USPS and Congress – Who is more broken?

Guest post by Older and Wiser.

Older and Wiser is a rural carrier.

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This is how I see it!

When things in the Continental Congress bogged down in its debate over independence, future president John Adams proclaimed, “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.” Over 230 years later and has much changed?

A June 2013 Gallup Poll stated that the Congress had a confidence rating of 10%. To make it clearer, nine of 10 Americans thinks Congress is doing a lousy job. In February 2013 the Ponemon Institute ranked the US Postal Service as the fourth most trusted company in the country when compared against 704 entries from 25 different industries. When compared to other government offices, the Postal Service ranked highest.

And the Congress is going to fix the Postal Service? Anyone else scared?

Congress has been sitting on Postal Reform for almost a year and we are no closer to having any indication that a meaningful bill will be passed. Partisan politics has paralyzed both Houses. As Congress fiddles, the Postal Service burns. This delay only shows their indifference and lack of knowledge as to what actions will bring long-term stability to the Postal Service. Recently, Congress pressured the Postal Service to back track on their plan to end Saturday Delivery. What was Congress’s plan? They told the Postal Service to go back to the unions and ask them to reopen negotiations to change the contracts that had been signed in the last couple of years. If that wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable. Anyone else scared?

To share a thought from the Bible, it’s time for Congress to get its own house in order before they take action in somebody else’s house. I don’t believe that Congress has the knowledge of the workings of the Postal Service to make positive changes that will benefit the American people. Also, do they really have to time to give to the Postal Service? It seems that the domestic and international events that need Congress’ attention leave little time for us. The best thing for Congress to do is to use their power to give up their power.

My suggestion is for Congress to give up its control of the Postal Service and put it under the control of a US Cabinet department, such as the Department of Commerce. In the Dept, of Commerce mission statement it says, “The U.S. Department of Commerce promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans by working in partnership with businesses, universities, communities and our nation’s workers. The department touches the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development ,,,” This sounds like a logical landing spot for the Postal Service.

My second suggestion is to scrap the Postal Regulatory Commission as it’s presently set up. Let’s put a “board” together that really represents the business environment in which the Postal Service resides. Congress can have some seats on this board to give a voice to the American people. The rest of the board should have business people who have the expertise in the fields that affect the operation of the Postal Service. These people should come from the shipping industry, people management, facilities management, finance, information technology, etc. These should be business people who know the need for timely responses to events to keep the Postal Service a competitive entity. Their knowledge of their own fields can, hopefully, bring innovation and direction that can take us back to fiscal independence and keep our customer’s confidence at the present high level.

The ball is in Congress’ court. It’s been in Congress’ court. I think it’s time for Congress to give up the ball and let other people who are really interested and better equipped play the game.

Guest post by Older and Wiser.

Older and Wiser is a rural carrier.

Click below to see all of Older and Wiser’s Guest Posts.