Looking for ideas about the Postal Service’s future is very much in vogue these days. I thought I’d curate a few recent media discussions.
I read a review of a recently published biography of President Calvin Coolidge by Amity Schlaes, and it was the first reference I have found to a President who objected to public ownership of the Postal Service. That was nine decades ago!
Nothing so earth-shattering is in the works these days, but the Postal Service itself is very much trying to tune up for a future look. It recently held its third take on PostalVision 2020, and I was enjoying a read by Harte-Hanks resident Postologist Charley Howard on the conference and its idea generation about future revenue streams for the Postal Service, much of the pdf focuses on the digital platform and secure message delivery: http://www.harte-hanks.com/postology/Harte-Hanks_PostologyReport_2013_May.pdf.
Picking up on one of Charley’s questions: Do people in their 20s give the Postal Service a second thought? I was frozen a minute by this recent ReadWrite post: “My Teenage Son Does Not Know How to Mail a Letter, and I Blame Technology.” This is fascinating to a 50-something!
Recently, USPS Office of the Inspector General’s David C. Williams, who participated in PostalVision 2020, issued a public call for proposals—so to speak—on what Americans might expect from the Postal Service going forward. He thoughtfully cataloged some ideas on the office’s blog, citing white papers undertaken by the office: “Giving America a Voice: Digital Services,” “Giving America a Voice: Revenue Generation Opportunities,” “Giving America a Voice: How Best to Cut Costs?” and its initial “Giving America a Voice” post.
Clearly, America has invested in its Postal Service—and continues to do so—so why not build a bridge to a secure national digital delivery platform? To access and procure e-government services? Or the bevy of other ideas brought on the presence of this network, assuming efficiency in execution. When you have a single service that enters every delivery address in the nation almost every day, it’s certainly not a system we should be walking away from.