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Amazon Opposes Plan To End Saturday Mail Delivery 504

theodp writes "Online retailer giant Amazon.com has come out against a US Postal Service proposal to end Saturday service, part of efforts to address the USPS budget deficit. 'Amazon's customers have come to appreciate and expect Saturday delivery,' explained Amazon VP Paul Misener. 'If the five-day delivery proposal is not withdrawn,' he added, 'we ask that Congress ensure that Saturday delivery be maintained.' In the past, Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence." The article adds, "Interestingly, online DVD service Netflix is backing the plan to end Saturday mail delivery, arguing that a 'well functioning' Postal Service is more important than 'maintaining current delivery frequency.'"
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Amazon Opposes Plan To End Saturday Mail Delivery

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  • by jmitchel!jmitchel.co ( 254506 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:28AM (#32689550)
    The difference between Amazon and Netflix is that Netflix product fits comfortably in a mailbox.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:32AM (#32689608)

      And, for Netflix, it benefits them by slowing down the rate that they receive videos (though it means Monday's will be heavier than they were before).

      For Amazon, people want Saturday delivery without paying for it. For Netflix, people certainly want it, but if the USPS doesn't do it, then people will understand. So, Netflix can stop staffing the delivery portion of Saturday's if that goes through, while Amazon still has to do everything as normal and they lose the ability to cheaply send packages that can potentially arrive on Saturday.

      • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @01:33PM (#32693292) Journal

        Summary read:
        Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence

        What does that have to do with anything? Plus it's completely false. Amazon says it should not have to pay a tax to support New York's private government ~2500 miles away, but it still DOES support public services. It pays a toll for the roads (gas tax) and it pays a toll for the public mail (the postage tax) and it files income taxes with the U.S. and the California governments. I don't think a Slashdot summary should be stating politically-biased falsehoods like it did above.


    • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:37AM (#32689674)

      Plus, netflix sells you a plan that is limited only by how often you can get mail. If you can't get mail on Saturday, that's one less DVD they have to send you. Amazon, on the other hand, gets paid for every package they send you.

      • by DriveDog ( 822962 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:16AM (#32690300)

        True enough. And while Netflix may be looking forward to a mostly-online service, for now their customers (me) will be more likely to keep paying them if we can get DVDs on Saturday. Perhaps they're also being agreeable with the USPS because they've been at odds in the past over envelop jamming and such. I really couldn't care less if I get a package from Amazon on Saturday or wait until Monday. The only case that makes sense to me is when I send a gift and I'm as late ordering it as I usually am. I think skipping another day besides Sunday is OK for the USPS, but I'd vote for Wednesday so as not to have two consecutive days missed.

      • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:22AM (#32691224)
        Actually people have done some studies and found that netflix starts to fuck with your DVDs if you order too many. They got sued over this a few years back in which they admitted that they were doing this, settled with lawyers (netflix customers got less than one week free subscription as payback), and changed their TOS to say something like "netflix send you DVDs when we want to, the X many out at a time plan is not actually legally binding."

        They do things like mess with your queue. A movie that is ready to ship will appear as "long wait". Your DVDs will be shipped from a shipping center across the country so that it takes 2-3 days to get to you and back, etc.

        Ending Saturday delivery will only help netflix screw its customers out of more money. One more reason I don't have a netflix subscription.
    • by jaymz666 ( 34050 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:37AM (#32689676)

      That's 17% fewer movies sent and received by Netflix every week. I would expect them to also want more public holidays in a year as well

      • by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:57AM (#32689988)
        It's only 17% for customers who turn their DVDs around ASAP. My wife and I mostly subscribe for the online content, and often have a couple of DVDs sitting around for a few days before we get around to watching them. Obviously, high volume customers will get less value from their subscription. But I think it's a mistake to extrapolate a 17% overall savings from this.

