The USPS is having a rough time lately, sending billions fewer pieces of mail each year and shutting down hundreds of thousands of mailboxes. They're in such dire financial straits they may need a bailout. And it's all our fault.
In the past 20 years, more than 200,000 post boxes have been removed due to lack of use (less than 25 pieces sent per day), leaving only around 175,000 nationwide. That's just the most obvious sign that the Postal Service isn't doing too hot, but financially they're really suffering, with a projected $US6 billion shortfall this year. That's bad news for the USPS, which has been considering actions like ending Saturday delivery to make up. But that may not be enough.
Unfortunately, it's our fault that the USPS is dying. Us early technological adopters have hastened the death of all kinds of physical media: We pay bills online, we communicate online, we send invitations online. Hell, the only thing I use USPS for is Netflix, and even they're pushing streaming video to replace mail-service DVDs.
As anybody who's experienced the horrors of Canadapost knows, USPS is a fantastic service: It's cheap, fast, reliable, safe and they still deliver on Saturdays. But the only way to save it is to send more mail, and I just don't see that happening. Sorry, USPS, on behalf of all nerds who killed you. [Washington Post]