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Comments on news posted 2013-03-08 14:41:55: A Berkeley city councilman has proposed a tax on e-mail and each bit as a possible way to help shore up the United States Postal Service's dwindling funds. ..

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cdru
Go Colts
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join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
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1 recommendation

reply to ISurfTooMuch

Re: The post office should cut costs

said by ISurfTooMuch:

There should be a simple way for individuals and businesses to mail packages without having to go to a post office.

You mean like scheduling a pickup?

Plus, residential packages should be delivered at times that are convenient for people.

UPS and Fedex don't generally do this. They just dump it on your doorstep. Or if it must be signed for, hold it at the distribution center for you to pickup. This is all the same that USPS does.

In other words, it's a pain to have to deal with figuring out when a package is coming and trying to have someone there to sign for it, or, if the delivery comes at a time when no one is there, having to then go to the package center, which, more often than not, is located in a well-hidden building in a far corner of town.

The 10 real post offices closest to my house are all in very accessible locations, clearly marked, and usually right in the middle of the area that they serve.

That, and find a way to cut down on the lines at post offices. I hate the idea of having to spend most of my lunch hour standing in line for something that can be done at a kiosk, or, if I need to speak with a human, standing in line behind people whose business could be better handled at a kiosk.

There's this thing called a website. A lot of your business can be done there. Print postage. Ship a package. Order supplies. Change your address. Hold or forward your mail. If you MUST go to the post office, the last several I've been in have had ATM-like kiosks that you can do a lot of that at as well.


skeechan
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Reagan was right

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:

If it moves, tax it. --email
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” --USPS

-Ronald Reagan


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
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reply to IowaCowboy

Re: The post office should cut costs

said by IowaCowboy:

They ended the self service kiosks

No they didn't. My local Post Office has 2 out in the (unattended) lobby near the PO Boxes, plus 2 more slightly larger ones in the main lobby next to the attended counters. Last week when I mailed a package I just walked right past everyone standing in line and went to the machine and beep beep beep swipe and dropped it in the bin on my way out the door.

If I had a scale I trusted I'd just buy the postage online and save a couple bucks.

/M


skeechan
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reply to morbo

Re: 7 day a week package delivery

The problem with USPS delivery is no one is interested in "It'll get there when it gets there" service or their horrible lack of reliable tracking. In my small business I tried to use the flat rate box service and it took 10 weeks to deliver a 30LB box from SoCal to Texas. How do you lose a 30LB priority mail box? Despite tracking and signature required, it never showed up on tracking and I never got proof of delivery. I only knew it got there when my customer finally let me know.

That was the last time I will ever consider the USPS for any shipping needs.


skeechan
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reply to zed260

Re: stupid

Get rid of the postal workers union for starters. Then deliver MTTh only with part time labor.


skeechan
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reply to TelecomEng

Re: Here's a better way to fix the Post Office...

No way because then they won't be saving the money they owe and they'll accumulate MASSIVE unfunded liabilities which the taxpayers will end up bailing out...just like the rest of the bankrupt government does, now close to $80 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

If they can't pre-fund their promises they shouldn't be promising.


coldmoon
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reply to skeechan

Re: 7 day a week package delivery

said by skeechan:

The problem with USPS delivery is no one is interested in "It'll get there when it gets there" service or their horrible lack of reliable tracking. In my small business I tried to use the flat rate box service and it took 10 weeks to deliver a 30LB box from SoCal to Texas. How do you lose a 30LB priority mail box? Despite tracking and signature required, it never showed up on tracking and I never got proof of delivery. I only knew it got there when my customer finally let me know.

That was the last time I will ever consider the USPS for any shipping needs.

You do realize that UPS and FedEx use the USPS for package deliveries in undeserved/remote areas because it is too expensive for them to do that themselves?
--
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andre2

join:2005-08-24
Brookline, MA
reply to TelecomEng

Re: Here's a better way to fix the Post Office...

There is no such requirement. The correct number is 50 years. (But that doesn't work as well with the "forced to fund workers who haven't even been born yet" catchphrase.)

»washingtonexaminer.com/unravelin···/2521473

Also, regarding the notion that the PAEA is an evil Republican plot shoved down the USPS's throat, note the following page

»www.nalc.org/postal/reform/paea_2006.html

from the NALC, one of the major postal unions, showing that everyone involved (both major parties, postal management, AND postal unions) were enthusiastic about PAEA at the time. It was only after the recession struck and mail volume started plummeting that the "evil plot" meme started circulating. Unless the recession itself was part of the plot, but considering it was on Bush's watch, and helped Obama win the 2008 election, that's farfetched.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to hrz

Re: We have it too good.

