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seb146
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Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:47 am

Republicans have wanted to privatize USPS for decades. They placed several demands on it like pre-funding financial obligations decades out (no other agency has this requirement). Democrats and some Republicans wanted funding for USPS included in the $2.2 Trillion bailout but the Republican leader said no.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/postal- ... d=70119153
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-r ... ays-2020-4

USPS is in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7

https://www.thenation.com/article/archi ... st-office/

This goes beyond the "liberal vs. MAGA" divide. If USPS were privatized, those who have no internet who pay their bills the old fashioned way will pay at least $15 for an envelope delivery. Probably more since we all know competition raises prices. Both FedEx and UPS use USPS for delivery to rural areas as well. With USPS privatized, they would "get" to charge more for rural delivery.

Oh, and it would count out vote-by-mail.

Why this obsession with privatizing a Constitutional entity that was just fine until just a few years ago when demands were put on it?
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
NIKV69
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:59 pm

The USPS has been mismanaged for years. Way too much waste and overtime and now other carrier companies doing to better and cheaper. I don't think we should privatize it but it sure needs some changes. Like getting rid of Saturday delivery. That waste overtime has to be gazillions.
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GDB
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.
 
DLFREEBIRD
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:28 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
The USPS has been mismanaged for years. Way too much waste and overtime and now other carrier companies doing to better and cheaper. I don't think we should privatize it but it sure needs some changes. Like getting rid of Saturday delivery. That waste overtime has to be gazillions.



as usual, you don't know what you're talking about. USPS required to give Veterans 10 point advantage on a test. so if a test total 100 they score 110 so they are more likely to get hired.
Then their retirement skewed. For example, Even if they work for the post office for 7 years, and the military 25 years, the years are combined and the post office pays for their retirement. It doesn't take much math to figure out, that the military should pay 25 years and the post office should just pay 7 years. This burden can be undone. the post office would show a profit again. It always showed a profit, until they changed the formula for the retirement
 
johns624
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:06 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
other carrier companies doing to better and cheaper.
Who else is delivering mail?
 
SRQLOT
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:26 pm

I worked few years ago for the USPS as a CCA in Sarasota. From what I have been told is that the office I worked at was the most expensive in the country for overtime because of seasonality, and let me tell you it was hell. I made it 15 months before I quit, no life whatsoever. The most of the staff is incredible, the problem is that the carrier who cannot or is lazy at delivering is promoted to supervisor, the technology is outdated as hell, and the mail routes absolutely do not make sense!! It needs to be cleaned up from top to bottom, but the truth is Republicans want to destroy the post office instead of allowing for good changes to be made.
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rfields5421
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:28 pm

johns624 wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
other carrier companies doing to better and cheaper.
Who else is delivering mail?


No one.
UPS does not want the job.
FedEx does not want the job.

The primary "waste" or mismanagement in the US Postal Service is small post offices like the one in my home town. Near 500 population; One full time postmaster, one part time postal worker. Four rural route delivery persons. They drive past 100% of the homes in the quarter of the county that post office serves, Five days a week. UPS truck drive past maybe 25% of the homes in the area and make deliveries to less than half of those each week. DHL doesn't touch the area. FedEx maybe about half what UPS does. By the way, the small down does NOT have deliver to individual homes. If you live in town, you either have to go to the PO and ask for you mail over the counter, or rent a PO box.

Total cost to run that post office, pay people, pay car allowances because the PO does not have any USPS vehicles, building maintenance is near $350,000 per year. Highest salary is for the post master at $32,000 per year. Total 'income' for that post office is less than $500 per month. A net loss of over $345,000 per year.

And there are thousands of similar small town post offices per year.

Every time the US Postal Service proposes closing, consolidating such a facility, who screams the loudest. REPUBLICANS - Gov Asa Hutchinson, Former Gov Mike Huckabee, Senator John Bozeman, Senator Tom Cotton, Rep Rick Crawford, Rep French Hill, Rep Steve Womack, Rep Bruce Westerman.

The REPUBLICAN Party does not want the USPS to go away. They just want to contract out the many very profitable post offices to political cronies. The REPUBLICAN and the DEMOCRATIC party are both happy with the taxypayers fo the US paying to keep small town post offices open.

It is easier to close a military base than re-align post offices in rural areas to provide better efficiency and lower costs.
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Tugger
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:42 pm

SRQLOT wrote:
want to destroy the post office instead of allowing for good changes to be made.

I am only quoting part of what you noted to highlight that not one party over another is wholly at fault. I think effectively both sides seem to prefer the USPS suffer rather than address the problems and have it be fixed and re-enabled.

