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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Kiwi and the post office

The Perfect Substitute:

"After you consider the miracle of 40-50 cent Kiwi, does $.44 for first class mail sound like a bargain? Not only is that an absurdly high price, but they experience massive losses at that price." [while the kiwi chain of supply is profitable all along the way]

There's lots more at the original posting. I like the point that getting kiwis to me has gotten massively cheaper during my lifetime (born: 1950), while everyone all along the line has been grubbing for money.

USPS, on the other hand, has been marching to 535 different drummers. [535 = senate + house]

USPS has a lot of extra costs

There's a lot of cost cutting that could be done, as I see it.

1. I still get mail delivered to my door (literally). Put the mailbox on the street -- better yet, have a group set of mailboxes at the corner.

2. Bills: once a week would be enough.

3. Junk mail: once a week would be enough.

4. Personal mail: once a week would be enough. Anybody who needs me in a hurry sends an e-mail or calls. I guess there are some actual paychecks mailed, but surely direct deposit has taken most of that away.

NET: maybe we only need delivery once or twice a week. This saves a lot of labor, although requiring more warehouse space for mail storage.

5. Packages: often aren't delivered with regular mail now anyway, or you have to go to the post office to get them. Maybe no change is needed. People who need stuff fast tend to use UPS/FedEx anyway.

6. Post offices: Contract out many "incoming" services. Look at all the non-UPS/FedEx places where you can drop off UPS/FedEx packages.

The truth is that the USPS is only vaguely run like a real business for many decades. We've lacked the political will for what? 50 years?