Post offices deliver essential services to communities, including universal access to mail and parcels, but also access to benefits, bill payment and banking services. They are particularly important to consumers in deprived urban areas and rural areas with limited access to alternative services.
“Post offices play a vital role at the heart of local communities. “Consumers and businesses rely on the Post Office for many services, not just sending and receiving parcels but accessing banking, getting local information and paying bills.
The reason that the US post offices are so important is that they are able to provide all of us with services that we may otherwise not be able to afford, and this includes the ability to have our mail delivered to us on time.
What is the importance of a post office?
Every village tool has a post office. It is a very important building as it is the centre of all postal] activity in a locality and letters remain the most widely used mode of communication in India. A post office is headed by a Post Master who looks after the working of the postal) department of the area.
What is a community post office?
A community post office (CPO) is a facility of the United States Postal Service located in and operated by a non-postal facility, such as a store.
How does a postal service work for office administrators?
Office administrators rely on postal service deliveries of office supplies and products ordered online and through catalogs. Postal services also allow busy office administrators to track and confirm shipments to ensure timely arrival. Postal services and systems are critical to the daily operations of business offices.
Is there a post office in every town or city?
There is a post office in almost every locality in a town or city. Every village tool has a post office. It is a very important building as it is the centre of all postal] activity in a locality and letters remain the most widely used mode of communication in India.
Richard Brown looks at how changes to local post offices affect consumers and describes the role of Citizens Advice in monitoring them
- This article was first published in the July 2017 issue of Adviser magazine, and the information included within it was accurate at the time of publication. In addition to providing universal access to mail and packages, post offices also provide access to benefits, bill payment, and banking services to the general public in their respective towns. Their importance is particularly great for customers who live in economically depressed urban and rural locations with limited access to alternative services. 88 percent of British customers believe that their local post office is as important or more important to their local community now than it was five years ago, according to a recent Citizens Advice survey. Every week, around 17 million people visit one of the 11,600 post offices in the United Kingdom. Although this is the case, the post office network has been operating at a loss since 2000 as a result of a reduction in customer visits, a decrease in revenue from government services, the loss of major contracts, and greater competition. Approximately 7,500 traditional sub-post office branches have been converted into new operating models as part of the Network Transformation Programme (NTP), which began in 2010 and is scheduled to conclude in April 2018. Because of the NTP, many branches have relocated to other local business locations in order to decrease the need for future network subsidies in order to save money. There are two new types of post office sub-branch available now: Post Office Mains can be found in bigger town and city center retailers and shopping malls. During normal business hours, they provide a wide variety of merchandise at a specialized post office counter. Outside of normal working hours, they may also provide a limited selection of items and services at the retail counter
- Post Office Locals can be found in a number of retail establishments, including convenience shops, off-licenses, gas stations, pharmacies, and pubs. They provide a more limited variety of items at the retail counter, with the exception of some banking and international postal services, and they are open for longer hours.
- While the majority of customers will benefit from the extended hours, clients who require certain additional services may be required to drive to alternate locations to obtain them.
- According to the government, it has promised to protecting 3,000 ‘community branches,’ which are typically found in rural shops or the last shop in a hamlet.
- Together with investment in the NTP, this has resulted in less than 300 branch closures in the period between 2010 and 2015.
- A crown post office is one of the largest Post Office Ltd branches directly run by the company, and they are located in landmark stores on the high street.
- They provide a comprehensive selection of products as well as access to government and identification services.
- The number of Crown branches has decreased from 600 in 2000 to about 300 currently.
- The Post Office has revealed plans to franchise or move around 33 percent of the Crown network to alternative local merchants, such as WH Smith, in order to decrease operational costs.
- This announcement was made in January 2016.
- In each of these instances, the Post Office will consult with members of the public.
The role of Citizens Advice
- Post Office Ltd, which was established in 2012 and is controlled by the government, was formerly known as Royal Mail.
- In contrast to the Royal Mail, which is governed by the Office of Communications, there is no regulator for the post office network.
- As of April 2014, Citizens Advice assumed the position of consumer watchdog in the postal industry from its predecessor organization, Consumer Futures, which had served in that capacity since 1997.
- This implies that we have a legal obligation to monitor and advocate for postal customers, including their access to critical services such as letters and packages delivered through the post office distribution system.
- The number and location of post offices in England, Wales, and Scotland are also subject to a legal need for us to keep track of them.
- Monitoring the influence of local developments, legislation, and research, we strive to create a sustainable post office network that is accessible to all and serves the demands of present and future consumers.
- We fight for the needs of all consumers and small companies, and we encourage decision-making that is centered on the requirements of the customer.
- Those who are elderly, disabled, on low incomes, or who live in rural or isolated locations are among the most vulnerable consumers, and we have special consideration for them.
Our case handling function
- Citizens Advice examines each and every Crown franchise and NTP relocation plan in order to assist minimise any risk of damage to local consumers and to limit the disruption caused to them. Our case handling team conducts a thorough examination of ideas, which includes the use of geographic information systems (GIS) maps, Google Street View, the availability of public transportation, the position of bus stops, and demographic information on the surrounding population. Post Office Ltd provides us with all of the consumer consultation and engagement input they get, and we meet with them once a week to discuss how we can make changes before making a final decision. We are unable to prevent a proposal from moving forward, but we can request a further review if there is evidence that significant consumer harm could be caused. For example, if older or disabled people will have difficulty accessing the new location or if they will incur unnecessary costs to access their benefits, we can request a further review. With Post Office Ltd, we reached agreement on changes in 88 percent of instances during the previous financial year (2016–17), following the evaluation of 8,542 consultation answers and petitions signed by more than 6,000 persons. The enhancements might be divided into three major categories: Specifically, we agreed on particular modifications in 42 percent of situations, such as the addition of a permanent ramp or temporary ramp, raising entrance width, easing of heavy doors, adjustments to the store layout to enhance aisle widths, and providing enough turning circles.