        Also, this will tend to cause more of a surge on Mondays outgoing mail / Tuesday and Wednesday's incoming at Netflix. This will also tend to reduce the positive effect for Netflix. Most companies prefer to have a constant workload across all of their shifts and days, rather than dealing with surges. Like a power company, or a tax consultant, they have to size their capital investment to deal with surges, even though that is not fully utilized most of the time.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:05AM (#32690112)

          We're one of those quick turnaround people. With a 6-day week, we can get a DVD on Wednesday, stick it in the mail Thursday, and get the next on on Saturday. This gives us the weekend to watch that movie and we put it in the mail on Monday, which then gives us another DVD on Wednesday. It's a great routine -- exactly 2 DVD's a week on the same days and one of them to watch every weekend. Taking out Saturday would certainly change things.

      • They don't need to. (Score:5, Informative)

        by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:00AM (#32690046)

        That's 17% fewer movies sent and received by Netflix every week. I would expect them to also want more public holidays in a year as well

        They don't need to. From their current Terms and Conditions:

        We reserve the right to process orders and otherwise allocate and ship DVDs among our members in any manner that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine. In addition, we will, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine the quantity of DVDs we purchase for any particular movie, their location within our distribution network and the level of staffing and number of shipments to be processed at each distribution center.

        Every new Terms and Conditions, they're putting things in their agreement that allows them not to give you "unlimited" whatever ....

        There's verbiage in it that limits your "unlimited" online viewing too now.

    • Most of the products I buy from Amazon COULD fit comfortably in a mailbox, but they come in a box about three times bigger than it needs to be. I ordered a map update for my Magellan GPS, it was on an SD card. It came in a SD card caddy, in an envelope, in a big fucking cardboard box. You know, kind of like getting software licenses from HP. And it's a $50 product, it's not like it deserves a big box based on value.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by couchslug ( 175151 )

      Amazon products fit comfortably in UPS, Fedex, and DHL trucks.

    • Wimps (Score:5, Funny)

      by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @12:56PM (#32692630) Journal

      The difference between Amazon and Netflix is that Netflix product fits comfortably in a mailbox.

      This just tells me that USPS employees are wimps ;)

      Seriously, at one point, after getting used to ordering games and movies from Amazon and finding the DVD case in an envelope that just about fit through the mailbox slot, I order IIRC City Of Villains. The game was packed in one of those big cardboard boxes, instead of the DVD cases we've got for the last half a decade. It was easily twice as thick as the mailbox slot. The German post employee had obviously not been deterred by that, and had managed to actually shove the damned thing half-way through that narrow slot.

      I had gained proper appreciation for the awesomeness of said employee while trying to get it out. It was so firmly jammed in the slot, that it wouldn't go either forward or back at all, no matter how hard I pulled or shoved. I had to tear the box apart, partially working through the slot at that, and retrieve its contents piece-wise. It wasn't just that the cardboard box was thicker than the slot, but the sum of what was inside, you know, manual and CDs and all, was actually thicker on the whole than the slot.

      (And while I'm at being awed by employees, having to work through that narrow slot also gave me a new perspective and a deep respect for gynecologists;))

      I'm thinking it must have been the kind of guy who, when asked to fit various geometric figures through various shaped holes in kindergarten, thought it was a test of strength.

  • Jack up the price? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:29AM (#32689556)

    Why not just have a increased rate for Saturday delivery like Fedex and UPS? I don't see a reason for something to run on a loss. If Amazon's customers appreciate or expect it, either they or Amazon can pay extra for it.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:42AM (#32689740) Journal
      You must be some kind of pinko, to suggest a market-based solution instead of a (lightly) veiled corporate subsidy.

      In all seriousness, though, while there is a compelling public interest argument to be made in favor of the post office doing some un-economic things(and about the best chain of precedent you'll find for any US federal function, outside of war), like providing postal service to podunk towns that would have nothing otherwise; there seems to be no reason why they need to subsidize merely convenient services that have plenty of viable substitutes. If Saturday delivery costs more, offer it at a premium(or not at all, if you don't think you can make money at the new price point). People can either suck it up and wait till monday, or suck it up and pay Fedex/UPS.
  • by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:30AM (#32689574) Homepage

    In the past, Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence.

