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Trump Wants Postal Service To Charge 'Much More' For Amazon Shipments (reuters.com) 338

President Donald Trump said the U.S. Postal Service should charge Amazon more to deliver packages, the latest in a series of public criticisms of the online retailer and its billionaire founder. From a report: "Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!" Trump wrote on Twitter. The president's tweet drew fresh attention to the fragile finances of the postal service at a time when tens of millions of parcels have been shipped all over the country for the holiday season. The U.S. Postal Service, which runs at a big loss, is an independent agency within the federal government and does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses, according to its website. The U.S. president does not determine postal rates. They are set by the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent government agency with commissioners selected by the president from both political parties. That panel raised prices on packages by almost 2 percent in November.
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Trump Wants Postal Service To Charge 'Much More' For Amazon Shipments

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  • Fake News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:03PM (#55830687)

    While they probably should, Trump feels this way because Jeff Bozo, who owns Amazon, also owns the NYT - or as Trump says "Fake News"...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) *

      By the way, while there is *actual* fake news, most real news has "editorial bias" because it is reported and written by human beings, who are in general not completely unbiased however they may try.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bezo's owns the Washington Post, which has been dogging the Russia and obstruction of justice investigations.

      In fact, you can predict when a new Post story is about to break some news, because Trump will attack the Post or Bezos or Amazon about ten minutes prior to release.

    • Re:Fake News (Score:5, Informative)

      by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:14PM (#55830791)

      When did Bezos buy the Times? I know he owns the Washington Post...

    • by dohzer ( 867770 )

      Not fake news, it was an alternative fact posted on his Twitter account by his lawyer's uncle. Can't prove it wasn't!

      Drain the pond.
      Build the fence.
      Etc.

    • unless something's happened that didn't make the news I though Bezos owned the Washington Post. Which is probably Enemy number 3 or 4
      • unless something's happened that didn't make the news I though Bezos owned the Washington Post. Which is probably Enemy number 3 or 4

        The Free Press is enemy #1. WaPo, CNN, NYT, LA Times et al are just the enemy's armies.

    • Off to MetaMod (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 )

      Someone who apparently thinks it's cool for the USPS to subsidize Amazon shipping, and also can't even get straight what media companies Bezos owns, should not be modded up. I invite everyone to head over to MetaMod [slashdot.org], where you can rate the choices the moderators make and give these moderators a bit of a spanking.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Without subsidy the USPS will need to scale down massively, they can't compete in a free market environment.

        Even then, they'll always run losses because the international treaties rapes every western postal service. If Trump wants to do something useful he should unilaterally get the US out of the treaty of Bern.

        • Re:Off to MetaMod (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2017 @08:57PM (#55831783)

          They only can't compete because Congress forces them to pre-fund their employees retirement for some ridiculous number of decades - something no other business in the country does.

          Additionally, the USPS's charge is to connect every person in America no matter how remote and unprofitable. The point is to have a service to connect far away Alaska villages that have no profit motive for FedEx etc. to connect. It's the same with public transit - the point isn't to make money, it's to enable and improve our lives in a worthwhile way.

          • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @10:34PM (#55832171) Journal

            What the postal service was doing, and is supposed to stop doing, is the kind of accounting that sent Enron executives to prison. If anyone but the postal service was hiding a $120 billion liability, it would be called "fraud".

            What they were doing is saying to employees "work for us today, and we'll not only pay you today, we'll keep paying you after you retire, until you die." Someone can retire from USPS at the age of 56, so their retirement payments may be almost as much as their salary, or even more. Over the course of 30 years of retirement, the worker might be owed $840,000. So they had workers doing the work in say 1995, promised to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars "later", but never set aside any money to be able to make good on those promises.

            They owe about $120 billion - for work already done, and hadn't set anything aside to pay it. Most "every other business in the country" funds your 401K or other retirement by sending their contribution to a third-party investment bank every time you get a paycheck. You work this month, they pay for it this month, including the retirement part. State retirement plans work the same way, at least where I'm from in Texas - whichever agency you work for, when they pay for this year's work, they also pay whatever retirement they'll owe for this year's work. They don't have you work today and say "we'll worry about how to pay for it 20 years from now".

