Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Did Issa Provide an Entry for Postal Reform?

According to Politico, Congressman Darrell Issa sent letters to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks last month requesting a list of existing and proposed regulations that would harm job growth.   Postal regulations should be included on this list as Postal regulations and law affect nearly 8.5 million jobs in the United States with over 90% of all jobs in the private sector.

This effort now is critical as it does not appear that Congressman Issa has included postal issues among his top priorities for investigations as the new Congress convenes.  The Washington Post summarized his agenda as follows:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will launch six far-reaching investigations in the first three months of the year. An overview:

Of these six items, only the first can be linked to the problems of the postal industry.   Postal Stakeholders need to develop a concise list of regulations and laws that raise the cost of managing the Postal network, prevent the Postal Service from offering market-based prices to its customers, limits the Postal Service's ability to fully use its existing human, capital, and intellectual property assets to offer services and generate revenue, and impose unwarranted costs on the Postal Service for workers compensation or retiree benefits that it should not be responsible for or have already paid.

In addition to creating this list, Postal Stakeholders need to identify their links to as many of the 150 trade associations and think tanks as possible to ensure that the list of Postal regulations and laws are on that industry's list of regulations that affect job creation.   Mail is a key part of nearly every industry from health care, to retail, to financial services. 
Tying postal reform to job creation should not be hard.   Postal reform creates jobs as mail is now and will remain a core method of communicating with existing and potential customers that are difficult to reach through traditional advertising modes (i.e television, cable television, radio, newspapers, and billboards) as well as web and mobile based methods. Mail remains the primary method of handling financial transactions and will likely remain so for the next few years.  Finally, and most importantly, the mail industry which includes FedEx and United Parcel Service are the backbone that allows for the growth of e-commerce by ensuring delivery of goods purchased over the web or on a mobile device.    The Postal Service is core part of that network as it handles most of the deliveries of light weight parcels regardless of whether the sender has the Postal Service, United Parcel Service, FedEx or some other carrier sell the transportation service. Any regulation that restricts competition in the parcel industry, including competition from the Postal Service, or raises costs of the providers of transportation services reduces the growth of e-commerce by making the products sold by e-retailers less competitive.

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