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Postal News Roundup

USPS Responds to Mailers Op-ed - Response to The Hill op-ed on PRC 10-year review
“While the U.S. Postal Service welcomes constructive dialog surrounding the Postal Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) 10-year review of the pricing system for market-dominant products, we cannot let false and irresponsible claims made by several mailing industry leaders in a recent The Hill op-ed go unchallenged. Although we remain optimistic about our future with continued aggressive management and legislative and regulatory reform, the Postal Service is not currently “in good financial shape,” despite what the authors say.  To the contrary, we continue to face very serious, but solvable, financial challenges. First-Class Mail — our most profitable product — declined by 36 percent since 2007 and is expected to continue to decline as a result of divergence to digital communications and the increase in online transactions…” 

Linn's Stamp News: U.S. Postal Service pushing PRC to lift 10-year cap on stamp price increases
“If you think that Postmaster General Megan Brennan has a difficult job trying to convince Congress to help the financially struggling United States Postal Service, you’re right. But that’s only one of the fights that the nation’s 74th postal chief is facing. Brennan’s other, less-known struggle could be just as difficult. She is trying to convince the four-member Postal Regulatory Commission to remove a 10-year-old price cap that limits the size of stamp price increases to no more than the rate of inflation…That’s proven not to be enough to keep the nation’s mail system from running huge deficits, the Postal Service argued in a March 20 filing with the commission. ‘The price cap has failed to achieve most or all of the statutory objectives,’ concluded the 224-page filing…”

WTVR.com: Cluster boxes - Neighbor disgruntled that nearby home gets mail deliver, but they don’t
“… Taylor said even though her new home was built in an already established neighborhood, the USPS said it could not deliver to her. It make matter worse, she said she sees mail trucks cruising through her subdivision every day. Taylor said she was told they won't deliver to new construction houses because they are supposed to have a cluster box. USPS spokesperson Freda Sauter confirmed that cluster boxes should be installed by the developer. Each year they add new delivery addresses which has a major impact to their costs, Sauter said. ‘The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars to fund its operations,’ Sauter said. ‘We have an obligation to the public to use the most efficient and effective means of delivery to keep costs down. Centralized Service is our most efficient delivery method.’”

The Street: Amazon Gives First Sneak Peek of Its U.S. Drone Delivery Service
“Amazon (AMZN)  showed off its drone technology behind Amazon Prime Air to the U.S. public for the first time this week with the help of the FAA. The service is designed to deliver packages weighing up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less by small drones flying at speeds of 50 mph.  The drone was part of the company's first public demonstration of the technology at Amazon's MARS (machine learning, automation, robotics and space exploration) robotics conference in Palm Springs, California on Monday. The drone delivered a box of sunscreen bottles to a target square. After the package was removed from the drone, it flew away…” 

Huffington Post: Bernie Sanders, Top Progressives Announce New ‘Medicare For All’ Push
“WASHINGTON ― In the wake of the Republican failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Friday, leading figures in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party are rallying behind a single-payer health insurance and a raft of other bold reforms. These lawmakers and grassroots leaders have long believed that the problems plaguing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, are rooted in the original health care law’s attempt to accommodate, rather than gradually replace, the private, for-profit health insurance system. Now that efforts to eliminate the law wholesale are effectively dead, they are again arguing that the best way to improve the country’s health care system is to confront the power of corporate health care provider more directly…”

CNN Money: U.S. workers face higher risk of being replaced by robots. Here’s why.
“Millions of workers around the world are at risk of losing their jobs to robots -- but Americans should be particularly worried. Thirty-eight percent of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years, according to a new report by PwC. Meanwhile, only 30% of jobs in the U.K. are similarly endangered. The same level of risk applies to only 21% of positions in Japan. The U.S. and U.K. labor markets are both dominated by services jobs, and roughly the same share of workers are employed in key sectors including finance, transportation, education, manufacturing and food services. But PwC found major differences in the nature of the work done within these sectors that explains why more U.S. jobs are at risk…”