One sides seems to want only to see it broken up and its functions outsourced to their pet provider, like Halburton, KBR does for military services (whoever contributes to them). The other side seems to want to just have it be a labor supporting service and not allow changes in employment structure, cutting staff and benefits, and drastic changes to the business model to make it more responsive (again to benefit whoever contributes to them).

There have been attempts to reform the USPS in the past and good ideas have been brought to the fore. But both sides in congress seem to not care and have defeated such attempts. Any improvements either make it more able to succeed as a "government service" (thus violating their idea to give that business to their supporters) or it reduces the number of or amount money given to the working employee and retiree (thus violating creating more employment and funding for their supporters).

Either way the USPS appears to be screwed. I fully support the continued existence of the USPS and think it should be as it is, an independent part of the USG and with allowance to make changes to be self funding that included cutting service, benefits, or employment and increases in rates etc (the normal tools of a private business).

Tugg
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seb146
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:58 pm

Tugger wrote:
SRQLOT wrote:
want to destroy the post office instead of allowing for good changes to be made.

I am only quoting part of what you noted to highlight that not one party over another is wholly at fault. I think effectively both sides seem to prefer the USPS suffer rather than address the problems and have it be fixed and re-enabled.

One sides seems to want only to see it broken up and its functions outsourced to their pet provider, like Halburton, KBR does for military services (whoever contributes to them). The other side seems to want to just have it be a labor supporting service and not allow changes in employment structure, cutting staff and benefits, and drastic changes to the business model to make it more responsive (again to benefit whoever contributes to them).

There have been attempts to reform the USPS in the past and good ideas have been brought to the fore. But both sides in congress seem to not care and have defeated such attempts. Any improvements either make it more able to succeed as a "government service" (thus violating their idea to give that business to their supporters) or it reduces the number of or amount money given to the working employee and retiree (thus violating creating more employment and funding for their supporters).

Either way the USPS appears to be screwed. I fully support the continued existence of the USPS and think it should be as it is, an independent part of the USG and with allowance to make changes to be self funding that included cutting service, benefits, or employment and increases in rates etc (the normal tools of a private business).

Tugg


I would say that one side sees waste, fraud, and abuse and suggests tweaking things so we can keep our Constitutionally mandated postal service and the right says "privatize it all!" We need to stop the Republican demand of funding the entirety of the USPS 30 years out. Many of those employees will not make it. IIRC, that is where the money is that would make USPS solvent: health care and retirement benefits for people who no longer work there. I don't know how closing rural offices would set with those residents. Many of them are conservative/MAGA and see anything related to government as intrusive. Except USPS. For some, the trip to the post office is the social event of the week. Maybe cutting back to 3X a week to the rural areas and M-F for urban/suburban areas?

The notion of privatization will hurt many more people than it would help.
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Tugger
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:27 pm

I will repeat: This is not "one sides fault". Both parties are to blame for the inability of the USPS to move forward and make important changes throughout its organization. Both sides share blame.

It is an independent, self-funding (or it is supposed to be) public service agency of the USG. It needs to be allowed to manage itself but it is hampered by the political demands of those who would approve any such changes. I wish that would stop but as you can see the partisanship is there and I don't know how to stop that.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
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trpmb6
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:38 pm

seb146 wrote:
Republicans have wanted to privatize USPS for decades. They placed several demands on it like pre-funding financial obligations decades out (no other agency has this requirement).


The underlined portion of absolutely false. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 was signed by President Bush and was absolutely bipartisan. In fact, 2 out of 3 co sponsors were democrats. It passed with broad support from both parties.

It was passed because it was clear the current USPS pension model was not sustainable in the wake of the internet era and the existing business model for the USPS. (Note, the business model of today is superb given the likes of e-commerce! Hindsight!)

The law DOES NOT require the USPS to "PREFUND" any pensions. It requires them to PLAN for future liabilities. Just like just about every other pension plan in existence that isn't a public pension. The issue was that they are having to make catchup payments - to the tune of about 5.5 billion dollars per year right now. In other words, if they were to not be making these payments the people relying upon those pension payments would not be able to do so in the future.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-con ... cosponsors
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40983.pdf
https://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432

No private company would have survived with such a pension. If anything, the actions taken in 2006 SAVED the USPS.
 
NIKV69
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:00 pm

DLFREEBIRD wrote:

as usual, you don't know what you're talking about. USPS required to give Veterans 10 point advantage on a test. so if a test total 100 they score 110 so they are more likely to get hired.
Then their retirement skewed. For example, Even if they work for the post office for 7 years, and the military 25 years, the years are combined and the post office pays for their retirement. It doesn't take much math to figure out, that the military should pay 25 years and the post office should just pay 7 years. This burden can be undone. the post office would show a profit again. It always showed a profit, until they changed the formula for the retirement


What are you going on about? You don't Iike vets? Of course there pension program needs to be fixed. Yet when you touch it everyone screams like in CA where the public employee pensions are a disaster. There is a ton of waste like Saturday overtime. It hasn't been needed forever. Yet nobody did what had to be done.

johns624 wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:
other carrier companies doing to better and cheaper.
Who else is delivering mail?