    I'm having trouble seeing exactly why this is relevant, other than innuendo. State taxes don't pay for mail delivery, that's a federal function. Amazon's stance is consistent. (Whether it's morally right or wrong is a separate issue, mind you.)

    • by DriedClexler ( 814907 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:39AM (#32689698)

      I think that's referring to Amazon defending its exemption from sales taxes (as cross-state sales typically are, at least in practice), the argument being that it's not bearing its share of e.g. road upkeep costs for the products its delivering.

      Of course, I disagree with that argument, since taxes are normally completely decoupled from provision of the government service they fund, but I'm just trying to clarify what (I think) it's referring to.

      • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:51AM (#32689894)

        State and local gasoline taxes are more than enough to upkeep roads in most cases. They also usually fund things that have nothing to do with roads. That's how it should be.

        States always want more money. Once Amazon is taxed, that means all the small internet businesses have to be taxed as well. There are so many small municipalities, especially in CA, demanding their special rate of sale's tax, that it would be hard for a small merchant to file it all.

        Of course, I'm for the apt tax replacing all this bullshit anyway, no loopholes.
        http://www.apttax.com/ [apttax.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Of course, I'm for the apt tax replacing all this bullshit anyway, no loopholes.

          I'll read your link later, but as of now, the Fair Tax seems the best option - tax on what you spend, not on what you earn.


    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sco08y ( 615665 )

      In the past, Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence.

      I'm having trouble seeing exactly why this is relevant, other than innuendo.

      Another reason it's irrelevant: corporations don't pay taxes, they just pass them on to consumers and investors.

      • Bullshit argument (Score:5, Insightful)

        by copponex ( 13876 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:14AM (#32691118) Homepage

        Did you miss the first day of economics? There's always downward pressure on prices. Any increased costs may be passed on to the consumer, but not always. The business that finds ways to absorb the tax increase without passing it on is the one that will probably sell more product.

        But since a quarter of large corporations [nytimes.com] - $50m in sales or $250m in assets - don't pay any income taxes at all due to loopholes and offshore sheltering schemes, you're right: if they ever started to pay taxes, prices might go up.

        And if corporations had to pay taxes for the infrastructure that enables them to be in business, I don't think that would be unfair. And if a business can't afford the burden of the infrastructure, guess what: they shouldn't be in business unless they serve to lower costs of vital services for the rest of the economy. And even then, since they exist entirely at the grace of tax payers, they should have no right to any amount of privacy.

    • by Enry ( 630 ) <enryNO@SPAMwayga.net> on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:55AM (#32689952) Journal

      I'll add for you that Amazon is paying the USPS for delivery. In that respect, they are paying to support services. Why should Amazon pay for police or firefighters in states where they don't have a business presence?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fermat1313 ( 927331 )

        Why should Amazon pay for police or firefighters in states where they don't have a business presence?

        Because Amazon wouldn't be paying sales tax. They are just collecting tax from the customers on behalf of the state. It's the customers who are paying for services in their local area. Amazon doesn't have a problem with collecting taxes because they think they shouldn't have to pay for services, since sales taxes are always passed on to the customer. Amazon has a problem with it because not collecting sales tax gives them a huge (upwards of 10% in some areas) price advantage over local retailers.

  • by h2oliu ( 38090 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:32AM (#32689602)

    If there are fewer delivery days in a month, then you get fewer movies per month if you turn them around every other day. This would help Netflix's bottom line to cut delivery down to 5 days a week.

    • by EMR ( 13768 )

      Very interesting observation.. I was trying to figure out what Netfix's catch was on supporting 5 day delivery, and this makes perfect sense.. Although, what percentage of their user base does that, surely it can't be that high to really affect their bottom line much at all. I'm sure many users keep movies for a LONG time and end up spending a months subscription on 1 or 2 movies.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Short sighted.

      It also means they are a slightly less attractive option to new customers.
      Hey, maybe they just mean what they said?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:32AM (#32689610)

    Monday through Friday, I leave for work before our local Post Office opens and leave from work after it closes.

