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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 11, 2009 10:57 AM. The previous post in this blog was Here come da judge. The next post in this blog is Uncool. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Use it or lose it

That mailbox on your corner.

Comments (13)

That would be a shame. In large swaths of the Metro PDX area it is not safe to leave outgoing mail in a standard "horseshoe" box with a "flag" up due to the tweakers looking for stuff to steal.

The blue boxes often are more convenient and easier to get to than the post office buildings.,

"But the post office has been stolen
And the mailbox is locked.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again."

The issue is that congress will not allow the USPS to raise the rate on all the bulk junk mail we receive above the lowest rate.

As a result USPS has to find the $$ by raisng private ostage charges but that can go only so far.

So they cut the service.

This thanks to the direct marketing association lobbyists in D.C.

Of course the big blue box itself may not be very safe:

http://tinyurl.com/kll4k7

The issue is that congress will not allow the USPS to raise the rate on all the bulk junk mail we receive above the lowest rate.

As a result USPS has to find the $$ by raisng private ostage charges but that can go only so far.

Good for Congress. Why should they pay more? Because you don't like what they're sending?

Joey L. why should junk mailers pay less than I do to send mail? Do you think business has some entitlement to corporate welfare from the federal government? Cause you know we all just pay for those subsidies. Or maybe you like giving business a free ride.... as the bumper sticker used to say

Gardiner, great song quote. Love it.

I don't think the Post Office is a business that should make money; it's a public service that should be provided at reasonable cost. We don't expect the Defense industry, the fire department, or the police department to make money. The Post Office is a public service and should charge a reasonable amount of postage based on public interest regardless of whether this pays for operations costs or not.

The Post Office is a public service and should charge a reasonable amount of postage based on public interest regardless of whether this pays for operations costs or not.

There's a sound fiscal policy.

While I definitely understand the situation with small towns needing at least one mailbox, and I definitely understand the need for something more secure than a typical home mailbox (Nonny, I have the same problem, compounded by living right next to a bus stop), but Jack's right in how this is going to come down to a "use it or lose it" situation. The option either is to take out the boxes entirely, or to reduce pickup to one to two days per week, like garbage service. Yes, this will suck if you need something to go out right away, but it's better than not having a mailbox at all.

Since I mail off a ridiculous amount of Snail Mail, I have a dog in this hunt, and I've spent quite a bit of time talking to postal workers and interested bystanders about the situation. Right now, my local post office is phasing out its standard stamp machines in favor of the new automated postage stations. You have a lot of people kvetching about how terrible it is that the stamp machines are going, how the automated stations require use of a credit or debit card, and "what are the older people going to do?" The reality, though, is that for all the noise about taking out the stamp machines, nobody was using them, at all: they'd either come in to the station when it was open and buy stamps inside, or they'd buy them from the local grocery stores. (I talked to one local older resident about this, and she was livid, but then she admitted that she hadn't bought stamps from the machine in years. This came down to taking out something that was familiar instead of taking out something that was being used.)

Joey L. why should junk mailers pay less than I do to send mail? Do you think business has some entitlement to corporate welfare from the federal government? Cause you know we all just pay for those subsidies. Or maybe you like giving business a free ride.... as the bumper sticker used to say

I believe we should all pay the same.

You want to pay the same as the junk mailers? OK prebarcode, presort, drop-ship, destination enter, present your mail packaged in bulk, and forgo air transportation, then you can start talking about paying the same. It's like the difference between being a wholesaler and a retailer. You might as well complain that you're paying for more than the price of a steer when you buy a burger.

Free rides are things such as universal six-day a week delivery, 40,000 postal facilities, a postmaster in every town, industrial union wages for retail clerks, cushy (read expensive) government employee benefit packages. These are things that business and nonprofits that advertise through the mail don't want or need. Yet, for the most part, they are forced to send hard copy ads through the mail due to the Private Express Statutes.

Mail volume is plummeting. The First-Class mail volume (the high-margin mail which finances the system) per delivery point will be lower this year than at any time since 1970. The Postal Service is a mess. And apparently our President wants to make the same mess out of our health care system.

Hey Rowland, since 95% of higher of the DMA snail mail that I get ends up in my recycling bin, could I expect that the businesses that send this stuff out should pay a share of trash collection for all the waste that they cause me and counless others to deal with? And can I get paid for my time in processing this crap mail that I don't want to get? And yes I have signed up asking not to get DMA mail crap sent to my place; but it's not like most direct mailers actually honor that.

And I am greatful that internet spammers can be prosecuted. Now if only DMA people who send to people who ask for exclusions could be prosecuted.

If I want to do business with a business, I know how to find you. If a business harrasses me, I will not do business with them ever. And DirectTV is on my list for ever and ever for all the phone calls they used to make to my house, despite my asking them to desist. And I tried to have them prosecuted but I fell into the gap where that authority was moving from state governments to federal governments.

A couple of very recent observations regarding additional inconveniences of local USPS service:

1) The earliest mail pickup from the mail drops inside the main post office at Hoyt and NE B'way is now 3PM; there are only two pickups daily. Until recently, it was possible to mail something late in the PM and have it picked up early (6 or 7) the next AM, sometimes arriving at a local address the same day it was picked up.

2) As of 1August, the retail windows at the airport USPS do not open until 11AM on Sundays. Note that all mail in the city, including items dropped at the PDX facility, go first to Hoyt St for sorting.


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