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The DMA Calls Move To Create Presidential Postal Commission Premature
Commission Could Derail Scheduled Mark-up of Postal Reform Legislation
NEW YORK, May 13, 2002 - The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today expressed concern over the decision by the Mailers Council to call for a Presidential commission to study the need for changes within the structure of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The DMA, a Mailers Council member, noted that, while a study commission might prove desirable at some point to address issues that could not be resolved by other methods, it also could delay much-needed postal reform legislation.
"I am very concerned that both the evolving bipartisan legislative effort and Postmaster General Potter’s strong public efforts to improve the efficiency of the Service could be seriously undermined," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "While we can certainly understand the frustration that appears to have moved many Mailers Council members to support a presidential commission, deferring to a commission now would result in a serious setback for the entire mailing industry. A commission would only be useful now in conjunction with effective legislation aimed at meaningful reform."
There are approximately nine million jobs and $900 billion in commerce at stake in this debate according to a report released by the Mailing Industry Task Force. The last presidential commission to address postal issues was created in the mid-1960s. It took three and one half years before changes were actually made, and then only after wild cat strikes by postal employees and other major system failures prompted the action. The business mailing community simply can not now wait that long.
"Time is an enemy now. A long, drawn-out effort would prove very costly to the Postal Service, the business mailing community and a sizable chunk of the nation’s economy, putting many of those nine million private sector jobs in jeopardy. We need to move ahead now to correct the problems by making the changes we can, and assign the intractable issues to a study commission later. To defer to a commission now would let Congress off the hook," Wientzen continued.
In a recent national poll conducted by The DMA earlier this year, nearly three out of four consumers were in favor of legislation that would give the United States Postal Service (USPS) "…the flexibility and tools it needs to reform and improve its operations."
According to The DMA’s ongoing Economic Impact study, the direct mail industry alone employed 4.1 million employees and contributed $580 billion to the national economy in the year 2000.
For more information on the economic impact of the postal system on a state-by-state and congressional district basis visit http://www.the-dma.org/postal/postalreformnow.shtml.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.86 trillion in 2001, including $118 billion in catalog sales and $30 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.