Will Power is a retired history teacher and creative writing instructor. The views in this column reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.
Nothing but the truth!
September 4, 2011 (San Diego)--Since Ben Franklin organized the U.S. Postal Service, the mailman has been a fixture in U.S. culture. But now the internet and private delivery service has forced the U.S. mail into a deficit. Thousands of small Post Offices are closed, and many rural communities are losing their common connecter of culture.
How can we save the U.S. Mail? For starters, start charging more for junk mail. On at least two days a week I receive ten to fifteen flyers selling pizza, groceries, booze, tires, and soda. It goes straight into the trash in my house, and I am sure the same in many others. This junk mail is unnecessary and wasteful, and if the Post Office charge five times what they charge now for junk mail, maybe they would make a profit.
I rely on the U.S. mail to pay bills. I do not trust electronic banking, and until I stop reading about hacked accounts, lost passwords and embezzled funds, I am going to pay bills by mail.
I get my medications through the mail. Perhaps I have been lucky , but so far I have always received what I ordered. For those elderly people who live in RFD areas, I can only imagine how important the mail service must be when their diabetes medicine runs out.
I often order on the Internet, and the private delivery record has been mixed. I ordered a fan and UPS delivered a box that looked like it had been machine gunned. The fan blade was bent and I had to pay out of pocket to reship a replacement.
I expect if the U.S. Mail does not fight back, it will go the way of the passenger pigeon. But we will pay dearly for the loss of a US institution with a proud record of service. Privatizing the mail service will be a short-tem fix for a long-term problem.