            In 2006 they were given fifteen years to get caught up on the retirement they owed. They haven't come come close, because they are losing money. Any "profit" has to go toward funding the retirement promises they've made, but the "profit" hasn't been nearly enough and the number of letters they carry has fallen 30% over the last ten years, so it's unlikely they'll ever be able to pay for the retirement they are promising today's employees. They'll need the taxpayers to bail them out.

            https://www.cnbc.com/id/450184... [cnbc.com]

            https://www.govtrack.us/congre... [govtrack.us]

        • Re:Off to MetaMod (Score:5, Informative)

          by Local ID10T ( 790134 ) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Friday December 29, 2017 @09:34PM (#55831929) Homepage

          Without subsidy the USPS will need to scale down massively, they can't compete in a free market environment.

          The USPS is not subsidized by the US government/taxpayers. Their rates are set by the government, but they operate entirely on the funds that they generate directly.

          Even then, they'll always run losses because the international treaties rapes every western postal service. If Trump wants to do something useful he should unilaterally get the US out of the treaty of Bern.

          The USPS is profitable. The reported shortfall in their budget was due to congress passing a new requirement (which only applied to the USPS) that they pre-fund their retirement account fully within five years. Meaning that the full retirement package for every postal service employee is fully paid. If every employee retired now (even if they were just hired and thus are not eligible for retirement benefits...) the full amount of their retirement pension is covered.

          It is not a bad thing, but it was done in such a way as to make the USPS look bad.

          • > that they pre-fund their retirement account fully within five years.

            False. The five-year requirement is that every five years they have to calculate how far in the hole they are. (How much they owe to workers who have already worked, or are working on today, and whom they've promised decades of retirement pay to, without funding that promise.)

            > If every employee retired now (even if they were just hired and thus are not eligible for retirement benefits...) the full amount of their retirement pension

        • by hjf ( 703092 )

          Even then, they'll always run losses because the international treaties rapes every western postal service.

          Argentina took a different route: every package you get from abroad (especially China) is held by customs. Then they send you a letter demanding you pay them about USD 8 + import taxes. There's no "free shipping" here.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm baffled as to how many people could have forgotten what the US Post looked like 10 years ago (pre-Amazon-boom).

        It was failing and they were talking about reducing their delivery days even more than they already had. They were hemorrhaging money and could not find a way to bring themselves back from the brink. Why? Because they don't receive Government Funding and people had stopped sending letters.

        Amazon made them relevant again, although I'm not terribly surprised that our current Drumpfster Fire is gl

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          The US post was never supposed to be a private corporation. It doesn't matter if it turns a profit or not. It's one of the few things that the federal government is actually empowered to do.

          The fact that a government service can't "compete" is no excuse to give Amazon corporate welfare.

          The postal service doesn't need to be "relevant".

          HELL, I wish there was a "no USPS" option on my own Amazon packages.

  • Well maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:03PM (#55830689) Journal

    the GOP shouldn't have forced them to pre-fund the pension plan then.

    • by cirby ( 2599 )

      ...and that makes them decide to charge less?

      Kinda got that backwards.

      If you have financial problems, you don't charge less money for something when you're already losing money on it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They aren't losing money on the shipping for Amazon, it was determined months ago when this first came out (as "revealed" by a hedge fund manager with ties to FedEx) that the USPS was still making a profit from Amazon, but realistically unless you are charging high dollar amounts, delivering to Rosebud, Nebraska is not going to be profitable.

        However, even then they were profitable... up until the GOP required them to pay into pension funds for employees who do not even exist yet.

      • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:48PM (#55831043)

        The USPS using accounting standards no other group (corporation or government agency) meets with regard to its pension. If it calculated its pensions costs using normal methods, its profitable.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2017 @07:14PM (#55831249)

          The USPS using accounting standards no other group (corporation or government agency) meets with regard to its pension. If it calculated its pensions costs using normal methods, its profitable.

          Perhaps other groups *should* pre-pay their pensions. Pensions which were calculated using "normal" methods are going belly up all over the place.

          Here's a small sampling the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp's big ticket writeoffs...
          Delphi Autoparts ($6.1B underfunded)
          United, USAir, Delta, PanAm, TWA Airlines ($7.4B+$2.8B+$1.6B+$0.8B+$0.7B underfunded)
          Bethlehem, LTV Steel ($3.7B+$2.1B underfunded)

          Then there's the United Mine Workers of America pension bailout that's been kicking around congress that people think will cost $600B...

          And there's the Central States Pension fund insolvancy controversy.

