A Way to Save the Postal Service

If you come to a four-way stop consecutively with a police car, a fire truck, and a mailman, who goes first? The legal answer is the mailman goes first. But why? Shouldn’t the fire truck or police car go first because they have authority? No. They actually don’t. The mailman goes first because you can never stop the flow of commerce. But the flow of commerce is at risk because of the Postal Service Crisis.

September 30th has passed. This was the date that the USPS claimed (on their own website) that they could not make their mandated payments to a trust fund that reserves retiree health benefits. I call it a trust because it essentially is. It’s a fund that they cannot touch and must abide by. They also cannot make their monthly payment of $5.6 billion to the US Treasury. Back in August, $5.5 billion was due. They were unable to make that payment in full as well. USPS requests Congress to make reforms that provide an outdated system a boost.

Here’s a video that explains exactly what a bailout is and who pays for it (created by the Oversight Committee)

Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of Committee on Oversight and Government Reform listened to that request and have presented the House with bill HR 2309, which is more commonly known as the “Postal Service Act of 2011-2012” in which he provides a method that could help the Postal Service.

However, reading it, it doesn’t. Closing down offices and electing more non-delivery days prevents the flow of commerce. Providing a bigger credit-line to the USPS is not a solution; that only causes the USPS to “owe” more. There should be methods that involve better technology and to reduce the mandated payment as much as humanly and legally possible. The Treasury is affecting the Flow of Commerce, and I repeat this because its vital to every small, medium and large business. Without mail, bills would be unpaid, advertisements of new businesses would go unread and online purchases could not be delivered.

Here’s a way to reduce costs, which may sound ridiculous at first, but they are cost savings:

  1. The USPS should use hybrid vehicles only for transportation such as a Prius. All the vehicles would be of the same color with the same USPS emblem. That alone could have a potential savings of millions considering the rising cast of gasoline. The LLV model of the current USA mail truck gets 17 MPG (16 city/ 18 hwy) equivalent to a Toyota Tacoma and a Ford F-250. 
  2. Reduce cost of domestic shipping. Raising costs only enforces people to stay mobile in their correspondences. Reducing the cost even by $0.05 could result in more business.
  3. Raise cost of international shipping and provide a more efficient way to ship packages via Internet postage.
  4. Large corporations must deliver all correspondence by mail; whether it be a bill, a notice,  an offer, etc. To go “paperless” means that corporation saves $0.44 per person who elects paperless and USPS loses $0.44 per person.
  5. Programs that use USPS such as Paypal/eBay/Ship and Stamps.com should not charge the user to pay for their mail. USPS should instead, give a percentage. This causes the person to use the program more. $15 a month for stamps is inconvenient for a small business considering their mailing list is not very large.

Unemployment Falls Below 8% Highly Unlikely

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), released yesterday that unemployment has dropped to 7.8%.  Now, that percentage doesn’t mean anything unless you compare it to another percentage or numbers. Let’s compare it to the numbers. 23 Million people were out of work during the RNC convention as well as the DNC convention and assumingly, still, to this day. Other sources such as the AP claim that a rough 12 Million are unemployed. That number is not the reality of the situation.

For the BLS to claim that unemployment dropped 7.8% is the same as stating that 460,000 have entered the workforce. In one month’s time in such an unstable, slow growing economy, that number is not likely. Facts show that for the past 40 months, unemployment has always been above 8%. But is that the real number percentage? The answer is no, and here’s why.

There are ways that number is skewed. To include some:

  1. Many states have revised their Unemployment Insurance coverage 6-22 less weeks than their standard amount of covered weeks, usually 99. The idea behind reducing the amount of people receiving governmental assistance via checks was to stimulate growth.
  2. Some have quit looking for work entirely.
  3. 50% of College Graduates who have worked hard to earn their degree and obtained mass student loan debts are obligated to pay those debts within 6 months of the graduation date cannot find work. They are living with their parents or relatives. Their education is simply not enough. They cannot file for unemployment.
  4. Does not include farmers.

Florida was a 99 week state; however, it is now a 26 week state plus the federal extension amount. Florida is one state that took a hard hit, for sure. In August, the UI program had tightened their eligibility requirements by forcing those applying to strictly apply online and to complete a 45-minute test which assessed their job skills. This is unfair to those who have limited computer access, poor English speaking/reading skills, poor computer skills or even a physical disability in which no way is a fault of their own. Since then, denial for unemployment insurance has sky rocketed, rejecting almost half of those who apply. On a national standard, 30% is the standard “denial rate”.

This change saved Florida $2.7 million and ultimately declined the unemployment rate. Imagine this change taking affect in all 50 states. You can see clearly how unemployment would decrease dramatically in months to come.