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Comments

shthar

Why don't we just end the war a couple weeks early?

That's cover saturday delivery and then some.

Seth

It won't solve the financial problems of USPS.

Therefore, it's a pointless stopgap measure.

Tea

I am 50 years old, and they have been talking about getting rid of Saturday delivery my whole life. My Father was the post master of our town. He said that every time it comes up, all the old ladies call their congressman and complain, and old ladies vote. So unless we get rid of all the old ladies, we will never get rid of Saturday delivery.

Kaci

The discrepancy in the two figures may be explained by the lower figure being the actual cost of delivering mail on Saturday, while the larger figure is total cost, mail delivery and the cost of additional employees to deliver mail on Saturday, employees who get pensions and health care and other benefits. Of course, eliminating these jobs by eliminating Saturday delivery, doesn't mean that the tax payer will necessarily save money, since they could just end up on welfare and other government programs. So it is anybodies guess how much the tax payer would really save if Saturday delivery is eliminated.

Tai_pan

Netflix should buy the post office. They'd run it alot better than the government does.

Scott

I don't understand Kaci's distinction, between the cost of Saturday delivery with or without including the cost of the additional employees needed. It seems to me that the entire cost of Saturday delivery is the cost of the employees needed to deliver the mail. (Okay, and gas and wear and tear on the trucks.)

Also, only a small percentage of people who lose their jobs end up on welfare or other long term assistance programs. But even if 100% of the laid off workers did, welfare and such is far less than a mail carrier's income.

While there are many variables, I would not go so far as to say it is "anybody's guess" how much would be saved. Economists have statistical models that work. They're not precise, but they do provide some idea.

Dan

The PRC probably tried to figure the total cost, which would be the savings on salary and other expenditures minus the predicted loss of revenue.

Even if they both accounted for the loss of revenue it's possible that the USPS believes they will only lose revenue related to parcels where Saturday delivery is explicitly requested. The PRC may have used a more aggressive model that attempts to account for further losses in revenue such as loss in consumer confidence, especially in premium delivery services. It's also possible that this was paired with a bearish take on the savings.

BP

I am so glad that the Republicans are going to save the entire American way of life - because a shutdown of the government and a default on our debt would effectively fucking end us as a nation - by slashing excess government spending a billion dollars at a time.

When we run a deficit of a trillion dollars - a deficit which is caused by the costs incurred by only three federal programs (medicare/caid, SS and the military) - it seems absolutely ludicrous to not attack the issues head-on, but that's always been the disingenuous Right's modus operandi.

So glad they've lived up to their campaign promises on creating jobs. Slightly less than three months since they took control of the House and there have been absolutely zero job creation bills. Sweet, brahs, keep up the good work. Meanwhile, waging war against the left (who are equally stupid, mind you, and are tactically retarded) by attacking every socially beneficial (that is, those beneficial to the American society at large) under the sun except for the ones in dire need of re-examination and by seeking to significantly add to the unemployment pool by slashing thousands upon thousands of government jobs everywhere except the military, which is the largest Federal employer, deep breath, really comes off as class warfare to me.

As far as I am concerned the USPS can operate however bloody inefficiently and costly it wants. It provides a public good that absolutely nobody else, especially not a corporation, could provide at all let alone nearly as well. The USPS has never cost taxpayers more than $10bln/yr. This year, in fact, it will cost taxpayers less than $4bln (and that's a retirement funding issue, not really an operating one). After decades (since the early 80s) of running with little to no taxpayer funding. At worst, a $10bln bail-out costs taxpayers just over $30/yr each. Oh no, run for the fucking hills.

Anyone who argues over the USPS's (vital) role in the United States is an idiot. Get over yourselves and learn how the world really works. It is people who kid themselves by attacking federal employees, pension plans and social programs that are killing this country. It's a slow death by a thousand cuts, but it's still death. Maybe, just maaaaybe, you people (not really directed at anyone here) should be rethinking our multiple pointless wars in the Middle East, the fact that most corporations pay nothing in taxes, how income disparity has skyrocketed in America since the weakening of unions and how we have basically allowed corporations to effectively take over our entire government.

