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Postmaster DeJoy wanted to make a government service profitable. It’s not happening.

Savannah Maher Nov 16, 2023
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The USPS is a service that, historically, has almost never turned a profit.  Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Postmaster DeJoy wanted to make a government service profitable. It’s not happening.

Savannah Maher Nov 16, 2023
Heard on:
The USPS is a service that, historically, has almost never turned a profit.  Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

This week, the U.S. Postal Service announced a $6.5 billion net loss for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That’s obviously not a good sign for postmaster Louis DeJoy’s controversial push to make the postal service profitable

This year was supposed to be the year the USPS broke even, according to DeJoy’s austerity plan. But this year’s net loss was predictable, argues James O’Rourke, a professor of management at Notre Dame.

“The only surprise is that the figure was that small,” he said.

The USPS is facing a tough business environment, O’Rourke added — even after the 2022 Postal Service Reform Act slashed its retiree benefit costs

“It was designed to take care of a great deal,” he said. “It didn’t take care of everything.”

Postmaster DeJoy blamed higher operating costs and a decline in first class mail volumes for the agency’s troubles. To boost revenue, the USPS needs to diversify, said postal service historian Christopher Shaw

“One opportunity it clearly has is to partner with government agencies to offer services at post offices,” he said.

Like hunting and fishing license sales, for example. But Shaw points out the USPS is a service that, historically, has almost never turned a profit. 

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