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The impact of junk mail on the US Postal Service, Advantages of using the United States Postal Servi

Junk mail and its impact on US Postal Service

The information for the synthesis research is listed below one of the sources I could not copy and paste so I provided and permalink for the source my essay must only include information for the sources provided in this word document. Each body paragraph should include at least one direct quote with appropriate citation.

The following is excerpted from an online article in a national news magazine.

(1) These are tough times for the U.S. Postal Service. It’s being pummeled by high fuel costs. The soft economy is crimping the overall volume of mail, which fell 5.5 percent in the past year. Its business is also falling as Americans opt for e-mail over birthday cards and thank-you notes. Now comes another threat: consumers like Colleen Plimpton of Bethel, Conn. Earlier this year Plimpton became tired of the credit-card offers, catalogs and advertising fliers that clogged her mailbox. So in February she paid $20 to GreenDimes, a firm that helps consumers reduce their inflow of “junk mail” by contacting businesses on their behalf. “[Junk mailers] are cutting down trees willy-nilly, and that has got to stop,” says Plimpton.

(2) To the post office, consumers like her are a serious threat. “Efforts to convince people not to receive mail are really going to hurt,” says Steve Kearney, a Postal Service senior vice president.

(3) The Postal Service lost $1.1 billion in its latest quarter. That number would be even larger if it weren’t for direct mailings, which now constitute 52 percent of mail volume, up from 38 percent in 1990. Revenue from direct mail “is the financial underpinning of the Postal Service—it could not survive without it,” says Michael Coughlin, former deputy postmaster.

(4) But 89 percent of consumers say in polls that they’d prefer not to receive direct-marketing mail; 44 percent of it is never opened. That’s why 19 state legislatures have debated Do Not Mail lists, which would function just like the federal Do Not Call list. But partly due to opposition from postal workers, not a single bill has passed. When Colorado state Rep. Sara Gagliardi held a public meeting on a bill she was sponsoring, she was surprised when a crowd of postal workers showed up to express vehement opposition.

(5) Both the Postal Service and the Direct Marketing Association say direct mail is a key source of customers for small businesses. “Advertising mail is a very valuable product to many consumers,” says Sam Pulcrano, Postal Service vice president for sustainability, who points to two-for-one pizza coupons as especially welcome surprises. To blunt opposition, the DMA recently launched the Mail Moves America coalition to lobby against the restrictions.

Advantages of using the United States Postal Service

(6) GreenDimes founder Pankaj Shah isn’t sympathetic. Not only is his company providing a service to consumers, he says, but it has also used its fees to plant more than 1 million trees. “We’re all about giving consumers choice, not about bringing down the post office,” he says. Still, as more consumers opt out of junk mail, rain, sleet and gloom of night may seem like the least of mail carriers’ problems.

The following is excerpted from an online article. 

(1) Most people refer to sending mail through the post office as snail mail. There is good reason behind that. It takes days for mail to get to its destination through the postal service. When you compare that to sending an email or paying a bill online, it doesn't make sense to use the post office that often. Using the United States postal service has a lot of advantages though. 

(2) Here is a look at some of the advantages of using the United States postal service:

(3) 1. Cheaper than other services- Using UPS or FedEx is very expensive. It costs far more to send packages through these services. You can get the same type of service from the post office for small packages at an extremely lower price. If the bad economy hasn't taught us anything else, it has taught us not to waste any money.

(4) 2. Personal touch- It's nice to sometimes get a personally written letter in the mail. Email is great for a quick note here and there. It helps you keep up with people and it's instant. However, nothing replaces a personally written letter to an old friend. It gives the message a more intimate feeling.

(5) 3. It keeps Americans working- One of the few jobs that can't be outsourced to other countries is mail delivery. You know when you send a letter or your bills through the mail, you are helping other Americans keep their jobs. Many post offices are in the process or in danger of closing down because of the incredible impact the internet has had on it. Making a point of sending one piece of mail once a month is one way to help.

