Considering the USPS on World Post Day

Oct 09, 2013
 By Mark Pitts
 Executive Director, Printing and Writing

 Today, October 9th, is World Post Day. It marks the establishment
 of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in Bern, Switzerland,
 and aims to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in the
 everyday life of people and businesses and its contribution to social
 and economic development around the world.

It is also a reminder that, despite our seemingly all-digital lives, we live in a world where physical delivery of information and goods may be more important than we realize.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is easily taken for granted, as it has been ever-present since the Continental Congress founded it in 1775 to provide public mail service. The original purpose of the Post Office was to “bind the nation together,” which is an old-school way of saying “connecting people.” Today, USPS ensures that every citizen, in each square mile of the country, has the ability to receive mail and that the government can reach every citizen too.

For many Americans, particularly senior citizens and those who live in rural areas, their postal carrier is their one reliable point of contact with the world – six days a week. It is easy to forget that 20 percent of American adults do not use the internet at home, work, school or by mobile device. Many can’t afford the cost of digital devices, lack the skills to use them, don’t have digital access where they live, or simply choose to live without them.

The USPS helped to shape the United States as we know it today: $1 trillion in commerce and 8 million American jobs that depend on a healthy Postal Service. On World Post Day, consider what our nation would be like without the ability to securely connect with any household in the country for less than fifty cents. You might miss the mail after all.