The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

March 9, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-9 | USPS not broke, crisis is manufactured

— The U.S. Postal Service is not broke. The postmaster general’s plan to stop Saturday delivery of letters and, theoretically, save the USPS $2 billion a year, is a cut in service playing into the hands of those who want you to believe the post office is broke.

Assorted corporate front groups and some congressmen and women, all want- ing to privatize the postal service, along with their supporters in the media, have been pounding out a steadily rising drumbeat to warn that your postal service faces impending doom.

It’s true that emails and tweets are faster than mail, but there remains a vast demand for postal services, especially where broadband does not exist.

FedEx has its place, but its self-serving priority is always to go after maximum profit. It has no interest in or ability to deliver universal service at an affordable price to the whole nation.

The pre-funding of retiree health care costs of $5.5 billion should be going to services.

While the postal service hasn’t taken any tax money since 1971, it is delivering         40 percent of the world’s mail. Six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles toting an average of 563 million pieces of mail, reaching individual homes and workplaces in America – and the cost starts at 46 cents. If a recipient has moved, his or her mail is forwarded.

This is a manufactured crisis to reduce delivery from six to five days a week, and eventually to none.

As each day of delivery is eliminated, the sanctity of the mails erodes, and your mailbox becomes just a receptacle, inviting anyone to invade your privacy.

Joseph G. Antal

Ebensburg                                                                                                                   President, Pennsylvania State Association of Letter Carriers

City council lacking motivated leaders

Mayor and council president are among five city of Johnstown council positions up for election in the May primary.

Residents deserve to have motivated leaders. The mayor of any city is a key administrator.

Promises made by our mayor and council members before they were elected have not been kept, including addressing blighted properties and making street repairs. Turmoil continues within the council.

It’s time for change to bring a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Think before you vote. Will we move forward or remain in stagnation mode?

B.J. Mroczka

Johnstown

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