Hey Mr. Postman, look & see—is it the economy or is your business model fundamentally flawed?
Today the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) rejected the U.S. Postal Service’s request for a postage rate hike. The good news is that postage rates won’t be going up in January. The bad news is that the struggling postal service, which has been hinting about the possibility of eliminating its Saturday service and losing billions of dollars in the past few months, may really be in dire straits. The agency requested the increase, arguing that the recession and recent mail volume declines were to blame for its recent financial woes, but the PRC ruled instead that the agency’s business model is fundamentally flawed. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) last week proposed a bill in Congress that would allow the postal service to set its own postage rates, delivery schedules and close down post offices as it sees fit, without seeking Congressional approval. Is this the nimble fix the postal service needs or just a bump in the agency’s slow demise, and the nation’s move towards privatized mail?
Ruth Goldway, Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission
Robert Cohen, former head of the Office of Technical Analysis and Planning at the Postal Rate Commission (now the Postal Regulatory Commission); he recently completed a study commissioned by the Office of the Inspector General for the Postal Service, Implications of declining volume on the financial sustainability of the postal service