aced with massive budget deficits, Postmaster General John Potter wants to end Saturday mail delivery and raise stamp prices. But an influential consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., says more drastic steps are needed — namely, cutting delivery to as few as three days a week. McKinsey's number crunchers say without deep cuts there's no way to close a budget deficit expected to reach $238 billion over the next 10 years, as mail volume plummets. But postal workers say cutting delivery to every other day would "result in the demise of the Postal Service." Who's right? (Watch a CBS report about possible cuts to mail delivery)
The post office has to adapt to survive: The Internet and e-mail are driving the Postal Service out of business, says Rick Newman in U.S. News & World Report, so it has to change with the times, or die. Post offices can keep offering pricier express service for the important stuff, but 60 percent of mail is ads and fliers -- it "can wait a day -- or three."
"Why the mail should come every other day"
What about businesses that depend on daily delivery? Try telling magazine publishers and Netflix that ending Monday-through-Saturday delivery is no big deal, says Kevin Hageland in Star Local News. The fact is, businesses and customers alike will suffer if the Postal Service cuts back. Congress should fork over the money to cover the deficit -- "$7 billion whole dollars" this year -- and find less disruptive ways to make the U.S. Mail more efficient.
"No more mail on Saturdays?"
The USPS deserves to die: There is no way to make this "aging behemoth" a viable business, says Megan McArdle in The Atlantic. Mail itself is an "anachronism" now that Americans can get their bills online and nobody writes letters any more. The sensible thing is to stop being so "emotionally attached" to our local post offices, and let them die.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- Why Good Friday is so important to Christians
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
Subscribe to the Week