- Obtaining access to the new premises: In 54 percent of situations, the new operator agreed to explore further renovations to make it easier for consumers to get into the building. These include the installation of extra lighting and security CCTV, as well as working with the local authority to examine dropped kerbs, designate accessible parking spaces, and install pedestrian crossings where necessary.
- Product and service accessibility: In 8% of cases, Post Office Ltd agreed to improve the goods and services in order to reduce the burden on consumers who would otherwise have to make repeated bus trips.
- One such instance is the case of a branch in the Kent town of Staplehurst.
- In May 2017, Post Office Ltd proposed to relocate the branch from its current position on the village’s main High Street to a new location on the outskirts of the community.
- There were 206 replies to the survey, including five from local politicians and a petition with 496 signatures, according to Post Office Ltd.
- Consumer advocacy group Citizens Advice expressed grave concerns about the negative impact that the proposal would have on local consumers’ access to essential services, given the limited availability of direct public transportation and the restricted availability of parking at the proposed new location.
- When Post Office Ltd looked through the replies collected as part of the consultation process and the issues identified by Citizens Advice, they determined they would not move forward with the relocation project.
A formal role in post office changes
- It may come as a surprise to learn that, according to their Code of Practice, Post Office Ltd is required to notify the nearest local Citizens Advice and other designated local representatives of any post office modifications and public consultations that take place.
- This has been agreed upon with Citizens Advice (as well as consumer organizations in Scotland and Northern Ireland), and it outlines how Post Office Ltd will communicate and engage with the public about network modifications.
- It also establishes a two-stage process for addressing complaints, which can be initiated with Post Office Ltd and then sent to Citizens Advice for independent review, among other things.
Our official case-handling responsibilities will be transferred to the NTP in April 2018.Citizens Advice will collaborate with Post Office Ltd to evaluate the Code of Practice in order to identify whether modifications may be made to expedite consultation processes while still protecting the interests of consumers.Continuing beyond April 2018, consumer organizations, in our opinion, should continue to play a role in providing appropriate scrutiny of future developments.However, we would appreciate hearing from you about how local changes have impacted customers.
To evaluate post-implementation adjustments and the customer experience, we are launching a trial in Wales in partnership with local Citizens Advice.Please get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about this or if you have any comments or suggestions.Our email address is [email protected], and we can be reached on Twitter at @cabpost.Please also get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about any post office changes in your area, or if you want more information or assistance following the closure of a local branch.
The Importance of Postal Services & Systems in Office Administration
Office administrators rely on the accuracy and efficiency of postal services and delivery systems in order to carry out their day-to-day operations.Communication with customers, clients, contractors, distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers is a critical component of running a successful business.Increased reliance on international postal services and international mail networks as a result of global business possibilities
Certified Mail and Delivery Confirmations
Getty Images/Purestock/Purestock/Purestock It is important to note that the rising use of electronic technology has not diminished the significance of all postal services, including international mail networks.The postal service delivers certified mail and delivery confirmations, which give office managers with peace of mind that their documents or goods have been delivered correctly and on time to their locations.The cost of postage and the time it will take to send your package may be calculated online to save time.
Small Packages and Large Deliveries
Images courtesy of MonkeyBusinessImages/iStock/Getty Images Important notices, signed contracts, written letters, tiny items, and huge deliveries are all sent and received by office administrators using postal services and systems.Despite the fact that cell phones, text messaging, email conversations, and fax transmissions have diminished the usage of general letter services, they cannot completely replace the importance of the postal system.Office managers rely on postal service delivery of office supplies and items bought online or through catalogs to keep their operations running smoothly and efficiently.Postal services also make it possible for harried office administrators to trace and confirm shipments in order to ensure that they arrive on time.
Daily Operations and Accounting Methods
Image courtesy of Phoenix0013/iStock/Getty Images In the world of business, postal services and systems are essential to the smooth running of the company.The effectiveness of the delivery systems is critical for office managers who rely on them to send out paycheck stubs, company invoices, and bill payments on time.However, despite the fact that the vast majority of businesses provide electronic services, many offices still rely on traditional accounting systems and pay operating expenditures using corporate checks.Postal employees simply pick up outgoing mail every day at around the same time, making it handy for everyone.
Traditional postal services provide ease, dependability, and dependability to its customers.
And Why Trump’s War on it is Both Unconstitutional and Undemocratic
The United States Postal Service has existed longer than the United States of America.The idea was first proposed by printer William Goddard in 1774 as a way to keep the colonies informed of the secretive and soon-to-be seditious work of the 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses.However, it was not officially adopted by the Congress until the escalating battles of Lexington and Concord the following spring.For the record, it was Goddard’s very own business partner Benjamin Franklin, who was the most outspoken advocate for the motion, eventually being appointed as the new nation’s first Postmaster General.
