Monday, September 27, 2021
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Ending checks in Saturday mail hurts economy

The only business that President Obama insists make a profit is not a business. The Post Office is a constitutional department meant to unify the nation and empower the overall economy.

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to disburse packages six days a week, an apparent end-run around an unaccommodating Congress:

The service expects the Saturday mail cutback to begin the week of Aug. 5 and to save about $2 billion annually, said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe.

“Our financial condition is urgent,” Donahoe told a press conference.

The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services.

Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday, but would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.

Ending Saturday delivery of checks in mere envelopes to homes and businesses, essentially shrinks the economy for those sending and receiving checks not in more expensive “packages” and/or delivered to Post Office boxes rented at an extra expense, by 1/7 days or 14%. This shrinkage will harm the overall economy by slowing the turnover of money from buyers and sellers and will hit lower-income earners and small businesses hardest.

You can’t cash and spend a check until it arrives in the mail and 14-17% of them arrive on Saturday, with a large portion spent on that Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the next mail delivery. That money will no longer be available for spending until after mail delivery on Monday.

The Constitution of the United States was framed by the stanchest believers in free enterprise. Private delivery services existed in 1789 but the Founders, in their wisdom, considered a government subsidized postal service as essential to Liberty-fueled pursuits of happiness as the establishment of a Treasury:

That document [U.S. Constitution] also empowers Congress to raise taxes, establish Post Offices and post Roads (pictured, referencing Benjamin Franklin as first Postmaster General), raise and support Armies and provide and maintain a Navy. Just as we should not require the Department of Defense to take weekends off unless it raises funds to turn on the heat on Saturdays and Sundays via bake sales, neither should we shut off Americans from the unifying force of affordable mail communication due to poor management.

The Founders, and those that followed in the Daniel Webster/Andrew Jackson Era, deemed post offices and its roads essential to bind the nation; and history has born out their wisdom. Moreover, affordable postal services for all has proven and still is essential to a vibrant economy that allows any American to run a business from their home.

My fellow conservatives need to discover their inner originalist and eschew their penny-wise and pound foolishness. Save the Post Office, keep stamps under 50 cents and deliver mail Six days per week. Listen to Alexis De Tocqueville, the Frenchman who twice toured the United States in the early Nineteenth Century before penning his seminal Democracy in America (1835,1840):

The patriotic feeling that attached each of the Americans to his own state has become less exclusive, and different parts of the Union have become more amicable as they have become better acquainted with each other. The post, that great instrument of intercourse, now reaches into the backwoods…

America needs the wisdom of and unity with the backwoods and the inner city. Make Benjamin Franklin, our first Postmaster General, proud and support a vibrant USPS. Yes, the health benefits and pensions of the USPS are a problem that needs to be addressed, but this is true of all federal employees. Only at the Post Office, which sells products, are they held to an unrealistic “profit” standard to which no other government department is subject. Would that we scrutinized the EPA this closely for its job-killing regulations.

No government program or department, including the Post Office, should serve only as a jobs program for those it employs. But neither should its worth be judged by a standard unrelated to its mission. The most important function of the USPS is to bind the nation together in commerce and for that commerce to be fully realized it must continue to empower small business and lower-income patrons who live in a world that operates for at least six days per week, with one day of rest on Sunday. Two billion in savings is a rounding error not worthy of removing the post for so many.

Mike DeVine

Mike gamecock DeVine
A trial lawyer for two decades in South Carolina; owner of Ati Vista LLC since 2002 now associated with Lupa Law Firm; VP & Counsel for Buddy Allen Roofing & Construction Inc. since 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia; and a freelance writer, DeVine was the conservative voice of the Charlotte Observer from 2006-8 and has been the owner of HillbillyPolitics.com since 2009. www.devinelawvista.com

8 COMMENTS

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8 COMMENTS

  1. It’s the burden of their pension/healthcare obligations that takes all their money, otherwise they actually have enough to function six days a week. The post office is an example of the destruction of a business because of lack of common sense, union power and the idea that robbing Peter to pay Paul is a successful strategy. I’m with you, prefer to see the post office stick around.

    • Full disclosure: I get checks in the mail!…but even if I didn’t (and most payments to me are via debit/credit on website), it would hurt the economy for me because potential customers get checks in the mail. Thx LadyP.