Come on you know what I meant. Mail is outdated I was speaking about packages. Where the USPS is probably dead last to FE, UPS and Prime.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:16 pm

For God’s sake, Henry Waxman (D-PDRC) sponsored it.
 
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:37 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Adam Smith wrote about how and why a lot of poor people kissed asses of their self appointed 'superiors'. The dynamic remains.

I'm interested by this, do you have a good reference?
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rfields5421
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:48 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
Mail is outdated I was speaking about packages. Where the USPS is probably dead last to FE, UPS and Prime.


Mail is far from dead. Though you might agree to paperless billing, much of the country do not have that capability. There are still pieces of paper mail that all of us need.

Yes, your bank will send that new credit card when your old one expires by FedEx overnight. If you are willing t pay for it.

Do you enjoy standing in line every decade at the DMV to get your driver's license? Think how much fun it will be to have to go back and stand in line to pick up the new one. Oops, they can't find it, come back tomorrow.

And FE, UPS and Prime do NOT cover the nation.

We live in an RV and travel. Amazon Prime is our main sources of many items. I have yet to see a Prime van at any of the RV parks where we stay. More than half the time, even Prime drop ships they package for delivery via USPS. UPS delivers my Prime packages most of the time. The only shipping address I use which Prime actually delivers to is my daughter's house in Plano Texas, a Dallas suburb.

I know one location within an hour drive of San Antonio where UPS and FE and PRIME - contract with the USPS for delivery. All three drop their truckload of packages at the small USPS office, and people come there to pick up their packages for those three. Because the three companies will not put their trucks on the tiny unpaved back roads were a lot of people live. Post card notices that a package are delivered to those RR mailboxes by USPS, so folks know the package is there. UPS, FE and Prime all pay postage for those post cards..

Consolidation and greater efficiency is possible. Just the Congress wants every little location to still have a post office. My home county in Arkansas could do well with only one post office. Half the current number of rural routes, contract services with a few gas stations or Dollar General for outgoing mail (which always operate at a net loss for USPS).

Five day per week mail delivery is no necessary. Maybe you are too young to remember the massive pushback when Saturday deliver was ended. Took years for Congress to finally let it happen, and retirement of some of the old guard.

Everybody wants the other post office closed, consolidated, etc. But not theirs.
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trpmb6
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:51 pm

The USPS is a company that doesn't have to pay state and local taxes, No sales tax. No property taxes. No federal income taxes. Not bound by zoning laws.

There are two issues that face the USPS. The movement towards electronic bill pay and the costs associated with providing rural mail service. Both just show how obsolete the USPS really is.

If you really want to do your part and save the USPS, stop opting for electronic notifications and bill pay. Make sure all your bills come through the mail and be sure to send lots of letters to your friends and family. Anecdotally, we found letting our kids send letters to their school friends in this time is a good way to help them cope with the stay at home orders. Maybe you all should do the same.

One item that is helping save costs is Mail box drop spots (unsure of the actual technical term) A bank of mailboxes common to say 12-20 houses in a subdivision. Instead of the letter carrier deliverying to each individual mailbox, he/she stops at one location, opens the box and deposits all 20 in one spot. Saves gas and time - they presort it so they are quick to throw it in.

And honestly, people in rural areas travel to town to get groceries, they can drive once a week to get their mail.
 
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:04 pm

For several years I read the economist,Gavin Kennedy's blog, mostly on Adam Smith. This mis-quote I provided (Smith did not use the work *ss kissing of course) was mentioned by Gavin several times. I am not finding the quote but if you google Adam Smith and the poor there is a lot of information. Smith (covert atheist, it was a firing offense at the time) almost sounds like Bishop Romero, and the gospel "preferential option for the poor". Smith, of course, was a professor of moral philosophy, and considered economics to be a division of that. Every predatory financier, corporate raider, chainsaw Al sort consider themselves followers of Adam Smith. Nothing could be further from reality or the truth.

I will continue to look for the quote. I have not read either of Smith's two books, I am kind of allergic to 18th century prose. I should be using this time to do so.
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seb146
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:30 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Republicans have wanted to privatize USPS for decades. They placed several demands on it like pre-funding financial obligations decades out (no other agency has this requirement).


