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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/topstocks/archive/2009/06/15/u-s-postal-system-rip.aspx

The US Postal System, which has been dying for years due to the advent of the fax, e-mail, and overnight delivery, may finally be close to its last act.

The agency lost nearly $2 billion in its last fiscal year and is faced with the serious consideration of cuts of up to 3,100 offices, potentially eliminating thousand of jobs. Media reports say that first class mail volumes are plunging.

What is killing and will probably eventually finish off the Post Office? In a word "broadband", a system that the current Administration plans to build out quickly in the next two years.

According to MarketWatch, the Post Office is already looking at stopping Saturday delivery. The next moves will probably cut the number of weekdays the mail is dropped off, particularly outside urban areas where the cost of reaching homes and businesses spread over a wide geography is enormous.

Broadband has taken away the need for sending letters and may large documents. Broadband connections allow users to securely download encrypted files, some of which are the equivalent of thousands of pages of paper. The files can be sent and received in a few seconds compared with days to move them by mail.

Payment systems which wire transfer money have nearly eliminated the role of the check in paying bills. This will only increase as e-banking does.

Even the magazine and newspaper industries which relied on physical delivery systems for decades now use the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle as a way to get the printed word over the internet and downloaded onto the device. Almost every major print product also has an Internet version. Sending magazines via mail is expensive. Cutting back on that form of delivery would be a blessing.

The modern postal system killed the pony express. The USPS could only last so long before it way itself replaced. That time has finally come.

Top Stocks blogger Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.
 

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I have long wondered when the postal system would take a huge hit. I know I do all of my bill pay and banking over the net. I have bought stamps recently but that is in preparation for my wedding and all of the thank you notes I am going to be sending.

I love that they have the Kindle included as a cause of the demise of the Post Office. hehehe That is probably a bit of a stretch. More like the internet in general. Why buy the magazine when you can read it online? The Kindle is only the latest way of getting a magazine or paper without delivery.

I think they should continue with Saturday delivery, it is one of the few days that most people are off and can receive mail that has to be signed. I would think cutting a couple of days during the week would be better then cutting the one weekend day they deliver on.
 

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I agree with Rasputina, but it is the same with all the companies in trouble, GM, banks, etc., they are very top heavy and need to get their own houses in order.  As far as the post office goes, sure cut back a few days a week, but not everyone does have access to the electronic age and will need this service.
 

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Sigh.  Once the USPS is actually truly gone, I'll miss print catalogs (searching the web is useful, but not half as much fun) and reasonably inexpensive 2 day shipping.  But I'm part of the problem, not the solution--I haven't had an actual paper bill to pay in eons.  I don't write letters, can't get my act together well enough to do Christmas cards, etc.  The only things I mail are packages.

I will say though this article sounds like a little bit of an overreaction.  While I agree that the USPS is going to have to scale back, I doubt it's going to be completely gone anytime soon.  There's still an entire generation that pays their bills on paper, deliveries around holidays are still insane, and there's still a need (even if reduced) for some of the services only the post office provides.  This should end up being the impetus for that agency to streamline a bit, which as Rasputina pointed out is badly needed.
 

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They have had outrageous relocation expenses covered for years. Multi million dollar homes, 60k in travel expenses for 1 person on a relocation scouting trip. And this isn't even the highest echelon of management. They were buying peoples home that were relocating for a USPS job without getting real appraisals. I have no sympathy for the USPS. At the same time they are raising postage prices. Sorry, no sympathy here. It's pathetic that they think laying off people and raising postage is the cure. They need to get their overspending under control and get rid of these outrageous programs.

 

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I had heard that they were considering eliminating Tuesday delivery not Saturday. The report I heard (this was towards the end of the year) said that USPS claims Saturday as one of their heaviest delivery days and Tuesdays are their lightest. I still have a few places that I snail mail a check to - either their e-commerce is flawed (works one month not the next) or is just a pain to use and at least 1 doesn't offer it. my biggest worry is how eliminating a day could really screw with due dates on monthly bills. I still know people without their own computer, let alone broadband and those type aren't ones who will go to the library to pay their bills online.
 