    • So you can't shove your letters in the slot after hours?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apparently ( 756613 )

        So you can't shove your letters in the slot after hours?

        Yeah, that works really well for sending international mail or larger domestic packages.

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      Doesn't your office have outgoing mail? I don't know the practice in the USA but in the UK most places where I have worked have allowed employees to put private stamped letters in the company mail. Some also allow parcels if you take them to the post room.
  • by enigma32 ( 128601 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:33AM (#32689628)

    Netflix benefits from less frequent mail delivery. (Lower costs for them)
    Amazon loses big from less frequent delivery (I frequently choose them because I can have a package here before I'd have time to go get the item in Manhattan myself).

    As for the postal service, I frequently find myself waiting in 20 minute lines, at any time of day, to pickup a package that they were incapable of delivering correctly to my residence. I'd love to see someone that has a clue about business run the postal service rather than it being run with the competence level of the DMV.

    Keep the Saturday delivery or go the way of the dodo, guys. (add Sunday delivery and be super-cool)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by darjen ( 879890 )

      If the national post office was eliminated, we would have more private competition and a pretty decent chance of getting Sunday delivery. The newspaper comes on Sundays, why not the mail? They would also be more efficient while doing it. The level of service at the post office compared to UPS and Fedex is shockingly bad. Whenever I go into a UPS store there is little to no line.

      • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:49AM (#32689850)
        Eliminating the national post office would require a Constitutional amendment. Delivering the mail is in the U.S. Constitution.
        • by darjen ( 879890 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:55AM (#32689946)

          It would be a great first step if they simply removed the federal monopoly on first class mail. That certainly wouldn't require changing the Constitution.

          • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:40AM (#32691416)
            You do know the USPS is given a monopoly on first class mail deliver to ensure rural service is as good as urban service, correct? Otherwise, you'd end up with what we have for broadband: Some options in urban/suburban areas, no options in rural areas due to the unprovability of servicing said areas.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Eliminating the national post office would require a Constitutional amendment. Delivering the mail is in the U.S. Constitution.

          No, Congress is empowered to establish a post office, and post roads, but they are not obligated to do so. The USPS could be eliminated without an amendment, but I hope it wouldn't be.

      • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:03AM (#32690086)

        The level of service at the post office compared to UPS and Fedex is shockingly bad. Whenever I go into a UPS store there is little to no line.

        I disagree. Any time I've ever had to use UPS I've gotten nothing but terrible service. Anywhere from boxes that look like someone was using them as punching bags (and the stuff inside being broken or damaged in some way), to packages being lost and delayed and the fact that they are too incompetent to just hold a package at the office so you can pick it up.

        • by raddan ( 519638 ) * on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:32AM (#32690542)
          I agree, as someone who has to ship a lot of stuff around as a part of my job, we've tried a number of couriers, and I think we have a pretty good fell for the quality (timeliness, damage, convenience) of many of them. Here's what we found:
          1. FedEx, far and away the best, but expensive
          2. USPS, not always on time, but mostly reliable; premium services don't compare with FedEx; tracking isn't great
          3. UPS, usually on time, and has lots of premium services, but theft and damage are MAJOR problems. They will happily deliver a package to a wrong address (i.e., THEY got it wrong), and when that package is stolen, they will disclaim all responsibity. Their "insurance" is a fucking joke-- they have weaseled out of paying every claim we've filed.
          4. DHL is pathetic. They once cheerfully delivered a package to me that had a hole straight through the package and the contents inside. We had to request one our suppliers never use them again.
      • by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:04AM (#32690096)
        UPS isn't going to come to your house on a rural route in the backwoods of Kentucky and pick up a piece of shit you wrote, and put it on an airplane to Wyoming for $.44 . (credit to Jon Stewart for that quote). A properly functioning, reliable service that serves 100% of all residents everywhere is vital to a modern economy. Our post office is so good that the legal system considers proof of mailing (not delivery) as proof of service. Live in italy or mexico for 6 months, and you'll get some perspective.
  • I cannot recall ever getting anything from AMAZON via USPS, it is always UPS.
    what do they ship via USPS?
    • Everything I have gotten the last 2 years is USPS. I usually get stuff with "free" super-saver shipping, often faster than UPS ground. USPS is great at small to medium boxes (large boxes seem to be more domain of UPS and FEDEX and we're talking 2ftx2ftx2ft at least). USPS also offers a special rate on books, DVDs, CDs, etcetera called Media Mail and the rate can't be beat - for example: a 2lb package across the country at Parcel Post is $8.09 and with Media Mail it's $2.77. Library Mail is even cheaper