          The problem with pensions for industries that are crashing is that with "normal" accounting rules they can assume historic contribution rates in their actuarial computations even if they are in decline (like the auto, steel, coal and trucking businesses). Then the pensions need bailing out and retirees collect pennies on the dollar (most pensions are only insured at 30cents/dollar and that assumes that the underwriting remains solvent, which is the problem with the PBGC, UMWA, and Central States pension authorities). Some might think it is a *good* idea that the postal services don't use "normal" accounting rules for their pensions. Unless they only listen to talking points spit out by talking heads.

        • Every government agency prepays the pension of their employees. The annual meeting before congress is usually held in February if you want to read the status notes.
          So where did you find that lie?
          • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @10:55PM (#55832239)

            I'm not talking about prepayment of pension funds. I'm talking about how, uniquely among federal agencies, when new information changes the funds needed for prepayments such that the USPS overpayed, it neither gets a refund nor even to count those overpayments in a previous year as towards the payments required in a current/future year. The account is just permentantly overpaid. In 2012, it was to the tune of 11.2 billion

            Guessing from your claim that this is a lie, I assume you're pretty conservative. There are a lot of sources, but even the Heritage Foundation has supported these claims.

            • The issue that the USPS was saying that since their employees die earlier they should pay less then the rules used for all other government agencies?
              First they were not not unique there were other agencies that were having the same issue. Second they were not overpaying, if you read the Heritage Foundation articles the USPS complaints were that people were dying earlier and stayed in similar jobs longer then the normal person, it is like complaining that you overpaid for car insurance because you had no a
              • The issue that the USPS was saying that since their employees die earlier they should pay less then the rules used for all other government agencies?

                No, that wasn't the issue at all. It was carrying forward issues from the switchover in '74 with regard to payrates and such.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:54PM (#55831083)

        You might. National postal services are often expensive to run because they have a mandate to offer comparable service everywhere, not just on profitable runs. For example, the private courier services will not bring a package nearer than 100 km to my parents' home, but the national postal service delivers within walking distance.

        Decreasing the price of to capture more of the market and fill underused capacity can improve profit.

      • No no, you don't get it. Sure you lose money on each individual unit, but you make up for it with volume! Trust me, I have an MBA.

      • by fyrewulff ( 702920 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @07:48PM (#55831443)

        Congress controls how much USPS can raise rates. The same Congress that sabotaged them with a 75 year pension fund is also sabotaging them with forcing them to keep their rates absurdly low.

    • Re:Well maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pinky's Brain ( 1158667 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @07:08PM (#55831201)

      Yes, because paygo pension funds are doing so wonderfully.

      All pension funds should have been pre-funded from the start and never have been backed by the faith and credit of government. Only the most basic wellfare should be paygo and paid from general revenue instead of complicated payroll tax line items and trust funds (government shouldn't be in the business of maintaining investment funds).

    • Since the post office will not be able to pay off the pension in the future without the prefunding why are you such an SOB that you don't want those employees to get the money they were suppose to?
      Sick, evil people like you just hate postal workers and want to deny them benefits they are suppose to get!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:05PM (#55830697)

    I think he's right - the USPS is subsidized and should not hand that subsidy to megacorps like Amazon.

    Let Amazon use UPS or FedEx.

    • by rwven ( 663186 )

      I'd prefer that they just privatize/sell the USPS and let it compete on even terms with UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.

      • that's what the republicans have been trying to do with their pension requirements for the USPS
    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:28PM (#55830879)

      Let Amazon use UPS or FedEx.

      First, Amazon does use UPS. UPS, FedEx and DHL outsource the non-profitable part of their deliveries to the USPS. Honestly, that's the subsidy Trump ought be railing against. (From a technical point of view. It may be better politically/rhetorically to choose one high profile customer like Amazon).

      Second, subsidizing some things (like roads), even for megacorps like Amazon, is important. It makes it easier for those megacorps to start up, and their competitors to start up as well. However, the typical payoff for that is supposed to be corporate tax dollars over and above the subsidy from the successful megacorps.

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:33PM (#55830919)
      that the Post office should charge more, but it's irresponsible for the President to call out a specific company. It would be one thing if Amazon had done something egregious. I could get behind him calling out the various military contractors in Iraq/Afghanistan, or the oil companies who are already spilling oil with the Keystone pipeline or the pharmaceuticals (who he got strangely silent about after the election). Hell, I could get behind him calling Amazon out for their anti-worker practices. But this is just petty politics.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      USPS uses FedEx, UPS, and DHL for their logistics networks. They're the backbone of the USPS.

      Source: I worked for DHL. We carried a lot of mail for USPS.

    • They did use FedEx and UPS.

      The USPS was being left out of the package delivery business until they lowered the rates they charged for delivery to compete with UPS and FedEx.

      Does it surprise anyone that Amazon would go with the cheaper carrier ?

      If anything UPS and FedEx should be complaining about how it's impossible to compete with the USPS while they're subsidized by the USG.

      • If anything UPS and FedEx should be complaining about how it's impossible to compete with the USPS while they're subsidized by the USG.

        UPS and FedEx hand their small packages off to the USPS, which gives them a deal on the postage. Without that deal, the USPS would be gone by now.

    • Let Amazon create their own delivery service from point A-Z.

      Then, like their AWS, they will ramp a whole (foods) new disruptive industry.

  • is he wrong? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    i mean why does the USPS operate at a loss subsidizing/enabling one of the largest companies in the US to make more money?

    (i hate agreeing with Trump)

    • Re:is he wrong? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:14PM (#55830787) Journal

      The post office operates in the black. It is the pension rules [cnbc.com], or maybe somebody's misinterpretation of them, that fuck things up.

    • The idea is that it promotes commerce for all American's (citizens and companies), not just a few living in big cities. So by lowering the barrier to sending information and goods, it strengthens the country as a whole.

      That said, I could see it still being within those guidelines to charge large players a progressive rate. The more one uses a subsidized service, the more one has to pay.

    • You're not agreeing with him.

      He can't talk about Amazon and exclude all others.

      It's not a matter of, "... the largest companies ..." it's "all companies and individuals."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:08PM (#55830725)

    Slashdot Editors, is there any chance that we can talk about something other than President Trump today?

    There have been numerous submissions attacking him in one way or another.

    The word "trump" currently appears on the front page 11 times!

    How many times does the term "linux" appear? Zero!

    How many times does the term "programming" appear? Only twice!

    How many times does the term "math" appear? Zero!

    If we were really this interested in President Trump, then we'd go visit the websites of CNN, or MSNBC, or the NYT, or one of the many other web sites covering politics.

    The whole point of Slashdot is to cover news that the mainstream media doesn't focus on.

    They're already very focused on President Trump. Slashdot shouldn't be. We're here to learn about things like Linux, programming, software, computing, electronics, math, and science. We're not here for politics!

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Then stop talking and start contributing. But talk is cheap and finding interesting stuff isn't, right?

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:10PM (#55830761)

    Seems like that story is lacking some important context; something I just read about earlier (and not because of the tweet) is that Amazon gets about $1.46 per box [hotair.com] in subsides due to first class mail costs.

    Amazon is making a LOT of money, why does the federal government need to be giving them what amounts to a huge break on shipping? As a Prime member I'm sure that would raise my rates but I don't think everyone in the U.S. should be paying for my quicker shipping.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Actually, Amazon uses a mix of carriers, and has been making aggressive investments to build its own delivery capacity. The largest carrier by number of packages that Amazon uses is UPS. It also uses FedEx and OnTrac more than USPS based on its financials and its public statements.

      USPS is primarily used for non-time sensitive shipping (read: free super saver whatever).

      Still, in recent years, they have been making investments in the US and Europe to have a greater stake in regional carriers and to build in

      • so it's happening anyway, and Trump can just take credit for it regardless?

        thank god; at least it minimizes the damage.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Because otherwise Amazon would be using UPS and a bunch of postal workers would be out of a job. What needs to be taken care of is the massive waste in the postal system and any other de-facto government corporation.

      At one point, you were able to ship a box across the country for a few bucks, when I went on school trips, mail was being manually sorted into bins and machines have since then pretty much taken over where entire postal offices are now fully automated. Costs have risen exponentially to the point

    • by ugen ( 93902 )

      Everyone in the US is Amazon customer (and if not - Walmart or all the other online retailers).
      Raising rates will simply increase prices for everyone. That will make consumers poorer, and reduce the amount of business they do on Amazon and other online retailers, hurting their profits and US economy.

