THE COMING COLLAPSE OF THE POST OFFICE by Robert J. Myers

THE COMING COLLAPSE OF THE POST OFFICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though snow, rain, heat and gloom of night may not stay our couriers from their appointed rounds, the Postal Service may soon go smash under the weight of its bureaucratic and personnel problems. In 1971 the U.S. Post Office Department went into the private corporate hands of the Postal Service in the hope that our mails could operate on a profit rather than deficit basis. What has happened is that profit is now a greater motive than public service, and although the rates have gone up (enough to drive Life magazine into oblivion) the deliveries have deteriorated, despite new mail-sorting centers and other devices. Recently, a Maine publisher sent a letter by ox-cart from Ellsworth to Bangor in three hours, besting the Postal Service by 20 hours. The breakdown of postal service in terms of man-hour productivity across the nation is largely a horror story. And the 1975 fiscal deficit is estimated at $2.3 billion, which is not encouraging. How did it happen? Myers blames an inept study commission; loss of traditional cheap labor and the establishment of a ""fatally flawed"" wage system which depends on incredible amounts of overtime pay; unresponsiveness by the Postal Service's Board of Governors to outside forces complaining of unfair or unreasonable rate hikes. Will second- and third-class mail be subcontracted to private delivery systems? Myers has a few sensible suggestions for a new postal policy, but mostly he presents a devastating description of the current bog.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1975
Publisher: Prentice-Hall