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On the end of USPS 1st Class Saturday delivery:

Displaying poll results.
I support the change, strongly
  5867 votes / 24%
I support the change, mildly
  4277 votes / 17%
The USPS is dropping Saturday delivery?
  2571 votes / 10%
I am against the change, mildly
  2593 votes / 10%
I am against the change, strongly
  2446 votes / 10%
I'm going to sell all my USPS stock right now!
  1629 votes / 6%
Pfui! My country's post system does a better job.
  4569 votes / 19%
23952 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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On the end of USPS 1st Class Saturday delivery:

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 09, 2013 @04:35PM (#42845853)

    The big problem isn't really that the USPS isn't government funded, it's that congress requires them to over-fund the pension fund for postal workers. When the postal union agrees with the USPS, you can bet it's true.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 09, 2013 @05:45PM (#42846273)
    The ones making $35/hr are not the average USPS workers. You can find some exceptions, sure, but the vast majority are making well below that. The average hourly wage of a mail sorter is about $23, with 80% percent of mail sorters receiving between $12 and $25. Postal clerks about $25/hr, with 80% between $24 and $27. Carriers about $24/hr, with 80% between $19 and $27.
  • Congress hates us (Score:5, Informative)

    by StanramonFlash (1672898) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @07:25PM (#42846915)
    Congress is trying to break the Postal union. They're actually quite solvent right now and in the black. The problem it would seem is that Congress is insisting the USPS have enough money on hand? to pay for 15 years worth of pensions. I couldn't find supporting evidence of this but this opinion piece in Reuters seems to support this conclusion. http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/07/20/how-congress-is-killing-the-post-office/ [reuters.com]
  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Saturday February 09, 2013 @07:31PM (#42846951)

    What is wrong with the USPS

    1) My tax dollars subsidize it.

    Not in the last 30 years they haven't. Unless you were a taxpayer in the 70s, your tax dollars _never_ subsidized USPS.
    Perhaps they should be subsidized with tax dollars, but they certainly are not at the moment.
    They are being forced into keeping the prices down and handling the non-profitable routes though. All the responsibility and none of the benefits, really.

    The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters.

  • by geoskd (321194) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @08:45PM (#42847345)

    Not in the last 30 years they haven't. Unless you were a taxpayer in the 70s, your tax dollars _never_ subsidized USPS.

    You should really know something before you make statements like that. According to the USPS annual budget report, the USPS has basically survived by borrowing close to $15 Billion from the Fed in interest free loans. About 2/3 of that debt is related to the pension costs, but the rest is simply operating losses. If the USPS goes under before paying it back, then yes, the taxpayers have to foot the bill for the entire amount. Even if the USPS does pay it back, we are still talking about interest free loans. Where do I go to get a 0% interest loan when I need one?

    If you include a normal interest rate for a business loan, say, 5%, then you can tack an additional $4 Billion onto that bill. So in a very real sense we are subsidizing the USPS, and it becomes even worse if the USPS tanks before paying us. The only difference between the USPS failing and any other business at that point is that the union members pensions are largely funded so that they don't take it in the shorts as bad as the auto workers did...

    -=Geoskd

  • by zixxt (1547061) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @03:52PM (#42852547)

    Because minimum wages cause job shortages. If you increase the minimum wage, you will increase unemployment among those affected. It's a choice you have to make. Minimum wages are essentially a form of price control, and you get similar results. You can find this info in any basic economics textbook.

    Wrong on all points.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @05:06PM (#42853219) Journal
    Textbook economic theory is backed up by evidence; there's plenty of empirical research that shows it does happen in reality. For a recent case, you can look at the minimum wage increase in Western Samoa, that got so bad president Obama opposed further increase.

    Also, your link is a 404 Not Found.
  • by sinnergy (4787) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @06:05PM (#42853733) Homepage

    Actually, "those bastards" are practically the only thing that keeps the USPS running at all.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @11:08PM (#42855547) Homepage Journal

    Because minimum wages cause job shortages. If you increase the minimum wage, you will increase unemployment

    I hate to have to point this out, but there's an inverse correlation between minimum wage in a country and rate of unemployment.

