If You’re Wondering Why The US Postal Service Loses $2 Billion A Year …

… just check out this mailer:

I have no idea how many Westporters will dash on down to Playhouse Square on those 2 magical Sundays next month.

But I’ll bet you a sackful of Santa’s toys that it won’t come near covering the cost of this glossy, colorful postcard.

Which (I think) was sent to every single mailbox in town this week.

27 responses to “If You’re Wondering Why The US Postal Service Loses $2 Billion A Year …

  1. Matthew Mandell

    At least they didnt have to pay for the postage.

  2. I have nothing but positive experience with the post office. I have shipped boxes to Hawaii prior to our vacations there and they get there in 3 days. The same is true on the reverse. Letters mailed on day 1 are delivered locally the next day and to Boston area addresses on day 3 at the latest…sometimes on day 2. The PO rates are very competitive and in many cases lower than Fedex or UPS. My experiences with clerks at the main PO, Greens Farms PO and the old Saugatuck PO were professional, cordial and effective. So what’s the beef. They are simply trying to let folks know they are user friendly prior to the holiday season. (spoiler alert…I was a PO employee 63 years ago in Summit, NJ while I was in college)

  3. I’m trying to work out why they appear to have trademarked “Westport Post Office”. Are they afraid of cheap foreign knockoffs popping up on Main Street?

  4. Nope, that’s a drop in the bucket. The requirements to pre-fund health and retirement benefits is what keeps them in the red. Sort if like Connecticut.

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      This is exactly the reason – if private entities had to operate like this, funding obligations 50-70 years into the future, they’d be in the hole too.

  5. I am grateful for all they do and that they are there, and i bet there will be plenty of people to take advance of the extra hours!

  6. I suspect only “Post Office” is trademarked, and yes, probably to prevent other mailing services from using the term.

  7. Do we really need to be negative on the Post Office? They work six days a week delivering our mail. Let’s try to stay positive and be happy that for two weeks during the holiday crunch they are open seven days a week to help us get our gifts and cards on time before the holidays…. and they are letting us know.

  8. David Mark Brown

    This post [no pun intended] seems to be a cheap shot, particularly at this time of year. I have close friends that work at the USPO. If someone put up a similar post about other government workers; for example teachers, town hall employees, police, or firemen; how would we feel? This has the look and feel of selective empathy.

  9. The postal service is only showing negative because they are required to prepay retirement benefits to the tune of 5 billion per year. If it were not for that they would be profitable

    • Russell Gontar

      Congress is responsible for this mess. They required the USPS to prepay retirement benefits @$5 billion per year to cover THE NEXT 75 YEARS! The point was to deliberately destroy, disrupt and disable the USPS. You could look it up: (https://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432)

      • The Post Office made the mess by granting the benefits that produced the liability. Private sector DB pensions are pre-funded.

        • Elizabeth Thibault

          I work in HR Consulting and Outsourcing, and I can promise you, most are not. Our clients are Fortune 200, and the vast majority are counting on future funding and returns for the few workers who still qualify for Defined Benefits. (This is also why so many of them are offering cash balance, and changing the formulas for calculation to take the highest of more years, to reduce benefits owed. They need to reduce these future obligations.)

          • ERISA requires that private DB plans be prefunded. If a plan has unfunded liabilities the sponsor must make contributions towards reducing the level of the unfunded liabilities. DC plans have no similar requirements.

        • Russell Gontar

          Pre-funded x 75 years? I don’t think so.

  10. William A Webster

    I have shipped more than 17,000 packages via USPS. Of those shipments I only remember one package being lost (in Italy). Two months later is was returned to my US address. They provide a terrific service with mostly dedicated employees at a very reasonable cost. I think they should increase the price of stamps a little more than usual, and try to get out from under the health / pension debt. I think the US Government should bale them out of their financial problems and give them a fair shot at profitability. I love the USPS, there is no other system like it in the world. It is not the USPS postal workers that got them into this mess.

  11. You can bet the place will be humming on those days! And they deliver Amazon packages on Sundays. In this digital day & age, it’s always nice to send and receive cards and notes. Thanks to our USPS.

  12. If every business in the country gave the faithful service given by the US postal service, there would be far fewer bitches about shoddy service, shoddy products and rude employees.
    That a kid in CT can put a cheap stamp on an envelope, post it to grandma in Idaho or Italy and be confident that it will get there, is a wonder….be thankful .

  13. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    The USPS is getting screwed. Particularly since Amazon started sourcing much of its logistics through them. They are desperately trying to compete in a market that used to be protected territory for them. Trump has very correctly called Amazon out for that. But I’ll save Amazon for another conversation.

  14. Over a 20 year period running my small business I sent all of my invoices by USPS & received all of my checks. That’s thousands of pieces of important (to me) mail. Never a problem. Thanks USPS!

  15. I believe it has more to do with the USPS being required to pay retirement on workers who aren’t even born yet. No other business that I know of has to do this which was mandated by Congress during the 1990s. The PO is still controlled by Congress but receives no taxpayer or government funds and hasn’t since the early 1970s. You might consider doing your homework before publishing an “article” which takes such a judgemental tone from that high horse you seem to be looking down from.

  16. ….and this is newsworthy because?

  17. Here’s another.. Recently attempted to send a letter to someone in town asking if they would get it the next day. I was told it would be sent to a sorting facility in Westchester…. It would be bagged, trucked, sorted, bagged, and trucked back to Westport then delivered. Since the addressee lived within walking distance of the PO I hand delivered it. Time: 10 mins. Bruce Salvo