Oh, wait, there was a question here. How do I feel about the USPS ending Saturday service? It's bullshit. How do I feel about the misinformed willfully ignorant numpties that are leading to the destruction of everything good Americans have fought for over the past two hundred and fifty years? See above.

-BP

jkdoug

Personally, I couldn't care less about the loss of Saturday delivery.

As for the rest of the political stuff: yeah, good luck with all that. It doesn't matter with that party you're affiliated. Once you're in the government, your brain implodes.

Nate

I don't know, I just don't know. I don't use the USPS a lot, but I realize others do. All but 1 of my bills I pay online, my (and my wife's) checks are direct deposited... if junk mail were eliminated entirely I might only get something every couple of days in the mail. Heck, some of the bills I get in the mail I'd love to opt-out of receiving since I pay them online, but I don't have the option.

On the flip side, my dad in his mid 50's seems to have his flag up daily. He pays everything through the mail. Hopefully he sticks around for another 30+ years, what's he going to do? It provides a vital service to people like him and a 25% delay in first class mail is a big deal. I also sincerely hope my brother can get a job with the post office. He is in the military and has brain damage from mortar blasts. He's been in the military going on 9 years and they will be medically discharging him soon, but he doesn't have an education... so you have a guy who hasn't been in the private sector for what will end up being a decade, without a degree, with a serious medical condition (he does have meds that help a lot), his job prospects are awful. For those unaware the Post Office hires a ton of ex-military, it's one of my brother's few options and if they cut back it's going to make it that much more difficult for him to land a job. He's talking about if he cant find a job about hooking up with one of the military contracting companies in Iraq/Afghanistan. They would hire him in a heartbeat with his combat experience, but it would open him up to more potential head trauma... but he has to put food on the table for his family and the meager disability he's likely to get won't be enough.

It's a tough decision, really tough and one that has farther reaching implications than a lot of people think.

Barrett

"how can two government agencies have estimates that differ by more than a billion dollars?"

That is easy: It is two government agencies.

Gir

Keep Saturday but eliminate Tuesday and Thursday.

Or use technology to make things more efficient. If you relegated junk mail to one day a week, most residences wouldn't need delivery every day. Create another class of mail that allows for one-day delay (and make 1st class mail much more expensive) and you could probably do half-routes on an even/odd basis for 99.99% of mail. It shouldn't be hard to handle the 0.01% 1st class mail efficiently via special FEDEX-type delivery.

Shawn

"Netflix should buy the post office. They'd run it alot better than the government does."

That sums up my feelings about the Post Office, if it was run like a private sector company they would have trimmed the fat years ago and made it more efficient. But since it is supported by taxpayer money(like Amtrak) nothing will change.

baron

@shthar

You almost have it: If we end the war a couple of weeks early (ha!), we celebrate by repealing estate taxes and capital gains taxes. Then, in a panic, close the libraries, cut back USPS delivery to three days a week, and privatize the highway system because ohmygoddeficitssupplysidereaganomicsaynrandgasm

Steven Hoober

As some have already said, it's another stopgap. Relatively minor savings for a serious change in the level of service. They need some other structural changes.

I rather like the tangential thinking Gir has. The direct marketing and bulk mailing folks don't have another serious alternative, so you can mess with them a whole bunch. I'd think staggered delivery (maybe every other day) and some more stringent requirements on pre-sorts and maybe letting mail houses integrate better with the USPS might help.

Dan

By the time they approve and implement the elimination of Saturday delivery.....the bulk of content will be streamed.

However I still prefer for Saturday service to continue. Not just to receive DVDs. But even to be able to ship out general mail.

Also stopping Saturday service is not only impeding the receipt of DVDs. But also the return of watched DVDs.

FurryGuyJeans

Eliminating Saturday service would do nothing to put even a minor scratch, let alone a dent, in the massive entitlements and protections given in the public union employee contracts.