As a result of the office’s original mission and sole concern for keeping its citizens informed and engaged in the country’s affairs, it was deemed so critical to the revolutionary war effort that it was one of the few federal agencies explicitly sanctioned by the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 7), which officially empowers Congress to ″Establish Post Offices and Post Roads.″ President George Washington signed the legislative Postal Service Act in 1792, and the office has been in operation in some form or another since that time (elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, before being transformed nearly a century later into an independent agency by the Postal Reorganizational Act of 1970).The phrase ″Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,″ which is widely believed to be the Post Office’s official motto, is actually attributed to the ancient historian Herodotus (c.484 — c.425 BC), who was himself awestruck by the incredible infrastructure of the Persian empire, with whom the Greeks had recently been at war.It does, however, have an official mission: ″The Postal Service shall have as its fundamental purpose the commitment to offer postal services to the people in order to bind the Nation together via personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence.″ It is responsible for providing timely, dependable, and effective services to customers in all locations, as well as providing postal services to all localities.Moreover, that simple motto serves as a reminder of all that is great about the Post Office, as well as everything that is either wrong or terribly mistaken in President Trump’s unfair and self-serving campaign on it.
For example, the President recently criticized the Postal Service for its economic inefficiency, claiming, ″The Postal Service is a joke…should boost the price of a parcel by nearly four times.″ But what our businessman President doesn’t seem to get is that the Post Office was never intended to be lucrative, or even to run at a loss, but rather to provide a critical service to all citizens of the United States.The Post Office, like public education, social security, infrastructure, as well as police, fire, sanitation, and other social services, was intended to operate democratically (rather than capitalistically), ensuring that all citizens are able to take advantage of its services simply as a right of citizenship, regardless of their personal wealth, social or political prominence, or geographical location.Even if the Post Office were to continue to lose taxpayer money in perpetuity (as its critics frequently claim), I would argue that the services it provides — low-cost personal, professional, and legal correspondence; home delivery of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other life-saving supplies; and the means by which we conduct the nation’s business (including the collection of taxes, the completion of the census, and the conducting of free and fair elections for those who live in the United States) — outweigh the costs.Privatization the Post Office would almost certainly increase its profitability, just as privatizing public education or social security would almost certainly increase their profitability.As a result, the quality of and accessibility to the important services offered by these organizations and projects will surely suffer as a result of this policy change.Take, for example, the discussion presently raging between proponents of a private, for-profit healthcare system (such as the one currently in place in America) and supporters for a taxpayer-funded, single payer system (such as those in Europe) (such as exists in most of the rest of the industrialized world).
While it is undeniably true that American medical and pharmaceutical companies are leaders in the world in terms of available surgical technologies, drug and vaccine development, and therapeutic and palliative care innovations, the costs of these for-profit advancements have preemptively put the life-saving services they provide out of reach for the majority of the population in the United States.Even for those who are financially lucky enough to be able to finance their initial care, the future expenditures are sometimes catastrophic, leaving the survivor (or the family of those who were not so fortunate) with a possible lifetime of financial obligations.As a result, profit and patriotism are incompatible concepts in business.
- If one’s attention is continually drawn to the former, it is inevitable that the latter will suffer as a result.
- Although true, even this argument in favor of fiscal prudence is deceptive in nature, as the Postal Service’s financial troubles were exacerbated by political opponents of the agency’s privatization.
- According to the Washington Post, ″the Postal Service has not received federal funding since 1970, instead relying on revenue generated by stamp sales and other products.″ The Postal Service is also ″burdened by a congressional requirement to pre-fund its health benefits for retired employees,″ according to the newspaper.
- Because of this congressionally instigated issue, the Post Office has been more bankrupt in recent decades, lending seeming credence to the screams of those who oppose the government.
- Similarly, public education has suffered as a result of profit-driven initiatives such as ″No Child Left Behind″ and ″Race to the Top,″ both of which emphasize and enrich educational technology and private testing companies, often at the expense of teachers, students, supplies, and support staff, among other things.
- Either the well-being of our citizens is of paramount importance, or the riches of our companies and campaign donors is of vital importance.
We are unable to simultaneously meet the desires and requirements of both.A rare moment of honesty occurred early last month when President Obama acknowledged the root of his frustration with the Postal Service.According to the Chicago Tribune at the time, ″Trump stated that if the United States went to all-mail voting, ‘you would never have a Republican elected in this nation again.’″ Here’s when things get a little tricky.If we are talking about a really democratic process, the President is confident that his party will not be victorious.
Richard L.Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and author of The Voting Wars, explained that in a study examining mail-in voter fraud in all American elections between 2000 and 2012, ″the total number of cases was just 491 — during a period in which literally billions of votes were cast.″ Assuming that expanding the electorate to include every eligible voter would be disastrous for the Republican Party, it may be time for the party’s leadership to take a hard look at why this is the case and adjust their strategy accordingly rather than continuing their partisan efforts to jury-rig and gerrymander their way to victory.It follows that the postal service, which is responsible for the collection of taxes and the administration of the Constitutionally mandated census — which together comprise the pillars of our republic — can also be trusted to handle the nation’s elections.Overall, the Postal Service is just as important to the administration of national affairs as the President himself, which brings us to the conclusion that Both are legally mandated to serve the interests of the American people, without regard to profit, political party, or individual.They are also obligated to do so without favor or bias toward any profit, political party, or individual.
- As a result of this simple yet intransigent fact, I believe that the praise Charles W.
- Eliot once bestowed upon the United States Postal Service should be equally applicable to the current occupant of the Oval Office:I believe it is past time for this President and the people he serves to bear this in mind
Post offices more important to local community than pubs, finds Citizens Advice
According to recent data from Citizens Advice, people consider having a post office in their local community to be more essential than having a pub in their town.BT Consumer found that half of Britons (49 percent) believe that a post office branch is one of the most important services in their local community after conducting a historic survey on how people use the Post Office.An important post office was considered higher in importance by respondents than a bank branch (31%), a library (29 percent), or a pub (7%).(25 percent ).