The underlined portion of absolutely false. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 was signed by President Bush and was absolutely bipartisan. In fact, 2 out of 3 co sponsors were democrats. It passed with broad support from both parties.

It was passed because it was clear the current USPS pension model was not sustainable in the wake of the internet era and the existing business model for the USPS. (Note, the business model of today is superb given the likes of e-commerce! Hindsight!)

The law DOES NOT require the USPS to "PREFUND" any pensions. It requires them to PLAN for future liabilities. Just like just about every other pension plan in existence that isn't a public pension. The issue was that they are having to make catchup payments - to the tune of about 5.5 billion dollars per year right now. In other words, if they were to not be making these payments the people relying upon those pension payments would not be able to do so in the future.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-con ... cosponsors
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40983.pdf
https://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432

No private company would have survived with such a pension. If anything, the actions taken in 2006 SAVED the USPS.


No private company would have survived with such a pension because no private company does this. Only USPS. Funding "liabilities" (read: health care and retirement) for those who are not even old enough to work. Maybe that is why private companies do this? USPS was not in this position until Republicans decided it was a good idea. This is what post-Reagan Republicans do: Set up an government agency for failure and, when it starts collapsing, they start pointing and saying "SEE!!! IT IS A BAD IDEA!!! WE NEED TO GET RID OF IT!!!" and sell it off to the highest bidder. Except the war machine. Republicans are so worried about waste, fraud, and abuse, maybe they should privatize the military? That is a cash cow! They can make bank for their corporate elite buddies!
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Tugger
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:35 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
stop opting for electronic notifications and bill pay. Make sure all your bills come through the mail and be sure to send lots of letters to your friends and family.

:checkmark:
Always dislike the constant push by so many services to "go electronic". All my important bills and notices come via regular mail, and many payments go out via same (big ones I tend to do push payments via the bank.). The amount of junk mail I get is nothing compared to the amount of crap that comes into email nowadays. Even with careful management on my junk mail settings crap still get through and stuff I need gets sent to junk, so I still need to check and be careful. Plus I don't have to worry about clicking on anything.

And another yes on cards and letters, I do not like e-cards, take the time, make the effort, think and write it down. The person is worth it (though my mom uses them, I don't make many exceptions. And of course the literary discourse contained within hers belies any "this was the easier, lazy way to take care of what ever this is honoring").

There needs to always be a physical system maintained for correspondence and legal documents and providing needed information to the nation. Electronic does not always work and cannot be used for all situations. And such a service needs to be applied to all, every state, community and person in the USA. The founders of the USA had it right again making this a "must".

Regarding the other options being cheaper and more efficient, etc. Of course they are, just like private schools and similar services, they get to pick and choose what they want to service, get to say no to unprofitable items or locations, and/or charge prices that people cannot otherwise afford. The USPS does not get that option and that is important. The ability to communicate across distances is vital to any nation and its citizens, right there with defense and healthcare.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:37 pm

seb146 wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Republicans have wanted to privatize USPS for decades. They placed several demands on it like pre-funding financial obligations decades out (no other agency has this requirement).


The underlined portion of absolutely false. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 was signed by President Bush and was absolutely bipartisan. In fact, 2 out of 3 co sponsors were democrats. It passed with broad support from both parties.

It was passed because it was clear the current USPS pension model was not sustainable in the wake of the internet era and the existing business model for the USPS. (Note, the business model of today is superb given the likes of e-commerce! Hindsight!)

The law DOES NOT require the USPS to "PREFUND" any pensions. It requires them to PLAN for future liabilities. Just like just about every other pension plan in existence that isn't a public pension. The issue was that they are having to make catchup payments - to the tune of about 5.5 billion dollars per year right now. In other words, if they were to not be making these payments the people relying upon those pension payments would not be able to do so in the future.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-con ... cosponsors
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40983.pdf
https://www.cnbc.com/id/45018432

No private company would have survived with such a pension. If anything, the actions taken in 2006 SAVED the USPS.


No private company would have survived with such a pension because no private company does this. Only USPS. Funding "liabilities" (read: health care and retirement) for those who are not even old enough to work. Maybe that is why private companies do this? USPS was not in this position until Republicans decided it was a good idea. This is what post-Reagan Republicans do: Set up an government agency for failure and, when it starts collapsing, they start pointing and saying "SEE!!! IT IS A BAD IDEA!!! WE NEED TO GET RID OF IT!!!" and sell it off to the highest bidder. Except the war machine. Republicans are so worried about waste, fraud, and abuse, maybe they should privatize the military? That is a cash cow! They can make bank for their corporate elite buddies!


