Postmaster General Welcomes New Perspectives Of Presidential Commission
Monday, December 16, 2002
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Postmaster General John E. Potter today hailed the creation of a presidential commission on the future of the Postal Service, noting, "The Commission is good news coming at the right time.... We look forward to assisting in every way possible." Potter cited the impressive qualifications of those who have been selected to serve, noting that they will bring a "valuable new perspective to the challenging and complex issue of postal reform." A similar commission, the Kappel Commission, resulted in the business model of today's Postal Service which was embodied in the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 that created the Postal Service in 1971. That commission established a model which has served the country well for the past 30 years with unprecedented improvements in service and efficiency. Stamp prices did not increase at all in that period, when adjusted for the effects of inflation. Even though mail volume doubled and the number of delivery addresses increased by more than 60 percent, the size of the postal workforce increase by only six percent. Times have changed since 1970, and what was a progressive model for that time is not adequate to address today's market place. The 1970's business model that is based on continuous mail growth is no longer valid. Growth in mail volume is at risk from competition and new technologies. The number of addresses continues to grow. Without change, a crisis is looming. "The nation cannot afford a postal crisis. Mail is simply too important to the life of our nation," said Potter. "The Postal Service is the foundation of a $900 billion industry that employs 9 million people." "The Commission has a historic opportunity to offer recommendations guaranteeing a postal system as effective and dependable as today's - for many years to come," said Potter. "Today's action will have a long-term effect on the public policy of this nation. I look forward to working with the Commission as it shapes that policy."