The Times West Virginian

Opinion

February 8, 2013

Giving up home delivery of mail on Saturdays sacrifice that must be made

There’s finally a move out of Washington, D.C., that makes sense. A move that will save us cents.

Billions worth, actually.

This week, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced that the U.S. Postal Service would no longer have home delivery of mail on Saturdays effective Aug. 1. This move is estimated to save the service at least $2 billion per year.

It’s a good move, considering the service suffered a loss of nearly $16 billion last year.

Long hampered by Congress to not only keep six-day home delivery but to make very large prepayments toward retiree benefits, the quasi-government agency has been drowning in red ink and unable to swim because of all the red tape.

Of course, the decision to eliminate home delivery of mail on Saturdays doesn’t come without people voicing fears of “particularly harmful” impacts on rural America. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., issued a statement Wednesday denouncing the service’s decision.

“In our rural areas, these postal facilities are more than just places to send and receive mail — they are truly the lifelines of their communities and can be the only way a town is able to stay connected,” Manchin said. “Although the Postal Service must cut back on spending and get its fiscal house in order, cutting the muscle instead of the fat from its budget will not benefit the agency and will harm our communities in West Virginia and across our country.”

And Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said the cutback is “a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers,” particularly businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery for commerce and communication.

While we understand Manchin’s and Rolando’s concerns, we also know sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Giving up the home delivery of mail one day each week — and don’t forget, packages will still be delivered on Saturdays — seems like a small compromise that will have positive financial effects.

Plus, the Postal Service thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side — the service’s market research indicates that nearly 7 in 10 people support the switch as a way to reduce costs.

Count us among the supporters. This move will not only help save the Postal Service, but it will help save people’s jobs.

And don’t forget about the money being saved, from the $2 billion the Postal Service expects to save annually all the way down to our very own pockets. How? Consider that just this month, the Postal Service increased the cost of first-class stamps to 46 cents, while postcard prices went up to 33 cents. It was the fifth increase since 2006.

This move should cut down on the need for such frequent increases, saving us money each time we pay a bill, send someone a birthday card or mail a postcard while we’re on vacation.

We know change isn’t easy. We’ve all relied on the home delivery of mail on Saturdays for many, many years.

And we don’t expect this latest proposal by the Postal Service to occur without a few bumps along the way.

But sometimes a simple sacrifice — giving up one day of home delivery of mail — ends up being one that makes a lot of sense in the long run. And with Donahoe saying that “our financial condition is urgent,” we can think of no better time for the sacrifice to be made.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads