At the start of 2011, the US Postal Service faces a crisis. Their crisis is not uncommon with many other businesses or even other branches of government. However, with a more modern day electronic way of communicating, they’re simply losing too much money. In fact many have reported that just in 2010 alone, the post office lost approximately $8.5 billion in losses. liteblue usps
The United States Post Office claims that much of their loss is how the way Americans have changed with the times. People are doing much more online these days compared to mailing out their items. For example, more people are paying their bills online or in lieu of writing letters, like the old days, they are emailing or texting. Although the post office is part of the government, it is still a business and businesses are designed to make a profit and not lose money.
Therefore the government feels forced to close down an additional 2,000 post offices, to go along with the 491 offices it had already planned and may start as early as March 2011. Liteblue USPS Gov Login On top of that, they will be reviewing an additional 16,000 unprofitable locations for possible closings down the road.
For many towns, the news is devastating. In your smaller, more rural towns, the post office is the local meeting place. Many of these folks live a bit of a distance and therefore are already driving to get their mail, have a cup of coffee and exchange conversation with other locals. In addition, these same people will be forced to drive further distances. In bigger cities, drivers will also be forced to drive further for the post office creating more traffic on the city streets. In both cases, an increase of gasoline will ultimately become another issue.
Residents will continue to receive their mail delivered to their homes or at mailboxes that have been clustered together instead of making the further trips into the next town.
However, one problem the post office may have before it can start all these closures, is a current law that only allows their closures in the event there are lease expirations, maintenance issues or any other reasons that do not include profitability. Senator Thomas Carper (D., Del.) suggested repealing the wording that is in the law which refers that a small post office can’t be shut down solely for running a deficit.
It’s not as if the government has not taken advantage of this loophole. As late as 2010, 408 offices were never reopened after being suspended for services that were in need of some type of rendering.