‘U.S. Postal Service Reports $15.9 Billion Loss’

Ron Nixon, reporting for the New York Times, on the recent absurd USPS financial loss:

The Postal Service on Thursday reported a record $15.9 billion net loss for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, bringing the financially troubled agency another step closer to insolvency.

Additionally he notes:

Nearly $5 billion in other losses were because of a decline in revenue from mailing operations. The agency also reached its $15 billion borrowing limit from the Treasury.

The USPS, isn’t stupid enough to think that they don’t need to change, no Congress are the ones stupid enough to keep USPS from changing. The USPS wants to cut back to five days a week and grow into shipping beer and wine. Yet Congress hasn’t allowed it.

This is so beyond stupid. Here we are as taxpayers, paying for a company to exist that just lost almost $16 billion dollars in one year, when the solutions are so obvious:

  • Cut costs.
  • Raise rates.

I get that not everyone has a computer and therefore mail service for all is still seen as a vital infrastructure component for the U.S., but I have to wonder how many computers $16 billion would buy because perhaps the solution is dissolution of the USPS.

That is: if we shut down USPS, repurposed all the money they were blowing through on providing those without means an iPad and low-cost internet, how much of the money that we allocate to USPS would we (as a nation) use?

Wikipedia notes that the USPS has an annual budget of $70.634 billion dollars: that’s 175 million iPads at $399 for an iPad 2. So not every U.S. citizen, but it’s not like we are talking unfeasible to think we could just give people a different communication means and shut down the money pit that is the USPS.

Hell, we could buy 351 million Nexus 7s. And as best I can tell we only need to buy 70 million devices to reach those that don’t currently have internet connectivity. So we would be half way there in one year’s budget for the USPS. And then save $70 billion a year every year afterwards — that’s almost a no-brainer.

Now, I’m not saying we do this, but this should put the absurdity of the USPS in perspective.

Again, over a five year period (it seems) that it would be cheaper to supply every non-internet-connected American with a tablet and subsidize internet access, then it would be to continue to operate the United States Postal Service. Think about that.

Updated on November 16, 2012 to fix a decimal point error that makes this an even stronger case.

Originally posted for members on: November 16, 2012
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