The headline was the opening sentence of a letter written to the Los Angeles Times. The writer, Jim Washburn, was so upset that the Times clipped that first sentence from his published response that he posted it on his blog. He commented: “A few days previous, they’d run an op-ed piece by some blowhard named James Brovard complaining about the US Postal Service, claiming that the USPS has been intentionally slowing down mail delivery for decades, and essentially that they suck.”
Washburn (who also complained that the Times had never published any of the previous many letters he sent them) might not have noticed that the op-ed contained a heap of details on delivery slowdowns. No matter – as he proudly declared, “I happen to love the USPS.”
Never pays to argue theology.
I got a hoot out of his first sentence and thought it deserved to run another lap around the Internet.
The mail slowdown op-ed was syndicated by McClatchy and has been reprinted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Miami Herald, the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal, Newark Star Ledger, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Sacramento Bee, the Tampa Bay Tribune, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bangor (Maine) Daily News, the Savannah Morning News, the Juneau (Alaska) Empire, Tacoma, Washington News Tribune, Tulsa World, the Hanford (California) Sentinel, the Mississippi Sun Herald, Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.), the Fargo (North Dakota) Forum, the Bellingham (Washington) Herald, Westchester, NY Journal News, and, most important of all, Government Management Daily.
Someone named “Froggy” commented on the Cleveland Plain Dealer website:
“It is hard to improve upon ‘almost perfection’, but, the USPS has improved over the years. No where in the world can one have a letter delivered over three thousand miles(farther when sent to Alaska and Hawaii) in only three days and for only 44 cents. In my 75 years, I have never had a letter or package that was lost or damaged beyond what must be considered normal. Their are those who wish to privatize the postal service but, if it were to occur, two things are certain, the quality of service will certainly decrease while the cost surely will increase.”
So how would that be different than life under the postal monopoly?
On the Juneau Empire website, “Mama T,” in a post headlined “Private, Profit, reduced services,”
Nothing has gotten better with privatization…just more expensive. Who’s got stock in Fed X and UPS? Ya know…we are talking about some inside trading by our lawmakers. Oppps…I mean INFORMED trading…which is not exactly illegal…YET. Someone could have a stake in the Post Office demise.”
Ya, like its captive customers.
In the Bangor Daily News, “mcmaineacjam” commented:
Wow, it takes two days instead of one to mail a letter, it is the end of the world. More interested in storing letters then delivering them, some one is prone to exageration. I’ll bet he is not interested in paying extra, as is offered , to get it there overnight. Hire a courier servise to mail a letter from LA to New York and see how much it costs.
Relying on the Postal Service’s “Express Mail” is worse than Russian Roulette, as far as the chances of the mail actually arriving on time – despite a massive surchage.
A comment on the Mississippi Sun Herald entitled “Slick Solutions Inc” observed:
The solution I suspect is to outsource the Post Office to corporations like our military did. No thanks late bloomer
As I noted on this blog last week, I am vehemently opposed to permitting the Postal Service to have its own drones.
From posting on the Miami Herald site,
federal crime to provide better mail service than the government”.Then How did UPS and FedEx with guaranteed delivery times eat the Post Office’s lunch over the last decades ?
What’s with this forever delivery time ? I put a letter to NY Friday, they got it yesterday, Monday morning the week before Christmas.
Then I see the answer is the last line of the article:
James Bovard is the author of “Attention Deficit Democracy.”. So it’s not that Bovard is dumb, it’s that he thinks we are.
As I see it the PO’s big problem is the bulk of most deliveries is junk. I have a PO box so that that crap never makes in my home. There’s also email of course.
So believing that people can make wiser choices for mail service than government permits somehow means that I think people are dumb? In reality, it has long been the defenders of the postal monopoly who insist that people are unfit to choose what is good for them.
I am surprised how the little detail about the monopoly applying only to first class mail seems to have been brushed aside.
Christy-Sue Huber, commenting on the Westchester, NY “Journal News” site-
“I don’t know what post office you are using. I have used the post office on a daily basis for the last 50 years and have never had a problem. I guess you didn’t see the FedEx driver who threw the TV over the wall instead of delivering it as expected. This does not make FedEx bad. I don’t now of any business that does not goof now and then.” To err is human.” Oh, I forgot, only government workers make mistakes.
Christy-Sue should get an award from the Postmaster General. She just provided a new motto for the Postal Service: “To err is human.”