Readers React

Lightening the Postal Service's retirement burden

To the editor: Your recent editorial recommending fixes for the United States Postal Service was sadly behind the times on this issue. ("Stop helicopter-parenting the Postal Service," Editorial, Nov. 13)

Revenue from parcel delivery has offset the decline in letter volume, and if it wasn't for the absurd $5-billion annual payment required by Congress to pre-fund retirement benefits, the service would be firmly in the black.

So, with all this business streaming in and demanding timely delivery, how would cutting a service day help matters or save money? A return to postal banking would bring needed revenue to the USPS while bringing secure banking to underserved areas — at a local post office.

Sean Lanham, Petaluma, Calif.

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To the editor: The trouble with the USPS is that postal rates are way too low. In Canada it costs the U.S. dollar equivalent of 75 cents to mail a letter. In England it's a minimum of 83 cents, and in Norway it's $2.07.

International rates are even more underpriced. A 1-ounce letter from here to either Australia or England costs $1.15. Going the other way it is $2.24 from England and $2.36 from Australia.

Richard Pollard, Santa Monica

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