Strolling to the mailbox on a Saturday afternoon soon may be a luxury only our generation remembers. During the past two years, the U.S. Postal Service has lost more than three billion dollars due to an extreme drop in the volume of the mail it processes each day.
To ease the estimated seven billion dollar loss for their fiscal year, the Postal Service recently proposed the elimination of Saturday mail. Numerous online bloggers are furious, claiming that “[a] handwritten letter from grandma to grandson or granddaughter has warmth that will never be replaced by electronic correspondence.”
But what these bloggers do not understand is the importance of a five-day mail week: without a cut in expenses, the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to extinction. Keeping Saturday mail will only send stamp prices soaring and cause more layoffs within already-sparse post offices.
Proponents of Saturday mail think that losing a day of mail will slow the snail-mail process down even more, because it will increase the “already too long” gap between Friday and Monday. But in reality, will many Americans really miss one day of mail?
“It’s not like we won’t just get whatever mail we miss on Monday. If anything is that urgent, then it can be texted, emailed or Facebooked. It’s not going to matter in the end. Anyone who depends on the mail is just waiting on bills,” said Layla Shayesteh, junior, “and who really wants those?”
Americans depend upon their Blackberrys and iPhones for everything-from sending a quick text to checking their bank account balances-NOT their mailboxes. The convenience of online bill pay and email correspondence has decreased the yearly mail by more than ten billion pieces per year, while the percentage of Americans who get a Facebook or send and recieve emails every day increases dramatically.
No longer are Americans dependent upon a six-day-a-week stationary mailbox when they can have a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week virtual mailbox in their pocket at all time. As a general rule, Americans will not miss a day of mail, and the decreases expenses will help economy as a whole.
Five day mail is fine, if there will truly be cost savings. The only way this can be accomplished will be with actual job reductions, like in the private sector. Is the Federal Government ready to do this? If they put people out on fully-paid early retirement, this will not save the taxpayers any money. We all see the inefficiencies every time we visit the post office; maybe some privatization is necessary? Fedex and UPS are obviously doing something right;maybe the USPS should stick to letter-sending only, and leave all package delivery to the other guys? That would certainly save us time on those long lines! Also, as soon as the PO took over Passport processing, that became a model of inefficiency as well. Let the AAA Travel Service process those too, for those of us who are AAA members; they already do a much better job on the passport photos!