  2. It also costs the wage-and-hour workers (90% of the Postal Service) about 14% of their weekly pay, or will force the layoff of an equivalent 14%. Salaried supervisory service not affected. Front office vs front lines. 1st class mail now only accounts for a small fraction of mail these day, the bulk mailings…addressed to Boxholder, Current Occupant, the coupons…the vast majority. A long of wrongs in the way USPS manages and does business going unfixed in this measure

    • Unlike most of what the federal government does, the USPS is constitutional and a great facilitator of commerce, especially given the subsidized cost of a letter, in which checks are sent from buyers to sellers. The cost of the USPS, even with all its flaws, is exponentially outweighed, imho, bu the benefits to national unity and commerce, esp for the low income, small business and entrepreneurs….I didn’t laugh at Johnny Carson’s post office jokes, except as related to their long slow lines at the Post Office proper. Love the cheap stamps and delivery times.

  3. And then there’s simple communication. Right now, we all use electricity to communicate. But that electricity, or other infrastructure, is at the mercy of the government. And we know that our wires can be tapped, or the signals transmitted electrically through the air as radio waves can be intercepted. Our movements are even being tracked via GPS software in conjunction with our cellphones, and soon in our automobiles. I don’t think it was ever legal for the government to open anyone’s mail, under any circumstances, except if you were a soldier in wartime.

  4. Gotta disagree Mike. Every check I get is mandatorily direct deposited and our mail never comes before noon on any day. Later on Saturday when banks are closed. Only people making money are those who charge a fee for cashing checks and I wish Congress would stop most of their days renaming post offices.

      • Mike I’ve tried that and I was told they aren’t allowed to accept food or drink from any one. Our service is via those little trucks. When one broke down in front of our house a few years ago the driver knocked at the door and asked me if I had a cordless phone he could use to call in because they aren’t allowed in the house either.

        So after he called in he waited in the garage where it was at least warmer until a replacement truck was brought.

        They get a tip and card from me at Christmas.

        I’d say 2/3 of our mail is junk, I think USPS has to cut costs like everyone else but I was for eliminating Tuesday delivery not Saturday.

  1. It’s the burden of their pension/healthcare obligations that takes all their money, otherwise they actually have enough to function six days a week. The post office is an example of the destruction of a business because of lack of common sense, union power and the idea that robbing Peter to pay Paul is a successful strategy. I’m with you, prefer to see the post office stick around.

    • Full disclosure: I get checks in the mail!…but even if I didn’t (and most payments to me are via debit/credit on website), it would hurt the economy for me because potential customers get checks in the mail. Thx LadyP.

  2. It also costs the wage-and-hour workers (90% of the Postal Service) about 14% of their weekly pay, or will force the layoff of an equivalent 14%. Salaried supervisory service not affected. Front office vs front lines. 1st class mail now only accounts for a small fraction of mail these day, the bulk mailings…addressed to Boxholder, Current Occupant, the coupons…the vast majority. A long of wrongs in the way USPS manages and does business going unfixed in this measure

    • Unlike most of what the federal government does, the USPS is constitutional and a great facilitator of commerce, especially given the subsidized cost of a letter, in which checks are sent from buyers to sellers. The cost of the USPS, even with all its flaws, is exponentially outweighed, imho, bu the benefits to national unity and commerce, esp for the low income, small business and entrepreneurs….I didn’t laugh at Johnny Carson’s post office jokes, except as related to their long slow lines at the Post Office proper. Love the cheap stamps and delivery times.

  3. And then there’s simple communication. Right now, we all use electricity to communicate. But that electricity, or other infrastructure, is at the mercy of the government. And we know that our wires can be tapped, or the signals transmitted electrically through the air as radio waves can be intercepted. Our movements are even being tracked via GPS software in conjunction with our cellphones, and soon in our automobiles. I don’t think it was ever legal for the government to open anyone’s mail, under any circumstances, except if you were a soldier in wartime.

  4. Gotta disagree Mike. Every check I get is mandatorily direct deposited and our mail never comes before noon on any day. Later on Saturday when banks are closed. Only people making money are those who charge a fee for cashing checks and I wish Congress would stop most of their days renaming post offices.

      • Mike I’ve tried that and I was told they aren’t allowed to accept food or drink from any one. Our service is via those little trucks. When one broke down in front of our house a few years ago the driver knocked at the door and asked me if I had a cordless phone he could use to call in because they aren’t allowed in the house either.

        So after he called in he waited in the garage where it was at least warmer until a replacement truck was brought.

        They get a tip and card from me at Christmas.

        I’d say 2/3 of our mail is junk, I think USPS has to cut costs like everyone else but I was for eliminating Tuesday delivery not Saturday.

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