The current U.S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, has been criticized by members of Congress, some of his employees and Americans who rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to get their mail. Many of these critics have given logical reasons why the operations of the USPS have deteriorated over the course of his time as the head of the organization. He was never qualified for the job, based on his background. He has held the position for over two years, marked by deteriorating service. The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service can replace him, and it should.
DeJoy introduced a 10-year plan for the USPS in March 2021. The idea that it should take 10 years to turn around the institution is, in and of itself, a major management weakness. Parts of the plan are to get 95% of the mail delivered on time, offer services like those from UPS and FedEx and improve technology and infrastructure. At any large company, those goals would be part of a program that has a much shorter timeline. When the 10-year “Delivering For America” plan was launched, DeJoy commented, “The need for the U.S. Postal Service to transform to meet the needs of our customers is long overdue.”
Much of Congress supported part of DeJoy’s plan as it passed the Postal Service Reform Act. There was some significant dissent. Sen. Jerry Moran said the USPS was in a “death spiral.”
DeJoy’s plans miss the marks needed to turn the USPS around. His idea that mail should be delivered six days a week is wrong. Few Americans need to receive letters and junk mail that often. Almost everyone in the country has access to email. And this email almost always can be sent with attachments that contain the material many physical packages do.
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The USPS has far too many offices and workers. The system made sense decades ago before the rise of UPS, FedEx, email, scanners and fax machines. The count of post offices at 31,247 is absurdly high. Even small towns have a physical post office. The USPS has an absurdly high 516,000 career workers and another 136,000 non-career workers. One goal should be to lower both the employee count and office count by limiting the need to make unnecessary deliveries from locations that are no longer needed.
Someone other than DeJoy needs to take over. The 10-year plan needs to be replaced with a more realistic one that includes making the USPS much smaller and in tune with the 21st century.
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