The Post Office is the Poster Child of What is Wrong with the Federal Government!

Say you have 1,080,000 employees, 600,000 active and 480,000 retired on government pensions, and you have lost $20 Billion dollars over the past 4 years, while losing 20% of your business volume over the 4 years, “ya think ya might have made some changes by now!”  Well, this is your US Postal Service at work for you.  The USPS is technically an Independent Agency of the United States Government.  Just a couple of more statistics for you.

  • If the USPS was a private company, it would be the second largest employer, only smaller than Wal-Mart!
  • The USPS operates the largest vehicle fleet in the world with 218,684 vehicles! (Maybe they can buy a few Chevy Volts and Help ObamaMotors out!)
  • The USPS delivers about 700 Million pieces of mail a day to about 150 million delivery points.  Annually it delivers about 177 Billion pieces of mail.
  • The USPS operates about 31,000 Post offices

The USPS has concluded a plan to cut its workforce by 20% or some 120,000 employees and withdraw from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and create or participate in a private program.  HOLD THE PHONE!  These employees are covered by a APWU (American Postal Workers Union) Contract. Naturally the union is not too keen on these cuts.  Since the USPS is an agency of the Federal Government, Congress would have to approve the breaking of the union contracts to terminate the 120,000 employees plus unilaterally change the pension and health benefit programs.  Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin will get a kick out of this one!

Any Bets?

  • So, any bets on whether Congress has the Chutzpah to deal with this one! 
    • Kind of makes you think that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s objection to unionizing Federal Employees may have been spot on! 
    • Canada recently went through a postal strike and it was not much fun for them and those of us doing business with Canadian businesses. 
  • Any bets on whether Obama would fire striking employees like Reagan did in the 1980’s?  Nah! 
  • Any bets that Obama wouldn’t blame the Republicans and George Bush for not licking their stamps properly! 
  • Any Bets you won’t bail them out again like the banks, Wall Street, GM and Chrysler?

Stay tuned.  The USPS would have filed for bankruptcy a few months ago if the weren’t part of the Federal Government.  So the only options are bailout, a gutsy action by Congress and the President, or….?

How about if we get UPS, Fed-Ex and DHL in a room and see if we can privatize the USPS?  RADICAL!  They all are delivery stuff now so they should have some good ideas on how to deliver mail.  They may want to dump some of that 3rd class crap we all use to line our bird cages but that wouldn’t be all bad. 

The post office is just the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with this country.  Bloat in every federal department; departments that have no functions; functions that have no functions; and overlap of functions are legendary.  We keep chasing one crisis after another when simple, sound, business cost justifications could be applied to every federal department.  The either stay or go based on their return on investment.  If there is $250 Billion a year in just Medicare Fraud and waste, just how much fraud and abuse is in all of the other federal departments?  I’ll be $1 Trillion would be close!

 

Stay Tuned…

RD Pierini

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/usps-proposes-cutting-120000-jobs-pulling-out-of-health-care-plan/2011/08/11/gIQAZxIM9I_print.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service

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