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With the US Postal Service on the brink of default, a new mail generation could be emerging

By Ayla Quinn.

The United States Postal Service recently maxed out its borrowing limits, leaving some people uncertain about what will happen to traditional mail in the future.

With the growing popularity and reliance of technology and e-mail the USPS has struggled to remain relevant and profitable.   

Congress has discussed stopping Saturday mail delivery as part of a solution and 3,700 post offices may be shutting down.

 The situation that the USPS is facing can be linked  lin to the country’s economic breakdown.

“The USPS is a private company which has sort of been chartered by the United States Government to deliver mail, and some government money has been made available to them but most of it is self financed by sales of stamps and postage,” said Robert Sonora, associate professor of Economics at Fort Lewis College.

A problem of the Post Office is that regardless of where the mail is being sent to, the pricing is always the same, Sonora said.

When UPS and FEDEX came to be, the USPS lost some of their revenue, compromising sales because of the competition, said Sonora

 “My sense is, that as long as we need letters of some sort, I doubt that the postal service will go away; it will probably be much different then what we know,” Sonora said.

 

Like many college campuses, the FLC Post Office is often busy with students coming to retrieve their mail or hoping to get a ‘care package’ from someone.

The campus post office is not technically a part of the USPS; they are a part of a contract station, said Vickie Albrecht, the Postal Manager at FLC.  The USPS pays for the campus to have a postal service, Albrecht said.

 Even so, the role of the campus post office includes everything that the role of a local post office would entail, Albrecht said.

“We sort the mail, we have a full service window up front so we sell all the postage,” Albrecht said.

 “Well, I pretty much know that they are out of money, they are billions in debt,” she said in response to the current financial state of the USPS.

Beyond the USPS having to pay $5.5 billion later this month, there are a countless number of employees that defaulting could affect.

 

Albrecht does not really see the USPS going bankrupt, she said.

“I don’t see it happening,” she said, “I don’t see the government allowing it to happen, I think eventually they will step in.”

Albrecht explained that the federal government supports the post office financially; all the money that is generated comes from revenue that the USPS creates, she said.

 “It would be really, really hard to get a lot of information out, not everyone has computers or access to computers. So, I think that would be really difficult and then you always have to have hard copies of stuff” Albrecht said.

There are people who would really care if the USPS shut down and people who wouldn’t, she said.

“You are going to still want something physically sent to you and I think that a lot of people would miss that,” she said.

Even though Albrecht does not feel any pressure she is seeing the pressure that they are feeling downtown at the local post office.

Durango is considering relocating a lot of the mail sorting to Farmington.  That decision would affect the ten people downtown that have those positions at this time Albrecht said.

Albrecht continued saying that post offices located in small towns are already being shut down to save money.

This situation that the USPS is facing can be linked  lin to the economic breakdown that the country is currently experiencing.

“The USPS is a private company which has sort of been chartered by the United States Government to deliver mail, and some government money has been made available to them but most of it is self financed by sales of stamps and postage,” said Robert Sonora, associate professor of Economics at FLC.

A problem of the Post Office is that regardless of where the mail is being sent to, the pricing is always the same, Sonora said.

When UPS and FEDX came to be, the USPS lost some of their revenue, compromising sales because of the competition said Sonora

 “My sense is, that as long as we need letters of some sort, I doubt that the postal service will go away; it will probably be much different then what we know,” Sonora said.

 

 

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