Carper: Let Postal Service modernize, make more decisions

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Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) argued today on Politico.com that the best way to save the US Postal Service from increasingly large yearly net losses is to let the organization modernize and free it up to make decisions on its own. Carper is the author of a Senate bill that would do many of those things, as well as change the USPS' retiree benefits system that is responsible for most of its FY 2010 net loss.

Carper hints that the old Postal Service motto, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” needs a 21st Century update. The motto “doesn't say anything about e-mail, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, FedEx or UPS keeping couriers from their rounds. But times are changing,” Carper said in the OpEd.

Carper also notes that the USPS will have to move past its days of ubiquity to achieve a working business model.

“Saturday home delivery is a nice service. So is having a post office in nearly every small town in America,” he says. “But these services have grown unaffordable as Americans have turned to other forms of communication. The Postal Service could save at least $3 billion a year if it were allowed to phase out most Saturday delivery. It could save even more money, and improve service, if Congress allowed it to close unneeded post offices and open cheaper retail options – such as automated kiosks or postal stations in grocery stores.”

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