Editorial: Five-day Postal Service proposal delivers

By Staff Editorial

In an effort to negotiate economic difficulties, the U.S. Postal Service might be deducting… In an effort to negotiate economic difficulties, the U.S. Postal Service might be deducting from its daily duties.

On Wednesday, the postmaster general announced to Congress that the post office is asking to reduce the delivery of mail to five days a week, according to the Associated Press.

The Postal Service would not necessarily cut Saturday delivery should its schedule be abbreviated. Tuesdays are typically one of the lightest days in mail flow, according to previous post office studies. So the service might forego a business day.

Regardless of which day the Postal Service might select to omit, its proposed measure is an acceptable response to dealing with the difficult economic conditions.

Last year the post office was $2.8 billion in the red, and it’s projected to lose $6 billion this fiscal year.

Although stamping out a day of mail delivery might seem like a drastic measure, there are appropriate substitutes and solutions to sending snail mail.

By no means is the Postal Service the only agent that can transmit mail. Privatized services such as UPS, DHL and FedEx all offer services involving sending and receiving mail. Consumers are far from helpless — even when the Postal Service has the day off — should they need to mail something on the fly.

Other technologies also exist that provide a similar service as snail mail. Since before the turn of the 21st century, e-mail has been a predominant method of sending mail. E-mail is quite often preferred since it’s faster than snail mail and just as — if not more so — reliable.

Faxing, although not quite cutting-edge technology, provides another alternative to using the mail.

Individuals that are not up to speed with technology or don’t have access to e-mail would have to rely on privatized services.’

Snail mail, as its name implies, is infamously noted for being, well, slow. Letters sent through the mail, unless sent overnight, are usually expected to take a few days to deliver. If delivery takes one extra day, the change wouldn’t be terribly drastic or intolerable.

Should the post office consider raising money by means of a hike in stamp prices or a boost in taxes, both measures would likely be ill perceived by the American people. The next increase in postal rate — scheduled for May — is projected to raise stamps by 2 cents from its current 42-cent first-class rate. A price boost beyond the typical, steady increments would likely result in fewer users of the Postal Service and thus more debt for the post office.

A Postal Service study projected annual savings of $3.5 billion should the service stop one day a week.

‘ The decision to take out a day of delivery would be a great compromise for both the post office and the American people, but the result might be for the better in the long run. It is better to lose one day a week of service than to lose the service entirely.