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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Mailing it in

Neither rain nor sleet is supposed to stop letter carriers from their rounds, No one figured on Congress.

But if the US Postal Service is dependent on congressional action by the end of the month to forestall the gloom of default I better switch to electronic bill paying, pronto, or flood Eric Cantor's office with first class mail.

The conundrum is classic: with the rise of e-mail, electronic bill paying and websites that replace catalogs -- not to mention UPS and FedEx -- the service that depends on actual business rather than taxpayer cash, is in deep trouble.

But unlike businesses that can slash and burn their way to solvency, the postal service also has an obligation to serve every nook and cranny of the nation. And remember the hue and cry when they proposed closing 43 offices in Massachusetts while also ending Saturday service?

There is a lot the postal service can do to make its situation better -- negotiate with its unions for example. But the powers that be appear to think that action from a congress that can't agree on the time of day is required to make a difference.

That means this isn't going to end well. But then again, many people think are lawmakers have been mailing it in for years, so who knows.

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