Nobody set up the USPS for failure. It fell prey to something we call the internet and e-commerce (which, ironically may be its savior in the end). Knock it of with this tin-foil hat baseless claims.

I provided a solid fact check to your claims and you reply with nonsense. Provide evidence of your claims or stop the baseless attack. If USPS employees want a pension and retiree health care system that is above any other citizen in the states they have to accept that it costs money. Simple. All congress said was, hey, if you want that, you have to figure out a way to pay for it. You can't just fumble down the road and not pay for it!
 
dmg626
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:47 pm

The USPS can easily reduce residential service to 2 or 3 days per week, with the exception of packages maybe. They did not bring much anymore that can’t wait a few days. The postal service is also one of few quasi government that has fully fund its pension plans
 
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Tugger
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:26 pm

dmg626 wrote:
The postal service is also one of few quasi government that has fully fund its pension plans

Is it the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to do so?

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
PPVRA
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:39 pm

The US Constitution gives the power to Congress to establish a post office. It does not mandate Congress to actually establish a post office. It’s not unconstitutional at all, but neither is getting rid of it.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
StarAC17
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:56 pm

seb146 wrote:
Republicans have wanted to privatize USPS for decades. They placed several demands on it like pre-funding financial obligations decades out (no other agency has this requirement). Democrats and some Republicans wanted funding for USPS included in the $2.2 Trillion bailout but the Republican leader said no.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/postal- ... d=70119153
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-r ... ays-2020-4

USPS is in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7

https://www.thenation.com/article/archi ... st-office/

This goes beyond the "liberal vs. MAGA" divide. If USPS were privatized, those who have no internet who pay their bills the old fashioned way will pay at least $15 for an envelope delivery. Probably more since we all know competition raises prices. Both FedEx and UPS use USPS for delivery to rural areas as well. With USPS privatized, they would "get" to charge more for rural delivery.

Oh, and it would count out vote-by-mail.

Why this obsession with privatizing a Constitutional entity that was just fine until just a few years ago when demands were put on it?


From Canada the idea of Saturday delivery makes no sense, do it Monday to Friday.

The USPS should introduce basic banking services to those who cannot get accounts at private banks. As far as I know the US does not have access to basic banking legislation mandating private banks to provide accounts unless they have a history of fraud and can't identify themselves.
This would raise revenue for it and actually help with income inequality as poorer people have a bank who can provide the basic, cheque cashing, bill payments, atm services etc. This eliminates a lot of the predatory payday lenders and cheque cashing services.

Post office banking has been floated in a lot of countries and many actually do it.

NIKV69 wrote:
The USPS has been mismanaged for years. Way too much waste and overtime and now other carrier companies doing to better and cheaper. I don't think we should privatize it but it sure needs some changes. Like getting rid of Saturday delivery. That waste overtime has to be gazillions.


The problem is Fedex, UPS etc will only deliver where its profitable and only provide services that makes them money. The government would have to subsidize the a private corporation to provide those services (like they do with certain airline routes) or do it themselves.
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:38 pm

First class mail is down 43% from its peak in 2000. Our mail is just about all catalogs, a few magazines and advertising. We do all bills that would be first class electronically—cheaper, more secure, safer.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:57 pm

There is no doubt the long term decline in overall mail demand and made even worse short term by the current Covid-19 crises has brought the USPS to a very difficult point in its existence. To me it is a very necessary function of government that must be preserved in much of its form.

Yes, there is the retirement funding issue and many, especially Republicans want to corporate privatize it to strip out the profitable parts and ditch the rest. Likely that would mean draconian reductions of the number of post offices, shifting to part-time or 'gig' employees (like Amazon) no pensions or health care benefits, destroy civil service to use job openings as extortion for political support and money to get jobs.

To survive, there are some changes that do need to be considered. Consolidate many small post offices, especially those in tiny towns close together. Contract with local convenience stores or with other local/county government offices to operate mini-post offices. Reduce frequency of service to 3 days a week, alternating 50-50 current delivery routes, especially in the most isolated rural areas.but for major businesses and government offices. Reduce to reasonable levels the up front pension/retirement payments, new employees after a certain date are no longer in pensions, but in 401(k) like retirement savings programs.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:57 pm

Congress, read mostly but not all Republicans, have crippled the business model of the post office for years. One of their typical stunts, cripple a section of government, and them complain about how poorly it is run. Part of the 'shrink government until you can put it in the bathtub and then drown it'.
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Pi7472000
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:16 pm

I have not used the USPS in years! Not environmentally friendly either to use paper mail anyway. The mail carrier in my building is amazing though. Always friendly and smiling!
 
stlgph
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:45 pm

No worries, the GOP will come through with funding for the USPS. It just won't be until after the cut off date for mail-in voting.
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flyguy89
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:14 am

I really don't understand the constant turmoil around privatizing USPS. So many of the socialist countries the Left fetishizes have already either fully or partially privatized their postal services. Banking services would also be good, provided the USPS was privatized.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 454
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:46 am

ltbewr wrote:
There is no doubt the long term decline in overall mail demand and made even worse short term by the current Covid-19 crises has brought the USPS to a very difficult point in its existence. To me it is a very necessary function of government that must be preserved in much of its form.

