Postal service seems to vary considerably between the city (where it is miserable) and my summer house community, where it is wonderful. Sadly it is the rural post offices that are most threatened by the Post Office’s fiscal problems, but from them we can see the kernel of an idea of how the Post Office can be rescued. In these areas the Post Office is more than a mail service. It functions as a community and information center, sometimes the only one.
We should look at postal facilities as more than post offices. They are in fact an extension of the federal government in every community. In many, for example, you can pick up tax forms or items related to passports. So why don’t we build and expand upon this? Why not use it as a base for some of the other things (sometimes too many things) that the government does or provides so that it functions more like a general field office. The convenience and savings are potentially enormous. It could reduce duplication, excess facility costs that could be shared, and provide an enhanced and efficient base for public services.
It’s time to think outside the box and consider how this might be implemented. This is just a suggestion, but there could be a follow-up study (provided it doesn’t become too obscure) to consider the feasibility of this approach, such as what agencies could combine and piggy-back some of their operations. We already have a built-in vast network of facilities throughout the country. Why not make better use of them?