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The US Postal Service (USPS), facing billions of dollars in shortfalls and facing the real possibility of a financial default, said yesterday that "it would keep hundreds of small post offices open by reducing business hours or offering stamps and packaging in grocery stores, whittling down its ambitious plan to streamline its services and balance its books by closing thousands of post offices," the New York Times reports.

This plan will take two years to implement and will save $500 million, according to the story, and has as its chief advantage the ability to reduce some of the political pressure coming from constituencies that do not want to lose their local post offices.

The Times notes that USPS executives remain hopeful that the US Congress will act to overhaul the agency's finances, which is what is really needed if the USPS is to become financially viable.
KC's View:
Sure, they;re talking about eliminating Saturday delivery. About allowing the USPS to deliver beer and wine. About combining some offices in highly populated areas. And about workforce reductions.

But they still are not asking the right question: What does the ideal mail system for the 21st century - when digital communications are replacing the kind that requires stamps - really look like?

They need to answer that question, and then work backwards from there. As it is, they are filling holes and plugging gaps and trying to satisfy and bunch of different constituencies without defining a long-term strategic vision.