Author: Sarah_Wor_Debater

The US Postal Service Should Continue Saturday Mail Deliveries


CON (4 arguments)

Grabbers:

1) According to a new CBS News poll, 71 percent of Americans say they favor ending mail service delivery on Saturdays to solve the post office’s financial problems. This statistic easily proves that the majority of people in the US approve of cancelling Saturday delivery.

2) “The USPS is $25 billion in debt, and it has to pay $5.5 billion to its employees and future retirees. If they do stop Saturday deliveries, it will save them an extra $2 billion which is is obviously a great help in this detrimental situation,” stated US Congressman Mike Thompson.

Refutations:

1) Getting rid of Saturday mail deliveries would not cut jobs.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the change to five-day mail delivery would equate to about 22,500 postal jobs, but that the agency would not resort to layoffs to make the reductions. Instead, he said it could easily meet that by eliminating overtime, through attrition and by working with unions on buyouts. The USPS currently employs about 520,000 workers. Clearly, by eliminating overtime, jobs won’t be lost.

A study done by the Economist confirms this statement. They found that the U.S. Postal Service spent a combined $717.5 million for unauthorized overtime during fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011. The researchers stated that not delivering mail on Saturdays would also make the USPS stop paying for overtime. So judge, what this means is that if we stop delivering mail on Saturdays, then the USPS will also stop allowing their workers to work overtime and get paid for it. We’re going to save $717.4 million dollars.

1. Ending Saturday mail delivery will save a lot of money.
Warrant:

In the last fiscal year, the post office lost $15.9 billion in the last year. The Postal Service has said ending a day of delivery each week would save a forecasted $3.3 billion in the first year and about $5.1 billion annually by 2020 according to the New York Times. In addition, many other countries have already switched to a 5 day delivery plan and have proven the fact that we will save money if we switch. Australia, Canada, and Sweden are just a few countries that have 5 day delivery schedules. According to a study done by the Australian Mail Services, when they had 6 day deliveries they lost an average of $1.3 billion. But, when they switched to five days, they made an average profit of $2.1 billion. Clearly, we will save money as other countries have.

Sources:

New York Times, Australian Mail Services

2. Ending Saturday mail delivery is widely supported and very beneficial.
Warrant:

A survey conducted by the New York Times found that about 7 in 10 Americans say they would favor the change as a way to help the post office deal with billions of dollars in debt. As the agency tries to adjust to the digital age, only three in 10 people under age 45 say they use it all the time. Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, said the poll confirms that Americans support the Postal Service’s plans for getting back on solid financial footing. “The results show Americans understand and accept that moving to a five-day delivery schedule is part of the solution,” Mr. Donahoe said. The telephone poll was conducted nationally from June 22 through June 25 among 990 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Clearly, citizens in America all support this change because they understand how beneficial it is.

Sources:

New York Times

3. With the Internet and other faster means of delivery, Saturday mail is not needed as much and therefore a waste of money.
Warrant:

79.1% of people use email while only 29.9% use direct mail. The use of direct mail is slowly declining as our statistics show, which means that the USPS does not need to be open full time. Keeping it open on Saturdays is simply a waste of money.  As well, using email is a lot cheaper, especially for small businesses which need to ship up to thousands of items at a time. Nowadays, most people use their emails to send letters to their friends. Saturday is the lightest mail delivery day by volume and many businesses are closed on Saturdays, according to USPS.

Since 2006, overall mail circulation has decreased by 20% to 25% while first class mail is down by one-third. Judge, let’s compare the number of pieces of mail delivered during the weekdays versus Saturdays. According to United States Postal Service, more mail is delivered any during than on Saturdays. Specifically, an average of 563 million pieces of mail were delivered daily for the weekdays, and only 115 million pieces of mail were delivered on Saturdays. Approxiametely one-fifth of all mail.

 

Sources:

United States Postal Service

4. Taking out Saturday mail will decrease pollution in general.
Warrant:

Usually, the USPS works six days a week. When we take out Saturday, USPS will be mailing five days a week. We have evidence to prove the substantial difference that taking out one day helps our pollution levels.
 

Impact:

Roughly speaking, we will be reducing gas consumption by one sixth because we will not be mailing one out of the six days.

A fact that none of us can hide from is that most of our mail is advertising appeals or junk mail. In fact, according to the New York Times, 48% of all mail received is junk mail. In 2011, Americans received 84 billion pieces of junk mail. These people will not call their post office in fury because they did not receive their daily dose of ads that go directly in the trash. Cities struggling to pay recycling and landfill costs to dispose of billions of pieces of unwanted mail have a huge burden. Localities estimate that they spend about $1 billion a year to collect and dispose of it. We should stop Saturday mail delivery so we can save money in this aspect too. This will save money for landfill operators and cut down on pollution when they do not have to process so many of these useless advertisements.  The end of Saturday letter delivery would be a start in cutting fuel consumption, but will hardly bring the budget back into balance. This is sourced from the New York Times. If the USPS had completely eliminated Saturday delivery, it could reduce its annual petroleum fuel use by 20 to 25 million GGE (about 3 percent of its total fuel use) and reduce its carbon footprint by about 315,000 to 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas equivalent per year, according to the USPS's 2011 sustainability plan. This is sourced from the Christian Science Monitor.

Sources:

New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor (David J. Unger)