      Incidentally, it is cheaper to mail a product from China to the US than to mail the same package in the US internally. This is because China realizes importance of shipping and has creative and less expensive sh

      • Everyone in the US is Amazon customer

        That is a pretty broad statement, which I can assure you is not true.

        But even WERE it true, I can also issue you I receive a lot more boxes than most people - so other people are still paying for my shipping. While I appreciate the gift I just think it would be better if that load were placed more heavily on me instead of them.

    • Because that observation doesn't support the hourly righteous indignation//"Trump is a buffoon" requirements for Slashdot posts.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:11PM (#55830763)

    postal service can stop pre-funding pensions for 75 years later.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @08:16PM (#55831565)
      That's actually the way pensions should be funded. Not as nebulous future payouts based on unrealistically optimistic projections of investment returns [investors.com], which saddle future generations with debt when the actual returns fall short of those projections. It was literally Wimpy's "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" ad infinitium. The Republicans caught a lot of flak for changing the requirement, but they correctly saw that the pension funds were being abused to shift debt from the present into the future (instead of giving the union a wage increase, you promise them a bigger pension). They changed the funding requirement to stop that abuse cold. You can no longer promise the postal union barrels of free beer in their retirement, and leave it up to future generations to figure out how to pay for it. You make the promise today, you have to pay for it today. This was crucially needed because without it, wage negotiations amounted to unions demanding the world, and managers agreeing to give it to them because they knew they'd be retired by the time anyone had to figure out how to fulfill their concessions.

      Pre-funding the pension and spinning it off so the money is untouchable except by the people who are supposed to receive it prevents the possibility of pension bankruptcy [nytimes.com]. The way most pensions are set up (merely as a separate account within the company) leaves them vulnerable to abuse (embezzlement, underfunding) and bankruptcy. If the company goes bankrupt, the pensioners become merely creditors. They may not get paid until after other creditors, with the possibility of receiving only pennies on each dollar they were promised in pensions if they're far enough down the bankruptcy totem pole.

      With a pre-funded pension operating independently (like a 401k or IRA), this cannot happen. The company made an obligation to pay Joe into his retirement, and they put the money to pay for it into his pension plan while he was working, thus insuring he gets paid even if the company ceases to exist. The only catch is instead of giving Joe a guaranteed fixed pension in his retirement, the pension should be defined as $x/mo being invested on his behalf while he's working, and his pension is whatever that works out to after compounding interest when he retires and begins collecting it (since his lifespan and investment growth is unpredictable).

      Social Security has the same problem. The money you pay into SS is not being "saved" for your retirement. It's being used to pay current retirees (with a buffer of about a decade). Likewise, when you retire, the money you get from SS will not be money you put into it. It'll be money that the then-current generation of workers are paying into it. This happened because when SS was first enacted, the very first recipients got paid even though they'd never contributed a dime into it. (This is why SS is often accused of being a pyramid scheme, although that's slightly different.) If you want to guarantee SS solvency, you have to change it to a system that's pre-paid, like the USPS pension. Otherwise it could stay solvent or it might not, depending on inflation (cost of living), population growth, and increases in the average lifespan. Right now, there are about 2.9 workers per retiree. As that number goes down (due to decreasing birthrate and increasing lifespan), the risk of SS insolvency goes up.
  • "Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer?

    The postal service is providing a service to the public at a rate set by them. They're in direct competition with UPS and Fedex and shouldn't have HIGHER prices than their competition.

    But as for those in REMOTE areas or PO Boxes that UPS and Fedex won't service affordably...... the USP

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Want to live in a remote area? Well, you should be prepared to pay for it.

    • Given those small, rural communities largely supported Trump... you’d think he’d be more aware of stuff like this.

      Or you would, if you had t spent the past two or three years witnessing just how little thinking he does.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But as for those in REMOTE areas or PO Boxes that UPS and Fedex won't service affordably...... the USPS serve a useful public function. They're not subsidizing Amazon so much as they're subsidizing mail order: but for some in remote areas, mail order is the only practical way of purchasing some simple necessities that can't be had from a local Walmart, because there is no local Walmart.

      First off, the President of the United States should not be referring to individual companies that should be charged more. If the postal rates are incorrect, they should be adjusted for everyone.

      Second off, the postal service does serve a useful purpose for areas that are not served well by alternatives and we should preserve that, even if it costs some money. Package rates to and from those areas can and should be a bit higher to deal with reality. Subsidies if they exist should mainly be for standard f

  • This is presumably a profitable business for the USPS, an increase in prices would just drive the business elsewhere.

