The U.S Postal Service reported a third-quarter loss of more than $500 million. If you are wondering whether this is news you’re already heard, it is. The USPS has been running deficits for years.
But this was not how the Postal Service was supposed to work. Congress abolished the tottering old Post Office Department in 1971 and replaced it with the USPS. An “independent establishment of the executive branch,”the Postal Service was designed to be self-sustaining. Toward this end, it has more operational freedom than a typical government agency. It can, for example, sell unneeded real estate with relative ease. The agency also has managed, to its credit, to downsize its workforce by 225,000 persons over the past decade.
So why is the agency losing money? Four charts explain the Postal Service’s financial struggles…. (Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)