When a big-name retailer finds its sales in a slow downward spiral, the geniuses in the executive suite often try to keep their profits up by cheapening their product and delivering less to customers.

To see how well this strategy works, look no further than the declining sales at Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. When the geniuses in charge of these behemoths applied the cut-back strategy, their slow decline turned into a perilous nosedive.

You’d think their experience would keep other executives from making the same mistake. But here comes an even bigger — and much more important — retail behemoth saying in effect, we have to cut to survive.

That’s the pronouncement last year by the honcho of the U.S. Postal Service, which has been eliminating employees, closing facilities, and reducing services for years.



Each new round of reductions drives away more customers, which causes clueless executives to prescribe more cuts. In a January decree, USPS virtually eliminated overnight delivery of first-class mail, and it’s now planning to close or consolidate 82 regional mail-processing plants in 2015.

This means fewer workers handling the nation’s growing load of mail, creating further delays in delivery.

The answer to this, say the slap-happy executives, is — just guess — to cut even more “service” out of the postal service. They want to close hundreds of our local post offices and eliminate Saturday and door-to-door mail delivery, which would leave the postal service at a competitive disadvantage.

Fed up with the deliberate degradation of this vital public service, postal workers themselves are putting forth a vision and innovative plan not merely for USPS to survive, but thrive. With more than 70 other national groups, they’ve forged a “Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service.”

To join them or show your support, visit agrandalliance.org.

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Jim Hightower

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower LowdownOtherWords.org.

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