1000’s Of U.S. Publish Workplaces Lose Cash. Ought to Some Be Closed? : NPR

There are greater than 30,000 publish workplace branches throughout the US. Most do generate income, however 1000’s, largely in rural areas, value extra to function than they soak up.



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There are greater than 31,000 publish places of work on this nation. They promote stamps and companies. However in lots of locations, particularly in rural areas, that is simply not sufficient to cowl their prices. Here is NPR’s Brian Naylor.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Some 42% of the nation’s publish places of work had been underwater in 2019, not producing sufficient income to cowl their bills, in line with the Postal Service’s inspector normal. Half of those who did not cowl their prices are inside 5 miles of one other publish workplace. So are there too many publish places of work?

PAUL STEIDLER: The quick reply is not any.

NAYLOR: That is Paul Steidler of the right-leaning Lexington Institute and who research the U.S. Postal Service. He says the company checked out this challenge a decade in the past.

STEIDLER: Patrick Donahoe, the postmaster normal on the time, proposed closing 3,700 publish places of work, about 12% of the quantity which might be within the nation right now. And admittedly, there was a firestorm of bipartisan, intense congressional opposition to this.

NAYLOR: It is a bipartisan challenge as a result of the agricultural publish places of work are typically in pink state America. James O’Rourke is a professor at Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Enterprise. He says the Postal Service settled for service cutbacks.

JAMES O’ROURKE: What they did was go away them open and scale back working hours to about six hours, in some circumstances, 4 and at the same time as few as two hours at some publish places of work.

NAYLOR: However the inspector normal’s report says the Postal Service hasn’t taken any additional steps to earn more money at its retail operations however does have a number of choices. There is a congressional subsidy for rural publish places of work, which the Postal Service has by no means used. And there are different companies it may very well be offering, like promoting looking and fishing licenses, leasing a part of their buildings or, O’Rourke says, moving into banking.

O’ROURKE: Entry to secure and inexpensive monetary companies, I feel, is important, significantly amongst low-income households. It is one thing the Postal Service might do very simply. They have the places. They’ve clerks which might be educated in accepting and managing cash. They usually have a concentrate on customer support.

NAYLOR: A bunch of Democrats in Congress has proposed simply that, a pilot mission to supply low-cost checking and financial savings accounts, ATMs, even small loans at publish places of work. Democratic Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York spoke at a Capitol Hill information convention.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: The Postal Service is superior (laughter). We love the Postal Service. Individuals love the Postal Service. They need to shield the Postal Service. They need to broaden the Postal Service. And this invoice does simply that, elevating over a billion {dollars} in income for our Postal Companies in order that our – from everybody from our infants to our seniors can proceed to benefit from the companies that they supply.

NAYLOR: It is not clear how a lot assist the Democrats’ plan has in Congress. Paul Steidler thinks it is ill-advised. And he says publish places of work have a price past their revenue margins.

STEIDLER: Postal Companies, particularly in rural areas, are typically part of the city’s id, part of the city’s historical past. Lots of them are, you recognize, 100-plus years outdated, have very iconic and exquisite structure. So there is a worth there past, you recognize, how a lot they make or do not make.

NAYLOR: And mail carriers go the final mile for some main shippers, together with delivering prescriptions and serving as a lifeline in rural areas. In response to the inspector normal’s report, the Postal Service says present legislation forbids it from closing small publish places of work simply because they’re working at a deficit. Though, the company’s not too long ago launched 10-year plan said it’d suggest consolidating a small variety of publish workplace branches in city areas.

Brian Naylor, NPR Information.

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https://www.npr.org/2021/04/27/991117864/thousands-of-u-s-post-offices-lose-money-should-some-be-closed