People most frequently selected convenience shops as one of their top three most important local services, according to a survey (74 percent ) There are around 11,600 post offices in the United Kingdom, which provide a variety of services ranging from parcel delivery to passport applications, bill payment to banking.According to the findings of the new survey, more than half of individuals (59 percent) say they visit the post office at least once a month, with almost all (96 percent) stating that they use the post office to mail letters and parcels or to buy stamps.Two out of every five individuals (38 percent) also visit the post office to return mail-order items, highlighting the relevance of the Post Office in an era when online shopping is becoming increasingly popular.A thriving post office network, according to Citizens Advice, is essential for many small businesses, with nearly two-thirds (62 percent) – more than 2 million – using them at least once a month.This shows that a thriving post office network is not only essential for consumers, but it is also essential for the UK economy.Since 2010, a significant transformation effort has been undertaken at the United Kingdom’s post offices, and by March 2018, two-thirds of the country’s branches will have switched to new operating models.
Many are now housed in convenience stores, corner shops, and gas stations rather than in separate buildings or buildings with separate entrances.According to Citizens Advice, this scheme has been a qualified success in terms of ensuring that the vast majority of people have convenient access to a post office – with the number of places where people may access Post Office services staying roughly the same as before.Citizens Advice conducted a mystery shopping exercise at the Post Office, which revealed that the quality of service in the new branch models is on par with or better than that of traditional post offices.In order to ensure that individuals can access a local post office that meets their requirements, Citizens Advice is asking on the government to provide adequate funding for the post office in order to preserve the present network of 11,600 branches until the transformation plan is finished.According to Gillian Guy, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice, ″Post offices play an important role at the heart of local communities.″ For a variety of services, consumers and companies turn to the Post Office.In addition to shipping and receiving packages, customers may access financial services, obtain local information, and pay bills.
This preference for a post office over a nearby tavern or bank demonstrates how highly people appreciate this service.When it comes to ensuring that customers can use Post Office services, the government’s Network Transformation Programme has had a largely positive impact.Citizens Advice will continue to monitor the impact of the Post Office’s adjustments and will ensure that the service continues to suit the requirements of the public.
- When the Transformation Programme is finished, ″we strongly advise that the next government ensures that the current level of financing for the post office network is maintained, so that the Post Office can continue to deliver its critical service.″
Why We Need the Post Office and What You Can Do To Support
The slogan of the United States Postal Service is, ″Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor blackness of night prevents our couriers from completing their assigned rounds as quickly as they are scheduled to.″ Over the entryway to the United States Post Office on Eighth Avenue in New York City, a phrase etched into grey granite bears the words The Post Office, on the other hand, is under attack in this election year, and in certain areas, the mail that we’ve all grown to rely on for things like prescriptions and bills, as well as the more regular odd Covid purchases, isn’t even arriving at all.While the mail is something that we all take for granted, and we expect it to arrive on a regular basis every day, six days a week (Monday through Saturday), the changes that have been enacted by the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, are significant, and they can be life-threatening for some of the most vulnerable people in the country.The problems produced by DeJoy’s downsizing, as well of the ongoing deficit that the Post Office is operating under, have prompted considerable worries regarding mail-in voting across the country, to the point that DeJoy went before Congress on August 24 to explain his actions.The Postal Service of the United States is critical to our democratic process.
Photograph by Zenobillis/Getty Images The USPS is reporting rotting food, large heaps of mail — including prescriptions — that have gone unsorted and undelivered, and even dead animals and vermin, in spite of the president’s assurance that the changes are intended to make the USPS more efficient.James O’Rourke is a professor of business administration at the University of Notre Dame, and he has been paying careful attention to the way the Post Office has been handled for many years.It is his belief that the adjustments DeJoy has implemented are meant to increase pressure on the organization and make it appear inefficient.″The folks who have influence and direction over the United States Postal Service are attempting to make it harder to do business in the current form,″ O’Rourke argues.″A very broad axe has been wielded against the organization’s costs, and it would be nice to argue that the postmaster general is simply putting some tough love and discipline into the organization.That is, unless you take a closer look at the figures.
The savings that he has achieved will not even come close to bridging the budget shortfall that the USPS is now experiencing.The cuts would simply slow down the delivery of mail, increasing the level of anxiety among those who rely on the postal service.″
What’s going on with the Post Office?
For the most part, the quickest and best response is that it’s complicated, and many people who pay close attention to the events and policies at the Post Office feel that the organization’s present manipulations are motivated by political reasons.The reason behind this is as follows.On August 24, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy spoke before the United States CongressPool The United States Postal Service is a federal service that operates independently of the federal government.It is a member of the Executive Branch and one of the few government agencies whose existence is explicitly stated in the United States Constitution (in Article I, Section VIII).
Historically, Benjamin Franklin served as the nation’s first Postmaster General, and George Washington believed that through newspaper delivery, the postal service was the most effective means of ″cultivating committed American citizens,″ according to National Geographic, by keeping the vast and rapidly expanding nation connected and informed.The Postal Service Act of 1792 was the legislation that formally created the postal service.After nearly 200 years, the postal employees went on strike in 1970, claiming that their pay did not cover the costs of food and accommodation.Postal workers were forced to rely on food stamps and assistance, and the service was so backlogged as a result of budget cuts that Christmas gifts were still being delivered on Valentine’s Day, according to National Geographic.As a result, the first attempt to manage the postal service more like a company was launched.A statute passed in 1971 transformed the Postal Service into a government-owned corporation whose only financial obligation was that it achieve a net profit.