Yes, there is the retirement funding issue and many, especially Republicans want to corporate privatize it to strip out the profitable parts and ditch the rest. Likely that would mean draconian reductions of the number of post offices, shifting to part-time or 'gig' employees (like Amazon) no pensions or health care benefits, destroy civil service to use job openings as extortion for political support and money to get jobs.

To survive, there are some changes that do need to be considered. Consolidate many small post offices, especially those in tiny towns close together. Contract with local convenience stores or with other local/county government offices to operate mini-post offices. Reduce frequency of service to 3 days a week, alternating 50-50 current delivery routes, especially in the most isolated rural areas.but for major businesses and government offices. Reduce to reasonable levels the up front pension/retirement payments, new employees after a certain date are no longer in pensions, but in 401(k) like retirement savings programs.


Yes, it's important. But its importance shouldn't be used an "unlimited retirement money forever!" lever. That's corruption. I have heard the union retirement argument enough times and I know it too well. Yes, every worker deserves a $1 million + retirement. I understand that perspective. And the person who will pay for it is our magical money father. Who is fictional.

2x per week is fine in rural areas. I would be satisfied with that in my urban area. USPS is important (like medical care is important), but that does not justify mismanagement. It actually makes the problems caused by corruption and mismanagement all the more serious.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:18 am

frmrCapCadet wrote:
For several years I read the economist,Gavin Kennedy's blog, mostly on Adam Smith. This mis-quote I provided (Smith did not use the work *ss kissing of course) was mentioned by Gavin several times. I am not finding the quote but if you google Adam Smith and the poor there is a lot of information. Smith (covert atheist, it was a firing offense at the time) almost sounds like Bishop Romero, and the gospel "preferential option for the poor". Smith, of course, was a professor of moral philosophy, and considered economics to be a division of that. Every predatory financier, corporate raider, chainsaw Al sort consider themselves followers of Adam Smith. Nothing could be further from reality or the truth.

I will continue to look for the quote. I have not read either of Smith's two books, I am kind of allergic to 18th century prose. I should be using this time to do so.

Thanks! I just googled and got some of his prose, and you are right, it is dense and a challenge for a modern person to follow.
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alfa164
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:59 am

stlgph wrote:
No worries, the GOP will come through with funding for the USPS. It just won't be until after the cut off date for mail-in voting.



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johns624
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:47 pm

NIKV69 wrote:

Come on you know what I meant. Mail is outdated I was speaking about packages. Where the USPS is probably dead last to FE, UPS and Prime.
No, I didn't know what you meant. You do know that many online companies use USPS for final delilvery, don't you? I'm most familiar with B&N, who has UPS do the long-haul and then they deliver to the local PO for final delivery. I find Priority Mail to be just as fast and cheaper than UPS or FDX. Sometimes, their scanning doesn't keep up, but the package is delivered when it's supposed to be.
 
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:49 pm

Tugger wrote:
dmg626 wrote:
The postal service is also one of few quasi government that has fully fund its pension plans

Is it the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to do so?

Tugg


Can someone confirm my question: Is the USPS the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to fully prefund pensions?

Tugg
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seb146
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:49 pm

Tugger wrote:
Tugger wrote:
dmg626 wrote:
The postal service is also one of few quasi government that has fully fund its pension plans

Is it the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to do so?

Tugg


Can someone confirm my question: Is the USPS the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to fully prefund pensions?

Tugg


https://defazio.house.gov/media-center/ ... ainability
https://www.nalc.org/news/the-postal-re ... unding.pdf

I searched for "prefunding mandate" but the only thing that came up was USPS so I would say that, yes, they are the only one.
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seb146
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:54 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
First class mail is down 43% from its peak in 2000. Our mail is just about all catalogs, a few magazines and advertising. We do all bills that would be first class electronically—cheaper, more secure, safer.


