The US Postal Service, Are Their Days Numbered…

Through the window today I watched the postman making his rounds and rather living up to the adage;

“Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

as chiseled in stone at the New York City Post office and the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum.  As it was a nasty day today, with both rain and sleet falling from the sky on a dreary overcast afternoon as he made his rounds.  Afterwards, I ventured out into the elements heading for the mail box to collect my daily tiding which I found was comprised of mainly bills (no surprise there) and our typical wad-o-catalogs (which I hate).

Both of these commodities comprise our typical collection which is delivered six days a week as on the seventh I have a rest bit from the mailbox.  However as I thumbed through the bills walk back toward the house, it hit me that most all of our bills are on “auto pay” via our bank as it is very rare that we ever hand write a check to pay any of these any more.  As a side bar, was in Lowe’s the other day and watched a lady pay by check!  Wow, they still take those things I guess, felt like asking her if she heard of a check card!

However back on topic, so why am I getting these [bills]?  Why are all of these companies adding extra cost to the services they provide me?  Why are they wasting natural resources and adding to the global carbon footprint without adding any value?

In the past I’ve written on the coming tipping point for printed books, however it hit me the same will most likely apply to the lowly bill and junk mail catalog.  As one of the fine glossy bound advertisements which I found in my box this day was from TigerDirect a company which I just can’t say enough good about.  However they always send me a catalog and I never have [ever] purchased anything from any “catalogue” they have ever sent.  While I do look forward to the spam-mail advertising from them which I have purchased plenty!  Well at least my wife says its plenty and while I contend it could be more, I explained that hey it was one sale so I saved money right?  However the point is how much does this add to the overall cost of the product?

In short, everything in my box this day was a waste of resources and did nothing but end up consuming space in a landfill because I tossed it all away upon entering the house!  Also as we sit here crossing the New Year and postal rates are set to rise again, when are we going to do away with the “letter service”?  Oh yes and there where those darn holiday cards, every year the count gets lighter and lighter.  Again all of these resources could find a better use, unless of course your livelihood depends on one of these then that is a different case and more on that later.

What my proposition would be is do away with “post” and only remain with the “parcel” as logistics will be big business with the erosion of brick and mortar.  Maybe go even so far as say to sell the “parcel” service to a private firm and use the proceeds to pay down the national debt.  Hey sooner or later yes it will have to be paid down or we will have to default on our bonds as the treasury’s printing presses just can’t keep printing away.  While that’s more for another post, however our original form of social networking the US mail is in need of a great change. As we cut our teeth on yet a new year, the death of paper grows closer.  As in fact it is dead, however we just don’t know it yet as the tipping point is fast approaching from our blind side.



About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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