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:34AM (#32689634)

    It's generally their junk mail drop with just flyers and other non-addressed answers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RotsiserMho ( 918539 )
      That stuff only comes on Wednesday because the backlog of mail from over the weekend has finally subsided by Wednesday. If they got rid of Wednesday delivery, you'd just get the same crap on Thursday.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Abstrackt ( 609015 )

        That stuff only comes on Wednesday because the backlog of mail from over the weekend has finally subsided by Wednesday. If they got rid of Wednesday delivery, you'd just get the same crap on Thursday.

        In that case, they'd better skip Thursday too.

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:35AM (#32689648)

    And just have alternating days. That way one postal worker can take care of two routes. Let's face it, mail is only going to decrease. So let them do M-W-F on Route 1 and T-Th-Sa on Route 2, and flip that the next week. Express mail can be an exception. Priority mail not so much, depending on logistics.

    The USPS has been good to me and my internet business, so I'd prefer them to do well in return. IMO, this is the only way to really future proof the service. People will bitch but the rest of society just has to adapt, imo.

    • by IflyRC ( 956454 )
      The less they deliver, the less I'm going to choose USPS Priority Mail as a shipping option. When I order something online I usually want it as soon as possible because its not something I can buy locally (otherwise I would have bought locally). I understand people look for bargains online and are willing to wait. However, I'm one of the individuals who uses online ordering out of convenience coupled with necessity. I'll just choose Fed Ex or UPS which will cause the USPS to lose even more business as I'm
      • Remember, Priority Mail is just a marketing name for first class mail. There's no extra priority on it. It's just a marketing push to get people to send packages first class instead of 4th class.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          ".. send packages first class instead of 4th class."

          Apparently there is an extra priority.

          Did you even read what you wrote?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pavon ( 30274 )

      This makes the most sense to me, but I would add another exception - any mail that requires a signature, regardless of class, should be attempted on the next Saturday before requiring you to pick it up at the nearest post office. If it increases the cost of that particular service, that is fine with me.

      That said I don't think it is necessary to go so far right now, but if they are going to drop a day, it should be any day but Saturday.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrLogic17 ( 233498 )

      Unions won't allow that. The reason they are focusing on Saturday, that way [nearly] all full-time union workers can keep their jobs. Saturday has been an overtime / part-time job for the new guys on the route.

      Same argument wnet for the "Drop Wednesday" plan. Keep the same number of days (5), and nobody loses their jobs.

      Now those paying attention will notice that you don't save very much if you keep the same number of workers, with the same base pay rate, same benefits, and the same number of post office

  • Why not a weekday? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cmiller173 ( 641510 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:37AM (#32689668)
    I would prefer to see them drop say Thursday deliveries and deliver Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat.
    • I agree. I would much rather have two 1-day gaps in delivery than one 2-day gap.

