Tags: Congress | USPS | Groceries

Post Office Wants to Deliver Your Groceries

By Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:31 AM Current | Bio | Archive

I’m old enough to remember when milkmen drove the streets before sunrise delivering dairy products in sweating glass bottles to customer doorsteps.

My family’s last delivery was when I was in the 6th grade, because mom said it was cheaper to buy the milk with the rest of the groceries. Now the United States Postal Service wants to go the milkman one better by not only delivering milk, but all the rest of the groceries, too.

This is because postage just isn’t cutting it for the Postal Service and hasn’t been for quite some time. In the last fiscal year alone the USPS lost $5 billion, the seventh year in a row of losses. In fact the post office maxed out its debt ceiling of $15 billion two years ago.

When you or I max out our credit card spending is over, but this is the government.

So postal management tries to come up with ideas to put the stores and personnel to good use while at the same time not offending Congress. Last year it was selling a line of clothing. Personally, I think having Newman as the public image for postal clothing would have been a bigger public relations disaster than rehiring Lance Armstrong.

Here on Newsmax Michael Reagan speculated on potential USPS clothing marketing strategies:
  • Clothes will only come in three sizes, but you can fit as many people inside as you wish.
  • Customers who plan to purchase in person will see 10 registers, but only one clerk.
  • Customers will not be able to buy on Black Friday, because that will be a holiday.
He may have been premature.

I thought selling replicas of those cool looking leather mailbags had real possibilities.

Mailmen don’t use the bags anymore, but they would be ideal for kids toting books, paper, coupons from Planned Parenthood, bans on prayer, other assorted notices and homework to and from school. Since the bags are worn on the side, there’s no danger of an overloaded kid tipping over backwards if he loses his balance, as often happens now.

He could even alternate sides by day of the week, so spinal distortion evens out.

But postal management either failed to see the obvious potential or didn’t want to contend with deranged PETA demonstrators complaining about the use of leather. What the cow is going to do with the leather after he’s been eaten is never addressed by these fanatics.

Plus the slogan, “Last Year’s Fashion at Twice the Price” never really gained traction.

Which brings us back to the future and grocery deliveries. I have this strange vision of USPS small motor vehicles zipping through the neighborhood like miniature Waste Management trucks — leaving a trail of suspicious liquid dripping out the back.

The USPS proposal doesn’t mention that, but it does call for groceries to be trucked to the government between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. for next day delivery — unless the groceries are missorted — or you’ve got a substitute mailman on your route. Then it’s, “I hope nothing you ordered was frozen.”

Of course it could take even longer if the NSA notifies Michelle Obama that you are ordering too much sodium or too much fat. Then your groceries may be impounded until an Obamacare–certified nutritionist can schedule an in–home visit.

Then there’s the pinkish slip of doom. Will that be part of the program?

I hate it when instead of mail I get that slip requiring an in–person visit to the post office to rescue your correspondence. If you don’t sign for your frozen salmon, will it still be salmon when you get to the post office on Saturday?

The USPS may be tempted to combine mail and grocery delivery, but I can only imagine what the magazines and letters will look like after setting on the porch with sweating milk jugs and melting ice cream.

In the private sector, a business faced with losses on the scale of the post office would be forced to cut back. Just look at the ubiquitous Radio Shack, it’s desperately closing locations to stay viable. Currently the USPS has 31,871 offices.

According to Business Insider, that is more locations than Walmart, Starbucks, and McDonald’s combined. In spite of its lead in locations, the USPS does trail Walmart in number of employees.

Closing locations and reducing employment would be an excellent way to save money and lower costs. Yet Congress fights these proposals with a ferocity matched only by that caused by trying to close a military base.

Aside from term limits, nothing makes a politician feel more mortal than closing a post office named after him.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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The USPS may be tempted to combine mail and grocery delivery, but I can only imagine what the magazines and letters will look like after setting on the porch with sweating milk jugs and melting ice cream.
Congress, USPS, Groceries
Thursday, 02 October 2014 11:31 AM
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