Canada is slightly larger than the US but the fact is most of the people in Canada live in the bottom 3rd. I do agree the postal rates in the US are too low. If you raise the price of first class stamp from 46 cents to 60 cents you eliminate most of the problem.

ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to cdru

Re: The post office should cut costs

Scheduling a pickup is fine, provided you know how much postage to add. How about kiosks placed at convenient locations where you can walk up, place your package on a scale, swipe a credit card, slap on the postage that comes out, and deposit the package? Some may say that security is an issue, but I've mailed many packages at post offices and never once had my package searched, my ID checked, or anything else, so there's no real security there, either.

As for UPS and FedEx not delivering at convenient times, no, they don't. That's something that, if the USPS did it, would be better than these services. And, when I mentioned out-of-the-way package centers, I'm talking about UPS and FedEx.

The post office could be even more helpful if they added a feature that would allow a recipient to reroute a package in transit, provided it could be intercepted in time. Suppose someone mails me a package to my home when I really needed it at work. I could tell the sender, and they'd provide me with a tracking number and security code, which I could then enter on the USPS Web site to allow me to enter a different delivery address. Since it would already be known to the USPS the route the package is going to take for delivery, a printed label could be waiting for it at its next check-in point.

As for the USPS Web site, I'm aware of it. So, why not have kiosks in every post office so people can just walk up and use it? In fact, I just came back from mailing a package, and it sure would have been nice to have been able to skip the line and do everything at a kiosk. And I couldn't have done it from my office because I had to buy the book to place in the package near the post office.


David
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reply to rradina

Re: Here's a better way to fix the Post Office...

said by rradina:

You mean FedEx and UPS might have bought lobbied Congress? No! Say it isn't so!

Actually supposedly it was. They couldn't compete on postal price so they lobbied and got that. Essentially from what I read, it was set to bleed the postal system dry, thus everyone would have to use fedex, ups or another carrier for postal mail. Then they could just compete to death, winner takes all!
--
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clone

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reply to chip89

Re: The post office should cut costs

How many times is this patent bullshit going to be repeated? THE POST OFFICE IS SOLVENT!!

There, I had to yell it, but do you understand that yet?? THE POST OFFICE IS NOT LOSING MONEY!

They are only operating in the red because the government has forced them to fund 75 YEARS worth of pensions. Right now, they are putting money away for employees that haven't even been born yet! Not to mention that, under the current administration, this pension has been seen as a cash center and has already been raided, meaning the post office must put EVEN MORE MONEY away to fund pensions.

The post office is not the problem, government liars and bureaucrats who sway the public opinion of the ignorant (such as people who believe the post office is "outdated" or "slow", which they aren't for the price they charge) into believing things are dire at the post office so they can steal even more of their money, are!

Don't believe everything you hear on CNN or read on the internet.


humanfilth

join:2013-02-14
cyber gutter

ah the postal service

One quick way to save money is to 100% drop Saturday deliveries.
the current plan is to drop only letters, but not packages, which will still result in potentially 100% of the delivery force coming in to deliver 1 package per route on Saturday. Minimum hours to pay those workers are for 4 hours, regardless if only one hour worked.

cost saving to only deliver packages? $2 billion. billion$ more would be saved by cutting all saturday delivery.

The teabag approved NSA can just count all the emails flowing through its snooping center, for the taxation numbers.

MURICA

join:2013-01-03
reply to skeechan

Re: Reagan was right

We need a new Godwin's law for whenever someone quotes Reagan.


impressed

@rr.com
reply to N3OGH

Re: Tax man....

That is CLEVER!!! Love it!!


aztr0

join:2007-10-28
Brooklyn, NY

please include a post subject

Want to fix USPS? Hire people who want to actually work. I go to my local USPS or any USPS from time to time and all I see are people that work in slow motion. They don't care the line is at the door, they take their sweet time. Get with the times, find certain ways to innovate and change, sticking to the old model in this world of advancing technology will not work.

raythompsontn

join:2001-01-11
Oliver Springs, TN
Reviews:
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Who does the metering and billing?

The ISPs are currently unable to determine how much bandwidth a user uses. If the tax is based on what the ISP says the user used then most will get charged more than what they actually should be charged.

What about unwanted SPAM? Will that get taxed? I don't want to get taxed on something that someone else sends me. It would be like asking me to pay for junk mail delivery to my physical mailbox.

