Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Don't Blame Postal Service for P.O. Closings

The Page 1 article "Rural American Post Offices Campaign For Deliverance From Closing" (Dec. 20) wrongly blames the United States Postal Service. The article focuses on a symptom instead of the causes of neglect and abandonment of small-town USA that close post offices.

It is futile and just plain incorrect to blame the USPS or Wal-Mart when one's town post office has been closed, one's Main Street boarded up, the town's outer fringes "subdivisioned" and "strip-malled." Both the post office and corporate America merely react to a town's missed opportunities, filling in the voids where townspeople have failed to grasp the reins of their own identity and destiny. Those who wish to continue the privilege of living in small-town USA must become savvy in microeconomics and rural sociology. Put simply, small-town dwellers must support their local retailers and service businesses. If townspeople do not support their own Main Street, post office closure is all but assured. The price of small-town living has come to require living in one's small town, participating in one's community, cutting auto trips dramatically, garaging one's car, and walking, biking, or rollerblading to the post office! Sue Collester Elsah, Ill. The article places the Postal Service between a rock and a hard place. The Postal Service is mandated to "break even" under the 1970 Reform Act, yet the same law mandates that no post office can be closed because it operates at a deficit. What business can survive with such laws? Hundreds of the post offices cited in the article don't do enough business to pay overhead, so the funds must come from other places. The majority of the people who run the Postal Service are well-intentioned, hard-working professionals attempting to do what would be impossible in the private sector. For now, at least those small towns still have their post offices - and rightly so. Joseph R. Sontgerath Vancouver, Wash. Adoptive parent speaks out The author of "Why Few Foster Kids Find Adoptive Homes" (Dec. 23) couldn't have said it better. …

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