TKI67

Advanced Member
I just got my lovely spring & summer 2021 catalogue, and Press is now offering Nantucket Reds from Murray's. If you are a value oriented shopper, you may wish to deal directly with Murray's.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Same situation with me! I had assumed I was on the list, since I got one last year. But I filled out their form on the website, just in case. I should get one in the mail shortly.

The reason why they arrive late is the slowdown in USPS operations that has been going on since Lovejoy's shenanigans that started last year. No overtime, fewer staff and mail piling up.

BTW, does anyone remember the time when J Press had lovely, large catalogues? Olden times.
 

mhj

Senior Member
If I may turn this into a pollical issue, when is the last time anyone here put a stamp on a letter? That's what I would attribute no overtime and fewer staff to.
 

drpeter

Super Member
LOL, as a stamp collector, I try to use stamps on my mail. Often old stamps as well as new ones. Even if we are generous and say there are 100,000 stamp collectors in the US, that is still a tiny fraction of the population!

You've opened a Pandora's box of issues. Let me list some of them.

Unfortunately, you are right in that most people rarely send letters, but only bills, by mail. Until the Lovejoy changes, that is. After that, a lot of people began paying bills online if they could. I have not done online transactions for more than a year, after some of my accounts got hacked, so I personally deliver the bills I can pay in town, and use telephone banking for the one monthly out-of-state payment I need to make. But people do send parcels by mail and receive them from businesses and online vendors -- so the USPS should make money on them although they don't have to stick physical stamps on them. In fact, I believe a lot of their income is from parcel post rather than letters. They also have competition from UPS, FedEx, etc.

Another reason why the USPS has been in deficit for a long time is because Congress ordered them to fully fund the retirement systems of all postal employees well into the future, with zero flexibility. This led to a lot of their revenues from their operations being sunk into the retirement system, resulting in mounting current deficits.

There is another problem as well, since you bring up politics. As a capitalist society, many among us are inclined to think of every human endeavour as a profit-making business enterprise, and the outcomes of these ventures as products. As a former academic, I have had numerous discussions with business people who think that universities are factories producing educated students. Sometimes they say that the students are consumers, and their satisfaction is the goal of all education, so students' demands must be satisfied.

In a similar vein, many legislators and politicians have come to regard the USPS as a business which should make a profit. It is not -- it is a service, in the same way that the US Military is a service to the nation. Some things simply are not businesses. There is talk of privatizing the postal service. Would we privatize the military? Some private armies like Blackwater were used by the US in operations in Iraq and that has led to all sorts of problems. We have already privatized the prison system and look at the horrors that has led us to, with the conditions in detention centers and private prisons!

So there are many sides to the postal delay story.
 
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mhj

Senior Member
I agree with most of your points. What I get irritated about is fake news that was going around that Trump had mailboxes taken off the streets so Democrats couldn't vote by mail.
 

TKI67

Advanced Member
If I may turn this into a pollical issue, when is the last time anyone here put a stamp on a letter? That's what I would attribute no overtime and fewer staff to.
Last week. I am one of the last of the real letter writers, real stationery, real and marginally legible script with a fountain pen, and sort of real stamps. They would be fully real if they still required licking.

The USPS is still a wonderful institution. "Here, here's about half a dollar. Please deliver this letter to my cousin, halfway across the country, in a couple of days."
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Last week. I am one of the last of the real letter writers, real stationery, real and marginally legible script with a fountain pen, and sort of real stamps. They would be fully real if they still required licking.

The USPS is still a wonderful institution. "Here, here's about half a dollar. Please deliver this letter to my cousin, halfway across the country, in a couple of days."
I also write old fashioned letters and do so with one of three fountain pens. The kids laugh at me and the grand kids have been struck virtually speechless by the act. But I never seem to learn. A current writing project of mine is writing rater long tomes, detailing their accomplishments and offering heartfelt life advice to the two grand kids (Twins) that are graduating High School this Spring. Life is good! ;)
 

drpeter

Super Member
Eagle, my friend, I think those grandkids will look upon those letters with gratitude and pleasure, although it might be later in their life.

I still have a letter that my late uncle, a distinguished poet, had written to me in the late 1970s, a couple of years before he passed away. It is a beautiful letter, written with eloquence and feeling. I treasure it so much I have kept the original safe in a bank vault and have a copy at home to read, from time to time.

So write away.
 
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