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Old 12-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #41
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I think the postal union wants to protect all of its members. While I understand their stance, when one keeps going against the supply-demand principle of the free market, it never ends well.
Rather than lead this discussion into a pork-flavored argument over unions in general and public unions in particular, I would just say that the worst of the wounds the USPS currently suffers from was inflicted by Congress, IMO, not the unions. It was Congress that insisted on making the USPS fund retiree health care obligations 75 years into the future.... before many of the people who would presumably benefit are even *alive*. And also, as the USPS goes to a more part-time and less unionized work force through retirements and attrition (in other words, like most of the private sector), there will be fewer "career" retirees 50 years from now, let alone 75. Virtually all of its current red ink can be attributed to that mandate.

The USPS has "career" and "non-career" positions. They mean pretty much what you would expect them to; the "careers" are full-time, many are unionized, have solid wages and great benefits. The non-careers are mostly part-timers and contract employees on a much lower wage scale and very few benefits. Almost all hires in recent years have been non-careers, many of them earning less than $12 an hour. (When career positions open up, you may have hundreds of non-careers applying for one career position in some places.) There simply aren't going to *be* many career track employees retiring from there, say, 30-40 years from now. And yet they are funding health care expenses 75 years into the future? Something no other public or private entity has to do? Not to mention that we have no idea what health care will look like 75 years from now!

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So, OK, why doesn't Congress change the Saturday delivery requirement if it has the power to do so? Or is it afraid of losing votes from some constituents, as usual?
I don't know, but that's pure politics and I'm not going there on this forum.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #42
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Between Forever stamps, automatic payments, bill pay, and this year mobile deposit, e-crards, postal increases are complete non event.

I wonder if the folks in charge of calculating inflation take the diminished use of postal services into account,when doing the calculations.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:40 PM   #43
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I don't know, but that's pure politics and I'm not going there on this forum.
Well, when something supposedly simple becomes complicated, or does not make sense, usually politics is involved. But we all know that.

That said, I will not bring this up again.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #44
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Businesses still rely heavily on snail mail. My business uses at least 10k per year in postage. and none of that is for marketing. Mailing statements, payments, legal forms, etc.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #45
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Don't you think the postal worker union has something to do with that, more than the public at large?
+1 Post Office is useless to me. I do everything online. All they do is stuff my mailbox full of junk, despite being on every do not mail list known to man. I rarely check my mail anymore, maybe twice a month, only to find maybe one or two pieces I'm interested in, and the box stuffed absolutely full with downed trees...
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:30 PM   #46
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There should be a thread on how many postal stamps one uses per year and for what purpose.

We use them for:

Christmas cards,
Property tax bills (to avoid the charge for an online payment fee),
Important correspondence (certified, return receipt),

That's about it...maybe 40 stamps per year.
About 25-30 stamps per year for me, just over 1 book of 20 stamps. Only one monthly bill (health insurance) now because I have changed it so often since I ERed and it will change again next year so I don't want to worry about setting up new ACH payments all the time.

I pay my income taxes (annual and estimated) with paper checks because I can use the voucher coupons to aid the processing of them. Only about 5 checks per year there. Auto and homeowners insurance are 3 more. Birthday cards are a few more. Charities give me extra documentation from the canceled check nad I don't like giving out my CC number to solicitors over the phone even if I trust the organization.

Go back 20 years and I bought a book of 20 stamps once every 3 months or so. No wonder the PO is struggling so much.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #47
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The union probably won't lay-off postal workers. They just shouldn't replace them when they retire or quit.
The union has no say as to layoffs or terminations. They just represent the worker's contract terms and conditions.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #48
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The union has no say as to layoffs or terminations. They just represent the worker's contract terms and conditions.
In the "free market", the union can and does actually interfere (to a certain extent) with a private business that employs members of that union. Sometimes, even more so if it involves 'underrepresented workers ' (read: minorities) on certain city projects. Just depends on the city and the union.

So, given that it happens in the "free market", I wouldn't be at all surprised if the postal union has influence over the management's decision on hiring/firing of postal union employees.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #49
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In the "free market", the union can and does actually interfere (to a certain extent) with a private business that employs members of that union. Sometimes, even more so if it involves 'underrepresented workers ' (read: minorities) on certain city projects. Just depends on the city and the union.

So, given that it happens in the "free market", I wouldn't be at all surprised if the postal union has influence over the management's decision on hiring/firing of postal union employees.
Yes, I never worked with or for government agencies so I base my union/management experience solely on private industry.

When I was a company manager in Detroit and Connecticut at plants that had several union environments (steel workers, UAW, etc), we did not give the union any contractual mechanism to interfere with layoffs or firing (it may be different now within certain industries).

Back in my time (early 80's - 90s), the union based certain structures on seniority, union leadership privileges, and the ability to file grievances, but that was it. We also had things like 60 day probation periods for new employees that gave us (management) the right to terminate a new employee if he didn't meet the standard of the job within that time period and with the proper training.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:09 AM   #50
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+1 Post Office is useless to me. I do everything online. All they do is stuff my mailbox full of junk, despite being on every do not mail list known to man. I rarely check my mail anymore, maybe twice a month, only to find maybe one or two pieces I'm interested in, and the box stuffed absolutely full with downed trees...
+1. just can't seem to stop the junk.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:17 AM   #51
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Junk for some, opportunity for others. Almost all of my mail is also advertising, so I just toss it in the recycle bin. It not only keeps the cost of postage down for the rest of us, it enables businesses to reach out and sell, and as investors, we benefit from the high stock prices that are one result.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #52
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I think $0.49 is an amazing bargain.
What? You think that having somebody come to your house (or nearby area) six days a week, pick up your letter, deliver it to another house or business as far as across the country, usually in no more than a week, with 99.999% reliability, and do it all for 49 cents is a deal?