    What they want is the end of the USPS, with private services replacing it. Removing a profitable business from the USPS furthers this aim.

  • Once you get past his usual "puffery", using extreme-sounding adjectives in every other sentence .... there's kernel of truth behind what he said.

    Amazon doesn't really need to receive government subsidies to ship items below normal cost. This shouldn't be about charging Amazon MORE than everyone else pays to ship packages, or even a suggestion that shipping prices aren't high enough across the board. But we absolutely SHOULD ask why it makes any sense to cut Amazon a special break.

    By contrast, Amazon isn't

  • by Wayne Anderson ( 5083395 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:27PM (#55830873)
    The serious answer here, is that politics is populist by its nature. The USPS is ultimately in a position to have to pass major changes back through congressional oversight. Closing of post offices, raising of rates, changing work shifts and delivery schedules in a major way - all have had to go back to congress, where ALL have seen major push back. Change is easy to call for - people want "change" they just usually don't want the change to come at their own expense. So when the post office talks about closing THEIR OWN post office in Podunk, Nebraska, it's time to mount up and call the senator! And when a set of businesses face the prospect of losing absurdly low bulk mail or package rates, they spend hundreds of thousands or millions on their lobbyists to voice doom and gloom predictions in public, to fund "friendly" research, and to grease the skids in congress in private through staff entertainment. Seem cynical? Look for yourself. https://www.linns.com/news/pos... [linns.com] https://www.thenation.com/arti... [thenation.com] https://federalnewsradio.com/m... [federalnewsradio.com] https://federalnewsradio.com/b... [federalnewsradio.com] Or go search it: https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]
  • by sdinfoserv ( 1793266 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @06:56PM (#55831113) Homepage
    The USPS is losing money because of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. It required USPS pension funding to change from a "pay as you go" model to a pre-paid model. The postal pension fund is over 80% funded for future obligations - unlike the Federal workers pension fund which is $7 TRILLION dollars underfunded.
    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]
    The problem is compounded by decreasing snail mail usage.
  • It becomes more and more obvious.
    Trump, delusionally thinking that the world revolves around him, demands "loyalty" and "praise" just like a comic-book evil dictator.

    Putin found that Russia's "new" oligarchs were particularly susceptible to bullying and threats.
    He bankrupted some and threw some in jail -- the rest fell in line.
    Trump thinks he can do this to Bezos.

    I don't think this model will work in the United States today.
    NOT because of our great tradition of "democracy".
    Rather, I think that America's oli

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @08:04PM (#55831517) Journal
    Between this and his publicly stated desires to shut down certain news organizations and an entire television network, how is it not obvious to every single person in these United States that the 'person' (using the word loosely here) we're dealing with should never have been elected POTUS in the first place? Seriously, it's like we're living in a perpetual nightmare.
  • by javabandit ( 464204 ) on Friday December 29, 2017 @08:45PM (#55831711)

    The problem with the USPS is that they are required to fully-fund retirement benefits (including health benefits) for *** 75 YEARS ****. This happened in 2006.

    Since then, there have been several proposals to reduce this restriction given the landscape of decreasing postal volumes. Every single one has either been shot-down by Republican congresses or not even brought to the floor. Why? Because UPS and FedEx are two massive political donors/special interests. They spent millions to lobby against such legislation.

    THAT is the real problem with the USPS. If you want to fix it... then the retirement benefit funding plan needs to be changed to be commensurate with what UPS and FedEx have to do. That would fix the problem really quick.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by will_die ( 586523 )
      Where is that in the law https://www.govtrack.us/congre... [govtrack.us] there is full text, show us where the 75 years is.

      For those waiting, we will never hear a reply because that claim of 75 years for funding retirements is a false and a well known lie spread by a bunch of people who hate the post office employees and are trying to prevent the post office from having the money they need to pay the pensions that the employees agreed to.
      The people spreading this lie like mixing some truth with their sick lies. The
  • Seriously, somebody screwed the pooch in making a letter or small box cost $.01 for a Chinese business ( not Chinese citizen ) to send said item to America.
  • He wants the postal service to ONLY charge Amazon more to send packages.

    Can we say network neutrality?

  • Bozo the clown thinks the Post Office can save itself by pricing itself out of the market. Way to grab that logical pussy.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.

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