Don’t Write Off The Postal Service

The post office is in big financial trouble.

The United States Postal Service is in big financial trouble partly related to coronavirus country wide stay home orders and other economic issues.

Don’t Write Off The Postal Service

By Wes Hessel

Laying Post Office

The United States Postal Service (USPS) roots are so deep, they predate the country itself.  Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the British Crown in 1737 as Postmaster of Philadelphia. In 1753 he was promoted to one of two Joint Postmasters General for the American colonies.  On July 26th, 1775, the Second Continental Congress confirmed Ben Franklin as the first Postmaster General of the United States. In 1792 the congress created the United States Post Office through the Postal Service Act.

Service Oriented

In 1970, postal workers went on strike. They became the first federal employees to engage in collective bargaining. In 1971, the Post Office was reorganized into an independent federal agency and was renamed the United States Postal Service. By 1983, USPS received no public service funding, except as noted by Wikipedia, “subsidies for costs associated with disabled and overseas voters”.

Times Change

with so many business closing, postal delivery has been reduced, along with income.

The closure of so many businesses and colleges has reduced post office income.

The United States Postal Service had surpluses in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  However, first-class mail income peaked in 2001.  The agency faced intense competition from FedEx and UPS for parcel and express shipping.  Furthermore, email and social media, dramatically reduced Postal income.  One national crises followed by another also hurt the Postal Service income. First, 9/11, then the Great Recession and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

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OPINION: Vote By Mail

Vote by Mail:
Sealed and Delivered

Vote by mail has been a staple of voting in the United States as far back as the 1930's

Vote by mail has been a staple of voting in the United States since the 1930’s. It is now time to expand the system. Democrats are pushing to make it law, in every state.

OPINION: Vote By Mail 

Sealed and Delivered

By Trevor K. McNeil

Last month several Democratic Senators and Representatives introduced legislation that would require all voters to mail in or drop off paper ballots if 25 percent of states declare a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

New World Order

A lot has changed in recent months. A surprising number of people, who should really know better, have started referring to this as “the new normal.”  If there is a glimmer of hope amidst the fear and the death surrounding COVID-19, it is that we humans are a highly adaptive species. The fact that we still exist is  testament to our adaptability and resourcefulness.  The coronavirus has changed our environment, but that doesn’t mean we need to stop doing what is important, including performing our civil duty by voting.

Changes

“Stay at home, stay safe” orders have changed our lives. One of the biggest changes is a switch towards remote work, app banking, grocery delivery, and home schooling. This is life in the age of social distancing. There are, however, things that are not so simply accounted for as work, shopping, banking or education. These activities have had an established correspondence system for years.  One of the major issues that has arisen, in this election year, is how people are supposed to vote when they have to stay at home and self-isolate.

Computers Can’t Solve This One

Online voting has proponents, but more opponents.

Online voting has proponents, but many opponents. Most argue it is to easy to hack.

One of the proposed solutions for voting, during COVID-19 is online voting.  Online voting has been debated for years. Proponents stress the convenience, mobility and accessibility of an online, or phone voting system, while detractors hype the risks.  Opponents most reasonable argument centers on the risk of hacking.  Many opponents claim online voting would spell the end of democracy. Of course, these also tend to be the same folks who are suspicious in general, who extol the wonders of the good old days of typewriters and whiteout. Neither the pro or con position is particularly helpful in terms of solving the issue of finding the safest and most efficient voting system.

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