No Saturday mail service sure wouldn't hurt Netflix much since they are pushing to become a streaming only company, defecating on the DVD by mail customers that built the company in the first place.

BP

People on Netflix blog fail to understand how government works and regurgitate long debunked talking points, film at 11.

Scott

re: "a deficit which is caused by the costs incurred by only three federal programs (medicare/caid, SS and the military)"

SS is paid for out of its own fund. It is not part of the budget deficit problem, unless it needs to pay out more than it takes in, which AFAIK hasn't happened.

Also, even after you take SS out of the equation, no particular programs can be said to "cause" the deficit; it is the grand sum of "everything out" minus "everything in". Depending on "what order" you consider the various programs, different ones will appear to be the ones that put it "over the top."

But I do understand your underlying point, that the big programs are where most of the money goes.

Scott

Ending Saturday delivery will save Netflix money. The maximum number of "turns" you can get on a given plan will be reduced if there are fewer delivery days, meaning they will often be able to send you fewer disks each month for (presumably) the same monthly subscription fee.

Howard

Scott: the savings if any for Netflix will be minimal. Subscribers will simply adjust their mailing habits as necessary to watch the same number of DVDs from Netflix as they've always been watching. As was the case back a few years ago when Netflix didn't offer Saturday services.

Lets also mention there are several federal holidays with no postal service but on which Netflix receives and processes returned DVDs and mailed the next ones in the subscribers queue out. I don't know but it is not unreasonable to expect no Saturday delivery could work the same way

George Machen

The private express statutes should be abolished. There's no excuse for the government to be involved in First Class Mail delivery. ("Don't blame me, I vote Libertarian!")

BP

@ Scott

My point was that they are the three (four if you want to split the medicare programs up) largest programs within the entire government. I know that SS is solvent until sometime in the 2030s, but it still forms a significant chunk of the budget each year. Even if it isn't paid for out of the general Federal income tax it is still paid for from a tax and that is often rolled into the entire revenue/spending debate.

I'm not advocating we abolish social security. In fact, quite the opposite. I'm advocating we cut spending to the military - do we really need to outspend by double the entire European Union? Do we REALLY need to outspend the next 14 in the top 15 military spenders in the world combined? Do we?

I'm also not sure that seniors, one of the most powerful voting blocs in this country, should be allowed to stranglehold politicians into spending billions upon billions of dollars on them today when they've never paid into the system at all. I don't want to kill grandma, but I also don't appreciate it when she acts as if magical money gnomes fly down from their Jesus Castle and deposit gold bullion into the White House to pay for their health care. Yeah, it only cost $50bln a year, which is a drop in the bucket in comparison to most things, but it's a part of a problem that could be solved by a comprehensive health and welfare overhaul that politicians will never undertake because then grandma will vote for someone else.

The fact is that three of the four largest programs - SS, medicare and medicaid - all have a legal mandate to be fully funded each year and that all the legally mandated programs combined + the military alone put us at a deficit. How the hell are we supposed to survive with that sort of spending? Debt interest itself will reach a trillion dollars a year in the next decade+.

All of this is a moot point, however, because we could fully fund our government if corporations were taxed like the people they are trying to claim they have the same rights as. Just Exxon and Verizon combined could fully fund Medicare Part D, but does grandma care about a company she knows absolutely nothing about paying its fair share in taxes? Fuck no, she just wants us to go over to the Middle East, kill some Arabs and keep the oil flowing. This is a gross overgeneralization, of course, but our country and the corporations in it didn't usurp power overnight and they definitely didn't do it without our blessing, so I'm going to stick to this gun: there are more ignorant people in this country than there are smart, more bad than there are good, and that's why we're having discussions like this.

Blows. My apologies, I'm not trying to argue with you. I just can't fathom how our country is allowed to operate like this.

@ George

You Libertarians are hilarious. In your Wild Wild West scenario I'd be allowed to shoot you for cutting me off in traffic and you'd have to hire Pinkertons to prevent script kiddies from disrupting your e-mail. Seriously. You guys had some good ideas before being hijacked by "Big L" Libertarians.

