Printer's Perspective: What the USPS Should Be When It Grows Up
By Jerry Eiler, Finishing Technical Engineer, Ripon Printers
I feel for Megan Brennan. You know, the Postmaster General. She could be either the CEO of a rather large corporation called USPS, or the secretary of a huge federal agency. Or maybe she is both. An executive Sybil. And worse, under current congressional rules, the Post Office is intended to operate as a for-profit business to bolster the coffers of the US Treasury (the whole retirement pre-funding thing) but still maintain a presence and service like a governmental agency. What are the feds thinking?
We mailers are stuck in the middle, facing rate and service issues resulting from this confused identity. They did have a good idea in tying postage rates to CPI. We don’t need to have a federal system that results in “$200 toilet seat” delivery costs, and accountability is an important part of that.
But the current system still has:
- Mailers facing rate increases to support a bloated delivery network
- An organizational system modeled after government rather than industry
- And a politicized cost structure
Nonprofits offer valuable and needed services to our country, and they deserve reduced rates. But everyone should support this, not just those paying postage. Congress has been trying to pass some reform to stabilize the organization, but the best they have come up with is putting part of the exigency rate increase back and block cost cutting measures. They want to control the USPS like it’s an agency.
So, I say, let the USPS go broke. Megan, stop trying so hard to balance the books. If Congress wants the USPS to be a federal agency, then treat it as one. Own it. The USPS is a service to all US citizens. It is incredibly important to our economy.
You want a privatized delivery network? Just call UPS, because they are already there. (And don’t forget, their economy rates depend on USPS for final delivery!) We NEED a federal delivery network. The experiment of calling the postal system a business has failed. Make it what it needs to be.
About Jerry Eiler
Jerry Eiler offers many years of valuable catalog mailing experience. He was instrumental in the development of Ripon Printers’ extensive list processing and inkjet imaging services and has designed equipment to enhance the mailing process. As the company’s postal specialist, Eiler oversees the presorting, inkjet imaging and mailing of more 100 million catalogs per year that account for approximately $16 million in postage.
Eiler maintains a strong, ongoing relationship with the USPS and is up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations impacting catalogers in the new rate case. He brings special expertise in small- to mid-size catalog mailings and collaborates frequently with catalogers in developing effective mailing and distribution strategies. His overall knowledge of postal regulations, software and equipment provides both a broad and unique perspective that is sure to help your organization.