Economic woes are hitting closer and closer to home; as I drive down the streets I see the growing volumes of “Going Out of Business” sales more than ever before. People say that it’s a cyclical economy in that we see these trends reoccurring in household income and employment rates over time and that it will turn around eventually….it always does they say. So I don’t know if it’s because I’m at an age when I can really sympathize and understand the impact but it’s certainly got me thinking.
One particular business getting closer to hanging out their sign is the U.S. Postal Service. Of course this is one area of business that happens to be not only a victim of the economy but also of technological advances. Email and online bill pay have become the more prominent and efficient means of transferring information and therefore someone has to pay the piper, whether they can afford to or not. In fact the USPS has to pay a $5.5 billion bill by November 18th to its retiree health care fund and just does not have the funding to do so right now. In an effort to save the service the National Association of Letter Carriers have hired Ron Bloom and the Lazard Group to help find a solution to the downward cycle the industry is taking. The union intends to work with Bloom and Lazard to determine an approach that will allow them to save the business as a whole as well as avoid making any drastic changes to the business. The USPS currently employs over 550,000 employees across the nation and delivers to over 150 million homes; “drastic” cuts would be detrimental. And while cutbacks are being avoided the USPS is likely to heed radical measures to turn things around. Local officials as well as federal government agencies and even local residents all have their own opinions about the whole situation….my opinion… go buy some stamps!