A few of you have e-mailed me about the latest list of post office closures, released on Friday. I think there’s an interesting gap between how the public perceives the closures and how the Postal Service perceives them.
To the Postal Service, though, these closures are a pretty minor item. I don’t mean they’re not taking them seriously. But the closures represent a tiny fraction of the agency’s budget/network problems. The latest list of possible closures includes just 371 post offices — about 1 percent of the Postal Service’s 37,000+ facilities. And closing them all will save, at most, $100 million per year, or 1.5 percent of the Postal Service’s $7 billion budget deficit.
John Potter, in his speech at the National Press Club on Thursday, basically asked everyone to stop focusing so much on the closures and turn to bigger issues, like 5-day delivery and new lines of business for the Postal Service.
That gap in perception obviously makes it harder for the Postal Service to implement what it believes are the best policies. Members of Congress are going to react to public outcry over post office closures, regardless of whether the Postal Service says they’re necessary.
But I guess it’s also an encouraging sign for the Postal Service, no? It’d be a bad sign if people weren’t attached to their neighborhood post offices.