By the 1990s, the United States Postal Service was making a profit.Following the widespread use of email, revenues began to drop as a result of consumers and organizations simply sending fewer correspondences.Another law, passed in 2006, had an influence on the Postal Service.The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, as it was known at the time, rigidly defined mail as parcels and letters and mandated that the United States Postal Service (USPS) finance retirement benefits for employees 75 years in the future.Since then, the United States Postal Service has not been profitable.Post offices around the country are reporting rotting food, massive heaps of mail, including prescriptions, that have gone unsorted and undeliverable, and unsorted and undelivered packages.
In the words of Professor O’Rourke, ″There has been no other federal body burdened with that type of pre-funding obligation.″ In 2017, however, even though this obligation was no longer in effect, the Postal Service continues to make such contributions into a health care trust fund, which is known as the retirees health care trust fund.The United States Postal Service is in debt to the tune of $161 billion, with $120 billion of the debt owing to financing retiree benefits.″It is this gap that has been a cause of constant contention.
- So much so that the Post Office itself issued a warning about the serious cash shortages in 2010 and proposed change.
- Relief, on the other hand, has been delayed.
- Now, fast forward to the present: The outbreak of the pandemic had a negative impact on the United States Postal Service, since fewer individuals delivered mail and parcels, and mail workers were on the front lines of it all, as they are vital employees.
- Additionally, President Trump has been engaged in a year-long effort to undermine the dependability of the United States Postal Service, and he has now moved his attention to voting by mail.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided guidelines in June recommending that providing voters with alternate voting alternatives, such as voting by mail, would be the most effective strategy to limit the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading.
- Despite the fact that it is unknown which political party, Democrats or Republicans, would gain from mail-in voting, the general consensus is that more Democrats would vote by mail.
As his poll ratings continue to dwindle, Trump continues to tweet outright lies regarding the security of mail-in ballots.His behavior has gotten so severe that Twitter has flagged a number of the President’s tweets as breaking their Civic Integrity Policy because he has been tweeting inaccurate information and making false claims about the United States Postal Service on an ongoing basis.People from all across Los Angeles have gathered to campaign for the United States Postal Service.Photographs courtesy of Getty Images Recently, however, the United States Postal Service issued a warning to 46 states, stating that mail delivery might be delayed, as well as possible difficulties with mail-in votes, as a result of budget cuts enacted by the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy.
In addition to being a Trump appointment, DeJoy is also a longstanding Trump contributor who, according to the New York Times, has given more than $1.2 million to Trump and $1.3 million to the Republican Party in total.DeJoy also served as the G.O.P.’s deputy national fund-raising chairman for a period of time.DeJoy was appointed to the job of Postmaster General in June of this year.Since then, he has implemented significant reforms that have had an influence on postal service across the country.He has compelled large post offices to take actions such as dismantling sorting machinery and limiting overtime for postal workers, as well as forcing mail trucks to leave on predetermined schedules, regardless of whether or not they are fully stocked with packages.
- ″After the Postmaster General’s statement on August 24, he has made it apparent that he will not be returning anything that he has taken out of the Post Office,″ Professor O’Rourke said.
- In fact, once the election is finished, he intends to take out even more money.
- The United States Postal Service is not required to generate a profit.
- It only has to make a good faith attempt to break even in order to be successful.
- In order to offer a necessary service, the postal service was established.
- Essentially, the idea is that the private sector is capable of handling letter delivery.
- The reality is that the private sector is incapable of dealing with it.
- From what we have learned, we can only assume that the administration wishes to impair or cripple the postal service.
- Why would they do anything like that?
- They hope to demonstrate that the service is unreliable and inefficient, and they hope to persuade the public that the government should privatize the service in the future.
- ″The most important thing we can do to rescue the Post Office is to ensure that everyone who is qualified to vote utilizes their right to participate in the process.
- Professor O’Rourke, on the other hand, asserts that the private sector cannot, despite what the government would have the American people think, handle what is known as the ″last mile″ delivery of mail and supplies while also remaining financially viable.
Publicly traded firms such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and DHL all outsource their last-mile delivery to the United States Postal Service since it is considerably more cost-effective for both consumers and stockholders to do so.The United States Postal Service (USPS) is responsible for the distribution of mail and goods from a central hub to the local doorsteps of millions of individuals on a daily basis.Their mule train, which brings mail, food, and other supplies to the Grand Canyon’s base, is the most impressive feature of their operation.Professor O’Rourke believes that major, private companies would be unable to take on such a challenge while maintaining shareholder satisfaction.It’s simply prohibitively pricey.″Assume you’re doing some comparison shopping and you’re delivering a conventional 11×14 envelope with 12-14 ounces of stuff.
- If you wanted to mail it anyplace in the United States, the Post Office would charge you anything from $1.45 to $1.80.
- FedEx would charge you $19 for shipping.
- That is a price that the upper class would consider insignificant.
- The middle class may shudder a little, but they will still do it.
- It is simply unaffordable for the working class in our country.
- If the United States Postal Service is privatized, they will be cut out of the system ″According to O’Rourke.
What Can We Do To Save the Post Office?
