Le 26/02/2021. If you work remotely – either because of the COVID-19 pandemic or because that is the nature of your...
The US Postal Service is an independent federal agency, a public good: this means that it is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. Its entire budget comes from the sale of stamps. Many rural areas may not have access to decent cell phone service or cable television, but they all get the mail.
The USPS has exclusive access to public letter boxes marked ‘US Mail’, as well as personal letterboxes in the United States. It now has to compete against private package delivery services, such as United Parcel Service, FedEx, and Amazon.
The USPS’s decades-long financial troubles have worsened dramatically, as the volume of the kind of mail that pays the agency’s bills — first-class and marketing mail — has withered during the pandemic. The USPS needs an infusion of money, and President Trump has blocked potential emergency funding for the agency that employs around 600,000 workers. Advocates for the USPS worry that the agency is in a vulnerable position.
Lawmakers originally agreed to a $13 billion direct grant that the USPS would not have to repay. That effort was blocked by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who warned such a move could blow up the relief bill. A committee aide said Mnuchin told lawmakers during negotiations: “You can have a loan, or you can have nothing at all.”
The USPS projects it will lose $2 billion each month through the coronavirus recession while postal workers maintain the nationwide service of delivering essential mail and parcels, such as prescriptions, food and household necessities.
“We are at a critical juncture in the life of the Postal Service,” Megan Brennan, the postmaster general, said in a statement. “At a time when America needs the Postal Service more than ever, the reason we are so needed is having a devastating effect on our business.”
The USPS has faced financial troubles for more than a decade, as digital communication has taken off, giving lawmakers many opportunities to debate its future. Conservatives have long talked about privatizing the mail delivery in the United States. The Postal Service is so foundational to the country that it is enumerated in the Constitution.
If you do want to help, buying stamps is a good way to support the USPS right now.
regardless = quel que soit
a stamp = un timbre
the mail = le courrier
a parcel = un colis
to worsen = empirer, s’aggraver
a bill = (ici) une facture
to wither = péricliter
a lawmaker = un législateur
to warn = prévenir
to blow up = (ici) mettre en péril
a relief bill = (ici) un projet de loi d’urgence (pour faire face à la pandémie)
a loan = un prêt
a critical juncture = un moment critique