So do I.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:02 PM   #53
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The USPS gets a lot of crtitisizm, some of of justified, a lot of it not.

What I do know is that several years ago a lot of snow and ice closed off many roads in my city. For one week, the big package delivery companies did not deliver. The trash guys did not collect the trash. Services such as appliance repair or the cable guy did not come out to the homes. The USPS missed one day (the first day of the snow) and delivered the mail reliably the other five days of the week, while the others were apologizing and claiming that the poor road and weather conditions kept them off the streets.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:02 PM   #54
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Wha? You think that having somebody come to your house (or nearby area) six days a week, pick up your letter, deliver it to another house or business as far as across the country, usually in no more than a week, with 99.999% reliability, and do it all for 49 cents is a deal?

So do I.
Me too. Since I average 7 stamps per year, this comes to $3.43/year, or around 6-7 cents/week for this service.

I really wish I could get rid of the junk mail, though. In my entire 65 years, I have never even once purchased anything based on junk mail, spam, website ads, TV commercials, or any of the other advertising that avalanches us on a daily basis. Almost all my mail goes into the trash unseen, immediately as I remove it from the mailbox.

It is amazing, but actually true that the majority of my trash is just ads (including junk mail, the "fake newspapers" consisting of advertising that are deposited on my lawn regularly, and the huge flourescent colored advertising banners that are hung on my doorknob, and more). It all ends up in a landfill.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #55
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Wha? You think that having somebody come to your house (or nearby area) six days a week, pick up your letter, deliver it to another house or business as far as across the country, usually in no more than a week, with 99.999% reliability, and do it all for 49 cents is a deal?

So do I.

But we would really only know if it is an amazing bargain if it was opened up to competition. Could others do it for less (and yes, they'd have to be under the same requirement to deliver to rural locations as well)? If so, is it amazing?

And if the USPS is running a deficit, it seems that 49 cents isn't the whole picture. That money will need to come from somewhere.

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Old 12-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #56
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Me too. Since I average 7 stamps per year, this comes to $3.43/year, or around 6-7 cents/week for this service.

I really wish I could get rid of the junk mail, though. In my entire 65 years, I have never even once purchased anything based on junk mail, spam, website ads, TV commercials, or any of the other advertising that avalanches us on a daily basis. Almost all my mail goes into the trash unseen, immediately as I remove it from the mailbox.

It is amazing, but actually true that the majority of my trash is just ads (including junk mail, the "fake newspapers" consisting of advertising that are deposited on my lawn regularly, and the huge flourescent colored advertising banners that are hung on my doorknob, and more). It all ends up in a landfill.
Simple. Move to Holland and place one of these official mail delivery stickers on your mailbox.

Quote:
Nee/Nee sticker means = no junk mail (advertisements) and no local free (weekly) newspapers.

Nee/Ja sticker means = no junk mail (advertisements) but delivery of the local free newspapers.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #57
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I've seen several posters here say they only use a few stamps per year. That to me is difficult to envision as we use stamps for mailing in property taxe payments, mailing birthday and Christmas cards, sending important correspondence (via certified), etc.

I said earlier, I believe we use about 40 stamps per year (this estimate is without asking DW what she sends).

To those posters, how do you manage to use so few stamps?
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:30 PM   #58
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Even at $3.00 per stamp I would not complain if that's what it took to keep them in the black. It's amazing to know you can mail something and have it personally delivered across this country. I'd hate to see it change.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:33 PM   #59
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There should be a thread on how many postal stamps one uses per year and for what purpose.

We use them for:

Christmas cards,
Property tax bills (to avoid the charge for an online payment fee),
Important correspondence (certified, return receipt),

That's about it...maybe 40 stamps per year.
Me too, plus birthday cards and condolences or "thinking of you cards. Probably 250-300 stamps per year, mostly Christmas cards. I still pay two separate monthly credit card bills with a check and stamp also. All my utilities are auto payments.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:21 PM   #60
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I've seen several posters here say they only use a few stamps per year. That to me is difficult to envision as we use stamps for mailing in property taxe payments, mailing birthday and Christmas cards, sending important correspondence (via certified), etc.

I said earlier, I believe we use about 40 stamps per year (this estimate is without asking DW what she sends).

To those posters, how do you manage to use so few stamps?
I can't think of any "important" papers I've had to mail recently. As for cards, I usually just give them call to say happy birthday or merry Christmas. Thank you notes seem to have gone away but I have an elderly aunt that still sends a thank you note every time I do anything for her. Most things I have to send in come with a prepaid envelope ( like the PenFed documents ).

For tax payments I just go to the courthouse when I'm nearby, Strange thing is they charge for online CC payment but no charge for CC when paying in person ( I get the cash back rewards )
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