Readers write about junk mail, whether unions really damaged the Big Three, and what Obama's Cabinet nominees say about his incoming administration.
Mail carriers should not pick and choose what is delivered
In regard to the Dec. 2 article, "Americans hail a postman who didn't deliver": This letter carrier violated the oath he took when he accepted the job. All mail carriers are required to adhere to the principle of "the sanctity of the mail." This means that only the recipient determines the value of their mail. My understanding is that this was originally started to ensure nonpartisan treatment of political mail. Without this standard, a mail carrier could selectively toss mail that didn't agree with his or her personal beliefs. Also, this carrier defrauded businesses who paid in good faith for their advertising to be delivered.
Junk mail currently pays for much of the US Postal Service's operations. That means delivery to American homes and businesses and conveniently located post offices. Postal inspectors ensure a low level of theft and fraud. Somehow, all that has to be paid for. Our first-class postage is among the lowest in the industrialized world, and e-mail has considerably lowered the volume of first-class mail.
It is possible to manage junk mail, but it is up to the individual to do it. It is annoying and I, too, wish for an easier way. But I don't want my mail carrier making decisions for me.
Unions not to blame for Detroit's woes
Weren't union contracts negotiated with, and accepted by, management? If so, why fault unions for contracts that management accepted?
Furthermore, are unions responsible for failing to be ready for changing market conditions, such as high fuel prices? Are unions responsible for the inability of customers to get credit to buy cars? Are unions responsible for the inability of the corporations to get funds for retooling?
It seems that many factors have contributed to the demise of the US auto industry. A focus on unions seems misplaced and unproductive.