Photographer's Note

According to Bloomberg News 13 months ago the U.S. Postal Service – which lost $1.3 billion in its first quarter – said its debt could reach $45 billion by around 2017. To be more accurate, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe testified the service has reached the $15 billion limit. USPS spends $13.1 billion year (or 20% of its revenue) on health-care costs, including $4.8 billion for premiums, $2.7 billion for retiree premiums and $5.6 billion due for future retiree health-care costs.

Then on the evening of September 31, 2013, USPS defaulted on its debt: $5.6 billion owed to the U.S. Treasury for funding of retiree health benefits. They just don’t have the money. After seven straight years of deficits, the USPS is just about out of cash. Worse, Patrick Donahue reported a dangerous situation, that by mid-October 2013, his enterprise had no more than five days’ worth of cash on hand. With an unexpected uptick in expenses or slowdown in revenue, the USPS’s coffers could be wiped clean.

Although a shutdown is unlikely, but the USPS future and its life based on tax-payers’ money will be at risk.

When I stopped by New Madrid – a city of 3,052-population in Missouri state – on the Mississippi River, I found this mailbox converted into collection box of used eyeglasses. It’s great idea to keep in use rather than let it becomes rusted abandoned proof of obvious failure of a giant enterprise with 522,144 workers and a largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world (212,530 vehicles).

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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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