Anti-USPS group admits USPS workers are the most productive in the world

Here’s a strange one- the “Consumers Postal Council”, which is actually a front for the radical libertarian Lexington Institute, has something nice to say about the US Postal Service! Normally Lexington’s “reports” just keep repeating the mantra that the private sector could deliver the mail faster and cheaper. The fact that privatized posts tend to have higher costs and poorer service than the USPS doesn’t shake the faith of these true believers.

So it was startling to see an item on the “Postal Consumers Council” web site demonstrating that the USPS has by far the most productive work force in the world! There’s no indication why the group suddenly changed its attitude toward the USPS. Maybe the Chief Ideologue left early for the holiday weekend, or perhaps last week’s Rapture had something to do with it?

The productivity of national posts, as expressed by the number of business and personal letters per postal worker, varies widely, while the U.S. Postal Service averages more than twice the letter productivity of number two Korea Post.

The United States leads the category by a wide margin, with nearly 250,000 letters per postal worker in 2008, among the countries in the Consumer Postal Council’s Index of Postal Freedom. That’s nearly 140,000 letters per worker (full-time and part-time) more than the next country, South Korea.

via Market Comparisons > Market Comparison #2.

  • William Tyndale

    Please, let’s not let facts or data get in the way of the union busting drive for privatization. Remember, the narrative is that the Postal Service is a miserable failure, a financial mess, and a drain on the American taxpayer. If we stick to the narrative, dismiss all factual evidence to the contrary, and cling steadfastly to our ideological imperatives then we’ll have a real opportunity to destroy a valuable piece of our national infrastructure. In the last several years we’ve eliminated 200,000 good middle class jobs, another half a million to go for a true demonstration of libertarian theology at work.

  • chris

    A drain on the American taxpayer? We do not use any taxpayer money. The only money we use is money from postage. Get the facts straight the republicans want to destroy the postal service and have the price of the stamp to be 1.50 and the employees making federal minimum wage with no benefits. This way they can make money on stocks.

  • trout

    Sometimes the truth can not be denied…..speaking of the rapture…Sara Palin was asked her opinion of the rapture last week…her reply….”they were the scariest dinosaurs in Jurassic Park”!

  • brian

    umm chris- I believe William was being sarcastic…

  • john

    trout-now that was funny.

  • New Blood

    The problem w/ the postal service isn’t productivity. It is the postal service’s relevance, or lack thereof, that is running it into the ground. Productivty means nothing if revenue consistently falls short of cost. Also, just cuz the postal service pushes more mail per worker than south korea doesn’t say much. Productivity incorporates capital into the equation. My hunch is that the machines make postal workers look more productive [especially clerks and city carriers].

    Also, the Postal Service has borrowed $15 billlllion dollars from the Treasury. That is as good as a taxpayer subsidy as any via the printing press. Therefore, those that claim the postal service is not taxpayer subsidized is being intellectually dishonest. Then again, look who is perpetuating the myth of self sufficiency.

  • brian

    “Productivty means nothing if revenue consistently falls short of cost.”
    Right- and the fact is that revenue has NOT consistently fallen short of cost. Without the trust fund tax, the USPS is still operating at close to break even. The only intellectual dishonesty here is your suggestion that the USPS is taxpayer subsidized because the federal government has forced it to borrow $15 billion, ALL of which, plus about $14 billion more, the USPS has had to loan BACK to the Treasury in the form of the “trust fund”.
    The only myth in your comment is the suggestion that you have any idea what you’re talking about. Try using facts next time.

  • NashuaMH

    New Blood of course we BORROWED money how else could we pay crazy gov fees. didnt you see article that 90% of 20 billion losses is directly related to prepayment. makes you wonder if we would have to borrow anything from the gov to make payments to the gov. your congressman doest even use stamps to mail to their constituents. they merely sign their name once again no taxpayer money. you prob consider getting our overpayments to CSRS fund back as a bailout also.

