let’s talk about the united states postal service

usps_2020

I’ve had this topic and post idea in my mind for a while, but this issue has been in the news a little more than usual, which gave me the push to talk about it. I think that a lot of us take the postal service for granted or don’t truly understand its value to our society. Now that it’s being threatened and at risk, we are all waking up to what life would be like without it. And with everything going on *cough cough* COVID-19, the last thing we need is an under-appreciated postal service to dissolve.


an overview of USPS. The original usage of the postal service was a way to circulate information, specifically political information imperative to the revolutionary war. It started “as part of a communications infrastructure for political debate and civic participation.” It’s a constitutionally mandated government service.

what’s the current problem? The main issue is that they are running out of funding, which means that the postal service is in jeopardy. Like I mentioned earlier, USPS is mandated by federal law, however, it receives no federal funding. As a result, it’s pretty clear and visible that they are struggling to function and maintain their services. Another major issue is the ignorance surrounding the postal service’s problems. People don’t see this as a trendy and appealing issue to talk about, which adds to the initial problem that people don’t understand how the system works. We also need to think about the ramifications of the USPS falling apart, like what that means for 630,000 dependent employees, small businesses, voters, and Americans overall.

how does this impact workers? Over 600,000 people are employed by the postal service. To put that into perspective, Target employs about half the number of people that USPS employs. They also have a history of providing work opportunities to minority communities, specifically black communities. According to the official USPS website, 21% of employees identify as African American. Without the postal service, you’ve got more than half a million people without jobs, hurting already marginalized communities,

what does USPS have to do with the election? This is such a big topic that I might even dedicate an entire post to it. The issue, condensed is, with health concerns surrounding COVID-19, voting by mail is being considered by so many more people than ever before. However, USPS plays a large part in making that a reality and without it, a lot could change with the election. Additionally, political leaders, like the president, have openly admitted to denying funds to USPS in hopes of hampering their ability and credibility regarding the election. For a more in-depth look at the postal service’s significance to the election, I recommend reading this article. To read more of my views on the election, you can click here.

what can we do? I’ve gone over the significance of the postal service and what an intricate role it plays in our society. Now, what do we do? There’s the general action that applies to everything. Things like contacting your representative, signing petitions, educating yourself. Those things are all good, but if you want to take your action further, then VOTE! Vote early by mail or vote for candidates that value USPS. Here is a link you can use for some more resources and links. Another thing that is always nice to do – support local businesses that use USPS or use USPS whenever you can, instead of some bigger companies. 

stamps.The last thing, amongst the few quick and small things you can do to support them, buying stamps is always great. Not only does it help support USPS, but you can also help different nonprofits and organizations by purchasing specific stamp collections. You know how much I like facts and statistics, so you can click here to read about some stamp facts like revenue and how much they donate from stamp revenue.


I know that it seems a little silly to get passionate about something like the post office, but it’s necessary. Don’t forget to vote and don’t forget to stay educated!

RESOURCES + Opinion Pieces:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/why-postal-service-worth-saving/610672/

https://www.governing.com/gov-data/public-workforce-salaries/postal-service-usps-employment-number-of-employees-by-state.html

https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/8/7/21358946/postal-service-mail-delays-election-trump-mail-in-ballots

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/04/the-postal-service-is-a-civic-institution-not-a-business/256306/

https://www.cnn.com/2011/09/09/opinion/rubio-postal-service-matters/index.html#:~:text=Their%20jobs%20mattered%20to%20communities,largest%20employers%20of%20African%2DAmericans.&text=Many%20don’t%20make%20the,but%20also%20generates%20U.S.%20mail.

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