Postal Reevaluation

December 5, 1975

Report Outline
Second Thoughts About Past Reform
Development of U.S. Postal System
Outlook for Upgrading Mail Service
Special Focus

Second Thoughts About Past Reform

Dissatisfaction With 1970 Postal Reorganization

Five years after a reorganization act that was supposed to make postal service more efficient, America's mails are still a source of public dissatisfaction. With $11 billion a year in revenue, the United States Postal Service (Usps) is one of the 10 largest corporations in the country, while the size of its 710,000-member labor force is surpassed only by General Motors and American Telephone & Telegraph. The Postal Service is an object of special concern, for its customers include almost every individual and business in the United States. Their economic and social welfare are profoundly affected by the way this gigantic monopoly moves their 90 million pieces of mail during the year.

Of immediate concern are the holiday mail rush and increased postage prices, which come into effect Dec. 28 unless barred unexpectedly by Congress. The Postal Service foresees no problem in handling the Christmas load, assuming there is no drastic change in America's mailing habits. The service reports that its performance last Christmas season was the best in its brief history and that mail service will continue to improve. But the overall record of usps and its approach to postal problems are drawing a new round of criticism.

“Simply put, the results have been less for more—less service at much higher cost,” wrote Robert J. Myers, publisher of The New Republic, in his book The Coming Collapse of the Post Office (1975). “This has affected, among other things, the traditional press freedoms of printed materials, based on low-cost access to the mails, and has called for new definitions of the public interest in postal matters.” Rep. Charles H. Wilson (D Calif.), speaking in a House debate on postal policy on Oct. 29, voiced the feelings of many other legislators who had voted in favor of the reorganization: “[P]ostal management has failed miserably in attempting to attain the goals we in the Congress set for the new semi-independent postal service when the Postal Reorganization Act was passed in 1970. Ever-higher postal rates and constantly deteriorating service have justifiably evoked strong criticism from citizens who are demanding that the widely publicized string of blunders committed by top postal management be halted.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Postal Service
Oct. 09, 1987  Mail Service Changes
Dec. 07, 1984  Postal Service Problems
Dec. 05, 1975  Postal Reevaluation
Feb. 01, 1967  Postal Problems
Mar. 02, 1955  Mail Service, Costs, and Postage Rates
Jun. 01, 1950  Postal Deficit
Oct. 16, 1941  Free Mail
Aug. 02, 1929  The United States Postal Deficit
Postal Service