  • George

    There are many facts being distorted here. I have no doubt the USPS is the most modern delivery service in the world. I have no doubt parts of the work force are the most productive force in the world. In spite of the fragmentation within the postal service I have no doubt that delivering to 150 million addresses 6 days a week to facilitate connecting the US as a cohesive unit is a great function endowed by our founding fathers upon the electorate. I have no doubt that printed paper has changed and there is a deeper emphasis on text, fax, and email, but being a carrier myself I know these things and I also know the mission. Email fills a gap, but also facilitates ordering through the internet, which generates catalogs and parcels to all delivery services. Texting fills a social media that is above and beyond mass mailers needs and doesn’t negate the fact that mass mailers still need access to the American Public through a mass delivery service such as the USPS.

  • George

    One more thing, each route delivers 750,000 pieces of mail to over a million pieces of mail per year. If you get the average of special class mails, parcels, tracking, delivery confirmations, signature capture, registered letters and parcels, and collected mail and parcels most routes far exceed their costs and the costs of associated functions, in spite of our mission to service small towns and remote areas at a loss. Our office made a profit of over a million dollars last year. We are not suppose to be a for profit business and that is why 80% overhead seems high, but it is not when you look at our mission requirements. IF we were a for-profit business there would be investors, a board of directors, stocks, and the company would be in a better position to adjust their rates to compete with others in the industry. We can’t do all of that, and still we function without tax-payer subsidy. Teamsters don’t like us, and they love stir the pot and focus on our monopoly and rag congress about splitting up the USPS for their gain. Congress gets votes and pac monies from Teamster organizations in spite of the fact that part of the UPSP unions are under the same AFL-CIO umbrella. Congress plays for votes, news medias have their favorites, (makes good print and also stirs the pots that gives them their shares,) and as long as everyone is struggling to stay alive it makes good reading.

  • Rich

    On August 16 a report filed by USPS Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Financial Accountability John Cihota found that the OPM had overcharged the Federal Employees Retirement System to the tune of $6.8 billion.
    USPS Inspector General David Williams reported in January that the Service had overpaid into its CSRS account by $75 billion, the result of an OPM miscalculation that forces the USPS to pay a higher portion of the pensions than it owed.
    Cihota’s report notes that variables such as sick-leave credit, mortality estimates and future return rates are critical to calculating FERS funding obligations and determining how much of the $6.8 billion surplus could be used to address other financial issues.
    The report recommended that the Postal Service pursue legislative action to adjust its funding requirements until the FERS surplus is reduced.

    I think what everyone is focusing on is completely the wrong mindset. Politicians are talking about a bailout for the Post Office, even some of our own employees are talking like this. The numbers above were from the OIG’s office that we must try and trust. This is our money that they took away from us. Instead of this being a bailout for us this money was loaned to the government from the Postal Employees. Therefore not only should we be asking no demanding that our money be paid back, but just as any lending corporation would, we should be asking for interest on top of that. This is a perfect example of how our government munipulates people and the media and gets everyone to turn on us when it is not our fault but theirs. If you have been in the Postal Service more than 20 years you know that mail volume is very, very low. But even in these difficult times if the government would pay their debt that they owe us we would still be in the black. The sad part here is that the US government owes so many companies and Countries that we may never see ours repaid. So they will continue to attack us with downsizing, 5 day delivery and anything else they can think of. There is a major attack on the working people in this country. This is just another attack. Watch who you vote for it may come back to haunt you. Yes trout I have to concur with John the remark and the reply of Sarah Palin was great. If there are any Sarah Palin fans on here they will probably never get it as this is why they are Sarah’s followers.

  • Tom

    Don’t try to confuse things with FACTS, stick to the issues !

  • Barnbumm

    If they would hire more TE’s on the city side they would have less union grievances over using rural carrier subs. So you may need to close a post office or a lot. it is cheeper to hire te’s and let go at any time for any reason than to continue to pay penilty over and over again. How is that not seen??? every office in my area is short handed working 10-11 hours everyday. they take a te from a small 6 route office to give to a 15 route office..i dont understand …costing more money to a company thats hurting. I say get more help and do away with all this overtime will help the bottom line numbers GREATLY!!!