Can you people please all move to Nevada and secede from the nation and leave the rest of us mostly sane by comparison people to have big boy conversations about how the real world works?

Thanks.

Bob E.

Anybody know what if anything they plan to do about Monday holidays? I think there is a rule now you can't go more than 2 days without mail delivery. Wondering if mail would be delivered before Monday holidays - Columbus, President's, Memorial, MLK and Labor Days, occasionally the 4th, Christmas and New Years. Or maybe they should just cancel Monday service?

David

I usually get my Netflix discs on Wednesday and Saturday. This would decrease my rentals more than the decrease in delivery days, because I couldn't schedule movies around free evenings/weekends.

Scott

Bob, they will not cancel Mondays, because too many business operate M-F. As it is, they don't get their Saturday mail until Monday. If they cancelled Monday deliveries, they wouldn't get their Saturday mail until Tuesday.

Dan, in respect to the cost analysis you mentioned, for "must get there" items, I suspect they would still offer Saturday delivery at a premium, just as UPS does today, and just as the USPS already offers for Sundays.

Mo

We should end all of the wars for oil, then we can afford a decent civilization which would include basic things like mail delivery.

Adam Smith

@Mo:

Then how would the mail be delivered? Last I checked those little USPS jeeps take gasoline to run.

BP

@ Adam Smith

A quarter of the USPS's entire fleet runs on alternative fuels.

Also, don't be a disingenuous ass. You know that pulling out of the Middle East won't suddenly end our access to oil. This is especially true considering that it is a myth that the most of our oil comes from the Middle East. The percentage is neither vast nor a majority, as 9 out of the top eleven oil producing nations we import from are not Middle Eastern, neither geographically, geopolitically or ethnically.

Mexico and Canada are #1 and #2 respectively. Six out of those 11 are either in North or South America.

Deal in facts. Not crap.

Adam Smith

@BP:

I refuse to comment on your posts. I will not engage in a battle of intelligence with an unarmed man.

BP

I'm a limp-wristed liberal girly-man and I love black cock.

scJohn

Overall, no more Sat. delivery should be a small plus for NF. No more labor cost for Sat. And for those who try and maximize disc turn around, there will be fewer disc sent making those customers a bit more profitable. Feedflicks.com reports that 1% have a disc 0-2 days before returning and 15% use 3-4 days.

BP

@ Adam

The correct idiom is "battle of wits with an unarmed man".

miker

Of course Netflix loves this idea. They get the Post Office to do throttling for them, under this plan, and can push more streaming.

Jeff R.

If only NF would get nearly all their current and future inventory on to streaming, then I would forget the DVD's and BluRay I am getting now. Then let the Post Office eliminate the Wednesday mail. That would solve the 3 day no delivery problem.

Dave

I'd be happy to switch to streaming, if only ISPs would get off this bandwidth cap nonsense.

RJM

Well, if Netflix had the top new releases on streaming, I wouldnt need saturday delivery.

Instead,mostly what IS available are old shows, reruns & poor movies.

Think of all the postage they could have by having new releases on streaming !

SuperScuba

Well, it would suck. I know that much. I guess I'll have to do all my Netflix viewing by Tuesday. That way, I can mail my discs by Wednesday, Netflix will receive them and ship out my new discs on Thursday and, finally, I'll receive them on Friday in time for the weekend. An action plan like this is necessary to make sure you still get the most out of your Netflix subscription ;P

John

I for one do not think that the post office going from 6 days a week delivery to 5 days a week. So I get my DVD a day later then usual. There is enough on my ROKU and TV to fill the void anyways. So lets help the PO from going out of business and let them drop Saturday deliveries.

not paranoid, it's just they're out to get us

since netflix is usps biggest customer, what if netflix is driving saturday cancellation behind the scenes? 5 day delivery helps drive down costs for netflix, it helps throttling of dvd's, pushes customers to more streaming and they make it look like it's the usps making the decision?

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