Do you ever tire of articles, op-ed pieces, commentary from TV Talking Heads that avoid the point altogether? Here’s this week’s best example – Bob Greene at CNN offering a “humorous” commentary about the US Postal Service:
You seemed a little bit interested in last Sunday’s column: the one about the prospect of Saturday mail delivery being eliminated by the U.S. Postal Service.
That is what Postmaster General John E. Potter has asked Congress to authorize. Because of a budget crisis and a drastic decline in the number of items Americans send through the mail each year (an estimated 20 billion fewer items mailed this year alone), Potter wants to stop delivering mail on Saturdays.
Along with last week’s column, there was a feature where readers were invited to cast their votes on the subject (not a scientific poll, as they say; I think this means that Albert Einstein wasn’t counting the ballots).
More than 397,000 of you took the time to vote. The question was: “Would you miss Saturday mail if the Postal Service stopped delivering it?…”
Sixty-eight percent of you said you would not miss the Saturday mail if it stopped coming. Only 32 percent of you said you would miss it…
Postmaster General Potter says that getting rid of Saturday delivery would save more than $3 billion a year. My guess is that not only are they going to have to do away with Saturday mail — the time is probably coming when delivery on other days of the week will disappear, too.
So the question is not whether the days of mail delivery will be curtailed. It’s whether we will be happy about it.
The real problem hasn’t changed in 50 years. Junk mail doesn’t pay for itself.
The sleazy junk mail factories should be subsidizing the post office for all of us! From Capital One to Publishers Clearinghouse to my local Chevy Dealer’s Lucky Ignition Key – do you think these cruds look forward to shipping “the latest, greatest cookbook offer” to my front door via UPS or FedEx?
Congress will likely discover some populist lie acceptable to both Republican and Democrat lobbyists to maintain USPS subsidies. You wouldn’t want America’s biggest freeloaders to carry their own weight would you?
What I also don’t expect is an honest challenge to the corporate status quo from a smiley flack working for Time-Warner.