No wonder California is screwed up with *ELECTED* people such as this idiot. California did it to themselves, keep it to themselves and don't let idiots from California screw up the rest of the country.


chip89
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reply to clone

Re: The post office should cut costs

With out the pensions thing they would of still lost 5.1 billion dollars so there!
»www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-575···on-loss/

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
reply to 88615298

Re: 1 cent per gigabyte tax

Ah...missed that it was bit not byte. That's crazy.

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: The post office should cut costs

So the main reason that they don't have self-serve kiosks is security.

Security THEATER. How does handing a sealed box to a clerk who just tosses into the bin any different than me personally placing it in a drop box? (Answer: none f'ing at all)

UPS has taken security a step further by requiring ID when you send a package.

Since when? I've shipped dozens of packages and never been asked by any clerk or driver for any form of ID at all -- hell, they don't even ask for ID to deliver packages. And BOTH UPS and Fedex have drop boxes all over the place.

(ironically, the one time (over 20 years ago) I've had to show ID and sign for a package was with, wait for it, USPS. There's a *reason* law firms use private couriers these days... ups/fedex/usps don't honor their "hand-deliver, id required" options.)

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
reply to pepsiaddict

why should USPS be treated any differently?

Because they are government business. Their existence is legislated -- and they MUST serve 100% of US territories. UPS and Fedex are private, for-profit companies with investors and shareholders, and is free to serve whomever and where ever they wish.

If you remember DHL... there were LOTS of places in the US where they didn't run. They wouldn't deliver packages there at all -- no hand off, NOTHING. And UPS/Fedex do not hand off to USPS unless you pay for that service. (and you'll be told about it up-front.) [Newegg and Amazon use that service, even in serviced areas; I've had numerous USPS last-mile-deliveries to commercial locations in Raleigh, where their drivers have to go *anyway* for pickups and empty the drop box.]


skeechan
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reply to MURICA

Re: Reagan was right

We need a new Godwin's law for whenever someone brings up Godwin's law.


skeechan
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reply to coldmoon

Re: 7 day a week package delivery

Services like UPS Mail Innovations are for bulk shippers that don't care when their stuff gets to where it is supposed to get to and UPS/Fedex do all the work of sorting and transport until the last mile. In exchange they get a cheaper rate. It has nothing to do with remote areas. UPS would still deliver there, just not with the UPS Mail Innovations level of "It'll get there whenever" service. I have received stuff shipped via Mail Innovations and I'm certainly not in a remote area.

Those partnerships aren't about UPS or Fedex not delivering to every zip code, but a slower and cheaper service than UPS or Fedex Ground...a service for bulk shippers like those of catalogs.

Even then it is completely irrelevant. I was shipping a priority mail parcel to Waco, TX and it took 10 weeks. I don't care what planet yer on, that is insane. The USPS can't be trusted with time critical anything.


TelecomEng

@rr.com
reply to skeechan

Re: Here's a better way to fix the Post Office...

said by skeechan:

No way because then they won't be saving the money they owe and they'll accumulate MASSIVE unfunded liabilities which the taxpayers will end up bailing out...just like the rest of the bankrupt government does, now close to $80 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

If they can't pre-fund their promises they shouldn't be promising.

Last I read, the USPS is one of better funded pension systems with 100% of the funding required to meet current and future benefits. Apparently they missed some payments in past years, but the numbers showed that they could have skipped payments for many years and the system would have survived for decades just on the interest earned by the current funds. In other words, there was no need for them to pre-fund the pension system.


TelecomEng

@rr.com
reply to andre2
said by andre2:

There is no such requirement. The correct number is 50 years.

I stand corrected.

The original point still stands, though, that the Act in question is a source of the USPS's current fiscal imbalance.


N3OGH
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reply to workablob

Re: Tax man....

LOL, AWESOME!

I love it...


wmcbrine
213 251 145 96

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Any relation to Steve?

My only question.

CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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reply to TelecomEng

Re: Here's a better way to fix the Post Office...

said by TelecomEng :

said by andre2:

There is no such requirement. The correct number is 50 years.

I stand corrected.

The original point still stands, though, that the Act in question is a source of the USPS's current fiscal imbalance.

Actually, 75 years is the correct number. Some are misstating it as '75 years into the future' but that is not right. The additional 25 years covers the current employees. It has to be funded 50 years into the future and 25 years into the past. Even at 50 years, the catchphrase is still accurate. Someone born this year could grow up, get hired by the post office, and retire after 25 years all by 2056.

The private sector also accumulates massive unfunded liabilities that the tax payers often end up bailing out... shouldn't they also be required to pre-fund?


Snakeoil
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Of course those elected to office would be exempt

Just like everything else they do, they will exempt themselves from paying this tax as well.


Nanoprobe
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Wozniak: this is for you