Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I have a theory about Ed Morrissey

I think way back in the day, he took the USPS entrance exam and wasn't sharp enough to score a grade that would get him hired on. Thus he has gone on this relentless crusade excoriating a public service over a hundred years old that besides serving every citizen of this country, offers employment to military veterans, especially disabled ones.

I believe also that now that he is in control of Hot Air, one of his requirements for writers to come on board is that they have to produce a certain amount of USPS bashing articles per year, regardless of their accuracy.

Today's horseshit from Ed is over the USPS knocking down a digital mail service that was hoping to interservice with the Post Office. Setting aside the fact that I doubt Postmaster Donahoe made the exactly worded statement attributed to him, it's idiot Ed's conclusion that I'm speaking to here (my emphasis added):

Now, let’s be clear that Outbox may well have not worked out to be the savior of the USPS, too. The cost savings may well have been outstripped by the revenue losses from junk mailers, a possibility that Khanna overlooks a little in his piece. However, his main point is solid, and perhaps understated. The reason the USPS doesn’t work well for end users is because the USPS doesn’t consider us its primary customers. It’s oriented to delivery service for junk mail, and works for those firms ahead of us. Maybe those companies should be footing the bill for the chronic deficits run by the USPS, instead of the American citizens the Postmaster deprioritized in dealing with Outbox.

Yes Ed, let's be clear -- the so-called chronic deficits started in 2006, the year that the law was passed forcing the USPS to fully pre-fund its disability retirement 75 years into the future over a ten year period. A law no other business, public or private, has applied against it. The USPS runs an operational profit nearly every quarter, but that profit is wiped out by the pre-funding payment. The federal government has refused to return USPS overpayments to other retirement programs, an amount that would cover the pre-pay and allow the Postal Service to operate without the sword of Damocles hanging over its head.

And yes, the USPS does prioritize service to it's bulk mailers, because that's where the bulk of our revenue comes from. First class mail volume is down, and through aggressive marketing the Postal Service has been able to make up that loss by drawing in advertisers to take advantage of what every business knows -- direct mail marketing is the most cost effective way to reach every customer in a given market area. Period. Add to that our superior package delivery service, and we have a solid business plan (sorry MKH and Erika -- you know nothing) that when our pre-pay ends this fiscal year will allow the USPS to enjoy the profits that are being wiped out by this singularly applied law.

Haven't done one of these in a while, but here ya go Ed:

ed morrissey -- a steaming cup of shut the fuck up!


D Ace said...

2013 - $5 billion loss
2012 - $15.9 billion loss
2011 - $5.1 billion loss
2010 - $8.5 billion loss
2009 - $3.8 billion loss
2008 - $2.8 billion loss
2007 - $5.1 billion loss
2006 - 900 million surplus

Yes, in two of the years in question the post office would have made a profit but what of 2012? Back out the 5 billion pre pay and you still have a 10 billion dollar loss.

postaldog said...

I don't doubt your figures there, but I can't remember reading about 2012 being that far in the red, I'm going to look into that. The problem is, with no liquidity, the USPS is not able to upgrade equipment or do necessary infrastructure repairs and such. It's a vicious cycle -- stuff breaks/wears out and can't afford to fix it, can't innovate/expand and that makes it hard to remain viable and competitive. And the only reason this is happening is the forced pre-pay mandated by law.
The USPS gets this tag hung on it as a failed business model, which simply isn't fair. We have downsized staffing by nearly 25% and brought in new revenues, though many folks groan about bulk mail, it pays the bills as first class revenue drops. Plus the parcel business, which as we saw at Christmas, is more than UPS and FedEx can handle by themselves. There is enough income to put the post office back where it was prior to the 2006 law -- a government entity that funds itself fully.
Supposedly this is the last year of the pre-pay, so if we can lumber through this all might become a moot issue, which I think is better than closing the post office down and dumping 500 million people on unemployment.

Thanks for commenting :-)

postaldog said...

FYI -- from the Federal Times:

"Measured by operating income — revenue minus expenses — the Postal Service has made more than $1 billion in profit since the beginning of fiscal 2014. However, net income factors in the Postal Service’s obligation to prepay for retiree health benefits and fund its worker compensation fund, and there the service shows a net loss of $1.7 billion."

It's a screwy situation. Plus postal management isn't always made up of the best and brightest, so we get some really bad decision making (end saturday delivery for example) at times.

postaldog said...

One other thing -- the prepay is $5.6billion, so using those numbers you mention the post office would have only lost money in 2010 and 2012. Which should be looked at in context with what was happening nationally as the nation has sufferer through a brutal recession -- we would have been making money while streamlining our workforce and expanding revenue sources to compensate for losses to the changing face of the business.

Not the doddering dinosaur that folks like Ed would paint us to be.

All I ask is a little fairness in commenting on our struggles instead of his hateful Quixotic obsession with us.