(6) 4. People without technology- Even though the vast majority of people are connected to the internet, there are many people who aren't. If the post office were to shut down, it would make it extremely difficult for those people to get mail and packages sent. UPS and FedEx do offer package delivery, not everyone has one close by. It is also more expensive as discussed earlier.

USPS and its package business

(7) 5. Paperless isn't always better- Everyone loves the idea of going paperless. It isn't likely that this will ever completely happen. It's important to keep paper copies of some things. Having copies of your bills helps keep better track of the information. Things happen with computers. Information can easily be lost including important documentation. Having a paper copy sent to you through the mail helps you back it up. This is also true when you buy software online that you can download. It is better to have a hard disc copy of it so that you don't take the chance on not being able to find it later.

(8) 6. Other services- The United States post office offers services far beyond delivery service. You can get money orders, set up P.O. boxes and use your debit card for purchases to get cash back. They offer a great deal of merchandise beyond the basic stamp to include stationary and collectible stamps.

(9) The United States post office has a great deal to offer beyond what we think of. Visit your post office today to see everything they offer. Take time to talk to an employee, you will be surprised with the great customer service they have. Talk to your mail delivery person as well. They work hard no matter what the weather is like. It's nice for them to know that someone appreciates what they do.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a large business enterprise operated by the federal government. It has more than 600,000 employees and more than $70 billion in annual revenues. Revenues are supposed to cover the postal service’s costs, but mail volume is plunging, and the USPS has been losing billions of dollars a year for more than a decade. The USPS has a legal monopoly over letters and mailboxes. That policy is an anomaly because the federal government’s general economic stance is to encourage open competition in markets, yet the USPS monopoly prevents entrepreneurs from entering postal markets and trying to improve quality and reduce costs for consumers.

While mail volumes have fallen, the USPS has expanded its package business. But it makes no sense for a privileged federal entity to take business from private, taxpaying companies in the package industry. Postal and package markets are evolving rapidly, and the goal of federal policy should be to create a level playing field open for competition and innovation. Europe is facing the same challenge of declining mail volume, and it has focused on opening postal markets and privatizing postal providers. The U.S. Congress should follow suit by privatizing the USPS and opening postal markets to competition. These reforms would give the USPS the flexibility it needs to cut costs and diversify, while providing equal treatment to businesses across postal and package markets. Cato Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Fall 2019).

All rights reserved. DOI: 10.36009/CJ.39.3.9. Chris Edwards is Director of Tax Policy Studies and Editor of Downsizing 668 Cato Journal USPS’s Predicament Congress has given the USPS monopoly power over the delivery of first-class mail and access to mailboxes, the latter of which is a unique protection among the world’s postal systems. The USPS also enjoys a range of other benefits (GAO 2017a: 19):

• It can borrow up to $15 billion from the U.S. Treasury at low interest rates.

• It is exempt from state and local sales, income, and property taxes; parking tickets; vehicle fees; and other charges.

• It pays federal corporate income taxes on its earnings from competitive products, but those taxes are circulated back to the USPS.1

• It is not bound by local zoning laws, is immune from a range of civil actions, and has the power of eminent domain.

• It has government regulatory power, which it can use to impede competitors. On the other hand, Congress ties the hands of the USPS in many ways that prevent it from operating like a private enterprise. Congress restricts the USPS’s pricing flexibility, requires it to provide expansive employee benefits, imposes collective bargaining, and prevents it from cutting costs in various ways, such as by reducing delivery frequency and closing low-volume post offices. The USPS’s financial challenges stem from its high cost structure and falling mail volumes, driven by the rise of email, Facebook, Evite, Internet bill paying, and online advertising. First-class mail volume in particular has shrunk by 45 percent since 2001 (USPS 2019). This has been a considerable blow to the USPS since first-class mail is its most profitable product (GAO

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