Fixing the Mail: Neither Snow nor Rain nor Red Inkhttp://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/aug2009/db2009087_477965.htmUS Postal Service faces protest over cutbackshttp://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/aug/10/us-postal-service-cutbacks-opposedFederal Eye: Do New Postage Stamps Help or Hurt?http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/08/is_this_why_the_postal_service.html?hpid=news-col-blogNational Postal Museumhttp://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/HowStuffWorks: "How the U.S. Postal Service Works"http://people.howstuffworks.com/usps.htmThings have changed mightily since Benjamin Franklin assumed the office of Deputy Postmaster General in 1753 for the North American colonies. The United States Postal Service has many feathers in its cap, including the creation of rural route delivery and six days a week service, but its financial difficulties continue to grow. This week it was announced that the Postal Service will lose approximately $7 billion in 2009. The company doesn't have much wiggle room to cut back on certain expenses, as most of its employees have clauses in their contracts that forbid layoffs. A number of policy analysts and public administration experts have discussed a range of potential solutions, including reducing service, closing more branch locations, and privatizing the entire system. Also, the Government Accountability Office recently added the Postal Service to its list of "high risk" agencies, noting that it would need to restructure in order to maintain long-term financial viability.Visitors will want to dive into this pressing issue via the first link, which leads to a piece from the New York Times that features commentary from the Postal Service's chief executive, John E. Potter. The second link leads to a piece from this Monday's Business Week on how to run the agency in a competitive fashion. Moving on, the third link will lead users to a news article from the Guardian which talks about the potential closure of over 700 post offices in the US. The fourth link leads to a post from Ed O'Keefe writing for the Washington Post's "Federal Eye" feature. In the piece, O'Keefe talks about the pros and cons of creating new commemorative stamps. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the National Postal Museum. Here, visitors can take in interactive exhibits and learn about visiting the Museum. Finally, the last link will take users to a feature from the HowStuffWorks website on the daily operations and functions of the Postal Service.


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