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You've Got Mail. . . But No Post Office

Lauren Carmody

Don't Close Our Post OfficeI already miss my post office and it’s still there. No, I don’t use it every single day or every single week even but when I want it, I like to know it’s there.

According to MSNBC, the national post office is considering closing nearly 4,000 locations.

Now, I immediately wanted to stand up and fight for this age-old tradition but then I chose to read on. They are looking to close offices that generate less than $50 per day in sales. I found this shocking since the kids who live next door can score more profits from their homemade lemonade stand on a hot summer day.

Somewhere, the post office went awry. The internet helped to sink the ship, which is understandable, but they also did a less-than-mediocre job keeping up with the changing needs of the customer, whereas UPS and FedEx have found a way to make it work.

In 2010, mail volumes fell 3.5 percent, causing the Postal Service to a record net loss of $8.5 billion. So, they cut more than 100,000 jobs to save money but that certainly didn’t solve the problem.

In a WSJ General Forum, nearly 65 percent of respondents said that the USPS offices should not be shut down. The problem is, and this is purely my speculation, that I’m pretty sure a large chunk of those respondents who said they want to save the post offices probably don’t even use the post office.

I’m not sure why people are so attached to the idea of a post office. You can buy stamps from your local pharmacy (CVS, Rite Aid, etc); you can send packages through FedEx and UPS; and you can send immediate mail through this technology I like to call "email."

If this were any other business, the decision would be a lot easier. We would probably shut down the ailing “stores” and keep the income-generating stores. Why is this so different?

I know the economy needs us to keep these jobs; not eliminate more positions that will add to the unemployment rate. But I think it it’s more than that. My guess is that we are fighting to preserve a piece of American history.

Will you miss your post office when it’s gone or not even notice? CJP

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