      Businesses might be the opposite, so it might make sense to deliver to businesses M-F and residential M-W, F-Sa.
    • by SocialEngineer ( 673690 ) <invertedpanda AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:49AM (#32690774) Homepage
      The problem with this is the fact that it would greatly affect businesses who rely on mail services. No mail on Thursday means no bills going out, no checks coming in, etc. Also, that means people who get newspapers delivered via mail route (yes, they do that - I'm systems manager at a small locally focused paper that is doing quite well) will have to skip a day. Of course, if we lose Saturday, we lose a day, too. As far as receiving packages go, I always have mine shipped to work, anyway, so I don't have to worry about being there to sign for it.
  • by Orga ( 1720130 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:38AM (#32689684)
    USPS filed suit against BP last Saturday in an attempt to get BP to pay for USPS Saturday delivery. The reasoning proposed is with the decrease in tourism in the gulf states fewer vacationers are sending postcards north. BREAKING NEWS: Consortium of postcard manufacturers expresses interest in joining suit.
    • I just made a reservation for a campsite on a beach in Maryland. Your friendly neighbors from the north of the Potomac River would like to thank BP for all they're doing for helping you discover our beautiful state.
  • the days bills come.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:42AM (#32689730)

    Not Canada Post, not FedEx, not UPS, not DHL, not Purolator. Nobody delivers on saturday except pizzerias.

  • Private Industry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Manip ( 656104 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:46AM (#32689792)

    If Amazon wants Saturday delivery for its clients then it can continue to offer it using third parties like FedEx. That is what happens in the UK - you get letters six days a week but only parcels five days a week; if you want parcels on a Saturday then you have to pay a private company to do the delivery which Amazon EU/UK offers.

  • by Zarf ( 5735 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:02AM (#32690074) Journal

    Many USicans only have Saturdays free to run errands. Ending services on Saturday is a burden to them. Ending delivery on any other day of the week would be preferable.

    • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:50AM (#32690782) Journal

      Many USicans only have Saturdays free to run errands. Ending services on Saturday is a burden to them.

      How does a lack of Saturday delivery interfere with running errands? I find your comment confusing.

      For comparison, I offer the Canadian system. While delivery only occurs on Monday through Friday, postal services are often available on an extended schedule. Canada Post maintains a network of service counters (often in drug, convenience, and grocery stores) which provide parcel services, sell money orders, and supply copies of frequently-used government documents (passport applications, tax forms). These local outlets also act as pickup points for parcels which are too large for home delivery (the stuff that didn't fit in your mailbox while you were out).

      Many of these counters have extended weeknight hours (beyond typical nine-to-five business hours) and offer Saturday hours; some are even open on Sunday afternoons. (The retailers hosting the counters have probably realized that extended postal hours can attract customers.) In other words, Canadian Saturday-errand-runners have no trouble obtaining postal services, even in the absence of Saturday delivery.

      Letters and smaller parcels can, of course, be sent at any time simply by dropping in a post box.

  • I find it interesting that the USPS is SOOO slow in innovative thinking.

    First off, the bulk of their costs is in the cities. Why? Because so many of the routes are door to door. Simply have that changed to large postal boxes.

    Likewise, I found out that the majority of postal routes are about 25 miles. This is the IDEAL situation for companies that want to offer electric cars. Create a CJ type vehicle that gets about 40-50 miles on a charge (radio, heater, ac).

    It is really sad how little thought goes in
  • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:28AM (#32690480)

    The argument is common, and one that even Obama has poked fun at -- the Post Office loses money.

    Let's take a step back in history folks -- and realize that the Post Office was not *designed* to make money. It was designed to facilitate the communication between long distances in a organized, logical way. It's a great reason why we have become the powerhouse that we have, because we knew we could rely on legal documents being delivered, because contracts could be signed and sent back, and the legal code behind them was always upheld.

    Fast forward to today -- the need for the post office still exists in a large fashion. I am not arguing against or for Saturday delivery, but it's just a point of annoyance for me, so I am addressing it. What other service in the world can allow you to ship a letter from one remote corner of the country to another for mere cents? The ability for citizens to mail letters and rely on their ability to reach the destination is still hugely important, and one that *should* be subsidized by our tax dollars. Until the time we go fully electronic, the post office will have a need. That time is not now. You are still "served" in person, you still have to sign contracts by hand, and a multitude of other things that have not yet caught up to the pace of technology.

    So when you think about what the post office has allowed the US to accomplish over the years of its service, take a moment to think that without it, our country would not be nearly as far along as it is, and we have a lot to thank for that. And to boot -- we still need it for the same reasons today.

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