Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Postal Rates to Increase To 49 Cents in January 2014; Time to Eliminate Saturday Delivery

The Washington Post reports:
The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday proposed raising its mailing prices beyond a statutory cap on rate hikes in a move that would take effect in late-January if the Postal Regulatory Commission approves the changes.
The increases would affect first-class, standard, periodicals and package mailing. The cost of a stamp would increase from 46 cents to 49 cents, while the rate for letters beyond 1 ounce and postcards would rise 1 cent.   
Under current law, price increases for the Postal Service cannot exceed the rate of inflation, except under extraordinary circumstances and with approval from the regulatory board. USPS officials have said the proposed changes are necessary to help balance their books in the absence of postal-reform legislation.   
Increasing postage prices is a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges,” USPS Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett said in a letter to customers on Monday.   
The Postal Service recorded a loss of nearly $16 billion during the last year and is on track to lose another $6 billion in the current cycle.
...   
Mary Berner, president and CEO of the Association of Magazine Media, called the plan a “terrible substitute for badly needed legislative reform,” adding that the increased rates “will cause significant declines in mail volume and further job losses across the industry without addressing the USPS’s core issues.”
Some thoughts.  Congress put a stop to it awhile back, but it's time to finally pull the trigger.  Eliminate Saturday delivery.   In an age of email, on-line bill pay and direct deposit, six day a week delivery is no longer needed.  We could even cut back delivery to four days without a problem.

As far as the legal profession in which I am engaged, we need electronic filing and a reform of the rules so that every attorney is required to maintain an email and to accept service by email.  Every time we file a document in court, the rules mandate that we attorneys do a time-consuming and increasingly expensive mailing to the counsel and/or parties involved in the case.   The legal profession is always late to adopt technology.  It's time to join the 21st Century.

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