In the business of mail, times are tough for the U.S. Postal Service. In August, the USPS announced a plan to shut down 800 post offices nationwide in an effort to pay back it’s $7 billion deficit. In New York alone, 250 post offices would shut down.
“New Yorkers from every borough and every income level depend on their local post office for a number of key services,” said Christine Quinn, New York City Council Council Speaker, in a statement to the press.
After the angry calls from people and politicians came flooding in, USPS officials released a revised list of locations, lowering the number of closures from 250 down to 14.
Still, the potential closure of 14 post office locations in New York City would disproportionately affect communities in Manhattan and the Bronx.
In an effort to help save the broken structure from collapsing, Congress provided the USPS with operation funds. In an article concerning the financial crisis facing the USPS nationwide, it New York Times wrote “if something doesn’t change by the fall, the Postal Service will have to renege on those health benefit prepayments — despite its legal obligation to pay them — or start missing payroll.”
It’s a fact that in order for the Postal Service to stay alive, each street must drop at least 25 envelopes into the mailbox per day. In the last two years, approximately 14,000 boxes failed to pass the test on different occasions in New York City. “The loss is almost entirely due to a recession-driven decline in business mail,” said William Burrus, president of the American Postal Service Workers Association.
Burrus blames the post office failures on the recession because a “$1.2 billion surplus for its 2008 and 2009 fiscal years,” he said, was expected before the recession hit.
Recession or no recession, most people would rather email than purchase stamps. And if the real mail doesn’t flow, neither will the cash. The USPS might end up going postal after all.