In the words of Professor O’Rourke, ″buying stamps is not going to save the Post Office.″ ″It will barely close 2-4 percent of the gap,″ says the author.However, there are activities you may do that will have a more substantial influence than simply purchasing items and stamps from the United States Postal Service (they offer a beautiful dog costume, an excellent magic kit, and some fantastic matchbox cars, among other things).The House of Representatives enacted an emergency $2.5 billion package during the weekend of August 22 that included wording that would prevent any additional modifications by DeJoy until after the election and provide a minor financial infusion to the United States Postal Service.Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) delivered the measure immediately to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has stated that he would not allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor and has effectively pocket vetoed it.
O’Rourke points out that even if the law were to get through the Senate, the President would not sign it into effect.However, O’Rourke cautioned that calling senators and exerting pressure on them was the wisest course of action, not pushing the legislation through.As a result, the Postal Service would have significantly more money if Congress eliminated the retirement funding obligation for the organization.The best thing we can do to rescue the Post Office is to vote on November 3rd, which is just around the corner.Photographs courtesy of Getty Images Additionally, you may join a petition on Change.org, the Center for American Progress’s website, or other websites such as Common Cause and Move.org to voice your opposition to the proposed legislation.Additionally, being courteous and patient with postal workers is beneficial.
Under these challenging economic times, many are working late and in harsh conditions to deliver medicine, Medicare and Social Security payments, as well as other commodities to customers.Complaining to local Postmasters or package carriers about late mail or parcels is unlikely to do much, but demonstrating support for these vital individuals would.Kindness will go a long way in this world.The most important thing we can do to rescue the Post Office, however, is to ensure that everyone who is entitled to vote uses that right on November 3, even if it means waiting in lengthy lines with masks on.If you intend to vote absentee or by mail, make sure to submit your ballot as soon as possible.Early voting restrictions vary from state to state, so visit Vote.org to see what your state’s rules are.
Be aware that you may still vote by mail if your state permits it, and that the Post Office has officially said that they ″have a solid and tested mechanism for appropriate handling and timely delivery of Election Mail,″ notwithstanding Trump’s erroneous tweets and egregious public pronouncements.In O’Rourke’s words, ″the Post Office is at the heart of democracy,″ and ″every single individual of voting age has the right to express their view through the ballot box.″ Abigail Bassett is an Emmy-nominated journalist, writer, and producer who specializes on wellness, technology, business, automobiles, travel, art, and culinary topics.A senior producer at CNN for more than a decade, Abigail has a diverse range of experience.
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The Importance of the Post Office to American Democracy
Because of the coronavirus epidemic, a record number of individuals are anticipated to vote by mail this November, a trend that is projected to continue.In recent months, however, a new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, has made significant changes to the Postal Service, generating suspicions that Republicans are attempting to defund the Post Office and cause delivery to be delayed, as well as the non-counting of late-arriving ballots in November.It was just announced that the Postal Service, which was already facing delays before the current cuts, may not be able to deliver votes in time for them to be counted.Forty-six states have been informed of this.
Last Thursday, during an interview with Fox Business Network, Donald Trump said exactly what many people had thought all along.When asked about the Democrats’ pandemic relief bill, he said, ″They need that money in order to have the Post Office work so that it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.″ The bill also includes funding for the Postal Service and state election officials, which he said was critical.″If they don’t obtain those two components, it implies that you won’t be able to have universal mail-in voting because they won’t be able to handle it,″ says the author.How did the Post Office come to be so important to the running of a free and fair society, and has it always been a source of political intrigue and controversy?Winifred Gallagher, author of ″How the Post Office Created America,″ recently spoke with me over the phone about the institution’s founding in the eighteenth century and its function in the United States up to and including the contemporary age.She provided answers to these questions.
The topics we discussed throughout our chat, which has been edited for length and clarity, included the way successive administrations have handled the Post Office, the difficulties that bedeviled the institution before to Trump’s election, and why the President’s intervention is so hazardous.What was the motivation for the establishment of the United States Postal Service, afterwards known as the Post Office Department?It really began long before the creation of the Postal Service Department.Since the founding of the United States, the Post Office has played an important role in the country’s development.In the 1760s and 1770s, among the first organized activities of the patriots—including Jefferson and Adams, as well as hundreds of others—was the establishment of underground mail systems to avoid detection by British spies.The Committees of Correspondence were the names given to these groups.
After that, in 1774, the patriots established the Constitutional Post, which later became the Post Office Department in 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence.As a result, it is the oldest federal institution in existence.The concept of a communication system has been ingrained in the DNA of the United States of America since its founding.
- The Post Office, which was formed in 1775, was created so that the revolutionaries, generals, and logistical personnel could communicate with one another throughout the Revolutionary War period.
- Benjamin Franklin was the country’s first Postmaster General.
- However, in 1792, a fundamental political choice was taken by Washington, Madison, Rush, and other men who, like Franklin, belonged to the Enlightenment movement.
- They reached the decision that they would employ the Post Office for political purposes, in order to generate a more educated electorate, by utilizing the mail to send inexpensive publications, the cost of which would be covered by extremely expensive letter postage.
- At that time, only a small number of people sent letters, principally businesspeople, attorneys, and other professionals.
- If you’ve read Alexis de Tocqueville’s book, you’ll know that he came in America in 1831 and was completely taken aback by how well-informed Americans were about public affairs, as well as how widespread the Post Office system was.
This was at a time when we already had five times the number of post offices as France and two times the number of post offices as the United Kingdom.As a country, we were still a little wet behind the ears.As a result, it was this choice that cemented the United States’ position as the world’s preeminent information and communication powerhouse.Around this time period, you also had Andrew Jackson, who was determined to politicize the Post Office system.
