Memo To USPS: Don’t Slow Down The Mail

Visitors to the James A. Farley Building in Midtown Manhattan, which formerly served as New York City’s main United States Postal Service (USPS) branch, will find these iconic words inscribed on top: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

This assurance has served as the unofficial moto for the USPS, which prides itself on speedy delivery even if there are places and periods where they fall short. However, this reputation for speedy delivery could soon be a thing of the past. Newly proposed USPS service standards would mean that roughly 40 percent of first-class mail (e.g., letters to Granny) could slow down by up to two days.

While USPS leadership believes that these changes will save money, slowdowns are likely to backfire and contribute to long-run losses. Real reform requires across-the-board cost cutting, rather than longer waiting times for mail.

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