And there are still a lot of "off the grid" citizens who rely on USPS for many things. I have ordered things online. I live in a town. We have the basics. Both FedEx and UPS have flights in and out of here on Cessna Caravans and Beech 99s. I see Ontrac driving around sometimes, too. But, I have had packages delivered by USPS that started off with FedEx. There are places where FedEx will not deliver, so they hand it off to USPS because they can do it.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
NIKV69
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:00 pm

johns624 wrote:
NIKV69 wrote:

Come on you know what I meant. Mail is outdated I was speaking about packages. Where the USPS is probably dead last to FE, UPS and Prime.
No, I didn't know what you meant. You do know that many online companies use USPS for final delilvery, don't you? I'm most familiar with B&N, who has UPS do the long-haul and then they deliver to the local PO for final delivery. I find Priority Mail to be just as fast and cheaper than UPS or FDX. Sometimes, their scanning doesn't keep up, but the package is delivered when it's supposed to be.


I agree on all points but that doesn't mean the company can piss away money from horrible management. They need to be run better.
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trpmb6
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:20 pm

Tugger wrote:
dmg626 wrote:
The postal service is also one of few quasi government that has fully fund its pension plans

Is it the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to do so?

Tugg


As I noted they do not have to prefund their pension plans, they must plan to fund it for the future. Yes they do need to make catchup payments so that it remains solvent for current retirees.

That is a standard accounting practice that all companies practiss quite simply the USPS was one of the only industries that did not follow such practice before the law required them to do so

If you don't believe me go look at the financial statements of any number of big or large corporations who have pension liabilities they always talk about their pension payments and how that relates to earnings before interest and taxes
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:33 pm

Pensions are a good yardstick of whether something is a complete jobs farm or it runs as an actual business. No business in a competitive world can afford to pay 2 workforces, the workers who do the work and the retirees. It's not possible. The only businesses that can do it are sheltered from competition.

This is why people prefer government jobs anytime they can get one. Because you get paid for 2 careers. Your working career and your retired years. But it varies, and after 1984, Federal jobs were much less generous. I do not know how USPS works in that regard, but assume for this purpose that it is federal equivalent. Most retirees today were probably hired before 1984, so if they did it right, they are on quite the gravy train compared to other similar retired workers.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:45 pm

seb146 wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Is it the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to do so?

Tugg


Can someone confirm my question: Is the USPS the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to fully prefund pensions?

Tugg


https://defazio.house.gov/media-center/ ... ainability
https://www.nalc.org/news/the-postal-re ... unding.pdf

I searched for "prefunding mandate" but the only thing that came up was USPS so I would say that, yes, they are the only one.


Look into ERISA law for private pensions. ERISA Funding requirements are largely the reason private pensions have disappeared. “Prefunding” is just a pejorative word for “funding” for future benefits. Because the USPS had never funded those benefits, Congress imposed, by voice vote with Democratic co-sponsors, a catch up period of ten years to get the ball rolling.

If you are vested in a private pension, you will get an annual statement on the company’s funding level and ERISA compliance.
 
johns624
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:31 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
Pensions are a good yardstick of whether something is a complete jobs farm or it runs as an actual business. No business in a competitive world can afford to pay 2 workforces, the workers who do the work and the retirees. It's not possible. The only businesses that can do it are sheltered from competition.
Not entirely correct. The pension money isn't just sitting there. It's being invested and growing, if done correctly. If you don't give employees a pension, they're going to demand more money up front, so that they can do it themselves.
 
Pyrex
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:53 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Tugger wrote:

Can someone confirm my question: Is the USPS the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to fully prefund pensions?

Tugg


https://defazio.house.gov/media-center/ ... ainability
https://www.nalc.org/news/the-postal-re ... unding.pdf

I searched for "prefunding mandate" but the only thing that came up was USPS so I would say that, yes, they are the only one.


Look into ERISA law for private pensions. ERISA Funding requirements are largely the reason private pensions have disappeared. “Prefunding” is just a pejorative word for “funding” for future benefits. Because the USPS had never funded those benefits, Congress imposed, by voice vote with Democratic co-sponsors, a catch up period of ten years to get the ball rolling.

If you are vested in a private pension, you will get an annual statement on the company’s funding level and ERISA compliance.


Not only that, but a pension is basically just a deferred payout annuity, a product that you can go to your neighborhood insurance company to buy if you want to. The problem is very few people do so because it is so expensive, and the reason it is so expensive is because insurance companies need to have assets not only against 100% of their liabilities (which are discounted using much more realistic discount rates than in pensions, btw), but also capital on top of that to account for any deviations (so, let's call it, funded at 105-110%, or more like 150+% when you adjust for the discount rates and the capital that would be required from the insurance companies if they were to adopt the same, much more aggressive, asset strategy as pensions).

Basically, any insurance company that ran itself the same way as a traditional corporate pension plan would be declared insolvent and taken over by regulators, and if they were to be so egregious as to run themselves like your typical public pension plan their management teams would be arrested, or at the very least forbidden from ever working in the industry again.
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dfwjim1
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:47 am

Wasn't there a proposal at one time to eliminate postal service on both Saturday and a weekday?
 
