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U.S. Post Office Headed for Privatization?

January 14th, 2013
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  The United States Postal Service is bleeding money and drastic cutbacks are being considered.  Valuable real estate sales are planned as the Post postalservicelogoOffice moves to rental space.  The infusion of money from the sales will provide temporary relief.  But longer term it has been estimated that leasing costs will exceed what maintenance costs would have been for the previously owned facilities.

Reduced services are contemplated, including elimination of Saturday deliveries and many fewer post office locations.  The number of employees, now around 550,000 may be reduced to 300,000 and the number of post office locations could be cut in half from today's 32,000.

Follow up:

At the heart of the cash flow problems is a 2006 law that requires the Postal Service to prefund all anticipated medical costs for employees and retirees 75 years into the future.  Progressives, such as David Morris at Common Dreams, say that the entire cash flow crisis is contrived by those who looked for ways to remove surpluses that the Postal Service had accumulated and impose restrictions to assure it could never operate at a profit again.

The reduction of assets and employees are steps that would be consistent with preparing for selling off the remaining skeleton at some future time.  What is happening in Berkley, CA is discussed in the following video from The Real News:

postofficeprivatizationrealnewsvideo

John Lounsbury

Hat tip to Naked Capitalism.









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