Dallas, TX – A Presidential appointed panel has begun sharing some of their suggestions for Postal Service. Surprising as it is, coming from this administration, they are not recommending privatization. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Midday.
When was the last time you uttered the words, "I love the Post Office and boy, am I grateful for mail service?" Of course, these are two different statements. I am very grateful when go to my box and the mail is there. But standing in a line when there are six counters and only two people manning them makes me nuts. I'm still not sure who's worse - Wal-Mart or the Post Office. But that's where the similarity stops.
The Postal Service has a mandate requiring to cover costs without relying on the federal budget and without making a profit. The Service receives less than 1% of its budget from the Treasury Department and earns the rest from stamps and mailing services. Critics have long said all the worries, efficiencies and losses would go away if the Postal Service would just privatize. But the Presidential panel reviewing this government agency yesterday loudly and clearly said no. However, they do want to see a more corporate business-like structure put into place at the Postal Service. Their final recommendations will come out at the end of the month.
I spoke with Neal Denton, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, who's been quoted in many of the papers today as being relieved in hearing this recommendation. My question to him, "What's so bad about privatization?" It's a long list, but here's a couple. First, security reasons. Residents don't want a multitude of carriers opening their screen door on a daily basis. Second, universal price would vanish. Right now, a first-class letter costs the same to send to Alaska as it does to Detroit. That would change. And Denton sees the Postal Service moving in a very positive direction. The Service is already acting more corporate-like, trimming costs, looking at their real estate and adding new technologies for more efficiency. Maybe the lines will get shorter now, too. Ya think? For KERA Marketplace Midday, I'm Maxine Shapiro.
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