You know, when I hear things like this, it’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s sad that it’s come to this but then this thought creeps into my head immediately: “well at least I have a country to run to if things get anymore worse” and I’m sure a lot of you that weren’t born in the US can say the same. For those that cant and have no place to go, I suggest a lot of you better start other means and ways of making money besides your job because with the way things are going, a Plan B is definitely needed right now. Now, we’ve heard of companies such as Borders that are filing for bankruptcy in addition to other corporations that are in huge trouble right now but when the United States Postal Service starts to follow trend, all you can really do is shake your head. It’s sad to say this but the Postal Service is launching a study of thousands of local post offices for possible closure in an effort to save money.
Even with the increase in stamps, the cash-strapped agency, which lost $8 billion last year, scheduled a briefing for Tuesday at which it is expected to announce the action.
Most of the approximately 3,600 offices that face reviews are in rural areas, but postal official say they are looking into alternate service, such as locating offices in local businesses, town halls or community centers. This really affects the so-called Village Post Office which will eventually be replaced, and also be closed. But the thing is, coming under review doesn’t necessarily mean an office will close so there’s some good news in that.
The post office announced in January it was reviewing 1,400 offices for closing. So far 280 have been closed and 200 have finished the review process and will remain open.
Once an office is selected for a review, people served by that office will have 60 days to file their comments and, if an office is to be closed, they will be able to appeal to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.
The post office has been struggling to cope with a drop in first-class mail as more people use the Internet and a decline in advertising mail because of the recession. Last year an estimated 50 percent of bills were paid by the Internet rather than through the mail, up from 5 percent a decade earlier.
In addition to closing offices the Postal Service has sharply reduced its staff over the last several years and cut billions from its costs. It has also asked Congress to allow it to cut back to delivery five days a week to about 3 days a week and to ease the requirement for an annual $5.5 billion payment to fund future retiree health benefits.
Currently the post office operates more than 31,000 local offices, branches and stations, down from 38,000 10 years ago. Of the 1,400 offices announced for review in January, 620 are still in the review process and 300 will move to the new review list.
I’m still a bit torn on this issue. Granted it’s a sad story of how America really needs to get it together with its finances but then I look at it from another perspective. With a lot of people paying their bills online and actually doing a lot more online, it benefits in a way because it saves a lot of time and also reduces identity theft. Think about it. Most identity thefts are done through people’s mails especially with the credit card offers that most of us throw away. By having the mail delivered only 3 times a week, it does significantly help with identity thefts and fraud. This is also good news for those who are on the Go Green campaign. I’m personally a huge believer in doing everything we can to save the environment for the next generations after us so I’m happy with that aspect. But apart from that, there is the down side to this as well. How do you feel about this new change that’s about to be implemented?