What role did he play over the institution’s long history?It was a fascinating part to play.Jefferson, who served as President from 1801 and 1809, was the first President to engage in overt partisanship concerning the Post Office.He was the first President to do so.He really replaced ten percent of government employees, the majority of whom were then employed by the Postal Service, with loyalists of his own.
- However, Jackson, who served as president from 1829 to 1837, was responsible for really institutionalizing postal patronage through his spoils system.
- He instituted a rotation-in-office program that resulted in the replacement of thirteen percent of postal workers, despite the fact that postal workers constituted three-quarters of the federal workforce at the time.
- He did it with his Democrats, regardless of their qualifications.
- Consequently, he fired perfectly qualified individuals who were more closely linked with the Federalist/Whig party of John Quincy Adams.
- This had a negative impact on, among other things, the excellent postal service in the Whigs’ New England.
- Jackson elevated the Postmaster General to the rank of Cabinet officer, which was a significant move.
- Jackson also removed his extremely righteous Postmaster General, John McLean, who was a superb executive, from his position and promoted him to the Supreme Court, where he put his favored appointees.
- Moreover, from that point on, the spoils system permitted whatever political party won the White House to distribute tens of thousands of jobs to its adherents.
- So, in a strange sense, despite the fact that it was founded out of partisanship, it was able to function as a nonpartisan tool because both political parties took full advantage of it.
- How much politicization did there occur between that period and the Nixon administration?
- Both political parties took use of it in order to provide patronage positions to their supporters.
- Although the Post Office has always received strong bipartisan support, several of the country’s greatest Postmasters General have served during Republican administrations.
We like to believe that the Democrats are the ones who look out for the little guy these days, but during the golden age of the Post Office, between 1890 and World War One, roughly corresponding to the Progressive Era, the Republican Postmaster General John Wanamaker stood up for the common man against the robber-baron monopolies, particularly in banking and railroads.He was a fascinating individual.He amassed a fortune with Wanamaker Department Stores and rose to the status of one of these wealthy individuals who may have become a robber baron in his own right.His desire for a new challenge led him to public service, which he pursued by taking on the Post Office, which he transformed into something incredibly strong.People were perplexed by it.The railway mail service expedited the delivery of mail, and the carriages were filled with postal clerks who processed all of the letters while the trains were in motion, so increasing efficiency.
- Some people received responses the same day they inquired.
- It served as a significant propeller for America’s rise as a worldwide power.
- He believed that, in the same manner that his department store provided customers with high-quality items at reasonable costs, the Postal Service could provide the same.
- However, in rural regions, there were few horizons to look forward to.
- It was necessary to pay whatever the merchant chose to charge for whatever you needed when you went inside a store.
- The railroad monopolies demanded a hefty sum of money in order to send a package to you.
- His most important claim was that he would provide free delivery in rural areas.
- During the Civil War, those who lived in cities were able to get letters delivered to their homes.
- Previously, everyone was required to go to the post office in order to pick up their mail.
- However, it wasn’t until after he left government that country people were able to take use of this service, and it wasn’t implemented until after he left office.
- The Democrats wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing this happen (see above) until after he left office, but he was truly the philosopher king of transforming and redefining the Post Office from being solely about information and communication to being about things as well as information and communication His proposals included rural free delivery, postal savings, which provided financial services to normal people who otherwise would have been unable to obtain them from banks, and parcel post, which sent items to those living in rural areas.
- So, do you think you can call that a political statement?
However, it was democratic and in the best interests of the people.Because of its political orientation, the Post Office is associated with government and public affairs, but to what aim is this association with government and public affairs directed?Is it advancing democracy or partisanship in any way?So, tell me about the Nixon restructuring, which appears to have marked the beginning of the current United States Postal Service.
What was the purpose of the project, and why was it so important?With the Postal Reorganization Act, he was finally able to put a stop to the spoils system.The Post Office went through a horrible crisis in the late 1960s, when it was running at such a deficit that there were massive postal meltdowns, the most infamous of which occurred in Chicago in 1962.As a result, everyone knew that something needed to be done to get things back on track.Between the two World Wars and the Great Depression, the United States Postal Service was completely depleted of resources.
And then, during the postwar economic boom, the mail volume more than doubled, and post offices were still using technology that was familiar to Benjamin Franklin, all of which contributed to the situation reaching a boiling point.The United States Postal Service was created as a government-business hybrid governed by a board of governors appointed by the President and ratified by the Senate as a result of Nixon’s transformation.In addition, it’s worth noting that a tiny but noisy libertarian faction (led by Senator James Buckley, William F.
Buckley’s brother, who was a leader of the crowd here) began fighting for the privatization of the Post in the nineteen-seventies.Their stance was, ″What is the utility of government?″ they asked.Why shouldn’t everything be made available to the public?They began rumblings at that time, and they continue to rumble now, but it is not a popular posture.
How to put post offices back at the heart of the community
The famous quote from George Orwell goes as follows: ″To see in front of one’s own nose necessitates a continual battle.″ Similarly, post offices operate in this manner.In the United Kingdom, about 93 percent of the population lives within one mile of their nearest branch, and post offices account for 14 cents of every £1 spent in the country.One study found that one in every three people, as well as one in every five small and medium-sized businesses, went to a library at least once each week.But we have just scratched the surface of what they are capable of when it comes to realizing their potential.
