With the appointment last night of a new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, the reset button has been pushed on potential additional Congressional assistance to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in the “Stimulus 4” package and on postal reform generally. This provides an opportunity for major and overdue reforms, rather than just putting tens of billions of dollars into a broken business model.
Congressional Assistance. Over the past few weeks, House Democrats, postal unions and online retailers have been clamoring for tens of billions of dollars in unrestricted grants to the Postal Service, claiming it will soon collapse. They should try a different approach. An imminent collapse appears highly unlikely, and the new Postmaster General has built his career finding ways to innovate and improve operations rather than seeking handouts.
Foundation for Holistic Postal Reform. Any additional assistance to the Postal Service should be tied to holistic postal reform, defining USPS’s mission and what the cost of that mission is. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is also expected to release a report in the coming days about the importance of this, another reason to halt the rush to massive bailout assistance.
Cost control and business transformation take center stage. Louis DeJoy has the grit and background to drive positive, transformational change at USPS. A native of Brooklyn, he is an accomplished, decades-long logistics executive who took a 10-person family business and grew it into a nationwide provider of highly engineered, technology-driven, contract logistics solutions employing more than 9,000 people. In tight-margin logistics, he demonstrated the ability to manage costs, create efficiencies and find growth opportunities. His approach and background are much needed at the Postal Service.
About the Author: Paul Steidler is a Senior Fellow at the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank based in Arlington, Virginia.
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