Forget the barbecue, forget that last trip to the beach. The Postal Board of Governors is set to meet on Sept. 5th to decide just how badly they’re going to penalize us for relying on the USPS for our direct-mail needs. You know, the only business they have left. (Well, us and Amazon, anyway.)
To get upset over these things is silly, of course – you might as well bemoan the rain, snow and dark of night that letter carriers are meant to overcome in their rounds. But it does highlight this bizarre parallel universe we currently find ourselves in.
Yes, the Internet has strip-mined most of the post office’s business; we’re all relying on email and websites to sell our wares – you can’t stop progress and all that. Yet there are still things you simply can’t do digitally.
Sure, you can email potential customers rather than sending them a postcard; you can plow your budget into beefing up your website. But of course these don’t really replace mailings. Your emails go straight to the spam folder; if not, people put them there as soon as they see the message is from anybody they know is trying to part them from their cash. As for the website, it is one of millions – just how many bookmarks do you think the average person can keep track of on their computer? And then there’s the question “How did they find out about your website in the first place?” From that spam-foldered email? Sorry.
All of these are old arguments, of course. Perhaps the question should be this: “For the billions in taxes paid each year, shouldn’t the government be able to kick a few bucks into shoring up its own postal service?” Just think: Cut the NSA’s budget by 3% and you would have the $300 million the post office is seeking from us. And it would give the postal inspectors more to do, too. Problem solved 🙂