Making things worse

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board March 02, 2012 09:42 am

We understand that the U.S. Postal Service is hemorrhaging money.

We don’t understand, though, why the agency's cure involves a scalpel rather than a tourniquet.

Postal officials announced last week that they will close four mail processing centers in Oregon. The list includes the center in Pendleton, where most local mail goes (your letters really get around).

The projected annual savings from the Pendleton closure is $522,000. This, for an agency that lost $3.3 billion in the last quarter of 2011.

Obviously the Postal Service has to save money.

But by making mail delivery slower and less reliable — closing processing centers, for instance — the agency is likely to encourage people to switch to online options.

Which happens to be the heart of the Postal Service’s dilemma — first class mail use has dropped by 25 percent since 2006. We’d like to see the agency address that problem rather than make it worse.