It’s Our Lifeline
By Dennis Sun
Ever since our country was formed, or maybe even before, the mail service has been a lifeline for all. Through rain, sleet and snow, the mail has always been delivered. However, this may not be the case in the future.
In rural areas, the mailbox is a place to visit with neighbors, a great place to teach the kids how to drive to and a lifeline for important mail from family and businesses. I’ve even heard it’s a good place to trade a dozen eggs for the latest issue of the Roundup.
Through the years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been a reliable government service, even though the costs for stamps and parcels have continued to increase.
For a long time it has been a powerhouse for union members. In fact, the USPS employees are under four different unions now. The thing that has hurt the USPS is some years back, the unions got the USPS to pay five years of retirement funds forward, which cost the USPS billions of dollars and has kept the USPS short of funding.
There is no doubt the USPS needs a change since there are now more packages than First Class mail. As many of our readers realize, the postal service these days is the pits.
For the last four or five years, we have worked with our Congressional delegation to see that each Wyoming Livestock Roundup issue is delivered in a timely manner, which is crucial to a weekly newspaper. We’ve not won this battle.
In the past months, with the upcoming election, the management of the USPS has become political. President Trump has appointed a supporter and funder as the latest Postmaster General to improve the management and financial mess.
I’ve heard Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is the first postmaster in a long time to not come up through the ranks and has a successful background in trucking and logistics. He has a lot to learn in regards to the USPS, but he brings a business background to the table.
DeJoy brought on some changes, but had to postpone them because of the lawsuits from states wanting mail-in ballots for the upcoming election. Some of those changes were to shorten retail hours, nix overtime hours, change mail-processing equipment and remove blue collection mailboxes around town. These were all cost-cutting measures.
I think in the long run, President Trump wants to privatize the USPS and have it managed as a business. We’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.
Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the House back to Washington D.C. to prohibit changes and asked to fund the USPS with $25 billion to help it stop its financial losses. I’m not sure I approve of this, as it seems every time the USPS gets a large amount of funding, it is back in a couple of years wanting more.
Somehow, we need to get the USPS through this election and then work together to change how it operates so it is sustainable in the future. We absolutely need to do this in a manner that doesn’t hurt rural and small-town mail service, which is crucial to our lives and businesses.