Making the Connection, a new research from the Royal Society of Arts, proposes that branches might do more to promote local individuals and companies while still earning money.Apart from the fact that post offices can be found in practically every town, they are also generally trusted and possess a level of continuity and endurance that is unparalleled by other organizations.Furthermore, the trend towards the local – in which people live, work, and consume in small, closely knit communities – may be reviving the significance of these venues in people’s lives in the future.This can already be seen in the aging of the population, the increased demand for neighborhood care, and the adoption of a more localized approach to service delivery, among other things.The desire for a gathering space where people can come together and promote the restoration of their local region is being fueled by all of these transformations.Post offices may be able to assist local governments in addressing some of the most difficult difficulties they confront, including:
Localism and empowerment
Despite the fact that the phrase ″Big Society″ is no longer in use, the government has taken a number of efforts to empower local communities — for example, through neighbourhood planning and participatory budgeting (where people help decide how local money is spent).Post offices can play a role in increasing public awareness of such initiatives.Examples include one subpostmaster (the officer in charge of a post office) attending council discussions to express the thoughts of her customers, and another passing on resident opinions to the local Member of Parliament (MP).
Small business support
Since the beginning of the crisis in 2008, the number of microbusinesses in the United Kingdom has increased significantly, by 500,000.Post offices are perfectly situated to assist these nascent entrepreneurs in navigating the plethora of resources available to them, including financial efforts such as startup loans and other forms of assistance.Post offices might also assist by providing packing services to home-based enterprises that sell on eBay and Etsy, as well as by assisting the self-employed with the completion of their tax forms.
Health and social care
Approximately 20 to 50 vulnerable persons are watched over by subpostmasters in impoverished neighborhoods at any given time, according to estimates.However, it is arguable that post offices should do more to improve the health and well-being of their customers.One subpostmaster we met received messages from doctors and passed them on to patients — for example, to remind them to get flu shots, which he did.For example, post offices may be used to assist persons receiving social assistance in managing their finances, which would be beneficial to both the public and the health-care system in general.
Universal credit and welfare changes
According to a recent poll conducted by the National Federation of Subpostmasters, 95% of them give residents with important extras, such as informal counsel and assistance in interpreting letters and filling out forms.As the welfare system undergoes a major revamp in the coming years, this type of assistance is expected to become increasingly important.Subpostmasters may be able to assist individuals in making the transition to universal credit, which will require them to submit claims online and make monthly payments rather than weekly.It is not an easy effort to transform post offices into centres for community entrepreneurship.
In order to do this, post office managers must cultivate a more entrepreneurial attitude, and the Post Office Limited must adopt a more facilitative style of management and administration.Customers need to believe that their local branch is more than just a location to pick up groceries and newspapers, which is why the community enterprise fund has already been established to assist them in this endeavor.A pivotal moment has arrived for the United States Postal Service, and the potential reward is too great to pass up.Benedict Dellot works as a senior researcher at the Royal Society of Arts.Do you want to have your say?Send an email to [email protected] if you have any suggestions for additions to the network.
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Here’s why the Post Office is the most important story in politics right now
- WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of State has issued a statement saying that As a result of the ongoing controversy over allegations of political influence at the Postal Service, it appears as though the dam is about to burst. In the previous several days, for example: As he has done before, the president stated unequivocally that delaying emergency money for the Postal Service would result in the postal service being unable to ″take all of these millions and millions of ballots.″ more ″Now, if we don’t come to an agreement, it means they won’t receive the money.″ As a result, they will be unable to implement universal mail-in voting. ″It’s just not acceptable to them.″
- The Biden campaign specifically accused President Obama of seeking to ″wreck″ the United States Postal Service, describing it as a ″attack on our democratic process.″ Donald Trump ″doesn’t want an election,″ according to Vice President Joe Biden.
- Despite Trump’s apparent indications that he would not veto any coronavirus legislation that contained postal financing if it reached his desk, the president continued to assert — without providing proof — that mail balloting performed with the funds would be illegitimate.
- In a report by Vice (which was later confirmed by NBC News), the Postal Service is removing sorting machines from facilities across the country without providing an official reason
- we learned that the USPS has warned secretaries of state in Michigan and Pennsylvania that their deadlines for mail balloting may be too tight to meet the service’s ″delivery standards.″
- We learned that the president and his wife have requested absentee ballots in Florida for the second time in their two years as Palm Beach residents
- we learned that new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who instituted the recent changes that have slowed mail nationwide, is ″in frequent contact with top Republican Party officials″ and met with the president in the Oval Office last week
- and we learned that the president and his wife have requested absentee ballots in Florida for the second time in their two years as Palm Beach residents.
Amid all of this, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will be recessed until after Labor Day, meaning that negotiations on coronavirus relief — as well as the potential for emergency postal financing — have officially come to a total standstill.The dispute has now firmly established itself in the public consciousness — and it shows no signs of abating.Specifically, we’re wondering if all of the attention that this issue is receiving will boomerang on Trump and cause Democratic voters to reconsider how and when they’ll vote to guarantee that they’re counted in the election.
Spaghetti, meet wall
Aside from the news about the mail, the Trump administration had a good message that they could have used to promote themselves all day yesterday.The United States was instrumental in brokering a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to reestablish relations, marking a significant diplomatic achievement.Rather than focusing on a historic agreement, Trump trampled all over it by generating news about a slew of unrelated issues.Making the case that Kamala Harris is unqualified to serve as president is a popular conspiracy theory.
Defaming Harris as ″angry″ and a ″madwoman,″ as well as claiming that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ″yaps,″ among other things…On the White House grounds, he made the announcement that he will break with precedent and accept the Republican nomination…declaring in an interview with the New York Post that he had a chance to win New York, which he lost by 22 points four years ago…