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I don't think the post office's problems are that there is no need for their services or that there will be no need for them in the future but more so that the post office is a humongous bureaucracy that is incapable of running efficiently or downsizing and cutting costs to compete. Yes they are suffering a downturn in volume to to competition from alternative methods and will continue to do so, I just have serious doubts about their ability to adapt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Forster said:
I don't think the post office's problems are that there is no need for their services or that there will be no need for them in the future but more so that the post office is a humongous bureaucracy that is incapable of running efficiently or downsizing and cutting costs to compete. Yes they are suffering a downturn in volume to to competition from alternative methods and will continue to do so, I just have serious doubts about their ability to adapt.
most government companies are that way, especially the military, they are paying out billions of dollars and wasting so much at the same time.
 

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We've been going more and more "green" over the past year and are still noticing changes we can make.  This is the major reason why I don't have a newspaper delivery and didn't renew my Backpacker magazine subscription.  Now I'll just go to the bookstore (I'm lucky it carries it) and review the issue.  If it's one I'll read a lot of then I buy right there (like this month), otherwise I pass.  I've also been meaning to ask my mail carrier if they can stop delivering those damn penny savers and all the grocery store ads.  What a waste!  I do look at Albertson's to see what's on sale, but that's the ONLY one since it's the closest store.  But Albertson's has ads in store too that I can just look at and then put back, or look at the one posted on the wall.  If the postal service had to close down a day of delivery, even TWO more days of delivery I wouldn't mind at all, wouldn't affect me one bit.  My mortgate is the one bill I have to pay with a check and envelope (and every month I wonder what's wrong with that damn company that they don't have online bill pay).  For the sake of the postal carriers though, I hope they don't choose Tuesday over Saturday... If I was a carrier I'd rather they choose Monday so I could have two days off in a row.
 

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My dad worked for the USPS for years, and always complained about the bureaucracy and waste. I know of several instances in my rural area where brand new post offices were built in very small towns, although the buildings that had previously housed the post offices were more than adequate. I'm sure the building has taken place throughout the country, and would account for a lot of wasted revenue expenditures.
 

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When nearly every entity in the country is experiencing problems due to the economic troubles, why is it surprising that the Postal Service is, too?  For some reason, they're easier to knock.  To include Kindles as a reason for their decline is almost insane.  What percentage of the population owns a Kindle.  Sheesh. :)

I'm guessing postal critics have never tried UPS or Fedex ground.  For one, I hope the postal service is around for a long time.  They're the only mailing service I use.
 

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Don't get me wrong. I use the postal service for quite a few things, as it's much easier around here to get to the post office than to get to a UPS or FedEx facility. (I have a DirecTv receiver than I have to send back via FedEx, and the only feasible and timely way to return it is to go to the FedEx facility 50 miles away. I'm in that city frequently, but I still have to be sure to go there today or I might be charged up to $470 if the receiver isn't returned within 7 days. I wish I could use the post office to return it, but FedEx is the specified carrier.)

I really can't see the USPS ceasing to exist, but I do hope they can get their financial situation under control. It's still a good value, in my opinion, to put a stamp on an envelope and have it sent across the country for $.44. I have had my share of mail lost or the delivery delayed over the years, but I still value the work of the post office. 
 

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Oh yeah, right... the KINDLE made the USPS spend $300,000 to take a 25-year employee to court because they thought she had stolen $78 worth of stamps and stuff. Talk about overspending. when they got to court, after she denied allegations, they reviewed the security cameras, and realized she never took anything. HELLO?? Who was stupid enough to not have checked the tapes before accusing her in the first place?? Oh.. and they suspended her for a year while they did the investigation. A YEAR and no one looked at the tapes all the way?

Personally I hope she sues the HE** outta the USPS and her supervisor.
 

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This is totally stupid... They shouldn't shutdown, if that is what they will do in the future... I order dvds, cds, videogames, and other stuff, that USPS delivers to me... What's going to happen? Who will deliver my stuff if this should happen? FedEx? UPS?
 
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cheerio said:
most government companies are that way, especially the military, they are paying out billions of dollars and wasting so much at the same time.
The USPS isn't run by the government anymore-hasn't been for quite awhile now. They get no taxpayer dollars.
 
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