    One of the reasons is that when minimum wage is something you can actually live on, attrition decreases, which in turn increases average worker productivity. The higher wage pays for itself.
    Really low wages look really good to the MBA who runs the company, and then he wonders why he spends so much on training and get workers who don't take pride in their job and don't stay. That is because economic models don't take into account human factors.

  • by mellon (7048) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @11:51PM (#42855735) Homepage

    No, what minimum wage says is that it's illegal to compete with the guy down the street by cutting your worker's wages below a certain point. Prevents a race to the bottom, or at least sets what the end point of the race is. It's true that if the market can't bear the price that results from wages being set higher, then you have unemployment. But it's also true that up to the point where that happens, you have no change in employment.

    Unemployment is so high among unskilled laborers because there's no demand for their work—we have machines to do that, and the machines are getting better every day. Every unskilled worker who is needed has a job, but not enough are needed.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:28AM (#42856181) Homepage Journal

    In the US, that would be mainly teenagers. And look at their unemployment rate.

    The published unemployment rate in the US is artificial. Unlike most countries, long term unemployed are removed from the statistics. That's mostly older people, which skews the figures towards showing a too high rate for young people.

    Neither does it take into account those who, against their wishes, but in order to survive, will take early retirement or SS disability. That's mostly older people too, who disappear from the statistics without having found employment.. In countries where unemployment benefits aren't as time limited as here, this is less of a problem.

    Our statistics also doesn't count the under-employed, i.e. those who do have a job, but don't make enough to make ends meet, so they're still looking for jobs.

    The problem is that some money is better than no money, so workers will take jobs with almost no pay, because the alternative is even worse. Decreasing the minimum wage will not improve this; rather the opposite. It may make the unemployment statistics look better, but only in the same way as in the Soviet Union, where people didn't get paid enough to live on, but there was no unemployment. It's the same scum that floats to the top of the corporate world as to the politbureau, and the only ones who think they create jobs are the severely gullible.

    Ask people: Do you earn enough to keep you or your family with housing, energy, meals and clothing? It's the amount of positive answers to that which needs to go down, and lowering the minimum wage won't do that.

    tl;dr: Two people making $4 an hour isn't better than one person making $8 an hour. At least with the latter, you may have one person who doesn't starve.

  • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Monday February 11, 2013 @08:28AM (#42857957)
    I agree with your criticism of the unemployment calculation. However, the issue that you are missing with regard to the inverse relationship between unemployment and minimum wage is that not every potential employees time is worth the same amount to an employer.

    If the minimum is $8/hr, but my labor is only worth $6/hr, then I will be unemployed. My labor might not be worth that extra $2/hr because of my poor education, work ethic, language skills, personality, etc. However that doesn't change the fact that a company would lose money by hiring me.

    Also, because of other costs like insurance, retirement benefits, and human resources costs that many governments require you to pay on behalf full-time employees, but not part time employees, you can frequently hire 3 or more $4/hr employees in place of a single $8/hr employee and for less in total cost. Fringe, the HR term for employee costs in addition to salary, can be anywhere from 30-60% of base salary for a full time employee.

    I am speaking from 1st hand experience. The research lab I worked in hired 2 temporary workers for less than the cost of a single permanent employee for basic tasks. I wanted to make one of the temporary employees permanent, but we just could not afford it
  • by mcl630 (1839996) on Monday February 11, 2013 @07:18PM (#42866943)

    How about some actual numbers?

    From USPS Q1 2013 financials [usps.com], page 27:

    Volume:
    1st Class 17,723 million pieces (a decline from the previous year)
    Standard (Bulk) Mail 22,622 million pieces (an increase from the previous year)

    Revenue:
    1st Class $7.507 Billion (down from $7.744 the previous year)
    Standard (Bulk) $4.633 Billion (up from $4.492 the previous year)

    So 1st Class still represents more revenue than Standard, but less volume. 1st Class is in decline while Standard is growing, although they note that much of the growth in Standard was due to the election campaigns.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

 



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