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seb146
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:34 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Tugger wrote:

Can someone confirm my question: Is the USPS the ONLY entity/business required (effectively by law) to fully prefund pensions?

Tugg


https://defazio.house.gov/media-center/ ... ainability
https://www.nalc.org/news/the-postal-re ... unding.pdf

I searched for "prefunding mandate" but the only thing that came up was USPS so I would say that, yes, they are the only one.


Look into ERISA law for private pensions. ERISA Funding requirements are largely the reason private pensions have disappeared. “Prefunding” is just a pejorative word for “funding” for future benefits. Because the USPS had never funded those benefits, Congress imposed, by voice vote with Democratic co-sponsors, a catch up period of ten years to get the ball rolling.

If you are vested in a private pension, you will get an annual statement on the company’s funding level and ERISA compliance.


Are ERISA pensions funded 75 years out for employees? Employees that are not even hired yet like USPS? I get funding for employees already hired. But pre-funding employees who are not even born yet???
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Pyrex
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:18 am

seb146 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
seb146 wrote:

https://defazio.house.gov/media-center/ ... ainability
https://www.nalc.org/news/the-postal-re ... unding.pdf

I searched for "prefunding mandate" but the only thing that came up was USPS so I would say that, yes, they are the only one.


Look into ERISA law for private pensions. ERISA Funding requirements are largely the reason private pensions have disappeared. “Prefunding” is just a pejorative word for “funding” for future benefits. Because the USPS had never funded those benefits, Congress imposed, by voice vote with Democratic co-sponsors, a catch up period of ten years to get the ball rolling.

If you are vested in a private pension, you will get an annual statement on the company’s funding level and ERISA compliance.


Are ERISA pensions funded 75 years out for employees? Employees that are not even hired yet like USPS? I get funding for employees already hired. But pre-funding employees who are not even born yet???


The USPS can always opt for 401(k)s for new hires if that is truly an issue, as pretty much every other company has done.
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NIKV69
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:59 am

Pyrex wrote:

The USPS can always opt for 401(k)s for new hires if that is truly an issue, as pretty much every other company has done.


Great point this and getting rid of Saturday would have been a great start for them.
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Reinhardt
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:27 pm

flyguy89 wrote:
I really don't understand the constant turmoil around privatizing USPS. So many of the socialist countries the Left fetishizes have already either fully or partially privatized their postal services. Banking services would also be good, provided the USPS was privatized.


Not sure which countries you are refering to as Socialist but there are only a handful of Socalist countries in the world and most of them are in an appaling shape. If you mean the Nordics and some European countries, they aren't Socialist. They are simply social democracies / capitalist countries with socialised sections (e.g NHS in the UK). It's really not hard to be in the centre/ slightly to the left compared to the US.

Royal Mail was privatised in the UK. Was sold off as a PLC, the Govenment was blamed because the share prise rose by 80% over a few years. Caused uproar when it happened. Employees were promised shares and proft sharing. Didn't really go that way, with strikes following and closures left right and centre. Most post offices that were shut were then integrated into convienence stores. You can bank at a post office, buy foreign currency, send all sorts of parcels and post. The actual service offered for sending mail is very good. For parcels however it's incredibly poor and expensive.

DHL in Germany - run the postal service and have done since 1995, however the govenment still holds a hefty chunk of the ownership. From my experience, it's a decent service but I live in a city where my post is delivered by bike and any DHL parcels are delivered by van.

Be careful what you wish for. Privitisation if done correctly can work, but if not done right will decimate the service.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:31 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
Pyrex wrote:

The USPS can always opt for 401(k)s for new hires if that is truly an issue, as pretty much every other company has done.


Great point this and getting rid of Saturday would have been a great start for them.

Federal employees already have a 401k. It's called the TSP. You wouldn't be replacing a pension with a 401k like most private companies have done, you'd be taking away a benefit of federal service.
 
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seb146
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Re: Another Casualty of Covid-19: US Postal Service

Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:15 pm

NIKV69 wrote:
Pyrex wrote:

The USPS can always opt for 401(k)s for new hires if that is truly an issue, as pretty much every other company has done.


Great point this and getting rid of Saturday would have been a great start for them.


Or, instead of cancelling Saturday deliver, make it a premium service. If you want something delivered on Saturday or Sunday? That will be an extra $5 or $10. Some people will pay for it. And, yes, having employees opt in to a retirement fund is what corporations do. That is normal. Not just setting aside money 75 years out for people that may not even work there or collect it.
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