Citizens' Alert: Post Office Conspiracy Revealed

You and I are "Postal Patrons". It says so right on the junk mail you empty out of your mail box every day. The same unasked for junk mail that gets thrown away with the important check or bill that somehow got mixed in with it by high-tech, high-speed postal sorters.

The US Postal Service pays for tv ads to convince us how efficient they are in delivering our important mail. And how much more economical they are than the privately owned services like FedEx and UPS.

You are a Postal Patron. But so is a huge and influential group of businesses called the DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION. Direct mail advertisers get paid for shipping huge quantities of cheaply printed advertising to every citizen who has an address or Post Office Box. DMAA has wangled US Postal Service Regulations so that their mail MUST be delivered whether you want it or not. You cannot say no. You cannot stop it from jamming up your post office box, even though it is not addressed to you specifically. US Postal Regulations no longer require that it even be addressed. Postal Patron is sufficient, so long as the mail bag is addressed to the correct Post Office.

How did this happen? That's where the great conspiracy comes in. The US Postal Service is directed by Congress (in its wisdom) to be self-sufficient. Zero-based accounting (ignored by the US Government itself). The Postal Service is required by Congress to operate efficiently enough for its income to cover its costs.


So. To cover its costs, the US Postal Service relies on the huge amount of income it derives from bulk rate mail (direct mail advertisers). Since this group is organized and represented, it can influence rate increases and the regulations that the US Postal Service must operate by. Consequently, addressing requirements for bulk rate mail have been whittled away, while those for addessing First Class Mail have become more stringent. Try hand-addresssing an envelope to yourself, omit the ZIP code, and mail it at your local Post Office. Put your return address on it (without your ZIP code). Let us know what happens.

Back to the conspiracy. You, as a Postal Patron, cannot request that the US Post Office not deliver bulk rate mail. Well, you can request it, but they won't and can't honor your request. You are advised to write the sender requesting that their mail no longer be sent to you. The catch here is that they don't send the mail to you, specifically. They no longer have to address it to you. They address it to your Post Office branch, that distributes it to everyone served by that branch. There's no way that you can stop it.

Try writing ADVO, Inc., One Univac Lane, Winsor, CT 06095. Ask them to take you off their mailing list. Ha! Frustrating isn't it? In a country full of frustrations, how can we deal with all of them? Start small. Deal with a small frustration, the rest will follow.

For instance. Don't trash your junk mail. Go put it in a mail box. They can't trace it to you, since it wasn't addressed to you in the first place. Call it recycling. If you have further inclinations, take the time to write "addressee unknown" before you dump it. Or "insufficient address". Go ahead. Clog up the system. It's called passive-aggressive behavior. Passive- aggressive behavior is generally not approved by society, but society doesn't approve of much anyway. Beats passive behavior or no behavior at all.