Senator McCain’s Postal Executive Pay Amendment Explained

In offering Amendment 252 to S. 493, the bill reauthorizing a number of Small Business Administration programs, Senator McCain proposes lower limits on compensation of postal employees.   The amendment removes a section from current law and appears to add a new section but does not identify a section number for the new language. Senator McCain’s amendment changes the limit on the salary paid to the Postmaster General from $276,840 to $230.700. It may affect compensation packages of other senior officers.  It ties the change to the Postal Service’s payment of its obligations to the United States Treasury.   The restrictions do not exist if the obligations are to private sector lenders.  This would assume that [...] Read more »

Senator McCain’s Healthcare Premium Amendment Explained

In offering Amendment 251 ot S. 493, the bill reauthorizing a number of Small Business Administration programs, Senator McCain proposes to reduce the Postal Service’s share of the the health insurance premium from  81%  to 72%  and reduce the Postal Service’s share of the life insurance premium from 100% to 33%.   According to the Government Accountability Office this would have saved the Postal Service $619 million in FY 2009.   Given increases in health insurance premiums, this is likely significantly higher today. This amemdment has different effects for the Postal Service’s unionized and non-union employees.    The Postal Service could implement this provision nearly immediately for its non-union employees.  For unionized employees, it [...] Read more »

The Future of the Document – White Pages

The Baltimore Sun reported today that the Maryland legislature will soon vote to end the requirement that Verizon deliver the White Pages in Maryland.   While Pages are an anachronysm as land line telephone numbers are available from many sources on line including .  More importantly, the value of a directory of land line phone numbers in print or on line is declining as more and more indivduals only have wireless phone numbers that are not listed. The loss of the White Pages will hurt the paper manufacturers and directory printers as well as companies paid by Verizon to drop the directories at every Maryland address.   The loss will also be felt [...] Read more »

McCain Amendment on Rural Service Explained

Trying to understand legislative language is hard as often a bill may only change a few words or a sentence, leaving it up to the reader to understand what changes.  The paragraph below shows the changes that Senator John McCain wants to make to the section of the Tile 39 U.S.C. that describe public policy regarding rural post offices.  The changes are included in amendment No 250 to S.493 which reauthorizes a number of Small Business Administration programs. Section 101 (b)The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office [...] Read more »

Postal Employees Could Face Increased Contribution for Health Care Insurance

Postal News has reported that Senator John McCain has offered an amendment to Senate Bill 493 that would force the Postal Service to increase the share of the health insurance and life insurance premiums that employees pay.   The amemdment would set a floor on employee health insurance contribution equal to what Federal employees pay.  The amendment puts severe restrictions on Postal Service borrowing and payments to the Postal Service from the U.S. Treasury if it does not change how much employees contribute to their health and life insurance premium.  It is not clear if the amendment would prohibit the Treasury from paying for postage for mailings of Congress or executive departments. [...] Read more »

A Look Back in History – How a Postal Clerk Saved Lives

One of my favorite history books is Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen.    Only Yesterday is an informal history of the period from the end of World War I to the Great Crash in 1929.  As such, it combines a history of the culture of the time with politics and economics that gives life to a period that is only distant memory.  Fortunately, for web savvy readers, the University of Virginia has put the book on line for anyone to read for free.  (They also have a remarkable list of other books of American historical and literary significance that can be read for free.) I was reminded about the book [...] Read more »

Why Rural Post Offices Resonate

As part of research that I am currently doing, I ended up looking at the city page of Ash Flat, Arkansas. In describing the history of the town, one line stands out. With increases in population and trade, Ash Flat became a town when a new post office was built in 1856. If a town is born when a new post office is created, it is not surprising that a town mourns what looks like its approaching death when its post office closes.   Tweet Read more »

Logistics Does Not End At The Dock

Here is a video from Great Britain showing the logistics inside of National Health Service Hospital.   Obviously internal logistics, including inventory management create real opportunities for companies like DHL, FedEx, TNT and United Parcel Service that handle logistics to the dock door.  You can see by looking at shirt logos that thos is a DHL contract operations.   So it is possible for DHL to handle the logistics from manufacturer to patient.   Tweet Read more »

Macroeconomics and the Mailing Industry

The mailing industry is an industry that depends on strong consumer demand.   Whether we are talking about transactions paid through the mail, advertising, or parcel delivery, mail volume will rise or fall depending on consumer demand.   The industry will likely prosper if consumer demand grows and will face even more challenges than it does now if consumer demand falls.  That is why the current debate regarding fiscal policy and the macroeconomic effects of that debate fiscal policy is so important to the industry.  A recent article in the National Journal nicely summarizes the opposing viewpoints as expressed by the Joint Economic Committee Republicans and the Federal Reserve Chairman  Benjamin Bernanke and [...] Read more »