.
Time to post, but no time to look at the graphs you were responding too first? Got it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Actually, I will say that the graph 2 is really slanted. They are showing all of that 'pre-funding' as part of the loss, when the loss is made up of ALL revenue minus ALL expense.
Now I understand, that makes no sense whatsoever...ALL revenues and ALL expenses are shown.

I stand by my content. But I realized late yesterday afternoon that I was just in a bad mood, winter cabin fever I suppose. For that I apologize.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 09:25 AM   #57
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
I don't understand the hostility, either. It is the best deal going. I have taken packages to UPS, and walked out of that place with my packages in hand. The good old Postal Service was just over half the price. Just because it's government doesn't mean it is always bad.

With no Saturday mail delivery...maybe my postman will get the weekend off...like normal people.
I admit to not minding that the USPS is subsidized. It's a service that everyone can directly benefit from unlike some things our tax dollars go toward. And people can and do pay to upgrade to UPS, Fedex, whenever they want.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 09:30 AM   #58
Recycles dryer sheets
Stanley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
I have never understood the hostility to the USPS at all. I think they have a great service at an unbelievable price. I have never lost a piece of mail. There current problems have several sources. First, e-communications have changed the pattern and volume of mail traffic.
+1

In fact when the weather has caused bad road conditions, the USPS still delivers the mail, while the private package delivery companies are nowhere to be seen. This certainly has happened in my community.
__________________
Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #59
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
With no Saturday mail delivery...maybe my postman will get the weekend off...like normal people.
My dad is a postal carrier and his route was recently reduced in size. Because of that, he has been working every other saturday to make up the money. With no saturday deliveries he'll be making $5K less per year than before. Not a small sum for most people. He may decide to retire(age 64) rather than work for thousands less than in years past.

As for pensions which where mentioned earlier. Postal carriers don't get much. My dad has 20+ years service and his pension will barely cover the cost of retiree health care for him and my mom.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #60
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
I have never understood the hostility to the USPS at all. I think they have a great service at an unbelievable price. I have never lost a piece of mail. There current problems have several sources. First, e-communications have changed the pattern and volume of mail traffic.
For my part, I got a little overzealous yesterday, sorry. I get hostile engaged when supporters or opponents misrepresent the facts, and plenty of that goes around from both "sides." Most of it happens outside ER.org, though those sentiments may spill over.

It's a great service, but by law it's supposed to be revenue neutral (see below). That's hopefully all that drives my POV.

The good news: The package delivery service battle has largely been fought, and USPS has maintained a share of that promising, growing market, that's great.

The bad news: Unfortunately on the mail/letter side of the business, online alternatives have reduced their volumes, and that will only get worse. The PAEA/RHB pre-funding has become a distraction. And under federal law, only the Postal Service can handle or charge postage for handling letters.
If the broad consensus is that USPS should be subsidized by taxpayers to provide conventional postal service at a below market rate, so be it. That hasn't been the law for more than 40 years. [BTW, I am NOT suggesting they're presently subsidized by taxpayers, for the most part (99.8%) - they are not.]
USPS is unfortunately between a fundamental rock and a hard place, but all businesses have to adjust - like providers of Palm Pilots, landlines/rotary phones/public pay phones, photographic film, VCRs/DVD/movie rentals, paper maps, long distance charges, fax machines, phone books/dictionaries/encylopedias, newspapers/magazines, floppy disks, CDs to name a few.

Quote:
Until adoption of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the U.S. Postal Service functioned as a regular, tax-supported, agency of the federal government.

According to the laws under which it now operates, the U.S. Postal Service is a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral, neither making a profit or suffering a loss.

In 1982, U.S. postage stamps became "postal products," rather than a form of taxation. Since then, The bulk of the cost of operating the postal system has been paid for by customers through the sale of "postal products" and services rather than taxes.

Each class of mail is also expected to cover its share of the costs, a requirement that causes the percentage rate adjustments to vary in different classes of mail, according the costs associated with the processing and delivery characteristics of each class.
Quote:
Unlike other private businesses, the Postal Service is exempt from paying federal taxes. USPS can borrow money at discounted rates, and can condemn and acquire private property under governmental rights of eminent domain.
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:04 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.